Sunday, April 19, 2009

gDipes in Review

Let me say up front: gDiapers will not save you money (unless you use really expensive disposables), nor will they save you any time (unless you are used to using cloth dipes), but they WILL make you feel awesome about no longer using landfill-loving disposables.

As far as cost goes, there are a few up front expenses: the outer, cute cloth panties, and the inner, snap-in liners. You will invest in these (like children's clothing) and then be done with it. The outer panties cost $15 to $19 a pair, depending on pattern, and I am getting by just fine with 4 panties. (You don't need to wash these very often, but when you do they go right in the washer and dryer, no prob.) Each cloth panty comes with a snap-in, coated-nylon liner, but if you want a few extra they only cost $2.50 a piece. I have 7 and that is plenty. The liners also don't need washing at every change, but when they do, they, too, can just go straight into the washer and dryer, no fuss.

The recurring cost comes from the flushable inserts. These cost more than disposable diapers. You'd think they would cost less, since there isn't anything fancy going on (it's like a big, rectangular maxi pad, that you stuff into the liner), but alas this is not the case. I tell myself that they ain't cheap because the contents need to be extra special in order to be both absorbent and dissolvable/biodegradable… (You can read all about the contents at the gDiapers website.)

If you really care about a cost comparison, this is the paragraph for you. I took notes over here at the grocery store for Americans. Here are the prices per diaper (rounded to the nearest penny) on the disposable brands offered here, in Maddie's size.

0.14 Pure & Gentle
0.15 Luvs
0.19 Huggies
0.23 Natural Choice
0.26 Huggies Supreme
0.28 Pampers Swaddlers

By comparison, the cheapest online source I have found for purchasing the inserts comes out to be about 0.35 per insert, shipping to my wacko address not included. YIKES. I am told that if you live in the States, you can buy the inserts for less at various stores there, but I have no idea on prices. I can update you in a few months.

There are only two ways I can think of that gDipes could save you a bit of moolah, but I have no idea how to calculate how much. The first is this: if you use cloth diapers, then you are used to doing extra laundry. You will not need to do any special laundry with gDiapers, so you can save some $$$ on your water and energy bills there. I just toss the little liners and panties in, on occasion, when I am doing laundry anyway. The second savings area is this: if you use a diaper pail which requires the purchase of special bags, you will not need to buy these special bags very often anymore. The only time a diaper will end up in the pail is when you don't (or, more likely, your husband doesn't) want to deal with handling a poopy insert.

Which leads me to...

The functional analysis. Now that we have the cost stuff out of the way, let's get to the cool part. gDIAPERS CAN HOLD A BLOW-OUT LIKE NOBODY'S BUSINESS. And that, my friends, is worth 0.35 a shot to me. The liner is really key to holding it in. Rarely does poop end up on the cloth panty, and, therefore, almost NEVER does poop (or poop soup as my hubby calls it) end up on the baby's clothing. YEEHAW.

Changing the dipe is easy, but not quick. We keep all 4 cloth panties loaded with liners and inserts at all times (or at least I load ‘em up every morning), so that we are always ready to go when we need to change. Changing the dipe goes like this: un-velcro the cloth panty and remove the whole kit and caboodle from the baby’s body. Pull the soiled insert out and dangle it over your toilet. Tear the insert down both sides so that the innards of the insert fall into the toilet. Swish them around (with a plastic stir-stick, provided) so that they start to dissolve, and then flush. Load a new insert into the liner/panty contraption (or grab a pre-loaded one from the stack) and put it back on your babe. And you're good to go.

It's a bit more complicated with the poop situation. The insert doesn't always catch all the poo, so it gets on the liner. In this case, you also need to unsnap the liner (rinse it in the sink if you are so inclined) and then drop it off in the laundry room. Snap in a clean liner and proceed as above.

PLEASE NOTE: The Gutsy Dad does not like to do the tear and swish thing in the toilet, so he just throws the soiled insert away. And this is fine. It will still biodegrade in about 60 days. (Unless it is sealed in a plastic bag.) It will even benefit the soil it ends up in. And that's really cool.

So there you have it. More than you ever wanted to know about gDipes. I think the cost is worth it—I feel all green and self-righteous and I have fewer poop-stained baby clothes. Hooray.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Dear Young [Man Who Does What My Husband Does for a Living],

When you are carrying packages out of the mail room in such a manner that you cannot see where you are going and you walk right into my daughter, knocking her on her a$$ so that she is splayed out on the floor and her head makes an audible clunk when it hits the deck, do not look at me like I am in your way when I put the baby's carseat down to comfort my startled and injured older child.

Let me remind you that your job description includes service to others and being gentlemanly. So the next time you floor a person who doesn't even come up to your waist because you were not looking where you were going, try not to look so annoyed.

You didn't apologize, you didn't move, you didn't offer to do a damn thing. Way to represent.

The Gutsy Mom

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Rome with Kids

The backpack, the Baby Bjorn, the Chariot, lots of gelato, a herculean husband, an almost-three-year-old who loves to walk everywhere, the willingness to nurse and change diapers almost anywhere, kind waiters, many cappucinnos (for mom), and Dora on the iPod for mealtimes. That's how you do it. Will they remember it? Probably not. Will we? Forever.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Bella Roma

Trevi Fountain Mosaics and views from the bottom of the dome at San Pietro

Detail from the Forum
The Arch of Constantine
Happiness in a cup from Bar Ripetto, near the Spanish Steps. Everywhere in Rome, cappucinos are only 1 Euro each.

Thursday, April 2, 2009


Today is one of those days that is not going exactly as planned. Since we're headed out on a 5-day Ferien tomorrow, there are many things on the to-do list. First, I was up half the night with a hacking cough, decided to take Sudafed this morning, and so I am in a bit of a daze. Jillson didn't want to get out of bed this morning, so we were late getting to preschool and I forgot to pack her snack. Zipped on over to the Edeka to get a pretzel and snuck it back to her classroom so she wouldn't be ohne etwas zum Brotzeit. (This would've been tragic in both Jillsie's eyes and in the teacher's eyes.)

My crowning achievement for the day--so far!--was getting pulled over by the German police for speeding. I was going about 55mph in a 45mph zone, and the fee was only 30 Euro, so all-in-all it seemed fair. The Polizei said nothing about my loud music or the fact that I was applying make-up while driving. But, because I didn't have the cash on me (you can pay the cop directly here and get it over with), I had to sit in the car and wait for about 15 minutes while the Polizei prepared all the paperwork and Stempel. Naturally, this gave me plenty of time to get frustrated, and I started to cry.

The crying is a phenomenon whenever I get pulled over. Sometimes it works to my advantage and sometimes not. Either way, I can't control it, and the Gutsy Dad hates it. (Luckily, my only observer was Madelyn and she is too young to be embarrassed by a weepy mother.) The policeman was alarmed/amused by the tears. He kept saying "it is not that terrible" and that I would be "permitted to drive on," but I didn't know the German word for embarrassed, and I wasn't about to explain that I was crying because I was mad I got caught (at first) and then I was just crying because I was crying (after the first minute of being mad) and I couldn't stop.

Thereafter, my errand-running went relatively smoothly: picked up meds for me and Jills at the pharmacy, dropped off the plastic recycling, mailed some things at the post office, gassed up the car, and went to the grocery store. All without incident. I got home with just enough time to unload the car and nurse Madelyn before it would be time to go get Jills, when I noticed my boobs had totally leaked through my grey t-shirt (unmistakeable dark, wet circles). No matter. I only ran into about six people I know while running errands. All of whom were showered and coiffed.

Then I discovered that while I was out, the dogs (presumably Zephie), had busted through our elaborate chair barrier system to get to the spot in the kitchen where Zephie likes to pee. She peed indeed, and also chewed up a gallon-sized ziploc full of toasted french bread slices, four or five kitchen appliance manuals, and the top to my bamboo steamer. Oddly, my recipe stand (normally on a shelf) had been moved to the center of the kitchen.

So now, my fun naptime to do list includes not just paying bills and making amends to my father for having bounced a check (more embarrassing at my age than getting a speeding ticket) but also steam cleaning the freakin' kitchen carpet.

I guess I'll pack after dinner.

Edited to add: No sooner had I pressed "publish" on this post than I hear from upstairs "MOMMY! YUCKY! YUCKY! HELP!" This sort of plea never bodes well. So I checked in on Jillsie to find her standing in her crib bare-bottomed, an empty & clean diaper on the floor, and a tidy pile of poop in her crib. Seriously. You can't make this stuff up. My daughter says "I didn't want to poop in my dipey, Mom." Evidently not. I think this might be my punishment for blogging during naptime instead getting back to my chores. So, in my defense, I'd like to say that I have now eaten my lunch, emailed my father, nursed Maddie again, and paid the bills. As soon as I press "publish" again, I will go steam clean the darn pee place in my kitchen. I promise.