Glancing over last night’s post I can’t help but feel like it was uninspired. I wrote it after the umpteenth time intervening in Silas and Henry’s chat fest—with Silas so tired he was crying in between his babblings with Henry. I meted out a time-out to the only one old enough to make any difference and with JT working late, I was flying solo. Anyhoo, the time-out worked and they both finally went to sleep at 9. It seems like we have these kind of nights about once every week and so far they’ve always wound down by 9. In the intervening 6 days it all seems par for the course—but wow, what a long hour on night seven.
Green living, or the concept anyway seems to be sweeping the country the way that organic tv dinners and low-carb foods did in previous years. Not to be off-trend we’ve been doing our best to reduce the old carbon footprint. Not to brag but I think we’re starting off “greener” than the average family. We walk a lot in the summer, use cloth diapers, dry the bulk of our clothes outside (again in the summer), only run the dishwasher and washer when it’s full, use cloth napkins—boy I could toot my own horn for a long time. The things I’ve been working on recently are greening my laundry process and dishwashing process. Two big breakthroughs I thought I would mention. I stopped using dryer sheets last summer when I started line-drying as much as I could. In general we’ve been switching to toiletries and cleaners that are as toxin-free as possible and dryer sheets have all kinds of chemicals that don’t fall in the “healthy” category. If you believe the passionate internet info on the topic clothes feel hard and stiff if you don’t use dryer sheets because using too much detergent leaves a residue on the clothes. So, we’re using less detergent, using dryer balls to fluff things up physically, and ta-da ½ cup of white vinegar in the rinse cycle to soften clothes and reduce static. This last one was the big one. The dryer balls help soften things a decent amount and make clothes reasonably fluffy—but woe is the static in the winter. After I put Silas down in his crib and I could see sparks flying off his pajamas before he even hit the sheet, I knew we had a problem. Seems the vinegar both fully rinses out the detergent that may be left behind and softens and therefore reduces the static—or something. What I can tell you is it works. I’ve been meaning to share these little findings for awhile and I’m sure you’re riveted now that I have.
For my local friends, I found the BEST baby store ever lately. It’s called Be By Baby and it’s at Paulina and Roscoe. The parking is terrible but that doesn’t prevent it from being the baby store I only wish I knew about 3 years ago. They have some organic baby clothes if you’re into that kind of thing, a big selection of nursing and maternity bras which looked extensive and offered more than the usual 2 options for once. Also some wooden and soft baby and toddler toys. But, the exciting parts of the store for me were the sling selection and fitting process and the cloth diapers. About 4 years ago JT and I and the Smerry’s went on a back-packing trip to SE Asia. We all went to REI and went through a fairly extensive process to select and fit a back-pack based on what we needed to carry, the size of our frame, and the features and price range we were interested in.
BeByBaby personally takes you through the same process for choosing a baby carrier. From what I could tell they had every possible sling and baby carrier out there and they were working with both pregnant moms and moms with babies in tow to pick out the best sling for them. Not stuck trying to just read online reviews, take measurements, and order over the internet—this seems like a real service for a product that often has to be custom fit and really meet your needs to work.
Finally, BeByBaby stocks several popular brands of cloth diapers in their store—the only store in Chicago that carries cloth diapers. In addition, they have classes on cloth diapering. This might sound crazy but for people interested in trying cloth the modern options are a little overwhelming. Not only do you have to decipher the various “systems”—prefolds and covers, AIOs or pockets, you have to figure out where you should order from—one of the 15 or so highly-rated cloth diaper sellers or the bazillion WAHM diaper sellers. Helping people wend their way through the options—get to the point where you realize it’s actually not that complicated is a boon to the cloth diapering for Chicago moms. I grabbed some of their cards and I’ve been handing them out to any expectant moms I know.