Monday, July 8, 2013

What the heck are gDiapers?

"In fifteen years, I'm going to hate you for this, Mom."
I go on and on about using gDiapers. I sound like a freakin' commercial, but I talk about them because I really like using them. I feel like I'm not only being environmentally responsible, I'm being fiscally responsible. And I like responsible. I'm not all about convenience. If I were, I'd shoot my dog Simon into the sun. He is very inconvenient.

But let me tell you a bit about why I like this product so much;

This is my kid in his newborns.
Kind of makes me realize how
much he's grown.
He's well into his mediums now. :( Stahp growing baby!)
gDiapers are local to me. They are created by a company in Portland, Oregon. They work as follows:  There are the gPants. It is a cloth diaper 'cover' of sorts that has velcro closures that close towards the back (the g is on the bum).  Inside that diaper are waterproof pouch liners. In the pants for babies bigger than newborns, these pouches snap in.  In the newborn sized pants, the pouches are sewn-in.  There are boxes of six snap-in pouches for sale too, so if your baby soils the liner, all you have to do is wash that bit and replace that part rather than wash the diaper.  They also get stained and manky after a lot of use, so it's nice to have replacements.

He is comfortable in his pants. Rarely ever gets rashes, and the hemp cloth
inserts are soft, soft, soft.
These liners can be replaced. They act as the holder for the inserts.  There are two different kinds of insert; the cloth insert, known as gCloth inserts, and the disposable inserts, known as gRefills. There are also liners called gCloth liners which can be used over the cloth inserts so if the baby does number two, it can be conveniently peeled away and flushed with the liner.

The disposable inserts are also flushable (the interior part of them). The inserts are biodegradable. So already, you are being kind to your landfills. And there are some folks who have been known to compost them.

gPants can range from $14 - $22 a pair depending on how you buy them (in bundles, individually or in sets) and how fancy they are (some have ruffles for girls and gDiapers sells unique styles on their website sometimes -- see below), they don't come cheap. I recommend that if you want a good buffer for usage, you have at least eight to twelve pairs in the lower sizes (nb, s, m)... I can't speak for the larges and extra larges yet, but I imagine you will be changing less frequently so fewer pants would be required. But I could be wrong.  The best deal you can get is to buy a bundle pack. If you are pregnant, there is the Newborn Bundle, which includes twelve pairs of newborn sized gPants, six pairs of small gPants, and two packages of disposable inserts and a swish stick. They do not include gCloth inserts.  There is a 'sweet bundle' that gives you four packets of disposable inserts and six pants... also a good deal and great when you are transitioning to a new size. The website has revolving deals too, so always watch for them.

gCloth inserts are not cheap, but two packages of six ought to set you up, and like the disposables, they work in a variety of gPants sizes. For instance, the smalls will work in the newborns (kind of) and the small pants.  Do not throw them away or sell them when you are done with those sizes, they can be used in the medium and larger pants as double-ups if need be!  The large gCloth inserts work in the three larger sizes, medium, large and xlarge.  So if you buy two boxes of six, you're pretty much set. I understand that also several kinds of other prefolds work in gDiaper covers. I don't know which ones but it warrants research.

It seems complicated. It really isn't. If you do it right, you hardly use the disposables at all.  I use the cloth inserts when we are home during the day. All day. They are washed in a revolving cycle. I use disposables only when we are out and about (I keep the diaper bag stocked), because nobody wants to mess with cloth diapers when moving about. It's nice and easy to just toss or flush as needed when you are on the go.  I also use the disposables during the night, because with cloth diapers, the baby will feel being wet very quickly.  The disposables keep them comfortable through the night.  If I'm doing it right, we hardly go through a package of disposables more than every two to three weeks (my husband uses the disposables constantly, it's hard to get him to use cloth for some reason).

Recently sold all these plus those below for $75 - a good deal
for the buyer, for sure.
Note the extra snap-in pouches on the center-top.
What's cool is that when your baby outgrows their stuff, you can resell it. There's a big resale community for gDiapers, you just need to find it. Some second-time-round baby shops also carry them. So you don't have to buy them new all the time. I resold mine for cheap, my 11 newbies (kept one pair as a souvenir) and 10 smalls for about $75 (I threw in some extras, a few gCloths and some leftover small inserts).

I have my changing station all set up for the gDiapering process.

Baby's room is 90% IKEA. The Pyssingar storage set is cute & perfect for
their changing table.

The Lattsam set comes with three containers, two of which hang from the
table edge. The little waste bin is perfect for clean disposable inserts.
My wipes are in a warmer on a cabinet next to the table.
I don't buy gDiapers' wipes. We get some irresponsible ones from Costco for $20 for 900 wipes. Shame on us! I just can't justify the extra cost. Even if these aren't environmentally kind.

Your cost savings are not immediate. Especially in the beginning when you have a fast-growing newborn, where you will burn through disposables pretty quickly, and during pants-purchasing time. But purchasing slows down after five or six months, and you will have to replace new pants more slowly as your child's growth dials it down. New Seasons and some other retailers carry gDiaper products, so you can get them for a bit cheaper than the website.  You can get sets of two gPants for $27 for instance, in cute colours and stripes sometimes. :)  But your savings are in the long run. Once you get those cloth inserts, your expenses will slow down. You don't have to buy new ones very often. So spending $30 or $60 now can save you money later. If you use your cloth inserts exclusively and mete out the disposables for the diaper bag, you can save a lot of money.  They will probably never be as cheap as disposable diapers in general. Nor will they be as convenient, but for one they will have a much better impact on the environment for one. And for two, your sustainability rate is much better when you are laundering your own diaper inserts. Also, your child's body will be less exposed to harsh chemicals, synthetic fabrics and less prone to diaper rash. They also don't leak hardly at all. Only a few times, when he was in transition phase, almost too big for his smalls and too small for his mediums did we deal with some leakage, and only when he fell asleep on his side. They even contain poo-splosions pretty darned well.  Some people make do with six pairs of pants perfectly well after the newborn phase, if you are on top of it, and doing laundry often. The fact that you can recoup some money be resale of the gPants and gCloth inserts is also a bonus.

If you want *some* convenience, you do save some money by ordering your inserts in boxes of four packages, and they can be automatically shipped. They often have sales too, where they are only $12 a package.  It saves you the trip to the store and it takes a while to go through a whole box if you stick to the cloth-inserts.

I'm one of those people that has no problem doing things that are a bit more complicated for the sake of being responsible. I like that I am supporting a local business. I like that I can throw these inserts away and feel okay about that ... or compost them if I want... or flush them if I need to.  I like that otherwise, I can peel away and flush solids from the cloth inserts, and then toss them into the laundry, and end up with a soft, floofy insert that cleans beautifully right out of the dryer.  It's a good product, and that's why I talk about it so much.  End of not-really-a-promo-post, really. Nobody paid me to do this. LOL.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Update by insomnia

Anyone want this dumb-ass dog?
Let's see... we shall begin with a gripe. Why not? It is so ... me... isn't it? Anyhow, anyone who wants Simon, let me know. He's a stupid dog and I'm going to kill him one of these days. Don't get me wrong, I love my animals with all of my heart, but I love my kid more. And Simon has taken to being a bit of a territorial dick lately, and now that Alex is army crawling everywhere he can possibly go, Simon is averse to the mobility of this little interloper. He has twice already, growled and snapped at Alex. He has growled at him several times.  If it happens again, he is going to a Jack Russell Terrier rescue or something, I kid you not.  If he bites or connects with Alex, I won't even be able to describe where he's going because I'll be seeing red.

He isn't a mean dog. He's just stupid, and part of the problem is us.  We were a childless couple for many years, and nothing's worse for a pet than being owned by people who are substituting children for animals in order to satisfy their innate need to parent.  And these dogs just don't know that they've been knocked down a tier on the totem pole. They still think they're the kids. And they look at Alex like he's an equal; or worse, a puppy, lower than them and in need of their discipline and subject to their territory.  Well, that's got to end or else.  Simon, you flokati rug with a flapping tongue... I love you, but if you bite my baby, you may be stuffed into a box and sent downriver.

***Update: I am NOT getting rid of my stupid dog. I promise. Simon is an idiot of the highest degree, but he is also a member of this strange little family.  Yes, I go into stupid irrational mode when he does stuff, but I know that if he was mean, he'd have gone after the baby and not bothered to warn him. I know this breed very well--Satan bred them for years. I am afraid he may connect with Alex, but I am watching the baby (who is obsessed with Simon btw, because he reallyreallyreally wants to just grab onto that floofy fur) and making sure he leaves the derpy doofus alone). I was venting, as I always do. I am glad I have my husband and my readers to remind me that I'm being an irrational idiot.  But I don't dump my animals because they're being bratty. I'm a brat, and that would be hypocritical. And the reason he's a brat is our fault.

Our dinner on Saturday night. Trout and lemon/white wine Orzo.
It was pretty damned good.
Dan and I have been watching Alex's growth and development. He is moving more and more into solids, and eats more almost every day. His favourite remains sweet potato (yams) and vanilla Greek yogurt. But I also force him to eat things he doesn't like as much, like squash and peaches and banana. He's also started holding his little cookies and eating them on his own, in spite of having no choppers yet.  But we see how healthy he is, and our family doctor told us he is doing great and is very healthy. So we have decided to follow his example and to cut meat out of our diet (we may lapse occasionally... but as a mean, we will no longer eat cow, pig or chicken, or anything land-based that walks.  We will keep eating fish, and eating dairy (milk/eggs) at least for now.  I've even tried my hand at making seitan from unbleached regular flour and found that it's really pretty damned good.  So far, we are doing okay.

I did not gain any weight through my pregnancy, gaining only 17 pounds, which were taken out on 11/17 when they extracted my little critter-baby.  I actually lost a couple of pounds by the time I went to my 1-month postpartum appointment.  And for a while, I was great, happily larking along while breastfeeding, imagining myself sylph-like from the extra calories burned from breastfeeding.  But I have gained about 11-12 pounds back because I am out of control eating.  Both of us have fallen off the Weight Watchers wagon.  Dan, poor fellow, did so when I was pregnant. It was impossible really for him to keep holding on when I was in pregnancy mode, eating anything and everything I wanted at any given time of day. It's hard to keep on a diet when the person you're with is an eating machine and exposing you to all the naughty things you love so much.  So he's put on about fifteen pounds.  He's lost a few since we started this pseudo-vegetarian/pescatarian menu of ours.

A glut of fruity tarts.
Take the above photo for instance.  The fruit tart is Dan's most very much super happy gimme more favourite food I make. It's a pâte sucrée with vanilla custard in it, and then topped with fruit and berries (namely bananas and strawberries, but sometimes -- as with most recently this weekend, blueberries and raspberries too).  Dan likes to dollop some freshly whipped cream on it and pound those suckers down like candy.  I made him some for Father's day... it's his first Father's day, so he deserved it.  But then on Saturday, we went by our local fruit stand and bought a pile of berries and voila... more tarts.  Naughty us.

Flower's immediate reaction when taken out into extreme heat
is to plop down on the gravel in full sun and bake,
moving only to flip over when she's cooked enough on one side.
Oregon is sickeningly warm right now. It's not ideal. I like my bouldery grey days with dreary rain and sopping trees dripping in soaked garlands of tree-moss and air plants.  This summer crap is for the birds. If I wanted to live in a Turkish steambath, I'd move to Florida or California or something. ::sigh:: I hate summer.  I can't WAIT for September.  By then we should also be preparing to visit my sister in Pensacola so she can finally meet her nephew.  If we don't, she probably won't meet him until he's graduating from MIT. Yay! Air travel with a child! Woohoo!  His other auntie moved from Middle of Nowhere, Oregon to Bend, Oregon, and now that she no longer needs to drive to Portland to buy the essentials, she hasn't seen him since January, and expects me to make the three hour drive to her home with the little one in the car. So, the burden is on me to bring the child to them. Always for their convenience I guess. Sisters. Oy.  What a pain in the ass they can be.  They are my only true and involved family however, so I do need to put up with their sisterly shenanigans after all.  Even if they make me crazy.

Isn't my little boy just f*&!ing beautiful? I think so.
You should have seen how excited he was to ride in the carriage
and be free to look around and see everything. It was SO CUTE.
I am at present working to make more items for the sale on August 3. I'll take pictures of my sale table when it's all set up to share. I also plan to make a gown for the Pittock Mansion Picnic the last Sunday of July.  I haven't made something new for myself in eons.  I also want to make one of my bib-fronts and a draw-string from my pattern (see previous post) to sell so I have some samples.  I will have to find a model to wear them prettily so I can take photos.

We (the Oregon Regency Society) had a great event up at Hood River on June 1 & 2.  We went there to sail on the tall ship (the Hawaiian Chieftain) and to take tea, and hang about and go picnicking. We had some gripers complaining that the event was costly, but we managed to buy out the entire ship, so I guess it wasn't so bad. LOL.  People also came up to join us the next day for a picnic in a wonderful lavender garden. It was really fun.  I'm trying to push more people to set up events for the rest of the year, so I don't have to stress it so much, but it's hard. Everyone has lives too.  I will *try* to set up a ball at least for the end of the year, and some more smaller events.  The ORS is chugging along, not without drama, but definitely getting more oiled as a machine as the team coalesces and starts working together. Pretty soon, I'll be able to step back some more I hope.  Let people handle their own things, and not call on me.  I want to be able to just show up to events sometimes like everyone else does. It would be nice.  Now I've got el niño to worry about.

Anywho... that's my blah update for today.  My creativity is returning, so I imagine I'll start posting some drawings again at some point. But for now, I have all these projects to complete.  So bear with me.


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