March 31, 2007

Garden planning, cloth diapers, etc.

Today we got together with our buddies with whom we are going to garden this summer. We're looking forward to having a garden plot and fresh veggies all summer! Our friends have done it before and know something about the tricks of the trade, so we're planning with them, and we're going to get two 20'x20' plots next to one another, so we'll have a real small kitchen garden going! Z and I are going to be out there weeding with Mar practically every day. It'll be great experience for all of us. And, yes, daddy is going to garden too. It's actually mostly his pet project. Z and I are kind of "hired help". We're going to even try to grow a couple of watermelons specifically bred for colder climes! I'll keep you posted on that once summer starts.

We've been using cloth diapers for a little more than a month now, and it's going great! Yes we still have some leaks. It is a bit difficult to switch from disposable to cloth, but we still think it's the best thing. We bought some bigger hemp inserts for at night because Z was soaking through all the others. She still pretty much soaks the bigger ones, but at least she doesn't over soak them and leak out, most of the time. Most of our leak problems happen during the day now, and I think it's a fit problem actually. Or just the fact that we may not change her quite often enough. You do have to change cloth diapers significantly more often than disposables. But it is so much better for baby's skin. We just have to get used to that. We've seen many more changing tables at stores and restaurants than we had seen previously. Thankfully it's easy to change Z. Even with all the leaks, wetness, and crying in the morning every once in a while, I love cloth diapers. It doesn't use too much water, and we have had significantly less trash since we switched. I would recommend it to anyone! And if we have another baby, we'll definitely start them in cloth.

Tomorrow we're planning an exciting outing to the hotsprings! We've been before, but the last few times Z wasn't very into playing or anything. She just sat and stared. Last time we went daddy dunked her, and she did fine with that, but she still was pretty passive. This was in January. Now that she's 9 months old (!) she is much more interactive and awake for longer periods of time. I really think she'll have lots of fun in the pool this time. Hopefully all goes well.

March 29, 2007

The Amazing Crawling Baby!

Z just got the hang of moving forward on all fours a couple of days ago. It's so cool! Yes, we have to childproof stuff still and we have to watch her like a hawk to make sure she doesn't get into something, but it is still so awesome.

March 23, 2007

Sugar in baby food

I get a newsletter by email from BabyCenter, and this week there was a short bit about feeding your baby foods with added sugar. You're not supposed to! This didn't come as a surprise to me. But I have been upset in the past at the availability of certain baby foods without added sugar!

I've spent quite a bit of time staring at the baby food at the grocery store, trying to find something new to feed Z. I decided I wouldn't feed her strained meat, so all the chickens, turkeys and lambs were out. She had tried nearly all of the rest of the available fruits and veggies, and all that was left was desserts! DESSERTS! Why does an 8- or 9-month-old need to eat dessert? And I did check the ingredients, and many of these desserts contained added sugar. I have no idea why anyone would want to give their baby extra sugar.

This all lead me to begin making my own baby food. I make most of the food that Z eats - my own sweet potatoes, yams, green beans, apricots, prunes, peas, black beans, applesauce... I feel good that she's not getting any refined sugar, and that I know the steps that her food has gone through (to a certain degree... I didn't grow it myself... yet. This summer I will be giving her some fresh garden food).

By the way, high nitrate foods shouldn't be home prepared before your baby's about 8-months old. High-nitrate vegetables include beets, carrots, green beans, squash, turnips, spinach and collard greens.

March 22, 2007

Books we've read

Since I was pregnant with Z, my husband and I have been reading books together, and once Z was born we read with her. I'm talking about novels, not kids books. When I was pregnant we'd read at bedtime. Once Z was born, we'd read just about every time I was breastfeeding. We are continuing to read, now only during the bedtime breastfeeding. We've read quite a few books that way, and I wanted to note them all so I will never forget.

While I was pregnant we read some Sherlock Holmes stories, and 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, and From the Earth to the Moon (both by Jules Verne). Then we started David Copperfield, which we were reading when Z was born.

We've read The Great Train Robbery (Crichton), The Wizard of Oz (Baum), Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (Twain), Robinson Crusoe (Defoe), A Christmas Carol (Dickens), and Around the World in 80 Days (Verne) with Z, since she was born. We're in the middle of Wuthering Heights (Bronte). We may stop after this one, but probably not. I'm not sure what's up next though.

March 21, 2007

email blog test

I would enjoy not having to rely on the speediness of blogger, so I am testing this email for posting. 

I guess I better change my blog

... since I'm not going to be a grad student any more. So much for life in graduate school! Maybe, life while your husband's in graduate school? No, too boring. Maybe life in a small corner of Montana... That may be better overall since I didn't write too much about grad school in the first place.

I met with my advisor today and she asked for a notebook of all my data, and my excel files. She uses them sometimes in publications down the road. So now I have to collect that stuff for her. That's easier than working on a manuscript at this point. She also offered me work. Either field work in the summer or fall, or lab work starting whenever. I am happy with my job now and busy enough that I told her no for the time being. At least until the end of the summer. We're traveling a lot this summer anyway, so working for her wouldn't fit in. I just don't know if I really want to do the lab work right now. I talked to my husband and a field trip in September isn't out of the question. Is a 14 or 15-month-old too young to do field work? In this line of research, probably. We'd have to bring some friends I guess. We'll see what I feel like at the start of the fall semester, but I might work a bit for her. It depends on my other job too. But right now I have more than enough to keep me busy for 15 to 20 hours a week.

Z is my daughter

She is so precious. It is wonderful watching a child grow. I just had to hold her for a few minutes, maybe some stomach pain, and she was sleeping in my arms. She hasn't done that for a while now. The last time was probably on the plane back from visiting my parents in early February. The only time she really cuddles and nestles into me is when she's really tired, and mostly she's in bed and sleeping by then, so those times are few and far between. They're lovely when they happen.

March 13, 2007

Can't post to my blog!

Arrgh. I have another blog and I can't post to it! Annoying! So I have to write something!

I'm done with school now, I have been since January. I officially graduate in May with my M.S. I'm not attending graduation though. It's no big deal to me. I'm supposed to be working on publishing, but I haven't done a thing! Well, I did email the editor of a journal to see if my work would fit in. It won't. I should be fixing up my figures for publication, and cutting out superfluous stuff from my text. But, really, I'd rather not. I know I am displaying terrible work ethic. I am having such a good time not having homework! I do work part-time to get some extra money, and I enjoy that job immensely. But I love not having to bring it home unless I want to. I work on website stuff from home quite often, especially when I can get exciting things done in short amounts of time. But at night, I usually sit down with my book for a while. I am just screaming through books now that I don't have schoolwork! It took me nearly a year to read War and Peace, and now I'm halfway through a book that is just as long, in only 1.5 months! I love it. So no, I'm not even tempted to work on anything serious in my nightly free time. I know, I know.

By the way, I have decided NOT to pursue a Ph.D. in my field. I'm 95% sure I won't get a Ph.D. in any field. This doesn't discount the possibility of more schooling, just not toward the doctorate of philosophy. I won't say any more at this time because I haven't decided anything concrete yet.

March 01, 2007

I like web stuff

I'm working on a new website for the lab I work for. I really enjoy working on websites. Ever since I first tried, which was in college. We're using MediaWiki to build the website, in hopes of sometime in the future merging a public wiki with our internal wiki. It is so easy to work with, and there is a lot of helpful online documentation. I don't think it will take as long as I projected at first.