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When I’m not busy perusing the endcaps at Target in search of more stuff that I probably don’t need, I can probably be found wagging my finger at my husband, and now my baby, chanting, “Because of you, I’ll never have nice things.”

Surely, I jest.

It’s not just them. I’m to blame, too!

But really? It’s kinda sorta true. If it’s not barf stains on the floor or baby poop stains on my white sheets, it’s coffee explosions. It’s always going to be something. I’m as clumsy as they get, so let’s face it: the stains are here to stay.

Or are they?
Our cleaning arsenal includes the run of the mill toxic cleaners to the laundry detergent sticks. As we started to Green our home over the years, we added the more eco-friendly alternatives like Method (which is too fragrant for my liking) and the Seventh Generation staples. The greenest alternative to all of the above would be using mundane ingredients already onhand at home such as, baking soda and vinegar, but with many product manufacturers cashing in on the Green market, there are now more alternatives to cleaning supplies for mainstream consumers.

But since the Product Pusher delivered, I thought I’d review a few cleaning goodies that we’ve had a chance to try.

mn_stainremover-copy.jpgWith our big boy eating so much, so often, it’s inevitable: he poops a lot. And when I mean a lot, I mean A LOT. Since I’ve introduced formula into his weekday regimen, you guessed it, “things” changed. Put it this way, I’ve had to throw pajamas away because cleaning the er, uh “disaster” would’ve been a lost cause. Every once in awhile, we’ll be fortunate to have a more containable mess. More recently, Jack had a smaller accident on a pair of jeans and a basic cotton onesie. It was the perfect opportunity to test out this baby stain remover.
We applied the Mother Natural stain remover to the affected areas of the clothes, let it sit and then soaked for a few minutes. Everyone knows that these sort of stains are tough, so naturally, (pun intended) I didn’t think the stain remover would help. When it was time to check on the stained clothes, minutes turned to hours, but to my surprise, the stain remover did a decent job at diminishing the once very yellow stain. I say diminish, because unlike the more stronger heavy duty conventional stain removers, the Mother Natural stain remover did a more gentle job at lifting the stains. The stain was still there, but just barely. And so, once I finally washed those clothes, the stain was almost completely removed. Almost, but not quite!
I was pretty pleased with the Mother Natural stain remover. It did its job and I felt ok knowing that the baby’s clothes weren’t completely doused in bleaches and a host of unpronounceable chemicals that would possibly add to his already itchy belly (thanks to my family’s history of bad skin.)
The manufacturers say the stain remover includes: Plant cleansers derived from natural sources such as coconut and palm, natural salts, natural enzymes, natural moisturizer, distilled water, and plant based essential oils.

While I’m on a (virtual) cleaning foray, I wanted to mention a mainstay in the diaper bag. When Jack was being passed from uncle to auntie and back to mom the other weekend, unexpected spit up was bound to happen. Unfortunately, my brother Jeff was tagged with his nephew’s spiddle. My older brother, unsure how to react, handed me back the babe and motioned for my pant leg.
giovannirecharge.jpgYeah, my pant leg.

I wagged my finger at him, told him to hold on and instinctively grabbed for these wipes. I grabbed the very convenient silver packet, i.e., Uncle Jeff’s savior from the baby mess.
Thanks to the Product Pusher, we carry around these Giovanni Recharge wipes that are the much more sophisticated (check out the dramatics on their site,) eco-friendly big sister to Wet Naps. The Giovanni packets come in a pouch with 20 individually wrapped biodegradable, antibacterial, antiseptic, sanitizing and moisturizing wipes. I did notice that these wipes, like most antiseptic hand cleansers, include Benzalkonium chloride, which is known to be an allergen.

Nevertheless, they are a nice change of pace, in terms of quick refreshers or clean ups. I like the fact that, as their name implies, they are refreshing. They come in four different scents; I personally like the Recharge Peppermint because of the minty scent and subtle tingle.

Not just for baby cleanups, I have several of these lying in the wings of my work bag…because if it’s not the baby, it’s usually me dribbling coffee down my hands and sleeves.

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A few weeks ago, taking cues from my two favorite message boards and various experienced moms, I thought it would be time to start researching daycare options.

I realize there are several different schools of thought on the baby-rearing issue. I have no time/interest for judgment or to judge on the aforementioned issue, but I do know that I’d like to learn which option would work best for us.

In an ideal world, I would not stay home and be a mom. Let me rephrase that:  I could not stay home. I just don’t have that capacity. I admire those that do, but I would crash and burn on the first day. Instead, I would prefer to find a happy mix: work a few hours, take a nap, work a few more hours, come home, be a mom and wife. (squeeze in a little happy hour some where!)

In the real world, unfortunately, I’m learning firsthand that a lot of sacrifice is involved in finding that happy mix. (Dad was so right.)

Which brings me back to the whole daycare debacle…I’m barely out of the 1st trimester—well over 6 months before I deliver— and I’m already looking for childcare.

You are crazy, is probably what you’re saying.

Well, in addition to the whole balance/sacrifice thing, I’m rapidly learning that having a baby in a city is nothing like suburban living. First example, wait lists for daycare facilities in our childcare lacking neighborhood are over a year long. I’d need a daycare place by December—9 months away.

Once upon a time, we swore up and down that we’d “move back to Va. when it was time to have kids.” Problem is, you can’t make plans around nature, nor can you make plans around a crappy job market. Both of our jobs happen to be in and around NYC. That’s a fact. So, again, here we are back at the whole balance/sacrifice thing.

So, back to the childcare: Who knew it would create such a debacle? We’ve always planned for childcare to be a large expense because of our location and distant proximity to family. But wow.

I had my first appointment at, I guess you would say, our first choice daycare facility. This place is located pretty close to the main drag, just a few blocks from our house. Those blocks are a huge determining factor, by the way, when you’re sprinting home in the rain, hoping to make it in time for Access Hollywood.

strollers.jpg
{not my picture and this is actually in nyc}

Since the daycare place is across the street from the bus stop, I approached the place and saw the same familiar arsenal of Bugaboo strollers padlocked to the front gate.

I mention these specific strollers not only because they’re one of the trendiest strollers right now (I decided that this brand isn’t practical for us, but I’m still coveting one) but they’re also one of the more expensive lines around. The strollers are indicative to our neighbors and the clientele at the daycare center.

Dudes, I cut coupons almost every Sunday afternoon. I often peruse the bargain racks at Old Navy and Target. I love lots of cheap wine (when I’m not pregnant of course) Perhaps that’s indicative to the type of people we are?

When I met the director of the facility and upon first impression, I thought she was very articulate despite the wimpy handshake. She gave me her spiel and assured me that everything’s clean, up to par and really wonderful. The childcare to provider ratio is reasonable. And of course, everyone has the proper certifications. I’m very impressed. There’s a lot of structure and balance for the older kids—it just seems like a great place for child care.

After the tour and all the basic information, the director remembered to give me the rates. She told me how much it cost per month and at first, I’m not shocked. I’ve priced other places in the area and it seemed comparable- somewhat. I’m all cool until I absorb that astronomical number.

I thanked the director and walked the 4 blocks home. While I walked, I did the math, this place was almost $600 more expensive than other places in the area. Not only that, but it was MORE expensive than our lofty rent.

Not to reveal too much info., but our rent isn’t exactly cheap. Actually, it’s close to 2 times my parents’ former mortgage. Granted, we do live less than a mile from a major metropolis and it is to be expected, but seriously, it’s still rent. It’s not glamorous by any means. And this daycare facility is asking us to pay them more than what we pay for our humble living space?

When Jeff got home, he asked me all about the daycare tour. I tell him how beautiful this facility is, how the place would be really wonderful and how convenient it would be for us.

As always, he gets straight to the point.

“So, how much does it cost?”

“uh. A lot of money. Like, more than our rent.”

“Oh cool, so WE get to LIVE there too?”

Smartass.

Not only am I in total shock now, but I’m even more afraid of our other daycare alternatives (I’ll get into that another day but Jeff’s #1 option involves my mom and me going even crazier.)

But as Jeff would say, it’s not always about me.

Au contraire!

 

Despite my reluctance, but at the suggestion of Dr. B, I started to take Unisom this weekend.  I’ve had insomnia problems in the past and had to rely on Tylenol PM for awhile, so I didn’t want to fall into that habit again.

The nausea got so bad there for a few days, I really wanted to just curl up on the couch and stay there until September.  So, I tried it.  I started off with a half tab on Friday night– nada.  I woke up Saturday feeling ‘normal,’ but proceeded to start gagging at noon when I got hungry.

So, on Saturday night, I took a whole tablet.  I woke up on Sunday much later than usual, and really never “woke up” until about 1pm.  I think I layed on the couch in the same position for 4 uneventful hours.  I attributed my Sunday laziness to the Unisom.  I mean, on a regular Sunday, I would’ve been to Target, ShopRite, BB&B and back by noon!
Despite the grogginess, I only gagged 3 times, as opposed to normal 33 times in a day!  I was amazed. 

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On Sunday night, I took another whole Unisom, hoping I wouldn’t be too groggy for deadline week at work.  Much to my surprise, I woke up sans alarm, and felt pretty kickass.  I wasn’t ready to go back to hip hop class or anything, but I was actually halfway pumped to put makeup on– the first time in 3 weeks, mind you.

I got through most of my entire workday without gagging or feeling too nauseous.  Amazing.  I have yet to commute home, so let’s hope this great feeling lasts!

 btw, I had my first crazy pregnancy dream this weekend.  Updates tonight.

For the past month or so, I’ve been gagging endlessly and trying not to puke almost every hour of every day. Thankfully, I’m not actually puking, but I wish I could… As mentioned before, I feel hungover from the moment I get up to the minute I close my eyes at night. Some days are certainly worst than others, but on average, I pretty much feel ill every waking hour.

16real190.jpg To the various people that I’ve complained to about my “morning” sickness, it seems everyone has their own remedy. In addition, I’ve been reading what other pg. ladies have been doing on the message boards. For the most part, it’s the same mundane advice: try Sea Bands (those accupressure bands for motion sickness), gingerale, comfort food, etc. Sadly none of these suggestions have done a thing for me. If anything, I have more aversions to all of the above (and more!) Currently, I loathe Coke (gasp) or any soda, peas (?), some meat, cold coffee and anything too ‘smelly.’

The only things that seem to bring me any relief is taking a long nap and eating a lot of mini meals throughout the days. Sounds a lot like hibernating, no?

While I don’t mind the mini meals consisting of crackers, nuts and fruit, it’s hard to resist a cheeseburger or ice cream when I’m feeling really sorry for myself. ha. Other things I still love: ice cold bottled water, very ripe mango (lots of it!), mac and cheese, Trader Joe’s Oyster Crackers, these specific lemon drops, Ice Breakers sours and fresh fruit.

In a roundabout way, I’ve never been so grateful to feel so pukey and miserable. As I was telling someone the other day, all of this nausea and gagging makes me believe that things are hopefully going the way they’re supposed to… Well, according to the Times, this sickness doesn’t necessarily indicate a healthy pregnancy.  On a positive note however, morning sickness is associated with a lower rate of miscarriage.

While this all-day feeling of misery may plain old suck, I’ve never been happier for feeling this crappy!