Saturday, March 7, 2015

FOR SALE!

All prices are completely negotiable... make me an offer! I am motivated to get rid of these.

Asheville locals only please.

These diapers were all washed with soap nuts and other appropriate free and clear detergents only, for the duration of their use, and maybe some white vinegar from time to time. I bought some of them new, and some of them used. Some of them don't smell good because they have been stored for a while.

I never cared about stains, because stains don't affect the diapers' ability to do their job, so most of them are faded, dingy, or are stained. If you want more detailed photos of a certain item, let me know through Facebook.


ALL POCKET DIAPERS include microfiber inserts, though they may not be the original inserts.

$6 for both, SIZE ONE Thirsties brand covers:

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$5, Thirties brand cover, SIZE TWO:

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$5, Flip brand cover, ONE SIZE:

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$15, 13 Large sized prefolds, unbleached, organic cotton:

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$15, 15 Green Mountain Diaper prefolds, red edge (size medium), unbleached organic cotton:


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$5, 7 MYSTERY brand white prefolds, newborn/small sized:

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$10, 12 newborn or premie sized prefolds, Bummis organic cotton:


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$5, 1 size medium all-in-one diaper:

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$8 for both! 2 size large Fuzzi Bunz pocket diapers, old and dingy:

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$5, 1 Apple Cheeks size two pocket diaper:

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$10 for both! Two Anne Marie Padorie one size pocket diapers (on the small side):


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All 4 for $10! Bum Genius one size pocket diapers (old, look like crap, but work fine):


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$10 for both! 2 Bum Genius one size pocket diapers (good condition):


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$5 for both! Two Fuzzi Bunz size medium pocket diapers (broken snaps, dingy):


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FREE STUFF

Come to my apartment and pick it up, and it's yours!

Send me a message on Facebook to get my address.


FABRIC:



YELLOW polar fleece type thing (large piece taken, smaller pieces available), checkered cotton type thing, light blue felt cottony thing. 1-2 yards of each of the blue ones:

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TWIN top SHEET, T shirt material, faded, has small holes and stains:


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Cotton calico thing, like what dresses used to be made out of on the prairie:

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Very soft, stretchy, herringbone print, grey/black fabric:

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Old sweater pieces, good for making diaper covers (larger pieces gone):


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BRA:


Size 34 DD. Feels like wearing a cloud. Full coverage cups.

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CLOTH DIAPERING: 

(PENDING) 5 really big, toddler sized prefolds. A bit dingy, a bit stained:


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A washable liner (I also have a bunch of disposable ones):


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Random microfiber inserts:
(not pictured)

Saturday, January 3, 2015

Is YOUR relationship healthy?

There is plenty of research out there on what is an ideal, healthy relationship. There is plenty of information available on what is an unhealthy relationship, as well. But, in the real world full of gray areas and ambiguity, what does an actual, happy relationship look like? I know hardly any people who fit neatly into either of those two extremes of "bad" or "good" partnerships.

I hear all kinds of things that seem contradictory:

"Couples who are happy rarely ever fight!"
"It's normal and healthy for couples to fight!"

"Happy couples know each other because they talk all the time!"
"Couples who are happy know what the other is thinking without having to say it!"

"Opposites attract!"
"Happy couples are a lot alike!"

So, I was curious. I got curious enough to make a survey and ask my Facebook friends to tell me what their happy relationships are really, actually like. Most of my sample is therefore white and middle class, but as a fellow white-middle-class-er, I'm mostly interested in my own culture's perceptions of partnership satisfaction (at this point).

I asked participants to self select based on only two criteria: the relationship must have lasted at least 2 years, and they must consider it to be a "healthy" relationship. I asked for at least two years of time together, because I wanted to get only couples who were out of the honeymoon phase. I also hoped to end up with only couples who had lived together for some time, though I didn't ask that.

The questions were thought up by me. Most were based on what I personally think is an indicator for a healthy relationship, though some were thrown in because OTHER people told me they were supposed to be indicators, and I wanted to see if they were right.


 General Feelings About The Relationship:

1 how's it going

 Wow!! 75% of happy couples are thinking about how great their relationship is MULTIPLE times per week. That means their relationship is likely on their mind a lot in general. This makes sense, because you'd expect it to be a priority in their lives if it's doing well.

93% of happy couples only worry about the status of their relationship a couple of times per year, or less. That seems really high to me. But hey, I didn't say you'd get eaten by a dragon if you lied, so there's that.

We can conclude from this that it may be a red flag if you often think that things aren't going well in your relationship.

This may seem obvious, but think about it: if you're in an unhealthy relationship and are thinking to yourself several times per week that things aren't going as well as you'd like... and you ALSO think that this is NORMAL and EVERYONE feels this way, this frequently.... you might not accurately assess your own relationship, and you might fail to work on important things (or you might continue with a relationship that is clearly not working out).

Disagreements:

header 2.1 disagreement

Half of happy couples almost never have "bad" fights. The ones who do only have a couple every year... with a few spitfires seeming to marry other spitfires, over in the monthly category ;)

This is a big one. People often say that fighting is normal, and it is. But, just because something is normal... does that make it ok? And what exactly is "fighting" anyways? If most couples are NOT happy, then who cares how often the average couple is fighting? My happy couples seem to be pretty mild mannered.

And what about those disagreements that DON'T go nuclear, but DO get addressed? Well, my survey seems to say that disagreements are certainly frequent enough. But they're not every day, and usually not even every week, for most happy couples.

header 2.2 disagreement

The research says happy couples have five good interactions for every negative one (that seems low to me, but compared to couples headed for divorce who have one bad for every one good... sounds pretty good!).

Getting The Good Stuff:

header 5 affection

How often are happy couples affectionate with each other? ALL THE DAMN TIME.

There's already plenty of polling on sex, so I didn't include it in mine. Happy couples have sex on average 2-3 times per week, and all couples have sex on average of 1-2 times per week. But, those surveys don't ask if it's GOOD sex, so I'm wondering... if these couples REALLY enjoy each other's physical company, they'd be voluntarily doing stuff that is not The Sex, right? Right. So keep touching each other, you naughty monkeys. 

Communication:

header 6 finances

Conclusion? Happy couples talk about finances regularly.... and they rarely disagree about it. I think this gets filed under basic compatibility. If you don't have the same ideas about finances, your day-to-day life is going to be pretty rough as you try to come to compromises constantly, or if you're under stress because one spouse is bad with money, etc.

But what about raising kids? Arguably the most stressful job of all time?


7 child rearing

Happy couples talk about child-rearing regularly. 79% of them almost never disagree about it, or only fight about it a couple of times per year. That's funny, because 67% of couples say they are less happy together after having kids. (Which is a question I didn't ask- how did having kids affect your relationship?) But that's a poll of ALL couples, not just the ones that identify as happy. So, perhaps raising kids is a lot easier if you've got a strong partner by your side. Makes sense.

(Don't ask me why the options above are out of order, I'm not sure what happened...)

Ok, how about talking about your feelings? Love is a feeling. We are with people because we love them, so I assume people talk about those feelings, or they wouldn't have known the other person loved them and then they wouldn't be together. Right? Right.

header 4 share feelings

73% of happy couples talk about their emotions at least a few times per week. This is one of those things I hear about a lot, from friends in unhealthy relationships. They have NO idea what the other person is thinking and feeling.

One thing I forgot to ask with this question is.... who's sharing? Is just one person opening up, or are BOTH people equally open with their thoughts and feelings? I'm assuming that the next question addressed this, at least in part.

Equality:

My theory is that you need ALL PEOPLE INVOLVED in a relationship to be equally involved, otherwise it's just one person pulling a bolder uphill, while the other person is sitting on top of it saying "Pull harder! I'm pushing as hard as I can back here!"

And my numbers support my theory.

8 hard work


Most happy couples are working equally hard to keep that relationship healthy. Good relationships are hard work! But, it's always worth it when the other person is equally committed. 

DRAMA:

Drama is when things get.... well, dramatic. You have a couple of real life movie moments, and you find yourself thinking, "who would watch this movie??"


9 drama

Unsurprisingly, most happy relationships are pretty drama-free. But every once in a while, they may need a good kick in the arse.

Thank you to the 55 happy couples who contributed (one was me)! And if you're reading this and thinking "Well, shit, I don't think we're quite there yet", then good luck to you on your journey... whether you decide to cut and run or buckle down and give it the ol' college try (just make sure your partner is trying, too!). And I hope these survey results can help point you in the right direction so you know where to concentrate your energy,  and so you know what is actually reasonable to expect of your partner and of yourself.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Parenting: It Sucks! And You Can Too.

Photo on 10-23-14 at 8.31 PM

He still wakes up at night- this time it's to talk in his sleep ("I don't want to go to school!" "Is that a helicopter?"), or to ask me to hold him, or to try and wiggle from his twin bed into our double bed, or to cough, or to get a drink of water...

Parenting is a 24/7 job, unless you can afford to pay a sitter. I think that's one thing I'm discovering about myself... that I really don’t like that about parenting, and that’s ok. Hard stuff is hard, and that’s ok. Sleep deprivation is hard in the long-term form, just as it was in the short-term form. But things are always getting better.

As a member of the "one and done" party (which I’m awfully surprised to be a member of), I am finally ready to admit that kid stuff (and especially little kid stuff) just isn't very fun for me. It was all I knew for a while, so I enjoyed it better than other things I wasn't suited for, but working full time (both outdoors and in an office setting) has really proven to myself that I have nothing to feel guilty about: my skills, personality, and personal challenges just all mesh better with an adult environment.

Kids games are boring. The songs drive me nuts. I can't wait until Luca is old enough that we can hang out together at film festivals or on camping trips... until then, I'm going to pretend I enjoy all this stuff because I enjoy spending time with him. I'm not going to try and convince myself that to be a good parent, I have to enjoy being a parent all the time more than anything else in my life.

Photo on 10-23-14 at 8.30 PM

Actually, thanks to my part-time parent status due to my full-time job, this stage is the first one I’ve been able to really laugh-out-loud enjoy. Every word that comes out of his mouth is either hilarious, poetry, or screaming. It’s all black and white with him, but it’s oh-so-adorable as well (and a hell of a lot easier to handle in the short pieces I receive it, as a working parent).

He sings a lot. That’s really great.

He is 30 lbs now, but I still hike with him on my back in the carrier. He refuses to walk most places. He can’t pedal his tricycle, his legs are too weak. This kid seems to hate exercise as much as I do.

Photo on 9-14-14 at 7.43 AM

Every day when he gets home from school, he gives me an emotional report card: who cried, who laughed, why they cried, who was told to stop by the teacher, who was mad because who took what from whom…. he’s incredibly sensitive and has obviously inherited my emotional empathic abilities (a blessing and a curse!).

It’s a challenge to be as present as he demands. All children demand mentally and emotionally present parents, but I work half my hours from home, and sometimes have to eat food instead, so he has a hard time understanding. And being aware of my unmet needs, I find it very hard to be patient when he needs me so much. Ash gives me all kinds of parenting advice all the time, which is hilarious because I’m the one that has read 800 parenting books. He can just FEEL the right thing to do. It’s very intuitive for him. He’s a great parent.

Luca’s class has a soccer lesson every Wednesday, but almost every time I come to pick him up, he’s sitting on the sidelines paying with pieces of grass and paper while his classmates are scoring goals (also gets that from us). He prefers to get his energy out by running as fast as he can from one side of the grocery store to the other *eye roll*.

He already plays with words. For example, Ash was signing “Velvet Goldmine” and Luca made up a parody called “Velvet Gold-Yours”. He notices little details like that.

He also corrects us if we aren’t completely literal. If he says “Meow meow!” and I say “Are you a kitty??” he says “No, I’m Luca. I’m just pretending to be a kitty.”

Photo on 9-1-14 at 4.24 PM #2

He likes to talk through inanimate objects, like his stuffed animal Yoda or his halloween pumpkin, when he needs to work through more difficult feelings, like fear. He will tell Yoda all about the monsters he is scared of, and then assure Yoda that monsters are not real. This kid is way more emotionally mature and aware now than I was for all of my young adult life.

We currently live in a rented 800 square foot town house built in 1968. We miss our little natural house, but feel like this amount of space is just perfect for us. I’m currently trying to work out how we can afford to build something of similar size. We also really like living with people all around us. Everyone here is pretty quiet, there are kids for Luca to play with occasionally, and it feels somehow more safe to know there are hundreds of quiet people everywhere. Maybe that’s just my anxiety talking. I feel like you wouldn’t set a horror movie here, that’s all I’m saying.

Photo on 9-1-14 at 4.19 PM #2

My new job is really great still. I like providing support to college students, because I remember how hard it was, and the ways in which I did not get help that would have been useful to me. My coworkers are great, my supervisor is great, and I’m proud of the product we make and how it is a piece of the puzzle in education reform, and the reform of the textbook industry. I like learning about technology as I continually embark on my never-ending quest to figure out how EVERYTHING works on the entire planet.

Ash is absolutely in love with massage school. He says it’s like summer camp and therapy and hippy school, and he is sad because it’s Wednesday and that means he won’t see his friends until Monday. I have never seen him light up and shine this much. He is so happy! And I get at least one free massage every week, so there’s that too. He is learning so much about anatomy, which means Luca sometimes says random latin words that mean nothing to me, and that’s awesome too.

Photo on 10-23-14 at 8.27 PM #2

Being an Aunt is the ABSOLUTE BEST! I get a whole other baby, and I don't have to carry it or feed it or anything. And he's cute. And he SMILES! And he's my Redford. He and Luca get along very well already. Luca likes making him laugh. I feel like, since my depression made me not really "around" when Luca was a baby, I get to actually experience what a baby is really like now. This one cries a lot less. This one needs me a lot less. And it's very healing to be in the presence of a baby and not cringe, panic, or even run away. I often left public places when hearing a baby cry, after Luca was born. My nerves just couldn't take it. It was like a touch of PTSD or something. But Redford's love has been very soothing and has allowed that reflex to back off quite a bit.