Fashion Faux Pas

Yesterday, Rebecca and I headed to the mall to shop for some birthday presents.  We browsed the little girls’ clothing because, well, we were shopping for a couple of little girls.  The girls’ section also interested me because next summer, Rebecca won’t be wearing baby clothes anymore, so I wanted to see what we had to look forward to.  Apparently what we have to look forward to is a big shopping pain in the butt.

Now, we haven’t needed to do a whole lot of clothes shopping for Rebecca yet.  Between gifts and hand-me-downs from Aunt Christine, she’s got a pretty full wardrobe already.  I still browse and purchase a few things myself, though.  And my experience has been overwhelmingly good.  Baby clothes are so cute!  Little girl clothes . . . not so much.

All I wanted to find was was a cute little sundress.  Something with some fun colors and easy to play in.  Most of what I found ranged from ugly to inappropriate.  Preschoolers should not be wearing slinky dresses.  In fact, kids’ clothes shouldn’t just be miniature versions of adult clothes, which was most of what I found.  Kids’ clothes should have youthful colors and prints.  They should be made with fabric that is easy to care for and easy to move around in.  And I hate that I have to say this, but they really do not need to be sexy.  Sheer blouses?  Really?  I don’t know if the fashion industry actually thinks what they are putting out there is appropriate or if they are just too lazy to design different clothes for little girls.  Either way, I’ll be looking for different stores to shop at or pulling out my sewing machine.

On the bright side, the total lack of decent selection meant I didn’t have a hard time deciding what to buy.

© 2013 The Beehive All Rights Reserved

Rebecca: One Year

Steve and I took Rebecca to the pediatrician for her one year well baby check yesterday.  The only way it could have been worse would have been if the doctor said she was not healthy.  She screamed and cried the whole time!  Her behavior amazed me a little bit because every other time we’ve been to the doctor she has been happy as a clam right up to the moment she gets her shots.  Things were a little different than she is used to because Steve does not usually come with us and we started the appointment with a different nurse than usual, so maybe she was just thrown off a bit.  Anyway, more interestingly . . .

Rebecca weighs 19 pounds, 6 ounces (20th percentile), measures 30 inches in length (73rd percentile) and has a head circumference of 44 3/4 centimeters (36th percentile).  The fact that she is tall and skinny gives me hope that she might one day have a lucrative modeling career.  Daddy is just happy she is tall like him, rather than short like her mommy.

Her biggest milestone since her last doctor visit is that she walks.  Everywhere.  In fact, I would say she rarely crawls anywhere at all anymore.  She will even stand up to take just two steps only to sit down again immediately next to a different toy.  It seemed like she picked it up really fast.  She went from just a few steps to across the room in just a few days, and then to turning around and walking all around rooms in just another few days.  She still falls down plenty, and I imagine that will be the case for some time, but I am so proud of how much she has improved in such a short time.

In addition to walking, Rebecca is also eating some finger foods.  Cheerios and chunks of cheese are staples in her diet.  We’ve had more difficultly introducing other finger foods, but we’ll keep trying because we can’t send her off to college eating pureed squash.  We’re also introducing whole milk and trying to wean her from the bottle to a sippy cup.

Had a hard time taking a picture of her this visit. She would not sit on the exam table and cried most of the time even though we were holding her.

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Parking Paralysis

It took Rebecca and me forever to exit the parking garage after Mommy & Me today.  I would expect this after a concert or something, but not at 2:00 on a Thursday afternoon!

One fact you need to know up front is that, in the garage we use, you get a token when you enter and when you return you pay at a machine on the first floor before going back to your car and exiting with the paid token.  Today, as we approached the exit, the cars just were not moving.  There was really nowhere to go, so we sat and waited with about six other cars.  Which Rebecca was thrilled about.  She fussed because it was nap time, and she wanted a bottle, and she needed her diaper changed, and Mommy you promised me all these things when we got home and why aren’t we going home?!?

Eventually the driver from the car in front got out and started talking to the people in the cars behind.  When she got to me, she explained that the machine would not let her out because her token wasn’t paid.  Really?!?  There are signs everywhere indicating that you need to pay at the machines on the first floor before you exit!  “I know,” she said, “but those machines only take credit cards and I’m not using a credit card when I only owe fifty cents.  I want to pay cash.”  Great.  And you really thought the best course of action was to take your unpaid token to the exit and hold up traffic?  Did you think there was an “I Only Owe Fifty Cents And I Want To Pay Cash” button next to the token drop?  You didn’t think talking to the attendant before blocking the exit might have been wise?

I understand wanting to use cash for such a small amount.  I thought the whole “credit cards only” thing was weird the first time I parked there too.  But I suck it up and use the plastic because that’s how this garage works.  If you really want to pay cash, the garage across the street takes cash.  Of course, it also charges $3.00 an hour instead of fifty cents, but you can pay with cash.  It’s up to you.

© 2013 The Beehive All Rights Reserved

Rebecca: 9 Months

On Friday, I took Rebecca in for her 9 month well baby check.  She weighed in at 16 pounds, 14 1/2 ounces (20th percentile) and measured 27 1/2 inches (60th percentile).  So, still long and lean.

No shots for me today!
No shots for me today!

Rebecca has changed so much in the past three months.  Around the first of the year, she started crawling and now there is no stopping her.  She also pulls herself up and cruises on the furniture, and she can even stand up without support for what seems like and eternity but is probably really just a few seconds.  We added puffs and yogurt (among other things) to the list of foods she eats, and she can’t seem to get enough of either of them.  She loves music and it makes her so happy when one of her musical toys, or even her tone-deaf mom, bursts into song.  And let’s not forget her hair.  Rebecca has hair!  She gets bed head and everything.  So different from the tiny bald baby we brought home from the hospital.

© 2013 The Beehive All Rights Reserved.

Rebecca: 6 Months

Our growing girl went to the pediatrician for her six month well-baby check-up last week.  She weighed in at 15 pounds, 1/2 ounce (30th percentile), and measured a long 26 1/2 inches (70-75th percentile!).  In other words, she is a lean, mean pooping machine.

Playing with the exam table paper. Her head circumference is only 50th percentile. Really.

Rebecca now sits without support, which thrills her.  I think she likes the new view of the world and how it enables her to play with her toys differently.  She also gets around pretty well using a combination of rolling and scooting maneuvers, and I can’t imagine it will be long before she starts crawling.

We introduced Rebecca to solid food a little over a month ago.  She is a pretty good eater.  Her favorite foods include apples, avocados, and butternut squash, but it seems like she will eat pretty much anything as long as there is enough fruit mixed in to make it sweet.

Finally, she is talking up a storm.  All incomprehensible baby gibberish, of course, but still totally adorable.  She comes by her chattiness naturally.

© 2012 The Beehive All Rights Reserved.

. . . Butt Where do you Draw the Line?

Rebecca has a number of outfits with “stuff” on the butt.  She has a romper with a fish on the butt, a sleeper with a bee on the butt, pants with a heart on the butt . . . you get the idea.  These happen to be some of my favorite outfits, and I think they are totally adorable.


I’ve been browsing for baby clothes online lately since Rebecca will soon me moving up a clothing size, and today I found myself wondering at what age clothing manufacturers stop putting fun stuff on the rear end of kids’ clothes.  Well of course it dawned on me that they never do stop, not even for adult clothes!  It is not uncommon to see high school and college age girls wearing lounge pants or shorts with “Juicy” or “Pink” plastered across the butt.  This I find not so adorable.

Not cute.

Now I  wonder, at what point does butt adornment go from totally adorable to totally skanky?  Does a child wake up one morning, say, on the first day of pre-school, and suddenly these things are no longer acceptable?  Or is there some sort of gradual continuum where the stuff is really cute on babies and toddlers, somewhat amusing on grammar school kids, questionable on junior high and high school students, inappropriate on people over the age of 18, and really gross on anyone over 40?

I really don’t know the answer.  For now, I think as long as Rebecca wears a diaper that gives her a big puffy butt, I can safely put her in clothes with pictures on the rear end.

*Juicy butt picture from

© 2012 The Beehive All Rights Reserved.

Party Like It’s 1989

A little over a year ago, I wrote this post about disaster preparedness, and set a goal for myself to get our family prepared.  On this anniversary of the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake, it seems as good a time as any to revisit the topic and evaluate my efforts.  Plus, tomorrow is “The Great California Shake Out“.  The program encourages Californians to participate in a “drop, cover, and hold on” drill at 10:18 am on 10/18, as well as practice what to do after the shaking stops and take steps to get prepared for an earthquake.

Sadly, I haven’t done as well as I had hoped and we still have a ways to go to be truly prepared.  So it is with renewed vigor that I again share this information and discuss how we’ve prepared ourselves and where we could still use some work.

Disaster Plan:

  • have at least two escape routes to exit your home  We actually have three escape routes.  However, they are all from the ground floor and if you are on the second floor the stairs are your only option.  We should get some emergency window ladders before checking this one off. 
  • keep a pair of shoes and a flashlight under each bed in case you need to evacuate at night
  • have two designated meeting areas, one near the house and one within walking distance in case the neighborhood is evacuated
  • have an out-of-state emergency contact to let family/friends know your status (long distance lines are usually fixed faster than local lines)
  • know the location of the gas main and other utilities and know how to turn them off  I know where/how to shut the water off, but not the gas.

Some of these planning items are really simple and easy to do quickly, so there is no excuse for not having done them.  In other words, I should get on that.

Household Safety:

  • have fire extinguishers on each level of your home and know how to use them  We have a fire extinguisher in the kitchen, but we don’t have one on the second floor.  As for knowing how to use them . . . I know I’ve looked at the directions before, but it’s not like you can practice or anything to make sure you are doing it right!  So I think that’s the best I can hope for.
  • make sure your smoke detectors (and as of July 1, 2011, CO detectors) are functioning and change the batteries every 6 months
  • make sure all heavy furniture,  such as bookcases, hutches, or media centers, is properly secured to walls
  • don’t hang mirrors or heavy pictures/artwork above beds or sofas where they can fall on people; make sure all wall hangings are properly secured with a closed hook
  • secure books and knick-knacks on shelving with non-skid surface material or putty; store heavy items on low shelves
  • be sure your house number is visible from the street so emergency services can find you 

Technically we haven’t done all these things.  Some items are bolted to the wall, some are not.  Some wall hangings are on closed hooks, some are not.  But honestly, I look around the house at wall hangings and knick-knacks and such, and there is nothing that concerns me that would fall and hurt someone.  This may not be the best way to think about it, but I think for us, finalizing our emergency plan and making sure we have all the survival items we need is more of a priority.

Disaster Kits:

  • water (1 gallon per person, per day) and non-perishable food items; can opener; plates, utensils, and cups
  • first aid kit  We have a first aid kit in the house, one in the garage, and one in the trunk of my car.
  • flashlight or battery operated lantern and extra batteries We have a lantern you wind with a hand crank.
  • battery operated radio and extra batteries  We have a solar/hand crank powered radio. 
  • copies of important documents and phone numbers
  • warm clothes/rain gear/hats
  • blankets
  • work gloves
  • dust mask
  • liquid bleach and an eye dropper (for water purification and sanitation)
  • hygiene items (toilet paper, paper towels, moist towelettes, feminine products, hand sanitizer, soap, etc.)
  • heavy duty plastic bags and a bucket (for waste and sanitation)
  • emergency cash (including small bills and change)

I struggled with whether or not I should cross more items off this list.  We actually have every single item on it, but the items are not all in one location in “kit” form, save for the ones I did cross off.  We also haven’t prepared “go bags” in case we need to leave the area quickly.  Since the whole point of having a kit is to have everything in one easy-access location (and we might not be able to get to items in certain areas of the house if there is major damage), we need to get duplicate items and put them in a centralized location.

I hope you all out there are more prepared than we are.  If you are not, get to work!  Take a look at my prior post for  links that were helpful to me in learning about disaster preparedness.  I also encourage you to check out, which has information about how to participate in the Great Shake Out in California and in other regions, as well as information about getting prepared for an earthquake.

© 2012 The Beehive All Rights Reserved

Medical Insurance Weirdness

This morning I received a call from someone in Blue Shield’s prenatal program.  She said she needed to ask me a few questions so she could “close out” my file, whatever that means.  I haven’t been a Blue Shield subscriber for several months, but she said it would only take a couple of minutes.  I agreed, mostly just to satisfy my curiosity as to exactly what they needed to know.

Frankly, it was dumb stuff that had me wondering if these people ever talk to each other.  “How many nights did you spend in the hospital?”  One, for which a claim was submitted and you paid.  “Did you have an epidural?”  Yes, you paid for it.  “Did you go in for a six week follow up appointment?”  Yup, you paid for that too.  Seriously, I have seen the line item claims the hospital made, and you guys have all this information already!  I wonder how much of my premiums went towards paying people to call subscribers and ask them stupid questions.

© 2012 The Beehive All Rights Reserved

Cloth is King

Rebecca will be graduating to a larger size cloth diaper pretty soon, and her new diapers arrived today, so I thought it might be a good time to write about why cloth diapers have been a good choice for us.  Three main factors influenced the decision to go with cloth:

  1. Cost:  Disposable diapers are expensive.  Here is an article where the author did a cost comparison of disposables versus gDiapers.  I think gDiapers are one of the more expensive cloth options, so if you were to go with a less expensive system the difference would be even more dramatic.  Use your cloth diapers on more than one child and you are talking major, major savings.
  2. Environmental Impact:  If you do a little research, you will find that some people think disposables are more harmful to the environment because they contribute millions of pounds of waste to landfills, while some people think cloth are more harmful because of the water and energy required to launder them.  Who knows?  I lean towards disposable being more harmful, but explaining my reasoning behind that would be a whole post in itself, so let’s just leave it at that.
  3. Early Toilet Training:  As far as I know there are no studies finding this conclusively, but some people say that cloth diapers help kids potty train sooner because the child can feel when he or she is wet.  With disposables, you can’t.  As a result, the kids have more incentive to use the potty to avoid that uncomfortable wet feeling.  Makes sense to me.

I did initially have some concerns that cloth diapering would be very inconvenient.  We certainly do use disposable diapers from time to time.  For example, Rebecca was pretty tiny when she was born, so the cloth diapers weren’t exactly a great fit.  We used premie and newborn disposables for about the first six weeks until she grew into her cloth diapers.  Even then, we continued to use disposables overnight.  Initially, when she was a newborn, she pooped in every diaper, and we didn’t want to be rinsing poopy diapers in the middle of the night.  Now she does not seem to poop at night, so it’s more because the disposables are pretty reliable in not leaking #1 during the night (when she doesn’t wake up and get changed anyway).  We also use disposables when we go places so we don’t have to tote dirty cloth diapers around with us until we get home.  In addition, the disposables are a little bit more compact for travel than the cloth diapering paraphernalia.

Occasional disposable use aside, I have not found the cloth diapers to be all that inconvenient for day-to-day use.  Tossing a soaked cloth diaper in a diaper pail isn’t really different from tossing a disposable in the trash.  The one exception would be poopy diapers, which have to be rinsed.  This takes a bit more time and if you are not careful can lead to . . . accidents.  But, now that I’ve had some practice, it does not take too long and I rarely have . . . accidents . . . anymore.  Plus, Rebecca only poops once, maybe twice a day now, so rinsing diapers is no big deal.

In the few months we’ve been using cloth, I’ve also noticed two other benefits:

  1. No Diaper Rash:  As I mentioned, Rebecca was in disposables for about six weeks.  During that time, she got some pretty wicked diaper rash.  We tried everything to clear it up.  We changed her constantly to keep her as dry as possible.  We lubed her up liberally with rash cream or ointment.  We regularly let her hang out diaperless on a waterproof pad to air out her little butt.  Even her doctor said we were doing all the right stuff; sometimes diaper rash just is.  Well, the speed at which it cleared up when we switched to cloth was amazing, and we haven’t seen a trace of the rash since.
  2. Better Containment of Super Poops:  In the cloth, we have had one instance of feces escaping the confines of the diaper (which I wrote about here).  With disposables . . . I haven’t kept count but it has definitely been more than that, even though we don’t use them very often.  So even though it may seem like a hassle to rinse poopy cloth diapers, it’s better than having to change a whole poopy outfit.

So that’s my two cents as to why I think cloth diapering was a good choice for us.  It’s not for everyone, but it’s really not as much of a pain as you might initially think.  What was difficult was choosing a cloth diapering system, which took me hours and hours of research to see what all the options were.  But that would be a whole different post.

© 2012 The Beehive All Rights Reserved

Rebecca: 4 Months

Rebecca and I went to the pediatrician yesterday for her 4 month well baby check.  She weighs 13 pounds, 5 ounces (50th percentile), and is 24 inches long (40th percentile).  In other words, she is not a peanut anymore.  She’s meeting all of her milestones, like rolling from tummy to back, laughing, and pressing down with her feet when you hold her in a standing position.  In the next couple of months, we should be looking for her to roll from back to tummy, to sit up without assistance, and to move objects from hand to hand.

The only disappointment from the visit — and it as nothing to do with Rebecca’s health, thank goodness — is that the doctor said no solid food yet.  This surprised me because Rebecca has more than doubled her birth weight, and is in the age window when you can typically start solids.  What’s more, she seems to enjoy sitting in her high chair at the table with us, and I think solids would be a much more fun and interactive experience than just the bottle.  It’s only a few more weeks to wait, though, and it will come soon enough.  I’m sure one day I will end up on my hands and knees wiping pureed peas off the floor and longing for the days of bottles only.

She was fascinated by the sphygmomanometer on the wall.

© 2012 The Beehive All Rights Reserved