First of all, QM headed home yesterday. She stopped in the land of Chez Ragged to visit with her former sister-in-law and some great nephews & a great niece. She was nearly home when she hit a deer head on. Speed limit near QM's realm is 70 mph. She said she got just enough warning to hit the break, but not enough to slow down under 60 mph. Daddy called me & said QM was fine, but her HHR sustained a great deal of damage. While I hate that this happened to her, I am so thankful that it happened not only close to home, but only a few miles from where Daddy works & he was at work at the time, and even more so that she wasn't injured. I do have one thing to say to anyone driving behind her last night: When someone hits a deer going 60 MPH, STOP AND ASK IF THEY'RE OK!!!! Seriously.
Mrs.X starts off Ask FarmWife Day with a question about a house warming gift: What would you rather receive as a house-warming gift: handmade placemats with super kitschy fabric OR a beer cooler?
Well, aside from the fact that I detest beer, I still have to vote for the super kitschy placemats! That's an awesome idea! If you do whip some up, you must post pictures. I'm all about kitsch. It makes me warm & fuzzy inside.
Next my dear cousin Inkling is determined to make me work to keep up with Ask FarmWife Day. That's OK though. I love her & she's hormonal. I think I'll answer her last question first.
By the way, do I have to start paying you since I always ask too many questions? Is this a free service, or are you going to charge per query?
You know, I could make a killing off this service. If I could only bring home enough green to make my FarmBoy a kept man....but no, it's free & it shall stay that way. I will take a trade from you though. I want 5 minutes of uninterrupted Grasshopper holding time next Spring to make up for the fact that my baby would rather dance on the kitchen table than snuggle with me. Then we'll call it even.
Next she asks: 1. What brand of diapers do you swear by, and do you switch with varying stages and bottom shapes? (There's no way I'm doing cloth when it takes 180 minutes to dry a small load of regular clothing in this place. So give me a good landfill type to buy.)
Can't say much about landfill types. Again, I live in the country. There's not much in the way of eco-friendly options around here unless it's carried at Wal-Mart. Personally we're a White Cloud family. For a few months (maybe a year) with Bitsy we did the Huggies thing. She seemed to blow out White Clouds when she was tiny, but for the other FarmHands we were White Cloud all the way. They're cheaper but not bottom of the line. Your best bet would be to buy a few small packages of diapers in different brands & find out what works best for you. I can tell you that we always bough 4 or 5 packages of preemie diapers for the first 2 or 3 weeks. None of my babies had any butts to speak of & needed the tiny things.
#3. Are Walmart teething rings filled with okay ingredients? I found a cute one at a little shop in STL for $10 that claims to be filled with purified water, made of BPA/PVC free plastic, and healthier than anything you can buy at a regular store. One of the parent reviewers said it's the only kind she will use because it doesn't make her kid smell like the chemicals inside. Is this really an issue? Are we really letting our kids chew on chemicals if we go with the cheaper Walmart variety?
My kids only had the cheap Wal-Mart variety & I do not recall any chemical smells. That's just weird. I have to wonder if we're not so paranoid as a whole that we're seeing man-made evil everywhere. You could always opt for hand carved wooden teethers, but then you have to worry about splinters. Yuck. And you're talking about a creature that will willingly chew on a dirty diaper given the opportunity. I think there are more important things to worry about than filtered water in a teether....like catching E-coli when he chews on the shopping cart handle at the grocery.
#4. Can you freeze cream/milk-based soups like corn chowder and potato soup? I have a load of corn and potatoes to use up and was hoping to stock up my freezer for the winter with yummy soups.
I have frozen my potato soup in the past, but I don't really recommend it. I was OK when thawed out, but not really great. It changes the texture a bit & the liquid tends to separate. Tomato based soups freeze wonderfully! You could do a vegetable tomato chowder (like we do in the giant kettles). I have about 3 gallons of that in my freezer right now.
#5. Could you possibly justify spending nearly $100 on a bag that can do double duty as a diaper bag and a purse, and one that is sturdy enough to last for several children and several years? Just so you know, it's basic black, so it will coordinate beautifully with every outfit. If so, how? Seriously. I really want to know.
We discussed this last night on the phone, but I will restate it here for posterity (because I'm certain future generations will be reading my archives for the valuable information recorded here). If you can stand carrying the same bag for the next 8 years, go for it! For that price it should be well constructed. Personally, I have too big of a bag fetish to tie myself down to one bag for the rest of eternity. Oh, and just a hint for new moms or anyone shopping for diaper bags: if they're lined in any kind of plastic, it will tear away at any seams or closures. That's just the nature of the beast.
#6. What one baby item that isn't cheap would you forgo if you did this new mothering thing over again? What did you find to be not as handy as you'd hoped?
For us it would be the front carrier. But mainly because we didn't know what to look for in one. Ours was horrible to try to load baby into unless you sprouted a second set of arms a la Kali. Mainly we discovered things I would have changed in baby gear. Like a swing without a tray across the front or an open top (both would be preferable). The walker wasn't really that useful & took up WAY too much space. None of my kids were super keen on their bouncy seat, but then that's just a baby by baby thing. I would have skipped the diaper genie all together. It's a pain & much easier to just toss diapers in a small garbage can. And I hate our high chair, but the one we got wasn't the one I picked out. I really should have taken it back. Leading me to my final thought: Do not be afraid to return an item if it doesn't suit your needs. Why did I care so much that my SIL (who I don't particularly get along with) bought the high chair so I didn't want to hurt her feelings (HA!) and exchange it?
T Moss asked: I am interested in purchasing some type of electronic thing like a MP3 player, Ipod, etc, but I know absolutely nothing about them. I would like to download music, I'm not really interested in playing videos, etc. What do you recommend. Thanks.
I must say, I LOVE my Zune, but it does not really fit your description of what you want. In the beginning it wasn't what I was looking at either and had it not been for QM & Daddy getting it for me for my birthday, I would probably have opted for a SanDisk Sansa Clip MP3 Player. They come in a variety of sizes 1 GB (250-500 songs) to 4 GB (1,000-2,000 songs) and a variety of colors. They're much cheaper than the tiny iPods and they don't have the video capabilities you don't want. I love that they have a screen so you can see what you're listening to & browse through your music. They're also very small & very portable.
So, that's all for today. Check me out tomorrow at Mom's Marbles. I'll be guest blogging...if I can think of anything to say!
OK, you can quit laughing now.