The Diaper Dilemma

Diaper DilemmaLast time I had a baby was ten years ago and diapers seemed to be a lot simpler, as a matter of fact everything seemed to be simpler, perhaps because there were less options.  Now, a decade later, I find myself googling everything, from diapers and formula to swings and toys.  And while a lot of things change over time one thing remains the same, parents seek to do what is best for their kids.

Considering my son spent time at the NICU I started with the diapers they used there, Huggies.  They seemed to do the job for his little preemie self.  My youngest son had sensitive skin, so I mostly used Pampers with him and well my new baby boy is no different but this time around I had more options.  Once he was home I continued using Huggies, but we all know diapers can be expensive so I started looking for other options.  After all, if I’m going to pay that kind of money for underwear my baby will poop in I might as well get the most for my money.  While you can get discounts coupons for Huggies I didn’t want to constantly look for coupons and discounts to use.

I decided to try Luvs; which were doing the job well, after all I changed my boy every four hours anyway so I had no leaks or problems. Also, I could get a large box of Luvs at BJ’s Wholesale for $30 or $25 (with a club coupon). However, as my baby hit 4 months and started sleeping a little longer the diaper started looking a bit overloaded, and a little smelly. So I started looking into other options.

My first choice was Honest Company diapers, mostly because they were very cute (to be frank, the commercial was also extremely adorable) and the price is comparable to other diapers. When you add to that the fact that they are organic it help me feel good about myself as environmentally friendly person (after all I do drive a hybrid).  While my very first experience was a fail – where my baby ended up peeing right through the diaper and onto my pants – that was the only leak incident I experienced.  They offer several different designs fitting to boys and girls, something that’s great but to be totally honest the diaper was not showed off very often anyway.  Most important, the diaper held it together overnight, no smell, no leaks and pretty dry.  However, in looking to save money I chose to stick with Luvs, however the overnight smell bugged me so before I switching back to Honest I decided to look into other generic brands.

In doing so I started with BJ’s brand (Berkley Jensen), after all with a large box for $23 I didn’t have BJs Diapersmuch to lose.  To my pleasant surprise the Berkley Jensen diapers (size 2) hold great over night (6-7hrs) with no leaks and no funky pee smell.  The design isn’t as cute and the Honest Company diapers and they are not environmentally friendly, but they work and are easy in the pocket. As my boy started nearing 16 lbs I started experiencing some leakage (poop and pee) which happens to be the bane of my existence as a mom – well to be fair that’s what I say about laundry but that’s another story. Once again I decided to head out to purchase a box of diapers to hold me over until I restarted my Honest Company membership (because like I said, the price is comparable to popular diapers so if I’m going to pay full price I might as well go for premium) I noticed the size 2 diapers were up to 18lbs, so instead of changing brands again I took a chance with the size 3 BJ brand diapers.  And once again by chunky boy is sleeping through the night completely dry and no poop disasters in the day. So far it is working out, let’s see how long.  But in all honesty, should I need to go back to top brand diapers I will go with Huggies or Honest Company.  Pampers tend to be very expensive while Huggies cost less and regularly send out coupons. But Honest Company diapers have good bundles and they come to you.

Good luck moms! After all, every kid is different – they have their own sensitivities and preferences even as little as they are.  If you have any suggestions, comments, advice please share it in the comments.  Searching online and reading other mom’s experiences help me a great deal in making decisions regarding products and services, and so I’m hoping to return the favor to others.


New York in The Fall: Barton Orchards

Snark World Adventures: Fall in New York

One of my favorite seasons is Fall and lucky for me I live in the best place to enjoy this beautiful season – New York!  Going to Barton Orchards in the fall has become a tradition with family and friends.  There we are able to catch the beautiful fall foliage on the drive up and enjoy a day of fun as we pick apples and pumpkins.

CaughtAtBartonsThanks to my kindred spirit and awesome friend Janet, I was introduced to Barton Orchards about five years ago, and since then it has become one of my fall traditions.  Every year during Columbus weekend I enjoy the beautiful scenic drive from The Bronx to 63 Apple Tree Lane in Poughquag for some apple and pumpkin picking along with great food, awesome fudge and many other fun activities.

My favorite part of going in October is the haunted house, Rotten Core Manor. Every year my son complains as we wait to go into Rotten Core Manor saying he doesn’t want to go because it’s too scary and every year as we exit the haunted house he convincingly exclaims that it wasn’t so scary this time.  In addition to the haunted house there’s plenty of good food to go around.  When you go be sure to pick up some apple cider donuts, while the line can get very long it is absolutely worth the wait.   If you’re a chocolate lover as myself be sure to stock up on their fudge, although this year I waited until the end of the day to get my fix and to my terrible disappointment all the dark chocolate fudge was gone.  So if I may dare make a suggestion I failed to follow, get there at least by 11am (or earlier if you are an early riser) get your donuts and fudge take them to the car and then feel free to lose yourself within acres of land in the company of family and friends.

For the kids – and adults – the corn maze is ears of fun, kids get a themed story and they have clues to find each station as they take CornMazeturns leading the way within the 5-acre maze. A note to parents, be sure to take the flag with you just in case your fearless young leaders get you going in circles and someone ends up needing to use the bathroom in the middle of the journey – don’t ask but it wasn’t me, honest!

RaceTrackAs if you don’t get enough of a workout running around the corn maze there’s a Fun Park complete with giant slides, bouncy houses, baseball and football pitch, pedal kart race track, and more.  Once we’ve made our way from the haunted house, the corn maze and the fun park that’s when we begin apple picking followed by pumpkin picking and ending with the hay ride back to the beginning.  Oh and did I mention there are also barnyard animals, gemstone mining, wood carving, face painting and live music!

One of my goals is to continue to explore and learn more about New York and as I do, I will do my best to share about my experiences through this blog.  But one thing is certain, Barton Orchards is my Columbus weekend destination for years to come. Even the drive through The Bronx River Parkway North to Sprain Brook Parkway North to Taconic State Parkway offers a colorful view of the fall foliage worth taking pictures as you go along – that is if you’re not the one driving.  I particularly enjoy crossing the New Croton Reservoir Bridge with its bright red color in a background of greens, yellow and orange changing leaves.

For more information about visiting Barton Orchards visit their website http://www.bartonorchards.com.
To keep track of the autumnal landscape in New York visit The New York Fall Foliage Report
And of course for more about New York State visit ILoveNY.com

Until the next Snark World Adventure!

Son of a Mother: Raising a Boy

I was never a girly girl sure I danced and played with dolls but I didn’t fit the stereotypical little princess standard.  When asked what I wanted to be when I grow up, mother or wife were never crossed my mind, instead I would say I wanted to be a scientist, an astronaut, a pharmacist, or a plastic surgeon.  I wasn’t one to watch or read fairy tales instead I ran around my backyard pretending to be Cheetara from the Thunder Cats or spun around pretending to transform into Wonder Woman.

With all that said I did explore the sciences in college and ended up with degrees in the social sciences.  The only scientific experiment that I conducted was an utter failure that killed my grandmother’s entire cactus garden (she never did find out it was my doing).  It is therefore no wonder that while many women I know dreamed of becoming mothers to little girls I was so relieved when I was told I was having a boy. The way I saw it, I wouldn’t have known what to do with a little girl.  Surely I could dress her up pretty in pink and have her take dance class but I was not going to raise a princess, not unless she was to be a warrior princess because I am no Cinderella.  At first I thought, great a boy! baseball, superheroes, martial arts, sports I can’t mess that up.  Then reality began to set in, the role of men in today’s society is so convoluted.  The entertainment world and the media portray men as aggressive, unfaithful, irresponsible and non committed; then there’s the cultural machismo and even within many of the religious groups there’s a male superiority factor that is not very Christ like.  As a single mother without a father figure to point to as an example I often wondered what was I to do, sure I can shape the boy but I am raising a man.

I read books, articles, listened to church messages and signed up to e-newsletters, mind you I did all this in addition to my formal education which is heavily on the area of human development. I looked into the most conservative articles and books (which by the way made me feel like both my child and I were doomed without hope) to the liberal ones that were frankly too happy go lucky to be taken seriously.  I was doing all this in the quest not to mess up my son until I finally accepted the fact that it didn’t matter how many books I read not one of those experts could give me a fool proof way of raising my son into the man of great character I want him to be.  And the most important thing I realized is that no matter how hard I tried not to mess up I am not perfect and would never be,  so mistakes will be made.  Although, all that reading did help me get different strategies and techniques to addressing the needs of my son as a single mother in order to minimize and correct my mistakes.  Here are a few of the things I’ve learned so far:

  • Loving your son and showing affection with hugs and kisses will help him be more open to expressing affection
  • Acknowledging his feelings will teach him to identify and manage his emotions instead of suppressing them
  • Having a support network with trusted friends and family that can serve as examples of men and women of character will serve to contrast the example the media is putting forward.
  • Talking and most importantly listening to your son without judgment will lay a foundation for him to talk to you in the future
  • Correcting  your son with words of edification will be more helpful than calling out his negative behavior; instead point out his positive qualities and associate them with the desired behavior
  • Allowing him to be active, explore and rough house a bit will allow him freedom to be himself; testosterone makes a difference, let him be a boy
  • Most importantly don’t be too hard on yourself when you don’t always get it right, acknowledge your mistake and correct it. Nobody is perfect.

Nearly eight years later, and still a single mom, I worry from time to time about messing up my son due to poor choices.  I’m often hard on myself because it seems so much easier to manage my students than my own son, but everyday is a new lesson learned and every morning is a new chance to improve.  My son has played sports, participated in church skits and  has even danced ballet (shh! don’t tell him I told you).  He has shown kindness and understanding to his school classmates and has begged me in tears to donate money for the homeless and for animal shelters.  I may not be doing everything right and I don’t know all there is to know about being a mother and bringing up  a son but so far God’s grace continues to be enough to cover my flaws as I raise my boy into a great man of character.

This post first appeared on July 2012 on one of my first WordPress blogs, One Woman Standing: On Life Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness.  As it is #TBT Throwback Thursday and I am retiring my blog I figured I’ll just repost.  As I read back on it now I have continued to fall short but every day is a new start and today my son is 9 years old and the greatest compliment he paid me took place the other night when he told me he had a great life.  Sure he continues to gripe and growl when I tell him not and I continue to scream after he ignores me the first two times I speak, but in the end he knows I love him, he recognizes he is blessed and we improve on the mother and son front everyday.

What’s in a Name? 2012 NYC Baby Names

“What’s in a name? that which we call a rose By any other name would smell as sweet;”
William Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet

Baby Names name-tag When it comes to picking names parents go through great lengths to decide on the right name for their kid.  Whether they leave it to luck (or fate) by randomly picking a name from a selection, research meanings to describe the kind of personality they hope for their child (personally I’m one of those), use the name of a loved one or create a brand new mixture of letters into a name (believe me, I know a few), many parents want their child’s name to be special.  Among many other reasons influencing a parent’s decision on a child’s name there’s the desire to be unique, to have a strong meaning, to define them, to describe them or to emphasize their faith and devotion.  But at the end of the day it seems that most of the uniqueness becomes a little predictable, at least here in New York City, as we can see in the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene announces the most popular baby names of  2012.
Yes yes, I know we are about to enter into 2014 in just a few hours but folks, babies are born all the way until midnight and it takes time to sort this stuff out so look at the bright side, you can still have a unique name as far as 2013 is concerned, or maybe you just want everyone to have your name.

In New York City the #1 most popular baby girl name of 2012 is SOPHIA and the #1 most popular baby boy name is JAYDEN.  As far as trends, for both girls and boys nine of the top ten names remain on top from 2011.  What that says to me is that most New Yorkers rather be popular than unique.  So much for Unique New York!  But don’t lose hope yet, there are still a few unique New Yorkers because as well a know, you know you need unique New York.

For the “uncommon names” or as I call them truly Unique names, after all, with 123,231 babies born in this great city 10 parents bestowed their children with the awesomeness of having a name most kids in their whole school won’t share.  The most unique names of 2012 in New York City are:
Baby Girls: Nyah, Syeda and Zi
Baby Boys: Meyer, Oren and Zaid.

When it is all said and done most of us may agree with Juliet’s romantic statement, “that which we call a rose By any other name would smell as sweet.”  So whether your baby’s name made the top of the list or is not even on it, I’m sure they are one of a kind.  Let’s face it, aren’t all kids!