Babybooking-it’s what I’m all about right now.  One page until today has alluded me: the handprint and footprint page.  Why was I so nervous?  You have one shot to get four different prints without being a print-taking expert.  I was nervous because with ink, there is no erasing and no do overs.  If it smudges, it will be smudged for life.

First thing I tried: an ink less kit.

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What you need to know: they are $5 dollars and you get one shot with them.  The package says you can reuse them, but it was not so for me.  I wasted one practicing, and thought I must have just pressed her foot too hard and used up all of the ink.  So I tried again, and got the same result.  $10 dollars and no print in the baby book.

How do they work?  It is a piece of plastic with the ink on one side in a plastic frame that holds it just above the paper.  You place it ink-side down, and press baby’s foot on the ink less side.

While I won’t try it again for baby book purposes, I do suggest trying it once because I did end up this reverse print that I plan on doing something with in the future, I’m just not sure what yet.

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Next, I went to my hobby shop and got an ink pad .  I waited until right after she nursed and was in a sleepy state, and got ready to print.  I decided to practice on some colored construction paper.  I had the baby book ready, but you can practice only so many times before baby starts waking up and deciding that it’s time to do something else instead of cooperating with mom.

After cleaning her up and examining my practice footprints, I realized I had a few prints that could contend for the baby book spot.  Since they were on a pretty blue piece of paper, they would look nice in the baby book.  So cut and paste I did.  A few days later, I repeated the process with her hands.

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What you should know about my printing:  I’m pretty sure I used the first print I took of each hand and foot.  Maybe you are willing to take the chance and print straight into your baby book, but if you are like me, you know that doing so will jinx you and you’ll have a nice record of how well baby can smudge ink.  I personally like how it turned out in the end, and hopefully she will too when she is old enough to look through her book in a few years.

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I did a ton of research when preparing for my new baby.  I’d always known I’d try cloth diapers, and now I got the chance.

After checking out books on cloth diapering from the library, going to the cloth diaper store, searching the internet, and purchasing, I was ready for baby and anything she could expel from her nether regions.  Only problem, all of these information sources explained why I should buy (Save Money Save the Earth) and explained all of the choices in detail.  I could teach classes on All-In-Ones, Covers, and Pre-folds.  The only thing I didn’t find was how to use the diapers effectively.

We ended up at home with a large stack of pre-folds and really cute covers and a newborn ready to do some business.  We diapered, and then did what everyone does best with a newborn.

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We cuddled.

And got wet.

I found myself slipping disposables on the baby more and more when my husband wasn’t looking.  I was all for saving money; but was I?  All I seemed to be doing was more and more laundry.  My clothes, husband’s clothes, blankets, baby’s clothes, bassinet insert, bouncy chair cover.  Frustrated?  Yes.  Buyers remorse on all of the money we spent on the cloth diapers?  Big time.  Saving the Earth?  Not so much.

I went back to the store and for less than three dollars fixed all of my problems.  I bought a Snappi.

This magical little rubber t-shaped piece of plastic is what nobody tells you to get, yet it is integral to keeping your sanity-and your pants clean.  It locks the cloth diaper in place so it doesn’t come apart and allow baby’s refuse to seep all over your lap.

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I say “nobody tells you to get it,” because I was told I didn’t really need it if I was wrapping the cloth diaper correctly.  Sorry, but I didn’t and still don’t have time to learn baby cloth diaper origami.  This little piece of plastic helps me change baby quickly, have confidence she won’t pee all over me in ten minutes time, and get back to the cuddling.   Which is the only thing I really have time for.

     I am glad you have joined me for a read.  This is blog post Number One.  I could explain my hopes and dreams for this blog, but let’s skip that and get down to it.  My pencils are sharpened and ready to go, so if your glasses are polished and coffee mug full and steaming, let’s begin this journey together.

     I have a tendency to walk up stream, to go against the grain and do things my own way.  Sometimes this makes me unique, interesting, amazeballs cool.  Sometimes, it makes me weird.  I’ll own it.  Weird.  I prefer to live my life against the grain, making my own way, not only thinking but doing outside of the box.  These are nice ways to describe the reaction I sometimes get from other people: the “is this girl for real?” face. 

     For example, I go upstream in embracing new cultures.  Easily done you say?  Not so different?  Yes, I agree, most of us travel bugs have made the trip to England and embraced eating fish n’ chips in the pub with a pint of dark ale while butchering the English accent.  I understand the Asian trips you have prepared for by painstakingly and humorously-yes, your friends laughed while watching you attempt time and time again- learning to use chopsticks.   How am I different?  I embrace new cultures in my own culture.

     Here is the big reveal:  I have embraced living at home with my parents, a common practice in South Korea where I spent 5 years.  It is not uncommon for thirty-plus unmarried children to remain living with good ol’ mom and dad.   I am now doing this in Oklahoma, trying to rise above the stereotypical no-job thirty something basement dwellers.  I have a job.  I have goals.  I am also trying to get my feet under me after being an expat for 6 years.  I have nothing in the States-no car, no apartment, no furniture, etc.  I am beginning from nothing, and my lovely parents have allowed me to stay at home with the rule that I can live here as long as I am working towards something.  I don’t know what that something is, but I work every day towards it. 

     Until the day comes when we load my meager belongings into the back of a truck and drive across town or across country to an adorably cute and serene apartment, I am standing up and embracing living at home.  I will ignore the “seriously?” reactions.  I will be quiet after 10 pm.  It will only make the ability to watch loud movies, bake, cook, bang pans together late at night when I get my own apartment that much sweeter. 

     Only, I will have to factor in that I will probably have to be quiet after 10 pm in my future apartment.  For my future roommate, who will probably have to be at work early in the mornings. 

     I have listed this blog as a “life commentary.”  It will contain a hodgepodge of different things including my experiences living at home, recollections of traveling and living abroad, book reviews, movie reviews, FOOD, firsts, and maybe a short story or two.  There will be stories of how I live my life walking up stream, which to me is just different enough to prove interesting to other people to read about.  Join me, won’t you?