Category Archives: Diapers

Hello Diapers!

Ahhh, diapers how I’ve missed you. Okay, maybe not so much, but we’re loving having the need to use diapers again. We cloth-diapered Bean and while we handed down most of that stash we did have some left, we’re just finding that a little boy’s diapering needs maybe a wee bit different. So one of today’s goals is investigating what might work best for Fox.

In other diapering news, have you heard about the Diaper Act?
IMG_1832

The introduction of the Diaper Act (H.R. 3134) to the House of Representatives is a step forward in helping struggling families get back to work. If you’ve read here before you may know that WIC and SNAP (Food Stamps) don’t cover diapers and the vast majority of daycares won’t accept cloth diapers. The Diaper Act seeks only a definitional change to how Child Care Development Funds can be used for diapers so that more families can access child care and get back to work. This does NOT mean more taxes, it is merely a definitional change, and really what parent, what human can argue with making sure that babes have a healthy change of diapers so their parents can get back to work? Want to help? Go ahead and sign the petition.

Call your representatives and tell them you support the Diaper Act HR 3134. Share information about the Diaper Act on Twitter, Facebook, and via blogging. There is lots more information at Help A Mother Out

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Filed under Acting Up, Diapers

A Special Mother’s Day -Marking the 2nd Anniversary of HAMO

Happy Mother's Day Card from Help A Mother Out.org

Italy stuff to follow soon. I’ve been a bit out of the loop recently and so negligent on something very, VERY, VERY important. Help A Mother Out has a huge fundraising drive this May. If you’re not already in the know about Help A Mother Out the basic gist is this:
Help A Mother Out is a group dedicated to increasing access to diapers for families in need. Started by two moms (my friends, Lisa and Rachel) with a modest investment of $100, and primarily through the use of free social media tools, this one time diaper drive has quickly evolved into a nationally-recognized grassroots organization raising diapers and advocating for long term change. Our vision is a day when every baby has an adequate supply of diapers.

I got involved back in 2009 when Help A Mother Out started and while we were in Italy, so it is fitting to be back here again and cheering the group from on online!

I’m just going to quote straight from Help A Mother Out about this May’s Drive and hope you will take a moment to Help A Mother Out.

This Mother’s Day we are issuing a public appeal for help in raising much needed funds so that we may continue to operate our diaper program.

Our goal is to raise $25K before May 31st. We are nearly half way there.

Funds raised between now and May 31st will be dedicated to building our safety net fund, addressing diaper need nationwide and in California.

Help Us Get an Extra 100,000 Diapers!

GREAT news for all of you who have already contributed! Last Thursday we were offered a diaper matching challenge from our friends at Huggies.

If we can reach our fundraising goal of $25K by May 31st, Huggies will match our efforts with 100,000 DIAPERS. AMAZING news? We have already raised $10K! Thanks in no small part to many of YOU who have already chipped in.

Will you help us reach our goal?

This is your generosity in action:

“My client’s are very thankful when they have an urgent need for diapers. I’ve had many client’s who struggles especially towards the end of the month with money, and they have a sense of peace knowing they can come to us during times of emergency.”

– Community Health Worker

“We are able to provide diapers to families who are often unable to secure the most basic of needs. The diapers help them know that at least they are able to keep their babies healthy and prevent skin problems caused by dirty diapers. It also helps empower families to feel like they are good parents because they are able to care for the most basic of needs for their children that are unmet by other services like housing and food resources.”

– Social Worker

Oh, and for those of you wanting a little insight into my initial involvement in this group and the link to the Italy blog. Check it out.

PS. I know I still have to write about Swap-O-Rama, but of course now I’m thinking about ways the AZ supporters of Help A Mother Out can help raise the funds for the matching challenge. You know, in the last two weeks of May as we prepare for the home study. Ha ha ha. Suggestions gladly taken.

Post PS. Can you please share the word about the Help A Mother Out (HAMO) mission & challenge on your blogs, twitter and facebook accounts. HAMO is on Twitter here, Facebook here, and blogs here.

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Filed under Acting Up, Diapers

Language of Love

Yesterday morning I woke to find a vase with flowers on my nightstand, and a basket with a fake rooster, some tissue paper and half a dozen plastic easter eggs on the bed. Inside the easter eggs? Chicks. Not real chicks, paper chicks. But those paper chicks? They represent the real chicks my crazy partner in crime is giving me for my birthday. Sweeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeet.

The questions now:
To hatch or not to hatch? Eggs or day olds?
And what chickens? I feel the need for a Silkie Bantam or two and a couple of Partridge Penedesencas. Oh, how I want Cadbury chocolate brown eggs.
When? Summer is too hot and this Spring is already beginning to feel like summer. Hello, 87 degrees on March 16th.
Anyone any ideas as to where you can get Silkie eggs?
Has anyone hatched eggs? Used an incubator or a broody hen?

I should mention that Green isn’t known for his gift giving. Or rather, I’m known for being a sulk every birthday when there isn’t a gift because I can’t push past the idea of an actual gift. Then Green wows me every Mother’s Day (after being made to feel horribly guilty – I hate myself for this emotional blackmail) with some awesome creative thing that makes my heart sing. This year, this year he wowed me for my birthday. It was simple, it didn’t cost more than about $10 for the flowers and the plastic eggs. The fake rooster, the basket and tissue paper were already here, which makes it even better. He created something I’m really excited about. The thing is he wows me pretty much everyday. I mean beyond just being hot, cos he is. And brilliant, cos he is. Green shows love through action and I don’t just mean I get some action. I mean he spends time and energy on things that are important to me, like Swap-O-Rama this past weekend. He lifted, he hauled, he smiled, he greeted, he entertained, he wore the t-shirt, he got his face painted on, all in the name of raising diapers for families in need something important to me.

Photo Credit Melissa Haun

More pictures from Melissa and sharing about Swap-O-Rama soon.

I didn’t expect or want anything yesterday, and for the first time in nine years was at ease with that. The lesson from my friend Trish about understanding that people show their love in different ways is finally beginning to sink in, helped by a loving speech in Green’s languages of love, action and quality time this past weekend. And then he went and surprised me with a gift that represented thought and time.

Do other folks deal with this? Recognizing and coming to terms with this difference in how we show affection (specifically around birthdays) is the one not particularly important thing that we’ve had to work on within our relationship. Anyhow, yesterday was a lovely day. Thank you my dear.

ps. If you’re in Tucson and you haven’t been to HUB down on Congress…totally worth a trip. Yummy Bourbon and Almond Brittle ice cream.

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Filed under Acting Up, Celebrations, Cluck, Diapers

Who am I kidding?

It wouldn’t take much to figure out who I was, so what the heck why not share the press. Swap-O-Rama is tomorrow. I’m battling with a new printer where the cartridge is apparently already empty (HP Photosmart piece of junk) after just a few uses and a kid who is still sick. We are however getting some nice press for the diaper drive. If you’re in Tucson come on down. If we haven’t meet before I’ll be the one looking a little frazzled, or may be hung over or both.

East Tucson Macaroni Kids shared the Swap-O-Rama love and asked me to write a piece for the newsletter which came out yesterday. (This is the point at which I remind you all that I was a science major in college.) This is a piece in our local weekly alternative called the Tucson Weekly by Mari Herrera. And finally, the Tucson Citizen (what exists of it now) chose our press release to share. Awesome eh?

Yesterday, March 10th, was Rock the Red Pump (or flats): National Women’s & Girl’s HIV/AIDS Awareness Day , “Every 35 minutes, a woman tests positive for HIV in the United States.” Check it out. Did you put on a pair of red pumps? Here are mine:

Sick kids get strawberry and banana smoothies.

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Swap-O-Rama Update

A few weeks back I posted about the upcoming Swap-O-Rama: Children’s Clothing Exchange and Diaper Drive that I’m crazy enough to be organizing and promised more info soon. Here you go:

Help a Mother Out and St. Mark’s Preschool
present
Swap-O-Rama
A Children’s Clothing Exchange and Diaper Drive

The basic gist:
Participants bring 5 items of gently-used, freshly laundered children’s clothing AND an unopened pack of diapers to St. Mark’s Presbyterian Church, March 12th from 10am-12pm. Then hob-nob with other super fabulous Tucson families as we check out new-to-us duds for our kids and get all the feel good karma of raising diapers for the Diaper Bank of Southern Arizona. It is all about turning rhetoric into action which is the Help A Mother Out way*. Details on Eventbrite and facebook.

If you’re on the facebook page you should check out the sneak peeks at items already coming in for the exchange that I’m sharing in the posts below the main details. I’ll share a few of my contributions here:

Gymboree Shirt & Jeans

and these cute shoes that Bean barely wore. I got the wrong size when we were back in England. Rather difficult to do an exchange internationally.

If you’re in Arizona please share the information about Swap-O-Rama and the Diaper Drive on blogs or listservs. I’d be very grateful. If you’re prepared to post a flyer at your kid’s preschool, church, community center or local library let me know I’ll send you a flyer to print. What I’d really like, of course, is to see you. Remember, March 12th at 10am, St. Mark’s Presbyterian at 3809 E. 3rd St.

*One of the things I love about Help A Mother Out is the opportunity it gives to us to actually do something that has an almost immediate impact on a child and on a family. I sign online petitions all the time, and send emails to my representatives, and I think that important, but HAMO is a more definite action, with a tangible result. I’m not suggesting that support of HAMO be in place of other online activities, rather how grateful I am to Lisa and Rachel of HAMO for showing what you can do with a little time, a computer, access to the internet and fabulous friends and family.

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Filed under Acting Up, Diapers

Swap-0-Rama

Save the Date

Are you in the Tucson area the weekend of March 12th? Yes? Alrighty then. Get whatever gizmo you use to keep track of all that scheduling and type/write this down:

Saturday, March 12th
10am – 12pm

Swap-O-Rama
A Children’s Clothing Exchange and Diaper Drive

to benefit
Diaper Bank of Arizona.

Geneva Hall, St. Mark’s Presbyterian Church
3809 East 3rd St.

Check out the Eventbrite page or the facebook page for the important details.

This event is totally inspired by the TucsonMama kid’s clothing swap of 2009. I should also mention that it was Tucson Mama’s exchange that inspired the Bay Area folk last February to do the same thing to great success. Tucson Mama is going to be joining us at Swap-O-Rama to lend her support and her cool factor to the whole shebang.

Those from outside Tucson wondering on how you can get in on the whole cool diaper drive action? Check out Help A Mother Out’s suggestions here.

There will be more details to come. I need to get to sleep right now.

ps. Hey, do you remember that whole “What the hell are you going to do now?” thread? Yeah, filled my time up nicely already.
pps. Follow up on the Junto thing. It looks like there is plenty of interest and we’re just in the process of finalizing a date. Sweet.

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Filed under Acting Up, Community, Diapers, TucsonMama

AZ Tax Credit Debate/Rant

So over at TucsonMama we’re having a little discussion about the AZ Tax Credits. For non-AZ folks just skip this whole thing. AZ folks please carry on reading.

My argument, tax credits suck the big one, but they’re what we have right now so give to those schools with the biggest need, not necessarily to your neighbourhood school.

Margaret’s argument: the public school tax credit is the cowardly legislature’s way to give us the back door to help the schools. She also argues for giving to her neighbourhood school which while in need has less need that other local schools.

I think she is too generous about the nature of the legislature. The majority of the legislature is not just cowardly, but mainly without heart or brains, and I don’t think they’re just trying to give us a a back door way to help. Ummm, the second part of her argument demonstrates exactly my point, why the tax credit sucks.

Those with the cash flow redirect taxes to their local school where kids stand a better chance of having enrichment outside and the students at the schools where parents don’t have cash flow and where need is greatest suffer again. SUCKS. So, if we have this sucky system lets at least stand up and target the schools where kids are in real desperate need.

The tax credit thing works this way. You can give $200 as an individual, $400 for a married couple to a public school of your choice before end of day on Friday and it will count toward your 2010 state tax liability, or increase your refund. Basically, you get to direct some of your taxes. You can do this online. If you need more information please let me know. There are all kinds of issues with this, but as Julia says in the comments:

1. Tax credits allows us to direct money where we believe it is needed most. So, if the will of the legislature is to cut education, this is one thing individuals can do to say in at least a small way “we think this is important”.
2. It’s been said that a system is only as strong as it’s lowest common demoninator. Meaning, no matter how good one school is (and if you are lucky to have your child there, you are lucky indeed), the overall system is measured by the weakest in the system. All should be supported, but if we can elevate the most poverty stricken schools, the broader community will benefit.

So really it isn’t even a donation, just a cash movement and tax direction thingee. If your cash flow allows it, please direct some of your local state taxes to a local public school in need. You have until the end of the day on Friday to do this. If you don’t know where to direct it and are up for a Tucson school I list the TUSD schools in greatest need on my TucsonMama post.

There is a similar tax credit you can use for qualified AZ charities. $200 for an individual, $400 for a married couple. We gave to the Diaper Bank of Southern Arizona (big surprise there) and to the Educational Enrichment Foundation, but there are a host of worthy AZ charities including Planned Parenthood that qualify.

Finally, there is a private school tax credit. There is so much shit wrong with this credit I could barely bring myself to take part. I called some folks involved in early childhood education and they said that while problems abound with this credit, right now the state leg has done such a number on early childhood that using the credit toward preschools is a good way to go. In the end we donated to a local secular preschool that is based at a progressive church which stresses social justice.

Alright, my rant is over.

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Filed under Acting Up, Diapers, Education, Politics