The Jasper Chronicles

The Journal of a Cynical Dad

Tuesday, February 28, 2006

gDiapers Reviewed

They leak overnight.

I know they're not supposed to.

I was excited when I first discovered gDiapers, an environmentally friendly alternative to disposables. Around our place we use cloth diapers primarily, but we were heading out of town over Christmas. It was impractical to bring our cloth diapers and we were challenged environmentally to using disposables. The biodegradable, flushable gDiapers seemed like the perfect alternative for us. The night they arrived we slapped one on The Boy, everything seemed fine, so into the suitcase they went.

First night at the Grandparents went well, The Boy was a little damp but it was also hot in our room. The second night there was no doubt, the gDiaper leaked. We go out of our way to be environmentally responsible, but after the same result the third night we had to bite the bullet and go buy some Pampers.

(If you're wondering why, after using them during Christmas, I'm just posting a review now. We use cloth 99% of the time at home, so I only use a gDiaper once in a while.)

The problem as I see it is, the gPad (the flushable pad that goes inside the diaper pants) doesn't draw the moisture through the whole pad, just the portion of the pad around the "waterworks" area. Even when the diaper leaked, only the top half of the gPad was wet, the rest of the pad was bone-dry. The leaking might have been prevented if more of the pad absorbed the liquid, or if they loaded more of the padding at one end.

Another issue is that one the padding gets completely soaked, it stops allowing moisture into the pad, which might help explain why half the pad is so dry while the other half is sopping wet. This also minimizes the benefits of doubling the pad. Because the moisture stops going into the pad once it's soaked, the second pad doesn't get involved.

To his credit Jason Graham-Nye- Head gDiaper Guy - has been extremely responsive in trying to help me solve this dilemma. Jason tells me recent tests showed the gDiapers absorbs just as much liquid as a comparably sized disposable. But as I've said, only half of the pad absorbs the liquid. I'm not too sure if the results would come back the same if only half the gPad was used. I've tried his suggestions, and a few of my own, but still no luck. Short of running a bead of chalking around The Boy's diaper pants, I can't stop them from leaking overnight.

Now the gDiapers are great during the day. We use cloth diapers primarily, but we'll slip The Boy into a gDiaper when we're going to be away from the house for a while. They're absorbent enough for a few hours, flushable and/or compostable, and you don't have to carry around a smelly bag of cloth diapers with you. Brilliant.

How are gDiapers to use? Disposal is definitely a two handed job. You have to rip the gPad open, dump the contents into the toilet, swish it around and then flush. If you're a cloth user, you're already used to handling soiled diapers, so it's no big deal. If you're using to disposables, get ready for a hands-on experience. It's really not that bad though, a small inconvenience for a healthier planet.

The only thing I found challenging was when I was by myself. After changing The Boy I'd have to find a place to put him while I disposed of the gPad. Fine if there was a change table handy, a hassle if there wasn't.

All in all I like the idea of an environmentally better disposable, so I give gDiapers a thumbs-up for that. I think they're a great new idea that, with some tweaking on the absorpsion front, could be a real winner. Right now, based on my experience, I'd say use them during the days until they resolve the overnight leaking. But if all disposable users used a gDiaper even just once or twice a day, that would add up to several thousand fewer diapers in the landfill every year.

Saturday, February 25, 2006

Early to Bed, Early to Rise

It's great that The Boy is sleeping through the night nowadays. Now, if we could just teach him the concept of Sleeping In, we'd be set.

It's 6:30 AM.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Da Plane, Da Plane

The Boy got his six-month vaccinations today. Went surprisingly smooth, bit of crying for one of the three needles, the other two were met with, believe it or not, smiles. All that leg fat he's been building up is paying off.

We were informed though that he has slipped to the 20th percentile in terms of length. He's in the 90th percentile for weight and head circumference, but it appears he's short for his age. Now P and I wouldn't be considered giants among our peers, but still the comment caught us by surprise. "My son, he's... stumpy?"

Neither the doctor or us are all that concerned, he's already taller than Hervé Villechaize.

Sunday, February 19, 2006

The Newest Arrival

The wait is over. The weeks of drooling, the crying, the chomping down on toys and fingers. Today The Boy's first tooth erupted - the lower right incisor. P is thrilled, sort of, "Whee. This is going to feel great when he nurses."

The tooth, coupled with other recent strides in development, and it looks like our little boy is growing up. Some other parents I've talked to get a little melancholy about their baby coming of age. How it all happens so fast, how there little bundle is starting to flexing their independence, and already thinking back to earlier times when their babies were inert larva, completely dependent, totally huggable but otherwise unresponsive.

Me? I'm thrilled. I can't wait for The Boy grow up so I can start wrasselin' with him. In the last few days I've been playing a little rougher and he goes into hysterics, he loves it, and I'm having a blast. Is it too early to buy him street hockey gear?

I recognize the fact that it will happen fast for me to. That one day "Wrasselin' Dad" may become "Geeze-You-Are-Such-A-Drag Dad", so maybe I'd better be careful what to wish for. But we're going to have a lot of fun until that day arrives.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Half Year Round Up

It finally arrived. The Boy's six month birthday and his introduction to solid foods. Although I'd hardly call rice pablum 'solid', more like a ricey goo, but from his perspective it might as well be steak. As expected he ate almost none it, but at least he opened wide for four spoonfuls before turning away in disgust. Tomorrow we're hoping for five spoons and a bit more swallowing.

So here we are at the half-year mark, and lately I'm been catching myself looking at The Boy in awe. How amazing it is that P and I - and a nicely chilled bottle of Pinot Gris - managed to create this perfect little baby. And how it all comes together, one cell turns to two, then four, and before long cells start to specialize, becoming fingers, toes, eyes and ears. And how woeful it must be for the cells who get assigned anus duty; talk about drawing the short straw. Fascinating.

This also marks my 100th post to TJC. My intention is to keep this going until the day he walks up to me and says, "Dad, you're invading my privacy." What will I do then is anyone's guess, but that is still years away. At the very least I'll be able to hand him the files and say, "This was your first ## years from my perspective." Depending on his age he'll either really appreciate the journal, or throw a tantrum. Either way I hope to get a reaction. Say... that would make good fodder for a blog entry.

I'm sticking to my resolution to learn the guitar and sing to The Boy. Singing isn't the problem, guitar is another matter. The challenge for a beginner like me is that most nursery rhymes use a lot of bar chords. What the hell was Mother Goose thinking? Geeze lady, I'm not looking to rock out an arena, I just want to play some of your stupid songs to my son. Anyways, he does seem to enjoy our little concerts, bouncing and smiling to the rhythm, and he doesn't mind it when I screw up, which still happens a lot. Although I'd better improve my playing in the next few months, otherwise his first words won't be "Ma Ma" or "Da Da", it'll be "You Suck."

The Boy is now a few ounces over sixteen pounds, and he's really beginning get a good "chub" on, fattening out in his arms, cheeks and legs. He's become an expert at rolling over and back (one way at least, to the right) and starting to support himself while sitting. The drooling continues, but still no sign of teeth just yet. As for sleep, after a two month hiatus he's finally starting to sleep through the night again - yay! Of all his recent developments, I'd say that one pleases me the most.

Friday, February 10, 2006

Oi Oi Oi

Break out the Ska records, the skinheads have invaded. The Boy on a play date with his friends Milo and Alex.

Thursday, February 09, 2006

If You're Happy and You Know It...

The Boy's most recent development, one that causes me great personal discomfort - whenever he's really happy he flails his arms and hammers his fists down on his crotch. Talk about "hitting" a new milestone. It's even worse when he holds his rattle with both hands, like an icepick, and just pounds the area with all he's got. My balls suck into my body everytime I watch him go at it. But he's obivious to my pain, he just merrily hammers away.

Whack, whack, whack. Oooch, I'm doubling over just thinking about it.

Monday, February 06, 2006

I've Been Tagged

The Diaper Dame snuck up from behind and tagged me a while back. Gave me a bruise actually. It's the Game of Fives so...

Remove the blog in the top spot from the following list and bump everyone up one place. Then add your blog to the bottom slot.

Queen of Spain
Ms. Mama
The Diaper Pail
The Jasper Chronicles

Then select five people to tag. You can do it if you want... but if you break the chain of a hail storm of monkeys will erupt from your ass (how's that for a curse?)

William's Weekly
Third Drawer From the Left
220, 221... whatever it takes
I'd like to Buy a Vowel

What were you doing 10 years ago?
Living in Victoria, running a small advertising design company. The Boy at that time was just a fleeting afterthought snared in P's IUD.

What were you doing one year ago?
Living in an East Vancouver Co-Op, holding P's hair while she threw up during bouts of morning sickness.

Five snacks you enjoy
  • Farmer Brand Roasted Peanuts (Tasty Chinese Snack)
  • Chips and Salsa
  • Coffee Crisp
  • Honey Buns
  • Ice Cream
Five songs to which you know all the words to
  • You Ain't Going Nowhere - The Byrds
  • Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots - Flaming Lips
  • I Like Birds - Eels
  • Sin City - Flying Burrito Brothers
  • King of All Of the World - Old 97s
Five things you would do if you were a Millionaire
  • Give to charity
  • Share it with my family
  • Travel
  • Own a dog
  • Have a well-stocked wine cellar
Five bad habits
  • Interrupting conversations with non-sequiturs
  • Making obscure musical references and expecting everyone to "get it"
  • Slackin'
  • Being perpetually late
  • Reading on the toilet, when I should have vacated long ago
Five things you like doing
  • Writing
  • Hanging out doing nothing (is doing nothing considered doing something?)
  • Playing music
  • Snowboarding
  • Reading
Five things you would never wear, buy or get new
  • A Car (yeah, you can't wear it, but I wouldn't buy one new)
  • Turtleneck Sweater
  • Clogs
  • A Tanktop
  • A Tilley Hat (they're stupid, stupid looking hats)
Five favorite toys
  • P and The Boy
  • My iPod
  • My Drumkit
  • My Powerbook
  • My Digital Camera

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Two Weeks and Counting

P is getting more and more excited about starting The Boy on solid foods.

P: He'll be six months when he starts solid food. According to the Community Health Nurse, we can feed him anything. We don't have to gradually go from mush to textured. He'll be old enough dive right in!

Me: I'll go out and get a bucket of fried chicken then.

P: Yeah, maybe not dive in that deep.