Ode to the Bum

I never pegged myself as a cloth-diaper kind of gal. Until my husband and I went window shopping to price disposables before our son arrived. Talk about sticker shock! And then of course there are the statistics about how many thousands of icky diapers just one baby contributes to landfills.

So now I am a cloth-diaper kind of gal. Which isn't as impressive as it was when we were kids. The ones they have now are so slick that they're almost as hassle-free as disposables.

Exhibit A: The BumGenius diaper

(and here's how its works: www.bumgenius.com/one-size.php)

Not to sound too advertise-y, but I love these diapers. I can throw the whole thing in the washer and dryer, and the insides stay sparkling white not matter "what." And, if you use a flushable liner between the baby's bum and the diper (like these ones), there's hardly ever a need to swish in the toilet -- a phrase that strikes fear in my husband's heart.

There you have it. There are hundreds of Web sites and online communities devoted to cloth diapering; I'm not quite at that level. But we like them and they work for us. So I just thought I'd share.

Baby blues

My dear son,

Exactly one year ago, we met for the first time and couldn't take our eyes off each other.

Exactly one year ago, we were both puffy and tired and looked like we'd been through a war.

Exactly one year ago tonight, I already knew your cry from any other baby's in the world.

Exactly one year ago this minute, you were born and my life changed the instant I stared into those sweet baby blues.

I love you, sweet boy! If only I had the eloquence to describe exactly how you've made my world 100% brighter and more meaningful in a short 365 days. Words just won't do. So I will have to resign myself to hugging and kissing you every day for the rest of my life.

But don't you step on my blue suede shoes

If he were born about 10 years earlier, I'd swear my kid was the prototype for "dancing baby" made famous by "Ally McBeal"

I likes my cookbooks like I likes my men

OK, that's not true at all. The cookbooks I like are old and idealistic. My husband is neither.

But my Superman does have a few things in common with the vintage cookbooks I've developed a fetish for: Colorful, efficient and a good dose of eye-candy.

A year or so ago I was able to curb my seemingly insatiable appetite for old-time cookbooks of the '50s and '60s. I told myself to walk on by the book department at second-hand shops. I held off for a year. I knew it couldn't last.

Here are my latest finds:

I love this little entry in the holiday book:

In case you can't read it, the passage says "To make Combination-salad Baskets (like those served at McDonald's Tea Room)..." Yes, because that's a timeless reference we all can understand!

Another favorite of mine is the Betty Crocker party book.

But the Better Homes and Gardens Salad Book just might take the cake for most creative (or weirdest) set of recipes. These folks were all about the gelatin molds! Check out this inexplicable idea for a salad.

Shredded cabbage and gelatin ought never to be uttered in the same sentence. But then again, that's half the fun of these books.