Diaper Drive

Math was never my favorite subject, but let’s give this problem a try.

One year ago, a little baby girl was born. In her first months, she needed a diaper change at least 8-10 times per day. Over the course of the year that number has decreased to 6-8 per day. So let’s average that she used 8 diapers per day for one full year. That is a whopping 2800 diapers consumed in one year. She lives with her family in a low income apartment complex in the city and they do not have a car. A package of 36 diapers at the corner costs $14.99. How much will it cost per month to provide diapers for baby?

I came up with $97.16.

Can you imagine how hard it might be for some families to keep their babies dry and healthy? Did you know safety-net programs like food stamps and WIC cannot be used to purchase diapers?

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As part of our celebration of Bean’s first birthday, and hopefully a tradition of generosity each year, my family is having a Diaper Drive to support the Diaper Bank in our community. We are aiming to collect 1000 diapers by the first week of November. We are already halfway there thanks to my amazing WISH friends (more about them in a future post). If you are interested in making a donation, please contact me.

236 Hours

We took our first family of 3 vacation last week on the North Fork in Long Island, NY. This is also the first time since I’ve been back to work that I’m using my vacation days for something other than cleaning up puke and cuddling a feverish and listless little one. To say I was excited about an entire week of sun and fun is an understatement. I soaked in every glorious minute of the 236 hours of my vacation.

Last summer when we were pregnant, Tevis and I visited Montauk on Long Island’s South Fork. We made a promise that we’d start a family tradition the following year with Bean. Now that we’ve experienced both the North and South Forks, I can whole-heartedly say I’m a NOFO kinda girl. A local sommelier we met said “the South Fork is where you come to see and be seen. The North Fork is where you go to see the scenery.” The Hamptons boast celebrity mansions, overpriced lunches and Bentley’s parked on the streets. NOFO is dusted with vineyards, farm stands and friendly all-season locals.

Bean loved spending the days outdoors. We walked village streets, dipped our toes in the sand, collected sea shells, picked sunflowers and toured several wineries.

We got back in time to celebrate Independence Day with family and friends. Thank goodness for swimming pools small and large this week; it was a hot one!

Here’s a look at our adventures from the last week. I’d say we crammed in a lot of fun in 236 hours. Welcome Summer!

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July 2013

Cicada Invasion

The east coast is buzzing with the sound of Brood II Periodic Cicadas. These extraordinary insects remain underground for 17 years, emerging just before their death, to mate and carry on the species.

My town has remained quiet these last few weeks, so I didn’t really get what all the hype was about. But at my mother’s house this weekend, I got the chance to see and hear the cicadas up close. Their collective hum is more than just background noise; it is impossible to tune out. And these big, red-eyed critters travel in numbers. There have been reported sightings in Connecticut of over 1 million cicadas per acre!

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The last time the cicadas appeared, I was just 17 years old. I was nearing the end of high school and felt both excited and terrified about the future. I couldn’t predict the twists and turns that my life has taken in nearly 2 decades. But that’s the miraculous thing about the future. When you look forward, there is a blank page just waiting for you to write your story.

As a teen in 1996, I was too self-absorbed to notice or appreciate this natural phenomenon, but it’s caught my attention this time. The cicadas surfaced at a time when change is happening all around me.

My sister, La, moved back east from an 8 year stint in Honolulu. She and her boyfriend dream big and take chances. Adventures are part of their everyday life. I’m in awe of their optimism and fearlessness. Bean gets such a kick out of La and Aron and I’m thrilled that she will grow up knowing them well. I’m looking forward to seeing where their next adventure takes them.

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Diana is the other middle sister. She left Connecticut at exactly the same time La was coming back home. Di is a military spouse and will move around the country with her husband every few years. We were lucky to have them close to home these last few years. We saw them get married and they welcomed my daughter into the world. I’m excited for Di and Rob as they learn to call Boston their new home.

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The baby of the family, Chick, graduated this week from a Medical Assistant Certificate Program. We celebrated her accomplishment and the official start of summer with a backyard barbecue, iced cold beers and wonderful friends and family. Chick loved the “Smart Cookie” buffet I put together.

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Chick was sure she didn’t want to attend college, but didn’t know what path to take as an alternative. After a few years of work and learning firsthand about exchanging time for money, she’s seen the value of education, experience, mentors and networking. She took this 10 month course more seriously than the entire 4 years I spent in college. Our family has been watching on the sidelines, cheering as she aced her exams and nailed the externship at a pediatric doctor’s office. She is gifted with a kind and compassionate heart. I know she will touch many lives as she embarks on her journey in the healthcare field. I’m certain that 17 years from now when the cicadas come up out of the ground, Chick will have gathered a long list of accomplishments to look back on.   

As for me, I’m marking my calendar for another cicada invasion in 2030. Bean will be 17 just like I was and I hope I can encourage her to pause and appreciate the bugs and the big, bright future she has ahead of her.

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I’m here!

I want to shout in my loudest voice – I’m here, I’m here, I’m here!

Starting this blog has been on my to-do list for years. Not like, “oh it would be fun to write a blog someday”. I’m actually one of those nuts that keeps a to-do list for everything from groceries to Christmas gifts, to the sights I want to see on vacation and my career goals. And time and time again I found reasons (excuses really) to not get off my ass and just start to type. What would I write about? Would anyone out there actually read? How would I find the time in my busy life? And now, here I am, working full time, married to Mr. Tall, Dark and Handsome with a 7 month old cutie we call Bean, trying to keep my house clean and food in our bellies, with a whole lot LESS time on my hands.

Having a daughter has been a game changer for me. I want her to see a smart, creative, funny, strong, nurturing mother. I want to inspire her to be the best self she can imagine. For her to look in the mirror and love the beautiful face she sees looking back. To dream big and not be afraid to take chances.

This blog is a declaration that I’m putting a ban on excuses and regrets and will start living in each precious moment. I’m going to write about our family life – the big milestones and the little moments that bring me joy. If our simple day to day brings followers, I’ll be thrilled, and if not, I’m okay with that too. This is the start of a personal journey I invite the world to witness. I finally have found my voice and have so much to say.

These are my favorite people and the stars of Kate’s Full Plate.

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