Monthly Archives: August 2013

The Art of Changing Diapers

I have been wanting to post this for a while now, but I never got around to it until now.
When we were still new to changing diapers, we had tried a variety of different ways to do it.
In the end, you are really just trying to do the following:

  1. Open soiled diaper
  2. Wipe down and clean off baby’s skin
  3. Put on fresh new diaper
  4. Dispose the soiled diaper

But as simple and as straight forward as that is, there are lots of complications associated with these steps. At every turn, you can be thrown a curve ball and unless you are ready, it can result in more time spent at the changing station and a pile of clothes to clean.

I think, the proper analogy for diaper changing, is like a pit stop at a Formula One race – there is a limited amount of time to do the above set actions so that the baby can be back on it’s way of either feeding, sleeping, or growing. Any longer, and your cycle is interrupted and more effort has to be made to get back on track.

The Diaper Pit Stop

The Diaper Pit Stop

Keeping with that theme, here are some notes that I have gathered and what worked for me.

The “Check Engine” Light
One of the great things about the new diapers nowadays is the indicator. It does a pretty good job at giving a parent an idea if the diaper has been soiled. It reacts specifically to the chemical commonly found in the bio-waste. Filling a diaper with water will not activate the indicator. Another way to check is by smell. As parents, we seem to have the uncanny ability to be able to smell any distinct changes to the air around our baby. With the combination of smell and sight (the indicator) there should be no reason a baby should be in a soiled diaper for long.

The Blowouts
Blowouts are not pretty. It’s basically when the contents of the diaper starts appearing outside of the diaper. Now, there can only be three reasons for this:

  • The diaper is too small, it’s time to go up a size
  • The Leak Lock system was not engaged properly, and so the contents found a way out through the weakest wall
  • You were holding the baby right at the point of exit, which basically causes the waste products to travel in the only path it can – out of the diaper.

My Pit Stop Routine
Given the experiences that I have had over the last little while, here is my routine that seems to work out with the least amount of headache, at least, so far…

  1. Place baby on change table
  2. Undress the lower body of baby
  3. Place paper towel underneath baby’s bottom by lifting the feet and wedging the paper towel in there
  4. Grab a clean diaper
  5. Open it up so that it can be ready to be put on without further work
  6. Open the box of wipes so that they are easily accessible
  7. Open the current diaper
  8. Grab a wipe and clean area. Once finished, put the wipe(s) in the soiled diaper
  9. Pull the current diaper away and put to the side
  10. Lift feet and slide the pre-opened diaper to where it should sit with enough clearance for the tabs to come around the hips
  11. Let the area air dry a little
  12. Bring the diaper to a close and hook the tabs to the front, ensure that it is tight enough to keep the contents from coming out the back (but not too tight)
  13. Run your fingers along the edge of the diaper to ensure that the Leak Lock system is ok
  14. Pull the first paper towel out
  15. Redress as required
  16. Place baby away to their next activity
  17. Return to station to clean up the diaper by folding and sealing it with the tabs
  18. Close the lid to the wipes box
  19. Ensure that there are enough diapers for next time and refill if necessary

Special note: If baby decides to further contribute to the contents of the diaper while this process is happening, immediately seal it back up and let them finish. Not sealing it back up and letting them go with an open diaper will ensure that everything gets everywhere… i.e. Up their backs, onto you, and even on the wall (speaking from experience).

I hope this helps any future first time parents as a primer into the things to consider. Adjust as necessary and let me know what you add/remove from my process in the comments below!

Vroom Vroom
E

Chromecast Review

Here is a quick little review of Google’s new Chromecast device. It’s my first tech review, so I look forward to reading some comments!

Chromecast'ed!

Chromecast’ed!


When Google announced “Chromecast”, I ordered one immediately. It wasn’t because I am a Google fan (well, I am, but that wasn’t a factor), it was because of the following reasons:

  • The ability to control what gets displayed on the big screen through your phone
  • Doesn’t use your phone to stream the data, it uses its own pipe through the built-in WiFi module
  • Very small portable form factor, plugs into the HDMI port and gets power through a Micro USB port
  • It came with 3 months of free Netflix. This part of the offer was promptly discontinued after they saw the demand. Moreover, I think they couldn’t keep shelling out ~$23 dollars to Netflix for every device that they sold. (I managed to order it before the Netflix offer was discontinued so it was really only ~$12 for me. It was almost too cheap NOT to order it. haha)
  • They have an API out so that developers can add to what it can do. (Done)
  • I have a DumbTV that can use some Smarts
  • This is Google’s 3rd kick at the SmartTV can, so it should be more polished (maybe)
  • Thirty Five Dollars??? Get out of here!

Currently, my setup includes a Boxee, which I use mostly for Netflix and some of my own media stuff via some SMB shares. While everything is working right now, there are some quirks that I have to work with. These quirks aren’t really going to be fixed because it hasn’t really been officially supported for a while now. Moreover, looking for the remote (and it’s a great remote) is a bit of a pain every now and then.

Setup
Setting it up was pretty simple. Download the Chromecast app, either on PC or on our phone, and it will detect the WiFi network that the Chromecast is broadcasting for setup. Your device will connect to it, and from there, you just need to set it up to connect to your WiFi network. Once that’s done, your Chromecast enable apps will detect that you have one on the network and show an in-app Chromecast button that you use to share/queue media.

Thoughts
After using the Chromecast for a little bit, I found that it was a lot easier to search and throw videos (from Netflix and Youtube) on the big screen. Since you are using the mobile apps, the UI is very easy and you aren’t given something totally foreign to learn. The video quality is pretty amazing too once it buffers up. There are some moments when it gets really pixelated, but that may be more an issue with my connection than anything.

What I really like about it, is its ability to have more than one device add to the queue. It’s a great way to share videos. Using either an Android or an iOS Device, with the YouTube and Netflix apps, you can have the Chromecast play the media. It’s great that it supports both platforms out of the box. Also, I like the fact that it is streaming using its own WiFi connection and you aren’t burning through your mobile device’s precious batteries and data.

My issue right now has to do with the queue management. Once it’s queued, it’ll play. While I can pause it on the first video, I think it might be useful to have a feature that lets you just queue and not play until you tell it to. Maybe the setting is already in there, but I just haven’t found it yet, who knows.

Pros

  • Quick and easy to share videos on the big screen
  • Multiple devices across platforms can throw videos on the queue
  • Same mobile apps as usual, updated relatively frequently. Don’t need to wait for firmware of a specific media box
  • Small and portable
  • Easy to install

Cons

  • Limited Chromecast enabled apps (currently)
  • My sub woofer doesn’t like it sometimes and it makes some low bass sounds intermittently when on standby
  • Some bugs with interoperability between devices, Android and iOS. It’d remember that it was playing something when an iDevice goes to sleep and is not aware that another device took over. So when the iDevice wakes up, it’ll just continue to play whatever it thought was in queue and/or playing at the time
  • Queue management is a little cumbersome

Looking forward to future developments with this little device!
E

WordPress 3.6

I have been having trouble with my Jetpack lately, it wasn’t connecting and it seems to have a bunch of issues trying to hit the xmlrpc api. I submitted a ticket in a few days ago, and I got a response to upgrade to 3.6 because they updated some connectivity stuff. I didn’t know there was a new version coming out soon, so that was a pleasant surprise.

Anyways, I haven’t had a chance to go through all the changes, but I kinda went with it because I had just done some backups. (Note: Please don’t ever EVER deploy or update something in Prod before testing it out in the other environments yet… You should go through the proper methodology and process. While the impact is small for a website such as this, the bigger WordPress sites should definitely test it out first.)

Once I hit the update, I did have a quick look at the WordPress theme for 2013. It’s a little cleaner and I think I might use it, but I have to clean up and port the customization I did on the 2012 one first. Some of the elements I have put on the side doesn’t quite conform. The Revisions concept is pretty useful for the post queue management.

All in all, the upgrade was seamless, my sitemap and cache plugins are broken, but at least Jetpack is working and I have WP Stats, Photon, and Tiled Galleries!

Have you upgraded yours yet?

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