Second Life for a Diaper Bag

Today, I have a short post to tell you about something fun I saw at the gym yesterday.  Do you know what this is?


Yup, it’s a diaper bag…and a very cute one at that.  But what makes this so fun is that the owner of this bag now uses it as her gym bag!

It totally makes sense!  After all, a diaper bag

  1. Is waterproof
  2. Has baby bottle pockets to use for your water bottles
  3. Has a matching changing pad which you can use for your floor mat when you do abs
  4. Is roomy

This mom was even using her burp clothe as a workout towel.  It’s really absorbent and soft, so why not?

I wouldn’t dare reuse any of my own diaper bags, however, because they were mostly those freebie bags with tacky designs you get when you leave the hospital, courtesy of baby formula or diaper companies.  Also, by the time my kids grew out of diapers, my bags were filled with Cheerio bits and emitting a strange odor which, I’m certainly, ate through the ozone layer.  I think roaches lived inside my bags near the end.

But hey, if I had a diaper bag as cute as the one pictured above, then I’d use it as my purse on a dinner date!

Any other clever ideas for old baby things?  You tell me!

The Forgotten Suitcase

At the church in Tokyo where I sang yesterday. And yes, Josh is photo-bombing.

This current trip to Japan reminded me of the time David and I took Josh to Japan with us when he was about 6 months old, and we accidentally left his suitcase at home.  Yes, we flat out forgot the huge suitcase stuffed with all his earthly belongings on his very first travel overseas.  This little baby, who at the time weighed no more than 15 pounds, had a suitcase weighing more than 50 pounds.  You already know about my penchant for covering all my possible eventualities (see my previous post on the diaper bag), so you can bet that it was stuffed full.  His suitcase was bigger than mine and David’s combined.

How could this happen, you ask? I recall that my dad gave us a ride that day, and in the chaos of all three of us loading up the trunk, we each assumed that the other had grabbed Josh’s luggage.  We discovered the ghastly mistake upon arrival at LAX, but by then it was too late to go back to retrieve it, so my dad scurried off avoiding any further responsibility.

This sign has nothing to do with the post but was amusing nonetheless.

Can you imagine, a new mom without her baby’s diapers, clothes, bottles, socks, formulas, and toys?  My knees got weak and I began convulsing.  Okay, slight exaggeration there, but you can bet that I was beside myself.

Fortunately, we called up some good friends who agreed to break into our house and drive the forgotten suitcase all the way up to LAX (thank you, Walt and Sherry!), so we were able to eventually get the bag and not miss our flight.  The bad news was that due to the delay, the luggage didn’t quite make it on our flight and was put on the next flight…the next day.

United was kind enough to deliver the bag to us in Japan, but the delivery service didn’t occur for yet another day after the bag’s arrival.  Bottom line: we were without Josh’s suitcase for 48 HOURS in Japan!  Two days without the bag filled with a year’s worth of his stuff (did I tell you the trip was only about a week and a half long?).  The horror.

If all else fails...

Okay, so here’s where being a pack rat comes in handy: We were not completely left out in the cold, because I had my (you guessed it) diaper bag!  The carry-on diaper bag probably had enough stuff to last the entire duration of our trip, so it was definitely sufficient for the two nerve-wracking days.

And guess what — they sell diapers in Japan!  Japanese babies poop and pee just like their comrades in the States.  Gee, what a revelation.  In fact, their high-tech diapers are superior in many aspects than the Huggies at home.  They keep the babies drier, and lucky for us, they seem to fit Asian baby buns more snugly.

And the Japanese jars of baby food?  The best, and in such good Asian flavors!  We also found some baby crackers that I ended up liking so much that we stocked up on them before going home.  For me.

Japan certainly isn’t third world!

This was yet another lesson in making me more Panda than Tiger.  You see, we might think that what’s familiar is the one and only way, but when we step out a bit we just might find a whole new world out there.

And it just might be even better.

Me and Meg (you'll hear more about her later) on our way to Shinjuku.

Ever been surprised by a whole new experience?  Thought you had it all figured out only to learn that something might be even better?  Share it with us in the comments below.


The Diaper Bag

Baby diaper bag“Ugh, what IS in this thing, Junko?” exclaimed my friend Betsy as she attempted to pick up my diaper bag, suspecting that I hid a bowling ball in there.  A seasoned mom of teenagers by then, she was trying to be helpful as we walked around a desert park in Palm Springs while our husbands golfed together.  Obviously, Betsy had long ago lost the muscles we moms build up on our arms and shoulders as we carry a baby on one hip and a toddler on the other while slinging a diaper bag the size of New York.  Josh was almost a 9-month old by then.

When David and I walked out of the hospital with our first born, I had a cute little diaper bag that was the size of a fashionable tote.  In it, I had neatly organized the following:

  1. About half a dozen newborn-size diapers
  2. A travel-size package of baby wipes
  3. Two tiny onesies
  4. A mini-bottle and a package of formula, just in case I’m not around to nurse
  5. An extra pair of socks
  6. A cute bib, just for looks
  7. A burp cloth

I also always carried around a bottle of water because nursing got me so thirsty, and there was still plenty of space in that baby tote to throw in the water bottle along with my car keys.

Fast-forward almost nine months to that fateful day in Palm Springs with Betsy.  Baby Joshua had grown and had gained some healthy weight, but not nearly in the same proportion as the size and weight of my diaper bag, now as big as an 18-wheeler.  Here’s what you would have found inside it:

  1. A full package of medium size diapers
  2. Another package of large size diapers, in case he suddenly grows
  3. My own set of disposable changing pads
  4. A full box of baby wipes, enough to last a month in case there is a nuclear fallout
  5. Three full outfits to change into, in case there is a diaper explosion
  6. Three pairs of socks plus a pair of Nikes just in case he decides to start walking because, my intuition told me, he would be an early walker.  Ha!
  7. Five bibs, because he was a big drooler
  8. Two tubes of Desitin
  9. Nail file and tools to make the permanently embedded Desitin look like French Nails
  10. Three burp cloths because he regurgitated so much
  11. Two changes of clothes for me, in case he missed the burp cloths
  12. A baggie full of Cheerios
  13. A pound more of stale Cheerios, loose and rolling around the bottom of the bag
  14. Three jars of baby food — a starch, a veggie, and a fruit
  15. Two baby spoons
  16. Some plastic toys on a plastic key chain
  17. Teething toys to chew on
  18. A flip chart of the alphabet
  19. A laminated place mat with a map of the world on one side and the periodic table on the other
  20. A travel size Good Night Moon board book
  21. A tube of SPF50 sunblock
  22. Hand sanitizer
  23. Two bottles of water, because I was still nursing

Whew!  Did I forget anything?

Betsy’s little comment was both embarrassing and eye-opening for this mom who was still trying to be a perfectionist about covering all the bases.  I really let this diaper bag thing get out of control, didn’t I?  “Just in case” seemed to be my motto at that time. Did I dare to let go of the notion that I had to cover all possible eventualities?  A little bit.  Another moment to make me a little less Tiger, a little more Panda.

I bet you’re either…

A) laughing at how ridiculous my diaper bag had grown because your bag is or was small, neat, and tidy, or

B) thinking to yourself, “Wow, my bag’s even worse than hers!”

So, which diaper bag camp do you belong to?