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Archive for May, 2013

Almost two months ago, my whole world changed. I became a mommy! On a mid-March Monday my husband and I weren’t parents, and on the very next morning—after a phone call from our adoption counselor—we were.

I think of it as my six-year paper pregnancy.

So I took some leave time from work to stay home and get to know my baby girl, and to come to grips with motherhood. Aside from checking my work e-mail now and then, I stopped thinking about agricultural literacy for a while.

I didn’t stop thinking about agriculture, however. In fact, I began appreciating it in ways I never had before. Two agricultural products in particular now play a huge and welcome part in my life.

The first of these is cotton. I always loved my cotton jeans and sweatshirts, of course. Now I have a new realm of cotton baby products to appreciate. Here are some observations about my favorites:

  • Cotton sleepers – They are soft, warm, dyed in cute colors, and adorably decorated with critters like monkeys, bunnies, or giraffes. They cover my baby from neck to toes without riding up, bunching or falling off. They come with snaps or zippers. (I prefer the zippers. Ever tried to fasten 12-15 snaps on an energetically kicking baby? Not. Fun.)
  • Cotton burp cloths and bibs – Like the sleepers, these are also soft, also adorable, and most importantly, very absorbent. I thought people were giving us way too many as gifts until I realized the baby will pretty much nuke one of each with leaked formula or spit-up during every feeding. For the first several weeks of her life with us, she ate about 8 times during every 24-hour period. You can do the math. Oh, and now she’s starting to drool, so I leave a bib on her all day.
  • Cotton swaddle blankets – Those things are the BEST! If the baby lets us know she is overtired by crying while flailing her legs and arms, swaddling her is the surest way to regain peace and cooing. The best swaddle blankets are lightweight muslin, resembling good dish towels only a lot larger and with more attractive prints. For bedtime use, cotton swaddle sleepers with Velcro are also wonderful.
Ag Literacy Facts about Cotton:  ♥ Texas is the leading cotton-producing state.  ♥ One bale of cotton weighs 480 pounds and can be made into 215 pairs of jeans.

Ag Literacy Facts about Cotton:
♥ Texas is the leading cotton-producing state.
♥ One bale of cotton weighs 480 pounds and can be made into 215 pairs of jeans.

My other new-favorite products from agriculture are superabsorbent polymers. Actually, sometimes these amazing substances are plant-based and sometimes they are synthetic. Either way, the superabsorbent polymer industry was born with the invention of “Super Slurper,” originally developed using corn starch. Why is this stuff so important to me now? In a word: diapers. Never before have I fully appreciated the ability of a product to reliably absorb and hold a lot of stinky liquid!

Ag Literacy Facts about Superabsorbent Polymers: ♥ The first superabsorbent polymer was developed by scientist at a USDA research lab in Peoria, Illinois. ♥ Superabsorbent polymers can be found in fuel filters, potting soil, communication cables, hot/cold packs, and diapers.

Ag Literacy Facts about Superabsorbent Polymers:
♥ The first superabsorbent polymer was developed by scientist at a USDA research lab in Peoria, Illinois.
♥ Superabsorbent polymers can be found in fuel filters, potting soil, communication cables, hot/cold packs, and of course, diapers.

As so many people told me it would, my life has changed forever. One thing that has stayed the same, however, is my constant reliance on agriculture.

How do products from agriculture enhance YOUR quality of life?

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