brush cat


DEAR SARA:

We're a family of five, with three cats and two dogs, as well. My problem is hair. Our laundry comes out of the washer with bits of critter hair still on it, and it comes off in the dryer. How do I get this stuff to stop sticking to our laundry so that I can start air drying again? The pets don't lay in our laundry or anything; we just pick it up somehow. Ideas? -- Erika, Florida

DEAR ERIKA:

You can still line dry, but bring the clothes inside and put them in your dryer on tumble or low heat with a dryer sheet (you can cut it in half and reuse a few times for laundry and then reuse for household dusting) for a few minutes to remove any pet hair. Or hang them on a windy day. Brush/comb your pet daily and vacuum and sweep often. Use a lint brush or shake/snap clothing to remove fur prior to laundering clothing, too.

DEAR SARA:

Do you have any advice on stocking up on diapers? I'm 23 weeks along, and we thought we'd start buying a box of diapers per week (with coupons/sales) so we'd have a nice little supply when the baby arrives. Do you have any advice on best diaper brands for the price, best stores for diaper bargains, how to store diapers (we have a damp basement and not too much storage space overall) and how long the baby might be in newborn diapers? How many diapers do babies go through in a day? -- Margaret L., New England

DEAR MARGARET:

If you have a baby shower, you can put diapers on your registry. I would steer away from the smaller sizes because you don't know how big your baby will be or how fast he/she will grow. It's hard to forecast how many diapers a baby will go through each day (10? 15?) You might want to request cloth diapers or gift cards that could be applied toward buying diapers when you need them or as they go on sale since you're short on storage space. Every baby is different, and disposable diapers fit each baby differently. Some babies have skin reactions to certain brands. Other than the obvious benefits of cloth diapering, you would always have diapers if by some chance you had financial difficulty in the future. If you aren't interested in cloth diapering, you can sign up to diaper-manufacturer websites for coupons and samples.

DEAR SARA:

My husband currently started serving on a jury for a federal case that is supposed to last between eight and 12 weeks. He isn't reimbursed or paid for lunch, and there is a mini fridge for all 14 jury members and no microwave. So he's been going out to eat. This is going to cost us $25 to $30 a week if he has to eat out every day. I need some ideas for lunch that he can take that don't need to be refrigerated or microwaved. -- Becky, Kansas

DEAR BECKY:

Pack an insulated cooler/lunch bag with a reusable ice pack or add a frozen drink to keep things cold, or pack a thermos/food jar with hot food. Preheat the thermos with boiled water before filling it with hot food and it will stay hot longer. You can also pack foods that don't need to be cold or hot, such as peanut butter crackers, fruit, apple sauce, granola bars, muffins, peanut butter-and-jelly sandwiches, raw cut vegetables, popcorn, pretzels, bagels, croissants, beef jerky, etc.

photo by sashafatcat