I thought this video was especially appropriate today!!!
Monday, August 31, 2009
I thought this video was especially appropriate today!!!
Saturday, August 29, 2009
Maggie & I went out shopping for more school clothes yesterday. We saw some really cute pinks, especially HATS at Justice. We didn't buy any of these, but they sure looked cute on Maggie!!!
Thursday, August 27, 2009
Tuesday, August 25, 2009
It's time for The Cloth Diaper Carnival part Deux!!! I've had a High Efficiency (HE) washer for almost 5 years & I LOVE it! When I started cloth diapering last year I was unaware that many people considered it much more difficult to wash cloth diapers in an HE washer. While I was doing research to figure out the best way to wash diapers, I came across horror stories about people who had given up on cloth because they couldn't get the stink out of their diapers in an HE washer. Honestly, I'm glad I read this AFTER I was already successfully washing cloth diapers in my HE washer.
Here is the routine I used for the first year: cold wash on express setting, HOT wash/cold rinse on heavy duty with 1/4 the regular amount of All Free & Clear liquid detergent, cold wash on express setting with 1/2 cup white vinegar instead of detergent. Using this method I never had any build up or stink problems. A few months ago, I started hearing that vinegar can deteriorate the elastic used in cloth diapers & can sometimes hold the odor in micro fiber inserts. I also had the opportunity to try some new detergent options.
The first option I tried was soap nuts...they are an organic cleaner & actually worked GREAT on my diapers! I was able to eliminate the extra cold cycle at the end of my routine using soap nuts. I received my first sample of them from RG Natural Babies when I made a diaper purchase from their store. A few weeks later, I won a package in a blog giveaway.
Next I decided to try Rockin Green Soap because I was hearing wonderful things about it on twitter. I wanted to order a GADBaby diaper anyway & since they had flat rate shipping, I purchased 3 samples of Rockin Green Soap....Cherry Almond, Vanilla Buttercream & Brown Sugar. The package smelled wonderful before I even got it open! Cherry Almond was my favorite, so I ran a load of towels in HOT with it for my first load and was thrilled with the way it made my laundry room smell. When I took the towels out of the wash they were super clean & had no smell at all....no stink, no perfume, just clean!!! The first time I washed my diapers in Rockin Green, I was pleasantly surprised to find that I didn't need an extra cold cycle at the end of my routine.
While I was still enjoying my Rockin Green samples, I had an opportunity to try the new Natural Baby Company cloth diaper detergent Tiny Bubbles. It comes in a traditional cardboard box like commercial detergents, but is formulated for cloth diapers with no brighteners or additives. It is not scented at all. I waited until my Rockin Green was all gone, then gave it a try. It got my diapers clean, but left an odd smell. I was back to needing a cold cycle at the end of my routine & wasn't overly happy that the odd smell never quite left the diapers. I want to clarify, the smell isn't "bad" some people might not even notice it, but to me my diapers are left smelling like chemicals when I wash them in Tiny Bubbles. This is really unfortunate because Tiny Bubbles is currently the only cloth diaper detergent I can purchase locally.
Lucky for me, I recently won a package of Rockin Green....this time I chose Cherry Lemonade!!! I'm so tempted to save it only for cloth diapers, but I find that my washer works best if I don't switch detergents for different types of load. 90 loads of wash goes by really fast in my house.
I LOVE my current routine....Cold wash/cold rinse on express cycle with no detergent. HOT wash/cold rinse on heavy duty cycle with 2 Tablespoons of Rockin Green. July & August have been really wet, so I've been using the dryer a lot more than I like. I put all the diapers in for 40 minutes on High heat. I hang the PUL covers on skirt hangers in the laundry room. When the dryer is done, if my hemp & bamboo aren't completely dry I hang them on hangers too. When the weather is dry & sunny, I line dry everything & put the fitteds in the dryer for 15 minutes when I bring them in off the line to soften them. Sunshine is GREAT for getting any stains out, unfortunately we haven't had much this summer. Because of the heat, I'm washing diapers every other day to avoid mildew. The rest of the year I was washing every 3rd day. Stay tuned for more updates on this subject, I just discovered I have won a Diaper Sprayer in another blog giveaway!!! I've always just swished messy diapers in the toilet, a new adventure will be starting soon!!!
Having an HE washer really hasn't been an obstacle for me. I'm careful not to wash too many diapers at one time (about 16 works well for me) & I always choose the cycle that uses the most water for my main wash. When using a powdered detergent, I have had to reposition the gate on the soap dispensing drawer to insure the detergent gets into the wash. I find that both Rockin Green & Tiny Bubbles dissolve fine in hot or cold water. I was happy with my original routine, but with just a little experimenting I was able to find a method that works even better & takes less time.
Saturday, August 22, 2009
This cute heart was a gift & hangs on the wall in my kitchen.
Marissa is a pink obsessed 4 yr old. She LOVES this pink satin blanket, she's had it since she was a newborn. The adorable pink purse belongs to her older sister, but she borrows it every chance she gets.
Friday, August 21, 2009
I've recently had a chance to try the Softbums Perfect Fit All in 2. I had contacted the owner a while ago & was thrilled when she agreed to let me do a review/giveaway of her fantastic one size diaper. Sarah sent me a Red (firecracker) Diaper. When we opened the package, I was shocked at how tiny it looked. Marissa thought it was for her dolls. This is the first one size diaper I have ever seen that can get tiny enough to fit a preemie.
I always like to try to figure out how a new diaper works before reading the instructions. I knew this diaper was a different kind of one size than I have ever tried before, but I really didn't know how it worked. I pulled gently on the leg elastic & it expanded the size of the diaper. After a bit of examination, I discovered that there was a small opening in the front seam of the diaper where I was able to access the elastic and the little snuggers. By the time I found the snuggers, I had made the diaper too big, so I quickly adjusted it back down to a smaller size. I was amazed at how easy it was to make the diaper bigger or smaller. I was also pleasantly surprised to find that the diaper STAYS at whatever size you adjust it to.
Not only is the one size shell different than any diaper I've ever used before, the insert is totally different too. One side is microfiber and the other side is fleece. The fleece sides goes against the baby's skin & keeps baby feeling dry. The insert is almost twice as long as the diaper shell, this too was slightly confusing at first, but I soon realized that the insert is designed to snap to the back of the shell and then you fold the insert to fit the baby. The diaper also came with a hemp doubler. Here is a video that shows the diaper in action, it gives a GREAT total overview of how this diaper works. Softbums is an evolving diaper. Sarah has plans to be offering the snap version shown in the video on her website soon & cute print options are also in the works.
Melanie has now worn this diaper quite a few times. The very first time she wore it of course she pooped. The insert is plenty large enough to protect the shell, so the shell needed no rinsing. I put the shell in the dirty bucket & was able to easily rinse the solids from the insert into the toilet. The next time she wore the diaper was for a nap. This was an unplanned 3 1/2 hr nap that started in the car, so in total she was actually in the diaper for about 4 1/2 hrs. When I took the diaper off it was HEAVY, but I was pleased that both the outside of the shell & her clothes were totally dry. I wanted to try reusing the shell without washing, so I set it aside to air. A few hours later, I put the shell back on Melanie with a prefold inside....I only have one insert. I was pleasantly surprised how well it worked!! I definitely plan to invest in a couple more inserts! The big test for any diaper is overnight, Melanie sleeps with Hubby & I, so I really have to trust a diaper before I'm willing to try it overnight. Since the diaper had performed so well at naptime, I decided to give it a try for a full night! With the hemp doubler & microfiber/fleece insert in the diaper, Melanie slept for 10 1/2 hrs and woke with dry jammies!!! This is a GREAT diaper!!
I'm not really a fan of Aplix, I always prefer snaps, but I've found that the quality of the Aplix and laundry closures makes all the difference in the world. The Softbums Aplix is very high quality! There is a crossover tap on one side that makes it possible to use this diaper on a baby with a very tiny waist. We were fortunate every time Melanie wore this diaper she left the Aplix alone. I'm sure she could remove this diaper if she wanted, maybe she has finally outgrown that stage or maybe this diaper was just so comfy she didn't feel the need to take it off. The Aplix stayed firmly attached to the laundry tabs in the washer & dryer every time.
Favorite Things about Softbums:
Superior wetness protection
Great package options
Made in the USA
Buy it!!! The Basic package retails for $33.92 on the Softbums website and includes a one size shell & three microfiber/fleece inserts. That is THREE diaper changes for less than $34! Shells and inserts can also be purchased separately. Check out the bamboo insert & her amazingly low priced wet bags!!!
Win it!!! Sarah has generously offered one of my readers a Softbum's basic package in your choice of color. Mandatory entry for the Giveaway....go to the Softbums website to check out all the color options, then come back & tell me what color you would choose & why. This must be done before any other entries will count. After the mandatory entry, you are welcome to do as many or as few of the extra entries as you wish.
Bonus entry...if you added my button to your sidebar & left a comment on this post BEFORE the start of the giveaway leave a comment with the word BONUS.
Extra Entries: Leave a separate comment for each thing you complete
Follow my blog publicly(1 entry)
Follow the Softbum Blog publicly(1 entry)
Follow me on Twitter (1 entry)
Follow Softbums on Twitter (1 entry)
Become a Facebook fan of Softbums (1entry)
Subcribe to my blog by e-mail (1 entry)
Subscribe to the Softbums newsletter (1 entry)
Grab my button & put it on your sidebar, leave a link to where I can find it (1 entry)
Tweet about this giveaway, leave the link to your tweet (1 entry per day)
Tweet about this giveaway during the #clothdiapers chat on Monday nights, be sure to use the hashtag & leave a link to your tweet (1 entry each Monday night)
Tell me one fact from Sarah's Softbum Cloth Diapering Book (2 entries)
Blog about this giveaway, link back to this post & to Softbums, leave me the link (3 entries)
Make a purchase from Softbums and tell me what you bought...this will be verified (5 entries)
This giveaway will end at 11:59 pm on Monday September 7th! The winner will be chosen using Random.org & will have 48 hours to respond to my e-mail. Be sure to include an e-mail address in each of your entries if it is not visible in your blog profile.
Morgan started Middle School this week. It really doesn't seem like he should be that OLD yet. Here is a picture of him from February 2006. In my mind's eye, this is the way he still looks, but in reality he is on the verge of becoming a teenager. This will be the year when his feet get bigger than mine, he wears the same size shoe I do now. It also might be the year he gets taller than me, Eeeek! I'm not ready for that one, but since I've been through it twice before I'm at least prepared that it IS going to happen either this year or next.
- It has been FOREVER since I've participated in this carnival. I've missed it, but really didn't have the time to devote over the Summer. It's been a GREAT unproductive Summer. We didn't go anywhere, we didn't do anything. Now that the kids are back in school, I'm ready to get back into a routine & this carnival is a routine that I really enjoy.
- I've made the decision that I really want to try to go to the Type A Mom conference in Ashville NC in September. This is a conference for bloggers who want to take their blogging to the next level. I've been blogging for almost a year & I think I'm ready for the next step. Getting to the conference wouldn't be difficult, mapquest says it is a little over 100 miles away, the conference ticket & hotel accommodations are my BIG obstacles.
- Morgan started middle school last Monday... he is growing up soooo much, so quickly. Every day he looks & acts more & more like Mason. Maggie started 4th grade on Monday. She is growing up too, it's scary to think about how much she is growing up already. Mason is scheduled to attend college orientation on Monday & Tuesday, then he comes home to pack & moves into the dorm Thursday or Friday. Eeeek!!! I'm excited for him, but wow this really snuck up on me!
- Marissa & Melanie are adjusting well to having the older kids gone during the day again. It really amazes me how quickly they have fallen back into the schedule we kept in the Spring. In the coming weeks we will be adding storytime at the library, playground time at the park & Catechesis at Miss Courtney's to our schedule. I'm also starting to work with Marissa on her letters & Melanie is picking up counting & colors more & more everyday.
- Yesterday was my volunteer day for the Food Pantry phone line at church. I was scheduled for 2 hrs, but ended up being there for 3 1/2. In that time, we filled our available delivery slots for the entire day. I was really troubled by how many of the people calling seemed totally desperate for common toiletry items...they can get food stamps to help them buy food, but there is no assistance for things as basic as toilet tissue, shampoo & laundry detergent. Unfortunately our pantry doesn't have much supply of these items either. I spoke with the coordinator of the program at our church & he feels that we already ask the congregation for so much support & there are so many other programs that need support it isn't a good idea to bring these deficiencies to anyones attention right now. I think the urgency I feel for this program is that it serves people right here in our own backyard. I've considered making some homemade detergent to donate & haven't had the time. The more I think about it, I need to get the ingredients & make the time for this project. It can be miserable to be poor & being dirty while you are poor makes it that much more miserable.
- I've got a clothdiaper review & giveaway starting later today. I thought I would give everybody a sneak peek and one last chance to get an extra entry that won't be available during the giveaway. Here is a video demonstration of the diaper system from their website. If you want an extra entry in the giveaway, add my button from my sidebar to your blog & leave a comment HERE telling me where it is located. This will only be available until the giveaway goes live.
Speaking of clothdiapers, be sure to check out the weekly #clothdiapers twitter chat on Monday night and be watching next week for the next installment of the Cloth Diaper Bloggers Carnival....the theme will be "washing cloth diapers" If you'd like more info about participating in the carnival go HERE for info.
- This week I also began participating in SITS and joined The Product Review Place. I've been contacted for a review of a really cool tween girl product, so far Maggie LOVES it....review coming soon. I'm hoping to do more reviews & giveaways, but I have no plans to stop participating in all the FUN stuff that brought me to blogging in the first place.
Wednesday, August 19, 2009
Tuesday, August 18, 2009
Monday, August 17, 2009
Sunday, August 16, 2009
I've just created my very first button!!! Many thanks to my twitter friend Nicole for the cute graphic!!! You can grab it from my sidebar & put it on your blog. If you have more than one public blog, you can grab it for each of your blogs & get an extra entry for each. The blog must be current & active or it won't count. You MUST comment here on this post with the url of the blog you have added my button to before the new giveaway starts. Comments on this post will be closed once the review is up. My button must stay on your blog (s) for the duration of the giveaway or your extra entry will not count.
Do you want to make a button for your blog? Check out this GREAT tutorial I used!!!
Thursday, August 13, 2009
You may have just read my review of the Medela sleep bra. It’s a great sleep bra, probably my favorite of the ones I have in that particular style. But I have to be honest with you all and tell you that I have some major problems with Medela as a company. I’m doing a separate post on this, partially because my issues with Medela go well beyond any product they make, and partially because this issue is big enough to merit its own post.
The World Health Organization is the public-health related branch of the United Nations. In 1981, it adopted The International Code of Marketing of Breastmilk Substitutes (produced by the International Baby Food Action Network, IBFAN). Basically, this code was developed to give breastfeeding a fighting chance against the constant onslaught of formula marketing. Breastfeeding doesn’t have millions of dollars behind it to create the kind of ad campaigns formula companies engage in, let alone all that goes on behind the scenes with donated products and sponsorships.
A lot of money stands to be made by the people behind the artificial baby milk. And formula companies profiting at the rates they do indicates a significant reduction in the amount of breastfed babies.
Think of “baby,” and I’m sure the image of a bottle isn’t too far behind. Over the course of history, breastfeeding has become a secondary image and thought behind the omnipresent image of the happy mother feeding her baby from a bottle. That has a lot to do with the massive advertising and marketing campaigns by the formula makers. And despite almost thirty years of the WHO Code being in place, endorsed by 118 countries throughout the world, they’re still at it.
Why? Because no one is monitoring or enforcing the Code. Here are a few excerpts from the Code, quoted directly:“Health workers should not give samples of infant formula to pregnant women, mothers of infants and young children, or members of their families.” (Article 7.4)“Health workers should not give samples of infant formula to pregnant women, mothers of infants and young children, or members of their families.” (Article 5.1)“Manufacturers and distributors should not provide, directly or indirectly, to pregnant women, mothers or members of their families, samples of products within the scope of this Code.” (Article 5.2)“Manufacturers and distributors should not distribute to pregnant women or mothers of infants and young children any gifts of articles or utensils which may promote the use of breastmilk substitutes or bottle feeding.” (Article 5.4)Basically, the point is to limit the reach of the formula companies’ marketing and advertising campaigns, in order to give breastfeeding a fighting chance against them. I don’t know about you, but I left the hospital with my diaper bag supplied by Enfamil, filled with samples of actual formula. I even received free cans of formula in the mail!
Of course, given that no one is monitoring or enforcing the Code, it’s no surprise that the formula companies are doing whatever they damn well please in the way of their marketing. The idea of the WHO Code is all well and good, but without enforcement, it might as well not exist. More and more information, imagery, and actual products related to formula reach the hands of healthcare professionals and parents. This is happening all the time and is virtually ignored.
Parents need to be educated about breastfeeding and its artificial substitutes, so that they can make informed decisions about it. They also need proper support systems, both at the family and institutional levels. Without these, dropping the statement “breast is best” in the lap of a new mom isn’t doing anything but making her feel guilty when she fails to breastfeed. That’s not accomplishing anything positive.
Granted, there are organizations emerging like Best for Babes, who are trying to fight the good fight and get the word out. But it’s a David and Goliath battle, no doubt.
Luckily, there are responsible companies out there. Take Hygeia and Ameda, both makers of breastpumps, for example. Hygeia actually goes as far as to inform the public, via their website, that they respect the WHO Code and even have a WHO Code officer on their staff to ensure that they’re always in compliance. Now that is commitment.
Ameda, another pump maker, was recently acquired by Evenflo. You probably know Evenflo as a bottle maker, one who was in violation of the WHO Code. Due to its acquisition of Ameda and its commitment to breastfeeding, they state on their website that they’re becoming the first WHO-compliant baby bottle maker. I’m hoping they follow through on that change and I wish there were more companies out there like Hygeia and Ameda.
Unfortunately, there are also companies like Medela out there. Medela makes the famed Pump in Style breastpump. It’s incredibly popular and so many moms swear by it. In fact, when I went to research and purchase a pump, I could scarcely find a review of anything but Medela products.
Medela is a huge, worldwide company with a budget to fit its stature. And they’re also blatantly violating the WHO Code. Not on a single-incident basis, but perpetually. They even have a statement on their website acknowledging their violation of the Code and taking the position that they will continue to do so for the foreseeable future.
Isn’t this crazy? To learn more shocking facts about Medela products and practices, please read the rest of this article.
———-> READ MORE.
Crissy said... 151
I follow your blog
brumley05 at msn dot com
August 2, 2009 9:38 PM
Congrats Crissy!!! You've got 48 hrs to respond to my e-mail with your mailing info, I'll forward it on to Kim.
If Crissy doesn't respond another winner will be selected using Random.org
Wednesday, August 12, 2009
The Cloth Diaper Report is giving away a Britax Marathon CS car seat. I consider Britax to be the Cadillac of car seats because of their wonderful safety features. The Britax Marathon allows for a child up to 65 lbs to ride in a 5 point harness & it has wonderful side impact protection. I really wish I could afford to buy both Melanie & Marissa one of these fabulous car seats, but they retail for almost $300 each.
Tuesday, August 11, 2009
Monday, August 10, 2009
I really like this song. It was my absolute favorite song while I was pregnant with Marissa (she turned 4 yesterday). I would sing the chorus to her when I was feeling worried & since it made me feel better, I'm sure it was good for her too.
Don't forget to sign up for my Rockin' Green Laundry detergent giveaway. It comes in 12 yummy scents & works great on all my laundry. It works well in hard water, is HE compatible & eco friendly!!! If you've already signed up, you can tweet about the giveaway twice a day for extra entries!! Hurry, it ends Wednesday!!!