Friday, August 31, 2012

I Knew I Needed Them!

** This entry talks about poop. You've been warned. **

I have over 50 diapers for my little Bobble-head, and my husband has long since put me on a diaper-buying freeze. Most of my diapers are pockets, though I do have a couple AIOs, 1 fitted (never used, it's a NB size), some flats and some prefolds. I mostly have pockets and I LOVE them! Hubby always said we have too many, and always wondered why I wanted more. I guess he doesn't understand that they are exciting. They are fun. They are just full of awesomeness! Okay, they aren't usually "full" of awesomeness, they are usually full of something else.... but I digress.

Today is the day I am thankful I have the abundance of diapers that I do. See, I always figured we'd end up with two children in diapers. Right about now, I planned on having my second child (which is not even close to happening yet), so I thought this was a great amount to get me by washing every other day for two children. I didn't anticipate having my children "far apart" (read: more than 2 years apart), so I actually needed this many diapers when I was buying them. Okay, so I technically stopped around 35 or so. I started winning a few, I would get free diapers with coupon codes from the lovely ladies working at Kelly's Closet.... and when I'd forget about the coupon codes, Diapershops.com's facebook page would always seem to know and it would be the top thing in my feed shouting "BUY MORE DIAPERS!". Well, it couldn't shout.... but you get the point. I would look at it and think that spending $39 and getting a free diaper was brilliant! There are ways around diaper-buying freezes, of course. My favorite? Stocking up on laundry detergent!

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(The above was my stash this past January. Most of my diapers were in there, but I have more now, and I can also see immediately certain ones were missing, so I must of have diapers in the pail/wash.)

So here we are, a holiday weekend, and we're planning on heading away to see family. It's not that horribly long of a trip, but it is still 4 hours, and it is still where I cannot do diaper laundry. Last night was miserable. Bobble woke up every 30-45 minutes sobbing. He's been cutting his upper canines for the last week, and I thought that was why he'd been so upset lately. Granted, that is likely the initial culprit, but something's just not right. He doesn't sob like that from teething. I'm not a medicine person, but I even gave him a partial dosage of children's tylenol because I felt like he was in such pain.... but from what?

Each time he woke up, he would flop around, toss around, latch on and then break latch because he didn't actually want milk.... he was miserable. Sometimes he'd let out a loud fart, then fall back asleep. I knew this wasn't going to bode well for our travels. How many of you EBF your child? If you have, you will understand what I am going to say next. The mess in the diaper was something I haven't seen since he was a very young infant. It was yellow, it had hardly any texture to it (save two tiny little clumps), and it STUNK. That's what got me. Last time I saw poop like this, it did not smell. Ah, the joys of breastfed babies [*I do know what formula-fed poo smells like as my siblings were 9 and 12 years younger than me and had formula. That stuff smells horrid!*] .... it smells like.... well, not this. This was awful.

I changed him and he was a bit happier. Okay.... happier, but still obviously miserable. I let him nurse, and called the doctor's office to try and get an appointment. He had been eating miserably for the last 2-3 days, he had been SUPER fussy [as in hitting away anything he normally loves like his favorite stuffed animals, my cat, my husband.... anything that wasn't me], and now this. A while later he messed two more diapers within half an hour. They were not just yellow, they were LIQUID. Literally nothing but liquid to them. The doctor's office got me in for 1:45. We were going to leave at 1, but we pushed back the leaving time. I didn't want to travel 4 hours with a baby with diarrhea!

At 1pm, I jumped in the shower. Bobble was napping (THANK GOODNESS!) and I was ready for a bit of a break from everything. While I was in the shower, the doctor's office called (hubby answered). Apparently there was a family emergency, and the doctor left. Any appointments for the rest of the day (which included ours) were canceled. Bobble messed two more diapers, and I decided our holiday traveling was not happening. The one time we were in the car today, Bobble messed a diaper. It was a double-stuffed diaper, as it was the one he had on when he napped, and when I went to change him it was down his leg. My husband made the comment that we should buy disposables to hold this stuff in.

*blink*

No, really. He said that. Maybe you don't cloth diaper, so you might not understand my disbelief in that comment. Maybe you only cloth diapered, so you, again, don't understand where I'm really coming from. We cloth diapered from 7 weeks because we couldn't afford our stash when Bobble came a month early. We used up the disposables from our baby shower and made our switch over. That being said, we had blow outs. He quickly seems to have forgotten the fact that we had poo-splosions with our disposables soooo easily! They streak up the back of baby, the leg blowout.... they were horrible. Disposables do not hold poo in as easily as the cloth! In fact, this is time #2 that we've ever had poop come out of a cloth diaper.... and I really don't think this one was the diaper's fault! Bobble was in the carseat, and the way he decided to situate himself pushed the diaper around a wee bit which caused a small gap. The inside of the diaper actually wasn't horrible. Messy? Yes. Filled? Nowhere near. It was obviously the way Bobble was sitting.

Actually, the first time we had a poo escape from cloth Bobble hadn't gone potty in 13 days. Yes. THIRTEEN. Plenty of wet diapers, EBF, and no discomfort, so doctor wasn't worried. When he did go, boy did he ever go! That FuzziBunz OS diaper actually held EVERY BIT OF THAT MESS in.... until hubby picked him up. He picked him up and held him up against his chest, pushing on the diaper. That, in turn, made stuff drip out onto hubby! Hmm, now that I think of it, both times we had poop escape, it was not the diaper's fault! (Though I would love if all diapers had that lovely double-gusset in the legs!)

So yeah. Hubby seems to have been trying to push buttons or something. It's amazing how quickly they forget things when they think their idea is awesome. If he remembered the poo-splosions of s'posies, he wouldn't have suggested buying any. Since it was his idea to suggest disposables for right now, of course it was convenient not to remember the hassles they really caused with this sort of poop!

I'm sorry, that was an awful lot of poop talk. It has been what my day was centered around, so it was bound to happen.

Anyway, the teething masked what else was happening. The teething fever broke Sunday or Monday night, but Bobble started not eating well Tuesday or Wednesday. He ended up with a small fever last night (very low-grade fever), and then just not happy at all. Had he not been teething, I would have been concerned right away, as this is very uncharacteristic of him. Unfortunately, now I have a weekend where I can be concerned because my appointment fell through. They do have Saturday hours (8-noon), but they don't know if the doctor will be back since there was that emergency. I'm thinking that maybe he has a bacterial issue from something he ate. His poor penis is super red right now (likely from all the poop that keeps ending up there), and I'm sure he's more than sick of dealing with pooping. I'll be honest, I am sick of dealing with poop!

Now it's 9pm and Bobble is sleeping (for now -- he just coughed). I've changed no less than EIGHT poopy diapers today, and my husband made a comment about how we should pick up disposables for times like this. I looked at him like he was nuts. This is what a washer is for.... and thank goodness I had just finished up the diaper laundry the night before! I had a full stash of clean diapers!

I actually took a few pictures of the different poops he had today, and if anyone, for some reason, desperately wants to see a picture, send me an email. I'm certain they would only be curious if their child was going through something similar and they wanted a reference. I won't, however, post those pictures on the blog. Not that I have a problem with poop pictures, but I'm certain there are better ones to look at (like the chart that shows what newborn poop looks like for different scenarios) as those are more beneficial to people as a whole. My whole reasoning for taking these pictures was for the doctor to see if I get in tomorrow.

All that being said, thanks for listening to my day. I know it wasn't fun, and I know I won't have an exciting extended weekend to write about, but it just wasn't in the cards for us. Now I'm off to start the washer again, and then get some mint-chip gelato in a tiny ice cream cone... because I totally deserve some after today!

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Baby Cargo 300 Stroller Giveaway!

So lucky to be included in this awesome giveaway! Good luck everyone!!! :)


Would you like to win a lightweight, full feature stroller? We are giving you a chance to win one! We've teamed up with several bloggers to bring you this great giveaway from Baby Cargo, an up and coming baby gear brand. 

The Baby Cargo 300 offers many features of a full size stroller in a compact package. A stylish ride that is comfortable for baby is just the icing on the cake. The wipe-clean fabric is easy to care for, it is suitable for babies from birth, and it will fit kids up to 50 pounds. With great maneuverability for all your travels, whether you're shopping, taking a stroll in the park, or jetting through the airport - the Baby Cargo 300 has all bases covered. Thoughtful details like the zippered back pocket and self-locking fold make travel a breeze! You can read the full review of the Baby Cargo 300 Stroller over at Eco-Babyz and see more photos. 

Our Favorite Features: 
  • Comes with cup holder and rain cover
  • Luxurious, soft, easy-clean fabric 
  • Adjustable footrest
  • Reclining seat, suitable from birth
  • Self-locks when folding
  • Weighs only 14.9 pounds
  • Holds kids up to 50 pounds
Purchase: You can buy the Baby Cargo 300 Stroller for $179.99. The Baby Cargo 200 is available for $149.99 and the 100 Series for $109.99. 

Win One! Baby Cargo is blessing one of you with the Baby Cargo 300 Series stroller in your choice of Simply Taupe, Eclipse, or Blacktop. 


Special thanks to Eco-Babyz, Dear Crissy, and Our Kids Mom for hosting this giveaway. Giveaway ends September 15th at 12:01 am, open to US residents, ages 18+. To enter please use the Rafflecopter form below. Thank you!

Disclaimer: I received no compensation for this publication. Eco-Babyz, Dear Crissy, Our Kids Mom, and Baby Cargo 300 Stroller Giveaway Event bloggers are not responsible for sponsor prize shipment. 

Monday, August 27, 2012

The Unpaper Towel (review & giveaway)

    How many of you use paper towels? C'mon, I know some of you do! Now how many of you cringe at how much you use them? They do cost a lot, and they waste a lot.... but do you keep using them? Possibly. We did. I hated it. I wanted something different, but still we fell into the trap of buying them over and over again. We then were given the chance to do a review of The Unpaper Towel. I was so excited for these you have no idea! In fact, I'm really excited to post this review for you... even more so, actually, because my husband was excited about it, and actually asked if he could write it. It's not going to be all his, but I'll make it a joint effort. I'll have his comments in blue, and I'll throw in my two-cents in purple. He wanted to do this, so I'll let the bulk be him! 

    First, a little background:


    The Unpaper Towel is one side cotton terry cloth, the other side either a stain resistant fabric or a cotton print fabric. They are held together by snaps to create a roll of awesome-looking, reusable towels for the kitchen! They are sewn in North Carolina by Bevin, and what an awesome job she does! Just look at my awesome roll of Unpaper Towels (straight out of the package!)

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    First appearances - looks really cool. Could be used as dinner napkin I guess, but the snaps discourage me from that somewhat. But still pretty cool looking as long as drying the instructions are followed.
    I also really wanted to use them for dinner napkins, but that was before the logical part of me said that I'd end up scratching myself with the snap because I would end up forgetting they were there. His 'drying instructions' comment is because I let them sit in the dryer over night instead of taking them out and putting them on the roll immediately. I knew this would cause them to be less-pretty, but they would still be functional. Who'd have known that he'd care about them looking pretty! *laughs* They did still look nice, they were just folded over in spots, wrinkly, and didn't wrap as tightly as if I had followed the instructions to a T. I had a choice.... let them look a bit wrinkly, or go to bed in time to get 5 hours of sleep to work my 10 hour day the next day. You bet I picked the sleep! 


     
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    They work great for liquids and absorb considerably more than a paper towel, plus, you can wring them out like a rag without tearing them, so for spills these are superior.
    (Says it all!)
     
     
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    Make great wipes in the kitchen for feeding time. As long as you pay attention to where the snaps are, these are great for cleaning up the little one after a messy meal. One, in most cases, is all it takes for that task.
    Just like using them for a napkin for yourself, you need to watch out for snaps on the little one! These definitely do a much better job wiping up than paper towels!!! They are also a generous size of approximately 11"x11" (yes, approximately... being the genius I am, I didn't think to measure them before I let them wrinkle up!).
     
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    I would still always keep a roll of paper towels on hand. There are things I would not want to use cloth towels on, like cleaning the grill, or sopping up grease. I have always heard about how oils that sit in cloth can spontaneously burst into flames…. that is not really a big concern with me, but I can tell you after getting oil on massage sheets for years, it eventually will not wash out and leave a musty smell locked into the fabric. There are detergents specially formulated for removing oil residues, so if a person wanted to switch entirely to The Unpaper Towel, I would recommend such a detergent for keeping them in optimal condition.
    This is where we disagree. I don't see a problem sopping up grease with cloth. I wouldn't want to use these for grease, however, as I like them looking nice and not smelling like grease! I don't, however, see any problem soaking up grease and then rinsing it out and washing shortly thereafter. That being said, laundry does tend to sit at our house before it gets washed.... but I'll blame the 10-hour work days on that one (and the fact that hubby lets me do all the laundry -- yes, lets. I like doing the laundry [so long as that doesn't include folding and putting away! hah!]). As far as the detergents, I have had great luck with Tiny Bubbles getting the oil smell out of his massage sheets!
    These are SO much nicer looking than paper towels, aren't they?
     
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    All in all, these are pretty handy to have, and although I still would choose paper towels over The Unpaper Towel in certain situations, having these in the kitchen will drastically cut down paper towel usage. I will admit, I cannot stand using the same ol' kitchen towel over and over again, so I used paper towels for drying my hands off more than for anything else (after thoroughly shaking them off to remove as much water as possible of course). Using Unpaper Towels for drying hands off alone will significantly reduce the amount of paper towel usage, thus buying it much less! 
    These are handy to have! I have no problem reusing the same towel (or Unpaper Towel!) for drying hands. My catch is when it's a multi-purpose towel in the kitchen, as then you're spreading germs if you wipe your hands off to dry, and also after cutting veggies or something. I would like to say these are simply great for wiping things! I was getting ready to leave for work the other day, saw something had spilled in our fridge, and grabbed an Unpaper Towel that was sitting near by (hubby used it to dry his hands). I got it a tad be wet, and voila! Fantastic for wiping stuff out! Took a second and it looked clean. Of course it wasn't "clean" clean since I didn't use any cleaner, but it will be much easier to clean when stuff hasn't been sitting there drying and gunking!
     
So there you have it: The Unpaper Towel! Durable, reusable, stylish...... what's not to love?
     
 Bevin was generous enough to offer a set of Unpaper Towels to one of my readers, too! You can pick the pattern, so long as it isn't one of the organic materials! Enter to win below!



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Disclosure: The product mentioned above was sent to me [us] by the company in exchange for a review. This did not influence my [our] opinion of the product in any way. My [our] opinions are my [our] own and may differ from those of your own.



 
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Earth's Best Organic Greek Yogurt Smoothies


Have you heard that Earth’s Best has a new product out? Meet Earth’s Best Organic Greek Yogurt Smoothies! 



An Earth’s Best  2ndfood, these are made for children six months and older and are a blend of real organic fruit, delicious greek yogurt, and whey. They come in three awesome flavours of Apple, Banana, and Cherry. They are packaged in the squeeze pouches that many of their other snacks and foods are, so they are very convenient to just grab-and-go! Best of all, they don’t have to be refrigerated before opening like other yogurts do. This means you can slip one of these into your child's lunch box and not worry about it going bad before they get to eat!

Speaking of other yogurts, similar regular yogurt smoothies will have  2 grams of protein, but these smoothies, being made with Greek Yogurt, have 3 grams of protein! They also are a fantastic source of calcium, and they provide your little one with at least 20% of the daily recommended value of Vitamins C and D per serving! This helps build strong teeth and bones, and also helps support a healthy immune system.

If you haven’t tried greek yogurt yet, you definitely should. We always use greek yogurt in my house – it’s better for you for multiple reasons! Greek yogurt has more nutrients than regular yogurt, containing nearly double the protein and having around half the sodium of regular yogurts. Greek yogurt is also thicker and creamier than regular yogurt, so it helps fill you up without eating too much. 

Your whole family can use greek yogurts (not just in squeeze pouches), as they are great for cooking and baking, too! Regular [plain] flavoured greek yogurts can be used in lieu of sour cream in baking or just on potatoes/tacos/anything you’d use sour cream on! Bobble is a huge fan of greek yogurts, so that’s why I was even more thrilled to receive these Earth’s Best Organic Greek Yogurt Smoothies. 

All three of these flavours are a win for our little Bobble! He loves any fruit flavour, and he loves yogurt, so he loved these! Hard to go wrong with it being an Earth’s Best Organic product, too! This, of course, means that these new Earth’s Best Organic Greek Yogurt Smoothies contain no artificial flavours, colours, or preservatives, and they contain no Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs).
You can find these new Organic Greek Yogurt Smoothies at a grocer near you that carries Earth’s Best products, or you can use the Earth’s Best Store Locator to find a location near you! You can also order them online at the Earth’s Best Store, from Amazon.com, any other online retailers where you can buy Earth’s Best pouches!

Disclosure: The product mentioned above was provided to me by Earth’s Best for review. This did not influence my opinion of the product in any way. My opinions are my own and may differ from those of your own.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Earth's Best Organic Blueberry Mini Waffles


I love trying new things, especially food items. Granted, I’m super picky, but that doesn’t mean I don’t like trying stuff out! Recently, during a grocery shopping trip, I wandered down the aisle of frozen foods generally reserved for “healthy/healthier” items. I saw stuff that was organic, gluten free, vegan, etc. Something caught my eye though…. Earth’s Best Organic Blueberry Mini Waffles! Since becoming an Earth’s Best blogger, I’ve learned that they carry a lot more products than I thought! I honestly had no clue that they made waffles! Of course, I had to buy them and try them out! Especially since they have 10g of whole grains per serving!
I don’t know what I was more excited about with these waffles… offering them to Bobble, or eating them myself! I didn’t hesitate to do both the first opportunity I got!

These mini waffles are one piece/sheet of waffle that can be broken apart into 4 mini, circular waffles. You don’t break them apart until after you heat them, though, or you won’t be able to get them out of the toaster! (Well, I suppose you could if you used a toaster oven, but I used a regular toaster.)  I popped two “sheets” into the toaster, set the toaster to about 3.5 (out of 5 for ‘doneness’), and got the plates ready. When they popped up, I put one sheet on Bobble’s plate and one on mine, grabbed the silverware (plastic ware for Bobble!) and some delicious pure maple syrup.

The waffles broke apart very easily, and they didn’t tear or anything. The indentations on the waffles (syrup-catchers!) are not as pronounced as they would be on full-sized waffles, but I honestly think I like them this way better because they are easier to spread butter on (if you put butter on your waffles).  I cut one of the mini waffles in half for Bobble, and cut the other half up into tiny pieces that were maybe a centimeter in size. I also poured some syrup in the cup holder part of his highchair tray since the plate was likely to go flying and I didn’t feel like picking up that mess AND cleaning up syrup off the floor, curtains, and anything else it splattered on.

Bobble had never had waffles before, so this was definitely an experiment for us. I know he doesn’t care for pancakes *gasp*, but I remained hopeful that waffles would be a winner (and that pancakes will be a winner in the future). I handed him his little plastic fork and put the plate of food in front of him. Success! This is the first time he did not throw his plate! He got frustrated since the waffles I cut small were too small to stab with the large tines of the fork, but he had trouble stabbing the half of mini waffle, too. I decided to get a small, metal dessert fork and that solved the problem. (I just had to make sure he didn’t stab himself!) Bobble happily devoured his ENTIRE (mini) WAFFLE! I gave him another two mini waffles and he ate them all. I couldn’t believe it! This kid normally throws most of his food! Also, Bobble had a slight iron deficiency, so we look for foods that are higher in iron. These waffles have 25% of the daily value he needs!

So they were definitely a win for Bobble, but I haven’t mentioned how I liked them. So I ate my sheet of waffle and decided they were ideal for me, too. Reasoning? Well, aside from tasting great, I didn’t have to worry about cutting up a messy, syrup covered waffle! I could tear them apart and just eat them with my finger, dipping them in some syrup if I so desired. They weren’t greasy, so I didn’t have to worry about getting my work clothes messy if I accidentally dropped a (non-syrupy) piece! Yes, that is a concern of mine. I may be a little bit *ahem* clumsy.

All in all, these were definitely a win. They tasted delicious, cooked quickly, broke apart easily, Bobble devoured them, and they were Earth’s Best Organic. What’s not to love?! I actually enjoyed the taste of these waffles over any of the other frozen waffle brands I’ve purchased, so I’ll definitely be purchasing these again for both of us, not just Bobble!

You can find these delicious waffles at a grocer near you that carries Earth’s Best products. You can use the Earth’s Best Store Locator to find a location near you!

Disclosure: The product mentioned above was purchased by me. My opinions are my own and may differ from those of your own.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Escapee

Bobble is quite the escape artist, and can mange to work out ways to get out of most places. Thankfully he hasn't climbed our gate in the living room yet, but we have found him pushing some storage totes over to the gate.... a big one, then a slightly smaller one, and start climbing. It's only a matter of time.

The first thing that he escaped from would be our bed. We have one of those tall beds. One I feared he would roll out of and be hurt and get rushed to the hospital. Yeah, one of those. One I couldn't climb into when I was heavily pregnant. You can imagine my surprise when he came toddling out of our bedroom a few times. How on earth was he climbing down? We would hear a *thud*, then he would come looking for us.

One day we heard him stirring and we peeked through the crack in the door to see how he was doing this. He would scoot over to the edge of the bed, turn around feet first, and grab fistfuls of comforter. He would scoot more and more off the edge of the bed, and then "scale" down the side using the comforter. Very clever!

Unfortunately, this has a down side (aside from he can escape!).... he can't climb back up. At night, he often wants to climb into bed on his own. He tries to climb into bed on his own. He even moved a tiny box over and tried using that. I feel bad that our little escapee can't climb into bed on his own when he's tired, so I have been in search of a step stool that will work. Obviously, since it's for sleepy time use, it has to have wide enough steps to accommodate the clumsy little toddler's footing. I wouldn't mind if it had some sort of side handles, but so far I just found super tiny step stools or something rather flimsy.

This is where you come in! Do any of you have a step stool that would work for us? What have you tried that you loved (or hated), and why?

Friday, August 17, 2012

Earth's Best Kidz Organic Apple Sauce (Giveaway)

Earth's Best has offered a reader some of their delicious (organic!) apple sauce.... don't forget to check out my review of the apple sauce cups too!

Earth's Best Kidz Organic Apple Sauce (review)


Ever since I was a toddler myself, I’ve loved dipping breakfast sausages in applesauce. It was something taught to me by my grandmother, and it stuck with me all throughout the years. Bobble loves applesauce too, so finding a healthier applesauce was on my to-do list for quite some time. It’s hard to find applesauce that doesn’t have high-fructose corn syrup in it as a sweetener, or that tastes good without some sort of sweetener. Once again, Earth’s Best came to the rescue! Enter Earth’s Best Kidz Organic Apple Sauce!
Made with 100% organic apples, this apple sauce is pure goodness with no artificial flavours, colours, or preservatives. The containers are a wonderful size for lunchboxes or to just take on the go, and they are great for breakfast sausage-dipping too!

Available in both cinnamon and original flavours, you can find something to suit your little one’s pallet. Bobble likes spices and flavours, so he loves cinnamon in most things, and apple sauce is no different! If your little one doesn’t like stuff like that and prefers plain items, the original flavour won’t disappoint! These little apple sauce cups are also great for those little ones that don’t really show an interest in whole fruits. With Earth’s Best Kidz Organic Applesauce, they can get the goodness of whole apples without the cleaning, cutting, and peeling!
For more healthy snacking ideas, check out “Healthy SnackingThroughout the Day” on the Earth’s Best website!

These organic apple sauce cups (in both cinnamon and original flavours), along with many other Earth’s Best products, can be purchased online from the Earth’s Best Store, from Amazon.com, numerous other online retailers, or you can use the Earth’s Best Store Locator to find a retailer near you! You can also head over to my giveaway post and try to win some!

Disclosure: The product mentioned above was sent to me by the company in exchange for a review. This did not influence my opinion of the product in any way. My opinions are my own and may differ from those of your own.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Earth's Best Sunny Days Snack Bars (Giveaway)

Here's your chance to try the Earth's Best Sunny Days Snack Bars for yourself!


Earth's Best Sunny Days Snack Bars (review)


With summer nearing an end and schools starting back up, many parents are looking for snacks for their little ones. Unfortunately, many snacks available that are geared towards kids are full of artificial flavours, colourings, preservatives, high-fructose corn syrup, and all sorts of other stuff that I just wouldn’t want my child having. Luckily, Earth’s Best has you covered with their Sunny Days Snack Bars that don’t have any of that bad stuff, but have plenty of good stuff like vitamins, organic ingredients, and a wholesome cereal crust.
I’m sure many of us have tried something similar to these snack bars… a cereal crust and a fruit-filled center. These snacks, part of the Sesame Street Healthy Habits for Life snacks, are the perfect snack for a lunch box, for on the road, or just for a little treat at home! With delicious flavours like Apple and Strawberry to pick from, you can be assured that your child will get the deliciousness of real fruits in this snack without having to worry about washing the fruit off, having it spoil, or being out of season! Each box has 8 yummy, individually wrapped bars, so you have plenty for snacks throughout the week, and even one to sneak for yourself!

 Bobble is still in the stage where he likes to eat a few bites of things and wander off, or take a huge bite and throw everything else to the floor because his mouth is full (which must mean he’s done, right?). Due to this, I end up eating a lot of foods that he should be eating. While Bobble does enjoy the flavour of these snacks, he’s not a huge fan of sticky items (in terms of eating…. he’ll PLAY with sticky items like there’s no tomorrow!) right now. If we feed it to him bite by bite and he doesn’t touch it (read: squish it because he’s curious), then he loves them. Any little one that likes either of those flavours (and isn’t opposed to ‘sticky’ fillings!) will love these yummy little bars! Best of all, they are the perfect size for little ones to enjoy!

You can find Sunny Days Snack Bars, along with many other Earth’s Best products, online at the Earth’s Best Store, from Amazon.com, many other online retailers, or you can use the Earth’s Best Store Locator to find a retailer near you!

You can also enter to win some HERE!

 
Disclosure: The product mentioned above was sent to me by the company in exchange for a review. This did not influence my opinion of the product in any way. My opinions are my own and may differ from those of your own.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Be Free with DivaCup! (review & giveaway)





Whether you look forward to your cycle or dread it each month, it is part of being a woman. I used to dread my cycle. Nay, I used to loathe my cycle. It was inconvenient to say the least. I wanted to swim, run around, go out for the day….. just be myself! Then there is this period thing getting in my way. It made me go to the bathroom every few hours, made me spend a lot of money on tampons (or maxi-pads if that’s your preference), and then there was the discomfort. The irritation from either type of disposable caused me numerous issues one way or another. Either way it went, I dreaded it.

When I had Bobble, I had already decided I was going to do cloth diapers with him. This research led me to find reusable options for myself, too…. including cloth and cups. Admittedly, I rolled my eyes at first, and then carried on my merry little way. The more I thought about it though, the more I was intrigued. I started researching and decided I was going reusable for myself, too!

It was 17 ½ months post-partum before I had my first cycle, and then it was only 3 days, too. It was that same month that I was offered a chance to review the DivaCup. I received my package right away, and excitedly opened it up to find my cup, little carrying bag, and a little “diva” pin. Since I have had a baby, I had to get a size 2 cup. There are two sizes, one for women under 30 who have never had a baby, and women who have had a baby or are over 30. I anxiously awaited my next cycle, hoping the first one (since it was so short), wasn’t a fluke. The proper timing came and went, and I found myself a bit disappointed I didn’t have my cycle. I really wanted to try the DivaCup!



Finally, a week and a half later, I got my chance! Of course it was the very same moment I finally took a pregnancy test to double-check…. what a waste of money on that test! The DivaCup, however, was super easy to use. I wasn’t a pro first shot since this was my first time using it, but a couple of tries and I had it inserted and ready to go! After the initial fidgeting to get it inserted properly, I had no idea it was there! What a nice change from that annoying feeling of tampons!

I was able to go through my entire day with no hassle to stop and find a restroom for changing, as the DivaCup can be left in for up to 12 hours. That meant I could take care of that when it was convenient for me, not when the device used decided it had to be done! Even better, that meant I could go throughout my day without the worry of Toxic Shock Syndrome being a consequence if I didn’t find a bathroom soon. If you’re a heavier bleeder, you can empty it more often if you need.  

Removing the cup was a lot easier for me than placing the cup. Since the cup has sealed off the area (yay for no leaks… successful installation!), it just made sense to me to use one finger and push in on the cup to ‘break the seal’. When that released, I just pulled gently down, and voila! Empty, rinse, re-use! It’s really that simple. No waste, no odor, no wrapping things up to hide in a trashcan, no worry about running out… it’s always there, always ready to use. Even if you opted to replace the cup yearly, you’d still save a boatload of waste AND money that would have spent on disposable products. The suggested cost of the DivaCup is $39.99 (USD/CAD), but compare that to how much you spend on the disposable products in one year. $100? $150? More? It definitely is the more cost-effective choice in the long run!



Hold up, did I say “no odor”? Why yes, yes I did! Since the fluid is captured in the cup, it is never exposed to air, meaning it never smells! The menstrual fluids only develop an odor when exposed to air.

It’s also surprisingly cleaner to use than I anticipated it would be. When I first heard of menstrual cups, I have no idea what I thought of, but I thought it might be gross. You’d get all messy, red everywhere… you get the idea. Thankfully, that was a complete misconception. You don’t get messy at all! It’s just remove, dump, rinse, re-insert. I have gotten waaaaay messier changing my son’s diaper! Even if you have a heavy flow, no worries! Did you ladies know that the average woman only flows approximately 1 to 1.4 ounces each cycle? The DivaCup can hold that entire amount! So even if you are a heavier bleeder than other women, they still have you covered!

Some research has suggested that the chemicals in disposable products such as tampons or maxi-pads can cause your body to bleed for longer, bleed heavier, and cause more menstrual symptoms like cramping. When I first had Bobble, I used disposable pads post-partum since you can’t use any inserted device for 6 weeks. After 4 weeks, I was still bleeding. I was uncomfortable, I was irritated (reacting to the chemicals), I felt BRUISED even! I had just happened across the above information and finally had enough and decided to just wear old underwear and let them get ruined. Within 24 hours of ceasing to use disposables, I stopped bleeding. I think the disposables lengthened my post-partum bleeding, as well as caused me great discomfort! I’ve had no cramping since using the DivaCup, though I didn’t have much cramping pre-baby, it’s been non-existent with the DivaCup.

So, are you curious yet? Do you want to try one now? I highly recommend giving them a whirl! You can use the store finder to locate your nearest DivaCup retailer, or shop online if there is nothing near you.

I will no longer be stuck interrupting my day to go find a bathroom, worrying about any smell, or worrying about leaks. I will be comfortable, active, and go to the bathroom on my own time. I will be free to choose when to worry about feminine issues, not have them force me to worry! I want the same for you, and so does DivaCup! In fact, they have offered a cup for one of my lucky readers! 
You can enter the giveaway below.

Don't forget to "like" DivaCup on Facebook and follow them on Twitter at @DivaCup for the latest news!

Have you ever heard of a menstrual cup before today or have you ever thought about trying a menstrual cup? If so, what is stopping you?

Disclosure: The product mentioned above was sent to me by the company in exchange for a review. This did not influence my opinion of the product in any way. My opinions are my own and may differ from those of your own. 





Sunday, August 12, 2012

Blogger Beach Bash!


Welcome to week 5 of the Blogger Beach Bash sponsored by Kelly’s Closet! I’m honoured to get to participate with all the other lovely bloggers, and to work with Diapershops.com! Don’t forget to head on over to the Diapershops.com blog and enter the prize package of sunscreen, a reusable swim diaper, and a medium wet bag! You can also enter to win a $15 gift certificate to Kelly’s Closet at the bottom of this entry!




I thought long and hard about what to post, and I was torn between summer traveling tips and making a long list of must-haves for the summer time…. So I am doing both, but a shorter version! I have my top 5 summer must-haves on Pinterest, and a little tidbit about travel too!

Traveling with Pocket Diapers

We never travel more than 4 hours to get to our destination (well, we haven’t yet, anyway!), so please keep that in mind if you’re going to use this for a travel guide! We also normally do NOT wash diapers while we are gone, as we are normally only gone 3 days/2 nights. Yes, I have that many (pocket) diapers. That aside, Bobble is now 18 months, so you need to adjust any amounts to take into consideration that he does not mess as many diapers as a newborn, or even a 6 month old.

When traveling for an extended period of time (read: over 2 hours), I always use a “night time diaper” on our Bobble. A “night time diaper” is really just any pocket (aplix) diaper that I have double stuffed, or a double-stuffed Rump-a-rooz diaper. Since Bobble likes to peel at aplix, we generally cannot put them on him unless he’s either sleeping, or in a carseat. I always pack enough “night time diapers” to get me through however many nights I’ll be away from home, however many naps he’ll take in that time frame, and one for each leg of the journey. That normally equates to 5 diapers since we try to travel during his nap time to make everything easier on us. Our favorite diapers to use as “night time diapers” are:
  • ·         BumGenius 4.0
  • ·         Rump-a-rooz
  • ·         Blueberry Deluxe Pocket
We also make sure to bring a FuzziBunz hanging pail to use while we are at our destination because this is easy to transport and the elastic at the top, while it doesn’t seal anything, helps keep some of the smell inside. I also take a medium wet bag (either Bummis or Blueberry) for each leg of the journey, one of the non-traveling day, plus one more (one extra one to sit in the diaper bag in case we end up with wet clothes that don’t need to be with smelly diapers). Since they are size medium, I am able to fit all dirty diapers for that day (while out and about) into the bag.

We made our own liners from a yard of anti-pill fleece (just cut them into rectangles!) to use for non-clothdiapering safe creams, but they also work great for traveling! I almost always place one of these liners in the diaper while out of town so any messy diapers keep most (or all) of the mess from staining our actual diaper. This is great since we often don’t get to do diaper laundry while out of town, and I’d much rather have a discoloured piece of fleece than a discoloured diaper, and I’d much rather have any leftover particles stuck on a liner than my diaper!

I’m not very squeamish, so I had no problem taking the liners and holding them under the water in the toilet (hey, that’s clean water anyway! Well…. It was clean!) and folding the material of either the diaper or the liners and rubbing it together to break off any particles. It works pretty well for those messier diapers! In an ideal world, my mother-in-law would let me hook up a diaper sprayer at her house to leave there.  I tried explaining how much easier it would make cleaning her entire bathroom (mostly tiled), but she was convinced her water (heavy on the calcium) would ruin the sprayer. I would definitely recommend providing a diaper sprayer to your family to keep there if they will go for it. I just explained how great it was for helping clean toilets, providing water for mopping (seriously, no bucket!) and more, and it was pretty convincing for them. It would make cleaning more convenient for them, and spraying diapers more convenient for you when you visit!

We do our diaper laundry as soon as we get home, especially in the summer time since the heat doesn’t help the smell of those dirty diapers!


Top 5 Summer Must-Haves On Pinterest
Speaking of summer heat, I wanted to share with you my must-haves for summer! Best of all, you can find 4 of the 5 items on Kelly’s Closet! So what are the top 5 Summer Must-haves?

1.       Episencial Sunny Sunscreen



Everyone needs protection from the sun, so why not go natural with Episencial Sunny Sunscreen SPF 35? Great for all ages (and water-resistant, too)!


2.       Imse Vimse Swim Diapers

Looking for a great swim diaper? Imse Vimse Swim Diapers not only come in adorable prints, but they are super trim! (Sizes run a little large, so size down if you're unsure!)


3.       Planet Wise Wet Bags
Planet Wise Wet Bags are fantastic for storing wet clothing in, and have great prints/patterns like Tropical Retreat (shown above).

4.       Episencial Soothing Cream




Re-moisturize your skin after playing in the sun with Episencial Soothing Cream-4OZ. Safe for all ages, and all-natural!


5.       EnviroSax Reusable Bags
Looking for the perfect beach/pool bag? Check out Envirosax (pictured: Sydney)! Many different prints to suit your style, large enough to hold everything you need, but with a wide strap to prevent it from digging into your arm! Rolls up to be compact for storage!




I am part of the Kelly’s Closet Blogger Beach Bash.  Kelly’s Closet sent me Super Undies (size Medium) for my participation in the campaign.  To see a complete list of bloggers who are participating visit the Kelly’s Closet blog.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Talk It Up


A few months back, Bobble had a well-baby check-up. They asked all the normal questions like “does he repeat sounds?”, “does he follow simple instructions?”, and “how many words does he say?”. The last question is the one that got on my nerves. I mentioned that he said dadadadadadadaaaaaa and a couple other simple sounds like that, but mostly he signed what he wanted. I told them a couple of the signs that he knew, and they seemed disinterested in hearing all of them, so I didn’t drag on. I assumed they were content to know that he still communicated. It’s not like he isn’t vocal, they just aren’t formed words yet! The nurse left after finishing her notes, and then the doctor came in a bit later.

Our doctor is awesome. I would like to state that from the beginning. I love him to pieces. He had no idea what Baby-led weaning was, but was okay with us going that route and even bringing him some information on what it was to read. He understands that we want to raise our baby our way, and he respects that. From some of the stories I’ve heard from other mothers, this isn’t always the case. I’m thankful that, for us, it is. 

Anywho, he logged in to the computer and quickly glanced over the nurse’s notes. It was then that I got upset. I noticed she wrote that he ‘gestures’ for things. No. That is not what I said! I told him that he does not gesture, he actually uses American Sign Language (ASL). I expressed how it is upsetting that the nurse completely disregarded his form of communication like that, down playing it to seem like my son wasn’t developing in the language department. 

‘Gestures’ would seem, to me, like he would reach for something he wants and grunts. That is much different from him looking sad, signing ‘please’, signing ‘book’, and then going and bringing me a book. The doctor said he would take care of that next appointment. The next appointment he spoke of was this past Friday. I waited for the nurse to ask her questions. They started with the normal questions, and skipped that one. Completely skipped it. How frustrating! I had actually sat down and written down every single sign he knew. It took some time and some thought, and I bet I missed a couple. Heck, he’s learned a couple signs since then, too. I was at 81 signs come his 18 month well-baby visit. (I don’t count a sign as Bobble knowing it unless he uses it…. There are many he understands but hasn’t used himself. Those I don’t count.)

When the doctor came in, I told him I was surprised they didn’t ask us that question. He chuckled and asked me “So, how many words does Bobble know?”. I happily answered that he knows 81 signs, and explained how he says “booh” (book without the k sound) while he signs book, “buh” while signing bubble, “baa” while signing bath, “gooh” while signing cookie, and then the whole daaaa thing. I also said he understands us really well, so if I ask him to go find his shoes, he does. If I ask him to pick up his blocks, he does. If I ask him to go get me his (stuffed) frog, he does. Our doctor was really pleased. He said it sounds like he has a great understanding of the language, and that his development is great. He’s not concerned with the lack of verbal communication if he is communicating this well. Truth be told, ASL words ARE STILL WORDS. So he knew at least 81 words by that point.

He’s learning more and more each day. It’s amazing. He learned shower in one minute. He always signed “bath” for showering as well as bathing, so I finally said “a bath is when we sit in the water” and signed bath, pointing at the bottom of the tub, too. Then I said “Look at mommy, Bobble.” I signed shower, and then said “a shower is when the water falls on us while we stand in the bath tub!” and turned the shower on. “That is a shower!” and I signed shower. Bobble got all excited (he LOVES bath time!) and pointed. I asked him if he wanted a shower, and he signed shower. It was that fast.

Now I’m not much of a television fan, and by that I mean we have no television service. We have NetFlix for the occasional entertainment, and we have movies of our own, but nothing that is really “watched” frequently.  Here’s a great example for you: most recently I watched A Knight’s Tale with my husband. It was over the course of 5 days and in 3 different viewings. We just don’t watch much television. I know that’s not a bad thing, but I’m just trying to give you some background here.

Bobble watches his own videos, and I’d say he watches these videos more than my husband and I watch anything together. Before you get all preachy about television and my little one, please know that I do not use this as a babysitter, and I frequently am watching the videos with Bobble.  Besides, how am I going to know what he’s signing if I don’t learn them too?

We started out with Baby Signing Time, and now we own the entire series. Bobble has only seen volume 1, the Baby Signing Time set, and Potty Time. I split up volume 2 to be partially his holiday present this winter, and the other half to be his birthday (January).  I was going to originally just purchase Potty Time (in addition to my already owned Baby Signing Time videos) as a way to help introduce using the potty. I figured that, since he loved Baby Signing Time so much, he would love Potty Time and so he would be introduced to the concepts via the video before we started with him. I thought that would help him understand a bit more when we start with potty learning. Luckily for me, the ENTIRE SERIES was on sale when I looked to purchase.... and they were all half off. I was planning on purchasing the whole series eventually, but likely as individual DVDs since they were more costly. The sale gave me all the DVDs though (including the baby signing time DVDs again), so I ended up with a bit over 40 DVDs averaging a bit over $8 per DVD. I couldn't turn that one down!

I absolutely love these videos and am so thrilled to have found them. Sure, I've seen them a million times (well, some of them!), but the songs are very well done and I never get sick of them. That's good, because Bobble ADORES these videos! Sometimes he will wake up and sign "signing" first thing in the morning. Today he woke up very upset from his nap. The only thing that would make him feel better? Watching some Signing Time while nursing in mommy's arms. So not only are we able to communicate with our little Bobble before he started speaking, but he has the skills to communicate with other people that know ASL. How great would it be to be at a park and see a little one playing all alone and your child walk up and play with them? Of course it would be great. Now imagine that child playing all alone was deaf, and nobody else was playing with them because they could not communicate…. but your child can. It may not be much, but it would mean the world to that other child. It would mean a lot to that child’s parents. It will also mean a lot to your child.

I can’t guarantee that Bobble will ever be “fluent” in ASL, or that he’ll even remember half of it when he’s a teenager. I can guarantee that it’s helped us thus far, it will help us in the future, and it is helping Bobble now. To that nurse that wrote ‘gestures’, I have a gesture for you… but it’s not polite and I don’t want my son learning it. Instead, I’ll just take comfort in knowing that my son can communicate just fine, and even excels at it. It will never get old looking over and seeing Bobble run up to me with his blanket and signing “sleep”. Verbal communication isn’t everything. Bobble understands words. He understands what they sound like. He understands what they mean. He understands more than just words, he understands language.

This post wasn't intended to be a review, nor do I consider it a review. I didn't really get into any of the content of the videos or how they go about teaching anything. If anyone is interested in an actual review of the videos, let me know.