Monday, December 16, 2013

Happy Holidays

I hope you are all enjoying the holidays this year. Times have been tough around our household as I still haven't found work (nearing 7 months!), but  we are very thankful for what we do have. Both children have been fairly healthy as of late (save a cold here and there), and I was one of those crazy people who shops for holidays all year round, so I actually already had a few presents for the children before I got laid off. They are so little that they won't know the difference... but they will love opening presents!

I even lucked out in a few giveaways recently, one of which was for a pack of 12 diapers. Obviously, I don't need those diapers... I have a LOT! I contacted my local cloth diaper store and they knew of a mother in need (who had literally no diapers), and now some local mother has a beginning stash. My favorite part of the season is that others recognize the need for kindness and generosity more (though I wish they did all year round!), and I was saddened when I still had no job because I feared I might miss out on being able to help someone. I always try to donate items this time of year, but it just isn't in the budget when you have no income... so thank you, all you other bloggers holding giveaways... you helped me help someone else!

I'm sorry I've been so scattered with blog posts. It doesn't matter how often I tell myself that I'll get better at it, because Bobble has other plans. Squiggle does, too, of course... but Bobble will walk up to me, shut my laptop, slide it under the couch (great storage place, eh?), and say, "Play with me, mom!"

You can't say 'no' to that!

Happy Holidays, and keep a look out for a few other reviews that I've had lined up (and waiting on pictures), and maybe even a few giveaways! *wink*

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Rumpkinz Cloth Diapers (review)

One of the awesome prizes in the (Un)baby shower event was a Rumpkinz Cloth Diaper. Rumpkinz diapers are made by a work at home mom, so you know lots of care was put into the making of these cute diapers! We were sent an AI2 to try out, and since we got it before I had Squiggle, I tested it out on Bobble. He didn't mind the flowery diaper, though hubby gave me a funny look when he saw it on our little man!



Perhaps you can see why? *laughs*

This diaper featured a cute floral print on the back side and a soft minky material on the front. Very cute (for a little girl)! Rumpkinz does custom diapers and custom embroidery, too, so the possibilities of cuteness are endless!



I tested this diaper as much as I could with Bobble, and it held up to his (ploppable) poos as well as his messy ones (illness). Nothing got out! I didn't have any leaks with this diaper at all, but it was a different story with my husband. He said the diaper was cute, but said it leaks horribly. I went to change Bobble and he was, indeed, soaked.... but the insert was also sticking out a bit between his legs and I guarantee you that cute flowery fabric wicked away as much moisture as it could! Since I had used it many times with no leaks, I'm going to chalk that up to user error. In fairness to hubby, he hasn't really used many diapers where there is an insert on top that you have to make sure is tucked in. Perhaps I should have pointed that out to him when I was changing Bobble, but I know he won't ever put the flowery diaper on him unless it's last in the rotation, so I don't have much to worry about!

Since this is a one-size diaper, I tried it on Squiggle after she was born. I believe she was roughly 10 lbs when I tried it on her. She had a visible gaping at the legs, so I took it right back off her as that would just be asking for a mess! I tried it again around 12 lbs and had the same issue, but I have yet to try it on her now (roughly 16 lbs). I do believe that is actually due to how she is packing on the weight, though. These look like they should work easily with a 12 lb child. I had absolutely no fit issues with Bobble.

All in all, I would say this diaper is a good diaper and the cuteness factor totally makes this diaper! Rumpkinz diapers are obviously a good quality (you can just tell from holding them), and work very nicely! You can also get mama cloth, pocket diapers, or cloth trainers in addition to the AI2s. Check out their store to see more!



Disclosure: I receive sample(s) for the purpose of testing and review. These opinions are my own and may differ from those of your own. 

Friday, November 8, 2013

Walls Need Love (Giveaway & review)

A while back, I was fortunate enough to discover Wallsneedlove.com, a site that does wall decals and stickers. Not too much later, I was given the opportunity to review their product and I jumped on it! I had my eye on a few things, and for a while I couldn't decide what I wanted. I had a particular theme I wanted to do for Squiggle's room, but I couldn't find just what I was looking for. My husband actually fell in love with a pre-made set on their site, but if he hadn't, I was going to take advantage of their custom stickers.

I apologize in advance for the poor quality of a couple of the pictures. My camera died partway through the pictures, and I had to switch to a phone for a few while the batteries charged. (Then I grabbed the barely-charged batteries to snag the rest of the photos, so you only have a couple poor quality pictures!)

This is how the room looked to start out:





I had a gift card to spend at the website as well, so I got to get more than I thought I would have for her room. I got a flowering tree, a cartoon-y owl set, and butterflies. I really liked that I could pick any colours I wanted for the tree and the butterflies. They have a colour chart (and also a previewer so you can see how it would look on your approximate wall colour) that allows for customization of the feature. I could have made the tree trunk purple, the leaves orange, and the flowers green if I wanted!


The stickers were surprisingly easy to take off the sheets and put on the wall, though I had one heck of a time climbing up and down while super pregnant to do so! I had my mother and my husband put the tree on the wall since that came in segments that needed to be lined up, and then I decorated it with leaves and flowers.


I have extra stickers for the tree and the owl set, so I could have made a pile of leaves at the bottom of the tree if I wanted (which I considered), and extra leaves for the owl set as well. I opted to actually stick pretty close to the examples on the website since I really liked the set up, but there are still little changes you can see between my walls and the website.






Leftover stickers

I actually had the stickers up on the wall and pictures taken back in late May/early June, but I didn't have time to type up the review then... and I'm glad I didn't. Squiggle is now 3 months old and completely in love with her walls. I didn't realize that she was going to enjoy them so early, but at first it was just something different to look at. Darker colours contrasting against the light wall. I know newborns don't have the best vision! As time went on, though... I realized she was actually interacting with them. Right around 2 months old, I noticed she was smiling whenever I picked her up off the changing table... and I realized that when I did that, she was staring directly at the wide-eyed owl stickers. I moved closer to them and she smiled bigger. She likes to stare at her birds, butterflies, owls and the tree. She smiles when you move her around to different sides of the room, and smiles when she gets her diaper changed because she is surrounded by her wall decor.

WallsNeedLove can help you with all your decorating for any room in your house! They are also offering one of my readers a $50 gift card to get started on their next decorating project! Enter below for your chance to win! Giveaway starts at 12:00am 11/9/2013, and ends at 11:59pm 11/30/2013.


a Rafflecopter giveaway
Disclosure: Some of the products mentioned above were sent to me by the company in exchange for a review, while others were purchased by myself. 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. Thoughts Of Fluff is not responsible for prize fulfillment.  

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Rock-a-bums Cloth Diapers (and Giveaway)

Rock-a-bums diapers sent me one of their 5-in-1 diapers to review a while back, and I have had trouble writing the review because I keep wanting to say more about it. Honestly, I can't say enough how much I love this diaper! I started testing it on my youngest at 2 weeks old, but these pictures are of her a couple days shy of 2 months old. Needless to say, it fit fantastic RIGHT AWAY. As soon as her cord stump fell off, it was on her. I was in love!




The rise snaps took it small enough to fit a 2 week old, but they accomodate Bobble, too! The diaper fits both of my children well, and that's a rather large weight difference! (from first test, it was about a 25lb weight difference)



The diaper has a super soft inside (insert is topped with bamboo charcoal), and the outer material, while waterproof, still has a lovely stretchy quality to it. This helps me ensure I get a snug fit, but I know it's never too tight. The diaper I was sent had snaps, and the crossover snaps helped the diaper fit Squiggle perfectly.

front view on Bobble

Front view (using a cross-over snap)

Rear View on Bobble
Rear view (literally!)

I preferred to use the diaper as a pocket diaper, but that doesn't mean you can't use it any of the other ways they market! Check out their nifty 5-in-1 features here!

Partially-stuffed with insert snapped on


I tested this diaper a million different times and left it on longer (when just wet) to see how baby fared and how long it would take to get a leak. Since Squiggle sleeps fairly long stretches (3-4 hours for naps since a couple weeks old!), I have left it on for a nap, too. It has stood up to her gigantic EBF poos, multiple pees, and even a nap with... *drum roll* ZERO leaks. I've never had this diaper leak on me. Not on my new one, not on Bobble. I'm very impressed with it!

Side view (with Bobble copying her)

Rock-a-bums come in only 3 colours: Red, Black, and White. I love the simplicity of their colour options, as they really are all you need to match with any outfit for either gender! Everyone needs a "little black diaper"! Rock-a-bums also make matching wetbags.

So, I'm sure you want to know what the cons to this diaper are. Truth be told, there really aren't any. The diaper is super soft, works beautifully, has enough stretch to really accommodate any baby's body type, and are available in classic colours you can't go wrong with. If I could, I would love to have a stash featuring mostly Rock-a-bums and a couple of random diapers as opposed to the other way around. These really are fantastic diapers, and I am confident that, with the way they are designed, they will fit baby regardless of build.

Yes, this diaper fits BOTH of them!


If you want to buy a Rock-a-bums cloth diaper (regardless of how you want to use it!), head on over to Rock-a-bums store http://www.rockabums.com/shop/  and you can get one of these awesome diapers for $16.95.

Because Rock-a-bums rock so much, one lucky reader will win a Black Rock-a-bums diaper and wetbag!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclosure: The product(s) 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.  

Monday, October 7, 2013

Seabands Review (and giveaway!)

I was given the opportunity to review Seabands, though I had already had my baby and finished with my pregnancy nausea. Rather than wait and see if it helps if I happen to be sick (since I don't get motion sickness), I decided to gift them to a friend and let her review them. Below is her review:

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    I just found out that I am expecting my 5th baby and the all-day nausea is absolutely awful! I’ve been sick with each of my pregnancies and this one is no different. Unfortunately, with my husband’s work schedule, I couldn’t make it in to see the Dr. right away to get my Zofran prescription. So, Christine was nice enough to let me review some Seabands and Seabands brand Ginger gum for her :)
    

At first, the Seabands did seem to take the edge off the nausea. I could definitely tell a difference in how I felt when I wasn’t wearing them. The nausea wasn’t as intense when I had them on. However, as the weeks went on and my nausea increased, they did stop being as effective for me. I would say, that if you only get mild nausea during pregnancy, that the Seabands would for sure be a good option for treatment. Especially if you are interested in staying away from any medications. I will say that it can be somewhat tricky to position the “bead” exactly in the right spot, and it can easily slip out of place while you’re doing housework or lugging around a 1 year old. Overall, I was glad to have the Seabands early on in my pregnancy.
   
I also tried out the Seabands brand Ginger gum. While I was not thrilled with the flavor (or lack thereof after about 2 minutes of chewing), I did find the gum to be super useful. There were several times where I really thought I was about to toss my cookies right in the middle of a Walmart aisle and this gum saved me from that! The strong and somewhat spicy ginger taste, when I first popped the piece of gum in my mouth, was enough to calm my stomach so that I didn’t embarrass myself in front of all the other shoppers. Of course, it didn’t last nearly long enough. The flavor wears off really fast and then left me with a bitter aftertaste that didn’t do anything for my nausea. The gum did serve it’s purpose though, and I was thankful to have it!
   
Thank you Christine (and Seabands), for letting me try out these great products! 


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I did use Seabands during my pregnancy and they helped me a lot with my nausea, too. Seeing as how it had been months since I needed them, I opted to let someone who used them currently review them since all I really remembered was they were useful and easy to keep with you if you didn't need them all the time (fit easily in a pocket). I've never tried the ginger gum, but you can purchase it  (along with Seabands) online or in select stores (like CVS).

You can also enter to win your own below!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclosure: The product mentioned above was sent by the company in exchange for a review. This did not influence the opinion of the product in any way. Your opinions may differ. 

Moby Wrap (review)

Moby Wrap was one of the wonderful sponsors for the (Un)Babyshower event a few months back. They sent me a lovely Moby Wrap (Moderns) in Pacific for our anticipated little bundle of joy. I absolutely love the colour (who wouldn't love that contrast stitch?!), and it's something I know my husband would wear (if I could convince him to learn how to wrap!).



When I was first told about the Moby Wrap, Bobble was a wee little thing. He was a month or so old, but I was hesitant. Honestly, the steps to go through with this gigantic piece of material bigger than me was intimidating. I saw one in a store a few months later and looked at the back where it showed a few instructions. I set it back down, again, due to intimidation.

It wasn't until Bobble was nearing 12 months old that I tried out a Moby Wrap in person. I was on a parenting page and saw a link to a YouTube video of a dad putting his new little one on in a Moby Wrap.... it shows you HOW to put it on, and I realized it looked really simple when he did it. Yep, all thanks to a video of a babywearing dad. There is a store nearby that sold them, and I had stopped in for something else... but I inquired since they had different carriers out to try. I was assisted in putting on the Moby Wrap and helped to put Bobble in. I was astounded at how easy it was on my back! Unfortunately, I really missed out on wearing him in those early months.

Super easy on the back due to nice distribution of weight!

When my little girl came along, I was excited to wear her in the Moby. Bobble has long since been too heavy to really wear in the Moby (plus he is too wiggly and mobile.... he's best in a soft structured carrier now), so I was very out of practice using the Moby. I opened the instructions up and was quickly putting on the wrap and wearing my little girl.

At first I thought that she simply hated being worn. She started fussing, then crying, then bawling. I asked hubby to take a picture for this review, hoping she would stop crying for the picture... but when I walked away from him (after handing him the camera), I brought my hands in to rest on her to comfort her and noticed I had her foot bent with the material. I felt horrible! I moved the material to free her foot (so it was actually sticking out), and she instantly calmed. A few minutes later, she was asleep. She LOVED the carrier!

This picture was how she was worn when she was very upset... note that you can't see her feet! (Please don't mind the hair clip that I totally forgot was in my hair and my husband conveniently didn't mention!)


She calmed so quickly, actually, that we got Bobble ready for a walk and took a little walk as a family for the first time in a while. (We don't have a stroller because I want either the option for both children to ride in it or not have one... so we don't have one.)

Instant sleep as soon as I let her feet hang out!

I've used the Moby Wrap a lot since first getting it, and she loves it every time. I love that it's actually easy to put on (despite my initial concerns), and I love how secure she feels in it. The only thing I dislike is that it touches the (dirty!) ground when I put it on if I'm out and about.... so sometimes I'll just put it on in the house and wear it (sans baby) to where we are going, and then slip her in when we arrive.

You can see how her face isn't pressed into me, not blocking air passage to her nose or mouth.

For anyone looking for a great way to wear baby in those early days/weeks/months, I highly recommend the Moby Wrap! I now have two wraps so we can keep one in the car and one in the basement (I live in an area where tornadoes are a concern... what better way to keep baby safe than to just have her against me?). If I had another one, I would keep it in hubby's car so I was never potentially without one!

You can purchase a Moby Wrap (classic or modern) on their website for $47.95. You can also get a UV wrap, organic wrap, design wrap, or MLB edition wrap on their site for a bit more. If you would rather buy one in person, you can use their Store Locator to find a retail store near you that sells the Moby Wrap.

Mama's view! :)

To stay up to date on the most recent news from Moby Wrap, check out their FaceBook page, follow them on Twitter, follow them on Pinterest, or sign up for their email newsletter!

They work great as baby grows, too... below are pictures a couple days shy of 3 months old.




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, September 29, 2013

Lansinoh Review

Lansinoh sent me their NEW Lansinoh® mOmma® bottle featuring the NaturalWave™ Peristaltic Nipple, and samples of their lanolin.

My first reaction when I got the package was surprise at the bottle. The shape was something I didn't expect. It was round. ROUND! I'll admit, I laughed a bit at the look of the bottle. It seemed silly looking, but it has a purpose. Taken from the Lansinoh product page:

NEW, NaturalWave™ Nipple

  • Patented, based on over 50 years of research
  • Allows baby to mimic natural sucking rhythm
  • Promotes oral, facial, and jaw development
  • AVS™ Air Ventilation System reduces intake of gas, a potential cause of colic or spit up
  • One piece, hassle-free design
  • 100% silicone is supersoft, flexible and long lasting
  • Available in slow, medium or fast flow to meet your baby's changing needs
  • BPA Free

NEW, Lansinoh® mOmma® Bottle

  • Round shape is easy and comfortable for baby to hold
  • Wide design is easy to pour into and clean
  • Interchangeable with mOmma Non-Spill and Straw cup lids
  • Features protective cover for leak-free, hygienic coverage on the go
  • BPA Free
So, as you can see, the shape of the bottle has a purpose. It is a great shape for baby to hold! Although our little girl is too young to hold a bottle up on her own, I'm sure it seemed comforting that it was essentially the shape of my breast. I, personally, have not used the bottle. I refuse to bottle feed so she knows that bottle feeding isn't something associated with mom. I don't want to jeopardize my breastfeeding relationship with her, but she still has to take a bottle so that I can go back to work (if and when I find a job!). I did, however, watch and observe her eating from it (where she couldn't see me).

The above is a stock photo seeing as how Bobble apparently deleted all my review pictures and I haven't had the opportunity to snag a decent picture of this bottle again. He deleted a picture of hubby feeding Squiggle with it, too. *sigh*

We have a couple different bottles and nipples. I have a few that go with my double electric pump, a few that are what my son used, and this one. We tried out the bottle that went with my pump first (since I could just put the nipple on what I had just pumped), and then we tried this bottle. She refused the first bottle. Straight up refused it. She loved this bottle, however, and drank everything in it.

It was easy to prepare this bottle since the opening was wider and we could pour the milk in with a smaller chance of spilling. The nipple has a tiny hole on one side to allow for less gas to get into baby, lessening the chance for spit-up. This is fantastic, especially since my little one is a spit-up pro!

The lanolin was my best friend for the first few weeks. I fell in love with Lansinoh's lanolin when Bobble was born. Many mothers say that their nipples are sore when they first start nursing. In fact, numerous times I've heard the saying "A good latch will never hurt"... but that's only partially true. A good latch will NOT hurt AFTER BREASTFEEDING IS ESTABLISHED. When you first start nursing, your nipples aren't used to it. They need time to adjust to nursing, and with that can come pain. I had a few different lactation consultants observe Bobble as he nursed when he was first born. I was in tears. IT HURT SO BADLY! They kept telling me his latch was PERFECT. I kept breaking his latch because it hurt, and I was convinced it wasn't supposed to if the latch was good. This almost ruined our breastfeeding relationship. He stopped latching like he was, and I was worried that he wouldn't breastfeed. Since his latch was supposedly perfect, I decided that I was just going to deal with it. If I had to be in excruciating pain to nurse my son, that's what I was going to do! I got some lanolin and committed for the long haul.

I fully expected this pain until he stopped nursing... especially since his latch was "perfect". Lansinoh's Lanolin was my saviour during those early nursing days. I had to slather it on. I don't mean applying like you would put on chapstick, either! I frosted those babies like a cupcake! It's the only thing that helped. They were not cracked. They were not bleeding. There was nothing visibly wrong... it just hurt. so. badly.

It hurt like that the first 2 weeks I nursed. The 3rd week it hurt less, only hurting like described above when he first latched. The 4th week it was slight discomfort when he first latched. The 5th week was the last week I even NOTICED him latching. There was no pain! I would never have made it through those first painful weeks without Lansinoh's Lanolin.

This time around was no different. I had horrible pain that reduced me to tears a few times, and I quickly reached for the lanolin. It was soooooo soothing. Thankfully, that horrible pain was gone after 1 week, and the discomfort was gone after the second week. I was very thrilled that it lasted only 2 weeks this time! Both times, however, Lansinoh's Lanolin was what instantly soothed. I was so very thankful for it. I highly recommend it for any new breastfeeding mom!

Taken from Lansinoh's Lanolin product page:
  • Soothes and protects sore cracked nipples
  • Safe for mom & baby
  • 100% natural - world's purest lanolin
  • Does not need to be removed prior to breastfeeding
  • Contains no preservatives or additives of any kind
  • #1 treatment for breastfeeding moms
I am all about natural products, and I love that this is 100% natural. Pure products are important to me! I have heard from some mothers that their children refused to nurse when they had lanolin on since it tasted funny to their babies, but I haven't had that experience. I always tried to wait to apply until immediately after a nursing session... but newborns don't always decide to wait a while between feedings, and I've had both of my children decide to nurse again almost immediately after I put on the lanolin. Neither minded that it was on, and happily nursed away.

Disclosure: The product(s) 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.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Action Baby Carrier Review & Giveaway

** This mama owes her munchkin an apology... I just found the older pictures! I will post those now for comparison! ** 

The lovely folks over at Action Baby Carriers (ABC) sent me one of their carriers to review for them. I was very excited to get this carrier as I've heard nothing but rave reviews for the product. I had my choice of one of their two sizes: Infant Baby Carrier (up to 40 lbs), and Toddler Baby Carrier (15 lbs - 45 lbs). I selected the Infant Baby Carrier in hopes of using it with my new little one sooner than later (especially since my other soft structured carrier [ssc] says 15 lbs for the starting weight), and anxiously awaited the delivery to see which print I got (I loved them all, so I couldn't pick one... I asked for a surprise out of a handful of prints!). I got "Happy"!!!


Bobble couldn't wait to try it out!
I started using my ABC as soon as I had the opportunity, which I think was around 11 lbs for my youngest. I am not sure how to carry the smaller babies in it as the instructions show a front and back carry (general) how-to, but doesn't mention how to wear a smaller infant. I asked their customer service and got a response very quickly!

Our baby carrier (regular size) is recommended for infants from 10lbs to 40lbs. However, based on our experienced moms using our carrier, most of them uses ABC even for infants less than 10lbs. What they do? They use a blanket or an insert at the start to make the babies higher until they are bigger and/or heavier.
In addition to this, Our carrier is a lightweight carrier so it is more breathable, cooler and more comfortable for our little ones compared to bulk carriers.
Great news! I just received an email from ABC stating they have been making improvements to their carriers, and they are now recommended for a weight range of 8lbs - 40lbs! 

7 weeks old




13 weeks


A bit of info about Action Baby Carriers:


  • The carriers are made in the U.S.A. (check out their factory!!!)
  • Straps can be worn backpack style or criss-cross for extreme comfort
  • Adjustable hip belt from 28″ to 53″  (plus size from 38″ to 63″) with no extender belt
  • You can front or back carry

  That's not all, though! To learn more about ABC, check out their Product Info page.

Aside from their awesome baby carriers, you can have a custom carrier made!(Wrap Conversions are no longer available.)

I loved how small these carriers can fold up, and I also love how it could easily be adjusted to fit my husband or myself. I also loved how the instructions for the carrier mentioned to not leave it in the car in hot weather. In hindsight, that should really be a given. You don't want to wear out the plastic or weaken it from the high temperatures that can occur in either direct sun light or extreme summer heat. However, that thought never crossed my mind until I read it. I've been leaving my other SSC (also with buckles) in the car all the time... even in super hot weather. D'oh! So glad they printed that on the instructions!


The carrier was super easy to use, light weight, comfortable, and super cute. Definitely a carrier you'll want to check out if you like ssc! They also have a hood that you can buckle on the top, but my little one didn't want to let her head rest against me to get a decent enough picture of it up, so I have (below) the far side buckled up and I am holding the other side back for you to see her.


You can follow Action Baby Carriers on FaceBook to keep up with the happenings like new stockings or sales, or keep checking on their web page at http://www.actionbabycarrier.com/

I had a better picture of Bobble before, but he got a hold of my camera and deleted ALL my review pictures (for this review and others), so I had to retake them all. The above pictures were taken around 15 lbs, though I've been wearing her in it for a few weeks now. Bobble got his picture taken literally as soon as he woke up since I wanted to show the carrier holding both kids.




If you'd like to purchase your own Action Baby Carrier, you can buy an Infant Baby Carrier for $98, or the Toddler Baby Carrier for $114. Don't forget to keep your eyes open for sales on certain prints! You can also use the promo code:
tof10abc2g7e
for a 10% discount at Action Baby Carrier's store.
(The coupon cannot be used in conjunction with other coupons.
The coupon should be applied before calculating cart tax.
The coupon should not apply to items on sale. Per-item coupons will only work if the item is not on sale. Per-cart coupons will only work if there are no sale items in the cart.
Custom Carrier is an excluded category for this coupon.)


Since Action Baby Carriers is so generous, one of my lucky readers will get their own carrier in the giveaway below! Be sure to stop back by daily to get more entries!



a Rafflecopter giveaway

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, September 17, 2013

It never stops!

The events never seem to stop in this household! I have 2 reviews written and waiting for me to just add the pictures (already taken, but on a different computer), a handful of other things to review (well, they are reviewed, just not written up), and you'd think with still job-hunting, I'd have more time to do it. Of course, this isn't the case.

Aside from Squiggle (who really needs a blog name now that she's here) being super clingy through her growth spurts, Bobble got another upper respiratory infection that required another nebulizer for breathing treatments at home. His oxygen was down to 91, and they debated between hospitalization and take-home treatments with the nebulizer. Two days later, he's back in with a double ear infection and pink eye in both eyes. Needless to say, it's not been dull around here!

Bobble getting his oxygen tested

Bobble getting a breathing treatment and falling straight asleep because he didn't really sleep the night before since he couldn't breathe very well.


I'm not a fan of medicine... in fact, I'm pretty anti. With pink eye, I'd prefer to use breastmilk to treat it (really, it works wonders!). With an ear infection, I'd prefer to use breastmilk, again, to treat.... except the one ear was pretty bad (and this was his first ear infection ever). The double pink eye on top of the double ear infection on top of a respiratory infection that nearly put him in the hospital, and he's on antibiotics. I'm looking into some more natural ways to help him stay healthy, and many have suggested Elderberry syrup. I bought some today at the health food store, but I have a question for you, my readers.

Do you use elderberry syrup? Do you use it daily, or only when sick? Do you make your own, or do you buy?

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Trying

I have been coming here daily (sometimes multiple times during a day) to write reviews. I have a handful of reviews from some lovely companies that sponsored the (Un)babyshower event that had to wait until Squiggle was here, and I have a few that are unrelated to the event that I need to type up. It's a lot more challenging than I would have though, though.

Some days I get very lucky and both kids end up napping at the same time. Then, other days, Bobble will skip his nap and be going crazy (meaning there is no way I could actually give the computer actual attention for more than a minute at a time, or he will run over to get attention [i.e. hit my computer or smash the keys]). Days like today, my littlest one will want to nap *ALL DAY*.... but refuse to sleep if I put her down.

I am ALL ABOUT babywearing... but it is hard to type when you have a little one on your front side. I have short arms (hey, I'm a short person!), and it just doesn't work well. That aside, she only likes being worn if we are moving. No sitting still and wearing for me!

This mini-entry is just being cranked out to let you all know why you haven't heard from me. Normally the youngest takes a good 2-3 hour nap, but today she hasn't pooped and so is not sleeping (out of my arms) for more than 5 minutes or so at a time. Speaking of 5 minutes, I'm pushing it since it's been about 7. I better get the diaper laundry switched over before she awakens!

To those fabulous companies who are waiting on my review(s), my apologies! I would encourage you, my lovely readers, to check out the companies and their web sites while I struggle to get the reviews written up. (I even have pictures done and everything, I just haven't had the opportunity to write the reviews out!)

Check 'em out!
Lansinoh
Rock-a-bums
Moby Wrap
Born Free Breastfeeding Pillow
Rumpkinz Diapers
Action Baby Carriers
Walls Need Love
Fun Bites

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Lunapads Part II - w/Femme Rock!

I reviewed LunaPads back in May while I still was pregnant with Squiggle. Now that I've had Squiggle, I've had the opportunity to try them out a bit more as they were intended.

Postpartum with Bobble, I bled for 5 weeks. I had normal (cycle-like) bleeding for a few weeks before it tapered off. Unfortunately for this review (but fortunately, for me!) my bleeding tapered off to very light bleeding/spotting 2 days after Squiggle was born. Blood is blood, however, so I was able to review these the rest of the way... I just can't tell you how long they would hold up with heavier bleeding.

This review will also be without pictures of the LunaPads, as I feel I posted plenty in the previous review (seen here), and I figured that even though they are clean, nobody wants to see pictures of used cloth pads... even if they don't have any blood stains.

Yeah, you read that right. ZERO blood stains. I was fascinated by this. I truly expected them to look... well... used. Even after being washed. That wasn't the case. I wasn't certain how to store them, and so I sort of tried a few different ways. The first week I tried just putting them in a wet bag and washing them with towels when it was time. The next week I was rinsing them with our diaper sprayer before adding them to the wet bag. Personally, I saw no difference... though if I was experiencing a heavier flow, I would have sprayed them automatically.

I used Rockin' Green's FEMME ROCK as my detergent. I followed the simple washing instructions and was pleasantly surprised as to how clean they came. No blood stains. However, there were interesting "bleach" stains. The only thing was, no bleach is in Femme Rock, and I didn't use any bleach. I contacted BePreparedPeriod.com about this to see if they had any insight.

Slight backstory: When I first was using these (during pregnancy) I washed them and noticed he same thing... but I thought maybe it was the discharge that is so common during pregnancy when you're losing your plug... so I thought maybe I just didn't get them clean enough, but they still looked that way when I rewashed. They looked, felt and smelled clean.

Back to the current story!

My response from BePreparedPeriod.com was as follows:

This one is a bit of a strange, but not uncommon phenomenon. Basically, depending on the Ph of your menstrual fluid, some people can experience a sort of bleaching effect when their period comes into contact with the natural fabrics used in Lunapads. It's nothing to worry about and wont effect the performance of the pads in any way, it's just a bit surprising for people experiencing it for the first time.

So, I definitely felt a bit better after that email. Everything was coming clean. I am still a "cup" girl... but I have to say I am definitely pleased with the LunaPads.... especially knowing they didn't look horribly blood stained. That was probably my biggest concern with using them, and it never ended up being an issue.

Femme Rock did an amazing job getting the LunaPads clean, too. I love that I have a detergent to use that will last many cycles and is phosphate, scent, and SLS free. It is enzyme-based and formulated to focus on proteins, so your mama cloth will get as clean as it can!



You can purchase LunaPads and all your other reusable mama needs at BePreparedPeriod.com, and you can get Rockin' Green Femme Rock on their website and from various natural parenting and cloth diapering stores online.

Disclosure: The product(s) mentioned above was sent to me by the company(ies) 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 18, 2013

Episencial Cheeky Salve (review)

I was given the opportunity to try out Episencial's Cheeky Salve recently and review it for the (Un)Babyshower. Since receiving the product, I've put it through various tests from before I had my little one up until now.


First, a bit about the product!  The description on their web page claims the balm is "great for chapped lips, dry cheeks, cracked nipples, acne bumps, cradle cap, and all-over first aid". It is edible and unscented, and is safe to use from birth. It says the uses are for face, lips, and bums.

The very first time I used this product was for what would be the diaper-area.... if I wore diapers. In my 9th month of pregnancy, I decided to try and shave a bit. You know, just to tidy up. Well, apparently that gigantic stomach of mine prevented me from seeing all that well. The only thing I successfully accomplished? A nasty razor burn. Since this product is safe for "all-over first aid" and is marketed for irritated skin, I decided to give it a try on razor burn. It worked great! (thank goodness... it hurt!)

The next test for the product was that patch of skin between your upper lip and nose. I had a lot of sickness while pregnant, and my nose was seemingly permanently dried out, as was the aforementioned patch of skin (since my last cold, actually). It hurt a lot. I tried applying the salve there and just inside my nostrils where it was super dry and cracked as well. It helped tremendously and the skin FINALLY healed up.

I also tested this out on the horribly cracked skin on my knuckles. I was trying so hard to STOP GETTING SICK during my pregnancy that I washed my hands seemingly 24/7. My knuckles were so cracked it wasn't funny. Again, this helped them heal up nicely (and I then applied the Episencial Soothing Cream after they were healed!), and they haven't been cracked since.

I've also used the product on sore nipples and chapped lips. It performed as mentioned before: remarkably!

I am very impressed with this product. It definitely is scent-free (since I actually put this IN my nostrils, I think it's safe to say I would have figured it out if it wasn't!), goes on smooth and clear, and does a fantastic job of healing up dry skin (and razor burn!). I would highly recommend the product to anyone in need of a healing balm!
is great for chapped lips, dry cheeks, cracked nipples, acne bumps, cradle cap and all over first-aid, naturally. Edible, unscented, allergy tested and designed to enhance skin immunity for maximum relief, prevention and healing protection - See more at: http://episencial.com/shop/cheeky-salve-natural-organic-lips-face-babytime-dry-skin-care-product-store.html#sthash.NONjggGw.dpuf

Episencial packages their products in containers that are recycled, food-grade, non-leaching, with no residues of dioxins, BpA, phthalates, or other xenoestrogens. Need more? They use botanical, sustainably farmed, and certified organic ingredients. The products are also manufactured under solar power. They also use all natural ingredients, many of which are organic. Go check out their ingredients to learn more about what they use in their products and why these products not only prevent damage and sooth damaged skin, but also support skin immunity!

To learn more about who Episencial is and what they believe, visit their About Us page.

Disclosure: I receive sample(s) for the purpose of testing and review. These opinions are my own and may differ from those of your own.