Sunday, January 27, 2013

What we've been up to

I thought I'd take these few quiet minutes while Bobble is sleeping (and inevitably getting ready to wake up since I started this post, right?) to let you all into my world a little bit. I know I haven't done a "what's happening" sort of entry in a while, so here's what's going on in our neck of the woods!

Bobble was moved from the younger group of children in his Montessori Toddler Program to the older group of children. They are still in the same room with the same teachers, but the activities are slightly different. They made this move a bit before the holidays because they noticed him imitating the older children more, and just showing more interest in them in general. Since moving to that group, he has started (verbally) speaking a bit more (remember, he signs) and listens every bit as well as the older children in the program.

This was great news for me, as I'm slightly concerned about his (verbal) speech. I don't think my child has a learning disability, and I can tell he's very smart.... but he's simply not saying much and I guess I really can't wait for him to start verbally speaking more. Yes, I know, I know. "Once they start talking, you won't get them to shut up!" I've heard that a million times. I try not to compare him to other children, but there are boatloads of other children who speak before age 2. He turned 2 this past week, and I don't think he (verbally) says 20 words. He understands beautifully. He can follow complex directions easily. He definitely has no issue knowing what we're saying.... he just doesn't say it himself. Our pediatrician isn't worried since he knows well over 120 signs and obviously knows the meanings of words since he can do multi-part tasks, but I'm just sitting here knowing that I spoke (phrases) at 10 months, and seeing people commenting on their children speaking (before one).... and then seeing them post things on social networking pages like their son "said he wanted *name* for his birthday." ....that child was just a couple days under two, but was asking for his younger sister (at that point, due any day) by her name. That is what he wanted as a present.

Slight bit of jealousy there, I suppose. I know Bobble will get there, but boy would it be nice if that happened sooner than later. Especially when it comes to him needing to interact with teachers at school!

On the Squiggle front, I'm 17w4d pregnant with Squiggle. I've been a bit down about the pregnancy, too. I kept thinking that the second time around I'd feel movement sooner. Granted, I think I've felt movement that was baby-related.... but nothing so obvious that I can't brush it off as potentially something else. It would have helped if I hadn't gotten that horrid stomach bug (last week? the week before? I don't remember!) that caused all sorts of gurglies in my stomach around the same time I started feeling movement. Now my brain just doesn't want to believe it's baby, I guess.

On a positive note, we loved the midwife we went to see a few weeks back. I'm so relieved to finally have a person we are comfortable with... that really helps put my mind at ease for a few things down the road!

We have our anomaly scan for Squiggle scheduled for Monday, the 11th of February. Yes, I will be finding out the gender if they cooperate. I'm more concerned with making sure everything is okay with Squiggle, though. Hopefully everything turns out fantastic, and maybe they won't be shy, either! I'm still betting on Squiggle being a girl. I've felt Squiggle was a girl since I realized we might end up getting pregnant that cycle (so before a positive test, even!). There have been a few differences with the pregnancy, too. For starters, I've had lots of morning sickness. With Bobble, I could just eat something with carbs every hour or two and I was good. Yeah... totally didn't work this time around.

Also, I didn't have any weird cravings with Bobble. Sure, I wanted steak.... but when don't I? The biggest thing with Bobble was the huge food aversion to grilled chicken (just the taste, not the smell), and the huge food aversion to fast food. (At that point in time, I wasn't completely aware as to how fast food meat was really.... well, made, I guess. I don't eat fast food now.) With Squiggle, I've had random cravings for..... fast food. Thank goodness if I give in to it, it sounds repulsive if I think about it after... which is good because that stuff IS repulsive! So far it's only happened twice, and two completely different types of fast food. I still hate the fact I even ate it, though. Squiggle won't let me really eat chicken at all (which is my favorite meat!), and the SMELL of it is gross to me. I have craved jalapeno poppers, though. I'm not a spicy food sort of person, but I've been wanting these a lot lately. I think I'm going to start getting my own peppers, halving them, and putting cream cheese in the middle and just baking them. I find the breading gross, and the fact they are processed means they have to have gross stuff in them. I'll try my own and see how it works out. I really just want the pepper and cheese, anyway.

Lastly, the heart rate. Bobble's heart rate was in the 170s a lot, and later in the 160s. I believe Squiggle's heart rate at the last appointment was in the upper 140s. I know that the heart rate doesn't actually tell you what the child will be.... but if nothing else, I'm hoping that means that Squiggle will be a more lax child. I could really use a break! *laughs*

Hubby started classes back up two weeks ago. He's been very busy trying to stay on top of school work already. Heck, he has an exam this week! It sure moves quickly... that's one thing I don't miss about school!

So, that's about it as far as home life goes. We at least all seem to be healthy for the time being... I'm sure you noticed that by all the posts lately. Slowly but surely, I'm catching up!

Speaking of posts... you'll want to keep your eye out for a big announcement in a couple of weeks. It's something you're not going to want to miss!

BabyLegs Blogger Opp!

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This giveaway will be from

2/4/13-2/28/13

One lucky winner will win a $50 grab bag from BabyLegs
Open to US residence 18+

Requirements to join
* Free Facebook or Twitter with posting  announcement. Here or pay the $5 fee waiver.
*Additional links $1.00 each (optional)
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        -Name with link of your blog as a host on the post
        -extra entry links on the rafflecopter (up to 4 links)
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* Agree to post the giveaway html on the date the event begins and promote at least 3x a week

Please send any payments as gift via Paypal to dextersdiapers@gmail.com

Sign up here – Be sure to mention who ever sent you! The person who refers the most people will get extra links, or host a page!

Announcement post here.

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Friday, January 25, 2013

Earth's Best NEW Yogurt Puffs Giveaway!

Are you excited to try out this new Earth's Best product? You should be... they are delicious! Good luck!


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Earth's Best Yogurt Puffs

If you're like me, you try to find healthy snacks for your little ones to munch on. I don't like Bobble having junk food, and even when he does have "junk food", it's still a healthier version of it. (Like cake would either be made from scratch by me, or I'd buy the organic box mix of stuff.)

It's not always easy to find snacks that you approve of and your kids enjoy, but with Earth's Best at hand, you're sure to find something your kids will like and you will approve of.

Earth's Best just released their newest snack..... Earth's Best Organic Yogurt Puffs! We've had "puffs" in this house before, and I knew Bobble enjoyed them. Yogurt Puffs, however, are different. They are cereal puffs that have yogurt. Bobble loves yogurt. I hate yogurt. I love that it's good for you, but man do I ever hate that taste! Of course, wanting to accurately review the product, I tried them out. I was actually pleasantly surprised at the taste!




We were sent both Peach and Blueberry flavours to try out, and Bobble started devouring both. They smelled so good that I had to try them whether I had decided to initially or not. They really were good! They were also not very sweet, and I really liked the fact they were flavourful without a bunch of sugar. (Less than 1g sugar per serving!)

So what's not to love about these puffs? Maybe the fact they aren't never-ending containers, but that's about it! They have 6 B vitamins, Vitamins A & E, Zinc, Iron, Calcium, have no artificial colours, flavours, or preservatives... oh yeah, and they're ORGANIC. Even the packaging is an awesome non-BPA packaging.

I'll admit, I kept snacking on them after tasting them initially. Bobble actually pulled them away from me! These are definitely a great snack to have on hand, so keep an eye out for them at the store! You can also enter to win one HERE!

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, January 22, 2013

The Dangers of Infant Car Seats (oustide of the car)

One thing that has bothered me time and again is seeing children in infant carriers placed on top of shopping carts at stores. Some of them are latched (though this is still not safe, and they no longer make them so they can latch specifically to avoid parents doing this), and others are not latched because it is a newer car seat model, but STILL just set the baby up there. I will try to snag some pictures of this the next time I make it into the store, as I see it literally every single time that I go.

Sometimes I work up the courage to politely approach the mother, oogle over the baby, and politely sneak in some safety education about car seats and shopping carts. Sometimes I find myself with a shocked parent who asks more questions and is thankful, and other times I'm received with, "well, the air we breathe is dangerous too." I guess they just don't think something can happen to them or their child. Hopefully it never does, but not all parents are that lucky.

You hear reports of children falling and getting seriously injured. You hear reports of children dying because of these shopping cart injuries... and still, we have parents doing this same action over and over again.

I decided a while back that I need to do something about this. Something more than just approaching (again, politely) parents in the store. This isn't going to stop with parents being educated, obviously. Some simply don't think it applies to them. This isn't going to stop with car seat manufactures putting warnings in the owner manuals (as they are already there! See page 12 of this PDF for GRACO.) It's going to stop when stores stop letting it happen.

I am in no way, shape, or form saying that the stores are responsible for these accidents. They aren't. There is no way the store could be responsible for the action of the parent (educated or not) to place a seat atop a shopping cart. The store can, however, prevent these accidents from occurring in the first place by simply not allowing parents to place infant carriers on top of seats anymore.

Yes, this will be greeted with anger and hostility at first (by customers), but the store can always provide a small paper at their courtesy desk with facts on these dangers if parents want to cause a big stink about it. The arguing will fade with time, and the injuries on store property will drop drastically. I think the store would rather have a few customers griping at them over a few serious injuries (or even fatalities) that were completely preventable.

So what can you do to shop with an infant more safely? If you don't have another person to watch the child or to go shopping with you (so they could push the child in the infant carrier in the stroller it was sold with (or in the stroller alone), there are still options. While it's not recommended to place the infant carrier in the basket of the shopping cart (where you put the bulk of your merchandise), this is MUCH SAFER than placing the carrier on top of the basket. So long as you make sure you are not piling merchandise higher than the lip of the carrier so that nothing has the potential to fall on your child, this is a safer alternative to placing the child on top in the carrier.

Another option is to wear your baby. There are many options out there for carrying your child for all sizes/ages (up to about 40 lbs), so it won't matter if your child is no longer a newborn. We still wear Bobble on those days where we just can't keep up with him! There are all sorts of carrier styles from slings and wraps to structured carriers. Just make sure to check the weight limit on the carrier before you use it!

For those of you who want to help get stores to take action, I will include a generic letter that you have permission to copy, fill in with the appropriate information (like the name of the retailer, the date, etc.), and can send to the retailers of your choice. I'm hoping we can get at least one big-name retailer to take notice and change their policy.... if one does it, maybe the rest will follow suit. Please join me in this endeavour to protect all little ones from preventable injuries (or worse!)! I will include a small list of contacts to send the letter to (by whatever means you wish: email, fax, USPS, etc) to get you started. You can also look up the store/retailer of your choice online and find a place to send it via their "Contact Us" Section, or do a search in Google for "CONTACT (STORE NAME) CORPORATE HEADQUARTERS".

Walmart Home Office
702 SW 8th Street
Bentonville, AR 72716-8611
479-273-4000
(online submission form )


Meijer
2929 Walker Ave., NW
Grand Rapids, MI 49544-9424
(877) 363-4537 
([choose store, not meijer.com]: online submission form )

 Kroger Corporate Headquarters
1014 Vine Street  Cincinnati, OH 45202
(513) 762-4000
(online submission form)

Target Corporate Headquarters
1000 Nicollet Mall
Minneapolis, MN 55403
(612) 338-0085
(612) 332-1454
(online submission form)


There are so many retailers I can't really list them all, nor could I know them all since the major stores vary by location throughout the country. Local or large-scale, any change is a start!



Disclosure: The letter below was written by Christine from Thoughts Of Fluff. This letter IS available for public use. Please feel free to copy this letter and send it to the retailer(s) of your choice.



__________ (DATE)

To Whom It May Concern:

It has come to my attention that many customers in your store are demonstrating unsafe practices of shopping cart use in regards to infant car seats. Many injuries, and even deaths, have resulted from these unsafe practices, and even the manufacturers of these infant car seats have placed warnings within owner manuals to (quote) "NEVER PLACE carrier in top of shopping cart." (Graco Infant Safety Seat/Carrier owners manual, page 12 http://www.gracobaby.com/Instruction%20Manuals/archive/413-11-00.pdf ).

The American Academy of Pediatrics ( http://www.aap.org/ ) found that approximately 23,000 children are treated in a hospital each year for  injuries from shopping carts, and that the majority are to the head and neck.

I strongly believe that, with your company's help, the number of preventable injuries can be greatly reduced. By instating a policy that no longer approves of customers placing infant carriers on the top of shopping cart baskets, not only will injuries decrease, but you'll be setting a great example for other retailers to follow. There are plenty of studies and statements available stating that this practice is unsafe, so please stop allowing it to continue in your store.

Thank you in advance for your attention to this important safety matter.

Sincerely,
____________ (NAME)
____________ (ADDRESS)
____________ (PHONE NUMBER)
____________ (E-MAIL ADDRESS)



Kissaluvs Kutie Printed Diaper Covers (review & giveaway)

Everyone knows I'm a fluff fan (the blog title gives that away, eh?), but many that know me really well know most of my stash is comprised of pockets. This is not because I dislike AIOs, Fitteds, or Flats/Prefolds and covers... this is mostly because it's what I could sell my husband on when it came down to the "cloth diapering conversation". (You know, the one where you simply tell them nonchalantly that you are going to be cloth diapering, then you give them the choice of how they want to go about doing it via showing them the different types of diapers! ...well, that's what happened for us, anyway!)

Since starting out, I've slowly incorporated other types of diapers into the mix. I can't quite get hubby on board with the flats/prefolds and a cover since that requires him to learn folds, but we'll work on that when Squiggle (#2!) comes along. Still, covers and fitteds are something that he might be more on board for.

Speaking of covers, Kissaluvs sent me an adorable diaper cover to review for them. No, seriously... it's adorable! See? Geckos!


It's a One-size cover that fits from 10lbs to 40lbs, so while it wouldn't work well for a newborn (unless you have larger babies), it works for the rest of their diapering days!

There are cross-over waist snaps to ensure a good fit for all sizes and builds of babies, double gussets (which I totally love!) to help contain messes, and they don't use velcro (sorry, aplix lovers!) but offer a lifetime guarantee on snaps. The picture below shows the diaper made as small as it will go.


The cover is durable and made from water resistant PUL on the inside, but is 100% cotton printed fabric for the outside. These prints are cute, too. Super cute. Because the inside can be wiped clean between uses, it minimized the number of covers you might need, too. Just wipe, put a new diaper on (fitted, contour, flat, etc.), and voila! Ready to go!






































 The trickiest part of reviewing this diaper was actually getting shots of it on Bobble. Everything else was a breeze! The diaper is super easy to use, and it fit great! Everything (messes included!) stayed where they should... in the diaper! The fit was really good on Bobble (our nearly 30lb little man!), and he liked pointing/staring at the geckos on the cover!





I tried to get a shot of how it fit him standing up, but he wouldn't hold still (hence the blurry picture above). The only way I could get a shot of how it fit his bottom was to tell him to "give the wall a hug".... and this was the best one I got!















The angle wasn't the greatest on that one, but at least it wasn't blurry! The diaper stayed nice and snug no matter what Bobble was doing, including running around and getting into things like he does best! There were no leaks when he climbed, jumped from things (which we cannot figure out how to get him to stop... any advice on that one is welcome!), rolled around, etc. It stayed tight enough to keep in what it should, while being loose enough to not hurt him or leave any marks.










































These are really nice covers, and they work very well! If I could change one thing about them, it would be an additional snap on the wings (and an additional row on the diaper) for the hips to help customize the fit more. We definitely love this cover... and mom loves the durability and reliability! (Seriously... I hate cleaning up messes on the carpet!) If you're in the market for a diaper cover, check out Kissaluvs!

You can check out Kissaluvs covers (and many more products!) on their website, and can purchase these covers for $16.95 (obviously price varies depending on place purchased and any promotions that may be going on at the time).

You can also enter to win one HERE!

Disclosure: The product mentioned above was provided to me by Kissaluvs 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.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Rump Arounds Cloth Diapers (review & giveaway)

For any cloth diapering family, you know by now that all diapers fit babies differently. Even your own children will fit in one style of diaper better than another. To make this work for us, we use different brands for different things... sometimes taking the ones that don't seem to fit the best around the legs and double stuffing them for night time instead of daytime use (which also closes up the gap).

This, however, is not an issue with the Rump Arounds diaper we were sent for review. We get a great fit on Bobble with this diaper! (Shown in Green Polka Minky R-A-A) Since I was behind on writing reviews due to the illness and family issues the last few months, I had plenty of times to utilize this diaper and test it out as best I could.... and this diaper is always dirty because I grab for it as soon as it's clean! It's definitely one of my top diapers!


The Rump All Arounds (RAA) diaper has 3 rows of rise snaps, and 2 rows of 10 snaps for the hip/waist setting to ensure your little one will get the best possible fit and there will not be "wing droopage". Each wing has 4 snaps, and there are also 2 additional snaps to allow for a "crossover" on the wings to accommodate those really tiny babies... like a newborn! 


 
Aww, it gets so tiny! In fact, with all the adjustments you can make to the diaper, it fits from true birth weight (about 6.5lbs) up to 40lbs! Of course, that is all dependent on the child's body frame, but that's one heck of a range to fit! If you noticed the alternating snap colours, that's to help those new to cloth adjust easier... when they are all one colour, it can get confusing remembering which setting worked last time!



One of the first things that I noticed about the diaper (aside from how many different settings it had and how darn cute the minky print was!), was how soft the diaper was in general. Obviously the minky fabric (which has a laminate interior so you don't need a diaper cover) was soft, but the inside of the diaper was really soft, too! I love knowing that the material against my Bobble (and his more sensitive areas, at that!) is so soft! The insert is also super soft, though that doesn't touch him anyway. The insert is 100% bamboo (3 layers), and each diaper comes with one insert. You can see in the pictures that the insert just looks sooooo fluffy! It has to be nice, squishy padding for Bobble's little bum!



There are double gussets (which I love!) for help containing messes, plus that helps ensure that the diaper is snug against the skin and doesn't leave room for leaks.



Bobble caught a tummy bug a couple weeks back and reverted to having EBF-like poops. They were massive, too. Guess what? The RAA held it in! (Of course that doesn't stop it from going everywhere when someone *cough* daddy *cough* picks Bobble up and places his arm under his bottom... the pressure from him sitting on his arm like that wouldn't have left ANY diaper a fighting chance!)


Aside from my instant love of the double leg gussets, I love the opening for the insert. Both the outer and inner materials have elastic that allow for easy stuffing of the diaper. (Hear that, husband? You have no excuse with this one! Your hands are *NOT* too big!) They are very easy to stuff! You could easily double stuff these to customize absorbancy, though I tested this out mostly while Bobble was active to see how it held up to his monkey-skills. (Honestly, I think he believes he is Spiderman... and has to perform his own stunts!)



For those who use cloth with childcare providers (or if you use this diaper while on the road), it's easy to use "snap-wrap" feature allows you to just roll up the diaper and snap it shut until ready (or able) to clean!

This is one of those diapers I am kicking myself for not trying them sooner. I would gladly redo my stash to include a lot more of these diapers! The softness, the fit, double gussets (squee!), and the ease of stuffing making these a totally awesome diaper! At $14 a diaper, it's really hard to not at least try one out! I also love that this is a home-based (small) Canadian business. I love supporting small businesses!

If you check out their website, they also offer some trainers, some RAA in aplix, changing pads, wet bags, and more!

You can enter to win a RAA in your choice of colour and closure below!



a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclosure: The product mentioned above was provided to me by RumpArounds 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.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Earth's Best Welcome Pack Giveaway

To celebrate another partnership with Earth's Best, here's a giveaway for you to win a Welcome Pack - an assortment of Earth's Best Products!



a Rafflecopter giveaway

Earth's Best Blogger - Part 2!

I'm back for another handful of months as an Earth's Best blogger! I, personally, am a huge fan of Earth's Best products not only because my son loves them, but because they are good for my son (and the environment)! Just check out the Earth's Best Quality Promise and read for yourself!

Earth’s Best Quality Promise
Earth's Best produces food with the highest degree of attention to quality and safety. Each ingredient is tested for pesticides and potentially harmful residues. No product is released until our quality assurance department approves laboratory results, ensuring we meet the strict standards for organic certification.

If you're unfamiliar with the Earth's Best brand and their products, here are a few tidbits to help introduce you!

  • For especially discerning moms concerned about baby’s growth and development, Earth's Best Organic ® provides “better for baby”  products with the purest ingredients, so parents may nurture their baby with the utmost confidence.
  • Earth’s Best is the only organic brand with both jars and pouches
  • Over the years Earth's Best has grown to offer more than 100 products including organic infant formula, organic infant and toddler foods, baby care products including chlorine free diapers and wipes and a line of all-natural cleaning products. Our unwavering commitment to purity, backed by 25 years of experience, helps Earth’s Best parents nurture their babies in a way that offers peace of mind.
  • Parents can learn more about available products, the organic and natural difference, nutrition, feeding information and more at www.earthsbest.com or through the Earth’s Best Facebookpage and Twitter handle: @EarthsBest.
(and, my favorite one...)
  • Earth’s Best Bloggers will have the ability to provide readers with news of the newest all-natural products, fantastic giveaways, information from Earth’s Best nutrition and health experts and
    opportunities to participate in meaningful conversations about raising children in the purest of ways.
So I look forward to another handful of months where I can introduce you, my readers, to new fantastic products, remind you of some you may have forgotten about, and provide you with nutritional info, reviews, and giveaways!

To kick things off, you can enter to win an Earth’s Best Welcome pack- assortment of Earth’s Best products! I don't know exactly what will be included, but hey, that's part of the fun! Thanks for reading, and good luck!

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Nosefrida: A Parent's Best-friend (review)

I have heard rave reviews about the NoseFrida for a long time now. I was very excited to be given the opportunity to review one, but due to the craziness of the last couple of months am just now getting the review written. On the bright side, that means I got to test it out even more!

I actually received the NoseFrida for review shortly after Bobble got over his barrage of sicknesses, so I didn't have a good opportunity to use it immediately. Still, I was so excited to try it out next chance I got! I hate those bulb snot-suckers... I feel like it either goes too far into the nose, or scrapes the side too much. I found the best use for those, after cleaned, is to just give them to the munchkin to use as a teether. He seems to like that. Bobble, like most babies (I say most because I have a friend that apparently LOVED having snot suckers used on her as a child!), cries and throws a fit every time the bulb sucker was used... I was interested to see how the NoseFrida compared!

Now I know that it may seem weird to be using a snot-sucker like the NoseFrida at first glance. I mean, it's literally SUCKING the snot out of the baby! If you're worried about catching an illness from using it, don't be! There have been clinical studies that have proven that the hygiene filter prevents mucus and bacterial transfer from child to user.... so that means no worries for you! It's also a Swedish product that was both doctor invented and doctor recommended.

Here's the breakdown of the NoseFrida:





You have the tube that goes against the baby's nose, the filter, the cap that holds the filter and connects to the tube, the tube, then the part you suck on (red).

I couldn't get an action shot of using the NoseFrida for a few obvious reasons (like taking a picture and using the item at the same time), but I did get Bobble to hold up the NoseFrida for me (before trying to use it on himself).


As you can see, the poor little guy is a bit sick here... but that's the best time to try out the NoseFrida!

So, how did it work for us? FANTASTIC! It was much better than I even thought it could be! Granted, Bobble begs to differ. Just like with a bulb-sucker, it's still pulling air out of his nasal passages, which is simply awkward and uncomfortable to the baby. They don't seem to like that weird feeling! However, the NoseFrida is more efficient at removing snot because it creates a seal around the nostril instead of just sucking at one gooey strand at a time and hoping you grab it (like what happens with bulb suckers!).

Taken from their FAQs on the NoseFrida page:

Why is NoseFrida better than other aspirators?

NoseFrida is non-invasive – instead of going inside the nose like the bulb, it forms a seal with the outside of the baby’s nostril (creating a vacuum). Parent-powered (mouth) suction is much stronger and more effective than the static suction of the bulb or battery-powered aspirators. NoseFrida is also easy to clean.

It's also safer for your child than the traditional bulb sucker. Bulb suckers can damage the inside of your child's nasal passage (scraping, accidentally suctioning the side, etc.), but the NoseFrida creates a seal at the nostril and your suction pulls all the snot down out of the passage. No need to continuously squeeze a bulb over and over, just a few sucks (maybe rotating the tube a little bit), and you'll be amazed at what all you get!

Now Bobble fought and fought when I tried using this on him... namely because I was trying to hold him still. I'm pretty certain that he thinks if he's being held still, it can't be anything good. He wasn't scared of the actual item (or even the process), but he made it quite clear he didn't like the air coming out of his nose without it being his doing! (Just like with the other aspirators.) The one side I got gobs of gunk out (I am sparing you pictures, though. You're welcome!), and the other side was so stuffed that I couldn't even get ANY airflow! Poor Bobble! I tried a few different times throughout the night on the super-stuffed side, and each time it seemed to loosen it a bit more. When I finally saw it running a bit, I snagged my hubby (to hold down Bobble) and we helped get my little one breathing a bit easier again!

The NoseFrida, while more expensive than the bulb suckers, is very reasonably priced. For the fantastic job it does, I think $15 is totally worth it! (The price may vary by region/store.) What's better than that? For every NoseFrida you purchase, NoseFrida will donate one to a clinic, doctor, or donation center to help get them into the hands of families in need.

All in all, I would highly recommend the NoseFrida to anyone still using a bulb aspirator, to new parents, or to give as baby shower gifts! I can't say enough great stuff about it! It's easy to use, easy to clean, and it WORKS!

Disclosure: The product mentioned above was provided to me by NoseFrida 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.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Can't Stay Healthy

*** Fair warning, this entry mentions bodily functions! ***

This must be one rotten year for bugs, because we can't stay healthy for anything! It's been one thing after another for MONTHS now.... with the occasional healthy week or two thrown in. Right now sees Bobble with the runs (although it's not every hour anymore, it's a couple of times a day... but still massive and looking like EBF poo!), and me with what I suspect to be rotovirus.

I thought it was just pregnancy-related, yesterday. I felt blah at work, but felt GREAT after a visit to the bathroom to expel any and all food I had eaten. Seriously, I felt 100%. That meant morning sickness, right? Well, lunch came and went, and I ate and saw that 30 minutes later, if that.

My boss suggested I go home, and I insisted I was fine. He said I wasn't being too productive if I couldn't stay at my desk long enough to work, and so I finally gave in and went home.

I've never been so thankful for something in my life.

I got home and it just went progressively down hill. I started vomiting up water. Then, when I gave up on drinks at all, bile. Uh, gross? So I started thinking this was a bug.... but that was made obvious when I ended up with it coming out both ends.

I was up every 30 minutes to an hour last night to make bathroom trips. Today has been much better, though I still ache all over. I have had two or three nibbles of toast, a couple bites of organic, plain applesauce, and held down a bottle and a 1/3 of water. That's massive improvement. My midwife suggested the "BRAT" diet... bananas, rice, apples, and toast. She said those were the easiest to digest. I figured the organic applesauce would work just fine, especially since it was already mushy! Glad I still had some Earth's Best applesauce on hand from my last review!

I am just more concerned about Squiggle than anything.... how would this illness treat my baby inside of me? Perhaps I was mostly concerned after I started having painful cramps in my stomach (actual stomach, not abdomen)... I just started worrying that something would happen to Squiggle.

Squiggle's been through a lot... a lot more than Bobble ever had. Bobble saw one cold while I carried him, and that was it. Squiggle, however, was conceived while I had a cold, has seen the flu, hand-foot-mouth, a cold, and now this. Apparently, HFM is somewhat of a concern if contracted during pregnancy.... like chickenpox would be, only nowhere near as severe. That makes me a little bit paranoid. I hope everything is okay. I hope I get well enough to drink plenty of fluids and be able to move without pain (all my joints hurt)..... and I definitely hope that Bobble avoids this. Perhaps he had a more mild version of this and that's why he didn't vomit a bunch. I'll take it.... at least mom knows how to make it to a toilet or a bucket, right?

What did you do when you were sick while pregnant, while caring for a toddler, or both? Any tips?

Saturday, January 12, 2013

All sprayers are NOT created equal!

Since day one of my cloth diapering adventure, I've been a huge fan of my diaper sprayer. We got the Knickernappies diaper sprayer with a purchase of a FuzziBunz diapering package (not this one since Elite's weren't in existence yet, but you get the idea) from Kelly's Closet.

Sure, there was a learning curve at first. I would spray the diaper and just squeeze the sprayer all the way and -=whoosh=- .... poop water on my face. Yep, it took a little bit for me to figure out the right amount of pressure to apply to get the perfect amount of water pressure.... and to figure out how to hold the diaper based on the different types of poop. Still, I became a pro after a while.

This past autumn, my mother offered let me hook up a diaper sprayer at her house for when we come down. She knew it would be a lot easier on me since I was currently dunking the diaper and rubbing them together under the water. Sorta gross, but hey... so are disposables sitting in a trash can smelling up the room.

I thought about it and decided to take her up on her offer. It was very kind of her, and I kept reminding her how easy it would make cleaning out her toilet, her sink (very tiny bathroom!), etc. I had won a diaper sprayer from a giveaway either last spring or last summer, so I discussed it with my husband and we opted to take down my Knickernappies sprayer and install our new one (that I won). We have hard water, and our Knickernappies showed signs of that.... some calcification around the openings where the water sprays out. We figured it would be best to hook up the new one, especially with another little one on the way.

We took the Knickernappies sprayer and hooked it up at my mother's, happily using it for the messes Bobble left in his diaper. She's also called me to tell me how much easier cleaning the toilet is now. Unfortunately, it's not all been sunshine and roses for us with our new sprayer. Our new sprayer leaked from the bottom of the sprayer head (where the hose enters the handle) from the start. My husband tried fixing that, and he made it better. I also contacted their customer service via the e-mail address left on the installation instructions. Now, I slowly applied the pressure to the sprayer, remembering the poo water splashing in my face many months ago. Eventually I found myself squeezing it as much as I could and still disappointed that I had NO WATER PRESSURE behind the sprayer. Really? It took me longer to get the poop off the diaper with that sprayer than it did to just use my hands.

That's when I realized that not all sprayers are created equal. I understood why some people ranted about sprayers while other people raved about them.... it really does make a difference as to what brand you have!

It's not *all* bad with this sprayer. For example, a completely ploppable poo doesn't really need much, and the wipes from a ploppable poo get cleaned well enough with this sprayer. Also, if Bobble were to attempt to have fun with the sprayer, at least the mess wouldn't be as big as it would have with the other sprayer (with more pressure). Really, though, we're switching with my mother. When we go back down, we're taking this one and leaving it at her house, as we only go there a couple of times a year. I still don't know I'll want to use it, though.... I might just dunk the diapers.

I haven't heard back from the customer service for the sprayer yet. I checked to see if they still manufactured the product (thinking maybe they just went under, and that's why it's been over a week and I still have no email response from customer service!), but I found them for sale on a site I've purchased from before. Ironically, it had only 2 reviews, and both were 5-star reviews. Makes me wonder.

In the end, though, I want my Knickernappies back. I'd also love to try the Blueberry Flo, as I've heard great things about that sprayer, but I'll settle for just having a sprayer that does the job, at this point!

Disclosure: The product(s) mentioned above were either purchased by me or won. None of the above companies (nor the website) mentioned endorsed nor had anything to do with this review/post. My opinions are my own and may differ from those of your own.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Baby Spa Skin Care Products

A few months back I was contacted by Baby Spa to do a review of their lotion. I gladly accepted after reading a bit about the products, but was then stuck for a while waiting for the weather to cool down. I wanted to focus on skin care during the winter months because, let's face it, you need extra lotion to help combat the dry skin caused by winter chill/wind! Of course, being in Ohio, the weather couldn't decide if it wanted to get cold or not. I was able to tell it was finally turning to winter when my hands started drying out around the knuckles!

I was sent a sample of both the Stage 1 and Stage 2  Face Cream and Body Lotion. Stage 1 is formulated for newborns - crawlers, and Stage 2 products are designed for toddlers on up. Keep in mind, my pictures are of the samples I received which are travel-size. They definitely have bigger sizes!




I was actually thrilled these were travel size containers, as it I quickly snagged the body lotion (stage 2) and whisked it off to work to keep in my desk. I wash my hands a lot at work (it gets so germy there!), and they dry so easily during the winter.

My hands were already starting to get the dry, slightly sore skin around the knuckles and in between my fingers, but Bobble was still good-to-go... which is surprising for a toddler that loves to play outside in the cold but will not keep mittens or gloves on his hands no matter what we do! My face has also had lots of patches of dry and flaking skin (thank you, pregnancy hormones!), and I had very chapped/dry patches under my nose from the 2 week long sickness that I had over the holidays. This actually worked in my favour (hey, silver lining....) for the product testing!

I've been applying the Stage 2 face cream to both Bobble and myself (Bobble as a preventative measure against drying/chapping, me for the flaking skin), and I've been using the Stage 2 lotion on my hands. I let my husband use the Stage 1 lotion, and we've tested the face cream out too. Since we don't have the super delicate skin a newborn would have, I can't really give too much of a review of that product other than to say it worked just like the Stage 2 did for us.

The face cream has worked great for us. When I use it, my face is nice and smooth, and I don't have the weird dry patches that this pregnancy has been causing. It's very gentle on my skin, gets absorbed well, isn't oily, and doesn't have a strong scent to it. Bobble's face is still nice and smooth, and he hasn't had any issue with chapping or drying out. Yay!

The body lotion is much of the same.... great results, not oily, soft skin, gentle scent. While I still have some of the dryer skin around my fingers, it's worlds better now than it was before! It also would be better if I remembered to put some lotion on today. *sigh* We've used the body lotion all over on Bobble, and we've had the same great results. His feet  and knees tend to dry out the most because he loves being barefoot, and he loves crawling around making cars and trucks "drive". The lotion worked beautifully on him as well.

My husband had good results with the lotion he used as well, but thankfully he's not the one doing the majority of the testing, as he only remembers to put it on when I mention it. He needs a lot of lotion, however, as he works a lot on our house and he also washes his hands a lot. His hands tend to get worse than mine in the winter, drying and cracking to the point of bleeding. When he uses the lotion, they get noticeably better... but, like I said, he doesn't think about it. What can ya do? *shrug*

All of BabySpa's products are 98-100% natural (remember, tearless shampoos aren't 100% natural!), and they are free of Parabens, Phthalates, SLS, PEGS, and Mineral Oils. They use also use 5 Ethobotanicals in the BabySpa collection, which isn't used in any other baby skin care line.

So, from the products we tried, we loved BabySpa! I would love to try out more of their products like their Bubble Bath Milk, their Tearless Baby Shampoo, or their Massage Oil! Actually, I'd definitely want to try the massage oil.... hubby being a licensed massage therapist and all, he would have plenty of use for it!

I'd definitely recommend the products if you are looking for some natural skin care products! I love that the smell of them isn't that fake perfume-y scent, but more the simple "lotion" smell. (Hey, it makes sense to me!) I'm very sensitive to different scents, but these products didn't bother me at all. Also really cool: even though my hands were super dry in some spots (to the point where warmer water hurt them), the lotion didn't sting. I liked that a lot!

Are you interested in trying out BabySpa products yourself? Check out their Online Store to see what they have, and get free shipping on orders over $50! They also have some great deals on gift sets if you're in the market for one!


Disclosure: The product(s) mentioned above was provided to me by Baby Spa 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.