Friday, April 30, 2010

Agoo Leg Huggers Review & Giveaway

I reviewed the Agoo Playful Pant and Twozie a little while back; two of my favourite items in the boys wardrobe.  Now I would like to add to the list the Agoo Leg Huggers, graciously provided to me by the fine people at Agoo for the purposes of this review.

There are a lot of different brands of childrens leg warmers, and if you shop on Etsy, your options multiply dramatically. If your crafty you might even want to try making your own; but don't trust the pattern and buy ankle socks unless your making leg warmers for a brand new infant.  I learned that lesson the hard way.

What's different about Agoo Leg Huggers is that they are made with 100% sustainable bamboo that is wick-away, non-irritating, anti-bacterial and odour resistant.  These are important features for me, the boy has sensitive skin and eczema, so breathability is important.  Agoo Leg Huggers are also oh-so-soft and the fabric has a pretty (though not girlie) sheen to it. 
Agoo Leg Huggers Review

The boy doesn't walk yet, but he is a master crawler, so we put Agoo Leg Huggers to the test as he roamed the house including crawling up and down the stairs.  I'm happy to report, the elastic is strong and the Leg Huggers stayed put, all without leaving the telltale red marks on the boys thighs.  Leg Huggers are one size fits all, and they are quite long.  I'm confident they would fit even an older toddler quite easily. 

Aesthetically, Agoo has a lot of cute patterns, including some great ones for the boys, which can sometimes be a challenge.  We tested out the racer argyle, but I also liked the Army friends pattern.  Our Leg Huggers maintained their shape through the washer and dryer, though there was a slight fuzzing of the fabric, but it truly only added to the softness.

The boy isn't potty training yet, but I can easily see how Leg Huggers would be a great alternative to pants with a potty training toddler - I have a feeling when the time comes at our house, Leg Huggers will become a wardrobe staple, even if the hubs does start singing Flash Dance.  At only $10.00 a pair, Eco-Friendly Leg Huggers are not only comprable, they are cheaper than many other leg warmer brands.

And I'm very excited to see that right now, Agoo is working with "Helping Orphans Worldwide" (HOW); for every pair of Leg Huggers or Socks sold, Agoo will send one pair to Orphans in Vietnam.  Seriously, how can you feel bad about that.  Kudos to you Agoo!  This also applies to the coupon code offer below!!

Agoo Leg Huggers are made with sustainable fabrics at an affordable price, they performed well and kept the boy warm and protected as he crawled around the house.  Definitley a product I would purchase and recommend.  A true 5/5!

Wanna win your own pair?  Agoo Apparel is providing one lucky reader with their own pair of Leg Huggers in the pattern of their choice.  They have also provided a Leg Huggers Coupon Code good this weekend only!  Buy 2 pairs of Leg Huggers and get the third pair for 1 cent!  And don't forget your purchase will also get an orphaned child in Vietnam a pair of leg huggers to keep them warm and cozy!!
Leg Huggers for Baby Legs
Coupon Code:
Buy 2 pairs of Leg Huggers and get 1 for a penny!
To get YOUR third pair of Leg Huggers for one cent,
enter code 1fb4m at checkout! 

Enter To Win:
One pair of Agoo Leg Huggers in the pattern of your choice. 

The First Entry is mandatory; all other entries will be disqualified if it is not included.  Please leave a separate comment for each entry, seven chances to win total.  

First Entry: Visit the Agoo Leg Hugger website, take a look around and tell us what Leg Hugger pattern you would choose if you won.

Second Entry: Follow The Momma Stuff Blog through Google(left sidebar)

Third Entry:  Like Agoo on Facebook

Fourth Entry: Like the Momma Stuff Blog on Facebook

Fifth Entry: Follow Agoo on Twitter

Sixth Entry:Follow Leg Huggers on Twitter

Seventh Entry: Follow the Momma Stuff Blog on Twitter

Giveaway closes Sunday May 16 at 8pm.  Winner will be determined by a random number generator. Winner will be notified via email and the winner will have 48 hours to respond or a new name will be drawn and contacted.

This contest is closed.
Congrats to our winner!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

The New Old Life

I miss my baby.  Yes he's upstairs in his bed, fast asleep.  But I still miss him.  The hubs and I decided to play softball this year; its not a new thing, in fact we met on this particular team, so we both have a bit of a soft spot for playing together.  I told myself that if I didn't play softball, I would be giving up one of the only recreational activities I have ever had.  That if I didn't play this year, it would only get harder to start up again in the future.  Especially if baby number two is in the plan for the future.

We convinced my little sister to join the team; that way there would usually be at least one us on the sidelines at any given time to take care of the boy and keep him entertained.  Unfortunately (or fortunately depending how you look at it), the boy goes to bed between 7 and 7:30, but softball games don't end until 8/8:15.  The thought of having an overtired, cold and cranky baby at the ballpark after his bedtime doesn't seem like a good idea in any sense of the word.

Of course, our first week we had two back to back games; yesterday he stayed at my Mother-in Laws until after the game and today my Mom came over and watched him at our house.  Things went well for my MIL, but when we got him home last night, not so much.  Lots of crying and difficulty settling, plus he was up until almost 9:30.  Tonight was better; he was in his own home and followed his own routine.  He went to bed on time and without much fuss, but I barely got to see him.

sleepingI'm not sure that losing out on my after-work quality time twice a week is worth maintaining high attendance at recreational softball.  Don't get my wrong, I had a lot of fun playing and loved seeing all my friends, but I missed the boy.  A lot.

I think the hubs and I are going to try splitting up our attendance, one confirmed family member per game, so the other can stay home and play and do the nightitme routine, or perhaps even come out to the ballpark for a little while before going home for the bath and bedtime.  I don't want to seem like a bad team player, but my new life with the boy, will never be the same as the old life before the boy, and I would never want it to be.

This new take on my old life is going to take some adjustment and careful planning, but it would have been unrealistic to expect anything different.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Drool Bandana Giveaway

hen the boy first started teething, I was amazed how much drool he could generate.  His bibs, his shirts, he soaked them all.  Some bibs were great, others not so much, but when I heard about drool bandanas as a concept, they seemed pretty cool.  They're definitley cuter than bibs, and I figured they would probably work just as well, so I began my research.

I quickly found the Happy Bunny Day- Bandana Drool Bib Tutorial on Dirty Diaper Laundry - it seemed easy and totally do-able.  I used the tutorial as a base for my drool bandanas, but with a few tweaks.  Velcro irritates the boys eczema, so I used snaps - the boy gets a rash on his chest, so I added a water-resistant layer in the middle and made the bottom layer minkee soft, oh and did I mention they're reversible too?! The boy was about 6 months when I started making them and other momma's wanted to try them too, so I made a bunch and sold them.  I still have some left, and a few that are still unfinished if I'm being totally honest.

All that aside, now that the boy is teething his one year molars, the drool is back with a vengeance and the drool bandanas are back too.  In celebration of reaching 25 followers, I decided to host my own first giveaway.

drool bandana patternsreversible drool bandanas

Enter To Win:
All FOUR Drool Bandanas pictured above.
There's 2 skull and cross bones patterns, a monkey with flowers pattern and a green frog pattern.  Hopefully there's something you like.

Please leave a separate comment for each entry.  

First Entry: Share your best trick for a teething baby.

Second Entry: Follow The Momma Stuff Blog (left sidebar)

Third Entry: Follow the Momma Stuff Blog on Twitter

Fourth Entry: Like the Momma Stuff Blog on Facebook

Giveaway closes next Sunday May 9 at 8pm.  Winner will be determined by a random number generator. [ed. April 28 to allow contest entries for one additional week]

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Earth Mama Angel Baby - Natural Nipple Butter

Since the boy was our first, we enrolled in prenatal classes at our local hospital; I met my closest mommy friend there and we learned a lot about what to expect during labour.  As it was a course run by a local college, it stuck entirely to the medical facts.

We didn't particularly discuss natural coping methods and when I asked about water birthing, it was fully dismissed save a comment that a midwife might partake, but a doctor or OB would not.  That being said, it was still worthwhile.  My hesitant to attend hubs, actually confessed that it gave him a good idea what to expect during labour and he wouldn't have wanted to go into the boys birth without having attended the class.  That's right future Momma's; my husband admitted the class was worthwhile, if fact I heard him recommend it to another future dad.

But I digress, I remember one particular conversation during class.  The instructor was explained that a lanolin based lotion such as Lansinoh could be useful during the early weeks of breastfeeding to help soothe and heal cracked nipples.  I proceeded to ask about lanolin allergies and the instructor assured me that it was highly refined and non-allergenic, so I need not worry about my little one.  I explained that I was the one who was allregic, that lanolin make my skin crawl and usually resulted in a lot scratching and bleeding.  There was no way I wanted to chance lanolin on my nipples, particularly if they were already cracked and tender.

Natural Nipple ButterI did a lot of research and let me tell you its near impossible to find a nipple cream that doesn't contain lanolin in some form.  I was ecstatic to discover Earth Mama Angel Baby Organics Natural Nipple Butter; organic, vegan and lanolin-free, what's not to like?  It's made with olive oil, calendula, cocoa butter, shea butter, candelilia wax and mango butter so its totally safe for your little one and your sensitive breasts.

I used Earth Mama Nipple Butter primarily in the first few months of breastfeeding, in particular during the first few weeks.  My nipples were sore and cracked, but they didn't really bleed.  Earth Mama Nipple butter was instantly soothing and I found myself running upstairs throughout those early days to apply just a little bit more.  Although its quite a rich formula, I didn't find it over-greasy and it consistently left my nipples feeling moisturized, but not so much that I was concerned about letting the boy latch on.

It's worth noting that Earth Mama Nipple Butter may appear a lumpy when you first open the jar, it contains a number of different fats which creates this odd consistency.  No need to worry about the texture however, the butter melts luxuriously almost instantly.  In terms of value for your money,I paid close to $20 cdn for my 2 oz jar, but a little bit goes a long way so its definitley worth the price.  After a year of breastfeeding, I still have close to half the jar left.

I was very happy with my purchase of Earth Mama Natural Nipple Butter, in fact I gave a jar as a part of shower gift to an expecting friend of mine, a great product, I rate it a 4/5!

Happy Earth Day everyone, take your little steps, and find your own way!

Saturday, April 17, 2010

baby hugs

From the moment we started trying to conceive, there have been so many amazing moments. Our positive home pregnancy test, our first visit with the midwife, making it through the first trimester, the first time we heard the boys heartbeat, our ultrasound; and that's only in the first half of our pregnancy.

Once the boy arrived, we were bombarded with new excitement, it truly is amazing how much they learn in their first year. When he arrived he truly was an eating, sleeping, pooping, lump of baby. I loved him immediately, we all did, but he really was just a lump of baby. The first time he smiled at me, I thought my heart was going to melt. The first time he laughed, I felt his joy coursing through my veins. And the first time he kissed me back, nothing else mattered.

But last week, when the boy wrapped his arms around my neck and pulled me close to smother me in gooby kisses, it was like I was engulfed by him. It was the first time, I knew without a doubt that he was giving me his love and sharing himself with me, by choice. He was giving me the affection that I give him and it was beautiful. I almost cried.

I think I'm addicted to those baby hugs now; I try to encourage them even, but I know that's not fair.  My favourite part is that he gives them of his own volition and I don't want to take that choice from him.  Thankfully the boy doles those hugs and kisses out to me pretty frequently - for now at least. I feel bad that Dad doesn't get the same treatment, but in time I'm certain he will, and in all truth, I'm too busy relishing in my own glory to let his experience take away from mine. I hope that doesn't make me a bad wife.

I know that there will be so many more times that he will express his love, in so many different way.  I know that one day, he'll use words to tell me how he feels, but this very first independent expression of his love, will be with me forever.  I hope that I never forget the magic that I felt in his arms, when he was gave me his first hug and smothered me in gooby kisses.

-------------------------------I'm curious----------------------------
How does your little one express his/her affection?
Does he/she express his love the same with both parents?

Monday, April 12, 2010

Stonz Booties - Review & Coupon

With Spring just around the corner, you only have to glance in a store window, or browse your favourite online shops to see that retailers are bringing out the cute little sandals, shorts and tee-shirts, convincing us that hot, lazy days will be upon us shortly.  I live in Vancouver, BC and although the sun shone for the Olympics, we get a lot of rain here.  Seriously, a lot of rain.  I personally don't plan on picking up sandals for the boy anytime soon.

What I did pick up recently [ok I admit it, I ordered them online] is a pair of Stonz Booties for the boy. Stonz Wear is a local company, created by mothers, for mothers.  Stonz Booties are water and wind resistant, fleece lined with a skid resistant sole and machine washable.  My son doesn't walk on his own yet, so what that really means is that when I'm helping him walk across the backyard, or park I know that his little feet are warm and dry and its pretty unlikely that he's going to lose his footing.
What's particularly great about Stonz Booties is the wide circumference of the bootie; it doesn't narrow down much at the ankle.  I admit that I initially thought this feature made the booties ugly, but practicality quickly took over when I realized just how much easier the wide opening made it to slip my son's flailing foot into the bootie.  The two toggle system (one around the ankle, one at the top of the bootie) allows Momma (or Daddy or Gramma or Aunty...) to quickly tighten and secure the booties while ensuring a nice snug fit for your little one.  These boots are staying put!

As booties, they of course come midway up the calf and combined with the snug fit of the toggles, Stonz booties keep my son's legs protected from the elements even when he is crawling like crazy, exploring grass, rocks and everything that is nature. They also keep his legs covered while in the baby carrier, and they are much quicker to put on than babylegs - my old solution to bare legs in the carrier.

Stonz Booties come in sizes small through extra-large and are designed to fit little ones from newborn through three years.  The extra-large size is a fairly new addition to the line and not all sizes are available in the larger sizes.  That being said, Stonz bootie sizing is generous; I have a size large intended for children aged one to two and a half and at this point they fit great with shoes on.  That's right, I just slip his feet, shoes and all, into the booties when its time to go outside.  I have had absolutley no problems fitting the shoes into the booties, or having his feet slip around inside the booties.  By buying the larger size and wearing them with shoes now, and without later, I figure I am maximizing the boy's wear and spreading my dollar a little farther. 

At a price of $46.95 CDN a pair, it seems worthwhile to purchase Stonz Booties early and ensure your little one wears them lots.  They are well constructed, sturdy and absolutley worth the price.  I am very happy with my sons' Stonz booties, he wears them in the backyard, in the park or even in the stroller on particularly wet and windy days.  Truly, I have no complaints about Stonz Booties and give them a 5/5!

Coupon Code:
Since the people at Stonz Wear are totally awesome, they are offering readers of The Momma Stuff Blog an opportunity to save 10% on their purchase if they order between now and April 19.  Keep in mind this discount applies to your entire order, so be sure to check out the Linerz, Hatz and Mittz as well as the Booties!  To get your discount, type in promo code mommastuff when you checkout!

Special thanks to Stonz for providing The Momma Stuff Blog with our very first promo code!

Friday, April 9, 2010

Agoo Apparel - stay out and play

Although jeans, cords and button-up shirts look absolutely adorable on little boys, they really aren't the easiest to get on and off during diaper changes, and I can't imagine they are quite as comfortable to wear as a pair of sweatpants.  Sometimes, we all want to wear something comfortable and easy, and if it looks good, all the better.  Truly, this is the exact reason that Lululemon pants are so popular these days.  In my mind, Agoo Apparel fills this niche for infants, toddlers and children alike.

I made my first purchase from Agoo before Cole and I went on our trip to Asia, and with features like a UPF +50 rating, wick away fabric and 4-way stretch they seemed like a perfect fit for our 3 week adventure.  I took two pairs of Playful Pants on our trip and I don't think I will ever travel without them.  They washed and dried easily in hotel bathrooms and kept my little guy cool and protected from the sun in Thailand but also worked great as long underwear under fleecy pants when we were traveling in the colder areas of China.

Cole seems so comfortable in his stretchy playful pants, he can move around and crawl without any difficulty.  Although he now wears 18 and 24 month pants now, he still fits his 12 month playful pants and I can still whip them on and off lickety split to do a diaper change.   Although they are stain resistant and do wash up super easily, I have noticed that any food spillage that lands on the pants, will show on the fabric until they are laundered again.

Speaking of laundry, watch out for velcro when these pants are in the wash, it sticks like crazy.  There really is no need to put these pants in the dryer; they have usually air dried by the time the rest of the laundry is done.  That being said, I have accidently left them in the dryer a few times and for the most part they seem to be holding up fine.  The uber cute silk screening seems to be the exception.  I found that the cute little grasshopper and Agoo branding both seemed to start peeling off the pants within the first month or so of wear.  It's not the end of the world and it likely has to do with those few trips the pants have made into the dryer.

Although Agoo is available in stores, I purchased my products online and found the checkout process quite simple and straightforward.  As I made my purchases during a great end of season sale (read 60% off!), a few of the items I ordered were out of stock and I received great customer service, including a phone call from the VP to discuss substitutions and a follow-up call to ensure I was happy with the products I had received.  On my second order [my Mom actually made the second order for Cole's birthday after I told her what I wanted to buy], we were once again sale shopping and needed some substitutions for our choices, and everything still went off without a hitch.

Speaking of second orders, most of what we ordered doesn't fit him yet, but I absolutely love the Agoo Twozie - how has no one come up with this before now?  A onsie that looks like a shirt; it keeps his belly warm and covered without looking like he's wearing baby clothes.  The twozie only goes up to size 18-24, but don't let that stop you, the fit is generous.  Cole just fits most of his 18-24 month onsies, but the Agoo twozie fits comfortably, both with regard to length and width. I think my next purchase will be an Agoo Puddle Jacket - they just look amazing!

Overall, I have had a great experience with Agoo Apparel.  The clothes are well constructed, high quality and easy to wash.  I find the prices are a little bit more than I like to spend (are you noticing a trend here?) though not particularly expensive, and in truth the product quality is well worth the price, plus they offer free shipping on orders over $50.  If you get on their mailing list you will get first hand notifications of their amazing sales (I've learned its worth it to shop early or you risk substitutions) as well as a chance to win a $100 shopping spree.  I give Agoo Apparel a 4/5!

2010 Ultimate Blog Party

Ultimate Blog Party 2010

When I first started seeing this Ultimate Blog Party 2010, I didn't totally get it, but now that its happening I want in on the fun.  I enjoy a good party, though in truth I'm not so great at throwing them.  But there is one part of having people over that I absolutley love; the baking.  I love that I get guilt-free time to bake and to cook and to create something that people will truly enjoy.

The Momma Stuff Blog Party will be gluten-free, since that's my dietary restriction!  Although I can tolerate milk to some degree, the boy can't, so that means we're also going to have some dairy-free treats as well.

I absolutely love Erin McKenna's, of BabyCakes Bakery, Allergen-Free Brownies.  They are cakelike, but when you use the mini chocolate chips and they just scatter throughout the brownie, they are just heavenly!  Not to mention bite-sized and perfect for little hands.  You don't taste the coffee in the batter at all, I always use decaf.

Did you know that you can whip coconut cream up, for a dairy-free alternative?  Buy yourself a can coconut cream with the highest fat content you can find.  That means your going to have more of the "cream" and less of the "water".  You want these two to be well seperated, so let the can to sit for a few hours if you just brought it home from the store.

Coconut Whipped Cream:
  1. Open 1 can of high fat coconut cream.
  2. Pour the "coconut water" out and scoop the cream into your mixer.
  3. Mix the cream until it starts to whip up.
  4. Add 1/2 tsp vanilla (optional) and 2 tbsp powdered sugar (optional)
  5. Continue mixing until the whip cream has peaks.  
The whipped cream with thicken up when in the fridge, this would be amazing as the layers of a cake.

And since we can't have only sweet treats at our party, here's a super easy appy that only takes moments to prepare.  Someone brought it to my baby shower, I made it at the boy's birthday party and I know I'll be making it many more times.

Shrimp & Cucumber Appy:
  1. Wash cucumber and slice into rounds.
  2. Spread herb and garlic cream cheese on each piece.
  3. Place 2-3 small shrimp (the ones you would use for shrimp salad) on top of each round.
  4. Serve & Enjoy.
I almost forgot, I'd love to win:
  • INTL 8 - Mary Hess Designs
  • INTL 5 - Whimsical Websites
  • INTL 11 - Simply Fabulous

    Friday Follow (April 9)

    Welcome to the Momma Stuff Blog, this is my first Friday Follow and I am very excited to join in the fun.  I hope you find something you like here and I look forward to finding lots of new friends to follow.  I'll be sure and check out your blog and follow you if you decide to follow me!

    Friday Follow

    MckLinky Blog Hop


    Wednesday, April 7, 2010

    Part 2: Happy Nappy Cloth Diaper Service

    This is part 2 of my post on cloth diaper service, if you just got here, make sure you check out Part 1: Why Diaper Service?

    The value of Diaper Service:
    When we started seriously looking at diaper service, my husbands first concern was the price, but Happy Nappy's price of $25.90 per week, really wasn't that much more expensive that disposables.  Plus there was the convenience, no picking up diapers all the time, running out of diapers, running out to the garbage can stinky diaper in hand and no extra incidental shopping.  Just dump the dirty diaper into the diaper pail (in the bag)  and once a week you hual the entire weeks diapers (dirties & remaining cleans) out to your front door in the morning and bring the new ones in when you get home. 

    The Environmental Costs:
    I was more concerned about the environmental aspects of the company, I'd heard stories of harsh laundering processes with delivery service, but Happy Nappy is certified phosphate and surfactant free and doesn't use chlorine in their was processes. In fact they're website states:
    Compared to typical laundry services that use two to three chemicals to get their white products bleached clean, we use a blend of over 8 environmentally friendly detergent  and 4 separate washes. Our advanced washing equipment, dryers and computers  perform a better job using less energy and water. In short, our process is overall better for your baby and our earth.
    Happy Nappy has also started a petition to the Canadian Government requesting a tax break for cloth diapering parents.  How great is that?!
    Happy Nappy Diapers

    The Diapers:
    The diapers are fleece lined, contoured diapers, with multiple snaps to ensure the best fit for your baby.  When our pre-pack arrived the hubs and I both fawned over how cute and soft the diapers were.  With simple snaps and a velcro cover as a trade-off for fleece, my husband frequently said "who wouldn't want fleece next to their bum?"

    The diapers are bright yellow in colour on the outside; a great benefit as it allows you to easily see if the diaper is peeking out of the cover. Trust me, you want to know if that's the case, an exposed diaper is a leaky diaper.  Extra night liners (that you throw in the bag with the diapers each week) are also available free of charge, you just have to ask for them.

    Using the Diapers:
    Our boy is almost 13 months now and we've used Happy Nappy since the day my boy arrived home. 
    There is a bit of a learning curve; the multiple snap system and the diaper cover seem intimidating, but they truly just take a couple uses and you'll have it down pat.  Those first few tries can be frustrating though, both my Dad and daycare provider managed to put the diaper on inside out That being said, shortly after the boy arrived, my husband (and my Mom) made statements to the effect that these really were just as easy as using disposables. Yep, it only took a few weeks to get my skeptic husband on board.  

    We've never really had a problem with blow-outs up the boys back (the hubs had heard horror stories about that), though we did have a little bit of trouble with urine leaks but it turned out my boy needed to move up a size in diapers and once we did that, problem solved.   
    The Diaper Covers:
    Happy Nappy can rent or sell you diaper covers and they too will arrive on your doorstep with your delivery.   Happy Nappy uses Mother Ease diaper covers and we love them.  They keep the mess in, they wash up great in the washing machine and they're super adjustable.  They come in both snaps and velcro; the snaps don't catch your clothes in the laundry and they have a more consistent fit, but they just didn't seem to fit my boy right, my good friend however, swore by them.  The velcro ones are quick and my husband can (and will) do them, so they are the definite winner in our house.  

    If your starting out new, I recommend renting before buying and figuring out what works for your family.  Keep in mind, its not worth buying the small sized covers as your little one probably won't wear them for long. At the Langley location, covers are $12.75 for purchase or $1.05/week.

    Delivery Service in YOUR area:   
    I know diaper service probably isn't an option if you live in a remote area, but its worth a Google search isn't it?  Make sure you ask about the laundering process and make an informed decision.  Hopefully you'll find a diaper service on par with Happy Nappy, it's a great option if you are interested in the benefits of cloth diapers, but aren't sure if you're up to all the extra work.  (Plus it might make it a little easier to get yoiur partner on board (if he's anything like my hubs).
    Happy Nappy Langley:
    As a franchise, Happy Nappy is a family run business; Julie, Nichole and Rick are always helpful and prompt to return phone calls and emails and they truly have a personal touch.  In celebration of Earth Day, the Langley office of Happy Nappy is offering 20% off of your pre-pack for all new clients during the month of April, here's what it includes:
    The Pre-Pack deal only applies if you are signing up for your service before your baby arrive.  $59.99 + tax gets you:
    • administration sign up fee
    • Starter diapers delivered to you ONE week before your due date.
    • 14 gallon pail with non-toxic charcoal filter and locking lid.
      Happy Diapering and Happy Earth Day Mommas!
      [ed. note: edited for style 10 April 2010]

      Part 1: why diaper service?

      With Earth Day approaching, it seems prudent to talk about something "green".  Something we can do every day with a little bit of effort, the best kind of green things if you ask me.  Although I admire those who live their lives wholly for the earth, I believe in the little things.  

      I believe that every piece of garbage in a pocket instead of on the ground is worthwhile, every can recycled instead of sent to the landfill is a little victory and every useless receipt recycled is ultimately a tree; they all matter.  Cumulatively we are making a difference, we can make a difference.

      OK - enough.  I am passionate about the Earth, always have been.  What I really want to write about is one of the things we decided to do green-er when we had a baby.  Of course I wanted to use cloth babies for our newborn child, my husband on the other hand, well he tried to tell me they cloth was "not and option", I just about laughed in his face.  

      There were many reasons that I wanted to go with cloth, The New & Green Baby Co sums up a lot of great environmental arguments.  My husband didn't want poop in the washing machine.  What won him over was a fact in an e-course from New & Green; "Each disposable diaper requires 1 cup of crude oil to manufacture the plastic."  That's right, 1 cup of the earths oil for each diaper your baby pees in.  My husbands no poop in the washing machine argument was getting pretty weak.

      As a compromise, I suggested diaper service.  We could get all the benefits of cloth without sorting, rinsing, washing and touching (mostly touching) dirty diapers every couple days.  Fresh diapers are delivered every week and the new ones are taken away, poops and all.  Not to mention lower incidence of diaper rash and quicker potty training when the time comes.  Now my husband was interested, I could see he was warming up to the idea.  Plus I think he knew he wasn't going to win this particular battle.

      We chose to go with Happy Nappy a Canadian company with offices in BC, Alberta and Ontario.  It's a franchise company and I've truly enjoyed getting to know our lower mainland team, based out of Langley BC

      I want to assure those of you who are stuck in the same place as we were, it is worth the effort to look into diaper service, if you can find one with a good environmental mandate, including their laundering process, you may just find your solution.  And remember, you don't have to use cloth all the time if you don't want to, I have friends on the service that prefer the east of disposables when they go out.  Remember every little bit counts and its worth your effort. 

      Good luck going green, and kudos to you for everything you do.
      Make sure you read Part 2:Happy Nappy Cloth Diaper Service.

      Friday, April 2, 2010

      Bear's Baking Soda Bath

      When we decided to have a baby, I knew that I would inevitably be covered in milk, spit-up, poop, pee and of course baby food.  I knew there would be oodles of laundry, sleepless nights and many trials and tribulations along the way.  Despite this, I somehow didn't realize that there may also be "baby stink" not directly related to diapers or food.  Like many babies the boy has a little blankie-bear that he keeps in his bed and provides him great comfort.  I tried early on to find another bear exactly the same, but as of yet, my efforts in that regard have failed.

      Although I wash bear regularly, after a few months of snuggles, cuddles, drools and who know what else he does when I'm not in the room, I noticed that bear started to have a bit of an odor.  Some sort of sour milk & drool combo that was less than desirable.  I figured I needed to wash bear more often, and always in a hot water wash.  Didn't help.  I even got desperate and threw some stain remover on bear and added an extra rinse cycle to the wash.  He still smelled.

      Months later, I was starting to get pretty grossed out by the bear's stench.  The boy obviously didn't mind, he continued to rub him on his face and suck on both the blanket and bear portions of the blanket.  As a mother in good conscious, I knew I had to find a way to get the smell out or I had to get rid of bear.  Something that smelled that funky couldn't be very good for my boy to be sucking on and breathing in.  I was going to try a vinegar soak, until a friend suggested that I soak bear in a mixture of water and baking soda before washing him; since vinegar has a smell all its own, I decided to try baking soda first.

      Bear's Baking Soda Bath

      I used about half a box of baking soda and a cup of water to totally drench bear; I tried to rub the paste right into the fabric and then poured some more on top for good measure.  My friend had said to leave him soaking overnight, but that obviously wasn't going to work, so I gave bear his baking soda bath before work.  After letting him sit in the bowl for about 10 minutes, I put bear into the washing machine (on top of a towel, on top of the other laundry) and set it to start a hot water wash in about 8 hours while I was at work.  When I arrived home, I threw bear in the dryer (after sniffing him of course, but experience has taught me he doesn't usually smell at this point anyways), crossed my fingers and hoped for the best.

      Imagine my excitement when I pulled bear out of the dryer, put him to my nose and discovered he was clean and stink-free.  YAY bear and YAY baking soda!  Bear is going to be having a monthly baking soda bath from now on - he doesn't ever need to smell that bad again!