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Canada Day Extravaganza Blogger Sign-Up's 

Sign ups END 6/10/12!!

Event runs June 17th-July 1st

Thanks, Canada!

  • BLOGGERS Can help to be a part of the giveaway
  • Family-friendly Blogs ONLY please!
  • Canadian SPONSORS Can donate items for the giveaway, or if you are a US sponsor and want to donate a CANADIAN-made item, that's great too!

If you are interested in sponsoring a giveaway prize, please contact

The Proudly Canadian Fabulous Sponsors are:

Northern Mom
Monkey Doodlez
Buncha Farmers
The Laundry Tarts
Nellie's All Natural
oWOOLy Love
EcoParent Magazine
Kiss Naturals

GlowBug Diapers
(expecting more...they are pending!)

Here's How To Participate!!!

**This is the hardest part of the whole event. You do not have to seek any sponsors, I've already done that! You just have to complete 4 steps, wait 'til the event begins, and then spread the word like wildfire!**

Are you interested in increasing the Canadian readership of your blog? Are you really appreciative of all the awesome stuff Canada has come up with and made available to us all? Are you a Canadian blogger and just want to be part of a cool event for one of your very own country's summer holidays? STELLAR!! Keep reading...
  • Facebook ($2)
  • Twitter  ($2)
  • Other - provide me with your email/newsletter sign-up, Pinterest, Linky Follower, GFC or other social media outlet info ($2)
The event will start June 17-July 1, which is Canada Day! So, winners will be drawn on the 1st. This is a giveaway with ONE Rafflecopter form. No need to find sponsors! Just post on your blog, Facebook, and twitter about the event!

Easy sign-up. Here's how ...

  1. Join the Canada Day Extravaganza Group for the latest updates. This is also where you will post your link to the blog post about the event, Facebook link/share to the event, and any tweets.
  2. Grab the Canada Day Extravaganza button (HTML above) and place it in a prominent place on your blog's sidebar to help spread the word.
  3. Send your payment via Paypal to as a personal gift. **I have a few sponsors that are shipping items to me, so this fee will cover shipping for the winners to get their spoils!**
  4. Fill out the Google document below with all of your information.
**This giveaway is open to participating bloggers.**

Here is the link to the google doc for OFFICIAL signup. You will need to complete 1-3 to fill out the form, so it's easiest if you do it in order.    :)

This is my first time using a Google doc solo, haha, so be patient and let me know via email (specified in #3 above) with any questions or broken links [if any], etc. Thanks everyone! Lets have fun and spread the word! This isn't even the tip of the iceberg of all the coolly Canadian goods!

**Also, don't be alarmed, but my blog may be down for a few hours at some point as I make some fun changes!**

Belated** MMM#12 Updates!!!

Okay, this week has been more than manic. So much so, that I did not link up AT ALL to Manic Mommy Monday (hosted by The Gnomes Mom)!!

So, now that it is Thursday, I'm updating y'all!

We spent Sunday at my parents river cabin, it rained most of the day, but was really a great time and so relaxing! We even had a yummy ham feast and got to spend some time outside--oh, and S'MORES!! The first S'more of the year is always so glorious!

Then, the week got crazy. Upon arriving home Sunday night, around 8:30, I was consumed with mommy chores (getting the baby "boobed" and back into bed after screaming the whole way home from the cabin & readying things for the next day). I DID notice that my dog didn't bound up to see us home, but that isn't totally abnormal if a deer or other critter has her attention on the other side of the property. But, it was a torrential downpour by ten p.m., so her not being up by the house (and ready to be fed) WAS strange. I was exhausted, it was pitch black outside and pouring, and I thought maybe this once she had hunkered down somewhere to ride out the storm.

The next day, we started out as usual, diaper change, breakfast, playing, checking emails, etc. By 9 a.m. I realized there was no big barking white dog. I called. I loaded my kiddo into the backpack and we hiked around. Then, I saw 3 turkey buzzards (vultures)  circling in the sky. I started to cry, but not wanting to scare Bug, stopped, walked home & called hubby. It was a holiday, thankfully, so he & grandpa were off.

We searched the woods for 2 hours while Grandpa babysat. She was nowhere. No hair, no blood. No dog near the highway. No dog in the woods. No barks, no whines. Disappeared. Vanished. So, we came back, the depressed feeling of losing my buddy made the entire day completely unproductive for me. I cried a lot. It surprised me how much I really LOVE my dog! (I mean, I am an animal lover, and I've had dogs die tragically before, but this was hard!) I made a few posters and decided since I didn't feel like cooking, we would go to the "local" bar/restaurant 10 miles away and eat supper. They have AMAZING burgers. So I brought a poster.

When we got home from supper, I felt a little better, we got the baby ready for bed and retired ourselves.

Then, at 7am my phone was ringing. From all the crying and hiking frantically, I was exhausted. I was thinking, "who would be calling this early?" Both the cell and the home phone rang, so I assumed it was my husband. Not too many people know BOTH numbers. About 1/2 hour later, I checked my cell message---someone had seen my dog! 10 miles away from home! I made  the calls, made a positive ID, and eventually got her back. It cost me $50 and a lot of tears. But, it was worth it to have her back. She had followed my brother-in-law and his girlfriends kids down the road on fourwheelers. Even though she was being "bad" by following them, ultimately it was irresponsible on HIS part for not making her go back, and then not saying anything later. He can sometimes be an ass though, so I'm not surprised.


  • We are signing up for a "junior gardener" program for my little dirt lover!
  • BLOGGER sign-ups for my June/July event will be out today
  • we have some vacations planned!
  • we are starting to look at houses!
  • My NEW LAPTOP is on it's way! I couldn't be happier!!!
  • Little Bug crapped ALL OVER the house during a moment of elimination mis-communication
  •  the garden is MOSTLY doing great -- we did lose some of our squash to late frosts :(
  • Hubby's car is running great and I even like it for a completely cheap old car! And, my car is getting more repairs tomorrow. 
  • My dad came and had a SUPER day with Bug yesterday and I caught up on household stuff
  • I am slowly recovering my blog and updating and fixing everywhere necessary! It's been neglected because I've been spending time outside with my son & tending to life. I'm sorry about this, but you will just have to bare with me on this one. I have a lot of great giveaways and reviews and stories coming up, but I just cannot waste the precious little time we have 1) with our son while he's young 2) in nice weather here in the northern climes! I still fully intend on getting my blog content up and running as well as any commitments and scheduled posts, but I just won't be at my social media & internet-related sites beckon call during the summer. I KNOW all of the mamas and papas out there understand!
 Alright! There's my weekly round-up! Look for the new event to debut today! (If the realtor calls, it may be this evening when it posts, since we'll be touring houses!) Have a GREAT Thursday!

**Side note: I am stoked that Sophie won America's Next Top Model (even though she's not American) and I am so very glad the program is over for now! Grey's has left me hangin' for the summer. More time away from the boob-tube!**

#Flatschallenge Day 7!! We made it!

I am taking part in the Second Annual Flats and Handwashing Challenge hosted by Dirty Diaper Laundry.   For 7 days I will be using only flat cloth diapers and handwashing them in an effort to prove that cloth diapering can be affordable and accessible to all.  You can learn more about the rules and why this challenge was started by visiting the announcement post.  This year there are over 450 participants from all over the world!

Today was the last day of the #Flatschallenge. We made. 7 days of hand-washing, hanging dry, using flat diapers and covers.


Well, it's been a tough week. But, not AS tough as I thought it would be. Mother Nature was not helpful. There was ONE day of the entire challenge that provided FAIR drying weather. The rest of the week was rainy. I had to use the drying rack for a full day usually to get the dampness out of the diapers. So, that was a challenge. I'm thinking it would actually be easier in the winter, since we have a forced air heating system, so the dryer rack goes over a vent and gets blown dry by hot air---really fast! Not the case in the summer.

My husband was GREAT -- open-minded & at least a little enthusiastic. The grandparents were a harder sell. But, they didn't ever have to be alone to change diapers, so it was not an issue. I think flats would be tough @ daycare. No experience to speak from, just guessing there would be intimidation & laziness involved and the idea shunned, at least initially.


I did notice that the saturated flats DID have a smell--a strong one--but only if I let them sit in a wetbag all day. And, certain modern pockets, AIOs, fitteds, can all also do that. I do not fault the flats.

I did not try very hard AT ALL to become proficient at folding flats. I did what worked for us and stuck with it. I didn't research much, though it WAS my intent upon embarking on this challenge, but of course, life was par for the course and we got busy. So, I stuck with using a Snappi, a larger sized flat for the "outer" folding "wrap" and a Gerber flat folded into a "Pad" fold for in the front w/my heavy wetting dude. It worked and worked GREAT! The only problem I could see with not "mastering" a fold and trying to be trim if using flats exclusively for any length of time (as you would if you were very tight on funds) would be having extra bulk under clothing and finding a proper fit. Because of my lack of patience/research/effort/skill in the folding of the flat diapers, I did have a lot of bulk. My husband had crazy bulk and extra fabric out of the leg gussets of the covers that made it look like Bug had biker shorts on under the diaper or something!! So, we would either have to hope it got better with practice, or find clothing that would accommodate the extra fabric.

I think others would be more "supportive" if it weren't such a frivolous event in their eyes. If we truly HAD to use flats, they would be willing. Grandma would learn to fold. She wouldn't look at the Snappi like an alien lifeform. It would all work out.


I feel really proud for giving this a try. I am excited and empowered a bit, by the knowledge that we can and WILL use flats in the future, in instances like severe diaper rashes (to save the other diaper stash faves), traveling (customizing absorbency and ease of washing, saving space packing) and for when we have vaccinations or colds. I don't like to use our main stash if we have a really bad bug or a vaccine that is particularly nasty. There are probably more times (maybe the newborn stage with baby #2 when the time comes) that will warrant the efficient use of flats over modern nappies. It's always ALWAYS a good thing to learn something new. I'm glad we did.

I hope someone out there read this and felt empowered or challenged to use flats. Either to better inform themselves about cloth options or to use as a healthy alternative to disposables. If I helped ONE person to see there are options, I feel really good about this. Even if I didn't necessarily help anyone, it was good for MY family, and now if a situation DOES come up that promotes a "teachable moment" for awareness and advocacy, I will have another Ace in my pocket.


I would like to thank Kim at DDL for hosting and founding this event. She raised money from pledges for charity during this event and has an AMAZING collection of cloth-related videos and information. Go check it out and come back next year for the challenge! I'm pretty sure there will be a 3rd annual event, so join in! In the meantime, tell someone about cloth! Convert a parent that uses throw-aways to washable dipes. Hand wash and hang dry a little more often. Get creative.

#Flats Challenge Day 6 - Baby, Mama, Daddy - HIGHLIGHTS!

I am taking part in the Second Annual Flats and Handwashing Challenge hosted by Dirty Diaper Laundry.   For 7 days I will be using only flat cloth diapers and handwashing them in an effort to prove that cloth diapering can be affordable and accessible to all.  You can learn more about the rules and why this challenge was started by visiting the announcement post.  This year there are over 450 participants from all over the world!

I love the freedom of not worrying with FLATS. I can use ANY diaper cream and yeah, maybe it WILL affect absorbency, but, I don't care too much. It's not a crazy expensive Ragababe or diaper that I spent hours stalking stockings. It's one flat. I cherish each one for different reasons, but they are replaceable--cheap and easy.

Colorblasted bum!


I have had a really good time educating DAD about flats, folds, covers, the challenge, the reasons behind the challenge, and answering his questions. It's been a small bonding experience for us, doing something crazy together. From making the camp washer to laughing with each other about the learning curve involved with folding, we did this TOGETHER!

Tools of the Trade


My son seems comfortable! A piece of folded fabric seems to move and bend with him. Not that he looks uncomfortable in other fluff, but he seems to really be "free" in flats. He tries to get loose from the Snappi, so we always have to use a cover, at least initially, but he does seem to enjoy flats.

Tie-dying was great fun. Over the last decade I've though several times about tie-dying, but never actually sat down to do it. This challenge may have sparked the most tie-dye action the world has seen at one time, in preparation for the event! I was finally able to devote some time to making pretty flats. And t-shirts. And table runners. And flour sack towels. And bandanas. I had a LOT of dye so I was begging my husband to bring me anything he could find that was white!



We have not had any stink problems. I have stink problems with all of my microfiber. I could see flats being a good alternative for a few days as I try to get the stink out of the rest of the stash. I don't soak my PUL diapers very much at all, for fear of damaging the PUL. I don't feel scared about much of anything with flats, so I soak and really wash vigorously, which I think is attributable to the odor-free state of the diapers.

It's a good reminder. When cloth gets to be a chore, you're sick of laundry. Sick of ammonia. Sick of [insert reason here.] You can just dig out the flats, take a week to hand wash and hang dry, and you may just be rejuvenated by your "modern stash" again!

I am glad to have this experience under my belt. Just another resource I can use when advocating for cloth. If I am asked about flats, I will be able to speak first-hand about using them!

This has been a great experience for the whole family, but I will be glad for a break before doing it again for a camping trip in 2 weeks!! One more day!

Eco Sprout from Lovely Eco Chic - Review & Giveaway

I am finally able to try EcoSprout after hearing great things about it for almost a year! That privilege is mine thanks to the fabulous Mary from Lovely Eco Chic. And, thanks to Mary and her generosity, she is going to hook up one lucky reader with a bag of their choice scent too! Go to the Lovely Eco Chic website and read about the cool mama behind this store. More on that later, first lets take a look at the finer details of these super yummy smelling cloth-safe suds.

How It All Shakes Out:
Effectiveness: 5
Scent: 5
Stink-Sinking: 5
Quality: 5
Ease of Use: 4
When All Is Said And Done: 4.5

I was sent the "Green Tea" scent. It sounds crazy, but as I anxiously awaited the EcoSprout to arrive, I kept wondering what Green Tea smells like. I kept thinking back to an actual tea bag and kind of wondering if I would dislike the smell. I honestly couldn't place what it would be like. So many lotions and sprays and creams say "Green Tea and Mango" or some other scent combined with Green Tea, which is always the dominant scent--I began to wonder if I had ever smelled it before! 

Then it arrived in my mailbox.

It is wonderful! It's bright and clean and fresh smelling. Not at all like an old teabag. Not like perfume or a lotion or anything I had smelled before. Simple, crisp and fantastic. I would like to thank Mary for sending such a great-smelling scent option for me to try! It is not what I would have immediately chosen, but I LOVE the outcome of my wonderment and it was fun to experience something new! So, for "scent" EcoSprout gets a 5!! This goes hand-in-hand with Sinking-Stink. My diapers are always stripped using RLR Laundry Treatment (well, the inserts, fitteds, prefolds, flats, and anything non-PUL anyway) yet there is always a degree of stink that accumulates after a while. EcoSprout did not ADD to that stink, as many detergents do that claim they are "cloth safe." There are even brands that are well-known in the cloth world that I used and felt like they perpetuated the problem for me! This was not the case with EcoSprout. The residual smell from the detergent was not as strong as the original smell while getting the wash ready, but there was still a faint, fresh smell of the lovely Green Tea there. I have noticed that I'm not seriously offended by my diapers--not even the microfiber--nearly as quickly since starting to use EcoSprout! So, EcoSprout scores a 5 in that realm, too!


The fact that it did not add to any laundry issues makes it quite effective. It cleans my diapers, regular wash items, and even my husbands dirty work clothes. I was pleased with the results after using the EcoSprout detergent for a few weeks. It really has decreased my amount of stink, which makes me feel like my diapers are cleaner. I am a HUGE skeptic of anything that boasts this, as I said I have tried MAJOR cloth-diapering detergent brands and found that they stink!! I will be keeping EcoSprout around until potty training is complete!

Something really awesome about EcoSprout is that it is all-natural. My son and I both have sensitive skin, and looking back at my first few months of being a new mom, I cannot believe I used Dreft, thinking it was "sensitive safe!" It is probably the most perfumed, smelly detergent I've ever sniffed! It didn't have any bad reactions on our skin (and of course I didn't use it on any cloth diapers) but I used it quite a bit, thinking it was a sound choice for us. Now that I've experienced so many alternatives that I didn't know existed a little over a year ago, I won't ever go back to the pink box of powder! I feel like a company that can make an effective product in an all-natural way = quality!! The packaging EcoSprout comes in is really pretty. The bag is a slider bag, for ease of use and closure. LOVING this feature! Zip-lock style bags are hard to shut if granules of detergent or flakes get into the track of the zipper. Bags with NO re-closure devise are the worst. This handy slider top makes it easy to close, ensuring I won't waste a bit in my laundry frenzy! The outer cover with the EcoSprout logo is muslin or some type of earthy-looking material, which I really dig too. My coffee provider also uses a similar material and I re-use those bags for all sorts of household organization and storage. Much more earth-lovin' than all plastic. Another mark of quality! Give 'em a 5!!

Lastly, the ease of use part of my scrutiny of this great product. I gave it a small demerit for ease of use--though I LOVE that it is a slider bag with an awesome cloth cover, I don't like that they don't send a scoop. Maybe this is a good thing in some ways--it uses less plastic. Maybe the manufacturers are thinking green and hoping the consumer will use a tablespoon that is metal, that they already own for measuring. But, as much as I would like to embrace that notion, I still like when detergent comes with it's own measuring device. So, since I had to find a suitable scoop for this detergent, as petty as it sounds, it was enough of an inconvenience to note for me. I'm not a lazy person. I didn't mind that I had to walk upstairs and find a measuring utensil. I just like the company going the extra mile, if you will, providing you with the appropriate vessel for measuring their product. It could even be made of recycled materials if they would like to keep it more green. But, if I were to change one thing it would be that. All detergents should come with a measuring device of their own.

There you have it. A pretty darn great detergent. An all-natural fix for your diaper stink. A detergent safe for baby bums, mama cloth, daddy dirt and all that falls in between. I am really liking my EcoSprout! You should LIKE them too. And, LIKE Lovely Eco Chic while you're at it! You can keep apprised of all the fun news, events, promotions and happenings over at Lovely Eco Chic by following on Facebook. If you think this might be for you, BUY some--Mary would love to help you out with your cloth diapering and detergent needs! You can also take a stab at WINNING a bag in the scent of your choice by filling out the Rafflecopter form below!! Make sure to THANK Mary for bein' an earth-lovin' mama and generously sponsoring this giveaway!


#Flatschallenge Day 5 - What I have learned so far...

I am taking part in the Second Annual Flats and Handwashing Challenge hosted by Dirty Diaper Laundry.   For 7 days I will be using only flat cloth diapers and handwashing them in an effort to prove that cloth diapering can be affordable and accessible to all.  You can learn more about the rules and why this challenge was started by visiting the announcement post.  This year there are over 450 participants from all over the world!

Well, ironically, we got a "new to us" washing machine today! I'm excited to wash all the flats and covers one time "really good" on Monday!! :)

I have learned that putting a flat on a toddler is no easier but not much harder either than a regular diaper change.

Some of my pcord special diaper-only hanging system!


I have learned that diapers with dye left in them will leave you with a kiddo whose pelvis looks like a smurfs!

I have learned that I may never master more than a "pad" and "kite" fold. I'm okay with that.

I have learned next year there will be no corn during the flats challenge! :P

I have learned that I probably have it in me to make it seven days with just flats, covers, and my camp washer, hanging items dry.

It's not pretty, but it works.


I have learned what it's like to HAVE to diaper this way. So, I am a bit humbled. Instead of worrying about stalking diaper stockings and having the best new woolies that are trending, I will be thankful that I can diaper with options.

I have learned what a day of diapering may have been like for my great grandmothers.

I have learned that even though there are many of us participating, blogging, advocating for cloth, there will still be families REUSING disposable diapers on Monday, when this is all over. Even though flats are a healthier, cheaper alternative.

 I hope, through all WE have learned that we have also drawn attention to flats as an option to people that hadn't  known about it or considered it before. I hope that somewhere, we have educated and empowered at least one family or parent. I hope to remember this week whenever I am faced with a petty diapering issue--it could be worse!

At the end of the day, this is still my favorite fold!


Counting Sheep? Baaaa-d Sleep.

So, something occurred to my husband and I recently.... We NEED a new mattress. I am delighted when I fall asleep in the baby's room--the guest bed is better! A mattress is one thing we have not purchased as a couple. We have gone to mattress stores, laid on the beds, and had a fun time doing it!


I have no idea. We have decided that this is the summer (or hopefully the month!) that it will happen. We are breaking down and getting something AMAZING to sleep on.

So, what are you sleeping on? Something fabulous? I might go camping to get a good night's sleep!! Time to catch some Zzzz's!! As mama's (and daddies) we get so little sleep sometimes anyway, shouldn't it be GOOD sleep?!

#Flatschallenge Day 4 - Handwashing!!

I am taking part in the Second Annual Flats and Handwashing Challenge hosted by Dirty Diaper Laundry.   For 7 days I will be using only flat cloth diapers and handwashing them in an effort to prove that cloth diapering can be affordable and accessible to all.  You can learn more about the rules and why this challenge was started by visiting the announcement post.  This year there are over 450 participants from all over the world!

Okay, it's 12:25am. So, it's really Day 5, but I'm just getting to my post, so for me, since I haven't slept yet, it's still day 4!!!

Ahhh, Handwashing. I LOVE it! Well, the actual action on handwashing using my Camp Washer anyway. I do not however, like the willy-nilly schedule that I've been keeping with washing! I just kind of wash whenever I am almost out of flats, taking into consideration pretty serious dry time, since we've gotten about 4" of rain in the last day or so.

The weather took a turn the moment the challenge was afoot I think! But, that is fine by me. Just keepin' it real!

My husband has yet to wash a flat. He changed 2 so far I think. One was a poo. He did not wash it out. :/ No Super-Husband points for him that day!

I like to leave my washer with a bit of detergent (like 1/12th of what I use in the washing machine) soaking with some cold water throughout the day, and just add flats and do a little plunger swishing and swoshing as the day goes by. **I have the basement gated and off limits to my boy, so having a wet pail is totally safe for us, but before you try it, make sure that your pail won't be accessed by kiddos!*  This keeps stink down and helps to soak out stains, since we're lacking sunlight these days.

I've been hanging my flats from door knobs, the shower bar, in front of fans, and just about anywhere that I can spare the room! Just another note--WOODEN chairs and furniture are NOT good places to drape wet items, as it deteriorates the finish.

Okay, I'm delirious! Good night all! I leave with this....

Handwashing...So Easy, A Baby Can Do It!!!


#Flatschallenge Day 3 - Favorite Way to Use Flats

I am taking part in the Second Annual Flats and Handwashing Challenge hosted by Dirty Diaper Laundry.   For 7 days I will be using only flat cloth diapers and handwashing them in an effort to prove that cloth diapering can be affordable and accessible to all.  You can learn more about the rules and why this challenge was started by visiting the announcement post.  This year there are over 450 participants from all over the world!

Well, I am still a fan of just getting it on my toddler however I can before he escapes. I put most of the material in the front (heavy-wetter) and I have yet to make any pretty folds. I sometimes fold another flat in the front for naps and traveling, and I am a huge fan of covers, because my son won't leave the Snappi alone.

I love using flats, but have found the hand washing a pain. Mostly because I have to coordinate more with the weather & time management! I think they will be GREAT for camping.

I haven't had any stink issues.

I hope this doesn't disqualify me, but for Waterbabies today, I left my guy in just a cover---no flats on the inside, but nothing else either, so I'm pretty sure we're good! I had actually forgotten his cloth swim diaper at home, so it was such a STROKE OF LUCK to be doing the flats challenge!! Otherwise it is highly likely we would have only had AIOs or a pocket with us! So, it was obviously part of my mission in life to be part of this challenge. LOL!

My husband, like so many others I've heard about, is humoring me and "playing along," but is not passionate about using flats. I have to give him credit for not putting on an AIO or something though!

So, my favorite way to use flats is however it works!! I think I will be continuing to use flats for EC later on though. We've been introducing the potty since about 6 months old, but flats will be great to assist our awareness!

Going to upload a picture as soon as my PERSISTENT child decides to go to sleep!! Fighting naptime!

#Flatschallenge - Day 2 - Supplies I am Using & Update

I am taking part in the Second Annual Flats and Handwashing Challenge hosted by Dirty Diaper Laundry.   For 7 days I will be using only flat cloth diapers and handwashing them in an effort to prove that cloth diapering can be affordable and accessible to all.  You can learn more about the rules and why this challenge was started by visiting the announcement post.  This year there are over 450 participants from all over the world!

Yesterday I did a spoiler on this topic, since I wasn't smart (didn't read ahead to investigate the whole week's topics!) But here is a quick run-down of my supplies:

**I didn't figure out all of my costs. I listed what was purchased for this event specifically.

3 Oeko Popo covers
1 Flip cover
1 Hippeez Fleece cover
2 Brown Cow jersey flats
1 Bamboo flat
10 Gerber birdseye flats ($9.99 at Walmart)
3 Sweetwater cloth flats
1 pair of fleece Wahmie Panties
2 pairs of wool longies
1 wool shortie
1 diaper BumGenius sprayer
1 camp washer that I made last week ($5 for new plunger, pail we already owned)
25' of pcord (paracord) & plastic clothespins
wooden drying rack (bought at garage sale, might be for movies or CD's in its' original intent)
several Snappis

Tulip Tie-dying kit - ($7.49, on sale at JoAnn Fabrics)

Alright, other than an extra dose of patience and a touch of humor, those are the supplies for the week. We are using our regular detergent.

Today's Update:
**Today it is raining. I am really bummed about that, since I have a stained flat that I wanted to sun. In fact, here is what the week looks like for us!! Again, YIKES!


We have been having a pretty good time using 2 flats. Cleaning poo out of flats is kinda difficult at times, as the folds tend to hide poo. I've been using the diaper spraying to clean off solids before using the camp washer.

Daddy is having trouble with folding. He has been sticking to the "pad" fold and snapping covers. But, I'm thankful that he is open-minded to playing along and learning about flats. (Because otherwise I wouldn't have any daddy daycare this week!!)

Here is his attempt while babysitting.

And, another look at this strange "Daddy fold."

All-in-all, things are going pretty good. I'm not going to switch to flats full-time, but at least I'm getting more comfortable, quicker, and more efficient flat diapering!

#Flatschallenge Day One - Putting the WHY in Yikes!

Well, the day has dawned. I have been looking forward to this event, though last night, the eve of flats fun, I found myself panicked for lack of research, preparation, and for procrastinating! As some know, I am taking part in the Second Annual Flats and Handwashing Challenge hosted by Dirty Diaper Laundry.   For 7 days I will be using only flat cloth diapers and handwashing them in an effort to prove that cloth diapering can be affordable and accessible to all.  You can learn more about the rules and why this challenge was started by visiting the announcement post.  This year there are over 450 participants from all over the world!

Here is my sweet dye job in progress from a few days ago.

Well, I'm doing this because:

1) I wanted to challenge myself, prove that I can do it. I wanted to shift my lifestyle for at least one week and take a more simplistic route in diapering. It's not like it's science fiction--it's POSSIBLE! Quite the opposite of sci-fi actually, even though to most people cloth diapering AT ALL sounds alien, flats and handwashing were the norm for many of our grand-mamas and great-grand-mamas. In fact, I'm sure I have ancestors that if they were to witness my feeble attempts at this first day, would have been wildly amused. This is a lesson in humility and history. For that reason, I'm into it and I'm going to try hard.

2) I am a cloth diaper advocate. I feel like I should try everything this lifestyle (I don't know what else to call it at the moment, I despise calling it a 'hobby') has to offer. I want to tell my readers that it IS possible. It makes me so sad to think that people REUSE disposable diapers!!! Ish! I think they are gross enough to begin with, but to reuse one? It makes me REALLY thankful for the plentiful stash I have built. I want folks to know you don't need the $45 custom-made posh diaper to keep your kiddo in cloth. You can save so much by cloth diapering to begin with, but going the way of flats is by far the cheapest way I've tried. This challenge is about anyone, anywhere being able to use cloth.

3) I'm an outdoorsman and a camper. We don't always camp where there is water. We just bought a camper for super cheap, so we'll be taking a maiden camping trip in the near future! But, I like to know that even while traveling, I can still keep cloth diapering, and, keep them clean & functional--not having to toss them in the campfire or something (totally kidding folks) just because we are away from washing facilities.

4) It makes me happy to think I'll be reducing my global footprint this week. I don't use the dryer a lot during the summer months, but, it will be great to not use the washer too. And, since it's stuck on HOT wash, it will save on water-heater costs and ultimately green-up our lives.

Here is my first sad attempt (pre-coffee, mind you)

Now for the Expectations...

So, that's WHY I'm doing this. But, as I eluded, I keep thinking YIKES. I don't know if I have enough flats. I was going to sew some sweet t-shirt "daddy" flats, but didn't get my sewing machine up and running. I know I can always still use t-shirts, but I am bummed that I dropped the ball on those flats.

I have: 10 flats (birdseye cotton) purchased at Walmart (about $10). I have 2 jersey cotton flats. I have 3 larger birdseye cotton flats that feel like WAY nicer quality than the Walmart ones. I also have a bamboo flat. So, that's a total of 16. I have 2 Oeko Popo covers that I purchased a few months ago and haven't used yet; 3 woolies, 2 fleece covers, and 1 FLIP that I kept "just in case" when I was getting rid of my covers, back when I was still relatively new to cloth and was CERTAIN I would never use covers.

Not only do I have the YIKES feeling about quantity, I have a little boy with the poops. Again, YIKES.
Although, I do think this will make it more 'real' -- since, inevitably, you will have diarrhea issues while diapering a kiddo. So, I'll be able to speak to that experience.

The last YIKES I have anxiety about is time. This is such a busy time of year -- fire season + planting season. So, for a firefighter/fire dispatcher and a forester, it's busy. But again, this will make it more reaal I think. What if we really had to diaper this way permanently? What if I HAD to have this laundry routine to get the job done? What if my husband had to figure this out? More frightening, what if the GRANDPARENTS had to figure this out? I have reason to believe my son would either be potty-trained VERY early or he would be naked a lot when mom wasn't around!! But, it makes me realize that even though I thought my time was completely leeched from me before, it doesn't compare to what I'm about to do this week.

These are the ideals that I have in my head on DAY ONE of the Challenge. I am excited about how/IF my opinions will change over the course of the week OR if I will find I am a future-forecaster. This is after all, just another Adventure!

Keep updated as we go along! It should be a hoot! It WILL BE a learning experience.

Flats, Broken Stuff, & Event Anxiety!!! #MMM 12

Good Monday Morning! (I am writing this preemptively, expecting my Monday to be off-the-charts-manic, so I apologize if there are any tense disagreements or anything like that!

Bug and I are participating in the 2nd Annual Flats and Handwashing Challenge started by Dirty Diaper Laundry last year in an effort to raise awareness about cloth diapering and it's availability to the masses--even those without washers and dryers!

Well, I've made us a camp washer. I tie-dyed some flats. I have about 4 different kinds that I'm experimenting with. I saw post after post from my bloggy friends, talking about how they "practiced" folding flats and trying out what works best for their kids. Not me. I feel like I went through a time tunnel and came out a week later. I have no idea what happened between today and May 9-11ish.... I lost a whole week. No, I haven't been drinking! So, I feel a bit panicked that tomorrow, when Bug wakes up, I'll have to figure out flats. He might be running around naked while mama figures it out! Definitely going to be a 2-3 cups of coffee day!

I did end up working an 11 hour day yesterday, so that always sets me back in the home-life progress. It was a really fun day at the office though. A pretty active fire was burning right outside of a beloved tourist town and there were actually 47 mph winds at one point, so it was very busy.

I couldn't even keep on task for this post. I just wrote a review that I've been working on for a few weeks. I put the peanut butter in the baby food cupboard and could not make a PBJ for hubby to take to work. My brain is mis-firing these days! So, why not take on a flats challenge!?! Funnily enough, our washing machine is on it's last legs. Only the hot cycle works, so I've been shrinking our clothing, setting stains and becoming increasingly peeved with the dumb machine. I've seen a lot of ads online for "front loader washer for PARTS" and am curious if anyone has had trouble with them? We still have an old top-loading dinosaur. Let me know!

The morning has begun **of course** my little guy has his 1st case of diarrhea--ever. (If you don't count EBF poops. I mean consistently over the course of a few days, not just one change. So, this is not ideal for the challenge, but, it makes me that much more thankful for even my semi-broken washer.

I'm also stressing that I won't have any interest for my upcoming event in July! I never thought I would be nervous about hosting an event, but I am!! I will be posting an "official" post in the next few days, but in the meantime, this is an event running mid-June and culminating on July 1st! So, email me if you're interested, keep checking the blog for more, or, check in later on next month to ENTER!

We FINALLY got hubby a new car!! Well, a really old new car. We couldn't pass it up, he was spending $10/day driving a V10 (really green, right?) to work and back. So, even if this old car craps out after just a few months, it will still have saved us money. Plus, we can junk it and get about 1/2 our money back. So as far as big purchases go---camper, check! car, check! still needed: washer, some random car repairs for my car, TV/DVD/VCR/DVR would be great! and a new push mower. It seems like in our family, when it rains, it pours--all of our $100+ appliances are dying all at once. And, the TV package is a luxury, and it would probably increase my evening productivity if we just didn't have one, but it's my relaxation time.... So, anyway, glad I'm working a little here and there. Glad I HAVE some of the above appliances, even if they are less than functioning perfectly. Glad we found a new car. Glad I am at least testing myself and trying to host an event.

And now...naptime. Happy Monday!

...On Running

I posted recently about my lofty goals of getting back in running shape--the kind of running shape where I truly enjoy running. I've only ever been there 3 times in my life: in high school, in 2007, and again in 2009. So, I'm due for a relapse of health-minded living.

So far in the way of updates:

I'm still looking for the perfect shoe, but in my browsing and research I have been described as a "heavy plodder." I don't know if that is SUPER motivating or enough to make me cry at the condition I've let my poor body get into! When such descriptive running jargon fits exactly how I feel as I embark upon training runs these days, it is just the reality check I need, sad as it is. It almost makes me think of an old, flea-bitten horse that is sway-backed and chubby! So, I need new shoes. I need them to carry me to my goals and not cause any further agony. I think my feet have smooshed out a bit since my pre-prego foot size was measured professionally. I'm scared that with each child I have they will just spread and grow and I will be shopping in an exclusive online section for the extremely big-footed gal!

Next, I realized that since my core is what my white ol' drumsticks dangle from, it should be stronger. I can feel my posture isn't quite right while I jog right now. I know why. I have not attempted a sit-up in over 18 months. Yikes! I'm a bit afraid that I will get stuck! I feel like ordering life-alert! So, add to the "to-do" list = Core Strengthening.

I need to re-hydrate better. Some days I get ready for bed and as I'm brushing my teeth I realize that's the only morsel of H2O I've had all day (well since the morning brushing). Not good. Muy mal. Must drink more water!!!

I still need to update my outfits. Not just my workout outfits, but my everyday stuff too. I caught a glimpse of myself in a mirror the other day, I have at least 3 features that I swore I would NEVER have as a mom. I will refrain from mentioning them here, I think I'm still in denial. My clothes are beginning to get tight. This needs to change. So, I'm allowing myself some cool new duds at my first 10 lbs gone. I might be picking out Christmas sweaters at this rate!

Lastly, my venue needs a change. To the left of our driveway is the route I've been walking/running for 3 years. To the right is a beautiful route with a biting dog. Unless I drive into town (logistic nightmare w/toddler) then I am forced to go the way I always have. I DID get a new Trampled by Turtles CD that I will be transferring to my MP3 player. Runnin' to bluegrass might help motivate! This week, my goals seem as far away as Pluto. But, at least I'm keeping at it. Trampled by Turtles is quite fitting for the moment... Someday soon I hope to be listening to Of a Revolution or maybe REO SPEEDwagon!! :)

Keep checking back, keep holding me accountable! I hope to post amazing things this summer in regard to my running rekindling!

A Fix'r Up'r - Manic Mommy Monday #MMM 11

Manic Mommy Monday!

This Manic Mommy Monday is coming to you from Granny's house. We are visiting for Mother's Day--remarkably I am having an okay time with her computer! 1/2 our state is rural enough that wireless is still pretty fancy, so I don't even bother bringing the old MAC laptop here. But, Granny's computer is a lot faster than my circa 2003 dinosaur, so I'm pretty happy! The only downfall is the old browser & no pictures or bookmarks...other than that, all is well technologically.

Now for the real part of the post...

For Mother's Day I wanted to go on a hike to a place I have never been. I actually worked in the area for nearly 6 years and never visited half of the cool attractions. So, we got up at our usual time and hubby played with Bug while I packed a day pack and a picnic. We were going to do a 6-mile roundtrip leg that would take us to a nice lake. It was about 70 and sunny. Perfect.

So, we got 1/2 way there, trail map in hand when the phone rang about a camper we were sure had sold because I basically stalked the owner's phone number for 2 days. I left 2 messages. It was something we could afford and I wanted it! Low and behold, it was still available and just 2 hrs in the other direction. So, we turned the Subaru around and began our journey to get this camper.

Here is the beaut! We call her the turtle.

It included the truck that the camper slipped onto, so it was a steal, albeit a steal that needed TLC. We got there, and for Mother's Day I got a camper! We are so excited to fix it up and camp in it! My friend Annie at Montana Solar Creations told me all about her camper and her solar panels that are on it...totally inspired us to get a roof over our heads. We are normally tent campers, but this year with a super mobile toddler, we thought it might make it more enjoyable for everyone to go this route. After a little vacuum action, it was looking better already! :)

We also had amazing gilled ribeyes, crab-stuffed portabellas, corn on the cob, and baked potatos. Awesome Mother's Day. I'm not even sore, since we didn't go on the hike.

Carry Me Please Giveaway Event from Tailor Made Mama

Welcome to the Carry Me Please giveaway! Babywearing can be a wonderful time for both mom (or dad) and baby! For some it is a necessity for others it is just a way of life. For what ever reason you wear your little one, you should be able to do it in style!

Tailor Made Momma has put together and amazing giveaway and is offering up the winner choice of an Ergo or Pikkolo baby carrier!
This giveaway is open to the US and Canada and will end on May 26th!
Don't forget to come back and get your daily entries in!

**I am only participating in this event as a blogger. If you have any issues or questions, please direct them to Tailor Made Momma. And, be sure to thank her for this fun event!**


Kid Safety Bands Review & Giveaway

This is a little extra fun for the Mother's Day Giveaway #Clothdiaperhop! It's not diaper-related, but since it's an extra, that OKAY! This is for all of us mothers who are innately worry-warts, from the moment we learn we are pregnant until, well, I'm pretty sure it's a forever thing. But, in an effort to ease the worry and take pro-active measures in a CUTE and FUN way, Kid Safety Bands have come up with a solution for children that are young.

These bands are customized and have the childs initials or name on them as well as YOUR cell phone number (or best contact info) so that in the event the child gets lost in Walmart, misses a bus, or is somehow separated from you, the speed in which you can be reunited is hastened by these cool bands.

Kids are wearing these things for all sorts of reasons---awareness, Smokey the Bear, friendship, cancer, troops, etc. This way, they won't be nerdy--just another bracelet! They come in fun, vibrant orange--perfect for a girl or boy. Kid Safety Bands come in 3 sizes: x-small (6in), small (7in), and adult (8in). (X-small bands are for 3-5 year olds and small bands for 5-8 year olds.)

Check them out here.

Allergies and medical conditions can also be included on the bands. They retail for $8/bracelet and are shipped FREE in the US!

(that's) "THE" BALM Review & Giveaway

Malena a talented and fabulous mama way over in Hawaii wanted to be part of the Mother's Day #Clothdiaperhop and generously offered a review and giveaway!! She sent me (that's) "THE" BALM products that included: MAD Diaper Rash Balm & Sunscreen, "Pucker!" Lip Balm, "THE" BALM Hand Sanitizer, Fresh out of the TUB Baby Shampoo and Wash, and The BALM Spritz!

What's (that's) "THE" BALM? It's an all-natural product line that is great for your skin and body and is so deliciously smelling! Tropical island vibes exuded from my package as I opened it! Getting a package from Hawaii, filled with yummy smelling natural products...THAT'S THE BOMB!

The lip balm is the only one that I actually have ever used with my son. I don't trust the oily "who-knows-what's-in-it" chapsticks that I use on myself on my son's lips. This one, being all natural was the perfect choice for the occasions when he gets dry lips. He loves it! He toddles up to me when I take it out and stands there waiting! It's adorable! It's also really fruity and moisture-rich on your kisser. I carry it in my diaper bag so that I always have it on hand. It comes in a tin, but unlike other salves and balms, this one is actually easy to open and stays shut. I'm loving it! The Lip Balm gets a 5 from me for Quality of the ingredients, packaging, and the fact that I can use it on my son guilt-free.

Next, I tried the Hand Sanitizer. This was like a bottle full of oranges! It's also very yummy! I just sprayed some on my hands after being in the supermarket, and hoped that the "cart germs" would wave bub-bye after coming into contact with the sanitizer! It is much more appealing than the cleaner-smelling traditional sanitizer. It's hard to say if it "works" -- I don't have any scientific way of knowing, but I will use an all-natural product any day before one with potentially harmful ingredients. Plus, it smells wonderful and gets any topical ickiness off of my hands anyway! This scored a 4 for me, since I love the smell, it's not sticky, and again, it's all natural...but, since I have no way of proving it does it's job sanitizing, I can't give a full 5. Then again, I couldn't give ANY sanitizer a 5, because of that reason! But it's still pretty awesome and it smells divine!

We haven't had diaper rash in the time that we've had the (that's) "THE" BALM MAD Rash & Sunscreen, but I'm going to use it just as soon as we do! We've used other creams and balms with our cloth diapers, and some work, but I'm always looking for other options! I've heard that this miracle balm works for other things too--so I will be putting it to the test for all the random topically-treated ailments I have! We have used it as sunscreen though, we do like it for that purpose! Both Bug and I are fair, so we blast through sunscreen. All natural sunscreen is THE BOMB. Natural protectant from the searing sun? 5 out of 5 there!! Great quality and a really nice consistency--it doesn't leave me feeling oily and gross like some sunscreens and it didn't burn when I worked up a sweat.

Fresh Out of the TUB Baby Shampoo and Wash left my Bug clean and happy! We used the pump that Malena included to make some foam-tastic fun in the bath! The smell of this product reminded me more of Shea butter or coconut oil or something similar. A little bit earthy and very mild. Perfect for delicate baby skin! Normally we do not use "bubble bath" in our household, but the foam from this wash was completely agreeable with our sensitive skin. It didn't leave that waxy residue on my skin or my son's skin after the bath. I was really pleased with this Shampoo & Wash. I think my Little Bug was too! I'd recommend it to mamas (or daddies) with younger babies too! It seems super mild. I would have liked it in more of a tropical scent, but then it may not have been as benign, so I can't complain! And it does have a nice scent to it, just not as vibrant and obvious as the orange-citrus smells of some of the other products. Again, no complaints yet, so 5!!

(that's) "THE" BALM Spritz is pretty pleasing to the olfactory as well! In a really ironic moment today, I was squirting the spray in the living room and looked up to see my Oriole had come back from his southern journey in search of oranges that were not yet at my feeders. I think he sensed all the orange-y citrus goodness in our home the last few days and decided to come make his cameo! I couldn't be happier to share some fruit with him while smelling the tropics in my home all day! This is not creepy and toxic like some sprays, light and fresh but plenty delicious, the Spritz is a must-have for home and body freshening! I think my bottle will be gone by the end of the week! I'm REALLY enjoying the invigorating scent! Of course this product has to get a 5! It's wonderful!

If you think you'd like to have a bit of the island-life wherever you live, (that's) THE BALM is what you need! Drop THE BALM! Order it today from the (that's) "THE" BALM website and enjoy tropical goodness everyday! And remember to THANK Malena for being awesome! THE BALM ROCKS! It actually IS the BOMB! Remember to venture on over to the Mother's Day Giveaway to enter to win some of these great (that's) "THE" BALM products!!

The Charming Sparrow Review & Giveaway

In the spirit of so many "green" days--Earth Day (April 22nd), Arbor Day (last Friday in April), International Migratory Birds Day (May 3rd), and Bike-to-Work-Day (3rd Friday in May)--I am starting out a series of household green up posts with these ridiculously cute and practical paperless towels from April at The Charming Sparrow.

How It All Shakes Out:
Ease of Use: 5
Quality: 5
Functionality: 5
When All Is Said & Done: 5

Here is a look at the "green mail" that I received recently!

Here are all four of the panels snapped together, ready to go on the roll or be folded up--just like PAPER towels, only way more earth-friendly!

I love that these towels snap together! You can keep your set of 4 snapped together and rolled up in a holder, just like paper towels. They wash up along with any of your regular laundry and can be used over and over again! Not only that, but this print (and many others) are so much prettier than even the cutest prints that Brawny or Viva or any other paper towels offer!

Ease of Use: The snaps are just as easy to use as paper towel perforations--except you don't have to worry about accidentally ripping off just a corner or something! You get a whole towel, every single time! These are durable little towels, they wash up great and can be thrown into the washer with any other household laundry!

Here is the full spread of the sweet flower and bird print.

Quality: The quality of the material is great. You can tell it's not cheap fabric--it's super soft flannel with a reversible matching print. These are great for napkins or clean-up! I had a hard time finally cleaning up a mess with them though, because they are so darn cute! So maybe that's an added bonus? They make you more neat and careful, so you make less mess so you don't have to dirty them! Haha! I just love ours. They make me feel good because each use means 4 less paper towels going into the landfill. Four less paper towels made from trees.

Here is a close-up of what the little snaps look like. They are found on all four corners of the towels, so they snap together easily.

Functionality: These are BETTER than paper towels in function. They NEVER rip because they are wet! They are reusable so you only ever need ONE for a job, no matter how messy. I've cleaned up my baby, his high chair, the table, and counters in one easy and quick wipe job! (Starting with the baby, of course!) I am just kicking my self for not making the switch sooner! It's saving valuable resources and money--plus it makes me feel good! I love making greener choices in our home.

Here is another picture, zoomed out but with good detail of the snaps.

One soon-to-be-greener reader will WIN a set of FOUR paperless towels from The Charming Sparrow, in a fun and kitchen-y cupcake print! Please use the Rafflecopter form below to enter.
See? Just like PAPER TOWELS...but cuter! And greener! The giveaway prize towels!

Or, you can BUY your own green Faux Paper Towels and many other fun items from April's shop on Etsy! Take the step to green up your kitchen today! It is really so much nicer! Even if you still have a roll of paper towels lying around "just in case," you'll use WAY less and still be a little greener. The Charming Sparrow really dresses up a dirty job with a variety of cute options for faux paper towels!


**I received a set of paperless towels for this review. I did not receive any other compensation for my words, which are 100% mine. For more, please see the PR/Disclosure tab.**

Imse Vimse Swim Diaper from Jillian's Drawers

Most of you know that I teach Waterbabies. I used to teach Adult Water Aerobics, but as of yesterday, I will have resigned my position for the summer and will only be teaching Waterbabies and Toddler Swim Lessons. This is great because it works better for me and the little man, and I LOVE focusing more on the babies! This will be my 4th class offering in the last year and ONE thing that stands out in each class is:

Our cloth diaper.

My child is the ONLY one that wears cloth swim diapers!!!
To me, it is astonishing how many people in my rural midwestern town do not use or even think about using cloth diapers!!

I mentioned during Real Diaper Week on Day #1 that Jillian's Drawers "Changing Diapers, Changing Minds" Trial Program is how I started cloth. Well, not too long ago, I contacted them and suggested that they should adjust the program to include a cloth diaper for swimming in the mix of the package. Even though I had the cloth epiphany, I hadn't had that 'ah-hah' moment with SWIM DIAPERS until about 9 months into my cloth adventure! So, in about 2 months ago, I started using an Imse Vimse swim diaper that Jillian's Drawers generously provided to me for this review.

I had used only Monkey Doodlez swim diapers before, and I loved them, so I thought I'd try another brand, since we spend SO much time in the pool.  I was excited to try a new one, to see if all swim diapers are created equal.

How It All Shakes Out:
Daytime: 5
Night-time: N/A
Quality: 5
User-friendliness: 4
When All Is Said And Done:  4.5

Here is the "water-fluff" mail that I received.

In this photo, you can see the 2-snap closure system. The child slips one leg into one side of the diaper, then you snap the other side around the remaining leg.  It is nice in some ways, compared to a pull-up style swim diaper, but with a toddler it was sometimes difficult. Moving target... 

This print is called 'Green Fish.'
 I really like the fun fish designs, but I'm truly in love with the Black Lizards and Sea Animals prints!  They also have very cute ruffle-bum options for those little girlies!

Many people have commented on "how cute my son's SWIMSUIT is." Many, especially the older ladies that remember the days of "rubber pants" are stunned when I tell them it is a functional diaper as well!

As for ease of use, I mentioned that I like the side-snap feature on the Imse Vimse diaper MOST of the time. When the swim diaper is wet, it is much easier to take off when you can just unsnap one leg and pull the other one down.

The fit is great. I got an XL and when we ordered it, my guy was 23 lbs. This size is listed to fit 15-24 months and 24-31 lbs. I don't think the diaper would fit him at 31 lbs. (But I will definitely keep trying it each week and we shall see!) He is now just under 25 lbs and it is getting snug. I think he would need a bigger size in a month, maybe two. So, I would say that Imse Vimse run on the small side. Keep in mind though, they make sizes ranging from Newborn to 3-4 year olds! The next size for Bug would be "Super Large!"

I would love to get the word out more about cloth swim diapers. I forgot a swim diaper one day (back in the days when we used Little Swimmers) and bought one from the front desk of the pool center we swim at---$2.00!! You can purchase a cloth swim diaper for around $20. A whole package of swim disposables is about $13 where I shop. It doesn't take a mathlete to see the savings of cloth--especially since it's summer! Our swim diapers pay for themselves in just a few weeks!

Some pools don't ALLOW cloth swim diapers. This is incredibly closed-minded. Little do they know that cloth swim diapers do EXACTLY what a disposable swim diaper is designed to do--keep the SOLIDS out of the pool. We have only ever had a poo in a swim diaper ONCE. It was a terrestrial swim diaper poo event. EPIC FAIL. It was way back last summer when the little guy was about 5 months old, still exclusively breastfed, and we were using disposable swim diapers. I also didn't realize that it was unwise to travel even short distances with a disposable swim diaper and not a regular diaper on.... HUGE mess. At a restaurant no less! I haven't been able to test the poo-proofing powers of any cloth swim diaper, because we just aren't pool poopers I guess! But, I do feel based upon the experience I've had with disposable vs. cloth swim dipes, it would hold up great! Imse Vimse are "public pool approved." Imse Vimse is based Sweden with a US branch.

I found out all swim diapers are not created equal, BUT I do like both brands for different reasons. I also know as a certainty that ANY cloth diaper for swimming is better than a disposable!

My advice to you if you are interested in using cloth and your local pool, fitness club, or hotel does not allow them, contact the manager. Better yet, see if the cloth diaper manufacturer will contact them--many of them will do so. It has been proven that cloth is just as effective in preventing solids from entering the water as disposables are. If not more so.

The quality of the Imse Vimse diaper is really good. The cloth is a nice balance of durable PUL and comfort.  I remember trying to pull and rip off disposable swim diapers and sometimes it would not rip...which would lead to pulling and pinching of his soft baby skin. It is the perfect fit right now. It doesn't flop around or threaten to leave him in his birthday suit, but it also doesn't leave any red marks behind from being too tight.

The material is PUL on the inside and material just like the swimsuits YOU wear on the outside! These cloth swim diapers are ready to use---no stuffing or inserts needed!

I haven't converted any of my swim-moms yet. YET. They all comment on how 'cute' the cloth diaper is. I think there is just a simple intimidation factor that needs to be broken down before a mama will consider cloth. I'm a huge cloth advocate after having such a great experience, and I'd love to see my entire class in fluff! I keep telling them as I'll tell you: head on over to Jillian's Drawers and try a swim diaper. Or, try the Changing Diapers, Changing Minds program if you are new to the cloth idea! You won't regret making the switch. Someday, your child may even thank you for making a healthy, green choice! And for bein' stylin' in the summer with a cute cloth diaper!

*I apologize for the pictures, my little man was a particularly hard model to shoot in his swim diaper! I did not include any pictures from Waterbabies class, as I do not have press release forms for the other students.*

***I would like to THANK Jillian's Drawers for providing me with the swim diaper for this review. I tried their program at my own free will when I started cloth and the swim diaper was the only compensation I have ever received from them. These opinions are my own words. I loved the trial program and working with Jillian's Drawers. If you have any questions, contact me. If you want to learn more about my reviews and giveaways, see the PR/Disclosure tab on my blog.***

Gettin' My Butt in Gear

Well, I said I would lose the baby weight in the first year. My son is 14 months old and I'm still not in the shape I would like to be. Can anyone else relate?

The thing I struggle with is the cyclic nature to being out of shape. I was in great shape before I took a desk job. Desk job, followed by pregnancy, followed by a long winter with no snow for x-country skiing, snowshoeing, etc. didn't help matters. Now, it's been nice this spring. I have been walking 2-3 miles each day mostly with Bug in the stroller. I'm amping it up to jogging intermittently. The days of running 3+ miles seem like a fantasy that I dreamed up, not something I used to start each day with!!

I want to get back together with running. We had a great relationship. I cheated on running. Now, I want to rekindle the flame! Here is my to-do list:

1) Update Ipod. (well, Ipod is easier to say--I really have a small MP3 player) and, it's got music from like 2003. No lie. Not very motivating to try to run to the same 20 songs I have been for YEARS!

2) Get new shoes. I have a pair of Mizunos that I LOVED and I actually got them as part of my college volleyball uniform, way back in 2003. They have more miles on them than I would have ever imagined possible, and they desperately need to be retired. I've actually read that there is an optimal amount of tread miles for a shoe, just like tires, and that you get better running results from updating your kicks regularly. I am alternating between those oldies-but-goodies and my Merrell hiking shoes. Neither are ideal. The Merrell's look SUPER dorky in Zumba class! ha!

3) Get a new running outfit. I want to try a running skirt/skort, but would like to get into better shape before rewarding myself with that. I'm thinking some leggings or capris and a new tank. New things tend to motivate me!

4) Build baby-free time in. Nothing ruins mojo like a child that is ready to go home before your run is done! UGH! Sometimes, if a jog/run is planned poorly around the all-important nap, I end up high-tailing it home after just 1/2 mile. Boo! Daddy is going to need to kick in some time on this one!

5) Eat better. I remember college days, when I could eat 1/2 a pizza and be nursing a substantial hangover and still pull off a decent 1 1/2 miles or better. Now, not only do I only drink about one time each year, never more than a few, which is a far cry from the days of yore...I also cannot eat crap food and then expect to run. Lately, because I've been busy, I've been supplementing by meals with Goldfish, mango sorbet, and chocolate milk. I need to reign this in and start going heavy on the produce and whole grains again.

So, there it is. My NEW ME plan for the summer. More details to come... Wish me luck! Hold me accountable! I will be updating y'all on how it goes!

MMM #10 - Anxiety, Excitement, & Ideas!

Manic Mommy Monday!

Here we are again, Monday! I returned to work last Saturday (just for one day to fill in) at the fire center as a dispatcher. It was great, refreshing my memory on the key functions that I had forgotten over the winter, seeing old friends, having a "mommy break" while Bug was having a daddy day.

They asked about training. I said I'd be interested. So, here I am, signed up for a Support Dispatcher training, which is a really good-paying position, and will help me when I do go back to work someday when Bug's bigger. I'm really anxiety stricken about the training though! It's one full week and though it's only in a town 1/2 hour from home, and he will have family care (mom, hubby, MIL) I am still going crazy about 5 straight days without him! I've done 2 in a row (coming home @ night) but 5?! Yikes! Mostly I'm worried about my supply. I mean I DO get a lunch break, but I think it's either 1/2 hr or an hour and it's at a Community College, so finding a room to go pump will be a challenge. I really want to go stake it out a week early! HA! We will have been breastfeeding for 15 months by the time June, when the class is rolls around, and I just want to see Bug through to 2 years if I can! I will see him every night and hopefully that will keep us going. I just really don't want to come this far only to have a week of training blow us out of the water. The training is only offered every 3 years and means a $6/hr pay increase when I go in for those "fill-in" days. I was actually having heart-pounding anxiety last night thinking about losing my milk! I know that it is a somewhat unrealistic fear, and that many women go through much worse, but I love my BFing relationship with my son, and I don't want to put it in too much jeopardy!

Now, the excitement! I have been getting my butt in gear and trying to get back into shape. I've been trying to be better about keeping the house clean and actually taking a naptime or two to do a few things I WANT to do! I have been painting again, enjoying a magazine or book, and watching a snippet here and there of Sex & The City or some other mindless program during naptime---BLISS!

I'm not losing any weight and I really need new running shoes to take off, but at least we're out there, puttin' on the miles! Today is my 2nd to last day of Water Aerobics. Last Friday, my boy fell asleep on my while we were instructing. Splashing waves and all. The time of day that the class meets is much of the poor fit for us. He's so cranky then! I'm really excited to think of the 'freedom' having only Wednesday Waterbabies will create for our summer planning! We are going to have a blast! We are also on day #7 of a cold. It started as 4 days of sore throat, then 2 days of snot, now we are in the cough/phlegm phase. I am always the mom that is for "staying home when you're sick" but today is our last day of Mommy and Me for the year and I really want to go! So, I'm thinking since I sound like crap but have had this for a week I'm likely not contagious. Let's hope not. We also got Bug a Tricycle. Now I know he's too young right now, but I couldn't resist!

And, ending with some ideas....

I will be working with some cool folks this summer! Stay tuned for that!

I will be uploading a bunch of my pictures (since my posts are so sadly pic-free. I work from my MAC for speedier surfing and writing, but my PC upstairs (slow) for picture storage, so I RARELY sinc up and get a picture with a post! I will be getting MY NEW COMPUTER soon!

I have some cool plans in store for mid-June. Big giveaways with a fun twist.

I will hopefully be able to post that I am losing weight and getting healthy again, post-baby! (REALLLLLY post baby!)

So, there ya have it. The weekly round-up of what's going on in our crazy little household!


Harp Diapers - Review and Giveaway

Recently, I found some really wonderful diapers from a friendly and fabulous WAHM named Deborah. She is the seamstress behind Harp Diapers.

She is also one of the sponsors of my Mother's Day #Clothdiaperhop! YOU can win this diaper called "Winter Wolves" by entering the Mother's Day Giveaway!

How It All Shakes Out:
Daytime: 5
Night-time: 5
User-friendliness: 5
Quality: 5
When All Is Said & Done: 5

Here is the front view of this beautiful, outdoorsy diaper!

Daytime: This diaper is great for during the day. The SUPER absorbent pad of this AI2 really does what it is supposed to! The only daytime downfall is certain jeans are too tight because it is so squishy and soft! It fits great under rompers, jams, and to go around in just a diaper, but under jeans it was a tight fit. Otherwise, I love my Harp Diaper!

 Night-time: We had finally found that wool works really well for us at night, but since we just started using wool in these last few months, we don't have a huge stash, so we are still on the hunt for more nighty dipes! Especially those friendly to dad and grandpa--which this one totally is! Really snuggly and absorbent, this diaper saw us through the night pretty well.

This fun, outdoorsy print features wolves and is so beautiful! The inside is black minky. I sort of wanted to wear this diaper myself it was so soft! Little Bug was snuggly soft when he went to take his afternoon nap and he woke up DRY!

Here is the inside of the diaper. Luxurious, soft, squishy goodness. It's minky baby.

User-friendliness: All you have to do is put the absorbent pad onto the diaper. Snap on. That's it! It couldn't be more simple! *Note* this diaper does not contain PUL.

Here is the 'white' side of the insert, for contrast purposes, so you can see it better!

Quality: This is a wonderful quality diaper. The minky is so soft. The pattern "Winter Wolves" is beautiful. The sewing is durable and the snaps are too! These are custom-made to fit your little one's tush and shipped with love from Canada! For every diaper this WAHM sells she puts the money into an account for her little girl! Genius! Not only that, she keeps her prices SO affordable for such a fun custom diaper!

Here is the other side of the insert, alongside the diaper for scale comparison. This is an AI2 diaper. It has no pocket. It has SO much cushion-y goodness! The insert is 4-ply.

When All Is Said & Done: We gave this diaper a 5 because of it being great for night-time, made of quality materials, super-absorbent, and from a super friendly, talented WAHM with EXCELLENT customer service! We love it!

And, here is the back of the diaper. Those of you that are 'Team Jacob' are going to want to get in on this giveaway---or just order a custom one for yourself!!

**I received this diaper for review. All opinions and words are my own and cannot be purchased. I did not receive any other form of compensation for my services. For more, see the PR/Disclosure tab on my blog**