Saturday, April 28, 2012

Life is like a circus, why not go!?

Anyone that knows me knows I'm not a huge fan of clowns, and my first trip to the circus included 5 year old me eating jalapenos, thinking they were pickles, thanks Dad! But, in an effort to not pass on my own irrationalities to B, I decided to participate in this program.

I had heard about a promotion from Ringling Brothers from my aunt. Something about registering your child with their website and getting a free circus ticket. I love free, so I thought I'd look into it. You can find the FAQ page from Ringling Brothers here. In a nutshell, you register your child before their first birthday, and they get a certificate for a free circus ticket to use whenever and wherever. Children over 2 are full-price tickets; registering your child in this program now ensure you can get a free seat when they're older!

How cute is this idea!? Now, if only I could get a free ticket to a Packers game by putting B's name on the season ticket holder list before he's 1 year old...

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Free Fluff Giveaway!!

I'm so excited! I get to do my first "official" review and giveaway! Thank you to the lovely GoGo Natural baby store for sponsoring the review and giveaway! Another great local option for the Phoenix metro-area, but also has a FULLY fucntioning website with the ability to ship nationwide! I love helping to support a local work at home mommy!

I was provided with a yummy chocolate DinkleDooz one-size pocket diaper to give you my two cents on!

I'll start by saving I have a tendency towards pocket diapers. Something about how soft and streamlined (in my opinion) the inner is just makes me happy. I don't mind other diapers, I am a junkie afterall, but if I could re-buy my whole stash, I'd probably have 80% pocket. That being said, I LOVE this diaper! Let me break it down for you.

The diaper itself comes in 7 solid colors. I got to test the new color chocolate. I love that the snaps are a contrasting color to the solid chocolate PUL shell, giving a solid diaper a little bit of whimsy. It comes with 2 microfiber inserts; a large and a small. The pricepoint can't be beat. Only $14.95! For a ONE-SIZE!!

Some of my favorite features:
It has probably one of my favorite snap closures on a diaper. Sure, it's got the common snaps on the rise setting, but I really like the snaps for the hip. It has the two rows, one for the hip, and one for the legs. Perfect for my narrow waisted, somewhat chubby-thighed little B. There is also a "wing-drop" snap to keep the excess fabric flaps from drooping on the sides of the diaper. Additionally they have a "flap-over" system where the flaps overlap and allow the snaps to fit even the tiniest of babies! Needless to say, I adore their snaps!

For a one-size diaper, these are probably some of the most trim out there. I love that I can have B wear this under some of his jeans which, let's face it, are sometimes less than forgiving, and they still fit. It's great because I don't have to worry about what pants I'm putting on him based on what diaper he's wearing at that moment. Despite it's super-trimness (is that a word? It should be) it's still very absorbent. Even after being strapped in a car seat or taking a nap, no leaks!

The pocket feature is fantastic. Not only is the pocket nice and wide to make for easy stuffing, but it has what DinkleDooz refers to as their "Flap-back" system. A little flap of fleece (try saying that three times fast!!) to cover where the insert goes. GENIUS! On a couple of my other pocket diapers, I find myself tucking the insert back in, or under the outer shell. This "flap-back" makes it so I don't have to do that! No more escaping microfiber which can be harsh if constantly rubbed on sensitive baby skin. 

I've been playing with this diaper for a couple weeks now, to make sure I could get a thorough review, from wearing, to washing, to staining. I'm happy to say that (TMI WARNING) B tested this diaper well. :) I got a good #2 out of him and was actually excited to wash and see how it did. I didn't have a diaper sprayer at the time, so when I washed the diaper, I was a little nervous, but ALL the staining came out! There were a little dark spots around the leg elastic, but with the help of our lovely Arizona sun, they came right out. No extra washing, no rinsing, dunking, soaking, etc. Just my normal wash routine and hang dry outside. While we're talking about washing, the prep for this was super easy. I did my normal wash/dry routine (cold rinse, hot pre-wash/wash/extra rinse, extra rinse cycle--I have an HE frontloader, this is typical for me--and line dry). After this one routine the diaper was ready to go! Super convenient! 

Some things I would change:
Technically, there is nothing I would change. I think the functionality is great and can't wait to see how it stands the test of time. The ONLY thing I would suggest is prints. I'm a sucker for cute cloth prints. Solids are great for being gender neutral, for re-sale, and for using the same diaper for different babies, but I LOVE me some prints! While I appreciate the two-tone (one color shell/different snaps) on some of their colors, I would be thrilled to see a fun pattern or two! :)

If I had to rate this on a scale of 1-10 with 1 being "a waste of money" and a 10 being "buy this diaper for your entire stash" I would give it a 9. Just because I would want a little more diversity in colors/prints for my stash. But it's a great one to stock up on nonetheless!

As I mentioned before GoGo Natural has provided me with this diaper to review and  has agreed to provide a FREE DinkleDooz One-Size diaper in any color to the lucky winner! BUT since GoGo Natural is awesome and thinks all my readers are winners, they've provided a discount code for 10% off  (KZ4AZ2012) for everyone! With free local pick-up in the Phoenix metro-area and free shipping for domestic orders over $75, what a great way to support a local WAHM while getting great quality products!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

I need to apologize...

I've been reflecting lately on the past 6 months of being a new mom. Becoming a mom is a truly humbling experience in more ways than one and it's made me check my ego at the door and realize I owe some people an apology or two. 

First to my girlfriends who had children before I did. I need to apologize for not being more understanding when you were unable to answer the phone, or go out late night drinking, or even grab a movie. I know how valuable time to yourself is during those first few months or even years (I'm assuming) and I don't blame you for wanting to spend a few minutes in just blissful silence. Alone. I also now know how hard it is to actually leave that little one to take advantage of some well deserved "me" time. It's weird how a little baby pooping on you, puking on you, screaming in your face for the better part of an hour can still be so hard to put down and leave every once in a while! I'm sorry for questioning your parenting choices. For assuming that I had all the knowledge of raising children, for even thinking "that's not how I would do it" or "I can't believe she's doing THAT". The sad part is, this was all before I even had kids. Who was I to pass judgement? I now know that parents are different. By my standards some are loosy-goosy, some are extreme, some are downright weird, but why is it my place to tell them that as long as their child is happy and safe. If it works for their family, fantastic! That doesn't mean I have to replicate it with mine. I'm sorry for not having the respect for you to respect your choices. Lastly, I'm sorry for not listening. Not listening with both ears and one heart. I know there are plenty of conversations that were had in which I "heard" what was being said, but I didn't listen. I now know sometimes it just takes an empathetic ear. No need for advice, no need for guidance or reassurance that you're doing it right. Just an open heart to say "it's ok". I'm sorry for not being that person earlier. 

Second, to my family. I'm sorry for being that kid and for not always appreciating what was given to me. People always say "I want to give my kids more than what I had". More what? More things? More space? More rules? More time? What does more mean? I'm sorry for always wanting "more" despite having pretty much everything. I hope to raise B with a healthy understanding of working for what he wants; that not everything is just given to you. But in doing this, I hope to be able to give him "more" of what really matters. Quality time, love, attention, space to make mistakes, all of the things I had growing up with my family, and all of the things Polish Prince gives to me now. I'm sorry to my family for not realizing this and appreciating it earlier. 

Third, to my sweet little B. I'm sorry for not being the "perfect" mother (whatever that is). I'm sorry for the mistakes I've already made (A hand-held shower head seemed like a great alternative to a diaper sprayer!) and for the mistakes I'm sure I'm going to make. I'm sorry there will be times I'll have to say "no" and for the times you'll think I'm unfair. But I promise I will be your perfect mother. We'll navigate this world together, bumps and bruises along the way. There will be plenty of opportunity for apologies in this life and plenty of "I still love you anyway" hugs as well. 

I read an article a while ago about passing judgement on other moms and since then I've tried to be more open-minded. It's sad that I have to try as hard as I do, but as previously mentioned, I'm not perfect. I'm learning, everyday, how to better myself and set a good example for B. I think it's AA that says before you can start recovery you have to right your wrongs. I hope this post will suffice for much of that. As I continue to grow I'm constantly reminded of something my grade school librarian Mr. Anderson used to say:

"A wise old owl sat in an oak, the more he saw, the less he spoke, the less he spoke, the more he heard. Why can't I be like that wise old bird"

Truth is, I can. Observe more, speak less, listen more, judge less.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Baby's first vacation!

Thank you all for your patience the last week or so. We took our first "official" family vacation, complete with a plane ride this past week. We flew across country to visit B's Grandma KD, Grandpa Nando and Auntie Jamie. As a typical first time mom, I was terrified to take a baby on the plane. I had flashbacks of my own "pre-baby" judgmental comments, (internally, of course) and looks (externally, I'm afraid) to those other parents traveling with infants who were less than pleased to be cooped up on a plane. **We used an Ergo carrier through the airport which made traveling a breeze! Another point for babywearing! I also brought our Scootababy for around the house and a Solarveil Ring sling for the beach. It was great to have plenty of options and we even got Grandma KD and Auntie Jamie to babywear!** Polish Prince flew out with myself and B on the way there, and on the way home it was just baby and me. Overall, the plane was a success. He was a bit more vocal on the way home than I would have preferred, but it just gave me an excuse to get up and stretch my legs pacing the aisle and hanging out in the back galley! :) 

His first vacation included a fun trip to the beach and LOTS of swimming! He's been in swim lessons here since he was about 3 months old, but the beach was a whole new experience! He liked the dry much he wanted to eat it! Wet sand and waves however were a whole different story! It was so much fun getting to see his expressions as he explored his new environment. 

Since we were staying with family the whole time we decided to travel with our cloth diapers. I went back and forth a while on this one, but when Grandma so graciously offered up her washing machine I went for it! B needed a whole suitcase (carry-on size) just for his fluff!! We did sposies for the plane because I didn't want to travel with dirty dipes and cloth the rest of the time. I was surprised at how easy it was to travel with! When we went out and about in Florida I carried his wet bag, I didn't need to haul a huge diaper bag everywhere and it was fantastic! I also got the opportunity to visit a local cloth diaper shop in Tampa to pick up some detergent. They have a website and a storefront. You can check them out here. Super cute shop and super friendly staff! I was on the complete other side of the country, yet when I walked in this store, it felt so familiar and comfortable. I love the fluff family!!

We had such a fun time and already can't wait for the next trip!