Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Extra Entries for $25 Diapers Etc. Gift Card!

        Want a few more entries to win the $25 Diapers Etc. gift card?

1. Read my C3T post and join the challenge by "liking" the C3T Facebook page (as described in the post). Leave a comment on the original giveaway post stating that you did so (if you already have taken the challenge, that counts). 

2. Read and comment on any of my other posts (make sure to again comment on the original giveaway post stating that you did so). Each comment counts as one entry. If you look at the right sidebar, you'll see the category for cloth diapers which probably would be of interest to you. 

It's as simple as that :) Thanks for entering the giveaway! 

Change Three Things (C3T)- The Cloth Diaper Revoultion


          Have I mentioned how much I love the company Cotton Babies? In addition to having some amazing products, they also have the most wonderful customer service and outstanding advocacy initiatives! One such initiative was launched last week and is entitled, "Change 3 Things," or C3T.
       The goal of the initiative is to get 100,000 parents committed to change 3 cloth diapers per day therefore preventing 30-50 million pounds of landfill waste, and 100 million disposable diapers not purchased saving families 24 million dollars! (See their original blog post to find out how they came up with these numbers). WOW! Those are some goals :)
       In order to meet these goals, Cotton Babies is asking families to change 3 cloth diapers a day. It's as simple as that, hence the name "Change 3 Things." If you've ever wondered if even using cloth part-time is worth it, this challenge demonstrates that it is. So what difference can changing just 3 cloth diapers a day do? Listed below are the facts copied and pasted from the Cotton Babies Blog:

Why three diapers?
We are busy parents too and really appreciate achievable, manageable goals. Changing three cloth diapers a day is something that almost any parent can do (stay at home or working).

Do my 3 cloth diapers per day really matter?
Yes, it matters! When I get calls from mainstream media, one of the first questions they ask is "how many people use cloth diapers?" This has been true with every major parenting publication and news organization (including Time Magazine) that I've ever spoken with. It's next to impossible to answer that question because we don't know. This not only gives us a way to answer that question but it also gives us a way to measure how many cloth diapers are being used every day. Is it perfect? No, but it's a start.

How does it really change me?
Every cloth diaper saves about $.25 (depending on what brand of disposables you buy). If you save $.75 a day, it may not seem like much, but those three diapers can save you approximately $260 over the upcoming year. In addition to the savings per diaper, you can save yourself time, money and gas for those emergency trips to the store when you run out of diapers.

As parents, we know how frustrating it is to do those repetitive tasks like dishes, laundry, picking up toys, and changing diapers only to turn around and do it again a short time later. By joining the Change 3 Things revolution, you can take one of those repetitive tasks and turn it into an opportunity to create lasting impact that your two year old can’t undo in five minutes.

Building a foundation of accomplished goals makes us feel we can achieve more. The Change 3 Things campaign is a great place to start and could set in motion habits that build your confidence, empowering you to revolutionize your family.
How does it change my baby?
By using cloth diapers, you choose everything that touches your baby’s skin. Additionally, you could brighten baby’s future by applying the financial savings of cloth diapering towards their education…$0.75 a day in a savings account adds up quickly.

Does it really change the entire planet?

Did you know it could take as much as 500 years for a disposable diaper to decompose? That’s right, disposables YOU once wore could be … still out there, full of well, you know. One baby in disposables could contribute as much as one ton of waste to a local landfill! Your participation in this revolution of change could prevent the disposal of as much as 55 million pounds of waste. 

        Convinced yet? To help make it even easier, Cotton Babies has designed some very affordable cloth packages to help families meet the C3T goal. 

The awesome pocket diapers, the Bum Genius 4.0, can be purchased for $53.10!

One of my favorite diapers, The Flip All-in-two, can be purchased for $49.95!

And the most affordable of all, the Econobum Trial pack is only $11.95!

         If you've wanted to try cloth, but have been intimidated to do so, now is the time! Modern cloth diapers have never been easier or more affordable. Cotton Babies even has live online support to help answer any diaper-related questions that you might have (located below the product index on the main store page). 
       So, how do you join the revolution? Simply commit to changing three cloth diapers a day and "like" the C3T Facebook Page.  Then spread the love by sharing this initiative with others. I've accepted the challenge, have you? If not, what's holding you back? (I'd love to hear your thoughts and promise to give non-judgmental feedback). 

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Birth Matters

          SO I have baby on the brain lately. Everywhere I go, it seems there are newbie squishees... The crazy part is that I've never really been a "newborn" person. Maybe it just took me awhile to "warm-up" to them, or maybe it's just because as each day progresses, Little Man looks less like a baby, and much more like a boy and it's making me extremely sentimental...
       Anywho, I've been chatting back-and-forth with a friend that is struggling with the thought of TTC after previously having a cesarean. It's crazy how much one scar can lead to so many...
        She asked me, "Why does birth matter so much to me?" I've often asked myself that very same question. Why is it that I would fight to- the-death for something that other woman will happily do heavily sedated and on their backs? Why does it matter so much to me? 
       The more I think about it, the more it seems to be a very personal answer. I guess the answer that I've come up with is that we were created to give birth- our bodies were made to push a baby out and if you are in tune with the natural flow of life, then that desire is recognized. Or at least that's why birth matters to me. I know in my brain that normal birth is better for me and my baby, I know what the research says about its importance, but I'm not always sure why it's such an ingrain desire. I'm sure it's different for different women. 
       I'd love to hear your thoughts on why birth matters to you (and if it doesn't, with all due respect, please don't bother to comment). 

Monday, February 14, 2011

**CLOSED The Cloth Diaper Hobbyist- (For the LOVE of Cloth Diapers: A Diapers Etc. Blog Party and Giveaway)

The giveaway portion of this post in now closed. Random.org chose comment number 102 made by erinnicole14@gmail.com. Erin, you should have gotten an email from Debbie. CONGRATS! Thanks to everyone that entered! 

            Hi! My name is Robin, and I'm a "fluff" addict... For those of you that know me, either online, or in real life, you know that one of the things I'm passionate about is cloth diapering. I have chosen to use cloth for my baby for many reasons (all of which are outlined here), but an unexpected perk of switching from disposable to cloth was that I found it to be a new hobby. 
        Ok, so I know what you may thinking (unless of course you are already a cloth diaper nut like myself), "Really? Diapers? What could be so exciting about diapers?" (also a question that the hubcap has asked me from time-to-time). And my answer of course is, have you seen modern cloth diapers? There are sooooo many options out there as far as brand, model, and style, and also, they are so stinking cute! Once I made the switch to cloth, I quickly found myself researching and participating in online discussions about the latest trends and designs (check out Eco Chic Parties for the latest cloth diaper happenings and events). I was completely sucked in and couldn't wait to get my hands on more diapers (again, you're probably thinking, "Seriously?" but go ahead, I dare you to make that first cloth diaper purchase and see how quickly it becomes fun). 
          The love of cloth diapers has sparked a huge underground online movement and community! I'm so proud to say I've "met" many amazing mamas and papas along my cloth diaper journey that I probably wouldn't have run into otherwise. Mothering, as much of a blessing as it is, can sometimes be such a lonely and monotonous lifestyle, but using cloth has added a bit of fun into the every day ordinary. It sounds crazy, but having cloth diapers as a hobby has made life not just another day another diaper. Changing a diaper that's fun, stylish, and uber-cute, takes a bit of the pain out of diaper changes. 
         Now, to you, my insanely awesome cloth diaper hobbyist readers and friends, I salute you for your love of cloth and the difference you are making for baby bums, budgets, and mother earth. My fellow cloth diaper advocates, I'm sure you have found cloth diapering to be both addictive and exhilarating. To my cloth diapering community, have you admit-tingly become a "fluff" addict like myself? 
        Here's a "You Might be a Cloth Diaper Addict Top Ten List" to check and see if you are indeed a bit more than a simple cloth diaper advocate. If you find yourself, thinking, saying, knowing, or doing any of the following, you may indeed need some retail therapy.

You Might be a Cloth Diaper Addict if:

10. A "snappi" has nothing to do with tomatoes or pizza...

9. Your "stash" is not made up of anything illegal...

8. You spend your free time arranging your stash into fun designs (for contest purposes only, of course!)

7. "OH-MY-GOSH! It glows in the dark?" 

6. "FLIP" has nothing to do with gymnastics...

5. To significant other, "But I don't have this print!"

4. "OH! It's been an hour- I can tweet AGAIN!"

3. "ARTIST SERIES"  warrants third child...

2. Diaper inspires photo opps (see slideshow below). 

AND the number 1. way you can tell if you are a cloth diaper addict is, 

The thought of potty training makes your stomach churn and causes it 
to be tough to get out of bed in the morning....

          I hope you enjoyed my "Top Ten" list. I may or may not be guilty of any or all of the above statements. My addiction love certainly has nothing to do with the below slide show...

Thanks for taking the time to stop by and read my post. Make sure to visit all of the awesome blogs participating in the very first Eco Chic 
Parties Blog Party sponsored by Diapers Etc. To read more about the 
blog party, check out this post by Eco Chic Parties. (And listed below,
are all the other blogs participating!)

       Diapers Etc. is a wonderful online retailer where you can feed your 
fix and support your cloth diapering habit (notice the links above in the 
top ten list). The Happy Heiny's Skull Print diaper in the above slideshow 
came from Diapers Etc. You can find that print, along with many others, at the newly made-over site.
      AND, here's the really exciting part- Debbie, the owner of Diapers Etc., has graciously offered to giveaway a $25 gift certificate to Diapers 
Etc. to one lucky reader (each blog participating in the blog party is also hosting a giveaway).

SO, how do you win?

Visit Diapers Etc., sign up for their newsletter on the homepage of
their store, and tell me what you would buy if you won the $25 gc.

Extra Entries:
Mandatory entry MUST be completed first.
1. Like Diapers Etc. on Facebook (one entry).
2. Follow Diapers, Etc. on TWITTER (one entry).
3. Follow my blog through Google Friend Connect (at bottom of blog, one entry).
4. Like Eco Chic Parties on Facebook(one entry).
5. Follow Eco Chic Parties on TWITTER (one entry).
6. Tweet about my post with link back to this page. Must include  
@EcoChicSidekick and @Diapersetc. You may tweet once a day and each tweet counts as an entry. Something like, "Are you a #clothdiapers addict? #Win a $25 gc 2 @DiapersEtc from @EcoChicSidekick http://bit.ly/euE0zS "

Leave a comment for each entry and make sure to leave your email if
it's not visible in your profile. Contest runs from midnight Feb. 14, 2011,
until midnight Feb. 28, 2011. Winner will be chosen via Random.org and 
then notified via email. Winner will have 48 hours to respond or a new
winner will be chosen.

To participate, you must be 18 years of age and live in the continental

Disclosure:  This party is part of an integrated marketing project between 
Eco Chic Parties and Diapers Etc. I received the Happy Heiny's Skull Print
for participating in this party however my opinions and post has not 
been influenced by my participation. 


Saturday, February 12, 2011

Funk Rock Review

        Got stink? As much as I love cloth diapers, I have to admit that nothing is more frustrating than dealing with the dreaded ammonia stench. I use Rockin Green Soap for my diaper laundry and for the most part, it does a good job at keeping the stink at bay. Every few months, however (especially in the winter when I can't get my diapers on the line as much), I notice the ammonia smell to creep it's ugly head back into my diapers. It starts as a mild nuisance and gradually builds its way up to an eye watering, wretched stench as soon as one of the boys pees (I use mainly pocket diapers). I've tried every stripping method I can find, but still, the smell rears its ugly head...
         Enter a new product, FUNK ROCK from none other than the geniuses behind Rockin Green Laundry Detergent! Known as the "Ammonia Bouncer," Rockin' Green describes its product as :

Do you have the funk? Stinkies? Ammonia problems? Diapers that make your eyes water? Have you considered a kryptonite lined diaper pail to contain the smell of your dirty diapers? Did fluffy or fido have an accident on your bunny slippers? Dealing with the dreaded toddler pee? You need funk rock! This 100% natural compound is unlike anything you have tried before. It targets funk at the source and leaves no prisoners. Just 4 tablespoons is enough to de-funk up to 20 diapers in one sitting. A little to your pre-wash to keep the stinkies from coming back. That’s right, this little 9 ounce bag will keep the diaper funk away for over a month! Phosphate Free – Enzyme Free – SLS Free

      Kim, the creator and owner of Rockin' Green, graciously gave me the opportunity to review her newest product. Since both of my boys are in the toddler stage (and beyond), I was more than happy to get this opportunity! I received the 9 oz bag of Funk Rock, pictured below, about a month ago. 

Notice the size of the bag compared to the regular detergent.

          The first thing that caught my eye upon arrival was the size of the bag. In my head, I was thinking it would be the same size as the regular detergent bag, but it was quite a deal smaller (and if you read the product description it does say 15 loads compared to the 45/60 loads of the regular detergent). The 9 oz bag retails for $12.95 and should help you maintain your cloth diaper stink for about a month. The directions on the bag read:

How to Use:
1. Throw everythin in the washer, sink, tub, or bucket.
2. Add 4 tbs of Funk Rock with hot or warm water.
3. Let it soak for 30-60 minutes.
4. Rinse, and wash like normal using Rockin' Green detergent.

(The bag also states that you can maintain your diapers by adding a tablespoon to your cold pre-rinse or wash every load and also recommends doing an overnight soak in Rockin' Green prior to doing a Funk Rock treatment for best results). 

          I have a rather large stash, since I have two in cloth, so I was ready to start my stripping right away, and crossing my fingers that Funk Rock would perform as promised. I did four loads of 15-20 diapers and couldn't wait to see how the freshly washed diapers smelled upon being soiled (LOL- things you never thought you would be excited about). And guess what, you know that awesome, fresh, exhilarating smell of nothing that happens when your diapers are washed properly, well that's what I smelled- NOTHING! Absolutely NOTHING- WAHOO! The ammonia smell that had been eluding me for so long had finally seemed to disappear! My mostly microfiber inserts were suddenly light and fluffy and I was thrilled! The true test, however, would be to see if the smell stayed away for good...
           Fast-forward about a month. Since using Funk Rock a little more than a month ago (and  I also got about 2 maintaining loads out of the bag), I still have fresh, smell-free diapers! I am truly amazed at the power of this product. Nothing has worked this long at keeping the ammonia stench away! My only sadness is that the product was used so fast. I give this product :

     5 out of 5 Diapers for Quality 


3 out of 5 Diapers for Quantity 

           Bottom line, if you are currently battling the ammonia stench, this product may save your sanity and your love for cloth, but it is a bit on the expensive side so may be hard to use continuously. I would love to see Rockin' Green add whatever extra ingredients (can't find the Funk Rock ingredients listed anywhere) of Funk Rock to their existing detergent for an "Extra Hard Rock" formula option (and would gladly pay a few bucks more for that product). Overall, I'm very pleased to have my diapers smelling clean once again and would recommend this product to the cloth community.

Disclosure: The Funk Rock product reviewed above was given to me free of charge by Rockin' Green Detergent for the sole purpose of review. The opinions of this post are strictly my own. See my PR Friendly tab for my full disclosure policy. 

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Thursday, February 10, 2011

Upside Down 41/365

So Little Man LOVES to be upside down- notice the smile? Seriously, he laughs and signs more over and over whenever the opportunity to be an opossum presents itself. It will be a miracle if he doesn't have stitches by his second birthday. Anyone else have a toddler that loves to be upside down?

Monday, February 7, 2011

15 mths 38/365

         It's so hard to believe that Little Man is already 15 mths! As cliche as it sounds, it does go by way too fast... I took Little Man to his 15 mth well visit at the ped today. He weighed in at 21 lbs 15 oz, and was 2 ft. 6 inches (both at the 13 percentile). His growth has slowed down considerably considering he was in the 95 percentile at this time last year (all baby chunk). It's really no surprise to me though considering his parent's size and his amount of activity...

          At this time last year, my chunker looked like this:    

          And now he looks like this:

      It's so fun to see his "little" personality blossoming and to see him learning and saying new things. He loves to be a ham and I fear love that he has that Type A personality- happy and always cuddly. He currently says, "mama, dada, cat, hi, uke (for Luke), Emma, bottle, cup, milk, car, more," and, "eat." He also has a few signs and shakes his head yes and no. It's such a blessing to see him and Big Boy developing their brotherly relationship and communicating.
        Love you so much, Little Man! You bring so much joy to my life every day and I can't wait to see you grow and change throughout the next 3 mths (until his 18 mth well-visit).