Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Hevea Pacifier Review

I Squirmy was given the opportunity to review a pacifier from Hevea.  At first I was excited but also fairly apprehensive.  He's been rather selective about his pacifiers, and I was worried he'd refuse to take a new one.

The package arrived one night before bed time.  The outside packaging is made from recycled paper and printed with soy ink!  The "plastic" wrap around the pacifier is compostable!  I was pretty impressed!

Because Squirmy is nearly 8 months old (when did that happen?!?), they sent me a 3m+ pacifier with moon and star cut outs!  The pacifier boasts impressive eco-friendly, baby friendly, and general piece of mind qualities:

  • 100% natural rubber latex 
  • Hygienic one piece design – no joints, cracks or edges
  • Soft material and ergonomic shape – soft and gentle against baby’s face
  • Doesn’t leave marks, prevents vacuum around the mouth
  • Sustainably produced
  • Recycled and biodegradable packaging materials
  • Meets EU standard EN1400, US regulations CPSIA & AUS regulation AS 2432-1991
  • No PVC, no BPA, no phthalates, no artificial colors

So that's all fine and good and all that...but what would Squirmy think?  My kid's not the "give me my paci, my life is not complete without it" kind of kid.  He's the "well I guess if I can't be attached to Mommy 24/7, I'll settle for a pacifier" kind of kid.  My kid has refined tastes (ahem...picky/spoiled).  Like I said, it was bedtime and Squirmy was in his usual mood: protest.  I yanked it out of the package, popped it in his mouth, and crossed my fingers.  To which Hubby replied, "Uh, aren't you supposed to sterilize it or something first?"  But before I could care, he was happily sucking away and drifting off to dream world.

I've been trying to get a picture of him using it for this post but haven't been able.  First, I don't dare disturb the newly asleep babe since he doesn't sleep as much as he should (read: as much as I'd like).  Second, he's always been one to spit out pacifiers once he's in a deep sleep (when a picture would be most ideal).  Third, within a couple of weeks, he stopped using pacifiers all together.

Which brings me to my other favorite part of this pacifier!  It's GREAT for teething.  Squirmy loves chewing on it!!  It's hysterical to hear it squeezing against his smooth gums.

SO!  If you're looking for a great pacifier that's natural and picky-approved...this would be it!!

You can buy it at http://heveababyusa.com/ or check out their Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/heveausa!!

**I was given the above described pacifier for review.  I was not compensated in any other way and the expressed opinions are my own.

Friday, November 5, 2010

The circle of life and love that extends beyond

Last August I was battling the first trimester zombie syndrome and dealing with my overly excited mother.  One ordinarily typical day my phone rang...my mom.  I considered not answering it since I was exhausted and her excited chatter was more than I wanted to deal with at that moment.  I answered anyway.  She was walking home from the mechanic after dropping her 14 year old car off yet again.  I offered to get her and run her home but she said she needed the fresh air.  Then her voice caught and my heart dropped.  Something was wrong.  My mind went blank as she told me that my grandmother had just called her.  Then she told me that my great uncle had passed away at 64 years old...completely and utterly unexpectedly.  The details were still muddled, but the bottom line was clear.  I fell into a hormonal, grieving mess as my hubby rushed to my side not knowing what my mom had told me.

The next week was difficult between traveling and the funeral and getting sick (from traveling) and the first trimester zombie syndrome.  The one thing we knew for sure was that if we had a boy, he would have my uncle's name as his middle name.  It honors both my uncle and my husband's grandfather.  Fast forward a couple of months and that tale tell ultrasound had us scrambling to pick out a boys name.  I hadn't really paid much mind to the fact that my uncle actually went by his middle name.  When we announced Squirmy's first and middle name to the family, my aunt choked up.  My late uncle and Squirmy would share the same first 2 initials.

My aunt and cousin threw a lot of their attention into my pregnancy, giving them something positive to focus on during that first, oh-so-hard year without my uncle.  My uncle always wore Polo shirts to work...always Polo.  So amongst the many odds and ends they spoiled us with, they were determined to find something Polo for Squirmy.  The day they set out to buy the outfit proved fruitless, at first.  Nothing was particularly attractive; nothing quite fit what they were looking for.  They gave up and vowed to look in other department stores or come back another day.  My cousin went to another rack to browse for other outfits to send us.

There in the middle of the rack, in the middle of the non-Polo section of the store, was 1 outfit.  The perfect outfit.  They hadn't seen anything like it and couldn't find where it would have come from.  My cousin insists her father picked it out and put it there for her to find.

It was a touching story that warmed all of our hearts...but we didn't realize the story wasn't finished.

When Squirmy was 6 months old, we asked our dear friend Kerri McConnell to help us capture pictures of our sweet boy in 2 heirloom outfits (one from my family, one from Hubby's family) and in his Polo outfit.  The shots of the heirloom outfits were for Squirmy's grandmothers' birthdays which were right around his 6 month mark.  The Polo outfit was, of course, meant for my aunt and cousin, just because.  I bought the frames and has the prints made.  The birthday gifts were in pretty bags with tissue while the Polo outfit picture sat wrapped in paper.  I, of course, forgot to get a padded envelope to mail it.

As life often does, it got busy.  So much happened so quickly, and I repeatedly forgot to pick up an envelope to mail off the photo.  It sat in the utility closet...and sat....and sat.  This weekend I finally had an envelope on my list for Target (you know 1.5 months later)!  I packaged it up, addressed it, and had it waiting for the chance to run to the post office.  Well, Tuesday was election day.  Since I'd forgotten to mail in our ballots, I had to run them to the local library where they were collecting them.  The library is on the same block as the post office, so I grabbed our ballots, the package, and a check I needed to deposit along the way.  I smiled to myself, knowing how unexpected a package from me would be.

My phone rang last night and I smiled when I saw who was on the line.  I could hear the catch in my aunt's voice and was glad she like the picture.  Then she started crying: "Did you know that today would have been our anniversary?"  My eyes filled with tears.  I never had any idea when their anniversary was, not even a general time of year.  I wouldn't have been able to pull that off if I'd planned it.

Who knew that one little outfit could hold so much magic?  Or perhaps divine intervention?  Or just love reaching beyond the grave?

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Wordless Wednesday

(And I'm glad I did!  Our gubernatorial race is so close here that results are still not in.)

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

sleep update

Here's an update to the post I wrote a couple of days ago.   I think I've figured some things out with this whole sleep thing, but I'm still not sure what to do about what I've figured out.

For starters, last night I was thinking about how well Squirmy used to sleep, then when he slept okay but not super, then when it all went to...well...hell.  Here's a little time line for you.

  • 0-2 months sleeping all night long, waking several times a night but going back, to sleep after being fed and changed, napping okay, always swaddled and held while napping
  • 2-4 months, sleeping through the night in his bassinet next to our bed, waking at like 6/7 and sleeping until 10 or so, still swaddled at night (can't remember for naps), basically always being held for naps.
  • 4-5 months, still swaddled at night, waking a couple times a night, a lot more co-sleeping, started watching another child during the day, still being held for a lot of naps, but not all
  • 5-6 months, swaddling is hit or miss at night (every time I think he's fine without it, I try it again and he sleeps better), started watching a toddler (so 2 kids plus Squirmy during the day), not swaddling during the day, nights and naps progressively getting worse, sleeping in his vibrating chair for naps, spending a good portion of the night in bed with me, moved his crib into our room, took the front off and pushed it up against our bed
  • 7 months...SLEEPING SUCKS!!!  We've gone back to fully swaddling every night, most of the night in our bed.  Naps are a terrible fight, TERRIBLE, and he's consistently sleeping 30 min for naps.
Here's the kicker, though.  A couple of days ago, I started holding Squirmy for his naps again, mainly by accident.  He went from screaming and 30 min to no screaming and 2 hours of sleep.  We went from 5-6 naps a day to 2-3.  AND he started sleeping significantly better at night (longer and more time in his crib/cosleeper).

So now what?  I can't realistically hold him for every nap.  Some have suggested that the vibrating chair has become uncomfortable for him.  Some have suggested getting a mattress for the Pack and Play so he'd actually sleep in it for once.  I've wondered about getting an Ergo so I could "hold" him and still be mobile and have my hands free (jury's out on if he'd sleep in it).  Some have suggested swaddling for naps again.  Some have suggested me sleeping with his nap time toys/blankets to get my scent on them.  Some have insisted I "break" him of me holding him for naps (which I don't think it's a habit since I haven't done it for months).  Some have suggested wean him from nursing to sleep (which he does often but not always).  Some have suggested I always nurse him to sleep.  Some say swaddle as long as he needs it.  Some say swaddling has become a crutch and I need to wean him out of it.

I feel like I'm being torn in so many directions and I don't know what to do.  I don't want to do the wrong thing, but I don't know the right thing to do.  I've been trying to follow my instincts as much as possible with everything we've done with him.  Now I feel like mother nature is out to lunch and left no instructions.

Anyone have any advice?  Any suggestions?  Any connections that you see that I haven't noticed?  Help!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

I love Shutterfly!

With all the random offers and coupons and swag you get when pregnant and with a newborn, it seemed the options for birth announcements were endless.  I looked through several websites and stores trying to find the right one for us.  To be honest, I hated most of them.  They were tacky and cutesy.  I wanted simple and sleek.  I found a Shutterfly coupon code and browsed through their selection.  Then I fell in love!

This was Squirmy's birth announcement (though the pictures were of him, as were the details).  I absolutely love it!  It gave just the right amount of information without being overwhelming and just the right amount of graphics to make it attractive without taking away from the pictures!  Add in the coupon code and a gift certificate I'd received from them as well, and the price was unbeatable.  I was sold!

As people printed photos for us from different sources, I began to notice a big difference.  I thought our local drug store printer was as good as any, but I did miss the days of film cameras and the quality of prints that came from 35mm.  Sure digital cameras can take amazing pictures, but I wanted prints that were just as nice. One of my friends order a bunch from Shutterfly and I was amazed at the quality!!  Just like it used to be!

It was a no-brainer where I was going to order our Christmas cards!  This is the picture we are going to use :)
With this card:

Even better, Shutterfly is offering 20% off all holiday cards!  So if you're super on top of things or just can't wait for the holiday season (like me), take advantage of the sale!  I can't wait to send out our washed up penguin on the winter scene card to our northern relatives, lol.  Yes, I'm a dork!

*I was not reimbursed for this post; however I will receive 50 free cards for post.  The opinions expressed are truly my own.

Trial and Error....but mostly error

Sleeping has become quite the game in our house.  Squirmy is now 7 months old and sleeping worse than he did as a newborn.  *le sigh*  I read The No Cry Sleep Solution and it had some decent ideas, but I don't really get it.  I know part of our problem is because we keep Squirmy up late at night, but he does have the opportunity to sleep as late as he pleases in the morning.  I really REALLY hesitate to put him to be earlier because DH doesn't get home until 8pm most nights.  If Squirmy had an earlier bed time, he'd literally never see his dad during the week.  I'm starting to notice he seems to roll over onto his belly in his sleep.  The only problem is that if he's on his belly BEFORE he's asleep, he'll just crawl around and not settle.  He screams at nap time regardless of if I try to put him down at the first sign of sleepy, when he's overtired, or somewhere in between.  The only place he'll nap is his vibrating chair, but he screams if I put him near it (he's fine if he crawls up to it and proceeds to climb it).  If he goes down screaming, he'll only nap 30 min, tops.  I've taken to picking him up and just dealing with the grumpy tiredness than the screaming.  I tried the book's suggestion of trying to comfort Squirmy gently at the first sign of stirring so he'll settle back in and sleep...but that's a joke.  From the first sign of stirring to fully awake is about a nano second.  True story.

Here's his typical (and I use that word loosely) sleep pattern:

  • 9:30-10:30 wake for the day
  • 11:30--nap for 1hr
  • 2:00--nap for 30min
  • 5:00--nap for 30min
  • 8:00--nap for 30min
  • 10:30-11:00 bedtime...clean diaper, pj's, swaddled, nurse, Dr. Seuss book, crib
Some days he'll get two 2hr naps in.  A lot of days he'll never sleep a full hour.

I literally have NO idea how often he's waking at night now.  I pull him into bed with me and nurse him.  At some point I wake back up and slide him back into his crib (it's pushed up against our bed with no front on it).  I'd guess I'm waking at least 4 times a night, not for very long, but still.

I'm not ready to try any sleep training that involves him crying.  I just can't handle it.  He gets this panicked look on his face, flairs, and tears fall when he screams and it breaks my heart.  I don't know what else to do or try.  DH has no patience for his screams and as of right now, Squirmy won't take a bottle (though I think he might soon...more on that later).

I feel so stuck.  I want to do the right thing.  I want to make the short term sacrifice for the long term gain, but I don't know what that is.  I really wish I had some parenting expert of some sort to talk this over with.  I already lie to our ped about our sleeping arrangements and he's been pushing me to get Squirmy into his own room for months now anyway.  I'd hate to be one of those parents who complains about their situation and then does nothing about it, but I just don't know what TO do.

Not sure if I'm looking for advice or empathy or just a space to complain....but this....this SUCKS.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

I haven't been very good about keeping up with my blog.  :(  Life has been chaotic lately.  I now have 2 extra kids during the day, one who's 2 months older than Squirmy (so 9 months now) and my nephew who's 9.5 months older (about to be 17mo).  They keep me busy for sure.

I also got away from blogging a bit because my best friend was living with us.  She moved towards the beginning of the summer.  It was a mutually beneficial arrangement.  Despite all the naysayers and warnings about having a roommate, the situation turned out to be ideal.  Beyond a shadow of a doubt, she quickly turned from my best friend/our roommate to family.

*insert long discussion about immigration laws, politics, and other absurdities*

This weekend, my dear friend had to leave our home/her home.  She had to fly back to England, a country she was born in but has never considered home.  Her departure was harder than I expected.  Don't get me wrong, I expected to be upset....just not this upset.

For those outside of the situation, it's hard to understand.  So what?  She went back to England, no biggie.  But it is a big deal.  She left not by her own will; she left upset; she went somewhere she hates under circumstances that are difficult; she cannot return to visit (and we don't know when she'll be able to come back at all); we cannot afford to fly to England to visit her; she is very much a part of the family; she was a huge part of our daily lives.

I keep thinking about how you feel when someone passes away or you go through a rough break up.  Every little thing you do reminds you of that person.  Every little thing is infused with a memory.  Every little thing turns into something upsetting and mournful.  That's where I am.  Every little thing is setting me off.  Every little thing reminds me of how she's not in my daily life.  Every little thing is a haunting reminder that she's not here.

This sucks...yeah...that's all I got...

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Wordless Wednesday

Playing together with Squirmy's new toy.  I absolutely LOVE that my son will grow up with a wonderful friend and role model...and will call him "Daddy".

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Charlie Banana Winner!

Sorry for the delay!  We took Squirmy to Walt Disney World yesterday and I didn't get a chance to post.

Random.org said that from 1 to 130, the winner was number 21!!  The 21st entry was:

 ShortyRobs said...

September 11, 2010 7:44 AM

Thank you so much to everyone who entered the contest and a special thanks to Charlie Banana for letting me giveaway one of their great diapers!!

P.S. The prize has been claimed :)

Saturday, September 25, 2010


My childhood best friend's mom is one of the head people in this Catholic prayer group that is held quarterly.  Most of the women in the group are my grandparents generation, a good number are my parent's generation, and a very small portion are my generation.  I was raised practically part of this very large Catholic family, and to be 100% honest, I always felt judged.  My friend's mom would make her go to Catholic Mass every Sunday.  If she spent a Saturday night with us, we'd go to church the next morning.  She would then have to return home before evening Mass because our church didn't count (we were Methodist).  Anyway, just a little back story thrown in there.

So the mom calls me and says they need a babysitter for these quarterly meetings.  I agree because I can use any income possible.  There was only one family who needed my services so it was a pretty smooth event.  The one thing I was SHOCKED about was the way it was assumed I was nursing.  For a "culture" that I felt had always judged me, I was surprised that so many of them #1 asked me about it and #2 were pro-breastfeeding.  The majority of these women came from a generation where formula feeding was the only acceptable practice.  On top of that, they're from an uber conservative sect of the population, a sect that believes sexual intercourse should be for procreation and not pleasure.  So I found it odd that in this large group of women, carrying their Bibles and Rosaries, so many women asked/assumed I was nursing.  One woman even brought me a heaping plate of food, even after I insisted I'd eaten and brought my own snacks.  Seriously, I ate as much of it as I could.  My friend came in and noted that what I had left on my plate was more than she'd been given to begin with.

I was really quite shocked and pleased to hear so many women asking about and encouraging nursing.  :)

On a side note...is it bad that I mentally wished against an old lady who said she was praying that Squirmy would become a priest?

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Sleep...why hast thou forsaken me?!?

So we brought home our little bundle of joy from the hospital and reveled in the joy that he would actually sleep at night.  For the first 2 months of his little life, he'd wake to be fed and changed and immediately go back to sleep.  Then, for TWO WHOLE MONTHS, he slept through the night.  Yes, that's right, all the way from bedtime (10pm or so) until at least 5am, sometimes as late as 9am.

But then...somewhere around 4.5 months...it was all over.  Our precious little sleeper turned into a nighttime nightmare.  We couldn't figure it out.  Nothing changed.  Maybe teething?  Maybe he was getting too heavy for his bassinet thingy?  Maybe pay backs for 4 months of great sleeping when he should have been killing me?  He would sleep for a good few solid hours in the morning in bed with me and then in our bed after I got up.  Nights that started with a dose of Tylenol and an amber necklace wrapped around his leg didn't go any better than nights without.

We decided to forgo the bassinet thingy and rig up his crib to be a giant co-sleeper.  We took the front off the crib and pushed it up against our bed.  The slight height difference meant he could get from our bed back into the crib but couldn't get from the crib into our bed...perfect!  With a real mattress and closer proximity to me, we figured it'd go better.....But it didn't.  In fact, it seemed to back fire.  He was now spending progressively MORE time each night in bed with me.  I'm all for co-sleeping (he was in our bed for the first month of his life), but I need the space to sleep myself.  Kudos to you moms who can do it.  I'm quite happy with close proximity.  We got to the point where he was in bed with me, ATTACHED to me ALL NIGHT LONG!  No bueno.

Then Squirmy got sick and I just kept him in bed with me all night for a few nights.  It was just easier and more comforting to him.  Again, attached all night long and snuggled close when he wasn't attached.

Now I'm back to trying to get him to sleep in his crib.  Last night he'd wake up after an hour of being in his crib.  I finally just brought him into bed with me out of desperation and exhaustion.

I'm at a loss.  I don't know what to try next.  Do I just forget about sleep and let him sleep with us and pray that he transitions to his crib eventually?  (I know DH is going to start pushing for him to be in his crib, possibly in his own room at some point...just don't know when)  Do I try putting the front back on the crib and leaving it pushed up to the bed so that he's still close, but doesn't have direct access to me?  Do I put the crib back together and move it away from the bed?

We do have a bedtime routine, now.  That has made bedtime a million times better, but the constant waking and wanting to nurse is driving me insane.  And it's not full on nursing, it's the flutter nursing, the comfort/pacifier sucking.  It feels wrong to let him cry if I can fix it, but yet I'd really like him to sleep independently.

Soooo....what do you suggest?  I'm open to suggestions from any side (except the CIO camp).  HELP!!  and Thanks!

Friday, September 17, 2010

My baby's sick :(

I've been trying to write a post on sleep for over a week now.  I feel like I can't really finish it because Squirmy's sleep "pattern" is being directly influenced by a virus :(

Last Saturday we took Squirmy to Downtown Disney (DTD).  It's a shopping area full of all the wonders of Disney.  It was a HOT, hot FL day.  We had a lot of fun and probably shed a couple of lbs in sweat!  DTD also means a lot of time in the car, usually a grand total of 4 hrs each day.

It didn't come as much of a surprise that his butt looked a little off the next day.  Heat + probably less frequent changes + 4 hours in a non-breathing car seat = a recipe for butt irritation.  I figured it'd get better on it's own with an a/c day and frequent changes.  Monday told me I was wrong.  The irritation was still around so I mentioned it to my hubby.  No biggie, still.  Some extra nakey time and maybe a sposie with diaper cream were in order for the next day.

Tuesday--Things were still off.  I let him air out as much as I could and even stole borrowed a sposie from one of the kids I watch so I could lather him up with diaper cream.  Hmmm....nothing was getting worse, but it wasn't getting better either.  Then I asked how Hubby had washed the diapers (yes, he helps with the diapers on occassion!).  He'd forgotten the pre-soak.  I assumed the poop hadn't had a fair shot of getting out of the diapers and decided to send them all through the sanitary cycle in the morning.  Until then, I lathered him up and put a stolen borrowed sposie on him for the night.

He woke up SCREAMING in the middle of the night.  He refused to latch and couldn't be comforted.  Hubby ran off to get him a cloth diaper, thinking he was pissed about the pee laden sposie.  He finally settled and went back to sleep...never did nurse...odd.

Wednesday his butt was worse :(  I consulted Dr. Google and Dr. Twitter.  From the best I could tell, he had a yeast diaper rash.  The pictures didn't match what I was seeing on his butt, but some of them almost looked like it could be the same thing.  The descriptions of yeast diaper rash were mostly different from Squirmy's symptoms, but the pimply description matched.  The only kind of diaper rash that included pimply was yeast.  And pimply was the only way I could describe Squirmy's butt.  A couple of moms said my pictures of his butt were definitely yeast and a couple said they didn't think so.

I tried a bath in water and apple cider vinegar...WRONG MOVE!  His mildly red bottom turn red hot and irritated beyond belief.  :(  And I suddenly noticed bumps in other places on his body :(  I was worried about it spreading to the other kids I watch (I've heard some people say yeast spreads and other say it doesn't).  We packed up and headed to Evening Pediatrics which is like a pediatric walk-in-clinc...so grateful they have something like that.

Not yeast...Hand, Foot, and Mouth Disease :(  No this is not hoof and mouth disease; two totally different things!  But that explains his low grade fever and general discontent.  She said he has terrible blisters in his throat...which she found out by shoving a tongue depressor down his throat until he screamed.  No treatment...just lots of cuddling, nursing, and a 4 hour cycle of acetaminophen.

Since Wednesday evening, Squirmy's been getting acetaminophen every 4 hours (except over-night) and losing his mind 3.5 hours after each dose.  Nights have been better simply because I've just kept him in bed with me and he's stayed attached to me most of the night.  I gave up trying to move him to his crib (which is like a big co-sleeper in effect) for right now.  His sleep is more important than mine.  His rash has gone away and so has his fever.  I think we're still dealing with throat blisters since he's still melting down every 3.5 hours (let me tell you, that 45 min between being able to give the next dose and waiting for it to take effect is HELL).

So here's hoping today is better and the end of symptoms...

Monday, September 13, 2010

Great Deal on Great Explorations

This post is for Tampa Bay people.  Though if you're not from this area, you can still find out if Savvy Source is in your area and sign up for great deals!

Savvy Source is offering a deal for Great Explorations membership. The membership is regularly $100 but you can get it for $50 if you follow this link.  The membership includes unlimited admission for up to 5 members to the museum for one year, 20% off birthday parties, 10% off great stuff in the museum store, invitations to members only parties and previews, subscription to Great News newsletters for one year, early registration and discounts for camps. Plus the Touch Tunnel is coming back in October!!  Take a look at all they have to offer here and then go here for your discounted membership!!  I really hope they make this offer again later when Squirmy will be old enough to enjoy it!

It's offered through Savvy Source, who is doing great things for preschoolers and families in the community, including giving money to local preschools and scholarships to local preschoolers.  It's a pretty awesome deal and Great X is so much fun.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Charlie Banana Review and Giveaway

I "met" Charlie Banana on Twitter during one of the many chats.  The author behind the handle was sweet and friendly.  I started following Twitter and soon after on Facebook as well.  That's where I happened to get the opportunity to review Charlie Banana products!

Charlie Banana sent me this great pack of goodies!  They sent me a wet bag (finally!), a one size diaper with 2 inserts and a disposable insert, a sized diaper with 2 inserts and a disposable insert (in an awesome orbit print), 2 kinds of wipes, and a swim diaper!!  So much awesomeness in 1 little package!!

I couldn't wait to break into my Squirmy's goodies.  First up, sized diaper!  The diaper has the cutest orbit print!  Squirmy is barely 15lbs and at the very small end of the weight range.  I love this diaper!!  It has 3 snaps on each wing, which at first seemed a bit excessive, BUT makes for a great custom fit.  The lining is super soft and the pocket is easy to stuff.  The pocket opens in the front and has an overlap which holds in the disposable insert.  I haven't had a single leak with this diaper and I don't have to worry about it.  The rise is quite high in the front, but again, he's at the smallest end of the range. 

I tried out the disposable insert one day when I had to attend a training.  I stuffed the diaper as usual and then placed the disposable insert on top.  I wanted to make it as easy to change him as possible...just yank the disposable insert out and the rest of the diaper would be good to go.  Only problem was that he fell asleep in his carseat for over an hour...and NO diaper does well when he poos in his carseat.  The disposable insert or not, the whole diaper had to be changed.  I was sad but I don't think that was a fair shot.

This was the best shot I could get...Squirmy was living up to his name!

I also love the one size diaper.  The one size feature is done through adjustable elastic inside the legs. It's a lot easier to use than I thought and makes the diaper so much more attractive without all those snaps on the front!  Again 3 snaps on each side makes for a great fit and there is an ability to overlap.  I'm not sure how small of a child this would work on.  Squirmy is rather skinny/lanky and we have it snapped at the first non-overlapping option.  The one size is actually less bulky than the sized diaper for us right now.  

(real boys wear pink)

Overall pros:
  • high quality material
  • snap closure
  • fun prints
  • hybrid feature
  • great absorbency (even when Squirmy fell asleep before I expected and I couldn't double stuff one for the night)
  • flat sewn tags on the shells (I hate the look of raggedy tags, and Squirmy always grabs at tags now)
  • big tags that stay flat after washings on inserts (easy to grab onto to unstuff when wet)
  • 2 full size inserts come with each diaper
  • so cute!!
  • super friendly customer service
Overall cons:
  • high rise on the sized diaper 
  • front pocket opening (I prefer back since I have a boy and the front is ALWAYS wet)

P.S. The wipes, the swim diaper, and wet bag are also awesome!!

SOOOOO....Who wants to win one before you can buy them?!?  One lucky reader will win one hybrid 2-in-1-Reusable Diaper with two inserts!

Mandatory Entry:
You must follow my blog via GFC.  If you're email address is not visible on your profile, please leave it in at least one of your entries so I can contact you :)  Then, go to CharlieBanana.com and tell me which product sounds the most exciting!

Extra Entries:
Follow @CharlieBanana on Twitter
Tweet about this giveaway, must include @CharlieBanana and a link to this post (http://bit.ly/a9lO3B) (1 per day, please leave permalink in entry)
Blog about this giveaway, include a link to your post in your entry (3 entries)

Non-Entries but good karma:
Like Charlie Banana on Facebook and tell them I sent you (I got to try out their diapers by following them on Facebook...so do it!)
Follow me on Twitter

Giveaway closes October 1st at midnight EST.  I will use Random.org to chose a winner, email the winner, and post it on Saturday, October 2nd.  Good luck!!

**These products were given to me free of charge to review.  The opinions expressed are my own.  Please see my disclosure policy for full details.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Comedy of Errors

Just to note, I started writing this at 10:45am.  So far it's been a really long day...

7:30--wake up, get dressed, turn on baby monitor

7:40--work on picking up the living room/dining room/kitchen...discover that the dishes in the dishwasher are clean and there are dirty dishes stacked ALL OVER the kitchen from last night's dinner (despite my husband PROMISING he'd take care of the dishes after dinner last night)...half unload the dishwasher

8:00--my charge arrives, get the run down from his dad, say good bye, play for a few minutes

8:15--place charge in the jumperoo and finish cleaning the kitchen...discover there is no Mt Dew and only 1 Cherry Coke (I do not drink coffee...Mt Dew is my coffee!)

8:30--notice the charge is falling asleep in jumperoo as I finish the kitchen...move charge to swing (his nap location)

8:45--hear rustling on the baby monitor and wonder if Squirmy is awake

8:50--hear a toy singing on the baby monitor and ascertain that Squirmy IS awake

8:50-9:10--discover that Squirmy's diaper has leaked (he and his bedding are SOAKED), give Squirmy a bath, bring him downstairs for a diaper and onesie

9:10--sit down to feed Squirmy only to discover he's woken my charge who now fusses from the swing as I feed and cuddle with Squirmy

9:20--put Squirmy on the floor to play, pick up charge, change his diaper, put him on the floor to play


9:30--warm a bottle for charge and let dog outside to do business

9:40-10:00--try to get charge to pay attention long enough to drink the bottle he clearly wants and wonder why Squirmy is making a strange noise (while he plays on the floor next to me)

10:00--try to burp charge as tries to get away from me to play, give up and see why Squirmy is making an odd noise

10:05--pick up Squirmy to discover my hands are now wet...and discover his diaper has leaked poo at both leg openings (though luckily not up the back)

10:06--take Squirmy's diaper off and suddenly remember telling DH that I didn't think Squirmy had pooped at all yesterday (he's a several time a day pooper)...the poor diaper didn't stand a chance...carefully try to figure out what to do to minimize poo spreading

10:08--carry Squirmy like a roped calf to the kitchen, spray off entire lower half of body, note to check charges head later since it's now bright red and he's screaming

10:10--back on the changing table, wipe the remaining poo off of him, curse myself for getting poo on the changing table cover, laugh as Squirmy pees on me

10:15--Squirmy is changed and clean and I've stripped to my nursing tank, put Squirmy down for a nap

10:20--Strip changing table, talk online while charge plays, wait for roommate to come down to keep an eye on charge while I change

10:30--run upstairs to change my clothes and put the diapers in the dryer...discover cat sleeping in the crib and that the dog has peed in the house, shoo cat, clean up pee, change clothes, put diapers in the dryer, pray that whatever is making charge cry ceases before he wakes Squirmy

10:40--return downstairs to learn charge has hit his head AGAIN, and note that charge looks sleepy...put charge back in swing and pray his obligatory nap protests don't wake Squirmy (who slept through the head banging screaming)

10:45--Charge is asleep, Squirmy is awake but not convincingly so, shake Squirmy's chair with foot, start blogging

10:55--decide Squirmy is not going back to sleep and pick him up before he wakes Charge, feed Squirmy again, continue blogging while Squirmy eats

11:05-11:20--play with Squirmy and pray his happy chatter doesn't wake Charge

11:20--get Charge out of swing, change his diaper, wonder if I'm going to get to go to the bathroom at all today

11:25-11:45--inhale far too many graham crackers without noticing because I'm trying to eat while I have a chance, defuse tug of war on clothing, supervise play, blog

There you have it.  It's nearly noon and if I hadn't just written it all down, I wouldn't have been able to tell you where those 3 hours had gone.  Now I can safely say the past 3 hours were filled with dishes, 4 diaper changes, 1.5 baths, 3 outfits for Squirmy, 2 outfits for me, 3 feedings, 3 entirely too short naps, a little bit of play, and a little bit of blogging.  *sigh*  Just one of those days :)

EDIT:  Apparently the comedy wasn't meant to end at 11:45... In the last 20 minutes we've had 2 fuss fits, 1 leaky diaper/diaper change, 1 outfit change...and I finally got to go to the bathroom.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

He wouldn't hurt me, he's my friend...

I recently agreed to babysit for a Catholic prayer group that meets quarterly on Saturday mornings.  It's a paying gig that would help a friend of the family.  Because of all the abuse allegations and substantiated cases, our local Diocese is requiring all adults whom come in contact with children take a "Safe Environment" course.  The aim of this course is to educate and make us aware of how/when/where abuse can occur, and thus how to prevent it.  The materials they handed out were informative and accurate.  The instructor's interpretation of these materials was shameful, misguided, misinformed, and served to perpetuate the myths which have allowed and aided sexual abuse to continue.

Anecdotally, I would venture to guess that the rates of sexual abuse are much higher than statistics show.  RAINN says that 1 in 6 women will be sexually assaulted but that 60% are not reported to the police (1).  I can honestly say that I cannot think of a single (female) friend who has not been sexually abused in some manner, myself included.  It's all very hush-hush and shameful.  I didn't even recognize that I'd been abused for years.  I let myself change the story.  I ignored that he forced himself on me, ignored that I'd try to push him off of me, ignored that I cried after our sexual encounters, ignored that I was ashamed of my body (so much more so than before the abuse started), ignored so many tell-tale signs.  Why?  Because I didn't know you could be raped by your boyfriend.  I didn't know that I could think I loved someone who was raping me. I didn't know that rape wasn't necessarily something that happened in a dark alley by a creepy man in a trench coat.  I didn't know how to accept that my virginity was taken by force and not lovingly given.  I didn't know that rape was most often (73%) done by someone the victim ALREADY knows(1).

I was disappointed in the way the material was presented today.  I hated the way the instructor protected the church and perpetuated the myths with her rhetoric: "Sexual abuse didn't exist when I was a kid."  "This is a new problem."  "Sexting is a new thing."  "Abuse is not holy or Christian [thus implying that someone who is holy or Christian would/should be someone you can trust not to abuse]." "There are sick people out there [but surely none in here]."and one of my favorites "These kids bring their xboxes, cell phones, and iPods to school in their pockets and you don't even know." (still don't know how that last one has anything to do with abuse)

So here's my PSA.  One of the handouts was a list of Myths/Facts about Child Sexual Abuse (a handout that was not discussed, nor were any of the points made at any time during the training).  It sites the source to be Myths and Facts about Sexual Offenders, Center for Sex Offender Management (2).  Here are the points from the sheet:

  • Child Sexual Abuse is NOT a rare occurrence.
  • It is important for children to have information about sexual assault.
  • It is NOT damaging NOR dangerous to give children information about sexual assault.
  • A discussion about sexual assault will NOT scare children.
  • A discussion about sexual assault will NOT scare children from all touch.
  • Most children who are assaulted are attacked by someone they know.
  • Sex offenders are NOT dirty old men.
  • The majority of sexual offenders are not caught, convicted, nor imprisoned.
  • Sex offenders do NOT commit sexual crimes because they are under the influence of alcohol.
  • Incest does NOT occur only in poor, undedicated families.
  • Children do NOT do anything to cause the sexual abuse to occur.
  • Sexual abuse, including incest, is damaging to the child.
While I wholly appreciate what the church is trying to do, this instructor was not educated enough on the issue and did counter service to the cause.

We need to be talking about abuse, ways to prevent it, how it happens, where it happens, who it happens to, who's doing it, what to do if it does happen...  We need to be having open conversations about the topic.  We need kids to know that it's not okay and just because they know the person or s/he is their teacher/friend/pastor/priest/care giver does not give them the right to abuse them. Rates of abuse are going down (1) because people are standing up and talking about it.  If we keep the conversation going, the rates can continue to go down.

Just in case you're wondering... telling a room full of parents, educators, and child care givers that you were surprised to learn that children have rights is probably not the best way to win over the crowd.  Oh, and the reason you shouldn't use corporal punishment is NOT because you'll have to wonder if your kids will call the cops on you.  Just sayin'.

1. http://www.rainn.org/statistics
2. http://www.csom.org/pubs/mythsfacts.html

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Mommy Wars

I'm over it.  Seriously ladies.  I'm over it.  Being a mom is hard enough without wondering who's judging us and if we're doing it right and all of that.  And it's not the childless folk or dads that we're worried about...it's the other moms out there.

I spent a lot of time researching how to get pregnant, why I wasn't getting pregnant, and what to expect once it finally worked.  Then when it did work, I immediately launched into researching how to be pregnant, delivery, and the early days of mommyhood.  I made a lot of decisions about what I would and wouldn't do...some of which went by the wayside as I learned the truths of motherhood.

One of the biggest issues I see creep up in the Mommy Wars is feeding.  Yes, I breastfeed.  Yes, I think breastfeeding is best FOR ME.  Yes, I think we need to be more supportive of each other and educate each other on the benefits of breastfeeding.  Yes, I do think there are situations where breastfeeding isn't the best option.  Yes, I do think there are scenarios where formula might be best.  Yes, I do think moms who are breastfeeding and formula feeding should be supported.

I'm a part of a breastfeeding support group online. A mom came to the group to ask for help on behalf of her friend who gave birth 2 days ago.  She explained that the friend was trying to breastfeed but that she was in a lot of pain (despite being told her baby's latch was perfect) and ready to give up.  She asked a couple of specific questions and some of us gave her some advice to try out...specifically to talk to an LC about the latch.  Then she accused her friend of not caring about the baby's health because she never wanted to breastfeed in the first place and her husband was pushing her to do it.  She said the friend was becoming resentful of the baby and her husband because of the pain she was in.  She said that the friend's family was of the mindset that only poor people breastfeed (which is a whole other can of worms).  She also made it clear that she disapproved of her friend wanting to return to work and school rather soon.  This was my response to her:
If she's resentful breastfeeding, than perhaps breastfeeding isn't best for that family. Sure there are a lot of benefits, but if the mom is resentful, there's no point...in my opinion. She needs to be spending time bonding and loving her child. If feeding the baby formula means they can bond and have a loving relationship, then that's what's better for the situation. Bonding is SOO SOOO important and part of the reason breastfeeding is so good...but if the bonding's not happening... Plus if she thinks breastfeeding is for poor people (which in all truth families of lower socio-economic status are FAR less likely to BF), she probably IS thinking about the health of her child. She probably thinks that formula IS better for her child. That's not her fault, that's the fault of the formula companies and their shady campaigns. While we should support and enable moms who want to breastfeed and educate those who are pregnant or TTC or might TTC in the future, I think we have to be careful about making sure we support those who do and not condemn those who don't. As much as I believe breastfeeding is the best choice, at the end of the day, formula is a "good enough" replacement. 

One thing I've ALWAYS had difficulty with in my life is expecting people to live up to the standards I set for myself. I do what I do because I think it's what's best...and it is what's best FOR ME. Some moms are better suited to get back out in the world and do their adult thing and only have the nights and weekends with their child. It's how our society was trained to think and behave. For me, it was best for me to quit my job and change our families living standards to fit our lowered income. But for other families there are very good reasons why that's not the best choice. I think a lot of it comes down to my diagnosis, as well. I knew at 16 years old that I might never have children. Therefore, having a child is SO much more special and such a blessing to me in a way that it might not be to other moms. I signed up for this lock, stock, and barrel...but not everyone goes in the same way.

I hope this doesn't sound too harsh. I certainly don't mean it to be. We all decide what's best for us based on this reason or that reason...and this reason may be just as valid as that reason. 

I don't mean to come off as judging the mom who sought help for her friend.  As much as the formula companies try to brainwash moms into thinking formula is best (as is the case with her friend), the counter movement can be just as strong sometimes.  It's easy to get swept up in the "you MUST do it this way" current on any topic.  I'm certainly not without fault in that category.  Rather I wanted to use this example to show how the Mommy Wars can get the best of all of us.

I may get blasted for this from the pro-BFing world...but that's exactly what I'm talking about.  We need to quit tearing each other down for our decisions.  We need support...we all need support.  At the end of the day, I'm going to be a better mommy and have a better adjusted child if I have support rather than if I made this decision to go with the popular option at the time.  Educate the masses on what you believe is right, then support those who agree with your opinion.  But support those who agree doesn't have to be at the exclusion of those who don't.  We're all human, we're all trying, and we all want what's best for our children.

Answering Cloth Diaper Questions

Lauren over at How Great is your Faithfulness asked about cloth diapering.  I tried to write her a response, but blogger said my comment was too long.  So, I posted it here instead (plus I can do links here).

1. What brand cloth diapers do you use, and why did you pick that brand?  We use bumGenius 3.0s and the organic All-in-Ones.  They're super easy and tried and true.  We also use Charlie Banana (a new brand) because I got them for free...and love them.

2. What were your start up costs and what did that give you?  Originally I spent $300 on 12 bumGenius AIOS and 5 GroBaby diapers.  These were a combo of sales and ebay purchases.  I have since added 6 3.0s, 1 Green Acres Design and 2 Charlie Banana diapers.  My grand total investment was $400 for 26 diapers.

3. How many diapers do you have?  12 bumGenius AIOS5 GroBaby diapers (considered all-in-two or hybrid), 6 3.0s (pocket diapers),  1 Green Acres Design (pocket),  2 Charlie Banana diapers (pockets, 1 one size, and 1 sized).  Grand total of 26.

4. How often do you do laundry?  At first I was doing laundry every 24 hrs (only 12 diapers on a 2-3-4 month old).  Now I wash every 2-3 days with 26 diapers on a 5 month old.  I was afraid the extra laundry would make me give up on cloth, but it's really not that big of a deal at all.  I'd MUCH rather do an extra load of laundry than throw out all those diapers.

5. Has there been any costs in up keep? The only cost of upkeep is detergent.  We use Rockin' Green detergent but have switched to using it for our clothes as well.  We go through about a bag a month for 3 adults, 1 infant, and the infants diapers.

6. Why do you cloth diaper?  Originally it was to save money with strong environmental influences.  Now it's that and because it's better for his skin, less chemicals, cuter, easier (no running to the store), and just makes me happy.

7. What is your estimated savings by cloth diapering? I've never done the math, but a few sites have.  http://www.diaperdecisions.com/cost_of_cloth_diapers.htm this is a good site for comparing costs.

Here are a couple of links to posts I've written about cloth diapering.

P.S. For what it's worth...those running newborn poops are SOOO much easier to clean up in cloth than disposables since the cloth absorbs the runny part.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Nifty Nappy Giveaway!!

No, I'm not hosting a Nifty Nappy Giveaway (sad face).  Nifty Nappy owner Vilate is starting a new blog just to keep reviewing other products and needs our help to get it off the ground.  I don't normally do this, but I love Vilate.  She's a great person and a hard working WAHM.  Please head over to 6 and STILL sane and check it out.  Who knows, you just might win yourself $50 in Nifty Nappies!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Life in the Modern House

So here's a glimpse into my world.  This is an actual conversation I just had.

Hubby: Do you remember that weird heart pinch thing I told you about? (referencing a previous complaint about his heart/chest)

Me: Yeah

Hubby: It really hurts.  It's like a muscle is pinched or something.  Ow!

Me: Do you need to go to the Dr?!

Hubby: No, I feel fine.  If I suddenly don't feel fine you might want to call 911.

Me: Oh that would be awesome. (laden with sarcasm)

Hubby: That would be awful....

Me: Uh, YEAH

Hubby: ....I could never eat fast food again!

Me: Yeah, that would be the awful part.

He's happily playing with his computer.  I assume he's fine.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Hissy Fit Alert

****This is a rant.  If you're looking for happiness and rainbows, please check back another day :)  I really hesitated to post this for fear of airing my dirty laundry and/or someone IRL seeing it.  But I'm upset and hurt and frustrated and this blog is a place where I can turn to let it all out and be supported by other women who know what I'm going through.  I've said my piece and can honestly say I would not regret it getting back to the people mentioned below.

So the other night we were having a party. Before everyone got here I tried to have Squirmy fed and rested so he'd be pleasant and so that I could host/cook without being interrupted. He was a champ getting passed around for awhile. My SIL brought a case of Mike's Hard and I was excited that I actually had a bottle's worth of milk in the freezer. After awhile I tried to put him down because he was overstimulated and tired. I nursed him for a few minutes since I'd barely started my first drink. He went down for a little bit but one niece was ridiculously loud and kept waking him up. Finally I brought him back out to the party. Things were dwindling down but he was quite fussy. I kept trying to excuse his talking and explaining that he was tired. MIL INSISTED he wasn't tired and kept playing with him and bouncing him and stimulating him with every flashy musical toy she could find...seriously we only have like 2 that play music with lights and she kept shoving them in his face. Somehow I ended up with him in my lap, overtired and over it. I couldn't calm him down. This is not to say that he was screaming or throwing a fit...just talking and fussing and I know my child and he was not happy and couldn't be made happy. 

I passed him off to my SIL so I could fix him a bottle...something he's only had a handful of times. He started fussing really good for her and I hurried. I mentioned to my MIL that I was fixing him a bottle so she could feed him. She was over the moon! Then she nastily told her daughter that she was in HER seat and had HER baby (UM, he's MY baby). I gave her the breastflow bottle we've always used. He just screamed. I was worried that he was too hungry to put up with figuring the bottle out (it's always taken him longer with a bottle than breast) and got out a regular bottle I'd gotten for free at some point. I figured if it was easier to get out, he might go for it. More screaming. I tried to take him to see if he'd start the bottle with me, since sometimes he won't take it unless I start it and then hand him off... he knows only I give milk. He was screaming his bloody head off by this point. I decided to trust the things I've read that say you can have 1 drink without it really affecting the baby. I'd had ONE Mike's Hard over the course of the past 2 hours. I crossed my fingers and began to nurse him.

My MIL had already stormed off to leave me with a screaming child. At this point she began CRYING, yes CRYING, and went off on my husband/her son about how she's so hurt and upset that this is the only grandchild (out of 10) that she's never been able to feed...or hold without him crying. She threw in that last part a few beats after the feeding thing. EFF YOU lady!! She supposedly breast fed 6 children and has made me feel so unbelievably uncomfortable feeding my child around her. She is literally the ONLY person I hesitate to feed around because she makes such a scene of avoiding me while feeding. Now she has the gall to complain that she's never gotten to feed him. I can LITERALLY count on one hand the number of times Squirmy has gotten a bottle. 

She acts as though has hasn't spent entire afternoons and days over here just holding him and playing with him. As soon as he starts talking, she freaks out and asks him what's wrong. Then he gets upset because she's upset. She constantly complains that he's always sleeping, eating, or fussing when she's around. HE'S AN EFFING BABY!!! Mind you I have a generally good/happy baby.  I simply CANNOT believe she's offended that she hasn't gotten to feed him. Wait until she finds out we're doing Baby Led Weaning and she'll never spoon him pureed peas!

The thing that really gets to me, 2 days later, is that I have bent over backwards to help her and her whole family.  I have done so much for all of them.  I have never asked for or wanted anything in return except respect and kindness.  I have invited her into our home on days I really didn't want company.  I have smiled and been a gracious hostess when I was dog dead tired and not interested in entertaining.  I have never once said "no" to her coming over, even when it was inconvenient.  But, she doesn't know that.  I've always been gracious and welcoming and tried my hardest to make her comfortable.  What she doesn't realize is all of this will now be going away.  I have bent over backwards and been kicked (HARD) while doing so.  No, our door will no longer be open and I just might not be as willing to have company...

House Party Sponsored by Boboli

(I wish I could remember who blogged about House Party.  :(  If you're reading this and it was you, please let me know so I can give you credit!)

I found out about House Party on someone's blog.  It looked like so much fun, so I signed up for the website and applied for the next party that sounded fun.  I was picked to host a Boboli Beat the Boredom Barbecue.  We had a LOT of fun!!  Our grill is small so we cooked half on the grill and half in the oven.  We made 2 cheese, 1 sausage and peppers, 2 bbq chicken, 1 white, and 1 ham and pineapple!  So yummy!  I can't wait to host my next House Party!
Getting ready!

Enjoying dinner


Having fun!

Yummy options!!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Bitterant Sucks!

I'm sure you've all heard about kids huffing anything they can get their hands on, including cans of air.  They've put in safe guards to keep kids from getting their hands on cans of air by requiring ID to buy a can of air and an age minimum.  Apparently this was not enough to deter kids (really, has this ever been that effective for kids who want to get their hands on something??), so they decided to create "Bitterant Technology."  Bitterant technology is an additive to cans of air that, in theory, tastes so bitter when huffed that kids won't be tempted.  I don't know much about huffing or any drug use for that matter, but I have known plenty of addicts (when I was a therapist) and there's not a whole lot of anything that would prevent someone from getting high.

Let me tell you what Bitterant DOES do...  It makes this cloud of bitter tasting air around your keyboard as you try to clean it.  Then..just when you think you've gotten the awful taste and scratchiness out of the back of your throat...you discover that your fingers are now striking the keys that you just cleaned with this awful substance.  And THEN you discover just how often you touch your mouth AND how many things you touch make their way into your mouth.  The latter is truly remarkable, at least it was to me.

After spending the better part of yesterday tasting bitterant and being unable to get the taste off my lips, I woke up to discover/remember the taste all over again.  I've tried to wash anything I touched yesterday and wiped down my laptop.  I'm HOPING this will take care of it.

So what have I learned from Bitterant Technology??  Not to buy it!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Reusable Shopping Bags

I started writing a response to Dirty Diaper Laundry's rant post about attitudes towards reusable shopping bags, but I had enough to say to do an entire post...plus I wanted to share my experiences with my readers as well.

We started using reusable bags for grocery shopping back when it wasn't quite so posh.  We're easily going on 3 years of reusable grocery bags.  We've only thrown out one of our reusable bags when it mysteriously got a cut straight down the side (looked like from scissors or something).  They say each reusable bag=4 plastic bags per visit.  We usually use 4-5 reusable bags for a full shopping trip, each week.  So let's do some math... 4 plastic bags per reusable *4 reusable bags per trip *52 trips a year *3 years = 2496 bags!!  Throw in a few extra for trips that required 5 bags and smaller runs...we've saved over 2,500 plastic bags!!  *pats self on back* lol  I didn't realize how many we'd skipped bringing home over time.

Our local grocery stores have been really good about using our reusable shopping bags without batting an eye.  They often have designs on their bags to promote buying them.  My favorite is from a couple of springs ago...a pretty blue with a couple of green vines and not-too-girly flowers.  Here's our method of using them:

  • unload groceries
  • stuff all bags into one (always pick the prettiest bag as the one that gets stuffed)
  • place pretty, stuffed bag on door handle...the one I have to touch to go out to the car
  • take bags to car the next time I go out
  • bags chill in car until next shopping trip
  • grab bags at store (handy "don't forget me" signs at our store helped at first)
  • put bags at the front of the cart
  • *TRY* not to bury bags while grocery shopping
  • place bags on conveyor belt first...before unloading any groceries (this step has eliminated them asking "paper or plastic" and/or creates a laugh/smile when they ask out of habit while holding the reusable bags)
  • take bags home and unload.....
So far most places have been very receptive to using the bags.  Our grocery store, Publix, really encourages the use and we've heard rumors that they're going to start charging for plastic bags.  Target offers $0.05 for each reusable bag you use :)  Most cashier's are liberal with that, too.  We bought a plastic bin (for storage) and just had the cashier load it up instead of using bags and she scanned the reusable bag coupon a bunch of times.  I won an Envirosax from Sacred Bee and took it to Target.  The cashier and I laughed as she stuffed it with $90 worth of stuff (I only paid $60...YAY coupons!).  She took a few bags worth off for us, too.

The one negative experience we've had came at Wal-mart a couple of years ago.  One disgruntled employee went on a rant about how the reusable bag thing would never catch on and it was stupid and just like some movement in the 70s that never took off and...seriously??  Just bag our stuff and shut up!  You don't get paid to insult your customers!!  But that was one ridiculous bad experience in 3 years.

I'm trying to be better about taking bags to the mall or other shopping places (aside from Target and Publix).  I'd say it's getting closer to 75% success rate of taking bags to other stores.  I keep them all in the car...various sizes and shapes.  I usually state I have a bag when they're ringing me up, or say I don't need a bag if I'm going to toss it in the diaper bag or stroller or whatever.  If they look at me like I have 3 heads I make a joke.  I usually make fun of myself, "yeah, I'm trying to be green" and kind of roll my eyes at myself.  That usually gets them to laugh and turns the conversation to a positive light even if they weren't positive about it before.

So that's my story...  Apparently we're in a forward area that is more accepting of reusable bags.  What's your story?  Don't forget to head over to Dirty Diaper Laundry and give Kim some love :)