Sunday, February 28, 2010

Mother-Ease Cloth Diaper Giveaway

Mother-ease has a great introductory offer for anyone who wants to try their cloth diapers and covers. For a special low price you can get a cover, liner, and fitted diaper with shipping included, one per customer. I received a Mother-ease Introductory set to review with Esther. I chose the Sandy's small in bamboo terry along with an airflow cover in size small. A friend of mine always raves about the airflow cover, so I was excited to try these.

If you read my posts this week on newborn cloth diapering, you already know some of my thoughts on these diapers. I had a big stash of Kissaluvs that Esther quickly grew out of but the Sandy's small is much more generously sized. At about 11 lbs, it fits Esther well and also has some room to grow. For pictures comparing the sizes, see my post here. This is one of the softest diapers we have, the bamboo is great! As for absorbency, I do have to include the liner each time I use the diaper. I wish that the liners came with the diapers rather than being sold separately since I think they are pretty necessary.

The cover is great also. It is a nice big size with a good fit around the legs. The elastic is soft enough to not pinch or leave marks. It fits well over any of the fitteds and prefolds that we have. My comparison post on diaper covers is here if you want to read more.

Back in September, I reviewed Mother-ease training pants. If you read that post you already know that the Mother-ease factory uses 100% green power! The prints for their covers and training pants were specially developed to represent environmentally sensitive regions of the world. Very cool; a great company to support. If you decide to make a purchase from Mother-ease, please let them know that you read about them on my blog.

I have an introductory set to give away to one reader! This includes a white cotton small Sandy's diaper, a liner, and a medium savanna print cover. To enter the giveaway, leave a comment and tell me why you cloth diaper. Leave another comment if you're a follower of my blog for an extra entry. I'll close this on March 27th at midnight. If you're new to my blog, take a look around. I have lots of baby product giveaways going on this month you won't want to miss!

*Giveaway closed. Congrats to Isi and Jas' mom!*

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Newborn Cloth Diapering: Pocket Diapers

(This is part of a series on cloth diapering. See my post on fitteds and prefolds here, and a post on covers here.)

Fuzzi Bunz Small - These are probably my favorite diapers on Esther. We use these at night and whenever we're going out somewhere. They are very absorbent but the fleece inner keeps her dry. I didn't try these until she was about 10lbs. At that point they fit nicely and I expect to get quite a bit more use from these. We have had poop leak once or twice out the legs but most of the time its contained pretty well. These are great diapers, I think I could go with a whole stash of just these.

BumGenius One Size- These are a great fit on the small setting. I was using just the tiny insert but we've moved up to the bigger insert snapped down to the small setting. The suedecloth inner is great at keeping Esther dry which is nice for night or going out places because she can stay in the diaper a bit longer. We reach for these often and like them. The only drawback is that over time the velcro wears out, Julia has a stash of these that I need to repair so that Esther can use them too.

Fuzzi Bunz One Size - I reviewed this diaper a couple of months ago on Julia. I was curious to see how well it would work for a newborn. After tightening the leg elastic, it is very similar to the small Fuzzi Bunz. Its baggier in the bottom, but not too much. As Esther grows it will be nice to be able to customize the fit just by loosening the elastic a bit.

Swaddlebees - This is a nice trim fitting pocket diaper with fleece stay dry lining. One drawback is that the velcro is too close to the top of the diaper and ends up scratching Esther's tummy sometimes. The fleece lining also kind of shows around the leg and I'm afraid this diaper just won't contain messy newborn poop very well. I haven't it enough to be sure though.

Flip Diaper - I'll include this here, although its really a hybrid diaper. You can read about it at Abby's Lane. I like how the cover fits, its tight enough around the legs and the stretchy tabs at the waist are nice. The insert doesn't contain newborn poop very well, I usually end up having to throw the whole thing in the wash because it gets on the cover. I also tried this diaper on Julia and it fits nicely on her but she pees through the insert pretty quickly. I'd love to get a few more pieces of this system, the pink Zinnia color is adorable.

Summary -
If you haven't noticed, I can't make up my mind about which diaper system I like best! Fitteds and covers are great for containing newborn poop. I also like using cute wool covers, although I suppose I could always use wool over a pocket diaper too. Fuzzi Bunz are probably my favorite. ...who knew there was this much to think about with cloth diapers? What's your favorite system?

Some of my favorite stores to shop for diapers are Abby's Lane, Ecobuns, and Nicki's Diapers. Abby's Lane offers free shipping and 5% off everything when you join their yahoo group (purple button at the bottom of the page). If you happen to order from them for the first time, mention that I referred you and I'll get a small credit. Thanks!

Friday, February 26, 2010

Newborn Cloth Diapering: Covers

(This is part of a series on cloth diapering. See my post on fitteds and prefolds here, and a post on pockets coming up soon.)

Dappi Nylon Pants - These are a pull-on cover, and actually were my favorite for when Esther was just born. I reached for these covers the most until her chubby legs outgrew them (this is the newborn size). The elastic on the legs is nice and soft so it doesn't pinch or leave marks. The cover is big enough that its easy to pull on and has plenty of room for the diaper. These are very inexpensive, 2 for $6 at Nicki's Diapers.

Thirsties - These are my favorite diaper cover overall. I like that the leg gussets help keep leaks contained as opposed to some other covers I've used that wick moisture through the elastic. They have a wide range of fit and are generously sized. There are lots of fun colors to choose from with this diaper. We used x-smalls for a while, but quickly outgrew them. In general I think you could skip that size and just get smalls. The one in the photo is a small. It has cross-over tabs so you can make it fit a pretty tiny baby.

Mother-ease Airflow - Another great cover! This one looked huge to me, but actually fits nicely. Its tight enough around the legs, but the elastic is soft so it doesn't pinch. It snaps at the sides and has separate snaps for the legs and the waist. It comes in cute prints and is generously sized to fit any diaper underneath. I received this cover for review and have a fitted diaper and cover to giveaway - check back soon for that.

Swaddlebees Wool Cover Small - Although I like wool covers, I'm not impressed with this one. I think the cover is over a Kissaluvs fitted in this photo. Swaddlebees just seem to be too trim fitting, I can't get it to completely cover the diapers and it ends up leaking moisture out the sides.

Stacinator Wool Cover Small - This cover is just enough bigger than the Swaddlebees that it works well for us. Its stretchy and has enough snaps that it will fit for quite a while. I like using wool because its breathable, but I do have to be careful to change her frequently so that wetness doesn't leak through too much. Its a fairly bulky cover, but works well. You can see the size difference in the picture below, the Stacinator is on the bottom and the Swaddlebees on top:

Aristocrat - As you can see, this one is quite bulky as well. This is my absolute-no-fail cover. Julia uses a large one of these at night and doesn't ever leak through it. Esther hasn't worn hers much yet, but it will be great for night time over a pocket diaper, or for use in the summer with just a t-shirt top. Its very thick through the wet zone but still soft and comfortable. This is a size small and should fit Esther up to 20lbs. I like these so much that I got the longies also:

Aristocrat Longies - Esther hasn't worn these much yet, they are just kind of hard to pull on squirmy newborn legs. I like the fit one her and think she'll get more use out of them as she gets bigger. This is basically an aristocrat cover with legs added on. I think its cute.

Sleep Sack - I crocheted this sleep sack for Esther to wear at night. It hasn't really worked as well as I thought. The idea is that the bottom is open for diaper changes, but really its easier to take it off than to try and bunch all of the fabric up to reach her diaper. Lucy and Julia think she looks like a mermaid in this. I may stitch the bottom shut to keep her legs warmer and then she could just wear it around the house (it wouldn't work in a car seat).

Longies - This is another one that hasn't gotten much use yet. As she gets older it will be easier to get these on and off of her. I loved using longies with my other girls and got tons of compliments when they wore them out somewhere. I have a super cute skirty that I made also in a bigger size.

That's all for today. Check back soon for another post on newborn diapering (pockets) and a giveaway!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Newborn Cloth Diapering: Fitteds

I posted a couple of months ago about the cloth diapers I was planning to use with Esther. Now that I've tried them all out, here are some pictures and my thoughts on the different kinds. I'm going to do this in a couple of parts - fitteds and prefolds, covers, and then pocket diapers. Hopefully this is helpful. Let me know if you have further questions about the diapers and I'll try and answer them for you.

Kissaluvs Size 0 - These are a very popular newborn diaper. I don't get it. At four weeks (11 lbs), I put them away because they didn't fit Esther anymore. They are cute, but extremely small. From the first time we used them, they've been on the last snap setting. The front kind of poofs out, but the legs are too tight. We didn't use them right away because we were waiting for the meconium to be gone and then with my mastitis we just used disposables for the first two weeks. I use a doubler in them each time which makes them pretty absorbent. They do hold in the poop explosions too; we haven't had any leaks. Kissaluvs are cute and have a snap down part for the umbilical cord. I just don't like the fit.

Note: These are Kissaluvs version 1. I've since learned that they have a version 2 that is much more absorbent.

Happy Heiny - This is a size small. Its a bit bigger than the Kissaluvs, but still on the small side. It definitely needs a doubler to make it absorbent enough and we're on some of the last snaps already with this one too.

Mother-Ease Small Sandy's Bamboo - This diaper has a much better range of fit. I love that the bamboo is so soft and nice. I actually received this diaper for review, and have another diaper and cover set to give away. Look for that coming up soon! This diaper is bigger than the Kissaluvs and Happy Heiny, but it does still fit snugly around the legs. Because its so soft and squishy, it doesn't seem too bulky on Esther. I think it will fit her for quite a while yet. The absorbency is okay, not great. I have a doubler that I put in this one as well. That seems to be the case with all fitteds though, if they are absorbent, they are too thick and don't dry well. I do like this diaper and wish I had more than one of them.

So that you can see the difference in size, here are the three diapers together. Mother-Ease, Happy Heiny, and then the Kissaluvs:


Orange Edge Prefolds - These are a special newborn size prefold from Green Mountain Diapers. I didn't try them on Esther until about four or five weeks and they were already too small. I do like them, they are nice and wide which makes them easy to snappi on. They are also very soft and seem absorbent enough. I may get rid of my Kissaluvs and just keep these for newborn use. Although I'm still not sold on whether or not prefolds keep in that explosive poop well enough.

Yellow Edge Prefolds - This is what we are using now that the Kissaluvs are outgrown (well, sometimes, Ross doesn't like using prefolds). They are nice and wide, but not too long like a regular prefold would be. These are also a special size from Green Mountain Diapers. Prefolds are the most inexpensive diapering option and they last the longest as well. These are working well for us right now, although I don't think they hold poop in quite as well as fitteds. I like that they are organic cotton and are nice and soft.

Check back soon for posts comparing covers, another on pocket diapers, and the Mother-ease giveaway!

Monday, February 22, 2010

Muffin Tin Monday - Orange

Today Muffin Tin Monday had an "orange" theme. We went with orange juice, fish crackers, clementines, cheese, soup (with orange carrots), and yogurt. After I served the meal, I showed the girls how red and yellow drops of food coloring mixed together made the yogurt orange! :) We always enjoy Muffin Tin Monday.

If you're a Muffin Tin Mom stopping by my blog feel free to browse a bit. I have several great baby product giveaways going on this month. Click the Prizey button on the right to see current giveaways listed or just scroll through recent posts. Thanks for visiting!

Nutrimill Review: How It Works

(Check out the Nutrimill Review Part One here.)

When shopping for a grain mill, I chose the Nutrimill for a few reasons. First of all, it has a lifetime warranty. It is supposed to be one of the quietest electric mills. It adjust to grind either coarse or fine flour, and seemed relatively easy to use. I considered other grain mills, but most have clear plastic parts that I suspect have BPA in them. The Nutrimill is made of ABS plastic, which would be safe. The lid is a flexible plastic to help with sound absorption.

I have to admit that I was rather intimidated by the Nutrimill. I'm not sure why because it really wasn't hard to use at all. It is pretty noisy, like a loud vacuum cleaner, so Ross had to take the baby into the other room. Lucy and Julia went running too. It didn't take long to grind the flour though. All you do is pour the wheat into the top and turn it on!

I had Ross try the flour and he agreed that it tasted fresh and less bitter than typical whole wheat. We made some fresh bread right away with my Bosch mixer to further test my theory (that fresh flour tastes better). It only takes a few ingredients to make bread and it was pretty easy to do in the mixer. It did end up taking me all evening to grind the flour, wash the mill, mix up the bread dough, wash the mixer, and bake it. All of this was in between nursing Esther, changing diapers, doing laundry and more. I found it a bit time consuming, but the fresh bread was wonderful. We decided it was the best bread I've ever made!

The Nutrimill is pretty big and finding space for it in my little kitchen was a challenge. It has a 20 cup bowl capacity though, which will be nice if I ever decide to make big batches of bread dough. Overall I'm happy with the Nutrimill and am glad to be able to feed my family fresh whole grains. I'm hoping over time to perfect some recipes for tortillas, bagels, pizza dough, etc. and regularly make these things at home.

Everything Kitchens was great to work with. They have fast shipping and friendly service. If you read my Bosch mixer review you already know that they donate 1% of all proceeds to World Vision. They offer free shipping on most things and a best price guarantee. If you give them a call and ask, the sales people can even give you a discount. I recommend shopping with them for all your kitchen needs. If you're interested in grinding fresh flour, I recommend the Nutrimill.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Chicks-n-chickens DVD Giveaway

Every new mom wants to get back in shape and what better way to do that than with baby in arms? If you've ever put on an exercise DVD only to have your baby wake up and need to be held, you'll appreciate this one made with babies in mind. Chicks-n-chickens Lullaby Exercises is a group of moms wearing their babies while working out to fun music. I had a chance to review this fun DVD/CD and even have one to give away.

The workout is easy to follow along with. Darcy teaches some country dancing type steps and makes it fun to move. The DVD starts out with a "groove" section and end with a "sleep" section of slow songs. All of the exercises can be done with your baby in a carrier or in your arms. If your baby falls asleep, you'll want to turn the dvd off before the end because when the credits roll upbeat music comes on a bit suddenly. Once you've learned the movements you can just put on the music CD and exercise anywhere you are.

Working out along with other moms and babies creates a fun sort of connection. The atmosphere on the DVD is relaxed and fun (maybe a little too relaxed? There is a baby crying through an entire song which is rather unnerving.) The moms are all cute and the set design is great. Check out their website to see a video clip. Lucy and Julia had fun dancing to the music and enjoyed watching the babies. Evidently Julia was paying attention because when I was putting on the DVD for a second time she said "Are they going to shovel?" Lucy explained that she meant "shuffle" and we all laughed.

I only did a few of the songs along with the DVD before tiring out (and this is not a hard workout). I definitely need to put this on regularly! I'm glad to have this fun easy way to get some exercise, especially since its hard to get outside in the Michigan winter. Exercise will not only help me get in shape but also lift my spirits and mood too. Props to mom Darcy Novo Albrecht for running with her idea and making a fun dvd!

Would you like a Chicks-n-chickens DVD/CD of your own? I'm going to run this giveaway a bit differently. I'd love to hear your creative ideas, questions, and suggestions for getting exercise while caring for a baby. Lets discuss this in the comments below. Any comment you leave is an entry to the giveaway and you can comment as much as you'd like as long as it makes sense and is part of the discussion. If there are already comments you'll want to read those before jumping in. Be sure to include your email address in one of your comments so that I can contact you. Check the button to have follow up comments emailed to you so that you can come back to this discussion again. I'll close the giveaway on March 20th at midnight. Lets get the discussion started...

*This giveaway is closed. chose comment#6, Wendi!*

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Medela Harmony Pump Giveaway

I threw my last breastpump in the trash can right along with all of its bottles and accessories. When Lucy was a baby, I had an Avent pump and a couple of bottles just for occasional use. Thankfully I'm not a mom who has to pump on a daily basis - I have lots of respect for those of you that do! I only need to use a pump in the rare case that I'm leaving baby for an hour or so and want to leave some milk for her. Other times that I've used a pump include to relieve mastitis and plugged ducts, or to pump and bottle feed while on a long car trip. (I have also done the "lean over the car seat and try to breastfeed while holding a blanket over the window so no one thinks I'm crazy" thing. Its just a bit hard on my back, lol.)

So, why did my pump end up in the trash? After choosing to breastfeed and working so hard at getting through those first rough weeks, being committed to providing the best for my baby... I was so upset to find out that the bottles and pump I put my milk in contained a toxic chemical. BPA is a hormone disrupting toxin that leaches from certain types of plastic. Ugh.

Medela is BPA free. Any of their products that come in contact with breastmilk do not contain BPA. Avent is now BPA free as well, but to me it seems like they only did this in response to consumer outrage. They do not disclose what their bottles are now made of, whereas Medela uses polypropylene and has a clear statement about BPA on their website. Medela supports breastfeeding. You can find information, tips, and even a discussion board for nursing mothers on their website. When deciding on a new breastpump, I chose Medela.

We received a Harmony Breastpump and 5oz Breastmilk Bottle Set for review. I was very thankful to have the pump when dealing with Esther's nursing issues. Rather than resorting to formula because my nipples were too sore, my back up plan was to pump and feed Esther breastmilk in a bottle. I haven't had to do that yet, we're still working on getting her to latch correctly though. The pump looks confusing at first, but it comes with clear directions on how to assemble, disassemble, and wash it. The bottles are compatible with Medela pumps and come with storage lids as well.

If you need to pump more often than I do, check out Medela's product selector to find a pump that will meet your needs. Aside from the occasional use Harmony, they also carry daily use pumps on up to hospital grade pumps. Medela pumps use an exclusive 2-Phase Expression technology that mimics the way a baby breastfeeds. The Stimulation Phase is light and fast while the Expressions Phase is slow and stronger. The Harmony pump uses the 2-Phase Expression technology also. Overall I'm happy with the quality of this pump and its ease of use.

Medela is offering one of my readers a Harmony pump! To enter this giveaway, you must be a follower of my blog (either through blogger, email subscription, or a google reader, etc.). Leave a comment letting me know how you keep up with my blog, being sure to include your email address so that I can contact you. For another entry, leave a comment and let me know where you find inspiration or encouragement for breastfeeding. I'll close the giveaway on March 19th at midnight.

Thanks for stopping by. Be sure to check back soon, I'm running a series of baby product reviews and giveaways this month including more fun items you won't want to miss!

**Giveaway is closed and a winner has been contacted. chose comment #13.**

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

My Father's World - Dinosaurs

Catching up on our homeschool posts... Our dinosaur unit took up most of December since we had lots of breaks for cookie making, a ballet recital, card and ornament making, and more. Some of the fun things we did include: drawing dots on a big "D", drawing a dinosaur, writing a story, reading dinosaur poems, making dinosaur finger puppets, and more. One day we ate a dinosaur smile for snack (apples, peanut butter, and marshmallows). Lucy also enjoyed making dinosaurs from play-doh.

Books we read:

What Really Happened to the Dinosaurs? by John Morris and Ken Ham

Danny and the Dinosaur by Syd Hoff

Four and Twenty Dinosaurs by Bernard Most

Curious George and the Dinosaur by Margret and H. A. Rey

Lucy's favorite part: "My handwriting page."

What Lucy learned about dinosaurs: "That they're big. That the sound they make, growling."

Monday, February 15, 2010

Nutrimill Review: Why Grind Fresh Flour?

Remember my review of the Bosch Mixer? I promised you a review of the Nutrimill back then. With all the busyness of the holidays and then baby Esther's arrival I hadn't gotten to this. I'm excited to finally share my thoughts with you.

Why did I want a grain mill? Well, its another one of those things I read about on blogs. Once I started learning more about making my own bread, I discovered that some people actually grind their own flour! I knew that white flour was not ideal, along with white sugar, white rice, white bread... all of these products have a very low nutritional value. The vitamins and minerals are stripped from them. Pleasant Hill Grain has a great little display piece showing what is removed from flour (scroll down to The Great Grain Robbery). I guess I hadn't realized exactly how worthless white flour really is. Bleh.

Wheat flour contains so many more vitamins and minerals: the bran, middlings, wheat germ, and wheat germ oil. Removing these vital parts strips the grain of more than 70% of its nutrients. White flour in the US is called "enriched" because the manufacturers are required to add back in a few of the vitamins and minerals to keep people from becoming sick on it. The problem with whole wheat flour, and the reason white flour was invented, is that it goes rancid. There is some mixed information out there about this.

The health-food-bread-baking-wheat-grinding mamas will tell you that whole wheat loses much of its nutritional value once ground. They recommend grinding only what you need for use and storing the rest in the freezer. Supposedly within 24 hours up to 40% of the nutrients have oxidized, and within 3 days up to 80%. I'm not sure where this statistic is coming from and would love to see some research or a study proving this. If its true, then of course everyone should own a grain mill and grind their own grain and use it as freshly as possible.

For now, I decided to ask the flour manufacturers what they thought. I emailed Bob's Red Mill and King Arthur Flour asking them about this:

Bob's Red Mill replied that they do recommend storing flour in the refrigerator or freezer. They say that they haven't had any problems with it losing nutritional value. They state: "There are varying opinions about whether freshly ground wheat is more nutritious than what has been ground and packaged but we have had no reports that one is better than the other." I wonder if they have done any studies though? This kind of sounds like "well, no one has proved it to us".

King Arthur Flour replied "We do recommend that whole wheat flour be stored in your freezer for best and longest keeping qualities." Why isn't it sold in the freezer section of the grocery store then?

I also checked out the King Arthur Flour Whole Grain Baking book from the library to see what it had to say. These people grind flour and sell it. If they admit that fresh flour is better, that would be some good proof. I searched the whole book, and although they didn't make a big deal of it, there were a few references to fresh flour being better:

p. 440 "The flavor of fresh-ground whole grain flour is noticeably different than bagged whole grain flour. Why? Because once grains are ground, oxidation of their oil-rich germ begins, and that germ has a flavor profile that most of us associate with whole wheat. The oxidation is actually the germ beginning to go rancid. This rancidity isn't harmful to the flour's performance, nor does it affect food safety; it just adds a touch of bitterness to the flavor. If you think whole wheat has an 'off' or bitter taste, the solution is to grind your own."

Rancid flour isn't bad for the flour's performance or safety but what about nutrition? And does anyone else have a problem with their flour being rancid? I'm not happy with this news.

p. xii "A word about whole grains and storage: You know that whole grains contain the bran and the natural oils from the entire grain. When the entire grain is milled, exposing the oil to air, it begins a slow oxidation process and can, without proper storage, go rancid, affecting the flavor of your flour and your baked goods. ... The flavor of freshly milled wheat flour is divine." It goes on to mention keeping flour in the freezer after purchasing it.

Again, why isn't it sold from the freezer section at the grocery store? I guess because its already rancid and we're all used to the bitter taste. I had the chance to taste some freshly ground whole wheat flour and it was lacking the bittery whole wheat taste. Interesting. One of my challenges in our switch to eating healthier foods has been figuring out how to make whole wheat products that we actually like. If freshly ground flour tastes better, that would help me be able to make better tasting fresh bread, tortillas, pizza crusts, and more.

I've also been learning about a variety of other whole grains that can be used to make lighter tasting bread products. I can't find spelt or Kamut flour at my grocery store, but with a grain mill I can buy the whole grains at my health food store or online and grind it myself.

I purchased a grain mill from Everything Kitchens (at a discount in exchange for this review), and am excited to experiment with different grains and making our own fresh bread products. Check back soon for my thoughts on the mill itself. In the mean time, do you have a favorite whole grain recipe to share with me?

Friday, February 12, 2010

Milk Saver Review and Giveaway

The Milk Saver is another great product for nursing moms! (If you're new to my blog, check out my review yesterday too.) It collects breastmilk from the non-nursing side while you feed your baby. Slip it into your bra before you nurse and as your milk lets down, the Milk Saver collects it. It saves milk that would otherwise just drip into a nursing pad and go to waste!

Milk Saver is BPA and phthalate free and is independently tested to ensure zero leaching. Its also recyclable. The Milk Saver comes with a handy carrying case that also acts as a stand. It can collect up to 2.1 ounces, or more if you attach a breastmilk storage bag as shown.

The first time I tried the Milk Saver, I collected 1/2 oz from both sides together. I used it again the next morning and got 1 1/2 oz just from one side. If I used it regularly I could collect quite a bit of milk - all without having to pump. Its very easy to pour milk out of the Milk Saver and wash it out for reuse. The Milk Saver is made of a soft pliable plastic, so its comfortable to wear. I do not think that its discrete like they advertise though. I'm fairly small, so the Milk Saver just seems huge and bulky on me, but maybe for a bigger chested person it would be discrete? On me, not so much. I put a small cup in the photo so you can get an idea of the size. I also don't think that it eliminates the need for nursing pads, I still leak even when I'm not feeding my baby.

The Milk Saver is a great product that any breastfeeding mom would find helpful. If you have an oversupply, the Milk Saver can help by allowing the milk to drip out freely. On the other hand, if you struggle with a low supply, you'll definitely find saving every drop of breastmilk to be useful. I like to have a bit of breastmilk stored in the freezer and this way I can save it up without pumping. I love how easy it is.

We are all a bit sick right now - even Esther has a stuffy nose. I used some of my saved milk to mix in with Julia's rice milk. She never knew the difference, but I was happy about giving her the benefits of the breastmilk to help her fight off being sick. If you end up with tons of extra milk, I've even heard of a recipe for breastmilk soap, although I've not tried it. Milkies (makers of the Milk Saver) also supports the Human Milk Banking Association of North America. To find out more about donating milk see their website.

Would you like to win a Milk Saver? Leave a comment on this post including your email address. If you follow my blog leave a second comment letting me know that for another entry. I'll close the giveaway on March 12th at midnight. Thanks for stopping by. Be sure to check out the other baby product giveaways I have going on this month.

*This giveaway is closed. Comment #35 is the winner!*

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Blush Undershirt Review and Giveaway

Blush Topless Undershirts are absolutely wonderful for nursing! I received one for review and I think I'm going to have to buy another one just so I can wear them all the time.

What is it? Blush Topless Undershirts are basically a tube top worn around your waist. Its an undershirt without straps to get in the way. For nursing, I can lift my shirt and still have my tummy covered. Pregnant mamas can wear one to cover their growing belly and help keep their pants up. Blush Topless Undershirts can also be worn by anyone just as an extra layer or to add length to shirts that are too short.

When I was nursing Julia, I wore nursing tank tops from Target underneath all of my clothes. I liked that when I lifted my shirt up I was still covered. The tank tops had a built in nursing bra that wasn't very supportive and left me looking sort of flat on top though. With the Blush Topless Undershirt I can wear a nice nursing bra and still have my tummy covered too. I don't like fumbling with all of the layers of some nursing clothing and this eliminates that problem as well.

The Blush Topless Undershirt is a soft stretchy polyester/rayon/spandex blend. Simply refer to their sizing chart to determine which one you need. I didn't want to stretch mine out, so I didn't try it during pregnancy but I think it would be great especially for those first few months when nothing fits right anymore. They come in a variety of colors and fun prints and aren't too expensive. ($15 for solids, $20 for lace and prints)

I washed mine with our regular laundry on cold and dried it in the dryer. It didn't shrink and the spit up that was on it came out just fine. This is definitely an essential part of my wardrobe now. I need to buy one more but it will be hard to choose just one.

One lucky reader will win a Blush Topless Undershirt of their own! To enter the giveaway, leave a comment and let me know how you would wear your Blush - for nursing, as an extra layer, or during pregnancy. The winner will be able to choose the size, but not the color. Be sure to leave an email address so I can contact you. Followers of my blog get an extra entry, just leave another comment for that. The giveaway will close on March 10th at midnight.

In the mean time, if you would like to purchase a Blush Topless Undershirt, you can use the code "welovebloggers" for 20% off 2 or more undershirts. Keep checking back, I'm running a series of baby product reviews and giveaways all month long!

*Giveaway now closed. Karissa is the winner!*

Tuesday, February 9, 2010


Here are my three princesses at a wedding this weekend. Lucy and Julia were both flower girls and had a great time dancing afterwards. Esther slept through most of it and everyone commented on how adorable she was. I love my girls!

linked to Gratituesday

Monday, February 8, 2010

Muffin Tin Monday - Octopus

For Muffin Tin Monday today I just had to do the octopus lunch that I've seen a couple times. We're studying Octopus this week! We've had about a six week break from school and Lucy was begging me to start up again with her. Even Daddy is getting into things this week with us, watching video clips of octopus was very interesting. Did you know they can change colors and even make themselves patterned? Octopuses are very smart and can open a jar to get food out. We're learning all kinds of fun things. Anyway, our lunch today was a big hit! Octopus hot dog, seaweed (pesto noodles), and fish. :) Check back later this week for a summary of our Octopus activities if you're interested.

Friday, February 5, 2010

SIDS Research/ aden + anais giveaway

On February 2nd, the CJ Foundation for SIDS released a major study linking SIDS with low production of serotonin in the brain. This may lead to a concrete approach to identifying babies at risk for SIDS, the leading cause of death for infants between 1 and 12 months old in the US. The study is published in the February 3rd issues of The Journal of the American Medical Association and was funded in part by a grant from the CJ Foundation for SIDS.

aden + anais is a proud sponsor of the CJ Foundation for SIDS. They have created their new cozy sleeping bag to keep babies warm in the winter months without overheating (a risk factor for SIDS). The cozy sleeping bag is made of four layers of breathable muslin cotton and of course comes in adorable prints. In these winter months its important for parents to be cautious about overheating their little ones. Cranking the heat or overdressing a baby can be dangerous. Some other reminders include:

1- Always lay your baby to sleep face up.
2- Don't smoke when pregnant and never smoke near your infant.
3- Don't let your baby get too hot. (A wearable sleep blanket is great for this.)
4- Lay your baby to sleep in an approved crib, on a firm mattress.
5- Create a healthy lifestyle for you and your baby.
6- If possible, breastfeed your baby. (Reduces the risk of SIDS!)
7- Offer your baby a pacifier at all sleep times.
8- Put your baby on his or her tummy to play when your baby is awake and supervised.
9- Don't share sleep surfaces.
10- Share these tips with everyone who cares for your baby.

(Note: I personally cosleep with my babies and believe this can be done safely. Please use your best judgement when deciding where your baby should sleep.)
I'm a big fan of aden + anais and love their products. I am currently running a giveaway for a four pack of swaddling blankets, and have reviewed their sleeping bags in the past. Today they are giving away one cozy sleeping bag! To enter the giveaway, leave a comment on this post including your email address. You can gain extra entries for becoming a facebook fan of aden + anais, becoming a facebook fan of the CJ Foundation for SIDS, and for being a follower of my blog with a total of four possible entries. Leave separate comments for each entry. This giveaway will close on February 19th at midnight.

Check back soon, I am running a series of baby product reviews and giveaways all month long!
*Giveaway closed. Thanks for your interest.*