Monday, April 30, 2007

Product Review: Warm Belly Baby Wet Suit

Ian has been freezing in Water Babies to the point where he turns blue. The class is only a half an hour long, but he is so cold that he can't relax. To solve this problem, I bought a baby wet suit from Warm Belly. For about $40, I got the wet suit, a head band and shipping. We've had two classes with the wet suit and the change is remarkable. He is kicking his legs like a champ and will even relax on his back. A half an hour is still about all he can take, but he is able to enjoy it now.

******Updated on June 23, 2008:

Ian is now 21 months old and in size 2T. His Warm Belly Wetsuit still fits and is still in good shape. It was worth every penny. The suit is made of neoprene, the same material that scuba divers use. It is much different than what is available at your average mall. It does not have a built-in floatation device, so it does not interfere with the child learning to swim. I highly recommend this product.

Product Review: Target MiniStars vs. Robeez

Target Shoes:

Robeez Shoes:

Go to any gathering of young children and you will see a wonderful assortment of soft leather shoes in bright and fun designs from Robeez. My sister bought Ian a pair of Robeez that are black with green fire-breathing dragons complete with red flames. Not only are they cool, but they are easy to put on and they do not come off. They are great shoes, but are they $26+ great?

Target has a knock-off version for $12.99. I bought some simple brown shoes for Ian. Like Robeez, they have shoes with animals and other designs, but I went with plain brown because that is what they had in his size and I needed something to go with his brown-toned clothes.

Target shoes are a little bigger, not quite as soft and the elastic is a little tighter than it needs to be (Ian gets red marks from them sometimes, but it doesn't seem to bother him). I think I will try to stretch the elastic a bit. Another problem with the Target shoes is limited selection. I had to go to three Targets to find the shoes I wanted in his size because the section was cleaned out.

On the other hand, Robeez has a great selection, maybe too great. It can become an addiction. You either need a benefactor to buy them for you, or you really need to limit yourself because it is a lot of money for shoes that won't be worn very long.

When Ian outgrows his Robeez, I will probably buy ONE pair in the next size, but limit it to that. I will probably buy another pair Target shoes also so he has two pair in each size. Bottomline, Robeez are better, but Target shoes are fine, so think about your budget as you decide to purchase.

Product Review: Fuzzi Bunz and Bum Genius One Size 2.0 Cloth Diaper Update

Yellow BumGenius 2.0 One Size

Acqua Fuzzi Bunz:

Red Fuzzi Bunz:

I've been using cloth diapers almost exclusively (except for a few leftover disposables) for two weeks. I even used them on my road trip to Columbus for The Lactivist Bash. I have 12 diapers. I think that is the minimum you need to do it full time, but it requires that you wash diapers everyday. 6-12 more would give me a little breathing room, although it hasn't been much of a burden, yet.

I like both kinds of diapers. If I buy more, I will probably buy BumGenuis 2.0 One Size instead of Fuzzi Bunz because I can use them for my next child much earlier and the aplix fasteners (velcro) make them more flexible than the snaps on the Fuzzi Bunz. That said, I think I like the Fuzzi Bunz a little bit better than the Bum Genuis, but with the cost of these types of diapers ($15+ each), I would rather have diapers that can be used throughout diapering instead of buying different sizes. The Fuzzi Bunz Mediums will probably last him until he is out of diapers. If I had been thinking about cloth diapers before he was born, I think I would have purchased the BumGenius One Size and used either disposables or prefolds until the cord fell off.

I haven't had many leaks except for overnight. Using a doubler (two inserts instead of one) has stopped the overnight leaks. Washing isn't bad either. I do an extra rinse and if there is a dirty diaper in the mix I wash twice, first with cold then with hot.
I haven't had any staining on the diapers, but I have had a little staining on the some of the inserts.

Short road trips and public outings are easy to use cloth, I have a bag that I put the dirty diapers in. You throw the bag in the wash with the diapers. You could also just use a plastic bag and throw it out. I will still use disposables for longer road trips and flights. I don't want to have to find a laundry mat on the road or deal with dirty cloth in the airport, but for one-day trips or errands, it is fine.

I like these pocket diapers because anyone (husbands) can use them without training. Some people really like prefolds and diaper covers. That is the cheapest way to cloth diaper, but you need your husband and caregivers to buy into that system. Again, maybe if I had seriously considered cloth diapering before Ian was born, I would have used diaper covers and prefolds. Although, the covers are sized and the nicer the cover, the more expensive which makes me think that I probably would have gone with pocket diapers anyway.

*Updated on June 22, 2008 after 14 months of use. Click here.

Little Mountaineer

When I am working in the kitchen, I put Ian by the front door and he crawls back to the kitchen to splash in Roxxy's water dishes. I stop him and put him back by the door and the proces repeats until I am done. Yesterday, I put him by the front door and did not hear him clomping down the hall . I couldn't see him, but it was quiet and I knew he couldn't possibly be playing with his toys in the livingroom. I ran to find him and he was on the stairs! His feet were on stair #5 and his hands on stairs #6. Yikes! Time to block off those stairs. We have outlet covers on the outlets and try to keep things out of reach but we hadn't put gates up in this new place, yet.

Carrots Coming Out of His Nose

Apart from eating a whole jar of sweet potatoes in one sitting, Ian hasn't been very impressed with solids. He didn't like peas at all. Curt attempted to feed him carrots on Saturday, but he only managed to get in about two bites. Yesterday, though, he "inhaled" an entire jar of carrots. He got carrots everywhere as usual, but he ate quite a bite.

Today at Water Babies, I had a funny surprise as carrots starting coming out of his nose! Gross!

Thursday, April 26, 2007

New Puppy

My sister stopped over for the night with her new puppy, Teddy. He is almost 5 months old: smart, gentle and going to be a big boy!

Teddy multitasking:

Monday, April 23, 2007

Lactivist Bash in Columbus

Since we are in the States for a few months, we drove up to Columbus, Ohio for the Lactivist Bash. It was fun to meet everyone, especially Jennifer, Robin and Judy whose writings and comments I read on the Lactivist blog. The weather was perfect, the food was great and the crowd was politically diverse. Christian Conservatives and Lefties gathered together for a cause. Living in DC, I only saw this when opposing groups were protesting each other's protests. It was a 7 hour drive (would be less without a baby), but it was worth it because Winchester is a lot closer to Columbus than Cairo! Wrangling a crawling baby while attempting to take pictures distracted me from getting remembering everyone's names. Here is a sampling of photos I managed to get.

Jennifer (The Lactivist) and Judy:

Greg and Emmitt:

Ann Twiggs of the Ohio Department of Health WIC Program:

Robin Neorr at the sign up table for the Ohio Breastfeeding Coalition:

Baby modelling the Breastfeeding Alliance bibs that Ann and Robin passed out:


Rachelle and Devin:

Mama & Baby:

Hope & Her Mama:

Family Eating:

Kids Playing:

Kraus Family Hits Winchester

Katy, Rolf, Lili and Max Kraus stopped in Winchester last Tuesday on their way back to Montreal. Lili is 2 and Max is 9 months.

Oh the Outfits!

And I was worried that boys' clothes would be boring!

Ian Loves Sweet Potatoes or The Uselessness of Bibs

After giving bananas and apples a lukewarm reception, Ian wolfed down an entire jar of sweet potatoes in one sitting! Despite the amount on his hair, face and clothes, he managed to get quite a bit down. I've decided to feed him in his diaper from now on and just use the bib to wipe him off afterwards. He is so messy the bib really doesn't help keep his clothes clean.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Karen and Ian in the Paper!

We are in an article about using birth doulas in the Erie Times-News Magazine called Her Times. Hopefully more Erie-area women will think about using a birth doula in the future.

Breastfeeding Around the World: Motherwear Part II

Here is the second post about breastfeeding around the world from Motherwear. Ian and I are pictured on top of the boat on the Nile during our cruise.