Chronicles of a Completely Unperfect Mom

November 4, 2009

“The Doctors” and Cloth Diapers

Filed under: cloth diapers,Randomness — Mom @ 8:27 pm

I have to say, I was thoroughly unimpressed with the bit about cloth diapering on “The Doctors” today.  Don’t get me wrong, any publicity on how easy cloth diapering can be is wonderful, but there were several things that didn’t set well in my stomach.  I also love the fact that they didn’t choose any of the “big dogs” in the cloth world, they chose Smartipants, an up and coming diaper.

First of all, why call them reusable?  Yes, they are reusable but that sounds kind of icky.  Even as a proud cloth diapering mom, I squirmed just a bit at the thought of reusing diapers.  Just because they’re not a flat sheet that you fold or a prefold diaper doesn’t mean they’re not cloth.  The beauty of today’s cloth market is the choices that are available.

Second, Dr. Masterson, an obstetrician, just had to open her mouth about how gross cloth diapering is.  Luckily, she chose to only make a couple of comments, but they seemed incredibly uninformed for someone who claims to have used cloth.  If you saw the show and are considering making the switch to cloth, please completely ignore the “buckets of crap everywhere” comment.  As another doctor said, you shake the poo into the toilet.  You don’t have to scrub it off, so it’s not “all over your hands” as she said it was.  A simple search for how to wash cloth diapers will turn up a plethora of websites that instruct you how to wash them.  And as long as you’re careful, you rarely even see stains!

Also, the show seemed rather disjointed.  I understand they have a wide audience to appeal to, but why give cloth diapers a minute out of the hour?  It would be nice if they could figure out a way to give topics more time and have a less generalized theme to the show.  I don’t care about staying sexy over 70, that’s 40 years down the road.  I don’t care if being a nudist will lower my blood pressure, I’m not doing it.  These don’t seem like the type of segments you would expect to see mixed in with ride-on luggage and cloth diapers.

November 2, 2009

Maple Sugar Designs Wet Bags

Filed under: cloth diapers,Diaper of the Week — Mom @ 12:02 am

MSDwetbags 2009What do you do when you’re out and about?  At first, we used disposables, but then I decided that I wanted to commit to cloth diapering full time. At first, I just grabbed a plastic sack and put the used cloth in it just as I would have a disposable.  It didn’t take long for that to gross me out just a bit, so I went to my local cloth diapering store and picked up a wet bag.  I loved it and swore there was nothing that would beat it.  Being the completely unperfect mom that I am, I can admit when I’m wrong!

When I checked the mail and found my Maple Sugar Designs wet bag, I couldn’t wait to try it!  Well, life had other plans and we spent a while where someone was always sick and I was trying to keep Bubs at home as much as possible to minimize the chances that he’d get sick.  The entire time, my new “toy” sat on the desk, taunting me, begging me to put it to use!  Finally, the day came when we had somewhere to go, so I packed up, carefully folded the bag, and put it in the diaper bag, promising that its day had come.

Unlike my fully functional bag that I bought locally (and only considering price), this bag has a fun fabric outer.  I’ve quickly learned that awesome prints make everything in life better!  The Procare liner is a bit thicker than PUL liners, which makes me feel a bit more comfortable when I’m going to put the bag back into the diaper bag.  This bag has a loop at the top which helped me as I tried to hang on to a dirty diaper and open the bag which was incredibly helpful!

If you’re in the market for a wet bag, I highly recommend going to Michelle’s site and browsing her shop.  This is now our go-to bag.  Even my husband knows which bag to grab when he packs the bag and he’s “corrected” my mom when she grabbed the wrong bag. I have a feeling that before long, I’ll be talking to Mr. Unperfect to see if I can get a hanging wet bag for Bubs’ room!

Want a chance to try a Maple Sugar Designs wet bag for free?  Leave me a comment with which print you’d choose.  Want another entry?  Tell a friend to stop by.  If they say that you sent them, you will receive a second entry.  This giveaway will be open through November 9th at 9:00pm CST.  At that time, I will choose the winner at random.  Please be sure to leave a way for me to reach you in your comment!

November 1, 2009

Used Cloth???

Filed under: cloth diapers — Mom @ 11:23 pm

Cloth diapering is an economical and green way to contain your baby’s “byproducts” until they learn to use the toilet. While you’ll save money in the long run, it can seem out of reach to many parents who are first starting out. Sure, you could simply use prefolds and covers, but what if you want something that offers the convenience of disposables without the cost and excess garbage?

The phrase “used diapers” is sure to turn noses and raise eyebrows at first glance. After all, why would you want to purchase something that another child, someone you may have never met, has used for up to three years? It’s an understandable feeling and one that many parents have. But as long as you’re careful, buying used cloth diapers can reduce the up-front cost and allow you to try diapers you may not have been able to otherwise.

Most parents who use cloth diapers take great care to maintain them properly to ensure that they will last through one or more children. Because of this, many used cloth diapers are sold and traded in nearly new condition. When you are looking online for used diapers, look for listings which are descriptive regarding the condition and include photos of both the inside and outside of the diaper as well as any inserts that are included. If a seller is unwilling to give you this information, move on to the next listing.

There are many sites out there which offer used cloth diapers for sale and trade by parents. One such site is Spots Corner. This is a good site as long as you do a search and remember to select the option to only show available items. There are also numerous message boards with sub-forums for selling diapers. These are generally divided by the type of diaper which makes it much easier to see what’s available. My personal favorite site for stalking cloth (and everything else) is Cloth Diaper Nation.

If you buy over the internet, Paypal seems to be the preferred method of payment. If someone requests a check or money order, this is another potential red flag. With Paypal, there is security for both the buyer and seller that doesn’t exist when paying by check or money order. As a buyer, you have the ability to file a claim in the event that you do not receive your cloth diapers. The seller can print a shipping label directly from Paypal and can choose to have delivery confirmation which they can give you as a buyer.

Using cloth diapers is similar to using disposables in the sense that the diaper one mother swears by will do nothing but cause frustration and extra laundry for another. This is another benefit to used cloth diapers. When you start shopping, you can buy a few fitted diapers, a few pocket diapers, and whatever else you think you want to try. Used diapers allow you to be open-minded when you’re starting out. You might find that the style you thought you’d love doesn’t work for your family or you may fall in love with something you weren’t willing to pay full price to try. And if you decide you don’t like something, you can sell them as long as you take care of them. You can’t do that with a disposable diaper.

October 12, 2009

Short Rounds Winner, FINALLY

Filed under: cloth diapers,Diaper of the Week — Mom @ 5:41 pm

Sorry this is so late! I found a new addiction and it’s clouded my brain! More about that later. For now, it’s time to announce the Short Rounds winner!

This week’s winner is mom24babes

Congrats!!!!

I’m going to take this week off from a giveaway since I have two treats I just got in the mail that I’m trying out. Be sure to come back next Monday for the next offer!

September 29, 2009

Short Rounds Fitteds

Filed under: cloth diapers,Diaper of the Week — Mom @ 6:54 pm

Another week has passed, therefore, it’s time to share a bit more of my stash!  The bad thing about resolving to try as many WAHM diapers as possible is that every week, I have a new favorite.  It doesn’t mean I love the others any less, it’s more like I feel guilt for thinking there MUST be something wrong, something I don’t love.  Either I’m incredibly lucky or the cloth diapering community has begun weeding out the bad ones, because I have yet to put a mommy-made diaper on RJ’s bottom that I wouldn’t scoop up more of!

This week, I tried out a side-snapping fitted from Short Rounds.  I wanted a snapping fitted because my hubby won’t pick up anything that requires a snappi or pins.  I like the fit of our side-snapping pockets, so this seemed like a logical choice.

Jen is a newer WAHM, but you’d never knowing it looking at her diapers!  The sewing was professional, the snaps are secure, and the elastic is perfect from what I can see and feel.  The outer is absolutely adorable, even if it wasn’t one of my “must have” prints and the inner compliments the outer well.

When my fluffy mail first came, I wasn’t sure about the bright yellow color of the inner, but once I soaked it in for a bit, I don’t think any other color would do.  I think I’m so used to white or neutral inners that it took some getting used to.  Other than that, I had no complaints.

Bubs had spent a few days in disposables and had a case of monkey butt when we put this on him, so his “review” may be a bit skewed.  He was a changed boy as soon as his bottom hit the soft cotton velour.  Once the diaper change was done, he was grinning from ear to ear.  I think he liked it!

I was a bit concerned because there was a bit more of a gap in the front, between the diaper and his skin, than I’m used to with other diapers.  When I looked closer, I think that’s just because RJ is at the small end of the medium size.  Because of that gap, I was worried about what would happen when it was “christened”.  The answer, absolutely nothing!  The soaker did it’s job perfectly and absorbed a good amount, to the point where the outer was barely damp.

Would you like to try out a Short Rounds fitted of your own?  If so, leave me a comment with the size your little one needs along with your “must have” fabric choice.  I can’t guarantee the fabric you want will be available, but I will do my best to order your diaper in a fabric you’re sure to love!

Want more entries?  If you post about this week’s giveaway on Facebook or Twitter and leave another comment with the link, you’ll receive another entry.  If someone posts that you sent them here, you’ll also receive a bonus entry.

This week’s winner will be posted sometime early next week.  I will shoot for Monday, but that will depend on the demands of being mommy!

Week #2 Winner

Filed under: cloth diapers,Diaper of the Week — Mom @ 8:16 am

This week’s winner is Rose Plummer (#4)!!!

Being a mom has interrupted my blogging momentarily.  As happens when you have kids, I don’t have this week’s review ready, but it will be up tonight.  Be sure to check back for your chance to win some squishy softness of your own!

September 21, 2009

Diaper of the Week #2

Filed under: cloth diapers,Diaper of the Week — Mom @ 2:22 pm

First off, congrats to the brand new owner of a Bugga Bugga Boutique amazingly awesome diaper!!!  This week, Tracy will be getting some fluffy mail, courtesy of the completely unperfect family!

This week goes hand in hand with last week.  When you do cover a fitted diaper, what do you use?  Seriously, this is still one of the most overwhelming choices for me!  There are a billion PUL covers out there in both colors and fun patterns.  Then you have wool and fleece shorties, longies, soakers, skirties (okay, we don’t consider this option, but it’s there), etc.  At a later date, we’ll tackle wool and fleece, but for now, we’re keeping it simple.

I decided to ask some mommies for suggestions of what to look at to post here.  The first response was Adorabumz covers.  When Cassie suggested this, she was raving about how wonderful Rachel’s customer service is and what a sweet lady she is.  That’s just the type of person I am hoping to spread the word about, so I hopped over to her site.

The Dr. Seuss cover caught my eye immediately.  Seriously, who isn’t in love with Dr. Seuss?  He was a great writer for kids, the characters are incredibly goofy, and it’s fun to pass on to the kids.

After making any purchase online, the long wait begins.  I hate waiting!  Great news for anyone who is like me, my new cover was here within 3 days (maybe even the second day after I ordered), waiting to greet me when I got home from work.  Cassie wasn’t lying when she said Rachel has awesome customer service!  Within 20 minutes of placing my order, I had an email from Rachel thanking me for my order.  Between great communication and fast shipping, I was inclined to recommend her to others without seeing the cover.  I’d never do that, of course, because there are probably people out there who are fast and friendly without being skilled.

After opening the package, another benefit fell into my lap.  Rachel includes care instructions with her covers.  This may not seem important to veteran cloth mamas, but to someone who has been scared of using options that require covers, it was a welcome addition to the cover.  She also included a business card, another welcome non-essential item.  Business cards make it easier for me to remember who I ordered what from so I can order again!  I’ve started writing a description of the items on the back of the cards and putting them in a little box so I have them for reference.

As soon as I finished washing and drying the cover per the directions, it was time for a test drive!  For a snap cover, it had a great fit.  The print was even more adorable in person than it is on her website.

If I had to choose something to cut the sugar level a bit, I’m not sure if I like fold-over elastic (FOE).  This is nothing against the cover, it’s a personal preference thing.  If I find something that has a print I can’t live without, FOE won’t keep me from buying it, but I’d have to have more experience before deciding if I’d buy something in a solid color with FOE. The edges on the flaps didn’t lay quite as flat as I’d like, other than that, the FOE was a cute trim.

Overall, I’d say I would definitely buy more Adorabumz covers!  Would you like one of your own?  Leave me a comment to be entered in this week’s drawing!  If you tell others to visit my blog and they mention that you sent them when they comment, you’ll BOTH receive an additional entry.  Next Monday, sometime after work and before dinner when the little man is sleeping, I’ll choose the winner.  Please make sure you leave your email address or blog address so I can contact you if you win!  Because this is a fitted cover, please also leave what size you would  need in the comments.

September 14, 2009

Diaper of the Week #1

Filed under: cloth diapers,Diaper of the Week — Mom @ 5:17 pm

Yes, I’ve fallen victim to cloth diapering!  It can be an incredibly economical way to diaper a child, but I see now that it can also be incredibly expensive!  When we started using cloth, I swore I would not be one of “those moms” who went insane over certain diapers or prints.  I was going to keep is incredibly simple.

I’m not going overboard, I still have some restraint within me.  There are certain diapers I don’t understand the hype over.  On the other hand, there are some diapers that may not get a ton of hype, but they should!

When we were looking at cloth options, fitted diapers seemed like a waste.  Why buy an adorable diaper if you have to cover it?  The first thing pointed out to me was that we buy cute undergarments for ourselves and cover them.  Okay, point taken.  But why buy them when you have to put a cover over them and then put clothes over that?  How about the fact that if you’re paying attention, you don’t necessarily HAVE to cover them when you’re at home!

Yes, I attempted to make my own fitted diapers, but to be honest, I could never compare with diapers like this one from Bugga Bugga Boutique.  It’s a one size, snappiable or pinnable diaper.  What does that mean?

Well, one size is pretty self explanatory.  By folding over the front of the diaper, it will fit a newborn and it will last through potty learning.  The nice thing about this diaper is there’s no guess work trying to figure out which set of snaps will achieve the necessary size.  That also means there are no snaps to come undone when you are trying to put it on a wiggly baby!

I wasn’t too keen on the thought of having to use a Snappi or pins to close a diaper, but decided to give it a try.  This is one of those things to file in the “shattered I’ll nevers” box.  I LOVE my Snappi!  Unlike snaps, I can always get the right fit.  Yes, Aplix (velcro) will give you the correct fit, but having to untangle a wad of stuck-together diapers is no fun!

As if all of that wasn’t enough, can you beat this print???  I’m not one to stalk prints, but I’ll admit any boyish Ooga Booga is a weakness of mine!  It seems like there are many more girly prints than boy prints and the monsters on this can’t be beat!

Besides being beyond adorable, my Ooga Booga Bugga Bugga (come one, it’s fun to say!) is well constructed, quick drying, and does its job holding everything in.  Sure, the whole thing gets wet if Bubba has a huge pee in his Bugga (okay, I may need to be stopped), but that’s what happens with fitteds.  The first time he wore this one, his little tummy was upset and everything stayed where it was supposed to.  The hubby was sure there was no way a cloth diaper would hold in a less than solid poo, so I was glad this dipe proved him wrong!

If you haven’t tried the Bugga Basics One Size Fitted, leave me a comment telling me why you’d like to try it!  Next Monday, I will announce the brand new owner of a BBOFS with cotton knit outer, bamboo interlock inner layers, and a lay-in soaker.  Please make sure to leave your email address so I can contact you for your address in the event you win!

Want more chances to win?  Leave a comment in this thread when you do each of the following:

  1. Follow this blog
  2. Post on Twitter or Facebook about this contest
  3. Comment on another thread
  4. Suggest a product to be reviewed

September 8, 2009

What a Wonderful Sister!

Filed under: Attitude Makeover,cloth diapers,Randomness — Mom @ 9:26 pm

It’s things like this that give a person the warm and fuzzies!

Last month, I made a commitment to myself that I’m only going to buy Christmas gifts from work at home moms and local shops this year.  Because of that decision, I’ve started stalking the WAHM threads on message boards I visit hoping to find items I like for different family members.  If I had unlimited resources, I see a few things I would place a bid so high no one could beat me in the “See the Light” Fundraiser at Beneath the Rowan Tree on Hyena Cart.  Knowing that she is trying to raise funds for her brother gave me tonight’s warm and fuzzy.  Seriously, check it out, there are some great things on there!

August 30, 2009

The Spectrum of Customer Service

Filed under: cloth diapers,Randomness — Mom @ 10:29 pm

I can remember when I first started working as a waitress at the age of 14, providing good customer service wasn’t just expected, it was demanded.  As a child working among adults, I was told more than once to quit whining, put on a smile, and I’d better not let my work suffer for whatever petty, teenage problems were going on at the time.  I try to live by that philosophy to this day.  It’d be easy to be down or crabby, but my customers aren’t paying for my attitude.

Lately, it seems like customer service is going the way of the 8-track.  We’ve blacklisted many restaurants after bad service ranging from lack of attention (and being in the restaurant industry, I’m very lenient on this, so you know it’s bad) to forgetting to bring Khaila’s meal with ours to being blind to members of our party.  Yes, I’ve had it happen twice, once the server only spoke to me, wasn’t even going to take hubby’s order, and the other the server asked what we wanted, and we had to flag him down to order for Khaila.

The other place I experience horrendous service is with a certain cable company.  In the past week, I’ve had THREE awful experiences.  The first was the woman who told me we needed to hurry up and get this resolved because she was off in 5 minutes.  I hadn’t even told her my issue when she said that!  She continued to tell me throughout the call how she didn’t want to be late getting home.  Finally, I told her that if she quit talking about wanting to go home, maybe we could get my problem solved!  Then, after Ms. In-a-hurry was too rushed to enter my payment arrangement properly, I had to call in after being disconnected.  The person I spoke to kept apologizing and saying that they couldn’t do anything about it.  When I didn’t cave and wanted her to get a supervisor, she said, “Ma’am, when are you going to make a payment, IF EVER?”  When I asked her to repeat it, she actually did!  If this is an issue with out of the country call centers, they need to educate the employees!  So, when the supervisor got on the phone, she spent 5 minutes telling us she couldn’t override the system and that it wasn’t worth it to transfer us because no one else could either.  During this time, hubby called a different cable company number and had it worked out within a minute!

On the other end of the spectrum, I had some of the greatest customer service experiences this week as well!  On Monday, I went to Nicki’s Diapers’ new location in Madison.  I was excited when we were researching cloth diapers and found out there was a website that was based in Wisconsin and I was almost giddy when I went to their site last Monday and saw that they had opened a store in Madison the Wednesday before!  Naturally, I had to go that very day to see the fluff!

Lori, the employee working that day was beyond helpful.  I told her I’d been doing some research and knew a bit about using cloth, so she didn’t start at the very beginning.  She gave me enough information that my head was spinning, but she explained it well enough that I felt much more informed when it all soaked in.  I got to see and feel everything before deciding which route I thought was best for us.

Two days later, I was back.  Lori remembered me and we continued our conversation.  Again, she filled my head with more information in a very helpful way.

Yesterday, I stopped in to get the last few diapers we needed to fill our stash.  Now that we’ve been doing this for a week full time, we’re starting to develop preferences, so it was easier to buy.  As I checked out, a woman started asking questions and mentioning that her husband is resistant to the idea of cloth.  I butted into their conversation and told her how I’ve gotten Rick to come around.

After she left, I wound up talking to the two employees for over an hour.  They didn’t seem annoyed by my rambling, I’m sure they get plenty of moms who are anxious to talk to people who are into cloth!  After a while, I realized that the one woman working wasn’t simply an employee, it was Nicki!  As if being a local company wasn’t incentive enough to shop there, her friendliness and knowledge put me over the edge.  She is one of the nicest business owners I’ve met!

Seriously, if you’re in the market for cloth diapers, slings, wet bags, or anything else, check out Nicki’s!  If you’re in southern Wisconsin, she has stores in Madison and New Glarus.  If you’re further away, check them out online.  You won’t be sorry!

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