Saturday, January 30, 2010

One week. . .

In one more week I will be on my way to Kaua'i. I think I am nearly ready. I have tried on and selected all my warm weather clothes that I will take with me. I purchased a new bathing suit cover and new flip flops. I have gotten plenty of new warm-weather clothes on clearance for Miss, since all of the clothes that she has in her current size are for cold weather. I've mostly upsized these so she'll also be able to wear them this summer, and really didn't need to get a whole lot, since the best item of baby clothing in warm weather is a cute cloth diaper, of which she already has plenty! I ordered two Snappy SwimEaze swim diapers from Vilate of Nifty Nappy. These are nearly the only thing that Vilate makes that I haven't tried yet, and I can't wait for them to get here!!! I've made a list of all the things I will need to take and have started getting a few small new toys for Miss to discover during the plane ride. I have opened the closet where my suitcases are located, though I have yet to actually get the suitcases out and start packing them (opening the closet is progress!!). I have purchased and pored over a fantastic travel book about Kaua'i and have a pretty good idea of the things we'll do and places we'll go while there.

What do I still need to do? Well, okay, I guess actually get out the suitcases and pack them of course. I need to call and make a few reservations for activities we plan to try. I need to get Miss some jammies that aren't fleece. I need to get one or two movies for Miss to watch on the plane. She doesn't normally get to watch any TV (except when I clip her fingernails, it's the best way in the world to get her to sit perfectly still to let me do it!) but I figure an all-day plane ride is a good exception to make. I'm thinking of getting a Sesame Street video and maybe an old-school Disney cartoon like Cinderella. I don't know for sure. Any suggestions? And I have to get a new camera. Speaking of which, that's one of the things on my to-do list for today "Call local camera shop to find out if they have desired camera in stock." So, better get on that!!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

To he or Not To he?

And by he, I mean High efficiency, as in washing machine. I debated for quite a while whether I wanted to get an he washing machine. My husband kept saying we should get one, and I wanted to, for the water and energy saving and convenience of it. I have heard wonderful things about these washers. In online reviews people even say they make doing laundry fun! But I have not heard wonderful things about how these washing machines do on washing cloth diapers. Ironic, eh? Cloth diapers are environmentally friendly and so are he washing machines. But they're not friendly with each other? That just didn't seem right.

So I did some reading online about how to wash cloth diapers in an he washing machine. One problem that was noted is that, because the he washers use so little water and the diapers are so absorbent, the water all gets soaked up in the diapers and they end up just flopping around, wet, but not getting washed. Ew. One site suggested that to use cloth in an he machine you need to do a wet soak of your diapers first. Ew. I don't know about you, but I'm really not interested in putting dirty diapers in a bucket of water and seeing what comes out of that. As it is now, one of the things I love about using the new generation of cloth is that I just put the dirty dipes in a regular diaper pail with a wetbag (washable bag that is waterproof) liner instead of a trash bag, then on laundry day I throw the whole thing in the wash, bag and all. Voila! No nasty soaking needed. I mean, what do you do with that water after you're done?? Yucky. Fortunately, I also read that an easier alternative is to put a wet towel in with the dipes or just dump a bucket of water in there before starting the wash to solve that problem. How hard could it be right? I also confirmed that my favorite cloth diaper laundry detergent is he safe, and then read a lot about the various features of the he machine my hubby wanted to get. All the while he was saying how much we needed a new washer and dryer ASAP. Our dryer was on the fritz and was making the most horrid nails-on-a-chalkboard sound every time I used it, which could not be drowned out by closing the laundry room door or turning up the music or TV. When I looked at this washer he was suggesting, I saw things like "steam" for stain removal, "sanitize" with extra extra hot water, or even using cold water (!), "gets the stink out" (this came from a review and was in reference to sweat stink, but still...), etc. So I decided we should go for it and we did.

The new he washer and matching dryer were delivered to our house a few weeks ago and set up. The friendly people at Lowes even took away our old washer and dryer for free (and the guy wiped up my floor where they tracked dirt in). Unfortunately the new machines, though not wider than the old ones, are much deeper, so we can no longer close the laundry room door and ended up just taking it off the hinges and storing it in the basement. This issue never even occurred to us, but it really isn't a big deal since the washer and dryer are both perfectly silent when running. The dryer might make a little noise if there's something in it that is banging up against the side while it tumbles and the washer makes a slight humming noise when it spins, but really, they are super quiet. And they WORK!!! Oh my, I love the washer. I can put my husband's stinky workout clothes in there (not only does he sweat a lot, but he has a tendency to leave his sweaty clothes in a heap somewhere, just to let the stink fester for a while before I find it and hang it up or throw it in the wash) and use the cold water sanitize cycle (it uses less energy than the hot water sanitize) and they come out smelling perfectly clean!! It was always hard to get the stink out before, in part because we have pretty hard water. But not anymore! I can also put my husband's scrubs, which unfortunately get blood or other yuckiness on them from time to time, in the hot sanitize cycle and feel comfortable that they are coming out completely clean and yuck-free. And for the diapers? Here's what I do with them:

I put them straight in the wash like always. No wet soaking here! Then I run them through a short wash cycle in cold water and have them spin only a medium amount (yes, you can control how much water gets spun out at the end of the cycle!). This way they are still fairly wet when I put them through the wash cycle, but they're nicely rinsed. Sometimes I have added a bucket of water before I start this cycle, but this doesn't really seem necessary. Then I put in my super small amount of detergent and wash the dipes on the hot water sanitize cycle with a second cold rinse. This uses extra hot water and really gets them clean. I take out my wetbag (which can tend to hold suds in it) and then run another rinse. The dipes come out looking and smelling so fresh and clean. They are much cleaner that they were in my other machine I think. Occasionally I use the steam feature to help get stains out, but I don't use this all the time because I think it might be a bit hard on the dipes. The steam does seem to even be able to get out some stains that have been around a while (I'm living in the arctic tundra and we have very little sun for sunning the dipes right now). Then like always, I hang the covers and put the inserts in the dryer and I'm done! It's wonderful. And of course I'm thrilled to be using less water and energy. So, if you're considering going to the front-load he machine, I highly recommend it! Even if you use cloth dipes.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

And the Nifty Nappy Gift Certificate Winner is....

#89 Team Pitney said... fan of Nifty Nappy on Facebook (email address)

Team Pitney has been contacted via email and has 48 hours to respond and claim her prize. If I don't hear from Team Pitney in that time, I will select another winner. Thanks to Vilate at Nifty Nappy and to everyone for entering!!

#89 was selected at random using

Quote for the Day

"A mother's love for her child is like nothing else in the world. It knows no law, no pity, it dares all things and crushes down remorselessly all that stands in its path."
-- Agatha Christie

This quote brought to mind how much I am amazed every day at how fierce a mother's love really is.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Two-Week Countdown

We leave for our trip to Hawaii in two weeks. Two weeks from today. Not next Saturday, but the following Saturday. Oh, I am so excited. We have had snow here for over a month. It's cold. It's gloomy most of the time. Winter lasts forever here. Pretty much October to April, at least. Last year was the first time Ben and I endured a northern winter in many years. We both grew up in the midwest, in snowy, cold states. But we also lived in sunny North Carolina for 5 years before moving here. Where winter is a about a second long and rarely gets colder than about 40 degrees. I was 8 months pregnant at this time last year, so we didn't take a trip to anyplace sunny to get out of the cold. But we vowed that starting this year, we would leave the cold and go somewhere warm, sunny, and tropical every winter from here on out.

This year we chose Hawaii, the island of Kauai. We have rented a condo and will spend the week exploring, relaxing, and frolicking on the beach. Yes, I said "frolicking." We will build sandcastles with Miss and dunk her little toes in the ocean and play in the waterfalls I have heard are present at some of the beaches. I am so excited to see the beauty of the island and explore the culture. Neither Ben nor I have ever been to Hawaii. This will be the 12th state Miss has traveled to or through. She is a good traveler, but I'm still a bit nervous about such a long flight and a major time change. I know it will be worth it though. Just two weeks away!

Monday, January 18, 2010

11-Month "Miss"-cellany

In one month my baby will be one year old. Holy moly. She just keeps growing and changing, and growing and changing. Where is the "pause" button???? Miss has all sorts of new things she's doing nowadays. She's cruising a lot and likes to walk behind her lion push toy that she got for Christmas. She can stand for quite a while on her own, and you can see her contemplating walking as she looks to where it is she wants to go and starts to move that way a bit, and then drops down to her knees to crawl there. She dances when she hears music come on. She loves to clap her hands and play "Pat-a-Cake." She knows easily how to manipulate her toys to make them do what she wants, such as open/close, play music, turn pages, etc. In fact, one of her very favorite things right now is to "read" her books and turn the pages herself. She often doesn't even want to wait for me to finish reading what's on the page, she just loves to flip the pages over and see what's next. She also has learned to"share" and "show" and loves to hand me almost anything she gets her hands on, including the tiniest fuzz or stray dog hair she can find on the floor. She loves to "help" in the kitchen, getting into the refrigerator, freezer, or dishwasher whenever she can.

Checking out my professional library - She does love books!


"Watcha need Mom? I'll get it!"

She has become more adventurous with her palate and has eaten, and seemingly enjoyed, things like chili, chicken marsala (mushrooms and all), and Mongolian grill food. She is also going much better with eating her vegetables and seems to quite love broccoli, green beans, carrots, and peas as long as she can pick them up and eat them herself. Gone are the days of pureed foods, and she eats grown-up oatmeal now (not instant) rather than the powdered baby oatmeal I used to add to her fruit. She will still let me feed her with a spoon things like vegetable soup, cottage cheese (of course), applesauce, and yogurt, though she does prefer to eat her yogurt on her toasted O's. Her coordination has really improved and she is much better at getting the food from the tray into her mouth, without dropping much. This makes for much less messy meal times, except with the yogurt/O's combo :) She still nurses four times per day and has started tasting whole milk in a sippy cup with meals. She typically takes a sip of the milk and looks at me with a funny grin like she thinks I'm trying to pull a fast one on her. She seems to be acquiring a taste for it though, which is good as we move towards starting the gradual switch from breastmilk to cow's milk completely in another month.

Yogurt and O's

Miss is saying more words now, including Mama, Dada, dog, num-num (not really a word, I know, but this is how we say yummy), and baby. The only one she's really consistent with is Mama, but the others are definitely there. She waves bye-bye and blows kisses by putting her flat palm up to her mouth. She does this every day when her daddy comes home from work as soon as she hears the door open. She consistently signs "milk" both when she it's time for her to nurse and when she's hungry in general. She also sometimes signs "more" and "all done" though these are less frequent. She is more and more vocal all the time and I love hearing the new noises she makes and listening to her chatter to herself while she plays. She has the most adorable little inflection while she jabbers. A new thing that makes me laugh is that she has a new "demon baby" voice that she does that seriously sounds like something from the Exorcist. She does it when she's happy and playing, not when she's upset. It's a little scary, but cracks me up!

Hamming it up

Can't resist that toothy grin
I have to say that I am so thankful that I get to be with her all day every day to see all the little changes she is making. I can never put into words how much it means to be able to watch her develop and grow and to have the privilege of being the one who always hears those first words and sounds and sees the first time she makes a new face or does a new behavior. This is truly the best job in the world!

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Good Books

Miss is at a point right now where she wants me to read her books to her constantly. This is fabulous. Some of the books are not. I love reading to her, but man, some of the children's books are just so painful to read over and over and over. And over. Many of the books she loves right now are just the pictures-with-words types of books. A. Airplane. Abacus. Apple. And so forth. These are great if a bit tedious at times. But some of the books are really just bad. Stupid rhymes. Awkward phrasing and tempo. I could go on. But instead, I thought I'd tell you about some of the children's books I've found that are delightful. I love it when Miss picks these books for me to read to her.

The first is a book called "My First ABC" (The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2009). This book has a page for each letter with a word that starts with that letter and a work of art representing that word. "A" has a painting of apples, for example. It has works in it by artists such as Paul Cezanne, Edgar Degas, and Grant Wood (plus a lot of people I've never heard of, I don't claim to be an art aficionado). Miss loves it and it is a beautiful book. I thoroughly enjoy going through this book with her each time.

Another book I love to read to Miss is "The Little Mouse, the Red Ripe Strawberry, and the Big Hungry Bear" (Wood & Wood, 1998). This book is just such a cute little story, and I love the way it is written with the narrator having a "conversation" with the little Mouse. The writing is clever and fun and the illustrations are wonderful. The facial expressions depicted on the little Mouse are perfect.

The last book I have to mention is a new nap time staple at our house. It's called "Baby Danced the Polka" (Beaumont & Plecas, 2004) It's about a baby who should be napping but just wants to dance instead. This book has wonderful rhymes and the tempo and phrasing are just perfect. It's the kind of book that repeats itself several times. Here is a snippet, "While Papa starched his long johns, and Mama stitched her coat, Baby boogie-woogied with the frisky little. . . Goat!" (pp. 7-8). Baby does different dances with several different animals and the book has flaps for Miss to open to see which animal Baby is dancing with each time. She loves to turn the pages and open the flaps. And I greatly enjoy reading this adorable book to her.

So there you have it. If you're getting sick of the same old books or tired of reading poorly written books to your kids, I highly recommend these books to get a smile both from your baby and from you.

Beaumont, K. & Plecas, J. (illustrator). (2004). Baby Danced the Polka. New York: Dial Books for Young Readers.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art. (2009). My First ABC. New York: LB KIds.

Wood, D. & Wood, A. (1998). The Little Mouse, the Red Ripe Strawberry, and the Big Hungry Bear (Board Book Edition). Swindon, England: Child's Play (International) Ltd.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Culinary Adventures

One of my goals for the new year is to be a bit more adventurous in my cooking. To try out new recipes at least once a week, and at least every other week (approximately) to branch out and create my own recipes. The latter part is really the adventurous part for me. I already do a pretty good job of cooking new recipes fairly frequently. Sometimes they're fantastic. Sometimes they totally flop. My hubby is always appreciative of the effort, and though he's honest with his opinions, he doesn't complain about whatever is placed in front of him. This is great because it allows me to have fun and try new things in the kitchen without worry.

So, tonight I had a few items in my fridge that I needed to use up, and I decided to just "wing it" for dinner. The ingredients were chicken thighs, with bone and skin, fresh green beans, and daikon radishes. I have never cooked with daikon radishes, or even tasted one before. And I've never been very successful with making fresh green beans tender and flavorful. So I thought those would be a bit challenging. I figured the chicken was a given. How hard is it to make chicken thighs taste good, right?

So, I put my fabulous new copper saute pan (Christmas gift from my hubby) on the stove and put some olive oil in. I seasoned the chicken with S&P, and once the oil started to smoke a bit, I put the chicken in, skin side down, to brown it up. So far so good, right? Right. I let it cook for five minutes or so and flipped it over to brown the other side. Again, letting it cook for several minutes. I thought the chicken was done, so I had the oven preheated to 200 and put the chicken on a platter in the over covered with tin foil, just to stay warm. Slam dunk.

I decided to deglaze the pan with some white wine and a bit of chicken broth, thinking I would make a nice sauce of some sort. But I forgot to drain much of the oil from cooking the chicken, so the oil/wine combo started popping and spitting EVERYWHERE!! Oh my, it made such a mess. Oops. Meanwhile I had trimmed the beans and chunked the radishes and blanched them. I decided instead of trying to make a sauce out of the crazy mess in my saute pan, I would put the blanched veggies in there to let them absorb some of the chicken flavor while sauteing them. Plus I figured having something in the pan to coat with the oil/wine/broth combo might calm that whole thing down. I added S&P and a bit more broth to the saute pan, covered it, and let the veggies cook. About 12 minutes later, the liquid had cooked down and the veggies were nice and browned and looked a bit caramelized. They were soft enough but not too soft, so I was quite pleased with how they turned out.

Then I took the chicken out of the oven to get ready to serve everything. It didn't look quite done, so I cut into one of the pieces to check. Not done!!! How could I have undercooked the chicken? The easiest part!! So, I threw the chicken back in the saute pan and covered it for a few more minutes, threw it all on a plate to serve, and took it to the table. I was bummed because the chicken looked like it had dried out quite a bit the second time around in the pan. Unfortunately, when I cut into it to eat it, it still wasn't done!!! Aaack. So, my hubby threw the thighs all in the microwave and really petrified them. They were awful. Even dark-meat chicken thighs can get dry if tortured like these were.

I was so disappointed in myself for messing up what I thought was a no-brainer. But, on a good note, the veggies were delicious!! They had great flavor and the perfect texture and my hubby gobbled them up and asked for more (right after saying that green beans are never really very enjoyable). I certainly learned a lot from this little culinary experiment, and it was fun too. My hubby even cleaned up the mess while I put Miss down for bed. Can't beat that!

Monday, January 11, 2010

Quote for the day

"Making the decision to have a child is momentous. It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body."
- Elizabeth Stone

A very dear friend of mine once said almost this same thing to me after Miss was born. I think it is an excellent way to describe how it feels to be a Mom.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Nifty Nappy Review, Giveaway, and 15% Off Code - 1/26 CLOSED

I was a diehard pocket diaper user, until I found Nifty Nappy fitted diapers. I had a few fitted diapers before, and a few covers, but I rarely used them. Now, I love Nifty Nappy cloth diapers. I have many of them. I have Nifty Nappy fitted diapers. I have Woolie Wraps. I have wool longies. And I have a Peachy Keen pocket diaper (of course!). These diapers, plus a few other items I haven’t tried (though not many!!) are all made by Vilate of Nifty Nappy. Purchasing products from Vilate is really a treat, as she has the most wonderful customer service and she really stands behind her items! Here is the low down on each of the items I have used from Nifty Nappy:

The Nifty Nappy Fitted Diaper (Overview) – This is a one-size fitted diaper, designed to fit babies from about 7-35 pounds. These fit Miss wonderfully, and she’s about 22-ish pounds now. There are four snaps on each side that snap in the front and can overlap if necessary. The inserts are made of hemp and bamboo (you know how much I love this) and are made to be folded in half and placed in the diaper. Additional inserts can be added for heavy wetters or overnight. There are lots of fabric selections available. This diaper needs a cover.

The Verdict – This is a fantastic fitted diaper. It is very trim fitting and absorbent. Even as chunky as my Miss is, there is still plenty of room for her to grow in this and I know it will still fit her for a long time. The workmanship on the diapers is impeccable, including the elastic and snaps, and I feel confident these will last long enough for her to outgrow them and for use with future babies as well. The fabric selections are wonderful and Vilate has recently added more. The diaper is easy to care for by just throwing it in the wash (regular diaper laundry routine), and they come clean fairly easily. I do put these in the dryer, since I live in the arctic tundra and don’t have a clothesline, and they dry in one cycle. I have not had any leaks when pairing this diaper with a wool cover. In fact, I recently put this diaper to the ultimate test by combining it with a Woolie Wrap and using it for overnight. I’ll give the details of this below. The Nifty Nappy fitted works as well as or better than some “designer” fitted diapers and are much, much more reasonably priced. Overall, this really is my favorite fitted diaper and I highly recommend it.

The Woolie Wrap (Overview) – This is a wool cover for the fitted diaper. Wool covers need to be lanolized to be more waterproof, and they only need to be washed (by hand in wool wash) approximately once per month if not soiled. Vilate washes and lanolizes the Woolie Wraps before sending them. Her covers are made of upcycled wool sweaters. They are a snap-on style cover with elastic at the legs. The snaps fasten in front and can overlap like on the Nifty Nappy fitted. These diapers would likely fit babies of most sizes. Miss still has a lot of room to grow in hers. I doubt these covers would fit a newborn or very small baby, but haven’t tried this to know for sure. Because the covers are made from upcycled sweaters, you can’t select the specific fabric or color for them, but you can choose a gender and Vilate makes them accordingly. Vilate uses only sweaters that feel soft, are at least 80% wool and made of all natural fabrics.

The Verdict – I admit I was nervous about trying wool. I thought it would be hard to care for, and I was suspicious of the claim that you can use a wool cover several times and it won’t stink. But after trying these Woolie Wraps, I am a convert. I have held a Woolie Wrap right up to my nose after it has been used, and it truly does not smell like urine at all. When it does start to stink, or if it has been soiled, it’s time to wash it. It’s actually quite easy to wash a wool cover in wool wash and soak it in water that has dissolved lanolin in it. Vilate gives the greatest tip for getting the excess water out when you’re done – put the cover in the washing machine on the spin cycle. This gets as much water out as possible. Then you can lay it flat to dry the rest of the way. Simple!! And if you do have any problems, Vilate sends all of her diapers with excellent, easy-to-follow care instructions and she is very responsive to questions.

The Woolie Wrap has a great fit to it, and for a wool cover over a fitted diaper, it is relatively trim. It has two layers of wool made from different, but complimentary sweaters, so it’s extra leak-proof. The Woolie Wraps are constructed very well. I have had one problem with a snap on one of them, which was basically my own fault. The snaps used are very strong, and I tried to pull one open from the very edge of the tab, pulling straight back on it, which led to the top layer of the sweater coming loose a bit from the snap. I let Vilate know about this and she of course offered to fix it for me, so I sent it back the other day and am eagerly awaiting it’s return (I love this wrap). So, I recommend making sure that you pull the snaps open holding very close to the snap itself, to minimize the pull on the wool. As an added bonus, since you can’t specifically choose the pattern or color of the sweaters used, it makes an extra fun surprise to open the mail when getting wool from Vilate! I love the two that I have. One has a little bit of beading across the bum!

Nifty Nappy/Woolie Wrap combo – This is a fantastic combo of fitted diaper and cover. Vilate calls them practically “bulletproof” when used together, and she’s not exaggerating (well, okay they're not REALLY bulletproof, but if pee was bullets...). The Woolie Wrap fits wonderfully over the Nifty Nappy (and all other fitteds I’ve used under it for that matter). As I mentioned above, I wanted to put the Nifty Nappy/Woolie Wrap combo to the ultimate test by using them for overnight. I was nervous to use this combo overnight even though I had great success with it during the day, because I have always used the same overnight diapering system, which has worked for me, since I started using cloth diapers. I “super lanolized” the Woolie Wrap, with some direction from Vilate on how to do this (this info is on her website, but basically just consists of using more lanolin and soaking 8 hours). In spite of my concerns, I must say, this combo passed with flying colors. I used an extra insert in the Nifty Nappy and put the super-lanolized Woolie Wrap over it, and Miss slept like a champ for over 11 hours and woke up dry. The outside of the Woolie Wrap didn’t even feel damp. Bulletproof!!

Wool Longies (Overview) – In addition to making Woolie Wraps, Vilate also makes custom wool longies (basically wool pants used as a cover over a fitted diaper). These are also made from upcycled sweaters, and you can select the gender for the sweater pattern/color. You send her your babe’s measurements and she will make a pair of longies to fit. While the Woolie Wraps are made of two layers of sweater, the longies are only one layer thick.

The Verdict – You cannot beat the adorableness of these longies. Especially in the winter, they are so cozy and soft and, well adorable. I love the longies Vilate sent me. They work well over a Nifty Nappy fitted diaper. The only problem I have had with these, though not with a Nifty Nappy fitted but a different brand of fitted diaper (a much more expensive brand I might add), is that I once noticed a urine smell on my pants after Miss sat on my lap when wearing these. Since the longies are only one sweater thick, and the sweater stretches a bit over her bum, there are some tiny holes in the weave of the sweater and when Miss has worn a fitted that soaked through, though the wool did not feel wet and did not smell, some of the urine must have gotten on my pants from getting through the tiny holes in the sweater weave. Miss is a bit of a heavy wetter, so I just make sure to change her a bit more frequently when wearing longies or use a doubler in some diapers. Problem solved, and I love these longies. (Edit - Vilate kindly informed my wool-novice self that I can run the longies under super hot water and massage the water in a bit to felt them slightly and prevent the separation of fibers, or that this felting will happen naturally over time. Silly me, why didn't I just ask her??)

PeachyKeen Pocket Diaper (Overview)– In addition to making fitted diapers and wool covers, Vilate also makes a great pocket diaper. The PeachyKeen is a one-size pocket diaper, designed to fit babies from 7 to 35 pounds. They have a layer or waterproof PUL that is covered by a cute outer cotton fabric and a microfleece lining. The insert is made of tri-folded microfiber (which is super absorbent) that is covered by flannel. The PeachyKeen does not need a cover.

The Verdict – The PeachyKeen is one of my favorite pocket diapers, and I have a LOT of pocket diapers. My husband was holding Miss the other day when she had this diaper on and he said, “Wow, this is a small diaper.” He doesn’t know cloth diaper lingo, but what he meant is that the diaper is extremely trim. Especially for a one-size diaper, it is amazing how trim this diaper is. Just like the Nifty Nappy fitted, this diaper has snaps that fasten in front and can overlap for smaller babies. The workmanship on these diapers is just as good as on the Nifty Nappy fitted. The snaps go through all layers of the diaper, so they are very secure. The only bad thing about this is that the absorbent “stuffing” of the diaper cannot go all the way to the top front of the diaper. This is no problem at all during normal daytime wear, but because Miss is a tummy sleeper, I have been reluctant to use this diaper for naptime or overnight. I have not tested the diaper in this way though, so I can’t say that it wouldn’t work, I’m just too chicken to try!! I have not had a single leak from this diaper during regular daytime use. And I absolutely love that the PUL is hidden under a layer of cute outer print fabric. This makes the diapers much cuter, as all of Vilate’s cute fabric patterns are available for use on the PeachyKeen as well. Another fabulous feature of this diaper is that you don’t have to remove the insert before washing it. It just comes right out in the agitation of the wash, even in my new He washing machine. Overall, I give a hearty recommendation of this pocket diaper!

If you want to try some Nifty Nappy diapers for yourself (well, for your baby), go to Vilate’s website and buy some! You can save 15% by entering the code NEWNAPPY at checkout until the end of January.

Or, you could enter here to win some. Vilate has generously offered a $35 gift certificate to one reader who enters this giveaway.

Here’s how to enter:

MANDATORY ENTRY: Go to Nifty Nappy’s website. Come back here and leave a comment telling me what your favorite fabric is from Vilate’s great selection. She’s recently added some new fabrics! This entry is mandatory. Without this entry, all other entries will not count. Please be sure to leave a valid email so I can contact you if you win!

For additional entries, leave a separate comment for each of the following (these will be verified):

  1. Follow Nifty Nappy’s blog publicly.
  2. Become a fan of Nifty Nappy on Facebook.
  3. Follow @MyNiftyNappy on Twitter.
  4. Grab Nifty Nappy’s blog button here. Leave the URL where you posted it.
  5. Grab Nifty Nappy’s website button here (it's a little farther down the page than the blog button). Leave the URL where you posted it.
  6. Follow my blog publicly.
  7. Follow @Mom4Miss on Twitter.
  8. Tweet the following once a day (1 entry per day) for the duration of this giveaway: Win a $35 Gift certificate for some awesome Nifty Nappy #clothdiapers from @MyNiftyNappy and @Mom4Miss! 15% off code at Leave a comment with the permalink for each tweet here!
  9. Add Motherhood and Miscellany to your blog list and leave me the URL.
  10. Blog about this giveaway and include links to Motherhood and Miscellany and Nifty Nappy’s website. Leave me a link to your blog post. This counts for 5 extra entries. Leave five separate numbered comments telling me you did this.

This giveaway will end on Tuesday January 26, 2010 at 12pm CST. The winner will be selected at random and will be contacted via email and given 48 hours to claim the prize. If the prize is not claimed within 48 hours of the email, a new winner will be chosen. The 15% code is valid through the end of January.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Are You Feeling Lucky?

Boy, I sure am. I have won several giveaways on fellow mommy blogs in recent weeks. My first win was a couple of months ago, and I won a SoftBums diaper with 3 organic bamboo inserts. Then I won a pair or adorable bloomers for Miss from the Etsy shop Three Yellow Starfish. I ordered them sized so they'll fit her this summer. More recently I won a one-year subscription to the online meal planning site Relish! and a few days ago I won a sterling silver charm bracelet with my choice of eight charms from The Charm Factory!

So, with all this winning, I have been thinking about whether I want to do a few giveaways on this blog. For a while I was undecided. I didn't want this blog to turn into nothing but reviews and giveaways. After all, I started it with the intention of having a fun way to share some of what is going on in Miss's (and my) life with friends and family. And it's fun for me to compose the posts. So I didn't, and don't want to lose that as the main function of this blog.

But, with that said, I also really thought it would be fun to giveaway a few of my favorite things. Of course I'm talking about cloth diapers!! And with that in mind, I'll give you all some inside information that very soon I will be hosting two giveaways, and doing reviews, for two of my very favorite brands and types of diapers. I won't say yet what they are, though some of you could probably guess. I will say, spread the word, and good luck if you enter!!

Saturday, January 2, 2010

A Heads Up on A Good Hand Cream

I have mentioned before how my hands are so chapped and cracked from washing them so much, especially when I was sick. Even though my hands have gotten to the point of splitting and bleeding knuckles, I never like to put lotion on my hands because I can't stand the greasy feel I get from it. I am always on the lookout for a good hand cream that will not leave my hands feeling slimy. I try to get actual "hand cream" rather than general lotions or creams, thinking that a hand cream will be made to absorb quickly. I have often been disappointed in this, but now, I have found a great solution! The other day I got a tube of Eucerin Plus Intensive Repair Hand Creme. It soaks into my hands quickly and doesn't leave them feeling gross. I have only put it on at night for the most part, but my hands are already so much better!! No more bleeding, no more cracks, and they feel so much better. Just thought I'd share!

Friday, January 1, 2010

Happy New Year!!

Last night was a nice relaxing New Year's Eve for my family. I made stuffed poblano peppers for dinner and my hubby and I relaxed for the evening watching football (Yay Cyclones!!). I had some sparkling grape juice (way too sweet, gross!) and the hubby had some sake (the man loves sake!!) and we went to bed before 9. We read for a while (me - "The Man Who Ate Everything" by Jeffrey Steingarten, Ben - "Charcuterie: The Craft of Salting, Smoking and Curing" by Michael Ruhlman and Brian Polcyn), but definitely had lights out by 10. Today, Ben will make chili and we'll watch lots of football (Go Spartans!!).

I don't like to make "resolutions" for the new year. But I do use the start of a new year to reflect on accomplishments and set new goals for the next year. So, what are my goals for 2010? I have lots, but here are a few:

1. I will make a new recipe at least once per week, and at least once per month, this will be a recipe I created myself (hubby has enthusiastically agreed to this experiment).

2. I will get back to exercising more consistently, at least 3 times per week.

3. I will get more organized (I have waaayyy too much love for the junk drawer, I have at least 3 of them!)

4. I will volunteer my time somewhere.

5. I will return to crafting (i.e. sewing, crocheting, matting and framing)

6. I will attend at least one culinary class.

Of course, my most important goals are to be the best mom I can to Miss every day. Now that she is getting older I'm excited to attend things like story time at the library, Building for Kids, Menominee Park Zoo, more play dates, and plenty of other local activities. I'm hoping 2010 will be a wonderful year!