Oh Dear! Ammonia is H.E.R.E!

Guest Blog from Our Very Own Cloth Diapering Baby Guru Joyce:

It happened to me, I got AMMONIA.  Yes, even a cloth diaper guru can make cloth diaper mistakes. I think it was a combination of not enough water (people, please read your washing machine’s owner’s manual), not using the best detergent (it was rated 4 out of 5 for CD), and leaving my diapers between washes too long (3 sometimes 4 days, which is BAD). But anyway, now I had ammonia and it just wouldn’t come out of my diapers! I tried Dawn – as frequently recommended, I tried only hot water, I tried overnight soaks in washing soda, and even doing pre-rinses with vinegar before washing them (I have normal water) to get the ammonia out. Nothing worked, NOTHING. So, after scoring free sposies from a kind lady, I jumped online and researched for 2 days on how to remove ammonia from diapers. What do you think I found that worked the best for ammonia (and almost any build up, leak, and/or funk issue)? 

 

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RLR. Review after review for ammonia said it worked. So what is RLR? Amazon had this to say about it, “RLR removes mineral deposits and detergent build-up from cloth diapers (and all of your other washables!) Mineral deposits are especially prevalent in areas with hard water. HE washing machines can leave detergent residue, which can lead to odor retention in cloth diapers, especially diapers made of synthetic materials. Use monthly as maintenance or as needed. Diapers will be cleaner, brighter, and squeaky clean! Makes whites whiter and colors brighter for just a few cents once a month. Not a bleach, blueing, or detergent. Removes dried-in mineral deposits and detergent residue from clothing.”

 It may take two packets for serious cases but, it worked! That settled it. I needed RLR and NOW. Went to Walmart, they didn’t have it, Target, the same, Shoprite, NOPE. Ahhhhhhh WHERE IS IT?!

I called up CHB, “I’m sure you don’t but, do you have RLR?” — I ask. “Of course we do! — I am told.  See, this is why I love ChapmanHill Baby; they truly have all your cloth diaper needs! I ran out to ChapmanHill BABY, also known as the fix-it, save-it, mend-it store to get me some of this MAGICAL stuff ASAP. I went  to the store and I was given a freebie pack to try it out… BUT, I messed it up. Then, I went back and bought another pack :P

Ok, so DON’T wash all 80 of your diapers at one time? Don’t say I didn’t warn you! 

I did my worst diapers (my fitted diapers) first. The smell was sooooo bad, if baby girl peed once in them, the ammonia would even burn your eyes. I put them in clean (yes, they need to be clean) and then I added the pack to the dispenser and hoped it would work. I then rinsed until I thought I saw no more bubbles, dried them, and then used one. 

Results: Even after my mistake of using one packet of RLR for an absurd amount of diapers, my prefolds were back to normal, but the fitteds and AIO’s were not! My second time using a packet of RLR <correctly> returned my fitteds to almost good as new. Now, I am able to use them for day use and naps. I did try them overnight and they were still ammonia-y. They went from one pee = burning your eyes out to using overnight = smells like ammonia but not quite burn your eyes out. I am confident that after one more packet all my diapers will be perfect. I will also be using RLR monthly as a preventative method of avoiding death by ammonia. RLR you are amazing. ChapmanHill BABY, you are even more amazing for carrying a hard to find product! Come over to CHB if you have any ammonia, leaks or just need to get your diapers back to square one!

Until November 10th, 2013, Get 5 packs of RLR for the price of 4 by using the coupon code: SAVEME at the ChapmanHill BABY website. Add 5 to your cart and the 5th will be FREE!

 

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Buy it here ———> http://www.chapmanhillbaby.com/RLR-Laundry-Treatment-p/rlr.3244.htm

Sunday Spotlight: family is the root of all happiness

Have you ever noticed how fall is a time where as the season changes from warm to cool, we spend more time with family? With turkey feasts and times of giving gifts, as a culture, most of us travel near and far to experience the in-person love of our families.

Today’s Sunday Spotlight focuses on the beautiful family presented below. Robyn was one of the first customers to visit ChapmanHill BABY. She has truly become a part of our family and here we present part of hers.

Love you, Robyn & Family!

Cheri

 

“FAMILY… Where Life Begins, and LOVE never ends…” – Anonymous

 

Celebrating the joy of autumn and all that comes with it.

Celebrating the joy of autumn and all that comes with it.

My Carrier Origins: International Babywearing Week 2013

International Babywearing Week is a moment in time where we as caregivers celebrate the joy in bonding with our children while we seamlessly wear them upon us completing every day tasks in the process. Babywearing week is not just a week but a daily reality for so many of us. Moms and Dads young and old, from here and from there, celebrate the language of wearing your baby regardless of our native tongue. Alike so many others, a Baby Bjorn was my first initiation into the baby carrier world back in 2004 and I felt at a loss. It could never be adjusted just enough to feel good and as a result, I quickly abandoned it despite the pricey tag that accompanied it when I first bought it. 

Foolishly, I actually thought the lumbar support would do just that – support. I poured over the internet way back when in pursuit of something more easy to use and supportive. Also, I needed something that would not let my child’s legs and feet dangle in my crotch as I walked.

My first real carrier conducive to babywearing was in fact a first generation Beco baby carrier (2007). I loved it and it is still tucked away in my car “just in case.” Down the line, I would add a Peanut Shell sling type carrier and also an ErgoBaby carrier to my growing carrier closet. I begged my father to purchase the ErgoBaby carrier with my third baby and I was hooked from that point forward. — Myla P.

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First-Generation Beco in Sky

What was your “gateway” carrier?

Tell me about what got you started babywearing.

 

Sunday Spotlight: A nursiversary!

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How beautiful is this photo?!

Meet Eboni and her son, Gabriel, on his first birthday.  Eboni introduced me to a new word when she sent me this photo: nursiversary!  Her son’s first birthday is also their first nursiversary, and what a wonderful moment to capture from that day. Gabriels favorite things include nursing, playing outside, and his kitty. Eboni wears Gabriel in wraps and a mei tai.  Eboni and this beautiful boy live across the country in Arizona! Eboni heard of ChapmanHill BABY through our Tula giveaway, and now has a Tula of her very own on the way!

Congratulations to making it to one year and beyond, Eboni! Thank you for sharing with the CHB family :)

 

 

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The Hoagie Trick

This post is for you first-time moms who are expecting baby soon.  Be prepared. Things are about to get real..

For you mamas that have had vaginal births, you know there are several things you swear by in postpartum recovery. (For you mamas with c-section recoveries: don’t worry you have post coming up for recovery tips!)

peribottle

yup, a peri bottle. The best thing besides Witch Hazel and Dermoplast that ever happened to your busted vagina.

Your “good china” will be in pieces post-vaginal delivery. You may have had stitches, but in any event you will be SORE.  There are many tricks to help relieve the pain.  Make sure that when you are in the hospital you get as many of the following components as you can to take home with you. I think the trick I loved the most was The Hoagie trick.  You know: bread, sauce, meat, cheese?  Let’s just say this is the most magical hoagie you will ever make.

As a heads up, the first few days or weeks after a vaginal delivery include much attention to your sore bottom. You will not be able to wipe at first, especially if you are healing from stitches. Instead, the Peri bottle will be your best friend. Spray your bottom gently but thoroughly (You may need to refill the bottle a couple of times) to make sure the area is quite clean, then GENTLY DAB with toilet paper. Then, build your hoagie. As your postpartum soreness and bleeding eases, you can begin to subtract some of these elements from your recipe until you end up with just a maxi pad and maybe the occasional spritz of Dermoplast.  Until then… gather the supplies to keep next to the toilet. In the beginning, using the potty will take at least 10 minutes because of the process it takes to actually GO, to clean, and to manage the bleeding.

First, your regular maxi pad. This guy is like the bread of the hoagie. The back up for when things get real. I’d recommend any kind of stay-dry OVERNIGHT pad, because the more coverage you have, the better.  Paste this sucker onto the crotch of your granny panties. (Wings are highly recommended)

Next, the sauce. Dermoplast. Get some. Spray on any area that needs numbing. (Spray directly on your sore areas. Avoid eyes.  Follow manufacturer directions.).  Other things that work well are the Earth Mama Bottom Balm by Earth Mama Angel Baby.

photo courtesy of dermoplast.com

photo courtesy of dermoplast.com

Then, you add the meat. Or, the heavy duty chilled maxi. I delivered at a hospital with my midwife, and the nurses kept these puppies coming and sent me home with a huge bag of them. You know the ice packs that you have to break and shake to initiate the cooling? That’s what these are: ice packs WITH A MAXI PAD ATTACHED. How freaking genius is that!  If you aren’t given these or cannot find any, I suggest making your own chilly pads:

  1. Douse several heavy duty wingless maxi pads with witch hazel
  2. Seal pads in Ziploc bag.
  3. Place in fridge
  4. Take out maxi as needed, layer on top of “bread” maxi pad

Wingless pads are key here. Center it over your “bread” maxi so the first maxi can soak up any leakage.

{I’ve also heard of using newborn disposable diapers instead of maxis for this step!}

Then, the cheese. Witch Hazel pads, or Tucks pads. You want to lay several consecutive pads along the top of your chilled pad. You know, like laying cheese along a hoagie.  These will help relieve ALL your sore areas.  Once you run out of Tucks, you can also use cotton rounds soaked in witch hazel that you keep in the fridge as well. Layer on the same way.

awesome photo of tucks pads on the chilled pad courtesy of  http://realnewmom.blogspot.com/2010/11/undie-sundae.html (She has a slightly different but just as awesome postpartum trick for soothing your vagina... check her out!)

awesome photo of tucks pads on the chilled pad courtesy of
realnewmom.blogspot.com
(She has a slightly different but just as awesome postpartum trick for soothing your vagina… check her out!)

WARNING: this may take some practice at first. Sometimes your hoagie will tip onto the bathroom floor. If this happens, you’ll need to start over as you want to make sure that everything is CLEAN that touches your oh-so-fragile vaginal area.  I highly recommend SITTING on the toilet the entire time you are building your hoagie. that way any bleeding will go straight into the bowl and you will be balanced. Once your Hoagie is built, spray your bottom with warm water in the peri bottle (or cool, whichever feels better), dab with toilet paper, add another layer of Dermoplast to address the soreness that dabbing incited,  stand up, pull up your panties/hoagie, flush and continue about your day. Until you have to do it again in two hours.

I found an awesome video with a much quicker explanation.  Thanks to Cloudmom.com for sharing!

Happy Hoagie making!

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The Thursday List

image courtesy of http://www.homenewspa.com/

image courtesy of http://www.homenewspa.com/

 

Friday 9/20: Children’s Day at The Great Frederick Fair East Patrick St, Frederick, MD. Admission for kids 18 and younger is free until 5pm and all rides are reduced by one ticket until 5pm. Have you noticed? I LOVE FAIRS! This one is especially dear to me because this fair is the one I grew up attending. Also- The Beach Boys play at 7pm!

Saturday 9/21:  The Big Build National Building Museum, 401 F St NW, Washington DC.  This event states that it is free, however it is a little unclear if you need to pay museum admission to access the event. Museum admission is $8 for adults, $5 for kids and free for toddlers under age 2.  All Ages! “A Hands on family festival of tools, trucks and construction,” kids will be able to climb tractors and cranes, plant trees, visit sidewalk chalk city and lots of other hands-on activities. {This event looks awesome. I’m super sad we already have plans or we would SO be here!} For more information, visit the website.

Sunday 9/22: Artsfest ’13 Annemarie Gardens, 13480 Dowell Rd, Dowell MD.  10 a.m.-5 p.m. $6/adults, kids 11 and under free. Rain or shine. More than 150 artist booths, 25 performers on two stages, activities for kids, food, wine & beer, and more!  These gardens are really fun to explore and the weather is supposed to be perfect to spend the day outside! BONUS: Solomon’s island is nearby, you can make a day trip out of it and watch the sailboats go by on the water while you eat at one of the waterfront restaurants. For more information, visit the website. 

Monday 9/23:  Wheaton Regional Park 2002 Shorefield Rd, Wheaton MD. Arrange your own playdate at this expansive regional park with a new Adventure Playground. There is also a carousel and Mini-train to ride should you choose to visit on the weekends! Admission to the park is free, but both the train and carousel cost $1.75 per person for people over age 2 per ride. There are trails to the Butterfly pavilion, lake and through the woods should you choose to go on a nature walk.

Tuesday 9/24: Theatre Day at the National Children’s Museum 151 St. George Boulevard - National Harbor, MD. Open 10am-4pm. Adults $10, Children $10, infants under one are free. Several shows play on Tuesdays, including a musical about dinosaurs for all ages called PrehistoROCK (two showings: 12p and 2p) and Movers and Groovers for kids under age 5 that teaches about movement (12:30p and 1:30p).  Admission also grants you access to all the other exhibits you can touch!

Wednesday 9/25: Fall Fun at Spider Hall Farm 3915 Hallowing Point Rd, Prince Frederick, MD. $8/person but children under 4 are free. Hay rides, organic ice cream, farm market- this place is awesome. Their hours vary, though the impression is that they are are open daily. Call for further details 410-610-0094 or visit the website

Thursday 9/26: Flights of Fancy National Air and Space Museum, 600 Independance Ave SW, Washington DC. Admission is Free. 11am. Storytime! Read a story about flight, then do a craft. Children must be accompanied by guardian/parent. All Ages.

 

 

Also note that this weekend is the National Book Festival, hosted by the Library of Congress on the National Mall. For more information, visit the website, but it is free to walk around and visit all the authors’ tents and participate in the many family reading activities.  

Get Well Kits

Sigh. Flu season has begun. Not only that, but kids are back in school and the chance you and your kids will be sick within the next two months is like  2349893%.  Having a sick kid sucks.  Having a sick kid while YOU are sick is exponentially worse because you want to do everything you can to make your baby feel better but your own energy level is in the negative.

So when this very thing happened to a good friend of mine, I made a special delivery.  Sometimes, all you need is a popsicle and some soup. And a movie your kids have never seen before.*  Here’s my recipe for an awesome Get Well Kit that the whole, sick, feverish family can use.

  1. A box of tissues… and a travel pack. Just to make sure there are tissues by the couch or mama’s bed, where everyone is sure to be camped, and the diaper bag for the inevitable trip to the Doc.
  2. Chest Rub.  I love the Bella B Little Bee Rub, but good ole’ Vicks is good too. Something about the smell of camphor makes me feel a little bit better even if I’m not the sick one.  Make sure to follow manufacturer’s directions (or your pediatricians recommendations) for age appropriate application.BELLA.0001-2
  3. Pedialyte. Or Gatorade. Or Both.   Maintaining electrolytes is absolutely key when sick, especially when there is vomiting and/or diarrhea involved. I cannot stress enough that hydration with electrolyte-enhanced liquids is imperative. Generally, physicians and pediatricians recommend cutting the Gatorade or Pedialyte with water (half and half).
  4. Pedialyte POPSICLES! Yup- they now come in popsicle form. These are awesome for kids (or adults) who are too nauseated to actually drink. And the cold popsicle can feel really good in feverish mouths or be soothing to sore throats.
  5. Homemade Chicken Noodle or Veggie Soup.  Just a hint… make sure the container in which you are transporting the soup is SEALED TIGHTLY.  And, if you don’t have time to make the homemade version, Pacific makes an awesome pre-made version that you can pop in the basket and can be heated when needed.
  6. A new coloring book and crayons.  Nothing is more exciting than blank paper or a new coloring book when you’re a kid. And bonus, Wee Can Too now has Veggie Crayons that are made from plant-based materials and are safe to end up in little mouths. WECT.003-2
  7. ***A new movie.  Now, I feel pretty strongly that screen time should be limited for all kids. However, sometimes when you and the kids are sick its all you can do to empty the puke bucket and change one more diarrhea diaper, there’s just no energy to say no to the quiet one more episode of Sesame Street will bring. And sometimes, if you hear Elmo say “Elmo has a question for you-u-uuu-uuuuuuu” one more time you will claw out your eyes with the soup spoon. Even sick kids get excited for an unseen movie, but usually its the parents that are more thankful for the break from kids TV.  Make sure to get Rated G.  (I usually tend toward the more classic films like Sound of Music, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, or anything with lots of music because it tends to hold attention longer)
  8. A roll of toilet paper and a roll of paper towels.  Why? you ask. Well, when you’re sick, the last thing you want to do is run out to the store because you’re out of toilet paper or paper towels. This thoughtful, though seemingly random, touch will be greatly appreciated.
  9. Infants’ Tylenol and Motrin. (Or Children’s, depending on the age of the kids).  I’d also throw in a travel size bottle of adult Tylenol if mama and daddy are sick too.
  10. Hand sanitizer. Obviously.
  11. A new small toy.  Make sure to be age appropriate. For older kids, a puzzle like this awesome travel Dinosaur puzzle or deck of cards can usually be found in the dollar aisle. For toddlers, I usually try and find a small book with good pictures (Priddy books are my very favorite!)  and infants always get an O-ball because they’re the best toy ever and sometimes come with little rattles built in, they’re easy to grip and they don’t hurt mama when flung at her face.

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I’ve been known to deliver a Get Well Kit in a brand new, never-puked-in bucket. Just a regular mop bucket from the dollar store.  Because you never know when the flu will hit.

What do you give in your get well kit? Leave me a comment and let me know!

Stay well!

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TopTenTuesday: Car Seat Safety Tips

September 15-21 is Child Passenger Safety Week, so I thought I’d share some tips published by trusted sources like NHTSA and such.

knowforsure

10.  Get your seat checked.   Here is a list for Maryland.

9.  Read your manual.  It will give you all the information you need to know about height and weight restrictions, how to install it properly, and how to clean the poo that will inevitably end up on the cover. 

8. Make sure shoulder straps are at the right height. While rear-facing, shoulder straps should be at or below your child’s shoulders. Shoulder straps that are at a height above your child’s shoulders will allow for upward movement in the event of an accident, meaning that baby will move more in the seat and not be properly secured should you be in a collision.

7.  Even if baby’s feet touch the back of the seat while rear-facing, you should continue to secure them in a rear-facing car seat as long as they do not exceed the height and weight requirements to do so.  Think of it this way: when you baby wear their legs are in a “frog-legged” position; the same is true when their legs grow in a rear-facing car seat. Kids can easily bend their legs and be just as comfortable. Injuries to a child’s legs in a rear-facing car seat are rare in the event of a collision.

6.  The safest place for kids in the car is the back seat. No matter the argument about who gets to ride shotgun, the universal recommendation by all safety and pediatric organizations is that children under the age of 13 ride in the back.

5. Scrap the winter coats when it comes to riding in the car.  Big, puffy winter clothing can prevent a parent from ensuring the tightest, most secure fit of the straps over their child. In case of a collision, that three-inch-thick bunting baby is wearing is actually three inches of slack in your straps since the force of a collision with cause compression of the fabric once baby’s weight is thrown against it. Make sure baby is wearing thinner clothing so the straps can be as snug to their body as possible.  If you need to, tuck a blanket or coat OVER the fastened and snugly secured straps.

4.  There is no “best” or “safest” car seat. 

“No one seat is the “best” or “safest.” The best seat is the one that fits your child’s size, is correctly installed, fits well in your vehicle, and is used properly every time you drive.”   – courtesy of www.healthychildren.org

3.  Infants and toddlers should be rear facing until the age of two or until they meet the maximum height and weight allowed by the manufacturer of their car seat. 

2.  Secure your infant/child seat to the seat of your car using LATCH OR the seat belt.  If you are using a LATCH system, make sure you are tethering to the actual LATCH anchors, and not another part of the seat. If you are using a seatbelt, make sure your vehicle has locking seat belts or purchase an “H-clip,” usually available where ever car seats are sold, to ensure the seat is tightly anchored to your car.

An H clip.

An H clip.

1.  Buckle your child in appropriately.  What is the point of utilizing a car seat if you fail to buckle them in? Make sure the belt(s) are secured in the proper positions, with the chest buckle at a position even with baby’s armpits.

 

Most of my information for today’s list was taken from this awesome comprehensive fact sheet by the American Academy of Pediatrics and http://www.healthychildren.org.  To read the complete list, visit the website.

Buckle up!

 

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Nom Nom Nom Chowder

With the weather cooling quickly in the past couple of days, it is fast becoming chowder and stew season. Drool.  This is my very very favorite summer’s end chowder, because local corn is sweet and there’s a little nip in the evening to make the warmth and heartiness of this soup so comforting. Thanks to The Rainy Day Gal for the recipe: it’s on my bookmarks bar, I make this soup so much!  It also freezes REALLY WELL, so if you make enough for a family of 4 or 6, like this recipe usually does, I’ll serve it for a meal then freeze the leftovers for a day when cooking is beyond my capacity. Or just for when I’m craving it and don’t have the time to start it from scratch. Make sure to double bag your soup if you intend to freeze it.

Also- Leftovers (after being fully cooled and pureed) go really well in your reusable pouches! The pouches are the perfect lunch serving size and can be warmed in hot water.

 

Creamy Corn Chowder with Bacon

  • 6 strips of bacon
  • 1 yellow onion
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 sweet potatoes
  • 4 yukon gold potatoes
  • 6 cobs of sweet yellow or white corn, removed from the husks and rid of the stringy bits
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 pint (2 cups) half and half
  • salt and pepper to taste

Grab a large cutting board and a sharp knife to prep your ingredients. Slice the bacon
into 1/4″ pieces, dice the onion, and mince the garlic. Wash all of the potatoes and peel
the sweet potatoes. Chop both varieties into 1″ cubes. Carefully slice the corn kernels from
the cobs.

Preheat a large pot or dutch oven over medium-high heat (any large pot that is not nonstick
will do). Add the bacon and cook until crispy, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a paper
towel using a slotted spatula. Reduce heat to medium and add the garlic and onion to
the rendered bacon fat. Saute for about 5 minutes or until the onion becomes tender and
slightly browned. Turn heat back up to medium-high. Toss in the flour and stir quickly to
coat the onion. Be careful not to burn the flour. Immediately add the chicken broth and
water, stirring to release the browned bits from the bottom of the pan.

Stir in the potatoes, corn, and cooked bacon. Simmer for about 20 minutes over medium
heat, or until potatoes are fork-tender. Stir in the half and half and add salt and pepper to
taste. Simmer for 5 minutes more to bring up to serving temperature. Ladle into bowls and
serve with a hunk of crusty bread.

Makes 8-10 bowlfuls.

NOTE: I use almost all sweet potatoes, I love the color and sweetness. I usually use 4 sweet potatoes and only a couple of yukon gold to maintain the starchy thickness.  Also, using an immersion blender is awesome for making this easy to spoon feed or put in a pouch. 

 

Thanks again to The Rainy Day Gal, without whom my tummy would be sad. To follow this mama blog, visit her website.

 

Enjoy!

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Sunday Spotlight: Mama cuddles

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Meet Temperance, who is a little over four months old, and her mama Heather. Heather says that Temperance is an excellent eater and loves to be worn, Heather tell me they currently use a Girasol woven wrap and borrow  frequently from their babywearing group.

Thanks Heather!

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