Monday, April 30, 2012

Tailor Made Mama Carry Me Please Blogger Sign Ups!

As you know, I'm a babywearing enthusiast. If you blog and love babywearing as much as I do, you should sign up for the FREE blog opportunity set up by Tailor Made Momma
The event will run run from May 12-May 26!  Prize will be winner's choice of an Ergo or Pikkolo baby carrier!
This will be a FREE event!  The only requirement is that you post about the sign-ups and then you post about the event when it goes live!
Links can be Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest or RSS.  Sorry No Google!
Sign ups will close on May 10th.  The Rafflecopter and HTML for the giveaway will be sent out on the 11th!
If you have any questions please e-mail!

We Walk

Almost every morning, baby and I take a walk. We used to walk with him in the stroller, but for the past two or three weeks I've carried him in the Boba. Sometimes he fusses when I put him in, but it's amazing how quickly he's out once we step outside. I walk 3 or 4 miles in 60-90 minutes, and that's his morning nap.

I was inspired by Live. Learn. Love. Eat. to take some pictures on one of our recent adventures. I may not be terribly fond of living in Florida, but I am always amazed by the wildlife.
He's passed out.

I love these trees.

Turtle in the sun.

Hunting Crane

Turtle on a log

Mama and babies
One of our friendly neighborhood gators.

Here's one a little closer.

This one's just for fun. He just didn't look like he was "Born on the Streets."
Sadly, on our last walk, one of the ducklings was missing. That's the downside to living side by side with things like alligators :(

Friday, April 27, 2012

Weekend Flash Giveaway!

Welcome to Paypal Flash Cash Giveaway
Sponsored by:

It's All Coming Back To Me...

Well, sort of. Last night was my second scrimmage since getting back on skates. The first one was positional blocking only and this one was 50%, but it feels like I'm getting back into the groove of things. My timing is waaay off, and I lack a lot of core support. I'm not huffing and puffing in the back of the pack though, and I feel like my awareness is decent.

To get ready for the April bout, we had team and individual photos taken.

Vegta Bully (618) (C)Minh Insixiangmy -all rights reserved

Cat-O-Strophix (C)Minh Insixiangmy -all rights reserved
Hot Rod Hotties (C) Leigh Armstrong
The Refs (C) Leigh Armstrong
The Fresh Meat (C)Minh Insixiangmy -all rights reserved
Even the Vegta Baby got in on the action.

He had a great time meeting all the pretty derby girls!
This past weekend, our league, Deadly Rival Roller Derby, had it's first official bout of the season. The Cat-O-Strophix (my team) took on The Hot Rod Hotties. I wasn't bout-ready yet, so I called lines. I have to thank my team for paying attention and getting out there when they were supposed to. Sometimes bench bitching is a challenge, but they made it a breeze! The Hotties started off strong, and we fought to stay tight in the score. At half time, it was still anyone's game, but in the second half, The Hotties started to fall prey to penalties. In the end, The Cat-O-Strophix took the game!

Our MVP's
Thank you Leigh Armstrong for some great shots!

If you live in the area, we are currently recruiting. If you can't skate (and don't want to learn) we really, really need non-skating officials (NSO's). You'll have a little job to do, but you get in free!

In other news, check back later tonight. I might just have a chance for you to win some cash!

Thursday, April 26, 2012

What Do You Feed a Vegan?

I am not the creative cook of the family. That's my husband, but he hasn't shared his yummy vegan lactation cookie recipe with me yet. That means I'll just have to make sure you know about some other great vegan food blogs.

These are a few recipes I'm drooling over lately:

Luminous Vegans - Bread Pudding Muffins

The Mighty Vegan - Pepper-Crusted Cashew Vegan Goat Cheese

In more personal news, the baby has decided he's gotten way too old for naps. It's kind of exhausting, but I have to be soooo grateful for his night sleep. I actually think he could sleep through the night if I didn't wake him after 7 hours. Any tips or tricks for day time naps you'd like to share?

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Why Eggs and Dairy Are Bad For Babies

This is not a post about health. Well, not human health.

This is a post about the things that people don't think about when they buy eggs and milk. This is a post about why you, as a parent, should care.

Both industries have one unfortunate byproduct: boys.

Think about it. Eggs and milk come from female animals, right? And to keep the industry going, they have to keep breeding more animals. More egg laying hens and more dairy cows. Just like any other time, though, half of the babies will be boys, so what happens to them?

First, lets point out a fact that is often overlooked. Cows produce milk for their babies. You don't lactate when you haven't had a baby right? Well, cows are just like us, so they are kept perpetually pregnant to keep lactating. The male calves that result are most often used for veal. Maybe you don't realize just how cruel veal is, so I'll share. When I was an intern at Farm Sanctuary, Farmer Brown took us to visit a stockyard, so I was able to see firsthand. The calves are taken from their mothers as soon as possible, maybe a couple days old if that. They're put into a pen together and shuffled around with canes and electric prods. I saw the workers cracking them in the heads to get them to move where they wanted myself. They're scared. Then they are auctioned off and taken to a strange place. There, they are kept confined either in a crate or on a very short tether. They're fed an improper diet and kept from moving so that they don't develop any muscle tone. Then, they're slaughtered while they're still babies.

Veals in crates.

The egg industry is even more ruthless. As the chicks are sexed, the males are simply tossed into trash bags to suffocate or ground up alive. It's that simple.

Male chicks left to die in a dumpster.

That is why eggs and dairy are bad for babies.

Please, sign the pledge to go veg for one week, and consider making it a lifelong change.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

It's Veg Week!

So it seems appropriate to talk about why veganism is the best decision a mother can make.

There are tons of resources out there about the health benefits of veganism, but I'd like to share the health aspect from my perspective.

I was a fat kid. I was not only inactive, but I established unhealthy eating habits early on. Even though my dad is a vegetarian, like many families, veg or not, we had a lot of meals based around carbs and dairy.
13 years old and approx. 180 lbs
I know that when I went vegetarian I lost weight. When I went vegan, I lost weight again. You don't have to worry about the temptation of the chocolate bars in the checkout lane. McDonald's isn't an option on the way home from work. Those are good things! Without the ethical objection to these things, it's too easy to cave in when your will power is low, and no one needs them! When my step-children come to visit, the two things they can identify as we drive around are McDonald's and Burger King, and I don't want that for them or my little vegtababies.

I think veganism is a great way to set my children up for success. They'll eat tons of veggies. They'll grow up eating ethnic food (my son's poop currently smells super garlicky). Don't get me wrong, you can totally eat junky as a vegan, but it's not quite as convenient as it is as an omnivore. If my children inherit any of my tendencies to overeat, I think veganism will be helpful to curb that.

So that's my take on the health benefits of veganism. A diet backed by ethics, which we'll get into later in the week.

Don't forget to go to my Deals and Contests page to sign the pledge to go veg for one week and be entered to win prizes! Be sure to check out their Events tab to see if there are any veg-friendly events near you.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

$18 for $40 Worth of Eco Friendly Toys/Diapers/Food/Etc.

There's only one day left to buy the MamaSource deal that gets you $40 to spend at EcoMom for just $20. Plus, if you use the code APR10, it's only $18! What can you get with that $18?

- One Blueberry OS Deluxe with Microterry Inserts and one Baby Beehinds Limited Edition PUL Cover


- One Melissa & Doug Decorate Your Own Wooden Racecar, Alphabet Stamp Set, and DYO Yo-Yo


- One TaylorMade Water Sling

And even if you're not a mom, this is a great deal for something like:

- Pangea Lip Care Set, Light Stone Organic Rose Under-Eye Cream, and Episencial Protective Face Balm

These are just a few examples, but there's a lot more to choose from on their site.
So don't miss out! Grab yours before the deal ends!

Saturday, April 21, 2012

The Great Cloth Diaper Change 2012

At 12:30 today, over 200 Tampa Bay moms (and dads) and many others around the world all changed their babies into cloth diapers at once. We had to carefully plan what fluff we would be showing off to all the other cloth moms. Here we are getting ready to head out the door:

Before the change, though, we wandered around the Tampa Bay Baby Expo. There were a lot of great vendors like Green Mommy Diapers, Growing Up, Bippy Diapers, and more! I wore the Vegta Baby in the Boba:

I even figured out how to nurse in it by the end of the day. He was passed out from the time we got in line until I took him out to change his diaper.

He was in surprisingly good spirits as we waited for the change. He even made a little friend who kept saying how cute he was and kissing his forehead. It was sweet.

We changed into the diaper we got at a discount from Lotus Bumz after their cyber Easter egg hunt. It was the first time we got to wear it! There weren't a lot of dads there, but we had one!

Unfortunately, we didn't win either of the super nice stollers or diapers they raffled off, but here is what we did walk away with between raffles, samples, and door prizes:

BYO Rambler Lunch Bag; Gift Basket with Blankie, PJ's, and Socks; Small Wetbag,
Eco Nuts Sample, Rockin Green Sample, Eco Sprouts Sample,
Notepad, Magnets, and Hand Sanitizer
I'm excited to have some samples to try of detergent, and that lunch bag is worth $20! All in all, it was a pretty great experience. I loved seeing all those cloth using, babywearing, breastfeeding mamas!

On a related note, I got a package from my Gramma yesterday:

She sent me 40 cloth wipes! It's just cut up fleece, so it's super easy to add reusable wipes to your diaper regimen. I have about 50 now, so if anyone is in need, I can probably spare a few :)

On an unrelated note, I also won $10 from My Debt Free Road, a blog I found through the Ultimate Blog Party 12! Thank you! 

Well, it's time to finish cleaning up. The wife and her husband are coming over tonight. It's been too long!

Friday, April 20, 2012

Caring for Your Cloth

The aspect of cloth that many people find most daunting: washing.

It's really not that complicated, but first things first. Let's talk about prepping.

If you buy a new diaper, it will need to be prepped. This is the process used to remove oils and anything else that may be on the diaper that would repel liquid and therefore cause a leak.

There are a couple of different ways to prep new diapers depending on what they are and how much effort you want to put in.

Boiling Prep

That's right. One of the easiest ways to prep your diapers is to cook them. This will only work on diapers that do not have the waterproof polyurethane laminate (PUL) or plastic snaps. This means mostly flats, prefolds, and inserts. Basically, you bring a large pot of water to a boil, add a drop of dish detergent, add the prefolds, and boil for 10-30 minutes, stirring occasionally. After that, remove with tongs and put them through a wash cycle, dry, and done!

There's a nice picture tutorial here: Boiling Prefolds

Wash/Dry Prep

This method isn't a problem either. Simply run the diapers through 3-5 wash and dry cycles. If your diaper has PUL, you may need to run it through a hot dryer cycle to seal the laminate. Many diapers aren't  at their maximum absorbency until their tenth wash! If I just have one new diaper, I just keep tossing it in with the rest of my diaper wash a few times before I use it rather than prep it alone.

Cleaning Diapers

The cleaning process is not at all complicated as some people worry. It's just four or five steps. If your baby still has those mostly liquid, breastfed poops, just toss the whole thing in your wetbag. If your baby has firmer, solid food poops you can invest in a diaper sprayer that attaches to your toilet or just dunk the diaper and swirl it around a little. If both of those make you squeamish, you can get disposable liners that just lift out and get flushed.

Once you're ready to wash, just empty the wet bag into the machine, then toss it in too. Run a cold rinse cycle, then wash on hot. You can buy special cloth diaper soap like Rockin' Green or you can use a conventional free and clear detergent. A lot of people use Tide. We use Seventh Generation since that's what we use for our laundry anyway. Just use about half the amount you would use normally in that case. Finally, run one more warm rinse.

There are a few options to dry. Line drying is great because the sun acts as a natural bleach to get out any stains. Plus you're not using the energy of the dryer. If you do use a dryer, dry anything with PUL on low heat. Some items, like thick fitteds for example, may need an extra half cycle.

Remember, you can get diaper detergent and a ton of other eco-friendly parenting supplies at EcoMom for the special MamaSource deal of $20 for $40 worth of goods!


Sometimes a good wash just can't get rid of the funk. This is when you need to strip. I could write out all the information, but a really good break down can be found on Zany Zebra

A Challenge

Speaking of washing diapers, apparently diapers have been in the news lately because some families find that they can't afford disposables for their babies, so they are actually reusing disposables. In order to show the world that there is a better solution Dirty Diaper Laundry is hosting their Second Annual Flats and Handwashing Challenge. Basically, you commit to using only flats and hand washing them for a week. It's an inexpensive solution!

The Great Cloth Diaper Change

Finally, don't forget tomorrow is The Great Cloth Diaper Change! Let's set a new world record for the most cloth diaper changes at once. If you're in the Tampa Bay area, we hope to see you at Great Explorations for the change and the Baby Expo that follows! There's more info on their Facebook page.