Ode to a Skirted Swimsuit

I had the best swimsuit shopping experience since I was 5 the summer after Grant (number 2) was born when I decided to rock a skirted swimsuit.
Sure, laugh away at the skirted suit, but as I smoothed the wrinkles for camp this year, I was reminded of how awesome it is:
1. You know that area at the top of your thighs that has always bugged you? Well, no one can see it.
2. You save a bunch on shaving supplies. There are a solid few inches there that can skate by less than perfectly smooth on occasion, trust me.
3. A nice A line is universally slimming.
4. Nothing says mama like a skirted suit
I bought my suit when we were on our way to spend a night at my parents’ camp and I couldn’t find my swimsuit, the swimsuit I had spent months researching online to compile the list of suits I tried on in store and hated. I thought I might be off the hook for swimming duty, but we piled the kids into the car and set off for Dover and the hubs reminded me that two kids in the water meant two parents in the water so we stopped off at Marshall’s.
Because we hadn’t even left Bangor, the kids were still awake so I had to jump out and grab a suit quickly. Now I hope I am not making sweeping assumptions when I am so bold as to say that no woman ever shops for a swimsuit quickly! But there I was, combing the racks, wondering about the thigh cut of this and the low back of that when I found her.
Given that there was not time to try it on, the square neck bubble tank and skirted bottom seemed like the safest bet. I took it to the register in a wardrobe hail Mary. I was back in the car in 5 minutes. That’s right ladies, 5 minutes.
When I got to the camp and put it on there were no full length mirrors to scope so I looked down and decided it didn’t look great, but, whatever. Every other year of my life I spend hours, perhaps days coming online reviews and trying on a million suits to arrive at this point: I don’t love it but it works. How liberating to only waste 5 minutes on the quest for mediocrity?
Why waste so much time and energy beating myself up over a suit designed to make me look bad? The skirted suit has me covered.

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Unbreakable Sand Toys

That moment when your toddler/preschooler/elementary age kiddo digs their shovel you just bought at (insert discount/big box/drug store) and the front splits because you aren’t supposed to actually dig with it; followed by the handle on the bucket breaking when they (gasp) try to carry water; followed by the pile of broken beach bits that fade overnight in a pile in your back yard over the next few weeks if they didn’t get moved along to a landfill immediately.

Or

That moment when your baby inserts a shovel (or bucket, or sieve, or what have you) into her mouth and you wonder, “Gee, what is that object made of.”

Or

That moment when you dig the sand and water toys out and notice your brilliant buckets and shovels have faded into a dusty heap.

Or

That is a moment you will not be having Spielstable sand toys because they are built to last and offer a 3 year, no breaking or fading warranty. How is that for putting your money where your mouth is?

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Cloth Wipes in Review

With the average cost of disposable wipes per child coming in at well over $500, pretty much every cloth diaper brand has a wipe on the market. I have tried a bunch in the last 5 years, and probably know more than a person should about how they perform and hold up.

Single ply flannel:

bumGenius Wipe after 6 months use

Oso Cozy after 6 months of use

This includes brands like Oso Cozy, and bumGenius. These are a great basic wipe to round out the wipes collection. And as a universal best seller, they are soft and tough and probably wipe more bums than any other wipe.

 

 

Cotton Velour:

Bluebird Wipe After 3 Months Use

Thirsties Fab Wipe 5 After 5 Years Use

Including brands such as Thirsties Fab Wipes and Bluebird wipes (my current fave), each brand tweaks the model slightly. Easily my favorite style of wipe, I am amazed at how well they hold up to YEARS of washing!

 

 

Cotton or Bamboo Sherpa:

Sherpa Kissa Wipe

Kissa Wipe After 2 years

Including brands like Kissaluv, or the locally made variety we offer in store, they feature great texture, usually double sided with flannel or jersey. These have a super long life too, although the jersey or flannel may develop holes and fray, the sherpa will still roll strong.

 

Polyester Fleece

Brands like Fuzzibunz Wonder Wipes have amazingly soft and rugged polyester fleece that softly cleans baby’s bum. Super cushy and absorbent, the FuzziBunz variety is backed with jersey cotton. Sadly I don’t have any surviving to take pictures of. I ditched them once the jersey got too worn, but I think they lasted about 3 years.

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I’m Actually Looking Forward to Bug Season

It has been so disgustingly cold this winter that I am actually looking forward to bug season this year because at least it will be warmer. Where we live in Downtown Bangor there aren’t very many bugs to worry about, but my parents house, where we spend a lot of time is swarmed!

So what to do to protect baby? Babies absorb 60% of what is put on their skin so it is important to be extra choosy about baby skincare products. For general bug dope, we like Mighty Shield from Episencial. It comes with a really high rating from the EWG and works well to keep the bugs at bay.

 

You can combine it with the Mosquitno bands which use citronella and last for up to 6 days.

Neither of these works well to prevent tics which are becoming an increasing problem in Maine. To prevent tics, or when bugs are extremely bad, wear long pants and shirt sleeves with rubber bands around the openings. Stronger DEET bug repellent can be applied to clothing, and even to sensitive spots like behind the ears.

Getting outside is so worth the effort, especially after a seemingly endless winter — seriously, snow in April!

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Audrey: Wow What A Ride

If you were on our website shopping for Audrey print bumGenius diapers between 4:00 and 6:00 on Tuesday afternoon, you know what a wild ride it was! Cotton Babies did a great job drumming up enthusiasm for this new print and retailers and consumers alike were whipped into a frenzy!

Even when retailers were ordering on their site, we kept crashing their page! I knew in that moment that I needed to order more than usual!

If you were one of the lucky patrons who got through and snagged yourself some Audrey, bear with me as we wait for the overloaded manufacturer to get product to us so I can get it to you.

If you have never ordered from us before, this is not typically how we operate at MCDC. Typically we sell products we already have in store, and I apologize to everyone for having to wait a bit longer than usual.

I will post here and on Facebook as new information comes through. To ensure you get the most up to date info, like our page and set your notifications to receive all our messages.

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Audrey: The New Genius Series Print From bumGenius

Genius Series Prints
The Genius Series prints have been inspired by well-known geniuses in history. From technicians to movie stars, each featured “genius” has made a mark on the world through their inspirational talents.

Audrey
Inspired by one of the most heralded style icons, this new Genius Series print embodies charm, elegance and sophistication. Some might say this diaper is simply darling. A classic combination of black, white and Blossom, this one-of-a-kind print proves to be a style fit for a star. Sunglasses and style! It’s the perfect addition to your store’s springtime collection.

As a film and fashion superstar throughout Hollywood’s Golden Age, Audrey has become an icon of style and grace – Not to mention, an outstanding actress and true humanitarian. She received the Presidential Medal of Freedom from President George H. W. Bush and was one of the few actresses to have won an Academy, Emmy, Grammy and Tony award. In her early life, Hepburn worked for the Dutch Resistance during World War II by transporting secret messages in her ballet slippers. The evidence of her talent, boldness, and hard work make her accomplishments truly worthy of a Genius status in our book.

Just like Audrey’s chic, timeless style, this Genius series print is sure to become a staple in the cloth diaper community and is ready to make a debut in your store’s cloth diaper collection. Get this limited edition print today! Available while supplies last.

 

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Tattle Tales Allowed

Few things drive me nuttier than hearing children bandy about the idiomatic expression “tattle tale.” Out of nowhere 2 year old Grant, when emotionally crushed, started saying, “I’m going to tell on your mommy” (or daddy, or Zoe… fill in the appropriate name).

Almost simultaneously, big sister Zoe, started saying, “Don’t be a tattle tale!”
Both phrases caused me to take a knee give a hug and mentally shake a fist at society at large, and not because I have a burning desire to stop at frequent intervals and play cop over every toy’s provenance.

Nope, it is because I want my children, children at large to know I am listening and their problems matter to me.

As adolescents, our children lock themselves behind closed doors and feel their way through adult situations without the advice of a trusty adult because we have conditioned them to squirrel their problems away and work it out Lord of the Flies style.

Today’s, “Grant is picking his nose,” is tomorrow’s, “Bobby is doing something harmful to himself,” and I personally want to be there for that conversation.
Our children ask for help, and it isn’t always convenient, but it is important to give them the language and the tools to work through the situation.

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Bye-Bye Baby Boogies

Nothing hinders baby sleep like a snotty nose can, and when baby can’t sleep, ain’t nobody gonna sleep.

When Grant was little, and had his first cold we went to town with bulb syringe and saline, and it wasn’t until after he contracted a sinus infection that I learned that bulb syringes are supposed to be single use, and they quickly become infested with mold a la this widely circulated picture of a bulb syringe cut open:

Well needless to say, we learned our lesson and looked for an alternative solution. Enter the NoseFrida. When I first learned of this handy device I was revolted at the idea of sucking boogies out of my baby’s face, but after a few uses, I was not only immune to the “ewww” factor, I actually found it strangely satisfying to clear his nose.

Combine the nose clearing power of this little device with some non menthol Baby Vicks, or the menthol and petroleum free BALM! Baby Eucalyptus Rub applied to the feet (eliminates the risk of rubbing it into eyes) for some easier breathing, and hopefully more restful nights.

Bulb Syringe: Gross!

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A solution for everyone

Recently, my family took a week’s vacation. In order to achieve the maximum level of relaxation, we opted for disposable diapers and wipes. I pushed the thought of dioxins and difficult-to-pronounce chemicals near my little Acorn’s parts to the very back of my brain. Of course, I couldn’t help but scan the tiny little words listed after INGREDIENTS on the back of the wipes package. Although I’d chosen a more “green” wipes option with no fragrance, dyes, parabens or phthalates, I wondered about the origin of those mysterious ingredients.

When we’re home and our life has assumed it’s natural rhythm, I make my own wipe solution. It’s easy and can be whipped up in less than two minutes. No time for anything fancy! I simply put a few drops of liquid castile soap into a spray bottle filled with distilled water and mix in a little bit of distilled white vinegar. (The vinegar is great for killing off yeast and/or harmful bacteria, if your little one is prone to infections.) I shake the bottle before spraying to evenly distribute all of the liquid, and spray on however much is needed.

When we’re traveling, I like to put wipe solution in a peri bottle, which is left over from my neonatal recoup package. The liquid comes out easily with a squirt, no messing around! I throw that and some smaller fabric scraps (see my blog on wipes) into the dry portion of a wet bag, along with a couple fresh diapers. (No brainer, but I feel as though I must mention: the wet portion of the bag is reserved only for used diapers and wipes.)

Wipe solution doesn’t need to be 100% homemade; Ruby Moon also makes natural wipes bits that dissolve in hot water. Lightly scented with oatmeal, soothing goat’s milk and honey, this solution is also moisturizing to baby’s skin.

If you don’t have time to mix your own, Ruby Moon also makes a vegan wipe solution, with jojoba and healing vitamin e oil. It’s completely dye and fragrance free, so no ingredient worries!

There’s also a ready-made and all natural bottom cleaner by bumGenius, able to boost the effectiveness of your disposable wipes or even use as a personal hand cleanser. And Happy Heiny’s Heiny Wash is a refreshing organic spray, made up of plant-derived ingredients and is also naturally anti-bacterial.

Isn’t it nice to know that baby’s sensitive areas can be completely protected? You’re already a concerned parent; this is just a little something to NOT worry about!

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Wipe out!

When I was pregnant and worried about how we were going to afford living with a new addition, I spoke with a few other expecting mothers (who were either planning to or already cloth diapering) about wipes. Just one of those tiny little things on the list of many must-have’s, they often get forgotten when there are bulkier items to worry about. I wanted to be prepared, and since I’m a fabric stasher, this was my chance to merge my own personal style and creativity with my baby’s needs. It was exciting, planning them out!

If you’re wondering what the best material is for wipes, cotton or flannel will do. I sewed two 5”x5” squares of flannel together (wrong side to wrong side) on three sides and then flipped them outside in to finish the fourth side. If you’re not into sewing, you can simply cut flannel or cotton scraps into squares with pinking shears. Thickness of the fabric doesn’t really matter. In fact, for really messy newborn cleanups, it’s a little easier if your fabric is thin and more pliable.

If you’re running out of creative time or don’t wish to pursue making your own, Maine Cloth carries flannel, organic cotton, and even compressed wipes (perfect for travel)! And check out this five-pack of sweet custom-made cotton and flannel. Choose from fun girl or boy prints. They’re so cute to have around, you could even just use them for wiping minor spills or dabbing little noses and hands. And Thirsties cotton velour/microfleece wipes are so soft, they can even be used for makeup removal. This colorful six pack is so cheery!

We use our wipes for so many things! I usually keep a few handy for baby finger cleanups, a quick wipe-down on the (high chair) table, and even runny noses. I’ve longed to sew some fabric to the center portion of my prefolds for a nifty little burp cloth, but that’ll come one day when I’m a grandmother, perhaps. What else do you use cloth wipes for?

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