Stocking Stuffers 2015

Looking for some great Stocking Stuffer ideas for the holidays?

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Keeping baby warm this winter

As temperatures drop this winter, it can take some creativity to keep baby warm. Here is my list of the top 4 creative solutions to keeping baby cozy.

1. Cover the midriff 

Shirts seem to ride up exposing cute, but tender bellies. Layering long sleeve body suit under other clothing ensures that bellies stay covered and baby’s core stays warm enough to regulate their entire body temperature.

Organic Cotton Bodysuit

Monster Legwarmer

2. Ankle Peeking- 

Pant legs ride up when babies are carried or sitting, exposing inches of ankle to the elements. Legwarmers are a fun way to keep the little knobs warm and prevent wind from blowing up the leg. They also work well with tights and skirts, or as knee padding for crawlers.

3. Safe Sleeping 

If your baby is anything like ours have been blankets get kicked almost immediately onto their faces when loose , or cause them to wake up because they can’t roll freely in the night, not to mention the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends not using blankets because of the risk of suffocation. Enter sleep sacks and swaddles. Swaddles are a great way to keep newborn babies warm, and inspire them to sleep longer, however they become dangerous once baby can roll over. Babies who can roll over can graduate to a sleep sack that frees their hands for rolling over. Sleep sacks come in several weights to accommodate varying household temperatures.

Swaddles and Sleep Sacks

Sleep Sack

Boba Hoodie

4. Brisk Babywearing- 

Wearing your baby will naturally keep both of you warmer, however there does come a point when an extra layer over both of you is welcome. For front wearing, a maternity coat can do the trick while baby is small. With bigger babies and back carries, try the Boba Hoodie, or Boba Vest. Not only do they cover you and baby’s bodies, they keep wind from blowing up inside.


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Swan Song

Grant is our swan song. It is a bittersweet decision not to have more children. I love everything about parenting, except the 24 hour/365-ness of it. Every once in a while I wish I could step outside parenthood for 5 minutes, maybe an hour. Of course there is the desire for a night of uninterrupted sleep, which, truth be told, this post comes on the heels of.

The twisted part is that is what I will miss the most, and what I am having a hard time acknowledging is that I will never have it again. The addictive crack of early motherhood is the cozy high I get from being needed all the time. Outside of motherhood, that never happens. When Grant wakes up before I get back into bed and I watch him sleepily feeling around the bed for me on the video monitor, two thoughts enter my mind: 1. Argh! Not yet, I am at at an intense part of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo! And 2. Ahhh, he needs me. Twisted, right?

The look a baby has when he spots his mother in a crowd of unfamiliar faces- never happens again. They are always happy to see you. It is a beautiful thing. Beautiful and painful somehow. Maybe just my longing for it to never end is the painful part. Years of teaching middle and high school students has taught me that space between us is there, looming in the future

Lying awake in bed, nursing him for the umpteenth time, I felt like Mario during his first liaison with his paramour Beatrice in Antonio Skarmeta’s Burning Patience, “This moment. This moment. This. This. This moment.” The urgency of his desire to hold onto the ephemeral moment in time, even as it slips through his fingers is palpable as he repinpoints it over and over again. Makes me tear up just to think of it.

I try to feel a little more Buddhist about it. A little more Thich Nhat Hanh, Vietnamese monk’s Being Peace “Dwelling here in this moment, I know it is a beautiful moment, ” about it. A little more, love this moment and let it go because every moment is a beautiful moment about it. But it is hard.

The urgency and need is profound and heady. And exhausting. It has to end someday because I really miss myself. I got pregnant with Grant right when I had reached the point that I could go out for an afternoon or evening. When The Frock Affair, a new stylish boutique opened down the street from our store, I went to the opening party with Grant in my most stylish Boba and aimlessly fondled beautiful clothes that didn’t seem to fit my current lifestyle. It sounds funny, but I was unsure what “MomBetsy” would wear. It is certainly different than “ClubhopperBetsy” or “TeacherBetsy”, but I want to be a few steps away from “SpitupalloverBetsy”.

The other sad part is that I feel like I am just getting good at this. Becoming a mother to Zoe was fraught with anxiety about making the “right” decision. Everyday of my pregnancy I entered my food choices into to analyze my vitamin intake and would quickly eat a plate full of broccoli or a banana before bed if necessary. Obsessive much? Having Grant has relaxed me a lot. It has helped me understand the gradations of “right”.

It is almost a shame I will never do it again….

Reposted from my Earthy Not Crunchy blog on the eve of Grant’s third birthday


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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.


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.”


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


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.

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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