Saturday, December 31, 2011

Happy New Year!

The New Year is almost here! I’m not big on resolutions, but I do like to look forward to all of the new adventures that are to come. This was the year that Green Baby Elephant began to grow, and 2012 is sure to bring more exciting things. New products are on the horizon and more vendor fairs and cloth diapering classes are in the works. Green Baby Elephant is definitely going to be growing this upcoming year, and I’m not just talking about the shop. A new baby ‘elephant’ is due to arrive in July. It’s going to be another fun and adventurous year as both the Green Baby Elephant shop and family expand in 2012. Here’s to a wonderful and prosperous New Year to you all! Cheers!!

Let the good times roll!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Pampering on the cheap!

Happy Holidays! I've stepped away from the blog to spend some more time with my boys during the holiday season. Since Christmas is nearly upon us, I'd thought I'd share a little holiday treat, a homemade sugar scrub. It's totally fab, and easy to make. I hope you take a few minutes and try it out for yourself. It'll make your skin feel moisturized without having to slather on lotion while shivering straight out of the shower.

1 c sugar
1/4c - 1/2 c grapeseed oil {I use 1/4 c but my sis likes hers with a little more oil, 1/2 c. So this is up to you.}
Essential oil of your choice {I like vanilla or citrus scents.}

Mix together in a container with a tight seal and keep in the shower. And ff you leave it under the water, it will warm up by the time you use it.

Enjoy! And I hope you all have a special holiday season with your fam!!! 

Friday, December 2, 2011

Holiday Gift Guide

So for this post, I cheated a bit. It's the December GBE Newsletter. For some reason I'm feeling a bit panicky about finding the perfect gift for everyone on my list. So if you're feeling what I'm feeling, here's a few gift ideas for you. I hope you find what you're looking for at Green Baby Elephant!!

Green Baby Elephant Gift Guide

Green Baby Elephant is the place to shop for all of the little ones on your shopping list. There are much more than cloth diapers to treat your babes & tots to this holiday season. There are even great gifts to pamper the expecting or new mom on your list. Take the time to shop Green Baby Elephant without having to even leave your house. It doesn't get much easier than that. Here are some great gift ideas for the kiddies you love...

New Baby:
  • Rock-A-Thigh Baby Socks are super stylish and functional. They help keep baby's legs & feet toasty warm. No more pant legs riding up in the stroller, car seat, or carrier exposing their chunky legs above their socks. These thigh-high socks will protect baby's legs from winter's chill. Even diaper changes will be cozy with their legs covered in the fashionable Rock-A-Thigh Baby Socks.
  • Hevea makes natural rubber pacis and an adorable panda teething toy. Hevea pacis are soft and comfortable on baby's face. No hard plastic creating an uncomfortable suction around baby's mouth. And since they are all one piece there's no need to worry about a choking hazard. Hevea's cute panda teether is perfect for little hands and mouths. Different textures on each side will give babies something to gum, gnaw, and bite.
  • Eazz Wrap Burp Cloths are much more than just your average burp 'rag'. These high quality, made in the USA, organic cotton/hemp fleece burp cloths are dreamy soft. Use them as changing pads at home or on the go. They also make great lightweight car seat blankets for infants. The looped tag allows for them to be attached to the car seat or stroller with toy rings, so they can be close at hand for whatever use you need.
  • Potty training & dress wearing are difficult for toddlers during the cold winter months. Rock-A-Thigh Baby Socks will keep legs cozy this winter. Green Baby Elephant has 'big kid' styles of these fab thigh-high socks for the older kiddo on your list.
  • Looking for bath toys to last the test of time? Hevea Pond Bath Toys are just the thing. These all natural rubber bath toys don't have holes in them, so no more moldy bath toys. Each set comes with a fish, frog, and duck. Perfect for kids of all ages!

Expecting/New Mom:
  • Pamper the new moms on your list with a set of nursing pads. Choose from Bamboobies, BabyKicks, and FuzziBunz. Whatever you pick will help keep mama dry plus save her money. Complete your gift by picking up a new nursing shirt or cover. She'll be glad you're supporting her decision to breastfeed her baby.
  • Cloth diapers. How could they not make the gift list? Let mama see for herself how wonderful modern cloth diapers are. She'll love how easy they are to use and how cute they look on baby. Plus, she'll start to see how much money she can save by using cloth. You can't go wrong by giving her a gift that she'll be able to use over and over again.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Brrrrr. It's Cold Outside!

What happened to our fall weather? It must have skipped us here in Tucson. Our winter temps have arrived sooner than I would have liked. But fortunately for us desert dwellers, we still have plenty of sunshine during the winter {or fall since that is the current season}. Now that it’s much cooler, line drying is taking a lot more time than it did during the hot summer months. And I’m sure that many of you living outside of sunny AZ have been dealing with longer line drying times for quite some time now, unless you’re a punk & live in Hawaii {I’m talking to you little sis!}. So while you may be thinking the dryer is the way to go this time of year, remember that UV rays are still beneficial for your diapers. Even on cloudy days, UV rays still sneak through the clouds. Find a window and lay your diapers out on a drying rack, and let the sun work its magic. But do remember that it does take a longer time for stains to be removed during cloudy days, and it’s always best to sun your diapers while still wet. It helps stains to come out faster. And for those of us blessed to spend a gorgeous winter in Tucson, it is now safe to keep our diapers outside for longer periods of time. No more worries about having too much heat hurting the PUL/TPU waterproofing and elastics in our diapers. Yay! So bring it on Old Man Winter. I’m still sunning my dipes and doing my best to avoid using my dryer. While it may not be possible to avoid using the dryer for those of you in places where you actually have winter weather, do remember to use the UV rays to your benefit to keep your diapers stain free as much as possible. To read more about sunning your diapers click here.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Made in the USA

It’s that time of year again, the holidays…food, family, and gifts. If we’re honest, we easily admit that the food & family parts of the holiday season is what it’s really all about. And that’s the easy part of the holidays. If we dig a little deeper, and get a little more honest, this time of year is all about the hunt for the perfect gift at the lowest price. Retailers and consumers alike are gearing up for Black Friday. Everyone seems to be on the quest for the biggest sale ever as Christmas rapidly approaches.
I admit that as a new retailer, I’m getting ready for the biggest shopping day of the year. I do want my clients to get a good deal on diapers and gifts for the babies on their Christmas list. But I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about what a ‘good deal’ really is. And personally, I’m looking for the label “Made in the USA.” This year, my ‘good deal’ will be supporting businesses that make their products in the USA. And if that’s something that you feel is important, I’ve been stocking Green Baby Elephant with a lot of products that are made in the USA. Thirsties, Bamboobies, Eazz Wraps, Rockin’ Green, Super Undies, Rock-a-Thigh Baby Socks are all US made products. It’s great to ‘Like’ these companies on Facebook and talk about how more things need to be made in the U.S., but the only thing that really counts is your $$. It sounds rude, but it’s true. If these companies are supported by you purchasing their products, they will grow. And maybe other companies will start up after watching the success of current U.S. companies.  I know I’m starting to sound like I’m up on a soapbox, but I do feel it is important to put your money where your mouth is. So while we’re all on our search for the best deal on the latest item, take a second and see if that is really the great deal you think it is. Remember to support our companies that make their products in the U.S.A. during this holiday season.

Friday, October 28, 2011

The Perfect Cloth Diaper

Is there a perfect diaper? Yes. There is a perfect diaper for your baby and you. There is not a perfect diaper for every baby and for every family. It has taken me a long time to figure that out. I was on a quest for the perfect diaper, and during my search I came to this conclusion. Every review you read and every mom will tell you that ‘X’ is THE BEST diaper ever. And they are right. It is the best diaper ever. Will it be the perfect diaper for you is what you should be asking yourself. Chances are that what I like and consider the best diaper for me and BW may not be the best for your little one. But to be sure I have the best diaper for you and your little one in my shop, I’ve tried out a lot of diapers. And I currently use a lot of diapers. Together, we can find what will work for you and your baby.
First of all, fit plays an important role. Every diaper fits every baby differently. BW is a string bean. He’s been wearing the same size diapers for over almost 18 months now. He has crazy, skinny legs. The rise on his diapers is bikini style, but the fit on his legs is what’s most important. If your baby is a chunky monkey, the size of the diaper may be larger than what you think it should be. Meaning, at 9 months, all the rise snaps may be undone on certain one size diapers, but don’t worry. As your little one grows, he’ll stretch out and you’ll find that you’ll size your diaper down at times. If you’re looking for a good fit and buying before baby is born, look for a diaper that will adjust easily in the waist. Hook & loop diapers are perfect for giving a good adjustable fit every time. If you’re not into hook & loop, FuzziBunz, even with the snaps, gives a great fit, since the waist is adjustable with elastic inside the diaper. GroVia’s OS AIO’s snaps are on a stretchy panel to ensure a more custom fit. Think of what you’re looking for in a diaper for adjustability. There is a diaper that will fit your baby perfectly.
You will also need a diaper that will fit in your lifestyle. Do you mind taking time and folding diapers? If you don’t, then prefolds paired with covers will be perfect. {Bummis, Thirsties} Do you mind taking a sec and stuffing inserts in a diaper? If not, then you’ll find pockets to be a perfect diaper for you. {Thirsties Duo Diaper, FuzziBunz, BabyKicks} Would you like to snap in an insert and reuse a cover? Then, your perfect diaper is an All-in-Two {AI2}. {GroVia OS Shell & Soaker Pads} Or maybe you want the diaper all ready to go. No stuffing, no folding, no snapping. If that’s the case, an All-in-One {AIO} is your perfect diaper. {GroVia AIO} Take the time to assess what you’re looking for in a diaper, and start making your diapering decisions from that point. Don’t overwhelm yourself in the quest for the perfect diaper.
What if you like more than one diapering system? I’m going to take a stand here and tell you to pick no more than 2 diapering systems. This is from experience. I have a crazy mish-mosh stash. It’s complicated. At this point, I’ve committed myself to using a variety of diapers for 2 reasons. First, it is because I’ve invested money in them. And secondly, so I know the in’s & outs of each diaper I sell in order to help you, my client. If you’re having an issue with them, which unfortunately may happen, I can help you work it out. Also, if you’re in the decision making process of what diapering system to use, I can help since I know all the pro’s & con’s to that particular system. I’m committed to helping my clients, so I have a lot of different diapers. But for simplicity’s sake, I recommend 1 or 2 systems to be used. Cloth diapers are easy. Don’t make them complicated by having too many different kinds. Instead of pursing ‘THE MOST PERFECT-EST DIAPER EVER IN THE WHOLE ENTIRE UNIVERSE,” find the perfect diaper for you and your baby. You’ll be glad you did.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Hook & Loop Care

It’s no secret that I’m partial to hook & loop/aplix. It’s actually a necessity with my alligator boy. But hook & loop doesn’t hold up to wear and tear like snaps. There are a few things you can do to help keep your hook & loop diapers stay strong. The most important thing you can do is to make sure the hook & loop is firmly put together on the laundry tabs before putting it in your diaper pail. Don’t put it together all wonky-like. Any hook left unattached has the potential to snag on other diapers in the wash, which will then pull apart from the loop. So not only will your hook & loop show wear faster, but they will also “eat” at your other diapers. Making sure the hook is secure on the laundry tab also prevents lint build up. This can be a pain to clean out, and keeps your hook & loop from being very “sticky”.  Another thing you can do to keep your hook & loop from wearing too quickly is to line dry. This keeps it from tumbling and potentially snagging other diapers while in the dryer. Line drying in general will also help in keeping your diapers from wearing too quickly. The lint you clean out from the lint trap is fiber from your clothes. Having a good size stash also keeps your diapers from wearing too quickly. You may only change 8 diapers a day, but constant washing, drying, and wearing is hard on the hook & loop closures and your diapers as well. {Minimum stash size is 24, if you're wondering.} Basic diaper maintenance and care in addition to using the laundry tabs properly will give your hook & loop a longer life. Yay!
Thirsties Duo Wraps, Fitteds, & Diapers have excellent laundry tabs that work well to keep the hook & loop “sticky”. I have Thirsties in rotation that have been used for over a year and still work great. GroVia has laundry tabs plus a loop to tuck the hook part and keep it hooked. This is a major improvement over the older GroBaby shells. I used to use a lingerie bag with my GroBaby shells inside to keep them from attaching to everything else. It made diaper chains obsolete. I highly recommend a lingerie bag if you’re having issues with your hook & loop diapers making diaper chains in the wash. It will help minimize wear and tear on your entire stash. And a lingerie bag is a must when washing your Bummis Swimmi. It’ll keep your suits from catching on the hook & loop. {Learned that lesson the hard way. Bummer.} At this time I don’t have any use for the lingerie bag for my diapers, but I do use it for BW’s bibs. No more snagged shirts & shorts when I do the boys’ laundry. My sister gave me that idea, and I remember she used a bag to wash tiny baby socks to keep the washer from eating them. So many uses for more than your lingerie.

Thirsties Duo Wrap with Aplix

Thirsties Duo Diaper with Aplix

GroVia OS Shell with Hook & Loop

I have little desire to convert to Team Snaps. Hook & loop is the best choice for me. Even though BW tries to take off his diaper when he’s pantless, he’s mischievous busy like that, it makes diaper changes so much easier for me. A little extra effort to make my diapers stand up to constant wear and tear if definitely worth it. And if I’ve totally turned you off to hook & loop, no worries. I agree with you that snaps are awesome. We don’t do naps & nights without them. I may love the ease that hook & loop gives me when changing a diaper, but I’m not a fool to think that BW would never make a poo masterpiece if given the chance. If you’re a snap lover, Thirsties makes their entire line in snaps {the Duo Diaper in snaps is their newest addition}, GroVia Shells, Newborn, and All-In-Ones come in snaps, BabyKicks 3g & Fitteds are only in snaps, and of course the entire FuzziBunz line is snaps. And if you’re a fan of hook & loop, Thirsties entire line and GroVia Shells come in hook & loop. The choice is yours. Feel free to mix and match to suit your diapering needs.

Friday, October 14, 2011

FuzziBunz vs Bedwetting

CW is a bed wetter. It doesn’t bother me. It does bother him. It’s not fun waking up wet in the morning {or even after a nap}. It’s not a great way to start your day {or your afternoon}. He’s now 3 ½ and has outgrown one-size diapers. I panicked when that happened. Luckily, the panic was quickly eased when I remembered that FuzziBunz makes bigger diapers. ~Whew~ I think CW was also relieved that he didn’t have to wear a paper diaper to sleep. {For the record, his fav nighttime diaper was BabyKicks 3g in Poppy. It was double stuffed with 2 hemp inserts, and it's amazing. Then he grew. Darn him.} So FuzziBunz became his new night diaper. And all was well in the land of sleep once his new FB’s arrived. Because he’s older and a heavy wetter, I use the microfiber insert that comes with the FB and a Thirsties Hemp Prefold. It’s bulky, but it works. He’s also able to shimmy out of his diaper in the morning to go to the bathroom. He and I are both so happy that he can sleep comfortably while he’s working on staying dry at night.
I don’t want moms to feel stressed if their child isn’t potty trained day or night once the One Size diapers have been outgrown. There are options out there. FuzziBunz makes Large {25-45+ lbs} and even X-Large {45+} diapers to accommodate your child’s needs. And like their One Size counterparts, they are trim, absorbent, and have an excellent warranty. I carry the Large in stock, and they are $15.95, which is a great price when you compare the cost of disposable underjams & large nighttime diapers. If you’re interested in X-Large diapers, email me at tonya @ greenbabyelephant dot com and we can discuss placing a special order.
I can’t say enough nice things about CW’s Large FuzziBunz. He really loves them. I’m glad FuzziBunz makes a diaper for older kids dealing with late potty training and bedwetting. Let's not add extra stress to a situation that is already stressful for our kids. Live in the Tucson area and want to see before you buy? Contact me at tonya @ greenbabyelephant dot com and let’s meet. If you’re not in the Tucson area and you have questions, feel free to email me and we can chat about your child’s needs. You’ll save money and your kiddo will sleep in a soft comfy diaper.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

On the road again

Last month’s traveling really took me out of the habit of blogging. Now that I’ve been back these past couple of weeks, I’ve found plenty of excuses to keep me away from writing. So I’m back. I have a lot of new things that I found at the ABC Kids Expo, and I’ll be sharing them with you in the coming weeks. But first I’d like to share my experience of traveling with my 3 year old and 17 month old boys.
washing in the sink
GroVia’s hybrid option made packing BW’s diapers easy. The BioSoakers took up less room than cloth diapers and disposable diapers. The GroVia shells that I took also hardly took up any space. I knew I wasn’t going to have the time to hand wash cloth diapers in the sink or tub, and I don’t believe in beating myself up about using BioSoakers. Yes, they are disposable, but they are made up of compostable materials. I also love that they are fragrance and dye free. BW never had a leak daytime or nighttime with the BioSoakers. The covers were washed in the hotel sink one night. And they did not dry overnight. Ack! So I used the blow dryer in the morning to dry one for him. The others air dried in the car the rest of the day. The reason it took so long to dry was because it rained constantly. Every day we were there, it rained. Blah. {I love sunny Tucson!} The rest of the time that the shells were washed was with our regular laundry, and then they were hung to dry. It was so nice to have a healthy alternative to cloth diapers for BW while traveling.
I also will fully disclose that I used Huggies Overnights on my oldest, CW. It sucked! He leaked every night. Poor him. Poor me. {I shared a bed with him.} But I knew we were going to be so busy that we just had to suck it up and deal with it for a few nights. And I did call Huggies once we got home and complained. I am getting my money back. I don’t know what I could have done differently for him, and if you have a suggestion, please share.
Two other “cloth diaper” items came in handy while on vacay. The first was detergent. I packed 2 samples of Rockin’ Green to wash the GroVia shells and our clothes. And the second thing was a pail liner. I am soooooooooooooooooooo glad I packed a pail liner. It made the best hamper. Dirty clothes weren’t strewn about in the hotel rooms, and laundry time was made easy by having it all in one place. It was also nice to have our dirties separate from our clean clothes in the suitcases.  I didn’t have to be anal and rewash our clean clothes because there wasn’t any mingling with the dirties. {I’m weird like that.} Rockin’ Green washed our clothes up amazingly. Stains were non-existent in the boys’ clothes without my usual pre-treatment. I’m seriously considering using it as our everyday detergent. And to be totally honest, I did use a sample packet of Tiny Bubbles {GroVia’s detergent} one day for laundry. I couldn’t find the Rockin’ Green I packed, and I had a sample from the ABC Kids Expo. It washed our clothes just as well. It’s nice to know that once my cloth diapering days are over, I’ll still have use for my pail liners and eco-friendly detergents.
How do you travel with cloth diapers? Please share your experiences or lack thereof. I’d love to hear how other families travel with cloth or maybe don’t travel with cloth.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Mr. GBE washes diapers

So while I enjoyed my time in paradise with my sis, {boy, did we tan up after we spent 2 mornings snorkeling!} Mr. GBE was stuck happily taking care of the mundane chores of caring for the boys…meals, cleaning, preschool drop offs & pick-ups, and laundry. And yes, he did all laundry including diapers!
I’m the kind of mom that does a thing a certain way and wants it to only be done that particular way. A good & wise friend once told me that she doesn’t stress over how her hubby cares for their child. He can do it his way and she can do it her way as long as the outcome is the same. Pretty much telling me nicely, as long as the kids are alive & well, get over the fact that he’s going to do things differently from me. Slowly, I am easing up in that department. So, without making a big deal about the laundry to Mr. GBE, I just made a laundry chart. Normally I would have gone over every detail with him. And really, what did I care about how he did laundry while I was away? I was going to spend my time squeezing my nephews and drinking mai tais at lunch in Hawaii. I knew Mr. GBE could handle the laundry.

And handle the laundry he did! Mr. GBE went from never rinsing a diaper in the toilet to rinsing, washing, and drying like a pro. He makes washing diapers look easy, even when it isn’t. Poor Mr. GBE. He ran into a slight problem…he fixed our water softener. How is that a problem? A very handy Mr. GBE unknowingly changed the amount of soap that was needed to wash the diapers once the water got softer. He only called once and asked me if it was normal to have to rinse so many times to get the bubbles out. Uh…no. After a quick troubleshooting call, I was back to smooching my nephews and annoying my sister. And he was back to washing diapers.

Ignore the fact that E & I are blurry, just take in that gorgeous sunset.

I am so blessed to have a hubby that graciously took time out of his busy schedule to take care of our boys while I was off on a mama-cation. A big virtual *smoochie* to Mr. GBE for being so great. I know the boys had a great time livin’ it up with their Dada. {For the record, CW made it known to Daddy about how the daily routine was to go on school days. Ahhh, I love knowing that he thrives on routines as much as I do.} It was great to have the time to go visit my sis and her fam. {It was the first time I got to meet lil’ E.} I think I should have a mama-cation every year!

Monday, September 19, 2011

FuzziBunz Paradise

Aloha! I’m back from paradise, and apologize for taking so long to come back to GBE’s blog. I needed a week to mope now that I’m back to reality. Just kidding. Sort of. Anyways, while I was in Hawaii visiting my sis and her fam, it was the perfect time for me to help reorganize her diaper stash. After discussing her diapering needs with her, she chose to go with OS FuzziBunz. You can’t beat how quickly they line dry, their customizable adjustability, and their long lasting snap closures. She also added 9 M/L hemp inserts to be used during nights, naps, and long car rides.

A Tropical Rainbow of FuzziBunz
I wish I could hang my laundry and look out at paradise every day. Since I can’t, I was more than happy to hang laundry out anytime. You can’t beat the lush tropical greenery. Made me feel relaxed every time I went outside.

FB Hemp Inserts

Microfiber Inserts

So the FB’s are for lil’ E, but we quickly discovered that they also fit L. How exciting! Since FB’s don’t adjust sizes very quickly, we choose certain colors for each boy to wear. OS FB’s are designed to fit 7-35+ lbs. E is about 15 lbs at 4 months, and L is 2.5 years {I don’t remember how much he weighs}. And I know my sis is hoping that L is going to potty train soon. One is diapers is much easier than two! But in the meantime it’s nice to know that her FB’s fit both boys.

Lil' E. I tried to not leave bite marks on his rolls!

Trains + FuzziBunz = 2 happy boys {ignore the Auntie...she's not half as cute as her nephews}
You can get your FuzziBunz diapers and accessories at Green Baby Elephant's online store. And now until 9.30.11, all FuzziBunz diapers {OS and Perfect Size} are buy 6 get 2 free. It's a great time to build up your newborn stash {xsmall}, OS stash, and older toddler/preschooler stash {large}.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Mr. GBE takes on Mr. Mom

Aloha! I’m packing my bags and heading out to visit my sister and her brood in Hawaii this week. The joke around here is that all I need in my bag is my kindle, mp3 player, & grass skirt & coconut bra. I can’t wait to fly off alone, {I know you’re jealous.} and spend a glorious week with my sis and her two boys. Adventures await!
On the home front, I’ve been preparing for Mr. GBE for his new role as Mr. Mom. And the highlight of his stay-cation, as I like to call it, is laundry. And to be even more specific, diaper laundry. As per our unspoken cloth diaper arrangement, Mr. GBE only changes diapers. And on a rare occasion snaps in a GroVia soaker onto a shell. That’s it. Now he’s going to have a week full of diaper laundry…washing, drying, and sorting. Ack! And like I’ve mentioned before, my stash is quite eclectic. Yesterday, we sat down and sorted the clean diapers together. He wasn’t thrilled with the variety, but he’s up for the task. There were also a few comments that he’s going to pick up a pack of Luvs. Ha ha *dry, sarcastic laugh* This just reemphasizes my belief that the more uncomplicated your stash is the better it is for when you leave your babe. Now that we sorted laundry, my next task is to show him the wash routine. And to keep phone calls to a minimum {a 3 hour time difference will not allow him early morning, laundry phone convos!}, I’ve made a list with laundry instructions. And to make everything even easier, I made a list with all laundry instructions, boys’ clothes, dog things {she’s had surgery recently, and needs fresh bedding daily}, sheets, and Mr.GBE’s clothes. My hope is to plow through a majority of laundry today, so dirty dipes will be his only laundry chore. I think I deserve a pat on the back, but since I’m going to Hawaii for a week, I won’t ask for one.
On another note, I’ve never left BW for longer than a day. He’s going to freak. I’m going to freak. But at least I’ll be freaking out in paradise. He’s such a mama’s boy, and I do relish his baby love. His open mouth, drool kisses are to die for. He’s going to have to call me every day and tell me how much he misses me.
CW, on the other hand, is going to survive without me. I’ve left him for a week when he was BW’s age. We both survived the time apart. And now that I leave him 3 days a week for a few hours at school, it’s like he’s turned into Mr. Independent. I am going to miss out on a whole week of chasing him around the house pinching his “biscuits”. It’s our fav thing to do! He’s going to have to call me every day and tell me how much he misses me.
Paradise calls…
{And by the way, Mr. GBE will be filling orders from the store. He thinks he deserves a raise!}

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Extra! Extra! The GBE Newsletter is here!

In addition to GBE’s blog, a newsletter will now be sent out. It will be at least once a month. The newsletter will be a more in depth email letting everyone know about sales, new products, and other developments regarding GBE. And if needed the GBE Newsletter may be sent out again midmonth depending on any new developments in GBE’s world. Sign up today over on the right side of the blog or on the contact page of the shop. Don’t miss out on September’s big news and special Labor Day sale for subscribers. Also, fan GBE on Facebook to stay up to date on the latest news, sales, and updates. And of course GBE’s blog is your source for tips, reviews, and more.

Just had to throw in another pic of BW kickin' it in his boots. Love him to bits!!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

GroVia AIO Review

I can’t say enough nice things about GroVia’s OS AIOs. They really put a lot of thought into the design of this diaper. As with any AIOs, they are the easiest diaper to use. No stuffing. No Folding. Always ready to use. The most common problem with AIOs is washing and drying. It’s often difficult to get a good cleaning with a cover attach, and drying takes a long time because of the layers of absorbency. This is not the case with the GroVia AIO, because only one end of the soaker is attached to the cover. But wait, there’s more! There is a second soaker pad that snaps to the sewn on soaker pad. This second pad allows for more absorbency while still allowing the AIO to wash thoroughly and dry quickly. A second soaker means that it can also be removed to customize the absorbency. {Think potty learning}.
This diaper is amazingly trim on BW {now 16 ½ mo. 23 lbs}, and surprisingly CW {3 ½ yrs, 38 lbs} can still squeeze in it. It does look small on CW {he refused a picture unfortunately}, but he claimed it felt fine while he ran like a maniac around the house. At naps, BW often wears his AIO with both soaker pads plus a stay dry booster {if he binged on milk at lunch} or with the extra booster unsnapped with a stay dry booster on top. This AIO is awesome since it can be customized to fit the absorbency needs of your little one.

 I mentioned earlier that it is trim; well it’s even more so with the second soaker pad unsnapped. The side snaps of the AIO with the stretchy tabs are going to make it easy for BW to pull it down when he’s ready. This is how we’re going to roll come potty training time. The stretch in the tabs also helps to make a nice fit with this diaper. Often with diapers that snap you have to give up a snug fit at times since you’re limited by the location of the snaps. The give in the tabs compensate for that to give a great fit even when your little one is in between snap sizes on other diapers!

Simplicity is key with any stash. I’ve discussed this in previous posts. It’s best to stick with a system or two. It really makes laundry day easy, and hassle-free diaper changes for any and all caregivers. AIOs can really simplify your laundry since there is no folding or stuffing. {Full disclaimer: The second soaker pad often comes unsnapped in the wash, but it’s crazy easy to snap it back on without any effort.} Say you already have a stash with a system or two of diapers, adding GroVia AIOs won’t add any extra work. The beauty of an AIO is that they’re always ready to go. {Well, as long as they’re washed that is.} So give GroVia’s OS AIO a try…a full stash or add a few in the mix. Either way, you can’t go wrong!  

My Cowboy Small. xoxoxxx

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Cloth Diaper Invasion

Saturday’s Baby Fair was amazing. I had such a great time meeting families & introducing them to cloth diapers. It was such a successful day that I really didn’t have a chance to leave my table to see the big diapering events up on the stage. GBE proudly sponsored the Diaper Derby, and gave away 2 prizes: FuzziBunz 6 pack of OS diapers & Thirsties package consisting of detergent and diapers. I caught the tail end of the first derby, and saw an adorable little boy crawl across the finish line. And I sent some “eyes” out for me to watch the Daddy Diaper Olympics. She took some pics for me & watched the festivities. Thirsties Duo Diapers were used instead of disposable diapers during the contest. It made quite the impression on the Dads involved and the spectators as well. And I’m happy to announce that the diapers used in the Olympics will be donated to the Gospel Rescue Mission. I’ll be dropping them off this week. I hope the diapers are a blessing to a mom & baby.

Saturday was such a busy day, and I had the chance to meet a lot of new people. A lot of Rockin’ Green samples were passed out to those that stopped by to see what cloth diapers were all about. And there were a lot of entries for the GroVia raffle prize as well. The prize that GroVia generously donated was made up of 2 Shells, 2 2-packs of Soaker Pads, 1 50-count pack of Biosoakers, a Magic Stick, and samples of Tiny Bubbles detergent. It was definitely worth entering, and a lot of people did! I met with the winner this afternoon to drop of her new diapers. It’s going to be a great way for her to see how versatile the GroVia hybrid diapering system really is!
I couldn’t have been a part of the Baby Fair without Thirsties, FuzziBunz, GroVia, and Rockin’ Green supporting me. Thank you everyone for being so generous with your donations. The day was truly successful because I had these great companies standing behind me.
And I couldn’t have done the Baby Fair without my Mom. She jumped right in to teach everyone that stopped by about cloth diapers. I mean, she did get me into this to begin with when she gave me cloth diapers as a gift. The least she could do was jump right in without any training & help me out, right?! Just kidding, of course. And a big thank you to Mr. GBE, my Dad, and my In-Laws. They were all my behind the scenes support, which without I wouldn’t have been able to make it through the day.
I’m looking forward to next year’s Baby Fair! And if you’re in Tucson, don’t wait until next year to see what all the fuss is about cloth diapers. Schedule your in home cloth diaper consult today.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

What's the deal with pocket diapers?

Recently I had a client ask me, “Why use pockets?” For a moment I thought, “Yes, why use pockets?” At first glance, it does seem like the most difficult option compared to an All-in-Two {AI2} system, and All-in-One {AIO} system or even prefolds. With pocket diapers, you have to stuff the pocket and then pull out the insert before putting in the pail. Seems like a lot of extra work doesn’t it? Have I turned you off from using pocket diapers? I hope not. Here are a few reasons why I like pocket diapers…
o   Easy to clean. The absorbent part of the diaper washes separately from the PUL or TPU cover, which helps to ensure a good deep cleaning of both parts of the diaper.
o   Dries fast. The insert dries separately from the cover, so both parts of the diaper can dry thoroughly without being attached. The covers can air dry quickly, and the inserts can be thrown in the dryer if need be. I air dry pretty much anything, especially pocket inserts since it doesn’t matter if it stays soft or not because it doesn’t touch skin. But in a pinch, it’s nice to have the option to use the dryer.
o   Customizable absorbency. You can stuff anything inside a pocket. Hemp, microfiber, prefolds, or anything else you can think of that is absorbent that you wouldn’t mind your little one making a mess on. You can add as many inserts as you’d like or as little as one. {This is my fave reason for using pockets. And not to mention a great way to turn any pocket into the perfect nighttime diaper.}
o   Deep cleaning. If the inserts, whatever you may be using, have a funk, it’s very easy to wash/soak the inserts without having to worry about damaging the PUL or TPU cover. {Prolonged soaking of covers isn’t recommended and may damage them. Also, keep in mind that frequent soaking of cotton is harsh on the fabric.}
o   Some don’t even require stuffing. WHAT?! It’s true. BabyKicks 3g diapers don’t need to be stuffed. The hemp/cotton insert can be placed right on top and be used without stuffing. {I’m traditional when it comes to pockets, so I stuff my 3gs. Don’t ask me why.}
o   Some don’t even require unstuffing. HUH?! You heard right. Thirsties Duo Diaper is a sleeve diaper. There is a pocket opening at the front and back of the diaper. The insert comes out in the wash. Really, it does! {I do that all the time now. So easy.}
Does all the talk of stuffing and unstuffing still seems like a hassle? What about all the time spent organizing and stuffing the diapers? Isn’t that a waste of time? Nope. Even if you have one system, {I so wish I could pick one & stick with it} you still have to fold or organize your stash. Prefolds require folding ahead of time. AIOs still need to be folded neatly together before putting away. AI2s need the inserts snapped in covers to prepare them for use. So with any system there is organizing of the stash on laundry day. Now the question you may be asking is, “Doesn’t this take a lot of time? Shouldn’t using cloth be fast & easy?” My answer is this…it doesn’t take a lot of time, and it is easy. Maybe not fast, but it is easy. My time organizing my eclectic {sounds so much better than random} stash takes place on the floor in the play area. I sit and work while the boys play. Sometimes I’ll even read stories or sing songs while I work. I enjoy the time I get to sit and watch the boys play. And right now I’m using the diapers to help teach BW his colors. CW even gets involved in the process by doing a big boy chore of taking the diapers off the drying rack and bringing them to me in the play area. It teaches him how we work together to do our chores, and we can still have fun in the process. The fun part for him comes when he throws the diapers on my head while I sit and wait for them. Makes me wish that every day is laundry day!
CW is my happy helper!
Looking to increase your stash and want to save some $$? From now until Sept. 30, 2011, FuzziBunz are buy 6 get 2 free. As an ex-math teacher and a full time bargain hunter, this is an awesome deal. You can mix and match One-Size FBs and Perfect Size FBs. The 2 free diapers will be mailed to you after filling out a rebate form. 1 free diaper will be a solid color and the other free diaper will be a mystery print. For more details go to the online store Hurry for the best selection of colors and sizes!!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Tucson Baby Fair 2011

I am excited to announce that GBE will be attending the 94.9 MIX FM Tucson Baby Fair on August 20th from 9 am to 3 pm at the TCC. Diapers and accessories will be available to purchase. That’s right. I’m bringing the whole kit and caboodle with me. And with every purchase of $30 or more, I’ll include a free wet bag {valued at $6.75 and while supplies last}. You’ll also really want to stop by and see me because GroVia has generously given a diaper package worth over $100 to be raffled off. It’s a great prize for any and all stages of cloth diapering and whether you’re new or an old hat to the world of cloth diapers.
And I’m shaking things up at this year’s Baby Fair. The Daddy Diaper Olympics is going green this year. For those of you that don’t know what the Daddy Diaper Olympics are I’ll fill you in. It’s a relay race where Dads change diapers. It’s super fun to watch. And as far as I know disposables have always been used. When I first pitched the idea of using cloth, I was told “No” due to liability issues. I was honestly stumped for a while, and I could not figure out where the liability was in changing cloth diapers until it dawned on me…PINS. Once that was straightened out, everything changed. Thirsties graciously supplied 12 refurbished diapers to be used for the Daddy Diaper Olympics. When the Daddy Diaper Olympics are over, the 12 Thirsties diapers that were used for the competition will be donated to the Gospel Rescue Mission. {How cool is that?} Cloth diapers are going to *WOW* everyone there. Since the race takes place two separate times, cloth diapers are going to be showcased on center stage twice during the Baby Fair. {No one is going to think about pins when looking at the Thirsties Duo Diapers!} And I love the fact that Dads are going to be up there changing CLOTH diapers. I hear from many clients that Daddy is the hesitant member of the family, and I know that was my experience as well. At the Baby Fair, Dads are going to be showing off how easy it is to change a cloth diaper. And to make the race even more interesting, a prize valued over $100 will be given to the winning Dad. Thirsties once again stepped up to graciously donate a prize, and FuzziBunz has also generously provided a prize. Want to know what the prizes are? Well, you’ll have to get yourself to the Baby Fair! Or an even better idea would be to have Daddy compete for the prize. I encourage you to come and watch or participate in this historic Daddy Diaper Olympics. 
Are you excited yet? I’m at the point of “Field Trip” excited. Think back to elementary school and how the night before a super fun field trip you couldn’t sleep at night? Well, that’s me. I’m constantly thinking about how much fun the Baby Fair is going to be. I’m looking forward to seeing you there. And pass the word along to your friends, family, and mommy groups, especially those that don’t cloth diaper. What a great way to show them on a grand scale how easy & cute cloth diapers are without talking their ears off about cloth. This is going to be an event you and your friends won’t want to miss.

A Refubished Thirsties Duo Diaper Size 1 in Alice Brights. It's going to amaze the masses at the Daddy Diaper Olympics!

P.S. Thank you Thirsties, GroVia, FuzziBunz, and Rockin' Green for all the support and generous donations. I couldn't make my spectacular debut at the Baby Fair without you all!!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

A Non-Cloth, Cloth Diaper Baby Shower Gift

Want to give a baby shower gift that shows off how great cloth diapers are, but are worried about giving a gift that won’t be used? Or you don’t want to be pushy about how great cloth diapers are to a new mom? I remember registering for my first baby and being completely overwhelmed. It took me months to research and register for everything that I needed and thought I just had to have. Keeping that in mind, it’s no wonder that I never seriously considered cloth. My brain wouldn’t have been able to make any more decisions after choosing a stroller, car seat, blankets, crib, pacifiers {there are about 1,000,000 of those to choose from}, etc. So without causing a new mama’s head explode, I have a great, green gift idea for you. GroVia Shells in hook & loop and a package or two of GroVia BioSoakers. It’s seriously the best of both worlds. Earth friendly, disposable inserts paired with cute, easy to use cloth covers. It’s the perfect match to let a new mama experience the best of cloth without using cloth. Huh? Think about it. She will get to experience diapering a newborn without blowouts. {Isn’t this really the best part of using cloth diapers?!} Chances are she doesn’t have firsthand knowledge about blowouts at her baby shower, but she will by the end of the first couple of weeks of her precious baby’s life. Desperate for an answer to her problems, she’ll vaguely remember the set of “hippie” diapers {her words, not mine} you gave her at her shower and give them a shot. And like the miracle she was searching for, she’ll find the “transitional” cloth diapers you gave her are perfect. Then wanting more of these hippie miracle diapers, she’ll call you. Hearing her tired and desperate voice, you’ll let her know all about cloth diapers. And of course you’ll tell her to shop at Green Baby Elephant, which is where you found out about this fabulous baby shower gift in the first place. And we all lived happily ever after. *sigh*  
See pictures of how BioSoakers work with GroVia shells here.
Also, for the month of August 2011, every GroVia diaper {Shells, AIOs, Newborn AIOs} in Ice {light blue} and Cosmos {light pink} are buy 2 get 1 free. So now is a perfect time to stock up for future baby shower gifts. No scrambling around last minute at a baby store searching for items off a registry! And want to add more to your gift without actually gifting cloth? You can add any combination of the following to your gift to really show how useful cloth diapering accessories are: cloth wipes {can be used a washcloths}, a wet bag {to hold poo covered clothes while disposables are being used, which will then convert to a true wet bag utility after cloth diapers are used}, diaper rash balm {Magic Stick or Rockin' Delish}, and/or cloth diaper safe detergent {Tiny Bubbles, Thirsties Super Wash, or Rockin’ Green as an alternative to Dreft to be used on baby’s clothes}.  Now pat yourself on the back for putting together a unique and green baby gift!

Friday, August 5, 2011

Nursing a Pirate

In honor of World Breastfeeding Week, I thought I’d share my favorite breastfeeding experience. It took place last year in Disneyland…the Happiest Place on Earth. What a coincidence, right?! CW was not quite 3 and BW was 5 months. We spent a week at Disneyland, and during that week I nursed BW just about everywhere…hotel lobby, restaurants, benches while watching parades, and on a ride. Yes, that’s right even on a ride. Mr. GBE and I took both boys on the Pirates of the Caribbean ride several times. On one trip I overheard a lady behind me whispering to her friend that she couldn’t believe there was a little boy and a baby on this ride. She was obviously annoyed at the potential of 2 kids crying on the ride. CW didn’t cry. He didn’t cry on any rides. BW didn’t cry either. He was too busy nursing. HA! Take that grumpy lady sitting behind me. {I wouldn’t have been surprised if that annoyed her too. A baby nursing in public without being covered. Oh the horror!} So anyways, I’d like to think that BW is the only baby in the world that was breastfed while riding on The Pirates of the Caribbean at Disneyland. Don’t anyone get any ideas and one-up me here. Just Kidding. Does anyone else have any memorable experiences breastfeeding their baby?

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Nighttime Diapers

If you’ve been following my blog at all, you know by now that my transition to cloth was slow. And of course I blame this on my inexplicable dislike to change. *ugh* As I moved to cloth from disposables, daytime diapers quickly became easy for me. Nights scared me. {No really, I don’t like the dark. I still require a nightlight. I even take one when I travel.} I was worried about using cloth at night with BW. Finally, when he was about 3 months old I began using cloth at nights. My first system with him consisted of 2 microfiber inserts. It worked wonderfully. {Note to self: Change is good. I seriously need to tattoo this on my forehead.} It worked so wonderfully that I began using cloth on CW at nights. At that point he was 2.5 years, and fully potty trained in the day. It was very reassuring that CW told me that he liked his new cloth diapers better than the paper diapers. It was no big surprise to me. Who’d prefer paper to cloth? But it was so nice to hear it from him. Anyways, both boys were using 2 microfiber inserts. After a few weeks the boys began waking up soaked. No leaks. Just sopping wet. First it was CW. No surprise there since he’s much older, but when BW was soaking wet in the mornings I knew I needed to find something else. Desperate to find something for nights I did some research. The answer I was looking for was hemp!
Both CW & BW wear diapers at night. CW has been potty trained during the days at about 28 months, but he still needs a diaper at nights. He’s now 3.5 years and 38 lbs. Finding a night diaper for him has been challenging. As of right now we’ve been using  FuzziBunz Perfect Size Large with a Thirsties Prefold and the FuzziBunz insert. Is this bulky? Yes! Does it work? Heck yeah it does. He doesn’t mind it, and tells us how comfy it is. I’m hoping it’s not too comfy because I’d love for him to wear his big boy underwear at night. But I know that will come eventually. He’s insanely proud when he has “dry pants” as he calls it. And of course I am too. Before we used FuzziBunz on him at night, we used the BabyKicks 3g with an extra insert. This was amazingly trim. He loved it! And we liked using the 3g on him. I was secretly hoping that the wetness he’d feel in the diaper would wake him, which would lead to quicker night training. It didn’t. Oh well. And he grew out of it. The night he couldn’t fit in it any longer was not pleasant. He carried on about how he wanted his red diaper. It was a sad night in the GBE house. Now he has a new red diapers {with some other colors to mix it up a bit}, and I’m so glad I found one that fits. It’s not easy to find a diaper to fit after the OS diapers are outgrown. {And I will be stocking FuzziBunz Perfect Size Large diapers this month!}
After a lot of trials these are the nighttime diapers I have used or am currently using on BW:
FuzziBunz OS with 2 inserts. {He’s now moved on to hemp.}
FuzziBunz OS with a Thirsties hemp prefold
Thirsties Duo Diaper with an additional Thirsties Hemp Insert
So I rotate with whatever is clean at night. The one common denominator is Thirsties hemp for both boys. Honestly, it doesn’t hold tightly to ammonia odors, which can be a problem when using hemp at nights. When using cloth at night, please remember that stash size is so important. Nighttime diapers take a beating with all of the urine they hold. It is essential to not skimp with 1 or 2 night diapers in your rotation. And to help battle the ammonia beast I’ve taken to rinsing the diapers in the toilet briefly before tossing in the pail. No need to even break out the sprayer. Just a swirl and squeeze in the toilet. It has made a huge difference when it comes time to wash!
Everyone swears that they have a super heavy wetter, and you can find all kind of advice online. But here’s the best advice you’ll find anywhere, the key is to find what works best for you. {pssst. It will probably involve hemp.} Just like there is no perfect diaper for all babies, there is no perfect night diaper for all as well. Yes, it may suck the first few times you try a diaper at night and it doesn’t work out. I’m not going to lie about that. But chances are if you include hemp in your nighttime diaper, you won’t have a problem at all. If you already cloth diaper and need a nighttime solution, I’ll be more than happy to work with you to find something for your baby. There’s a good chance we’ll find something that will work with what you already use. If you haven’t started cloth diapering at night, go ahead and give it a try. I’m here to help.  


Thursday, July 28, 2011

Cloth Wipes 101

When I first started cloth diapering, I was totally clueless. I didn’t know anything other than the directions that came on the packaging. No knowledge of cloth wipes, diaper sprayers, liners, or detergents. As I began researching more and more about cloth diapers, I began stumbling across cloth wipes on blogs and online shops. At first I scoffed. I always scoff and resist change. No surprise that once I tried them, I liked them. {Note to self: Change is good!}
Once again, there was so much information and so many choices for something as simple as cloth wipes. I was immediately overwhelmed. After wading through the info, I discovered an easy way to make wipes pop up out of a disposable wipe container. That was the deciding factor. Once I found a way to make cloth wipes easy, I knew I had to give them a try. Plus, I was getting tired of picking disposable wipes out of the diapers before washing. So I knew that cloth wipes would be a nice solution. Everything gets washed at once, and no extra trips to the garbage can with poopy wipes. I couldn’t wait to get started.
 As soon as I got my wipes in the mail, they were promptly folded to pop out of an old disposable wipe container. Next up was making a wipe solution. Ugh. Again I was overwhelmed by the onslaught of wipe solution recipes. Because I like things to be simple, I use 1 cup of water and 1 tsp of Dr. Bronner’s soap in a spray bottle. I don’t bother with any essential oils or things like that. This is something that you’re making a couple of times a week. I don’t have the time to pull out a bunch of bottles and put a lot of effort into a solution to wipe my son’s rear. Keep it simple.
Surprisingly, Mr. GBE took to using cloth wipes without a hitch. No complaints. Remember mamas, if it’s the only option at the changing station, then it must be used. Plus, I think at this point, he’s cool with my “hippie-ness” as he calls it.
Below are pictures to help demonstrate how to make your wipes pop out of a wipe container. It’s pretty easy. These are Thirsties wipes. They are unbelievably soft. Once you feel them, you won’t be able to resist them. No joke! They are perfect for more than wiping bottoms. I can see how they can easily be used as washcloths for the entire family! And bonus…all Thirsties products are USA made. Sweet! You have to try them. They’ll quickly become a fave with every family member, so good luck keeping the wipes next to your changing station! {So that is my brief sales pitch. Buy your Thirsties wipes here.}