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.