Thursday, October 18, 2012

Where is Mom in this Picture?

My name is Kathleen and I am the owner of Cottontail Baby and Mamclothonline.  I am also the mom to three very active elementary school aged boys.  My husband and I have a running joke about how our sons will never remember that I actually was present during all those vacations, birthday parties, trips to the Zoo, sunny leaf raking Saturdays, trips to the lake, etc. as there are no pictures of me at any of them.  Pictures of him and our boys,  absolutely.  Over 10,000 of them on my desktop at this very moment.  Of me, not so much.  See me in the picture above of the boys at Yellowstone's Boiling River?  Didn't think so.

So, it was with particular interest that my husband forwarded to me Allison Tate's recent blog post The Mom Stays in the Picture.  In this remarkable post, which made me tear up by the way, Tate talks about how she, too, is never in the picture.  Allison Tate feels that she is not in the photo, and that many other moms are not in the photo, due to concerns about how they look.  Maybe their bodies do not have the youthful slenderness of their pre-baby days.  They are not dressed in the most trendy attire but whatever they could scramble into early that morning.  No time to apply make-up or fix their hair.  These are the reasons they give themselves for not jumping in front of the camera.  I guess the benefit of being an older mom, as I am, is that you get past that.  I gave up worrying about that, at least as far as my kids are concerned, a long time ago.  My body is my body and I look the way I look.  My husband and kids already know that.  Seeing it in a photo is not going to be some big revelation to any of them.

For me, I believe I am never in the picture as I am always taking them. I sit back and see the great photo ops evolve and snap away.  My husband is always deep in the mix with our boys and doesn't think the way I do and, consequently, is in all the shots.  He is living in the moment and I am more a bystander.  This has got to change.  For me and our for our sons.

Like Tate, my sons do not see all that I do for them, for our family, behind the scenes.  Getting up before they do to make their breakfasts and pack their lunches, searching the internet for hours to figure out a way to teach decimals so they will understand, tivoing their favorite sports team so they can see the late game when they get up.  They don't see me up at night washing their uniforms getting the grass stains out of the Little League pants and finding their "lucky batting glove" in some far off corner of the basement so they have it for the game.  They don't see all the conversations I have with their father over trips we should take and experiences we should share with them (yes, that was me that arranged for us to go to the Family Concert at the Chamber Orchestra and despite the lack of balls or bats, it really was kinda, sorta fun).  They don't see me making their favorite snack as a treat when they come home after a day of tests at school.  They don't see me tracking down a stuffed narwhal for Christmas during a particularly intense animal phase or getting up in the middle of the night to administer asthma medicine to heavily sleeping child.  They don't see it.

They do see me dogging them on their homework and encouraging them to pick up the shoes they left by the door.  They see me say "water not soda" more times then they would like and packing nutritious snacks and not the Cheetos and cookies they want.  They see me enforcing bedtimes and screen times and suggesting "read a book" when they tell me they are bored.  I referee fights and insist on baths and say no to wearing shorts in 40 degree weather.

Tate's article has resonated with moms and dads everywhere.  The response has been so overwhelming that The Huffington Post is challenging moms to get in the picture and submit the photo to their site.  Do it.  I will too.

We wanted to do a mom-focused giveaway in light of this mom-focused challenge.  This month we will do a custom Nursing Necklace from our friends over at Lori's Nursing Necklaces.  Get the necklace and have a little bling in your next photo with your children.  In order to enter, see below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

$200 a Month on Baby Skin Care Products....Really?

Last week I read this article in the New York Times and was rather blown away by the numbers it suggested. According to Starting Early, and Young, some families spend $150-$200 and up A MONTH on skin care products for their babies and toddlers. Wow. That is a LOT of money.

I definitely understand the motivation behind these purchases. As we learn more and more about the harmful effects chemicals have on our bodies and environment, using all natural products makes the most sense. Especially when we are talking about our young babies and toddlers and their super sensitive skin. Natural products, perversely, tend to cost more as for reasons that defy logic, natural products cost more than chemical/manufactured products. Anyone who has ever shopped the organic produce section of the grocery store can attest to that.

I also understand parents becoming obsessive about certain baby products and stocking up and wanting to try all sorts of different brands and lines. Certainly, any one of us with a large stash of fluff gets that. However, $200/month?

At Cottontail Baby, we sell Northern Essence products. In fact, the Northern Essence line is one of our top sellers (right up there with Happy Heiny's trainers, Fussybutt Mamacloth and Best Bottom diapers). Northern Essence diaper products all are cloth diaper safe and all natural (no petroleum, zinc or lanolin). Even better, the price point for Northern Essence products are a very reasonable $8-10 and nowhere near the $20 plus other product lines are charging. You would need to go through about a tube a day to rack up the $200 bills families are spending on the other products.

The top three Northern Essence products being snapped up by our customers are the Diaper Rash Salve, Better Butt(er) Cream and Natural Wipe Concentrate. We have just started offering a Starter Pack including one of each of these products for a bargain $25.75.

Have you tried Northern Essence products? Are you a fan? Let us know about what baby products you use and why. Enter below (click on that tiny little Rafflecopter link) and win a jar of Better Butt(er) Cream!

Friday, November 11, 2011

Giving Thanks at Cottontail Baby

Happy Veteran's Day!

I am Kathleen, owner of Cottontail Baby and its sister site, Mamaclothonline and a proud member of the Cloth Diaper Retailer Cooperative. This is usually my favorite time of year. My young sons get so excited about Halloween and all three of them have birthdays in October or November. Those celebrations plus all the family fun of Thanksgiving make these late Fall weeks party central around here. So, all happiness, all fun, all the time. All the time, that is, until I read the newspaper.

The news many days is bleak and sad, unfortunately. Not many truly joyful things make the front page. However, lately, everything just seems particularly bad. The tragic and unbelievable activities unfolding at Penn State, the sordid accusations in the Presidential campaign, the teetering economy in Greece, earthquakes in Turkey, flooding in Thailand, even pox parties. What is going on?

I noticed that several of my friends are updating their Facebook statuses each day with an item for which they are Thankful. A wonderful November tradition. Instead of writing this month's blog about Happy Heiny diapers, which was my original intention, I decided instead to write about what I am thankful for. Thankful both as a mom and as an owner of a Cloth Diaper business. I am still going to do a Happy Heiny giveaway so one of you can have something to be thankful for as well.

I am Thankful for the following Cloth Diaper products

1. Happy Heiny reusable training pants that can be customized to fit any child no matter how big or how small
2. Kozy Designs Wool Shorties with whimsical designs always make me smile
3. Mommy's Touch mamacloth in luxurious, gorgeous, bright brocade
4. Lori's Nursing Necklaces customized with each child's name make breastfeeding easier
5. Swaddlebees wipes in lime and lemon make even messy jobs fun
6. Northern Essence products...all of them....can't choose a favorite they are all so good
7. Imse Vimse cloth trainer three packs in jungle and Magic Dragon. So much more fun than the ubiquitous cartoon characters or disposable training pants
8. The wonderful utility of a prefold diaper. We use them for EVERYTHING around here
9. The new bumGenius 4.0s in Einstein and Lovelace. LOVE the new prints and LOVE their inspiration
10. Leslie's wet bags in each and every size. We use them for diapers, for wet swimming suits and for snack bags.

As a Mom I am Thankful for

1. Healthy and happy kids
2. A wonderful husband
3. Great schools and teachers
4. Supportive mom friends. No mommy wars in my world, THANKFULLY
5. Fun and friendly neighbors who are always willing to lend a hand
6. Tuesday and Thursday morning spinning classes
7. Other parents who volunteer to coach, be room parents, chaperone the field trips and carpool. My life would be so much more difficult with them not in it.
8. Sherri the barrista at my local Target's Starbucks. She always remembers my order and greets me with a smile
9. The Math Bingo app on my iPad which has lived up to its billing as a truly educational and fun tool
10. Date Night!!!


This month, we are giving away one of Happy Heinys super cute and super fun holiday One Size diaper. This cute bright green diaper with red snaps will be perfect all December on your little one. In order to enter the giveaway, please

1. Comment below about why you are thankful
2. Fan Cottontail Baby on Facebook
3. Fan the Cloth Diaper Retailer Cooperative on Facebook

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Moms and Bums Inventory Clearance Sale!!

Brampton's Biggest and Best Charity Mom Sale
On Saturday, Oct. 22th, Moms and Bums will once again sponsor the Mom Sale.  Join us in the new larger location at the Brampton Fairgrounds (12942 Heart Lake Rd, Caledon, ON L7C 2K5) from 930 am – 130 pm.
The semi-annual sale sponsored by Moms and Bums natural parenting shop gives families the opportunity to get rid of those outgrown and no longer needed children's toys and clothing, while donating admission proceeds to charity.  The Mom sale features over 150 vendors with used children's toys, shoes, strollers and clothing as well as a business marketplace filled with 25 local family related businesses.

We are proud to once again be sponsors of the upcoming fall Brampton Charity Mom sale.  This time we are going to do things a bit differently and will be holding our year end inventory clearance at the sale.  We will have some great pricing on your favorite name brand items.  Nothing over $15!!!

Come visit and see our products in person! If you are looking for something specific this sale, make you sure you contact us ahead of time to let us know what you want us to bring, otherwise you will only get to see the clearance items.

$3 admission fee (grandparents and children free!) will once again benefit The Peel Children's Safety Village, a non-profit organization built by the community on land donated by the City of Brampton.  The Safety Village aims to reduce the alarming rate of preventable traffic accidents, the leading cause of death for children aged one to nine.

For more information about the sale please visit The Mom Sale.  Join their facebook page for $1 off admission coupon.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

How Undercover Mama Saved My Baby from Chickenpox!

Hi! I'm Bayla from Soft and Cozy Baby in Baltimore, MD.

A few weeks ago I noticed 2 itchy spots on my belly and back. I thought it was mosquito bites but had no idea how they got to my belly! Someone suggested it was poison ivy but again, almost impossible. A couple days later it turned into a blistery rash. As we were going out of town the next day, I decided to go to Patient First being that it was quite uncomfortable and I wanted to make sure it wasn't contagious.

The Doctor at Patient First took one look at it and announced, "That is definitely Shingles." Shingles?! I thought that's for old people! She said that she's seen a few young people with it lately. So am I contagious? Only if someone comes into direct contact with the lesions. But I am nursing a baby! She said my baby was likely already exposed so there's nothing I can do about it anyway. Someone can contract chickenpox from shingles, but they wouldn't contract shingles. But my 8 mo old nursling has not had the chickenpox or the vaccine, and he's the only one who has been in direct contact with my belly!

Her only advice was to keep it covered, wash my hands, and take an antiviral. I was taken off work for a week as I'm a midwife and don't want to expose my patients - just in case. I called my pediatrician who wasn't concerned. It's not dangerous for a baby at 8 months to get chicken pox.

So we went on our trip as planned. And my baby never got the chicken pox!

I attribute it to my Undercover Mama! I LOVE theUndercover Mama and wear one all the time! It is great because it just hooks to your regular nursing bra and is much cheaper than a nursing tank. I like that it keeps my belly covered while I'm nursing as I wear a lot of T-shirts. I also wear it to sleep because nursing in bed makes for a cold tummy! I think because my Undercover Mama kept my belly covered all the time, my baby was never exposed to the shingles lesion.

Another great benefit of the Undercover Mama!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Washing Diapers -- It is simple!

Hi I am Sharni and I own the Nappy Shoppe in Allen Texas. We get a lot of people who come to the store or email me who want to use cloth for the various benefits but are concerned about the washing aspect.

It is easy! I promise you are not required to have a stream in the back yard with rocks to pound on the diapers. Your washing machine does all of the work! When I was washing diapers I was doing 2-3 loads of diaper wash a week, but on the other side of the coin, I was doing less clothing wash than I had with my previous baby in disposables, because I had far less blowouts and leaks with cloth. So I found that I was not doing many extra loads.

The keys to a successful washing routine are water and the right detergent. Diapers are dirty! Yes dirty! Someone just pooped and peed on cloth so they are dirty, and this takes water to clean out. So I ran a rinse before I did anything. I did a cold rinse, so I didn't set any stains with heat. Now I have removed the worst of the soil, I can then add my detergent to really clean the diapers.

I use an additive free detergent. There are several great brands on the market that are made for cloth diapers, such as Rockin Green, Thirsties liquid, Eco Sprout and Eco Nuts. And yes you can use these on your regular wash too. I found them to be comparable price wise so I no longer buy regular detergent.

I found I used far less detergent than I used to before I cloth diapered. One of the biggest mistakes that many make (including myself starting out) was that they use too much detergent. And the residue gets left in the fibers and reacts with pee and causes rashes. I found for my water, a tablespoon of Rockin Green worked the best for me.

Suds do not make for clean diapers. Suds mean there is residue to be removed from the water. The better detergents do not make suds. When you peek in your machine for the final rinse, suds is something you do not want to see. If you do, run a rinse cycle or full cycle again.

I use hot water for the wash cycle. My machine does a hot wash and cold rinse. This worked fine for me. Do not use the sanitise cycle on your machine, the water can be so hot it can ruin the elastics and the waterproofing of your diapers.

Do not use bleach or fabric softener. Keep it simple! These items will harm your diapers. All you need is water and your diaper safe detergent to wash your diapers. Do not use dryer sheets. Not only do these harm your diapers, but they also have harmful chemicals in them that are not good for you in general. Cutting out all these items keeps the cost of washing down too!

So keep it simple, a good detergent and lots of water, and your diapers should be clean.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Aubrey's Undies #4- Super Skivvies Convertible Trainer

Super Skivvies
 Convertible trainers for your little Potty Learner.  Its a trainer... its underwear... Its Super Skivvies!
With their great prints and ultimate comfort, it was no surprise that Super Skivvies quickly became one of Aubrey's Favorite undies!

Pink Ooga Booga
What's so special about Super Skivvies? 

They are made from organic cotton and they feature a no roll elastic encased in the waist and thigh bands, leaving no red marks on Aubrey's chunky thighs.
In the wet zone Super Skivvies have a built in rayon (from bamboo) and organic cotton velour liner, the perfect place to tuck in a little more absorbency for the training stages.

Butter Ooga Booga
Included is a removable insert consisting of three layers rayon (from bamboo)/organic cotton fleece. Just tuck the insert into the wet zone lining, and your undies are trainers!  When your little trainer gets a bit bigger like my Aubrey, simply remove the insert and your trainers are now her big girl undies!

Its a zoo in here
Super Skivvies are not an alternative to diapers. Including the insert, there are five layers of protection, enough to handle a small accident.  If your little one still needs more protection you can add a second insert.
Frogs in Cars

Find all of the featured Aubrey's Undies and more favorite trainers online at our Moms and Bums Family of Shops, or visit us in person at our Inventory Clearance Sale  during the Mom sale October 22nd at the Brampton Fairgrounds (12942 Heart Lake Rd, L7C2J3) from 930-130.  Admission $3 and all admission proceeds will once again be donated to Peel Children's Safety Village.  Find more details on our Locals Corner page.

Have you enjoyed our Aubrey's Undies features?  See Aubrey's Favorite undies featured on CityLine!

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