The Great Cloth Diaper Change: Philadephia 2014

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It’s that time of year again!  Earth Day means Cloth Diaper Awareness, and The Great Cloth Diaper Change (GCDC) is a global event with 15 participating countries (including the United States), with the goal of spreading the word about cloth diapers.  If you’re in the Philadelphia area, mark your calendar and plan to attend this fun, record-breaking event!

 

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Declan & Myself at The GCDC Philadelphia Last Year – Make This YOUR Spot This Year!

 

We had a great time attending the GCDC in Philadelphia last year, connecting with other cloth diapering families and taking part in the fun activities offered.  This year, CLOTH, The Nesting House, and Diapers Plus have joined forces to bring you an even bigger event!  The details:

When:  Saturday, April 26th (rain or shine – there will be a tented area in the event of rain)

Where:  Smith Memorial Playground (please bring a changing mat or blanket, as the diaper change will take place on the lawn)

What Time:  10am-11:30am, diaper change at 11am (this is being judged by Guinness World Records, so diaper change with occur EXACTLY at 11am)

How Much:  FREE – this is a free event, but you must register so that event planners can set up the appropriate number of changing stations

Register:  You can register, and grab more details, by clicking this link HERE

 

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Image by Dottie Foley Photography

Not sure about attending?  This is a fun event, giving you an opportunity to connect with like-minded parents, enjoy a FUN diaper change (how often do you have those?), have some snacks, listen to some music, break a world record, and did I mention the swag?  Yep, the first 100 attendees will receive swag bags (donated by Inspired Family) with lots of fun goodies!  And did I mention the raffles?  Up for grabs (pre-registered attendees receive TWO raffle tickets) is:

 

  1. Ubbi Stainless Steel diaper pail
  2. Collection of Nosefrida products worth $90
  3. A gift pack of natural baby products from Soapbox Holistics worth $35
  4. Kissaluvs Marvels All-in-One Diaper + Antibacterial Wet Bag
  5. Planet Wise Wet bag
  6. (2) Osocozy Prefolds bundles
  7. Bummis Simply Lite diaper cover + flannel wipes
  8. Multi-class card to Mount Airy Yoga
  9. Multi-class card to Music with Gina
  10. Blossoming Bellies Gift Certificate for one free workshop (childbirth education, breastfeeding 101, Infant Care, or Infant Nutrition).
  11. Snappis
  12. 2 diaper covers + 3 bundles of wipes from ProServices/Earth Bottom Babies
  13. Charlie’s Soap
  14. $10 gift certificate from Fill-A-Bagel
  15. Milkin’ Cookies
  16. $25 Gift Certificate from Night Kitchen Bakery in Chestnut Hill
  17. Rebourne cloth diaper
  18. BellyWise Gift Basket: homemade sugar scrub, rosemary lemon salt scrub, lavender healing salve, and four lip balm flavors (lavender, lemon eucalyptus, sweet orange, and rosemary lemon)Donation from Regal Lager
  19. (2) SprayPal diaper sprayer shields
  20. 2 dozen organic cloth wipes from BabeeGreens ($37 value)
  21. Baby carrier giveaway

 

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Win a bumGenius Freetime – Chelsea Perry Top Hat!

If that’s not enough to entice you, CLOTH is giving you the opportunity to win a bumGenius Freetime in the Chelsea Perry Top Hat print.  The entry is simple, register to attend through the eventbrite link provided, mark that you’ve done so on the entry form, grab a couple other entries (if you’d like), and show up next Saturday.  The winner will be announced at the Philadelphia Great Cloth Diaper Change; winner must be in attendance to claim diaper.  Enter through the form below:

Why “Mommy Juice” Scares the Hell Out of Me

I remember crying when I first saw When a Man Loves a Woman in the theater as a high schooler.  I cried in reaction to Meg Ryan’s character’s helplessness [recklessness as a mother], and then her empowerment through sobriety; I cried about the love the film portrayed, and the relationship that was forever altered.  I had yet to taste my first drink.

I cringe every time I hear the term Mommy Juice.  It’s not cute.  It’s not funny (although I am guilty of posting “lol” when people have posted about it on Facebook).  Even worse is when children are told that the alcoholic beverage their mother is drinking is Mommy Juice.  Think about what’s being taught to children when mom grabs a glass of Mommy Juice.  Think about whether that drink is really going to soothe anxieties, or if it’s an appropriate ‘reward’ after a long and harried week.

I’ve been bothered by this term for a while, but recent news reports, such as the Today show’s story with Stefanie Wilder-Taylor, have pushed me to open up about this topic.  What bothers me about this term is that it is so often used in response to ‘relief’ from the stress and demands of parenting, work, and running a household; that a term so benign could be used for something that has the potential to become a serious problem.  I won’t even begin to address my thoughts about drinking and playdates [and then driving home with the kids].  Why such a visceral reaction from me?  Because 3 1/2 years ago I found myself unable to cope with the stresses of my life (without children at that time), and drinking wine almost nightly in an effort to de-stress.

Sure, I had tried the gym, but workouts didn’t kick in as quickly (or effectively) as a glass [or three] of wine, and my genetic predisposition placed me in the perfect position to develop a full-blown addiction to alcohol.  Like Elizabeth Vargas’ story, I was lucky enough to realize that I had a problem before it became a big problem (which is a joke because alcoholism is a big problem, regardless of the depth of the addiction), before I began losing those things that I held dear [or hurting someone else].  I too, began drinking to quell the anxiety and stress I felt with a long commute and a job that I was unhappy with, a job that didn’t challenge me in the ways that I needed.   Pouring wine over the issues that plagued me was like pouring gasoline on a fire; my anxieties and stress compounded and the of glasses of wine increased in number.  I am incredibly thankful to have had that moment of awakening, that moment when I realized that I had a problem and needed to do something about it.  I am, most gratefully, 3 1/2 years sober.

Why share this?  I’m sharing my reality to illustrate how alcoholism manifests itself in many faces, that moms are just as easily susceptible as the men portrayed in the show Mad Men.  The tradition of the five o’clock cocktail helped feed the line of alcoholism that runs in my family, and even my awareness of it wasn’t enough to prevent me from developing an unhealthy relationship with alcohol.  Let my story be a lesson.  Think twice about your relationship with that glass of wine.  Or Cosmo.  Or whatever your drink of choice may be.

As a mom, I still have stress and anxiety [of a different nature], and my life gets overwhelming at times, I just don’t drink to try to calm myself.  I am incredibly fortunate to have been so defeated by my drinking that I put the [wine] bottle down and never looked back (it wasn’t that simple, but you get the idea).  I’m not perfect at finding ways to combat the stresses life throws at me, but I do know that a hike in the sun is one of the most effective remedies for me.  Going to AA meetings and talking to other alcoholics helps too.  Finding a good therapist isn’t a bad idea either.

So, yes, the term Mommy Juice scares the hell out of me for mom’s out there with the right [genetic] recipe for addiction.  And it infuriates me that liquor companies continue this charade by marketing wines and liquors that make light of, and cater to, moms drinking for release (I won’t mention the names here because I don’t want to help market them).

Let me be completely clear — I don’t think that drinking is a bad thing, it’s simply a bad idea for me.  I think that problem drinking, or drinking in response to things that happen in life is unhealthy.  If you think you might have an unhealthy relationship with drinking alcohol, please reach out and tell someone.  Reaching out to my, then, fiancé proved to be the lifeline that I needed, and kickstarted my road to recovery.

 

What are your thoughts about the term Mommy Juice?  Do you think the media is inflating this issue?  Is alcohol a staple in the playdates you attend?  I’d love to hear from you!

21 Months

Yesterday marked the end of an era, as it was the first day Declan didn’t nurse since the day he was born.  Our breastfeeding journey lasted exactly 21 months.  It wasn’t planned, it just happened.  D had only been nursing once a day for the last month or so, with growth spurts or boredom prompting him to ask to nurse throughout the day, so it was inevitable that it was going to happen sometime soon.  To be honest, I think my milk supply had dwindled down over the past week, as it was beginning to become uncomfortable.

Featured WAHM: BabiLovLinks

 

I am delighted to be featuring a ‘local’ WAHM & artisan: Eva, of BabiLovLinks.  Eva makes beautiful, child-friendly jewelry, allowing moms to wear stylish statement pieces without the worry of them being broken by babies/toddlers.

 

Why I Won’t Buy Subscription Boxes…or Overindulge My Kiddos with STUFF

I’ve seen an influx of people with children ordering subscription boxes; pregnant, those with infants, toddlers, elementary aged children.  I just don’t get it, and I think it feeds what will likely become a sense of entitlement when children get older.

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5 Overlooked Spring Cleaning Tasks – Kiddo Edition

While the official first day of spring was just over a week ago, in the northeast, the crocuses and daffodils are just beginning to poke their green shoots from the earth in search of the sun.  This winter has been long, snowy, full of colds and flu bugs, and there is nothing I love more than being able to throw open my windows on the first mild spring day.  Airing out one’s house is often paired with a good spring cleaning, so I thought I’d highlight five frequently overlooked spring cleaning tasks for those of you with small children:

4 [natural] Reasons to Start a Family in Philadelphia

Okay, so I don’t live in Philadelphia, but I live close enough to reap all of the benefits the metro area has to offer.  After an 8 month absence, I’m excited that my family is moving back to the Philadelphia area because of the plethora of resources, activities and abundance of like-minded parents.  Here are 4  reasons to have your baby in the Philadelphia metro area:

They’re Just Diapers, People: Keep Calm and Cloth Diaper On

Somewhere along the way, be it the cloth diapering blogs I frequented or the many cloth diapering Facebook pages I subscribed to, I realized that there was more to this cloth diapering thing.  It’s not just something you do to catch pee and poop, I realized, it’s a whole community that embraces many of the same parenting philosophies.  I see this philosophy, in a nutshell, as a gentler, more nurturing and more eco-conscious way of parenting. 
from Cloth Diapering: Am I Nuts? ~ February 2013
 
After seeing yet another rude exchange in a cloth diaper group, I feel compelled to speak out about the drastic turn I feel the cloth diapering community has taken over the past few years.