Thursday, February 28, 2013

Cloth Trainer Review - Blueberry Cloth Trainers

If you're not interested in cloth diapers or our family's experiences with them, this post isn't for you. Tune in another day and thanks for reading!

Keep in mind my son weighs about 39 pounds and wears 4T pants (for size comparison).

Blueberry Trainers were the first cloth trainers I tried with Silas. They look very similar to underpants except the waistband is thicker and there are bands around the legs (rather than just elastic). We're reviewing the Large size (32-42 lbs, 17 inch rise). We got the "Traffic" print. Silas was VERY EXCITED that there were trucks all over them. We sat and looked at them for a good three minutes before we put them on, marveling at all the trucks.

Blueberry Trainers have a layer of cotton velour/polyester inside against Si's skin, a layer of mictroterry polyester fabric, a layer of PUL (waterproofing), and then a cotton/polyester outer and cuffs. They come in three sizes (small 22-28 lbs, medium 25-35 lbs, and large). Washing involves machine washing on warm and tumbling dry (or hanging dry).

Once he had them on, Silas did not want to put on pants (which is normal, he doesn't want pants at home with a Pull Up on either). He was able to pull them up and down on his own and they weren't too bulky to put on his regular pants. The first time he wore them he was literally in them for maybe 15 minutes before he came to me holding his tushy, saying, "I ha a poo." So that was the end of them for the day.

The second time we wore them we were able to wear them for a few hours before bath time and we had no issues with leaking (and he did pee in them a little). He was able to pull them up and down by himself to use the potty and they covered his bum well. I've found that some underwear and trainers don't have good tushy coverage (and lead to them creeping up into his butt) but we didn't have that problem with these. He could tell when they were wet though and told me they were wet after he'd peed in them (which is useful because it teaches kids, "Hey, this is wet. I don't want that.").

Overall review? (on a scale of 1 to 5 where 1 is low and 5 is high)

True to size? 5
Ease of washing? 5
Price? 3 ($15.95)
Would I buy more? Yes
Would I suggest these to a parent who wanted to use cloth trainers? Yes

Do you have experiences with these trainers? What are they? Let other parents know how your experience was by leaving a comment.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

We Be Trainin' - Bring on the Cloth Trainer Reviews

Silas is almost three and he's been all about the potty bit. At first he could have cared less, but something clicked and he was learning pretty quickly. He went from the kid who didn't care about a soiled diaper to the kid who refused a diaper ("Pull Up Mommy! No dipe!"). I'll be in the kitchen and he'll bolt past me, yelling, "Gotta go pee!" Ah! OK! Let's go! And now he'll just go on his own too - give him a Pull Up and elastic waist pants and he's in there on his own. It's pretty awesome. Now if I could just get him to do #2 on the potty. But he'll get there.

After he started demanding Pull Ups I started looking into cloth diaper trainers. Granted we use fewer Pull Ups but they're still expensive and they're still waste that I'd rather not create. So I asked aroud a bit and started getting some different trainers to try.

You may be wondering what a cloth trainer is. Well just like cloth diapers, there are different types (but fewer different types, no worries). Some are basically thicker underwear (so they'd be better for kiddos who have the whole pee thing down but just need a little extra help sometimes) and some actually have a waterproof layer like many cloth diapers so they're less likely to leak than type 1 but aren't absorbent enough to be a diaper really. Some have elastic sides for easy down/up while others are just like underwear (stretchy but not fully elastic sides). They run anywhere from $9ish to $30ish depending on the brand and the materials.

When I first started CDing I didn't know of any trainers on the market but now there are about 10 major CDing brands that have some and there are a couple of companies that focus specifically on trainers. There are also numerous WAHM-made (Work At Home Mom) trainers on Etsy and other places. I've looked around for some good review sites and haven't found many, so I figured I'd document my trials. One thing to keep in mind if you read my reviews - my son is tall and has a long rise (the measurement from below the belly button to the top of the butt). What may not work for him due to this may work for your child if they're not in the 98th percentile for everything like Silas is. I'll document the price, type, size we're using, and my observations. Hopefully these reviews will help other CDing families choose which types to try. If you have a suggestion for one I don't know of, email me! I love trying new types of diapers/trainers.
Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Travel and Paleo? Not fun AT ALL

This past week I traveled to a conference. Fabulous, right? Travel? Awesome? No. Try maintaining a Paleo diet while traveling or going to a function. Note: I'm not complaining, I'm simply noting the lack of "alternatives."

Start at the airport. McDonald's. Dunkin' Donuts. Popeye's Chicken. Starbucks. Oh, remember, we're eating breakfast. "Do you have anything that's gluten free?" Weird looks. Nobody did. So I was glad I had eaten before I left and had brought Paleo-friendly snacks for the airport(s) and plane(s).

Arrive in Florida. Ask the folks at the front desk for food suggestions (because the conference doesn't start until tomorrow). I'm starving. It's dinner time. I hadn't had a "meal" all day. "Oh, and I can't eat bread or pasta." Concierge furrows his brow. Exactly. "Go down the street and over the bridge. There's a health food type restaurant called Dig. They'll have something you can eat and it's good." Okey dokey. Well, Dig's holding a fundraiser for some wildlife something or other. It's packed and there's no food to be found. Moving on. So I found a pizza place that serves...salad. *Sigh* I got a buffalo chicken salad. Meh. With no travel plastic fork or knife. Who does that? Anyway.

Breakfast the day the conference starts (at 3 p.m.). I wasn't paying $16 for an omlett at the hotel, so I walked. And walked. Breakfast sandwiches. Nope. More breakfast sandwiches. Pastries. Bagels. Seriously?! So I went to Starbucks and got a turkey bacon and egg sandwich and didn't eat the English muffin. Wheee (said sarcastically).

At lunch time I went downstairs in the hotel to find something before the conference started because who knows what they'd serve. I ran into one of the conference planners, Kate, that I knew and she bought me lunch. Score! Salad. Boo.

Conference snacks - cookies. No fruit to be found. So I asked Kate for some loose fruit, you know some apples and bananas to put on the table. Hopefully I'm not the only one who would enjoy them? In the middle of the first presentation Tom, another conference planner, brings me a large bowl of cut up melon and fruit and a fork. Um...well, I...OK. No apples. No bananas. Kate was frustrated for me.

For dinner we all went out together to an awesome restaurant on the beach. They actually had something I could eat on the pre-planned menu, so I was psyched. I ate all of that damn fish. They actually had created "pasta" out of zucchini using a julienne peeler which I had so wanted to try. It was yummy. Definitely asking for one of those for Mother's Day.

Conference breakfast - guess. Bagels, breads, muffins, oh my! Kate and I arrived at breakfast at the same time and she watched me eyeball the table. "You can't eat any of this," she sighed. And we couldn't find a human to get me even a hard boiled egg. So I cheated. First time in a month, I had a bagel. Eeeee! But it was yummy (shhhh). On to lunch - cold cut sandwiches and potato salad. I'll have some cold cuts...and some fruit.

Now I am in no way bitching. Don't get me wrong. But I was talking to Kate before we left and she said, "I never realized how much unhealthy stuff we offer at these things. I need to work on that." Indeed. And invite me back next time so I can check your progress!

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Parenting from afar - no thanks

Five years ago if you offered me a job working at home with 30% travel, I'd have been all over it. Even though we all know that "30% travel" really means 50% or more. I used to love traveling to different places, seeing new airports (I know, geek), and staying in different hotels (bedbugs need not apply Washington, DC - my January 2010 trip while pregnant). But after having two kids, it's a lot harder to fathom not being home 50% of the month and being constantly on the go (literally).

When I traveled to Florida for a conference last week, I left Daddy with the boys from Thursday to Saturday night. Thursday night Sage slept for a grand total of 1.25 hours according to Daddy. Friday night he wouldn't sleep anywhere but on Uncle Steven's chest. Saturday he did sleep more (and was asleep when I finally got home around 12:15 a.m. Sunday). Daddy and I were talking about what the problem was and he assumed it was because I wasn't there. Sunday afternoon a vicious illness hit Sage and there was a 102 degree fever and then there was a barking cough. He didn't miss me, he was getting ready to have Croupe and an inner ear infection we found out at the pediatrician's on Monday.

When I called Daddy on Thursday, Silas said "hi" and "I mih ewe Mommy." I mihed him too. But Silas has been through this before, I've gone away (and come back) a couple of times in his short life. But it's not something I'd want to do often.

Friday Daddy called me and told me that Sage crawled for the first time. I missed it. I hated that. And I had this feeling before I left that he would (no it's not hindsight bias, I really did expect him to crawl while I was away). When I got home though I realized he's not REALLY crawling - he's using his arms and legs to push himself along on his belly. Now, don't get me wrong, he's fast at it. Super fast. But it's not crawling. I didn't totally miss it.

Even though one of my dream jobs (textbook publishing - again, geek) would involve 30% (or 50%) travel, I wouldn't do it for the world. I need to see crawling and not be mihed by little boys.
Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Shut Up to "I'll just run tomorrow..."

Last week on Monday Sage had a doctor's appointment when I'm usually running. "I'll just run Tuesday," I said. I ran Tuesday. Wednesday I had to get ready to fly to FL for a conference (Thursday through Saturday). "I'll run Thursday at the hotel," I told myself. I packed my gym clothes and my sneaks. Ready to run.

Except when I got to the hotel the "gym" was as large as my back patio and had two machines - a treadmill and a stepper. What?! But it's open 24 hours, the sign said. Except the problem was that when I was awake and not at the conference, there was always someone running. Damnit. And I didn't feel comfortable running the streets because I didn't know them (or the neighborhood).

Needless to say, I did not run at all during my trip except to cross the street and not get hit. To make me feel extra crappy about not running, I met a textbook author who gets up at 3:30 am to run 15 miles and write for 2 hours before he starts his day. I'm not joking. The man is a machine. He offered to run with me one morning but, well, I declined. LoL

This today was my first day back on the sidewalks. Since I hadn't run in a bit, I downshifted to Week 4 Day1's schedule so as to not hurt myself and to build back up what I had lost. It wasn't too bad although my knees disagreed with the starting back. We can't win them all.

While I may be behind, I'm still going to finish C25K. And I won't get up at 3:30 to do it.