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Sunday, February 28, 2010

Danny the Dragon and Dreams Review

If you know me, you know that I'm a huge fan of children's literature. My master's degree is in reading and literacy, and I am constantly on the lookout for great books for my son. So when I was recently contacted by a publisher asking if I might be interested in reviewing a children's book, I jumped at the opportunity. I was sent a copy of Danny the Dragon Meets Jimmy by Tina Turbin, which is the first book in what is sure to be a fun series. Along with the book, I also received an audio cd entitled Dreams, which is an audio recording of the book along with 10 classical tracks.

Danny the Dragon Meets Jimmy begins when Jimmy, who is visiting the beach with his family, stumbles upon a beautiful green and white shell. When he picks up the shell, he discovers that it talks to him. When he returns to his home with the shell, a dragon (with bright red tennis shoes!) emerges from the shell. Jimmy and his family are impressed with the polite dragon, and invite him and his guide, Skipper to dinner. Jimmy desires to know more about Danny and Skipper. Danny tells him that when he gets out the shell, that he grows bigger as he dries out. To fit back in, he needs to be sprayed with water. After dinner, Danny joins Jimmy and his sister for a game of catch. The neighborhood kids joined them as well, and everyone had fun playing. Jimmy invited Danny and Skipper to spend the night, and sprayed him with water so he would fit back into the shell. Jimmy asked again to know more about Danny and Skipper, and Danny replies that he will tell him later, which hopefully means we will learn more in future books! The illustrations are colorful and vivid, which will surely help keep young readers' attention. The characters are polite and helpful, which serve as a great model to young readers.

The Dreams audiobook includes a great audio version of the story, complete with sound effects, enunciated dialogue, and chimes to let you know when to turn the page. After the book, there is 10 classical music tracks, all of which were written by up and coming composers. The music is beautiful, and would be great for listening to while falling asleep after the story. One of the best things about this audio CD, is that profits are generously donated to the Celiac Disease Center at Columbia University Medical Center, one of the many causes author Tina Turbin supports. For full author information, be sure to visit her website:, as well as her other websites: and of course, the website for the book:

I would highly recommend this book for anyone looking for a good children's book. The characters are endearing, the illustrations are beautiful and vibrant. The audio version is a great accompaniment to the book. The classical tracks are a great addition, and are very soothing.

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Thursday, February 18, 2010

Diaper Sprayer Review, Giveaway, and Discount Code!

The number one question I get when I tell people I use cloth diapers is, "What do you do with the poop?" I can instantly see people envisioning me dunking the diapers into the toilet and swishing them around. I don't know about anyone else, but that idea certainly doesn't appeal to me. A diaper sprayer is a must have product if you decide to use cloth diapers. It makes the whole process simple. was generous enough to send me a diaper sprayer to review.

Ease of Installation:
The diaper sprayer was surprisingly, very easy to install. I was a bit nervous about messing around with plumbing by myself, so I enlisted the help of my dad. We disassembled the original hose, drained out the water, and set to installing the sprayer. We did run into a minor snag, though, when we realized that the sprayer came with a 3/8" compression connection, and our toilet had a 1/2" connection. A quick trip to Home Depot remedied the situation easily. Diaper Sprayer's website states that 95% of homes won't need this piece, but I was one of the lucky ones who did, so it's a good idea to measure your connection before beginning. A reducer can also be purchased from the Diaper Sprayer website. Aside from the quick Home Depot run, we did not run into any other problems. An adjustable wrench was the only tool we needed. The sprayer holder was also easy to install to the wall. Only a screwdriver was needed for that part, although you certainly don't have to install the holder.

- Makes cloth diapering extremely easy!
- Easy to install
- Takes some strength to hold the sprayer down, which would help prevent a baby or toddler making a mess with it.
- Very strong hose and connections. No leaks.
- Long hose. I could easily stretch the hose over to the tub if needed.
- Can double as a bidet.
- T-valve on the sprayer hose allows you to adjust the water pressure
- All sprayers are covered with a one year warranty
- Anti-microbial protection through Microban

- It would be nice to have a movable or less permanent option for the holder.
- Can sometimes be difficult to hold the sprayer down with one hand. I end up having to try several times while juggling the diaper with the other hand.

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars!

Buy It!
The sprayers can be purchased directly through their website. The company is also offering a coupon code to all Family of the Cloth readers. Enter the code "JJ2010" for 10% off + free shipping!

Giveaway Alert!
Diaper Sprayer is generously offering one of my readers the chance to win a free diaper sprayer! To enter, simply leave a comment telling me why you'd like to win.

For additional entries, you can do any of the following (be sure to leave a separate comment for each thing you do):
- Follow my blog publicly with Google Friend Connect
- Follow me on twitter @FamilyofCloth AND tweet about the contest. You may tweet once a day for additional entries.
- Become a "Fluff Mom" on my weekly interview series. Contact me at for the questions, then leave a comment saying you did. Only valid if the survey is returned to me. If you are a previous Fluff Mom, just leave me a comment saying so.
- Subscribe to my blog via email or through a reader
- Grab my button and put it on your blog. Just leave me the address of where you put it.
- Vote for me a Top Mommy Blogger by clicking on the box below:
Top Mommy Blogs - Mom Blog Directory

This giveaway is open to US residents and will end 3/11 at 8 p.m. CST. Winner will be chosen via, and will have 48 hours to respond to a notification email, or a new winner will be chosen. FOTC received a sprayer for review purposes. No compensation was given for this post.The opinions expressed in this review are my own.


Monday, February 8, 2010



Baby's First Phone Call:

Flower Duet:

Congratulations, everyone! Email will be going out shortly. As always, winners will have 48 hours to respond to the notification email, or a new winner will be chosen.

Stay tuned for some new and exciting reviews and giveaways!

Fluff Mom Mondays

Tell us about yourself! What is your name? How many little ones do you have? How long have you used cloth diapers?

My name is Andrea and I'm a mama to two little ones. Mickey who is 19 months and Josie who is 7 weeks. I've been cloth diapering both of them from the beginning and I wouldn't have it any other way!

What made you decide to use cloth diapers?
I decided to use cloth diapers because I couldn't stand to know that I was contributing such a HUGE amount of waste to landfills...waste that would take hundreds of years to decompose! Hubby was right on board from the get go (thank God!)

What was the first cloth diaper you bought?
The first cloth diapers we bought were Happy Heinys OS. I couldn't get them to not leak at first, it was really frustrating. Everytime I changed Mickey's diaper, I'd have to change his whole outfit. Then we tried fitteds and prefolds, those seemed to work MUCH better for us.

Tell us about your cloth diaper stash:
Stash...hmmm, let's see. Two dozen newborn unbleached Indian prefolds and 4 XS Bummis covers to start. About 7 Happy Heinys OS, a whole bunch of fitteds...Thirsties (my fave, not incredibly absorbent, but sooo trim), Happy Heinys sherpa fitteds, Crickett's hemp fitteds, Bamboozle, and lots of WAHM fitteds. I LOVE to try out new diapers...I'm still on the lookout for the BEST diaper. Hopefully I'll find that one day. ;)

What is your favorite cloth diaper? Why?
Fave is Thirsties. They're soft, the colors are great, they are not too expensive, they're made in the US, and they dry REALLY fast. They may not be the most absorbent, but we just add a doubler in between the diaper and the cover, and voila! more absorbency!

Tell us about your wash routine:
I wash everyday. Cold, hot, double rinse. Pretty much the same as everyone else it seems. I tried soap nuts, but I wasn't real crazy about them. I just use regular free & clear laundry soap, nothing fancy.

Have your friends and family been supportive of your decision?
Everyone has been really supportive. And if they weren't then too bad, it's our decision and I'm very proud that we made it! :)

Any challenges with using cloth diapers? What did you do about it?
The leaking in the beginning was the biggest challenge, that was soooo frustrating! But we just kept trying out new things until we found what worked for us!

Your best piece of advice for someone new to cloth diapering
Just keep trying different things until you find what works for you. Don't give up!

Your favorite scripture, quote, or anything else that you'd like to add?
"Dear Lord, The gods have been good to me. For the first time in my life, everything is absolutely perfect just the way it is. So here's the deal: You freeze everything the way it is, and I won't ask for anything more. If that is OK, please give me absolutely no sign. OK, deal." - Homer Simpson. I just love that. I feel that God has been so good to me, I am truly blessed to have the family and friends that I have. :) :)


Monday, February 1, 2010

Fluff Mom Mondays

Tell us about yourself! What is your name? How many little ones do you have? How long have you used cloth diapers?

My name is Rose and I have one daughter who is now 11 months old. We have used cloth diapers with her since birth and I am a huge cloth diaper advocate! I blog at Mommy and Sweet Pea.

What made you decide to use cloth diapers?

I wanted to use cloth diapers because I knew it would save us money and be healthy for our little one and the environment. I wrote about our story of getting started here.

What was the first cloth diaper you bought?

I bought some prefolds and Thirsties covers. I also got some Little Beetle fitteds that I loved!

Tell us about your cloth diaper stash (numbers, sizes, types, brands, etc.):

Right now I have:

AIOS: 18 BumGenius one size, 5 Medium Thirsties pockets, 2 Medium VeryBaby AIOs, 1 Medium Fuzzibuns, and 1 BumGenius Organic

Fitteds: 8 Goodmamas, a Guerrilla Fluff fitted, a Muttaqin fitted, and a Nifty Nappy fitted. I also have 2 Kissaluvs fitteds on the way. I am also about to buy some more Goodmamas used. I don't need them but I love them!

Covers: 4 Medium Thirsties covers, 5 wool longies, and 2 wool shorties. The longies are Nifty Knickers (2), made by me (2), and made by my mom (1).

All of my newborn and size small stuff is currently out on loan to various friends. Hopefully I'll get something back for my next baby! I think it's great to share cloth diapers because most of them last through more than one baby, and that way you get to try different brands without paying.

What is your favorite cloth diaper? Why?

As you can probably tell from my stash, I use a lot of BumGenius and Goodmamas. The main reasons I have gone to using only AIOs and fitteds are the convenience and rash prevention. When my baby started crawling, she stopped tolerating holding still for a diaper change for more than a minute. So, I wanted the easiest thing to diaper her in. For us, that turned out to be either AIOS or pockets, or fitteds with wool. With these two options, you have a diaper and pants rather than a diaper, a cover, and pants to be put on at each change. I'm looking forward to summer and maybe using just a diaper on the bottom and a dress on top! My baby is also prone to rash, and using just cotton next to her skin turned out to not wick enough moisture, unless a very breathable fabric is over the top, such as wool. She never cries when she's wet so it is up to me to check her really often. Since we have stopped using prefolds and PUL covers, she has had a lot less rash.

Tell us about your wash routine

I use a bucket and a wet bag to store my dirty diapers until laundry time. I dump everything into a cold rinse first, with about 1/4 cup of white viengar. After the cold rinse comes a regular wash on warm or hot, with about 1/2 my regular amount of laundry soap. I use Arm and Hammer Free (no scents or additives). Sometimes I do an extra rinse after the wash. In the summer, we dry on the line outside in the summer, or for about 60-70 minutes in the dryer in the winter. I found the Thirsties pockets dry much faster if you turn them inside out when putting them in the dryer.

Have your friends and family been supportive of your decision to use cloth?

Yes! Although, I think some of my friends may be getting a little tired of hearing how great cloth diapers are. My parents used cloth with me and my siblings so they are fully supportive, but don't really get my obsession with the CUTENESS of the diapers.

Any challenges with using cloth diapers? What did you do about it?

For a little while we were getting some stink issues with our microfiber inserts and fleece. I did a hot wash with 1/4 cup of bleach, and then some extra rinses and that has totally cleared it up! If it was sunny I would have tried sunning everything first. Since we didn't have to do that until about 10 months of using cloth, I'd say we've had very few problems! We did have some leaking in the past, but mostly when we were using the infant prefolds and she would pee several times before we got to change her, or when the diaper wasn't fitting around her legs properly. We have almost no leaks now.

Your best piece of advice for someone new to cloth diapering

Start out with 2 types of diapers, and if they aren't working for you, try something else. Read the blogs and the forums for ideas, and then go for it! Diapering can be fun and a positive part of your relationship with your child when you find the right option for your family.

Your favorite scripture, quote, or anything else that you'd like to add?

To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose....