Thursday, May 26, 2011

Going downtown turned my frown upside down!

I hate waiting. I think most people do. That's why the internet, email and texting is so successful-we no longer have to wait. 

That's what I thought when I applied for my state tax license over two months ago. The Arizona Department of Revenue has a site that guides you step by step through the process of applying for a business license. Then, all you have to do is print out the signature card and either mail it in via snail mail, or go downtown to do it in person. 

Well, like any rational person, I just mailed it in. I figured it would take a week, maybe two, for the envelope to get there, be opened, processed, mailed back and I'd be in business. So I waited. And waited. And waited. As I'm waiting, I am also applying to be a wholesaler to multiple companies. However, I need my tax license for most of them. It is a very frustrating process. 

I decided to call in April and see what the hold up was. Of course, it was right before tax time, so when I was told it was a 6-8 week wait on mail in orders I understood. They said if I came down in person, it would take about a week. I figured it had already been five weeks, so really, it should be here any day now and I wouldn't waste the gas, time and risk Baby J being a not so happy girl in the car. 

Now it's late May and I still never received my license. I decided to just head down there yesterday because I was tired of waiting and there are companies I really want to do business with. I did call on my way-my wait time on the phone was only thirty minutes! This time they said if I came down in person, I would get my license right away. Awesome! Totally worth the drive.

Downtown Phoenix is about 30-40 minutes from our home depending on traffic. I went in the middle of the day so I wouldn't have to worry about rush hour at all. My lovely husband came with me too, so I didn't have to worry about running after Baby J by myself. There was no wait in line at all. The person that served me was very cordial and helpful. In less than ten minutes I finally had my long anticipated tax license. Plus, he wished me luck in my endeavor! That was very nice. 
I think they honor their seal well.
I must say I am super glad I made the drive downtown to get my license. It was worth the time and now I feel official. :)

Monday, May 23, 2011

Meet Me on Monday Week 6


1. What is your favorite bagel flavor?
I like the Everything bagel flavor w/ Light Garden Vegetable Cream Cheese 

 2. If you had an extra $100 right now, what would you spend it on?
Probably cloth diapers! Duh! 
3. What is the last thing that you felt guilt about doing?
I kinda felt guilty about eating those brownies earlier, but not guilty enough to not go back and eat another one. 

 4. Soft serve ice cream or hand dipped?
OH! This is a toughy. It depends on my mood. I feel if I get soft serve it's lighter and better for me, but that's probably not true. Hand dipped wins most of the time. Especially Braums! How I miss Braums. What I would give for a Peanut Butter Hot Fudge Sundae right now...mmmm!!
I made this extra large so you would see the deliciousness and understand my love!
5. Are you allergic to anything?
Nickel-it really puts a damper on my jewelry wearing:(
This isn't me, but that's what happens. Yuck!

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Splish, Splash Swim!

In Phoenix, it's been warm enough to swim and play in water for a couple of months now. Since I use cloth diapers, I really didn't want to buy disposable swim diapers, and because there are almost as many options for swim diapers as for cloth diapers, I thought I should share my experience.

First, swim diapers are only for holding in solids. They are not waterproof and you can get peed on.

Just like cloth diapers, swim diapers can save you a ton of money. We bought one at Walmart about a month ago for $5. As we continued shopping, we passed a pack of Huggies Little Swimmers that cost close to $10. Hmmmm...something is not right there.

The Op brand diapers from Walmart come in both girl and boy colors, however they only come in two sizes and large only goes up to 25lbs. Many children are not potty trained by that weight, so they have to look for other options. Walmart has other options online that are a little more expensive, but most are under $10.

I had a gift card to Zoolikins, so I thought I'd try another brand diaper to try. After all, it's nice to have more than one. I've heard great things about the Bummis brand, so I snatched one up. It was $12.95-still an awesome price because you can use it all summer. The Swimmi comes in multiple sizes-I chose medium for my daughter who is about 19 1/2 lbs, but they range from small to xlarge, 9-30lbs.

I worry about the velcro because Baby J loves to pull it open. She hasn't worn this yet, it actually just arrived in the mail yesterday, so we will see how it works. 

What I really want is a snap Monkey Doodlez Swim Diaper. The snaps are a new addition this year and I think if Baby J does have any solids floating around in there, it would be easier to snap it off than slide it down which is what I have to do with the Op diaper from Walmart.

This is Petunia Penguin, but there are many other cute bottomed diapers to choose from. This is my personal favorite. The Monkey Doodlez snap swim diapers are $21.95. They have pull up swim diapers for $20. 

Lastly, many people use their regular pocket diapers as a swim diaper. Instead of putting an insert in, you just put the empty diaper on the baby so that it holds in the solids, but doesn't soak up the liquids. If you decide to go this route, make sure that you dedicate the diaper to use as a swim diaper if you are swimming in a chlorinated pool. Chlorine can ruin the PUL and affect the absorbency of the diaper for regular use.

Many companies that offer swimming lessons require you to put your child in a reusable swim diaper instead of the disposable ones. Swim diapers are easy to wash and don't require you to use a machine. 

Have fun and be safe near water!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Battling the Beast that is Yeast

As a woman, it's a horrible word to come across in daily life, and as a cloth diapering parent, it's like a monster that has come in to scare your child in the middle of the night. You want to protect your baby from this monster, but if you're not careful, the monster will continue to torment your child for months and months.

I don't remember when the beast first showed it's ugly head at our house, but I do know it stuck around for awhile. I believe it was sometime around 4-6 months and the doctor diagnosed it at a well check. Now, it didn't look like people's pictures of yeast rashes online-it wasn't bumpy, just red and mostly in her fat rolls. Before we went for the well check, I just thought it was just a rash. She's my first (and if my husband has his way my only) child and of course I turned to my favorite source for parenting advice: Google. I found pictures of rashes and ideas to naturally cure them. I didn't want to just go out and buy any old cream since most aren't safe with cloth diapers. I decided on lots of air time since my baby loves to be naked anyway, and we have mostly tile in our house so it's easy clean up. Another suggestion was using cornstarch and that's handy, so I used that. 

The rash would seem to go away, but kept coming back. When the doctor did diagnose it, she prescribed a cream. Crap! Now I had to use sposies because this cream wasn't cloth diaper safe. The doctor said to use the cream for a couple of days after the rash completely disappeared to make sure it was gone for good. We followed the doctor's orders and after a week of disposable diapers, we switched back to cloth. Slowly, but surely, that ugly yeast came back. I finally had to go to my source for all things cloth diapers: the cloth diaper board on Babycenter. I found great links and suggestions on how to kill yeast in your diapers. DUH! I wasn't doing that. I didn't know the yeast stayed in the diapers. Disgusting. I was the one bringing back the monster. 

It was time to kill it off for good.

The first thing I did was simple: I turned my water heater up as high as it would go. Most sites suggest over 120*. 

Next I headed to Walmart. I bought the cheap LouAnn Coconut Oil found in the baking aisle. A lot of people buy organic because it smells great and, well, it's organic, but in a pinch, this was easily accessible and cheap. I use coconut oil as a rash cream at every diaper change now because I feel like it's a preventative. Plus, cleaning poo off her bum is much easier w/ a nice oiled bottom!

Because I wanted to make sure I killed the yeast in the diapers, I also bought some Grapefruit Seed Extract (GSE) on Amazon. I don't know of anywhere local that sells it, and since we have Amazon Prime, it was the best solution for us. While I was browsing Amazon, they suggested I also buy BioKleen-a detergent with GSE and orange peel in it. I looked at reviews and most were from cloth diapering parents. I added it to my cart. When the items arrived, I set off for the laundry room.


I always do a cold rinse on my diapers first to get any yuckies off and out and to help prevent stains. Once the rinse is finished I do a hot wash-this time I put the washer on the sanitary setting. I used about a tablespoon of the liquid BioKleen detergent in my top loader, and I added about 30 drops of the GSE in the rinse cycle. When the load was done I dried my diapers outside. There are conflicting suggestions about whether the sun will kill yeast. I don't think it does since I always sun my diapers and the yeast obviously stayed in them, but it can't hurt. 

I also decided to start adding GSE to my wipe solution which had previously been just water. Anything else really irritated Baby J's bum. Approximately 10 drops of GSE to 1 cup of water is what I used. It was winter here, so I had my wipe warmer on and I believe this helped the yeast to grow. Now that it's summer, I just use it to store my wipes and have it unplugged. I haven't had to add GSE to the wipes since I unplugged it. 

I haven't seen a yeast rash break out since I began this routine. I never had to switch to sposies while killing off the yeast. I still give Baby J naked time probably once a day. I have switched back to Country Save as my everyday diapering detergent, but I still add GSE to each rinse cycle. Normally, I wash my diapers on the normal cycle with a cold rinse and a hot wash. You do not want to always use the sanitary cycle because your diapers will break down faster using such high temperatures on them.

Another little bit of insight I want to share: Do not use cornstarch on yeast-it makes it grow. I learned that the hard way. Also, commercial wipes have chemicals in them that fuel yeast. You will want to switch to cloth or use a wet paper towel when battling this beast. 

I hope this helps others who are having to figure out how to get rid of the yeasties. After I realized I had to get it out of my diapers, it really wasn't an issue. :)

For other suggestions on how to get rid of yeast, check here:

Monday, May 16, 2011

Meet Me on Monday Week 5


1.  Crunchy or smooth peanut butter?
Definitely smooth! I love peanut butter-makes me want some right now just thinking about it. Can you  tell I haven't had breakfast yet?

2.  What is your favorite color Rose? 
I'm not really a rose fan because I'm sensitive to smells and they stink! Yuck! I prefer tulips and would probably go with pink.

3.  Do you remove your shoes when you walk into your home?
I take off my shoes as soon as I'm able-usually by the kitchen island.
My favorite shoe.

4.  What is your favorite season? 
Summer-I'm a fish and love to swim!
This was supposed to be in my backyard. It's not:(

5.  Approximately how many hours a day do you spend blogging?
I spend less than one hour a day blogging. I'm not able to be on here too often with a little one who always wants to press buttons, so I have to use my time wisely. 


Friday, May 13, 2011

Excited about Envibum

A few weeks ago, I contacted Rachel from Envibum about becoming a retailer of her products. I had never heard of the Envibum company before-I found them on Merchant Circle. She contacted me back immediately with more information and even offered to send me a diaper free of charge to review for this blog. When I saw the wholesale prices, I wasn't entirely convinced they were going to be right for Bum Luxury at this time, and explained my concern to Rachel. She was extremely kind and sent me a one size diaper to try.

The Envibum arrived within a few days and I couldn't wait to try it. The package was personalized with a Thank You card and wrapped in matching tissue paper. I loved it and thought, "What a cute idea! I should do this, too!" but then, deep down, I realized that it wasn't the best idea for Bum Luxury since I originally looked into cloth diapering for the environmental factor. Although I loved the Envibum package, it really would waste a lot of material. Some people might be able to reuse some of it, but there was an Envibum sticker on the tissue paper that would make it unusable if you weren't careful opening the package. Besides the cuteness factor, the package also included a nice 'care card' that would be super handy to keep near your washer to remind you of the best way to wash your diapers.

When I pulled the diaper out, I immediately loved how soft the minky felt. It's the type of material you want to rub against your cheek and puts a smile on your face. I may or may not have done this.

My husband felt the diaper and didn't like the minky at all. I think it's the type of material that you either love or hate-I love it!

This is similar to the view you would get on the Envibum website.

This is before washing-the aplix is a little pilly after washing about six times, but is still super sticky.
I then opened the diaper and examined the inside. It's different than other one size diapers I've tried. The Envibum doesn't have adjustable snaps or elastic. The aplix can be closed pretty tight, but I think it would be difficult to use this diaper from birth to potty training. The website says it can be used from 8-40lbs. My daughter is 10 months and 18lbs. and you can see how the diaper fit her and come to your own conclusions.  I do feel that the Envibum would fit my daughter for the majority of her diapering days. 

This is on the tightest setting I believe one could get.
On the tightest setting
Baby J has worn the diaper multiple times now so that I could write a true review. This was our first aplix diaper and Baby J loves the sound the velcro makes. She tries to undo it every time she wears it, though, so I am not fond of it that part.

The inner cotton material is the biggest downer to me. It reminds me of a dish towel or waffle iron. It is not soft and left marks on Baby J's bum while we were out and about at Target. Granted, she is super sensitive and is prone to rashes when using commercial wipes and diapers. I was not happy with that at all. I prefer fleece, but I know many children have sensitivities to that material. 

A close up of the inner material:

The diaper has great absorbency. Baby J wore it around the house, on a trip to Target and overnight with no leaks. I did add an extra insert to the pocket for night time just in case. I didn't want to risk her waking up and having to change any bedding-she's a finicky sleeper as it is.  Envibum does offer their own extra absorbency  pads, but I used what I had on hand. I love how the Envibum is an All-In-One (AIO) and has a pocket so that you can customize it for nap time or overnight wear. The Envibum probably would have been fine without the extra absorbency-the insert I put in was barely damp and that was probably due to compression against the bum. Because I was nervous about the cotton material against Baby J's bum, I also used a fleece liner when she wore it overnight.

The AIO diaper is great for families that want a convenient choice. One of the biggest gripes about AIOs is that they take forever to dry. The flip out absorbent pad on the Envibum allows for much faster drying than the average AIO. It still takes longer to dry than my pocket diapers, however. 

Oh, and one of the hardest things for me to remember was folding down the laundry tabs! Don't forget-you don't want the aplix ruining anything in your wash!

This was taken before the diaper was pre-washed for Baby J to wear.

Another view of the flip out absorbency pad.
Overall, I like the Envibum diaper. Since Baby J is sensitive to the material however, we will have to use a fleece liner for her to wear it. 

The Envibum company is one that is faith based and always giving back. They donate $2 of every purchase to a different charity based on the color of diaper purchased. Soon after I discovered Envibum, I saw posts on Facebook and Babycenter about the company with many people wanting to try their products. The company has only been in business since 2009, and I'm sure we will all be more familiar with the name as the company grows.

In the future, I would be happy to invest in Envibums and add them to Bum Luxury's inventory. Due to my small budget however, we will have to wait.

Baby J wearing the Envibum for the first time.
What's up with this new diaper, Mom?

I don't really like how it looks on her belly.

I just got it on her and she's already trying to take it off. :(

It looks great on her bum!

Monday, May 9, 2011

A Week Without Me

Did you survive? I know it must have been hard without me all week, but I made it through and I'm sure you did, too.

I have had so many topics in my head to blog about this past week, but never had the time to sit down and write them out. I really have not been doing anything special, so my reasons for not writing are really just excuses.

1. Lake trip on Tuesday w/ friends

Saguaro Lake May 3, 2011-me and Baby J

2. Teething child all week-she was driving me crazy because she's been so cranky and nothing I have been doing pleases or soothes her:( My husband has been off this week, so that has helped me tremendously.

3. Planning for my first event as a vendor-just thinking about it causes me anxiety. I'm not stressed about the actual event, I'm nervous about how Baby J will be without her usual nap. I'm hoping that she will be a little social butterfly like she is when we are out and about. Wish me luck! We will be at The Mighty Cup Market in Glendale this Saturday, May 14, from 10-2.

Here are the ideas that have been popping in and out of my head all week. Look for these blogs sometime in the next few days. If I write it down and tell you it's coming, I really have to type it out.

First, I need to write my review of my Envibum diaper. I received one from the company to use and review and I wanted to make sure to have Baby J wear it multiple times so that I could give the most honest opinion about it. Oh, and of course I needed to have multiple picture opportunities.
Another topic I will be covering is yeast. There are so many questions about how to get yeast out of your diapers and since I personally battled that beast early on in our cloth diapering days, I feel that I have some great advice to share with others.

Due to Mother's Day, the host of Meet Me on Monday is taking a break and she will be back with another one next week. If you have any questions you'd like me to answer though, just leave them in a comment and any questions I get before the end of today I'll make sure to answer. 

Thanks for reading! 

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Meet Me on Monday Week 4

1. What is your favorite kind of muffin?
This is a very difficult question. I love muffins and probably eat blueberry muffins the most, but I love banana nut and poppy seed, too. 

2. What was the first car you ever owned? 
My first car was a 1975 Volkswagon Super Beetle. I will have to find a picture just so you know how great my car was. These pictures are in the attic and will have to be scanned in because digital cameras were not around when I was in high school.
This is not mine, but it's a good look-alike!
 3. Which TV Show were you sad to see end? 
Friends-I love the show and still watch (DVR) the reruns. Nip/Tuck-it was very strange at the end, but I couldn't stop watching. Soon to be Entourage-we Netflixed the first 6 seasons and now that we are caught up, they are ending the series.

4. What is your lucky number? 
I don't really have a lucky number, but my favorite number is 1. I think it's important to try to be the best you can be-#1!

5. Pretzels or Potato Chips?
Lay's Kettle Cooked Jalapeno Chips-we share a love/hate relationship. I love to eat them, but hate that they are not really considered a vegetable. I actually have to make my husband take them to work so I won't be tempted to eat them if they are in the pantry. I have no self control.