4/23/13

The Great Cloth Diaper Change

This past weekend we went to the Great Cloth Diaper Change here in Denver. It was so crowded! We waited in line at least an hour. I passed up on the goody bags since they were limited& my little one is out of diapers, but I heard they were full of super goodies!

I got to meet the nice folks from Boba which is a local company to me, and my favorite, Jessica-The Leaky Boob& Sugarbaby, who was having her first birthday during their visit! It was so busy at the event I didn't even think to get our picture together, but it was so nice to meet her in person finally after chatting with her on twitter for so long.

Here are a few terrible iPhone pics of the event:

and one of all the cute babies!

Did I mention the babies? This event gave me huge baby lust. There were so many cute, squishable wee bebes I think my ovaries singlehandedly tried to make me pregnant while I was there.

Did you go to a Great Cloth Diaper Change event? Tell me about it! 

4/13/13

Giveaway! Mini Glider Glide Bike Set!

This is a review and giveaway of the children's Mini Glider, Helmet, and Bell set from Glide Bikes {ARV $132}. Their Mini Glider is designed for children ages 2-5 years and teaches them to balance without pedals or training wheels right from the start. The Mini Glider is a bike that is sized just right and features a truly innovative design which prepares children as young as two for biking adventures.
This is a joint giveaway with Downside Up and Outside In and Natural Parents Network. You may enter at one site only. Please find the section marked "Win it!" for the mandatory entry and optional bonus entries. Glide Bikes is offering our readers a giveaway of a Mini Glider Bike, a small helmet, and a matching bell set to our readers, a value of $131.99

About the Mini Glider Glide Bike

Natural Parents Network Giveaway: Glide Bike The Mini Glider is a real bike designed for children as young as 2 years all the way up to 5 years old. The Mini Glider does not have pedals, and so it makes riding fun and easy. Instead of pedals, the child uses her legs to kick-push herself along. This design both improves motor control and balance and teaches children how to glide and how to sit on a bicycle without falling over. It features airless tires that allow children to glide long distances in between pushes, clever foot rests that are easily removable without tools, a quality hand break for safety and control, and an adjustable seat that allows you to get the perfect height for your young cyclist, as well as an included kickstand, which we chose not to install. It requires some basic assembly, which I managed in under 20 minutes with a 4.5 yo "helper."

Our Experience with the Mini Glider

The Mini Glider is a fun, lightweight, children's bicycle that makes biking an exciting, accessible activity for younger children who are not ready for the balance required by regular bicycles. We tried out the Mini Glider with our nearly five year old, who is very tall for her age, with great success. I must admit that both my partner and I were very skeptical about whether our daughter would get the hang of using the Mini Glider, or whether she was too big to use it reasonably. We are both absolutely blown away with how much fun she has on it, as well as how quickly she mastered using the bike for balancing and gliding. In addition, it fits her just fine. All of her experience with the Mini Glider and balancing happened intuitively - with no direction from either of us. I wanted her to explore at her own pace, so I refrained from giving directions (other than the standard "Wear Your Helmet!"), and she just went for it with all the enthusiasm of a child, which makes me all the more excited about this product.

The Mini Glider's Quality

There are quite a few features about the Mini Glider that I love. First of all, although you cannot tell it from looking at them or watching your child glide, the Mini Glider features airless tires. These are not the plastic-y tires that rattle when your child rolls, but they are foam tires that you will not have to refill and that give your child's ride a good deal of cushion. That's a huge plus here, because all too often once something we own has a flat, it usually takes us months to get around to repairing or replacing it (for example that jogging stroller on my porch!), and I like knowing that's not in my future, especially since she would be quite distressed if it was out of commission for any length of time. In addition, the Mini Glider's seat lowers to 11" - small enough for a tiny 2yo or younger to ride comfortably - meaning we can pass it along to a younger sibling or friend when our daughter outgrows it or is ready for a bike with pedals. I also love the hand brake on the Mini Glider - I didn't even realize it came with one until I was assembling it, but as I watch her use it I am realizing how nice it is for her to be learning now, while she also feels safe enough and in control while riding to put her feet down if she wants to stop. The Mini Glider we received (and the one being given away!) has a helmet and bell; the bell is another one of those details I am glad she is learning from the start, because it is surprisingly tricky for her to manage in terms of motor-skills. The helmet also is the first one I have found that actually fits our little one; most helmets we have purchased in the past have been clunky on her small head or way too tiny for her at this age. This helmet is comfortable, lightweight, and fits her perfectly. It is easily adjustable and has great details, like a chin pad to protect her small chin from the clasp buckle so she feels confident doing it herself.

The Mini Glider is FUN!

Natural Parents Network Giveaway: Glide Bike While in the past I had been skeptical of balance bikes, the Mini Glider has truly changed my opinion completely. I think it's amazing that my 4.5 year old can hop on a bike and glide without falling over and without any training wheels at all. My only regret with this product is that I didn't purchase one when our daughter was two; I think she would have had a blast on it even at that young age, and it would definitely have been worth every penny spent. Traditional bicycles take children years to learn to ride; the Mini Glider can teach your child the skills needed to balance without training wheels within just weeks, because they are focusing on balance and steering rather than learning to pedal. Additionally, the Mini Glider allows them to balance at speeds as low as 1.5mph, making this the safest balance bike on the market. What makes Glide Bikes even more unique is their patented foot rest that is in the same place pedals would be for your young bicyclist. As they develop the skills needed for regular bicycles, they will also develop the balance and coordination to rest their feet on the pegs. Even better, this foot rest can be easily removed in seconds with no tools required. We love seeing our little one take off, and the mobility it has afforded her is changing all of our habits to be healthier: before we were driving places that are within a mile or two because it takes too long to walk there with a 4.5yo; now we can now pull out her Mini Glider and walk or bike beside her and be there within 20 minutes. I also absolutely love that she can ride along with me as I take my regular bike out; she keeps up with me just fine! We also added a basket to ours after we received it in the mail. I wish we'd ordered one from Glide Bikes with the bike because she LOVES her pint-sized basket, but it doesn't fit perfectly, was a pain to install, and I know their basket would both fit and fit easier.
Glide Bikes also makes the Go Glider, a Glide Bike designed specifically for children ages 5-10. I think this is brilliant, so much better than giving a 5yo a bicycle they will be frustrated with for several years to come, or are not yet ready for at all. Many families don't realize Glide Bikes exist until their little ones are already too big for the Mini Glider, and this is the perfect solution. If our daughter isn't able to manage a regular bike without training wheels by the time she outgrows her Mini Glider, I will without a doubt be purchasing a Go Glider for her to use and enjoy.

BUY IT!

You can purchase your own Mini Glider at Glide Bikes or at Amazon. The Mini Glider retails for $99.99 and is currently available in the United States.

WIN IT!

For your own chance to win a Mini Glider, Helmet, and bell set from Glide Bikes, enter by leaving a comment and using our Rafflecopter system below. The winner will receive a Mini Glider, helmet and bell set valued at $132 in the company's choice of color. Contest is open to residents of the US only- (including Alaska and Hawaii).
MANDATORY ENTRY: Visit Glide Bikes and tell us one thing you have learned about the company! You must enter your name and email address in the Rafflecopter entry system for your entry to count, after leaving a comment on this blog post.
Leave a valid email address so we can contact you if you win. Email addresses in Rafflecopter are not made publicly visible. Please leave the same valid email address in your mandatory comment so we can verify entries. This is a joint giveaway with Downside Up and Outside In and Natural Parents Network. You may enter at one site only, and we'll be recording IP addresses to ensure that there are no duplicate entries. That said, please do visit and enjoy both sites! BONUS ENTRIES: See the Rafflecopter entry system for bonus entries to increase your chance of winning after completing the mandatory entry. All bonus entries are entered directly into Rafflecopter. Give it a try, and email or leave a comment if you have any questions! for the badge is in the right sidebar on NPN posts. Leave your site URL in the Extra Info box. You don't have to do any of the bonus entries, but you do have to complete the first mandatory one. a Rafflecopter giveaway Rafflecopter will pick the winner through Random.org after the contest closes, and a representative from NPN will send an email notification. **Leave a valid email address** as you enter so we can contact you if you win. If we can't reach a winner, we'll draw a new name at random. The winner will have 48 hours to respond by email; otherwise, NPN will select another winner. Any questions, let our giveaway coordinators know: Sponsorship {at} NaturalParentsNetwork {dot} com.

Contest closes April 27, 2013 at 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time.

Disclosure: Our reviewer received a sample product for review purposes. Amazon links are affiliate links. We try to seek out only products we think you would find relevant and useful to your life as a natural parent. If we don't like a product, we won't be recommending it to you. See our full disclosure policy here.
Information About Our Reviewer Mammapie is a blogger, a mama, and a sewing fiend who enjoys staying at home unschooling with her Little Berry and exploring the great outdoors of Colorado with her partner, daughter, and their goofy dog.

3/16/13

Moby GO Review and Giveaway!

This is a review and giveaway of the brand new Moby GO carrier from Moby Wrap, a new carrier designed just for carrying bigger babies and toddlers up to 45lbs. It is an adjustable, lightweight carrier perfect for wearing your baby or toddler on the go.
This is a joint giveaway with Downside Up And Outside In and Natural Parents Network. You may enter at one site only. Please find the section marked "Win it!" for the mandatory entry and optional bonus entries.
Moby Wrap is offering our readers a giveaway of the brand New Moby GO, a value of $79.95. The Moby GO is an amazingly comfortable, very adjustable front carrier for babies 15-45 lbs with cross-shoulder design straps, a padded waist belt, and easy to reach buckles. From our reviewer, Mamma Pie at Downside Up And Outside In :

About The Carrier

Natural Parents Network : Giveaway: Moby GO carrier From Moby Wrap - $79.95 ARV {$79.95; US. Canada}The Moby GO is a brand new carrier from Moby Wrap that is made specifically for babies 15-45 pounds. Moby Wrap is known for their soft, stretchy Moby Wrap, which offers a wonderful way to wear your baby from 8 to 35lbs. Now, Moby Wrap offers us the Moby GO carrier, designed for babies 15 to up to 45 pounds. The Moby GO is a wonderful, ultra lightweight, soft structured carrier that makes wearing bigger babies easier than ever. We tried out the Moby GO with our nearly five year old daughter, who is too tall for many other carriers at her age but still wants to be carried. A lot. And I must say, I tend to use carriers as much or more now than I did when she was a baby. A nearly five year old who predictably tires out on walks, hikes, and grocery shopping trips is, in my opinion, so much easier to wear than carry. The Moby GO comes in stylish black and grey, and has unique cross-shoulder strap design that distributes your child's weight evenly, making it very comfortable on your back and shoulders. The straps are unpadded, but rest comfortably on both shoulders, making the wearer feel balanced under the extra toddler weight. The back panel comes up very high on your child's back, and the base is very wide to support even older toddlers like my own. The carrier seat is designed to support your child properly as well. This carrier kept my daughter tucked in closer and feeling safe. The Moby GO has a pocket on the front with a matching (removable) hood tucked into it.

Our Experience

Natural Parents Network : Giveaway: Moby GO carrier From Moby Wrap - $79.95 ARV {$79.95; US. Canada}The first time we wore the Moby GO, Little Berry had just caught a cold and wanted to be touching me constantly. I expected it to be tricky managing the straps that first time with a sick kid on my hip, but it was simple enough, even while supporting her with my other arm to cross the strap and slip her in. The straps cross in the back, which you can do by unbuckling one, slipping your little one in, then buckling the second strap, or by leaving both buckled, sliding over your shoulders and sliding your child in from the top. As soon as I got her in it, she wanted to nurse. Nursing in the Moby GO was easy and far more comfortable than I expected. The carrier straps adjust to be longer or shorter, and to nurse in it, I simply lengthened the straps so Little Berry was lower than usual, and then she leaned into my arm like a cradle while having milkies. I think with a younger child this would be a great use for the hood, as it creates a sort of cocoon and helps them relax and zone out from any distractions around them. With that being said, Little Berry - at 41 lbs - is almost at the maximum recommended weight for the Moby GO. We did outgrow our Ergo Carrier about a year ago due to her height, and I was concerned we would have the same issue with the Moby GO, but it fit her very generously, and I feel it will fit her fine for a long time to come. And she loves it. She says over and over again how comfy it is and that it "feels like snuggles."

Comfort

Natural Parents Network : Giveaway: Moby GO carrier From Moby Wrap - $79.95 ARV {$79.95; US. Canada}
One very nice feature is how adjustable the carrier is to the adult wearer: the waist buckle is able to accommodate very large adults and very small adults with a just few tugs on the straps. I am a women's size 18, and my partner is a men's XS, but we both wear our daughter interchangeably. With only three buckles to adjust, this carrier was very simple to switch between us with minimal fuss. I did notice that her size helped make it fit better on my partner, as he had it on the smallest size. Babywearing is a wonderful way to keep your little one warm when it's cold - something we really appreciate living in Colorado where the weather can change very quickly. When it's eight degrees below zero we truly do tend to wear her more, if only to keep her off the cold ground, her feet dry from the snow, and her chest warm. The only downside for us was that the carrier is not designed for back carrying. However, I tried the carrier on my back and we did just fine. The straps ideally should be crossed in the front (which is tricky to do by yourself with a bigger child, so I suggest enlisting a helper with the buckles until you get the hang of it), but it is definitely possible to use in a back carry and is comfortable, even in our many layers of winter clothes. But the back carry did look and feel a bit funny as it crossed right over my chest. I would say for an older child this is probably the most popular way to wear them, and so I wore her around for about an hour to see if it would hurt my shoulders. We were both comfortable, and she does enjoy it more than being on my front (unless she's nursing!). I also tried it with un-criss-crossing the straps and wearing her on my back, but after a while it felt like the straps might slide off my shoulders, so I don't recommend wearing it that way for safety reasons.

Recommendation

I truly feel that Moby GO is a wonderful carrier choice for anyone with a baby or toddler with adequate head support. It is affordably priced, and is adjustable to fit many different ranges of adults, so all care givers can enjoy it. It has a great back support panel so that even taller children, like my 3.5 foot almost five year old can be worn with ease and comfort. It is simple and convenient to nurse even bigger nurslings in, and it has a cute, cozy hood that slips into it's own zippable front pocket when not in use or can be removed completely. The side buckles are easy to reach, and the extra wide carrier seat allows even heavier children plenty of support.
Moby Wrap company is a wonderful advocate for parent-child bonding through massage, breastfeeding, babywearing, and has a wonderful easy-to-navigate website with details on bonding with your baby while wearing them, doing Yoga, and even Infant Massage in their carriers.

BUY IT!

You can purchase your own Moby GO at Moby Wrap and at Amazon. The Moby GO retails for $79.95 and is currently available in the US and Canada.

WIN IT!

For your own chance to win a Moby GO from Moby Wrap, enter by leaving a comment and using our Rafflecopter system below. The winner will receive a Gray Moby GO carrier valued at $79.95. Contest is open to the US and CANADA
MANDATORY ENTRY: Visit Moby Wrap and tell us another item you like! You must enter your name and email address in the Rafflecopter entry system for your entry to count, after leaving a comment on this blog post.
Leave a valid email address so we can contact you if you win. Email addresses in Rafflecopter are not made publicly visible. Please leave the same valid email address in your mandatory comment so we can verify entries. This is a joint giveaway with Downside Up And Outside In and Natural Parents Network. You may enter at one site only, and we'll be recording IP addresses to ensure that there are no duplicate entries. That said, please do visit and enjoy both sites! BONUS ENTRIES: See the Rafflecopter entry system for bonus entries to increase your chance of winning after completing the mandatory entry. All bonus entries are entered directly into Rafflecopter. Give it a try, and email or leave a comment if you have any questions!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Contest closes March 30, 2013 at 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time.

Disclosure: Our reviewer received a sample product for review purposes. Amazon links are affiliate links. We try to seek out only products we think you would find relevant and useful to your life as a natural parent. If we don't like a product, we won't be recommending it to you. See our full disclosure policy here.
_________________________ Information About Our Reviewer: Mamma Pie is a blogger, a mama, and a sewing fiend who enjoys staying at home unschooling with her Little Berry and exploring the great outdoors of Colorado with her partner, daughter, and their goofy dog.

3/11/13

Kid Craft: Plant Markers

This is a super easy craft for the younger gardener that involves making simple (not weather resistant) garden or potted plant markers. You will need: small wooden dowels, toothpicks, or even twigs, a hot glue gun for gluing, and sturdy card stock or index card type paper, as well as markers, paint, pencils, etc, and scissors.
Let the little ones draw whatever plants you are growing in your garden. Look at pictures together of those plants in different stages, sprouts, full grown, and the fruit or vegetable that grows on them (if any). Encourage them to draw whichever bit they want or write the words/ name of the plant on their card. This is great science activity for pre-schoolers as well as a writing and art lesson, and offers practice of fine motor skills (with the scissors and hot glue gun if you let them use it).

After the plants have all been drawn, written, etc, encourage your small one to cut those cards out while the hot glue gun heats up. I do allow my 4yo to use the hot glue gun with supervision- here's a good post from Teacher Tom that inspired me to start letting her try it and she does great :)

I used toothpicks for our plant markers. As you can see, our plants are still sprouting indoors and anything bigger would be overwhelming the space! In any event, hand over the hot glue gun, or glue the small markers yourself- to the sticks. Help your small person identify the sprout that goes with each sign, or let them go willy nilly (ours are all poked into one pot with the Lavender sprouts).

That's it! You've got a great lesson in handwriting, science, and fine motor skills that will keep your little one busy for at least an hour. Now go plant something!


2/19/13

Playing in Lafayette

This weekend we drove around exploring a new neighborhood (well, a different neighborhood) that we had actually stayed in this summer when we first moved to Denver. We love Lagayette- it's small, quiet, close to the mountains, and has lots of lovely nooks&crannies to it. In the summer we found a fountain/waterpark for the kids to play in, a lovely ice cream parlor/sandwich shop, several playgrounds, a neighborhood garden, and a super sweet children's museum as well. Here we are hanging out at one of their smaller parks- which is basically a bunch of rocks places in different places. And the kid loved it more than you would believe!