Monday, December 13, 2010

Bad Blogger... Good Mama?

Yes, it's true. I haven't posted for eons.

But I have been living it up with my little pal.
A good excuse, I think.

Ruby's 7 months plus now, and about to celebrate her first Christmas...

So, to everyone -


Sunday, October 24, 2010

My Cloth Diapering Godsend

We made the decision to cloth diaper our daughter about six months or so before she was born... which was the minimum amount of time I needed to research and learn all I could about different kinds of cloth diapers, how they work and how to care for them.

(You can read about some of my cloth diaper findings here and here and here.)

Bio-Soft Liners - Large 7.5 x 12 inchesEarly on in my research, I was fortunate enough to happen upon this post, all about flushable liners like the ones pictured here by Bummis.

I love these liners because they are very soft against Ruby's skin, and they act as a little barrier between her bum and the diaper, so they end up keeping the diaper nearly spotless. My husband and I agree: they rock. They make life easy as pie.

Unfortunately, as far as I can tell, Bummis liners are not available here in the Pioneer Valley (of course).

You can order them online, or look around locally for another brand. A Child's Garden and Cradle both carry liners, I believe, but I would make sure they are soft. (I got some liners a while back at A Child's Garden and I felt that although they were more substantial for holding poo, they felt way too rough!)

In addition to using the glory and wonder that is flushable liners, we also did this hook up of a DIY cloth diaper sprayer to our guest bathroom toilet.

We have used it plenty times, but as our daughter has gotten older (she's nearly 6 months old!) and since she has started solid foods, we have used disposable liners more and more, and the need for the sprayer has become less and less.

In fact, the liners protect the diapers so much that I haven't used the sprayer in at least a month. Amazing!

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Recent Discoveries: Easthampton & Beyond

Ruby has been more and more active and awake during the day lately, leaving me with fewer free minutes to write. She's sleeping now, so I wanted to take this opportunity to spread the word about a few recent discoveries...

The Easthampton Family Center*  - I finally visited the EFC for a informal, parent-run play group and it was great! Very low key and relaxed.
The space is pretty cool - it's shared with Flywheel so there's a stage on one end, but otherwise it's an open space w/ toys and mats out where kids can play and have fun. Ruby and I hung out with some fellow baby folks on a baby mat, so it's definitely a place for all ages.
*Just a note - the Easthampton Family Center's new location is 43 Main St in the Old Town Hall, Easthampton, MA. Their website lists their old location - ignore that!

Mother Goose (and other activities) at the Lilly Library - This is just super cute. The Mother Goose series on Fridays has stories, movement and songs for young ages. We enjoyed it last Friday and it's made its way onto our regular calendar.

All-4-Kids Children's Consignment Sale - This is something I learned about when we were at the play group at the Easthampton Family Center. Look at that: socializing = sharing information and supporting your community!
Anyway, the sale is this weekend and I'm completely psyched about checking it out. You should, too!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Midwives & Pediatricians in the Pioneer Valley

Today was Ruby's four month appointment. She's fantastic and healthy and was a super duper all star when getting her shots. And once again, I was so pleased with the care of everyone in her pediatrician's office.

Inspired by this, I figured I'd spread the word about the great medical care we've experienced having this baby.

I am, by no means, a baby or doctor expert. But I am a regular, normal person who gave birth to a beautiful girl four months ago at Cooley Dickinson Hospital in Northampton, MA.

She was delivered by two midwives from Cooley Dickinson Center for Midwifery Care. I love, love, love them, and it was an awesome birth.

We live in Easthampton, and so looked for a pediatrician in Easthampton. Not knowing anyone around here, I went onto the Masslive Parent to Parent Message Boards and asked for a recommendation. Although we liked her at first, that doctor ended up being a huge mistake (and unfortunately, we didn't realize it until after we'd had some very emotionally harrowing first few weeks of her care for our newborn), and so we looked for another pediatrician.

Northampton Pediatrics came highly recommended. But they weren't as close as we wanted.

Then I heard about Hampshire Pediatrics, in Easthampton. We switched to them when Ruby was about three weeks old, and haven't looked back. We see Dr. Jen and have seen Dr. Sue as well, and they are both just wonderful. Very thorough and supportive and low key and normal and great.

I'm sure there are plenty of other wonderful medical professionals in this area, but these are the ones we are very happy to have!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Baby Music Classes in the Pioneer Valley

Whether it's been me singing to her, her father's ipod playing Czech heavy metal (he's from Prague, so that's not as random as it sounds), or the music of her Seahorse, Ruby has always seemed to enjoy music of all kinds.

Because of this, I've had my eye out for baby music classes in Northampton, Easthampton, Amherst or anywhere in the Pioneer Valley.

After a slow summer, I'm suddenly seeing baby music classes everywhere!

The Jones Library in Amherst will offer "Sing with Your Baby" on Tuesdays at 10:30am, beginning September 14 until November 16, 2010.

Although it's not (yet) posted on their site, I *heard* the Lilly Library in Florence also offers a baby music class, also on Tuesdays (at 11am I think), starting up again in September.

Finally, I see on Cradle's calendar that they will have Kindermusik classes on Saturdays, starting September 25th and running for 6 weeks. The classes are broken down by age, and are not free. Check out their site for details.

Ruby and I will definitely be checking these classes out, and I hope you and your little one will too!

And please let me know if you find out about any others!

Monday, August 16, 2010

Washing Cloth Diapers

Because my goal here is to simply create one space where you may find all kinds baby and parenting related things in the Pioneer Valley of Western Massachusetts, I often don't feel the need to write a bunch of wordy wordiness, but instead just direct you to a resource that you might find helpful.

Therefore, I'd like to share the best instructions I've come across for washing Cloth Diapers - on the Nicki's Diapers blog.

I've done A LOT of research on Cloth Diapers, so believe me, I really do feel these are easy to understand and very direct, which is great because washing cloth diapers is what I think scares people away from cloth diapering all together.

I hope this will help anyone who had any doubts or questions about washing cloth diapers!

Spare the Rock, Spoil the Child

A friend told me about the radio show "Spare the Rock, Spoil the Child," on 93.9 The River on Saturday mornings from 8am-10am. I love it! Ruby loves it! They play great music for kids and their adults!

And luckily, they have online audio archives for those of us who aren't up/active from 8-10am, and for those of you who aren't local. 

Listen and enjoy!