Join me...

Join I stumble through parenthood, as naturally as I can.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Mama & Maker Review and GIVEAWAY! **CLOSED

I was very excited to work with Mama & Maker, a wonderful WAHM.  I had the opportunity to try out an AI2 diaper.  First, a little info about the product reviewed:

Her AI2s are sized, side snapping dipes with a snap-in soaker.  The soakers are extra long so that they can be folded over for extra absorbency in the wetzone.  The soaker is made from 2 layers of zorb II (each Zorb II layer is equal to 2 layers microfiber).  Zorb II is regular Zorb sandwiched/quilted between two layers of soft cotton/bamboo.

Although the fabrics have been prewashed, I washed the diaper three times before trying it out to make sure it was fully prepped/absorbent.  We don't own any side snapping diapers, and I was amazed at how trim fitting it was!  It seemed like it was custom made for little man.  You can see from this picture how trim it is:
 The double row of snaps prevents wing drooping, and there are four spots to snap so you can get the perfect fit for your little one.

I folded the super quilty soft soaker so there was extra absorbency in the front (since he's a boy). He played and played and played (he is one BUSY boy), and we had absolutely no leaking. Woohoo!

 He fell asleep nursing, and ended up sleeping for close to THREE HOURS with the dipe on!  I am extremely paranoid about which diapers he wears to sleep, so normally I would not let him sleep in a diaper we are just trying out.  Much to my surprise he woke up completely dry!  Holy absorbency, batman!

Aside from having leak proof, trim fitting diapers...her fabric choices are terrific.  Check out this Cat in the Hat this cute or what?!

You can see other fabrics here.  I have my eye on the Superman one! now you probably want one for yourself.  You can buy one at her shop, or win one here! 

How to win:

1) Follow my blog and "like" Mama and Maker on Facebook AND

2) Comment (once) here with A) a comment related to the review, B) what have your eye on at Mama and Maker's shop, or B) your current favorite cloth diaper/combination

Giveway will close on Wednesday, April 13th at 12pm.  One lucky winner will be chosen at random to win a FREE sized side snapping AI2.  Woot woot!  Winner will be announced here and on facebook, and the winner will have 24 hours to respond.  Good luck!

ADDED 4/13:
Congratulations, #10 An O!!  Please contact Mama and Maker at to claim your prize :) 

Fine print: I was not compensated in any way for writing this review, besides the diaper itself.  The opinions expressed on this review are my own.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Air Fresheners

I love having a good smelling house, and am slightly obsessed with candles, sprays, and other yummy smelling air fresheners.  Unfortunately, these are loaded with yucky chemicals that I would prefer not to have in the house! 

For our bathroom, we mixed lemon essential oil and water in a small, stainless steel spray bottle.  Works great! .

Today, I simmered orange peels and cinnamon on the stove.  The smell seems to have gotten into every room in the house.  Yay! 

Other ideas for natural air fresheners:
  • Instead of throwing away stale juices, simmer them on the stove
  • Simmer fresh pine needles
  • Mix any essential oil and water.  Keep in small bowls around the house or spray from a bottle
  • Simmer other citrus peels, experiment with different combinations
  • Use a diffuser with essential oils
  • Boil cinnamon sticks
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Use a small piece of tinfoil, turn up the edges and pour a teaspoon of vanilla on top and place the foil in the oven. Turn off oven and prop the door open a bit.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Ear Infections

J-man has cold symptoms, a low-grade fever,  is crying on/off frequently, and frantically pulling at his ears.  Not cool!  Project of the day: research natural remedies for ear infections.  We really don't want to do antibiotics if possible.  We also don't want little man to be in a lot of pain or rupture his ear drums. 

According to Dr. Sears, "new research is suggesting that 80% of uncomplicated ear infections will resolve within 4 to 7 days without antibiotics."

I'm going to share a few other bits of info I got from our beloved book... "Smart Medicine For a Healthier Child, 2nd Edition."  I HIGHLY HIGHLY HIGHLY recommend this book!  It has conventional, natural, and homeopathic treatments for just about everything.  You can get it here

This book reiterates "many experts now question the necessity of using any antibiotics for treating an uncomplicated ear infection.  In fact, some think that using antibiotics sets the stage for the development of resistant bacteria, which can lead to recurrent infections that are resistant to standard antibiotics."

For herbal treatments, the book recommends Echinacea and goldenseal herbal combination formual, garlic, or mullein oil (a traditional Native American remedy).  We are going to try garlic...because it sounds the least intimidating.

Garlic is a natural antibacterial.  You can give your child an oral supplement (pill form or dissolved in something) or heat a fresh garlic clove in olive oil and put the warm drops directly into the child's ear.

We also plan to try some massage techniques.  "Massaging your child's ear can help keep the eustachian tube open.  Using gentle pressure, draw a line along the back of the ear and down the back of the jawbone.  Gently push and release the flap of skin in front of the ear several times.  You can also massage your child's ear by placing the fleshy part of your palm, just below your thumb, over your child's ear and rotating the ear in all directions."

Wish us luck! 

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Sleep Training

A little background: My hubby and I live in a sleep-deprived haze, as we do not believe in letting our son CIO (cry it out) or "sleep training."  We believe that it is important to our relationship/trust for him to feel confident we will respond to his needs, emotionally or physically.  We believe his only way to communicate right now is to cry, and we trust that his needs are real and not something for us to write off.  We respond quickly to him and we at least pretend to be compassionate :)  End rant. 

I found this on babycenter, and unfortunately...I do not know the source!  Here is sleep training...from the perspective of a baby.  Enjoy! 

OK, here's my situation. My Mommy has had me for almost 7 months. The first few months were great--I cried, she picked me up and fed me, anytime, day or night. Then something happened. Over the last few weeks, she has been trying to STTN (sleep thru the night). At first, I thought it was just a phase, but it is only getting worse. I've talked to other babies, and it seems like it's pretty common after Mommies have had us for around 6 months. Here's the thing: these Mommies don't really need to sleep. It's just a habit. Many of them have had some 30 years to sleep--they just don't need it anymore. So I am implementing a plan. I call it the Crybaby Shuffle.  It goes like this:  Night 1--cry every 3 hours until you get fed. I know, it's hard. It's hard to see your Mommy upset over your crying. Just keep reminding yourself, it's for her own good.

 Night 2--cry every 2 hours until you get fed.

 Night 3--every hour.

 Most Mommies will start to respond more quickly after about 3 nights.  Some Mommies are more alert, and may resist the change longer. These Mommies may stand in your doorway for hours, shhhh-ing. Don't give in. I cannot stress this enough: CONSISTENCY IS KEY!! If you let her STTN (sleep through the night), just once, she will expect it every night. I KNOW IT'S HARD! But she really does not need the sleep, she is just resisting the change. If you have an especially alert Mommy, you can stop crying for about 10 minutes, just long enough for her to go back to bed and start to fall asleep. Then cry again. It WILL eventually work. My Mommy once stayed awake for 10 hours straight, so I know she can do it.

 Last night, I cried every hour. You just have to decide to stick to it and just go for it. BE CONSISTENT! I cried for any reason I could come up with.My sleep sack tickled my foot. I felt a wrinkle under the sheet. My mobile made a shadow on the wall. I burped, and it tasted like pears. I hadn't eaten pears since lunch, what's up with that? The cat said "meow". I should know. My Mommy reminds me of this about 20 times a day. LOL. Once I cried just because I liked how it sounded when it echoed on the monitor in the other room. Too hot, too cold, just right--doesn't matter! Keep crying!! It took awhile, but it worked. She fed me at 4am. Tomorrow night, my goal is 3:30am. You need to slowly shorten the interval between feedings in order to reset your Mommies' internal clocks.

 P.S. Don't let those rubber things fool you, no matter how long you suck on them, no milk will come out. Trust me

Friday, January 14, 2011

Stunning Art!

I recently discovered the artist Katie M. Berggren, and I wanted to share. "Painting intimate moments of motherhood."  She paints the beauty of attached families! 

Her work, "Pieces of Me"
 You can check out many more of her paintings at her shop here.

For a chance to win a painting, visit Zerbert's on Facebook! 

Monday, January 10, 2011

Cloth Diaper Washing

I have lots of people ask me how we wash our diapers.  Finding a good wash routine is probably the most challenging part of cloth diapering, and can make or break your experience!  Getting detergent build-up can cause leaking, and the wrong amount of detergent can cause some seriously nasty smells! After experimenting with many different detergents and cycles, this is what works for us:

  1.  Short COLD cycle, with NO detergent.  This gets rid of the "nasties" before trying to get them really clean...and the cold water will help prevent stains from setting.
  2. Regular HOT cycle, with two Tablespoons detergent.  We alternate using Rockin Green and Tide Original Powder.  I swear by this!  The Rockin Green is gentle and natural and prolongs the life of your dipes.  The Tide gets them CLEAN.
  3. Extra COLD rinse, with NO detergent.  This is to make sure you get all of the detergent out, to prevent leaks.  If you peak in and there are still need to do another rinse. 
Washing every other day is the best way to prevent problems.  We occasionally go every 3 days, but try to avoid that on a regular basis.  We do not have a HE washing machine...if you do, you may need to alter your wash routine.  It's important to have enough water in your machine...we usually set it to "medium." 

We try to dry our diapers in the sun whenever possible...even in the winter! The sun is a natural disinfectant, and takes stains out better than any product I have found on the market. 

Happy washing!

Monday, October 4, 2010

Inspired By Finn Amber GIVEAWAY **CLOSED

**Giveaway closed, congratulations Tyson!

As I mentioned before, we got little man an amber necklace to help with teething.  Somewhere between 2-3 weeks in we noticed an incredible difference.  He was significantly less fussy, less drooly, and all around happier!  And did I mention super cute?!

I have been hearing more and more amazing benefits to Amber, including treatment of  general aches and pains, reducing inflammation, arthritis treatment, increasing energy, and even sensory issues.  When Amber is worn close to the skin, the body's warmth heats up the Amber and releases succinic acid healing oils.  Click here to read fascinating testimonials!

Inspired By Finn has been gracious enough to offer one of my followers a FREE piece of jewelry, 16" or smaller.  Woot woot!  Here's how to win:

Mandatory entry: "Like" Inspired by Finn on Facebook and become a follower of A Natural Transition.  Leave a comment telling me you did these things.  Also leave your email address so I know how to contact you if you win!  

Extra entries (more chances to win!):
  • Visit Inspired by Finn and leave a comment with what piece of jewelry you would like to win
  • Leave a comment with a link to your favorite "mommy blog"
  • Put a link to this giveaway on your facebook page
  • Tweet about this giveaway (please leave me a link)
  • Purchase something from Inspired By Finn
  • Leave a comment with something else Amber can be helpful for that I didn't mention
*Please leave a separate comment for each entry
**Winner will be drawn via at approximately 10pm central time on 10/17/2010
***Winner will be notified immediately and will have 48 hours to claim their prize before another winner will   be drawn
****Winner's shipping info and and jewelry choice will be forwarded to Inspired by Finn and will be shipped directly from them

Here are a few current promotions/discounts from Inspired By Finn:

TO SAVE 20% on an order with us, join us by clicking the "Like" button toward the top of our "Wall" tab.

TO SAVE 25%, join us by clicking the "Like" button + use the "Suggest to Friends" link near the top left of this "Wall" tab to suggest this page to your Facebook friends.

The discount code is entered/applied during checkout, and the discount is given off of prices on our website -

The codes to use once you have completed the criteria above -

To save 20%: FB20
To save 25%: FB25
Fine Print: The views on this blog are my own, and I was not compensated in any way by Inspired by Finn.  
Little man showing off his Amber: