Vancouver diaper service offers free starter pack

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Thinking about going cloth? Does the thought of scrubbing cloth diapers give you the heebie jeebies? Me too. That’s why we use Vancouver’s Happy Baby Cheeks Cloth Diaper Service. We toss our dirty diapers into a pail, put them on our porch once a week, and Happy Cheeks does the dirty work.

Free starter pack

Not only is this diaper service convenient, but they make their service affordable for their customers. Right now they’re offering new customers their starter pack for free – a $40 value.

Starter packs include your first delivery of diapers (as many as you need each week), a diaper pail (yours to keep forever), and their registration fee.

Just follow Happy Cheeks on Facebook and mention their Facebook offer. Or, if you read the Urbanbaby & Toddler magazine, simply use the promo code “Urbanbaby.”

Amazing referral program

To help save more, Happy Baby Cheeks also offers an amazing referral program. For every referral a customer makes to the Happy Baby Cheeks Cloth Diaper Service, they will receive one free week of service, once that referral has completed their first month of service. There is no limit to the number of referrals, so that means customers could potentially receive free service. Now that’s pretty amazing!

The people you refer don’t have to be friends or relatives either, they can be anyone. All they have to do is mention that you were the person that referred them.

For more information about the Happy Baby Cheeks service, check out their website, or  my previous posts here:

Past posts:

Disclaimer: diaper service courtesy of Happy Baby Cheeks Cloth Diaper Service. Opinions expressed on this blog are entirely my own.

Potty training: the gift that keeps on giving

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Not to worry, no TMI in this post. Just a few learnings from a naive mother, who abusrdly assumed that once her daughter was potty trained, she would remain potty trained.

If you’ve ever asked another parent whether their child was trained or not, you may have notice a slight squirm of indecision. They probably turned to the sky, contemplating if they could indeed officially classify their child as potty trained. Maybe their little Johnny had been trained for the last six months, but then suddenly they recall fishing a number two out of the kiddie pool the week before last.

We’ve all been there.

My husband and I “potty trained” our daughter Layla at the age of two. She was exited to try it, and she took to it right away. As parents, we were obviously pleased to have a genius for a daughter. Layla would squeal in delight each time she went, and follow it up with a celeabratory high five. Everything was right with the world. I was happily doling out potty training tips to friends. Then two months later I came face to face with potty training regression. It’s basically waking up one day to discover your child is no longer potty trained. Like a dream – poof – the training vanished. All of it, down the drain – literally.

Suddenly Layla was having accidents all the time. Was it because her new sibling was taking up all the attention? Was she just too busy playing to stop and go to the bathroom? Was she angry and seeking attention? It turns out it was all of the above. So how do you get your kid back on the porcelain throne? Here’s a few things I learned along the way.

The reward system

Small is key. I once met a mom who told me that she gave her son a Thomas the Tank Engine toy each time he went on the potty. I thought that was a bit off the rails (pun intended), and expensive. We started with Smarties, but soon found that it probably wasn’t the healthiest reward. So it evolved to prizes, like the stuff you find in those little red machines at the drug store. We found ourselves running out to buy more, and Layla began to get picky. They were also the perfect size for our newborn son to swallow, so we were constantly waiting for her to lose interest and drop them so we could hide them away again. It was work. Eventually we ended up just giving her one yogurt covered raisin, and she eventually stopped asking for them. Whatever you reward your child with, make sure you can maintain it.

Time it

I don’t mean in the sense that you should keep a poop log, but more of a log about what they’re eating and when. For example, if I give Layla fruit/veggie juice, shortly thereafter… well, you know. So it’s best to be proactive and take them before it’s too late.

Grin and bear it

There will be times during regression that you want to just drop everything, get in the car and drive…to Mexico. During Layla’s regression period she had four accidents in a row. Accidents that still haunt me. It’s enough to drive you mad, especially when you have another little one crying to get into the bathroom while you’re cleaning up. I’ve learned that you have to be prepared for a lot of accidents when you potty train and thereafter. A LOT.

The most important thing is to stay positive, which I haven’t always done. We’re all human after all. But during her last regression period, I made sure to tell her how proud I was of her, and I could tell that struck a cord. And now at the end of a long hard day, I’m rewarding myself for keeping my cool. But not with yogurt covered raisins. Just wine. Lots and lots of wine.

Tragically Hip tour ends on emotional high note

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Photo credit: CBC

Last night thousands of proud Canadians and music fans everywhere watched one of the most emotional performances in rock history. The Tragically Hip’s last concert of their Man Machine Poem tour, and most likely, their last concert ever.

Covered in sweat, Gord Downie  took few breaks throughout the band’s three hour set, which included three encores. With fists clenched and a few tears shed, his appreciation of his fans was surely felt.

I’ll admit, I’ve never been a huge fan, but watching their live performance last night on CBC, it was hard to look away. The music was there, but for me, it was more about the love. Love from the fans, love from Downie and the band for their fans, and for each other. I can’t imagine how hard it is for them to part ways after 30 years of touring together.

I was happy to share this piece of rock history with my daughter Layla. She’s only two and a half, but even she could feel a moment in the making.

As we watched, she asked “what’s this?” I wasn’t sure what to say. It wasn’t just a concert. It wasn’t just a band.

“This is the Tragically Hip,” I said.

DIY: a simple, inexpensive felt board for toddlers

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In anticipation of my daughter’s first year of preschool this fall, I began looking for an activity I could do with her that would wind down the chaos of summer, and ease her into a classroom state of mind.

I was hoping for something that would keep her engaged for longer than five minutes, that would help her learn, and of course something that was fun for the both of us. As I dug through my craft supplies, it hit me – a felt board!

Find out how we made it on Urbanbaby & Toddler’s blog!

Top 5 FREE radio apps for kids

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As much as I love rocking out to Metallica on the way to the grocery store, sometimes it’s nice to give the kids a little radio play too. Here are my top 5 radio apps for kids:

1470899553034Funky Kids Radio – An Australian radio station playing a variety of international artists. I love this app because it’s simple to use when you’re in a rush. Just hit the play button and you have a 24/7 live stream of songs and stories to listen to in your car through your bluetooth, on your computer or smartphone. And not to worry, they play bands adults can enjoy too, like the Black Eyed Peas and Foo Fighters.

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Chameleon: Kids Songs Music Radio

Playing a ton of your favourite singalong songs and classics from award winning artists like Charlotte Diamond, the Chameleon app is perfect for your 0 to 12’s.  It also comes with a few cool features too, like a locking screen for baby, song sharing, and some colourful characters to move around and play with on the screen.

Note: this says it costs $0.99, but I downloaded it for free when searching in the App Store.

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Children’s Songs – Fun Kid Music Streaming

A simple and sweet app for the littlest of hands. Easy, breezy nursery rhymes streaming from Youtube. While it’s not exactly a “radio” app, it’s easy-to-use, interactive map won me over. Swipe to the left for a slower bedtime lullaby, or right for upbeat dance songs.

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Sorcerer Radio: Disney

Attention Disney fans big and small, this radio app is perfect for playtime relaxation and bedtime bliss. You’ll hear Disney classics like When you wish upon a star, and enjoy rotating Disney artwork. A great app for baby and parent to enjoy together. Best of all, there’s a timer, perfect for putting your little one to sleep at night.

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Jango Radio Mobile

For your 12 and ups, Jango is an app you can share with your tweens. Listen to old favourites, or attempt trendiness through new hits. There’s a playlist for lounging, dinners, driving and just chilling out – just about everything. The best part? no ads, no interruptions and your tunes continue to play, even when your phone locks.

Have any music apps you share with  your kids? I’d love to hear about them.

Family vacation hangover

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Snackless and wilted, we stepped off the boat in Horseshoe Bay after a week-long trip to Keats Island with the kids. We climbed into the truck and the battery was dead. After a jump by a good samaritan,  we were back on the highway (to hell) home. Jack was hungry and wailed, but luckily Layla’s high-pitched banshee interpretations of classic nursery rhymes helped calm him. For about 10 minutes. While stopped at the gas station for snacks, Layla’s incessant chants for a Happy Meal began. I could feel the wrinkles multiple around my bloodshot eyes.

WE’RE HOME!

As every parent knows, the post-vacation ride home is just the beginning. There’s the mountain of laundry to be washed, spousal fights to be won about who was right about what stuff wasn’t needed on the trip, and of course the irritable kids to get back on schedule with.

But there’s yet another level of excruciating recuperation that stay-at-home parents know all too well. I like to call it the family vacation hangover. Your partner goes back to work, and the kids realize they’re no longer allowed to eat Cheetos for dinner.

The family vacation hangover is similar to your typical booze-fueled hangover. Deprived of sleep, you spend all day searching for a cure. Instead of pining for water or greasy food though, you long for a good hiding spot, maybe even some pity from the other stay-at-home parents in the neighbourhood. And like the typical hangover, you just have to wait it out. Unfortunately, this one doesn’t just disappear the following day. It drags on all week.

Depending on the age of the kids, the family vacation hangover experience is slightly different. For example, I have an almost-three and a just-over-one. They obsess over everything. At the cabin, my daughter found a pink, inflatable purse with a lizard sewn into it. She carried it to the beach, she hoarded things in it, and she slept with it at night. It stayed at the cabin, but she’s asked for it – oh I don’t know, about 7,568,498,078 times in the last two days. When I explain that the purse is still at the cabin, I’m met with a sea of tears.

The hangover is just as rough on my kids as it is on me.

Fortunately, as the week goes on, and my daughter catches up with her Paw Patrol, we’ll slowly settle back into our routine.

For now, I’ll settle for water and greasy food while I wait.

Camping with cloth diapers

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We all know that overwhelming feeling of getting home after a camping trip with the kids. There’s piles of laundry to unpack and wash, showers to take and groceries to replenish. Oh, and don’t forget, a few irritable kids to get back on a schedule with. The last thing a parent wants to deal with is a pile of dirty cloth diapers.

Lucky for me, I use the Happy Baby Cheeks Cloth Diaper Service, so I can just thrown the stinky wet bag on the porch and Happy Baby Cheeks takes care of the rest. It’s just one of the perks of using their diaper service. They’re also helpful in helping plan for a big trip.

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In addition to providing extra wet bags (free of charge), Happy Baby Cheeks also offers a cloth wipe service for an additional $5.60 a week for up to 100 wipes. These are more absorbent that disposable wipes, easy to pack, and eliminate unnecessary garbage.

Don’t forget a small squirt bottle to wet your cloth wipes with, or wet them ahead of time and pack them in a plastic, reusable container.

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We packed our Happy Baby Cheek cloth diapers in a plastic tote. After emptying the tote, we used it to store the wet bag with the dirty diapers in, which concealed the smell, keeping curious animals at bay.

I had the luxury of bringing the Happy Baby Premium diapers on our trip. They are super easy to use, but if you’re tight on space, their pre-fold diapers are the way to go.

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There are a few benefits to camping with cloth diapers. They make for an excellent, spontainious swimsuit on the beach, they are super comfortable for little movers, and of course, the best benefit of all – they’re reusable. So if you run out, you can wash a few.

I actually had to wash a few on our trip, but since I use the Happy Baby Cheeks diaper service, I know that the diapers will be washed again professionally, using environmentally friendly detergents.

For more information about the Happy Baby Cheeks service, check out their website, or  my previous posts here:

Past posts:

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Disclaimer: diaper service courtesy of Happy Baby Cheeks Cloth Diaper Service. Opinions expressed on this blog are entirely my own.