Giveaway!! Over $300!! When Medicine Becomes Part Of The Family

     Our family has been going through a rough period. Just a few weeks ago my newly turned 2 year old was diagnosed with a bone tumor in his femur (thigh bone). Since this diagnosis hit, we have been to appointments, many tests...and are a week post-op from his first surgery. Watching my 2 year old being wheeled away by a surgical team into the OR has been the hardest thing I've ever had to do. I felt my heart sink to the floor. People were talking to me and I couldn't even process it. I thought, right now, exactly now they are doing things to my son. Focusing on the good, the outcome and his smiling face years from now helped keep me strong...and as I looked around I couldn't help but see the same look on all of the other parent's faces. We are all going through this together and each have our own story.
     Through this time I have clung to our things. Items that have made our journey easier through comfort. From the custom cloth diapers we took, to the blanket I made, my breast pump and bag...oh, and how I wish I had a way to capture the looks on the faces of surgical interns who walk in on me breastfeeding my 2 year old, or tandem nursing!! PRICELESS!! Anyway, having personal items to care for a child on-the-go is comforting. After surgery we were allowed to use our own diapers and any other items we brought along. He was wheeled into surgery, and brought back out wearing the blanket I made him...and is recovering at home with it too! We were able to use our cloth diapers at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia and I was happy to find that the staff left his basic care to us.
     After surgery he was crying and I could see he wasn't himself from pain medication. He was plain old high...luckily, he wanted to nurse and as his morphine wore off he became more himself. We have been potty training and I was surprised that just a few hours after surgery he asked for the toilet. I took him in with his giant leg splint on and put him on the potty. He then projectile vomited everywhere four times... (I have never seen a nurse run away so fast!) ...then looked down and peed. Such a sweetheart. Post-operative nausea is common and I cleaned him up with a wash-cloth bath, put his crayon cloth diaper on, fresh pajamas and got to snuggle with my little boy.
    The next few days went fast. I took my 3 year old, 7 month old, our double stroller, a suitcase and bags with us...not knowing how long we would be there for my 2 year old. I felt oddly proud walking around knowing I had everything with us my kids might want or need (including Grandma and Pop) was somehow reassuring and comforting...and must have been a sight with our crew in the hospital. I was thrilled when the hospital brought me a 'breastfeeding care pack' with a cool bib and lactation cookie and told me I could have a pump if needed! I had never had a lactation cookie, but it was delicious!
     I was so happy when he was discharged and hope that every day recovering here at home moves us closer towards a goal of wellness. More doctor visits and tests are in our future, but I feel prepared. As I wait for the phone call from a second pathology report I pray that it comes back benign. This has certainly been an unexpected journey and I hope that if you find yourself with doctors and nurses as your most frequented family members, that you have some items to help comfort you and your family too. 
     SprayPal and I have teamed up with a group of companies to help provide others with items that might help make their medical journey a bit more pleasant. Weather it's picking out a special diaper for a checkup, or preparing for surgery and a hospital admittance...what do they boy scouts say??? Be Prepared! :)
     As always, thanks for stopping by! I appreciate your time and I hope you have a wonderful day. If today is rough, then I hope you have a better tomorrow :)

Spray Pal Cloth Diaper Sprayer Shield $25 Value

     Okay...if you don't know the Spray Pal company then you need to click on the link above! Once I found this cloth diaper spray shield I wondered how I lived without one before?! With 2 boys in cloth, it makes cleaning poopy diapers so fast and easy. The Spray Pal company is owned and 100% operated by a wonderful family.
     The Spray-Palers are a Mom and Dad team, both elementary school teachers and the proud parents to two babies, Spray Pal 1.0 and 2.0. Their youngest son was born at 25 weeks and at just 2 lbs, was the first to wear cloth in the NICU where he was receiving care. What can I say, he's adorable! I love seeing photos of him on instagram and he always brings a smile to my day!
     If you cloth diaper, then you need one of these! I searched for photos, but this fantastic spray pal video made by the company owners is the best at showing how one is used. If you're on the go, wrapping and storing poopy diapers is easy! I roll and snap closed. When I get home, I take them out of our wetbag and serial-spray them before a washing.

$20 The Little Bumblebee Shop Credit

      The Little Bumblebee is an Eco-friendly Baby shop. If you are looking for a cute patterned cloth diaper, cute accessories, fun teethers for baby, or a wet bag for you life on the go you can find that and more at the Little Bumblebee Shop. These WAHM Pocket diapers are hand made in Minnesota and can be custom ordered for any idea or theme you'd like! She offers collections with themes and hand-picks fabrics that compliment and coordinate together well!

The Purple Unicorn $25 Shop Credit
     The Purple Unicorn is a WAHM shop out of Pennsylvania! The shop owner comes from a long line of seamstresses and hand makes each item. Specialties include hybrid fitted diapers, Maxaloones and shorties, Reversible sundresses and custom orders. She even has fabric that she designed and had made up for items. How great right? One of her specialties is a petal style soaker is made from 5 layers of HOBF topped with matching cotton velour.

CuddleCloth NB Giftset $42.35 value

     Cuddlecloth® is a bath towel, made for moms convenience and baby's safety. It was created out of concern for slippry babies (they are so slippery when they're wet!). This patented, innovative and practical bath towel bib is made of 100% cotton terry spa velour, one of the largest, thickest towels for baby on the market.
     Cuddlecloth is a generous size 30" x 45", with the gift set, a 9" Cuddleround™ washcloth is included along with a reusable organza and vinyl gift bag. This series of photos shows how one is used, and unlike other bath towels it will be around into toddlerhood because of it's generous size and function.

4 Pack of Buti-Pods $24 value! 

     Buti-pod is a soft and durable yet super-flexible and lightweight plastic pouch featuring a center zipper for easy wet wipes dispensing.  Their compact and flexible design also makes them just the right size for holding coupons, receipts, recipes and many other small items.  They are simple, but effective, and you will have wet wipes when you need them most. Buti-Pods are leak-resistant, reusable and environmentally friendly. They are phthalate, lead and bpa free. They are the perfect dispenser for wipes of all kinds - make-up wipes, antibacterial wipes and even to keep extra wipes in your car, stroller or suitcase.

dimensions: 8 inches long x 5 inches wide x 0.5 inch high (a half-inch gusseted center)

2 Week Supply (14 cookies) from Milkin' Cookies
($21.99 Value)
      Milkin' Cookies are delicious lactation cookies for nursing moms and were created by 2 working physician Moms!! They include healthy ingredients to boost breast milk production. In addition to wholesome nuts, berries, and wheat flours, Milkin' Cookies contain key ingredients called galactogogues--foods known to boost lactation. They're made in small batches and are free of preservatives and even come dairy free!  Order Online and have them arrive at your door! 

Lillebaby Complete Carrier $130 value

     Babywearing is one of the best and most comfortable ways to keep your little one happy on the go. Having a soft structured carrier (SSC) like a Lillebaby is a fast and easy way to carry a baby or toddler. I often wear my baby while at my 2 year old's appointments. It helps keep baby happy (and quiet, even napping!) while I talk with doctors, nurses and staff often about important medical information.
     Designed in the USA, the Lillebaby complete goes from 7-45 lbs!!!! It boasts 6 carry positions and an adjustable seat, hood, neck support and important lumbar support. "It’s called complete for a reason. The award-winning lillebaby® COMPLETE™ baby carrier offers more carrying positions, lasts longer, and includes more features than any other baby carrier."
     With patterns designed by Ty Pennington, a soft and durable 100% Brushed Cotton Exterior and pampering 100% Cotton Sateen Lining, this carrier is both stylish and comfortable. In addition to style and quality materials, the carrier straps can be work backpack style, or crossed with many options to personalize fit.

     Nursing scarves are so versatile! The breastfeeding scarves offered by Cover My Heart are both multifunctional and fashionable. If you saw someone wearing one, it would look like a fantastic accessory to their outfit...the Saharah scarf above definitely doesn't look like your typical nursing cover. In addition to being fashionable, it helps keep the diaper bag lighter because Mom can wear it all the time! No need to dig through the diaper bag.
     Made of lightweight polyester chiffon fabric it's airy and breathable to keep Mom and baby comfortable with whatever level of coverage keeps you feeling confident. It boasts a generous neckline, so you can see baby through the top, and 12 different ways to wear. Move over heavy cotton nursing covers, personalizable fashionable breastfeeding scarves are here!

Jaq Jaq Bird Wetbag $19.99 Value

     Jaq Jaq reusable pouches are wonderful! If you've owned any of their products then you know they're high quality. I carry two of their large snack bags to keep my breast pump parts clean and ready for use right in my pump bag. One of their wetbags is hanging in my bathroom too!
     The wetbags are 13 x 16 and leak proof and sweat proof. They really contain wet materials weather it's dirty diapers, a pair of pants that you had to rinse out because of an accident or staining out and about, or even as a large snack bag...these are awesome! 
     If you've owned other wet bags, and were disappointed to find that the cotton outer layer shrunk...have no fear, Jaq Jaq bird wetbags don't shrink! It's also a perfect combination with your Spray Pal! Our Spray Pal is folded and hanging in the polka dot bag in our bathroom to keep it neat, organized and at an easy reach for use!

     As always, thank you for stopping by! If you too have found yourself spending more time with doctors then friends and family, have spent so much time on the phone that your arm stays that way 24/7 and if you have had to place your child into the hands of others for surgery know my thoughts are with you too! Please enter this fantastic giveaway below and thank all the wonderful sponsors!

Pavo Form Review; Swallowtail Violet IBC Tempe 2014 Release

This is my baby wrap and the photos and opinions here are my own, there are some links to the company however I have not been paid to say nice things about this beautiful woven wrap. The selfies are taken with my Ipad and aren't as nice of quality as the wrap photos taken with my for real camera. I took them at different times throughout the day so you can see the nuances in the color in various lighting.

     Pavo....if you're a babywearing Mama then you know the name and may be stalking a wrap release right now! If you're just getting into wrapping then you'll want to become familiar with this amazing company. Owned and operated by two babywearing masterminds,  many Pavo wraps are released and gone before many even knew they existed! The company is known for it's design, patterns, quality and overall wrapping appeal. Pavo's are the Tiffany's of the wrap world. Made in the USA and followed by a loving group of 'pavotees' these wraps are highly sought after and cherished.

      Pavotextiles is a Mom run company by not one...but two wonderful ladies; Jennifer Money and Erin Arnason. J Money (as she's affectionately known) has a PhD in Renaissance and Early Modern English Literature and Erin has a BFA in Textiles and previously worked deigning textiles for clothing (1).These ladies make up a textile power team that sources...weaves...and finishes wraps in the USA!! The wraps are woven on reclaimed looms and under constant supervision from weaving professionals. Employees of Pavotextiles are paid a fair wage and their mills are among the few still going strong in the USA. (2) With a combination of 9 years babywearing experience, these ladies produce not one...but two lines from Pavotextiles; Pavo Guild and Pavo Form. 

     Pavo Guild, or Pavo the original, was flourishing through the production of highly sought after artisnal wraps. Company owners wanted to offer a line of wraps that are playful and fun, while continuing to offer their more structured line. Maybe a Pavo Guild wrap is one you'd wear for a special occasion, and a Pavo Form wrap is one you'd take to the playground or beach....but I'm sure you'd see a Pavo Form at a Wedding and a Guild at the playground!! Pavo Form is a branch from the mother company that offers playful undertones; "Pavo Form is a relaxed and playful Pavo" (1). 
     The wrap photographed here is a Pavo Form IBC Tempe release Swallowtail in Violet Sky, size 6. This wrap was offered as a pre-order along with Dusk and sold directly at the conference as a company exclusive. Wraps that made it back from conference were released on their website and gone in a flash! This wrap was soft right out of the box, is supportive for both my infant and toddler and if you've heard the phrase 'strand by strand'...this wrap defines that! It's very customizable to your carry and it seems as though every square inch is adjustable.

(FYI I do not recommend getting sand on/in your wrap, just like crystals from powdered detergent can wear fibers I imagine some sand can can sand and I was extra careful!!) 

          So how do you get one? There are some wraps for sale on the Pavo Form website. However, most Form and Guild wrap launches begin with an announcement on their facebook page. The Guild FB page is Pavo Textiles and the Form FB page is Pavo Form. If you find a wrap that you love, and (like me) don't have fast fingers, your best chances of purchasing one may be to join The Pavo Society and purchase a wrap off of a lovely babywearing Mama! However you should know that return policies don't apply if a wrap has changed hands, has been longer then 14 days or has been washed and or worn. Pavotextiles also runs a FB group, Pavo Customer Appreciation, for customers to get service and ask questions. Pavo does ask that you preface questions with your order number, but there is general product chatter on there as well.

 Great for Front and Back carries aline! FWCC (left) and Double Hammock (Right)


      The wrap arrived floppy straight out of the package and at 185"even has some bounce. After following the wash instructions to cold wash without a spin, followed by a low dry cycle (I had no idea my washer had a 'no spin' option until now!) and ironing it shrunk to 169.5" and works out to be 303 g/m2 making it a thick/verythick wrap according to the woven wrap database guide. However...with it's moldability and out of the box floppiness I still can't believe it works out to that (but I did it four times now)! It's a nice width at 27.5" and looks beautiful and sometimes nearly shiny in different light. Swallowtail consists of a ecru warp with a dark violet mercerized cotton fill, and is 100% cotton, approximately 260 g/m2 (3) according to the company, however individual wraps may vary. 

     After receiving this wrap in the mail I could have kicked myself for not pre-ordering Dusk too. This wrap would have been a perfect for a transition from a stretchy to a woven. Although it is 100% cotton, it's nearly stretchy from the weave and I find myself making adjustments as I'm wearing it. I'll keep you up to date as it continues to break in. The hem even looks puffy to me, it's amazing.
      Like a good pair of jeans, my Pavo nearly loosens a bit during wear and I undo the knot and re-tighten as needed. Not as fluffy as my Tekhni with repreve and not as dense and tight as my 100% cotton Oscha, this wrap surprises me with it's softness every time I pick it up. I hope to add another to my stash in the future and if you're wondering if you should purchase a Pavo...I would highly suggest it. Every Mama deserves one in her stash!! (Or a few... :)

     As always thank you for stopping by!! I always appreciate a follow and or a like...and would appreciate your vote to review a Diva Milano HERE.
     Please make sure to visit Pavo on Twitter, Instagram, Pavo Form and Pavo Textiles/Guild on Facebook for upcoming wrap releases and information!

I may have over done it with the photos....I have quite a few more!!

Some good links:

Mama Banana's Adventures Needs Your Help!!

     Mama Banana's Adventures needs your help! A woven wrap company, Diva Milano, is hosting a "Like" contest on facebook and the comments mentioning the blogs with the most "likes" will get to review a wrap! Please go and "Like" Jeanette's comment in the thread or write "Mama Banana's Adventures" on the facebook post HERE.There is a photo of it below.
     Thank you so much! I hope to review a Diva Milano wrap next for you in my Beautiful Babywearing series. As always thank you for stopping by!

Giveaway!! Enter to Win From Paper Vs Glue!

MBA is participating as a promoter for this giveaway, prize will come from this awesome shop!

Bonjour!  We are pumped to announce our super duper giveaway!  Here is your chance to win a one choice of two fun collage cigar boxes.

Up for Grabs!:  One Spiderman vintage comic book collage cigar box OR a fantabulous reproduction Pin-Up girls collage cigar box.

You can enter two ways:  Instagram and/or Facebook using the Giveaway Tool Below!

One winner will be selected at random and the contest ends on August 25, 2014 at 11:00pm (EST).

Here's How to Enter:

Choosing Between Children; When You Have to Drop the Ball

     It's a choice I never thought I would have to make. Like many Moms, I love my babies equally. In addition, I like to think they all get lots of equal attention throughout the day. It's a juggling act, I toss one ball up (figuratively, I'm not throwing my children into the air) while I hold another and try to pass them seamlessly in a circle without a miss. However there are times throughout the day that I have to choose. I have to decide whos' needs are more important and who gets my attention first.
     I knew when my second and third sons were born that I wouldn't be able to provide a lot of attention to the older sibling(s) the first few weeks. The time when it seems like baby is constantly nursing and showers are but a dream. I looked forward to this time passing and moving onto a time when I could split my attention 3 ways equally and meet ALL of my childrens' needs....and maybe even some of my own!
     As I watched my 3 year old go off to Grandma's this morning, because I know that he will get 100% attention from both Grandma and Grandpop while I care for my post-surgical 2 year old and 7  month old nurslings...I feel terrible. Guilt. I feel guilty that I have to divide my attention two ways today, and maybe even clean some of the mess in the house that's left from running to doctors appointments without even unpacking from the last. While I know my 3 year old will have a fantastic time, I am  not capable of providing him with the  joy and attention he deserves today. So I must defer, like many parents do. I must allow trusted others to fulfill the needs he has today that I am unable to meet, color with him, work on preschool learning and even sit down and enjoy his favorite cartoon.
     Today I can't be super Mom to 3 babies, because one of my brood needs more attention. Why does this bother me? Can we as Moms allow the juggling to stop for a day, a week, maybe even just a few minutes. How long can we keep the balls in the air before we need to pause and allow someone else to participate in our act? Today I'm juggling two babies and hope my 3 year old doesn't feel rejected, unwanted or unattended to by Mom. I know he'll be playing and watching Paw Patrol, and for the first time in over two years, he'll be the only child to his Grandparents who will provide undivided attention and Love.

$65 Cloth Diaper E-Gift Card Giveaway; Kissing Blake

Mama Banana's Adventures is participating as a promotor for this amazing giveaway. You KNOW I love a great WAHM :)

Welcome to the Kissing Blake Cloth Diaper Giveaway! 
Sponsored By: Kissing Blake

Kissing Blake offers two types of diapers, one is their Ever Day Diaper which is regular day time absorbency OS hybrid fitted and their Extended/Night OS hybrid fitted diapers. Both of which are awesome if I may say so myself, but the Extended/Night diaper is the most amazing diaper I have ever put on my son! It held up for 10-12+ hours with OUT a cover and the outside of the diaper wasn't even wet, not even in the wet zone! Check out our full review of the Kissing Blake OS hybrid fitted cloth diapers

Discount Code:
Use discount code MAMIS3 to receive 3% OFF your order from Kissing Blake. 
But, this isn't the only deal Kissing Blake offers.

- When you buy 3 diapers, you get FREE Priority Shipping in the US!
-All diapers come with 1 FREE wipe
-When you buy 8 diapers within a 3 month period you get your 9th diaper FREE! Yes, a FREE DIAPER!

**Kissing Blake Stocks their HyenaCart every Monday and Thursday at 8am.**

Kissing Blake is offering a $65 eGC to one lucky reader! With this $65 GC you will be able to choose your choice of any Every Day OS hybrid as well as any Extended/Night diaper! Two diapers to one very lucky winner! This giveaway is open to US/CA and will end on August 14th at 11:59pm CST. Please enter through the Giveaway Tools entry form below. One winner will be chosen at random, entries will be verified and winner will be notified via email. Winner has 48 hours to respond to this email or a new winner will be chosen. Please do not claim entries if you have not fulfilled them. 
Good Luck!

Disclosure: This blog and all other participating blogs have not been compensated for this post nor are they responsible for the fulfillment of the above prize. This giveaway was set up and run by Mami's 3 Little Monkeys blog. Kissing Blake is fully responsible for the fulfillment and shipment of the winner's prize(s). Shipping is free to US and CA residents. 
Sarh Mami's 3 Little Monkeys Blog: Facebook: Twitter: Pinterest: Google+:

Tekhni Woven Wrap Review

This is not a sponsored post, the opinions here are my own and there are some company links and info too! This is my own wrap and I have not been paid to say nice things about it, it just so happens that it's a wonderful wrap.

     The more I learn about woven wraps the more enchanted I become. There are so many beautiful wovens out there, who wouldn't want them all? I wish my wrap budget was endless! However, like many Moms I carefully choose my wraps, read reviews, do web searches and love to share my experiences with you. I feel very fortunate to have this beautiful Tekhni Ceres Raspberry 6 Woven wrap in my stash and am very excited to share it's wonderfulness with you! This company is not only run by a talented artist and wrap expert, but the repreve wraps are also eco-friendly and green!

     So why a Tekhni? Tekhni Woven Sling Studio has an Etsy shop and boasts a USA location out of Grayslake Illinois. The shop opened in September of 2013 and is owned and operated by well known wrap guru Alisa DeMarco. Alisa is also the artist behind color dip studios and is well known for her color and design expertise. She is a Mom to 3 beautiful babies and took her artism (yes I made that word up) collegiate and studied at DePauw University. You can see some of her beautiful work on the Tekhni website and if you know the wrap industry even a bit, you can spot a Tekhni from a mile away. Featured here is my very own Ceres Raspberry in a 6 with repreve measuring in at 303 g/m2 after following Tekhni's care instructions. It has a beautiful width at 29.5", very manageable knot size and is lovely for both my toddler and infant.

     With an approximate weight of 290 g/m2, a 55% natural cotton weft and 45% berry repreve weft, this wrap is amazing. I was so excited when the package arrived that I opened it right in the driveway! As you can see above, it came wrapped in this amazing blue fabric that also sports the Tekhni tag. I wasn't sure how repreve fabric would feel, but after feeling this wrap I'm a huge fan! Knowing that this beauty was finished by hand in IL makes it feel a bit more special too.
     The Ceres line from Tekhni has been offered in several colors including alabaster, saffron, raspberry, absinthe, eco, kalamata, napa, manta and oasis and you can see some great action shots on pinterest. This great botanical pattern reminds me of leaves, looks amazing in every carry and provides just the right amount of grip.

     What is repreve fabric? Repreve is the ultimate recycling of consumer wastes. Plastic bottles that plague our oceans and make up a large portion of recycleable waste, are processed and turned into yarn. Repreve yarn is used like any other yarn would be; it's wound, dyed and used in fabric. Unlike polyester, which is made from oil, repreve is functional and green because it removes existing waste from our environment. So is repreve safe? Aside from the fact that we think plastic bottles are safe enough to drink out of....The company boasts both third party verification and protecting natural resources through the use of items we consider disposable. A very cool video from Repreve that does a fantastic job showing how the yarn is made is located at the bottom of this article. 

     Caring for a Tekhni is easy, and I find great joy in ironing and folding this beautiful pattern. As tempting as it may be to wrap with it right out of the box...washing a woven wrap before wrapping is the final step in the wrap process. This helps to tighten up the weave and prevent any shifting or pulls in the threads. Tekhni recommends an initial hot wash and low spin for cotton wraps, followed by a tumble dry on low and a warm steam iron. Easy right? I have an agitator-free HE machine which is great for washing woven wraps, but does a terrible job on our cloth diapers. My dream....two washers...oh how my goals have changed since having children!

     In comparison to other wraps, this Tekhni Ceres feels amazing to the touch. It's cushy and almost has a bounce to it. While being on the thick end, according to the woven wrap database, it is very supportive and easy to form around both my infant and toddler. It did stand up out of the box...however I enjoy this in a wrap and never felt as though it needed to be 'broken' in. It's soft, supportive, cushy and beautiful.
     I have enjoyed wrapping with this beauty from the first wrap. I am fond of cross carry wraps and I can even cross this behind my back, and bring it back around to the front in a FWCC with a very manageable knot size and it has never felt bulky or hot (but I do live in PA). One character I have noted, is a wavy hem throughout the wrap. It has no impact on the function, and I attribute it to the near stretchy feel of this beautiful pattern. If I get very daring and attempt to iron it out I will update you on my adventures!

     One of my favorite features of this wrap is the saturation and character of the berry repreve. I have tried to capture it's personality for you, but at times it looks very cool and rich, and at other times it appears to be warmer. Either way, I love wearing it and my babies enjoy being carried in both front and back carries. It's always great for a nap and has been traveling with us. I get a lot of compliments and my son's orthopedist said 'what a great way to carry a baby!'...his resident took down the information to get one of her own!
     Prices for Tekhni Wovens vary, and this beautiful Ceres Raspberry ranged from $163 - $188 plus shipping and associated fees. For many Moms this is absolutely an investment, however if you saw that price range and felt as though something this beautiful was out of'll be thrilled to know that Tekhni now offers beautiful wraps at $99 for every size! This line opens up babywearing to Moms from many budgets as purchasing similar style woven fabric from a store and sewing supplies could cost nearly the same price. So how do you get one? Make sure to follow Tekhni on facebook page for upcoming releases and company information.
    As always, thank you for stopping by! I always appreciate a 'follow' or a like on my pages (companies often ask for that information when deciding if I should host a review or giveaway). I also invite you to follow Tekhni on the Facebook, Twitter, Instagram as well as visiting the Website and favoriting her Etsy shop. Happy babywearing! 

Here is the Repreve Video I promised:

Getting Started with Cloth Diapers; How to Cloth Diaper a Newborn

This is not a sponsored post. The opinions and experiences are my own, thanks for stopping by! This may contain affiliate links, I'm not sure how to work those yet, but affiliate links mean I get credit if you use them.

      I started cloth diapering my my 2nd son when he was 8 months old. I didn't know a lot about cloth diapers, but jumped right in with a set of Econobums we were gifted. I later fell in love with pockets and started adding one or two at a time to our collection. For my 3rd son, I bought a collection of  'one size' pockets. Even though he was 9.5 lbs at birth, they didn't fit him until about 15 lbs and I highly valued our prefolds and covers.
     Our stash now contains 12 different brands and we have every style out there. I often get asked about gift diapers and creating a starter stash and want to share this information with you. I can make recommendations based on my preferences, but doing research is always helpful. Make sure to check out my Cloth Diaper Review List for some of our favorites! 
Grovia Prefolds
      A wonderful gift for someone getting ready to cloth diaper are prefolds and covers. Depending on your budget, you can spend anywhere from about $12 to hundreds. If I was buying cloth diapers for my SIL or a good friend to start out, I would get Grovia prefolds and some Thirsties size one and Toosha's (a WAHM) AI2 covers. The WAHM covers can be completely customized and come in any pattern you can imagine.
     Using a cover is a great way to reduce laundry and make cloth diapering easy. Where as a pocket diaper has to be washed after every use, a cover can be used a few times before requiring laundering. Our first Thirsties duo was a size 2, and they are very roomy! My son was nearly 30 lbs and he was swimming in it. After talking to other Moms and seeing the Thirsties size one covers, I realized that they may go far beyond the weight and size range on the package. They come in a great array of colors and patterns and are made in the USA!!

Thirsties Duo Covers
     A newborn will typically use prefolds in a diaper fold, and an older baby may use them the same way or in a trifold (like a pamphlet). While the trifold may be laid in the diaper and stays in place well, the diaper fold if often held in place with something known as a snappi. Snappis have replaced diaper pins and offer a great way to hold a prefold in place at 3 junctions. They can also offer an adjustable tension and fast changes without finger pricks.
     Diaper covers or shells are placed over the prefold to prevent leaks. The thirsties and toosha's come with an insert as well so its easy to be stocked up on inserts! Read more about Grovia's Prefolds and Toosha's cloth diapers.
     How often a parent intends on washing laundry determines how many diapers/covers you'll need. A newborn typically wets a lot and changing a diaper at least every 2 hours is recommended (both for disposables and cloth). Using 12 diapers a day is common. So an amazing gift or first purchase would be 12 prefolds and 3 covers. Where to purchase them? Amazon has an amazing cloth diaper selection, and the prefolds and has free shipping with $35 purchases and great returns. They also do a baby registry, so it's a great way to let friends and family know exactly what to purchase.

Great Prefold Graphic from Grovia
     As always thanks for stopping by! I'm always happy to chat or answer any questions you may have. Connect with me on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or feel free to message me here! Have a wonderful day!

Preparing Emotionally for A Child's Surgery

This is not a sponsored post, these are my thoughts and opinions and should be treated as such. Please seek professional help if you are having trouble, the internet is not a good place to diagnose or treat conditions.

     Lately my google searches include "How to prepare for your child's surgery." I've found many articles, including some from Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) that give great instructions about when to stop eating for anesthesia, when to arrive at the hospital and how to manage pain post surgery. What these articles don't include, is how to prepare emotionally for surgery. How to keep a smile on your to be your child's rock...when you're envisioning someone cutting him with a scalpel.... It's a tough time for caregivers, and our whole family (especially me) is feeling the emotional toll as we approach our son's surgery date.
     There are several techniques I have been using to keep myself focused on the positive. Thinking about my son 10 years from now and how this surgery will benefit him. One of my favorite subjects in psychology is Cognitive Psychology. Where as many other areas focus on discussing and ruminating on troubling areas to heal them, Cognitive Psychology actually aims to change your life by altering the way you think and speak. I thought, I must apply this to my life or I could very quickly find myself lost in negative thoughts and tearful over my son's diagnosis.
1. Positive Thinking

     It's usually late at night, after everyone has gone to bed that the reality of sending my son for surgery sets in. My 2 year old was diagnosed with a bone lesion in his L femur which is not only deforming the bone, but is questionable in it's makeup. We have been told that it is most likely not cancer, but still needs to be surgically removed. The thought settled in, and has been ruminating in me. Oh my God...they're going to cut my son. It's a terrible thought, it sits in the pit of my stomach and is inexplicably sad. So how do I as a parent move past this? How do I wake up and make chocolate pancakes and start folding laundry? 
     Positive thinking. I consciously and purposely change my thoughts and focus on the good. When I find myself traveling down a sad or negative thought process, I change my thoughts and thus my outlook. I can do this by the way I think, or by reading a list of good things and the ideal outcome of my son's surgery. Some of these items include; Our doctor said it is most likely not Cancer, and he's the best in his field. Having this surgery done now means that my son's leg will start to grow more normally and he may even wind up playing sports on it. My 2 year old won't remember this. Years from now he'll probably say..'I had surgery on my leg when I was little...' and see the scar, but not remember much or anything about all of this. 
     Finding the positive in a sad and stressful time is very important. The proverbial diamond in the rough. Yes my son is going for surgery, when he goes under anesthesia and they wheel him away I'm going to be a basket case. However, up until that time I will focus on the good, find the positive and make sure he possibly even has fun on our road trips and doctor visits. 

2. Purposeful Activities
     Preparing for my sons surgery is a lot of work. I feel as thought I have been on the telephone constantly; Making appointments, collaborating with our insurance company, scheduling work hours...and Grandma and Pop. Packing snacks and diapers for road trips, gassing up the van and checking tire pressure, and of course trying to have fun with my family in between! 
     Gathering a collection of supplies for our hospital stay and trips to doctors visits has been a great way to spend time and energy in a very positive and purposeful manner. Instead of ruminating on thoughts and 'what ifs', I have taken to fulfilling a list of items that are both comforting and functional. Items include a blanket for my son to wear in the hospital, custom cloth diapers from Toosha's Diapers and hopefully (still searching!!) a happy themed or colored baby carrier or wrap.    
     Working in health care, and having spent a few days in the hospital myself, I know that temperatures can be chilly...and the thin blanket they give out is far from warm and comforting. My 2 year old picked out two fabrics, and with a few tips and suggestions, I have sewn him this blanket out of 2 yards fleece and 2 yards minky material!! 

     My 2 year old adores crayons. If he doesn't become an artist I'll be shocked! One thing I've noticed, is that everyone sees my son in his diaper. We're instructed to take his adorable outfit off even before the doctor comes into the room. So having adorable diapers is a must. I found this amazing crayon fabric from and an amazing Work at Home Mom who crafts diapers right here in the USA is making these customs for our trip! Not only did my son pick out the fabric and loooove it, but it will help clinic and hospital staff have something to talk about with him...and give them a clue about one of his favorite all time activities. Visit Toosha's on facebook and her shop on Hyena Cart.

    I have been searching high and low for a reasonably priced baby carrier that helps brighten our stay. Wearing my toddler or my infant has been a great way to keep everyone calm and happy, and with a few days admitted to the hospital and I'm sure a myriad of follow up appointments and therapy...having something cheerful will be a great addition to our supplies. I am watching wrap releases and looking at SSCs and am very up on what's coming out if anyone wants to chat!

3. Organization

     I feel like I have been on the phone nonstop since learning my son needed some medical procedures and appointments. It's frustrating. I think it has taken me 10 phone calls to get one simple thing done. Between our Pediatrician, Specialists, Pharmacy, Insurance company, Labs, Work and hospitals...let's just say I make a lot of phone calls. One thing that has been very helpful, is keeping an organized folder of information, and a list of helpful people...and their Direct contact cut down on unnecessary phone calls and wait time on hold. 
     I have signed release papers at every stop. I have requested that my sons records be forwarded to our pediatrician and our specialist...however...I have had to pull out the DVD of our x-rays and MRI from my purse at every visit, because the forwarding of information isn't as efficient or helpful as one would think. I now know to make sure I have a copy of films, studies and results BEFORE we leave a facility...even if it means an extra trip to medical records, to make sure we don't waste time at a doctor's appointment waiting for someone to find our MRI. 

     The next few weeks are going to be hard, we are T-minus two weeks for our surgery, unless something changes. We have two more upcoming appointments and are waiting to be given our arrival and surgery time. As this time approaches, and every day brings us closer to surgery, I feel myself beginning to wobble. Focusing on Positive Thoughts, Purpousful Activities and Organization is helping me keep calm and doing the best job I can for my family...because as parents we are our children's rock. Their go-to for comfort and need, they look to us for reassurance and guidance...and literally placing my son into a surgeon's hands as a blubbering mess would send the wrong message to my toddler...I'll wait until the OR doors close for that.
     As always, thank you for stopping by! I'm happy to chat and share experiences. You can always message me through here, facebook, twitter or instagram. Take care and I hope your day unfolds wonderfully.

TEGO AUDIO CERA Bluetooth Wireless Speaker Giveaway!

Mama Banana's Adventures is collaborating with Mami's 3 Little Monkeys and is participating as a giveaway promoter!

Welcome to the Tego Audio CERA Wireless Portable Speaker Giveaway!

Sponsored By: Tego Audio

CERA Bluetooth Wireless Speaker
CERA Wireless Portable Speaker - RedCERA Wireless Portable Speaker - BlackCERA Wireless Portable Speaker - White

Product Features:
  • Powerful Wireless Portable Speaker with Version 3.0 Bluetooth® Technology for a faster connection with better sound quality
  • Compatible with iPad®, iPod®, iPhone®, MP3, MP4, Laptop, PC and most Bluetooth® enabled devices
  • Voice notifications when CERA is on, in pairing mode, and pairing complete 
  • Simple pairing with most Bluetooth® enabled devices
  • Stream audio from your Bluetooth® enabled device from approx. 33ft (10m) away
  • Plugs into any non Bluetooth® enabled device with supplied 3.5mm (1/8) headphone jack as well
  • New Daisy Chain function allows an infinite number of CERA's to play at the same time
  • Illuminated Touch Control Panel
  • 360° Expanding Sound Chamber illuminated with blue lighting
  • Internal Lithium Ion Battery recharges over USB
  • Up to 5-7 hours playtime on a full charge (approx. 2-3 hours to fully charge)
  • 1 Year Limited Warranty
Package Contents: CERA Speaker, Charging Cable, 3.5mm Audio Cable, Daisy Chain Cable, Carrying Case, Quick Start Guide and User Manual

Technical Specs:
Dimensions: 90 x 62mm / 3.5 x 2.4in Diameter Net Weight: 165 g Speaker: 40mm
Amp. Freq. Range 100Hz- 20Khz S/N > 80dB Power Output: 3W
Charge Voltage: 5V + 0.5V Charge Time: 2 hrs Transmission Distance 33ft (10m)
Suitable Temperature: 0°C - 40°C Playback Time: 5-7 hrs Bluetooth Model V3.0
You can read Mami's 3 Little Monkeys full review of the CERA Wireless Speaker here.
Discount Code! 
Special offer from Tego Audio! 
Shop Tego Audio and receive 40% OFF your order. Be sure to use discount code: 40MLM at check out. 
No expiration date!
One lucky reader will win a CERA Bluetooth Wireless Speaker from Tego Audio. This giveaway is open to US residents whom are at least 18 years of age at the time of entrance. Giveaway runs from July 17th at 9am CST til July 31st at 11:59pm CST. One winner will be chosen at random via the entry form, winners entries will be verified and winner will be notified via email. The winner will have 48 hours to respond to the email or a new winner will be chosen. One set of entries per household. Simply complete entries via the Giveaway Tools entry form below for your chance to win. The more you complete, the better your odds of winning will be. Good Luck! 

Disclosure: This blog and all other participating blogs were not compensated for this publication nor are they responsible for the fulfillment of the above prize. The prize will be shipped directly to the winner from Tego Audio. If you have any questions or comments please contact Sarh at mamis3littlemonkeysATyahooDOTcom. 

Grovia Cotton Bamboo Prefold Review and Econobum Comparison

This is not a sponsored post, I have not been paid to write this. These are our prefolds that we use on a regular basis and these are my opinions and photos of them. TY :)

     I have very fond memories of prefolds, they were our first cloth diapers! I didn't even know that I should prep them and took the diapers directly out of the box and started using them on my baby! Our set of Econobums, with 2 covers and 12 cotton prefolds is still in our rotation. I heard good things about four sack towels, but after purchasing them...I still prefer the thickness and design of of a good quality prefold and now use our FSTs for cleaning. I was very excited to try GroVia's prefolds, which boast a combination of bamboo and organic cotton and with our cloth diaper experience I couldn't wait to prep them and compare!

     Grovia's prefolds come in 4 different sizes and range from $8-$16 for packs of three. I purchased 4 packs of the Infant prefolds and was hoping they would be around the same size as our econobums. The Size 2, or 'Infant' are 14" x 15.5", however this is an approximate size and ours measured 13.5/8 x 15.5" before washing. After washing 5 times, they shrunk to 12 7/8" x 13", thus shrinking 2.5" off of total length.You can see the size difference in the before and after photos below with the soaker fold on our GroVia shells.

(Brand new prefold Above, Prepped prefold Below)

     While prepping a natural fiber like cotton and bamboo it not only shrinks, but as you can see above, it also becomes rippled. When you see these fiber changes, you know your prefolds are ready to go! Prepping prefolds helps them reach their maximum absorbency and decreases any risk of repelling liquid which is often the culprit for leaks. I was very pleased that after just one wash the Grovia prefolds feet remarkably soft and cushy. I knew they would only get better.

(New out of package above, Prepped below)

     Right out of the package the prefolds feel a bit stiff and are perfectly flat. The stitching around the edges  is color coded and this light blue shade marks the 'Infant' size. Sizes range from Newborn to Toddler and the size chart from the Grovia website is below. If you notice the thickness is greater in the middle panel then in the two side panels. For my favorite fold (the soaker above) this isn't a big deal, but for other folds like the diaper fold (below), it makes pulling the fabric around baby's sides/legs easier.
     Although these are 'infant' prefolds, absorbency has been great for both my 6 month old and 25 month old. The prefolds are soft, moldable and don't appear as bulky as many of our other cloth diaper options. I have had zero leaks, however I change diapers at least every 2 hours, sometimes more often and always line dry my shells. The soaker fold or trifold is my go-to for prefolds and although I wish I ordered the larger size to account for shrinkage, these fit great for both of my cloth diapered boys. I would highly recommend these for babies of all sizes and ages.

     I have to mention this hole (below). After the 5 prep washes this little hole appeared in 1/12 prefolds. It doesn't impact function or absorbency, but there it is. I haven't even made a phone call over it, I imagine I'll just sew it closed and any others that may develop on these soft absorbent prefolds. So that's that. I'm using the prefolds with our GroVia Hybrid shells and use them interchangeably with our snap in soakers too.

     So how do these prefolds compare to Econobums?  In the photo below, you can see our well loved Econobum prefold poking out from underneath the GroVia which is lined in blue.
  • Econobums are 100% cotton and GroVias are Bamboo/Organic Cotton blend. 
  • Our GroVia prefolds shrunk into nearly a perfect square, while the Econobums are more rectangular. 
  • While the Econobum prefold is longer, the GroVia prefold is wider.
  • For softest feel, GroVia wins hands down, however after using our Econobums for 20 months and counting I have to give durability to Econobums.
  • Econobums come in 2 sizes; newborn and regular, GroVia come in 4 sizes.
  • Price; Econobums $59.95 for 3 shells and 12 regular prefolds, GroVia no covers, 12 'infant' prefolds for $48 and $56 for 'infant long.' Hybrid shells are sold separately for $16.95 (prices subject to change from the company).

     Overall I'm very impressed with the GroVia prefolds...if I plan on ordering more prefolds they'll certainly be in my shopping cart, but next time I'll get the bigger size. Shipping costs directly from GroVia were more then one pack of prefolds for my order, and the company recommended that I purchase them from a retailer with shipping deals to reduce this cost. GroVia does offer free shipping over $100, but my order was under that value. They are carried at many retailers, and many companies offer free shipping with a certain value, or coupon codes so be on the lookout for deals!
     As always, thanks for stopping by, and I'm happy to answer any questions or chat! Want to learn more about GroVia and their Hybrid system? Read my review HERE.