As you might recall from the old days of my blog, Dave and I (and Stella) were dedicated to cloth diapering for many months. It was wonderful while it lasted, but the huge, industrial washing machines in our current (ahem) apartment building ruined the diapers. The detergent caked up on the fabric, rendering them the opposite of water-proof and an enemy to Stella's sensitive tush.
So we tried gdiapers. The outer layer is reusable cloth, and into that you snap a reusable rubber lining. Inside that rubber lining goes a biodegradable, flushable insert that absorbs the pee and poop.
The only thing I don't like about gdiapers is that when Stella has a really nasty poop, I have to be quite intimate with it, as you have to rip the insert apart and "swizzle" the insert in the toilet. Sometime the poop goes on the rubber lining and you have to rinse it off.
However, there is something so gratifying about flushing away all the nastiness and not having to change your trash (or do the laundry) every five seconds.
The health food store near us carries the inserts for $12 for 32, so they're only slightly more expensive than disposables. But much better for the environment!
2. Maclaren Volo
Dave and I used to laugh at folks who'd talk about how their strollers "handled." I mean, really, do you plan to hike to the top of Mount McKinley with it?
My plan, anyway, was to use carriers to tote Stella around -- my beloved Ergo (another kvelling entry, I'm sure), the Moby, the Bjorn -- I loved the idea of taking up little to no extra space and having my girl in my face where we could converse. The only problem was Stella became very heavy very quickly (currently around 24 lbs.) and doesn't love to be in the carrier that much. She arches her back and cranes her neck, trying to see what I'm seeing and breaking my back in the process. So we began to use our stroller much more.
But after a few short months of trying to navigate the bumpy sidewalks of Brooklyn with a clunker, we got annoyed. Add to that the fact that our other stroller was a pain in the neck to fold and super heavy, and we knew something had to change.
I really did my research, asking all the moms I could find what type of umbrella stroller they'd recommend. And the feedback was impressive. Everyone said Maclaren, and several said the volo. (If you don't believe me, check out the various sing alongs and storytimes -- you'll see a sea of Maclaren at the entrance way.) Why? Because it's lightweight but handles very well.
We got ours on Ebay for half price, and it's worth every penny. (It would still be worth every penny at full price, too.) It glides around Kensington as if we were floating on a cloud (no easy task with all that litter on the sidewalk). It folds up easily into a minute, lightweight sliver of almost nothingness. The seat is mesh, so Stella doesn't boil in the New York summer heat. And it's pretty. (Ours is pink but also has a cool switch-out orange seat and canopy that I can wait to try out.)
That's it for now. I'm sure I'll think of more products to add, and I can certainly think of some worthy books to recommend.
But Thai food is on its way and blogger's giving me grief about adding photos, so I think I'll take a blogging break for now.