Sunday, May 27, 2012

Giveaway and Review: Barrel and a Heap Diaper Cover

When I first saw the diaper covers from Barrel and a Heap on etsy, I knew I had to get my hands on one for Ella's delicious little cloth diapered tushie. I used to be a pocket lover and while I still like them, I've discovered the joy that are prefolds and fitteds as well as the many adorable diaper covers. I have many different types of covers from Thirsties to Wee Huggers and I think I can honestly say that this cover is my favorite. There were sooo many different prints to choose from. I didn't even know PUL came in all these different fabulous prints! I originally got an owl print to go with a shirt I had just bought Ella...or did I buy the shirt after I picked out the owl cover? I can't remember, but either way, it was so adorable. When it came, it was even more cute in person than it was online. I put it on her butt and used it with both a GMD (green mountain diaper) workhorse fitted and a prefold. It was so trim and fit so nicely! Even with the prefold it was trim and Ella seemed very comfortable in it. After using the cover once, there was a very minor flaw in it and when I spoke to Carissa, she immediately sent me a new cover. This one was just as cute, trim and lightweight. The customer service from Carissa (owner of Barrel and a Heap) was outstanding. She was prompt and kind and obviously cares a great deal about the product she gave out. Her covers are, in my humble, 2.5 years of cloth diapers on 2 babies opinion, superior to many of the big name covers out there. They are not plasticy but light weight and they hold it all in. They're trim, well fitting and adorable. It's hard for me to resist buying all the covers she has in her shop! They're also very true to size. Ella is 23 pounds and I got a medium. Fits her like a dream and I can tell with the snaps that it will fit her for a while.

So, all in all, I give this cover a 5 out of 5. I would highly recommed it to anyone. Oh and did I mention? Her prices are fantastic as well. ;-)

Now for the part you've been waiting for...the giveaway! This is a giveaway for a diaper cover, in any print and size that is listed in her etsy store, Barrel and a Heap.

The giveaway starts Sunday May 27, 2012 and will end at 11:59 PM on Thursday May 31st, 2012. We will announce the winner on Friday June 1, 2012. 

  • You must be have a United States address.
  • You must be a follower of the blog.
  • Selected winners must provide a valid mailing address. Please do not post your address in the comments section. If you win, we'll ask for your address.
  • We will announce the winners on the blog on Friday June 1, 2012 and the winner must email us at and claim their prize within 72 hours or a new winner will be selected.
  • Winners will be selected from all eligible entries by the use of the random integer generator.
Entries: You may have up to 6 entries (and remember, you have to be a follower of the blog to enter!). Each entry must have it's own comment.
  • Entry number 1: Comment on this blog post and tell us why you want this cover. All entrants must do this and then may do the subsequent entries for the giveaway.
  • Entry number 2: Add Barrel and a Heap to your favorites on Etsy.
  • Entry number 3: "Like" The Good Letdown on facebook. We'll need to know your name on FB so we can double check! Make a separate comment on this blog post letting us know that you "liked" us on FB.
  • Entry number 4: Share this giveaway on facebook. We'll need to know your name on FB so we can double check! Make a separate comment on this blog post letting us know that you shared it on FB.
  • Entry number 5: Blog about our giveaway on your blog. Make a separate comment on this blog post sharing the link to your blog!
  • Entry number 6: Follow Carissa from Barrel and a Heap on Twitter @carissacarissa.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Late PPD You Horrible, Evil, A-hole

Around the time of Chicklett's first birthday I noticed myself being snippy with the kids, my husband, and just about anyone I came in contact with. It wasn't super bad... but every once in a while it was like "Whoa, why am I so crabby??"  I joked several times, "Is it possible to get postpartum depression a year after giving birth?" Ha ha ha. Well, turns out jokes on me... because yes, yes you can. My funk wasn't all that bad, just occasionally short with the kids or my husband. Then two months ago the unthinkable happened with the death of our friends 21 month old baby boy Rowan.  Obviously an event like that would cause anyone to have some sadness and depression, but when you put all of that on top of an already borderline PPD issue... well... now you have full blown PPD funk. In the weeks immediately following his death my husband had three 4-day weekends lined up because he had vacation to use up. I wasted all of that time hiding in my bedroom being only available for boob and the more my husband pressed me the more I just told him I needed to be alone, that I needed to grieve and be "with" my girlfriends online, and that I was busy doing things to help my friends.

Now that he's back at work five days a week my typical day looks something like this:
Wake up around 8am; breastfeeding Chicken Little, put him in front of the TV w/crackers and then go breastfeeding Chicklett. I usually change her diaper right away and then start my morning "me" time. I am NOT a morning person. I usually need a good 30 minutes without anyone talking to me to be functioning. I eat some cereal while sitting at my laptop while the kids watch TV or do independent play. Once my 30 ( sometimes 45) minutes are up I finally get around to Chicken Little's diaper. The reason I wait so long on him is because he is like me.... total crab in the morning... so I dread that first diaper because it's always a complete meltdown. I avoid it as long as possible. After that gets over with, we all go in the kitchen and the kids eat breakfast. While they eat I usually go back online.
Just about every day we either have friends or grandma over, or go see friends somewhere. I like doing that, because it gets my kids interaction and I don't feel like a total louse for a mother. Sometimes it is overwhelming, but overall I like that part of life. Pre-school and college schedules have been a little opposite this last semester which made meeting people nearly impossible, so much of our playdates have been here at home... which means I can go for weeks without actually leaving the house.
12:30/1ish Chicklett starts to get tired. I put Chicken Little in front of the TV so that I can put baby sister down for a nap without disruption. 1:30/2ish I get Chicken Little into his room for quiet time or nap time. He's only napping about twice a week, but because I "need" a break I have been working on him doing quiet time. He's usually happy playing in there alone for even two hours, but there are some days when he knocks on the door every 10 minutes, rarely for any reason, so I get no down time.
When both kids do nap I typically end up having to wake them up for dinner time.
Rooster gets home from work about 5pm and at that point he pretty much takes over as a parent. He'll cook dinner if I haven't gotten around to it (gee, the kids have been asleep or 3 hours... what have I been doing all that time??) Then after dinner he takes the kids outside or down to our playroom, does pre-bedtime snack and/or bath time, and gets the kids ready for bed at 8/8:30.

Seems a little bit like an awesome dream of a day, eh? My kids are generally happy and super easy. On a perfect day they take a 3-4 hour nap at the same time. My husband is awesome, we have no financial troubles, no glaring marital unhappiness, solid job situation, and no issues in general. What on earth do I have to be depressed about??

My PPD has been manifesting itself in a few ways. Aside from being snippy and a general all around crab for days on end, I also have been horrible about hygiene and self preservation. During the week I'm lucky if a shower or even brush teeth. Used to be I'd shower every other day, and even on the non-shower days I'd still do a bit of a sponge bath.

Also, paranoia/jealousy issues when it came to my friends. Just about every sends texts except for me. I was feeling like everyone was communicating that way, essentially cutting me out of the loop, and that I was being left behind. As long as I can remember I've been dumped by groups of friends without reason or explanation, so I guess you could say I have some baggage there which was being amplified by the PPD.

When I am online I'm not even doing any of the things I *should* be doing online... managing my fan pages, reposting fan questions, writing blog posts, organizing playdates, finishing DVD slideshows of our family life (I made a DVD of my son's first life... and haven't finished one since... he's almost 3 and Chicklett is 1.5), sending my husband photos of the kids at work.... the list goes on and on.

I'm also constantly trying to find ways to get my kids to entertain themselves independently so that I can sit online and do nothing. Legos, coloring, playdoh, playroom, television - you name it. All so I can sit on here and do nothing of importance online.

Times when I see my PPD spiking into a rage would be when Chicken Little has had enough of my ignoring him and he tries to close my computer or he lays against me grabbing at my arms. I see myself pushing him away and arguing with him to leave the computer alone... but it's like I'm not even in my body at that point. I see this all happening and I think "He just wants some attention from his mommy.... get your ass offline and go play with your kids!" Instead I usually snap a picture with the webcam and whine that he is "up my butt" and "making me crazy".

I'm not quite ready to jump on the Z-train (Zoloft train), so I'm going to try some alternatives first.

  • First step, take a damn shower you smelly smelly woman. 
  • Second, take your placenta pills that have been in the fridge for 19 months
  • Third, get some vitamins going (haven't figured out just which ones yet)
  • Fourth, get some exercise in (obtaining a stationary bike so I have a minimum thing that I can do every day year round no excuses)
  • Fifth, change up daily routine - eat breakfast with my kids
  • Sixth, limit online time to something reasonable 

.... starting...... NOW!

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Guest Blog: In Light of This Week's Events

A viewer contributed the following story and photo in light of this last weeks events:

 Back in 2007 I had a Flickr account and enjoyed posting the occasional breastfeeding picture of my daughter with the other photographs I was taking at the time. My daughter had turned 2 in September and was still nursing. It was something I was proud of. The pictures I posted were what I would consider very discrete. You almost never saw my actual breast in the photo.

So it came as a shock when I started receiving many perverted and sexual comments about these pictures. Rather than seeing it as a bond between a mother and a child, these men were sexualizing the act. It really pissed me off to the point where my mama bear came out and produced the following picture in response, aimed at those who would sexualize such a normal and loving act.

 Although I receive support for many women, many didn't like it. And I understand, it is a divisive image. However the mama bear in me enjoyed making it and letting them know exactly what I thought of their comments.

 After all the crazy/icky comments I have seen thrown around this week about the Time article, I was reminded of this picture I took and how I wish people would back off and leave nursing moms alone.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Attached at the Hip

Okay, I've pretty well avoided the whole Time magazine slant on Attachment Parenting as well as the explosion of attacks on this "extreme" parenting fad. After a very busy weekend putting on a fundraiser for our friends I was feeling tired, zombie mom, and bored this morning. My oldest was off at school and my youngest has some type of bug going on, so she just wants to sleep and cuddle on me. I was surfing the net and saw that Dr. Bill Sears was going to be on The View. Train wreck? Probably... might as well watch it.

The lead ins for the segment just made shudder.

"Plus, the pediatrician behind the bombshell 'Time' cover story is giving a crash course in attachment parenting that claims every mom needs to coddle their kids all day, sleep with them at night, and give mommy-daddy time a major time out." 
"The Pediatrician behind the controversial 'Time" cover story is telling you why all moms should cosleep, breastfeed, and never leave their child's side. And that he thinks working moms need to get back home"

I've seen comments like this from other news reports coming in too.... and I can't believe Dr. Sears or anyone else hasn't corrected this huge glaring misconception of what being an attachment parent means. What the media and those who do not practice attachment parenting seem to be getting caught on is the word "ATTACHMENT." Well, news flash for ya folks.... attachment parents do actually set their children down. GASP! The horror!!!

You can be an single working parent and still be an attachment parent. It's all about how you behave when you are WITH your child. Doesn't matter if its only three waking hours of the day. You also don't need to practice all of the ways of AP. Personally my oldest child didn't like co-sleeping. I tried to force the issue for about four months because I wanted to co-sleep with him... but once I finally caved and gave him his own space things were much smoother. We turned into room-sharing parents.

Ideally all parents of a child should be home raising the child in their own style. Not just mom. Generally it's not financially possible for both parents to stay home, so one or both of them work. But that doesn't make them any less of a parent, because when they are home with their children they use any and all the principles of attachment parenting that work with their family.

Attachment parenting isn't extreme.... it's not coddling your child... it's not spoiling your child. It's just doing what feels natural. Honestly... it's the lazy way for me. I'm too lazy to lug around a 50 pound carseat and child, so I just toss my little peanut into a sling and I'm on my way. I'm also too lazy to prepare formula bottles, so I breastfed. I'm too lazy to schlep across the house in the middle of the night to a hungry baby, so we room share.