Sunday, April 13, 2014

Living La Vida Eco Launch Giveaway!

Living La Vida Eco Launch Giveaway!
Welcome to the Living La Vida Eco New Review Page Launch Giveaway!

To celebrate the launch of a new menstrual cup review page, Living La Vida Eco is giving away three prizes!
Prize #1: One (1) clear Lunette cup. This prize is available to Canadian and US residents only
Prize #2: $50 USD gift certificate to one of the sponsor cloth pad stores. 
  Prize #3: $20 USD gift certificate to one of the sponsor cloth pad stores. Living La Vida Eco is able to bring you this awesome giveaway thanks to the following sponsors. 

Bum Genius 4.0 Giveaway - Win Your Choice of 3!

Welcome to the bum Genius 4.0 Giveaway Event Hosted by Conservamom

Could your cloth diaper stash use a splash of color this spring? Here's your chance to add more fun to that stash! One lucky winner will get a 3 pack of bumGenius diapers retail $59.85 in their choice colors!

The 2nd Annual Great Spring Cloth Giveaway - Over $400 in Prizes!

2nd Annual Great Spring Cloth Giveaway. Over $400 in Prizes!

2nd Annual Great Spring Cloth Giveaway. Over $400 in Prizes!

It is finally spring! Our neighborhood is pulling out shorts a bit prematurely, but who can help themselves, now that the sun is finally out? It's bike riding, swing flying, going for daily walks kind of weather. Let’s celebrate by launching our 2nd Annual Great Spring Cloth Giveaway.

This year, we are back - even bigger and better than last year! From April 14 – May 5th you can enter to win an amazing cloth diaper prize pack with everything you need to start cloth diapering or just expand your stash.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

I Want to Dance!

I looked at the mess around me, knowing I had to really tackle deep cleaning today. But I didn't want to dread the work, resent the mess, or feel overwhelmed by the task ahead. I decided to turn
I Want to Dance
on an upbeat song on Spotify and my sons instantly responded to the change music brought to the scene.

Kai joined me in the dining room, moving his body to the music, while Ezra swayed in his chair and clapped. I felt my melancholy fade away as my feet stepped to the music and I clasped my baby's hands in mine, lifting him and listening to him laugh along the way. We played Matchbox Twenty's Our Song repeatedly, not wanting to let go of that feeling, clicking play yet again to recreate the joy of letting go and simply enjoying now.

A short way into our dance marathon, I noticed the blinds were open for anyone to see my off-beat steps and enthusiastic singing-along with Rob Thomas. I considered closing them, remembering the time when I first really understood that the way something makes us feel doesn't always translate into the visual we create in our minds.

I was maybe 11 or 12, babysitting the neighbor's kids across the street. The kids loved dancing crazily to upbeat music and it provided a great afternoon's amusement. I remember turning up the music, opening the blinds, and letting it all go. I felt emboldened by the music, carried by the joy of the moment, somehow imagining that joy translating for the world outside.

I arrived home that day to queries about the dancing from my family, laughter behind their questions. They saw the dancing from across the street and felt embarrassed for me. Why hadn't I closed the blinds? Did I know people could see us? Perhaps I should think those things over next time.

They meant well and I'm certain I looked ridiculous from the outside looking in.  The sting of that embarrassment, feelings of shame diminishing the honesty of a sincere moment stuck with me. I began to understand the courage it takes to be transparent, to present our hearts, to live authentically in spite of appearances.

Just Dance
Today, I stopped letting that memory inform the moment. So what if the neighbor's saw us dancing, our joyful movements less than graceful from their view? What if we sang off tune, surrounded by the mess, unabashedly ourselves?

I've spent too much of my life concerned about people peering into the window, misinterpreting my thoughts, ideas, beliefs, hopes, and expectations. I want to be independent, thoughtful, even radical, but I don't want to step on anyone's toes or be misunderstood.

I've opened the curtains more recently, drawing up the blinds all of the way. Authenticity, growth, spiritual awakening, revelation, change can only come when I let people see me dance without filters - the beauty, the joy, the awkwardness, the missteps, the new found rhythm, and the stubbed toes.

Tapping my feet, swaying, clapping to the beat, standing as a frustrated wall flower along the wall doesn't satisfy me anymore. I want to dance through life unabashedly, my heart on my sleeve, my mind open, my ears seeking new music, my feet discovering a joyful rhythm.

I want to dance.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

A Rare Cloth Diaper Find - To Keep or Not to Keep?

I had a few minutes to myself (!)_last week and decided to pop into a local consignment store to peek at maternity clothes. This particular shop carries used cloth diapers, so I decided to just take a peek. I don't really need new diapers, but sometimes it's fun just to look, especially since I would love to transition to more AIOS/AI2s with my next baby.

While searching through the bins, I mainly came uncross unfamiliar brands, odd pricing, and shot aplix. While browsing, a couple of familiar colors caught my eye - were these Bum Genius diapers? I pulled a blue, then a yellow, diaper from the stash and peered at the tags. Sure enough, these were Bum Genius in good condition, with minor staining.

I have only owned Freetimes, 3.0s, and 4.0s, so I wasn't what version I was looking at. They were clearly AIOs, but the lining was completely attached, unlike my Freetimes with their wing-like attached insert. The tags said $5 a piece, so I decided to take a chance and bought them, thinking this was a great price for used Bum Genius diapers in good condition, no matter the style.

The diapers came home with me and I decided to defer to Bum Genius experts on my Facebook page, posting this:
A Rare Cloth Diaper Find - To Keep or Not to Keep?
It wasn't long before I realized that I'd made an "elemental" typo - adding Freetime instead of Elemental, when the inside tag clearly said Organic Cotton and I recognized the difference.

Readers responded with enthusiasm - first kindly correcting my error, then confirming that they are indeed OBGEs in good condition and I'd scored! Apparently, these are beloved in the cloth diapering community and you haven't lived until you've tried them. I am inclined to save them to try with baby #4 coming in October. When I told my husband that they could potentially sell for a much better price, he asked Are you keeping them?

So, my friends, once again I turn to you. Love them? Overrated? Did I get a good deal? Should I keep them (at least for a little while) or sell? What say you?

Monday, April 7, 2014

Conquering Homework Battles on the Iowa City Moms Blog

Today, I'm talking about how to conquer homework battles on the Iowa City Moms Blog! I'd love it if you would head over and share any tips you have! Here's a quote:

Some evenings, homework time feels like a battle zone at our house. We are two years into the elementary school homework routine and still struggle with a simple, stress-free routine. The issue isn’t homework content, but sitting down to finish it without distractions or complaining. After another frustrating night of reminders, lost books, and resistance, I decided there must be another way.
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