A journal

Thanks for visiting me at Experiment MOM (Mother of Multiples). My digital Scrap for Hire business, ScraPicts, is coming soon so please check back with me again or Click the Follow Me button on lefthand side of my blog.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Review - EcoNuts Multi-Surface Cleaner

Over the past few years I've been trying to "green my cleaning" by incorporating more natural cleaners in my house. I felt this was especially important when the babies came so as to limit their exposure to toxic chemicals.   I have been wiping down the kids' high chair seats every day (sometimes twice a day) and figured that any residue from a traditional cleaner might get on the hands/food that touches their high chairs.   One product I was dying to try was the multi-surface cleaner from EcoNuts. I have heard really good things about EcoNuts soap nuts (also on my list to try) so I thought their multi-surface cleaner would be a good thing to try out.  Here is what EcoNuts says about their cleaner on their website:

The ultimate in non-toxic liquid surface cleaners!
Safe to use around children and pets, and packaged in an aluminum bottle with our low-flow spray trigger (saves you money!).
This lightweight and compact 10oz bottle will clean everything in your kitchen and bathroom and leave it fresh-smelling. No gloves, goggles, or face mask required to block those awful chemical fumes!
The formula is based on our Eco Nuts and other botanical extracts. It is phosphate-free, sulfate-free, ammonia free and alcohol Free.
It works on tile, metal, stone, porcelain enamel, chrome, laminate, quartz composites and other non-porous surfaces.
Use in conjunction with our Clean-All powder to power through tough messes.

When I got it i thought that it had an interesting spray nozzle and was a good size although pretty expensive as far as cleaners go at 7$ for 10oz (for comparison, Windex multisurface cleaner is about 4.50$ for 26oz.)  As soon as I sprayed it, I was immediately put off.  WOW it smells like vinegar - a LOT.  Not even close to "fresh-smelling" as they claim in their ad.  I don't care how "natural" it is - if it smells awful I am not going to use it.  I cleaned some mirrors to see how it did as a cleaner and it's fine.  I decided that i could use it on outside tasks like cleaning my car windshield and the outside of glass windows but i will not be using it in the house.  I've only seen a few reviews of this product online and no-one has mentioned how much it stinks so I don't know if I got a bad bottle or if I am crazy, but this stuff stinks.  And that's just my opinion.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

TrendLab One-size All-in-One Cloth Diaper Review

I'm a sucker for a sale.  So when my friend introduced me to Totsy and I saw TrendLab Cloth diapers on sale for $8.75 each I was intrigued.  I hadn't heard of this brand on the cloth diaper blogs.  So when I googled it, I came to their website and read about the features of their cloth diaper.  It looked to me like an All-in-Two diaper (not an All-in-One as they have named it) because the liner snaps in and out and you can reuse the outer shell (that is lined in fleece).  They did have one interesting feature.  They have three different types of snap-in liners that are "gender-specific."  In addition to being color-coded (GAG): blue for boys, pink for girls, white for all, they have different levels of extra padding where that gender needs it most.  Sounds interesting though not sure why you wouldn't just use the white ones all the time but it seemed novel to me.  In addition, the inserts are contoured, that is, they aren't flat but have a little gathering in the middle to make the sort of concave to fit around the private zone.  They also only have one snap to secure the liner in place inside the shell, but that is the same model that Softbums has so that is not so unusual.
Blue boy insert and white gender neutral insert
So I purchased two shells (each come with a white snap-in liner) and two sets of two "boy" liners at $5.75 each.  One was a nice sunny yellow and the other a steely grey color. My first impression is that yes it's a pretty cheap diaper cheap. It's made in China.  The boy liners are all microfiber even the top which touches the baby.  I was sure I had read on many a cloth diapering website that that was a no-no when it came to absorption in using cloth diapers.  The white ones however have a nice soft fleecy top.  Don't see why they couldn't have topped the boy (and presumably the girl) inserts with a fleece topper but I was still ok with it.  I washed them up and tried them on my kids.  They have a nice generous fit around the bum and waist and are pretty stretchy tabs with a hip snap.  I tried the boy inserts and have had no problems with over-drying or rashes or anything.  Their tushes are really squishy with these diaper/insert combos which is funny.  I actually haven't had any leaking problems with this diaper because of the good fit around the legs on my giant children and the really absorbent liners (both blue and white).  I only use it for daytime use at the moment.  I will say that they are actually a little big on my kids in the waist and I often can't do up a d hip snap because i have to pull the regular snaps pretty far into the middle of the diaper.  So I get some wing droop.  I don't particularly care about it but it can look a tad messy.
the outer snap setup
the tabs and hip snap
boy insert in shell
Greyson wearing the yellow trendLab
Now, as for their claims you can reuse the shell, well, that is a bit of a stretch.  My kids usually soak through the liner and thus urine gets onto the fleece of the inside of the shell.  I COULD snap in a new liner and put it back on my kid, but that is getting a tad gross.  It would make SO much more sense if the liners were backed in PUL so that the moisture was contained in the liner and then you definitely could reuse the shell.  Here you are better off just using it once and then laundering.  But I will say with the amount the liners absorb you probably can get 3-4 hours out of it so that is pretty decent for a daytime diaper.  Some other reviews (on amazon and the like) complain about the microfiber-to-skin issues and while I haven't had any that doesn't mean it couldn't happen.  Some people suggested cutting a slit in the fleece of the shell and using it as a pocket diaper.  That could work if you are that concerned.  I am tempted to add a PUL layer to the back of the inserts or even to the inside of the shell but at like 9$-12$ for these diapers, it probably isn't even worth it to break out my sewing machine.  I can also see that the fleece on the inside isn't super high quality and that the stretchiness of the tabs will probably wear out quickly.  Again it's a cheap diaper cheap.  Not super fancy but not total garbage either.  I am giving it a rating of 3 snaps.

  • Contoured microfiber liners
  • Gender-specific liners
  • Inexpensive
  • Generous fit
  • Cheap construction
  • Shell not reusable if soaked with urine
  • Microfiber liners not fleece topped (except white liner)
Reviews are the opinions of Experiment MOM only while using the actual garment reviewed. I was not provided the diaper and I was not compensated for this review

Friday, May 11, 2012

Feathered Friday

Today the boys are helping me identify some of the birds that we've seen recently with my new fancy Peterson Field Guide to Birds of Western North America.  This hooded oriole has been very elusive the past few days but I finally caught him this morning. I hope I can get some better pictures of him in the coming weeks.  The Western Tananger we saw in the Oso Creek Trail path (not far from our house) last weekend and my understanding is that they are migrating.  Such a pretty bird.  My wish list to see/photograph include the Calliope and Allen's hummingbirds (we have them but they are so quick!) and the lazuli bunting.  They are apparently pretty common around here so I am sure we'll see them before long.
Jack says "I'm pretty sure it's a house finch, Ma."

Definitely a hooded oriole
hooded oriole

house finch
western tananger

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

I HEART winning stuff

Yesterday I received not one but TWO prizes from giveaways that I have entered.  The first was a Softbums Omni shell and DryTouch pod that I won a couple of weeks ago from the Tummy 2 Bummy Store and Blog.  They connected me right away with Softbums and I was able to choose my closure and color.  I got the Omni in brown with a Super DryTouch pod.  I have two Softbum Omnis (Pocket+ AI2) already and we really like them.  My ONLY complaint about the AI2 part of this system is that the snap-in pods aren't lined with PUL and the inside of the shell is fleecy so if the urine soaks all the way through the pod, the shell is dirty and can't be reused, unlike some other AI2 systems like BestBottoms or Grovia. But the Omni has a pocket so you can stuff it with extra absorbency so it lasts longer on baby, and I think this is a fair trade-off.  THANK YOU, Tummy 2 Bummy!
Here is a little bit more info about the Tummy 2 Bummy online store:

"T2B was started by a new mom who has a passion and knowledge for all things cloth diapers.  While pregnant with her first child, she began researching cloth diapering and was amazed to learn the many great benefits it offered. 
T2B is very selective in the brands it chooses to carry. We carry only reputable brands that produce only the highest quality products.  We offer a variety of different types of cloth diapers to fit any budget and preference. From diapers, laundry bags, soaps, and liners to swim diapers, training pants, and wet bags, we have something for everyone. We pride ourselves on our excellent customer service and are always available to answer any questions you may have.  We offer a flat rate shipping charge of $7 for U.S. customers and $11 for shipments to Canada. International shipping vary's depending on location.  Orders of $75 or more ship FREE to U.S. addresses."

The second piece of news was that I won a Grovia Diaper from the Great Cloth Diaper Change Giveaway they sponsored.  Basically this entailed changing my child into a Grovia diaper at the recent Great Cloth Diaper Change that we attended at Granola Babies in Costa Mesa CA, taking a picture and emailing it to them and being the first 1000 to do that. That was the key and I think a lot of people missing that critical point.  With GCDC events happening all over the US and the world, I knew I had to snap and send my pict IMMEDIATELY to even have a chance to win this diaper.  I took my husband's Ipad with me and set up the email ahead of time with the eventbrite number and all the critical info needed to enter the contest so I could snap, attach the pict and send it.  I would say that I had me email out with 1 minute of the official diaper change and VOILA!  It worked!  I am very excited to try the Grovia AIO diaper (we love the AI2 shells) and there are some VERY cute new prints!  Thank you GROVIA!!

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Sew is Your Baby Pocket Diaper Review

I am addicted to cloth diapering.  If you are reading this, chances are you are as well.  I am always on the lookout for new cute diapers to try on my kiddos. Recently I decided to try one of the Sew is Your Baby (SIYB) pockets.

 I LOVE the silky denim print and since I usually let my kids go pantless I thought this would be adorable.  And WOW is it adorable.  This is in the silky fabric so my kids can slide around on their bottoms easily and jammies go over it very easily. Now I usually don't use pockets for daytime (too little bang for the buck especially when changing two kids in diapers all day long) but I was eager to try this one so I stuffed it with 3 inserts (not Sew is Your Baby inserts) and it fit great and no leaking at all.  You can see baby Jack modeling the dipe here.  He is 8 months and about 23lbs with really chunky legs.

Then I put it to the overnight test. Usually I put in 4 inserts into pockets for overnights.  Generally I use 2 microfiber and 2 hemp, either Thirsties Hemp doublers or gCloth.  So you can see they are heavy wetters.  This diaper held up perfectly, no leaks or dampness.

As far as features, this is a basic pocket.  It reminds me of a Bumgenius 4.0 pocket. It has a nice soft pocket which they say is microfiber but it isn't really absorbent, more of a "sueded" stay-dry polyester.  The pocket opening is about 4 inches which is a tad small for stuffing but the pocket itself is pretty wide.  It has the typical one-size snaps to adjust the rise (clearly we are beyond that stage) and a hip snap.   The legs have a single elastic layer.  In the bottom photos you can see a length measurement and comparison to a Thirsties AIO Duo.  The SIYB pocket is nearly 2 inches longer than the Thirsties AIO and I can definitely notice a difference on my kids. With the Thirsties AIO, they always have an exposed bum crack while with the SIYB their bums are fully contained.

Overall I am going to give this diaper 4.5/5 snaps.  The ONLY issue I have with this diaper (and it's a small one) is that it's manufactured in China.  There are a lot of diapers manufactured in China and many cloth diapering companies choose manufacturers that have good wages and treat their workers ethically so I can't comment on how these diapers are made.  I have also had this diaper for a short time so I don't know how it will hold to multiple washings. What I do know is that at 11$ for this diaper (alone, no inserts) it is an excellent value that rivals bigger-name diapers.

My rating:


  • long length
  • nice material in and out
  • big pocket
  • easy clean/quick dry
  • good value
  • made in china
Reviews are the opinions of Experiment MOM only while using the actual garment reviewed. I was not provided the diaper and I was not compensated for this review

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Solving a Small Problem with Diaper Covers

So we use mainly AI2 and fitteds for daytime diapering.  We like Grovia, Bestbottoms, and TrendLab and for fitteds we use Thirsties Fab fitted duos with Thirsties Covers (sized and duos).  Occasionally when my HUSBAND diapers them in the fitted we have some leakage, generally due to operator error when putting the cover on over the fitted, either at the leg holes or at the waist due to peek-through.  Here is an example of what I mean:
Every time this happens I ask myself,  "Well there must be a cover that has some sort of flap of the PUL that I can tuck up and over the fitted."  I am not talking about tuck-in flaps that you would use to insert flats or inserts into a cover. I am talking about a fly flap, kinda like what a tent has.  After a facebook query to my new FluffyBlogger friends (thanks ladies!) and poking around the internet and Etsy, I came to the conclusion that what I was seeking doesn't exist, at least not without it having to be custom-made.  (Not that I was able to find anyways so I APOLOGIZE in advance if anyone has made covers like this.)  Being a crafty lady I thought I could make a cover with some PUL I have out in the garage that was meant to make cloth diapers for the twins (yeah that happened, NOT!) but then I thought why don't I just modify an existing diaper cover.  So out came the sharp scissors and VOILA, I created what I had envisioned in my mind, a cover with a "fly flap."
Here I used a Large Thirsties sized cover with hook and loop and I simply cut the attachment of the tuck-in flap on both edges:

Now when I put the cover on I can literally tuck in the "fly flap" over the top of the fitted underneath to ensure no accidental bleed-though.  And because it's PUL I don't need to finish the edges or make any further modifications, although I haven't sent it through the wash yet so not sure how it will hold up.  Now the caveat of doing this is that you wreck the cover for resale if people want to use them for flats or inserts. In addition this won't work on the Thirsties Snap covers because the snaps go all the way through  flap layer. That's kinda a bummer because my kids are starting to take off hook and loop diapers.  Argh.  Well anyways that is my brilliant idea and I'd love to hear your thoughts.  (This million-dollar idea is for sale, just PM me. LOL)

Friday, May 4, 2012

The Mystery Conscious Box

A few months back I found out about something called Conscious Box. Basically every month you get a box of goodies and samples of companies that are green and sustainable. They are "dedicated to introducing you to the most ethical, sustainable, and honest businesses that create the purest products available. We scour the marketplace to find those that stand above the rest. Discovery defines the Conscious Box experience." That sounded really neat and I always like to discover new things that are useful and/or delicious AND support a more sustainable lifestyle. Generally it requires a subscription to a 3 or 6-month plan and each box is based around a theme. The products featured are 100% vegetarian and nothing is tested on animals.

When I saw the Mystery Box posted on my facebook wall, I thought "Well, this is a great opportunity to try it out without having to commit to a subscription." I placed my order right away and I just received it yesterday. Here is what the box looked like...

And inside were tons of samples. I LOVE samples!! There are all sorts of neat things like little bars of soap, lip balms, and hand salves. There are drink mixes, candies and a full-sized fruit and nut bar. There is detergent and natural air freshener. There are even a couple seedballz, those little clay balls that have flower seeds inside that you just sow and grow and natural arts and crafts paint. Too cute! I can't wait to try everything!
Samples of these brands include: 
Healthy to go  
Natural Colors
Climb On! Products
Java Juice
SoapBox Soaps
Sacred Mountain Herbals

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Welcome to Change-Diapers.com Blog Hoppers and #Fluffybloggers

So I've been debating whether to make this blog "go public" by linking up to blog hops for newbie bloggers.  I am just not certain that anyone cares about my kids, my opinions, my experiences or anything else I write about.  Many times, linking up requires some sort of hosted giveaway or other requirements that I am not sure I will have time for.  Then this morning I read on www.change-diapers.com about a blog hop that is cloth diaper-centric but which doesn't require any extra time or posting.  So I though I'd give it a try.  So welcome if you've reached my blog through that link and THANK YOU to change-diapers for giving me an outlet to receive new followers!!  I also have been getting great support from #fluffybloggers.  WELCOME ALL!!!

Let me make a quick intro and then you can decide if you'd like to stay (ie subscribe by GFC, networked blogs or email).  My name is Jen Gardner and welcome to my blog, Experiment MOM (that is, Mom Of Multiples).  I have twin sons, Greyson and Jack, who are 8 months old.  before I had the twins I was an oncology research scientist in Boston MA for a large biotech company.  At about the time i conceived the twins by IVF, I was laid off when the company cut our department.  I welcomed the time off (with a nice severance pay to get us through) and it turned out to be a blessing in disguise as I had a fairly hard pregnancy.  At 24 weeks I was admitted to the hospital for previa bleeding and was there for a week.  The twins were fine and I was fine but it was all for precautionary reasons that they held me for a week.  I was on modified bed rest for the rest of the pregnancy.  At 36 weeks (August 2011) we welcomed the boys by scheduled c-section and they were both healthy and beautiful.

I had decided to cloth diaper the kids before we gave birth and was encouraged by several coworkers who also cloth diapered their young children.  My husband and I were able to take a CDing class at a local shop called the Diaper Lab and we were hooked.  I received several Little Joeys at my baby shower and I was very excited about cloth diapering, not just for the environmental aspect but also to save money CD'ing TWO at the same time.  In December of 2011 my husband took a job at his company that would require a move from MA to Southern California.  After a very quick 3 months of getting the house sold and all our stuff packed we are here and enjoying the weather although it is very hard to be so far from family.  So that is one of the reasons I started up my blog again, to have an outlet and to share what is going on with my life with my family and friends.  But you are most welcome to follow along and please if you have any comments or questions (CDing, IVF, science etc) please don't hesitate to ask!!.  My topics can include crafts, photography, kids, cloth diapering, CD reviews eventually, nature, science etc.  Thanks so much and I hope you enjoy the blog!!

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Mother's Day Cloth Diaper Giveaway Hop

Have you ever heard of a "giveaway hop?" Basically  a bunch of blog writers get together and sponsor a giveaway for a product or products that usually fall under some sort of theme.  This is a great way to promote your blog/twitter posts and it also introduces people to your products (for example, if you are a work-at-home- mom making things like cloth diapers etc...).  After winning a couple of giveaways lately I have to say that I am HOOKED on entering giveaways especially for cloth diapers and accessories.  Usually the blogs have an entry form supported by a program called Rafflecoptor which makes entering easy.  They usually require you to LIKE their facebook pages and their sponsor's pages as well as follow them on twitter,GFC,networked blogs, email updates and/or pinterest and SOME forms require a little more, like commenting on their blog post and/or visiting sponsor pages.  It can be a lot of work but then again it might be worth it to win free stuff!!

So the most recent "hop" that I am doing in the Mother's Day Cloth Diaper Hop.  It is hosted by Daily Mothering and has about 100 blogs all linked together to giveaway a TON of cool stuff.  I personally only enter the ones that have actual cloth diapers in the prize packages and if the kids are being crabby I only do the easy one-click entries like LIKE facebook pages and follow on twitter. I can only ignore my children for so long.  I'll have to admit that i have stayed up for several hours past my bedtime to enter giveaways.  It can get addicting. Guilty as charged.

One of the blogs on the hop, Mamantics, is sponsoring a package with a Babu Baby cloth diaper in it.  Here is the link.  Good luck and hope you win something!



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