Summer Bugs Me.

I love most things about the summertime. I love the longer days and the grilled dinners and the splashy water play time.

I do not love the mosquitos. And ants and locusts and spiders and gnats and bees (ok I kind of love the bees in theory), but mostly the mosquitos.

We like to use up all the sunshine and stay at the park until dusk which means walking back home during the Mosquito Happy Hour.

Babystar was getting new bites every day. But also, chemicals.


I’m still not sure, but I did buy some DEET-free bug repellent made up of a blend of essential oils. (Kid’s Herbal Armor Natural Insect Repellent $5.50.) It had KIDS and NATURAL right in the name.

Two things:

  1. I don’t know what DEET is but it sounds bad.
  2. I don’t believe essential oils can cure illnesses but I do know that certain plants repel insects so it seemed legit.

I really wasn’t sure what I was looking for but I compared the active ingredients at Target. The Kid’s Herbal Armor had a bunch of oils (citronella, lemongrass, peppermint, et cetera) that were almost identical to the Babyganics and Honest Company kid’s bug repellents.

I bought the Kid’s Herbal Armor because it was $5.50 instead of $9.49 or $12.34. To be fair, the Babyganics and Honest Company’s bottles were larger, but I wanted to make sure it worked first. Maybe we needed the DEET after all? (WTF IS DEET?!?)
The first evening, I only rubbed the insect repellent on Babystar’s ankles, a popular hangout for Arlington mosquitoes. She has pretty sensitive skin and I wanted to make sure there was no reaction. She made it home with no rash and zero bites on her legs!

Those fuckers bit her arm instead.

The next night, I used the Herbal Armor on her legs AND arms. She was bite-free! I have been keeping her arms and legs coated and it is still working. I don’t put it near her face at all but I do a little swipe behind her neck, and she usually has a hat on for extra protection.

I highly recommend this natural bug repellent. Probably the Babyganics and/or Honest ones are good too, since the active ingredients are almost identical. But I have not tried them so I cannot say for sure.


What kind of bug repellent do you use for your kids or yourself?

Out, Damned Toxins.

Out, I say. Get thee chemical self beyond my house!

Yes, perhaps I am being over-dramatic. But maybe not.

As I have mentioned over and over again, our home had the Plague for a full month. Many plagues in succession, actually. So I bought some Clorox bleach wipes and cleaned everything. Every. Thing.

What is better for Babystar to lick — bleach or germs? I genuinely don’t know. I DO know that the bleach destroyed the skin on my hands. The infinite hand washing likely did not help either. (Oh snap, I AM Lady Macbeth!)

I love Babyganics high chair and toy cleaning spray, but it has been out of stock at Target and Babies R Us whenever I have checked for the past two month. We ordered some from Amazon and seriously WHY didn’t I just do this earlier? It was $7.98 for two bottles.

During the height of the plague, Babystar got a diaper rash. She rarely gets diaper rash, and it could have happened for many reasons: she was sick, she was wearing disposable diapers for weeks, and she had a LOT of extra poopy diapers which meant a LOT of wipes against her skin. I can fix two of these things.

She’s back in cloth diapers. (I do not know for sure that the disposable diapers CAUSED her rash; Target brand disposables do not usually cause a rash and we use them as her overnight diapers. Ironically, Babyganics diapers DO cause a rash along the elastic edge but I think she is just sensitive to something in those particular diapers. Anyway.)

And after lots of research, we ordered a box of Water Wipes for $31.79 from Amazon. We had been using the Costco wipes with no issue, but I think the recent extra diaper changes using these wipes could have caused the rash. I totally, scientifically, tested one of the Costco wipes on my own (clean) bootie to see how it felt. It stung. Poor baby. Hopefully the Water Wipes will live up to the hype. (I totally tested them on myself already and there was no sting at all. It was a bit cold, though.)

Can we start a freaky internet challenge like planking and tebowing and owling (w.t.f.) called, um, wiping(??) where we test baby wipes on ourselves? Probably not; it would get X-rated pretty quickly. But I highly encourage every parent (DADS TOO)  to test your baby’s wipes on yourself. You know, in the privacy of your own bathroom or youtube channel or whatever. It totally stung and kind of blew my mind.

Yes. YES. I challenge you all to try using your baby’s wipes on your own bits. Report back. Let’s get real.

Oh, also relating to this dark time of winter, we bought a humidifier ($49.99), we bought an extra 3-pack of pacifiers to switch them out more often ($6.99), and we paid a $15 co-pay at the doctor’s office. Y’all. The humidifier is an elephant. Meet Elly.


MommyCon 2016 + GIVEAWAY.

Babystar and I went to MommyCon DC yesterday and had so much fun!

(I was NOT a member of the media team or blog team or whatever it was called and I did purchase my own ticket.)

We actually volunteered Thursday and Friday behind the scenes, and that was also a blast. (Yes, WE. Babystar came along too and even had some playmates her own age.) Everyone involved with Team MommyCon was really nice and great and seemed all about the cause. By the time Saturday actually arrived, I was already exhausted. But luckily very excited, and the excitement trumped the exhaustion.

We arrived early because my son (home from college for the summer) and his girlfriend were working the event. If you attended MommyCon DC and checked your stroller, you met my firstborn. Thanks for being nice to him. (I know you were nice because he told me he was surprised how nice EVERYONE was. I wasn’t surprised but thank you anyway.)


The best thing about having him working there was dropping off Babystar for five minutes at a time so I could PEE ALL BY MYSELF. Stroller check was located conveniently right next to the restrooms.

Babystar helped by stacking things. Also, LOOK AT THAT MOUNTAIN OF GIFT BAGS!


We attended last year and I definitely noticed a lot of improvement. The layout inside the convention center was smarter this year. Last year the vendor space was a bit cramped and the diaper changing area was ridiculously big and far away from the action. That was not the case this year, and the addition of a Quiet Room and Toddler Play Space was great. (Note to the convention center: that door to the Quiet Room needs some WD-40. Whoops.)

The best improvement IMO was the offering of speaker sessions. There were six different sessions happening at any time, which made it difficult to choose where to spend our time. (This is a good problem to have!) I really enjoyed Steps Toward Sustainability with Yvonne BrownDear Baby XO: Why Mom Fails are Good for You with Sarah Showfety, and Ring Slings 101. By far my favorite session was Why Toddlers Fear New Foods with Dawn Winkelman of EZPZ. I have raised two picky eaters already and learned a lot of ways to prevent this pickiness with Babystar, hopefully early enough to prevent any food issues. (I know Cloth Diapering 101 with Jenn Labit was great because I attended last year, so I felt ok about skipping it this year EVEN THOUGH I know she gives out cool gifts.) I wanted to attend the Babywearing Yoga and Babies at the Barre sessions, but. But. But I was so so SO tired from working while babywearing the previous two days AND Babystar was conveniently asleep in her carrier during both of those session times. So I shopped instead.

Want to see what I bought?


  • All the Smart Bottoms stars plus the teal Blueberry diaper in the front row from Lil Tulips: $139.31
  • The three striped diapers (SO PRETTY in person!) and the squiggly rainbow diaper from Blueberry Diapers: $96.80
  • Swim diaper from GroVia: $12 (MommyCon special price!)
  • Stuffed ninja that Babystar pointed out and then bit so I had to buy it (smart baby) from Wrap Scrap Creations: $20
  • Two Ubbi Tweat Snack Containers (you can see that one was used for Cheerios right away): $15 (MommyCon special pricing!)
  • Navy blue mesh ring sling from Cute Awakening: $35
  • Ziggy Stardust t-shirt for Babystar from Jammy Jams: $18

Merch total was $336.11 plus $84 for tickets (general admission plus the Feed the Baby VIP session on Friday) so my grand total was $420.11. Which is almost exactly $100 less than last year. I wanted to buy much more but restrained myself. I wanted more more MORE cloth diapers and a Tekhni ‘hip sack’ (which is really just a pretty fanny pack for fancy mamas) and a woven ring sling and and and. You get it.

I chatted with several of the vendors; again, everyone I talked to was so nice. Everyone. Of course they were, right? They are vendors. But everyone was SUPER above and beyond nice, and excited to chat about their products or just about babies or life in general.

Life Tip #1: Get some Oh My Yog! Organic Yogurt from Stonyfield in your life as soon as possible. Stonyfield gave some out during the VIP sessions on Friday and I cannot even tell you how delicious it is. You will thank me. Unless you really hate yogurt. Then you might not like it. But you might — it’s that good.

Life Tip #2: Find out where to buy Brewla ice pops near you and get the coffee flavored one and eat it immediately. They had samples on Saturday and they were SO GOOD. The Strawberry Hibiscus was also delicious. But that coffee flavored one tho.

Life Tip #3: (If you have a baby or a toddler.) Attend a MommyCon near you. I think it is finally worth traveling for, and I wouldn’t have said that last year. Xza and her team have been on a steep learning curve and the entire convention is really really good now.

Everyone always wants to know WHAT IS IN THE SWAG BAG?

Everyone gets a gift bag. And if you attend a VIP session (held the day before), you get another special individualized gift bag. I attended Feed the Baby with Jessica Martin-Weber from The Leaky B@@b and it was great because she is just adorable and funny and great. And all of this was in my VIP gift bag.


You guys, look! There is a coral EZPZ mini mat! Just like the one I gave away last week. And just like the one I already own and reviewed and wondered if it would work better if I never put it in the dishwasher. I’m going to do a blind ‘sticky test’ soon and I’ll let you know how it goes. I will also tell you all about the BiteSizers and Re-Play dishware and GOOtensils once Babystar uses them a bit.

(That can is tuna. I don’t know. Special you-can-eat-it-when-you-are-pregnant tuna but still. What?)

And everyone got a General Admission gift bag with some variation on these goodies.


Well technically, the Kind bar, Babyganics samples on the left, and GoGo applesauce were handed out by vendors in the exhibit hall. The rest was in the swag bag. Highlights included two types of reusable food pouches (Sage Spoonfuls and Little Green Pouch), an adorable doll sized cloth diaper from Nicki’s Diapers, and a Maya & Max by MOBY baby hat. Plus lots of other cool stuff, as you can see. I actually got another bag with a variation of these things at the end as a thank you for volunteering, so I’m going to give THIS one away. I’ll even pay your shipping costs, so US only please and sorry. Immediately after taking the above picture last night, I tied up the bag and set it aside for you.


I’m leaving this giveaway open until the middle of next week, because I will not be able to ship this out until August 5th.


I’m just gifting you my super cool swag bag. 🙂

WE HAVE A WINNER! Gabriela, I just sent you an email. CONGRATULATIONS! And thank you to everyone who entered!!

Enter to win a MommyCon Swag Bag here!



Unsolicited Rave.

I swear no one paid me to say this.

I WISH someone would pay me to say things. Type things. Whatever.

I have a huge crush on Babyganics Toy & High Chair Cleaner. I use it on the high chair and on toys and on the table and on the floor and on everything. It’s basically my new favorite all purpose cleaner. It works really well to clean off the sticky. And my house now has a lot of sticky. And it is made to clean toys, so I think it is safe for Babystar to then lick those toys. And she is actually licking everything, so I might as well use it to clean everything. Yes, she licks the floor. Intentionally. I’ve seen her do it. I do not understand it. I guess she is just doing her experiments.


Four thumbs up. (Mine and hers.)

(I already bought this so no adding to the bottom line here. I should probably need a new one by now but it lasts a really long time. Or I don’t clean as often as I should. Yeah, probably that.)