Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Fisher Price Lil' Zoomers Shake and Crawl Review

Let me start off by saying this: I don't like toys that make noise. A rattle is fine. But something that makes obnoxious sounds and plays music and can't easily be quieted doesn't often find a place in the Strick household. However, they can't always be avoided, and I will buy my child something if it keeps him entertained long enough for me to take a bathroom break.
Jbaby loves cars, and motorcycles, and anything else with wheels and an engine. He watches Top Gear (British version, of course), West Coast Customs, Sons of Anarchy, etc. Weird for a 5 month old? Probably. But I'm down with that.

That being said, this toy is awesome! Yes, it does make noise. The sound of an engine being revved, a horn, and a little voice saying "whoohoo!" (That last noise prompts Jbaby to squeal back. It's cute.) It's designed for 6 months and up, with different features as they grow. When the baby is younger, they can shake a "remote control" rattle to make the car go. For babies that aren't quite mobile, turn the front wheel and the car will go around in a circle. Once your little one can move around a bit, you're able to set the wheel to go in a straight line. There's also a roller on top of the car the baby can hit to make the car start.

When the baby shakes the yellow rattle, or hits the orange and blue roller on top of the car, the car starts.

This is the mic that picks up the sound of the rattle. (It also picks up any other loud noise.)

When the yellow front wheel is set straight, the car moves forward. The switch on the right turns the toy on low volume, high volume, and off.

Turned to the right, the car will go in a small circle.

Jbaby checking out the wheels.

Trying out the rattle.

*It's a lot of fun for the baby to be able to start the Shake and Crawl Racer on their own.
*Different features for different age groups means the child won't get bored with it after a short amount of time.
*I also like the fact it requires 4 AA batteries, since that's a size we always have on hand.

*The car reacts to loud noises. So if the baby cries, you need to turn it off immediately, or it will continue to go.
*Price: I've seen The Lil' Zoomers Shake and Crawl sold anywhere between $24 and $32. It's quite a chunk of money for one toy. (Though I will say it has been worth every penny for us.)

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

GroVia Biosoaker Review

On our visit back to the mainland, we needed an alternative to cloth. The thought of toting a bag full of diapers through airports and on a road trip didn’t appeal to me. So, I decided to try out GroVia’s Biosoakers.

These are disposable inserts that fit inside the GroVia or GroBaby shells.

This is another product I really wanted to like. But it wasn’t a hit with me for several reasons. First of all, they’re a bit of a pain to work with. You lay them directly in the shell, and try to wrangle them onto a wiggly baby without them slipping and sliding completely off his bum. (Imagine how much fun that was in a tiny airplane bathroom on a ridiculous excuse for a changing table while trying not to fall down or drop the baby. Yes, loads of fun.) There are sticky tabs on the backs of the inserts. DO NOT USE THE ADHESIVE. It’s meant for use with cotton underwear during potty training.

We didn’t have any leaks on our first flight, which I found odd since it was the 7 hour flight. The shell was a bit damp after the hour and a half flight. However, after the last flight (1 hour), he was completely soaked. His outfit had to be changed and the shell ended up in the wet bag. On our road trip, they weren’t so bad. A little bit of leakage, but nothing major. Honestly, I wish I had just taken cloth. Especially since EBF poo doesn’t really smell.

*Made with biodegradable and compostable materials.
*Less SAP then disposables, and comparable price.
*Very trim.
*Difficult to keep in place while changing.
*Not good for heavy wetters.

Final Verdict: In a pinch, I might use these again. But I’d honestly rather use disposables. Especially since it doesn’t matter how biodegradable or compostable something is if it just goes in a regular trash bag anyway.

Monday, April 4, 2011

I'm back!

Well, the trip to the mainland was awesome! And didn't last nearly long enough. But I was able to try out a lot of new products, and reviews will be up this week. I've got to get unpacked, get everyone back on schedule, write a couple of articles, and welcome my old dog home! So there's quite a bit going on right now!

Hope everyone is doing well, and I'll get some stuff posted ASAP. :)

Monday, March 14, 2011

Sweet Cheeks WINNER!

Is... BadCat! Please comment here within 48 hours with your email address to claim your prize, or a new winner will be picked.

Thanks for participating, everyone! This has been a learning experience for sure, and hopefully the next giveaway will be even better!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

To be reviewed!

Starting next week the blog will be on hold til the beginning of April. But there will be tons of reviews coming, and even a Kawaii Baby Giveaway!

On this trip, we'll be testing out the GroVia BioSoaker pads, Inspired By Finn amber teething necklace, and I'll be doing a post about tips on flying and traveling with cloth. Other upcoming reviews include BottomBumpers, Tweedle Bugs, Twinkletoes, and Twinkletoes diapers. BUT I've also got some non-CD reviews in mind, too. Including, but not limited to: Lucky 107 make-up, Lilac Ave lip balms, and a few household cleaners (both manufactured and homemade).

Don't forget to refer your friends and enter to win Lilac Ave Sweet Cheeks Bum Bar! (Open until 3-13-11, midnight HST.)

Monday, March 7, 2011

Sweet Cheeks Bum Bar Review and Giveaway! -- CLOSED

I was asked by a good friend of mine to help test a cloth diaper friendly diaper bum bar. Having had so many issues with J-baby's sensitive skin, I jumped at the chance. Got the first sample, gave my feedback, and received a second tester with the new formula. And it WORKS! Oh, it's fabulous. .

Sweet Cheeks comes in a push up tube, and you glide it over the baby's skin. Not only does it mean you apply just what you need, it keeps your hands and changing area mess free. (Changing J-baby's diaper is sort of like trying to put clothes on an eel, or something. Normal rash creams get all over me, the changing table, the outside of the diaper and his clothes. With Sweet Cheeks, we don't have this problem!) Made from all natural ingredients, it's something I feel safe using every single diaper change. It also smells nice and fresh. Not a fake perfume-y, and not medicated like many creams.

Push up tube.

The label is made from recycled paper!

Top view.

*Ingredients. There are only 5 ingredients in this product, and they're all natural.
*Mess free. I really, really dislike getting diaper cream all over my hands and having to waste a wipe cleaning it off. The Bum Bar eliminates that problem.
*WAHM. This product is made by a WAHM, who is also a Navy wife. Being a WAHM Navy Wife myself, I have a special spot in my heart for moms in similar situations.

*Thin. It applys a thin layer of protection, so if you need something more heavy duty, you'd want to keep another product on hand.

Final Verdict: I really love this stuff! It works well, and in a nice, neat way. Definitely my go-to bum cream.
[Personal note: While this product was created for use as an alternative to diaper cream, I also like to use it on my dry skin. I have eczema and for years doctors have prescribed diaper ointment to combat it. This smells better, looks better, works just as well, and is in a convenient package!]

GIVEAWAY! (Open til midnight HST on Sunday, March 13th.)

Mandatory entry: Go to Lilac Ave's Etsy shop and tell me what other product you'd love to have!

Other entries: (Leave comments letting me know which entries you've done.)
1. Follow this blog.
2. "Like" Lilac Ave on Facebook.
3. Follow @Mama_Strick on Twitter.
4. Follow @lilacave on Twitter.
5. Tweet the giveaway link mentioning @Mama_Strick and @lilacave. (One tweet per day gives you one extra entry per day.)
6. Refer people to this blog. For every new person who follows and mentions your name in the comments below, you both get an entry!

A random winner will be picked and announced on March 14th!

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Fuzzibunz Perfect Size Review

A great way to save money on cloth diapers is to buy second-hand. Especially if they're from someone you know, and you can be sure they were properly cared for. I bought 2 Medium and 1 Large Perfect Size Fuzzibunz from a friend of mine. They retail for $17.95, but mine were $12/each.

Perfect Size Fuzzibunz are made in the same style as the one size, but without the adjustable elastic in the waist and legs. They range from x-small, which fits babies as small as 4lb to the large that goes up to 45+. The medium size is made to fit babies from about 15-30lb. J-baby started wearing his when he was 2 months old, at around 13lb. As you can tell, even though this diaper is sized, he's going to get plenty of wear out of it. The diapers came with one med/lg insert each, but I chose to buy new ones.

The fit is nice. I like that the crotch is wider, which is better for J-baby. They're very trim, like the one size, and the rise is much higher.

Snapped in the smallest setting.


Tag. (As you can see, there's a bit of wear.)

Medium/Large insert.

One size insert on the left, med/lg insert on the right. As you can see, there's quite a big difference.

Front view.

Side view. Very trim.

Back view.

Action shot!

*Nice fit. Even at 12lb it fit nicely, and we never had leaks. Hopefully he'll be in this one a while.
*Colors. There are 14 very cute colors available in both OS and PS.

*Quality. The large I got delaminated. This means the water proff PUL separated from the fabric, and the diaper is now unusable. My friend had the same thing happen to one of hers. But getting a replacement requires an extensive form to be filled out, and I have yet to find the time/patience to sit down and get it done.
*More investment. If you decide to get sized diapers you will have to buy more as your child grows.

Final Verdict: I would take these over the one size 9 times out of 10. BUT, it helps that my baby was large enough that he fit in these at 2 months. If I had a smaller baby, I would probably prefer the one size. Still, these are a good investment, and I'd recommend them. Especially if you want to go solely with sized diapers. Check out Fuzzibunz store for free shipping on all US orders. Pretty big deal when you live in HI like me!