As my adventures in nursing come to a close, we’ve been experimenting with lots of different bottles. I’ve been searching for the perfect one for baby Clementine for months. You can research all you want but it’s really up to the baby to decide if it works or not. When we had Violet, all of the BPA info was just coming to light and it was obviously really scary, especially being new parents & having no idea what to do with/for a baby! We immediately ditched the Playtex bottles we had been given and went to glass. We ending up using Born Free bottles, one of the only BPA-free options at the time. We’ve come a long way as far as bottles (and plastics in general) go in just under 4 years.

So now, I give to you, the Littlewhirl bottle round up!

Born Free
Like I mentioned above, we used these with V because the old standard Evenflo glass bottles gave her an incredible amount of gas. They are definitely awesome, I tend to prefer bottles that have a nipple with a larger bulb, and both girls responded to those types better. They have a great anti-colic vent that’s easy to clean, and now they even come in glass! Born Free bottles will cost you a pretty penny but they are really great all around. I would have definitely used these a second time around but we were on the hunt for a cheaper option.

Green to Grow
We got a 2 pack of the 4oz. glass bottles made by Green to Grow. I love the shape of these bottles, they were super sturdy and Clementine didn’t have much trouble with the nipple (although I found that they were a bit leaky). The best part about these bottles is that they are made in the US, I love that! I do wish that we got the larger size, because Clem was drinking more than 4 oz at 4 months; so, I highly suggest getting the 8oz. size. Green to Grow also makes BPA-free plastic bottles in 5 oz & 10 oz sizes, in wide-neck & regular neck, along with a great collection of baby cloths and super cute totes.

Green Sprouts
Another good BPA-free bottle, no fancy extra pieces, a decent nipple (although we use these are our spare bottles with MAMbaby nipples). A good stand-by, we’ve been pretty happy with using these as our “back up bottles” (read: when we are too lazy to wash the other ones) now that Clem is a bit bigger. Green Sprouts bottles some in 4 oz & 8 oz sizes and cost about nineteen dollar a pack (2). Green Sprouts also makes loads of other BPA free baby cups, bibs and other feeding essentials.

People, these are stainless steel bottles. That’s right, *stainless steel bottles*. Organickidz bottles do not contain BPA, Phthalates, PVC’s or lead. They will not leach toxins or shatter and are made with food grade stainless steel. This bottle was nice and super light. They don’t scratch up so you never have to worry about nasty germies sticking around or hiding in them. Obviously you can’t stick these in the microwave (I usually warm water in a glass bottle in the microwave and then pour it in whatever bottle I’m using) and since they are stainless steel the embossed measurements on the side are a little useless. I also had a heck of a time getting the nipple in the ring. The top can also be used as a 2 oz measuring cup, and that I have to say, is pretty cool. This one is also a 4 oz bottle so we don’t use it much anymore; if you’re going to spring for these bottles (they’ll run you twenty bucks a pop), I highly suggest you buy the big ones.

Dr. Brown’s
I just can’t even deal with how many pieces are involved with this bottle. People love them but I don’t.

MAMBaby Anti-colic bottles
These have definitely been the standout bottle in our house, I really, really love these. MAMbaby bottles have a vented base and a really great nipple. Clementine had absolutely no problem going from breast to bottle with these. They are super easy to clean, the base detaches so I’m never trying to jam a bottle brush in there to get it clean and when I do clean them, I know they are getting really clean. Clementine is a super barfy baby and when we started using these it definitely decreased (in fairness, we also started adding rice cereal to her formula too so it would, um, stick better…). The best part about these bottles? They are cheap and BPA-free! A 3-pack of 8 oz bottles costs under fifteen dollars (they also come in a 5 oz size), you really can’t beat that. MAMbaby is so awesome. I’d be hard pressed to meet a MAMbaby product that I don’t like. Really.

What are your favorite bottles?

Okay folks, Spring is on it’s way (I don’t want to say it’s here or I’ll probably jinx it) and I am turning over a new leaf. Time to lose that last 20 pounds of baby weight, it’s doing nothing but slowing me down and keeping me from wearing jeans that fit. I’ve got a pair of Reebok Easytones in my arsenal and I am ready to walk! Look that this amazing place I have to walk around in, it’s beautiful even in the dead of winter. This is one of V’s favorite spots to toss rocks in the water & pick Rose Hips in the summer. I’ve been working really hard to change my eating habits lately; I’ve even given up my precious lattes and have started drinking green tea & lemon balm tea a la my amazing herbalist friend in Oregon. A few of my new favorite snacks are roasted chick peas, kale chips & popcorn with nutritional yeast and herbamare. I still need to perfect some quick healthy (vegetarian) dinnertime meals but hey, Rome wasn’t built in a day right?

A few questions: Parents, what are your favorite ways to de-stress and excersize? How do you manage it with two kids? I’ve been walking at night after the junior mints go to sleep (and when it’s not freezing) but I’d like to get out more durning the day. Sans double stroller, I’m finding it a bit hard because V still has trouble on very long walks. Plus, I like to keep a pretty fast pace. As of right now I’m either taking V in the stroller & leaving Clementine with her dad, or popping her in the ergo. Maybe I should just consider all that more calories burned? Hmmm….

Do you have any favorite healthy snacks or dinners? what are they? V is a very good eater, thank God, but I find that we have the same 4 or 5 go-to meals all the time. I know a lot of that is a seasonal thing but man, Bor-ing! I suppose I also need the motivation/energy to cook…

I’m going to try to keep some progress reports going here, I think it will keep me motivated. Let’s see if these Reeboks really work!
Keep checking back, we have a bunch of great reviews coming up and another giveaway! xo

We have a winner!

Congrats to Jody!

I’ll be emailing you for your contact info in a bit. Thank you to all who entered the ReUsies giveaway!

If you’ve been reading along, you can probably tell by now that I kind of have a borderline obsession with reusable things. Back in my youth I used to complain about how many plastic shopping bags that were in my apartment, now I have just as many cloth bags (I can’t help it, I love those dollar bags they sell at Whole Foods, so pretty)! So picture this, all the awesomeness of reusable grocery bags, but FOR YOUR LUNCH. That’s what ReUsies are.

Usually for school lunch we use V’s very beloved Planetbox. The ReUsies have been so complimentary to it! They are so handy for adding an extra snack or two (or on days that I forget to wash said beloved Planetbox and have to use a regular old lunchbox). ReUsies are made from super cute 100% cotton lined with leak-resistant nylon (BPA, Lead and Phthalate free) and are secured with Velcro® closures. At first glance I was a little skeptical because of the one single velcro tab in the center but dudes, I put a burrito in a sandwich sized ReUsie the other day and it was *perfect*. The bag folds over just enough so the fabric creates a seal of sorts that keeps snacks in. If V can’t spill snacks out of one of these, you know they are the real deal. The second she laid eyes on these she took one, ran to the kitchen and filed it with her favorite snack, Pirate’s Booty. She was able to open and close it easily which I love because frankly, I’m sick of reaching into the back seat of our car to open tupperware for her while I’m driving. ReUsies come in two sizes, Snack (approx. 6”x5”) & Sandwich (approx. 7.5”x6”)

ReUsies were born in Seattle by mothers who after realizing that their families were averaging a use of about 10 plastic bags a day, decided to do something about it. Honestly, I just can’t even deal with how clever a product this is. You know those items that are so useful & clever that you constantly think, “Jeez, I can’t believe that nobody thought of this sooner’?, ReUsies are totally one of those things. And the best part? You can put these babies in the washing machine or the dishwasher (although they recommend that you spot clean them for longest life)! They offer instructional videos on how to clean them & how to use them on their website.

The lovely ladies over at ReUsies have generously decided to let us host a giveaway! So here’s the deal, visit ReUsies and tell me what your favorite style is and leave me a comment (on this entry, not on Facebook). Extra entries can be earned by Fanning ReUsies on Facebook, Subscribing to their newsletter, Following ReUsies on Twitter, Tweeting about this giveaway (with a link back to this entry and @littlewhirl) or mentioning this giveaway & linking to this entry from your Facebook status. That’s 6 ways to enter, SIX! Just remember to leave a comment here for each entry you do and tell me what it is. The lucky winner will receive snack & sandwich sized ReUsies. So super cool. Also, right now at ReUsies you can save 10% on 3 or more ReUsies with the code 3ORMORE. Happy Shopping!

*Contest closes on March 14th.

4 months!

Man, this little lady just gets cuter & cuter. Sleep is settling, barf is waning, big sister Violet doesn’t want to send her back… I can’t ask for anything more than that. I took this picture with my phone today because it was all I could reach while she was on this blanket. She was so happy, just cooing away and shoving her hands in her mouth. Babies are so so awesome. Just looking at my two makes me feel like the luckiest lady alive.

Happy weekend everyone!

V drew this picture of the sun this morning. She’s been drawing like crazy all of the sudden & I love it! We have some exciting stuff coming up in the next couple of weeks including two giveaways, so check back and have a lovely weekend!

Calling all mitten lovers!

I have almost always had a problem with losing mittens. And now, as a parent, I have a problem with losing my kid’s mittens. Although, let’s face it, kiddos do a pretty good job of that on their own. I am the not-so-proud owner of a drawer full of single mismatched gloves & mittens. I have long considered finding a pair of mittens connected by the long string but with a 3 year old that just seems like it would be problematic & frustrating for her.

Just before our last snowstorm, I got a pair of MimiTENS in the mail. Holy moly are they awesome. mimiTENS were cooked up by Anna-Maria Mountfort, a native of Canada (where she still lives & operates mimiTENS). Not only does she produce these great mittens but they are made in Canada. Anna-Maria spends about 80% of her cost on labor so that she can be sure to manage production in her own country. How many companies do you hear of that are willing to do that, especially in the midst of a recession? Sadly, Not many. 3 cheers for Anna-Maria! So yes, it does make them a bit pricier than your average mitten (they’ll run you about 31.00 USD) but it’s almost impossible to lose one of these (while they are on anyway) and they do an amazing job protecting your little one’s hands from the snow & cold. Isn’t that alone priceless?

mimiTENS are great for a number of reasons; there’s the obvious staying-on factor. The All-weather mimiTENS V has (in Robot of course, she loves robots) are made of water-repellent nylon, insulated with Thinsulate™ and lined with Oeko-Tek bamboo fleece for extra warmth and softness. The mitten itself is very roomy so she is free to wiggle her fingers as much as she can. The cuffs are made of Cotton/ Lycra and are nice & stretchy so they stay on incredibly well. It’s really nice to add an extra layer of warmth on V’s arms without having to burden her with yet another whole layer under her winter coat. She *loves* these mittens. As we speak, we’re in the midst of getting more snow (yay!) and she’s already asked when she can put them on. (Above is a very silly picture of her refusing to take them off after a romp in the snow.)

These are great mittens and I am SO happy with them. These are definitely going to be our go-to mittens from here on out. mimiTENS also makes a SOFT version of their mittens w/ eco-friendly bamboo, I’m sure those are divine. Super cute scarves & hats are also available (I can’t wait to try those). Charity wise, mimiTENS loves and supports the Yonge Street Mission, the Geneva Centre for Autism, Right to Play and the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto. So when you buy mimiTENS you are supporting these organizations too. *And* right now they are running a sale so hop on over & don’t miss out!