Monday, September 29, 2014

Portland Trip - Fall 2014

We spent the weekend in Portland visiting family, picking up cabinetry for the basement at Ikea, buying Little Golden Books for Everett at Powell's Bookstore, and visiting a couple of the local pumpkin patches. Jeff's mom and I had a blast hanging out during the day, while Jeff did a couple continuing education classes. It was a wonderful weekend! 

Everett is obsessed with pumpkins. I found this book at the library and need to buy a copy to keep. You can sing the Halloween-themed words in the book to the tune of "The Itsy Bitsy Spider", and it has been a fun, easy way for him to learn about the holiday. The book taught him how to recognize pumpkins (duh), witches, ghosts, spiders, bats (which he pronounces "cat"), and scarecrows.

He walked over to the pony, and in his sweet little voice said, "Hi."

Everett has also become quite the little escape artist at Grandma and Grandpa's house. He knows how to get outside on his own, and a couple times he was left unattended he ended up in the driveway by himself. Good thing they live on a country road, and good thing Willow tends to follow him around to keep an eye out for any trouble (unless she spots a squirrel, in which case she is no good).

Friday, September 19, 2014

All the Things

Thursdays are my telecommuting days, and it is always my favorite day of the week. My bosses sure knew what they were doing by giving me a day to work from home! I feel more relaxed and rejuvenated as a person, and that makes me a better employee while I am in the office the other 4 days of the week. However, I think the most important benefit of being flexible with employees is that I now have a lot of loyalty toward my employer. I am not always on the lookout for another job, and I am not so stressed that I am unable to do my work effectively. Everyone is winning! In conclusion, I am pretty happy at my job, despite the fact that I have mommy guilt every time I walk out the door. BUT can it really get much better than this for a Thursday?


After I finished my work at home, Everett and I ran some errands. I picked up a few things I had been meaning to get for a while, and wanted to share our recent purchases.

Michael's was our first stop. I am working on a framing project (deets to come!) for which I had to pick up a few supplies. They have super cute Halloween craft kits for me kids right now, and with a 50% off coupon how could I resist? They do not sell the kit online so I can't share the exact stuff that is included, but Everett and I will be making cute spiders in the next few days. I'll probably Instagram after, so you may be seeing the finished product there. And yes, I am cheap enough to walk around the store and price buying the supplies separate from the kit. I am pleased to report that it is cheaper buying the kit than it is to buy in bulk...not to mention the fact that I won't have to store a million extra pompoms, beads, pipe cleaners, and eyes. I think is costs around $8.99 (before coupons).   

New bath toys: This was a total impulse buy. We were standing in line at Babies R Us when I saw these foam letters and numbers. I thought they would make fun bath toys for Everett, and they were reasonably priced, so I threw them in the cart. Everett is obsessed. Bath time last night was incredibly easy with these toys, and he even wanted to go to bed with the number 2. He is super interested in letters and numbers, so these make a perfect toy for him at this age. 

New toothbrush: Everett has always liked the idea of brushing his teeth, but he is mostly interested in chewing the brush and sucking off the toothpaste - not brushing. I got him this spin brush because he always sees me brush with a Sonicare, and loves pushing the button when he is able to snatch it off the counter. To make him feel more grown up, and to encourage actual cleaning, we decided to try out this cool new spinning toothbrush. Last night's results were mixed: he liked chewing on it and pressing the button, but he did not like it spinning in his mouth. Wah waaaah. Baby steps...

Baby Bjorn potty chair: We have been using this seat (which my mom found at a garage sale and soaked in bleach, even though the lady swore her child never used it) for light potty training. We are not anywhere near ready to ditch the diapers, but we decided to introduce the concept early to minimize stress. Everett likes the adventure of climbing on this chair, and he can now set it on the toilet by himself. However, he would only go #2 on it, and as often as he pees, he was never comfortable enough to go #1. Last night, I set the Baby Bjorn chair in the living room for him to get used to it. He kept playing with it and was showing interest, so I took off the diaper and set him down. He immediately peed. I didn't even know what to do. I was NOT prepared for the moment, so then Everett grabbed the pee-filled bucket and started running around the house. Oh toddlers!

Melissa and Doug Magnetic Chalkboard: Again, with the letters and numbers interest. Everett played with this thing for about a half hour. He kept calling it a puzzle, so we are going with that for now. I think it will be a fun toy for when he is older, because the other side has a dry erase board. Yay to crafting and learning at the same time!

My pocketbook is lighter, but I think we made some great investments yesterday. I hope you all have a great Friday!

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Wine Tasting and Huckleberry Picking

Another great weekend in the books! Jeff and I drove down to Walla Walla for a night to celebrate our BFF's 30th birthday. We stopped at a few wineries and enjoyed the sights of Southeastern Washington. Here are a few highlights from our trip:

Sleight of Hand is so quirky that you just have to stop in for a visit. I mean, who else features Neil Patrick Harris's face on a bottle?

Yes, I did buy a bottle of the Neil Patrick Harris vintage.

And guess who happened to be getting hitched during that exact moment I was drinking out of his face...NPH himself! It was meant to be. 

We were the only people tasting at that time of day, so we got to choose which record was playing while we sipped on wine. Good wine + good music means lots of dancing. The workers thought our group was pretty entertaining.

Our next stop was a private tasting at Garrison Creek Cellars. This wine is fantastic. They manage a small amount of grapes so that each bottle of wine can be done right, rather than mass producing wine in the assembly line style. The result is exquisite. Each bottle sells at $63.00, but it is really hard going back to Two Buck Chuck after tasting this wine.

We tasted wine straight out of the barrel, then went upstairs to see what an extra 2 years in the barrel will do to the results. I tell you, this was dangerous. I will definitely be visiting again in a couple years to enjoy the fruits of their labor. I will stroke the glass and say to it, "I remember when you were just a little guy in a barrel. You were so sweet and delicate. Now look at you. All robust and grown up." It will be tender and weird.

There are only 5 people who work at this winery, and we met 4 of them (plus their adorable dog). That is how small the operation is.

The view driving to the winery wasn't bad either. Not bad at all.

If you are tasting in Walla Walla, this place was 5 stars in my book.

Once we were all wined out, we stopped at Graze for lunch on their patio...check out this mural...

...then we made the drive back home to take our little Everett huckleberry picking in the mountains.

He stripped these huckleberry bushes clean!

And put the berries directly in his mouth.

He kept saying, "Blueberry. Bucket. Blueberry. Bucket. YUMMMMMM!"

He had so much fun. It was the perfect way to make memories. And you guys, look at how big my baby is getting!

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Honest Is Goodness {a review}

And now the post for which you have all been waiting!

We are going on 9 months of using Honest Company products. It has taken me this long to comment about my experience because 1) I wanted to make sure I was familiar enough with the company to guarantee a thorough look at their products, and 2) there are so many Honest products to try, I wanted to be able to post about my favorites. We have been receiving both their Diapers & Wipes and Essentials Bundles, and so far the investment has been worth it for the Wirth family.

Diapers & Wipes Bundle

First, I will start with the Diapers & Wipes Bundle. I guess we have a bit of a unique situation in our household when it comes to baby bottoms: Everett has insanely sensitive skin, and he is a heavy wetter. Since birth, we have been very selective in the diapers and wipes we purchase, as the wrong brand can cause diaper rash and/or leaking. We used Kirkland brand wipes and diapers for a few weeks, but the wipes gave him a horrible diaper rash, and the diapers leaked all the time - and they did not just leak out the side or front, but they leaked through the diaper. Even though this brand was the most economical choice, we had to switch to sensitive wipes and Pampers Swaddlers for Everett's comfort and our sanity.

As I did with my cloth diaper research, I decided to do a price comparison for normal diapers vs. Honest diapers. Using pricing from on size 4 diapers (our current size), I calculate that Pampers cost ~$0.36/diaper. When you "bundle" diapers with an Honest membership, a size 4 diaper from Honest costs roughly $0.35. This means we save one shiny penny every time we use Honest diapers over Pampers, and unlike other brands you get off the shelf, these diapers are free of any harsh chemicals, fragrances, and additives. And they don't leak. And they come in adorable prints. AND they are delivered straight to your door!

For all you new moms out there, Pampers Swaddlers in the newborn size are about $0.28/diaper, while Honest newborn sizes are $0.19/diaper. Just sayin'. 

Now let's talk about the wipes. This is where the bundle starts getting a little #firstworld. At $4.95 per package of 72 wipes, every time you take a wipe out for use, you are spending ~$0.07. When comparing Honest wipes to a giant box of 448 sensitive wipes from Pampers at the cost of $10.99 (putting each wipe at approximately $0.02), we are spending over 3 times as much as we spend on regular wipes.

HOWEVER, these #firstworld wipes are incredible. They are much thicker and more absorbent than normal wipes, and we probably use about 1/3 the amount of wipes because of how much more functional they are. In fact, Jeff - the typical non-observant husband - grabbed a handful of Honest wipes for a messy diaper on the first day we had them, used only a couple, then said, "What are these wipes? They are 10 times better than those other ones you bought. Don't buy those other ones anymore."

And guess what...they don't give Everett a rash. Every once in a while I will use another brand of wipes just to be sure I am not making up the wipe-rash correlation. Without fail, every time we use a different brand of wipe, Everett will get a hot, red rash.

Before I signed up for Honest, I wanted to make sure I was not being deceived. I called the toll-free number and received incredible customer service, and the gentleman on the phone answered all my questions without sounding scripted. Finally, and probably most importantly for this busy mommy, the company has super duper fast shipping. I know that if I order something today (aka if I notice we are running low on diapers), it will be on my doorstep within 48 hours.

So how does it work? A family pays $79.95 for a box, which includes 4 packages of wipes and 6 packages of diapers delivered every 4-6 weeks (you choose the timing - you can also manually select a date on the calendar, which we do since we also use cloth diapers). If you do not have an Essentials Bundle, you can also add up to 3 additional baby items to your shipment at 25% off the listing price. This will not include the cleaning products (more on these to come!), but it is a cheap way to get some great baby products (my favorites being the Healing Balm and the Soothing Bottom Wash).

My one complaint? The newer prints tend to sell out fast, so be aware of this fact. They are usually restocked after a couple weeks, but your kid is not the most fashionable on the block until then. Also, they are not made in the USA, unlike most of the Essentials products which are USA-made, but I guess you can't have it all. Also, that makes 2 complaints...though neither are deal breakers.

So there you have it! That is the Wirth's honest look at the Honest Company's Diapers & Wipes Bundle. I have not received anything free from the company, and I am in no way affiliated with them, so each word of this post is my own, true opinion. However, they are such a great company that I am more than willing to be an advocate for their products. We all know how uber passionate I am about natural baby care...If you use this link to sign up, you get $10 off your first order with the code (I am told you can call to cancel your membership at any time, but I have not been interested in cancelling yet!). 

This post is getting a little long, but I hope you found it helpful and informative. I will leave you all twiddling your fingers in anticipation by asking you to check back later to hear the Wirth family's thoughts on the Essentials Bundle!
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