Back-Up Plan?

Do you have a backup plan? 

This week alone I have had two customers (on completely separate occasions!) bring up the idea of a back-up plan (albeit in regards to two different scenarios). The question is simple enough. However, upon closer inspection (and after a bit of introspection) it actually is a bit of terrifying (for me it is, at least, and I'd consider myself a fairly organized person).

It is always nice to feel prepared, just in case you stay away from home a few hours longer than planned, or the weather turns a bit chillier than expected, or what have you. I'd guess, though, under most circumstances there is a way to make do, or borrow, or finagle. 

But what if you couldn't? What if everyone else around you also was making do, or borrowing, or attempting to piece things together?

I'm sure most in the Midwest would agree, the recent onslaught of horrific tornadoes has left everyone a bit shaken. 

I remember when I was little (in western Wisconsin) we would watch the radar in our basement - with the half-wall of windows immediately behind us. I don't ever remember a single instance when we felt compelled to move into the most interior space of the house, under the steps. Nope. Instead we watched the radar and occasionally my father would even go outside to watch the sky (although, when Twister first came out I did threw out some serious protests to him doing that).

When we first moved to Kansas, I insisted we have a basement. Insisted. Deal-breaker. Nope, will not look at houses without basements. Our realtor mocked me (sign #1 we should have given him the boot, but that is a whole other post). We got our basement. And with every siren and warning we diligently moved to the basement. But, we still were sitting on a Pottery Barn sectional, half-windows at our side, watching the radar on a television that made the weatherman practically life-sized. I had a plan, though. I pictured us watching the radar's angry red color come closer and closer, eventually grabbing the mattress off the guest room bed and ducking into the basement's shower (it was almost tucked under the cement slab of the garage, and I thought we'd be in a really safe spot). Plus, the house had already been hit by a tornado a few years earlier, so I figured the odds were good it wouldn't get hit again (it sounded good in my head anyways).

But would this have been enough?

Tuesday the sirens went off in our neighborhood. It was me, and my toddler, and the first tornado sirens I'd heard since she was born almost two years ago. The radar on the screen projected the worst of it to arrive in fifteen minutes. My stomach dropped. I still do not know if it is because I'm now a mother and feel intrinsically linked to my precious baby girl, or because of what happened in Joplin just a week earlier, but I felt the primal urge to PROTECT. I grabbed my laptop (no longer with a TV in the basement, I wanted to still be able to watch the radar) and my phone (with all its bells and whistles, hello, a flashlight!, even if I couldn't get a signal I figured it could still serve me well), dressed each of us in several layers and proper shoes and packed snacks and water, and downstairs we went.

Now living in a very old (but with lots of charm!) 1920's home, we no longer have our comfortable basement to retreat into. So we sat on the cement floor and attempted to pass the time. I'd hear the sirens every couple minutes, and the rumbles of the storm outside. The news channel's website wouldn't load, so no more radar for me. Instead we waited. And waited. The old me would have run upstairs to take a peak at the TV. The new me was prepared to hold her post indefinitely.

Eventually the storm did pass, and thankfully did only minor damage throughout the city and suburbs. But now I worry about the next time. I want to have even more of a strategy, and supplies, and a backup plan!... well, that is what I need to figure out.

But what I shake my head at - I didn't bring down a single diaper to the basement. I changed her just before we went downstairs, but goodness gracious, where was my head!? Maybe it is because she's so close to potty training and often holds her bladder for hours on end? But why on earth didn't the diaper store owner think to bring some diapers to the basement? There we were, sitting in front of our washer and dryer, with just a single diaper (and already on the bum, I might add).

So, so far my backup plan isn't too solid. But I do know I'm going to move a serious stash of disposable inserts and PUL covers to the basement, along with several changes of clothes, shelf-stable food and several bottles of water. And I'll probably come up with quite the list before I eventually move my cube of disaster supplies downstairs.

One of my favorite tips comes from a dear friend at playgroup... include nametags in your preparedness arsenal. This way you can write vital information on the tag, and stick it on your baby's back. God forbid you are separated from your child. But hopefully you can more quickly be reunited.

Let's share. What tips do you have? Do you already have a back-up plan? Do you live somewhere with different events to prepare for?

ps. And let's lighten the mood a bit. When I type 'backup' too often I think of this scene:


Memorial Day at Itsy Bitsy Bums

Let's celebrate Memorial Day weekend by recognizing brands that work hard to bring American-made products to your families as well as celebrating families that work hard to protect America! 

And let's also welcome the newest brand to come to IBB - CJ's All Natural.

View all Made in America brands here. And a good reminder of the Flag Code here (and the cliff notes version here)

Spend $20 on 'Made in America' brands - get a free CJ's BUTTer Sample. 

Spend $50 on 'Made in America' brands - get a free CJ's 4oz tube of BUTTer

Spend $75 on 'Made in America' brands - get a free CJ's BUTTer sample and free American-made diaper or accessory valued $7.00+

Spend $100 on 'Made in America' brands - get a free CJ's Large Stick of BUTTer and a free American-made diaper or accessory valued $12.95+

Spend $150 on 'Made in America' brands - get a free CJ's 4oz tube of BUTTer and a free American-made diaper or accessory valued $16.95+

Spend $200+ on 'Made in America' brands - get a free CJ's BUTTer Carcass Cleanser and Large Stick of BUTTer and free American-made diapers or accessories valued $18.95+

Military Families
Free shipping and a free CJ's BUTTer Sample for all orders from military families. Mention 'serve' at checkout and I'll refund the shipping charge on your order. 

ps. After typing out 'Made in America' several times I couldn't help but think of this.

Fine Print

  • Freebies good on orders received by Monday, May 30th, 11:59pm central. 
  • Must use code 'Proud to be an American' at checkout. Please also include 'boyish,' 'girlish' or 'neutral' at checkout, as well as baby's approximate weight. If you forget, simply email me these details immediately after you checkout. 
  • Qualifying order total: Will count any items linked through the 'Made in America' page. Will also count any preloved items which are made in America (want to double check? feel free to email me). Shipping charges do not count towards qualifying order total. Freebies will be applied to order total after discounts and/or Bitsy Bucks are applied. 
  • Gift certificates, trial packages and newborn diaper rentals excluded from qualifying order totals. 
  • Military families free shipping - please note this is on your honor, and I'm not going to ask for proof of service. I have the highest respect for those families serving, and hope to offer free shipping as a small token of gratitude. I'll refund shipping charges when I pack your order. Free shipping offer good to any domestic or APO address. 
  • Facebook promotion fine print: By purchasing you agree to release Facebook of any involvement, and that the promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associate with, Facebook. Your participation provides Itsy Bitsy Bums with your name and shipping details, and Facebook does not receive any notice of your personal information. 


Weekend Fun!

 Freebies for orders* received May 20th - 22nd

Because its fun

Swag Specifics
Orders $10** - $34.99 Free Planet Wise Wipes Wetbag
$35 - $69.99 Free Small Wahmies Wetbag
$70 - $124.99 Free GroVia Shell + 5 BioSoakers
$125 - $174.99 Free GroVia All-in-One
$175+ All of the above!

No code necessary - these freebies are automatically added to your order.

That's Not All...
For every $10 you spend,*** your name goes in the hat. 

Winner gets the Fab All-in-One Collection
1 bumGenius Elemental All-in-One
1 Bright Star Baby All-in-One
1 GroVia All-in-One

Must mention 'Fab AIO' at checkout to be entered in the drawing.

Fine Print
  • *Trial and rental packages and gift certificates excluded from order total
  • **Order must be $10 before shipping
  • ***Any shipping charges and taxes do not count towards total spent
  • Winner to be drawn Monday morning, and contacted via email address on Paypal account
  • IMPORTANT: If your Paypal address is not one you check, ensure you provide a current address in the comments section at checkout. If you do not reply to my email within 24 hours of notification then another winner will be drawn.


Now and Then

If you  know me, you know I'm a total sentimental sap. I cry over reality TV shows, I hoard any object my daughter ever touched (oh yes, this one is already turning out to be a BAD habit), and I frequently reminisce about seemingly inocous events of my childhood that, in retrospect, make me very, very happy. 

One such reflection... the movie Now and Then. It is such a sweet movie about childhood friendship, and if you are a girl* between the ages of, say, 23 - 32 who attended a sleepover, you too have likely watched this movie. I cannot even count the number of times I have seen it. I know we watched it at my friend Laura's house at least a half-dozen times, and I do believe my sister also became infatuated, which would mean we also had it on VHS and likely watched until the tape gave out. *or perhaps 'guy,' don't want to suggest you missed this fabulous pre-teen 'classic.'

image courtesy imdb.com

Normally I'd say, 'if you haven't seen it, rent it immediately.' But I don't even know if the movie would still resonate today as it would with your younger self (that and I don't think modern-Rosie contains nearly the same appeal as her 1995-self did). But I do hope that you have seen it, and have similar happy memories of it.

Cutting to the chase (yes, I'll admit, if you know me you also know that I r.a.m.b.l.e., but I always mean well)......

Now and Then 
The idea of considering where you are now, and reflecting on where you were then.
I mean, come on, a concept perfect for a sap such as myself!

Abby, that^^ cannot possibly be your final point? Correct, dear reader, I'm getting there. 

One question I see repeated time and again on the cloth diaper forums... 'why did you switch to cloth?' or 'what was your first diaper?' or other such musing asking for responders to reflect on their cloth diapering roots. And I want to ask you to do the same thing (well, sort of)! 

Now and Then at Itsy Bitsy Bums

Monday (5/9) - Sunday (5/15)

Because it is fun, and of course there is swag

No purchase necessary! 

There are two ways to participate: 
1. Post photos on Facebook - show us your 'Then' and your 'Now'
2. Comment on this post - tell us your 'Then' and your 'Now'

Get creative with your 'Then' and 'Now.'
It just must be cloth diapering-related (well, that and it cannot be indecent). 

Some ideas: 
  • first stash shot | current stash shot
  • first cloth diaper on the bum | latest cloth diaper on the bum
  • first fluffy mail | most recent fluffy mail
  • first attempt at a Snappi and prefold | current Snapping prowess
  • first cloth diaper fail | latest cloth diaper fail
  • and the ideas go on and on!
The Swag 
Next Monday, 5/16, I'll draw for two winners. 
Grand Prize: $50 IBB Gift Certificate
First Prize: To be Announced Thursday 5/12 (I promise there are *multiple* diapers involved!)
The Sales
To celebrate 'Now and Then' there will be two fabulous sale offers good Thursday - Sunday (5/12 - 5/15). These sales will be announced Thursday morning.

The Rules
  • All entries posted Monday (5/9) - Sunday (5/15) will be entered in the 'hat.' 
  • No limit to the number of entries per person. 
  • Facebook entries
    • Each photo pair posted on Facebook constitutes an entry.
    • No need to comment here, I'll keep track of the Facebook posts.
    • Please label your Facebook entry 'Now and Then' and comment on at least one of the photos the theme or subject that ties them together. 
  • Bitsy Buzz entries
    • Each comment on this post constitutes an entry. 
  • Please do not replicate your entries - if you post a photo pair on Facebook do not then comment here regarding the same subject.
  • The I-have-to-get-mean rule: if you are posting ridiculous nonsense on this thread or Facebook simply to up your entry count, it will be deleted without warning.
  • Winners to be announced Monday, 5/16, on Facebook and Bitsy Buzz. Winners must be in touch within 24 hours to claim their prizes.
  • Prizes: The Grand Prize ($50 Gift Certificate) will be issued 5/16, and must be redeemed by 5/21. The First Prize (diapers!) will be mailed to winner within 24 hours of being claimed.


WAHMlight Goes Woolly

I still remember my first Woollybottoms experience. A friend (actually, someone you've already met) strongly suggested that I needed a skirtie (translation - a diaper cover with skirt attached). As this friend had a son, it was pretty obvious she was pushing to live vicariously. But I didn't mind - I do have a fair number of skirts and, pre-baby (aka pre-kneeling-down-fifty-times-a-day), I was known to sport one for nearly every occasion.

 Ghiberti 'Gates of Paradise' show in Chicago, 2007

What else could a girl do but track down this newest necessity. 

It was so beautiful.

So well made.

And so massive.

Lesson learned - measure your baby, reference the WB size chart, and do not add inches upon inches to each measurement. 

I'm so very excited to finally bring Woollybottoms to Itsy Bitsy Bums! Shannon is lovely, and her products are top-notch. And not only that, but they are made in the USA using upcycled (aka repurposed) materials. What better way to reaffirm cloth's positive environmental impact than by breathing new life in otherwise cast aside items.

Without another moment's delay, welcome to the WAHMlight Woollybottoms!


My name is Shannon Foster and have been married to the best, supportive guy for almost 15 years.  Sarah is my oldest. She is 10 going on 17, loves to read, and is very proud of the fact she is nearly as tall as I am.  Caleb is my baby. He is 6, just learned to ride a bike without training wheels this week, and has a very quirky sense of humor. 

We first discovered cloth diapers with Caleb. He literally could not wear any of the disposables out there.  Within minutes he would break our in rashes... we still today are dealing with his super sensitive skin issues. Cloth was the only thing that would work but I really did not like covering up the cloth with plastic covers. Summers here in Arkansas are hot and humid and the cloth/plastic combo was really not cutting it. I soon learned about wool and purchased 2 Babyology wool covers and had his name embroidered on the bum.

I had a few wool sweaters sitting around and thought, these are wool... why won't they work as a diaper cover too? The difference was absolutely amazing when we switched to fitteds and wool. He was staying dry and his bottom was staying cool. This quickly led to an obsession. I started actively looking for wool sweaters to turn into diaper covers for Caleb.  I had no intention in making these to sell. There sure were some beautiful girly sweaters though that I couldn't just leave behind so you know what happened next. I started to make more than what we needed and listing them on Ebay for fun.

One thing led to another and I soon found myself with a full time business again by the end of 2004. Business was set up in our dining room and sweaters were everywhere.  I even had the "wall of wool" in the dining room which acted as insulation. Between the wool and the wall, it was warm in the summer holding the summer heat out. I knew at that point something had to change since it was overtaking my home. We live on 2 acres so I had some extra space to put a building in the back. At that point I hired someone to come in and help full time with the sewing.  This worked out wonderfully since I could keep work separate but still be right there with my kids.

Things continued to grow and a few years later my husband and I purchased a building in the next town over to share.  He owns an upholstery business and this building was set up perfectly for us to both use yet still be kind of apart.  This is the most awesome set up ever.  We come to work together, our children go to school 5 minutes away, and then they are here with us after school.  As a family, we are all involved with each other and able to interact and talk about our day.  My husband and I are able to step in and help each other as well. 

I love working with recycled wool.  Each sweater is different and watching them come together into a diaper cover is fun.  It never gets old. The ugliest sweaters usually are the ones to turn into the best diaper covers. I can't believe that someone out there actually bought some of these sweaters brand new AND wore them :).

For the future, I just plan on keeping on doing exactly what we are doing.  Keeping everything hand made right here in Heber Springs is very important.  We currently have 2 ladies that help with the sewing and I would like to find at least one more person to help handle the demand.  Right now that is our biggest challenge.  

Want to learn more about the wonders of wool? Check out the Wollybottoms's FAQ page.

Now that you have met Shannon, time to checkout her amazing hybrid soakers (aka pull-on wool diaper covers) which will stock Tuesday evening, May 3rd, at 8pm (central time). Shop quickly, as these styles sell fast. And when they are gone they are gone. The rather famous Woollybottoms solid lanolin is also stocking tomorrow evening. In my humble opinion the smell is heavenly!

Lastly, want to win $15 to spend at Itsy Bitsy Bums? 
  • Become a fan of Itsy Bitsy Bums on Facebook (1 entry)
  • Follow Bitsy Buzz publicly (1 entry)
  • Become a fan of Woollybottoms on Facebook (1 entry)
  • Purchase an amazing soaker or two from Itsy Bitsy Bums (5 entries per purchase)
Please be sure to comment one time for each entry. Also be sure to leave your email address in at least one of your comments, so I can get a hold of you. Contest closes to entries May 31, 2011.