Sunday, October 23, 2011

A half-load or more!

So I've received many emails lately and customers are concerned with their diapers stinking, detergent perhaps not working, child mysteriously developing irritation...and it brought me back to a time not too long ago when I was in a similar boat.  Mariella's diapers stunk to high-heaven.  And it wasn't just when they were dirty.  They were stinky after a full wash.  Ah!  How frustrating!!  Well, by following a simple step, at least in my case, my problem was solved...

I actually started washing no less than 1/2 load of diapers.

Wow.  Really?  It's that simple?  In my case, yes.  And in quite a few cases, like the aforementioned emailed concerns, washing no less than 1/2 load of diapers at a time solved the problem.  Why?  There are a couple of reasons.  First, if you wash less than 1/2 load, there's not enough space in the washing machine for the diapers to weave in-and-out of other fabrics (or agitate) to get clean.  Second, there's usually not enough water either.  And third, typically we will use the same amount of detergent when washing 6-7 diapers as we would when washing 20-24 diapers.  In other words, WAY TOO MUCH!  And because there's too little water in the machine because we're washing too few items, the diapers aren't being completely rinsed of the detergent.  And that detergent build-up can cause stinky diapers, can actually ruin your diapers and can give your baby an irritated tush.

If you throw all of your diapers into the washing machine and there's no way that you'll make that 1/2 load marker, throw some towels in to the machine.  Or daddy's stinky sweat clothes.  Either one works fine.

For a far more complete guide to washing your diapers, including a very handy detergent chart, click here.  And the next time your diapers are stinky out of the wash or your baby's bottom is irritated, email me and we'll troubleshoot together.  But if I happen to be on holiday in Maldives for 2 weeks (hint-hint husband) and unable to check email, try washing a full 1/2 load.

The All Baby and Kids Expo...the aftermath

At the end of September, my mother (the babysitter), my daughter and I took a little road trip down to Louisville, Kentucky for the ABC Kids Expo.  This is a tradeshow dedicated to--you guessed it--all baby and kids products.  It was absolutely shocking to see how many products there are made specifically for our little kiddos.  From toys to strollers, nursing bras to apparel for children and yes, even diapers.  In fact, the Expo was held at the Louisville Exposition Center which provided ONE MILLION square feet of space.  And yes, all one million square feet were consumed by children's products.

I had a chance to see, touch and feel all of the new products by many of my vendors that I carry at PinStripes and PolkaDots including Blueberry/Swaddlebees, BumGenius, PlanetWise, Best Bottoms, WeeHuggers and many more.

So, because of this little trip, I've added many new products to the shop and we also have newer prints/colors in many of the products that you know and love.  Below is a list, with links, because to paste all of this on Facebook would be a bit extreme and take up much of your newsfeed :-)

*BumGenius 4.0 One-Size Pocket Diaper in Dazzle, Mirror and Sassy .  These have been added to the Bum Genius 4.0 "Buy 5 get 1 Free Sale" which goes until the end of October.

*New prints from Blueberry and Swaddlebees including Dinos, Tweets, Swirls, Monkeys and Butterfly, preview here

*New products from Thirsties including Booty Love, and new colors/prints for their diaper covers.  Also just in, the Thirsties Duo Diaper in Snaps.

*We all love bamboo--now bamboo 6r inserts specifically for your Rumparooz!

And should I mention companies new to PinStripes and PolkaDots?

*Pink Daisy mama cloths in stay-dry and organic cotton

*Pink Daisy Nursing Pads in organic cotton and bamboo

and last but certainly not least...

*FuzziBunz One-Size Elite

More new colors/prints to come from Planet Wise, Best Bottoms, BumGenius and Grovia!  Stay-tuned!

Sunday, October 2, 2011

A Note from Krista...

Hello!!  Let's get a couple of things out of the way.  A super brief introduction of who I am.

I'm a mom to Mariella Jane (MJ) who will turn 2 in October.  I'm a wife to Alex who (surprise!) works at State Farm.  Prior to mommyhood, I worked at Illinois Wesleyan as a recruiter and more immediately, as the head coach for the women's tennis team.  Before recruiting and coaching, I worked at State Farm as a public policy analyst and before analyzing, I worked on political campaigns for the Illinois House of Representatives.  Before politicking, I was a student at Illinois Wesleyan, Bloomington High School, Bloomington Junior High School, Oakland School and 2nd Presbyterian Preschool.  Yes, I'm a life-long Bloomingtonian, a "townie" and I love this community.  I've worn many hats, none as tough and rewarding as being a mom.  This new venture of owning a business is very exciting.

When I talk to moms who have relied on Sarah and Pinstripes and Polkadots for all of their cloth diapering needs, I hear the same word: accessible.  Sarah has made herself and her store accessible to so many moms with the sometimes overwhelming, but often fun "task" of cloth diapering their children.  She's answered these questions late at night after all four of her children are fast asleep and in the mid-afternoon when all four of her children are vying for her attention.  She's answered your emails and shipped packages overnight because your sanity depends on that hemp insert which will prevent you from changing sheets for the 5th time that week. To say the least, Sarah is someone that so many of us have looked to for guidance, expertise and patience--including myself.  I've had my share of stinks, leaks and a couple of rashes but every issue came with an answer and a resolution.

So the owner has changed and the address of the showroom has changed,  but I can assure you that the same level of service that you expect when shopping at Pinstripes and Polkadots has not.  I think I heard that on a t.v. commercial once--so perhaps a bit cliche but the truth!  It will take a lot of reading and more of my own children to know as much as Sarah does but I'm eager to learn from you and share the wonderful world of cloth diapering!   

In the coming months, look for some new and exciting things for you as a customer at Pinstripes and Polkadots including some new products from some of our favorite brands.  We'll launch a rewards program where you can earn points in the program by writing reviews of products on the website, by referring your friends to the shop and by purchasing products.  With these posts we have officially started our cloth diapering blog and will be looking for cloth diapering moms to be guest bloggers.  We'll also have great customer specials leading up to the Holidays and in the New Year.  

You can still contact me last minute if you need to stop by the showroom or call with an order and expect that order to be on my front porch for local pickup.  I'm an easy-going mom and am so excited to meet so many of you and share this passion of keeping our kiddos' behinds healthy and happy!

Krista Cardona

A Note From Sarah...

PinStripes and PolkaDots LLC can be found at a new location in Bloomington, IL. A local mom, Krista Cardona, purchased the business on 9-1-11.  I am excited about all that Krista will add to the business.  She is a wonderful mother who is excited to share her love of cloth diapering with others.  Stay-tuned as she has some fun ideas for the shop.  The PinStripes and PolkaDots Showroom can now be found at 9697 Windgate Dr, Bloomington, IL 61705.

After 6+ years managing the cloth diaper shop, I have met some of the most fabulous parents here in Bloomington-Normal and across the globe.  I have enjoyed hearing all about who was expecting, how the births went, meeting each little one as he/she came along, and how adjusting to parenting was going.  I will miss you all.  Some of you have become dear friends; some are now homeschooling like we are and totally understand that I don't have enough hours in a day to do it all. 

I started the business when I had a 2.5 year old and a 6 month old.  I now have 4 children 9, 7, 3, and 1 and find I am quite busy these days.  I will be working with Krista over the next 3 months to make the transition as smooth as possible.  She is a fabulous mother of 1 little girl but I should wait and let her introduce herself.

I can not express to you how happy I am to see PinStripes and PolkaDots LLC continue here in B-N with Krista.  I am sure that I will miss the shop, but I know I will miss you all more.  I feel my life has been enriched greatly by interacting with yours.

All the best,
Sarah Gesiakowski