Monday, January 30, 2012

Raskullz Helmet Review and Giveaway

Monkey is starting to become a little bit of a Dare Devil. He is always playing outside and is not afraid to ride or at least attempt to ride anything with wheels on it. After watching him come dangerously close to hurting himself while riding his little scooter, I knew it was time to find him a quality bike helmet. I took him to a few of our local stores, but he was not that impressed by any of the helmets they had to offer. To be quite honest I was not that impressed with the quality or the protection they provided. They all seemed too plain! Although this isn't the #1 factor when deciding on a helmet, it was important to find him something that he would actually wear.

 Imagine the surprise when I found this awesome Shark helmet:

How cool is that! The Raskullz bike helmets come from C-Preme in California, and they also sell some super adorable girls' helmets (lovin' the Cutie Cat and the Brainy Bunny!) and matching bicycles.  Their helmets are designed to protect the head while also being comfortable for the child to wear. The bicycle helmets comply with U.S. ASTM and CPSC standards for bicycle helmets. Not to mention that they are awesome 3D helmets that your child will actually love to show off on the streets! The helmets are comprised of an EPS inner shell, which is the shock absorbing part, while the top of the helmet has aerodynamic cooling vents to let out all the heat and steam from extended play. The straps are also adjustable to ensure that you get a good fit. I recommend using their sizing guide and measuring your child's head before purchasing a helmet. Even though Monkey just turned three years old, he is actually in a 5+ year old bike helmet due to his massive noggin. It is very important to get the proper size helmet and adjust the straps to fit properly.

As a pediatrician I know all too well that bicycle, ATV and scooter crashes can result in very serious brain injuries.  According to the American Academy of Pediatrics there were an estimated 23,000 injuries back in 1998 in children and teens riding bikes, and helmets can reduce the occurrence of serious brain injuries by up to 88%! However only 25% of children aged 5-14 actually wear them on a regular basis! I never want to see a traumatic brain injury due to an adorable kiddo refusing to wear a helmet because they just aren't "cool" enough to wear.

After seeing so many head injuries at work, I can't imagine not making Monkey wear a helmet to play on his scooter, Plasmacar or bike. Monkey has no problems at all adhering to our helmet rule. In fact I think he actually loves wearing his Shark Attax Grey helmet, and it has resulted in a few fights with little brother wanting to try on the shark! I am very thankful that there is a company out there making affordable, super cool helmets that children will actually enjoy wearing!

You can purchase Raskullz Bike Helmets straight from their website and prices range from $19.99 - $26.99 depending on the style you choose. Make sure you keep up with them on Facebook and Twitter for all the latest news and new products.

The wonderful people at Raskullz have graciously offered a giveaway of a bike helmet to one of Chunky and Monkey, MD's readers! The winner will be able to choose one helmet of their choice!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclaimer: We were sent a Raskullz Bike Helmet for review purposes. No other monetary compensation was given. All opinions are our own and may differ from yours. This review, although containing medical information, is in no way meant to diagnose, treat or provide the reader with medical advise. Please talk with your pediatrician if you have concerns about helmet safety!

Friday, January 13, 2012

GoGreen Diapers Review and Giveaway

Since the birth of Monkey three years ago, I have only used disposable diapers. I have had many friends and family (including my wife) try to persuade me into using cloth diapers, but I have always talked myself out of the idea. (Yes, you heard that right. There are some dads out there that are responsible for a majority of diaper changes.) Cloth diapers just seemed like they would be too much trouble for me. To be totally honest with you the idea always grossed me out. While sitting on the floor one day changing my 10th diaper of the day, I started to wonder what diapers were costing me. After doing a little simple math I determined that the cost was around 25 cents or more per diaper even with all of the coupons we clipped! I had never stopped to think what they had cost before now. I was in shock. With 2 in diapers at the same time, I was probably using 10+ diapers a day and costing us $2 or more every single day. Being on a budget with mounting student loans and house bills, I decided that was the final straw and started to look into using cloth diapers.

In my mind I had always viewed cloth diapers as white rags wrapped around the child's bottom and held together by your grandmothers bobby pins. I found a company, GoGreen Diapers, and was blown away to see how different reality was from my perception of cloth diapers! There were so many different styles and many super cute patterns to choose. I was really starting to get excited and was looking forward to starting my cloth diapering experience. When the samples arrived at my door I quickly took them out for inspection. My mouth dropped wide open when I saw the Tiger and the Moo Champ . They were adorable and very well made! I was already starting to kick myself in the behind for not looking into cloth diapers much sooner. I am pretty sure my boys also fell in love with the sight of the new diapers. This was evident by their attempt to rip off their disposable diapers by themselves and put the new "super cool" diapers on right away.

                           Following the instructions I made the boys wait a little while so I could first wash the diapers before use. As soon as the new Champs were dry, the old diapers came off and the new ones quickly replaced them. I love how simple it was to button the inserts into place inside the diapers. You can even put multiple inserts in the diaper for added leakage protection. Being new to cloth diapers it took me a little while to figure out all the snaps on the outside of the diaper. I was a little confused at first until I researched a little and saw how they worked to fit all sizes from tiny infant to my super tall 3 year old. There is even a diaper with colored coded snaps to help out people like me. I just thought that was the coolest thing ever. They even have Adapt-a-Snap diaper closure conversion systems that converts from a snap system to a hook and loop closure system. This was perfect for my oldest who at the time was learning to potty train and had a little trouble getting the snaps off all by himself.

My boys were in love with the diapers and could not wait for momma to get home from work to show off their new look. I even had to send picture messages to our family so the boys could immediately show them off. As nice as they looked I was still a little concerned with how well they would perform, especially with my oldest having a very large bladder. Much to my surprise I actually feel like they were able to absorb more without leaking than the disposable diapers we had been using. I have had a few accidents where disposable diapers were not able to keep from wetting the bed at night but so far I have not had that problem with GoGreen Diapers. We have even had a few mornings where we woke up with some very heavy diapers!

Cleanup was much easier than I thought as well. It was nothing at all like I had imagined. The whole process was really quite simple. I thought there would be a lot more "dirty" work involved. It really was as simple as shake out any solids and soak in the washing machine for a little while before going through the cycle. I was expecting them to come out with stains but so far that has not happened. I really have fallen in love with cloth diapers and feel like I will never go back to only disposable diapers ever again. With only owning two diapers, I have already made some purchases for a few more. I still do not know what the perfect amount of cloth diapers is to own. That will vary from person to person depending on how often you feel like doing laundry I guess.  What I do know is that  I keep finding myself buying and collecting more diapers because they are so easy to use and just so darn cute. Monica cannot wait to get a Monkey Pee, Monkey Poo print if we ever have a baby girl and I have my eyes on the camo.

GoGreen Pocket Diapers truly are amazing and are highly recommended by this Stay At Home Dad!
You can purchase GoGreen Diapers straight from their site or you can find them at various retailers. Prices range from $9.99 - $15.95 depending on the style and patterns and they also offer accessories to go along the diapers.

Now for the best part! The generous people at GoGreen Diapers have offered to give one lucky reader either a boy, a girl, or a neutral Champ Diaper.

a Rafflecopter giveaway
Disclaimer: We were sent a GoGreen Diaper for review purposes. No other monetary compensation was given. All opinions are our own and may differ from yours.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Fishy Business

I finally had a day off... and what better way to spend it than at our local aquarium! The boys love checking out the penguins, sharks and fish. There is plenty of room for them to run around, and all of the wild and crazy things are behind glass (well, except for my kids!)

Monkey really wanted to be the same size as the King penguin. He had to squish down a little bit to reach the 37 inches. I can't believe my little guy is already so tall!

Chunky decided he rather kiss all of the penguins. He is such a lovable boy!
Guilty party #1.
Guilty party #2. The boys had a blast playing in the shark cage and pretending that they were in jail. If only we had one of these at home...

All 3 of my boys checking out the sharks!

Chunky had a lot of fun climbing on the aisle dividers which were made to look like the ocean floor.

My boys almost got swallowed by a shark! 

Chunky really want ed to check out the replicas hanging from the ceiling. Once he got up there he wasn't so sure and quickly wanted back down.

The boys has a blast running around the aquarium, and it was a nice break from the hospital for me. We bought year passes, and I'm pretty sure my boys will be putting them to good use.