Reformulated Costco Wipes STINK

The stash of Kirkland diapering products under my changing table. My changing table has looked like this for nearly a decade.

The stash of Kirkland diapering products under my changing table. For the first time in 9 years, I’m going to have to choose a different baby wipe.

I just opened a new box of Kirkland Baby Wipes from Costco, and I’m so sad to say that I HATE them. Really, really, will never buy them again, hate them. They absolutely STINK – both literally and figuratively.

I have been using Kirkland wipes for the better part of the 9 years that I’ve been a parent, and I have always LOVE, LOVE, LOVED them. They were one of my favorite baby products. I used them exclusively, as no other wipes could begin to compare to the quality of the Kirkland wipes. I bought them for shower gifts, and raved about them to anyone who would listen. I used them for diaper changes, to wipe up messes, to clean baby after meals. I kept a pack in my van, some in my purse, and more packs stashed all around the house.

Why did I love them so much? They were larger, more durable, and softer than any other wipe I have ever tried. They were gentle on baby’s skin. They were truly UNSCENTED. Unlike other wipes that claimed to be unscented, these wipes truly had no smell. On top of that, the packaging was super convenient. It could fit it inside of plastic refillable boxes or I could throw it in the diaper bag as it was. And, more often than not, the wipes would come out of the package one at a time. Oh, and major bonus, they are cheap! When Costco started including bonus travel packs in the box, I was on cloud 9. My already favorite, perfect baby product had just gotten even better!

Now, all of that has changed. Literally, all of that has changed, except for the price.

The wipes I opened today are smaller, thinner, and smell TERRIBLE. The label still boasts “unscented” but the smell is disgusting. And it lingers. When I kiss my sweet baby’s face, now she smells like nasty chemical stinkiness.

Less significantly, the packaging also changed. The “bag” appears to be much cheaper quality than what was previously used, the “clasp” that opens the container has changed, and the opening to get to the wipes has been changed from a sticker to a pinch-and-pull system. None of these packaging changes are deal breakers, but it is apparent that the quality of these wipes has been lessened across the board. I am baffled that a product that has been consistently superior to all other brands for so long underwent such a thorough and negative overhaul.

I am so upset. It may sound dumb to be upset over baby wipes, but I really am. Parenting is messy, and sticky, and sometimes smelly. Kirkland’s wipes have consistently delivered the answer to these problems over my nearly decade of parenting. Now, they just add to the problems. They have become such terrible quality that they no longer clean as effectively as they once did, and – can I just say it one more time – they smell awful!

I did some googling, and some Costco exec was quoted as saying the new smell is “not unpleasant.” I can’t help but wonder if he has smelled these wipes. And, I hate to be the master of the obvious, but why oh why do UNSCENTED wipes have a smell of any kind – be it pleasant or otherwise??

Worst of all, now I have to go through the trial and error process of trying to find some new wipe to use because I definitely will not be buying these awful wipes again. The cost has always been low, but, now, the product is just cheap. I hate these new Kirkland wipes!

Please, please, Costco, please insist that Kirkland return to making quality wipes instead of disguising these “dollar store” wipes under a trusted name. One quick look at your product page will show you that I’m not the only customer who feels this way.

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Kids vs. Dogs: The Battle for the Greenway

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Looking at the greenway from our back porch

Our yard backs up to our neighborhood’s greenway. It’s not a very nice greenway, but it’s a greenway nonetheless. It gives the kids a little extra room to run and play and throw the ball around. Knowing the kids had that extra space is the only reason we purchased a house on a lot as small as ours.

Now that the weather is getting nicer, the kids have been spending more time outside. They (and I) are all very grateful for this reprieve from the monotony of indoor life. Unfortunately, their time outside seems to be upsetting some of our neighbors. Why, you ask? Are my kids overly loud? Disrespectful? Leaving garbage on the ground? Behaving in any way that is unsuitable for playing in a public park-type area?

Nope.

My kids’ presence is causing the offended neighbor’s dog to bark.

Seriously.

The neighbor and his wife have, on two separate occasions now, fussed at my kids, telling them they need to get back in their own yard.

I haven’t witnessed any of these exchanges myself. They conveniently only happen when I go inside to change a diaper or refill my coffee. But I have no reason to doubt anything the kids are saying. They’re fairly honest kids and they all come running back with the same story. By the time I get outside to address the situation, there’s nothing/no one to see.

Playing some chase-type game in the greenway.

Playing some chase-type game in the greenway.

If it were just this neighbor, I’d probably just write them off as a pair of grouches and ignore the situation (unless further action became necessary) coaching the kids, of course, to always respond politely to the neighbor’s “request.” But it’s not just them. My neighbor two doors down the other way grumbles loudly enough for us to hear when she gets annoyed at her dogs barking at my kids, but hasn’t had the audacity to say anything directly to them or me.

I seriously just don’t know what to do about this.

Kids play.

Dogs bark.

What’s the big deal?

I find the barking dogs to be annoying, too, but I would never go tell the neighbors that their dogs don’t have a right to be outside. And children certainly have more rights than dogs.

I really have tried to step back and look at this situation objectively, considering the neighbors’ point of view. Despite that, I simply can’t figure out where they get off thinking:

a.) that they have a right to tell my kids where they can play

AND

b.) how they can possibly believe that other people should have to alter their behavior to ensure their dogs behave appropriately

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On a happier note, it looks like Spring has finally “sprung!”

If these people don’t like the way their dog behaves, that’s their problem, not mine, and certainly not my kids’. There are plenty of other dogs in other yards that don’t bark at my kids. It seems to me that my kids aren’t the problem; the 3 dogs in question are. Actually, like I said earlier, dogs bark. That tells me the problem isn’t even the dogs. It’s these neighbors, specifically their attitudes.

I can’t help but wonder if they are simply spoiled-rotten, selfish people that think the entire world should cater to their every whim, or if they simply don’t like kids and don’t want to see any. Regardless, the problem remains theirs, not mine.

If my children were behaving inappropriately or antagonizing their dogs in any way, I would certainly take the necessary steps to change my children’s behavior. Since they’re not, I really think these neighbors either need to get over it or take the necessary steps to change their dogs’ behavior.

What I find most unacceptable about this whole thing (even though I find the ENTIRE situation to be absolutely absurd) is that they’ve chosen to take the issue up with my kids. If they have a problem, they need to speak to me or Josh. Not small children. Especially not in the intimidating manner that they are supposedly doing it. There is simply no excuse for two adults to be intimidating three small children, regardless of what the children are doing.

So, the question is, where do I go from here? I’m simply not willing to tell my kids they can’t play on the greenway. Does that mean I need to take the initiative, go down to the neighbor’s house, and address the situation? Do I just wait, hoping to catch them in the act? Do I just blow it off? I can’t decide. I really don’t want to be perceived as an annoying or unreasonable neighbor for any reason, but my children have a right to play outside. I’m not going to take that away from my kids just to appease a couple cranky neighbors and their dogs. I would like to think that if they would take a step back from the situation they would realize they don’t really have a right to be annoyed by us utilizing one of the amenities of our neighborhood, but something tells me these people aren’t that reasonable. So…what to do now?

Mother’s Day Take 2

motherhoodYesterday I wrote a really nasty post about a bad conversation and my experience of Mother’s Day with my own mother. Even though everything I said is true, or, at the very least, my perception of what’s true, I just couldn’t leave it up. I didn’t feel right about airing someone else’s dirty laundry like that. The situation hurts and angers me, and I was writing to pacify those emotions. However, everyone has a right to a good reputation. By expressing my hurt in the manner which I did, I was denying my mother that right. For that, I apologize. At this point, the situation is still too raw for me to come away with any valuable life lessons, but I wanted to share something about Mother’s Day. Since I don’t have it in me right now, I’ll leave you with this sweet video. It’s such a treat to see what the sacrifices of motherhood may look like through our children’s eyes. Our children deserve our best, even when it’s hard.

Just Like Me

Dislike.

What’s the point of Facebook anyway? It’s just a giant sounding board where people either brag about how awesome they are, or how crappy their lives are, or simultaneously do both at the same time. Seriously. I don’t know why I still have one. Or even why I ever had one.

I recently whittled my friends list down to people I actually was friends with at some point in time. I thought that would help this icky feeling. I was never friends with people I didn’t know at all, but I did have a lot of very casual acquaintances on there, as I assume most people probably do. But, truthfully, at this point in my life, I don’t even know most of the people that made the cut either. I certainly never talk to them other than Facebook. That doesn’t seem to quite qualify as a friendship. But maybe I’m just being cynical…

Really though, why does anyone have a facebook? Do we all think we’re so important that world would be lacking in someway if there was no log of where I checked in for dinner or my witty opinion of some commercial I just saw for the first time? Does it really matter if people I don’t ever talk to see my most recent vacation pictures or how cute Jack is while he’s sleeping? Do people really care who I voted for on American Idol or that I’m playing tetris to kill time instead of doing the laundry? Of course not. This information about my life can’t possibly enrich your day. Similar information about your life certainly doesn’t enrich mine. So why do I feel the need to compulsively log on, read my entire news feed up to the point where I last left off, and, perhaps, even share one of the above mentioned details from my life? I truly have no idea. I have no idea what could possibly be so compelling about that.

Does Facebook give us all some false sense of security? Some sense that our lives do actually have meaning? A sense of unity and connectedness to all 785 people we’re friends with? Evidence that we’re not floating around on this planet alone? I mean people wouldn’t comment if they didn’t care, right? Or maybe we’re all just so bored with whatever is going on around us that we’re desperate for the next hilarious YouTube video, life changing blog post, or sweet comment from someone we haven’t seen since 7th grade?

Ok. It’s obvious. I’m a little cynical…or at the very least a little negative…about this whole concept for some reason. I don’t know why. Just like I don’t know why I’m on Facebook. Maybe that’s what bothers me. That I’m so consumed by something as nonsensical as a newsfeed full of usseless information that’s likely only posted as some vain attempt to keep up with the Joneses. I would like to think my life has more substance than that. But my actions clearly indicate otherwise. Maybe that’s why I’m so cranky about it all. Because I don’t like who it implies that I have become.

So why can’t I just log off? Why can’t I just click that little button that deactivates my account? Am I really that afraid that without my connection to Facebook I will have no connection to these people who were once such a huge part of my life?

Yeah.

I guess I am.

I guess I know that, when I click deactivate, all those people and all those memories that were once such a huge part of my life will no longer exist in a very real way.

Despite the fact that they haven’t been a part of my life for a very long time now, that somehow makes it more real. I guess that’s hard to deal with. I guess that’s why I’ve grown such a disdain for Facebook in general. For me, it’s a very real representation of one of the harder parts of growing up and moving on.
Hmm. That’s a little sad. Having to be faced with the reality that people and circumstances that were once of the utmost importance to me just aren’t anymore… Well… I just don’t know what to say about that. Who knew that my little rant about Facbook would end up revealing something real about me.

 

 

TSA Holds Woman Hostage for Protecting Breast Milk

After watching to following video, I’m unsure which soapbox to climb on. It’s a toss up between the absurd tactics used by the TSA that have me terrified of flying next week, the continual disregard of my constitutional rights by our government, or the disgust I feel that women have been fighting for decades for “equal rights.” Just to clarify: I don’t want equal rights. I want womens’ rights; rights that are equal in dignity but recognize that there are, in fact, distinct differences between the sexes. One of which would be the right to carry my breast milk onto an airplane without being harassed or having the milk destroyed. Which, by the way, is what would have happened if it went through that scanner. You can’t microwave breast milk, so why on earth would one think you can xray it?? Come on people.

But, for the most part, I’m going to keep all my outrage to myself tonight. Mostly because all of my kids are asleep and Josh isn’t home. Enjoying the peace and quite seems much more appealing than sharing my thoughts on how to rid the world of injustice.

For more details on the story surrounding this video check out this article from mothering.com.

Changing Pace

So it’s time to break from the happy family updates for a few opinion pieces. Lately, I’ve been so overwhelmed with the blessings God has been pouring over us that I haven’t had much time or desire to reflect on the less than beautiful and often times heart wrenching things that are allowed and even encouraged in our world. Today, however, I think I have the perfect blend of hormonal crankiness, avoidance for all the housework that needs to be done, annoyance at the kids who just can’t seem to settle down after our minivacation, frustration at the lack of acceptable food in the pantry/refrigerator, exhaustion from being unable to catch up on sleep after our minivacation, and simply being so overwhelmed at all I have going on that I would employ any tactic necessary to procrastinate just five more minutes to be willing to devote several entries to the selfish morons in this world. If you plan to continue reading what I post today, I suggest you brace yourself. There will be no relativism found here. I realize that people have different opinions than me and I don’t care. I have no intention of being the tiniest bit sensitive to the “other side.” Today, I’m just fed up. Today, you’re just going to get the truth. Today, I plan to unload a thing or two.

SMU Experience

My Tigers were in Texas today!! We had some Memphis style pork BBQ and then headed over to the game. We had such an amazing time! I’d never been to SMU before. They have a nice campus and an adorable little stadium, nothing like the NBA arena we pack at home, but nice nonetheless. Their fraternity houses were gorgeous! We intended to stop by the FIJI house before we left campus, but after the experience we had, we decided we had no desire to be further disappointed.

We’ve attended other away games and several NCAA tournaments games, yet I’ve never witnessed anything like what we saw today. SMU literally has the worst fans in the world. They are rude, inhospitable and worst of all unsupportive of their team. I don’t expect to be welcomed with open arms into an opposing teams stadium, but these people were ridiculous. You expect casual chiding and jabs about poor plays and what not. These people just didn’t want us in their house. I mean come on. You can’t play a game without an opponent. Opponents come with fans. Deal with it. Furthermore, they aren’t even supportive of their own team. If they spent half the time cheering for their team that they spent making rude remarks to us…

They didn’t stand or even cheer when their team took the floor to warm up. They didn’t stand or even cheer when their team was introduced. Who does that? In fact, they didn’t stand or cheer at all until they took the lead at the end of the game. Evidently, their whole problem with us was that we did both stand and cheer. A lot. Apparently, that’s just unacceptable to them. There were almost as many Memphis fans in attendance and there were SMU fans (Memphis is 8 hours away just in case you didn’t know) and there were many times when our cheers overpowered theirs, despite the fact that neither our band nor cheerleaders were in attendance. I’ve never seen anything like it.

And let’s not forget that they are supposedly a Christian institution. They’re a private Christian university, yet they were some of the rudest people I’ve ever met, I saw a several members of their pom squad’s rear ends on more than one occasion (I don’t know if they just don’t wear bloomers or what, but it was a little ridiculous.)  and the student body was often heard chanting vulgarities in unison. Unwelcoming, immodest and profane. Doesn’t sound very Christian to me. I think if I were running a Christian organization, I’d hold my student body to some standards. They did, after all, choose to attend a Christian University.

Anyway, that was my lovely experience at SMU. Other than a great day with family, friends and my Tigers, all I took away is that SMU has been added to my blacklist of institutions of higher learning that my children will not be attending. Well…they can go to any institution they choose, but there are several that I simply will not send our hard earned money to support. SMU is now on that list. Just in case you’re curious, others include Tennessee, Ole Miss, Kentucky and Kansas. I don’t have “actual” problems with those institutions. Just a matter of taste and preference, mostly due to athletic loyalties. :)