We are so excited to introduce our July 2013 Fan of the Month, Rachel Constant! :) Rachel, thank you so much for being our FotM and giving us a peek into your life! It has been wonderful to get to know you better! From your beautiful adoption experience through your husband's clearly awesome taste in cloth diapers, I have loved reading about you. :) We are so glad that you and your beautiful family are part of the twinkie tush community!
Read about Rachel below, and read more about the Fan of the Month feature here! We are now OPEN for entries for August FotM!
About Rachel! <3
What is your full name?
Rachel Levy Constant. I was named for my mother's grandmother Rosie and my parents chose not to give me a middle name. I always wanted a middle name, so after I got married, I decided my maiden name should be my middle name.
Where are you from? (City/State/Country) Where do you live now?
I grew up in Bergenfield, New Jersey (USA.) We live in Wildwood, Missouri now (a west suburb of St. Louis) but are in the midst of relocating to Brentwood, Tennessee. We close on our new home there on July 31st.
How many children do you have and what are their ages?
We have two human and three canine children. On the human side, Jacob is six and Ava was 14 months on July 2nd. Our canine kiddos are almost 14, six and three.
How/when did you find twinkie tush?
I found Twinkie Tush just over a year ago. Ava was a bit of a diaper princess when she was born...she absolutely could not stand to be in a dirty diaper! We went through a ridiculous amount of disposable diapers in the first few weeks because the minute her diaper was wet or dirty, she pitched a fit until we changed her! I really wanted to cloth diaper Ava, but couldn't plan ahead for it because we were adopting her and our adoption moved at warp speed. In addition to the amazingly quick pace in which our match happened, Ava was 4.5 weeks early. We switched from sposies to a mass market cloth diaper at first, but quickly learned she was allergic to suedecloth. At around this time, I found out about TT through the Facebook page of someone I knew who used cloth. I purchased my first TT, Village Square, on Spots Corner and I very quickly became addicted. I bought as many as i could right away on Spots and the fan page because it took a long time before I was able to score at stocking. My stash of TTs is now a bit out of control, but I can't stop buying them!
What is your favorite twinkie tush print of all time?
My most favorite has to be Je T'aime, though I admittedly have several other favorites (like A Thousand Ships, When in Rome, Duchess, Daydream, Flatline, Buttercup and the mini group we named Ava!) There are more, of course! I feel bad singling any out because they're all so amazing and beautiful!
Do you have an ultimate ISO print?
I have been very fortunate that so many amazing TT friends have answered my ISOs. Charlotte and Be Still My Heart are probably the two elusive prints I'd love to have in my stash!
|Be Still My Heart|
What is your favorite personal non-parenting related, non-work related hobby?
It's been awhile since I really took much time out for me. I keep trying to start new hobbies (like Pilates, knitting, couponing or sewing lessons) but stuff always seems to get in the way of my continuing. The one consistent hobby I have had since childhood is reading. When we move (and we've done that a ton,) I usually get a library card before I get a driver's license or even unpack! I can't even embrace reading on my iPad because I like the feel of a book in my hands and the ability to turn pages. It's just amazing to lose myself in a good book and I confess, I get sad when I finish one and the characters are gone from my life. I also love cheesy reality television! We need a Real Housewives of Cloth Diapering!
What makes you feel most inspired or grounded? How do you take care of yourself and your spirit?
Another set of tough questions. I'm not particularly religious...at least I haven't been since 9/11, so I don't rely on faith to renew my spirit. I think seeing the world through my children's eyes is what really inspires me. It's really exciting to see them take in and embrace the things we take for granted. I love when people compliment my children or comment on how happy they are. I feel like that validates some of the choices and sacrifices I have made to stay home with them. As far as taking care of me, making sure I make a little time for myself is key. With the move happening so soon, it's hard to do, but I love being able to soak in a bubble bath or go for a relaxing pedicure. I am also a big fan of naps. A little pampering goes a long way to rejuvenate my soul.
What is your favorite activity to do with your child(ren)?
We do most everything as a family, from grocery shopping to running errands. With the nearly five year age gap between Jake and Ava, we haven't really found any one particular thing that we all enjoy doing together for fun. That said, I think my favorite thing to do is to spend time with my children and my parents. I love to see the close relationship they have, even though they are separated by miles. My folks moved from New Jersey to Florida two years ago, and their house has a pool. It's awesome to go there and relax, swim, and just watch them interact together, whether it's drawing pictures, planting flowers, reading books or baking.
What is/was your favorite place to visit?
In my pre-mom days, I traveled a ton for both business and pleasure and I definitely miss exploring new places. I absolutely love Paris, but I need to also give a shout out to Sedona and Alaska. Both just blew me away by how serene and beautiful they were. I can't wait to start traveling the world with my children. I hope they are bitten by the travel bug as well!
What is your favorite book? What about your favorite movie?
I'm sure you've figured out by now that I have a really difficult time identifying one favorite anything! As for books, some of my favorites include Requiem for a Glass Heart by David Lindsey, Valentine by Tom Savage, The Lost Recipe for Happiness by Barbara O'Neal and most recently, The Racketeer by John Grisham. i tend to read mostly fluffy fiction with some mysteries/thrillers thrown in and I've been known to read more than one book at a time. I also reread books (I need to reread Valentine and Requiem now that I think about it!) When I find an author I like, I generally try to read as much as I can by him/her.
Favorite Movie: I'm sure it's no surprise that I have more than one of these, too! I went to high school in the 80s (yes, I am old) so I love the movies I grew up with like Sixteen Candles, The Breakfast Club and Say Anything. I'm a sucker for movie musicals like Grease, West Side Story and Bye Bye Birdie, and I love romantic comedies (old and new) like An Affair to Remember, Roman Holiday, The American President, When Harry Met Sally and Serendipity. Clearly I have a problem!
What is something surprising about you, that people might not guess upon meeting you?
There are probably a few surprises in my closet. On the professional side, I am an attorney, though I am not currently practicing law. I'm admitted to practice in three states, and I passed the bar in each state on the first try. I actually started out as a public defender and even visited death row in Alabama while interning at a death penalty and prisoners' rights resource center in law school. I'm not sure what I want to be when I grow up, though, although I really want to write a novel. On the personal side, few people would believe I have actually been sky diving (and loved it!)
What twinkie tush attribute and/or philosophy do you most appreciate?
I have always loved supporting small businesses, preferring to spend my money with mom and pop shops over big box stores. Once I found TT, I was delighted to have an alternative to mass produced, machine made cloth diapers. I love the idea that the diapers are handmade and that my business helps a family and not a corporation. Even more important to me is the fact that if I have a question or concern, Gretchen takes the time to respond to me personally. It seems like customer service is severely lacking in this day and age, so I truly appreciate the ways that Gretchen and Mike try to go above and beyond to make customers happy, to explain what's new and what's coming. I may not always like the answers I get, but I am getting answers directly from Gretchen and not some random person who is paid to give a form response but has no investment in a company/store's products or services.
What would you tell someone who has yet to try a twinkie tush diaper?
You are seriously missing out! I find our Twinkie Tush diapers to be the most absorbent ones in our stash. Between the absorbency, the amazing prints, the ability to have diapers made in fabric I love and unrivaled customer service, I'm hooked! Wait, maybe I should keep it a secret. We don't need more competition for cute prints on Wednesdays!
Tell us your funniest cloth-diapering or parenting story!
Not long after we switched to cloth diapers, I left the kiddos home with my husband. I left a stack of diapers for my husband to use on the baby. (I didn't have very many TTs at the time and deliberately tried to rotate the diapers so as to avoid excess wash wear on them.) When I got home, I noticed the stack of diapers I left out was untouched. When I asked Andy why he hadn't used them, he told me he only liked the Twinkie Tush diapers and I hadn't left any of those in the pile! To this day, he still only uses Twinkie Tush!
Tell us about one of the most meaningful parenting experiences you have had.
Wow, this is a tough one. Our road to parenthood was not easy. It took nearly two years to get pregnant with Jake, and we were actually about to start fertility treatments when I found out I was pregnant with him. We always knew we wanted more children, but after two and a half years of trying, a miscarriage, a surgery and two unsuccessful rounds of fertility treatments later, we decided to just embrace life as a unit of three. I always felt like something was missing, but it wasn't until the end of 2012 that we started thinking seriously about adoption. My husband had lost his mother and his father had recovered from a quadruple bypass all within a few months. There's nothing like major life events to light a fire under you! The first time I held my children was incredible, for sure, but holding Ava for the first time alongside the selfless woman who hand picked us to be the parents of her baby was absolutely breathtaking.
Thank you again, Rachel! We are so glad to have you as our July twinkie tush Fan of the Month!