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Archive for February, 2011

March of Kindness

March of Kindness

One of the things having children makes me think about most is the example that I am providing for her. All those bad habits seem fine until I realize she is watching – do I really want her to make bad choices because she’s seen me making them?

This desire to be the best example I can be to the Bean is really the drive behind the whole idea of ‘Becoming Crunchy‘.

I know I will make mistakes. I know she will make mistakes. I try to be OK with that.

But it always helps to have extra motivation to do the best I can, which is why I’m really getting excited  about the March of Kindness challenge from Code Name: Mama. With input from her community, she’s come up with 155 Ideas for Random Acts of Kindness to put into action during the days of March. Read the rest of this entry »

Our Family Bed

Sleeping baby seen from crib height, behind it...

Image via Wikipedia

There is nothing I love more than coming up to bed to find the Bean snuggled up next to Daddy, both of them with the same peaceful sleeping expressions. I always have to gaze at that beautiful picture for a few minutes before turning out the night light above our bed.

Before the Bean came along, I never even considered co-sleeping – in fact, I liked to talk about how she would be in her own room from day one (oh how little I knew…).

By the time she was ready to get here, I had decided to compromise with a bassinet next to my bed. But when she finally came along, she was just so tiny! She looked lonely and small in that big bassinet, and I just wanted her next to me anyway, so into the bed she came…and she’s been there ever since.

Now, I know that co-sleeping is not for everyone. Some parents don’t like it; some babies don’t like it – it’s definitely something that only you will know if it is right for you. But I have been excited to learn that there are a lot of benefits of co-sleeping, particularly when we still run into a lot of objections when we try to explain our family bed.

#1 – Aren’t you afraid you’ll roll over on the baby? Read the rest of this entry »

Tasty Potato Leek Soup

Potato Leek SoupJust had an awesome dinner and thought I would share…I’m always on the lookout for good vegetarian recipes (we are not strictly vegetarian, but do try to cook vegetarian meals as often as possible) AND I’m very picky with vegetables so finding one I like is always a plus!

I found this recipe for potato leek soup – find the original here and I made a few alterations, so here’s what my recipe ended up looking like:

  • 2 leeks, chopped
  • 2 T coconut oil (I used this instead of butter, but I would probably use less next time)
  • 2 C water
  • 2 C vegetable broth (instead of chicken – wanted to keep it vegetarian!)
  • 1 1/2 lbs potatoes, peeled and diced – I used Yukon Gold – always good for a creamy potato recipe
  • 1 turnip, peeled and diced (I added this to the recipe cause I have a bunch of turnips :) )
  • Dash of Marjoram, 1/4 C of fresh parsley, and 1/2 t thyme
  • salt and pepper to taste

Read the rest of this entry »

Thoughts on Cleaning…

Skull and crossbones

Image via Wikipedia

I’ve spent most of the morning cleaning today in anticipation of a friend coming to visit, and it made me think about how having visitors is my main motivation to really clean the house.

Don’t get me wrong…we’re not scary dirty or anything…but since I can think of about 2,473 things I’d rather do instead of clean (and that’s a rough estimate), our home is not always exactly what you would call pristine.

Sometimes this makes me think – I should just invite people over all the time!

But really, with the Bean getting dangerously near crawling age, our cleaning strategy is going to have to change – and soon (vacuuming and sweeping every day, anyone?)

Now, as you can see from reading about my cleaning habits, I’m not a huge germaphobe – I do honestly believe the Bean needs to be exposed to germs in order to build a healthy, well-functioning immune system (although don’t get me started on shopping carts and strangers touching the Bean’s hands…ewww!)

Really, my main concern in keeping a clean house for her is not the germs and pet hair she might end up getting in her mouth, but what kind of toxins she might encounter from what I’m using to clean!

Here is a list of a few of my previously regularly used cleaning products:

  • Comet
  • Lysol wipes
  • Swiffer mop wipes
  • Lysol toilet bowl cleaner
  • Drano

Now here is a list of a few things those products contain: Read the rest of this entry »

Buying Organic for Baby?

Mama Earth OrganicsI was so excited today to receive our first delivery basket from Mama Earth Organics (if you live in the GTA, you should definitely check them out!).

Isn’t it beautiful?

We really debated buying all organic for the Bean – it’s obviously better, but it also seemed like a lot of money!

But being slightly obsessed with the Bean’s food, I decided that if we possibly could, it would be the best way to go – and I think we’ve even managed to find a solution that’s pretty darn affordable.

The Baby Button turned 6 months today and had her first solid food at the beginning of this week – avocado.

Avocado is a great first food for baby. It’s easily mashable, and it has great fats that help with brain development along with all kinds of other good vitamins and nutrients. You can even freeze it – I found some great tips on how at Wholesome Baby Food – I did the one that recommended slicing it, dipping in a bath of water and a few squeezes of lemon juice, and freezing on a tray. It worked great – the slices have been in the freezer for close to a week now and there’s not even a hint of brown (though if it does turn brown, baby won’t mind :) )

But how to keep providing her with all this organic stuff without breaking the bank? Read the rest of this entry »

Do Pets Deserve Organic Too?

Before the arrival of the Baby Bean, Kelly and I were parents to two fur babies, or pets. Our first fur baby was Sage the Kitten, now known as Sage the Cat.

For as long as we’ve been together, Kelly always wanted us to get a cat. I always told her no since most of the places we lived did not allow pets. Then we bought our home and that restriction no longer applied. Less than a month after moving into our house, we went to the pet store and bought an 11 week old, grey and brown tabby kitten that Kelly named Sage.

It took a few days for Sage to get used to his new home. He would hide underneath our couches for hours. Eventually he came out to sit in Kelly’s lap. I would play with him in the evenings by having him chase a toy mouse on a stick. I even built him a cat fort out of old carpet and scrap wood. Despite never being a cat person, I loved Sage, even though he was Kelly’s cat – and by that I mean he bonded with her much more than he did with me. Her lap was the preferred destination when it came to petting time.

After a few months, we thought it would be nice for Sage to have a friend to play with. Our neighbors had just gotten a dog for their cat. We looked at several different breeds. Our criteria was that we wanted a low to medium energy large dog, and we narrowed down our search to two breeds – the American Mastiff and the Rottweiler. Picking between them was a toss-up, as both had their strong points.

We went with the Rottweiler because there was a breeder in our city and we could visit our chosen puppy as often as we liked.

We met with the breeder 9 days after the litter was born. Luther was one of 9 puppies, 4 boys and 5 girls.Even at 9 days old, he was noticeably bigger than his littermates. He ended up being the biggest puppy in the litter. At 8 weeks, he was already 20 pounds.

Our plan for Sage to have a friend in our new puppy Luther didn’t exactly work out. Read the rest of this entry »

Can You Really Call Yourself AP if You Don’t Breastfeed?

Breastfeeding an infant

Image via Wikipedia

Well, no – according to a lot of the Attachment Parenting sites and blogs and parents out there.

But I think you can.

I’ve been meaning to post on this for awhile, and a friend’s post having to do with the subject spurred me to do it today.

I want to say first – I do enjoy and learn a lot from many of the attachment parenting sites out there – and I do believe that breast is best. But here’s what I’ve learned so far about formula feeding mums. They are:

  • Lazy
  • Selfish
  • Neglectful
  • Too interested in climbing the career ladder to take care of their child
  • Feminist (used as an insult – lol)
  • Feeding their baby poison

Now, the reason I write all of this is not really to rant – but because I used to agree with it!

Before I became a mother, I was able to judge with the best of them. I never even questioned the fact the I would breastfeed. I did my research – I read in many places that it’s not something that’s easy, but I knew it would be easy for me – I mean, it’s the most natural thing in the world to do, right?

Then I had the Bean. Read the rest of this entry »

What’s in YOUR Diaper?

Pocket cloth diaper (insert goes in back) with...

Image via Wikipedia

Not long after the Bean was born, a friend asked me about what kind of cloth diapers I use.

I was so excited that she was interested that I sent her this crazy long, detailed e-mail with all the benefits of cloth diapers, what kinds are good to buy, all of the savings you can have, etc. etc.

The funny thing was, she was only asking me because she wanted to buy one for me as a gift and wanted to subtly make sure she was getting the right brand!

After laughing at myself and being a little embarrassed, I came to realize I am something of a zealot about cloth diapering (I know – aren’t there enough of them out there?)

And I’ll admit…I occasionally feel a small amount of superiority when I’m changing the Bean’s butt in a public washroom, but I also accept that that’s dumb. And the real reason I like to talk about them a lot is because I find them so exciting! (Hey, I’m a mom – poop conversations are a regular and important topic).

I was just thinking about it this afternoon because we have actually been using disposables for the past few days due to the awesomeness of our washing machine breaking. :p We’ve bought the PC Green brand, which work really well and are surprisingly affordable for green diapers – but the garbage! I can go for more than a week without the wastebaskets in my bedroom and the living room being full, but from just 2 days of disposables they are both overflowing.

Even if you don’t care about the environment, you still have to deal with all that trash.

Cloth diapering was actually another non-consideration for me before the Bean came along. I wasn’t against it or anything…I just didn’t even think about it. But then I started reading about other people who were using them, and seeing all the different kinds, and I decided to try it out.

I dragged hubby along to a cloth diaper workshop just so we could get all the confusing terminology worked out and see some of the actual products in person. I don’t think he was ever to thrilled about the idea, but he is mainly obliging to me, and the point of how much money we would save did draw him in.

I decided to start basic – with prefolds. Both because they were super cheap as far as cloth diapers go, and the place where I bought them said they used them all the time and they were wonderful.

They were a disaster! Read the rest of this entry »

What is Crunchy?


Image by efedefoto via Flickr

What is crunchy?

Kind of a funny word, first of all. :)

I first discovered it when I started obsessively reading parenting blogs and websites with the coming of my daughter. It’s a word that definitely has more than one definition when you apply it to people, but this is what I’ve boiled it down to for me:

An ‘Attachment’ parenting style. A healthy lifestyle. A more natural way of living.

You might also find it grouped along with words like hippie, natural, granola…all those types my husband definitely never aspired to be (but guess who’s currently heading full tilt in that direction?)

I will admit that I’ve always sort of aspired to being this type of person, but I never really managed to put in the effort.

Until now. Read the rest of this entry »

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