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Carnival of Natural Parenting -- Hobo Mama and Code Name: Mama
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A Little Bit of All of It: A Natural Parenting Blog
October Unprocessed 2012
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Posts Tagged ‘natural parents network’

GIVEAWAY: Thirsties Duo All-In-One Cloth Diaper Plus Hemp Inserts — $25.75 ARV CLOSED

This is a joint giveaway with Becoming Crunchy and Natural Parents Network. You may enter at one site only. Please find the section marked “Win it!” for the mandatory entry and optional bonus entries.

Thirsties is offering our readers a giveaway of one Thirsties Duo All in One Cloth Diaper, in a print of the winner’s choice, and a set of Hemp Inserts, a value of $25.75.

The Thirsties Duo All in One offers absorbency, waterproof protection, and adjustability in a stylish, affordable, and effective cloth diaper.

First, a little bit of information about Thirsties from the company:

Thirsties® is a small (but growing!) cloth diaper company committed to greener parenting and Eco Friendly solutions, not to mention 100% USA Made quality! Erin, founder of Thirsties, started this business with an old sewing machine and $100 5 years ago. Through her hard work and diligence, the company is now one of the leaders in the cloth diaper industry. Our diapers are now made by work at home mothers, and very close to our warehouse, reducing our carbon output. Our customer service reps are experienced cloth diapering moms, and offer our knowledge to our retailers and customers alike.

Are you sold yet? :) If not, you soon will be — but I have to say first that I’m pretty excited about a company with such awesome principles, especially the whole work-at-home mom concept!

Beyond that, getting a pretty new cloth diaper in the mail is always an event (owls! yay!), and I was very happily satisfied with this one.

What I loved:

The diaper is very soft and adjustable. We got a size 2 for 22-month-old Bean; it’s meant to fit 18-40 lbs or 9-36 months. The sizing is adjustable through snaps and closes with hook-and-loop tape (though it is also available in a snap closure). It came with 2 hemp/cotton inserts that can be fit through the middle pocket.

I had purchased these same inserts for other diapers before so I knew they were good — a very thin layer of lots of extra absorbency.

No Inserts.

The diaper can be used on its own (very nice for around the house) or stuffed with 1-2 inserts for extra absorbency. I liked how easy it was to fit the inserts in — there are openings on both sides to make a kind of tunnel instead of just one pocket, so it’s easy to pull inserts through and flatten them out without too much maneuvering.

All around, both absorbency and “containment” are great. The diaper is really nicely and comfortably made with gentle elastics around the legs to keep any leaks from getting through. We generally use a two-piece diaper system that can get out of place pretty easily with an active toddler, allowing leaks to get through the cover. With the Thirsties AIO Duo we didn’t experience one leak in multiple uses (and we mostly used it without inserts).

The ease of use was fantastic — pretty much as easy as a disposable. For me it was very nice not to have the risk of a very wiggly toddler getting the diaper all out of alignment before I could get it on her!

What I didn’t love:

With both inserts.

There wasn’t much — I was overall very impressed with this diaper. The main small issue I had was the thickness when both inserts are in; the fitting at that point got a little snug. I doubt we could get up to 40 lbs and still get it on with both inserts in. But that’s also a very subjective thing as it goes beyond weight and into body shape, etc., so it’s certainly not something I would call disappointing.

Also (this may be a bit TMI — sorry) — I do need to remember to not wash the diaper together with my underwear, as the velcro seems to be a magnet for the elastic bands therein. Just something to be careful of.

What surprised me (in a good way!):

I really liked the all-in-one aspect. It was honestly a little hard for me to get used to a one-time use diaper, but the ease of it ultimately sold me — and the fact that it doesn’t get all out of place.

I think it has potential for an overnight diaper. We haven’t really found anything (disposable or cloth) that works overnight; we usually end up doing one change in the middle of the night. I put her in the Duo AIO double stuffed and she went a good 5 hours before needing a change (and it didn’t leak; it was just full) — that was also a night with quite a few wake-ups for milk so that bladder was pretty active! I could definitely see adopting it as a night-time diaper though I’m not sure it would go through the entire night.

The velcro closures weren’t a disaster. Bean is frequently in disposables (her caregivers won’t use anything else) and is pretty well a pro at removing them. I figured the velcro would be an issue there, but it wasn’t at all — she didn’t even try to get it off. I’m guessing it was comfortable enough that it didn’t occur to her to try it. (For those whose little ones are a little more persistent in this area, the diaper does come in snap closures.)

Washing and drying were the same as any other diaper. I’d heard AIO’s can be difficult to dry, and I did find a need to give the inserts a few extra minutes, but really there was no big deal. As recommended, I washed and dried three times before using and we were good to go from there.

The pricing is really decent. I’ve bought $15 AIO diapers and found them to be utter crap; for a $16/17 diaper this is an excellent value. The quality is obvious from just looking at the stitching, and in every way it’s proven to be well made, comfortable, and absorbent. I could never justify an AIO stock at the usual $25 a pop, which is why we’ve mostly used a two-piece system, but I could totally see the value in stocking up on these diapers.

Ultimately, I’m very happy with the Thirsties Duo All In One Diaper and hope you get the chance to check it out. (I’m thinking I’m going to have to stock up on a few more myself — I don’t want to miss out on those adorable colours/patterns, and our child caregivers may even be willing to give these a try!) Want to learn more?

BUY IT!

You can purchase your own Duo All In One Diaper at Thirsties.com and other retailers, $15.95 for solids and $16.95 for prints plus shipping.

Thirsties also sells several other options in cloth diapers and accessories — you can request a catalog by visiting this link.

WIN IT!

For your own chance to win a Duo All In One Diaper from Thirsties, plus a set of Hemp Inserts, enter by leaving a comment and using our Rafflecopter system below.

The winner will receive 1 Thirsties Duo All In One Diaper in the pattern of their choice, and 1 set of Hemp Inserts. Contest is open to the US and Canada only.

MANDATORY ENTRY: Visit Thirsties and tell us one thing you have learned about the company! You must enter your name and email address in the Rafflecopter entry system for your entry to count, after leaving a comment on this blog post.

Leave a valid email address so we can contact you if you win. Email addresses in Rafflecopter are not made publicly visible. Please leave the same valid email address in your mandatory comment so we can verify entries.

This is a joint giveaway with Becoming Crunchy and Natural Parents Network. You may enter at one site only, and we’ll be recording IP addresses to ensure that there are no duplicate entries. That said, please do visit and enjoy both sites!

BONUS ENTRIES:

See the Rafflecopter entry system for bonus entries to increase your chance of winning after completing the mandatory entry. All bonus entries are entered directly into Rafflecopter. Give it a try, and email or leave a comment if you have any questions!

Read the rest of this entry »

For My Children – A Mother’s Journal of Memories, Wishes & Wisdom GIVEAWAY (CLOSED)

Boy it is giveaway central around here lately (and there’s even more to come a little later this week!). There have just been so many great things to share – and I hope you know I don’t do giveaways or reviews for anything I don’t think is really awesome – my enthusiasm is very real! :)

Today I’m thrilled to be sharing a beautiful book recently released by Dionna Ford, blogger at Code Name: Mama and co-founder of both the Natural Parents Network and Nursing Freedom.org.

The book is called For My Children – A Mother’s Journal of Memories, Wishes & Wisdom. A gorgeous keepsake intended for mothers of grown children – it is one of the best ways I’ve ever seen for a mom to pass on her memories and wisdom in a form her children can treasure forever.

You know how a beautiful journal just inspires you to want to fill it up? I always feel that way when I browse the fancy journal section in the bookstore – and For My Children fits that bill perfectly. It’s so pretty! The illustrations, the colours – everything about it cries, “Write in me!”

And for those looking for further inspiration, For My Children takes care of that, too. Each page is headed with a prompt or guide for writing your thoughts to your kids – things like:

  • What do you wish you had known as a new mother?
  • If you had to compare your family members to fictional characters (from movies, books, etc.), who would they be?
  • Have you ever nursed a broken heart? What did you find were the best ways to heal the hurt? Read the rest of this entry »

DIY – A Natural Parents Network Volunteer Blog BLITZ!

It’s that time again! You might remember the great post in December 2011 that highlighted the Natural Parents Network Volunteer’s most popular or favorite posts from the year. Well, we are back and this time we are bringing you a collection of posts that focus on Do It Yourself projects, How To’s, Tutorials, Recipes, and anything related to a step by step guide or informational how-to.

I consider it such an honour to be part of this awesome group of volunteers and benefit from their wisdom all the time. There are so many wonderful posts here and I hope that this serves as an excellent resource that you can pass on to your friends! Enjoy!

Jorje of Momma Jorje.com shares her Family Cloth Tutorial in pictures. She includes step by step photos with some tips for making very neat family cloth. You can find Momma Jorje on Facebook, too!

Lani at Boobie Time Blog shares “How to Help a New Breastfeeding Mom.” This post provides some tips on helping a new mom while she is learning to Breastfeed. You can also find Boobie Time Blog on Facebook and Twitter.Momma Jorje: a slightly crunchy momma

Amanda at Let’s Take the Metro shares “How I Make Cloth Wipes.” This post details how Amanda made all of her cloth wipes. You can also find Let’s Take the Metro on Facebook.

Jennifer at True Confessions of a Real Mommy shares “Lessons in a Picture Book.” A Lesson plan for pancakes and how to make your own butter! You can also find True Confessions of a Real Mommy on Facebook and Twitter.

Jenn at Monkey Butt Junction shares “Tips for Road Tripping with a Toddler.” A long car trip with a young child can be a great way to make some wonderful memories if you are prepared to meet the challenges. You can also find Monkey Butt Junction on Facebook and Twitter. 

Abbie at Farmer’s Daughter shares “Maple Cinnamon Swirl Bread.” This recipe tutorial shows you how to make a sweet whole wheat bread with beautiful cinnamon swirls in each slice. You can also find Farmer’s Daughter on Facebook and Twitter.

Jennifer at Hybrid Rasta Mama shares “How To Consume Coconut Oil Plus Coconut Oil Candy Recipes.” This post provides some tips on how to get your daily dose of coconut oil down the hatch. It also provides some very tasty recipes for coconut oil candy! You can also find Hybrid Rasta Mama on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Google +.

Alicia at Lactation Narration gives some ideas for how to accomplish Partial Weaning for moms who would like to cut down on nursing without completely weaning. You can also find Lactation Narration on Facebook and Twitter.

Cynthia at The Hippie Housewife shares “A Learning-Rich Environment.” This post provides a number of suggestions for creating a learning-rich environment and incorporating learning into everyday life, with a particular focus on the preschool age. You can also find The Hippie Housewife on Facebook, Pinterest, and Google +.

BecomingCrunchyKelly at Becoming Crunchy shares “Kale Chips = Awesome! This post shares a super easy recipe for making a super easy (and surprisingly tasty) snack from one of the most healthful greens around. You can also find Becoming Crunchy on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.

Shannon at Pineapples & Artichokes shares “How to Move to California.” A silly how-to she wrote while she and her then fiance were driving to their new home. You can also find Shannon on Pinterest, Flickr, and Google +.

Gretchen at That Mama Gretchen shares a recipe for “Homemade Fruit Leather.” It’s easier than you ever thought and the perfect snack for you and your family. You can also find That Mama Gretchen on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.

Julia at A Little Bit of All of It shares “How I Cloth Diaper (Part 1).” This post details the way Julia has cloth diapered her daughter along with the products she uses. You can also find A Little Bit of All of It on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Google +.

Joella at Fine and Fair shares “Our First Sensory Bins.” In this post, she shares how she made a “Scoop, Measure, and Pour” themed sensory bin, as well as an “In the Garden” themed bin. She also shares some tips for making your own sensory bins! Fine and Fair can be found on Facebook and Twitter. 

Visit Code Name: MamaFor all of you breastfeeding mamas, Dionna at Code Name: Mama has the ultimate DIY experience with the main ingredient being your breastmilk! 58 Medical, Cosmetic, and Other Alternative Uses for Breastmilk includes a cradle cap remedy, an anti-itch salve, weaning jewelry, lotion, and more. You can also find Dionna on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and YouTube.

Melissa at Vibrant Wanderings offers several ideas for “Keeping a Toddler Happily Busy on a Long Flight.” The list includes handmade felt activities, among many other things. You can also find Melissa on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Google +.

Shannon at The Artful Mama shares “Preparing Toddlers for Birth.” This post features MamAmor dolls and shows some alternative ways to talk to toddlers about pregnancy and birth. You can also find The Artful Mama on Facebook and Twitter.

Kym at Our Crazy Corner of the World shares her “Family Binder DIY.” This post shows how to put together a family binder, to help organize cleaning, meal planning, shopping and budgeting all in one convenient location!

I Thought I Knew Mama: A window into the adventures of stay at home mamahood, natural parenting, & green and healthy livingCharise at I Thought I Knew Mama shares “5 Green Living, Spring Cleaning Tips.” This post provides easy ways to keep the toxins out of your home and to freshen up your home for spring. You can also find I Thought I Knew Mama on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Google +.

Kristin at Intrepid Murmurings shares “Daily Bread: My Favorite Whole Grain Bread Machine Recipe.” This recipe is easy, highly adaptable, and a great starting point for creating your own daily (or almost daily!) homemade bread. You can also find Intrepid Murmurings on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest.

Mandy at Living Peacefully with Children shares “10 Tips for Toddler Carseat Woes.” Check out these ideas of dealing with toddler carseat issues without resorting to punishments. You can also find Living Peacefully with Children on Facebook.

Kat at Loving {Almost} Every Moment shares “DIY Mom’s Night In.” A somewhat humorous solution, this post provides exhausted Mamas the recipe for the perfect way to recharge!

Stacy at Sweet Sky shares “Ways to Bring More Mindfulness Into Your Days.” This post provides tips and tricks to bring yourself back to the present moment, so you can be the parent you want to be. You can also find Stacy on Facebook.

AnktangleAmy at Anktangle shows us how to make your own popsicle stick puzzles, a fun and simple “busy bag” activity for toddlers and preschool aged children. You can also find Amy on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Google +.

Hobo Mama: A Natural Parenting BlogLauren at Hobo Mama shares “How to sew a mei tai baby carrier.” The mei tai is Lauren and Sam’s favorite carrier for baby Alrik: as comfortable and simple as it is beautiful. You can also find Hobo Mama on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Google +.

Visit African Babies Don't CryChristine at African Babies Don’t Cry shares “How to Make Rainbow Coloured Rice (Without Alcohol) for a Toddler Sensory Bin.” This post provides a step by step tutorial for making vibrantly coloured rainbow rice for sensory play, includes a printable PDF. You can also find African Babies Don’t Cry on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Google +.

Luschka of Diary of a First Child shares “How To Send A Hug In An Envelope.” This post is a creative way to send more than just the standard card to love ones. It literally is a hug in an envelope! You can also find Diary of a First Child on Facebook, and Twitter.

The Thing You Don’t Know

Welcome to the February 2012 Carnival of Natural Parenting: Respectful Interactions With Other Parents

This post was written for inclusion in the monthly Carnival of Natural Parenting hosted by Code Name: Mama and Hobo Mama. This month our participants have focused on how we can communicate with other parents compassionately.

***

At the Baby Loves Disco party Sunday afternoon.

“The most important thing about a person is always the thing you don’t know.”

This quote is one of the central ideas of the book The Lacuna, by Barbara Kingsolver; it is a statement made by artist Frida Kahlo to fictional protagonist Harrison Shepherd, following a mutual revelation of previously undisclosed tragedy to one another together with the realization that both had judged the other wrongly.

The idea continues as a theme throughout the book and is one of the meanings of the word “lacuna” - a gap or missing piece of the story.

Shepherd ultimately becomes a famous author during the infamous McCarthy era in the US - first judged wrongly by most everyone who fawns over him, and finally judged even more harshly when the tide of public opinion turns against him.

Having recently read this book (twice – it is a really good one), this idea of ‘the thing you don’t know’ was one of the first that jumped out at me when I thought about the concept of respectful interactions with other parents that is the subject of this month’s carnival.

As most of us know, parenting is a pretty darn personal subject for a whole lot of people. Essentially, criticizing (or even gently communicating) a ‘lack’ in someone’s parenting skills amounts to criticizing or calling out who that parent is as a person – probably because when you become a parent, it becomes a major part of how you define yourself as a person. If someone has a problem with your parenting style, they have a problem with who you are. Read the rest of this entry »

Best of 2011 ~ A Natural Parenting Blog BLITZ!

I am proud and honored to be volunteer with the Natural Parents Network (NPN), a community of natural-minded parents and parents-to-be where you will be informed, empowered, and inspired.

When you visit the NPN’s website you can find articles and posts about Activism, Balance, Consistent Care, Ecological Responsibility, Family Safety, Feeding With Love, Gentle Discipline, Healthy Living, Holistic Health, Natural Learning, Nurturing Touch, Parenting Philosophies, Practical Home Help, Preparing for Parenting, Responding With Sensitivity, Safe Sleep, and so much more!

The volunteers who dedicate their time and energy to make NPN the outstanding resource it is also spend countless hours informing and inspiring others on their personal blogs. To close out 2011, the NPN volunteers have come together to provide you with some valuable reading material.

Each volunteer has selected either their most viewed post of 2011 or their favorite post and shared the link here. Please take a few moments to visit each post. Our intention is to expand our reach as bloggers and informed parents and parents-to-be who are still growing as we move through our own journeys. Each volunteer has provided links to other social media sites where you can follow them as well.

We hope you enjoy reading these posts as much as we enjoyed writing them. We are always looking for new volunteers so please, contact us if you are interested. Just a few hours per month can help other mamas in a huge way! Read the rest of this entry »

Crunchy Living is SO Expensive…Or Is It?

Welcome to the October Carnival of Natural Parenting: Money Matters

This post was written for inclusion in the monthly Carnival of Natural Parenting hosted by Code Name: Mama and Hobo Mama. This month our participants have shared how finances affect their parenting choices. Please read to the end to find a list of links to the other carnival participants.

***

Example of an American grocery store aisle.

Image via Wikipedia

I’ve been doing a bit of mental inventory lately about how our financial situation has altered since we’ve been ‘becoming crunchy’.

It’s been an interesting process. One of the main reasons I was never more then on the edges of ‘natural living’ was the idea that it cost too much – in both money and time. When we had Bean, the husband and I felt we were making some big sacrifices that we’d never been willing to make for ourselves in terms of spending extra for organics, etc.

But as we’ve transitioned so much over the past 13 months, I’ve come to realize that we’re not only (for the most part) evening out – we’re actually spending less in many cases, and the time saved in one place easily makes up for more time spent in another.

It’s been quite a shock really – the expense is one of the biggest objections you hear when you talk about getting into all that organic stuff – but how does it really end up breaking down?

Here’s something of a snapshot of what it’s been like for our family (I am guestimating on the prices)…

Things I Used to Buy vs. Things I Buy Now Read the rest of this entry »

Hey Hey It’s a Sunday Surf!

Doctor and Child

Image by dmason via Flickr

Squeaking in just under the wire today…

First, I have to vent about our one-year ‘well baby’ checkup at the doctor yesterday. If you are uninterested, feel free to scroll down to the actual Sunday Surf part – I won’t be offended. ;)

Now, I strongly considered not scheduling this checkup in the first place – at this time we are delaying vaccines indefinitely and Bean is certainly a healthy, happy, normal baby (of course, I think she’s exceptional) – but basically as far as development, etc. goes, she’s right about where she ‘should’ be.

Still, she hasn’t been to the doctor for any sort of check-up since she was 5 months old, so I thought to cover all my bases, I may as well go. I’ll also admit - our scale sucks and is likely quite inaccurate, and I was really hoping to find out how much she weighs now!

I did have a small list of questions that I was hoping to get a second opinion on; for the most part I’m comfortable with doing my own research, but I figured, since we are talking to a doctor, I may as well see what she has to say.

The following is the general gist of our conversation… Read the rest of this entry »

World Breastfeeding Week

Doula (L) with newborn and mother

Image via Wikipedia

This week is world breastfeeding week, and I am so thrilled today to be guest posting at the Natural Parents Network – a very near and dear to my heart post that is co-written with fellow blogger, Krista of Think Mama, Think.

Krista came to me with the idea of writing a post together when she came across my own breastfeeding experiences on my blog and realized how incredibly similar they were to her’s. She wanted to explore together why our stories ended so differently – in hopes of helping other moms – and I was very happy to do so.

I wasn’t able to make breastfeeding work for me, but it is continually my hope that my story will help other moms move forward where I did not.

I’ve also become very determined to make it happen next time around!

I wrote 2 posts a few months back that I entitled ‘My Breastfeeding Mistakes’ Part 1 & Part 2. They were areas where I could see, with the benefit of hindsight and the perspective of several months, where I had ‘gone wrong’.

A commenter gently corrected me on calling them ‘mistakes’, and I am happy to quote Justine’s comment here as she is so right on, and this is the message I hope gets passed on: Read the rest of this entry »

Giveaway: SmartKlean Laundry Ball 3 Winners/$45 ARV {CLOSED}

SmartKlean Laundry Ball

This is a joint giveaway with Becoming Crunchy and Natural Parents Network. You may enter at one site only. Please find the section marked “Win it!” for the mandatory main entry and optional bonus entries.

I first heard of the SmartKlean Laundry ball back in January after reading a review by The Soft Landing.

I was very intrigued, but not quite ready to give them a try as I had just stocked up on another laundry soap (yes, the SmartKlean laundry balls are used to wash your clothes).

They continued to be at the back of my mind, however, and at a recent visit to the Toronto Green Living Show I had the chance to purchase two laundry balls and give them a trywith a 30 day money back guarantee, what was there to lose?

Within days of using them I was so impressed that I knew I had to share through a review – and when I contacted the company they generously offered to donate 3 SmartKlean Laundry Balls for 3 lucky winners!

Read on to find out more about this great product… Read the rest of this entry »

How to Become Crunchy

A stereotypical caricature of a pirate.

Amanda Metro

This guest post is written by Amanda Metro.

Amanda is a pirate who spends way too much time cleaning her gun. She enjoys whistle blowing, eye patch making, and relatively short walks on the beach (however long it takes to get to the boat). She has been pirating for the past 16 years and hopes to do it for the foreseeable future.

OK, OK, that’s not real. Here’s the real one.

Amanda mothers two beautifully intelligent girls who are 15 months apart and never cease to keep life interesting. She loves to garden, cook, sew and research everything green. Since the birth of her first daughter, she has been systematically growing greener and has no plans to stop any time soon. She is a volunteer for Natural Parents Network as an articles editor and social media moderator. She writes about as many different things as she can think of at Let’s Take the Metro.

How to Become Crunchy

First and foremost, you need to have teeth. If you don’t have teeth, invest in a good quality set of dentures. These will be useful to you.

Second, you should probably get a llama. Also a goat and a couple of chickens. What’s that? You live in an apartment in NYC? Hey, a llama can fit in an elevator. Relax. Read the rest of this entry »

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