Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Different Parents, Different Methods....

Mainstream and Alternative Parenting.

Notice I did not use Mainstream vs Alternative parenting.... I have been around the block when it comes to parenting blogs, forums, meet up groups, pages, chat, videos and anything you can find on the web where people come together to exchange ideas, opinions and their own experiences on the parental roller coaster.

The camaraderie, the support, the information, the places to vent are there and offer great support when you find yourself about to be a first time mom and have no idea what to do and all you can go by are family and friends input which is uninvited half the time.

With the good also comes the ugly; the debates, guilt, finger pointing, shame, anger and division that comes with being on opposites sides of an issue like breastfeeding, baby wearing, circumcision, birth control, discipline, food, schooling etc.. etc ..etc...

Why is mainstream ....well.... mainstream and the rest is alternative?
DO we not want the alternative to be the norm? and why is it called alternative if it's healthy and natural?

There's so many questions and in reality the issues are so complex and it's not so black an white!
I have friends that mix it up, they breastfeed but use disposable diapers, or formula feed but they cloth diaper and other examples as well.... thing is we are all learning together some things just come more naturally to some than others.

I could go on and on about the complexities of parenting and the many gray areas but I'm going to get to the point.

I breastfeed, I cloth diaper, I home birthed, I baby wear, I co-sleep, I am not sure what to do with vax yet I am waiting... I am try to be gentle (most days) I have my bad days just like anyone else
but I also have a daughter whom I had in a hospital, I formula fed, I strolled her around, she sleeps in my room but in her own bed very opposite.

I have been on both sides of the story and I have felt at one point "Attacked" by people ... like the person I am now. I later understood that I made the decisions I first made the majority of the time for lack of information. I was not a bad parent nor do I think people that parent differently are bad..

I want to let my friends and family who have different ways of doing things that I am not trying to change their ways, I don't feel self righteous, nor am I judging them. I just want to provide information so that maybe someone will try different methods of doing things.. or not.

All and all it's for the benefit of our children.

I once disliked people like myself.. but at one point a light bulb went off and it was when I stopped thinking they were judging me that I became more open to their suggestions and though this was for me.

I hope this helps ... just wanted to say we are all different and it is when we accept that we are all different that we find we're really the same all along .. we want what is best.



Monday, August 30, 2010

Cloth Wipes are easy peasy clean up breezy!

As promised here's a segment on Cloth wipes.

Why Cloth wipes? well... the whole Eco-friendly natural parenting lifestyle has a ripple effect. Cloth diapers need Eco friendly laundry aides (I dislike calling them detergents since they don't have any) they need drying in the sun to eliminate stains thus using less energy and alas! They need cloth wipes.

Think about when you change a diaper. You wipe, you place a wipe inside the diaper and you dispose of it though in some places in Europe it is Illegal, and the World Health Organization is against it! why?

BECAUSE FECAL MATTER CARRIES DISEASE! you can read a nice article about that here.

I am guilty of doing it before and a lot of people are as well, the disposable diapers have instructions to flush the poop out first then dispose of the diaper... who does that? might as well be cloth diapering right? ;)

Back to cloth wipes though....

they're easy you can either make them yourself or buy them and you can do two methods

  • The wet method: you place cloth wipes in a container or wipe warmer and you make or buy a diaper solution which consists of oil, water, soap and some antibacterial agent.
Here's a great site with a recipe on making your own cloth diaper solution.

  • The Dry Method: You place the solution in an inexpensive spray bottle and spray your baby's bum and wipe or spray the cloth and then wipe.

The last one is my favorite because you don't have to deal with the wipes getting dry or musty.

You wipe excess poop from baby into the diaper and you flush that down the toilet, make sure you hold on to the diaper or you could loose it! then throw everything in a pail to either wash by hand or washing machine. And really I don't know if it's just me but my own kid's poop doesn't gross me out.. it's poop it comes with the territory!

Today I made a simple solution brewing chamomile and mixing it with water baby wash and baby oil. I will be experimenting with different solution as I go along to find the one I like..fun times right ;)

As for traveling this is my set up, simple and cheap! Hope this inspires you to try it out!
Would you like me to include some fancy cloth wipes made by myself for my next giveaway?

let me know! write to me on facebook!

Breastfeeding Rocks!!

A recent article by Nursing Freedom "Marketing Breastfeeding: your ideas" asked the following:

"How would you give breastfeeding a makeover so that women view it as glamorous, sexy, essential? Or fill in your adjective - what attributes do you think we can emphasize to make breastfeeding more acceptable, appealing, desirable to more women?"

First of all, think about the women who are having these babies?

They're women in their 20's who were born during the 80's grew up in the 90's

They are part of the Generation Y or MTV generation.

I remember seeing this image and thought oh yaay, breastfeeding rocks!

It's an Image of Jerry Hall nursing her baby and looking stunning!

I think Billboards or more magazine ads with musicians nursing their babies would be so effective, what if we would have had Gwen Stefani or Britney Spears doing nursing campaigns? Unfortunately Celebrities are a big influence in our generation and they know that! more of them should step up and encourage the general public.

We also know how successful MTV's "Teen Mom" has become, I wish some of those girls would have breastfed. Why not add a documentary about the teen moms who did choose to breastfeed.

The Bottom line is we need to have breastfeeding in the media , in more fashion magazines, more talk shows, more sitcoms. We need more Kourtney Kardashians, more Salma Hayeks, more Bethenny Frankels, More Gisele Bundchens out there!

Because Breastfeeding Rocks!

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Corporate America is raising children...

Pampers®, Gerber®, Similac®, Evenflo®, Huggies®, Enfamil®, Graco®....

If you're a parent you know these brands ..

If you get anything less than these brands you're doing a disservice to your baby right?

When I had my first daughter I certainly felt that way. I thought she deserved the "best". Well 4 yrs and another baby later I have realized that the Mommy is best!

Food Source: Mom
Diapers: Cloth
Stroller, bouncer, crib,: Mom

Raising an Eco friendly, healthy, secure child = Priceless!

Cheap doesn't always equal low quality.
OUR CHILDREN Should NOT be part of the "Gerber® Generation"

Why are these companies telling us their products are better and more convenient, they really aren't. How did we become so disconnected to primal and instinctual parenting. I am not saying if you buy those brands that you're a bad parent don't get me wrong I actually still have some of those things, and at times yes they are practical.

What I am saying is don't even beat yourself up if you can't afford brand names just know that you being there is enough. Also Give the smaller businesses a break!

buy used, recycle, resell.. there is nothing wrong with that ;)

And from now I pledge every baby shower I am going to, I will be providing some cloth diapers as a gift. And well of course cute baby clothes because everyone loves shopping for cute baby clothes :P

Don't raise a McBaby! Raise a MyBaby! <---- Corny I know ;)

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Goodbye 20's Hello 30's ...

photo by Valerie Durham

It's 11pm (PST) And I am sitting here.. savoring my last moments as a 29 yr old.

When I was 15 I often dreamt of where I would be when I was 30.
30 seemed like the age where I would be a full grown woman that had all of her stuff together.

I envisioned myself married (check), whith children (check), owning my house, owning a car, having a great career, and plenty of money.

Hmmm.... I guess yes I do have a house (rented), a car (my husband's I don't drive), and actually I do have a great career! I am a mother! , and the money.. yes I have it but I didn't imagine bills in the picture.

SO as I sit here thinking, did I do it? Do I have everything I dreamed of?

The answer is YES!!!!

I have a wonderful husband, two amazing girls, a home, a purpose and my needs met.

There you go world..... I have arrived!! I am a grown woman!

bring it on 30's I am ready! the best is yet to come!

Walking through wal-mart....

Yesterday while strolling by the children's section at wal-mart on my way to the fabric section I noticed a tutu set... My 4yr old has been bugging me that she wants to wear a tutu to school, I have made her one but it's too extravagant to wear at school and this one was simple.

I was looking at them when I overheard a little girl with two women say in Spanish "yo quiero uno!" (I want one) To which one of the women replied also in Spanish "ay, pero eso es para una chamaca fea y tu estas bonita" (yeah, but that's for an ugly brat and you're beautiful) the child continued to repeat the same thing and the woman replied the same answer.

I just laughed and had a conversation with my husband about that...

I'm all about telling your children they are beautiful, smart, funny, etc.. but what I find is appalling is to remark that some other child is ugly. It's like telling them you're beautiful and everyone else is ugly.

How are we supposed to make the next generation better that way?

my 4yr old is color,height, shape, ability blind.. she does not know the word fat or disabled nor she distinguishes differences in race, she talks to people with the same respect and looks at them the same. I tell her she is beautiful but that everyone else is beautiful too.

I am not naive and think this will be the case forever... she will eventually know there is a difference and sadly other children whose parents teach them their own prejudiced views will make sure to teach her that.

Ever hear a small child point and laugh at someone overweight or different? I never blame the child I blame the parent who is usually mortified thinking "where does little Billy, get those things?" It's from you! he learned it from you!

My hope is that when she grows up she keeps her compassionate side, I hope she can stand up for people and not be afraid to disagree with her friends, I hope her mind is not a collective one.. I hope she knows aesthetic beauty is in the eye of the beholder but lucky is the person who gets to know a person's true beauty, up close. Therefore to not judge.

I hope more kids grow up that way... I hope more of us make sure of that.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Children learn what they live....

I remember reading this poem about 3 years ago, it struck such a chord with me so much that It changed the way I was doing things, it turned me into a more instinctual gentle mom. It made me realize that great parenting isn't buying the best brands or the latest gadgets, great parenting isn't ruling with fear, great parenting isn't repeating vicious cycles because that is how you were raised. Great parenting is being available for your children as much as possible, to pick them up when they cry, to kiss their booboos, to cuddle them to sleep, to love them when they're good and love them enough when they're bad to not discipline out of anger and frustration.

We all have our bad days I am far from a perfect parent even then there is no perfection when it comes to parenting... I've lost my temper , I've raised my voice .. but I am learning..but I always keep this in mind....

Children Learn What They Live
By Dorothy Law Nolte, Ph.D.

If children live with criticism, they learn to condemn.
If children live with hostility, they learn to fight.
If children live with fear, they learn to be apprehensive.
If children live with pity, they learn to feel sorry for themselves.
If children live with ridicule, they learn to feel shy.
If children live with jealousy, they learn to feel envy.
If children live with shame, they learn to feel guilty.
If children live with encouragement, they learn confidence.
If children live with tolerance, they learn patience.
If children live with praise, they learn appreciation.
If children live with acceptance, they learn to love.
If children live with approval, they learn to like themselves.
If children live with recognition, they learn it is good to have a goal.
If children live with sharing, they learn generosity.
If children live with honesty, they learn truthfulness.
If children live with fairness, they learn justice.
If children live with kindness and consideration, they learn respect.
If children live with security, they learn to have faith in themselves and in those about them.
If children live with friendliness, they learn the world is a nice place in which to live.

Copyright © 1972 by Dorothy Law Nolte

It's never too late to kiss your children and tell them you too are learning right along with them...

Flip Diaper system

Look at the clothesline in my backyard in all its glory! The grass not so much though (I don't water backyard grass in the summer it's futile in southern Cali it just wastes water.)

I have found a new passion.. cloth diapering! I do not know why I didn't do this with my first, it' easy peasy! and cheap!

There comes a time in one's life especially in this economy where you start looking long and hard at the things that used to be essential. Are they really essential or where they really a luxury? Could I live without? Disposable diapers where one of those things.. I was doing the math one night, we were spending $10 a week on jumbo diapers, our daughter was 3 months. We had just barely ran out of diapers we got from the baby shower. I decided to look into cloth diapering and I was shocked! an average of $20 per "all in one insert"!! you need at least 10 if you want to wash them all at night and have them ready for the next day! and that is an initial investment of $200 still cheaper in the long run but too much to put out up front.

And then I ran into flip diapers Not only where they easy to use but easy on our pockets. With an average initial investment of $50 for a stay dry pack which includes 6 amazingly absorbent inserts and 2 reusable covers and great reviews I was willing to give them a try!

I was very excited when they arrived I had previously seen a video review on youtube so I was already familiar with how to use them but the instructions on the box were easy.

I used them with no problems, she did not leak and it was very easy. I actually have survived with just the 6 inserts and the 2 covers because it is summer so as you saw earlier I hang them out to dry. I hand wash them as they get dirty.

Here's some tips.

  • Use a good chemical/detergent/enzyme free laundry soap, I just fell in love with countrysave, I'll tell you why.. I found out quickly that regular detergent stays in the cloth diaper, no matter how many times you rinse every time you wring it more soap comes out, this also makes the liner look old quick and not absorb as much I quickly switched and my diapers looked great again and it takes very little soap when you hand wash about 1 tablespoon for a small bucket. Now that is savings in detergent!

  • Poopie diapers! NO, they're not as scary as you might think.. here's a quick tip, if you can wash them immediately. I found out if I put the liner in the toilet and flush, the suction from the flush will scoop out the top layer of poo and then you can just wash the rest. No need for fancy toilet hoses.

  • Poopie Stains... two words.. SUN BLEACHING! it's difficult to get the poopie stains out by just washing but take them out in the sun for a bit and your cloth liners are white and bright once more!

  • Cloth wipes. When you use disposables you usually wipe and put the dirty wipe in the diaper and throw it away. With cloth you can spray the baby's bum with some water and just wipe with a nice soft flannel wipe, you can make them yourself! (I will have a tutorial on cloth wiping as soon as I can) This solves the problem of what to do with disposable wipes and you use less landfill space.

  • You will eventually need a couple more covers as they do tend to smell like urine after a couple of wears even though they're waterproof on the inside, you can either wipe them down or I just wash them and hang out one in the sun and switch them out as I go.

  • Just try it! it becomes second nature in no time! you'll be wondering why disposables even exist! These cloth diapers are certainly not our grandma's cloth diapers! They're super easy!

I recently ordered another cover and 5 more inserts for $36. This will probably do for a while and eventually I can get more especially before the winter when I will have to use my washer/dryer . But Considering my baby will use these until she is potty trained AND my next baby can use them as well.. the savings are huge! But not only that.. We make our children Eco-friendly, our landfills are full of diapers that in our lifetime and our children's lifetime will never go away... we need to be more earth conscious not for us but for our future generations.. I had my first child in disposables for 3 years.. I felt guilty having more children and having the same impact on the earth but it's never too late!

And if you don't feel like you can do it! Just try 1 cloth diaper a day! 1 a day throughout your child's diaper years can still make a HUGE difference!

Save Money,Save the Earth !

for this little chubby face and yours!


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