TBT: Breastfeeding on GBG

Bonding Time!

Bonding Time!

Since I’ll be breastfeeding once again in about 10 weeks, I’ve been perusing the archives for all the old breastfeeding posts. For Throwback Thursday, I thought I’d share some of the best ones!

Too Much Pressure to Breastfeed?

Transitioning from Bottle to Breast

Breastfeeding Support

Breastfeeding in Public

Breastfeeding Despite the Challenges

Breastfeeding Moms Reap Health Benefits

Are You Breastfeeding Your Toddler?

Did you have a low milk supply while breastfeeding?

When a Breastfeeding Baby Rejects the Bottle: Help!

The Saturday Question: Was breastfeeding worth it?

The Truth About Breastfeeding and Survival in Those Early Months

Reusable Nursing Pad Reviews and Recommendations

How Do You Support Moms Who Struggle With Breastfeeding?

Pumping Extra Milk While Breastfeeding to Get More Sleep

What is your go-to resource for breastfeeding?



Potty Training using the Naked Method

Look at how your cousin takes off her underwear to use the potty!

Diapers, both disposable and cloth, cost money. They both have an environmental impact as well. Even if you are using used cloth diapers, you still have to wash them. The earlier you potty train your kids, the more money and resources you save. With those facts in mind, I finally decided it was time to start potty training in earnest.

We’ve been casually doing “Infant Potty Training” from the beginning, so Frances is very family with her potty. The use of the potty has been directed by me from the beginning, which seems to be holding back her progress in being completely potty trained. If I don’t take off her diaper and put her on the potty every hour, she just pees in the diaper. She hasn’t figured out that she’s supposed to tell me before she goes so I can put her on the potty, but will usually tell me as she is peeing.

I saw someone on Facebook mention The Naked Method in reference to potty training, so I decided to try out our own version of the program. We didn’t set aside a three day period to dedicate to training or use any gimmicks. I just left Franci naked from the waist down whenever we were at home (and awake) and reminded her to pee in her potty every 15 minutes.

The first week she had a couple of accidents, but most days she used the potty as intended. Now that it’s routine, I don’t have to remind her very often and she is going longer stretches and taking bigger pees. She still tells me after she’s done, so I can empty the potty into the toilet. She loves to flush it and watch the water swirl around.

Now that she’s had a week of no accidents, I tried to introduce underwear. The problem is that she can’t pull it off by herself. A few times a day I practice putting it on and off with her, but she still doesn’t get it. She’s still not entirely stable on her feet, which may contribute to the challenge. Yesterday I left her underwear on to see what would happen, and she sat on the potty and peed right through them as if they weren’t there. Back to the drawing board!

It’s not a big deal to be naked at home, but she has to wear pants at daycare and when we leave the house. I’m not sure how to take this next step. I would love to hear your potty training stories and any suggestions you might have for us!



Green Back-to-School Supplies

A Greener Crayon

A Greener Crayon

There are a few obvious ways to green your back-to-school shopping, like reusing backpacks, binders and folders from last year. How about hitting up the local thrift store for office supplies? While you’re there, check out the shoes and clothing too.

Speaking of shoes and clothes, why not organize a swap with your friends and neighbors? Have everyone bring clean and un-stained clothes and shoes their kids have grown out of (or are tired or wearing) and exchange them for new-to-you items. Preferably over a glass of wine.

If you are required to buy new items, Green Schools Initiative has a buying guide to help you find the greenest supplies available. Trade in the trusty Crayolas for a box of biodegradable, petroleum-free Prang Crayons or try Biodegradable Binder Pockets

Recycled Pencils

Recycled Pencils

Let your kid show off just how green they are with Recycled Newspaper Pencils. And of course, let them pick out a Reusable Lunch Box and pack their lunch and snacks in a Bento box or other reusable container.

Some classrooms require you to buy a certain brand so everyone is using the exact same supplies. If this is the case, you might have to take up your green cause before the next school year starts, and encourage the teacher to switch to greener products for his supply list.

Parenting A-ha! Moments

toddler-cooking

In the Kitchen with Franci

I’ve been thinking lately about those moments during parenthood where something becomes clear that you weren’t even thinking about before; those “A-ha!” moments.  Like when it suddenly occurs to you that your breastfed baby gets gassy every time you eat cabbage, or that the reason she is fussy at 10am every morning is because she is tired.

Now that Franci is pushing 18 months and reaching certain milestones, like walking, those moments seem to be happening more frequently. Maybe I should have recognized some of them sooner, but that’s what makes them “A-ha!” moments, right?

For weeks now, or maybe it’s months, I’ve had to block all the cupboards and drawers with chairs and other furniture when it’s time to cook, since Frances insists on emptying them out whenever my hands are full. A couple of days ago, I finally realized that she wasn’t trying to drive me crazy, she wanted to cook too! Now when it’s time to make dinner, I set Franci on the floor with a bowl of kitchen tools: empty spice jars, little bowls and a spoon or two. She busily “cooks” away, pouring ingredients into the bowls, stirring and then tasting her concoction.

Another “A-ha!” moment I had recently had to do with Franci’s communication. She is saying new things every day, but oftentimes it is gibberish. I had dismissed one of these sounds, since it bared no resemblance to real words and she would just say it over and over. Finally, it occured to me that she was pointing at things and saying, “That!” As in, “What’s that?” I had no idea she was asking a question; I thought she was just calling everything a “dat”.

What are some of your more memorable “A-ha!” moments?

TBT: Midwives

primitive-midwife

Labor among primitive peoples

According to the book The Zero Footprint Baby, a midwife is a greener choice for your birth whether you are at home or in a hospital because they tend to order less resources that produce waste and use electricity.

I can attest that our midwife has helped us make choices that reduce our environmental impact without compromising the health and wellbeing of our babies. Of course, forgoing all ultrasounds isn’t for everyone.

Whether you are motivated by environmental concerns or not, choosing the right midwife (or doctor) is the first big decision you’ll make during your pregnancy.  I thought I’d round up a few of our old posts that talk about midwives and midwifery care for Throwback Thursday.

Since Joy first wrote about The Unique Perspective Midwives Bring to Birth back in 2009, we’ve posted many times on the subject. Here are my favorites!

Locally Raised Meat

Alpine Ranch Grass-fed Cattle in Northern Nevada

Alpine Ranch Grass-fed Cattle

Last week I posted about locally grown produce, since it’s the time of year to enjoy so many fresh fruits and vegetables. Locally raised meat can be found year round, but have you given it a try yet?

I’ve noticed meat stands have started to find their way in between produce stands at farmer’s markets, and a quick search helped me find all sorts of local meat options in my area. Many of these ranchers raise organic, free range meat including beef, lamb, pigs and chickens. Some corn finish their animals to produce a less gamey tasting final product, and some grass-feed all the way to the end.

When you are buying local meat, you are supporting several local businesses: rancher, slaughter house and butcher. Many of the ranches are small scale, so the whole family is involved, even kids! They all seem to be having a great time, and I love to know that these sorts of home businesses are sustainable even today. Our latest local beef came from Alpine Ranch and is delicious, and we’re in line to get pork from them as soon as it’s ready.

Buying meat at the farmer’s market can be pretty pricey, but if you buy in bulk from the rancher, you can get a great deal. Since local meat is gaining in popularity, you are no longer obligated to buy half a cow at once. The first time we bought locally raised meat I cleared a whole shelf in our freezer, worrying that we wouldn’t have room for it all. Once I loaded it all in, it took up a little less than half a shelf. The whole lamb we picked up last week took up about the same amount of room. Most ranches have smaller packages; we buy 40 lbs at a time. You might be able to spend a little extra to get a “grill package”, which will provide you with more steaks and less roasts.

There’s also the option of raising your own. Many communities allow small chicken coups, and I know more than one family with sheep and a cow on a few acres. If you don’t want a whole cow in your freezer, I’m sure it wouldn’t be hard to find friends willing to buy into your heifer. I know I would!

chocolate-peanut-butter-cookies

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookies

I’ve been making flourless peanut butter cookies for years (you know, the ones that have 1 C peanut butter, 1 C sugar, 1 tsp vanilla and 1 egg and take like, 5 minutes to make) so I can’t believe I just found out about this chocolate version.  I’m hooked!  I mean, just think of all the antioxidants from the cocoa powder!

My cousin brought these to a recent family gathering, and I immediately tracked down the recipe. I’m not sure it is the exact one she used, but it sure is easy and tasty just the same!

You don’t need a mixer to make these, and the baking soda is optional. At any rate, I’m sure you can find all the ingredients for these cookies in your cupboard, so start baking!

  • 1 C peanut butter (100% peanuts, not the sweetened kind)
  • 1 C brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 Tbs vanilla
  • 1/2 C cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • sea salt

Combine all ingredients into a smooth batter. Roll 1 tbs of dough into a ball at a time and place on cookie sheet. Flatten with a fork in perpendicular directions, like for traditional peanut butter cookies. Sprinkle each cookie with sea salt.

Bake cookies at 350F for 8 minutes.

Summer’s Bounty

U-pick Tomatoes, Yum!

U-pick Tomatoes, Yum!

There’s no better time than summer to enjoy locally harvested fruits and vegetables. We’ve lived a lot of places that have farmer’s markets and CSA shares year round, but Northern Nevada is not one of them. Our growing season is relatively short, from June to September, so we’re trying to make the most of the delicious produce that is coming our way.

We’ve had wonderful experiences with CSA’s over the years. You receive a box of fresh, local produce on a schedule. Not only do they ensure you are eating foods in season, but they encourage you to think outside the box and try new things (kohlrabi, any one?). The best way to find a good one is to ask around your community, or search LocalHarvest.

Farmer’s Markets are so prevalent it seems hard to find a town that doesn’t have one these days. They are fun to visit and your patronage helps support local farms, but you do pay a premium for whatever finds its way into your basket. The USDA keeps up a pretty good list of Farmer’s Markets around the US.

If you have the inclination, nothing is greener than having your own garden. Whether you have a few standing pots full of tomatoes, a raised bed with a few plants or a large plot, you’ll get to enjoy fresh vegetables without leaving the house. If you don’t have room for one, you can find a community garden to dig around in.

Are you into locally harvested fruits and vegetables? Do you grow them yourself or frequent a farmer’s market? What’s your favorite source?

TBT: Cloth Diapering Posts at The GBG

Over the years, we’ve posted quite a lot about cloth diapering.  Here are some of the highlights!

If you can’t read enough about cloth diapering, be sure to check out all the posts in our Diapers category!

Goodbye Disposables hello cloth diaper

Do you do cloth?

Unsupervised Children

Too Young to Walk Unsupervised?

Too Young to Walk Unsupervised?

By now, I’m sure you’ve all heard about the mom that was arrested for leaving her 9-year-old daughter at the park while she worked. Since it hit the news, it’s sparked quite the debate about leaving kids unsupervised.

My friends and I remember playing at the park, walking to school, and going to the corner store without an adult at that age. Perhaps we weren’t alone for as many as 6 hours, but we certainly didn’t have cell phones. When I talk to my parents and other people their age, they remember being even less supervised. Are things really that less safe nowadays?

Statistics show that stereotypical kidnapping (where the child doesn’t know the abductor) rates have not increased over the last 25 years. The US Department of Justice concludes, “Teenagers were by far the most frequent victims of stereotypical kidnappings”, according to their 1999 study. The study also concluded that there are an estimated 115 stereotypical kidnappings a year as of 1999, whereas the rates were twice that in 1988.

There are an estimated 58,200 “nonfamily abductions” per year, where the victims are not considered “missing”. It’s more like they were detained by an acquaintance (or disgruntled boyfriend) for a time. NISMART has a great description of the difference between these kinds of abductions. The FBI estimates that 367,500 children are abducted by family members per year. As Free-Range Kids so glibly puts it, “Your safest bet is to leave your child with a stranger”.

Maybe it just feels like there is more stranger danger because news travels fast in the information age. These accounts don’t make it easier to decide how much freedom to give your children.

At what age do you think kids should be allowed to play unsupervised at the park? Do you let your kids walk to school alone?

The Eco-nomical Baby Guide
Eco-nomical Baby Guide
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