The Saturday Question: How Do You Help Your Child Connect with The Outdoors?

How do you manage to build your child’s relationship with nature?  Do you spend lots of time outside as a family?  Are you brave enough to camp and/or backpack with a young infant or many children?  How do you keep your baby from eating dirt while bonding with the outdoors?  

 

The Saturday Question: What Are Your Favorite Meat-Free Meals?

Cutting back on meat even one day a week can have tremendous economic and environmental benefits.  For more details, check out Rebecca’s post on this very topic. Many American dishes are meat-free, but we’d love to hear your family’s favorites.  Do they love bean burritos, spaghetti and marinara or something as sophisticated as eggplant parmesan?   Help inspire us with your meat-free favorites—and feel free to list recipes as well! 

The Saturday Question: What Are Your Earth Day Traditions?

There’s something magical about those holiday rituals we celebrate annually and now’s the best time to start establishing them for your growing children.  Are there special things you’re planning for Earth Day this year?

Earth Day falls on Wednesday, April 22nd, which isn’t terribly convenient for my family’s schedule, but we’re planning a family hike and picnic for the following weekend.  Perhaps, if I can still remember by next year, we will make this an official event.  It’s always been a bit special to my husband and me since we met while volunteering together on Earth Day of 1999.  Maybe we’ll bring some chocolate along to add a romantic flair to our excursion!  Are you planning anything special?  Do you know of any community events in which your children can participate?  

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The Saturday Question: What Are Your Favorite Vegetables and Fruits for Homemade Baby Food?

Our series on organic gardening has many parents planning a kitchen garden this spring.  But what should you plant in it if you’re also wanting to whip up several batches of home-blended baby food this summer?  Which vegetables are easiest to cook and process?  Which ones have you found are sure-fire hits with baby?  The easiest for my son were sweet potatoes, yams, and squash—all of which don’t mature until later in the season.  Are there other veggies that have worked well for you? Thanks for providing some planting inspiration for other new parents! 

The Saturday Question: What’s your favorite green cleaning product or recipe?

Some of you whip up homemade brews out of vinegar and baking soda while others of you are loyal to an eco-friendly company with products you love.  Do you have any tricks that we could learn from?  (My favorite is to use Borax for cleaning the shower–it’s amazing and so cheap!) Please share your secrets!

The Saturday Question: What was the best cloth diapering system for your second child?

As you may already know, I’m currently pregnant with our second baby and contemplating our cloth diapering options once again.  With Roscoe we used prefolds and covers exclusively until he was a year old and then experimented with a few types of pocket diapers.  Although we didn’t plan on it, my husband and I immediately found that we far preferred pocket diapers to prefolds.  For more rantings on why I love them so much, check here.

It seems a shame to buy a whole batch of pocket diapers when we have prefolds on hand in all sizes, but it’s been interesting to talk with other cloth diapering parents.  One mother I met used prefolds with her first, pocket diapers with her second and ended up buying all-in-ones for her third child.  This seems far too expensive to me, but I can see how with each child a parent would crave a more convenient cloth diapering system.   Of course pocket diapers and all-in-ones require more laundering but they are easier to put on, whereas at least with prefolds you can pay a bit extra for a diaper service. 

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The Saturday Question: What baby gear didn’t you need?

Were there any baby purchases that never even made it to the nursery?  Did you end up with a child who hated her swing or was too big for the new cloth diapers you had on hand?  Did you toss a whole box of stuffed animals in the attic?  Which purchases have you ended up regretting since baby arrived?  This is a great spot for expectant parents to look so that they can winnow down those baby registries to the things that really matter.  Thanks for your input!

The Saturday Question: How often do you wash cloth diapers?

Some of you wash every other day while others let the loads build up for over a week before tossing them in the wash.  What would you recommend as a washing schedule for those just getting started?  How frequently do you have to launder them so that smell isn’t an issue?  We all have different tricks for keeping those diapers clean while cutting down our workload.  What are yours?

The Sunday Question: How Do You Divide Domestic Chores with Your Spouse?

In just a few months, I’ll be enjoying maternity leave.  It’ll be a treat to have a few months off since with my first child I went back part time when he was just six weeks old.  Since I never really had the time to be home, my husband and I have split laundry, cooking and cleaning pretty evenly from the beginning.  This time I wonder if it will be different since I’ll be home for a stretch and might feel obligated to pick up more domestic duties.  How have you managed to share the household workload with your spouse?  Did it change during maternity leave–and more importantly, if you did go back to work how did it shift again?  Any advice you can offer will be greatly appreciated!

The Saturday Question: What was your favorite healthy snack during pregnancy?

It’s official.  I’m hungry every fifteen minutes.  It’s tough to always grab healthy foods on the go, especially with pregnancy cravings haunting me when I’m at my hungriest.  Do you have any ideas for snacks that I may not have thought of yet?  I eat lots of nuts and some cheese, but I’m still famished much of the time.  Thanks for sharing your insights!