Archive for April, 2011

April 18, 2011

Blooming Baby: Lifefactory

I stumbled across these gorgeous eco-friendly bottles. Not only are they green but they’re also gorgeous!! They are glass bottles with a silicone sleeve which comes in a number of colours. We all worry about the chemicals that are leaking from our baby’s plastic bottle into their milk or juice but this takes that worry away completely. The glass is free from chemicals and they’re super easy to clean as you can just throw them in the dishwasher. The silicone sleeve helps prevent breakage, looks stunning and provides good grip for either you or your baby to hold.

 9oz Baby Bottle

There are beverage bottles available too, however, they don’t have the “thermal shock” protection that the baby bottles do. The thermal shock resistance means that the baby bottle can go from freezer to fridge to hot water if you wish to store breast milk in the bottle for later use!!  The price isn’t too dissimilar from a regular baby bottle and in the UK they retail for about £9 for the 9oz size. They also come in a 4oz and 9oz size and can be converted from a baby bottle to a sippy cup style top by just buying the caps separately. The baby teats come in a range of flow rates so it’s just a case of buying the next stage of teat for your little bundle or even just buying new teats for a 2nd child rather than having to buy a whole new set of bottles!! They can also be converted to a snack holder using a lid.

Although Lifefactory are an American company the bottles are available from a couple of online stores in the UK too, like Colourful Baby World and Earthbaby although the accessories are more limited and I haven’t seen the adult beverage bottles available here. That being said even if you were looking for a baby gift that was a little bit different I’m sure they would be well received by most parents!

April 15, 2011

Somewhat Crunchy: The Great Cloth Diaper Change 2011

You may or may not have noticed my passion for gorgeous Fluffy Bums, my ever-growing stash of cloth nappies doesn’t seem to end! I stumbled across a link for The Great Cloth Diaper Change 2011 and of course my interest was immediately peaked. I hadn’t heard of this, what was it?


Artwork Courtesy of Christine O’Brien

According to their website it started as Judy Aagard’s [of TinyTots] dream to host an event for families to celebrate Earth Day and turned into a Guinness World Record attempt at the most cloth nappies [or diapers!] simultaneously changed! No matter where you are in the world you can take part on April 23rd, 2011 at 9AM PDT [that’s 16:00 for UK peeps!]  just by looking for a location near you to head over to [you may need to pre-register!]. There are certain requirements as per Guinness World Record rules so make sure you check those out too. Unfortunately there isn’t time to sign up to host a location but they are planning on running the event next year so if you’re unable to take part this year don’t be disheartened!

If you need more information you can head over to their website, or one of their Facebook groups, to find out more!

April 14, 2011

Intactivists

I was so excited at just 14 weeks pregnant [unfortunately due to a horrific bleed and threatened miscarriage] I was able to clearly see that Noodle was in fact a boy! It was confirmed at my 20 week scan as well as various other scans I’ve had due to both the bleed and the Hyperemesis Gravidarum. After the excitement started to settle that I was going to have “one of each” I started to think of all the differences this would mean. I thought about changing nappies and how I always hear that “little boys will pee in your face” and how he might look different, more… boyish? Mr BP talked about teaching him to play rugby and football and watching wrestling with him on TV. It’s not that we play into the gender stereotypes, he already wrestles frequently with Pandabear and some of her earliest words were “rock bottom” and “RKO” which is just charming as he slams her to the floor and I cringe that he’s too heavy handed with her! I think we all know no matter how much we try and steer clear of stereotypes it will happen, maybe it shouldn’t but it does. I could go on about gender stereotypes but that wasn’t why I started blogging today so I’ll leave that for another day!

 

 

One of the main thoughts that occurred to me was the fact that he might need circumcised. I’m sure my readers already know that I hail from the UK and that circumcision isn’t a common feature here unless it’s for religious [or medical] reasons. The thing is Mr BP, and both his brothers, needed circumcised for genetic medical reasons. It wasn’t done until they were in their early teens and all the proper anaesthetic and pain relief was provided. Why should I even need to mention anaesthetic and pain relief? In my browsing of other blogs I have found a number of our US Sisters – DrMomma has a number of different posts about circumcision and Pandamoly talks about her personal decision to leave her son intact – blogging about being “Intactivists“, I had no idea what this meant or what it was. It was only as I started reading that I realised they were talking about their sons [and other people’s sons] being left intact and not being circumcised. They talked about how horrific it was, how it was torture and brutality, I thought perhaps they were spouting their case a little too strongly and exaggerating the situation. The I watched the following video, I found it on both blogs, I thought my heart was breaking while I watched it. It is DEFINITELY not for the faint of heart, the babies cries are obviously ones of sheer pain. Where was the anaesthetic, the gas to knock him out? Nowhere to be seen…

 

*WARNING* THIS VIDEO IS HORRIFIC TO WATCH *WARNING*

 

I was honestly beyond shocked, I cried through the video and had to turn the sound off because I found it too hard to listen to. I couldn’t understand how the father of this poor boy who you hear talking to the doctor on the video can just stand there and hear his son screaming in pain and not want to grab him off the board and run. Now I understood, I understood why these other bloggers were talking about leaving your son intact and urging other mothers to make INFORMED decisions instead of just getting him circumcised “because it was the done thing”. There are hundreds of reasons as to why it’s best to leave your son intact, the video is just the first. This topic is such a huge one I couldn’t cover it all but there are lots of resources online for anyone who wants to know more – it might be worth starting with the two blogs I linked to earlier.

April 12, 2011

Penny Pinchers: ThredUP

It’s days like today that I am eternally envious of my US neighbours. Sometimes it really does feel like being in the UK we get the short end of the stick, although in saying that I’m sure there are plenty of examples proving the same for them!! While browsing some penny pinching sites online I came across this one, ThredUP, which deals in 2nd hand kids clothing but which is NOT available in the UK… I’m most upset!! It looks so easy and convenient.

Gift boxes

Just waiting to be opened! Photo by For Goodness Cake

You pick a box, you can search by gender and age or even add specific brands, and pay $5 + shipping for your box of gently used clothes. The sellers tend to list the types of clothes and even the season they are suitable for or whether they’re mostly tops or a mix. You put together a box of your kids clothes or toys that you no longer use or if they’ve outgrown them and send it on when someone wants your box. How easy is that!! I know I would be horrendously excited waiting for a box of unknowns to be able to go through them and admire each piece! It’s great if you’re trying to save some money or would rather recycle than buy new. There seems to be a real variety in the items listed too… now if only we had a similar service in the UK…

April 11, 2011

Somewhat Crunchy: Home-made Washing Powder Review

“Trial 1” went very well!! In fact since my post I’ve notched up 5 loads of washing, partly due to the excitement and testing of the home-made washing powder. It’s removed stains from a white hoodie stained with coffee and poo stained nappies and leaves everything smelling of… well… nothing! Everything just smells of clean, if you can call that a smell?! I just wish mine looked as good as this:

2113 Washing Washing by Andy Linden

Now I’m wondering if I should attempt some sort of pre-wash stain remover using the borax substitute as most of Mr BP’s jeans are destroyed from being at the horse yard he was volunteering at. I mean the minor stains weren’t really an issue at all but he wears the same jeans for a week and the dirt just gets ground in. The only stain left on the jeans I washed today is a large stain on the knee, looks like he was kneeling in something… I just don’t want to know what it was!

Having a huge tub of washing powder also encouraged me to make space for it so I took 10 minutes to clear the shelves under the sink – including the old used cloths, gross!!

All in all I feel as though I’ve been very productive!

April 10, 2011

Somewhat Crunchy: Home-made Washing Powder

I think using cloth nappies makes you think, not only about the amount washing detergent costs but, about the amount of chemicals you’re washing down the drain into the system AND putting next to your precious little’s bum! It made me look at my laundry pile in a whole different light and I started to think about eco-friendly ways to look after both my washing and my family. I found hundreds of washing powder recipe’s online and many other people who have obviously already “been there and done that”. It was nice to know I wasn’t alone in my quest and I immediately set to work to find the ingredients I needed for some. I used a recipe I found on Mother Earth News and have “trial 1” current running in my washing machine as I type this so I will update on how it all goes!!

I haven’t added the essential oils as being pregnant lavender can have an adverse effect but I’ll maybe add some orange essential oil if I want fragrance. As borax can be damaging to aquatic life I opted for borax substitute and used pure grated soap. I only made 75% yield of the recipe but you could cut it down as much as you needed/wanted:

Simple Washing Powder

16 cups washing soda
12 cups borax
8 cups grated castile or glycerin soap flakes*
3 tablespoons lavender, lemon or grapefruit essential oil

Combine washing soda, borax and soap flakes. Add essential oil and mix with a wire whisk. Use 1⁄8 cup per load.

Yield: This recipe makes enough powder to last a family of four one year.

Read more: http://www.motherearthnews.com/natural-home-living/make-your-own-lavender-laundry-detergent-for-pennies.aspx#ixzz1J9iG54Ns

Pure Grated Soap Flakes

I sat last night grating soap which sounds like a bit of an arduous task but no matter where I looked I couldn’t find soap flakes and buying them online meant waiting longer for something when I could grate my own!! It was surprisingly easy and therapeutic and I felt good knowing I had done the labour myself. I then set to work measuring all the ingredients and mixing them together, having only bought about half of the borax substitute that I needed I had to wait until today to finish it but I now have a nice big yield sitting in a box.

My Home-made Washing Powder

There are hundreds of recipes online for all sorts of eco-friendly, green cleaning products. My next stop will be white vinegar!!

April 5, 2011

MIA

I know I’ve been rather MIA the last couple of weeks, unfortunately the hyperemesis took a turn for the worse so I was concentrating on keeping myself OUT of hospital! So far, so good.  It’s hard to believe I hit 25 weeks yesterday, on one hand it seems like I only just found out I was pregnant and on the other it feels like I’ve been ill forever! Only 15 weeks left to go now – I’m not even worried about my little Ace arriving I’m just looking forward to the sickness ending as much as I hope it goes before I’m in labour at least I know that’s the longest I should have to deal with it.

Sunday was Mothering Sunday and I was blessed to received two beautiful cards, one from Pandabear and the other from “the bump”!!

 

I’m starting to build up a nice little stash of fluffy bums for Ace, most of them are pre-loved which I’m more than happy to buy because I’ve found the people selling them to be honest and reliable and look after their cloth!! Unfortunately Pandabear keeps trying to choose the blue nappies even though they’re far too small for her so I’ve had to splash out buying some blue fluffs for her too!! Today she was wearing her new Wee Notions “Funny Bunnies” and it’s so cute and fluffy!

 

Hopefully I won’t be so MIA now!! I’m still not well but I haven’t been readmitted either… keep on keeping on!!!