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!

Advertisements
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!!!

March 14, 2011

Healthy Bump: Baked Potato Recipe

Most people do try and eat a bit more healthily during pregnancy although it can be so difficult, particularly if you’re suffering from morning sickness or HG. The smell of most foods is off putting and I know for myself being afraid of vomiting everything back up again I worry about eating harder foods knowing they will be more painful. One thing I have managed to eat during my pregnancy is potatoes! Now, of course, I’m from Northern Ireland and we do love our potatoes here so it’s an automatic choice for me!

There are so many ways to cook potatoes but one way for an easy meal without filling yourself too much is a jacket [baked] potato! I came across this recipe today for a crock pot jacket potato which I’d never even thought of, I haven’t had a chance to try this out but the comments on the bottom seem to reiterate that it’s  good recipe. Not only that it’s something you can customise with whatever you’re craving that day – throw some pickles on top!! My MIL made me a jacket potato with bolognese and cheese on… delicious! So pop over to the website for the recipe, extremely easy and should allow you to chill out and watch TV and later pretend to your partner/husband/children/mother that you slaved away to make some perfect potatoes for their dinner!

Crock Pot Baked Potatoes recipe | Skip To My Lou

Image belongs to Skip To My Lou

March 12, 2011

Interview with Alternative Mama

I love reading other Mama’s blogs and one I particularly love is Alternative Mama‘s blog. I approached her last week about doing a collab post to raise awareness about HG and happily she was really up for it so pop over to her blog to read my interview with her!!

Hyperemesis Gravidarum | Alternative Mama.

March 9, 2011

Emotionally Breaking Down

I spent most of last week feeling horrendous with my ketones sitting about +2 all week. I worked as hard as I could to stay out of hospital and was both anxious and excited about my 20w scan last Friday [4th March]. The scan went perfectly, nothing was wrong all the measurements were taken, they checked my placenta which is no longer covering my cervix and isn’t even low lying anymore [that means I can have another natural birth!] and it was very obviously a BOY on the screen! They put my EDD back by 1 day so I’m now “due” 18th July 2011!

After having to get showered, dressed and leave the house just to go to the scan [which was a necessity!] I started feeling more ill. I progressively felt sicker on Saturday as the day went on. By Sunday I’d had nothing since Saturday lunchtime… when the sickness hits, it hits. On Sunday afternoon I’m starting to worry… it’s Pandabear’s 2nd Birthday on Tuesday 8th and I do NOT want to be in hospital on her birthday. I check my ketones. +3. It’s not looking good. An hour later. +4. It’s time to go to hospital. I’m angry but I know it’s for the best, I know it’s best for little Noodle who has fought so hard this pregnancy.

I phone round to arrange care with family for Pandabear, she’s sorted… I made my way down to the hospital for my 6th admission, this pregnancy, in 21 weeks. Fortunately they hooked me up to the IV pretty quickly, a quick bag of Hartmanns will always make me feel better. As I’m now past 20w I no longer get stuck in the gynae ward for rehydration but go to the maternity ward. The bonus being there’s free TV, the downside is all the women going through labour at 3am really make it difficult to sleep! I felt really down the whole time I was there, it’s getting to me… the Hyperemesis is really getting to me. I keep having to reign myself in from thinking “Why Me?” all the time when I should be thinking “Why NOT me?”. It’s frustrating, it’s stealing the last time I have with my beautiful daughter, our alone time, it’s stealing my love of food [after spending my teenage years and beyond with Anorexia Nervosa for 14 years food is still a novelty to me but that’s a story for another day!], it’s stealing my sanity. I feel like I’m either stuck on the sofa [which now has an indent where my ass has been for 4 months!] watching rubbish daytime TV, or I’m in hospital hooked up to a drip. I almost wish I could do the IV thing myself, it would make my life so much nicer – I feel more alive and more human when I’m getting fluids into my arm. At this point I feel like my words are on longer expressing how I feel, I have recently started reading a blog about another sufferer of Hyperemesis Gravidarum and she has such a better way with words than I do so I’m going to quote part of her latest post here [PLEASE stop by her blog, it really is a great read]:

The emotional battle, though, I feel like I am losing.  Sometimes I think of myself in the past tense.  I used to love to travel.  I used to be an active and involved mom.  I used to love, love, love eating food.  I feel like I am forgetting the person I used to be and I wonder if I will remember how to be that person when this is all over.  It’s harder and harder to get out of bed.  It’s harder and harder to take a shower.  Friday, I just lay in bed filthy.  Mom is doing her best to encourage me and get me moving, but I know she’s frustrated.  Is there such a thing as pre-partum depression?

Let me be very clear.  HG causes depresssion, not the other way around.  No amount of fresh air, getting up and moving around, showering, or thinking positive will make this disease go away.

I don’t feel like a pregnant lady.  I think we HGers have more in common with cancer patients than pregnant women.  Granted, our illness isn’t terminal assuming we have proper medical support.  But with all the stuff we have to deal with: IVs, PICC lines, running out of veins, arms destroyed by needle sticks, central lines, TPN, NJ feeding, and just the intensity and length of the sickness.  It’s not fair.

~ Knocked up, Knocked over blog


I managed to get out yesterday [8th] for Pandabear’s birthday. I picked her up from nursery and because it was Shrove Tuesday I made pancakes for us when we came home before Daddy arrived and she was given her presents! Here she is playing in her new Hello Kitty tent with her Peppa Pig wearing her “new” [it’s 2nd hand really!] bumblebee Issybear nappy!! She loved it, kept pointing out the bumblebees!!


March 4, 2011

Put Your Feet Up!

We all know the lifelong debate about who has a stronger pain threshold – men or women. There have been so many studies done trying to establish who can cope with it better, I’ve watched various studies including one that concluded that men can cope with more pain where women can endure pain for a longer period of time. It never really answers the question though, the real question is “Could a man go through labour”!!! As a women who laboured naturally, using only the birthing pool for relief, I know the true pain of labour and the endurance of it for 14.5 hrs which in the grand scheme of things isn’t that long compared to some women. I doubt very much that a man could endure that amount of pain for that long!! But then I’m biased! One man has gone to prove that men are the stronger sex by replicating labour and enduring it – Dr Andrew Rochford. Really he can only replicate half of labour because a lot of the pain is obviously felt by the cervix and muscles stretching to unbelievable proportions which they couldn’t replicate!

Although I don’t believe the video is wholly accurate on experience exactly what contractions and labour pains feel like, as they are internal rather than external, I think it’s definitely worth a watch! They do test their experiment on a mother of 4 to begin with to establish how “like labour” it really is. Go on, put your feet up and have a watch!