Monday, July 30, 2007


Every day, I realize more and more how fabulous breastfeeding is. Not only is it the best possible food for Phillip, but after the initial discomfort and getting used to it, it is SO convenient! The 'getting used to it' thing is more of a process for some than others - at the beginning it definitely can be hard and is certainly uncomfortable. I'm so thankful for all of the nurses at the hospital who had such excellent advice and gave us a good start, and I'm glad that I didn't hesitate to ask for help. We can be at the park, the beach, a friend's house, and I have everything with me and ready when Phillip wants to eat. He's getting antibodies and boosts to his immune system, it's great time spent together, and it's the most natural thing in the world. And if I do need to be away from him during feeding time, I can pump and have milk ready and waiting.

The icon above is's international breastfeeding icon. You can order stickers or download the file from their website. There's also an excellent article on breastfeeding in their sample digital issue. Just click on 'contents' and 'A quiet place: becoming breastfeeding friendly'. Happy feeding!

Edited to add: And it's FREE!

Friday, July 27, 2007

oh mr sun, sun, mr golden sun

Diapers before... although they're thoroughly washed in hot water, there are stains. :(

The same diapers after a day in the sun - no trace of the stains, yipeeeeeeeeeeee! I was totally amazed when this happened yesterday, which is why I took the pictures today.
And can you believe that these roses were in our garden and we didn't know until today? I thought they might be a nicer note to leave off on than a story of stained diapers.

and the green glass grew all around...

I've been thinking of all of the 'green' things that we do (and were doing before it was the 'in' thing) and since seeing African Kelli's Green Week last week (which I missed, since I just discovered her blog this week) I thought I would try to list a few of them, so perhaps some of you readers out there might be inspired, or be able to suggest other things that we can be doing.

In no particular order, here are 7 small things which popped to mind (I'm a believer that small things do make a difference!)... I'll try to keep it brief.

1. Reducing plastic use: Plastics are pretty nasty for a variety of reasons, and I try to avoid them whenever possible. I store items in the pantry in glass jars, never put plastic in the microwave, and although I still use a Nalgene water bottle, I'm planning on ordering a Sigg one in the near future. Bisphenol A, which is essentially a hormone disruptor, is released from many plastics as they're used (like water bottles and baby bottles) and that just doesn't sound good to me. Things that are made from other materials (glass, wood, etc.) just seem more real to me, and their production is generally better for the environment than the manufacturing of plastics. I had been looking everywhere for glass baby bottles, and now I seem to have an abundance. I ordered some online when I was unable to find them anywhere else, and a wonderful friend of mine just found some at 'Grandma's Collectibles' for me. I try to avoid plastic wrap (especially in the microwave - try wax paper, which can be composted afterward) and take canvas totes to the grocery store. Oooh, that was a rambly one - I'll try to keep the rest shorter and less all-over-the-place.

2. Reduce, reuse, recycle: Reduce is the first one for a reason. If we reduce our consumption of goods, we're 'treading more lightly on the planet' (so many new catch phrases) and it just makes sense. Ask anyone you know, and chances are, they'll say they already have too much stuff. Reuse: I love buying previously owned things, because by doing so, I haven't supported the manufacture of another new thing and the use of new materials. And the stuff usually has more character, too. Cloth diapers are another way that we reuse rather than throw away. One other example is the reusable sandwich wrap I made for Adam so we don't use plastic wrap when he takes sandwiches to work. Recycle: We have an awesome recycling program here in Nova Scotia, so that part's easy - they pick up all of our recycling (glass, plastics, aluminum, paper) as well as compost at the curb.

3. Household cleaning:I now use primarily baking soda and vinegar for cleaning. When I use prepackaged products, I usually buy Nature Clean, which are unscented and are made from pronounceable ingredients. I use peroxide bleach rather than chlorine bleach, and wash laundry with biodegradable, unscented laundry detergent on sunny days when possible so it can be hung on the clothesline to dry. I use rags rather than paper towels and buy unbleached paper products when they're available.

4. Car: Now that I'm on maternity leave, our car sits in the driveway most days, and we walk when possible. Unfortunately, my job entails a lot of driving, so things are a bit different when I'm back at work. We have a compact car which is very fuel efficient, and we keep it well maintained so it stays that way.

7. Tools: We use a reel lawn mower, and none of our yard tools are gas or electric - they're all manual. As well as not polluting, they're generally a lot more safe to use, too!

Comments, anyone? I'm all typed out for now.

Edited to add: Check out this plastics chart to help you choose the best types when you're shopping.

Thursday, July 26, 2007


Does anyone else notice the similarities?

nice things

We ate at Rudder's, a local brew pub and restaurant, last night for supper with Adam's folks. It was delicious (I highly recommend the Captain's Fish Burger on focaccia), and I took a couple of pictures of decorate-y things I love. One is these wooden shutters, painted a perfect green with cream walls. Very pleasing. Another is this light fixture - my dream house will have one like it.
These popped up in the garden this week (I forget what they're called, but they're lovely).
And there's kind of a neat story behind these little flowers (which grow on very big stalks). Last summer when Adam's grandparents were here, we went to the wharf in the community where I grew up, and I saw this huge mass of these weeds. So I picked some and plunked them in a flower bed where they would be contained, and lo and behold, they came up and are flowering this year. I love the colours in the blossoms!

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

catching up

We discovered that the thorny 'weed' growing with one of our rosebushes is blackberries! Mmmmm, my favourites, even if they're seedy in one's teeth. Not too much longer to wait!
I enjoy these twiggy placemats with the iron lantern very, very much.
Hydrangeas are here!
Peas, please!
Here today, gone tomorrow (they are daylilies, after all).
Raspberries very soon!

There are so very many things I have thought about posting, but time is cut into much shorter chunks these days. Feed Phillip, play for a bit, put him to sleep, catch up on laundry, eat, nap, etc., and repeat. It's also more difficult to snag the computer if Adam's home, since he's busy with his photography projects. Also, our computer died for a couple days, but Adam was able to resurrect it (phew!). A nasty blue screen of death came up which informed us that the internal memory had been dumped. Adam ended up reformatting, which did the trick, and we're up and running. Thankfully, all of his pictures are on an external hard drive, which he also has backed up, so nothing was lost. My things are on there too, so it was no big deal - we just had some minor withdrawal symptoms for a few days. Anyway, I've been catching up on a bit of blog reading as Phillip is napping, and was inspired by some great projects and new-to-me blogs so here's my catch-up post.

Making things: I haven't been making too many things these days, aside from the odd card. I saw a very cool sewn card (I forget where, sorry!) that inspired me, so I'm hoping to create at least one of those in the next little while. Now who has the next birthday?

The garden: Wow, what a wild, wild, jungle! The phlox have come and gone, the raspberries are little green bunches of potential, the sugar snap peas are deeeeeee-licious, and the nasturtiums have ridiculous numbers of blooms. It's very, very wild, but very enjoyable.

Cooking: I haven't tried too many new recipes, but I made one of my favourites when our friends were here to visit for a few days. It's super easy and also deeeeeee-licious. Unfortunately, I didn't dare eat any, since beans seem to send their gassy vibes right through my breastmilk and make Phillip a very uncomfortable fellow (won't try that again!) but everyone else enjoyed it very much. It's very flexible, but goes something like this:

a couple cans of black beans
a can of corn niblets (I loooove the word 'niblet'. Also 'giblet' and 'riblet'.)
a few canned jalapenos, cut into bits, along with a tablespoon or two of the juice they're in
a bunch of grated cheese, either mozzarella or monterey jack
I discovered that rice is also a nice addition

Mix it all together and wrap in pitas or flat wraps for a yummy lunch. Mmmmmmm! Red peppers would also be tasty chopped up in it.

Frenchy's: Phillip has been to Frenchy's three times (yay!) And I've been to Frenchy's three times since he's been born. Mostly I've found some baby things, but I'm really eager to look through the bedding and curtains and see if there's some neat material there. I did find a great duvet cover which we're using as a bed spread (sans duvet inside) and it makes me glad every time I make the bed.

Baby-ness: As much as I don't want to be one of those people who talk incessantly about their kids, people keep wanting pictures and stories about Phillip. And since he is such a huge part of my life, the following are things I've been thinking about which relate to my very new role as mum. I do realize that the last several posts have been pretty much about him, and I'm trying to be a bit more well-rounded which also makes me feel much better and more like myself. That happens when I'm making things and out in the garden and cooking and doing all of the other things I love. Anyhoo, here are some things which I have found SO helpful for the first little while, and I feel obligated to share the joy and maybe save another mom some sleepless nights!

The Baby Whisperer: I can't recommend these books highly enough. There are also discussions on the website (click on 'message boards') with all sorts of helpful information on dealing with sleep, eating, and behaviour issues with babies. I've read two of the three books, and they have been invaluable for these first seven weeks of being a mum. I really can't recommend them highly enough, and Phillip's turning out pretty well! I had them recommended to me by a sane mum of four happy kids, so I thought I'd better read at least one. I borrowed the first one, "Secrets of the Baby Whisperer: How to Calm, Connect, and Communicate with Your Baby", from the library, and was very impressed. The second book, which I haven't read is "Secrets of the Baby Whisperer for Toddlers". I bought the third one, "The Baby Whisperer Solves All Your Problems : Sleeping, Feeding, and Behavior--Beyond the Basics from Infancy Through Toddlerhood" and have been using it ridiculously often. The third one is a summary of the first two. Although each topic is not as in-depth, I would recommend buying this one if you only buy one, since it does cover a lot more ground. These books have helped us to get through this first little bit with our sanity intact and confident in what we're doing. They offer practical, clear, straightforward information about how to get your baby to nap, eat, and sleep well, what to expect, what's normal, etc. But they're better than any other books I've seen. I don't feel like I can do the books justice - borrow them from the library and see for yourself!

The Miracle Blanket / swaddling: I am definitely a swaddling junkie - it calms Phillip down and keeps him from flailing around and scaring himself as he sleeps, as well as helping him to feel safe and secure when he's along in his crib. The problem is that he wiggles around and comes unswaddled sometimes, and needs to be re-wrapped pretty often. I came across the Miracle Blanket, and VERY quickly made a funny looking version of my own, which needs modification, but keeps him in! I would definitely recommend that any new mom either make one, buy one, or ask for one as a gift - you will be glad you did! I haven't been spending too much time here lately, but there are discussion forums on every possible aspect of natural living and mothering. TONS of natural recipes for everything you can imagine, tips for cloth diapering and positive parenting, green living, and on and on and on. You'll spend an afternoon browsing around, so get a cup of tea!

ahhh, summer

Ahhh, summer is one of my favourite times of year. We always get to see family and friends we don't see for the other 10/12ths of the year, and that's always lovely. We've also been busy trying to get out lots to enjoy the summer while it's here. Hence the reduced frequency of blog posts! We stopped briefly at Mavillette beach (about 30 minutes from here) on our way to drop off our friends at the ferry yesterday - it was beautiful, warm, sunny, and sandy, if a little overcast. My in-laws and one set of Adam's grandparents are here for a few days (it's really lovely to see them with Phillip) so I just might find some new Frenchy's finds to post about in the next couple of days. Now it's time to get up from your chair and either go outside and enjoy a deep breath of fresh air (depending on where you live, it might not be that fresh, I suppose) or do something unexpectedly nice for someone. Or both!

Wednesday, July 18, 2007


We had a fabulous outing yesterday to Ellenwood Park, and Phillip was so happy! We ran into a couple and their baby who we attended prenatal class with, so that was nice. Phillip slept for awhile while I read a Martha magazine from last summer - it was perfect.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

lashes and laughs and a birthday bash

This little guy is the happiest person on earth after his first feed of the morning. I always get a couple smiles, and yesterday he made the first little laughy sounds to go with the smiles!

We went to a friend's parent's camp to celebrate a birthday for most of the day yesterday, which was absolutely lovely. Phillip had a fussy kind of day, which was too bad, but we still had a good time (I hope everyone else did and didn't mind his crying!) We played games (my favourite thing - even if I'm just watching other people play it relaxes me) and hung out and had a delicious birthday supper. Have you ever played bocce with a baby in a carrier on your front? It's much harder than it looks.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

the toes, the toes!

As Phillip's toes get fatter and fatter (and consequently cuter and cuter), they're looking more and more like his dad's. Maybe it's just because he's got them squinched up. Regardless, they're pretty sweet little sausages.

The wee one had a standard night last night - he ate at 11, woke at 2 to eat, and was awake for an hour and 45 minutes, which is what we'd like to get him out of the habit of doing (ideally, he'd go right back to sleep, like he does after his 11 feed). Then he was up at 6, bright eyed and bushy tailed. I was noticing in the middle of the night that his smell is one of the things I enjoy most about being with Phillip - babies just smell delicious! And he's smiling more now, especially after he eats. That makes things a bit more fun - as much as I want him to stay small, I'm excited for when he'll be interacting more with his environment. It's fun, it's fun!

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

5 1/2 weeks

Phillip is 5 1/2 weeks old, and went almost 5 hours without eating again last night - yay! And since Adam gave him his last feed, I slept for almost 6 uninterrupted hours - double yay! I took these pictures of him this morning; notice the chubby cheeks, double chin, neck rolls and wrist bracelet of fat. He's packing on the pounds, that's for sure. We noticed last night that his knees have disappeared, and his feet now look in proportion with his body. His shoulder fuzz is gone, and I think he might be starting to lose some of his hair. He cried tears for the first time on Monday, and has outgrown some of his clothes - ack! He's down for his afternoon nap, and I think I'm off to dreamland to join him for an hour or so.

Monday, July 09, 2007


5 1/2 hours!

Yay! Phillip went for 5 1/2 hours without eating last night! He woke up in there because he unswaddled himself and his arms were flailing around, so with that and counting feeding time I didn't exactly get to sleep for 5 1/2 uninterrupted hours, but it was a very good night. Hopefully tonight he'll sleep for 5 1/2 hours...

Pictures were taken by mother-in-law when they were here a couple weeks ago - cute, eh?

Sunday, July 08, 2007

house mouse notes

I brought in some flowers from the garden last night to liven up the house a bit. Since I've been spending so much time here with Phillip, I thought I would post a few things I've noticed in the house. (And then I'm off for a nap!) I couldn't find a suitable vase for the daisies, so I cut them really short and tucked them in this little jar. Cute!
The peonies have come (and almost gone). The rain beat them up a bit the other day, so the pink outer petals are a bit bruised, but it's still beautiful. Check out Adam's peony pictures on his site.
Remember last summer when I found this magnificent mug at a yard sale? Well, it was being picked up to be washed yesterday, and the handle broke, the mug fell to the floor and here are its remains in the garbage. :(
I was thinking today about how much I enjoy these jars. I often see them at Frenchy's for 10 cents each, which is where I found these ones.

Monday, July 02, 2007

one month

Phillip is one month old today! He had his check-up with the doctor this morning, and he weighs 10 pounds 12 ounces and is 24 inches tall. He's peachy in every way possible and healthy as a horse. Mother-in-law bought this carrier for us awhile ago, and we tried it out for the first time today. I love it, especially how his little legs hang out! We waited to try it because there's no head rest persay, so we wanted his neck muscles to be a little stronger. I've been playing with adjusting it a bit, and it's really comfortable. Phillip likes it, too. MIL also bought an Over the Shoulder Baby Holder for us which we've been using a bit. It's OK, but I don't think it's the right size for me, so it's not terribly comfortable and Phillip seems to squish around a lot. But it does free up one hand. This one is also nicer because I can comfortably have both hands free (because the other one isn't quite the right size I don't like taking my hand away from supporting Phillip in case he decides to heave his head out. He doesn't like having his head way down in, so it's always peeking out.) Another first for the day - we tried the first cloth diapers on Phillip today, since he's a bit bigger! So far, so good, and no leaks! I used the prefolds with Bummis Super Whisper Wraps. They're definitely a lot bulkier than disposables, but Phillip doesn't seem to mind, and I certainly don't!
Mmmmmmm, fatty fatty milk. Adam noticed this morning that Phillip's getting fat bracelets on his little wrists! You know, where there's a big crease between fat rolls. How cute. It's so amazing that I can provide exactly what he needs to eat, without having to do anything to make it except for eating and drinking lots of water, which are things I do anyway. Incredible!
And shoulder fuzz! This was one of the first things that I noticed when I looked Phillip over after he was born. I wanted to take a picture before it falls out. Happy one-month birthday, Phillip!