Tuesday, March 27, 2012

New Theme for Earth Month

So last year for Earth Month I did a green tip a day. Well this year I am going to focus each post from now to Earth Day on promoting companies who either use mostly recycled materials, are organic, healthy, and earth friendly. I have collected a list of at least ten to start off so get ready to spend yet another amazingly fun Earth Month with THE GREEN MOMMY :)

Sunday, March 18, 2012

A Look Back at Cloth Diapers

I began using cloth diapers almost as soon as the stick turned positive. I had always known I would like to use them with my children. That was never a question but when I finally got pregnant and knew we were going to be parents I knew without a doubt that this was a journey I needed to take. So the first thing I did was research everything I could. 
Now this was Spring 09. There was a lot less out there even three years ago then there is now. Believe me. I knew all of 2 other Moms who had used cloth and of those one switched back to disposables as soon as her daughter hit about 9-10 months. I was so alone. That actually was a huge reason why I started this blog. Cloth diapers and breastfeeding were what really pushed me to start blogging. I realize now looking back I have written very little on cloth diaper or my experiences with them. So this post is hopefully going to change that a bit. In a blog where over half the posts are about breastfeeding, a good chunk on vaccines and circumcision, a huge chunk on healthy food, composting, organic, and gardening.. but almost nothing about the one thing that drove me to blog in the first place.
So where was I? Oh yes so alone. So I researched and I researched, I asked on forums and got no where. I even was publicly mocked for being "one of those greenie crunchy granola Moms". 
So when I felt I had a semi grasp on things I started registering for baby items. We at no time registered for disposable diapers, and instead were registered for prefolds, covers, and pocket diapers, and snappis. What we received was over 10 large giant packages of disposables by the time our son was born. Most from family some from friends. We gave them all away to other Moms we knew weren't cloth diapering. I don't have an actual pic of it but the pile looked like this.
We did however get one dozen prefolds from my boss with the statement "Here I got you these but as soon as you have that baby you will want real diapers and then just ask and I will get you some.. you can always use these for cleaning rags." 
I felt like I was just going to have to fight tooth and nail to make people listen to me.. I wasn't trying to convert the world (like I do now lol) I just wanted to be left alone to diaper as I wished. I had already gotten Hubby on board though he was skeptical. I think he really thought I would give in and he wouldn't have to learn how to use them. Right before Bug was born I showed Hubby how to change a prefold diaper on a teddy bear and when he saw how simple those were (and let me tell you those are the more complicated ones) he was totally gung ho for cloth. 
So I started trying to even make some of my own. I made a bunch of prefolds using a pattern I found online on how to convert old tee shirts into prefolds. 
I also made a fitted diaper out of receiving blankets. 
Then right before our son was born we were given the best gift of all. our good friends lent us all their cloth diapers to get started with. It was about 30 pockets and fitteds. Most were one size and Bug grew out of them quickly but it was enough to last until he was about 9-10 months and by then we had built up our own supply. 
Then right before he was born I bought four nb sized fitteds off another cloth Mom. They only fit him for a few weeks but it helped. 
By the time Bug was actually born we had a somewhat plan of how to do cloth but it was a epic journey full of twists and turns. We had to use disposables until we came home from the hospital because we had been told we could not use cloth there. I hated it but as soon as we got him home we gladly switched. We used prefolds for about the first 2 months. Then we switched to the pockets and fitteds. 
When he was about 3 months old our washer and dryer broke and for 3 weeks I hand washed cloth diapers in the tub and hung them to dry. All while going back to school for the first time in 5 years. We bought our new washer and dryer but not before using disposables for a week.. and oh wow I was so happy to go back to cloth. 
By the time he hit 12 months we had tried every kind of diaper there is just about. fitteds, pockets, prefolds, flips, bamboo, all in ones, pricey diapers, cheapy diapers, one size fits all and the pockets that are small medium or large. 
By about the time we started potty training the first time (15 months) we knew exactly which diapers worked best for our family. What had worked best for us was one size adjustable pocket diapers. The ones with adjustable thigh snaps were the best ones. Sunbaby and Alvababy ended up being our favorite brands for that reason. 
All in all we ended up using cloth for 29 months not counting the prep time before Bug was born. Cloth was overall an amazing experience. Hubby not only quickly got  used to it but now swears by it and wonders how people do disposables, with the leaks, blowouts, stinky chemical smell, running out all the time and always always having to buy more diapers. Bug preferred being in his cloth diapers and I definatly spent the last 3 years trying to convert as many other Moms as I could. Now 3 years later... almost every mother I know uses cloth. Why anyone wouldn't is beyond me. We have saved literally 1000's and 1000's of dollars and we will be going into baby number two with no cost at all except for maybe just a handful of cute pink and purple diapers if number two is a girl. 
So anyway our journey with cloth is over now.. at least for Bug. Hopefully soon we will have another little bundle of squirmy arms and legs to strap into a cloth diaper. As a sort of farewell to cloth we washed them all today and hung them on the line. It was nice to see them all hung up one last time.
So there you have it.. this chapter is closed but we will be opening it again with our second child. It is sad to say goodbye to diapers but really amazing to have a happy potty trained big boy in the house.

In Like a Lion... Out Like a Lamb....

This has been the oddest March I can ever remember. We live about as far North as you can get in the USA without crossing over into Canada, but even saying that we very rarely have a March where there is snow unless it has already been on the ground and is melting slowly. But neither do we get temperatures above 50 at the absolute highest. 
Well this March started like this:

And a mere two weeks later we have this:

Shorts and tee-shirts, and sundresses are the fashion for this weekend when it hit a high of 78 degrees today here in the North-country.
I am not complaining at all though. I managed to finish getting in the garden and planted all the plants in pots until I am sure it will stay warm enough to put them in the garden. Right now having them in pots I can bring them in if need be.
All in all though we had a wonderful weekend in the sunshine. The Garden looks awesome so far, the marigolds are planted, the daylillies are up and icecream cones were eaten on the lawn. I hope everyone is enjoying this odd but fun March. 

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Garden update and more Birthing Dolls

This is basically going to be a picture post of our garden and some of the new birthing dolls I made. Enjoy!

The Great Cloth Diaper Change

Last year I attempted to host this event. However at the time I knew only like two other cloth diapering Moms who lived anywhere near here. So I cancelled the event and as a result met my now good friend Liz. So this year we discussed hosting it together. I will admit Liz has done 99.9999% of the work though. She is amazing. Through her the NNY area now has a location, tee-shirts, goody bags, and the event is ago. The Green Mommy will be helping the event though, doing whatever she needs me to do, and even putting flyers and 10% off coupons in each goody bag. Fern I think will be with us at the event too. Bug has a habit of carrying her around now.
So what is the Great Cloth Diaper change? http://greatclothdiaperchange.com/ It is a large event hosted all over the world to try and break the record for changing the most cloth diapers at once. It takes place on Earth Day each year and is a great way to spread the word about cloth diapering. I am already getting so excited about it... mostly because this time last year I knew only two other Moms who cloth diapered. I k\now know so many I can't keep track. My cloth diapering group now has over 80 people in it. This has been such an eventful year for both cloth diapering as well as The Green Mommy in general. I had a few posts go kind of viral, one of which got my blog 450 hits in one day. It's mini viral but hey I will take it. The more Moms I reach out to, the more Moms who decide to live more environmentally friendly, to cloth diaper, give breastfeeding a try, maybe even start a compost bin and always recycle... well that's more Moms making a difference in this world for the future generation. So if you are a local reader than please join us in Massena NY and if you are not then I urge you to seek out a local event place near you.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Mayim Bialik: A voice for Attachment Parents everywhere

When I was little (about 7) there was a show on the air, Blossom.
Actress Mayim Bialik played Blossom on the show and she was my role model. I looooooved Blossom. I wanted to dress like her, act like her. I even had the Blossom, Six and Joey dolls. I had hats like she had and even wore an awful lot of denim skirts and long socks. She was who I wanted to be.
Then of course I grew up and the name Mayim Bialik sort of vanished from my memory, until that is one day when I was watching one of my all time favorite geektastic shows, the Big Bang Theory. I turned to my husband and said "why does she look so familiar?" In .02 seconds he had IMDBed the episode and scanning her name he said "Oh She was Blossom!" My jaw dropped. I felt like a little kid again. So reeling in my fangirlness, I enjoyed that first episode and enjoyed it even more when her new character Amy Farah Fowler became a recurring cast member.
Then last night an interview popped up on one of my AP Mom groups. I immediately was intrigued as to what Mayim Bialik had to do with Attachment Parenting. As it turns out- a lot! A whole lot! Mayim herself, like her character on TBBT, has a PHD in Neurobiology. I also did not know that. Yay Bio girls!!! (in case you are new to this blog I have a bio degree and am debating which area I would like to go for my PHD in someday. I am thinking Limnology.) Mayim also just wrote a book on AP. The book is available all over and is called "Beyond the Sling". I am so excited to read it. I since last night have spent a good chunk of time reading interviews with her, watching video posts of hers and basically learning all I can about this mother of two boys who raised them so far 100% AP.
 Mayim and her husband unschool (homeschooling but with no set curriculum), they do not diaper, they have a family bed, they are vegan and cook at home. They do not live extravagantly, instead they shop a lot like my husband and I do, at thrift stores, second hand shops, and farmer's markets. Her husband is a stay at home Dad, which is our plan too as soon as I can get a good enough job in the Biology world. Basically except for us not being Vegan (I am slowly buying almost all our meat, eggs and fish locally sourced and free range.. it is taking longer than I would have liked to figure it all out. We did however just cut all animal milk out of our family diet and switched instead to Almond Milk. No soy milk of course, that stuff is lethal through and through.) and that we chose cloth diapers instead of no diapers, we are so similar. Our hubbies even look a little alike. :)
So alas I find my fangirlness rising again, but this time for her achievements as a mother, a writer and a biologist and not just for making me laugh on Thursday nights. I would just love to somehow have her do an interview for the blog here.. but that is probably too high a dream. I do have to say though, as someone who long ago walked away from celebrities as anything to admire... must now retract that. I long ago admired one that now as an adult I not only admire but now see is a worthy face of Attachment Parenting to a world that often does not understand us.
Mayim Bialik if you ever read this I can't help it.. you are wonderful.

Monday, March 5, 2012

WAHM? Not Always.... Who is really making your "handmade products"?

As you all know, the Green Mommy (me) hand makes all the products that are in this blog and in my FB page/store. I try to use as many green and locally made materials as I can and almost always support local businesses. Many are made to order with the wishes of the buyer taken into consideration. I never and will never buy items wholesale overseas and resell them.That being said... many don't do this. I recently have become aware of many so called WAHM (work at home mom) companies which sell Chinese and overseas made merchandise at a huge markup and either change the snaps or the tags or just a few things and call it "hand made".
Most of these companies either sell diapers or leg warmers, though many sell crocheted hats, knitted baby clothes, and even cloth baby shoes. I recently had to ask a girl to leave my cloth diapering group on FB because she was reselling overseas diapers for a markup and calling them WAHM made. Her company is called G-Bug Fluff Diapers. Please do not support this woman. Another such company is Oh Fancy Baby Diapers. This company is even more insidious because she changes the colors of the snaps on overseas diapers and then calls them handmade. This is another one to stay away from. I can not remember the names of all the companies  that I have come across that do this... but honestly it is up to you as the consumer to become aware of what you purchase.. sadly there is a massive counterfeit arm of the cloth diapering and handmade children's clothing and toy world and it is up to us as consumer to be aware. Please as a crafter and Green Mommy who works very hard on each piece of merchandise I create, please only support companies who are honest. I have no issues with buying from overseas... but buy directly from them without giving more money to liars.

Green Mommy Birthing Dolls

A few days ago a friend of mine and fellow green mommy showed me some interesting dolls. They are called Mamamour Dolls and they are amazing. Truly. They are breastfeeding and birthing dolls that come with a baby and for a little more you can buy a ring sling for your doll too. I absolutely fell in love with them but at the asking price of 175-190 a piece ring sling not included... I could not buy one. So I set out instead to make one. So over the weekend I created my first Green Mommy Doll. At first it started as an experiment to see if I even could do it, and to make one for the friend who showed me the dolls, but quickly turned into many people asking to buy one. So I thought about it, weighed how much supplies would cost me.. and what I could do and settled on a price of 60$ for just a breastfeeding doll and 75$ for a full breastfeeding and birthing doll. I do not want my dolls to be a straight copy of her dolls but I hope to develop them to have my own style and touch, though the first one came out a bit like a copy. I also am offering the ringslings free of charge with each doll. I do not know how many orders I can take at a time since I am but one person.. but I will take them as they come.  So without further ado.. here is the very first Green Mommy Birthing and Breastfeeding Doll.
I haven't made her shoes or sweater yet but she has snap nipples and the baby has a snap mouth for breastfeeding, she has a cute dress and adorable ringsling, she has brown, blue and green hair, and she has a birthing stomach and her baby comes with a detachable umbilical cord and placenta.
Here she is before she had a face or clothes or a baby or the birthing stomach.
Here is an idea of how big she is.. she stands at 20 inches tall.. I was shooting for the 18 inches of the Mamamour Dolls but I think my pattern that I cam up with ended up a tad bigger.. she is super tall though.. about the size of most large nb babies.
Here she is giving birth...
The umbilical cord and placenta attach with a snap to the babies belly button.
She breastfeeds through slits in her nursing dress.

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