Sunday, January 31, 2010

the newest in brag books--memolio

do you have a bunch of wrinkled up little photos of your kids mashed into your wallet?  you have to check out memolio!  just upload your 24 photos---then zoom, rotate, and rearrange to your heart's desire---and voila!  you have a mini photo album.

perhaps your valentine needs 24 photos of your sweet face?

Thursday, January 28, 2010

if it's good enough for giselle, it's good enough for you...home birth!!

news has just been released that supermodel giselle's december 8, 2009 birth of her son with tom brady took place in their boston home's bathtub!  yeehaw!!  love it!

read more here.

other celebrities that have had home births include cindy crawford, alyson hannigan, erykah badu, maria bello, and ricki lake.  ricki captured her home birth in her phenomenal home birth documentary the business of being born.  you HAVE to watch this film if you are pregnant.

please don't give your kids cell phones...

...or if you do, please tell them to keep them turned off unless they need them for an emergency.  more scary information has come out about the damaging effects of cell phones.

please read more here.  here is an excerpt:

"sadly children and teens are at an even higher risk [than adults], as their thinner skull bones allow for greater penetration of cell phone radiation.  the radiation can enter all the way into their midbrain, where tumors are more deadly.  in addition, children's cells reproduce more quickly, so they're more susceptible to aggressive cell growth.  their immune systems are also not as well developed as adults.  lastly, children face a far greater lifetime exposure."

try to minimize your own cell phone use around your kids (and yourself!!).

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

fda finally admits bpa is bad

ten years after leading scientists have questioned the safety of bpa (bisphenol a), the fda has finally said, this month, that it is to be of some concern for effects on the brain, behavior and prostate gland in fetuses, infants, and young children.  read more on jennifer taggart's smartmama site.

bottom line, stay away from canned foods (nearly all have bpa in the lining) and polycarbonate plastic (marked by #7 on bottom of container).  use more glass!!  replace as much plastic as possible in your life with glass or stainless steel.

check out:

eden organic food products who have non-bpa lined canned foods. find them at whole foods or online.

non-bpa products website the soft landing.

non-plastic products at the website life without plastic.

Monday, January 25, 2010

handmade beautiful natural wood teethers and rattles

check out the little alouette etsy shop for organic, unique wooden teethers and rattles.   they even make them in letters if you would like a personalized teething rattle.  i'm not sure about your babies, but my son wanted to gnaw on anything and everything from about 3 months onward.   these types of teethers were great for him...especially the rattling ones with the beans inside.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

highchair time

i have spent the last 14 months since my son's birth avoiding getting a highchair.  i knew it wasn't in the budget to spend $200-$500 on a cool one, yet i desired something non-plastic and non-hideous looking.

my main avoidance was actually because there is something so unnatural to me about being strapped into a 5-point harness while just trying to enjoy a meal.  you know, the r.i.e. method (which we do take follow in this department) says to feed kids on your lap until they are able to feed themselves.  at which point, they should have their own little table to sit at.  the belief is that the child will be able to make his own decisions about how much he wants to eat....when he is finished, he can get up.   i digress....

anywhoo, i was procrastinating thinking i would have to dig up an old wooden highchair on craigslist or something.  fortunately, i came across a great wooden chair by svan called the anka highchair that retails for $179.

it comes in a few different non-toxic wood finish options, folds up, includes a washable cushion, has a wooden tray or plastic tray cover that is phthalate and bpa-free, is made of sustainable birch wood, is adjustable from 6 months to 5 years old, is table height, and has a 3 point belt harness.  perfect!!!

oh, and you don't have to move into a mid-century modern house to feel like your highchair fits into your home decor.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

is it just me?

i find myself constantly needing stationery for all of the thoughtful gifts that people give my son.  i had been wanting to find a cute simple little card that i could quickly grab to write a thank you note and pop into the mail.   as not green as it is, i am trying to keep the hand written note alive.  i'm not always good at it, but i found these adorable cards by paper culture and hope to now be better!  these guys make everything from personalized children's stationery to baby shower invitations to photo holiday cards.  plus, they are eco-friendly, donate some proceeds to non-profits, and, finally, they will even mail them out for you!

lavage : like a neti pot for the ear

i had the coolest thing done at my doctor's appointment yesterday.  it was an ear lavage.  i had never heard of this in my life.  basically, the nurse fills a jumbo syringe with warm water and shoots it into your ear, and it all runs right back into a little bowl (ok, it was technically a bedpan--new, of course) that you hold below your ear.  oh, and i forgot to tell you the point of all of clean the wax out of your ear. eventually, the water breaks the lodged wax out and the nurse uses a little plastic crochet needle-looking device to pull the little wax blob out.  i feel like a new woman!

Friday, January 15, 2010

cloth diapers part 2---washing time

i love when a hater says, "well, aren't cloth diapers bad for the environment since they need SO much water to wash them all the time?",  because the answer is no.  i won't go into all of the reasons as you will see for yourself if you go cloth, but the fact of the matter is that the more diapers you buy the less you have to wash them.

if you go with my recommended 24 diapers to start, you will be washing them every few days during the newborn phase and even less later.  as a matter of fact, my son only pooped once a week from 4 months until we started some solids at 11 months.....granted, he peed of course, but you can leave a wet dipe on longer than a poopy dipe.

anywhoo...onto the washing instructions.  read carefully please:

when you first get your diapers, you HAVE to do the following prep in order for them to absorb/work:

1.  wash in cold water with detergent
2.  wash in hot water with a second rinse with detergent
3.  dry
4.  repeat steps 1-3 FOUR times or until diaper absorbs water

use a non borax detergent like planet, ecos or charlie's soap.  i believe whole foods has all of these.

1.  wash in cold water with detergent
2.  wash in hot water with a second rinse with detergent
3.  dry

***regarding washing wool diaper can ruin wool's natural oils by over washing it.  if pee gets on the cover, you only need to lie it out in the sun as wool is naturally anti-microbial.  spot clean poop with cool water and a little natural soap.  never wash or dry in the machine, and for long term maintenance, read more at the bottom of the page here.

cloth diapers part one---here's the poop

ok, i have been procrastinating on this post for months, because although i am a huge fan of cloth diapers, explaining the set up of a system can leave one's head spinning.  i put in hours on researching the most efficient organic options when i was pregnant a year ago.  i was pleasantly surprised to discover that cloth diapers now look exactly like pins!!

though it may not always be obvious, i enjoy being a woman of few words when i'm explaining things, so i will try to keep this simple.

here goes...

i will explain the set up for a newborn, sourced from basically the cheapest sites on the web, and you can tweak where necessary:

buy 24 of these in size newborn----my son still fits into these at 13 months.  if they are not available, buy 24 of these in size small.

buy 2 of these in size small----these are the alternative to plastic waterproof covers and rock!  awesome for night leaks over a disposable diaper too.

buy 30 of these----terry wipes ideal for poops
buy 36 of these----flannel wipes for pee, poop, night breastmilk leaks, burb cloths, etc.

buy 2 of these in size small----an alternative to plastic bags if you need to stash wet dipes and wipes while out

buy one or 2 of these in size 20L----an "odor proof" pedal can with removable bin.  buying 2 is ideal... more time until laundry day.   if you're doing disposables too, put disposables in one and washables in the other.

please be sure to read my next post on laundering your cloth diapers. you'll want to know what you're in for...that sounded bad, but really it's not at all.

side note...we put our son's changing table on our bathroom countertop for easy access to toilet and sink, containing (infrequent) smells to one small room, and for easy night changes since we do bed-sharing.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

local : api meeting this saturday on birth bonding

the local los angeles chapter of attachment parenting international is meeting this saturday.  guest speakers are marjie hathaway and her son jay hathaway.  they will be discussing birth bonding.
marjie popularized the bradley birthing method when she co-authored (with her husband) the book husband coached childbirth in 1965.

to attend this meeting, sign up for the email list, and be sure to rsvp with mary king at

meeting info:

saturday january 16th
reed park auditorium
1133 7th st (and wilshire)
santa monica

find out about attachment parenting international meetings in your area by clicking here.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

will you do eye treatment for your newborn?

last week i mentioned several things that you may want to consider before you give birth (aka have a birth plan).  one of them was eye treatment of your new born baby in the hospital.  silver nitrate or erythromycin ointment are the 2 common treatments given to babies to avoid conjunctivitis or eye infections.  these solutions are highly recommended for mothers who have chlamydia or gonorrhea as the bacteria from those can be picked up in the birth canal and cause serious problems.

if you do not have chlamydia or gonorrhea---get checked during one of your prenatal visits to be sure---you may consider doing no treatment.  we discussed this with our pediatrician, and he told us that as far back as the 70's, his pediatric books said acceptable eye treatment was silver nitrate, erythromycin, or nothing.  each was equally weighted for babies of healthy mothers.  he also mentioned that during his residency, he put erythromycin ointment in his eye to see what it would feel like for a baby, and it stung and was blurry for about 45 minutes.

in the end, we decided to do as close to nothing as possible "to" our baby after he came out.  i sort of felt like i killed myself to have a really natural pregnancy and homebirth and so really wanted the baby to have an as peaceful as possible existence after arrival.

this is something that you should read more about if you are on the fence, but please know that it is totally your choice as to whether or not your precious new baby is treated or not....

great magazine for organic moms

i feel like i'm cheating on my all time fave magazine, mothering, here....but i must say, kiwi magazine is sliding into second place for sure!  it's sort of like an organic version of recently-shuttered cookie magazine.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

nap tips

my god,  what new parent doesn't want all the nap tips they can get?---oh the beloved nap!!

i'm not about to tell you to put the baby in the car.  that's too easy.  i discovered 2 nap secrets that i never read anywhere that i'd like to share:

1.  try to get the room as dark as possible.  you may even want to invest in black out curtains or thick, dark-colored fabric ones.

2.  the best time to move the baby from your arms to the crib is when they are breathing noticeably slower and louder.  also, check for the "dead" arm (theirs, not yours).  these are good signs of a deep sleep....deep enough to go for the gold!!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

incredible accidental homebirth story

check out this amazing story about an unplanned homebirth that happened on christmas eve.  i kinda love the part about the purell on the scissors used to cut the umbilical cord.  ha!  what did we do before the days of purell?...

Saturday, January 2, 2010

always try to breastfeed when baby gets a shot

if your baby has to get a shot (or any invasive procedure like stitches, etc), try to breastfeed her during it to keep her cortisol, a stress hormone, levels low.  if you are not allowed to breastfeed during the procedure, try to nurse right away after.  if you are no longer breastfeeding, a good snuggle and letting baby be comforted by your smell will certainly help soothe them.

what can i say...i have a thing for yurts

what the heck is a yurt you might ask...well, a yurt is a kind of round teepee house hut thing.  i am only mentioning yurts, because i came across the beautiful treebones resort in big sur that is a wonderful land of yurts.  this is the kind of place we gotta take the kids.  ok, well, i only have one baby, and the resort doesn't allow kids under 6, but we're definitely going.  later.

check out treebones resort here.

Friday, January 1, 2010

the first day of the new year.

to all mothers and mothers to be,

listen to your intuition.  you want to be a good mother.  you are a good mother.  do what you think is best.  if you do not have a support system for what you think is best, reach out to an organization that can help you.  conflicting opinions can be confusing, but listen to your heart and treat your child with empathy, and you will establish a deep and loving connection....