Thursday, 24 May 2012

Intro to my cloth diaper love

I love my cloth diapers.  I remember, when researching the different styles and brands and numerous accessories, so many moms would have comments like, "They're so addictive!" and "I want/need/have to get one of every colour" and "My partner says I'm not allowed to buy any more."

I have become one of these moms.  I love my cloth diapers.  I love putting my baby in cloth diapers.  I love washing and hanging and stuffing my cloth diapers.  I can't wait until I'm pregnant again so I can buy newborn cloth diapers!

I did a lot of reading and researching before choosing which styles and brands I wanted to invest in, and was easily overwhelmed.  First of all, if I'm making an investment, I want it to be a good one.  Second, shelling out anywhere between $200 to $600 (depending on brand, quantity, etc) plus accessories (laundry soap, cloth-diaper-safe cream, doublers, wetbags, diaper pail, etc) can seem like a lot, but if I think of the other option, spending $20 to $30 every two to four weeks on disposables, plus accessories, and then after it's used (once), going into a landfill, I'd rather take my $400 investment and see it go through 3 or 4 kids (or more...:P)  Please note, these are my thoughts and opinions.

I had wanted to get into the reasons why I decided to cloth diaper, but my little girl just woke up, so I'll just have to save that for another blog post!

The past few weeks, I've been working on 'reviews' for all of the brands of cloth diapers that I currently own.  This is a purely independent project, mostly because I want to practice my writing again (it's been way too long...), but also because I'd like to have a place to keep my notes on the different brands I've tried, pros and cons, etc.  That way, when I'm talking to people who are thinking about taking the plunge into cloth diapering, I have a starting place for them :)

I'm also hoping, in the days and weeks to come, to write up my thoughts, opinions, and findings, regarding my cloth diaper experiences and research.  Most of my decisions regarding my cloth diapers were because I read reviews by moms and others who used them, and so I'd like to return the favour!

Monday, 21 May 2012

Best Banana Bread Ever!

I like Banana Bread.  Like I really like it. I found a recipe in one of my mom's old cookbooks that turned out to be just amazing, but I still felt like it could be tweaked a bit.  (I'm a tweaker; it's what I do....)

My stipulations for the ideal banana bread are the following:
  - It has to be moist
  - It has to have a great banana-y flavour
  - Chocolate chips are a must!! (unless I'm baking for my brother, who's allergic to chocolate)

After over a year of tweaking, I think I've finally come up with the best Banana Bread recipe ever!

And just to make you drool, here's a picture :)

(I'm learning how to take pictures of food, so the photo totally does not do it justice...)

Ok, so the good's the recipe!!  (This makes 3 loaves...we go through one loaf in no time, and hubby likes to take baking to work :) )

4 1/2 cups flour
3/4 cup sugar
6 teaspoons baking powder
3 teaspoons salt
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 Tablespoon cinnamon
1 Tablespoon cocoa
1/4 cup (ish) of ground flax seed

5 cups mashed bananas (I 'coarsely' mash them, so I have chunks of banana in the bread)
1 cup applesauce
1 cup molasses
2 mashed bananas (instead of eggs)
1 teaspoon vanilla
chocolate chips (amount to be determined by baker)
dried cranberries (ditto)

Put the flour and sugar in a large bowl.  Put all of the other dry ingredients into a cup or bowl and mash out any lumps.  Mix all dry ingredients together.  Add bananas, and mix.  Add rest of ingredients.  Mix thoroughly and divide evenly into 3 greased loaf pans.  Cook at 350F for 60 - 70 minutes.  Cut into it when you can't wait a moment longer :)

A couple notes: As with any recipe, this is a guideline and can be tweaked according to the baker's taste.  I discovered that adding the cinnamon and cocoa really round out the flavour and give it amazing depth.  The flax seed gives it just a hint of nutty taste, plus it's also good for you (that's always a bonus, right?).

Try it, try it!!!

Friday, 11 May 2012


So today's been one of those days.  As I type the period, a cry wafts down the hall as if on cue. My darling girl has slept a grand total of half an hour; not nearly long enough for her first morning we go...

4 1/2 hours later: So yes, today's been one of those days. *type the period, wait for the cry...okay we're good*  This morning, I laid down with my little sapling to try and get her to sleep.  After all, I have things to do!  Reviews to write, a house to tidy, laundry to fold and put away, food to eat, a coffee to make.   She'd been up well over 2 hours and hadn't had a nap yet.  She was having a clingy day and I was starting to get very tired...  Unfortunately (or fortunately?), she can always tell when I just want her to go to sleep, and seems to be more determined to stay awake.   Sometimes I feel bad, but she isn't a newborn anymore; she's almost four months old!  Wait a minute, she's still a newborn.  Her wants are her needs, and that is the way it is until she starts gaining her independence by sitting up on her own, moving about on her own, learning to eat foods other than Mummy's milk.

As I lay beside her, she nursed and wriggled and waved her little hands.  I looked at my cell phone, pulled up a Solitaire game to play while she nursed, counting the minutes until she would fall asleep and I could get on with my day and be productive.  I could feel her staring at me as she ate, while I stared at an object.  She kept wriggling, and then finally, thrust her arm up to grab at my collarbone, where she held on tight.   Have you ever had someone grab your collarbone?  It gets your attention in a hurry.  I looked at her, and she looked back at me, and slowed down her wriggling.   I kept looking at her, put down my phone, and put my arm around her instead.  Her breathing slowed down, and she relaxed beside me, all the while gazing at me with those bright blue bottomless pools.  A few minutes later, she was fast asleep.

What does my child want?  To be held.  To be acknowledged.  As she nurses, she wants/needs to be nursed as well.  As in nourished.  As in cuddled, held, loved, comforted.  And here I am thinking she needs to sleep so I can get on with my life.  She IS my life!  I've been given the incredible, astonishing blessing and task of raising a child, and instead of relishing this opportunity to hold her and provide her with the physical contact and undivided attention she needs, I play Solitaire.

As I wrap up this post, my little sapling wakes up, and I hear a single cry; she wants to know where her Mummy is, or if she is alone in her Universe.  She is not alone.  I pick her up, and she rests herself against me, resting her head on my shoulder and holding a handful of my shirt tightly in her fist.  She is content just to be in contact with me, and relaxes as I type.  I look around my house.  Not as clean as it could be, but you know what, I still accomplished something.  I played with my little girl.  I talked to her and she talked to me.  I made a coffee and showed her how to do it.  We did some exercises.  She practiced eating from a spoon.  We went for a walk and looked at the leaves and flowers and sunlight and she fell asleep on my chest.

I think it ended up being a good day after all :)

Wednesday, 9 May 2012

Getting Started

So I've been wanting to start a blog for a while myself a place to write again.

First of all, my identity.  I'm a wife and mother, a sound technician with a love for community theatre, a bookworm, a musician, an aunt, sister, daughter, friend.

My interests span hundreds of subjects, with my current chief interests being attachment parenting, babies and sign language, babywearing, bed-sharing and co-sleeping, breastfeeding, cloth diapers, making baby food, organizing, and doing further research into natural family planning, pregnancy, birth, and raising children.

In all the research I have done to date, in all of my experiences with kids of all ages, and in my own 4 months of parenting experiences, I have come to believe a truth; that my daughter knows what is best for her :)  She knows when she needs to eat, when she needs to have a nap, to have a cuddle.  She knows that the place she sleeps best is beside her mummy on most nights, and by herself sometimes.  In time I trust that she will know when she wants to wean, to have her own bed in her own room, to begin formal education, and to exercise her independence.

I fully understand that not every parent will agree with me, but I also believe that every child requires a different style of parenting, and while my firstborn has certain and specific needs (Miss Social Butterfly and Miss Cuddle Bug), I believe that my other children will have their own needs, which will require me to adapt my parenting to be able to fill their needs.  I definitely believe that baby knows best :)