Saturday, 12 May 2012

Is this my year to go green?

Truth be told, I have been dabbling in greenness for several years now, with varied success. I have had numerous goes at converting our household to green cleaning but somehow always slip back to easy store bought greenish (and not so green) products. The biggest and longest lasting success I have had in the last few years was discovering the power of vinegar for de-greasing. Wow. That stuff is amazing. And yes, before you ask, the smell does fade very quickly so we don't have a house that stinks like a fish and chip shop!

Felix's skin is sensitive and prone to eczema, which he definitely gets from me, and we have been using soap flakes instead of washing detergent for a couple of months now and it really seems to have made a difference. Obviously with eczema it is hard to know for sure what is having an impact, but the timing is right and put simply, if he sleeps on sheets that have been washed in detergent, he is very restless (if not unable to sleep) rubbing his head constantly and getting distressed, whereas if the sheets have been washed in soap flakes, he is not bothered at all. Also his eczema now comes on with significantly less severity and frequency, and is easier to calm down after a flare up.

This alone has made me look again at the chemicals we use in the house, and I will have one more try at binning the worst offenders. Realistically (knowing me...oooh! Abba!) I will never make all of my own products and indeed don't see the need given how much good stuff you can buy these days. But I have stocked up on Bicarbonate of Soda, and dusted down my how to clean green book.

We'll see how we get on...

photo by flickr user grrlscout224

Wednesday, 9 May 2012

Would you want a Calvin?

A customer in the pub recently commented that Felix was the spit of Calvin of Calvin and Hobbes fame. I am a big fan of this riotous duo but had completely missed the similarity.

I am now obsessed with it.

Will he stop growing at age six and be like that forever? Am I stunting his comic genius by not providing him with a giant stuffed tiger? If I do provide him with a giant stuffed tiger will he torment me with evil genius for the rest of my days? Will I ever be able to get a baby sitter to stay more than one night (or one hour...).

At least they didn't say he looked like Stewie out of Family Guy...

Tuesday, 8 May 2012

Plants here we come!

So just over a month ago, Kev and I made the decision to change our diet to a plant-based one. No meat, no dairy. Not at home at least. We have good health reasons for doing it rather than it being an ethical choice. It's been a long process to get us here, and I mean several years, but I am so happy to have finally arrived. I hadn't realised how much I wanted this and I can honestly say I love it. I feel lighter, happier and more enthusiastic about food than I have done in years.

We are flexible, so we will fit in with other people's food out and about. And sometimes we eat eggs and honey at home. It's not a big deal.

This does of course include Felix too. It's not meant as much change for him as you might think. For a start he's only 10 months old, but also from the start of weaning he's always chosen a bean over a piece of meat. I have read widely to make sure I know what he should be getting and from which foods and now realise how little I knew about detailed nutrition before!

After a month the initial 'what can we eat for dinner' has calmed down and I don't have to think about it so much. The mental shift has been extremely quick, and it feels completely right to be eating like this.

Kicking my caffeine habit is proving to be far, far harder...

Sunday, 6 May 2012

How much baby equipment does one baby need?

As soon as I heard that two girls I know locally are having their first babies later this year I excitedly offered to go through my young baby kit for stuff they can use. For some reason I envisioned piles of useful items with enough to split between the two of them.

What was I thinking? Now I apply my mind to it, I find that I have very little equipment, even less when you take away those items that sounded good or were donated to me in good faith but turned out to be unnecessary.

I know some people have equipment for every eventuality but I had neither the money nor the inclination. So what does it amount to?

One bouncy baby chair.
One rather tired and boring play gym that desperately needs pimping.
A top and tail bowl (wehay! contain that excitement...used it twice I think).
A bumbo (good? bad? pointless? Felix certainly hated it and threw up every time he sat in it, poor pickle).
A cute but very short cycle musical cot mobile (have to wind it four times for one nappy change).
A baby bath (hated item, too big, too heavy to carry around full when you have no big bath to sit it in, will be glad to see the back of it).

It's not like I'm keeping lots either. Obviously I'm not giving away the cot. Though he rarely sleeps in it (we bed share and as the cot is a co-sleeper open to my side of the bed the most it sees of Felix is his legs on the nights when he shuffles around a lot and ends up with his head digging in my tummy and his feet pointing towards the cot bars). That said, I love my cot with a passion. I'm also not giving away my slings, even the ones I don't use now, though I one so people can try them out. Not the Didymos though. No, no, no.

I may also loan out what we call the 'super toy' and what a friend of my refers to as baby prison. It's one of those circular toys the baby sits in surrounded by toys. Love them or hate them, we found it invaluable for when I had to spend time with the baby in the kitchen (catering kitchen, not baby friendly at all) when a sling wasn't appropriate. Felix also loved it but his devotion is waning now he can move around more.

The only thing I have lots of is clothes as I was lucky enough to have two whole wardrobes of boy clothes, plus extras from others. I would happily spread these around, and keep some for myself (well, you never know...) but people will keep on producing girls!