What To Do With Halloween Candy As A Vegan Mom

October 28th, 2010 by

As a vegan mom, I’ve been struggling with what to do for Halloween in the coming years, when Kamea is old enough to wear a costume and say “trick-or-treat.” I, myself, have so many fond memories from childhood on Halloween. And, even though I wasn’t a vegan growing up, my fond memories are for more than just the candy. Dressing up and going door to door with my friends was so fun (The candy wasn’t bad too though! ;) haha). Heck, I still like to dress up. Here is a picture of me a few years ago at Halloween when I was blond.

But. My family is vegan, and I’ve been wondering what we’ll do when Halloween rolls around in the coming years. Do we, instead, take a special trip each year, at that time, and celebrate it another way? Perhaps we can find an alternate way to celebrate so Kamea doesn’t go door to door getting a bunch of junky (mostly non-vegan) candy. But, I can’t help think that she’ll be missing out on the dress-up fun if I do that. There must be some compromise. Then… I came across this article and now I can’t wait for Halloween and for a time when Kamea is old enough to trick-or-treat! Knowing that we’re homeschooling makes this especially exciting!

From Mothering.com…

I loved candy when I was a kid, but when I became a mother, I worried about my kids eating too much of the stuff. Still, I’ve never banned it from our home. Now, when my children come home on Halloween night, examine their candy, and go to bed without asking to eat a single piece, it’s not because I’ve forbidden it. It’s because they have better ideas about what 
to do with it.

It began with a simple question three years ago, when I was overwhelmed by our collection of Halloween candy. An afternoon with too-generous coworkers, a church Trunk-or-Treat (i.e., collecting candy at every car in a full parking lot), and a subsequent trick-or-treating expedition up our street had provided my four-year-old princess and two-year-old cowboy with mountains of candy. But since the candies had been the gifts of kind friends, and of elderly neighbors on fixed incomes, I didn’t want to throw them all away. Instead, I decided to dole them out one piece at a time. Handing out pieces after lunch was painful—the bowl loomed enormous atop my fridge, and I knew that at this rate we’d be eating candy for months.

Then, as my daughter Katherine poured out a box of Nerds, she asked the life-changing question:

“What would happen if I put these in water?”

I almost missed the moment. I was cleaning up the lunch dishes, and didn’t want to get out another one. Besides, the experiment sounded messy and wasteful (even though I’d just been agonizing about how to get rid of the stuff). I brushed her question aside, hoping she’d forget it. Instead, she asked again. I got her a white, unspillable mug, filled it with water, and set it down in front of her. She poured in her strawberry Nerds, examined them, stirred them into something the color of raspberry lemonade, and examined the cup again. Then I dumped 
it down the sink.

That was our first candy experiment.

Read the rest of this awesome article here…


Finding Our Groove – Sleeping, Cloth Diapers, and Toys

October 26th, 2010 by

Now that Kamea is four months old, we’re really finding our groove. This mama job is a breeze. ;)

For the past month, we’ve been sleeping better. Kamea co-sleeps with us and it’s been such a joy. Most nights she sleeps quite well. We can stay in bed for 9-12 hours at night. She doesn’t sleep straight through but she kind of does. She tosses and turns when she’s hungry, I roll on my side and latch her on, and we’re both back in dreamland. Well, I usually get back to dreamland. Some nights she thrashes around a lot which keeps me awake because I keep putting her back on my breast (my husband says she’s practicing her “ninja” skills). But, some nights, like last night, we both sleep soundly. There are the occasional nights where she decides she’d like to wake up after about 4 hours of sleep and stay up. When this happens, it only takes about an hour of hanging out with her in bed and she’s ready to sleep again.

Nap time has been great too. We’re not on a schedule, but I’d estimate that she wants to nap every few hours. The one nap I can count on is in the morning. About 2 hours after waking, she’s ready for a nap. Sometimes she naps for 40-60 minutes and other times she sleeps a whole 2 hours.

What does all that mean? Mommy is getting more sleep! My eyes are no longer bloodshot and I feel like I can drive a car without causing harm to myself or others. Seriously, I didn’t start driving again until just recently because I only felt I had enough energy to make it through my day at home. Driving a car required too much alertness.

The pretty colored ones are Swaddlebees Econappies. The white diaper with easy-to-use colored snaps are BabyKicks.

We’re also getting into cloth diapers more regularly (every time I use one, depending on the size, I save about 30 cents – gotta love that). They’re still not as great as I thought they’d be. For starters, you have to wash them (that’s work). Then, you have to stuff them (that’s more work). Finally, they’re still bulky as heck, but the fit is getting better. However, in spite of the extra work, it’s better on the earth and my baby’s girlie bits, and… they’re cute as hell! I think our plan is going to be using cloth diapers at home and when we go out, we’ll use eco-friendly disposables. I’m a fan of two cloth diaper brands right now:??BabyKicks and Swaddlebees Econappi. Both are one size diapers that are supposed to fit from newborn until 35-40 pounds (depending on the brand), but I’m only now liking them on her at this age / weight because I think they’re too bulky to use for newborns. I have 6 BabyKicks and 4 Swaddlebee Econappis plus the Flip system I wrote about here. Flip are not my favorites, but they’re working okay.

We are still interested in trying Elimination Communication, but even now, I still don’t feel like it’s the right time. I know many people start early, but I have a few issues to figure out. 1) I have no idea when she’s peeing and she pees many times. 2) I don’t get much warning for poop either. Therefore, I’m just not comfortable with her being diaper free until I get a better handle on that. And, 3) it’s weird holding her on the potty when she doesn’t even sit on her own yet. I tried it the other day. Not fun. For either of us. All in good time though. We’ll work on that later.

As I mentioned in the last post, we took Kamea for her 4-month pediatric visit. At this visit we started talking about solids, just so we can start thinking about them. I plan on waiting to introduce solids until she cuts some teeth hopefully (that could be at 6-8 months). That means three things: 1) I need a high chair (going to start researching this very soon). 2) I need baby spoons. 3) I’m excited to start thinking about homemade baby food recipes and the next book I’ll write!

Kamea is also starting to grab at toys and hold on to them, play with them, etc. It’s so exciting to see her develop. I recently bought her this groovy Baby Banana Teething Toothbrush. It’s BPA, latex, and phthalate free. She also has this eco-friendly baby rattle (BPA, PVC and phthalate free). And, Kamea loves her organic dolly that Lauren and Ginger bought her. She likes to chew on her, too. ;)


How I Give Kamea Her Bath

October 13th, 2010 by

We’ve come a long way since Kamea had her first bath and didn’t take to it very well (read more here).??But, she bathes like a champ now. She loves it. It gets easier every week as she grows a bit more and gets stronger. Bath time is fun for both of us. This is an action shot – haha.

So,??what do I do? We bathe together because that seems to be the easiest. We started with this bath tub seat for her but it wasn’t as easy as it looks. I liked that it was small – for infants – and figured it would be a better option. However, it’s on quite an incline so she was sliding down it a bit. I found myself holding her in place with one hand and washing with the other hand. Not the easiest.

Then, I decided to try this bath tub sling/chair – it was really cheap so why not. From the picture it seemed perfect because she could recline a bit and I figured I wouldn’t have to hold her with one of my hands the whole time like I was doing with the white chair. However, when I tried this sling/chair a couple of times, she looked really uncomfy in it. It seemed to put her head in an awkward position. We don’t use this chair anymore.

I decided to give the white bath tub seat another try. This time though, I loaded it up with towels to make it softer on her and to help prevent her from sliding down too much. It seems to do the trick. First I use a couple of bamboo washcloths folded up and put on the bottom.

Then, I use a hand towel and cover the whole thing.

This has been working for us quite well so far. She smiles the whole time she’s getting bathed.

There are loads of options for bath tub seats when it comes to babies. Since the white bath tub seat seems to be doing the trick for now, we’ll stick with it. It’s supposed to be used until she’s 18 pounds at which time I’ll have to buy another chair.??I’m not comfortable with not using any seat and just holding her like some mamas do, because she’s slippery and I want to have both of my hands free for washing.

Here she is after her bath, all wrapped up in her bamboo towel wrap.

As far as bath soap for Kamea… sometimes I just use water and sometimes I use soap. Lately, for the soap I’ve been using Earth Mama Angel Baby. It’s very nice and scores a big fat zero on the Skin Deep database. YAY! Safe for my baby. Safe for mama. After the bath sometimes I put either organic coconut oil on her skin or organic jojoba oil (I love this jojoba oil). It’s great for keeping her skin soft and moisturized because we live in a dry climate.


IMG_1515

October 13th, 2010 by

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nap

October 5th, 2010 by

Zzzzzzzzzzz


leggins

October 5th, 2010 by

Have I mentioned how much I LOVE MY LIL BABY?!?!?!


buggy photo with rings

October 5th, 2010 by

buggy photo with rings