Monthly Archives: February 2013

Taking quinoa off the table

We’ve quit quinoa in our house.

Without doubt you’ve adopted a look of horror, and are wondering if that’s a misprint. But no, dear reader, it’s true; quinoa is no longer on the menu.

After picking yourself back up off the floor, you may start to wonder WHY ON EARTH would I do such a thing. Don’t I know that quinoa is a SUPER food. All the celebrities eat it, and it’s an awesome source of protein. What am I thinking?!?!?!

A recent article in The Guardian kick started this change. The author wrote about the impact of global demand on the prices of quinoa in Bolivia and Peru, and the flow on effect this has on affordability of this staple grain in the region. Simply put, the price is so high now that those communities can no longer afford it. Once a cornerstone of nutrition for peasants in the region, quinoa is now sent for export to wealthy western nations leaving a major gap in the food source of the nations poor. To me, this is an unacceptable cost.

Further reading also revealed that the mad scramble to farm this ‘new’ wonder crop, is leading to the abandonment of traditional farming methods and poor environmental practices. Of concern is the reduction of llama farming, a key component in maintaining soil fertility in the highlands. Ironically by abandoning llamas, the soil loses its main fertilizer that gives quinoa its amazing nutritional value: manure.

I am so fortunate to live in a country that gives me access to a wide range of affordable, high quality foodstuffs. I don’t feel that quinoa offers me any nutritional value that I couldn’t easily obtain elsewhere. And when you factor in the cost of further impoverishing a nations poor and contributing to environmental damage, well frankly the cost becomes too high.

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Filed under Green living, Interesting reading, Nutrition

Homemade sanitising wipes

We have started gently potty training Boo. It’s going really well, and is relatively stress free so far. It does involve a lot more cleaning though, and sometimes it’s tough to tuck the baby under one arm and clean the potty at the same time. Having a sanitizing wipe would make life MUCH easier, but we don’t use chemicals in our house. The solution? Make my own of course!

It’s really simple; all you need is some vinegar, tea tree solution, lemon essential oil, a bucket and some cheap cloths. I like the tea tree solution because it has an ingredient to disperse it through the water.

Add 1/4 vinegar, 3/4 water, 2 lids of tea tree solution and 10 drops of lemon essential oil. Stir well, throw in the cloths and you’re done. Instant sanitizing wipes. Super cheap, natural and reusable. I wash mine with my nappies.

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Filed under Eco baby, Green living, Home made and DIY

Shooting the breeze

So, it turns out I don’t speak adult anymore. This realization has been dawning on me for several months, but a job interview and a few coffee dates with my childless friends has brought it into sharp focus: I have nothing to talk about.

Nothing, aside from my children. Get me on the topic of the girls and I can wax lyrical. I have oodles of great conversational material ranging from the sleep habits of infants (they don’t sleep, full stop) to the joys of potty training a toddler who will pee on the carpet for attention. The problem is when I’m around people without kids (hereafter called normal people). Normal people have a passing interest in my children that includes checking they are well, and perhaps laughing at one cute story. Then the interest fades. Fast. What normal people don’t realise is that I have nothing else to discuss.

I’m a full time stay at home Mum. I love this role, and it’s my choice and desire to be a SAHM. I consider myself an educated woman, and somewhat interesting. Occasionally I’m even funny. I take an interest in current events and anything natural medicine focused. But despite this, I find if you don’t have a career and a social life you don’t have much to discuss.

In fact it’s kinda weird that it’s socially acceptable and normal to discuss your job, but when your kids are your job people don’t want to hear about it. Every mundane detail about your asshole boss and lazy co-workers makes fine dinner conversation, but that hilarious anecdote about your toddler trying to breastfeed her teddy is not. Why is that?

The other thing inhibiting my ability to ‘talk’ adult is my fatigue. I’m bone achingly exhausted. I can’t even string sentences together. I can actually see the normal people looking at me like motherhood has robbed me of my senses. ‘Has she always been this dull’, they ask themselves.

I’ll admit it, I’m embarrassed by this state of affairs. I miss lively conversations and witty banter. I’m aware the normal people don’t want to hear endless details about my kids, but I’m also aware of the uncomfortable silences I don’t know how to fill anymore.

Without doubt this will pass. The kids will go to school, I’ll study and work again, and I’ll have some dickhead boss who makes great dinner conversation. In the meantime, be gentle with me and endure my stories about my kids. I promise to listen to your’s one day.

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Filed under Life as a Parent

The honest Mum

Today is one of those days. All Mums have them, but rarely are they talked about. My girls are sick, I’m freaking exhausted, we visit a childless friend only to have to leave early once the toddler spills tea all over her nice rug and the baby won’t stop crying. Can I get off the ride yet?

I’ve been reading a refreshingly honest blog called Renegade Mothering. I adore this woman. You must read her work. Her blog has inspired me to share some of the less brilliant moments in our house. Yes I’m a crunchy, hippy, buckwheat loving mother. I also like TimTams, crap TV and would drink like nobody’s business if I wasn’t breastfeeding. I’m a real person with real failings, and this includes my parenting journey.

After our crazy morning at my friends we had to do some errands, and by the time we got home both girls were tired. I changed nappies, gave the toddler some milk and collected all 7 teddies that MUST be in the cot at bedtime. Boo went to her cot and I took the baby for a feed. I was starving, stressed and exhausted. I’d also let The Husband shop alone last night. He bought twisties, and I found them and ate them. The shame.

Three minutes into feeding the baby, I hear the toddler talking to herself. Cute, I think. About two minutes later it starts; ‘Eat, muma eat’. Christ on a cracker, she’s HUNGRY’. I ignore it, but it doesn’t go away. I check the fridge for easy snacks and come up empty handed (thanks to hubby’s hopeless shopping). What to do? Dissolve into tears of course.

I sobbed, and I sobbed some more. In my fatigue and with nothing more than twisties fueling my mind since breakfast I could not think of what to feed her. I felt useless, hopeless and like the worst mother ever. I cried some more.

I went and collected her from the cot. Her sweet voice telling me that I ‘need tissue’ and ‘Mummy sad’. I cried some more.

Eventually I spied eggs on the counter. We had no bread, as I make my own and hadn’t made a loaf yesterday. More crying. In the end, I fried 5 eggs, cut them into little pieces and sat on the lounge room floor with her while we picked at them.

It was a shit parenting moment. It was a shit life moment. But, it was an honest moment. I was honest with myself about my limitations. I was honest with my daughter by letting her know that sometimes Mummies get overwhelmed and cry (and that’s okay). And now I’m honest with you, by letting you know that while I do try my best, I’m only human.

And that’s okay.

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Filed under Mummy health and wellbeing

Cheap breastfeeding necklace options

A breastfeeding necklace is a great option to entertain little hands during a feed. Most breastfeeding mums know the joy of being pinched, scratched, clawed and of having their nipple taken in odd directions when bub decides to look at something without detaching first. Ouch! I didn’t use a necklace with my first, but I definitely need one now. Lillypilly finds it hard to concentrate at a feed, when she knows her big sister is doing something fun nearby. Ergo, a necklace is required.

There are some lovely one out there. If I had the money I would buy this one or this one.
Alas, being a SAHM means this is not an option. Some thrifty options are required, so I’ve come up with this list of cheap breastfeeding necklace ideas

Use what you have
Search through your jewellary box for necklaces with bright colours, interesting beads and textured designs. Anything that can be pulled off the necklace, easily broken or rough on bubs hands is out, but that should still leave a few options. I found an old wooden necklace with different shaped beads. It’s smooth and Lillypilly likes the feel. Boo even wears it while she breastfeeds her teddy. Too cute!

Make something
I used to make jewellary, so I’m going to strand something myself. It won’t be fashionable, but I’ll use assorted colorful beads I have left over from my crafty days, and string it on tiger tail.

Another DIY option is to knit or crochet something. I have a shirt with a crochet neck line and bub loves to play with it

If you have no craft skills or materials, you could rip scrap fabric into strands and tie it together. Leave dangly bits for bub to play with. Trim regularly for loose threads though.

Hit the Op shops
Op shop jewellary stands are full of outrageous necklaces that were fashionable 5 years ago, but dated now. They are perfect for breastfeeding necklaces. Usually you can get one for under $5

Use a brooch
A beautiful brooch can be an option to using a necklace. Choose one that’s fun and colorful, or one with nice textures. Make sure you use the safety clasp.

Use a toy
The other day I desperately needed a necklace, but didn’t have my wood one on hand. I grabbed a small toy and held it at my breast and it did the trick. Not as convenient, but still an option

Hopefully one of these options appeal to you, and you get a cheap and effective option. Remember that these options don’t have built in safety clasps or double knotting, so caution and common sense are required. Never leave bub unattended with your breastfeeding necklace, especially if its a DIY option or not designed specifically for breastfeeding.

Did this post inspire you? Please leave me a comment if it did

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Filed under Breast feeding, Eco baby, Home made and DIY