Saturday, October 15, 2011

Elimination Communication out and about

Although we practice Elimination Communication, we mostly do it at home and haven't really been brave enough to venture out with a nappy free baby yet. Today we were kind of thrown into having to use EC when out and about when we realised we'd gone out and forgotten to take the nappy bag (containing, of course, all of Gideon's nappy supplies) There was a moment of panic as we wondered what to do. We discussed briefly whether we should return home and get the stuff but 'home' was a 90 minute round trip away. Then I thought I may have had a terry towel stashed somewhere in the car as I usually keep emergency supplies in case of accidents but no such luck today! So we decided to try our luck with EC.

I actually found EC out and about quite hard - I have great respect for those that practice it full time!! There was the obvious thing of trying to find somewhere for Gideon to 'go' often. At home we would usually sit him on the potty about every 15 minutes or so (more if he's just had a feed, less if it's been a while since a feed). Then every time we'd offer him a wee when out, we'd have to take his nappy off and put it back on again to avoid accidents (not so important at home but kind of important when out and about!)

I know it probably shouldn't bother me, but I was also conscious of other people around us. I didn't want to offer Gideon a wee in view of other people as I was worried that some people might be offended or be a little put off by it. While we ate lunch it was easy to have his nappy off and offer him a wee when he needed it as we purposely chose a secluded spot but when walking around it was a little harder and trying to find a toilet to take him to every 15 minutes or so was kind of tricky!

It was also hard to get the positioning right. At home, Gideon is used to sitting on the potty and I think he's learnt to associate that position with 'going'. I tried to hold him over the toilet in the traditional EC position a couple of times but didn't have any success. So I think we need to work on using the toilet as well as the potty at home.

In the end, we reached a bit of a compromise. We gave Gideon nappy free time while we were sitting in the one spot and then offered a couple of toilet stops during the time we were out. By doing that we were able to stop his nappy getting too wet and survive with only one nappy for the day! We're lucky that we're so successful with catching Gideon's poos with EC. He rarely goes in a nappy these days and will purposely wait until we put him on the potty to 'go'. So we knew that we weren't going to have to worry about a dirty nappy while out! And he did indeed prove us right by doing a poo in the potty as soon as we got home!

One thing today has shown me is that we can use EC when out and about. It's kind of nice to know that we will be able to survive if we're caught somewhere without nappies ;) And hopefully this will give me the confidence to practice EC out and about more often!

'Beautiful Birds' at Healesville Sanctuary

As Friend of the Zoo (FOTZ) members we are given the opportunity to attend special activities at the different zoos across the year. There are usually a few activities for kids to attend so when we see something that will interest our kids we book them in.

Today's activity was at Healesville Sanctuary and the theme was 'beautiful birds'. FOTZ volunteers read the kids a variety of books about Australian birds and then the kids made a bird feeder to take home and hang in the garden. We've made bird feeders before but this was a slightly different way of making them.

The kids had a great time making these bird feeders and getting messy - glucose syrup is very sticky as Esme found out!

The finished bird feeder - we look forward to hanging them outside when they dry!

Just in case you want to have a go at making these, here's the recipe.

Wild Bird Feed Treats

3/4 cup flour
1/2 cup water
3 tbsp glucose syrup
4 cups birdseed and peanuts, fruits, berries, raisins or anything else the birds enjoy

Mix together and place in a disposable cup with a wire hanger
Leave to dry overnight
Hang in a tree for the wild birds to enjoy!

We ended the session with afternoon tea and then took the kids to see a few of the other animals before we headed home. I really do love being FOTZ members, it means we can just pop into any of the zoos without having to justify the cost by staying all day!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

The only three baby items you'll ever need...

I entered an online competition the other day and one of the requirements was to say what you couldn't live without during the baby stage. It got me thinking about what essentials you really do need when you have a baby. When you are preparing for your first, it's so exciting to go out and shop for baby goods. Cot. Change table. Pram. Bath. Swing. Rocker. I could go on. There's so many things you can buy for your baby and of course you're convinced that each of these things are essential to have for your baby (or so everyone tells you anyway *sigh*) We've been there and done that. We didn't go as far as to get the matching sheets/curtains/mobile/wallpaper but we did buy a lot of 'stuff'!

So, after having three kids and now having to find places for all the items we bought and didn't need, I've come up with a list of the only three baby items you'll ever need (bearing in mind that a carseat is non optional ;))

Boobs. Yep. Not only do they provide food for your baby (and the best kind of food for your baby, I might add), they also provide a source of comfort for your baby, a means of calming them, a way of getting them to sleep and a beautiful bonding experience for both you and your baby. And the benefits even continue as they grow older, I've used them to calm tantrums, to settle a tired child, to heal bumps and bruises, to rehydrate a sick child and to cool a fever. The list goes on! The best thing about boobs though is that they are free (find out how much formula costs here)

Sling. It has to be a decent one though. I love the Hug-a-Bub or a simple wrap type of carrier from birth to 6 months. It holds my baby securely against me and is so comfortable for me as well. I wouldn't be anywhere without my sling. Two of my kids have hated the pram (and by the time I got to #3 I'd given up entirely on the pram!) There's also no time to try and settle #3 in his own bed, it's much easier and less stress if I settle him in the sling. And of course there are so many awesome benefits of holding your baby close.

Cloth Nappies. I've developed a bit of a cloth nappy hoarding habit lately. We didn't always use cloth nappies though. Up until Jacob was 12 months old we used disposables but after hearing from friends about how awesome modern cloth nappies were we were hooked. Now I'm just astounded at how much money families are likely to spend on disposables I love modern cloth nappies (and probably have far too many of them!) but seriously, you don't even need those. A heap of terry towel nappies and some covers, some flannels for wipes and you're set! Easy. And cheap. Of course, we also combine our cloth nappying with Elimination Communication which makes it even cheaper but I don't make the assumption that EC will be everyone's cup of tea ;)

As for the rest of our well-intended baby items, I can tell you what has happened to them...

The cot: Currently used as a storage space for other unused junk. Gideon sleeps in bed with us. Preferably on our chest.

The change table: Sits unused in our room (although I have to admit it is useful for storing baby stuff under!) We generally change Gideon on the floor downstairs - too much effort walking up those stairs!

The bath and stand: Sits unused in our (unused) shower. Gideon has his bath with the other kids (when we get around to actually giving him a bath that is!) or in the shower with us.

The pram: Sits unused in our garage. It was in the boot of the car until we decided it was just taking up space!

Play arch: Currently stored in the cot. It's pointless getting it out anyway because the baby doesn't get a chance to use it due to the older kids playing with it (what is it with older kids suddenly wanting to play with baby toys again?!)

I'm sure I could think of many other things we have bought and haven't used too!

What's something you've bought for your baby and haven't used?

Monday, October 3, 2011

Muesli making Monday

We love homemade muesli in this house and go through it quite quickly. So Mondays in our house have officially been declared 'muesli making Mondays' and we make a fresh batch of muesli to last us the week. After making it for so many months, I have had lots of time to perfect our recipe! Our basic recipe is this:



4 cups rolled Oats
2 cups processed Bran
1 cup Oat Bran
1/2 cup shredded coconut
1./2 cup flaked almonds
1/2 cup pumpkin kernels
1/2 sunflower seeds
90g butter
90g honey


Combine dry ingredients.
Melt butter and honey, add to dry ingredients and mix well.
Spread on a tray and cook in oven at 180 degrees for 15 minutes.
Stir muesli and cook for a further 15 minutes or until nicely browned.

We all like different dried fruit with our muesli so I store it plain in a container. Then we all add the fruit we want each morning. I have a cupboard full of dried fruit (some of it dried by us in our dehydrator)

My favourite way to have it though is with dried apples and homemade yoghurt - yum!

How do you do your muesli?

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