Sunday, August 1, 2010

Montana Elderberries

Elderberry Plant


It's berry season. Here's a elderberry syrup recipe.
I found these lovely plants growing along a creek of a Cedar Forest in Montana.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Day Dreaming

Our first camping trip of the season worked out great with rainbows, calypso orchids and loons. The cabin was well equiped although really challenging with a toddler. We assumed it would be simplier to have a shelter but found staying outside exclusively was a better idea for sanity sake.

Our Sherpani Backpack is helpful for most trips into the woods but, sometimes better places to sleep are found.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Parks and Rivers

This is the Riverbend Park in Bigfork. They have a great toddler play set that smaller ones can easily navigate independently. The Swan River pours right out at the edge of the park and is home to the annual Wild Mile Kayak Race.
Support BareFoot Parks by Joining the Cause and Signing the Petition. This protects waterways from run-off too. All voices will be heard as our economy is intitmately tied to tourism.
Call your local Parks and Rec and find out if your favorite parks are "Spray Free".

Sunday, March 14, 2010

The Leprechaun Hunt

Some Chocolate Mint, Gingersnaps and Banana disguised as a leprechaun hat

Easy to make and all ages tend to gravitate toward this delightful token for St. Patty's Day.
Just dip sliced banana's in melted chocolate, place on a gingersnap cookie and dress with mint.

This was adapted from twigglebox's leprechaun's hat. Marshmallows and green licorice contain some questionable ingredients so we modified the recipe and used all natural foods. What more can wish for?

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Boys are Bakers Too!

The other day we were making Hemp-ola with all sorts of goodness including hemp butter, oats and ground sunflowers. My little helper, in the kitchen, needed some proper baking attire so I whipped up this irresistable Bakers Hat.
I followed and then modified this tutorial by Curlypops. I customized the hat to our taste with an addition of a tree applique and a triple row of buttons for adjusting the size as he grows.
Careful these sweet hats can become addictive. You may even want to make an entertaining one for yourself. Stay tuned for his apron next week!

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Preserve Your Health

The latest news in BPA exposure sites placental death following exposure to typical levels of the plasticizer found in the blood stream of pregnant women and babies. The placenta is your babies life force-it should be offering nutrients at optimal levels.

BPA is found in a a whole range of products from the most obvious, hard plastic #7, #3 and canned goods including soda and beer to lesser known dental fillings. The stink of BPA originally arose from hard plastic baby bottles leaching the plasticizer into precious fluids. Recent studies have cited cardiovascular disease, diabetes and cancer to the list of damaging health effects from BPA. Overall, the best way to curb exposure to this estrogen hormone mimiker is to start using glass to store leftovers, brush those teeth and stop eating and drinking from cans.

Proper oral hygiene at an early age will likely reduce dental work needed in the future. As soon as the first tooth emerges in children you should be gently brushing. Daily brushing has become fun and expected for our little guy-he even likes to floss his teeth. This routine was started very early on so we experience little resistance to the practice. We like Preserves tooth brushes as they are BPA Free and come from recycled Stonyfield Yogurt Cups. They have adult and toddler brushes, are at an excellent angle and include a free mailer to send back for recycling. Some target stores are now carrying them.

Fortuneatley, BPA can flush out of your system. The bioaccumulation from repetitive exposure day after day is what causes health problems. Eliminating exposure to BPA while pregnant is truly vital for your childs health. As consumers your buying power is voice enough for companies to stop poisoning us.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Flying Diaper Free in Montana

On the One Year anniversary of beginning Elimination Communication with my son-we were up and flying. We had kicked the diaper crutch when he was 9 months and had 4 months of round the clock diaper free practice leading up to our flight. We launched into the diaper free mode after several weeks of "no misses". Feeling confident in our rhythm together we headed cross country with two connections, 3 flights to board and a 10 hour airport day ahead of us. Sounds like a dreaded day-you say? I admit I was nervous but reminded myself we'd started this journey at 7 weeks and ready.

I used timing and cues as indicators. With the possibility of the two restrooms being occupied I emphasized timing so not to get into an uncomfortable situation. We did not resort to wearing a diaper as psycologically for us both we had not used this route for four months.
The timing routine I established was offering the potty before boarding the plan, once the airplane took off, intermintly throughout the flight and once we departed the plane. With the hope he'd actually go at his opportune times and the expectation he wouldn't.
It is more important to respect the "no" than force a pee. This is fundamental in learning to communicate with your child as this is not potty training. If you want to look at it from the standpoint of "training" then really it is the parent or caregiver learning what to look for.

I stayed tuned in to the length of time that had passed since his last relief and based the frequency of offering the potty on how much fluids he had consumed. We had also established a relaxed routine of going potty somewhere within 5 minutes of waking from a deep sleep.
So, off to the airport we went to check in and get ready for what layed ahead. We unloaded at the airport, checked in and made a trip to the restroom before going through security. It was an ideal to time as there could be innumberable delays and I wouldn't be able to break midstride to help relieve my babies urge.

This was our first momentous pee. Believe me you will understand how exciting and relieving it is when you "catch a pee". This set the stage and I felt the rush of excitement as though it was my very first time tuning into his rhythm.

We went through security and caught another pee before boarding. After all the stimulus the little guy took a deep nap for our first leg. I sat craddling him relaxing in the joy of being off the hook for the first leg. He woke up before we started our descent so we took a quick trip to the restroom, peed and resumed our seat. One down two flights to go.

The layover was only an hour, so I back wrapped Talus in the breezeway in Salt Lake-made my way to the next gate-keeping an eye out for the closest restroom. After making it to the furthest gate in another terminal- we cruised around to give all four of our legs a workout. Twenty minutes before boarding we took a trip to the potty.
Now I have to say if there is a handicap stall available, by all means use it. Keep in mind your carrying a bag, will have to manuever his pants off or open(buttons down the legs or a crotch flap are handy) and position your little one, aim if he's a boy and get his pants back on while holding him. A little extra room helps. The removing and reclothing is really not all that complicated if you have been working this routine for awhile. I pride myself on changing my child in mid air and thankful to keep him away from overused surfaces.

So back to the gate, board the plane and hop into our seat. We picked all aisle seats for the entire day so we could freely get up and down without disturbing other passengers. This was our longest leg and lots of offerings with no peeing comenced. About every 45 minutes I offered the potty up and if no urge transpired I cut the time down to 20 minute intervals till he peed. This leg was 4 hours in flight so we took at least 4 trips to the potty.

Next stop Atlanta. Off the plane- hussle (so many people with so little time was the energy coursing through) to the tram and in 1 minute 7 seconds flat back wrap my baby ( the clock was counting down till the next train arrived)-hop on the tram-walk to the entire other end of the furthest terminal we arrived in? What's up with these extra challenges. Find the gate, make our way back to the restroom, hop in the handicap stall, relieve ourselves. Relax and cruise around for the next 2 hours.

I kept my child awake-napping is so much better on the plane when you're confined and during the layover I offered the potty every 45 mintutes with only one taken advantage of. I offered the potty up before boarding-another relief. Board plane-relax-it's the last leg-Woo-Hoo. Baby boy naps entire last leg..the stars have aligned!

Now the return flight was the same scenario with a couple twists. A longer layover up front in Atlanta-where we caught a pooh! by cueing into signs(stalled out activity and internal pensive gaze with slight grunting at this age). Oh yeah and running through the Salt Lake Airport since the flight was changed last minute giving me only 15 minutes to get from one end to the other. Talus found this portion of the journey particularly hilarious-as I couldn't help but laugh as we high tailed past what seemed stationary travelers. I mean really, give the solo mom with toddler a run for her money!Practically empty flight to Glacier, able to spread out and lounge and no worries about the potty being occupied by another confined soul.

The whole experience couldn't of gone smoother. A few months have passed and Talus's cues are even more evident. When asked if he has to pee (as occassionally I have this inkling emerge) he shakes his head "no". A blank response means yes. If there is obvious groin grabbing we make the trip to the potty. Listening to my own internal feelings and respecting his "No's" has really paid off. We now communicate verbally and with signs. He even signs "done" when he's through with either relief. This makes car trips quite easy as well as winter outings when lots of layers are involved. I typically always ask if he has the urge to go if it coincides with timing and he has the free will to let me know.

ECing continues to evolve and at this age play is the utmost priority. Stopping to relieve himself can sometimes be a challenge. If I know he has to go I suggest we bring whatever he's playing with along and tell him we'll come right back to play. There may be some initial opposistion on picking him up but he is relaxed sitting on the pot and signs and says when he's done.

Things We Packed for AirTravel

3 pairs of pants for misses

Ziplock with premade wipes

1 prefold diaper easily available for misses

hankerchief sprayed with aromotherapy mix

mini etch a sketch

soft ball


plastic bag for soiled clothes

Ways We Made the Trip Smoother

Flights with some layovers

Reserved isle seats

Brought only one bag

The next Diaper Free Journey in Montana includes how to keep the seat warm this winter and the potties we've grown to love. Check out this hilarious video of another ECing Mother.
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