Monthly Archives: May 2010

Cloth Diapers

Four babies later and the youngest in her teens; would I use cloth diapers if I had it all to do again?


You might be thinking, “Oh, she used cloth diapers because she mothered her children in a different time.”

Let me tell you that I was out numbered even then.

It was very unusual to see another mother using cloth diapers. When I lived in Key West, there was a large alternative community there. I had strong support there. But when I went for a visit back home I was the only one using them. It really did not phase me because I couldn’t imagine using any thing else.

It was so easy using cloth diapers.

I loved the softness I was putting next to my child at every diaper change.

The hard plastic tape on plastic diapers (now I think some use the soft tape), would sometimes end up wiggling next to the babies hips and leave red marks.

The thought of me adding all that plastic to the landfill; I just couldn’t do it. It was a rare moment that my child had a plastic diaper on.

both in cloth, Key West. Jeremy and Simon
both in cloth, Key West. Jeremy and Simon


Jeremy 1 week old; wrong way to put on a diaper
Jeremy 1 week old; wrong way to put on a diaper

I remember the first diaper change. Bob changed all the diapers for the first two weeks. We hadn’t planned it that way and to this day I have no idea how it happened. He did the first change and I just said how well he did it and he kept doing it.

He didn’t do it the best way but it worked. I think the midwife showed him how to do it properly on the third day. The pictures are so cute.

The correct way to put on a cloth diaper
pic from wikimedia–the fastest way to put on a diaper

When our first was two months old we headed out of Key West for the long trip up North. This was a yearly pilgrimage as it was just too hot in the Keys in the summer.

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Be Who You Want To Be: Barbie?

Writen by:
Raina Stevens
(This is paper my daughter did for her English class in High School. I though it was pretty interesting so I posted it. I will add the work sited page tomorrow)

If you are a female then Barbie entered your world when imagination and playtime consumed you. The name of this popular doll has been said so many times throughout women’s life that it automatically makes them reminisce about their childhood. It reminds them of the good times they had playing with Barbie, the time they cut off her hair then regretted it later, and the Barbie play-dates with their friends. However, to some cynical women, the memories they have might be disappointing ones of how they did not grow up to be as skinny and pretty as Barbie is. The classical argument regarding Barbie is that she is degrading and detrimental to the young female’s later view of herself. On the contrary, if examined closer it is apparent that Barbie is empowering and gives women the feeling of self worth.

That feeling began in 1959 when Barbie was debuted in the New York Toy Fair by toy manufacturer Mattel. The creator of Barbie and part owner of Mattel, Ruth Handler, says, “Every little girl needed a doll through which to project herself into her dream of herself in the future” (D’Amato 14). Barbie was the gateway doll for this type of self-expression. Handler came up with the idea of Barbie after watching her daughter cast aside her baby dolls in preference to paper dolls that she tirelessly attempted to keep upright and standing (D’Amato 14). Barbie was modeled after adults and allowed young girls to interact and imagine what it was like in the “grown-up” world. In the 50 years that Barbie has been around she has had a multitude of careers ranging anywhere from teenage fashion model to astronaut. The success of Barbie has been demonstrated by her ability to sell out instantly when she was first introduced and to maintain a top seller to this day.

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Human Spirit

Women of Africa

Here’s a passage that talks about the human spirit.

It struck a cord with me so I thought I would share it.

It is sweet and short.

Quick note: The author was in Africa and spent hours with his jeep stuck in the mud and guns pointing at him.

I read this in the National Geographic Vol 27, No. 4.

It’s called Kenya Passage, by Christopher Vourlias

The woman’s eyes are soft, sorrowful, resigned, but it’s my own fleeting misfortune that trougles her. Of all the things you expect to find in Africa, sympathy isn’t one of them. Earlier I’d watched a parade of women trudging on the side of the road, infants bundled on their backs, firewood balanced on their heads, I imagined that every day brought with it some fresh hardship; but maybe all those trails didn’t harden the spirit so much as soften the heart. They made you more eloquent in the language of sorrow.

You can find his blog here at postcard junkie.

Unschooling, Response to ‘Momslikeme’ Post

ABC, Good Morning America did a segment they called Extreme Homeschooling.

It was about Unschooling. I wrote a post on April 21, 2010 about this. This post is a continuation of this subject.

I was on the  Moms like Me. site and the discussions there  inspired me to write this.

jeffersonAngel ask if unschooling isn’t illegal and was wondering if parents shouldn’t go to jail for this.

There are many details left out of this whole story and therefore this subject should not be judged so quickly. Like most things, people have a tendency to judge very quickly without obtaining the facts, they think a news channel will do this research for them when in reality the news is often bias.

Unschooling is a very loose term. It is describing a type of learning that does not follow the conventional school method. This is America and we are suppose to be free. Free to make our own decisions. We also need checks and balances to make sure that freedom does not cross the line and be harmful to others. Children are particularly vulnerable. Regulating this can in itself be tricky. Who gets to decide what is crossing the line?

Most states allow unschooling. The way they regulate it is by doing evaluations by a certified teacher on a yearly basis to see that the child is not staying stagnate. If a parent lets their child watch TV all day every day then that parent/child would not pass the evaluation. That parent would have to change what they do on a daily basis or risk breaking the law. You must show that you are putting in the proper hours toward learning and that the child is advancing in what he is learning. You have to keep a daily log to show this. The parent keeps a log and so does the child. Unschooling children have to do this as do home schooled children. This piece of information was missing from the ABC report.

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Still thinking about the movie “Babies”

Ponijao lives in Namibia with her family, including her parents and eight older brothers and sisters. Ponijao’s family is part of the Himba tribe, and lives in a small village with other families.

Mari lives with her mother and father in Shibuya, a busy metropolitan area within Tokyo, at the center of all of the city’s noise and excitement. Mari is an only child and lives a contemporary urban lifestyle.

Born in Mongolia, Bayarjargal, usually called “Bayar” for short, lives with his mother, father, and older brother Delgerjargal (“Degi”) on their small family farm.

Hattie lives in San Francisco, born to very ecological, “green” parents.  Both of Hattie’s parents are equally involved in her day-to-day life, fixing her meals, taking her to play groups, and spending time with her around the house.

What am I talking about?

Why “Babies” of course.

Breastmilk squirted on the babies face to wash the eyes.
A mother licking the babies face then spiting sharply.
A jacuzzi with mother and baby. Baby is not happy.
A river to play in.
A metal bath tub to sit in while a goat drinks from it.

These are all scenes you get to be a part of for a breif hour and 20 minutes.

Some of you might say yuk or gross. I say you need to see the film to understand how it is not gross. In fact is is very amusing.

For me, I would love it to just keep going and going.  I’m looking foward to the DVD with all the extras.

Here’s my take on the above.

Breastmilk has antibiotic properties that helps get rid of infection and also help prevent infection in the first place.

All animals clean their babies by licking them. It is the most natural thing. It is not uncommon in most cultures for a parent to suck out the mucus from an infants nose and spit it out when they are sick. I have been told this from some people I know that lived in Jamaica and other Islands. I know, Yuk you say. But this is normal for them.

My babies bath tub in St John was a metal tub we bought from the hardware store. You see people wash their laundry in them. The tub would sit on the deck and they would bathe outside in the fresh warm air.

Continue reading Still thinking about the movie “Babies”

Babies- the movie

Babies-Loved it, laughed a lot. Soo damn cute with as much depth as you care to give to it. We cared alot and talked about it all day long.

Director Thomas Balmés and producer Alain Chabat – released the Focus Features Film called ‘Babies’.

Balmés and Chabat  worked over  four-years  making of the film.

There is no narration. It leaves it up to you to decide your own thought about what is going on. No conversations either.

There are some songs and dada, mama words.

I am so glad Balmé and Chabat were passionate about this movie. It brought so much joy and laughter to my heart and soul today.

My mother (72) and sister (53) and daughter (15) and son (18) all shared in the joy.

We were all smiling, laughing and I was brought to happy tears.

Really, Really Free Market in Naples, Florida

Free market poster

Went to the Really Really Free Market in Naples, Florida today.

The whole community is invited to come and share anything (within reason) for FREE.

Free, really?

Yes it really is all for FREE.

That’s why its called the Really Really Free Market.

The concept is simple. Recycle and share.

Recycle things that you have sitting in your space that you longer want or need. I’ll list a few things I have given away as examples: bread maker, pots and pans, clothing, beads, file cabinet, fossil purse. You get the idea.

The way it is considered recycled is because it is not ending up in the dump. It is being reused by someone else who is usually thrilled to receive it.

A few months ago I brought a bread maker that had been used a few times and was in perfect condition. Today when I went a women came up to me and said she was the one that I gave the bread maker to and it works great and she loves it. Today she got a bottle of laundry detergent (my new washer only uses front loader type) from me and was thrilled once again. The joy on seeing something that was annoying to me make someone else happy is well worth the trip into Naples.

As an added bonus, afterwards we go to eat at the health food restaurant right around the corner, Food and Thought. They have great food that is all organic. When were done eating we shop in their store which has reasonable prices for some of the best looking organic produce among many other healthy choices.

Free Pep Talk
Free Pep Talk

Here’s how the share part works. Need a pep talk. All you need to do is walk up to the lady with the huge sign that reads “Need a Pep Talk”. She’ll give you one for free. Want to teach a yoga class. Make a sign that reads “Free Yoga class”. Your sure to get some students pretty quick. I saw a women paint a piece of art in oils and give it away. Anything you can think of to share that creates happiness for others or yourself is great. There are no organizers. All they ask is you be respectful of others and leave no trace you were there behind when you leave.