a little bit crunchy

Thank you all so much for your encouragement and stories related to the fibroids. I’m feeling so much better about this, and I know we’re going to be fine no matter the outcome. Your comments really helped me get to this more positive space.

We have just returned from a whirlwind trip to visit family. We gained lots of belly love and some gifts for Egghead (including a fabulous swing/infant seat combo), and I lost my glasses. Grrr.

We’re now eager to settle into some routine again. After having family visiting for nearly a week and then spending another four days with some of the same family members, we are ready for some normalcy. We have projects galore to immerse ourselves in, most of which relate to preparing for baby.

While visiting my mom, we got a ton of flannel (most of it passed down from my great-grandmother–my grandmother tends to stockpile fabric) to create cloth baby wipes, and we have already cut them up, so all that is left to do is spend countless hours at my temperamental sewing machine to zigzag the edges. It will be so worth it, though, to have these soft reusable wipes. I have found a few good recipes for a gentle cleaning solution to use with them, and I’m excited to make these too.

Our trip also brought us to our very first Babies.R.Us. It was overwhelming and even a bit disappointing. We’re planning to cloth diaper, and we were hoping to at least get some covers to help build up our supplies. Unfortunately, BRU had little more than those old, obnoxious plastic/vinyl pants, and it took asking a clerk and carefully combing the infant care section to find even these. Why these along with their one variety of cloth diapers were not placed in the huge “diapering” section, we do not know. Well, actually, my guess is a partnership with Hug.gies and P.ampers is likely the culprit. Needless to say, we came away with no diapering supplies (we’ll be buying them online).

We did find a few items to satisfy our crunchy, granola girl sides: a natural rubber pacifier, some glass bottles, and some organic, unbleached cotton nursery items (changing pad, covers, mattress cover, etc.). These things we are quite pleased about.

J and I have this funny need to rebel against all the typical plastic baby crap. We know we’ll get plenty of it, and we know we’ll likely use it gratefully, but we also want to honor how babies were raised once upon a time when one didn’t need to take a huge bag of baby trash to the dumpster every day or when one didn’t “need” to buy, buy, buy in order to raise a happy, healthy child. We see too many of our real-life friends falling into this baby crap trap where their lives are overflowing with one poorly-made plastic baby item after another, and we’re hoping to learn from this. So far, this has meant sending some clear messages to some shopaholic family members, but it seems to be working. I’m by no means a fundamentalist about this stuff, but I am not embarrassed to say that I’m insanely nostalgic for a simpler more sustainable time. And how great will it be for our boy to have a little taste of yesteryear in his upbringing?

ETA: Holy crap! My ticker reads six months. How is that possible? Belly shots to come tomorrow.

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18 Comments

Filed under babies, family, nesting

18 responses to “a little bit crunchy

  1. J

    We’re anti plastic crap as well. And those horrid bright color combinations. And things needing batteries. Of course our minds may change..but that’s how we are right now.
    6 MONTHS!
    When did that happen?!?

  2. A.

    Our first BRU experience was equally disappointing. Thank goodness for the Internet, and good for you for harkening back to a simpler time (with less plastic!)

    6 months – congratulations!!!

  3. check out abbys lane… this is where i get almost all of my cd supplies – free shipping! another crunchy thing we love – sophie the giraffe. It is a natural rubber teething toy. LJ loves it… By the way 6 months?????

  4. Elsha Quinn

    Oh! I’m am SO with you on not having a constant stream of plastic baby crap coming into your house. There’s no shortage of “baby” companies wanting to peddle their useless junk. As though you NEED their latest random contraption, when the reality is babies were raised perfectly well without ANY of those things! (Can you tell I feel very strongly about this? lol)

    I haven’t any children at the moment, but should I ever have the chance I want to buy exactly the sorts of things you wrote about.

    Big kudos to you! Pass the granola.

  5. We agree that some (most) of that plastic baby crap is unnecessary, but then again, when you’re on the other side with a colicky baby, you’ll try anything and may reconsider. lol.

    • reproducinggenius

      Oh yes, I know that will be the case, and as I said, I’m certain we’ll end up with some of that plastic baby crap too and will be happy to have it when it comes time to soothe a colicky or otherwise cranky baby. I think that I’m speaking in more general terms here about the stuff that really isn’t necessary–the stuff that isn’t there to calm the colicky baby but rather to feed the shopping bug of unwitting parents-to-be (you know, the things that never get used). I certainly hope I didn’t offend! 🙂

  6. Lyn

    Oh, I loved communing with my own temperamental sewing machine making diaper wipes! It was a great way to use up random bits of strangely colored thread.

  7. Jodi

    I’m so glad you wrote about this, especially after the baby expo fiasco of a few weeks ago wherein we came home with a bag of garbage with perhaps two or three actually usable items.

    Plastic in and of itself isn’t evil, but its cheapness combined with our disposable culture have allowed Cheap Plastic Crap to replace the good old stuff that worked just fine for many, many years. Then there’s the issue with landfills, which shivers my timbers to think about.

    What makes me mad about the BRU experience was just how hard they are making it for women who want to be more environmentally friendly moms. Hiding the cloth diapers far away from the rows upon rows of disposables; only offering one brand and none of the cool all-in-ones. The message was clear: cloth diapering is hard! And to think that this place touts itself as THE PLACE to find all of your baby needs. Not true.

    Oh yeah, and we’re making our own baby food, too! Green Moms Rebel against Cheap Plastic Crap!!!!

  8. We have plenty of plastic baby crap…really it’s hard to avoid. However, as far as toys go we have enjoyed the habba toys. They are german, wooden toys with lots of fun colors and shapes. Little J can grab them easily and I don’t worry about them going in his mouth.

    I agree that BRU is NOT clothe diaper friendly, at all! Although they are making progress with the G diapers. One step at a time, right?

  9. No offense at all, it’s just funny how things change once there’s a real live baby in the house. We weren’t going to use pacifiers until 2 or 3 weeks, but the little guy wants to comfort suck all.the.time. so pacifiers are a lifesaver. But yeah, I hear you…companies make all sorts of plastic crap that they sell as must-haves and all those things really do is take a chunk of the parents’ money.

  10. amy

    Yay for 6 months and starting on lots of baby projects!

  11. Jodi

    We found a very cool all rubber pacifier called “Natursutten,” which is German for. . . . something. No BPA’s to worry about, and it looks very old-school. Full disclosure: it cost $9.00 as opposed to the less expensive plastic ones, but how many pacifiers does a baby need, really?

  12. reproducinggenius

    I think, honestly, that this is a matter of values for us. We both spent the last decade and a half in an area that time has forgotten, where cloth diapering, breastfeeding, babywearing, and homebirths are the norm. There, we didn’t seem even remotely crunchy because, well, we recycled, but we still shopped at some big box stores and didn’t buy all of our food at the local co-op and weren’t vegetarians or vegans, and didn’t bicycle the five to ten miles to work. But we did our best.

    Now, here in the overpopulated SF Bay Area where there’s a Ta.rget or Wal.mart on every freeway exit and 4 Star.bucks in our town of 8,000, we find that we’re clinging to what we learned and valued in our old hometown and that for the most part, we’re in the minority. Yet we’re also trying to carry on some of my family traditions. My mom cloth diapered me, made my baby food, breastfed until I was ready to wean, and so on. To me, that feels pretty normal–pretty good, in fact. So for us, it’s not a matter of judging anyone who doesn’t want to aim for more natural parenting; rather, this is what we prefer for our lives, and as a result, it’s what we’ll likely prefer for our baby.

    There are always adjustments one has to make when a baby is added to the mix, but in my experience, most people try to parent in conjunction with their lifestyles and their values, and that’s all we’re trying to do. I know my mom succeeded with it through all three of her kids because as her oldest child, I watched her and helped her do it, and I’m hoping to carry this on with our child(ren) as well. But parenting, like most important tasks in life, does require flexibility, and we’re prepared to be flexible as necessary; I think we’re both just pretty firm in maintaining our personal values, and when places like BRU make that so difficult, it is more than a little frustrating.

    Okay, that’s enough over-explaining for one day; I should have just written another post! 🙂

  13. poppycat

    BRU is a necessary evil but sucks for the most part. I saw some really cute covers and other cute cute organic items at underthenile.com.

  14. cindyhoo2

    I respect your decisions and think what you are undertaking is fantastic. I will be interested to see how it goes then I can decide if I have the dedication to follow in your footsteps. Sometimes I feel like a martyr simply for separating out my recycleables.

    Oh, and 6 months…. holy cow!

  15. I’m so excited that you’re making your own wipes and I hope you post pictures once you’re done! I haven’t even thought about making mine yet, but its on the (still long) list of things to get done.

    I’m equally excited that you found glass bottles at BRU! We looked all over and couldn’t find them anywhere, but I think its worth taking another look the next time we’re there.

    Finally, I totally agree on the plastic crap. I’ve really been on a crusade the last year or so to reduce the flow of plastic into and out of our house, but its so difficult with baby stuff. I made a couple exceptions to the “no plastic” rule which sort of opened the flood gates. Wood, glass and fabric are just unheard of, unless you’re shopping at specialty internet-only shops.

  16. jay

    I totally agree r.e. baby crap!! I dread it. And – six months?! How the EFF did that happen?! Woo!

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