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q&a

All You Need Is Less, Eco-Friendly Living

3 Things to Remember If You’re Eco-friendly & Your Spouse Isn’t

“I’m eco-friendly. My spouse isn’t. How do I convince them to change? Are their actions canceling out my own?”

That was the crux of a question posted by Pete on the Sweet Madeleine Facebook page.  Today I took a few minutes to make a video answering his question, featuring wind blown hair, double chins, and even a surprise appearance by a mischievous puppy.


I’ll summarise the key points after the jump for any video-averse folks out there.

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Musings

Q&A

Questions Answers by L

Questions Answers by LoretteArt on Etsy

Many moons ago, this blog was on Tumblr instead of WordPress, which allowed readers to submit anonymous questions whenever they liked. I received (and ignored) many strange ones, but also answered a lot. It was a really great way to see what I was omitting or not explaining well enough, what parts of my writing were being glossed over instead of put on the table and dissected.

SO! I hosted an impromptu Q&A on my Facebook page. You guys submitted questions via messages and comments, and now I’ll answer them! Buckle up kids, it’s about to git REAL (and long! Jesus christ this got long). We’ll start with the easy ones first and get to the hard ones (ahem, the dating ones) at the end.

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Hello! Love your blog :). I was wondering, did you have to wean Olive from being swaddled and if so, how did it go? And when did she start sleeping on her stomach? ( I noticed she did with that a video you posted of her falling asleep :))

If I recall correctly, (which, I mean, is sort of a hit or miss proposition) we stopped swaddling at around 4 months. I think the startle reflex disappears by then, and so we just started doing a looser swaddle, then just tucking blankets around her, and then just putting her down with a blanket over her.

That being said, we have started doing a loose swaddle again because she seems to really like it, and for when she falls asleep in our bed and I have to move her, it makes for an easier transition. She also flails her arms a ton when she’s tired, and this helps keep the face-punching down to a minimum.

I think we started putting her down to sleep on her tummy around the same time (4-5 months) 

Now, before I get into this, HUGE DISCLAIMER: Everyone recommends you put your baby to sleep on their back. Back-sleeping has been correlated with a decreased risk of SIDS, especially in babies younger than six months. So. Just thought I should mention that for my own peace of mind.

That said, I decided one day, as Olive was having a particularly tough time getting to sleep, to put her down on her tummy. She babbled to herself for five minutes, and was out like a light. I was elated! And horrified! And excited! And conflicted! Because, I mean, wasn’t she doing to die? I checked on her every five minutes for that entire nap, and every five minutes for the next one. I swore I would never let her sleep on her tummy, because then how could I sleep, knowing I was DOING IT WRONG?

Long story short, I continued putting her to sleep on her tummy, and it was one of the only ways she would fall asleep by herself, and eventually she started sleeping on her tummy at night, too. This whole thing stopped working when she started rolling (I think because she wasn’t able to roll before she was sort of immobilized and then thought, eh, what the hell I might as well sleep.) and she has been sleeping on her back again since probably 6 months. She also never really talks herself to sleep anymore, I nurse her to sleep for naps and at night, although I’m sort of working on putting her in her crib drowsy. So far it’s going well, but she’s only 8 months so I’m not too concerned if it takes a while.

I hope that answered your question!

 

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Could you make a post a bit in detail about early potty training?

I sure can! And here it is.

The first thing we did was purchase a book called “Diaper Free Before Three”. This is not strictly necessary, but it was helpful to read about the history of potty training (oh parenting, how you have changed me and my reading habits, too!) and also to be able to spout off fun facts to people who called us crazy for trying to potty train a six month old.

What sort of facts, you ask? Facts like, the average age of a child being completely potty trained used to be 18 months (meaning that some were later, but some were also potty trained earlier.) and that what we think of as “early” potty training actually used to be the norm, so much so that the 1946 Dr Sears parenting book was recommending delaying potty training until 6 months, meaning of course that many parents were beginning even earlier.

Then, we purchased a potty. I suppose this isn’t strictly necessary either, as I have heard of people just sitting their child on a regular toilet. I, however, had a deep, unrelenting fear that I would drop Olive into said toilet and I just couldn’t get the image of her trying to claw her way out of the toilet bowl from my mind, so we went shopping.

I have a deep loathing for all things plastic, so I settled on the Beco potty, which is made from 100% biodegradeable materials. When we are done using it (for all eighteen of our children), we simply plant it somewhere and it returns to the earth. (That is the sound of a hippie smiling.)

The Beco potty is somewhat unusual looking, and I wasn’t sure how it would work out, especially with a baby instead of a toddler, but it works perfectly and seems really comfortable for Olive.

NOW. The procedure. We started when she was 6 months old. In the beginning we would make the sign for “Potty”, then sit her on it for a few minutes between changes, or before bathtime, and hang out until either something happened, or got fussy – whichever came first. We didn’t want to force anything so if she seemed unhappy or uncomfortable we moved on.

Then around 7 months, when she was more used to it we started doing a bit in more of a routine way. She sits on her potty every morning, and usually before and after naps, too. We have seen a huge change in that she sort of seems to get it now, and usually goes within the first minute. There have also been a few times when she has woken up from her nap dry, which is very cool.

I think the next step will be for her to start signing “Potty” at us when she needs to go. The book recommends putting her in real underwear at one…which….yikes. I don’t know. We’ll see how it goes!

So, I mean, it’s unusual, but not totally crazy, right?

Hope I answered your question!

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What is your time zone?

Alright, friends. Let’s talk about question time here at Sweet Madeleine.

I, like most people, love answering questions because it’s kind of awesome thinking that people care enough to not only show up here and read this word salad on the daily, but also want to know more, and ask me things as though I know about stuff . It’s immensely fantastic and guys, level with me, it means we’re BFF’s, doesn’t it?

I will always answer questions about me, happily share my meager knowledge on parenting or crazy-hippie enviro-nonsense, expound upon my thoughts on marriage or world politics, or even whether or not Gus’ farts smell worse when they’re loud or silent (silent. oh god. SILENT.)

BUT, although I get crazy-excited whenever I see that someone has asked a question, lately there have been a few that I haven’t been answering and I thought I would explain why, just in case one of them was yours and you’re starting to think I’m being a dick.

I haven’t been answering what I think of as “small-talk” questions- things like “What’s your favorite fruit?” or “Which season do you like the best?” because I don’t think that anyone really cares.

Please believe me when I say that I am not interesting enough, or a good enough writer to make my answers entertaining for you.

I mean if I’m wrong, if you do actually want to know, if there is some burning desire deep within you that will only be satiated by knowing whether or not I prefer apples or oranges (apples. but only if they’re cold and crisp), please let me know and I will definitely answer (it’s not like I have anything else going on) but every time I get one of these I’m like “Really?” It feels somehow egotistical to think that people actually want to know my seasonal preferences.

I’m not Beyoncé. No1curr.

And secondly: guys, I can’t give out information about where we live. This particular question isn’t the motivating factor for this post-there have been a few others- but I thought it would be a good time to discuss.

I’m already crazy-lady conflicted about mommy blogging in general – I’m too good at overthinking to ignore articles like this and this and not start to convince myself that I am destroying Olive’s childhood and any future career prospects by posting pictures of petting zoos and updates on potty training – I can’t start worrying about that spilling over into real life, too.

I’m not a luddite. I am aware that if anyone were motivated enough and savvy enough, they would be able to suss out where we live fairly easily but I am trying to keep that aspect of our lives private because dang, a girl’s got to have some secrets, you know? So while I am proud to say that we live in British Columbia, Canada, I won’t really getting more specific than that and I hope you understand.

Internets, I wish I knew how to quit you. But until I figure out how (pleasegodnevernevernever), I hope you’ll keep bringing on questions about why Olive always looks like she’s stuck eight fingers in a light socket (bad hair genes), or why Gus almost had to get a gold tooth a few weeks ago (long story).

Now, to take the edge off of this post, here is a picture of Adam and I with smoky eyes.

Because it’s Tuesday.

image

We’re still BFF, right?