Wholly Canadian is a social enterprise promoting whole-life local living
...a breath of fresh air for those with a heart for local /fair-trade living, & inspiration for those intrigued...
                                     

Wholly Canadian Blog

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Christmas Past

 Christmas is so filled with consumerism. . .

I keep thinking of ways to keep a simple, yet community-oriented, joy-filled ways of celebrating!

Many parents feel overwhelmed with trying to make thought-full & care-full decisions regarding Christmas gifts.  My encouragement to Canadians is to get curious about the stories behind their purchases with three questions:

  1. Who made it and were they paid a fair-wage?
  2. Where was it made?  (Go beyond the country. . .begin to question the standard of working conditions of where it was made)
  3. Are we consuming or gift-giving from the heart? (i.e. is this just another thing in our already full house?)

In 2013 was my first year with a baby, and like many parents, I can testify to the pleasure of shopping for babies! But I wanted baby's first Christmas not only be a blessing to him, but to the community around him. At that time, he had no toy box and only a few crib toys.  I knew that in the coming months he would be ready for play.

I'm a vintage-loving mama, and early fall last year I purchased the Golden Book's "Baby Christmas." Spending many hours in the rocker with my baby gave me a great deal of time to think. . .and I began to think about the lovely toys that the baby in this book got for Christmas. My initial thought was to see if I could mimic the gifts in this book. As I let this thought ruminate within me, I had another idea stir inside me. . .Why not re-make this book with my baby? But not just re-make it--but doing so in a paradigm of goodwill. I remember being so excited about it that night, I could hardly sleep.

I had no idea at the time how much effort and time it would require. . .but I sure had a joyous time doing it. The joy was fitting his gifts in the a paradigm of goodwill.

All the gifts he received for the "Baby's Christmas" book project,  fit into three categories:

  1. Locally-made/ North American-made gifts
  2. Second-hand/used gifts
  3. Gifts he already owned (Yup, I re-gave him gifts that already sat in his nursery. . .) {grin}

Let me take you on a visual-read of some of the pages of this book. . .hopefully encouraging you to think about upcoming purchases in a paradigm of goodwill.

 

 

 

The Christmas-tree page was the most fun to replicate. . .the tree is so full of such amazing details!


. . .vintage lights, glass candy canes, my sister's home-made baked gingerbread cookies, I located vintage glass German glass churches, my sister and I strung the popcorn {and lost a needle--ouch!}, vintage nativity set from my mother-in-law, second-hand star that I painted gold, wool felted snowmen from babazoobee in Ontario, and tree from our local Ron Paul Garden Centre.

 

 

 

 

I purchased a used, vintage music-box from Switzerland. . one that plays the same lullabye as in the book. This is one of the most treasured gifts. . .so simple and so sweet.

We crank out the tune every night for baby. It's his cue that's it's bedtime. As soon as he hears the music, he turns on his side and sucks his fingers. It melts my heart every night.  Many times I tear up soaking in the sacredness of the moment. As I watch him, all tucked in, my mama's-heart wrenches a bit because this day in baby's life is over. . . for as the familiar poem says, "babies don't keep."

This is the one gift that mama will keep for herself. . .I imagine myself one day as an old granny still cranking out the lullabye on the music box, wistfully wishing these memories back. Mary, the mother of the Christ-child, was said to "ponder these things in her heart." Maybe she had a tune in her heart as well. . .

 

 

 

"A little drum to beat upon. . ." 

Found this second-hand as well.

 

 

 

"A kiddie car that steers. . ."

Made in Ontario, Canada by Thorpe Toys

 

 

 

A ball to roll along the floor. . .

I wanted an identical ball, so I chose British Columbia Splat and Co to make an identical ball for baby with a jingle bell in the centre!

 

 

 

"A picture book. . . "

With some extensive searching I found the identical "Baby's Mother's Goose" Golden Book. . .it turns out that it is one of my baby's favourite books now. He loves the nursery rhymes. As it is a 1968 used edition, I have to keep the book out of his reach, as he really wants to love on the book! The illustrated pictures of the children in the book are so precious!



"A rocking horse. . ."

Granny had previously purchased him a used rocking-horse. . .so we gave it to him again!



I found a used vintage bouncy seat we used as a prop for the picture. . .it was a great deal of fun re-creating this picture at Granny's house with the garland, nativity set, and stocking.




"A shovel and a pail. . ."

A used vintage shovel & pail that was made in the USA.

 

 

 

"A little boat for baby dear to sail. . ." 

Hailing from Alberta, I purchased this boat from Jacob's Wooden Toys. We had to do many baths to take this pic, as we were on a real beet-eating streak, and the water was always pink. Finally, I cut out the beets!

 

 

 

"A milk truck. . ."

Undoubtedly one of his favourite toys! I found a used milk truck, and oh, what fun! We just have to make sure he does not chew on the milk bottles (they were already pre-chewed by a previous baby!) because vintage paint is generally not safe for babies.

 ---------------------------------------

Now's a good time to talk about his outfit. Traditionally baby wore diaper shirts and diaper pants. I had one made by one of my favourite baby clothing shops: Mabel Retro from British Columbia. I'm thinking about getting some red Christmas pajamas from there for this Christmas. So cute!

----------------------------------------

"And a train. . ." 

He already had this train sitting in his nursery. Prior to his birth, I found this used vintage train stamped as "H L Wooden Toy Company." Wonder if they are still around?    I think "Lil' Engine" was the second word he understood, as when he was just a wee baby, everytime we would enter his nursery, I would always roll it back and forth on his shelf and say "Lil' Engine." This, too, is one of his favourite toys. We are currently reading about "The Little Engine that could" and just took a ride on a steam engine in Assiniboine Park!

 

 

 

"Where will baby keep the toys. . .?"

 

 

 

"And that's where Baby puts the toys at the end of every day. . ." 

I didn't have a budget for a toybox. So we re-created one with one of our already-owned vintage wooden creates, painted it red, and put some castor wheels on it. I figued it would be easier to clean if it wheeled around. And true encough, now at 18 months, he's starting to clean up his toys when we make a game of it {I'm trying to make this his job!} 

The little red toy box was Papa's project, and he did a fantastic job. . .albeit we had to borrow our neighbour's drill when we couldn't find ours on Christmas Eve. . .oh, the pressure on Christmas Eve!

This is how he learned to walk. . .by pushing his toy cart around the house. It's proved to be a multi-functional toy. When we arrive home, the first thing he does is look for for his toy cart, and takes it for a spin!

 

 

 

We even re-created this picture at Granny's house. . .I had a wool red duster coaster made for me by a local seamstress with a vintage pattern.

 

 

Christmas 2013. Oh, what fun, we had. . .Again, just a sample of some of the pages from The Golden Book: "Baby's Christmas."

What amazes me is how much joy local & re-used gifts can offer.  While many people are not in the same baby-stage, I provide these examples to serve as a catalyst to get your creative juices going. . .How can a spirit of goodwill inform your purchases this year?

You see this paradigm isn't just for babies.  When you think about the conventional gifts that most babies receive, they're "cheap" imports that still cost a pretty penny. To purchase gifts in a paradigm of goodwill requires curiousity--no matter what stage of you life you are in!

Start thinking about local, fair-trade, used, etc. . . (Click here for a post on Why.)


 


Again, my challenge to Canadians is to get curious about the stories behind their purchases with three questions:

  1. Who made it and were they paid a fair-wage?
  2. Where was it made?  (Go beyond the country. . .begin to question the standard of working conditions of where it was made)
  3. Are we consuming or gift-giving from the heart? (i.e. is this just another thing in our already full house?)

It always breaks my heart thinking about the countless children involved in child-labour to produce toys, candy, and food for North American children (and adults). . .

This post is itended to be an encouragment for artisans, parents, and the average Canadian . . .We hope you are inspired to give Christmas gifts in a true spirit of "peace and goodwill to all." Gifts are meant to bless more than just than the receiver. . .how will you make your gifts a blessing to community?



Wholly Canadian wants to challenge all Canadians this coming Christmas in their shopping!

What are ways that you celebrate Christmas?

 

Posted by Wholly Canadian at 7:00 AM 3 Comments

Thursday, July 16, 2015

DIY: Diaper Spray made with Canadian Love

So we're in baby mode at our house (read about our baby-love here), and of course with all that baby-love comes that dirty business of diapers.  




My baby is currently three weeks old, and we're back to using cloth diapers. (See why we cloth diaper here).  And if you already cloth diaper and are laundering diapers anyway, you may as well use cloth wipes which work best with a diaper spray solution.  So this morning I concocted a diaper spray that I am so excited to share.

This diaper spray is easy to make!

By the way, even if you don't cloth diaper, you can still use this spray with cloth wipes. Start with what is manageable for you. Not to mention, that using cloth wipes is so much more effective in clean-up than using disposable wipes which often just don't have the pick-me up of cloth fibre. . .and simply wipe the "mess" around.



Ingredients:

  • 2 cups tea--chamomile or lavender and/or both:
    • 1 cup chamomile tea--I used Manitoba-grown Blue Lagoon organic chamomile tea
    • 1 cup lavender tea--I used Quebec-grown Bleu Lavande tea
      • read about why I use lavender tea instead of lavender essential oil here
  • 1 Tb. raw honey--I used Manitoba-made John Russell honey
  • 2 Tb. Canadian-grown oil--I used Manitoba Harvest hemp oil
  • 2 Tb. castile soap--I used Canadian-made Green Beaver castile soap that is made with locally harvest organic sunflower oil instead of imported olive oil
  • 4-8 drops of naturally antiseptic essential oil--I used Quebec-grown & distilled Aliksir Poplar Balsam essential oil.
    • read about my journey with discovering true Canadian-made essential oils here

 


Directions:

1. Make the two cups of tea. Steep for desired strength. I used one TB of loose tea, or 1 tea bag per cup.

2. Allow the tea to cool slightly. While still warm (but not hot) add the honey.  You don't want heat to destroy the raw enzymes of the honey & the beneficial components of the essential oil.

3. Once the honey is dissolved you can add the remainder of the ingredients. Stir. Pour in a spray bottle (preferably glass).

4. Use this spray with resuable cloth wipes.  Shake well before each use.


Makes 2 cups. Store in dark glass bottle away from the sun.

 


What makes this Diaper Spray so Canadian-esque & Special:

  • Healthy bums make happy babies!
    • This diaper spray is free of  harmful ingredients & preservatives found in diaper wipes. Have you ever read the ingredients used in disposable wipes? Crazy!  Note: if you can't pronounce the words you probably shouldn't be putting on your baby.
    • Beneficial ingredients to promote healing--ingredients that are read-able & familiar! Feel good everytime you spray your baby's bottom. Not only does this diaper spray clean that bottom, but it also encourages healing:
      • Hemp oil--contains fatty acids that nourish & moisterize the skin
      • Lavender--naturally antiseptic with antifungal properties; speeds up healing
      • Chamomile--effective in soothing skin and is an anti-oxidant. Both lavender & chamomile are used to treat eczema
      • Honey--naturally antiseptic and loaded with enzymes and nutrients
  • It's a sustainable approach for living.  Instead of buying box after box of diaper wipes which end up in the landfill, simply use this spray with cloth wipes.
  • Saves $$$. Yup, that's important when living with a tight budget.
  • It boasts only local/Canadian ingredients--one component of our proposal for Wholly Canadian living.  Supporting Canadian farmers & Canadian business is possible even in the nursery {grin}.

 

 

 

For an all-purpose Canadian household disinfectant spray check out this recipe. Very handy for cleaning those nursery "spills" & "sprays."


If you missed our previous posts about what we packed in our baby bag to get ready for the baby, and how we prepared our nursery--make sure to check it out!



And our course if you know of a baby on the way or have a baby in your life, make sure to check out "Canada's BEST Baby Registry"--for gifts filled with true love that are either made locally or fair-trade.

 


Posted by Wholly Canadian at 5:57 AM 1 Comments

Friday, June 19, 2015

Baby Bag Packed: Wholly Canadian Excitement

We're getting excited to meet Baby #2. . . any day now!

Recently we've shared how we:

As many a mama knows, there's a lot of prep work that goes into preparing for baby. One of those is preparing the "hospital" bag.



Here are some Wholly Canadian treasures packed in this mama's bag.

 

1. "Gift" from baby to toddler

. . . a quiet activity for a little guy who loves cars, made by Market Eighty Nine in Manitoba. I let our little guy already play with it a few times, so that when baby officially "gives" it to him, he has reference for it and already loves it {smile}.

 

2. "Gift" from toddler to baby

. . . our well-loved Ringley rattle ball. I've been telling our little guy how he will shake this for the baby so the baby won't cry. {here's hoping}  We wrote about Ringley here; they are also listed on our online Canada's BEST Baby Registry.

Image result for ringley ball

 

3. Used/Pre-loved Clothing. . .Re-using is a key tenet of Wholly Canadian

  • take-home outfit that my husband wore--for boy or girl
  • vintage Eaton's shawl blanket
  • vintage baby girl bonnet & cardigan I purchased at a thrift store
  • and a boy bonnet/cap that my late-mother used for my brother when he was a baby

 It's great incorporating something from each of our families . . .

 

 

4. Pre-loved case

I just picked up this week at the Old Revial Company in Winnipeg; it's a Samsonite case vintage 1962 and made in Canada!


 

I am using this as my essential oil's case for my diffuser and oils.

 

5. Made-in-Canada Snacks:

Image result for bushman bar canada

Image result for gorp bar


Image result for solberry bar

 

Each one of these nutrition bars has a fantastic and enjoyable Canadian story . . . check out their websites!

 

6. Homemade Snacks

  • homemade chicken broth

Image result for broth jar gem


Image result for camino bittersweet chocolate

 

  • wild MB blueberry & hemp muffins

. . . blueberries I froze from Jardins St-Leon last summer, and hemp hearts from Manitoba Harvest hemp seeds


Hemp Hearts - 56g

 

 

  • homemade strawberry water kefir (probiotic bubbly drink). . . learn how to make it here, or get a kefir culture here

 


7. Mama's Beauty Bag

. . . okay I know I won't look like the Duchess of Cambridge after birth, but I have a few items Canadian-made beauty items packed for some pictures of posterity {grin}


  • Pure Anada lip gloss for pictures {smile}--read more about why we love them here

Image result for pure anada lip gloss


Image result for river city herbals lip balm

 

  • Stylish Mode headband to keep my hair back: read more about why we love them here

Wide Navy Polka Dot Headband


  • Pure Hazelwood necklace for anti-inflammatory relief: read more about why we love them here

A05-Freshwater-pearls-flower

We'll keep you posted with our news. . .

What do you think it will be? A boy or a girl?


 

 


Posted by Wholly Canadian at 6:00 AM 1 Comments

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Soon-to-arrive Wholly Canadian Baby

 In just a few days we're expecting baby #2 . . . and it has been such a joy to do a "baby journey" in a #madeincanada community.

I thought I would briefly write about some of the baby delights in our nursery {grin}  Just recently we launched an online on our webpage with Canada's BEST Baby Registry. Have you seen it yet?  It's a compilation of incredible baby items. This is what Canadian parents have been waiting for!


But back to our nursery. ..As always, we have tried to incoroporate three of our major tenets:

  1. Shop Canadian-made . . .actively loving your fellow Canadian citizen/ "neighbour"
  2. Shop fair-trade . . .supporting your international "neighbour"
  3. Shop vintage/re-purposed/pre-loved. . . purposing to care for Creation and live sustainably.
         

See why a nursery filled with a true love for our neighbours mattersAs most Canadian parents, we have done this on a tight budget. We have purchased wisely & minimally. A small house requires intentionality.



So here's 1) what is new in our nursery, here's what is on a 2) "dream list," and here's what our nursery 3) currently holds.



New (Old) Finds: What's New in our Nursery

Our nursery will house two little "bears" soon . . . and so making space in a small space takes some forethought. We're trying to take advantage of vertical space, because, well there is so little horizontal space!

I purchasd some authentic antique hooks from Old Revival House in Winnipeg--to hang up towels, diaper covers, etc.  These four hooks make such a difference for us!

 

I also found a used/pre-loved handcrafted vertical organizer that I am using to store shoes. . .

 

And finally a little welcome for our soon-to-arrive bundle . . . some prairie daisies from mama's garden in a vintage bootie vase I found at a thrift store. This perennial daisy plant is originally from the homestead where my father grew up . . . so it makes for a rich rooted welcome. {smile}




 

Here's what is on our "dream list". . .

 

Layette & Clothing:

 

Accessories

For Mama:

Toys:

Bunny-Rabbit organic baby blanket Natural and Eco Friendly Teething and Nursing Necklace - Maple Yang Rainbow wooden stacker, wooden toy by Atelier Cheval de bois
Papoumpapoum bunny rabbit blanket Painted Turtle teething necklace  Atelier Cheval de bois rainbow wood stacker


As we don't know if we're having a boy or a girl (the old fashioned way), it gives way to some extra anticipation. . .

If we have a girl:

 

If we have a boy:

 

 Organic Cotton Bloomer with Ruffle Bum shown in Avnee Gray and Avnee Green ballet flats / frosted pink leather  Baby Blue Seersucker Shortall Set | Boys Spring Outfit | 2 Piece Set
.OM Home bloomers Ulla & Viggo ballet flats  Mabel Retro shortall set


 Our Current Nursery

Baby "Equipment"

C= Canadian-made, F=fairtrade, U=used

Carseat

Clek

C
Carseat Accessories

Playful Peanut

  • carseat canopy--see here
C

 

Babywearing

C= Canadian-made, F=fairtrade, U=used

Wraps & Carriers:  

Peapod Creations

C

 

Bedding & Sleep Sacks

C= Canadian-made, F=fairtrade, U=used

Mattress & Duvet

Shepherd's Dream

C
Sleep Sacks

Gurumama

C

 

Clothing & Footwear

C= Canadian-made, F=fairtrade, U=used

Layette & Accessories

 

Kushies

  • change table, bassinett sheet, & playpen sheets
C

Itty Bitty Baby

  • sleep sacks & sleepers
C
Clothing & Accessories 
 

Mabel Retro

  • diaper shirt set, pajamas--see here
C

Footwear

 

Padraig

  • wool slippers--see here
C

ulla & viggo

  • moccasins
C

Soft Sole Baby Shoes

  • leather shoes
C

Outer-wear:

   
  • Sun Protection

No Zone

  • one-piece sun suit
C
  • Jackets & Snowsuits

Canada Goose

  • snow suit (we purchased thesed used)
C

 

Diapering & Bathing

C= Canadian-made, F=fairtrade, U=used

Bathtub

Spa Baby

  • bath tub
C
Diapers

AMP

C

Mother-ease

C

Diapering

Accessories

   

Playful Peanut

  • wet bags--see here
C

 

Feeding & Nursing

C= Canadian-made, F=fairtrade, U=used

High Chairs/ Boosters

Monte

  • high chair
C
Bibs

Mally Bibs

  • baby & toddler leather bib--see pic here
C
Nursing Accessories 

Mayukori Nursing Pillow

  • buckwheat filled pillow
C

Peapod Creations

  • Infinity nursing scarf
C

 

Health & Skincare

C= Canadian-made, F=fairtrade, U=used

Lotions, Balms, SPF & Soaps

Dimpleskins

  • See what we've used here
C

Mama Pacha

  • See what we've used here
C

Rocky Mountain

  • See what we've used here
C

Anointment

  • Push ointment
C
   
Homeopathic Medicine & Accessories

Kid's 0-9

  • teething, fever, cold homeopathic remedies
C

Suro Elderberry Syrup

  • See what we've used here
C

St Francis Herb Farm

  • See what we've used here
C

Pure Hazelwood

  • See what we've used here
C

 

 

Laundry

C= Canadian-made, F=fairtrade, U=used

Dryer Balls

Splat & Co

  • see here for why
C
Detergent    

Nature Clean

  • see why we like them
C

 

Maternity & Nursing Wear

C= Canadian-made, F=fairtrade, U=used

Clothing

Carry Maternity (their in-house brand)

  • dress
C
Outer-wear

Make My Belly Fit

  • zipper extension
C
Second-hand wear Lots of used maternity wear
U

 

Nursery Furniture

C= Canadian-made, F=fairtrade, U=used

Furniture

Dutailier

  • see why we chose this rocker
C
Buying used in this category is also an excellent choice. . .We did a lot of that.

 

Nursery Organization

C= Canadian-made, F=fairtrade, U=used

Baskets Ten Thousand Villages F

 

Toys

C= Canadian-made, F=fairtrade, U=used

Teething toys Ringley C
Puppets & Dolls Ten Thousand Villages F
Wooden Doll House

Jacob's Wooden Toys

C
Wooden Toys    

Thorpe Toys

C

Purchasing used toys is a great way to save $, as well as purchase items that are no longer made; we purchased many unique used wooden toys for our little one.

See this post for Christmas baby gift ideas

U

 

 

Wool & Sheepskin Products

C= Canadian-made, F=fairtrade, U=used

Egli Sheep farm C
Wonderful World of Sheepskin C
Check out our blog post on baby wool items: "I love Ewe, Baby"  

 

 

What memories do you have of your nursery?

I have found this simple paradigm of love (local, used, and fair-trade) makes such an impact! And brings such joy to your nursery. During the endless hours of sitting in the nursery comforting and feeding a little one, allowing one's eyes to survey the impact of choices . . . one discovers a unique delight that comes only from thinking about others.

Preparing for baby is one of the most precious seasons of life. . .thus, being rooted in a shopping paradigm of goodwill for one's "neighbour" would seem to be a natural outflow of the love & joy of the season.  As Canadian mamas and papas prepare for their little one, they can be actively sharing love for their "neighbour" with some simple intentionality.


 

Stay tuned for our baby news. . .


Posted by Wholly Canadian at 6:32 AM 1 Comments

Wednesday, April 08, 2015

Birthday Party with a Local Flair: I Cho Cho Choose You

Wholly Canadian's little guy. . .just turned two. A birthday party was in order.

Theme of the Party? Trains (He's enamoroued with trains).

Underpinnings of the Party? Simplicity & a local flair


This party would not induce Pinterest envy; and that's fine with me {smile}. But it brought tons of joy.


 

So here are some ideas for those wanting to add some simple local flair to their birthday parties.

1. Food:

I made pizza buns. I mixed local meat with italian sauce and local cheese. I served it on some homemade buns made with local grains. Voila! A very tasty and healthy entree.

I purchased my meat from All Natural Meats in Manitoba using their elk garlic sausage & pepperoni. Delicious!

Choosing natural meat is critical for children's development . . .so it's a worthy investment.

All Natural Meats. Buy Local. Buy Fresh. Buy All Natural Meats.

 

2. Cake:

I made a cake with Canadian-made, Comensoli's gluten-free cake mix . . . a delicious cake that just happens to be gluten-free!  This was the first cake (of many to come) that I decorated without help from my sister. . . and I really enjoyed the challenge!  There's something about creativity under pressure. . .{grin}

 product-ccmix

 

 


3. Party Favours

Simplicity often means less is more. I didn't want to go to the dollar store and buy a loot bag brimming with cheap stuff, so we simply gave away two items.

a) Sugar Cookies made with nut flour and sweetened with Canadian maple sugar:


b) And train crayonsCrazy 4 Crayons sponsored this giveaway which proved to be a big hit! Hailing from Calgary, Trish Skinner, makes crayons in so many creative shapes and moulds, e.g. owls, dinasours, princesses, mermaids, animals, vehicles, castles, sea shells, robots, etc.



Obviously we chose the train crayon!  These crayons are a great idea, as they are both pragmatic and fun.  Parents appreciate a party favour that does not clutter the house. 



Check her out for your next party! Crazy 4 Crayons

 

 

4. Simple games:

We played simple games like running and crawling races (treats at the finish line helped the little guys understand the goal), duck duck goose (okay that was a bit complicated for 2-year-olds who couldn't understand why they had suddenly get up and run the opposite direction), and sang some action songs.


While waiting for the pizza buns we read the classic story "The Little Engine that Could"



the-little-engine-that-could.jpg

 

 

5. Second-hand outfit:

I found a pair of pinstripe engineer ovealls on ebay that suited their second owner.  Buying used is one of Wholly Canadians' core tenets.

 

6. Nap time!

So after the games, eats, and gifts it was nap time--for all involved! 

 

7. Birthday Gifts:

In addition to some generous gifts from his friends, our little guy received two gifts at home:

 

1. "Helper Stool"

I had this stool custom made to fit our (okay, my) needs. We have a small pedestal sink in our bathroom, so it was getting difficult to lift him up to wash his hands. I wanted a safe stool that he could climb, and that was easy for me to move.

I had the handles on this stool custom-made at my height (yup, this pregnant mama deserves some perks), and the stool has castors (wheels) at the back which are activated when the stool is tipped. This makes for easy moving.

We purchased this stool from Ed Hiebert in Winnipeg who can be reached via email.

 

 

I also had this stool made at only 12" inches in width, because we have a small house, and I wanted it take the least amount of real estate.

This little guy loves his stool!  If I tell him it's time to wash his hands, he gets excited and always says "With stool?" "Yes," mama says, "with stool." And then he carefully climbs up by himself (he's a cautious guy) and says "Oh do" which means "I do." "Yes," mama says "you do." 

The last few weeks he's been my "helper" in the kitchen. It allows me time to make meals and have him feel a part of this prep. His prep, however, is mostly playing with toothpicks and trying to get them back in their container. It works for me!

 

2. Kid's Table made of Barnwood!

The second gift he received is also a pragmatic gift, but a great deal of fun!  Created by and sponsored by Prairie Barnwood, this kid's table has become invaluable for our little home.  I wanted a small table that would function as a daily snack table, extra table when friends come over, and a craft table. The drawer (which is accessed on both sides of the table) is mama's secret weapon for a quick clean-up.  It hosts a variety of treasured items and crafts.


 

Made in Morden, MB with Canadian-made barnwood, this table is a wonderful addition to our little home. The workmanship is top-notch.

It is displayed with two second-hand stools (one of which used to be a Mennonite milking stool that I found on kijiji, and the other at a thrift store).

Looking for some unique but sturdy furniture filled with goodwill? Check out Prairie Barnwood, and start drooling.

We've featured them previously and you can read about it here. . .



Why Local?

Why employ a community-orientation in your birthday parties?

    • It's intentional: many of the ingredients and items used to celebrate this birthday were  local, fair-trade, or used . . .few good things of life are accidental. I'm always reminded that acts of goodwill and kindness are intentional. . .and this is a "life message" I want to pass on to our little guy.
    • It Brings Joy! The party was rooted in community & goodwill. . . rather than buying what is "cheapest for me," it thinks "we". . . giving way to a true joy
    • It's a part of being in a story. . .Life is a story. It's a chain of moments that create a "life story." How is your "story" being told?  We've read countless stories to our little guy, but I want him to grow up remembering he's part of an incredible story. . .

 

For a good resource on why this matters see "Why Localism"


What birthday party gifts and ideas have you implemented that are full of goodwill?

Posted by Wholly Canadian at 8:34 AM 0 Comments

Wednesday, March 04, 2015

The Best Canadian Baby Registry List . . . True Love

There are only a few times in life where a person has to engage in a major shopping spree to prepare for another stage of life. . .and one of those is having a baby!

Go straight to Baby Registry Categories . . .



So often Canadian parents are relying on imported goods to set up their nursery, not because they necessarily desire that, but just because these goods are so accessible. 


Photo credit: www.catephotography.com


Questions Canadian parents have:

  • Where do I find Canadian-made products?
  • I'm on a tight budget, won't it cost more?
  • I don't know have extra time to do research, can you help me out?

 


Wholly Canadian wants to help Canadian parents out by preparing a list that incorporates three of our major tenets:

  1. Shop Canadian-made . . .actively loving your fellow Canadian citizen/ "neighbour"
  2. Shop fair-trade . . .supporting your international "neighbour"
  3. Shop vintage/re-purposed/pre-loved. . . purposing to care for Creation and live sustainably.

 


This simple paradigm of love makes such an impact! And brings such joy to your nursery. During the endless hours of sitting in the nursery comforting and feeding your little one, let your eyes survey the impact of your choices. . .and discover a unique delight that comes from thinking about others.
Preparing for baby is one of the most precious seasons of life. . .thus, being rooted in a shopping paradigm of goodwill for one's "neighbour" would seem to be a natural outflow of the love & joy of the season.  As Canadian mamas and papas prepare for their little one, they can be actively sharing love for their "neighbour" (whether it be a fellow Canadian citizen, an international worker, or else caring for creation by buying used) with some simple intentionality.


Categories:"Best Canadian Baby Registry"

Click on any category

 --------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

 


Nursery Furniture

C= Canadian-made, F=fairtrade, U=used

Furniture

(rockers, cribs, bassinets, dressers, etc)

Dutailier C
Monte C
Natart Juvenile C
Buying used in this category is also an excellent choice. . .

 

 

Canadian-made: (Dutailier rocker that we love, Shepherd's Dream bedding & mattress that creates an ideal place to count sheep, and home-made curtains); and Second-hand items (crib, mobile, little chair, corner shelf, re-purposed TV Tray made into a laundry hamper, artwork)



Canadian-made: (Kushies change-table cover); and Second-hand items (re-purposed dresser, bookcase, wall shelf)


Second-hand chandelier


Toys

C= Canadian-made, F=fairtrade, U=used

Teething toys Ringley C
Painted Turtle C
   
Puppets & Dolls Ten Thousand Villages F
  Papoum C
Wooden Doll House Jacob's Wooden Toys C
Wooden Toys L'Atelier Cheval de Bois C
Thorpe Toys C
   

Purchasing used toys is a great way to save $, as well as purchase items that are no longer made; we purchased many unique used wooden toys for our little one.

See this post for Christmas baby gift ideas

U

 

   
Enjoying used toys, and riding his Canadian-made Thorpe Toys kiddie car


Clothing & Footwear

C= Canadian-made, F=fairtrade, U=used

Layette & Accessories

 

Kushies C
Itty Bitty Baby C
OM Home C
glo F
Glup C
Clothing & Accessories  Small Potatoes C
Mabel Retro C
   

Footwear

 

Padraig C
ulla & viggo C
Soft Sole Baby Shoes C
Mini Toes C
Kamik (toddler boots) C

Outer-wear:

   
  • Sun Protection
No Zone C
  • Mittens
mimiTENS C
  • Jackets & Snowsuits
Canada Goose C

Buying used in this category makes so much sense; we've frequented consignment, thrift stores, garage sales, etc to keep up with our growing little one!

U

 

Vintage sweater I found in the thrift store, and vintage shoes my baby wore North American home-made outfit
Sporting vintage second-hand clothing 
Canadian-made Mable Retro PJs
North American home-made outfit


Bedding & Sleep Sacks

C= Canadian-made, F=fairtrade, U=used

Linens & Blankets Kushies C
Dream Designs C
OM Home C
Sweet Kyla C
   
Mattress & Duvet Shepherd's Dream C
Sleep Sacks Gurumama C
Kangapouch C

 

Diapering & Bathing

C= Canadian-made, F=fairtrade, U=used

Bathtub Spa Baby C
Diapers AMP C
Mother-ease C
Bummis C
Kushies C
Monkey Doodlez C
Apple Cheeks C
Boobles Bottoms C
Funky Fluff C
Ella Bella Bum C
Peepooie C
Maple Bean C
Jack Be Thimble C
   

Diapering

Accessories

Elari Diaper Wallets C
Playful Peanut C
Colibri C
Buying used in this category is a great way to save money.  U

 

Diaper Stash with pre-owned & Canadian-made diapers


See why we cloth diaper in this post


Baby "Equipment"

C= Canadian-made, F=fairtrade, U=used

Carseat Clek C
Carseat Accessories Playful Peanut C
Saucers/Playpens/Strollers/Swings, etc Has anyone discovered these items made in Canada? U

 

 Used saucer that came in handy when mama gardened


Feeding & Nursing

C= Canadian-made, F=fairtrade, U=used

High Chairs/ Boosters Monte C
Bibs Mally Bibs C
Nursing Accessories  Mayukori Nursing Pillow C
Kushies C
Nneka Nursing Pillow C
Sweet Sparrow Design C

 

baby eating rice for the first time


In his used high chair; sporting his Canadian-made Mally Bib


Baby Health & Skincare

C= Canadian-made, F=fairtrade, U=used

Lotions, Balms, SPF & Soaps Dimpleskins C
Mama Pacha Tags used and repurposed  Canadian-made  fair-trade  baby 
Posted by Wholly Canadian at 7:00 AM 3 Comments

Monday, January 26, 2015

I Love Ewe, Baby

Babies and Wool. . .some of my favourite things! I hope "ewe" love them, too!

Since my recent announcement, my mind is in Baby gear and I thought I might post some of my favourite baby Canadian-made wool products.

Shepherd's Dream: Baby Bedding

My baby has the complete baby ensemble  (wool mattress, mattress protector, duvet, duvet cover, and puddle pad). There's sbaby beddinguch a peace knowing my baby is sleeping on a mattress without toxins. I worked so hard on extra jobs and saved for many months to make this baby ensemble possible, and now my baby sleeps like a little lamb.

I really recommend their puddle pad for every baby--it’s great to travel with to protect against leaks, especially. you’re laying your baby in someone else’s bed. And the great thing is that baby always smells his home when you lay down that puddle pad under him.  It’s a great baby gift!

This company has been one of my favourites for a while, and I wrote about them in September's "Top Ten" products, sharing one of my favourite memories. . ."When my husband was getting acquainted with this company after hearing me talk about it so much, he once accidentally referred to it as “Sheep Dreams” instead of “Shepherd’s Dreams.” It made me laugh! So cute.  Now we often refer to it as “Sheep-sy” Dreams” referring back to the joke.  Every night when my baby goes to bed I toss his Shepherd’s Dream wool duvet over him, pull it down with sudden a tug, so it snuggled under his arm just right, and say, “Sheep-sy Dream, Woosh!”  He giggles, turns over to his side, then closes his eyes and sucks his fingers. Love it!"

 

Purely Bev Creations--Cardigan & Hat

I asked Purely Bev Creations to crotchet a baby blue merino wool hat & cardigan. My little munchkin wore this for over 12 months.  It was one of our favourites.

It was a pleasure supporting a local artisan, as well as dressing my baby in something unique. He got so many compliments on his outfit.

Papa with his helper

 

 

Padraigs

As written about in October's "Top Ten": As I type this, baby is marching around the house in his padraig slippers.  We received his first pair as a baby gift, and ever since then we've purchased subsequent sizes. They are so comfortable, warm for our Canadian winters, and simply adorable. Now I'm dreaming about an adult pair for this mama. . .did you know they make adult sizes?
Cream StripeAbout: Helen, the founder, made her first pair of slippers for her young son in the winter of 1977; they had a hand cut sheepskin sole and a crocheted upper made with hand spun raw wool. .  the slipper line and the company have grown and evolved.

Favourite Memory: At my baby's first baby shower. I had him wrapped up in a shawl, and he was wearing this tiny cream "baby sack" that had a bit of a draw-string at the bottom. . .and when people unraveled his blanket, to behold the little bundle, out peeked these newborn cream padraig slippers. It melted hearts.  I will never forget that memory

 

Hand-woven Wool Blanket

I received a small hand-woven baby blanket as a baby-gift from our neighbour made by artisan Susan Styrchak. I've never received anything woven on a loom before; so it's quite a unique gift. We put this blanket in baby's crib as an extra cuddle blanket. We call it "Biscuit" blanket, because our neighbour has a cat named "Biscuit."

 

Sleep Sacks:

1. gurumama.

The first sleepsack we owned was an organic one from gurumama. Gurumama made January's "Top Ten" list: Keeping baby warm during Manitoba winter nights is one of this mama's top priorities. This is why I rely on Manitoba-made organic wool sleep sacks. I appreciate the inverted zipper, natural fibre of wool that wicks away moisture, and organic quality of this sleep sack. And love that it is made locally! We have used the larger size for two winters now.

I wrote about my favourite memory: "When Gramps saw Wholly Canadian baby wearing his sleep sack, he immediately called him "SweePea"--after the baby in Popeye cartoon.  It stuck, because now that our baby walks/waddles in his sleep sack to choose his bedtime story from the nursery bookcase, we laugh because he is literally "sweeping" the floor."

2. I also had my seamstress make another one from a vintage wool blanket. This incorporates one of Wholly Canadian's tenets: buying used/re-purposing.

 

Wool diaper inserts

I  find that we (i.e. my baby) need a ton of absorbancy for those long nights; hence wool diaper inserts. I've had my seamstress cut some wool inserts (from an old wool blanket). We layer these under a cotton or hemp insert.  I've also cut some inserts out from old wool/cashmere sweaters (without any hem). Wool is extremely absorbant and thus makes for a great addition for a night-time diaper combo.

 

 

Wool Diaper Covers

I'm a big believer in using natural fibre for diapering. . .plastic on a baby's bottom doesn't sound like a healthy recipe to me.  (I wrote about about why we cloth diaper here.) This is why I purchased wool diaper covers made by Jill Zurzolo. She uses thrifted or recycled wool to make some rather fetch diaper covers!  I've purchased mine in a gender-netural fashionable plaid.  I love these covers, because they are have the same style of snaps (that allow for growth) and fit like other snap diaper covers that allow versatility in one's choice of diapers: insert or fitted diaper.

My Diaper Model showcasing his wool diaper cover from different angles

 

I've got seven of them, and after each use I aerate them outside (cold or hot weather) to let Mother Nature kiss them with her fresh touch.  After rotating through the stash, I handwash them once a month, following basic wool wash directions--using lanolin to naturally "waterproof." 

For some reason I actually really enjoy washing them; this simple yet deliberate activity always makes me pause (more so than a great deal of other baby-related tasks), and give thanks for both my baby and the privilege of using such simple and basic skills and materials. It's part of the simple life for me.

Jill doesn't have anything in her Etsy shop at this point, but you can contact her through Etsy for custom orders.


The Wonderful World of Sheepskin

Mittens--Yeah they come on a string! I cannot tell you how much this means to a parent who is in a rush. One less thing for which to look!

Made right here in Winnipeg, MB--it's a thrill to wear local products!

 

Egli:

I wrote about Egli's Sheep Farm (my polar mitts) in October when they made the "Top Ten."  Elgi sheep farm is tucked away in western Ontario and manufacture most of their products directly on their farm.  Here is a baby product that we have enjoyed:

Egli sheep farm is tucked away in western Ontario, and manufactures their products directly on their farm. They also have an animal park. - See more at: http://whollycanadian.ca/top-ten/wholly-canadian-top-products.cfm?month=October&year=2014#Egli%27s%20Sheep%20Farm%20-%20Polar%20Mitts

 

  • Lambskin--We received this as a baby gift from my sister, and it has become part of our living room. Wholly Canadian baby loves cuddling with it, and I enjoyed sitting him up against this sheepskin for his monthly (1-12 month) photos that I would take in the same spot each month; it created a wonderful backdrop. I also used this for baby's tummy-time when he was younger.

 

No longer available:

 ----------------------------

 

On my dream list. . .

1. Egli wool bodysuit

2. Egli pom pom icetrooper hat

 

 

 

3. Hand-knit merion grizzly bear cardigan by Vancouver based, Mountain Masche

4. Wool-knit cowichan style sweater by saintpierre in Alberta

As you can tell I've got a thing for "bear" clothing. Ever since we were pregnant, we called our baby "Baby Bear". Now as he is growing he has been promoted to "Little Bear."

Mountain Masche saintpierre



So how's that for a lot of baby-loving wool items?

Which one resonates with "ewe?"

Favourite Memory:  When my husband was getting acquainted with this company after hearing me talk about it so much, he once accidentally referred to it as “Sheep Dreams” instead of “Shepherd’s Dreams.” It made me laugh! So cute.  Now we often refer to it as “Sheep-sy” Dreams” referring back to the joke.  Every night when my baby goes to bed I toss his Shepherd’s Dream wool duvet over him, pull it down with sudden a tug, so it snuggled under his arm just right, and say, “Sheep-sy Dream, Woosh!”  He giggles, turns over to his side, then closes his eyes and sucks his fingers. Love it! - See more at: http://whollycanadian.ca/Blog/post.cfm?Title=Shepherd%27s%5FDream#sthash.1s7nam5j.dpuf
my baby has the complete baby ensemble  (wool mattress, mattress protector, duvet, duvet cover, and puddle pad). I really recommend their puddle pad for every baby--it’s great to travel with to protect against leaks when you’re laying your baby in someone else’s bed. And the great thing is that baby always smells his home when you lay down that puddle pad under him.  It’s a great baby gift! I worked so hard on extra jobs and saved for many months to make this baby ensemble possible, and now my baby sleeps like a little lamb. Quality usually is an investment. - See more at: http://whollycanadian.ca/Blog/post.cfm?Title=Shepherd%27s%5FDream#sthash.fI1VVKp5.dpuf
Tags Canadian-made  baby 
Posted by Wholly Canadian at 7:00 AM 1 Comments

Monday, December 08, 2014

Baby oh Baby. . .the Latest News

So I've taken a few weeks break from Wholly Canadian with reason. . .

This picture will explain it all!

 

 

I've had acute nausea, and life has nearly come to a halt. I know so many readers can relate to this rather dark season, trying to get by day by day.

I've missed the readers and comments of Wholly Canadian, and now that I'm feeling a bit better will be gettting back into the swing of things!

Stay tuned for some exciting upcoming posts.


Hoping everyone is having a great season shopping for local and fair-trade gifts!

What have you purchased that might spark an idea for others?

What's your favourite thing about babies?


Tags baby 
Posted by Wholly Canadian at 10:58 AM 5 Comments

Monday, September 15, 2014

Christmas Present

Last week I posted about "Christmas Past." I posted about the joy that local & re-used gifts can offer via a remake of The Golden Book's: "Baby Christmas."

While many people are not in the same baby-stage, I posted this as a catalyst to get  creative juices going. . .

How can a spirit of goodwill inform your purchases this year? You see this paradigm isn't just for babies. See Why

To purchase gifts in a paradigm of goodwill requires curiousity--no matter what stage of you life you are in!

 Again, my challenge to Canadians is to get curious about the stories behind their purchases. It's heart-wrenching thinking about the countless children involved in child-labour to produce toys, candy, and food for North American children (and adults).

This Christmas ask three questions:

 

  1. Who made it, and were they paid a fair-wage?
  2. Where was it made?  (Go beyond the country. . .begin to question the standard of working conditions of where it was made)
  3. Are we consuming or gift-giving from the heart? (i.e. is this just another thing in our already full house?)

 

Moving from Christmas Past to. . .Christmas Present

This year, I've decided to buy three gifts for baby and keep it simple. . .

1. Local/Canadian-made gift

2. Fair-trade gift

3. Second-hand/ Re-purposed gift

 

The great thing is that this paradigm fits every age!

Three gifts. Simple.

Want to join me in this? We're calling it the Wholly Canadian Christmas Challenge.

See us on twitter and join our hashtag: #WhollyCanadianChristmasChallenge


Also, give us suggestions as to what Wholly Canadian's baby should get for Christmas 2014.

Our followers love learning about new products!  To make ethical shopping easier, we just launched our "Best Shopping" directory! 

Do you know a local business that would benefit from this?

Posted by Wholly Canadian at 7:00 AM 4 Comments

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Nice! It's Sweet Rice for Canadian Babies

As per historical tradition, we waited until after a year to introduce our baby to grains. 

Historically babies refrained from grains until at least a year (note: molars can be an indication of readiness for grains) because babies do not have  sufficient digestive enzymes to digest grain. The enzyme, amylase, necessary to digest grains, is generally produced after a baby is a year old. Historically, babies were not fed grains until at least a year, despite ancient people's lack of knowledge about this enzyme. Talk about intuitive wisdom! Yet it's interesting how current North American conventional practice encourages grain as baby's first food, and ironically, many adults then suffer with irritable gut issues later on in life.

Read more about preparing grains and the gut issues that surround improperly prepared grains


Organic sourdough spelt bread.  Gentle on baby's tummy. Gentle on mama & papa's tummies.

At 18 months we started baby on his first grains. We started him out with mama's sourdough spelt bread and sourdough granola. He is loving it! Of course, like all kids, he liked to lick mama's homemade jam off of the toast. {It made me giggle} Then he started biting into the bread, and devoured his first slice.

sourdough granola spelt

Organic sourdough granola (spelt & oat) ready to serve! So nourishable and easy to digest.

After his introduction to spelt sourdough,  I decided it's now time for rice. But not just any rice! Canadian-grown rice. For serveral years, we have been patronizing Naosap Harvest organic wild rice. They are on the edge of the Canadian Shield, surrounded by boreal forest.  Naosap's organic wild rice is grown in the pristine, isolated lakes of northern Manitoba, Canada.   So of course, his first rice had to be Manitoba rice. I love re-thinking of rice as Canadian. Yes, rice does grow in Canada!
I decided to make his first dish a treat. In fact, it's a treat for the whole family!

A wild rice dish laden with a "clotted-honey" cream. . .and topped with fruit and a dash of fair-trade cinnamon. Yum! And it's a super nutritious dish laden with antioxidants, probiotics, protein, minerals, etc!


Recipe:

Ingredients:

  • Wild Canadian rice
  • Organic cream--as close as you can get to real cream the way nature delivers it.
  • Milk kefir grain
  • Raw honey--always wait until baby is a year to introduce raw honey
  • Fruit--Canadian-grown, fresh or frozen
  • Fair-trade cinnamon

Instructions:

Step 1: Wholesome Preparation 

1. Soak wild rice with water & apple cider vinegar. Click here for a guide.

2. Culture your cream with a milk keifr grain for 24-24 hours. (Note, you cannot use a water kefir grain for this.) Cream is already heavenly. Now add probiotic strains to it, and you've got a match made in heaven!

Step 2: Putting it together

1. Cook your soaked rice according to grower's instructions--you will need 20% less cooking time and less water

2. Strain the milk kefir grain from the now "clotted" cream

3. Blend in some raw honey into the cream--per taste.

4. Generously top the rice dish with the "honey-clotted" cream.

5. Add some seasonal or frozen fruit.

6 Sprinke some fair-trade cinnamon on top

Enjoy!


I used:

Care to learn more about traditional foods?

Want to deliciously eat your way to health?

  • Interested in learning more about sourdough?  Want to turn grains from a foe into a friend! Want to lower your gluten intake? Check out these learning opportunities!

Register soon!

baby eating rice for the first time

18 months. Eating rice (Naosap Harvest wild rice grown in Manitoba) for the first time. . .and loved it!

Baby eating his Wholly Canadian rice-dish using his Mally Bib in his second-hand high chair. We love this made-in-Canada bib for so many reasons . . . especially the pocket. I put pieces of dried fruit in it as treats. That little extra time it takes in digging out his treat, gives mama few extra minutes.  It's to the point now that when I put on his bib, he immediately checks the pocket, hoping against all hope that there might be a treat! {It always makes me giggle}

We chose the bear bib, because right from pregnancy, we always called him "Baby Bear."  So here's to "Baby Bear" enjoying his first rice. . .

 

What's your favourite traditinally-prepared dish?  Let us know!

Posted by Wholly Canadian at 7:00 AM 1 Comments

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Babies made in Canada

Babies made in Canada ought to be wearing made in Canada clothing, right? 

I find babies the easiest of all people to clothe in Canadian-made clothing. But I know as my baby grows, it will become increasingly more difficult. There isn't a great deal out there for older children in terms of Canadian made clothing. Now that's an untapped niche. . .{hint, hint entrepreneurial spirits reading this}.

But for now I delight in dressing him, as outlined in my Shopping Paradigm of Goodwill, in made-in-Canada clothing, second-hand clothing, or clothing ethically-made overseas.

To celebrate Canadian-made clothing for babies, I thought we would do a giveaway:

It's an HBC striped onesie made in Canada. It has a "Shared "tag.  Note: Not all HBC wear is made in Canada, but the ones with the "Shared" tag are made in Canada. "Shared" is an in-house brand of Drake General Store in Toronto. Drake General Store collobarted with the Hudson's Bay Company on a number of items.

Size 18-24 months. 100% cotton.

When I purchased one for my baby, I decided to also purchase an extra one as a giveaway for another baby out there.

Do you have a baby this size? Or will be soon? Need a classic, gender-neutral baby gift?

This onesie/romper is great for the fall. . . sporting the natural hue of autumn colours. Long pants easily fit over it for cooler days, and it's a classic for layering underneath a cardigan. Would make a great autumn photo!


Sporting all Canadian wear: My baby wearing his made-in-Canada romper, and his well-worn made-in-Canada Mini-Toes fisherman sandals I purchased for him earlier this spring.

Like his shoes? Check out Mini-Toes!

Enter here for the baby romper giveaway:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tags baby  Canadian-made 
Posted by Wholly Canadian at 7:00 AM 5 Comments

Monday, August 25, 2014

Why We Cloth Diaper

He's responsible for this! Yup, this little baby, who we affectionately call "stinker" some of the time, is responsible for the contents of this  laundry line!  But at least there's a story of goodwill here. The diapers on this line include two aspects of Wholly Canadian’s Shopping Paradigm of Goodwill: 1)Buying Local, and 2) Buying used/re-purposing

 


1. Local/Canadian:

2. Second-hand/Re-purposing:

  • I've purchased used organic prefold diapers
  • Wool inserts (I purchased a vintage wool blanket on kijiji for $5, and had it re-purposed into inserts)

But that's not where the goodwill stops. Shopping locally and buying used is great. But there's more good news on this laundry line! Wholly Canadian is all about whole-life local living. . .


Why we cloth diaper. . .

People choose to cloth diaper for a variety of reasons.

Here are some of mine:

  • Healthy baby’s bottom: our baby has never had diaper rash. We've chosen natural fibre diapers for our babies (cotton, hemp, bamboo, and wool).  Would you want plastic tight wrapped around your bottom? That's essentially what disposables are. It's quite unnatural, really. No wonder rashes, and other ailments develop.  Baby's bottoms needs to breathe! If there is any area that needs breathable fabric--it's their bottom! It always amazes me when parents who cloth diaper choose synthetic fabrics (fleece, mircofibre, etc).  Synthetic fibres (made of petrochemicals) are akin to wrapping plastic around the bottom. So here's to natural fibre!
  • Sustainability: As a farmer’s daughter I have a heightened appreciation of land.  I understand land is a fixed resource. One cannot reproduce more land.  Water, on the other hand, is a perpetual gift (where I live). Even though I pay for it--it's a renewable resource. Thus, it’s a simple choice.  One professor of mine once shared that there is no “away.” When you “throw away” --there is no “away.”  When we travel, we use non-bleached disposables--and each time I dispose of the soiled diaper, I am reminded of the preciousnesses of land and that there is no “away.”
  • Cost: yup, we’ve saved a ton of $. I rarely need to go down that baby aisle.  I’ve got my own baby aisle blowing in the wind. {Giggle}
  • Simplicity: I blogged earlier about the tension between convenience and simplicity. Cloth diapering is the way of the simple life. It is not convenient. It is simple.

Why I hang dry the diapers in summer:

  • It keeps the diapers white:  The sun is a natural whitener for those stains.
  • It keeps the diapers fresh: We've never had yeast in our diapers.  The sun is a natural disinfectant, and boy do the diapers ever need a freshening after a long Manitoba winter!
  • It keeps the diapers in optimal condition. Dryers make the diapers soft, but they also destroy them--slowly and gradually.  What do you think all that lint is in your dryer? Yup, that's the fabric being gradually worn down. Dryers weaken the fabric's fibres, and if there's any item in our household that needs to retain all its strength and fibres for optimal absorbency, well, it's the diapers!  That's why, in winter, we also hang-dry most of them inside.
  • It keeps me in tune with nature: We wash and hang the diapers in summer based on weather. "Today is a sunny day--so, let’s make the most of it!" "It’s going to rain the next few days--let’s see how far we can make these diapers stretch!" {wink}  We work with nature. There is an understanding of cyclical pattern nature gives of work and rest. I can keep abreast the weather by simply looking at my smartphone. Our ancestors did it with merely their intuition and intelligence.  This is a lost skill indeed. . .
    • Just recently I saw dark clouds gather, and heard some distant rumblings. As I had nearly-dry diapers on the line, I looked at the weather on my smartphone to ascertain my next actions. It stated sunny skies all day.  Well, I thought, the storm must just be passing by.  The skies got darker, and the thunder rolled. My intuition (or just common sense at that point) told me it was going to rain and get the diapers off the line. Maybe, I thought, I looked at the wrong city. So I checked the weather report again.  Sunny skies it said--for Winnipeg. I made a split-second decision to believe the technological report.  A minute later the nearly-dry diapers on the line received a heavy 5-min soaking--I considered it a free second rinse.  The freshly rinsed diapers then proceeded to to dry in the sun. . .again. {smile}
  • Sustainability: The sun is a gracious gift, and renewable. Unlike running water (which is also renewable), I don't pay for the sun! But I do pay to run my dryer.  But more than cost-efficient, it's a way of living sustainably and living in tandem with the bounty around us.
  • Simplicity: As I mentioned with the reasons I cloth diaper, the reason I hang out diapers in summer, is that it is the way of the simple life. It is not covenient. It is simple. Do you know the difference? I find myself yearning for simplicity more and more . . .
  • Smiles: My neighbour told me this May (after a really long winter), I know spring has arrived because I see diapers on your line. Yup, we air out all our dirty I mean, clean laundry for our neighbours. . .and I get many a smile.  My dad told me recently that’s how it used to be. You would see a laundry line of diapers and know that family had a baby--and smile. Just the thought of babies make people smile. Sure, go ahead and smile at the thought. . .
  • The Joy of Living in the Footsteps of Those Before Us: What a joy it is to hang diapers. Hanging laundry is one of my favourite chores. It always reminds me of my late mother who hung her laundry out in summer. . .and in a way is a keeping of tradition with my mother, my grandmother, my great-mother, etc. My mother never got to see me as a mama. . .I sure wish she could see this laundry line of diapers now {Tears}.


And here’s a rather organic opportunity to thank my husband who is a vital member of "Team Diaper." He washes them once every 4-5 days, daily brings down the soiled diaper pail to the basement, and then sets us up with a fresh diaper pail (water, vinegar, borax, and a couple drops of essential oil) every day.  Did I already mention, daily? And never complains. And when he’s home, we take turns changing diapers (or we employ "paper, rock, scissors"). The reason I mention this is because he is not as passionate about the reasons behind this as I am.  A few months ago I asked him, so if you don’t feel so strongly about it, why do it? He said something that caught me off guard: “I do it for you.” {Heart melting}



If you have a baby, do you cloth diaper?
Why?


Posted by Wholly Canadian at 4:12 AM 2 Comments