Thursday, October 13, 2011

This Whole Family FAQ

I get quite a few comments and emails each week asking all sorts of questions ranging from what I eat to what I wear to how I parent... the list goes on. Thank you all for taking such an interest in little old me and for considering my advice to be valuable. I am truly flattered and honoured to share this space with you.

Here are This Whole Family's most Frequently Asked Questions for old and new readers alike:

Can I link to your blog, join or use 'memes' that you use and/or use your photos?
You are most certainly welcome to link to the blog (thanks!), but please ask my permission before you use any images.

How can I create a green cleaning kit?
I have a whole bunch of green cleaning basic recipes here, as well as a guide to creating your own green cleaning kit here.

Where can I buy Borax? I buy mine at Woolworths along with Washing Soda and Bi-carb, although I have heard from some people you have to search for it.

-What kind of soap do you use to make your own laundry detergent? As much as we can we use Dr Bronners (in peppermint and lavender). If we're trying to keep a tight budget that month I'll use half Dr Bronners and half regular soap flakes.

Can you tell me more about your experience with Waldorf education?
I have posted about our own experiences here. I was originally drawn to Waldorf education because is so inline with many of our other family values- being connected with nature, attachment parenting, listening to your instincts, the importance of a media-free childhood, having faith in something bigger than yourself etc. Remember my children are only 3 and 1so our direct experience is minimal. I think every city, school and carer is unique and interprets this style of education very differently. I value so much that a Waldorf education has to offer, but I don't necessarily agree with everything. We are certainly not Waldorf purists.

Do you co-sleep?
Yes and no. When the children were newborns we co-slept with a bassinet beside out bed that we'd put the baby in from time to time. Indigo has been much more of a co-sleeper than North was because I trust my motherly instincts so much more. Now, at the age of 14 months old, she still wakes 2-3 times a night for a 'feed' which is really more of a comfort suck and a cuddle than nourishment. She comes into our bed at this time and sometimes stays with us in between but generally she goes to sleep in her own cot and wakes up in her own cot. The children share a room.

How do you recommend starting your baby on solids?
Although I have written a few posts in the past about making baby purees and weaning, it was actually  my dear readers who introduced me to baby-led weaning. As soon as I read a few articles on it I knew it was for us. So much of it I had already instinctively done with North- I gave up giving him purees by 7 1/2 months. Indigo has eaten exactly what we as a family eat since she was around 8 months old.   I think purees do have a place at the beginning, especially when they are recommending you wean babies at 4 months now, but I think we should also give babies more credit. Their strong gums are a force to be reckoned with.

Where do you get your organic produce box from?
We currently get deliveries from Lettuce Deliver and are very satisfied with the quality of the produce we get.

Where do you buy things in bulk?
Honest to Goodness. Which is really honestly great! We are saving so much money, packaging and time by buying a lot of our items in bulk. We regularly stock up on lentils, dhal, mung beans, pitted dates, raisins, spelt flour, wholewheat flour, rye flour, pumpkin seeds, almonds, brown rice, quinoa and many other staples.

We as a family want to start eating less meat, but we're not sure where or how to start. Do you have any tips and recipes you can share?
Start slow and set an intention- choose a day or a few each week where you will go meat-free. Observe how you feel about this, and how each family member reacts. Discuss as a family why you want to go meat-free is it for animal rights, the environment or health? Limit 'fake meats' that are quite tasteless and void of nutrition and instead focus on combining legumes and grains to create complete proteins. Here are the links to my Spring, Summer, Autumn and Winter recipes. All the recipes on ecoMILF are vegetarian and a good number of them are vegan.

How do you make the buttons and banner on your page?
I use a free program called Picnik. I love it!

What kind of camera do you use?
A Nikon SLR D3000. I am still learning how to use it and have only recently started taking photos without the 'automatic' setting on. So much better.

Those are all the questions I can think of at the moment. If you can any more please ask away- here's your chance. I'll reply to each and every one in the comment section as best I can. Let me also just take a moment to write a mini disclaimer (although I know you know): I am not a trained health professional or educator. The advice I give is based solely on my personal experience, opinions and beliefs.


HipHome said...

I am so happy to find your blog!! (thanks for finding me first ;) I will be back often and can't wait to dig into what you've been sharing~
Blessings from Kentucky!

Rhiannon said...

Love this post Meagan, I'm sure everyone has heaps of questions for you!
I am wondering how on earth I can put little facebook, twitter etc links like you have on my blog! So computer illiterate sometimes. Can you just link me to how you did it!
I will most likely be back with more questions too (not blog related) :)
Ta, Rhi

Lindsay said...

Um, co-sleeping is when a child actually sleeps in your bed, not beside it. I think its important to distinguish between the two.

Also, most Steiner schools don't follow any kind of AP principles. They might do in a pre-school (because they are so young) but schools don't follow AP at all. In fact, most that I have had direct experience with wouldn't even endorse AP principles.

ecoMILF said...

Thank you Lindsay.

These are the terms that people ask me about, but I must say I use them both very loosely. I have barely read anything about attachment parenting I just know that a lot of how I parent seems to fit more into this 'box' than into others (extended breastfeeding, gentle discipline, baby wearing etc.). You can see that this subject matter in my sidebar is labelled "gentle parenting" for this reason- I'm not sure I am an attachment parent exactly.

As for co-sleeping, although the bassinet was beside the bed she spent most of the night in bed with us and still does. That said, if someone directly asked me if we co-sleep I would definitely say no.

xo m.

ecoMILF said...


I am still trying to work out how I got that bar button thing!! I can't remember and there don't seem to be any links on it!! I'll keep investigating and see what I find!

xo m.

ecoMILF said...

found it!!

xo m.

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