Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Time for Gratitude - Information

Today I want to talk a little about learning about health, medicine, and nutrition.

I have been on a journey for the past couple years learning about – well – how our bodies work. I am constantly discovering new things and I am just so grateful that there are so many resources out there that make it easy to gather this knowledge.

It all started when I was pregnant with Porter in 2009. As you all know I gave birth to him in our home. For any of you that have given birth – particularly at home – you know that it’s SO important for you to understand what your body is doing and what your baby needs to do to be born. It’s also important to understand what you can do to avoid issues if at all possible. One of the things that stuck out to me during prenatals is that my midwife really encouraged me to up the protein in my diet. She said that was the way to avoid pre-eclampsia. Understanding that I needed to focus on protein and also ensure I was getting plenty of fruits and veggies (that part I already knew – ha!), exercise, etc, helped me have a super-healthy pregnancy. Because of my nutrition and understanding of my pregnancy and the birth process, I also had a beautiful homebirth that was indescribably peaceful and wonderful.

So, that began my research and hunger for knowledge in how our bodies work during pregnancy and birth. What I have discovered is that it’s not just about pregnancy, birth (natural birth in particular), but more about how our bodies work as a whole…whether pregnant, giving birth, or not. As I continue to make connections with things, we have been making small changes with the way our family eats, receives medical care, and frankly…just how we live.

For instance, some of the changes have been relatively small things…like switching to raw milk (very recently, by the way, and yes – we LOVE it!), I brew homemade kombucha, I make our seasoning mixes now (like ranch, taco, and onion soup mix) so that I know what’s in them (and frankly, they are SO tasty!!), we use essential oils as much as possible, I made herbal detangler the other day for Vienna’s long hair, and if you have read this blog at all, you know that we cloth diaper, I breastfed both kids past a year, and so on. There are definitely more things to do and I look forward to continuing to learn more. I mean, seriously – our diets are definitely not great still, but we are working on it, and I’m just thankful that we are so blessed with such a plethora of information that is so easily obtainable and that will help us implement even more things so we can live the lives God intended for us.

For those of you that contribute to the plethora with blogs, links on facebook, and other outlets of information – THANK YOU!! You help make so many lives better! J


Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Great Weekend, Great Diaper Change

What a fantastic event on Saturday!!

For those of you who weren't able to make it, we will be posting pictures and little snippets every now and again for the rest of this month!

We had 57 babies that were changed this year and qualified toward the official Guinness(tm) World Record! It was such a nice day that we held the actual change out our back door on Hy-Vee's back lawn, and then had a cookout! It was a wonderful time to mingle with like-minded mamas and families.

You can see our news coverage snippet from KSFY here:

Be looking for more pictures and information on the record being broken in the near future!


Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Cloth Diapers vs Disposables

We are wrapping up the final details of The Great Cloth Diaper Change that is coming up *this Saturday* already!! And can I just tell you how friggin' excited we are?! We hope you are too!!

Some may wonder what all this is about. I mean, seriously - who in the world thought of changing a bunch of babies at the same time and attempting to make a world record in the process?

Well, it was the brain-child of some really fun people at the Real Diaper Association, and the point is to raise awareness of the benefits of cloth over disposables.

I mean seriously...there are a lot, right? For one, you have toxin-free soft cloth touching your baby's bum vs. who-knows-what toxins* right next to their most sensitive areas; you also can save a whole bunch of money using cloth...especially if you make your own, purchase used, or take advantage of some of Elegant Mommy's great sales *wink*; and of course, it is also SO much better for the environment! Wherever you are on the environmentalist spectrum (nonchalant to hard-core), I doubt that you would disagree that we need to take care of the earth we live in, and filling landfills with disposable dipes that won't decompose for years and years definitely isn't good for it. And can we just take a minute and think about the super-cute patterns and diapers available? Oh. My. Word. SO cute!!

Anyway, we've been working on the planning of the Great Cloth Diaper Change for some time now, and during the planning, a fellow host from Nebraska ( created the following awesome visual.

Striking, isn't it?

So, how do you feel about cloth vs. disposable?


*yes, you can find out, I'm just not taking the time right now...actually I read a really good article on it one time. I'll see if I can find it and will post a link here sometime in the future...or if anyone else has a link, feel free to share :)

Monday, April 16, 2012

Childbirth Professional Day - Meet Tammi Chaney

~ What is your Childbirth Profession?

I am a seasoned childbirth educator, doula, lactivist, birth nut, photographer, Mom. My clients generally refer to this set of skills as Super-doula, but this just makes me laugh.

~ Describe your profession and why someone would want to choose your profession for support in pregnancy and/or childbirth.

A doula is a hired professional support person, available during the pregnancy, birth, and newborn period. She agrees to be available to you throughout the pregnancy, and exclusively during labor and through the early postpartum time, providing physical and emotional support. Doulas have a wide variety of backgrounds and skills they offer. Finding a good fit for you is important.

Generally I am available as a birth doula, but clients also contact me for private childbirth classes, birth photography, pregnancy-related questions, postpartum and breastfeeding support. I recommend when searching for someone to support you during pregnancy, you find someone knowledgeable, trustworthy, and inspiring, who is on board with your philosophy. I honestly believe most Dad's-to-be want to be (and do make) great doulas. Supporting him supporting her is my favorite type of birth.

~Why did you get started in your profession?

I grew birth-wise in the rich environment of Washington state. DONA was just forming, everyone used midwives, La Leche League meetings abounded, and you had your pick of childbirth classes from any direction and philosophy. I started teaching classes, but found it much more rewarding to work as a doula. The knowledge gained in class is good, but turning that into action during birth wasn't always as successful. I found even if things didn't go as planned, couples who hired doulas ultimately had a positive perception even in less than desired outcomes, if they received appropriate support and feedback during their experience. Studies have since proven this true. I've seen the difference and believe strongly that everyone needs (and deserves) a supportive, nurturing environment at birth.

~In detail, what is your personal childbirth philosophy?

Personally I believe every birth is as unique as every person giving birth. Some women hope to avoid all medical intervention during a healthy normal birth, while others desire the exact opposite. Each may desire a doula for the same reason (support) but different paths, and that is okay. Whatever the couple wants is what is best for them, and supporting them in their decisions or providing them with the knowledge they desire is my job. 

There are times we all need a little nurturing. Birth is one of those times.

~If you could tell all pregnant women in the world something, what would it be?

Choose those who surround you in pregnancy carefully and wisely. It is an important, empowering idea. Birth is a part of your significant history, one you recall well beyond the sleepless nights and diaper changes that loom in your future. Choose knowledgeable, inspiring people to encourage and support you on your journey toward parenthood. Surround yourself with these same types on the rest of your journey as well. It makes such a difference. 

Also, food will never taste as good as the week after birth, particularly if someone else cooks. (Just my helpful tip.)

~ How long have you been in your profession? Are you certified? If yes, by who?

I have been working with expectant couples for almost 20 years. I have held a wide variety of certifications including ICEA and DONA, but am not currently listed with any of these organizations.

~Do you have a business name? How can people contact you for pregnancy and childbirth support?

Mother Nurture Doula Care
Tammi Chaney
Platte, SD
(605) 491-3661

~ Where do you practice?

I live in south-central South Dakota, but travel well. I have attended local, Sioux Falls, out-of-state, and west-river births.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Diaper Savings at Elegant Mommy

With the Great Cloth Diaper Change coming up next week (make sure to register now!!), we are gearing up with cloth diaper information and getting ready to have a fantastic event in which we can help spread the word on how wonderful cloth diapering is, for so many reasons! To that end, one of my awesome co-workers put together some specific information on how you can save money on diapers through Elegant Mommy...check it out:

How much can Elegant Mommy save you on diapers?

Pocket Diapers
We recommend that you start with 12 to 15 diapers. Go ahead, mix & match to find the diapers that work best for your little one & your family. Our guess is that by the time you get into cloth diapering you will have at least 18 to 24 of your favorite diaper.

So here's how the cost will break down, if you buy your diapers through us.
Retail Cost {as of March 2012}
-% Discount acquired at different price levels (Elegant Mommy Price @ that #)

Hybrid Diapers
We recommend 2-3 covers & about 18 inserts

Other Items you may (will) want:
Discount from Diapers applies to these items, if purchased together.

Wet Bag
            Travel Size (for diaper bag)- $11.99-16.99
            Pail Size (for home)- 19.99-24.99

Cloth Wipes 4/ $1.99

Diaper Sprayer $47.99

Soap, price varies

Purchases made in store are also eligible for our punch card- 1 punch for every $20 spent; 5 punches= $5 off next purchase. In other words, spend $200 on diapers, get $10 off your next purchase!

Stay tuned to Elegant Mommy's Facebook page and/or blog for extra discounts!

~Sheena Sinkgraven

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Naturally Weaning your Nursling

Natural Weaning – an excerpt from The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding

“But when will he wean?” you ask, as your two year old holds up his arms to be picked up and nursed again.  Actually, he’s been weaning himself ever since his bite of food.  “To wean,” says the Concise Oxford dictionary, is “to teach the sucking child to feed otherwise than from the breast.”  While many people see weaning as the end of something- a taking away or deprivation-it’s really a positive thing, a beginning, a wider experience.  It’s a broadening of the child’s horizons, an expansion of his universe.  It’s moving slowly ahead one careful step at a time.  It’s full of exciting but sometimes frightening new experiences.  It’s another step in growing up.

In her warm and insightful book, MOTHERING YOUR NURSING TODDLER, Norma Jean Bumgarner talks about the “unpredictable course of natural weaning.”  She says there will come a time “at some age” when “your child will not find nursing so absolutely essential to her well-being.  She may stop asking so often.  Or she may be distracted sometimes from nursing…You will very naturally and with hardly a thought respond a little less quickly to her requests to nurse….  In time-how much time no one can say-your child will abandon all but a few favorite nursing times.”

Norma Jane goes on to describe how some children will continue to enjoy one or more of these special nursing times for a while, dropping them ever so slowly until eventually they are weaned.  She concludes:  “Every natural weaning is unique so that it is impossible to guarantee anything about it except that it will happen.”

Now just a little tidbit from me.  One of the 10 concepts that LLL was founded on is that “ideally the breastfeeding relationship should continue until the baby outgrows the need.”  However, many factors can play into when a child weans from its mother’s breast.  Whether it is 6 weeks, 6 months, 18 months or 3 years you have given your baby an AMAZING gift of your milk so be proud of yourself!!!

~Sarah Alberts, LLL leader

P.s. Don't forget to join us for La Leche League this Thursday at our Sioux Falls store (207 W 37th) at 6:30 p.m.!

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Time for Gratitude - Cloth Diapering

It’s been awhile since I’ve posted a gratitude article…there are so many things I’m thankful for today, that honestly, it’s difficult to pick just one J.

But, since it is cloth diaper month here on the blog as we prepare for and lead up to and surround the Great Cloth Diaper Change, I’ve been thinking how much I’ve appreciated learning about and using cloth. I don’t think I’ve shared this story before, but I know I mentioned it in my post about homemade dipes several months ago.

Anyway, it all began when our youngest (Porter) was about 11 months. He had always had sensitive skin and seemed to have diaper rash pretty often. Also, our income was decreasing because of some job changes for both my hubby and I. So, since I knew several people that cloth diapered (and loved it), I decided to look into it a bit. I did a lot of research and decided on the style that I thought would work best for us, but wasn’t quite ready to take the plunge. In the back of my mind, I really wanted to make the most of everything and *really* save some money by sewing my own. I learned how to sew when I was very young and in 4H. My grandmas and mom all taught me…but it had been years since I actually sewed anything for “real” – you know…other than easy stuff like pillows and blankets. In fact, I didn’t even have a sewing machine anymore because the one I did have was not very high quality and had just pooped out.

Well, lucky for me I was *very* blessed to get a very nice sewing machine for Christmas that year (Christmas also happens to be Porter's birthday, so he was one year old at this point)! Woo Hoo!!! And that’s where it all began. I went to diapapallooza that January to pick up a variety of dipes inexpensively so that I could “get my feet wet” and figure out what features I liked best about each different dipe I had and then begin making my own creations. After some trial and error (particularly with the soakers), I came up with a design that I really love and that works well for our little man. He has had a LOT less diaper rash except for the bout I had with ammonia last summer and when he gets the runs. Not to mention how cute his little hiney is in homemade fluff. I have purchased a couple diapers from Elegant Mommy since then as well, and I really like them all. They are just so easy (no matter what my mom thinks – ha!), and even though we have a little more laundry than we used to, it just doesn’t seem to matter…it really just fits in with everything else.

There are times when I have a need to use 'sposies, but the majority of the time his bum is covered in fluff…and I love it! I love that I’ve been able to help his skin out, I love that I’ve helped our family save a bunch of money, and I love that my mom and grandma passed on to me a gift of wanting to create things from scratch with a sewing machine. I also love that he’s getting old enough that he will start using the potty soon and we’ll be done with diapers until we decide to have another baby – ha!

So, what do I have gratitude for today? Cloth diapering and all the things that go along with about you?


Monday, April 2, 2012

Cost of Cloth

So, as many of you know, this month will mark the second attempt at setting a world record for the most amount of cloth diapers changed simultaneously worldwide. We at Elegant Mommy are participating in this historic event - called The Great Cloth Diaper Change (GCDC)

We have planned some cloth diaper posts this month to lead up to and surround the GCDC, so look forward to some vlogging and informational posts on cloth diapers!

As an official host of this event, we were given the opportunity to write a guest blog post for, and it was posted, instead of re-creating it, here is a link to the post I put together on the cost of cloth - check it out!


P.s. Make sure to register for the Great Cloth Diaper Change!!