Friday, September 19, 2014

Got a Question about Cargo Biking?

Whenever we ride anywhere, we always get questions about the Yuba Mundo. Many parents of little kids are really interested in a longtail bike, so I'll often give them my card in case they have any other questions they think of later. I thought I'd start up a list of FAQs on the blog here too. you can find it in the tabs at the top of the blog here.

If you have other questions about cargo bikes & what our experience has been like that I didn't answer here, please don't hesitate to contact me by leaving comments, emailing me (lisa AT spokesmama DOT com), or via the various social media channels. The links to my profiles are below. :)


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Thursday, September 18, 2014

Baby Talk Two

Little chatty Brontë
Watching my baby hit all their milestones has been thrilling, even the second time around, but my favourite stage so far with both kids is when they start talking. It's fascinating to me what their first words are. I feel like I can understand what's going on in Brontë's little brain a bit better now that's she's using words. It's quite easy to see what words she understands too, as she'll do things that you ask her immediately, or turn to someone whose name you've mentioned. She knows her brother's name & tonight I heard her calling "Nay! Nay!" which might be his name. Not quite sure about that one yet. I'll have to watch to see how she uses the sound.

I feel like the first few words that kids learn to use tell you a bit about their personality in a way. Linnaeus' first ten were:

  1. bye
  2. huh-tuh=hot/ I'm checking the temperature of this
  3. apa=apple
  4. da=dance
  5. mvuuh/meuhh=moo
  6. Mama
  7. Papa
  8. amah?/anuh?=give me that
  9. tee/dee=tree
  10. beh=bear/fuzzy animal that's not a dog

These words tell you something about who he was as a baby & some of them are still true today. He's still fairly sensitive to temperature, particularly when it comes to food. He loved apples as a baby. Mama & Papa were both learned around the same time, proably because we were both home with him for his first year, so he got to spend a lot of time with us. He's still pretty interested in trees & animals too.

So far, Brontë's first words are:

  1. Mama
  2. Hey=hi, usually waves when she says it
  3. Teese=teeth (this one hasn't been used for weeks)
  4. Yeah
  5. Uh-ah=uh-oh, or, I'm going to drop something off my high chair
  6. Upah=up
  7. Heeah=here, used when handing you something
  8. Hah=hat
  9. Papa (she said this a couple times a month ago or so, but hasn't since)
  10. Nay (this one's still a maybe--might have meant 'Linnaeus' or might have been a coincidence)
Brontë's words are mostly people & social things or requests. I'm unsurprised that one of her first ten is a word for clothing, as she loves putting things on her head & around her neck. She also understands quite well how to get out of her clothes & is quite helpful stepping out of pants or pulling her arms out of sleeves at the end of the day. I suspect I should start beefing up the "Tickle Trunk" now for the future dress-up sessions we're likely to have.

So what do you think? Do kids' first words tell you something about their little personalities?



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Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Wordless Wednesday: Yuba Mundo Seat Switcheroo

Braze-ons everywhere for attaching all kinds of stuff!

Bye-bye baby seat!

Glad we picked the bamboo running boards & deck

My big boy's all set with seat pad, foot pegs & stoker bars



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Sunday, September 14, 2014

10 Hashtags That Describe Me

Photo Credit: Théo La Photo via Compfight cc
It's been a while since I participated in Northwest Mommy's listicles--I've just been taking it easy with the blogging over the summer, in case you hadn't noticed. I can't resist this week's topic though: hashtags to describe myself? Awesome. I've adjusted the topic slightly (surprise!) to hashtags I use a lot too.


  1. #Mombie I thought that having one baby affected my brain power, but having a second kid around too? My brain is toast. At first, I blamed sleep deprivation, but now I think there must have been some brain damage... (only sorta kidding)
  2. #Argh My most uttered word, probably used at least several times an hour, usually when Bronte is getting into or onto something she shouldn't.
  3. #Ack Second most used word.
  4. #NormalizeBreastfeeding I didn't spend anywhere near as much time on social media with my firstborn. I didn't even have a smartphone until he was nine months old or so. However, smartphones & breastfeeding pretty much always go together nowadays, & I'm no exception. This also means a lot more selfies while breastfeeding, so after I posted a few of them, I noticed this hashtag making the rounds & started using it myself. I've personally never had anyone criticize me for breastfeeding either of my children wherever I chose to do it (& I breastfeed them anywhere & everywhere). However, I know a lot of women are still uncomfortable about it & outside my little progressive, pro-breastfeeding world of East Van, people still get shamed for it publicly.
  5. #BikeYVR I think I use this hashtag more than most others, all as a part of my agenda to promote bicycling for transportation, not just sport. If you don't live in YVR (aka Vancouver, BC), there is probably a version of this hashtag in your city, like #BikePDX, #BikeYVC, #BikeNYC
  6. #CarFreeFamily Okay, this one's sorta serious too. It's the hashtag I use on social media when I post pictures of us biking or carsharing. It's a way to easily show what living car free looks like. Head over to Instagram, Twitter or Facebook, search for #carfreefamily & check it out!
  7. #365FeministSelfie If you follow me on Instagram, you've probably seen this hashtag. Daily. I joined the project back in January & blogged about the reasoning behind the Feminist Selfie Project & why I joined here, if you're interested. 
  8. #Fraserhood I use this one once in a while to showcase the awesomeness that is my neighbourhood, but also the not-so-awesome. This area (near Fraser Street in Vancouver, BC, if you're not local) has a history of poverty & all the social ills that go along with that, but also incredible diversity & creativity, plus a fascinating history. It's undergoing gentrification at a rapid rate, but there is still a lot of contrast between the old Fraserhood & the new.
  9. #AddictedToSocialMedia see previous items. ;)
  10. #UsesTooManyHashtags Want evidence? Go visit me on Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook to see proof...


So what hashtags would you use to describe yourself? Leave me a few in the comments below!






Join in the fun yourself--enter the link to your list here (click on the Listicles button to the right), or just browse the many other entries on Northwest Mommy.
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Thursday, September 11, 2014

#EcoClutterBuster Update: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle... Repurpose!

We've been using cloth diapers for our kids for years now--first for Linnaeus for two & a half years, & now for Bronte for most of a year. I've bought quite a few different kinds of diapers & settled on pocket diapers as my favourites. They're a compromise between All-in-Ones which work more or less just like disposables, & other two part diapers like prefolds or flats & covers. The ones we have bought nearly all came with microfibre inserts, which are initially great, but they get stinky fast. From what I've read, the way microfibre is made, it is really difficult to get clean once it's been used a long time. So gradually, I've been replacing my synthetic inserts with hemp/cotton ones, which I prefer.

Unfortunately, that's left us with a small mountain of microfibre diaper inserts. Literally dozens of the things. I've resisted throwing them away because they're not biodegradable. The'yre not something I'd want to pass on to someone else to use in their diapers, either. So they sat, taking up space & collecting dust in the kids' closet. But recently, I had a brilliant idea (if I do say so myself) for how to give these diaper insides a new life!

First I hauled out another item that had been languishing in storage due to not wanting to throw it away: my Swiffer. I bought it back when they were the new, hot thing. I had hardwood floors in my new condo (this was, like, eight years ago) & two fuzzy, shedding cats. Those little disposable cloths just went on the Swiffer so easily & picked up all kinds of dust, grime & fur, oh the fur! Then I'd throw them away. It only took one or two packages of the things to realize that not only was it an expensive habit, but seriously harmful to the environment to be chucking synthetic cloths into the landfill all the time.

#EcoClutterBuster: repurposed diaper inserts on a Swiffer!
So, do you see where I'm going with this? Swiffer plus diaper inserts... okay, I skipped a step: I cut a slit in the top layer of the inserts, most of the way down the middle, lengthwise. That's it. They just slide onto the Swiffer head & tuck into those four little holes that secure the disposable cloths. Voila! A reusable mop head. It works okay for picking up dust--not as well as the disposable ones, but I'm fine with that. Where it shines is when you get it a bit damp in the sink. It's perfect for a quick, easy mop of the floors (I curse whoever decided WHITE TILE FLOORS were a good idea in a kitchen!!) after little Miss Chuck-It-All & little Mister Spill-His-Milk get through their dinner. Then they just get chucked in the kitchen laundry bin with all the face clothes, dirty bibs & dish towels.

So, does this qualify as an #EcoClutterBuster? I took things that were cluttering up my closets & found new uses for them. They're still here, but they're being used again, at least. The only issue really, is that I have FAR MORE of these diaper inserts than I really need. Even if I used one a day & just washed them at the end of the month, I'd still have a pile of unused ones. If you too have a poor, unemployed Swiffer that you can't bear to buy disposable cloths for, please let me know, & I will give you some of these microfibre inserts. Please, take them!

Would you like some microfibre inserts for your Swiffer mop? Have you come up with another way to reuse diaper inserts? Please share in the comments below!


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