It is utterly life-changing to enter into the valley of the shadow of death to bring forth life.

This is a personal post so please read it with an open mind and an open heart to our family's lifestyle. Thanks for reading Mandys Healthy Life and be sure to check out my recipe page for all of your needs!

I am so excited about this little munchkin's big week! Turning 2 already! Wow how time flies when you're having fun. Thank you SO MUCH to Sarah Thomas who took all of these lovely photographs of Kyri and I. You are so fun and you have a beautiful soul ♥

DIAPERS: Holy moly cloth diapering has been a ride. We have gone through 2 types of cloth diapers; Kyri's 0 - 1y Bum Genius All-in-one cloth diapers, which were velcro and they were awesome. She would poo or pee and we would just throw the whole diaper in the cloth diaper pail and that was it. Now that she is a bit older it's MUCH different. She wears a bigger size now (of a different brand, which I'm unsure of because I bought them used and there is no name brand tag on them) but they come with a bamboo liner that goes inside AND she has another liner that goes inside her diaper as well. These cloth diapers come with buttons and I love them much more then the velcro but wish they were still all-in-ones.

When Kyri poos the world is over. Well at least for Tod it is. It's quite the job cleaning cloth diapers. For those of you who know what I'm talking about can I get an AMEN!? No one likes getting that close to poop! And they are huge poos (Why am I sharing this with you? Because it's a huge part of parent hood so get used to it)! I always try to do it so Tod doesn't have to. I'm used to it. And plus Kyri is 90% potty trained so we are glad to move on the next poo stage! POO POO IN THE POTTY!

We still use natural disposable diapers at night, the Naty brand. A big turd awaits us every morning. "Poo'n'air!" she says (poo in there). Maybe I shouldn't have started this post off with diapers (lol).

I used to apply this brand of baby bum jelly, from Clayborn Comforts, to her bum after baths and poopy diapers. Kyri would always get a rash if I didn't use it and it worked wonders but for some reason, pretty much after she started getting teeth (around 1 years old), her diaper rash went away and I haven't had to use it since.

PLAY TIME: It's play time 80% of the day! And that is what childhood is about! She plays with her food, she plays with her shopping cart a lot, and she loves her new princess castle and calls all of the princess' her girls. She is so independent, something I am not ready for and I'm not sure how she became that way but it's happening. I think I want her and need her love and energy more then she needs mine! I'll be baking in the kitchen and I'll hear a "water pwease" and I'll give her a cup with water and she'll go on her merry way singing or story telling. I love catching her playing in her room on video. She will be singing the ABCs to herself or lining all of her stuffed animals up in a row and tucking them in for a nap, kissing there heads and saying "night night". She's so much fun. I have been taking her outside to explore the yard for an hour on nice days but our hands get cold!!! We can't wait for spring.

Kyri loves taking food and jars out the pantry and loading up her toy shopping cart, then she pushes it around the kitchen and living room and then heads off to her bedroom, where she unloads the groceries and pays for them. Then she organizes everything in her room and calls me to see. LOVE IT!

TEETHING: Kyri has worn her hazelwood necklace now for the past 6 months. Hazelwood supposedly works better than amber and prevents teething pain and rashes. Some adults also wear them to prevent eczema. She tends to chew on her fingers when she's teething and she drools a lot! But no pain and no upset baby. Thank you lord!

Kyri has had 4 molars come in in the past 6 months and 1 front tooth. That's a total of only 11 teeth in the past 2 years! Pretty trippy. She loves brushing them when I brush mine. She doesn't use any tooth paste because I know she would just eat it. I don't care if it is 100% organic my baby isn't eating that shite!

BONDING: I feel like Kyri and I bond the most, other then breastfeeding, when we are outside exploring nature and when we have bath time (where TV, the computer and cell phones aren't distractions to either of us). She loves to lead the way but also loves to listen to me talk about plants, bugs and how we need to be gentle. She is now in the habit of repeating my last word.

Me - "This is Kale!"
Kyri - "Kale."
Me - "It is green!"
Kyri - "Green"

Bath time is my favourite. Who doesn't love a nice warm bath with their cutesy baby... I mean toddler!! She has a baby she brings in the bath and we pretend to feed her food and Kyri moves her around and holds her and kisses her head. ♥

We also bond while I breastfeed but it is a silent bonding time and we just sit calmly and quietly, enjoying each others energy.

SLEEPING: Our little monkey has been a fantastic sleeper, since birth really. She had a stint around 19 months where she woke up in the middle of the night, cried for boobies and I went to her rescue and fed her and put her back to sleep. After the 4th night in a row I said no more! And I let her cry it out and she honestly cried for 1 minute and fell back to sleep. Made me think I never really had to get up in the first place. But then after I couldn't sleep because I was wide awake listening for her to wake up again!

Kyri sleeps from 7pm - 7am and usually wakes up and poops. She stays quiet in her crib until either Tod or I get her.

BATHING: Every night after dinner Kyri has a bath. She either has a bath with me or Seth, Rarely does she have a bath alone. Everyone just loves her company. I like to read beside the bath while the kids play and splash and sing bath songs and pour water on each others heads, and put bubbles on their chins and pretend they are Santa Clause. She usually stays in there until her fingers and toesies are right pruned! She loves to use her cups and pour water into them, over and over. Then I tell her to pull the plug and she does. But for some weird reason she turns on the cold water and fills up her cups and pours the cold water over her head. She squeals "COLD" with the hugest smile, full of excitement, like it's a total rush and then does it until I turn off the water and grab her with the towel and dry her off. She squirms free and runs to see daddy. "NAKED" she yells as I grab her clothes and run after her!

We are still using the Clayburn Comfort shampoo. It smells like lavender and chamomile and lathers up. It is perfect for baby skin and it's organic and tear free.

POTTY TRAINING: So if you haven't heard of elimination communication NOW is the time to become educated on one of the coolest ideas I have EVER heard. It's all about getting your baby used to the bathroom environment. What it's like to sit on the toilet at a young age. To see the bathroom from the potty's view. To make them feel comfortable sitting on the toilet for over a minute. And then they will love potty training! I've been doing this with Kyri since she was 3 months old. Baby doesn't need to go pee or poo every time you place them on the toilet, it's just so they get used to it. And I always placed Kyri on the toilet with me. Between my legs facing outwards with me (Tod has a picture of us on his phone...it's too funny).

The only time Kyri wears a cloth diaper is when we go downtown and some of the time she comes home dry and tell me pee pee or poo poo when we get home! Sometimes we have to use the potty downtown. And if she goes I cheer and give her lots of praise. It's exciting for me and her! I love seeing how happy she gets when she is proud of herself for going.

Mistakes do happen, on the floor, in the bath, outside, in her crib, and that is fine! She is busy playing and goes. She is learning so I never get mad and discipline her for making a pee or poo mistake.

PLAY DATES: Kyri's best bud is Finley! She chases him around trying to give him hugs most of the time. Or she likes to share her car and feed him blueberries. She loves to send Finley snapchats too. Finley's mom Jessica and I have become extremely close since our cuties were born. Kyri and Finley were born one day apart!

We have had a couple play date with other cute babies and kids in the last 6 months too. We are so blessed to have so much love and friendship in our lives.

CLOTHING AND LAUNDRY: For our clothes I use a toxic-free natural organic detergent that doesn't contain any harsh ingredients or animal products (oils, fats and bi-products) like most soaps and detergents do. I use an unscented Seventh Generation detergent and add grapefruit, orange or lavender essential oil for a nice clean fresh smell.

The laundry is 50% Kyri's, as it should be. This baby is a messy fun, play in the dirt kind of girl and I encourage it! Whenever she gets a blueberry shake stain I just rinse her clothes in cold water, ass a bit of hand soap, lather and throw it in the hamper. The stains seem to come out great. No toxic stain remover needed!

Saliva removes blood stains for all those moms who have kids who fall a lot. This tip came in handy when Kyri's older brother Seth was 5. He was an accident prone! It may be a bit weird spitting on your kids clothes but it works! For more natural stain removers click here - Best Natural Stain Removers.

FOOD: Kyri's diet is pretty much the same as ours now. Gluten-free, dairy-free and refined sugar-free. Totally organic, eating mostly alkalizing foods that will nourish her body and soul.

We limit her chocolate, which she just started being allowed to have at 21 months. 1 chocolate chip cookie a week (that's vegan dark chocolate or home made dark chocolate). She doesn't eat any bread or sweets unless it's homemade. She is a lover of all things sweet; fruit, muffins, cookies, granola bars etc. But she is also loves buckwheat, hemp seed, veggies, rice, black beans, pasta and homemade pizza (from scratch).

I want control over what my baby eats. I want to make sure her immune system is top notch. So I let her play in the dirt, I let her eat food off the floor (5 second rule) and I fill her plate with nutrition. I want her to learn how to prepare food too. I want her diet to consist of REAL minerals and vitamins, not synthetic ones. Most store bought processed and packaged food is acidic as well.

"The hygiene hypothesis suggests that early exposure to bacteria reduces allergies and improves a child's resistance to disease. According to this theory, children who grow up in environments that are very clean develop allergies and other immune disorders because their immune systems haven't had enough experience with friendly visitors or dangerous invaders." -Aboutkidshealth.com

A teaching that I highly respect is how we should make and create all of our meals with love and positive energy, and to be grateful for the food we eat, bless it and eat it with a positive frame of mind. You never know what kind of energy is put into the store bought food!

HEALTH: Tod and I started thinking about the health of my baby before I conceived. I remember, we were sitting at our favourite cafe enjoying a veggie sandwich and a salad and we looked over and saw a super cute kid playing and Tod looked me and asked me if I wanted more kids. I said "Well now I do!" And from there we started talking about kids and our love for our future imaginary baby grew. We started planning for future children and so I had to take baby steps to eating healthier. With a future baby in mind I did it no prob bob! My diet has evolved each couple months. Kicking out refined sugar was the hardest. I loved getting candy and potato chips and dip but those things slowly tasted gross and I looked forward to biting into a juicy crisp apple instead.

I didn't go gluten-free until I was 4 months pregnant. But let me tell you the hard work payed off because this baby is awesome!

The most important things to stay away from during pregnancy are meats with growth hormones and antibiotics. That includes deli meats, hot dogs and hamburgers, farmed and Atlantic fish, chicken, ground beef, roasts, pork, bacon, sausage and more. Antibiotics from meat and from prescriptions prevent babies and children from having good immune systems because they kill the good and bad bacteria in their small intestine. Some adults have problems trying to fix their bodies after a childhood of many antibiotics. For these adults probiotics won't work and they are desperate. Remember to check the website Do bugs need drugs and see if your kid actually needs medication for their sickness. Colds, flus and fevers can be treated with natural remedies and fevers are the bodies natural response to killing unwanted invaders so think twice before bringing their fever down too soon. It can make the problem worse in the long run. Make sure your meat is organic, grass fed for the most nutrition, and says Antibiotic and hormone-free on the package.

GAS AND CRAMPS: If Kyri farts she says TOOTS! and toots lead to poops so we run to the potty! She never gets bad gas cramps.

BABY CARE: Kyri no longer gets an diaper rashes so we stopped using our fave baby bum Jelly by Clayborn Comforts. It worked great. We never had to use baby powder. Baby powder made from talc is carcinogenic (causing cancer). After Kyri started getting molars her diaper rashes went away for good.

We wash Kyri's hair twice a week with Earth Mama ♥ Angel Baby - Natural non-scents shampoo & body wash and that is the only product that we wash her with. We brush her teeth without toothpaste. I just can't stand it when she eats it! And the only product, other then her shampoo, I use is coconut oil on her skin if it's dry or if i give her a massage.

MOMMY WEAR: I bought a Bravado bra when Kyri was 1 month old. I was using bras from Walmart before and they were AWFUL! But this bravado bra was/is like heaven on earth for breast feeding mommys. It is thinly padded, never leaks, has a clip that is easy to use and is so darn soft! Here is a link to their website. I highly recommend spending $50 on one bravado bra rather then two or three cheapos. I have bought two over the last 2 years! Not because the first one was wrecked but because my cup size changed. I will continue to wear this bra after I stop breastfeeding.

ROUTINE: It's really remarkable that as adults we don't think about the word routine as being beneficial to our life. But with babies we do! They need routine. Well at least this baby does.

I have read a couple baby books that really push the importance of routine. It's a place where children feel safe and have that familiarity. They know that nap time is after lunch and bath time is after dinner and bedtime comes after quiet story time. When they know what comes next they remember and feel like their needs are being met and they become comfortable and happy. A sense of security is being built.

BABY SITTERS: Kyri has three baby sitters; her big sister Chloe, grandma Tjart and grandma Dugas. Each week Tod's mom comes over to play with Kyri so I can exercise, which I am so grateful for! My mom takes Kyri while Tod and I go on dates to the movies! Chloe also watches Kyri so I can run to the grocery store or so I can cook dinner! Kyri does really well with her sitter at church too. She opens up to good people really fast and loves to play and show them all the cool things she knows.

BREAST FEEDING: My baby loves her boobies every morning, before bed and at nap time. She has boobies on occasion in the bath or after the bath. I am so happy to still be breastfeeding her but think it may come to an end soon. Her feedings are becoming shorter and shorter as the weeks go on and I want her to self wean as naturally as possible. I have been keeping my diet as clean as possible so she get's the best nutrition. Kyri gets everything she needs through the food she eats but just in case I am so happy to give her extra.

Minerals and nutrients start to deplete 3 weeks after breastfeeding has stopped.

ACCESSORIES: The 4 accessories that Kyri uses are her easy clean high chair that we bought at Target for 50% off, her B.O.B. stroller which was second hand, her car seat, and her bike seat. That's it. She out grew her bumbo. Her bike seat was the best purchase ever! It was my mother's day present. She loves it and now we can bike as a family.

PARENTS: Every night before bed Tod and I talk about our kids and how much we love them, especially about how cute Kyri was that day. I talk about our day together, what we did and how her development seems to change almost daily. She amazes me. All three kids do! Kyri is now at the age where she needs more discipline (which mommy doens't like) but it has to be done. Time outs in the chair in her room is what happens if she doesn't listen. She is so good at "turning it around" and coming to me and saying sorry. She knows when shes done something wrong, just by the look on my face. I read that the 3 main times we should say no to our kids are:

when they will hurt themselves,
when they will hurt others,
or when they can cause real damage.

DISCIPLINE: As Kyri grows, not only is she learning new things and having fun but she is also expressing herself in different ways.  Some of those ways are; getting frustrated because her zipper on her sweater won't go down so she stomps her feet once and groans and then tries again, or when she wants up and I'm cooking and she says UP UP UP over and over again but I ignore her she will sometimes hit me once or get between me and the counter and push me, or when she wants attention she finds a pen from somewhere and starts drawing all over mommy's note books. I ignore her for most of her negative outbursts but some times she needs a flat out NO THANK YOU and a timer out alone in her chair. I tell her what she did wrong and I leave her in her chair (which she is just sitting on and can move at any time) and then she sits there for a minute and thinks about it, comes out of her room and says Sorry! Sorry! And gives me a great big hug. I started her young and now she knows what I want to hear.

Kids need equal parts discipline and love. Especially when they are 8 year old boys like her older brother.

I read Men are from Mars and Woman are from Venus and it talks about how when moms discipline they are using their masculine side and it's hard for them to switch over to their feminine side. And it's true. I am much more stressed and I don't feel like I am at peace with Tod, myself or the world. It isn't until I turn over to my feminine side where I feel like the lover and comforter that I feel at peace again. Very interesting stuff!

PERSONALITY: I can't put into words how much love I feel from and for Kyri. Her energy is unlike anything I have ever felt. When we dance, when we play and when we are having quiet time I can always feel her loving ora. She always includes me in her games. Sometimes out of no where she will just come up to me and give me a big hug and kiss. She is so compassionate. All of her actions are kind (99% of the time). She always says please when she asks for anything. She loves to sing and wants us to sing along with her. She is now saying 3 and 4 word sentences. I can't make out all of the words sometimes but most of the time I can.

She has now taken on the responsibility of our dog Mugsy. She will call him in that tone to make sure he comes with us in the car. She will call him to be by her side when we are outside and she tells him to go pee, it's quite cute.

Her favourite thing to draw are snowmen. Every time she has a writing tool she wants one of to draw her a snowman so she can draw over top of it and colour in the eyes, nose and hat.

She loves to include all of her stuffies, never leaving anyone out. She likes me to say goodnight to each and everyone of them. She takes turns who she cuddles with at night too.

Whenever I get stressed or overwhelmed with life I take a deep breathe and stop what I'm doing and go in for a Kyri hug. She gives the best, most awesome hugs in the world. Even long kisses come with them. I am so grateful for this life with her, Tod, Chloe and Seth. And Mugsy the dog and Prince Charming the fish.