Saturday, March 5, 2011

Eco Baby: Essential Tips for the Eco-Conscious New Mom

My dirt for my flower bed came in. This is making me a back yard bound Mama today. I thought I'd share an article about a few of my passions. One parenting,  two being environmentally conscious, three planing new rooms. Technically some of the article can apply to anyone remodeling. I hope you all enjoy.

Eco Baby: Essential Tips for the Eco-Conscious New Mom

Friday, March 4, 2011

Struggling with my preteen girl

I love my daughter. She has been my princess and in a way, my best friend. She's beautiful, funny, smart, and a lovely person. She also seems really sad.

My daughter lives 60/40 between my house and her father's. At my house she has a stepsister, a younger cousin who she has accepted as her brother, and two little half-brothers in preschool. She shares her room and has a lot of trust with the responsibilities she's given. She is also a kid. She has media time, sports, play dates and sleepovers.

At her dad's house she is an only child. She has been the little princess there and does not have many rules to follow, mostly because she is naturally well-behaved. She has unlimited access to any age-appropriate toy, game, TV, and website she wants. She has had some pretty cool girlfriends to share with her Dad, too. I am never told whether she seems sad at his house, but she is at mine.

I can understand that, as a child, being the only child can be awesome. You have undivided attention. Being the last of seven kids myself, I became an only child by the time I was 11, when all my siblings moved out. I can also understand that having brothers and sisters is awesome, too. There's almost always someone to play with or talk to. I shared my room with my sister for the first half of my childhood, with a brother in the room next door. It was challenging, but fun, too.

I have trouble with the changes my daughter's going through. She's going to be a young woman sooner than I can imagine, I'm sure. Maybe I'm too focused on it. Some things have already changed. The most obvious are the mood swings. It's becoming more challenging every day to connect with her. She gets her feelings easily hurt during normal conversation and joking around -- mostly because she doesn't understand the context of what is being talked about. We have lots of tears I have no idea where they come from. When I try to talk to her the walls go up. This crushes my heart. I just want to hug her and make her happy like I do with my preschoolers. It's clear to me she is my baby, but will not be treated as one.

Justin Bieber is her pin up. She reads books and magazines and listens to his music, and has 30 or more posters of his face plastered on her walls. He is the ultimate star in her world. Justin Bieber to me is a way to talk to her. First I learned the words to his songs and talking about what songs she likes. Then we went to the opening night of Never Say Never the movie. We had a great time. We loaded up on junk food, wore 3D glasses and took our picture in one of those photo booths. She even told me things that were cool to know. (Not mentioning what.) But as soon as we get home the tears are turned on. It wasn't the night she had imagined. No explanation why it was such an awful night, just very upset. I can't win.

When my daughter and I do connect its magical. I am a such a proud mother. An example is when she and I are having talks about uncomfortable topics. Puberty. Boys. Bullies. Siblings. She comes alive with questions and her own stories. I finally hear about what she likes and what bothers her and what she would like to try to do to accomplish new things in her life. She is a brilliant deep thinker.

I'm a weepy mother when I'm happy. I know, how embarrassing. If I do it in our home and tell her how proud I am of her she gives that big warm smile I love to see. I am just not allowed to embarrass her in public with my happy tears.

I know she will only be this age once. I can only hope that she does keep me close to her as her entire life shifts from child to teen then to adult. I can remember how much I didn't know and how alone I felt thinking I was alone in my changes. I hope to be compationate, understanding and avalible to her and still be able to give her a little guidance here and there when she needs it.

I love my baby girl and I am sure I'm going to love my wonderful grown daughter, too. I may need lots of help an advice along the way. She's strong willed.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Carrot and Zucchini Bread in the bread machine

This is kind of a funny thing I have discovered a lot of my friends do. They have a habit of buying a single item every time they go grocery shopping. I buy hand sanitizer and my husband buys carrots. We have to many carrots and super germ free hands.

Putting away groceries I decided it was really time to do something about the carrots. I got some good ideas but I decided to juice them.  To my surprise my four year old loves carrot juice. After you juice a carrot your left with carrot pulp. I could be wasteful and compost it or try to make carrot bread in my bread machine. (I don't have an oven.)

So here's my recipe

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour

  • 1 teaspoon baking powder

  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda

  • 3/4 cup white sugar

  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil

  • 2 eggs

  • 5 good sized scoops of carrot pulp. (This about as much as 2 large bananas.)

  • 1 medium sized Zucchini diced in to raisin sized pieces.

  • If you're trying to get more fiber in your diet add a couple tablespoons of Benefiber.

  • Add all the ingredients into your machine. Mix on the dough setting. When done mixing use a rubber spatula and form in to a loaf.

    Cook on Bake setting. Around 50 minutes. When done a toothpick should pull clean from center of the loaf.

    When I asked my husband how he would describe the final product. Warren says. " Surprisingly not bad because I would not want to eat Carrot and Zucchini bread." LOL

    So if anyone makes this and improves the flavor please share with me your recipe. You'd make this Mama really happy.

    Tuesday, March 1, 2011

    bumGenius3.0 Pocket Diaper

    The bumGenius3.0 pocket diaper was my very favorite diaper for my middle son, Sonny. He has a long, thin build, and these diapers are perfect for a thin baby. They have many cool features. They are a pocket diaper that comes with an insert made of a microfiber that pulls the moisture away from your baby's skin and also
    has snaps to adjust to the desired length. (The latest product line even has a newborn insert.)

    The fabric that touches the baby's skin is soft and smooth. Waste washes off with ease. The diaper cover has both snaps and velcro. The snaps adjust the height of the diaper and the velcro adjusts to your baby's waist. They can be used on a very small newborn up to a toddler.

    I have had very few wicking (leaking) issues or leaks at nighttime or during a nap. I would normally machine wash and line dry the covers. I always put the inserts in the washer and dryer. Once in a while, when I noticed leaking during play, I put the covers in the dryer. This seems to fix the leak.

    My only real complaint was my youngest baby, Declan, was not thin. They don't seem to accommodate thicker legs, creating gaps and disappointment when my newborn pooped everywhere. Declan is two years old now, and thinner, so we are good once again with bumGenius.

    These are some of my more expensive diapers, running me around $20 a diaper. I have nine in my stash -- but they are totally worth it. They are the easiest and most effective diaper I've used.

    Monday, February 28, 2011

    Farmer Joe

    I have to give credit where it's due. The credit is over due to my kid Joey. He's my oldest son. He's nine years old. He's a huge help. I'm not sure my life would be as happy if we didn't grab him five years ago and make him ours. I love this kid.

    Two years ago in first grade he came home from school with a cup of dirt and a seedling Mammoth Sunflower. He asked me if we could plant a garden, so we did. This year my back is a horrible mess. Lifting is not allowed.  The prep work for the garden has been a longer than usual project. There have been times walking makes my entire body act like a Jell-o mould.

    Well Joey is the man. He went with me to Home Depot a month back and we got a couple raised garden frames, a seed starter kit and I have done a lot of nothing. He helped load the frames into the car and helps me care for the seedling daily.

    Well today is the award day for this kid. He needs a metal. Joe built the frames by his self. The frames are in the yard. One of them he and I pulled and prepared all the grass and weeds out of. OK I laid on my side on a blanket pulling roots after he yanked all the growth out. The whole time he's complaining of a headache but wont take my advice to go inside and take a break. He's a work horse! Two frames and 16 square feet of work done. All because this kids LOVES to garden.


    Sunday, February 27, 2011


    Fuzzibunz are just that fuzzi. These pocket diapers have a fleece lining making them super soft on my baby's duff. These diapers come in lots of color choices and a few cute prints. As a pocket diaper they are pretty good. Inserts are easy to use but often to wide for the crotch. I have found a hemp insert that is contour that works well called Joey bunz by Baby Kicks Hemparoo. These diapers are awesome if your baby has a rash.  My boys are extremely fair and rashes are common. This diaper with out the use of any diapering creams absorbs and wicks moisture away from baby's duff efficiently. Usually the rash is gone not even as long over night.

    The diapers are about $20 each and a Joey bunz is about $5-$6 each.

    The only trouble I have with the Fuzzibunz is they are a snap diaper. I like to use my diaper snug and I have caused runs near the snaps. I always machine wash and line dry. I find my self needing to strip this diaper more often than other diapers I use. I'm not sure if it's because of the fleece lining or that I use them with hemp inserts. I use them during the day although they are decent if you need to use them over night.

    Fuzzi Bunz One Size Cloth Diapers 6 Pack Gender Neutral Colors

    Something kind of fun happened in my kitchen

    So I'm really geeky. I have a pot I grow basil in in my kitchen window. My two winter surviving plants had babies.