Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Birthday Pics

Ok so this is less Green related as it is Mommy related. I wanted to share some pics from Bug's 2nd Birthday.

 The decorations. I used a lot of his own toys to cut down on waste. I also used reusable bowls, and trays. Only the paper plates and cups are disposable. The cupcakes and cake and food was all homemade and the cupcakes were made with pumpkin and squash puree.
 The cake made by my best friend. She did a great job!
The cupcakes made by me decorated by my best friend.
 Bug opening his gifts.
 Bug blowing out his candles.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Happy Birthday Jim Henson

So for those of you who don't know today would have been the 75th birthday of Jim Henson.
For those of us born before 1990 we probably have a pretty big part of our childhoods marked by this great man's influence. We were taught that sharing is good by Elmo, that it's not easy being green by Kermit. We laughed with the Fraggles or cried with Emmett Otter and his Mom. We were frightened by the Dark Crystal and Enchanted by Labyrinth. I honestly don't remember a part of my childhood that didn't have a part of Jim Henson in it.
Yet even in the next generations his presence is still felt, his vision still key in shaping so much of what we love. My son for instance could not start a day without Dinosaur Train and Sid The Science Kid, two new shows created by the Henson Company using muppets to inspire computer animation. The shows teach about science in a way kids can understand but are not bored by, in a way that teaches the whole family.
If I were to scan my DVD collection, or my Netflix account I would find movie after movie all created by or inspired by one man. I do not own many DVDs but those I do are almost exclusively his. My childhood is filled with happy memories of Yoda, Hoggle, Big Bird, Snuffy, Kermit, Fozzie, Emmet and of course Miss Piggy. So if you get a chance just think for a moment today about how happy that one man helped make your life, and wish him a Happy 75th.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Halloween Funtimes!!!!

So Halloween is right around the corner and more and more people are buying costumes these years. I don't think I know anyone who makes them, or uses old costumes to create new ones or buys used costumes. Yet doing these things not only would save you $$ each year but alsohelp reduce, reuse and recycle which we all know helps the planet. We make ours (well I make them) every year. So I am going to walk you guys through what we are doing this year and maybe you will be inspired to do some of this yourself. First off we almost always do a themed family costume. Last year we were original Star Trek people. Now this year we are going as a Wizard, Witch, and Dragon.
So let's begin with my costume.
I am wearing a victorian dress I found at a thrift store years ago. I am dyeing it black (3$ for rit dye). The pic here is the closest I could find to my dress online right now. I will try and post an actual pic of my dress. I am wearing black heel boots also from a thrift store.

My cloak is hand made by me, I use it for my garb. I am also wearing the underskirt from my wedding gown, and my garb corset. My hat will be store bought since my old hat is getting worse for wear. (3$). Total cost for my costume = 6$.

Bug's Costume is a dragon. We bought him green and brown feety jammies which we can use as regular jammies so I am not adding them into the price of the costume but they were 1$.
This pic is his horse costume and a (badly done) mock up of what it will look like as a dragon. His main costume piece is an old horse costume that I am painting green with homemade fabric spray paint. Fabric spray paint is not actually aerosol but is in a perfume style spritz bottle. It is about 10$ for a few ounces. So I bought a 4 ounce bottle of just fabric paint (which you dilute to a 3:1 ratio of water to paint so it makes 16 ounces of "spray paint") and mixed it in my own spritz bottle. Fabric paint 2$ for the 4 ounce bottle. I am going to make white teeth out of felt and a brown spine down the back (felt) and yellow or brown felt wings and a green felt tail. Total cost of all felt should be about 5$. Total cost of Bug's Costume = 7$.

Hubby's Costume is a Wizard. His hat, beard and wig were bought years ago for a previous costume. His outfit is his garb, hand made by me. This pic is that garb, but he won't be using the hat or shield or sword. His cloak is going to be hand made by me and we spent 20$ on cloth. Total cost of Hubby's Costume:  20$.
Total cost of all our costumes this year: 33$!!!! The average child's costume bought at a store is about 25$, adult 50$. To buy 2 adult and one toddler costume costs the average family 125$.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

To My Bug

Over the last 2 years you have made everything better. You made my life worth living.. not just existing.. but living.. really living. I see the world a new through your eyes. Some nights I just watch you sleep and breathe and know that in this singular moment everything is perfect.
The day you were born the world stood still. The doctors were all talking at me.. making me sign things that said I could die.. that you could die that this was a risk. Everything just was so hushed that morning. It was black outside and so quiet. I laid back in that bed holding you tight inside of me. I watched your foot move across my belly as though you were saying... "hi Mom soon I will be here".
When they came to take me to the OR I could just see the first lights of dawn coming up on the horizon. My room was slowly getting sunny and I knew that in a few moments my world would change forever. They had taken Daddy away. They told him he had to eat breakfast in order to not faint. They took him away to eat and walked me towards the OR. I remember everything as a blur. Doctors talking.. but really I was all alone. The only friendly face was my dear midwife who came to hold my hand and talk me through. Needles, wires, tubes.... all a blur. I do remember though that at precisely 8 AM they let Daddy back in and he took my hand. We smiled at each other. I was so calm but Daddy was already misty eyed. I held my breath. I did not let it out again it seemed until the moment I heard you cry. You were born at 8:17 AM. They lifted you up, cut the cord that bound us together for almost a year of our lives and in that moment we both sobbed. It was the end of something so precious but the start of something so amazing. Daddy cried too. You stopped first I think. They weighed you all laughing because you were the biggest baby they had seen in a while. You weighed 9 lbs 7 ounces and were 21.5 inches long. You were so pink and round and perfect. You came out perfect! Not blue or squished.. just perfect.
At some point it became apparent to me that you were being passed towards me. I could not hold you because of all the tubes and wires but Daddy held you. He held you and I saw something change in him forever. Then all in a moment they took you and Daddy away. They told me to just lay back and relax. After another half hour or so I was being told I was all set and now could be brought back to my room. A few minutes after I was brought back to our room they brought Namma and Daddy back in. I was so groggy and tired but I wanted so badly to hold you.. to feed you. Then as if by magic you were in my arms. I was so scared. I didn't know if my heart was big enough to love someone so much. I did though. I held you and my heart just burst. My heart exploded into a million fragments. I loved you more than words could ever say.
That was 2 years ago tomorrow. It seems so long ago... and yet at the same time like it was just yesterday. Now as you hover on your second birthday I need you to know how much you are loved. How much I wake up everyday knowing no bad can come to us while your bright face still has a smile on it. I know we spoil you sometimes... and I know you have daddy and I wrapped around your finger.. but you are still polite, kind and careful. You are the sweetest child I have ever known and I may be biased but I know plenty of people who agree. You are a dear little man and everyday I see more and more of the man you will become someday. You have always been amazing, reaching milestones far faster than expected. You smiled at 8 days, laughed at around the same time, rolled over at 2.5 months, had hand eye coordination at 3 months, sat up at 4 months, spoke your first words at 5 months, crawled at 5 months, stood at 5 months, walked holding on to things at 6 months, walked without anything at 9 months and walked well at 11 months. You said 2 word sentences at 11 months, and were speaking full sentences by 21 months. Now at 2 you are just a wonder. You help with dishes, draw, tell us stories, help feed the pets, know all your animals, colors, letters, numbers, even all the dinosaur names. You are just amazing.
I love you more than you will ever know. May your 2nd birthday be as happy for you as the day you were born was for daddy and I.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Smoking... bad for you and the environment

So I was walking around campus today and started to see something strange. People everywhere smoking. So often around town I see so few people smoking anymore. With NY taxes on cigarettes at an all time high the poorer % can't afford them and most people who can afford them have quit for their health or their children's. So what does that leave if most of the population has quit. That leaves the young and the old. The old for the most part generally speaking don't care if they are polluting their bodies because they have smoked their whole lives and they will continue until death most likely from lung cancer or emphysema. Anyone between the ages of 10 and 25 most likely still smoke because they haven't yet decided to have children or they think that the "coolness" factor outweighs the deadly side effects. What caught my eye on campus today wasn't just the fact that kids were smoking, it was the fact that many of them had "Go Green" plastered on their t-shirts, or "Recycle, Reduce, Reuse" on their notebooks or bags. Yet there they were sucking down a death stick.
If you have already noticed this blog post is very opinionated and yes biased against smoking and smokers then yes you are right. When I was born my mother smoked. I am pretty sure she smoked during her pregnancy with me too. She didn't just smoke cigarettes, she also smoked pot. It wasn't until my sister was conceived that she thought it might be a good idea to give up pot and maybe not smoke during her pregnancy. By the time I was about 5 (old enough to remember) my mother was a carton a week smoker. Sometimes more. She smoked inside the house and often blew the smoke right all around us. Fast forward 28 years. I now have asthma. I had undiagnosed asthma as a child but my parents never treated me for it. When I was 20 I found out after I got walking pneumonia. I have had in the last 28 years asthma, walking pneumonia, about 10 cases of serious bronchitis, two bouts with tonsillitis (the last one the doctor warned I may have to have them removed if I get it again) and of course severe allergies to among other things CIGARETTE SMOKE. So yes I am that girl that walks by a group of smokers coughing and waving the smoke away from me. I am that girl that will tell you to your face not "those can kill you" but "those are killing those around you".
So when I was 21 I met my husband who smoked and so did all his friends. I made him promise that he would never smoke inside the house or let anyone else and he would try to quit and that if we ever got married and had kids he would quit for them. Well when I was 5 months pregnant with bug he quit. He quit cold turkey and it's been almost 3 years now. So I learned something from my husband. If someone wants to quit they can they just need to want it bad enough and have a good enough reason. Therefor if someone especially a mother and even more especially a green mom continues to smoke.. then she just doesn't care.
So yes this is a lecture on health and yes you all know what can happen to babies exposed to cigarette smoke. That smoking inside can cause SIDS, that childhood obesity and asthma are related to it. That cancer and many other deseases can be the end result.
But what do cigarettes do to our environment. Why is it so hypocritical to be a Green Mom or Dad and smoke? According to an article I found "Researchers estimate that 1.7 billion pounds of cigarette butts accumulate in lakes and oceans and on beaches and the rest of the planet every year. Discarded cigarette butts and filters contain the same dangerous chemicals contained in a cigarette, including carcinogens and other poisons." ( Birds and other animals can eat them. Children can find them and play with them or eat them (I know I have had to clean my sons hands several times after he has picked up a cigarette butt.) Cigarette butts do not biodegrade. They stay around for a very long time. As most of them end up in lakes and streams they also end up inside the fish we catch and eat and the pets we love so much among lots of other animals. "Globally, about 4.3 trillion cigarette butts litter the earth every year. Smokers in the United States account for more than 250 billion cigarette butts, in the United Kingdom 200 tons of butts are discarded, and Australian smokers litter more than 7 billion cigarette butts every year. In most Western countries cigarette butt litter accounts for approximately 50 percent of all litter." That is a lot of non biodegradable waste but what about those carcinogens leaking out into the water we drink and the food we grow? Cadmium, lead and arsenic can begin leaking into the drinking water within 1 hr of being flicked into a stream or lake.
So what does this all break down to? It comes to this. Do you smoke or know someone who does? Do you care about those around you, your children, your pets, the food you eat, the water you drink? Do you care about getting cancer, emphysema or other worse things? If you do please quit. Smoking is at the very best a disgusting annoying habit.. at the very worst a deadly game of Russian roulette only the chamber has 4 bullets instead of one.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Coffee Table Re-Do

So many years ago before Hubby and I moved in together I had a gorgeous coffee table that my grandmother had given me. It was stained though and so I decided I was going to refinish it.
After we moved in together though we used Hubby's coffee table because it was the bigger of the two if not nearly as nice as mine. So my project was left until we many years later were moving furniture around and decided that with a baby his old cheap falling apart table was not as nice as mine.

So we got rid of the old one and started using mine again. Unfortunately it was half sanded from where I had started to refinish it. So the other day Bug was yet again drawing all over the top of it with chalk. Suddenly I had an idea. Why not turn the table into a giant chalkboard? It would refinish the table, tie our livingroom together and also be a giant drawing board for our son.

So I went to the store and bought chalkboard paint and I painted the table top. All in all it looks amazing. Both Hubby and I think it just pulls the whole room together and Bug loves it because he has this awesome new toy.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Pickling Spices and Diaper Decor

I have been a busy Green Mommy. So over the last few weeks I have been back in school. Last semester too. In 3 months I will have my bachelors degree in biological sciences. Yet all that school work hasn't stopped me from working on some great projects.
Currently in the works I am converting our coffee table into a cute chalkboard for Bug. It will still be our coffee table but the top will be covered in chalk board paint so he can draw to his hearts content. After we have some extra money to redecorate the livingroom someday we will buy a new one and put our old one in his room as an art table. I will post pics as soon as it's done.
I also have been hard at work harvesting the garden, freezing squash purees, and pickling. Bug and I went to the Farmer's Market yesterday and bought some tart apples and green beans and cucumbers.
So today I set about pickling 2 quarts of dilly beans, 2 quarts of garlic dills, 1 pint of sweet pickles, and 2 quarts of a new pickle I made up. I call them Apple Spice pickles. The basic recipe is start with basic brine (vinegar, water, picking salt) then add brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, mustard, and red pepper flakes. Add sliced green apples to a quart jar and pour the boiling brine over them to the brim.

I also have been working on decorating some of Bug's plain diapers. I finished the first three. The first 1 was a test diaper and the other two are Halloween patterns. They all came out pretty well. I was excited and Bug loves them.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Mommy Blues

In less than 2 weeks my baby turns two. This Green Mommy is a Blue Mommy. I just stare at him, his eyes, ears lips, smile, hair, toes. I just feel as though when that clock hits 8:17 AM on the 22nd that he won't be my baby anymore. Two means he is a toddler. Two means he is not a baby. Two means he is growing up so fast.. too fast.
The day I found out I had conceived him I clutched my stomach. I just rubbed it and cried and laughed and smiled so big because I knew inside of me was this amazing person and someday I would get to be his Mommy.
I would like to say the day he was born my life changed forever.. but it isn't true. My life changed the moment that test turned positive. I watched my belly grow, saw him on a monitor screen, watch his feet slide across my belly from the inside. I knew him long before he took his first breath.
When he finally did take his first breath and I held this beautiful amazing person in my arms it felt like my life had finally found it's purpose. Over the last two years I have watched him grow, change, develop, and overall become a person that it so much more than me or DH. He is just his own little person.
I love you so much my Bug. Stop growing so quickly.. you are making Mommy Blue.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Oh Autumn

"Oh Autumn"... that is how i feel today. Those words were once hilariously uttered by one of my best friends as we were shopping in a Rochester Walmart. She saw some decorative Fall leaves and candles and said "Oh Autumn" and wandered off.  Today however that happy sigh of  "oh Autumn" explains exactly how I feel. My zucchini is growing in abundance as our the butternut squash. Even our strawberries have suddenly started producing in large quantities. Better late than never I guess.
The leaves are already starting to change and my birthday is right around the corner and with that so is Bug's 2nd birthday. I can vividly remember spending this time 2 years ago waddling around with my super huge belly. I was so beyond excited to become a mother.

Then this time last year we were planning his 1st birthday and spending lazy Saturdays at the Farmer's Market.

Now as his second birthday approaches I just feel so happy and in love with my child. He is more amazing everyday. I can't wait to walk with him through crunchy leaves and carve pumpkins this year. 

Shoutout for a Friend

When I was about..... I have to say 14ish.. maybe 15 I met a guy who was a new college student at my church. He was a really amazing person.. and I quickly started to think of him as a big brother. We called him Dusty but his name is Paul. Over the last 10 or so years I have seen him grow into even a better man, and eventually husband to a wonderful woman Bekah and then a father to two beautiful little girls. Well now that same guy and his wonderful wife are trying to adopt a little boy from Russia who is HIV+. When I really think about that it is such an amazingly open and loving thing to even attempt to do. Most people do not have room in their heart for a child they did not create let alone one with HIV. I actually was in tears reading the posts on their blog about how excited and happy they are to be trying to adopt. However adopting from overseas is very very hard and expensive. There are many ways however that you can help them. First of all go to their website. You can also check out their coffee shop. They are wonderful people and wonderful parents (also super Green so that is great too). I know that they would be wonderful parents to this little boy too. Please consider helping their cause.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

A Few New Projects

First of all with Halloween just around the corner I have started Bug's costume. This year we are going to be a very halloweeny orange and black Kitty cat and Witch. So I finished Bug's hat the other day.

Then I started working on a necklace based on one I found online. It is a silver tree inside a circlet. I want to make one with black wire and an orange stone glued behind it  for Halloween.

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