Wednesday, April 28, 2010

A huge flavor!

Yes, I said flavor!  It sounded cute.

I have 59 followers in my Google Friend Connect box.  Could you please come to my new blog and follow me of there?  I tried my hardest to transfer everyone over, but Mr. Google is being a meany and won't let me! :(

I love you all!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

The War on Eczema

There’s a war going on LBG’s house.

If you'd like to read mor about it.  Please see my new site HERE

Monday, April 26, 2010

Can We Blame It On The Dog?

I’m going to tell you a story.  If you are 12 year old boy in a 20-something woman’s body like me, you’ll be ok.  If you aren’t, you might want to run away… Fast!

To read the rest of the story, please visit my new site HERE

Guess what!

I have a surprise for you!!!!  

Please follow me HERE to find out!

Saturday, April 24, 2010

When is a Sponge Not a Sponge?

When it’s made of cotton!  Wanna hear a confession?  I haven’t owned a sponge in almost two years!  That’s right… TWO! 

I may not have mentioned this, but I love to crochet!  I can knit too but, it just isn’t as fun as being a hooker!  I can it down and repeat the same stitch over and over again with out getting bored as long as there is a good movie or tv show on.  If I don’t have either of those, then a great conversation will work, too. 

Once upon a time, TF had mentioned that a friend of his used dishcloths rather than sponges for washing dishes.  It’s something I’d never seen, but I was intrigued.  A few years later and in the middle of a deployment, I found my hooks in a box.  I was given a huge spool of cotton yarn that seemed like the perfect material.  One night while incredibly lonely I sat on the couch with a glass of wine by my side and started to chain.  Then single crochet. 

Before I knew it I had some little wash clothes.  I instantly knew they’d be wonderful for wiping down the counters.  I gave them a try and they worked fabulously!  I was smitten.  If you could be smitten with homemade washcloths, that is. 

The next night I tried to make them a little denser so they’d work well for scrubbing.  What I came up with were little “dish-cleaning cloths.”  Instant love affair.  Since those two nights, we’ve not owned one sponge!  Ok, they won’t soak up the spilled coffee on a bad morning, but that’s what towels were invented for.

I keep a basket next to the kitchen sink filled with the cloths.  About 15 or so with each.  A fresh one for each day.  Before, I toss them into the dirty laundry, I zap them in the microwave for 15 seconds.  Make sure it’s wet, though.  Also, you might want to let it cool for a little while before you retrieve it.  Trust me.  I learned the hard way.  TWICE!  Then on laundry day, just wash them on hot with your socks and undies. 

There are two advantages to doing using cotton dishcloths. 

A-    One is that as long as you don’t use terrible chemicals, when they wear out just cut them up into smaller portions then compost!
B-    I’m hoping that I can use this as a cheap ploy to get LBG to help with kitchen cleaning when he is old enough.  I’ll make them in an array of colors and then he can choose which color he wants to use.  Then when one dies (all but one has lasted well over a year!) he can put it into the compost bin!  We’ll see if this plan actually works, but I’m optimistic! The kid’s going to need to learn to clean somehow, right?!

Now, for all those hookers out there, I’m going to share my patterns.  If you don't know how to crochet, I highly suggest hitting up youtube and learning how! 

These are my own and I’d really love it if you’d only used them for yourself and gifts.  Also these aren’t exactly scientific, but who cares?  It’s not like you are wearing them!  Also I don’t feel like using fancy abbreviations… so you will just have to read it all out!

Dish-cleaning cloths
Size F crochet hook
100% cotton yarn- worsted weight
no gauge

Chain 17
Turn and Single Crochet in 2nd chain from hook.  Continue across Single Crothet across.  Chain 1 then turn.
Repeat the Single Crocheting across, chain 1 and turn for 16 more rows. 
Bind off and weave in tails.

You’ll want to make the stitches fairly tight to give it a semi-scrubby quality.  The edges curl but it’s really not a big deal!


Counter Wiping Cloths
Size G crochet hook
100% cotton yarn- worsted weight
no guage

Chain 30
Turn and Double Crochet in 3rd chain for hook.  Continue Double Crochet across.  Chain 2 then turn
Repeat the Double Crochet across, Chain 2 for 16 more rows.
Bind off and weave in tails.

Tighter stitches seem to work better.

Happy Hookin’!

PS.  My digicam is charging right now, but tomorrow I’ll show you photos of my basket!

Friday, April 23, 2010

Fleece Carpet, Anyone?

I just realized that I haven’t updated you on LBG’s skin in a while.  Good news is that he’s slowly losing his crusty critter status and slowing becoming a baby again!  Bad news is that it involves lots of steroids. 

I’m pretty sure he’s on his way to have biceps that’ll rival Mr. Universe and balls the size of peas, but at least his skin is baby soft!  We just started our 4th, up you read that right, 4th round of steroids and this time he’ll slowly be weaned off them rather than cutting cold turkey.  He also is taking Nystatin, which is an anti-yeast/anti-fungal medication that was made specially for him.  He has two more weeks of that. 

We’ve worked out a lotion routine that seems to be helping as long as we keep up with it.  Lubing up my baby boy- wow that sounded dirty!- should be a full time job.  Seriously.  Three times a day we slather him up with a combination of Un-Petroleum jelly and California Baby Calendula cream.  You mix the two together then spread it on.  At almost all diaper changes, he gets a healthy dosage of extra virgin coconut oil applied all over.  We do the coconut for a few reasons.  One being that its super yummy smelling, but mostly because it’s a great moisturizer and is supposed to aid in killing yeast.  Can’t hurt, right? 

Even with all the lotions and medicines he still has a few dry patches that are so insanely dry it looks he started to turn himself into beef jerky!  Those are his super itchy places.

We’ve also learned that his has insanely sensitive skin.  Not just use-special-soap skin, but keep-him-from-touching-the-carpet skin.  Seriously, if he lays on the carpet for too long his forearms, thighs, and knees get really rashy and itchy.  As long as he’s on his blankets he’s fine.  Do they make fleece carpet?  If so, I’m in the market for some!

There is also a very special tactic that we have in place.  LBG has to be treated like a prince.  I mean, the kid is NOT allowed to cry.  If he gets mad, he gives himself a big ‘ol hug and scratches himself until he bleeds.  So for now, TF and I bow down and kiss his feet.

…and so should you!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Beaba BabyCook Review and Cookbook Giveaway

CLOSED

Remember a while back I wrote about making homemade baby food?  *You can jog your memory here* I showed off my beautiful Beaba BabyCook and told you it was an unnecessary item that I just HAD to have.  I’m totally and completely retracting everything I said.  You DO need a BabyCook! 

I never knew how much I’d fall in love with the little green machine.  Or how it would change my life. 

Of course, I use the BabyCook for making LBG’s solids, but I also use it to reheat them.  I just put the ice cubes in a small jar, fill the water to the “1” line and place the jar in the steamer basket.  In a few minutes his lunch is nice and warm!  If it’s a little on the thick side, I use some of the steam water to thin it just like I would when making it from the raw veggies.

Now for the fun part.  I even use it to cook for The Father and myself.  We recently realized we don’t eat as many veggies as we should so we’ve decided to have a veggie with every meal.  Instead of boiling water on the stove then steaming the green beans or carrots, I just pop them into the Babycook and within a few minutes I have enough for the two of us.  Same goes for my lunch.  I’ve made myself countless lunches of steamed broccoli, carrots, potatoes, etc. 

One night TF was staying late for work so I steamed some broccoli and potatoes for myself then made some yummy applesauce with cinnamon for dessert!  How cool is that?!

We’ve used the food processor portion for chopping garlic and onions, too.  Over the weekend we made our own hummus! 

See, I told you that you need one!  If you aren’t looking for spend $150, never fear, my dears.  Scandinavian Child has refurbished BabyCooks here.  They are in “like new” condition but might have some slight imperfections, aesthetically speaking.  They are 35% off MSRP!  How cool is that?!

I firmly believe in telling a company if you love or hate their products.  When I emailed Scandinavian Child to tell them how much I love my Beaba BabyCook, they surprised me with a cookbook!  Not only that, one lucky reader gets a copy of the Beaba BabyCook Book, too!!! 

Just a little about the book.  It was written by a French chef and has recipes for babies of all ages.  Each recipe has a shopping list, which is helpful, and different variations are provided so kids of all ages can enjoy!  LBG tried the Winter Squash Veloute for dinner they other night and loved it!  I’ve made the Cinnamon Cookies and Chocolate Cookies for TF and myself.  We just substituted regular cow’s milk for the formula.  They were fantastic!

So here’s how it works:
Please leave separate comment for each entry

-    Visit BeabaUSA then come back and tell me about one of their super cool products
-    Become a fan of Scandinavian Child on Facebook
-    Follow @ScanChild on Twitter
-    Follow @LBGsMama me on Twitter- that's me!
-    Tweet about the giveaway- 1 entry per day you tweet!
-    Follow me publicly using Google Friend Connect
-    Vote for me on Topmommyblogs.com <--- click to cast vote!

I will be choosing the winner using Random.org on Sunday, April 25 at 9pm EST.

Good luck!

Monday, April 19, 2010

A Few Mishaps at the Market

One of the cool things about making your own baby food is that your kiddo can try many foods that are not sold in jars.  I’m taking this opportunity and using it to the fullest.  I’ve made the decision that this week LBG will get to try parsnips.

After his 6 month checkup- he’s growing up big and strong!- I headed over to Whole Foods to see if they had any.  Prior to leaving this house earlier in the afternoon, I did some quick research, which means Google images, as to what a parsnip looks like.  As far as I know, I’ve never tried one.  Mr. Google Image told me they look just like a carrot only white.

As soon as I walked into the produce section, my eyes started skimming the sea of apples and oranges and potatoes until my eye landed on the ghostly beauties.  I was even excited they still had the greens attached, which means a little something extra for the compost bin!  As I’m putting the bunch into the little plastic bag (I really need to buy some reusable) the mister turns on. 

Oh yeah.  I totally get sprayed!  Not only that, LBG who’s pretending to be a monkey riding on my back gets a light shower!

It was probably a sign from the heavens that I should have taken a shower this morning.  To add confusion to the mix, I notice that the label that is holding the bunch together says “Daikon Radish.”  Being the terrible techie that I am, I left my iphone out in the car so that means I need to make an executive decision without the help of my friend Mr. Google.  I decide that this is probably a similar case of yams v. sweet potatoes.  Two very different animals, but in this country sweet potatoes are sold under both names.

Parsnips- Daikon Radish.  Tomayto- Tomahto.  On with life we go.

I gather a few other items that I need then head to the check out.  Dude, it was cold outside especially now that we are all wet!

When I get home, I do a quick google just to confirm my suspicion before I start slicing and dicing.  Well, gosh darn it, turns out they are two veeeeeeeeeery different animals!

Great googley moogley, what am I going to do know with a bunch of “Daikon Radishes?”

There is an upside to this story.  I tried kombucha for the first time.  It was pretty yummy!  You should try some fermented tea yumminess sometime.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Dinner with Dear Ol' Dad

This afternoon I asked TF if he would feed LBG his solid dinner.  I had no idea I’d have tears running down my face from laughing so hard! 

I’ve found that the best way to make banana puree is to mash it with a garlic press.  It’s messy but it gets the job done!  We let LBG play with a few slices while I turned the rest of the banana into a sloppy gunk.  It’s amazing how he will put anything in his mouth, except food!

Anyhooo back to the story.  TF scooped up the first spoonful of ‘nanas and LBG totally missed the bite.  Yup it went straight into his eye!  Of course, TF is a man and has to make sure LBG stays clean through out the eating process, so it was wiped up and then eating continued.  I swear each meal uses 35 cloth napkins! 

While TF was turning around to ask me a question, LBG reached over and landed his hand right into the bowl! {insert high pitch squeal here} No big deal, except that he that needed to scratch his head after.  I’m pretty sure he was giving us a sign that we should start washing our hair with banana puree.  I’ll have to ask him about it later. 

TF thought I was kidding when I told him that blowing raspberries while eating is appropriate table manners when you are a sweet little boy.  I’m fairly sure he got a few banana showers!  It’s ok, I’m sure it will make him sweeter. 

You’d think that after the first hand in the bowl experience, he’d learn not to leave the bowl sitting on the highchair tray. Nope.  This time the bowl was tipped forward right into LBG lap! {high pitch squeal and raspberry] A quick cleanup and the meal continued on! 

Soon LBG decided to start play a game.  It was the “pretend to be hungry but actually be full game.”  He has a tale-tell sign that he is full.  Locked lips and spitting out food if you can manage to get some in.  Not today!  He’d open his mouth, take a huge bite then spit it out {squeak} Rinse. Repeat.  I do believe I heard “he’s just screwin’ with me” uttered, but I can’t be certain.

I finally told TF that the meal was over and it was time to off LBG some water from his shot glass special cup.  Just as TF was making the sign for “water,” LBG reaches forward and snatched the glass right out of his hand and flung it over his shoulder! {shriek and giggle}  It was like a scene straight from a movie!  Luckily for us, it landed on the carpet and there wasn’t much water in it.  I guess the saying is true “never give a baby more water than you want to clean up!”

I love watching my boys have dinner together! 

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Earth Day!

The Father and I took LBG to Nashville’s Earth Day celebration today.  We really didn’t know what to expect since we’d never been.  TF even asked “Are we going to see hippies?  You know how I feel about hippies!”  I have no idea what he was referring to since he is married to an almost hippie of sorts!  We didn’t expect it to be a huge shindig, but boy were we wrong!

We spent a good 20 or so minutes looking for parking.  Thankfully, I was driving so we were able to parallel park!  Once we arrived, we realized that we’d forgotten to pack LBG a hat!  I have no idea how this happened because I keep on in the diaper bag for such occasions.  We decided we’d slather him in sunscreen and try to stay in the shade as much as we possibly could.  We also planned to not stay for every long.  It would be a shame if we’d arrived with a baby and left with a lobster!

As we walked around and visited many of the booths, we learned about wind turbines, electric cars, tree conservation, and barges on the Cumberland River.  Something that really interested me was a booth for recycling your bycicles!  I have no idea how the process works, but it’s such a cool idea!  We met with a few farmers and learned about their CSAs which was really fun.  We keep saying that we are going to join one, but TF wants to wait until we move so that I’m not driving an hour each way to make the pickup times.  That semi-defeats the purpose. 

TF has a huge love affair with funnel cakes- or as they call them where he’s from “fried dough.”  He informed me they were different but similar concept.  I have to admit that I ate some, too.  How could you resist the yumminess of something deep fried then coated in powered sugar?  So maybe it wasn’t  the healthiest treat and TF rebelled by not putting the paper plate in to the recycling bin labeled “Paper,” but it was still yummy and that’s all that mattered. 

We’d assumed there would be vendors selling handmade crafts.  After all, buying locally handmade items is far more environmentally friendly than buying from a sweatshop in China.  After a 30 second discussion, we’d decided to try to buy a cuteh at for LBG so we’d be able to stay longer.  Not to mention toys always make things more fun!  Unfortunately for us, we couldn’t find any handmade crafts! 

The last thing TF, LBG and I did was learn about the Toyota Prius.  We’ve discussed buying one in the future, but we wanted to look at one without a salesman breathing down our spines.  Not only did we learn about hybrid cars, but we also learned about electric bycicles!. 

As we left, we saw some empty tents.  It could be that they are there for shade or later in the day some craftspeople would be selling their wares.  We don’t know. 

Since you’ve once again finished reading my rambling story, I’ll share a photo with you!  You’ll learn two things about me and one thing about LBG!

I have a love affair with strange sunglasses and I really need Photoshop!  LBG totally rocks spikey hair!  Even if it was sunscreen that we used.  Doesn’t he look like he’s trying to say “Can we just get out of here, now?!”  Don’t worry, as soon as we got back to the car, we learned he was in dire need of a fresh dipe!



We can’t wait to go again next year.  Hopefully LBG will be able to enjoy it more!

Friday, April 16, 2010

LBG and the Hour of Terror

There is one hour of each and every day that I dread more than a root canal!  That would be 5pm. Sharp!  I can anticipate it by taking every possible precaution at 4:45, but as the clock strikes 5 LBG because a screaming, flailing banshee.

Before you jump to any conclusions, let me give you his schedule.  He wakes up at 5am, has a bottle and goes back to sleep until somewhere between 7 and 8.  At roughly 10am, he’ll start to rub his eyes a bit so I lay him in his crib with he paci, white noise, and his music machine.  Within seconds he is out and will sleep 30 minutes.  Once he wakes up, he is all smiles and will a perfect gentleman until sometime between 1 and 2 when he repeats the morning nap process.  Again, 30 minutes.  I've read the No Cry Solutions books, but for the life of me I can not get him to extend his naps unless we are in the car and then we *might* be able to eeek out an hour.

Then 4:45 is upon us.  I know what is upon us so I collect my gear.  6oz bottle, Mylicon, Hylands gel AND Orajel, and pacifier make up my arsenal.  I always make certain he has a fresh diaper strapped on.  At exactly 5pm, all hell breaks loose.  No sleepy eye rub and whine, but full on wail and headbashing.  I can hold him cradle-style and get armpit bunched and kicked or I have hold him upright and get a bloody nose (true story) or broken collar bone from him head slinging and bashing. The case usually ends up with him in the crib, and me sitting in a chair next to him.

I never know what to draw from my tool belt first so I’ll give you today’s run down.  I started with the bottle.  He hadn’t had anything in an hour or so, so he might be hungry.  15 oz later the screaming is escalating.  I’m pretty sure he now has a bellyache so I try my best to burp him and give him the gas drops.  He still won’t sleep so I whip out the Orajel.  Now he should be gasless and have a numb mouth.  This isn’t helping with the whole pulling out the paci and throwing it situation. 

I don’t believe in letting my child “cry it out” so I stay with him the entire time, unless I need a two minute breather or a bottle refill.  I end up resorting to patting his tummy with one hand and holding the paci with the other.  5:30 is the magic time when he will start to drift off.  But, there is one catch.  His pesky left eye will NOT close all the way. 

For the next ½ hour, I will play the in/out game with him.  As soon as my head hits the pillow, butt touches the couch, or I take my first bite of the lunch I forgot about hours ago, the screaming will start up again.  Heaven forbid I’m not there immediately or the blood curling shrieks start up!

At exactly 5:59pm LBG’s eyes do this little roll back in his head type of deal and then he will look over at me with the biggest smile on his face and giggle!  AHHHHHHH!

He will be the happiest kid in town until 8pm when we start getting him ready for bed and as soon as his sweet little head touches the crib mattress at 8:30, he is out!  11pm bring the need for another bottle and then life is calm until 5am the next day!

Is that not the strangest thing you’ve ever heard?  I swear LBG turns into Mr. Hyde for exactly 1 hour every day!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

The Wheels on the Bike

Today I retrieved our bikes from the garage and prepared them for use.  My bike needed some air in the tires and a nice massage, I mean dusting. 

TF's bike needed major surgery!  I'm not afraid to play in some grease so I re attachted the chain.  Something I've never in my life done.  I must also add that I didn't need to ask Sir Google how to do it!  After a quick massage dusting and the bolts on the seat tightened, both bikes are ready for the road!

Tomorrow LBG might get to go on his very first bike ride!  We'll see how the weather is and what his mood is like.  I don't think I want to try to balance on two wheels with a squirmbot strapped to my back.  Just imaging everything, I feel very European!  Now I just need to decide which carrier will get the job done, HA! 

When I lived in Connecticut, I used my bike quite a bit.  It was great for quick errands and a great workout.  We now live in a city that is far from pedestrian/ cyclist friendly so TF and I settle for just riding around our neighborhood.  We'd really like to invest in a rack for the car, but it's not anywhere near the top of our list of *needs.* 

Hopefully, once we move, we'll be able ride around more since we won't be confined to the 3 streets of our neighborhood.  Our new neighborhood- if we ever get to move in!- has lots of small streets with little traffic so it will be the perfect place to teach LBG how to pedal his trike!

Wouldn't it be so much fun in TF and I were able to ride our bikes everywhere we needed to go?  LBG could be a backseat biker rather than a backseat driver!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Save the Date!


It’s time for a party!  A garden party, that is!

I love gardening and seeing other people’s gardens, so now’s your time to show off your botanical beauties!

Here’s how it works.  May 17th, I’m going to post a MckLinky for you to add your Garden Party post.  I'll even have a button for you to put in your sidebar! 

I understand we are all live in different climates so if you don’t have veggies or flowers up yet, you can show off your rows of seeds, freshly pruned hedges, or even what’s in the green house. 

What, you don’t garden?  That’s ok.  You can show off your flowerpots, houseplants, and heck even your Zen garden (just be sure you raked it well!)  You might want to include any issues you are having, trade secrets, or learning experiences you may have.  A reader might be able to lend a hand or learn something from you.

After you’ve posted your link, you can tour other blogs to see what they are up to.  You might be able to learn a thing or two or find some inspiration!  You get to tour gardens for a whole week!  That’s seven days of horticulture without the worry of bees, pollen, snakes, and the fear that you might be told to pull a few weeds!

Guess what else is happening!  In September, we are going to have Round 2!  You can’t forget about all the lovely mums and crop harvest!  I expect to hear if your corn only grew 2 inches, the wisteria swallowed your house whole, or if you are drowning in tomatoes.  You can even share your plans for next year!

So mark your calendar and grab your straw hats; I’ll provide the sweet tea and lemonade! 

Let's some see some gardens!

A Very Special Day

Do you know why April 22nd is so important? 

Let me give ya the 411!  It’s Earth Day!  That’s right, a whole day dedicated to loving this big beach ball we live on and keeping her beautiful!  This year is extra, super important, too!  It’s the 40th anniversary of Earth Day.  That’s right, the big 4-0!

Alrighty, now that I’ve made that announcement, I need to make another announcement.

Wait for it…

I’ve never been to an Earth Day Celebration!  Not that I can remember, anyway.  So this year I’m making it my mission to attend Nashville’s celebration.  Now, I could be a good little planner and look at the website to see what the day will entail, but I’d rather just fly by the seat of my pants and just show up!  As you know, I love the little surprises in life.  The Father and I want to make it a tradition to take LBG every year.

You should check out your local Earth Day, too!  If you live in Nashville or the middle Tennessee area the big day will be held April 17, 2010 from 11am to 7pm at Centennial Park!  It’ll be a great way to celebrate LBG’s six monthday!

I shall be reporting back to tell you all about it!  Promise!

Friday, April 9, 2010

The Ultimate Blog Party 2010!

Ultimate Blog Party 2010

Excuse me, I need to interrupt my usual 1st Time-Supermom-Saves-the-Planet-with-Baby-in-Tow post so I can tell you about the Ultimate Blog Party!!  Please bare with me since I just learned about this in the wee hours of the morning when I should have been sleeping.   If I've forgotten a step, please feel free to point and laugh let me know!

This is my officially Party Post so once it's published, I get to travel around the interwebs and visit tons of blogs and make new friends!  Even possible get a few new Twitter people in the progress!  If you blog, you should join the festivities!

A little about me.  You may call me "The Mother," because well, I'm the mother to the sweet little boy who inspires me on a daily basis.  I'm a broken ballerina, kinda went to college for photography, former ballet teacher turned stay-at-home-mom!   I enjoy trying things that insure me the side-eye from most normal people.  I mean, who exactly has fun grating 4 bars of soap by hand to make laundry detergent?  Yup, thats me!  Ya know those lovely lists of what kind of mom you are?  Well here's mine:  I'm a formula feeding, clothing diapering, crib sleeping (not me, the kid!) babywearing, SAHM who had an epidural and told the hubs that if he wanted more biological kids, he needs to have them himself.  How'd ya like that for a run on sentence?!

I married an amazing man who is my opposite in more ways I can count.  You can call him "The Father" and we all know why.  While I'm a type-B person, he's as A as you can get.  He's the reason things actually get done around here!  He humors me through most of my eco-shananigans, so I give him a million pounds of kudos.    While he hates that we pay to recycle, he loves that our trashbin outside is rarely full and it isn't a crisis if we forget to put it out one week.  While he wasn't much help the first few weeks of parenting, he's redeemed himeself 100 fold.  Who could blame him?  I was afraid of my own baby those days, too (they're so tiny and fragile, ya know.)  I love watching my boys play together!  It melts my heart into a huge puddle of slimey goo!

Now for the sweet little boy who caused it all.  Sweet LBG.  That's short for Little Boy Green.  Maybe one day I'll share his real name, but for now you'll have to settle with knowing that he shares the of a respectable character from a classic American novel.  If you've guessed it, then you my friend, have earned yourself 50 points- just keep in mind that just like the tv show, Whose Line is it Anyway, the points don't really mean anything.  LBG might not be the best sleeper, but his enormous blue eyes totally make up for it.  Plus, how many wee tykes do you know who have dark hair with a small patch of blonde?!  He can already talk his way out of any awkward situation which is a very respectable talent.

As a family, we are striving to make better eating decisions, watch less television, and do more things for ourselves rather that relying on other corporations (homemade laundry detergent, anyone?)

So that's our family in nutshell!  Our blog this chronicling it all as we make our journey into semi-hippie-dom.



Ok, now that I've introduced myself and my family, I get to list some of the super awesome prizes I'm interested in!  Ready.  Set. GO!
4 – A total of four prizes! Three different pairs of earrings to three different entrants and one show stopper bracelet.
10 – Young Living Essential Oils Stress Away Roll-On is a unique blend of vanilla, lime, copaiba, and other pure essential oils. Relieves daily stress, encourages relaxation, and reduces nervous tension. ($30 retail value)
27 – One lucky winner will receive a Collected Recipes Cookbook binder, coordinating 8.5″ x 11 stationery, full page plastic protector sheets, and a pack of coordinating recipe cards.
29 – Eco-Friendly Mimi the Sardine Bag in the Cute Dog & Cat Print!
43 – A copy of Get Out!: 150 Ways For Kids and Grown-Ups to Get Into Nature and Build a Greener Future and The Frugal Foodie Cookbook will be shipped to one lucky winner.
57 -A beginners yoga kit that is light blue and includes a mat, DVD, Yoga Hemp strap, and block.
USC 5 – One BPA-free Baby Dipper Bowl with spoon and fork, which allows parents to feed a baby using only one hand and helps toddlers learn to feed themselves.
USC 23 – A sample pack of 3 25g bags of premium loose black teas (Earl Grey de la Creme, After Eight, Monk’s Blend), and a tea ball all from Steeped Tea, Inc.
USC 28 – How to Roast a Lamb: New Greek Classic Cooking will be shipped to one winner.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

I'm Fully Armed

Amber teething necklace- check!
Hylands tablets and gel- check!
Motrin and Tylenol- check!
Every toy under the sun- check!
Bottle of wine and cabinet full of liquor- CHECK!
Husband out of town- HELP!

Bring on the teeth!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

The Brothers and Sister

Today, while LBG and I were hanging his diapers out to dry, I realized that I haven’t introduced you to his brothers and sister!  How could I forget my 4 oldest?!

Would you like to know what reminded me?  Henry, our second “child” has been at war with nature the past two days and watching him attempt to catch a bumble bee in his mouth is absolutely hilarious! 

The month of April is a special month for our family.  We don’t run the A/C or the heat at all.  Saves a ton on electricity and gives us the opportunity to air out the house.  Not sure if we’ll make it all month this year, but we’ll try.  Anyways, I digress.  The dogs spend a large amount of their time outside-mostly their own choice so every five minutes I can hear Henry’s teeth slamming together as he tries to catch one of those pesky bees!  I can’t exactly tell him to stop, so I guess he’ll learn the hard way. 

So, with out further ado, I introduce to you:

Frida
Our miniature diva.  If you come to our house, she is the one you should fear- but only because her bark is 100x bigger than her bite, I promise.  TF and I rescued her from a nearby shelter in the summer of ’05.  It was pure fate because we were interested in her after seeing the photo and description online.  As luck would have it, she was adopted out that morning.  TF and I still were on a quest to find a companion so we visited the shelter.  They shuffled us into a room and closed the door.  We assumed we were being interviewed, but instead the lady opened the door to a crate and out popped our princess!  She’d been returned about an hour prior to us arriving!  So while she might be pint sized, she has a gallon-sized heart and ego!  She is more interested in LBG’s burp clothes than she is in him.




Henry
You know that strange fact about ostriches having brains the size of their eye or something like that?  Yeah, that’s Henry!  All kidding aside, he is the most lovable 115lbs teddy bear I’ve ever met.  He’s insanely stubborn and uses his size to his advantage.  I could tell you story after story of his crazy antics but that will have to be a separate post.  We adopted him in October of ’06.  He was living with a foster family that is part of the Old English Sheepdog (OES) Rescue of the Southeast.  He was put up for adoption after his first family had a baby and couldn’t afford both.  We made sure he understood that just because LBG would be joining us, he wasn’t going anywhere!  Traditionally, OES were sheared down with the sheep and their hair  was mixed in.  TF really, really wants to make a Henry sweater ;)


Tony and Murray
Our twins!  I would tell you who’s who, but I honestly have no idea!  They don’t really do to much, but LBG loves watching and listening to them.  In the mornings, they have conversations with the wild birds!  It’s so much fun listening to them. 


So you are probably wondering what Henry looks like underneath his winter coat.  The first time he was shaved down, which happens twice a year, I didn’t recognize him!
 Disclaimer for the above photo- He was just taking off to run, not taking a leak.  I promise!

Our miniature zoo is pleased to make your aquaintance!

Monday, April 5, 2010

An Amazing Weekend

Our weekend was quite the event!  It started on Friday morning with TF having the day off but needing to go into work for an hour.  LBG and I walked around the campus and explored the sights.  We found a really nice patch of grass under a tree to play under which was so refreshing!  LBG shocked me with his new talent of sitting up independently!  I’m pretty sure he scared the daylights out of him when I squealed. 

As we were getting ready to leave, we drew quite the audience.  I suppose if you’ve never watched a mom strap a baby onto her back, the scene might look a bit scary and I’m pretty sure the onlookers were place bets as to when I was going to drop him!

Fast forward to the mid afternoon when we took a stroll around a civil war site.  TF is a HUGE Civil War buff, so really wanted to go.  He and I visited the site when I was pregnant, but certain events occurred and we needed to leave soon after arriving.  No, I didn’t go into labor.  It was more of a urination situation!

Anyhoo, we had a blast and LBG took a nice long nap in his stroller.  I know TF will be taking him back when he is older and can enjoy the view from the top of the hill.

Saturday, we decided to be criminals!  Ok, not really, but sorta kinda.  Our city is in the process of building a walking trail the spans quite a few miles.  We’ve visited the two finished phases, but we visited the third phase, which will be linking up with the river walk along the Cumberland River.  We walked along the river and then when we got to the new portion of the trail, we walked around the red tape crossing off the area and continued our walk!  We saw were the mighty Cumberland connects with a smaller river.  This was something TF has wanted to see for a while so he was excited. 

Let’s take a small intermission.  If you haven’t picked up on the theme, we are trying to get LBG outside as much as possible.  There is way to much to be seen and heard outdoors that we feel it would be a crime to have him inside all the time. 

Ok, commercial’s over!

Sunday was a day that should go down in history!  In the morning, LBG got some new toys, which he’s been enjoying.  He also learned that he could roll everywhere he needs to go.  It’s so much fun watching him!  Later that morning our dryer decided to smell like it was burning so our clothesline will be our only drying source for a while!

In the afternoon, we took LBG for the longest walk of his and my life!  We walked the entire section B of phase 1 of the trail mentioned above.  That’s right, we walked 5 plus some change miles!  LBG slept the whole time, minus the last 15 minutes!  I’m sure he would have loved listening to the birds and things, but I’m sure he enjoyed his visions of sugarplums just the same.  We might do the walk again soon, but first I need to buy proper shoes!

All in all, it was a wonderful weekend!

How was yours?

Sunday, April 4, 2010

A Homemade Failure

A few months ago, The Father actually asked me if I'd look into finding a recipe!  I was completely shocked because he was giving me the side eye the whole time I was grating bars of soap for laundry detergent. 

Would you believe he asked me to look into making dishwasher detergent?!  I suppose he realized we run our dishwasher a lot and we could probably save a ton of money making it for ourselves.  Running your dishwasher saves more water than and handwashing so we make every effort to wash as much as possibly mechanically.

Over the next month or so I did some research and kept reading that the homemade stuff is never as good as the bottled goodness from the grocery store.  I, however, refused to believe that as a fact and kept an eye out for a recipe that was supposed to work wonders.  I deep down there MUST be a recipe that doesn't involve a chemistry lab and won't cost me a fortune, but would get the dishes clean. 

Eventually I found one and bookmarked it.  Once our bottle of detergent was 3/4 empty, I made a batch.  *I'm not sharing recipes because I don't think they were worth sharing*  This particular batch called for a billion or so packages of sugar-free lemon kool-aid.  The acid in the mix was supposed to help the glasses come out nice and shiney.  The first load we washed was on the small side, but we wanted to try it out before washing a normal sized load.  The dishes came out seemingly clean!  Yay!  The recipe lived up to it's hype. 

We carried on washing our dishes with the mix for about 5 days and then something unexpected happened.  We had an amazingly warm day and I'm convinced that is what set this whole thing off. 

Anyhooo, back to my story.  I opened the dishwasher one morning to find the inside was crawling with millions of ants!!!!!  Of course, by opening up said dishwasher, I'd unleashed them to crawl all over my kitchen.  Let me just say, my skin was crawling for days because I was convinced they were all climbing all over me.  It took about a week for me get all the ants out of my kitchen.  I suspect that they were attracted to the lemon kool-aid even though it wasn't supposed to have sugar in it. 

While I was wrangling ants, I found another recipe that was deemed "The Perfect Recipe."  I had to try it.  This one called for citric acid as a means to help the glasses come out shiney.  It also said that the amount of vinegar released by the rinse agent dispenser was not enough and you should add more prior to starting the wash cycle.  Despite doing this, all the dishes came out with a powdery residue.  It was gross.  I ended up having to rinse most of the dishes again by hand.  That doesn't exactly save water, now does it?

Good gravy!  Maybe my orginial findings of "Don't waste your time," were correct!

I was still determined to find something that will work.  So, to the latter mix, I added more citric acid to see if it would help.  Everything looked like it'd pass through a baby powder factory, just the same.  More vinegar this time.  Nope, still not working.  I even added more sea salt, just in case.

I finally threw in the towel!  LBG's bottles weren't clean by my standards and that just isn't acceptable.  Not to mention the rest of the dishes  I suppose I could have continued to tweak the recipes until I found a combination that worked for us, but right now I have more important things on my plate- like sharing the wonderful outdoors with LBG and reminding TF how to compost since, apparently, a 15 month deployment and 8 months of not having a compost bin has wiped his brain clean of what is compostable and what isn't. 

Maybe next winter, when there isn't much to do by way of fun things, I'll tackle the dish detergent quest.  Maybe LBG will even be able to help me by shaking up the jar!  But for now, we'll stick to our Seventh Generation and Wave brands. 

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Organically Grown Giveaway!

This Giveaway Is Now Closed!
Drum roll, please.
 I'll be getting in touch with you shortly!
 I have an exciting announcement to make.  Organically Grown, an awesome clothing company, has launched a line of toddler clothing!

How do I know their clothing is awesome?  That’s easy.  LBG has a few of their items in his wardrobe!  They are honestly the softest articles of clothing he owns.  They've held up incredibly well in the washing machine.  I’d tell you how cute their designs are but I’d rather just let you see for yourself.






A little about Organically Grown's clothing lines
TODDLER: The collection is comprised of adorable two-piece outfits for boys and girls in sizes 12-24 months, and 2T-4T. With the cute and eco friendly slogans on each of the sets’ t-shirts, your toddler can wear their heart on their sleeve with a new message every day of the week!

INFANT: Some of our best sellers include three-piece sets with baby gowns, body suits, jackets, pants, blankets and hats, all on padded hangers and priced between $12-38.


Did you know?
“According to the Organic Exchange, as estimated 170 million pounds of pesticides, and 25% of the world's insecticides are used in the production of conventional, non-organic cotton. 7 out of 10 of these pesticides are on the EPA's "known" list of "likely" or "probable" carcinogens. These chemicals result in the work-force illnesses, water contamination, and the devastation of farmland. All of the problems are eliminated through organic farming practices.” (shoporganicallygrown.com)

Crazy, isn’t it?!  Never fear, Organically Grown is part of the solution and that just adds to the awesomeness.  You can read about it here.


To celebrate the big event, Organically Grown is giving one lucky reader an outfit in the size and gender of their choice! 

Here’s how to win:

Mandatory Entry:  Write a comment answering the question: “Why is organic important to you?”  Please include your email address.

Extra Entries- for each entry leave a separate comment with your email address included.
-Visit Shoporganicallygrown.com and pick an item that interests you and post it here.  2 entries!
- Follow Organically Grown on Twitter.  1 entry!
- Become a fan of Organically Grown on Facebook.  1 entry!
- Follow me on Twitter.  2 entries!
- Tweet about the giveaway and get 1 entry for each day!
- Follow Little Boy Green publicly using Google Friend Connect.  1 entry!
- Vote for me on topmommyblogs.com.  Just click the icon at the top right! 2 entries!

I will be closing this giveaway Friday, April 9 at 10pm EST and picking a winner using random.org.
Good Luck!








Can't forget the fine print.  Organically Grown has not paid me for writing this review or hosting the giveaway.  If I didn't like their clothing, I wouldn't be sharing it with you!

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Spring has Sprung!

Just like any otherr spring, we've been plauged with plenty o' rain.  On the few occasions that it's been sunny (and even warm!) and I've needed to do laundry, our clothes line has become the dryer of choice.  Our current house doesn't have a fence so the whole neighborhood can see me air my *clean* laundry, but I've promised TF that I won't hang up his undies for all the world to see.  I have, however, dried Mama Cloth along with Baby Cloth!


I don't think I have a "thing" for fleece blankets.  Really!


As you can see LBG has been having fun in the sun!

 

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Sharing my love of cloth--- With the Whole neighborhood!

It has been raining quite a bit here lately which means my journey into the backyard entails a slosh through a mudbog.  Something I'm trying to avoid at all costs. 

Even so, LBG has 4 dipes that are desperately in need of Mother Earth's stain removal services.  Since I wasn't about to give myself a mudbath just to lay them out on the platform above our slide, I had to deploy plan Expose-LBG's-Skidmarks-to-the-World.  I pulled my bright yellow porch table out into the driveway and percariously arranged the dipes so the sun would hit the stains. 

I had hoped LBG and I could sit outside and play in the sun for a little while, but it was a bit chilly and he's outgrown most of his warmer clothing, so we played inside with all the blinds pulled up and the front door open (the storm door was closed.)  We all know time flies when you are having fun- and raising a child- so I have no idea how long they were out there, but it was long enough for me to get my sweet little boy down for a nap and fold up a few items of laundry. 

I walked outside to check on the status of the stains.  I was very much focused on my final destination and when I got there I almost had a heart attack!  Someone ran off with two of my diapers!!!!!!!!  I find it really hard to believe that someone on my street in the middle of a small town in the mid-south would actually be interested in fluffing their kid's bum.  I only know of 4 people cloth diapering people in my area, a mommy friend, two mom's who sold me their stashes, and myself.  It's a fair bet to say we are the only 4. 

As I slowly come out of my state of shock and see the highschools, just got off the bus, come waltzing down the street- I look around and see on off to the far side of the front yard, mere inches from the street A DIAPER!!!!  PHEW, not all is lost in the world.  But where in the world is Wonderoo #2?  I knew I should get those silly Wonderoos sold.  They don't even enjoy living in LBG's diaper pail!

There she was-"she" becuase it's pink and really male babies wear pink diapers occasionally- slowly creeping her way into the neighbor's yard!  Thankfully, not the one across the street.  Just the one next door, who moved in less than a month ago, under the cover of darkness.

I'm pretty sure Neighbor saw the diaper nearing her property when she was getting her mail.  I'm also pretty sure she is now giving me the major side-eye but I don't care becuase I love cloth diapers and I love sharing the love... in a very, very strange sort of way!

Monday, March 29, 2010

Food and other tiny thoughts

If a little boy giggles each time he takes a bite of sweet potatoes, does that mean he likes them? 

I'm going to venture out and say quite possibly! 

So far, LBG has tried quite a few fruits and veggies.  Some of which are definitely his favorites and others he couldn't care less about.  Here is the run down:

Avocado- hates with a firey passion
Apples- Ok, not the greatest things in the world, but they are food and so they will be eaten
Carrots- Yummy!
Green Beans- Holding onto first place with a death grip!!  The kid attacks the spoon and has gagged himself on numerous occasions. 
Squash- Edible.  He doesn't seem to like butternut over acorn or vice versa.
Pears-Super Yummy!
Sweet Potatoes- giggle inducing
Rice Cereal- was good until other grains were tired, now it's yucky.  He will be trying brown rice soon.
Oatmeal- Yum!
Whole Grain Cereal- A big win for the grain family

Today is LBG's last day of mandatory sweet potatoes, so from now on I'll be rotating through our stash of purees.  I don't think it's polite to mix two foods together, but I'll definitely prepare two different ones so he can have more of a "meal."

Generally speaking, his grains and fruits are served in the morning cold, and veggies are warm in the afternoon.  That's how I prefer to eat so I offer it the same way.  He hasn't exactly complained... yet!

I'm also in the process of teaching him how to drink out of a cup.  So with each meal, he gets to drink 1 Tbsp of water from a shot glass an infant sized cup!  He hasn't exactly gotten the hang of it just yet, but I'm sure with practice he'll get better.  

Back to sweet potatoes- Let me give you a visual for a moment.  Last night while eating sweet potatoes, LBG decided to take matters into his own hands because I wasn't shoveling them in fast enough.  Keep in mind he is still sitting in my lap to eat since he's outgrown the bumbo and can't quite sit unassisted just yet.   


As the spoon comes near his mouth, he grab the spoon and "helps" guide it into his mouth- completely missing and getting some in his eyelashes.  Then as I'm holding the bowl in one hand and the spoon in the other to scoop out some more, he reaches into the bowl and scoops out a handful- Hand is then shoved into mouth.  What doesn't make it into his mouth is now being worn by me.  Yay!  Of course, I forgot to put a bib on him and don my rainslicker.  By the time dinner was over, he was covered from his slopping the potatoes all over the place, my shoes, arm, and jeans were all potatoed!


I can't wait until he is about to sit unassisted because I'm just going to strip him down and let him have at his food.  No need for me two get a food bath, ha!

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Earth Hour- Our Story

I had every intention of blogging about Earth Hour before the even occurred, but I've been a very busy mama and didn't get the chance.  This year was the first year we've participated--or at least made the attempt.

 Earth Hour is one hour locally across the globe where people turn off their lights in honor of acknowledging the changing climate.  I could write a whole blurb about it, but it's just as easy to refer you to the official website

So here is how our evening went down:

The Father and I put LBG to bed and settled down on the couch with a bottle of wine, crackers, hummus, and some candles.  It was almost like being forced to have a romantic evening!  Things were going great until mayhem broke loose!  The dogs, who were outside, decided to wake up the whole neighborhood.  We had to turn on the porch light and let them in the house.  Of course, life wouldn't be complete with out LBG waking up.  He was so thoughtful and left us a GINORMOUS gift in his diaper!  coughcoughThankYouSweetiecough!

I may be on my way to being Super Mom, but I haven't exactly mastered the art of changing a diaper in the dark.  I tried doing it by the light of one of TF's Civil War lanterns, but it just wasn't throwing enough light on the situation.  So a lamp had to be turned on. 

Kid back to bed and mom on the couch with her man. 

Then we see lights pulling into our driveway.  Hrm, we weren't expecting visitors.  Porch lights back on.  False alarm, they pulled into the wrong driveway.  A bit on the scary side, if you ask me. 

Back on the couch, I go.  Before I knew it, I was slightly intoxicated- being on the wagon while pregnant didn't help my liquor holding inabilities- and fast asleep.  Don't worry, TF was stone-cold sober, we aren't that irresponsible.

At some point I crawled into bed and awoke this morning feeling insanely rested.  Turns out LBG slept from about 8:50pm until 6:30 am!!!!  I owe it all one small hour while participating in an awareness campaign!

Next year, will you please join my family as we celebrate Earth Hour?!

Friday, March 26, 2010

A Scary List, an Annoying List,and an Awesome List

Neither The Father nor I have lived in a neighborhood where there has been a Home Owner's Association.  We really don't know what to expect.  In fact, it's making me really nervous!  What if we aren't allowed to have a clothes line or rain barrels?  Or TF can't wash his car using the water from said rain barrels?  What if there are some rules that make absolutely no sense whatsoever? 

But, in all honesty, I'm really not too worried about it becuase we will be installing a six foot privacy fence.  What they can't see won't hurt 'em right?  Unless of course someone rats me out and we have to take down the clothesline.  I really don't foresee these being an issue, but I do know that some HOAs don't allow clothes lines and that's just sad.

Our realestate agent is working on getting us a copy of the rules so we can review them before making our list of plans for our new home. 

We now have the list of recommended repairs from the home inspector.  Nothing too major, but a few annoying things like the master toilet needs new fixtures in the tank and the there is some peeling paint outside (we'll get back to that in a moment.)  TF and I are going to try to do most of the repairs ourselves, but for a few we'll be hiring a good ol' handyman.   

Here is what we'd like to do:
While we are fixing the master toilet we'll install a duel flush kit
Rain barrels- at least two in the back for our gardens
Heavy curtains in the south facing windows which happen to the be front of the house
Install Evolve shower heads
Install digital thermostat- I'd like one with a remote if possible

Of course our compost bin will be moving with us this time around.  I think I might have even convinced TF that I need a super fancy one for my birthday.  We'll see if it happens. 


I'm super excited to get this show on the road!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

I'm Gettin' with the Times

I'd like to think I started the "Green" trend because I started using cloth bags and recycling a week before my local Kroger started selling their cloth bags.  Yay for being semi-hip.  Ever heard that saying "if the music is too loud, you're too old?"  Ok, well today's day and age seems to be more of the "if you don't have myspacefacebooktwitter, your must be at least a century and a half old!"  OOOOOOoooooK. 

I have facebook, and still have a barely used myspace account.  Does that make me old because tweeting isn't part of my daily repetoire?  Never fear, I've remedied the sitch.  You may now stalk follow LBG and I via Twitter. 
Ya see that little box over to your left?  Thar she be! 

Happy Tweetin'!

Monday, March 22, 2010

Volcanic Dog Wash?

It's amazing what can get done while your kid sleeps!  LBG has been having some sleep issues which we resolved this week.  Long story and I'll probably be awarded the Worst Mother of the Year award.  Long story short, he wasn't getting enough to eat.  If I was told to go to sleep hungry, I'd be miserable too so I can't blame him. 

Ok, back to the subject at hand.  This morning I decided I'd be ultra super ambitious and give our small dog, Frida, a bath!  It's not a hard task when your dog is small enough to fit into the kitchen sink, but finding the time an energy is a totally different story. 

Who cares if she spends 75% of her day outside- her choice, not mine- or the fact that it's raining.  She needed a bath and that's all there is to it. 

In there "green" community, there is a term known as "No-poo."  Basically, it's using baking soda and vinegar -3rd grade volcano, anyone?- to wash your hair rather than shampoo.  I'm not adventurous enough to involve my own locks, but I'll gladly volunteer my scruffy 18lbs of pooch.  The Father and I have washed Frida this way before and liked it so much, we'll continue using the technique.

Here's how it works:
Cast of Characters:  Baking Soda, Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV,) water, a large cup, and your K-9 companion.

The Technique:  With your dog in the tub, sink, buck, toilet (I don't ask questions!) wet them down really well with warm water.  Dump a bunch of baking soda on your pooch and massage it in.  Don't worry you can't use too much.  Fill your cup with 1 part ACV and 3-4 parts warm water and dump over your dog.  Massage the fizz around.  You will probably see the dirt start to run off.  You can either repeat the process if you want to do a second wash, or rinse Fido off with lots of warm water.

Please try to contain your amazement when you see dirty, nasty, grossness run off your puppy.  A really cool fact about using this process is that it doesn't strip out all of the hair's natural oils so their skin won't dry out as easily.  Same process applies to your own hair but it will take at least a month of using the technique before your hair stops feeling oily all the time- or so I've been told/read.

YAY!  No more stinky pup.  Of course, after I got her all dried off, she wanted to go back outside.   Oh well, I tried.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

We've Got a Winner!!

I wanted to do this a little earlier in the day, but Mr. Energizer Bunny had other plans.  Many apologies.

With out further ado...

#9 Jackie, you have won yourself a beautiful set of bowls and flatware! 

Here is what her family does to be more eco-friendly:
Blogger Jackie said...
I cloth diaper to be more eco-friendly.

Please email me at LBGsMama@gmail.com within 48 hours with your address so I can mail out your package! 

Thank you to everyone for reading my blog and voting for me!  I enjoyed reading what your families do to be a bit more green!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

A Giveaway!

As promised, I have something to give away!!!

When I was shopping for bowls and spoons for LBG, I came across a really cool company called Dandelion.  It's a company that has eco-friendly items for baby.  This is how super cool they are... they have all types of tableware made from corn!

As I've mentioned before, we are attempting to avoid BPA as well as plastic in our kitchen.  Bowls and spoons that aren't made from plastic or metal= Perfection!  Amazon made a few bucks off me as I ordered 2 bowls and 6 infant spoons.

At first glance, they look just like yellow plastic.  I don't know what I was expecting them to look like in person, but I was in love.  Everything is super light weight and the spoons were small enough for LBG's tiny mouth.  The spoons have a handle on the long side which is fun because LBG likes to help feed himself on occassion.  The bowls have these cool tabs on the side that make them easy to hold.

There is one drawback if you could even call it that.  They are handwash only and not exactly microwave safe.  I have lots of handwashables so it isn't a big deal for me.  I quickly found out why they aren't recommended for the dishwasher and microwave while washing dishes last night.  The super hot water (it was steaming) actually softened the bowls.  Not melting soft, but soft enough that I could feel it change shape when I pushed my finger into the bottom.  As soon as they cooled off, all was well again!  I wouldn't put piping hot soup in the bowl, but a few freshly steamed green beans aren't going to hurt.

Now, onto the good stuff!  Since I love all my readers, I have something fun for you!

I have a beautiful package for two bowls and a set of 8 utensils!  That's 2 bowls, 4 forks, and 4 spoons!

Alrighty here is how to win!
Please leave a comment for each task and I'll be drawing using random.org on Sunday, March 21!

1. Leave a comment telling one thing your family does to be more eco-friendly.
2. Follow my blog publicly.
3. Get friends to follow me publicly.  Leave a comment for each one and who they are.
4. Vote for me on Topmommyblogs.com!  It's that little brown icon in the top righthand corner.
5. Write a blog entry about these goodies!

Good Luck, dearest readers!

Oh yes, can't forget the fine print!  I'm not cool enough to have companies provide me with items to review... not yet at least, so no one has provided me with these products or asked me to do a review.  I purchased them with my own hard earned cash. 

Our house... In the middle of the street

I haven't talked to much  about our house buying adventure.  I believe that it is possible to jinx a wonderful situation and I just wasn't going to have that happen. 

Early last year, we listed our very first house on the market.  The Father was getting out of the Army and we knew we weren't staying in the area.  We loved our house and our neighborhood.  How can you not love your first house especially when it was in the perfect neighborhood complete with the "crazy cat lady" living next door?  It wasn't big enough for LBG, our two dogs, two birds, and us.  Sardines, anyone?

We sold it for our asking price, but it left us in a percarious sitch- TF had taken a temporary job an hour away and we had animals.  He were very rushed to buy that house and we didn't want a repeat.  But, at the same time, who is going to rent us a house with 2 dogs, one of which is over 100lbs?  As luck would have it, we found a house in our same city about 15 minutes away who would let us live there month to month. 

In the meantime, TF was offered a permenant position at his current job!  We started to look for houses in the Big City.  In December, we found our dream house.  It was listed as a short sale and we jumped on the opportunity. 

Short sale= we'll move in in 2 weeks... WRONG!  Come to find out, it was in the process of becoming a short sale.  The bank hadn't chosen their representive yet or even knew the price of the house.  The selling agent had listed it at a price that she thought was fair.  We offered a few K lower and asked that they pay the closing costs.  December, January, February March brought us news!  We were one of 5(!) offers on the house!  The bank was just collecting offers before they started doing their work. 

The second week of this month, a representive was assigned to the property and appraisal was done.  Meanwhile, another stick was thrown into the spokes on the wheel of life.  TF would we away almost the whole summer!  We made the decesion that if we didn't hear anything regarding the house, we were going to have to go with a conventional sale on a house we knew we'd win. 

Then yesterday happened!  I was at lunch with my mommy's group when TF called.  He said the bank looked at our offer (it was submitted first since we offered first) and countered... if you could even call it that.  They wanted 7k more than the asking price, we'd have to pay all back utilites/HOA fees, we cover the closing cost, and the house is sold as is.  With a big ol' stamp that said FINAL OFFER.  I cried.  These people probably stopped paying their stuff when they moved out last year!  There is no way we could afford it plus, it isn't our job to pay other people's bills. 

Last night our REA called us back and said there no unpaid fees and gave us the break down of costs.  Know that this is our *dream* house and that there are a few more families who'll gladly take the house-- and of course fighting with a corporation, known as Chase Bank, would be a losing battle, we've decided we can handle it.  We don't want to lose this house.  Of course, if our inspector says we need thousands of dollars in repairs done, I'll kick him in the shins and we'll walk away from everything.

You are probably wondering what is so special about this house. 
Just imagine: 5 bedrooms with a closet in the master that could be a 6th room, 3 full bathrooms, a two tiered deck that overlooks a HUGE backyard (the lot is 0.4 acres and there is very little front yard!) and a private path down to a lake.  Not to mention, simple things like an open floor plan down stairs, a huge walk in pantry, and a two car garage.  Sounds like a dream right?  From what we understand, the original owners camped out on the lot so they'd be the first ones there to buy it!

This house will give us plenty of room to grow, our dogs will have more than enough yard and I'll be able to have all the gardens I want.  The Father will be able to take LBG out on the lake to fish or just explore the woods.  We could even possibly grow veggies for LBG to enjoy.  With a 6 foot privacy fence in place, the backyard will be LBG's own secret garden. 

So now I have a job for you... Please keep your fingers crossed that the inspection goes well and we will be able to enjoy this house for many years to come. 

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

The Curious Case of the Green Glop

LGB was supposed to begin solids on the 17th of this month.  We pushed the date forward by a week or so due to The Father leaving for a business trip.  I wanted him to expirience all that there is to expirience when it comes to eating food for the first time.

Don't worry, on the 17th I'll still be posting a giveaway because it's awesome and I want to share!

Here's the run down:

My favorite website at the moment is wholesomebabyfood.com.  I have a baby food book that is also helpful, but WBF goes more in depth.  WBF says that avocados are great first foods and many of my friends have offered them to their tots as a first food.  The best part is that you don't have to cook them.  Just slice 'em up mash with a little breastmilk/formula and away you go!

Neither TF nor I like avocados.  They make great face masks but that's about it.  It would be great if LBG likes them.  He will have a favorite food that is all his own.  As I was slicing up 1/2 of the first avocado, I handed a slice to TF and he took a bite.  The next step was horrific... he barfed it up into the sink!  How's that for not liking them? 

We mashed up the slices, mixed with some formula and offered it to our sweet little boy.  I've never in my life seen a baby react the way he did.  We're talking sealing his lips shut after the first bite, trying to escape the bumbo, looking every where except the woman who birth him and shoved the green glop into his mouth.  We tried a few more bites he refused by spitting it out. 

We thought he might just not like the way they tasted with formula so we mashed up the other 1/2 and thinned it with a little filtered water.  Same reaction.  This is not what trying your first food is supposed to be like.  It's supposed to be about messes and funny faces.  Not a baby crying and looking at you with fear in his eyes. 

He's had random bowls of rice cereal and never fought it this badly.  I mean, he didn't exactly get any of the cereal down, but there was no fight. 

From my research, you are supposed to feed the same food for 4 days to see if there is any reaction in the way of allergies.  As dinner time rolled around (it was really middle of the afternoon late lunch) I looked at the 3 remaining avocados and just couldn't force him to eat something that he seemed to hate.  We moved on.

The next food on our list was green beans.  Again, a green food but this time a veggie.  We decided to compare reactions.  TF and I both tried the green beans and deemed them edible- something we couldn't exactly say about the avocado.  We could have given him a bad one and would never know.

Holy cow!  My little boy LOVES green beans!  The kid was attacking the spoon!  I couldn't get them in his mouth fast enough.  He devoured an entire 1 oz ice cube portion with in 2 or so minutes.  I guess he really didn't like the avocado.  Today will be day three of green beans and he is still happy as a clam.

Our plan in that when he is 6 month old, we will be doing a modified version of baby-led weaning and will be offering him many of the foods we eat in their original form.  He will still be offered purees but he will also be handed a whole steamed green bean.  We will try the avocado again when were get to that point.  He can mash it with his fingers himself and maybe he will like it better with nothing added to thin out the consistancy.  Always worth a shot!

Next up: Apples! 

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Food, baby style

First let me start off by saying that making baby food is highly addictive!  You could probably call me a baby food junkie!

So far, I've made carrots, green beans, apples, pears, and sweet potatoes.  I'm gearing up to make squash! 

I thought it would be fun to chronicle my carrot puree-making process!  Please keep in mind that a regular 'ol blender and steamer basket can do the same job- but I like gadgetry!

Step 1: Whole carrots.  I used to buy baby carrots because they were so cute, but then I learned there are no such animals!  Baby carrots are just regular carrots cut down on a lathe.  Ooooops!
 
Step 2:  Wash the carrots.  I just rinsed them off in some warm water.  Nothing fancy so I didn't take a photo.

Step 3: Skin the carrots and cut the ends off (not sure if you really need to cut the ends off, but I did.)  Make sure you save all the scraps for the compost!   


Step 4: Chopped up carrots cook better, so have at it!

Step 5: Fill up the steamer basket with all of your nicely chopped orange yummies!
 

Step 6:  Start up the sauna!  Steam those babies until they are soft!

 

Step 7: All done cooking!!  Don't they look amazing??


Step 8:  Puree!  If it's a bit on the thick side, you can add some of the cooking water in to thin it out.  Carrots are high in nitrates, so I used some filtered water instead.

Step 9: Load up your ice cube tray.  Ours came with a handy lid, but I'm sure plastic wrap will work just as well.

Step 10 and 11:  Freeze and then transer to a different storage container so you can reuse the ice cube tray.  I didn't photograph these steps because they are fairly boring.  Don't forget to label the containers.

I originally intended to use pyrex, but I found something cooler on my Target excursion.  Anchor makes some really cool glass storage containers with BPA free lids!  We bought a few and will be buying more as we go along.  Eventually these will become our everyday storage containers!

Lessons learned- Pear sauce tastes much better than apple sauce!  Who woulda thunk'd?!  I think I'll be canning a few jars this fall for the whole family to enjoy. 

Friday, March 5, 2010

Save the Males

No, I'm not talking about The Citadel. 

Check this article out.  Someone posted it on thebump.com's green living board and I just got around to reading it. 

Scary stuff! 

Oh and for the record- I think frogs are nasty!

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Practice Makes Perfect

Ok, Ok, I know... perfect practice makes perfect. 
Perfect practice is NOT what we did last night.

Yesterday, I came home from my cackle party (mommy get together) to find a beautiful box on the front porch.  My heart started to flutter and a tear came to my eye- it was a sign that baby food making was about to commence!

I came inside with LBG sleeping in his carseat, let out the dogs, and then ripped open the box.  I saw my LBG's newest piece of kitchen gadgetry... the glorious Beaba BabyCook!  ::swooooooooon::

As soon as The Father came home from work, I cooked dinner, and decided we needed to test out our new slice of fun!  We had a bag of carrots in the fridge that were slightly past their prime.  I'd bought them to remind us to eat more veggies but apparently it didn't work.  They weren't as fresh as I'd like them to be for LBG to eat, but they were fine for practice.

Carrots have a lot of nitrates in them which aren't good for wee tots, but you can cut down on them by removing the peel and not using the cooking water to thin the puree out.  Buuuuuut, for my practice session, peels were left on.  Yup, I was that lazy!

I chopped up 4 carrots to do my test batch.  Steamed 'em up, then pureed the tar out of 'em!  All using one little machine!  I was afraid that the carrots wouldn't be fully cooked becuase the instructions didn't say how full to fill basket.  Suprisingly, they came out perfect!

The Father took a taste or 3 and deemed them decent enough to feed LBG knowing full well that using better quality carrots would taste even better. 

I plopped the orange slush into my nifty babyfood icecube trays, snapped on the lids, and there they sit in the freezer.  I need start my pyrex collection in which the ice cubes will live in once they are solid.  That might be a fun thing to do today.

The usage of pyrex is a double task.  We have taken on the challenge to make our kitchen plastic free by the end of the year.  So once we are finished with babycubes we'll have some beautiful pyrex for storage!

Annnnnnnd, without much further ado: The big news!  LBG will be beginning his solids soon and in honor of the day, we'll be having a giveaway!  I have something super cool... so stay tuned!

Friday, February 26, 2010

It's Grub Time!

As we promised, LBG will get to being eating purees soon!

He turns 5 months old on March 17th and we will celebrate by eating avacado!  I should mention that I'm not a guac. fan but I'm hoping he will like.  Oh yeah, The Father isn't a fan either. 

Being first time parent's we've decided to purchase as many unnessesary items as humanly possible.  Here are a few of tonight's purchases:

Gotta steam and puree the yummies somehow!


Dining on the fine stainless
These spoons and forks are made from corn! We also got two bowls.


There are a few other purchases that will be made soon.  I can't, well actually I could, empty the checkbook in one sitting!  I'll post more about them later, but items include a high chair, storage containers, a few Pyrex containers, and some more bibs.

Oh yeah, and a note about the highchair:  As you read in my last post, we were given an amazing 3-in-1.  It will be used as a highchair, but not right away.  Our dining area is carpeted and we are worried about it's stability.  We also won't have it finished in time.  Of course, can't forget that LBG is probably going to want to use it as a rocking horse/ desk.  Besides, it will be great to have a second baby sitting device for when we have dinner guest with small children in tow.


Thursday, February 25, 2010

3-in-1

No, not a printer/scanner/copier.

The Grandfather and The Grandmother gave LBG one of the coolest gifts I've ever seen!  I can't wait to have it finished and LBG grow a bit more so he can have hours of fun with it. 

Now imagine a highchair that is also a rocking horse, and on top of that is a desk!  To cap it all off, it was handbuilt!  I'm almost certian that not a single piece of machinery has touched this fine piece of awesome because the chair was built by a family friend who happens to be Amish. 

I bet you are totally lost as to what this contraption looks like.  Fear not, I have photos for you to see. 

You see LBG in the background?  He was hanging out in the swing while I took these photos and fell asleep!  Sneaky boy!

I bet you want a 3-in-1 now too, don'tya?!