28 January 2012

The Gratitude Post

I'm writing a weekly post to express gratitude for everything I have been blessed with in my life. Will you join me in sharing just five things you are grateful for this week?

This week I'm grateful for:

My computer: Now is the time that I really need it and it is coming through for me in leaps and bounds. Sort of. At least it works.

NVC (Nonviolent Communication): I'm really glad that I had the opportunity to go over this book with the Natural Parents Network volunteer team because it brought so many great insights into my life. Now, I'm sharing it with one of my classes and hoping that they, too, can take something positive away from it.

Walking: I love walking to work on the days that I can because I get to exercise and enjoy the fresh air while reminding my body that it has muscles that can move that way. I'm grateful to be living so close that I am able to do this!

Going to bed at 10 p.m.: No, I'm not 90. But I force myself to go to bed earlier than I have in years because I know I'm at my best when I get more sleep, rather than less. I love waking up in the morning and though I might be tired, I can easily recover when I have received at least 7 hours of sleep.

Food: I'm on a "I love food kick" (as if I'm ever not), but these days I'm just so happy to be eating such yummy, good-for-me foods that are readily available. Mmm...food. Am I hungry?

25 January 2012

Wordless Wednesday: More Artwork

24 January 2012

This Is What My Week Looks Like

Please bear with me....

8-9 am: I teach class #1.
Afternoon time: My mother arrives.

8 am: Drop Heidi off at preschool.
8-10 am: Prepping for class/office hours.
10-11:30 am: Teach class #2
12:30 pm: Pick Heidi up from preschool.

8-9 am: Teach class #1.
10-1:30 pm: Work my other part-time gig.

8 am: Drop Heidi off.
8-10 am: Class prep/office hours.
10-11:30 am: Teach that second class.
12:30 pm: Retrieve Heidi.
Afternoon: My mother leaves

8-9 am: Teach 1st class again

Working that other part-time gig if I'm not traveling.

In other words, my free time has gone from "minimal" to "bare minimal," which would explain my lack in all things that are not class/child related. Just know that I'm still here and will be bringing you the best of the best as soon as...umm...what was I doing again?


21 January 2012

The Gratitude Post

I'm writing a weekly post to express gratitude for everything I have been blessed with in my life. Will you join me in sharing just five things you are grateful for this week?

This week I'm grateful for:

Working: I'm getting back into the swing of things and I am especially grateful to be around adults for most of the day. I love my children, but I need to be intellectually challenged on a regular basis if I am to provide the same challenges for them at home. I feel very happy with what I'm doing right now and it translates into my parenting.

Awesome children: H & P really are awesome. I just can't say enough about them sometimes. We took a day trip on Sunday to go to church (2 1/2 hours one way) and not a single complaint was heard from either of them the entire time. They were fabulous. And, Heidi made it the whole ride down without needing to pee. So, so grateful for them every day.

Books: I'm always grateful for books and as I look at my shelves every day, I smile and am glad that I am so blessed with the written word.

Fuzzy blankets: I love fuzzy blankets. They help keep me warm at night. The end.

Living Green: I love my life. Wait, I love my green life. I really do. I love everything about it from my vinegar to my cloth paper towels to my cloth toilet paper! I'm so thankful that I've made all these changes and so thankful for how my life has changed because of them.

14 January 2012

The Gratitude Post

I'm writing a weekly post to express gratitude for everything I have been blessed with in my life. Will you join me in sharing just five things you are grateful for this week?

This week I'm grateful for:

H & P's artwork: My mother has been an art teacher for a very long time and now she has the opportunity to work with her grandchildren on an almost daily basis with various medium. I love seeing the progress they are making in their use of color and complex lines they're drawing and I love the pride emanating from them after they finish a piece.

Heat: As it gets colder, I grow more and more thankful for shelter and for heat. I grow especially thankful when I think of all the people out there who do not have warm homes to retreat to every night. Thank you so much, heat, for keeping me warm.

My freezer: It may be small, but I have a ton of food stuff in there. A few dozen muffins, a couple of soups, veggie stock, quinoa and even some blackberries from the farmers market! I'm so happy that I have a spacious freezer in which to put these things that patiently lie in wait for me to consume them.

Gloves: I like gloves when it's cold because they help my hands to actually work. Yes, it's true: when it's cold outside, my hands get cold too. It's often quite difficult to uninstall/reinstall car seats in the frigid weather and I'm glad that I have gloves to take the chill out of the air, so to speak.

Scarves: I also like scarves to keep away the cold air, especially ones that were handmade. I've one handmade scarf for at least 15 years (give or take) and I will absolutely treasure it forever. It's long, thick and awesomely protective in harsh environments.

(Do you like my cold winter theme this week?? :) )

10 January 2012

I Need a Hobby

Welcome to the January 2012 Carnival of Natural Parenting: Experiments in Natural Family Living

This post was written for inclusion in the monthly Carnival of Natural Parenting hosted by Hobo Mama and Code Name: Mama. This month our participants have reported on weeklong trials to make their lives a little greener. Please read to the end to find a list of links to the other carnival participants.


I need a hobby and I found one. Green living.

I couldn't decide which natural experiment to write about for this month's carnival, so I did all of them. OK, OK, not exactly *all* of them, but many more than I ever thought I would do. See, I knew several months ago that this carnival would take place and I wanted to be prepared so I brushed up on eco-friendliness. I had already been using burp rags instead of paper towels for over a year, I'd used cloth diapers for over a year, I started using cloth menstrual pads several months before and I was already making my own vegetable stock from scraps so I needed to set up my game.

I became a vegetarian on August 1, 2011, I stopped using mainstream deodorant and began using coconut oil and baking soda and I stopped using shampoo. Then I stopped using a microwave, decided to start/started walking to where I will be working and even started using handkerchiefs and *gasp* family cloth! I take short showers (not necessarily by choice), bathe less often, bathe my children less often (they also take showers)and I use reusable (and homemade) bags at the grocery store. I also shop mostly at second-hand stores for H & P and can't remember the last time I willingly bought something for myself so I'm saving a ton.

By this time, I know you're looking for the point of this post. Obviously I've engaged in multiple experiments and you want to know how I feel about all of this. Well, simply put, it's working for me. All of it. I'm addicted and cannot get enough of this 'green' stuff.

Most (heck, maybe all) of the things I mentioned in this post weren't even tiny thoughts in the back of my mind for the greater part of my life. I never thought of using cloth diapers, never thought I wouldn't use a microwave and I certainly never thought I wouldn't use toilet paper! Yet as I evolve as a mother and an individual my tastes, preferences and openness also change; what I once considered outrageous, gross or downright crazy has become second nature to me. All of the steps I have taken to live a more responsible life feel so right to me I wonder how I went so long without trying them.

I will never stop working to be a better human being. The steps I have taken thus far, experiments that turned into a way of life, are just the beginning. I have such great visions of the future, of new green experiments working fantastically to create a better life for myself and my family. I'm so pleased to have participated in this carnival topic and to have had the opportunity to try so many new things. I love change. Bring it on.


Carnival of Natural Parenting -- Hobo Mama and Code Name: MamaVisit Hobo Mama and Code Name: Mama to find out how you can participate in the next Carnival of Natural Parenting!

Please take time to read the submissions by the other carnival participants:

  • Make your own moisturizer! — Megan at boho mama whips up a winter skin-friendly moisturizer.
  • Cold Water Only — Brittany at The Pistachio Project talks about how you do not need hot water to wash laundry.
  • Family Cloth... Really?? — After lots of forethought and consideration, Momma Jorje finally decides to take the plunge with family cloth.
  • Reduce, Reuse, Recycle : 5-5-5 Things A Day — Luschka from Diary of a First Child writes about decluttering her home in an attempt to create a gentler living space. She takes on a new project where she sets a goal of reducing, reusing and recycling every day.
  • Pros and cons of family cloth — Lauren at Hobo Mama would love to continue replacing paper products with family cloth … if she could only get over how damp she feels.
  • Craftily Parenting — Kellie at Our Mindful Life finds that crafting makes her a better parent.
  • Changes — Laura at Pug in the Kitchen couldn't choose just one area to experiment with, so she wrote a long post about all the fun changes initiated in her life!
  • Life without Internet: Not all it's Cracked up to Be — Adrienne at Mommying My Way tries to go a week without the Internet, only to realize a healthy dose of Internet usage really helps keep this stay-at-home mom connected.
  • My Progression to Raw Milk — Kerry at City Kids Homeschooling shares her natural parenting progression all the way to trying raw milk.
  • mama's new little friend. — Sarah at Bitty Bird tries a menstrual cup to "green her period," and is pleasantly surprised when she falls in love with the product!
  • Before you throw it out, try homemade laundry soap! — Jennifer at Practical OH Mommy shows visual proof that homemade laundry soap is cheaper, easier, and works better than the store-bought chemicals!
  • Oil, Oil, No Toil, No Trouble — K from Very Simple Secret talks about her foray into the oil-cleansing method.
  • I Need a Hobby — Amanda at Let's Take the Metro couldn't decide which experiment to run, so she did them all.
  • 7 days of macrobiotics for a balanced family — The Stones make a [successful] attempt to release the "holiday junking" with 7 days of macrobiotic meals to balance their bodies and souls. Elisabeth at Manic Mrs. Stone includes an explanation of macrobiotics.
  • Chemical Free Beauty Challenge — Jenn at Monkey Butt Junction turned to natural alternatives for her daily beauty and cleaning routine, with great results.
  • Greening my Armpits!? My Green Resolution — Shannon at The Artful Mama talks about how she decided to give up her traditional antiperspirant and make the switch over to crystal deodorants and definitely isn't looking back!
  • Going Raw (for a while) — Jenny at Chronicles of a Nursing Mom shares her family's experience with raw food.
  • Do we get to eat gluten today? — Sheila at A Gift Universe has been trying to figure out if her son does better with or without gluten in his diet … but it's really hard to tell for sure.
  • Hippies Can Smell and Look Fabulous Too! — Arpita of Up, Down And Natural details her experience of going shampoo-free and overhauling her cosmetics to find the balance between feeling beautifully fabulous and honoring her inner hippie.
  • Our cupboards are full...but there's nothing to eat — Lucy at Dreaming Aloud takes on the challenge of chomping through the contents of her storecupboard rather than going shopping — but there's something that she just can't bring herself to do …
  • Elimination Experiment 3.0MudpieMama recounts the messy adventures of her baby daughter trying to be diaper free.
  • Family Cloth Trial — Amyables at Toddler in Tow talks about making and using family cloth wipes in the bathroom for the first time.
  • Taking a Hiatus — Amy at Peace 4 Parents shares how her experience of much less internet interaction affected her family and how it will change her approach in the future.
  • Trying Out the Menstrual Cup — Lindsey at an unschooling adventure ditches the tampons and gives menstrual cups a try.
  • Managing Food Waste in Our Home — Tired of the holiday waste, Robbie at Going Green Mama takes a weeklong focus on reducing food waste in her home, and learns some lessons that can take her through the new year.
  • Going Offline, Cloth Tissues, and Simplicity — Jennifer at Hybrid Rasta Mama muses over her time away from blogging and social networking. In addition, she shares her newfound love of cloth tissues and simplicity.

07 January 2012

The Gratitude Post

I'm writing a weekly post to express gratitude for everything I have been blessed with in my life. Will you join me in sharing just five things you are grateful for this week?

This week I'm grateful for:

Getting the glass: From time to time, I freeze bits of leftover soup that I'm tired of eating because I know I can use it again one day. Recently I took three or four of these bits of leftover soup and put them together to make one monstrous pot of flavor. While eating this soup, I retrieved a small piece of glass from my mouth and was puzzled since this is not one of the ingredients I use regularly. First, though, I praised all things to be grateful for that I was the one who got this piece of glass and not one of my munchkins. Next, I remember using some frozen butternut squash for one soup I made that was in a jar that broke, which apparently means I didn't get the glass off of it like I thought I had. Don't use food that was in a broken jar? Yeah. I know.

Piper: My 21-month-old recently decided to start potty learning. Well, I have "caught" her BM's on a potty before many times, but it was never her idea. It is now her idea. She tells me she "hap pee (has to pee)" and then...she pees. On the toilet. And wipes herself. It's pretty rockin'.

A working stove: This is something I have really taken for granted in the past and I am prepared to make up for that by saying that I would really, really be grateful if my stove worked completely. No good? OK, I'm really grateful that I have a stove at all because without one, I'd be in quite the pickle, but I would be even MORE grateful if it worked completely. Really.

A second class to teach: I finally got another class to teach, bringing my grand total to two! I'm very excited to be teaching two different classes starting early January and I hope I can excite my students as much.

Not having a phone: Mid-December my phone, resting in my lap, fell to the ground as I stepped out of my car and shattered. OK, the glass shattered, but it was still relatively difficult to use. I sent it in to receive a replacement phone, but my replacement phone was "damaged" in transit and a whole ton of paperwork ensued in order for me to get a new, new phone. In other words, I was without a cell phone for over two weeks. And it was amazing. I felt like I became a better mother without it and I had so much more time on my hands. I was also inspired to get a house phone so I can turn my cell off during the day except when I leave the house. I'm always thankful for my phone, but I'm also so thankful that I had that time to be unreachable.

01 January 2012

What I See for Myself in 2012

In lieu of resolutions, I've decided to create a list of visions of what I see for myself in this new year. This is not a "want" list because I do not like to surround myself with those types of feelings, but rather it is a list of things I would like to have in my life and I intend to visualize them with me. I would love to hear a similar list from all of you.

In short, this is what I see for myself in 2012:

A cupboard full of tea: I greatly enjoy drinking tea and though you may think I only drink peppermint (this is moderately true), I do occasionally like other flavors. I would like to have a huge variety of tea available for myself and for any visitors that I may have. Lots of tea = lots of happy people.

A second freezer: I've wanted another freezer for over a year, ever since we moved and left our previous second freezer behind. I keep visualizing myself putting batches of muffins, vegetable stock, breads, berries, farmers market vegetables and more into a lovely second freezer.

Prosperity: I love this term because it can represent monetary prosperity, but it also means so, so much more. I see an exorbitant amount of prosperity for myself this year, in as many ways as it can manifest (and I see the same for you!).

Happiness: I'm sure I don't know anyone who doesn't want to be happy, so I suppose this is sort of a given. Nevertheless, I'm seeing myself happy for the entire year.

A garden: I'm really debating on whether or not I want to even attempt to create a garden this year since the last year just wasn't productive in the slightest, but I'm leaving it up to Divine Order. I see a plentiful garden of unsurpassed bounty from which I can freeze and feed the masses. Or my children.

Do tell me what you see for yourself in this new year.