Tuesday, March 23, 2010

I'm a Fly Baby!

Any readers know what I'm talking about?  I just discovered http://www.flylady.net/ this week, and I'm excited about the changes FLYLady is producing in my life.  I know some of you have it all together, but I don't, so I need the extra help!  My house is a little cleaner (it does help that I'm starting to have more energy as I've passed the 15-week mark), my kitchen sink is shiny, and I'm learning that I don't have to do it all, but I can do a lot in little pieces.  And I still have plenty of time left for my girls.  :)  That's the best part.  I feel like I can be a better mom, because I can get some household chores done in little spurts when the girls are happily entertaining each other, and then I can spend time with them without thinking about what other chore I should be doing.  I think we are all happier this way.  Everyone wins!  Just wanted to share.  *Note: not everything FLYLady recommends is entirely green, but you can easily figure out a greener alternative to her ideas that aren't super-green.

A Site Worth Checking Out

I just stumbled upong this not-so-little website, http://www.treehugger.com/.  It is a wealth of information about all things "green."  If there is a specific area you want to know about, this site has information.  It's one of those sites that may well have more information than you want to know, but if you are starting your green journey and want to find out more about the area you are starting in, this seems like a good place to go.  Anyway, check it out.  Just wanted to pass that along.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Overwhelmed by Baby Decisions

I really hope there are some other mama's out there who have some experiences in this area.  I'm going to throw this out there and hope for a response or two!  :)  Baby #3 is weighing heavily on my mind (since s/he's only about a lemon, that's the only place the baby's weighing heavy so far!), because I want to do this whole thing better this time around.  Add limited green ($$) and wanting to be green (as in environmentally-friendly), and I have more questions than answers.  Or at least it feels that way.

Let's start with the birth experience.  Despite the wonderful outcomes (two beautiful daughters), I am not happy about my first two birth experiences.  I labored in fear and uncertainty both times, and I refuse to allow myself to have that experience again.  The first time was due in part to it being my first time around, but mostly due to a nurse who basically ignored me.  The second time around, my nurses were a million times better, but again I was scared, because I kept being told about what-ifs and negative possibilities.  This time around, I want to be in control and allow my body, created by God to labor and deliver children, to do what it is meant to do.  I do not want to be forced to stay in bed flat on my back -- that seems counter-productive!

I know I want a new experience, not one full of fear and doubt in my abilities and medication I am talked into and don't necessarily need.  I don't want a home birth.  I'm pretty sure that would be on the landlord's list of things not to do!!!  But I want to be in control, and I want someone with me who can encourage me along the right lines.  I have contacted Jenn at Knitted in the Womb as my first step, and I feel good about my initial contacts with her.  She gave me some great questions to talk to my doctors about to find out where they are in supporting my desire for a different birthing experience.  It would be easier if I were still in NoVA, where I know doctors, midwives, and doulas and have more resources.  *sigh*  Anyone have any experience with Jenn?

On a completely different note, we have to do some shopping.  And not just for the stuff that is worn out after two babies and needs to be replaced.  Come September, we will have three kids in car seats (well, the oldest will be in a booster).  I don't think they are going to fit in my Elantra!  It has been strongly recommended to me to try the Sunshine Kids Radian car seat.  Apparently, they are great seats, super-safe, one seat for the child's lifetime, and the are narrower than other seats, so you can get three of them across some cars.  The key is installing the middle one first, I've heard.  But even three Radians may not fit in my car.  Which means we need another vehicle, because Ryan uses the minivan for work all the time.  *another sigh*  Like I want to go car shopping.  Like I can afford a car.  We're in for an adventure!

The other thing I really want to figure out is a baby sling or something.  I don't mind the carrier I have, but I definitely don't love it.  For one thing, I really struggle to put it on by myself, so that's not always practical.  I am on the tall side and rather... well-endowed, especially when nursing.  My chest can definitely make certain carriers a bit uncomfortable.  I'm looking for recommendations on an easy-to-use carrier that will fit my body as well as the baby's.

Any creative types out there in cyberspace?  Our landlord will not let us take down the wallpaper in the baby's room, despite the fact that it is full of tears and is not at all attractive.  Seriously, it is so busy, it gives me a headache when I spend too much time in the room.  So I'm thinking about hanging fabric on the walls.  I'm hoping that doesn't get too expensive!  I just don't think I can take the wallpaper anymore.  Oh, how I miss having our own place!  Our girls had the most beautiful rooms in VA.  The nursery was a beautiful lighter green with a sky blue ceiling with puffy white clouds.  There was a cute white ledge all the way around the room dividing the green and the blue and holding cute little baby things (Pooh letters, etc.).  My favorite, though, was the apple tree my mom painted in the corner to match the apple tree on the quilt.  It was such a perfectly peaceful room.  And Ryleigh's "big girl" room was yellow with pink and white hand-painted flowers to match her quilt.  And a little bee buzzed a little trail around the room.  A happy little place.  Oh, I do not like renting!  I am not a fan of ugly, in-bad-shape wallpaper and poorly-painted white walls everywhere else.

OK, wow, so this was more of a vent.  I just needed to dump my brain!  But if you have any suggestions for vehicles, car seats, baby carriers, or ways to cover the wallpaper without ruining it, I'd love to hear them!  Blessings, friend!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Gussy Up & Get Down gDeal!

Just wanted to share, for those of you gDiaper users or those thinking about trying them and looking for a great deal...  the Gussy Up and Get Down sale ends Friday, March 19th, so hurry!  Choose which trio you want -- the Gussy Up trio includes the Girly Girl Ruffle, the Good Vibe Girl Stripe, and the Genuine Vanilla Bean, or the Get Up trio includes Good Night Blue, Genuine Vanilla Bean, and Glam Black -- for $39.  It's basically like buying two pairs of little gPants and getting one free, sorta'.  I am so wishing I had an excuse to take advantage of this deal, but since Ashtyn is has enough and is starting to potty train, and we don't know whether baby #3 is a boy or a girl, I have to pass.  :(

Friday, March 5, 2010

The Story of Stuff (and a bit of a vent)

Oh, where to begin?!  Do you ever seem to get inundated with other people's stupidity until you suddenly find yourself so angry at their ignorance you think you'll explode?  I am amazed to find that there are people in this world (far too many, unfortunately) who do not believe that anything they do has any impact on the world (people, environment, etc.) around them.  Huh?  How selfish can you be?  This is not about whether you believe in global warming or not.  How can you be so small-minded to think that what you do only affects you?  I think I'd better stop reading the stupid comments people post on other people's blogs (I may soon be the recipient of such comments!) and letters to the editor in certain magazines or in response to certain newspaper articles.

Anyway... the point of this post...  The Story of Stuff.  If you have not watched this video, or have not watched it recently, please do.  Or visit http://storyofstuff.com/.  I have to thank Emily, my new favorite blogger at Live Renewed for bringing this to my attention.  I love her philsophy on life and her journey toward a greener life for her family.  Now really, you should watch the video and then go read her March posts, because I pretty much agree with everything she says.  But in short, here's what really hit me, not as a tree-hugging hippie, but as a child of God.

I have too much stuff.  Way too much stuff.  My family has way too much stuff.  We know that and are working on dealing with it.  We have been trying to reduce our consumption of stuff.  We recognize that our choices as consumers don't just impact our lives, but the lives of people all around us.  This is why we choose to buy products and especially food that are as locally produced as possible, and at least from within the US.  When we buy locally, we support our local economy -- the same people, by the way, who happen to be supporting our own business venture, since we will always be a local company, feeding the local community.  We conserve resources by not using fuel, etc. to ship things across the country or even halfway around the world.  This is why we reuse and recycle as much as possible and throw away as little as possible.

We are living on a finite planet!!!  And whether you choose to believe in global warming or not, you cannot deny that we harvest our forests faster than we can regrow them, that farmland to produce food exists in much, much, much decreased quantities than just a few generations ago, that we are using up our planet.  And maybe you don't care, because you'll be dead before the planet is used up.  Well, goody for you!  What about your grandchildren???  We cannot afford to think only of ourselves!  It is a small world!  Such selfishness cannot be tolerated.

But here's where my faith comes in.  I believe that God created this earth and everything in it.  In Genesis, God placed Adam in the Garden of Eden and told him to take care of it.  In Scripture, God repeatedly gives individuals dominion over things... this means they have responsibility for those things, not that they can do what they want and destroy those things at any cost.  God placed us on the earth to take care of it and preserve it.

But what I find even more appalling as a believer is how our culture defines our value as people.  This video says it pretty succintly.  It hurts a little, made me cringe.  Victor Lebow, retail analyst in the 1950s, is quoted in the video as saying the following: "Our enormously productive economy... demands that we make consumption our way of life, that we convert the buying and use of goods into rituals, that we seek our spiritual satisfaction, our ego satisfaction, in consumption..." WHAT?!?!?! Rituals? Spiritual satisfaction? Ego satisfaction? Talk about idols and other gods! You wondered what is wrong with our society? There's your answer.

Our culture assigns value to people based on their ability to participate in the consumer good system through consumption.  Is this how God assigns value to His children?  Absolutely not!  We have been created in His image, knit together in our mother's womb, He values us more highly than all His creation.  We have incredible value because God says so!  And this is not true just of Americans.  God places high value on all people, even those living in Third World countries, working in deplorable conditions to mass-produce our goods, people being forced to move out of their villages as the countryside around them is destroyed.  Maybe even especially.  God clearly tells us how he feels about the poor, the widowed, the orphaned and what is to be our response as those more fortunate.  Your spending and consumption reflect the value you place on human life, the lives around you and the lives of people on the other side of the world.  Have you thought about what your consumption says about how you value other people?  If I am called to love God and love others, I need to think about how my consumption reflects my fulfillment of my calling.

We have more stuff than ever, but at what cost?  Maybe it's hard to measure some of it from where you stand, because you don't have a stinky factory in your neighborhood or have to look at people coming and going from the factories.  But one thing I've heard repeatedly is how we have more than ever, but we are less happy as a society than we have ever been.  So we get more and more stuff, because we are seeking "spiritual satisfaction, ego satisfaction," and we are left more and more hungry.  Seek ye first the Kingdom of God...  He alone is the Bread of Life, the Living Water.  Stop idolizing your stuff!  (that was directed at me, by the way)

So what should we do?  Join me and my family in examining your relationship to your stuff.  Think about what you have, what role your stuff plays in your life, and maybe even more importantly, reflect on your participation in our consumptive society.  Really think about the purchases you make -- where they come from, how they are manufactured or grown, the impact those products have on the world around you, both the planet and the people who live on it.

And I'd love to hear how it goes for you.  Have you already journeyed the path of getting rid of stuff?  Are you in the middle of it?  Are you thinking about beginning the journey?