Friday, April 29, 2011

A Child's Perspective of a Lawn

Taraxacum, family Asteraceae.Image via Wikipedia

This is the first time Olivia has been able to walk in spring. She loves going around a picking the dandelions in our yard. She get so excited and brings them to me and we smell them together. She loves the "weeds" the cover our lawn.
I can remember as a child making wishes on the seeds. My parents never cared that I was spreading these "weeds" around more. I never saw them as weeds till I was much older and told that they are weeds. I still don't feel this to be true. I love the little splash of color they give my lawn, but I do remove them from my flower gardens.

Last summer I was at a BBQ at a friend's home whose husband is obsessed with keeping their lawn perfect. They own the perfect McMansion in the perfect neighborhood so he is obsessed with keeping their lawn neat and green. They get their lawn sprayed often to keep the "weeds" away.
I was outside by the swings, which are near their neighbors yard playing with the kids. One young child said to himself "Wow" looking at the neighbors yard "look how pretty their grass is." It was covered with dandelions. He looked around the yard we we're in with a sad kind of look. "I wish this lawn was as pretty."

I just love the way children see the world. I wish adults would take the time to see what they see.

Ralph Waldo Emerson
"What is a weed? A plant whose virtues have not yet been discovered."

Enhanced by Zemanta

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Line Dry

drying diapersImage by simplyla via Flickr

I don't know why but I love hanging clothes on the line. The weather in my area went from almost freezing to hot and summer like. So this week all my laundry was hung on the line.
I really find it peaceful and relaxing to be outside hanging my clothes, and taking them down and folding them in the sunlight.
Liv got involved too and collected the clothes pins for me.
Its almost meditative to me.

On top of being relaxing it is very green to line dry your clothes, and economically sound.

Last summer I lined dry as much as I could. We have a pool filter running in the summer, and the AC on and our electric bill did not go up at all.
The average dryer uses 1800-5000 watts! Your fridge probably uses around 725. They do not even make dryers that can be called Energy Efficient since they all are not.
A friend of mine recently posted on facebook "Want a great way to save money, have your dryer break and watch your electric bill cut in half." Those savings can really add up.

Drying in the sun is also so great for your whites, the sun acts as a natural whitener. No need for bleach. (Bleach is so un-green and harmful in many ways)

Line drying is also gentler on your clothes then a dryer and can extend the life of your wardrobe. Fibers break down in the dryer, that is all the lovely lint you see in your lint trap.

I even hang towels, which can get dry and stiff. The best way I have found to avoid this is to not let them over dry, to add vinegar to the rinse cycle (another great use for vinegar) and I sometimes spray them with a light mist of water mixed with some fabric softer. I use this mostly if I need to iron, but usually line drying makes it so I have no need to iron, another energy saver.

We should all do what, in the long run, gives us joy, even if it is only picking grapes or sorting the laundry.
E. B. White
Enhanced by Zemanta

Monday, April 25, 2011

Little Acts of Fate

Triumph of Faith over Idolatry, by Jean-Baptis...Image via Wikipedia

Little wonders in this world amaze me. Last month our carbon monoxide detector went off, and in freezing weather I dragged Liv outside to wait for our local fire department to check to see if we had carbon monoxide in our home.
Well it was just our old detector going on the fritz and the firemen suggests a new one for our home, and a better place to position it.

Well 2 days ago our furnace broke and had a horrible leak. We were told that carbon monoxide could of been a huge problem with it and to be careful till we got it fixed.
I was very happy to not have to worry about the carbon monoxide since our new detector did not go off. If we still had the old one I might of worried, and if there was a problem it might not of gone off.
I was angry when I had to call the fire department, in our pajamas and wait outside in the snow. But now I see that this little act protected us.

“And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.” – Romans 8:2
Enhanced by Zemanta

Friday, April 22, 2011

Easter Traditions

Icon of the ResurrectionImage via Wikipedia

As I kid there were some thing we always did on Easter and around this time. I am hoping to continue some of these traditions with my children, and even add some of our own.
Fresh Easter flowers always filled up our home. My dad owns a florist so we always had nice seasonal flowers to make our home smell great. I still love the scent of hyacinths, it is probably my favorite floral scent.
Egg dying, a fun simple craft that kids love. We would hardboil the eggs and eat them later. This year I tried this technique from the Magic Onion blog (one of my favs) and made a quiche with the eggs.
Egg hunt. Since Liv is still too young for candy the sweet treat filling will be fruit snacks.
Church Easter morning. I love seeing all the little girls in their dresses and can't wait to see Liv in her's. I also want my children to understand what Easter is really about. We do not always get to church every Sunday, but I make sure to take them all to Palm Sunday were the read Matthew's Passion. My church also does the Stations on Good Friday, a Seder dinner on Holy Thursday and a vigil Mass on Saturday night. These are all at times when my LO is sleeping, but as they get older I plan for them to take part in these traditions too to learn more about Easter and the true meaning of it.
Ham dinner has always been my and my husband's family traditional dinner. This is the first year I will be cooking it so I am excited to have leftovers to use for ham salad and maybe pea soup. My dad would always make pea soup and ham salad (hash he calls it) from the left overs. Those meals I really miss since moving out of my parents home.
Easter Baskets for the children. I am really against kids getting gifts and toys just because. I see too many kids who are taken to the toy store once a month to get new toys. I don't like what this teaches children. As a child I got toys at my birthday, Christmas and some in my Easter basket. I will continue to do this with my own children.
Since Liv is not even two, and I am pregnant and still exhausted from it this is the bulk of our traditions for this year. Next year I plan to do the same and then add some more fun crafts and other sorts of stuff as my children get older.
Enhanced by Zemanta

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Morning Sickness Help

My morning sickness was so bad this pregnancy, I tried a million things that people suggested before I had to go on zofran since I couldn't even keep water down. Some of them work on some days, some didn't. At 21 weeks I still get nauseous if I don't eat often.
Here is a list of the many suggestions I got that may or may not help ease through morning (all day) sickness)
Ginger, ginger ale (with real ginger)
Eating even before you get out of bed in the morning a light carb snack.
Eating every 2-3 hours, light mini-meals through out the day
Papaya enzymes
Vitamin B6 tabs (unfortunately I could not keep the pills down)
Avoid citrus, especially at times you usually get sick or on an empty stomach
Avoid acidic foods, eat lots of alkaline foods.
Caffeine free cola
Enhanced by Zemanta
sea bands
Sucking on peppermint
Avoid strong scents
Take your prenatal with food

Some of these tips helped, I used most of them from time to time and they did help a little bit. For some woman just doing some of these simple things can alleviate many symptoms of morning sickness. Hopefully if you do experience morning sickness it will not last into your second trimester like I am still dealing with.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Weekly Menu

[Grand Grocery Co.], Lincoln, Neb. (LOC)Image by The Library of Congress via Flickr

One thing that is often suggested by other bloggers and some sites on organization and cleaning is preparing your meals for the week.
Since I have started doing this I don't know how I lived with out it before.
It is too easy to wake up, look at my menu white board planner on the fridge and know if I need to defrost meat, run out for fresh veggies if its toward the end of my shopping week or do nothing. Then at 5 I can just look again and cook, no planning, no thinking "oh I need that" no complaining from my husband. He is a picky eater.
On Sunday nights I plan my meals for the week, which can depend on deals at the stores, what I have leftover, what I am craving (pregnancy fun), simple meals for days I know I am busy and when to try out new recipes. I can also plan in leftovers.
Monday is my shopping day.
For this week I have this planned

Sunday night-tonight-a chicken roaster, leftovers will make sandwiches for the week instead of buying lunch meat.
Monday night-Turkey burgers topped with lettuce, onions and tomatoes with fries. Liv will be eating a veggie burger
Wednesday-Lasagna with salad
Thursday-Quiche from the inside of the eggs we will dye. And her comes in my picky DH who does not like quiche. He will be eating leftover lasagna.
Friday-Pizza night
Sat-frozen dinner. I will be leaving my house around dinner time to go to the Saturday night vigil to make my holy communion and confirmation while DH stays home with the baby. (I think this will be the first time in over 2 years he has eaten a tv, and we both grew up eating these on occasion so actually enjoy them as a treat.
Sunday-Easter ham with several sides.
Then for next week I can plan some meals with whatever left over ham we have.

This method saves me money and time. I recommend this is everyone who mentions to me about eating out too much, never knowing what to cook, or too many complaints.
It works great for working moms too. A friend of mine does her menu on Saturday and shop on Sunday. Then Sundays they eat some easy roast and she spends some time cutting and preparing other meals for the week. She will make other meals, casseroles or baked dishes and have them ready in the fridge or freezer. She will also cut up veggies to have for snacks, lunch or for stir fries or fajitas. This way she is eating nice and healthy homemade meals most nights of the week.
I often will plan lunch out too. This way I can make sure we eat more then just sandwiches during the week.
Life is just so much easier when there is a rhythm to you week and my menu planning helps me maintain that with ease.
Enhanced by Zemanta

Friday, April 15, 2011

Weaning Happens

Nursing ToddlerImage by stockerre via Flickr

When I became pregnant Liv started to weaned herself. It was a slow process that started with my milk drying up, went to some comfort nursing and then the end. The whole process took about 2-3 months.
At first she slowly dropped feeds, her first one to go was her before bed nursing, which from what I hear is usually the last to go.
Our last to go was the morning nursing session. When Liv wakes up I usually bring her in bed and we cuddle for a while. It helps us both wake up. She would lay next to me ask for milkies and just relax. I am not a morning person so when I stopped producing milk I was upset that our morning cuddle time was shortened a lot by having Liv say "hongry" and sign for eat.
After she dropped all of her milk feeds there was occasional comfort nursing. She would ask for milkies and nurse for only a minute or 2 when she was tired, wanted hugs or needed comfort.
In some ways I was sad that our nursing time had ended. But being pregnant and not having the easiest pregnancy I also was glad for it to end. I really did not want to tandem nurse either.
What makes me proud though is that we weaned when it was right for both of us. My body physically could not handle making milk and taking care of my new baby (that is what severe morning sickness will do to you)and Liv slowly learned that her nursing time was over and replaced with other ways to get comfort. She was not forced to wean, and I let her nurse when ever she ask, long after my milk was gone.
Now instead of nursing during our day Liv will just ask for me to sit with her, she will come over and ask for big hugs, want to cuddle on the couch or sit on my lap and read with me. The fact that she still craves all of this closeness makes the weaning easier on me, since I too love all the cuddles and kisses from my toddler. I think part of this comes with weaning naturally and it not being forced on.
We nursed till about 19 months, which is longer then my original goal of 1 year. I am glad I learned all the benefits of extended nursing, physically and emotionally and allowed this process to occur naturally.
I just hope that with my next child I will be as successful and feel successful in our breastfeeding.
Weaning happens, when the time is right for mother and child. And when it is allowed to happen in a positive manner that bond that was made during all of those closely held nursing sessions continues on to grow.

Suggested Readings:
Enhanced by Zemanta

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Spring in Bloom

Hyacinth cultivars, showing the range of colou...Image via Wikipedia

Since my dad owns a florist I already have blooming, and now dying tulips, hyacinths and daffodils.
Usually the time to plant bulbs is in the fall, but most of the bulbs sprouting up in my lawn have all been planted in the spring. After my indoor potted plants died I planted the bulbs in my spoil. I have not had a problem with them surviving. Its a great way to re-use the bulbs so they don't go to waste.
Every year I see my lawn and garden getting more and more beautiful when early spring comes since I keep adding to my bulbed plants.
Its a simple way to be a little green :)
Enhanced by Zemanta

Monday, April 4, 2011

Walking in the Woods

the garden gnomeImage by mararie via Flickr

Liv and I love just taking nice long walks. Today was a pretty nice day in our area so I took her on a trail in the woods. I love the county I live in. There are so many trails, for walking, hiking and many that are perfect for the walking skills of a toddler.
The trail we walked on today is know for its Gnome homes. (Next time we go I will take pix to post)
All along the trail are little home-made Gnome or fairy homes. There are also little scenes that are mostly home-made dolls or knitting. Most of the homes have paper and pen in them so you can leave a note for the gnomes. There are also in some little trinkets where that you can take if you exchange it for something.
Liv got so exciting leaving a note in the Daisy troops beautifully decorated home. "color" she kept saying as she climbed up on a rock with a pen and paper (so mad I forgot my camera!)
When we would move on as soon as she spotted a new home she would get so excited and run up to it.
I just love seeing the creativity and effort people put into these little homes. Some of the homes were completely home-made, some were garden gnomes, others were made of clay, some were bought homes but painted nicely, others were knitted flags.
I just can't wait till Liv and I can make a gnome home and place it along the trail and see what exchanges are made or notes are left.
Enhanced by Zemanta