The Big Green Parenting Experiment

raising a healthy family in a toxic world

fresh friday!

It’s Friday again!  This Friday is particularly exciting because Schy’s daddy has THREE days off for Labor Day weekend!!!   How I love our family time.  We have a wedding this weekend and Schy will be spending some time with her Grandma and Grandpa.  But first things first!  Today we have a visit from our favorite farmer from our CSA!  I am inspired by our CSA today as I write my first recipe share.  This is a recipe that I whipped up last weekend for Schy’s birthday party and everyone really loved it!  Our CSA share last week included 11, yes eleven ears of corn that were freshly picked mere hours before delivery.  Eleven ears of corn is a LOT for 3 people, especially given the loads of other veggies that we received.  Needless to say, I had to think of a creative way to serve corn to 45 people.  So, without further ado… here is my first fresh friday recipe: Southwestern Corn Salad!

(All quantities in this recipes can be altered to suit your tastes and party size.  The leftovers are delicious, so don’t forget to make extra!)

Ingredients

  • 6 ears of corn, husk and silks removed
  • 2 large ripe tomatoes
  • 1 large or 2 medium red onion(s)
  • 1 can of black beans (organic and sodium free, if possible)
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 2-3 teaspoons of ground cumin
  • 2-3 tablespoons of lime juice
  • 3/4 cup fresh basil
  • sea salt and fresh ground pepper to taste

Start by boiling the corn until slightly soft and crisp.  Remove and rinse thoroughly with cold water.  Set aside to cool completely.  Chop tomatoes into bite size chunks and toss into large mixing bowl.  Dice onions and add to bowl.  Rinse and strain beans well and add to bowl.  Once corn is completely cooled cut kernels from the cob, add to bowl and stir together.

In a cruet, combine olive oil, balsamic vinegar, cumin, lime juice and finely chopped basil.  Shake well and pour over vegetables.  Once mixed, add salt and pepper to taste.  Serve chilled!

We prefer this salad with some spice, but have many family members that are sensitive to spicy food so we left it out.  You can substitute chili or chipotle powder for some of the cumin or simply add a few pinches for a little kick.  This salad is delicious and the leftovers are even better!    With all of that beautiful corn that is in season, this is a great, easy recipe that is perfect for that Labor Day barbeque!

We’ll see what fresh recipe today’s CSA share inspires!  Have a fantastic Friday!  Enjoy!

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homemade baby wipes?!

Poor Schy. She has had a particularly bad couple of nights, waking up every 2-3 hours to eat and be comforted back to sleep. The most difficult part of being a mother is not knowing what is wrong when they’re this young. If that doesn’t make someone feel helpless, I don’t know what does. When your baby wakes up crying and flailing, it’s somewhat heartbreaking. She developed a runny nose and tiny little sporadic cough on Monday. She may have been run down from the big weekend of parties and bridal showers. She was also exposed to many different kids, people and, of course… germs. It hasn’t seemed bad enough to disrupt her sleep, though. Maybe new teeth? Gah… how those teeth ruin everything!

Anyhow, today was her big one year appointment. She did NOT take it well. I think she may have been scarred from the last visit, involving a 103 fever and a torturous throat culture. Heartbreaking for everyone, I assure you. As soon as we left the waiting room and entered that long hallway, it was all over. She was officially a wreck. We were “the ones” that they’d be talking about at the end of the day. I have come to accept that I have a very emotional child. Generally, these emotions are positive. But when they’re not… they’re REALLY not. She screamed and cried at the nurse who walked us to the room. She screeched while being weighed and measured and shrieked at every single move the doctor made. It was unbelievable. She stopped for air when the doctor left the room. We didn’t even get to ask her the questions that we had prepared about almond milk and first dentist visits… THAT should go well.

I did show the doctor a red blotchy rash on her bottom that appeared this morning. I’ve read that sometimes when babies are teething they’ll develop a rash, but it’s a touchy subject among different doctors. Some believe that it’s pure coincidence and that it has nothing to do with teething. Others insist that the increased saliva created by teething is swallowed and can be irritating to the stomach and ultimately, the perfect, sensitive little bum. I’ve also read that store-bought wipes can be extremely irritating to these sensitive areas, especially when they have a rash. This leads me to the search for a homemade, non-irritating alternative. Why did it take me a year to think of this?

I found multiple options on natural birth and baby care. Amazing! You can use any of the following recipes to soak paper towels or cotton cloth, to be washed with your diapers. Now c’mon… we all know which choice I’ll be making! And, this finally gives me a use for the drawer full of receiving blankets that we no longer use! Wow. This is exciting!

Baby Wash Recipe #1

  • 2 TBSP Baby Wash (choose a natural wash!)
  • 2 TBSP Olive Oil or Coconut Oil*
  • 2 Cups water

Mix well in a spray bottle or your wipes box. Spritz on wipe if using in spray bottle. Swish solution around over wipes if using a wipes box.

Baby Wash Recipe #2

  • 2 TBSP Baby Wash
  • 2 TBSP Olive Oil, or 1 TBSP Calendula Oil, or Coconut Oil*
  • 2 Drops Tea Tree Oil
  • 2 Cups Water

Mix well in a spray bottle or your wipes box. Spritz on wipe if using in spray bottle. Swish solution around over wipes if using a wipes box. Tea Tree Oil has lovely disinfectant properties along with its wonderful, clean smell. You can omit the baby wash from this recipe if you wish.

Aloe Vera Recipe

  • 1/4 Cup Aloe Vera Gel
  • 2 Drops Tea Tree Oil
  • 2 Cups Hot Water

Stir or shake until this recipe is well mixed. Don’t use until the mixture cools. Spritz on wipe if using in spray bottle. Swish solution around over wipes if using a wipes box.

Vitamin E and Essential Oils Recipe

  • 2 Drops Tea Tree Oil
  • 2 Drops Lavender Oil (Please be sure to use only pure essential oils – don’t use synthetic oils.)
  • 2 Drops Chamomile Oil
  • 2 Cups Water
  • 1 Vitamin E Cap

Cut open vitamin E capsule and squeeze into the water, and add essential oil drops. Mix well in a spray bottle or your wipes box. Spritz on wipe before using if in spray bottle. Swish solution around over wipes if using a wipes box.

These are awesome! I am so eager to try them. So eager that I couldn’t bear to wait and try them out before I shared them. Time to find a spray bottle and start cutting up receiving blankets! I’ll be trying #2 first. There will certainly be a follow-up so hang tight!

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the truth about breastfeeding

My baby has officially turned one.  This has caused me to do some serious reflecting on the last year.  For the most part I think about all of the things that I’ve learned and IF we ever choose to have another child, what would I do differently?  And what would I do the same?  This thought undoubtedly brings me to one thing.  Breastfeeding.

When I was pregnant, I was so sure that I would breastfeed.  I read books and took classes and it all seemed like rainbows and sunshine.  Guess what… NOT SO.  I have found breastfeeding to be a huge challenge.  I have encountered almost all of the negative things that one can while breastfeeding.  And, honestly, I had no idea that there were so many things that could go wrong.  Everyone made it seem so easy and natural and instinctual and beautiful.  No one ever mentioned that this may not be the case for everyone.  This post is not intended to discourage anyone, in any way, from breastfeeding.  Afterall, we’ve made it twelve months and counting, even with all of the set backs.  I just want to pass along the information that I wish I had going in.  Breastfeeding is, in fact natural, beautiful and beneficial for mommy and baby.  But easy???  No.  Not for everyone.

Here are my experiences and some facts regarding each…

1.  Proper latch.  This generally takes time and sometimes assistance.  I was in too much of an emotional, sleep deprived, new mom state to even think about asking for help.  Perhaps it’s because the lactation nurses at the hospital where Schy was born all gave me different advice and were somewhat rough about the whole thing.  I just couldn’t bear to have another person pulling, twisting and prodding me.  I did consult La Leche League online with various questions and they were quite helpful.  Latching is hard.  And it hurts. I know, I know… if it hurts than something is wrong.  The fact is, this is a very sensitive area that isn’t used to intense suction and gnawing.  With time and practice we got it right.  Hang in there.

2.  Plugged ducts.  This is a recurrent problem that I’ve had the entire twelve months that I’ve been breastfeeding.  My doctor blames my “narrow ducts that just developed that way”.  La Leche League gave me list of possible culprits such as wearing tight-fitting clothing, putting pressure on my breasts (sleeping on my stomach, baby carrier, etc.) and waiting too long between nursing sessions among other things.  I didn’t fit into any of the categories.  I have one of those babies that literally nursed every hour.  She still nurses quite frequently for her age and would all night if I allowed her to.  Plugged ducts are excruciating!  The pain from the first one woke me up out of a sound sleep.  It was horrible.  I was severely engorged and in tears.  I didn’t know what to do.  I couldn’t even touch it.  I made it through the night (barely… and crying) and called my doctor first thing the next morning.  I survived and then learned pretty quickly that this wouldn’t be a one time thing for me.  Eventually I learned how to anticipate the problem and resolve it before it evolved into the dreaded… mastitis!  Eek!

3.  Mastitis.  A very painful infection, often resulting from unresolved blocked ducts.  In addition to the obvious pain in the immediate area of the infection, there is fever, chills and flu-like symptoms.  And they come on fast.  The above mentioned first blocked duct experience did, unfortunately lead to mastitis.  It was horrifying.  As if being a sleep deprived basket case wasn’t enough.  Now I had some serious pain, weakness and illness to deal with.  Luckily, with the antibiotic treatment, the worst symptoms subsided after just a couple of days.  Mastitis requires pretty immediate treatment so it doesn’t become an even worse infection.  I ended up suffering with this twice.  I also learned in the process that you have to be quite careful about using antibiotics, which can strip the body of necessary bacteria’s and ultimately lead to thrush in both mom and baby.  I am pretty sure that we started to experience this after the second round of antibiotics, so I quickly altered my diet to limit foods that yeast thrives on.  It seemed to helped and we never had to be treated for thrush.  Phew.

These are three common problems that one can encounter while breastfeeding.  Remember, many women are able to breastfeed with no issues whatsoever and maybe you are one of them.  Oh, how I envy you!  Breastfeeding truly is a wonderful, natural, beautiful thing, but it most certainly is not easy for everyone.  Don’t be discouraged.  There is a [good] chance that there will be bumps along the way.  It’s not your fault.  It’s not your baby’s fault.  It’s not easy.  Don’t give up.

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happy birthday, sweet schy!

One year ago today, while so many lives in this area were being devastated by Hurricane Irene, something amazing happened, something beautiful and life changing beyond words.  A sweet baby girl was born.  The sweetest, funniest, and most loving little angel.  We had no idea how dull our lives were until that day.  This little girl has taught us more in the past year than we ever could have imagined.  Today we celebrate one year of Schy, the adventurer, the princess and the love of our lives.  Happy Birthday, Sweetheart!  You are loved more than you will ever know.

           

 

 

 

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birthday party aftermath

The birthday party was a success! Family, friends, kids, food, cupcakes, pool, bouncy house… from what I could tell, a good time was had by all! Of course, we were overprepared as usual and will be eating the leftovers for the next week. Schy had a great a time, although quite overwhelmed for the first hour or two. She warmed up quickly when the gift unwrapping ensued. Bright colors, joyful tunes and activities perfect for little hands! She was spoiled and enjoyed every minute of it. I quite enjoyed it, too. She is so loved and that always makes me feel awesome.

BUT, with the showering of gifts comes an unfathomable aftermath… trash. Holy $*&@! What does one do with all of the trash from said gifts? Everything is heavily packaged, fastened, taped and wrapped. Some of the packaging seems adult proof and I have at least one injury from freeing Violet from her cardboard containment. While we were unwrapping, a friend of mine actually said “you’re going to need a dumpster for all of the trash.” He has a seven year old daughter and knows this birthday aftermath all too well. This is a tree huggers worst nightmare. Much of the cardboard will be recycled, but I feel a heavy sense of guilt about all of the plastic, styrofoam and other miscellaneous items that cannot be. What does one do with this heap of madness?? And is there an alternative?

(We were fortunate to receive plenty of great books. Most of these came in little gift bags that have taken their temporary place in the gift bag stash to be reused. These really come in handy, so no complaints there!)

So, my daughter is just celebrating her FIRST birthday and I feel ashamed to say that I’m already ready to boycott the Toys ‘R Us/Fisher Price world of excess trash. From this point forward I am vowing to do my best to support local crafters and artisans when it comes to the plethora of birthdays and holidays that we always seem to be celebrating. I practice this in other areas of our lives, why not with gifts? And wouldn’t the creative, unique and handmade gift be more exciting than the same plastic wrapped clone that everyone else has anyway? It may be a bit less convenient than driving the two miles to Toys ‘R Us, but it will be beneficial for everyone involved. It will certainly benefit the small, local business, the parents of the gift receiver and the environment. Not to mention that it will make me feel better as well.

I guess this is one of those ‘AHA’ moments that I will experience throughout this joyride that is parenthood. I had no idea that this sort of thing was taking place after every. single. birthday. celebration. every. single. day. WOW. But now I know. And now I can start a revolution! Haha… maybe not, but I can change my actions based on what I’ve learned this weekend. Phew.

Now, the next issue is how to avoid receiving all of this madness again next year.

Suggestions are welcomed!

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i love friday

I looooooooove waking up on Friday’s!  That all started a few months ago when I was working part-time at a local restaurant.  I worked Tuesday and Thursday nights and Friday was like the start of my weekend with Schy.  We don’t really have to go anywhere unless we have a playdate scheduled and of course Friday afternoon is the start of the weekend for daddy!  We also have our CSA pick-up on Friday’s.  Our house is a pick-up site so from 4:00-6:00 we get to see our favorite farmer and all of our friends from the CSA.   And of course, we collect a bounty of fresh, locally grown veggies for the week.  We love it!  I will definitely devote a day to CSA‘s and why you should join one at some point.  It’s a wonderful thing.

So, today we keep this short and sweet.  Tomorrow is the big first birthday party and we’ve got LOTS of work to do today.  The first batch of cupcakes are in the oven.  Next up is the smash cake!  There is also fruit to be cut, salads and salsa to be made and house to be tidied up.  Hopefully there will be a nap in there too.  Schy and I have a busy day ahead of us.

I wish everyone a lovely Friday and a fantastic weekend.  I may not be back until Monday with all of the scheduled festivities.

Today I leave you with a pic from the one year photo shoot!  Cheers!

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journey to a chemical free home – part one

If you haven’t realized it already, I am a complete chemical-phobe.  I have been buying organic as often as I can for as long as I can remember.  There’s just something about chemicals, pesticides and growth hormones that rub me the wrong way.  I made a conscious effort to put minimal chemicals in or on my body throughout my pregnancy.  Now that Schy is a very active girl, I understand that it is impossible to protect her from all contact with all things chemical, but I can limit her exposure (and any harmful future side effects) when she’s at home.

I’ve started this journey to a chemical free home with the most commonly used chemical spray – the all-purpose, antibacterial cleaner.  We spray this stuff on everything… the counters, the table, the kitchen chairs and any other surface that may need cleaning and/or sanitizing.  There are endless natural options that can be made at home.  We are not talking serious, multi-ingredient concocting here.  This is simple stuff that can be done in minutes with 2 or 3 ingredients, which you may already have on hand.

Our go-to cleaner lately has been the white vinegar and water solution.  White distilled vinegar has pretty amazing antibacterial properties.  The level of acidity in vinegar makes it very effective at killing bacteria, mold and germs.  It can be used either diluted or straight and the effects are greater with higher concentration.  There’s just one problem.  It smells like vinegar!  Okay, so the smell doesn’t linger for that long, but it does linger.  Although, tried and true, I’m ready to move on to the next.

I have moved on to reading about the antibacterial properties of essential oils.  These are great because you can customize them to smell like something that you enjoy… at least more than vinegar.  Unless you like the smell of vinegar.  I am not here to judge.

Here are some of the best antibacterial essential oils:

  • Lemon (antibacterial, stimulates natural immune system, mood lifting)
  • Tea Tree (anti-viral, antibacterial, anti-fungal)
  • Oregano (very potent antiseptic, antibacterial)
  • Lavender (antibacterial, calming)
  • Eucalyptus (antiseptic, anti-viral)
  • Peppermint (antiseptic, anti-viral)
  • Rosemary (antibacterial, anti-fungal, anti-parasitic)
  • Thyme (antimicrobial)

*Please use caution when experimenting with essential oils.  They are pure extracts.  Even though they are natural, they can irritate and burn skin if applied directly.  They may also cause allergic reactions.

Here is a quick recipe for a homemade antibacterial cleaner.  You can experiment using this recipe as a basic template.  You can also make a spray without using dish soap by simply adding 5-10 more drops of oil if you would like.

Antiseptic and Antibacterial Spray Cleaner (from 100% pure essential oils)

  • 8oz. spray bottle (clean and repurpose one that you already have)
  • 1 tsp. dish soap (we use planet brand environmentally friendly dish liquid)
  • 7.5oz. of water
  • 10 drops of your favorite antibacterial essential oil(s)

Combine essential oil(s) with dish soap and blend well.  Add water and mix well.  Spray onto countertops, surfaces, etc. and wipe with a damp cloth.

There are an endless number of scents that you can create.  I love lemon and rosemary.  It has such a pleasant and clean smell.  I also love the earthy smell of tea tree oil.  I use tea tree as a natural bug repellant as well.

So, there you have it.  One chemical household cleaner down… many more to go.  This is easy enough for everyone to try.  And so much safer for your family and the environment.  It’ll probably save you quite a few bucks, too!  Who doesn’t love that?

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first birthday cake smash… without the guilt!

As the big first birthday approaches, I have found myself growing a bit anxious about one thing.  The ever-so-popular cake smash.  We eat healthy, which naturally means that baby Schy does also.  I feel less than excited to give her a pile of sugar to dig into, regardless of how adorable it may be.  And don’t even get me started on the food coloring!

I have made all of Schy’s food from fresh, organic fruits and veggies from the beginning and have come to rely on the website  Momtastic’s Wholesome Baby Food.  The site is full of age appropriate foods, recipe ideas and tips for feeding baby.  I was pleasantly surprised when I searched the site for “healthy first birthday cakes” and found a number of options!

Schy’s Aunt Alyssa, who is a phenomenal photographer, came to take her first birthday pictures this past weekend so we wanted to do a trial run before the big party.  We decided to go with the low sugar vanilla cake and the whipped cream frosting.  I colored the frosting with homemade food coloring made from organic raspberries.  It was delicious!  And most importantly, Schy loved it!

Here are the recipes from Momtastic’s Wholesome Baby Food:

Vanilla Cake adapted from a recipe for diabetic cooking

  • 1 cup all-purpose unbleached flour
  • 1/2 cup pastry flour
  • 1/4 cup sugar (diabetics use Diabetisweet measure for measure to  replace sugar)
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/8  teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup plain yogurt
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 2 tablespoons  canola oil (I used olive oil)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 egg whites

Preheat oven to 350ºF. Spray an 8″ X 8″ baking pan with low-fat spray. Sift the dry ingredients and set aside.

Whisk together wet ingredients in a mixing bowl. Add the dry  to the wet and mix until most of the lumps are gone. Pour mix into the pan and  bake at 350ºF for 30-35 minutes or until knife or toothpick inserted in the   center comes out clean.

You may add all ingredients together if using a stand mixer –  just be sure to mix up the dry for about 30 seconds to ensure the soda and  powder are spread out.

Whipped Cream Frosting  (Makes 1 frosting for a 2 layer cake)

  • 1 (8 ounce) package of cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1/8  teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups heavy cream

Directions: In a large bowl, beat cream cheese, sugar, salt and vanilla until smooth. In a small bowl, whip the heavy cream until stiff peaks form. Fold into the cream cheese mixture.

Schy's First Birthday Cake

Schy’s first birthday cake!

**I baked the cake in a rectangular pan and cut out two circular cakes using a small mixing bowl as a template.  The size was perfect!  I also only used about one third of the frosting that this batch made.  The recipe could easily be halved. 

For the pink coloring, I simply pureed a bag of frozen, organic raspberries in a food processor and pressed through a fine mesh sieve to remove the seeds.  This method worked great, although the more you add, the looser the frosting becomes.  The pink frosting probably wouldn’t have piped very well, unless it was very well chilled.  The raspberry flavor with the cream cheese based frosting was FANTASTIC!  I will actually be using this recipe for all of the cupcakes for this weekend.  We could all use a little less Red No.42 in our lives anyway!

Oh, and who can resist a picture of a baby with frosting on her face??  Enjoy!

Baby approved!

*I will be baking this cake again this weekend and will be sure to take more pictures of the processes to have on hand.  If you’d like more pics posted, please let me know!

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sleep deprivation 101

From the Medical Dictionary of WebMD:

sleep deprivation

  1. a sufficient lack of restorative sleep over a cumulative period so as to cause physical or psychiatric symptoms and affect routine performances of tasks.

Yep.  I have this.  Our sweet baby Schy is one of those horrible sleepers that you hear about.  She wasn’t always this way.  There was actually a pretty good stretch of about 3 months when she slept all the way through the night.  I had NO idea how good we had it.  This all ended around 6 months, just weeks before her first tooth broke through.

Teething really just ruined everything for us.  And during this agonizing, confusing time for poor baby, mommy did whatever she had to do to soothe her, which generally meant nursing.  Whatever will put the poor, suffering angel at ease.  Little did mommy know that by doing this we may have been creating a habit for months and months to come.  What we have now is a nearly 12 month old who still wakes up every two hours to nurse, sometimes even more often.  No.  I am NOT kidding.  I wish I was.

We are co-sleepers which is a HUGE bone of contention to various people in our lives.  You know, those people that love to give parenting advice as if each child is the same.  I have quickly learned to keep any and all parenting advice to myself unless, of course, it is asked for.  And even then, it’s really more opinion than advice.  This is an experiment, after all!  Back to the topic… this sleeping arrangement began when Schy was an infant.  She refused to sleep on her back which we later discovered resulted from reflux.  (More on that topic later.)  So, being new parents terrified of SIDS, we allowed her to sleep on her stomach, on our chest, in our bed.  She then had vital skin-to-skin contact and we were very aware of her breathing.

As she got older and slowly outgrew the reflux, she began to sleep a bit on her back.  And then for longer and longer and eventually, all night on her back.  At that point I had done plenty of research on co-sleeping and decided that it was an excellent choice for our particular family.  We enjoy having her there with us and it has made my life much easier with this frequent night waking situation.  But, here’s my question: Are WE waking her up throughout the night with our movements (and/or daddy’s random throat clearings)?  I have wondered if she would wake up less if she were on her own bed, even adjacent to our bed.

I am currently reading The No Cry Sleep Solution by Elizabeth Pantly.  (I should say that I’m trying to read it.  Reading is so arduous when you’re exhausted.)  Her beliefs and parenting style are right in line with ours.  We love Dr. Sears.  She loves Dr. Sears.  We don’t believe in CIO.  She also doesn’t believe in CIO.  Those are just two of the biggest reasons why I chose her book.  I am getting ready to choose a few of the sleep solutions to try and will keep you posted.  It may take a while, but even a small improvement will help so much.  I would be so proud to say “Schy only wakes up TWICE during the night!”.   Wow.  That sounds like HEAVEN!

This I know… I NEED SLEEP.  I have basically been suffering from sleep deprivation for twelve straight months.  I look tired, I’m irritable, I walk around in a haze and at times I chomp my husband’s head off for no good reason.  He sleeps right through all of these wakings, by the way.  Jealous?  I absolutely am.  Of course, he is the one who supports us and needs to be well rested to function at work during the day.  I am still very envious.

So, today we will leave it at that.  I AM TIRED.  I’m going to read this book and report my results as soon as I have them.  If anyone has any suggestions for what worked for you, please let me know.

Tired or not, there is still a first birthday party this weekend!  Back to work…

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the longest, fastest year of my life.

So, here I am, in front of the screen.  Enjoying a quiet moment while my one year old naps. WAIT… ONE YEAR OLD?!?!  What just happened?  Did I really just say that?  And could it possibly be true???

It’s true.  My sweet, innocent baby girl is turning ONE in just eight days.  Over the last month I have found myself in constant contemplation.  Where did the year go?  What did I do right?  What did I do wrong?  And the list goes on.  As a first time parent, I have so many ideas, so many plans.  I have a general path and goals as to how I want to raise my child.  I have definite beliefs and have made conscious decisions that I know not everyone agrees with.  (I know this because they tell me.)  This truly is the most difficult and most rewarding job in the universe.

My name is Alli.  I am married to the love of my life and soul-mate, Stephen and we are the most proud parents imaginable of a very active, spirited and hilarious baby, Schy (pronounced Sky).  I am a tree hugger, lover of organics and sustainability and always trying to find ways to lessen our family’s environmental impact.  I’m beginning this blog to share what we have learned over the past year and what we will continue to learn over the coming years as we attempt to raise a healthy, environmentally conscious (‘green’) child in an increasingly toxic world.  We breastfeed, cloth diaper, buy organic and belong to a local CSA.  We reuse, repurpose, recycle and do our best to conserve where we can.  We have our trials and tribulations, but overall, it is all well worth the effort.  I plan to share with you different ideas, recipes, homemade and chemical free solutions, tips, products and reviews that support a green lifestyle in hopes of passing what we learn along to the earth’s next generation.

I look forward to sharing our personal experiences and seeing where the next year takes us.  I look forward to and encourage your feedback as well.  As cliché as it may sound, together we can make a difference!

So welcome!  Let the big, green parenting experiment begin!

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