Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Consuming Less- Oprah Told Me To

Also, it's Earth Day, so you know. I'm timely like that.

It got me thinking about what we already do to consume less:

*We eat at home pretty regularly, mostly because a) money and b) our children are STRANGE and don't eat most kinds of restaurant food. (NOT EVEN MCDONALDS. WT?). We usually eat our left-overs.

*We bathe the children about every 5 days. When we do bathe them, we throw all three in the tub together. With summer coming, we may have to up the ante on this one (sunscreen, bug spray, DIRT etc), but for now this is often enough.

*David and I don't shower every day. He's mostly on an every-other day schedule, and I try to follow suit. However, I maybe skip about every third day.

*We only run the dishwasher when it is so crammed full that not so much as a baby FORK would fit in it. We wash laundry only once a week, and wash big loads. We use cold water for most loads.

*My 5 year olds happily contribute, without my permission, by not flushing the toilet. They are so earthy, um I mean LAZY. Also, this may sound gross, but I promise my bathroom is not stinky because of it, but I don't flush the toilet during the night. (I usually go 1-3 times after the kids are in bed.)

*We recycle everything we possibly can, and reuse whatever we can.

*I rarely venture out shopping with all three kids, so this naturally cuts back on our consumption. Plus, Target is separated from me by corn fields, so it's not convenient.

*We use mostly earth friendly cleaning products. We buy refills for things whenever possible, instead of the whole new container. We also simply don't clean very much, you know, purely for Mother Earth.

*I hate wasting things or having excess of things, so I'm careful about the items I do choose to purchase. I HATE when my mom loads up the kids on a bunch of CRAP that we don't need. I'm gracious to her, for her thoughtfulness, but I hate it. Bleh!

So that list is shameful, especially after reading Greenstyle Mom lately. I'm feeling like our efforts are inadequate, and that the footprint my family is leaving is too big. We use paper towels and paper napkins, I LOVE MY SWIFFER, we buy individual servings of yogurt and granola bars, etc. Also, taking long hot showers helps me achieve nirvana. Oh, yeah, and there's those disposable diapers....

So what are you doing that is easy to consume less?

Friday, April 18, 2008

Weaning Heartbreak/Celebration

I mentioned that Marin is completely, totally weaned, right? I started saying no her to once in awhile, she stopped asking so frequently, and before I could re-think it, we were down to 1-2 times a day.

At that point, I quieted my sad and second-guessing heart and went with it. I didn't want to encourage her to go back to nursing more- surely she would have accommodated me. But then, in two or three or six months when I was feeling DONE, it would not be fair to her, to have encouraged her when she was naturally weaning herself. Ya know?

So. Somehow or another, I find myself as a NON-breastfeeding mother again. Three cheers for a real bra! Hurray for not being the only one to comfort the baby during the night! I love that my body is exactly that once again- MINE.

But filling out a form recently, I was panged when I didn't get to check the box "breastfeeding mother". It breaks my heart how, while eating hummus (oddly, one of her favorite foods), she sucks the hummus off the carrot and then sort of nurses the carrot. (True story.) I miss all the cuddling and rocking and quiet peace with my baby.

Also? I miss my baby. She's in such an awkward stage-such a baby, but also completely NOT a baby. She's talking and (kill me now) SINGING and running and putting 2 and 3 words together. She's *angels singing* sleeping and *heavenly trumpets* going to bed without being rocked to sleep. She takes predictable (and long) naps and is easy to take places.

We feel like a family with three KIDS instead of two kids and a baby. This is a good place to be, where everything is finally easy again, and we have predictability and stuff. Many times I am really at peace with this shape of our family.

But oh, how I love having a baby in the house.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Multi-media Edition

I've recently watched "The Jane Austin Book Club" and "Dan in Real Life" and really enjoyed both. Neither were the mind-twister that "Gone Baby Gone" was, which to be honest was a huge relief. I was not ready to deal with another free-basing roller coaster ride that was that movie. I mean, I really liked that movie (Ben Affleck- WHO KNEW?), but it was not a relaxing, kicking back with the hubby experience. I spent most of the movie biting my fingers and saying WHAT THE FUCK. But "Jane Austin" and "Dan" were both lovely, NORMAL movies, with nice wholesome stories and beautiful people/houses to look at. Ahhhhh. I'm such a girl.

Also, I just finished reading "Snow Flower and the Secret Fan" last night, and I'm a big fan (Ha! Fan!). I'm adding the companion book "Peony in Love" to my next Amazon order, like, yesterday. There is a lot of story packed into that little book- the Chinese culture will be on my mind for awhile. Also, if you don't know much about foot binding, you will after reading this. Seriously, every night while reading this book before bed, I'd get up to go to the bathroom and my FEET HURT. (See also: hypochondriac) (WT? It's not like I'd ever EVER experience foot binding. It's not a disease, after all. Clearly, I am mental.)

Have I told you how much I liked "Water for Elephants"? Another really good read. I could not put this book down until I finished it, and then I missed the people in it. And the elephant. She was a good elephant.

That is all.

Friday, April 4, 2008

New Girl

Hey everyone! There's a new girl in town. Check out her blog: Life in the Grey Area. Tina is one of my BrinckAndMortar peeps and I'm so excited she's moved into Bloglandia!