Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Fun spring break day at the zoo!

Unfortunately, most of our friends had spring break LAST week which is a bummer. BUT - luckily a few have spring break this week. Today we spent a rather cold day at the zoo with dear friends that we don't get to see all that often anymore. Becky and Rachel met us at the zoo, and now Rachel is here spending the night! Beth and Rachel adore each other and always have. They had a blast today at the zoo. Here's a few pictures I took.

Louis was seriously into the snakes at the zoo today. He actually came over, grabbed my hand, and dragged me over to look at this one viper that he just couldn't seem to get away from! It was pretty darn adorable!

Friday, March 27, 2009

Is Earth Hour important?

I'm probably going to get rambly (yes, in my world that is a word), so bear with me. Earth Hour is tomorrow. For anyone who doesn't know about Earth Hour, it is a global thing. For an hour tomorrow evening, people are encouraged to turn off their lights and other electrical appliances. At 8:30 pm (whatever time zone you're in - it's a rotating around the globe kind of thing) tomorrow evening, Earth Hour will begin. I have to admit that I am shocked by the cynicism has accompanied the push for Earth Hour. Apparently, awareness isn't important. Here are direct quotes from people commenting on the Earth Hour site:

"Those that "raise awareness" don't improve the world. Only those who build things do."

Hmmm, okay. We treehuggers need to apparently forget about trying to help the world:

"EARTH HOUR IS GAY!!!!!!!!!!!! what shutting off our lights for one hour? who cares really? all you damn treehuggers out there need to get a life."

And yes, I''m sure the one who wrote that didn't give a care about the hatred in his quote either - nice. This one is particularly good because it conveys the age old attitude of why make one thing better when other things need improvement.

"Let's save the earth today, then go condemn world economies at the G7 next week - What do you say, Gang???"

Then, of course, there is the attitude that global warming is a scam:

"I think you are the ones with your head in the sand especially considering that every single scientist, that says global warming is a reality, has a vested interest in it being real, i.e. their lives and living depend on it because without it they would have to get a real job. It is not different than pharm companies (which you eco nazis hate) who enriches themselves by doing research that proves we need to take a drug they just created."

"There is no scientific proof that there is such thing as Global Warning, and all you earth-worshipping fanatics along with Orson Welles-Algore are just looking for another way for Government to control our lives. YOU are the ONES doing the whining, because there are several in the U.S. who refuse to drink your grape kool-aid."

"Earth awareness" is a power grab bordering on a religion. Don't worship "Mother Earth" at my expense. You seek to control what people drive, make them pick through their trash, control what people eat and in general control how people live their lives. I consider you an enemy to the American way of life. I will "celebrate" "Earth Hour" at Outback Steakhouse over a fat juicy STEAK!"

"I say Global Warming ( Global Whining ) is a scam, and I'm gonna turn on every electronic device in my house during "Earth Hour", folks start your engine!"

These quotes came directly from the Earth Hour site. It just makes me sad that people care so little. What makes me sadder though is the apathy I see from others. I don't know what is worse - hatred or apathy. I don't know. Maybe it won't make a difference. My family and I will be participating in Earth Hour tomorrow. I'm even letting the kiddos stay up late, so we can "raise awareness." I believe every little thing we can do helps, and if more people did more "little" things, it would add up to a big difference.

I think that I have the soul of an "old hippie" living in the body of a "suburban housewife." The more I learn who I really am, the less I know where I belong.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009


With another birth approaching, I am trying to psyche myself up for another labor! There is nothing more empowering than giving birth, and still it can be overwhelming and intimidating. I thought I would dig out a poem that I wrote after my oldest son's birth. It has given me strength before and reading it now helps again.


The storm is building.
There are powerful waves on the horizon.
I can see them coming.
I can feel the energy of the approaching storm.
I am almost terrified… almost.
I can feel the first strong waves.
I gasp and revel in the power.
Then, I relax into the rhythm of the waves.
It’s comforting – the strength of the waves and then the lull,
But the storm approaches.
Slowly, the waves get stronger.
I have a moment of panic… just a moment.
Then, I gather strength from the power of the waves.
I am strong like the waves.
I don’t fight the storm.
I am not afraid of the storm.
I ride the waves.
I am strong, but the storm builds.
I think the power of the storm and the waves is going to drown me.
It is so strong.
I am afraid.
I can’t stay with the waves.
I can’t, I can’t, I can’t, and yet, somehow, I can, and I am.
I think the storm is so strong that the Earth will surely break in half.
Just when I feel as if I can no longer stay with the waves, that I will drown,
I find the right current, and I am strong again.
I am buoyed by the power of the storm.
I hear the crash of the final waves, and feel the sandy shore beneath me.
The storm is subsiding.
I have survived and triumphed.
I am strong.
I have given birth.
I am a mother.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Reflecting on the simple things...

I got this idea from another blogger, and I really liked it, so here goes:

Outside my window... My tree has buds, the sky is cloudy, and the grass is just starting to have the fainted green color.

I am thinking... How peaceful it is when the kids are all getting along, and the cat is relaxing in my lap purring.

I am thankful for... So many things - my husband, my children, my gestating babe, my parents, freedom, a warm and safe home.

From the kitchen... Dinner was a huge hit, and I think my two oldest children have either both hit growth spurts or they have hollow legs!

I am wearing... Maternity jeans, a Freecycled top, and fuzzy socks.

I am creating... Well - let's say "growing" a baby girl right now!

I am going... to send the older kids to bed soon, and curl up in my bed with my snuggly toddler for some serious Pooh watching.

I am reading... Lisey's Story by Stephen King

I am hoping... That Trey comes home with good news!

I am hearing... A movie coming from the family room, and the purring of my kitty.

Around the house... I am trying to declutter, deep clean, fix freezer meals, "Green" up, organize - um, nesting much? :-)

One of my favorite things... Cooking healthy meals for my family.

A few plans for the rest of the week... Hopefully spend time with friends, work in the garden, declutter, and find some local eggs.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Sell outs???

It's getting so hard to find a good product to buy anymore. Just when you think you have one, they sell out to a major corporation! Ack! I stumbled across a list recently from another blog, and I am so irritated! Boca owned by Kraft; Dagoba owned by Hershey; Silk owned by Dean; Odwalla owned by Coca-Cola; Naked Juice owned by Pepsi; Muir Glen and Cascadian Farms owned by General Mills. The worst on the list was (it's even hard to type out!) SEEDS OF CHANGE!!!! No!!!! They can't be sell outs. I just can't wrap my mind around it. There is absolutely nothing okay about that. The list says they sold out to Mars/M&M. I have to do a little more research on that before my brain can accept it. *sigh* The "good" companies seems to be falling one by one - Tom's of Maine to Colgate; The Body Shop is partially owned by the worst company on the planet: Nestle. Who's next? Money, money, money, money..... Avoderm dog food sold out; Hain Celestial has a "strategic alliance" with Heinz and *wait for it* Cargill!!! I have so much more to say, but darn it - after this - I need to go meditate so I can sleep tonight.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Good friends and a happy marriage!

Weird post title, but I'm combining two things!!! Yesterday, Livi, Louis, and I spent a little time over at our friend's house. We're so bummed because they are moving all the way to Chicago. Stupid economy. We're going to miss them like crazy. I snapped a couple of pictures of the kids (two of mine; one of theirs - we each have four, but half of them were at school and one was asleep!). I also took a short video of the kids playing on the swing set because well, it was just cute! I love how Louis puts his arm around his buddy at the beginning of the video. I'm sad that our friends are moving away, but I am so grateful to have people in my life that I care that much about.

Monday, Trey and I celebrated our 13th wedding anniversary! Wow. I'm so glad I married him 13 years ago. :-) There have been good times and bad times for sure, but overall we have an amazing life together, and I wouldn't have it any other way. Another dear friend of ours took our kids for a few hours tonight, so we could spend some time alone together! I'm grateful that after 13 years of being married (17+ years of being together!), we can still spend our time talking, laughing, smiling, and just enjoying being together.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

It's almost spring!

Yes, the yard should have been worked on a LONG time ago! LOL. BUT - we are finally getting around to it. The kids really got into helping. The compost pile has helped. They loved it that we got to dump all the yard "waste" into the compost pile.

I love to see the new spring growth! My neighbor gave me a bunch of bulbs last fall, and I'm excited to see them come up this year.

This little guy shows up every spring. I really wish I could find a way to transplant it! I found another one coming up near the sidewalk. One of the previous owners must have had a flower garden in the front.

After clearing out the "problem corner" of the yard last year, this is what came up this year! I wonder how long they've been there? I'm thinking about putting a flower bed back there.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Baby T is growing!

I don't know if it's this picture of what, but all of a sudden - there is a BIG belly! I think Baby T has had a growth spurt. I've been way better at documenting this pregnancy thanks to the digital camera and blogging! Here's a 32 week picture.

Louis takes his Winnie the Pooh watching very seriously!!! :-)

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Settling down the chaos

Trey started his new job this week, so I have spent the week trying hard to get everyone back into a routine. Trey is technically working two jobs, so he is busting his butt. He works very hard to see we all have what we need, and I am so proud of him. The kids are over the moon that Daddy's new job allows him to work from home, and they are also pretty jazzed that Mommy isn't working anymore. It makes us both feel pretty appreciated. :-) Unfortunately, I have gotten to the "beached whale" point in my pregnancy, so I am short on energy! It's all starting to come back together though. My big issue right now is to get us back on a healthier diet. We ate a lot of gluten products when Trey got laid off. It became apparent VERY quickly that our family cannot tolerate gluten that well. It's my goal to figure out quick, easy, cheap, healthy gluten free meals! Our refrigerator is stuffed full of fresh fruits and veggies right now - thank goodness for Costco! I don't know how I would feed a growing family of six (soon to be seven) without them.

I haven't given an update on the compost pile. The kids (especially Ray) have really gotten into it. They love to dump our indoor can of scraps into the outside pile. They have fun "watering" the pile as well. I love it that our produce scraps are being turned into soil and not rotting in a landfill. Even Louis enjoys throwing stuff into the bin. We're trying to teach him that rocks don't go in it though!

Here's a cute picture of the little ones that I snapped the other day.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

31 weeks

Getting bigger! Feeling kind of crappy tonight, so just a picture of the belly - 31 weeks 2 days.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

What strange things lurk in YOUR bathroom?

Here's what's been hanging out in mine lately:

My son got this egg for his birthday. He assured me that it is an ostrich egg - even after it started poking it's head out. Now, I am not a paleontologist, but I'm pretty sure it's a dinosaur! Either way - apparently he has a new pet hatching. Lucky for me this one doesn't need fed, brushed, or house trained!

"Pretentious Green Ass," eh?

I love how people try to come up with derogatory words about other people to make themselves feel better. Let's start off with an oldie but goodie - bleeding heart liberal. Caring about people, trying to make life better for the general population, fighting for civil rights, reaching out a hand to those who are down, and other various "liberal" ideals apparently make your heart bleed. Okay. I don't know about bleed exactly, but it certainly does make my heart hurt to hear about families who have to tell their children that the government doesn't think their family is legitimate, so they won't be legally married anymore. It makes my heart hurt to know that in 22 years, the minimum wage hasn't even increased $4, and that there are people trying to live off that wage. It makes my heart hurt to know that there are too many families who have to choose to feed their children or get them medical attention. Maybe that makes me a "bleeding heart liberal." So be it.

My favorite slam is "breastfeeding nazi." As far as I know, the Nazis were a group of people who were responsible for the forced relocation, torture, and murder of millions of Jews, Gypsies, and various other individuals. They also kidnapped "perfect" children and turned them into Stepford children who were meant to participate in "breeding programs." As a former La Leche League leader, I am familiar with many, many breastfeeding women - most of whom are passionate about breastfeeding. And yet, I've not known a single one of them go use a baby for target practice. Instead, I know women who are educated and want to spread the word about breastfeeding because it's healthy and formula feeding puts children's health at risk. To me, that seems to be the opposite of what the Nazis stands for. But hey, I wasn't even alive during the Holocaust - what do I know?

The latest "I'm going to slam you, so I can feel good about myself" euphemism is "pretentious green ass." You know, that's reserved for those of us who try to do as much as we can to live "green" and are continually trying to improve in that area. I'm sure there are people in the world who will stand behind someone and say, "Do you really think that canvas bags is going to help much when you fill it full of boxes of processed crap?" Sure. Somewhere in the world that person exists - good luck finding him/her. As a "grungy, tie dye sporting hippie" (and um, no - I'm not smelly - thank you very much Mr. Merchant), I would have to say that it is much more likely to find a condescending person trying to hide their own ignorance and disconnect. Again, maybe that's just me. I proudly live in a bubble of amazing, non-smelly hippies. Perhaps my sampling is too small. Oh well. Go ahead Mr. Merchant - if you are so insecure that you must put others down to feel good about your giant size footprint on the Earth - don't let me stop you. Actually, "pretentious green ass" has a nice ring to it. I might have it put on a t-shirt. Or maybe a bumper sticker....

Sunday, March 8, 2009

"Let's Get Fiscal"

Last night was the church's kickoff for their annual pledge drive. This year's theme was "Let's Get Fiscal" (a play off "Let's Get Physical"). It was very enjoyable and funny. The Chalice Flames choir sang one song, and they did a great job. All this morning, Beth Ann has been going around singing, "Let's get fickle, fickle..." It's so darn cute that I just don't have the heart to correct her!

Friday, March 6, 2009

How to score!

And all you nasty people - get your minds out of the gutter!!! :-) I'm talking about shopping. Read your junk mail. I know, I know - it's a pain in the butt. I managed to get the amount of my junk mail reduced by opting out of credit card offers which has been nice, but I still get the flyers, etc. A few days ago, I got a flyer from Kohl's which has a new store a mile or so from our house. In the flyer, was a $10 gift card good only for 10 days or so. In the past couple of weeks, Beth Ann has ripped out two pair of pants, and she has another pair that is on the brink. So, I thought - what the heck - I'll check out Kohl's. Well, grand openings are known for having product marked down. We found her a $24 pair of cream colored jeans (that ACTUALLY almost fit around the waist - gasp) for just $13.99. After the gift card subtracted and then the tax added, I paid $4.31 for a brand new pair of pants for my kiddo. I would have had a hard time finding a deal that good at the thrift store. I usually pay $5 for a really good pair of pants. So, SCORE! Right now I have a $5 off $50 purchase at Target card sitting in my drawer. I may not use it. I have to read the fine print. We have a Super Target near here. For $5 off, it might be worth it to go grocery shopping there. That was another score from the junk mail pile. Another tip - read your grocery store flyers. A couple of weeks ago, peanut butter (an absolute staple in this household - I think the kiddos would go on strike if there were not peanut butter in the house) went on sale at Albertson's - $.88 for a 16 oz jar. Moral of the story, while junk mail is a pain in the butt - always look through it!

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Isn't She Lovely?

Today was picture day for Olivia at her school. She's so beautiful, and she continually amazes me. I swear if I hadn't been awake for her birth (and the fact that she looks so much like her older sister), I'd wonder if she was the child I carried! She is so different from me. She's not afraid of anything, and she is never afraid to stand her ground. When Trey and I were preparing for child #3, we were nervous about having a third child and making sure her needs were met and that she wouldn't get "left out." It didn't take us long to realize that this child will not let the world pass her by. She had to have a tiny cavity filled today. The dentist was blown away at how well she did. She looked at me and said, "Do you realize how unusual that was?" Yep. That's my kid. She is a free spirit with her own ideas about the world, but she is so compassionate and caring, too. I'm so proud to be her mom.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

A Day at the Zoo

Yesterday, Beth and Ray had off school, so we decided to keep Olivia home and have a family day at the zoo. The weather was predicted to hit 70, so it sounded like a good zoo day. Aside from one rather loud incident (couldn't expect everyone to behave all day I guess - sigh), it was a good day. There were a freakish number of pregnant women there. I mean, I know I'm pregnant, so I'm probably much more aware of pregnant women around me, but this was weird. When we walked in and were near the hyenas and zebras - I counted 7 pregnant women NOT including me - just in that one spot. Weird.

We learned a rather interesting fact about giraffes - they are not to be messed with! There is a two week old baby giraffe who is absolutely adorable. He's so gangly and awkward. I was talking to the volunteer about giraffes and their predators. She said really the problem is humans - that adult giraffes don't really have any enemies. Lions will attack the babies if they get the chance, but they steer clear of the adults. Apparently, a full grown giraffe can kick a lion hard enough to decapitate it. Whoosh. They looks so peaceful and well, docile. Guess not! Who knew? Here's a picture of the baby.

And here's a picture of the baby with his father.

Last but not least, my favorite animal at the zoo - the tiger!

Free art

My friend Delilah is a gifted artist. Recently, she decided to start a blog where she gives away art. Yep - she GIVES it away. I thought I'd put a post on here to help her spread the word. Her art for today was inspired by something I shared about giraffes which is kind of cool! Okay, the thing I shared is kind of morbid. LOL. It's pretty amazing though, too. Did you know that giraffes have a strong enough kick that they can actually DECAPITATE a lion? Holy crap! Now that's a formidable enemy.
I Give You Art


Sometimes it's easy to focus on just how far our country has come. Then sometimes, one can do nothing but stare blankly and wonder, "Are you freaking kidding me?!?!" Either, the people at the New York Post are just really stupid or really racist. They published a cartoon that shows two police officers standing over a dead monkey that they have just shot. The caption says, "They'll have to find someone else to write the next stimulus bill." Um, really??? ARE YOU FREAKING KIDDING ME?!?! So, at best, the New York Post published something that was COLOSSALLY stupid, and at worst, they're a bunch of racist pigs. *sigh* We still have so far to go.
New York Post Chimp Cartoon

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Why vegetarian?

I have been a vegetarian for 16 years. Everyone thought it was a phase (well, except maybe my parents - I think they may have taken it seriously!). I'm rather ashamed that it actually took me that long to take a stand for something I truly believed and felt so strongly in my heart - compassion. My husband became a vegetarian 11 years ago (luckily before we had children). We had already decided that our children would be raised vegetarian - they were our "hypothetical children" at that point. It was one point I would absolutely not budge on, and we discussed it before we even got married. We talk pretty candidly about vegetarianism to our children. Kids "get" it. Kids have compassion built in. They understand that there really is no difference between our house cat and a cow. Both have emotions. Both can feel pain, fear, and love. Both deserve compassion, and neither deserve to be tortured so we can have a meal. I know someone who is a vegetarian and is raising her child omnivore. She told me that she had other things that were more important to hold fast on - like breastfeeding. Anyone who knows me knows just how passionate and even stubborn I am about the importance of breastfeeding. It might surprise people to learn that vegetarianism is an even bigger issue to me than breastfeeding. People have said that I am somehow depriving my children by not "letting" them have meat, or that I am "controlling" them by not letting them choose if they want to eat meat. First, I don't see how teaching them compassion, respect for the environment and good eating habits is "depriving" them. Second, I wouldn't let my children go around using racist terms, play in the traffic, or beat up on other kids. That's because my values honor diversity, safety, and personal boundaries and respect. Since compassion, health, and environmentalism are things that are valued in our family, why on earth would I "let" my children eat dead animals? I just don't get it. Why am I rambling on about this now? Well, I just heard of a new book that is definitely on my "gotta have it" list. It's called "That's Why We Don't Eat Animals." It's a book geared toward children. I'll give it a proper review once we get it. For now, if anyone is interested in checking it out, here's the YouTube video about it:

And here is a website you can check out: That's Why We Don't Eat Animals.