We’re Drowning in Our “Stuff”

Apr 29, 2015 by

About two years ago, my husband and I decided to finish off a room in our partially finished basement as a designated “playroom” for our two boys. Our thinking was that in giving the kids a space to call their own, we could reclaim our own living space and not be surrounded by brightly colored plastic crap all day long. I’m happy to say we accomplished this goal: the toys stay in the playroom 99% of the time, and our living room now no longer resembles a daycare each evening. However, something interesting has happened. The playroom goes mostly untouched.

Yup, that’s correct. Out of sight, out of mind apparently! There are the occasional rainy weekends when my boys venture down to the playroom, but at 6 and nearly 4 years old, the majority of their “stuff” goes untouched. They simply don’t need as much stuff as they have.

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Cooking Vegetarian-Friendly Meals for Your Omnivore Family

Apr 15, 2015 by


Meal planning. Ugh! The weekly chore I love to hate. Each week, I sit down with the grocery store sale flyers, my trusty whiteboard, and I start planning out our dinners for the coming week, as I have for years now. Apparently, I enjoy making my life unnecessarily hard and complicated, because over the last year or so, I have slowly transitioned myself to a mostly vegetarian diet. Why, you ask? Because something in me deeply craves the path of most resistance, and I hate making things easy. I kid! The truth behind my progressive change has been threefold: 1) I’ve been reading so much about global water shortages, and meat production uses such a huge amounts of water…especially beef! 2) I’ve also been reading lots about how a well-balanced vegetarian diet can lessen so many common health risks, and 3) I take huge issue with our dependence on factory farms in the U.S.A. I don’t agree with the practice from an animal welfare standpoint or an environmental standpoint. There are lots of great options for responsibly-produced meat products, but they are very expensive. If I can’t swing the ethical choice, I’d rather opt out.

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Reflecting on the “Best Of” items for the early years of parenting

Apr 1, 2015 by

Oh, how I love spring cleaning!

No, I’m not joking: I actually look forward to, and even revel in, decluttering and organizing my house each spring. I’m certainly not a super-organized person; one look inside any of my closets would make that perfectly clear, but even with my very concerted efforts to avoid the avalanche of “stuff” that comes with raising kids, we need to do some purging in our house. I’ve written before about how much I love the annual “swap meets” our town’s mothers’ group hosts, and I am really looking forward to our spring swap and tag sale event. It’s satisfying to see used items make their way into happy homes where they will continue to be used and appreciated for years to come. I love the feeling of not contributing to our earth’s overflowing landfills, and I love avoiding using more of our planet’s precious resources to make more plastic junk we just don’t need. And of course, I love saving money– both my own and that of my fellow parents!

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Looking Back on Six Years of Parenting Choices

Mar 18, 2015 by

A few days ago, my six-year-old son was rifling through my closet in an effort to further procrastinate putting on his clothes and getting ready for school. He pulled out an appointment card from an old purse and handed it to me: it was a reminder card for his own two week check up, back in 2008. It suddenly hit me how much time has passed before my very eyes. I can vividly remember this specific appointment. I’d been a mom for exactly 14 days, and I was fraught with worry. Nursing wasn’t going well. I had horrible pain; he had a bad latch. I was overwhelmed by the demand of nursing literally all day and night. I worried about causing flat spots on his tiny soft head if he slept too long in one position, and I worried even more when he didn’t sleep at all. I worried about SIDS. I worried about his recovery from jaundice, and his umbilical stump. I worried about everything.

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Show Up for Each Other!

Mar 4, 2015 by

You may have seen this news story around your newsfeeds lately, about a 6-year old boy with autism who invited his entire kindergarten class to his birthday party, only to have no one show up. According to the article:

Glenn Buratti invited all 16 of his kindergarten classmates from a Florida elementary school to his sixth birthday party last weekend. His mother, Ashlee Buratti, said not a single one responded to the invite.

“He was so devastated when he realized no one was coming to his birthday party that he refused to smile,” Buratti told ABC News today. “He tried to hide the fact that he was crying by pinching the bridge of his nose.”

UGH. This made me so incredibly sad. However, this story had a happy ending. Members of the family’s community came through for this little guy, and definitely made sure he felt special and appreciated on his birthday. Thank goodness!

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