Book Review: Good Night, I Love You

Bedtime Book

Our Bedtime Book

Franci has loved this book since she was old enough to turn pages. I’m not sure what attracted her to it a year ago, but she preferred it over her other board book. Perhaps it was the soothing colors, or the soft cover, or that it is oversized. For some reason she preferred to turns its pages than those of another book.

Recently it has become her go-to bedtime book and she loves it more than ever. She likes to point at the characters and details and can follow along as the little boy and girl get ready for bed. I’m sure she enjoys the story now and not just turning the pages, since she is getting ready right along with them.

I enjoy Good Night, I Love You because it’s not too long and we can read it once through slowly, pointing out all the details, and then one more time quickly.  The characters’ routine is very similar to our own so it is a good choice for us.

What is your child’s favorite bedtime book?



Making a Move With a Toddler

Precious Cargo

Precious Cargo

Moving is stressful enough when you don’t have a toddler underfoot. Add in a kid or two and you’ll really get the cortisol flowing. Routines are interrupted, the house is in chaos and playtime has to be traded in for packing time.

As much as I might explain what is going on, I don’t think Franci has any idea what we are up to. She’s been to the new house a few times, but how is she going to feel when we don’t come back to the house she was born in?

I’ve been thinking a lot about how to introduce a series of changes without stressing her out too much. After all, a month after we settle in she is going to become a big sister! Ideally, she’ll be used to her new room, new bed and new surroundings by then.

One of the biggest changes is going to be her sleeping arrangements. For the last year, she has slept in a crib in our closet. Not only is it pretty dark in there, but she is closed in by, well, clothes. It is almost like being entombed. I was hoping to transition her to a bed before the new baby comes, to avoid any confusion or jealously over why she has to give “her” crib to the baby. Is it too much to move her to a new room in a new house and a new bed at the same time?

Have you moved with a toddler? What things made the transition easier and what would you do differently next time?



TBT: Tips for a Greener Pregnancy

Keeping it Green

Keeping it Green

If you’re hoping to raise your baby in an organic, eco-friendly way, you might as well start during your pregnancy! There will be plenty of changes going on when the baby arrives to start anything new, so make sure to get into your green routine early on. Here are a few of our best posts about having an organic, thrifty and eco-friendly pregnancy.

Eating Variety through Cravings and Aversions

Anti-Nutrition and Empty Calorie Food

Natural Remedies for Pregnancy Symptom

Trimester Concerns (and What to Do About Them)

Green Maternity Fashion

What Pregnancy Gear Is Necessary—and What’s Not?

Cutting Back on Maternity Clothes

Buying Secondhand Maternity Clothes

What green choices did you make during your pregnancy?  Were you able to continue once the baby was born?

Age Appriopriate Chores for Children

Picking up toys before bed

Picking up toys before bed

Now that Franci hit the 18 month mark, and has a handle on using her potty (as long as she is naked from the waist down) I thought I would try introducing a few chores. I tried a few times in the past, but she was unable to follow my simple instructions. She would “help” me pick up and then start playing with the toys, undoing all our (my) cleanup efforts.

It all started in the laundry room. She was so interested in what I was doing and wanted to help put clothes in the washer with me. A-ha! It only took a try or two for her to follow my lead as to when the clothes are going in, and when they are coming out. Now whenever it’s time to put clothes in (or take them out) of the washer or dryer, I let her help. I guess you could say laundry was Franci’s first chore.

Bolstered by our success, I decided to see if she was ready to pick up toys at the end of the night. She caught on very quickly and it has become part of her bedroom routine. I have to direct her work (think, “go get that yellow book under the chair and put it right here on the shelf”) but it saves me from crawling around on the floor myself.

I haven’t tried any other chores at this point, because I’m not really sure if there are any others she is ready for. I hope I remember to introduce new ones as she becomes more able!

How old are your kids and what are their daily chores?

Top 5 Zucchini Recipes

Ready to cook!

Ready to cook!

Every year we end up with too much of one crop or another. It’s not always the same vegetable, so it’s hard to anticipate come springtime. However, it is often zucchini that overflows from the harvest basket.

In an attempt to not get sick of summer squash such as zucchini, I’ve tried many different recipes. Here are my top 5 favorites:

  1. Cook’s Illustrated’s Zucchini Bread
  2. Marinated Zucchini and Yellow Squash Salad
  3. Cook’s Illustrated’s Ratatouille
  4. <a href=”http://www.marthastewart.com/314971/lemon-zucchini-cornmeal-cookies#Zucchini%20and%20Summer%20Squash%20Recipes|/275750/summer-squash-and-zucchini-recipes/@center/276955/seasonal-produce-recipe-guide|314971″ target=”_blank”>Lemon-Zucchini Cornmeal Cookies
  5. Zucchini Salad

A recipe that isn’t in my top five, because I haven’t tried it yet, is Curried Zuzzhini Soup. I already used up all of my summer squash, but next time I have some I’m going to whip this up and give it a taste!

How do you like to cook your zucchini?

Blogroll Update

Looking for more Green Parenting Blogs

Looking for More Green Parenting Blogs

Being a green parent (or person, in general) is a commitment that requires support. A community is the best place to find that, so it’s time to renew our ties and make some new ones!

I have been meaning to update our Blogroll for months and months, and I’ve finally done it!  The eminent arrival of baby number two in 69 days has spurred me to get through as much of my to-do list as I can, and connecting with other green parenting bloggers is at the top of that list.

You can find a list of these “Blogs We like” at the bottom of the righthand colum. I encourage you to check them out and like them on Facebook! If you have any suggestions for green parenting websites, please leave me a comment so I can add them to the list. If there are any blogs I’ve listed but you think deserve a little extra attention, please leave a comment!

And if you know of any good Blog Carnivals, please let me know!

TBT: Breastfeeding on GBG

Bonding Time!

Bonding Time!

Since I’ll be breastfeeding once again in about 10 weeks, I’ve been perusing the archives for all the old breastfeeding posts. For Throwback Thursday, I thought I’d share some of the best ones!

Too Much Pressure to Breastfeed?

Transitioning from Bottle to Breast

Breastfeeding Support

Breastfeeding in Public

Breastfeeding Despite the Challenges

Breastfeeding Moms Reap Health Benefits

Are You Breastfeeding Your Toddler?

Did you have a low milk supply while breastfeeding?

When a Breastfeeding Baby Rejects the Bottle: Help!

The Saturday Question: Was breastfeeding worth it?

The Truth About Breastfeeding and Survival in Those Early Months

Reusable Nursing Pad Reviews and Recommendations

How Do You Support Moms Who Struggle With Breastfeeding?

Pumping Extra Milk While Breastfeeding to Get More Sleep

What is your go-to resource for breastfeeding?

Potty Training using the Naked Method

Look at how your cousin takes off her underwear to use the potty!

Diapers, both disposable and cloth, cost money. They both have an environmental impact as well. Even if you are using used cloth diapers, you still have to wash them. The earlier you potty train your kids, the more money and resources you save. With those facts in mind, I finally decided it was time to start potty training in earnest.

We’ve been casually doing “Infant Potty Training” from the beginning, so Frances is very family with her potty. The use of the potty has been directed by me from the beginning, which seems to be holding back her progress in being completely potty trained. If I don’t take off her diaper and put her on the potty every hour, she just pees in the diaper. She hasn’t figured out that she’s supposed to tell me before she goes so I can put her on the potty, but will usually tell me as she is peeing.

I saw someone on Facebook mention The Naked Method in reference to potty training, so I decided to try out our own version of the program. We didn’t set aside a three day period to dedicate to training or use any gimmicks. I just left Franci naked from the waist down whenever we were at home (and awake) and reminded her to pee in her potty every 15 minutes.

The first week she had a couple of accidents, but most days she used the potty as intended. Now that it’s routine, I don’t have to remind her very often and she is going longer stretches and taking bigger pees. She still tells me after she’s done, so I can empty the potty into the toilet. She loves to flush it and watch the water swirl around.

Now that she’s had a week of no accidents, I tried to introduce underwear. The problem is that she can’t pull it off by herself. A few times a day I practice putting it on and off with her, but she still doesn’t get it. She’s still not entirely stable on her feet, which may contribute to the challenge. Yesterday I left her underwear on to see what would happen, and she sat on the potty and peed right through them as if they weren’t there. Back to the drawing board!

It’s not a big deal to be naked at home, but she has to wear pants at daycare and when we leave the house. I’m not sure how to take this next step. I would love to hear your potty training stories and any suggestions you might have for us!

Green Back-to-School Supplies

A Greener Crayon

A Greener Crayon

There are a few obvious ways to green your back-to-school shopping, like reusing backpacks, binders and folders from last year. How about hitting up the local thrift store for office supplies? While you’re there, check out the shoes and clothing too.

Speaking of shoes and clothes, why not organize a swap with your friends and neighbors? Have everyone bring clean and un-stained clothes and shoes their kids have grown out of (or are tired or wearing) and exchange them for new-to-you items. Preferably over a glass of wine.

If you are required to buy new items, Green Schools Initiative has a buying guide to help you find the greenest supplies available. Trade in the trusty Crayolas for a box of biodegradable, petroleum-free Prang Crayons or try Biodegradable Binder Pockets

Recycled Pencils

Recycled Pencils

Let your kid show off just how green they are with Recycled Newspaper Pencils. And of course, let them pick out a Reusable Lunch Box and pack their lunch and snacks in a Bento box or other reusable container.

Some classrooms require you to buy a certain brand so everyone is using the exact same supplies. If this is the case, you might have to take up your green cause before the next school year starts, and encourage the teacher to switch to greener products for his supply list.

Parenting A-ha! Moments

toddler-cooking

In the Kitchen with Franci

I’ve been thinking lately about those moments during parenthood where something becomes clear that you weren’t even thinking about before; those “A-ha!” moments.  Like when it suddenly occurs to you that your breastfed baby gets gassy every time you eat cabbage, or that the reason she is fussy at 10am every morning is because she is tired.

Now that Franci is pushing 18 months and reaching certain milestones, like walking, those moments seem to be happening more frequently. Maybe I should have recognized some of them sooner, but that’s what makes them “A-ha!” moments, right?

For weeks now, or maybe it’s months, I’ve had to block all the cupboards and drawers with chairs and other furniture when it’s time to cook, since Frances insists on emptying them out whenever my hands are full. A couple of days ago, I finally realized that she wasn’t trying to drive me crazy, she wanted to cook too! Now when it’s time to make dinner, I set Franci on the floor with a bowl of kitchen tools: empty spice jars, little bowls and a spoon or two. She busily “cooks” away, pouring ingredients into the bowls, stirring and then tasting her concoction.

Another “A-ha!” moment I had recently had to do with Franci’s communication. She is saying new things every day, but oftentimes it is gibberish. I had dismissed one of these sounds, since it bared no resemblance to real words and she would just say it over and over. Finally, it occured to me that she was pointing at things and saying, “That!” As in, “What’s that?” I had no idea she was asking a question; I thought she was just calling everything a “dat”.

What are some of your more memorable “A-ha!” moments?

The Eco-nomical Baby Guide
Eco-nomical Baby Guide
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