Archives for September 2009

More Fabulous DIY Maternity Halloween Costumes

Pregnancy is a wonderful time to cherish the life growing inside of you. It is also the time to dress as a pregnant nun or the Pillsbury Doughboy. Sporting a watermelon-sized belly this fall and wondering how to best feature it in this year’s Halloween festivities? Check here if you want to view a photo gallery of some homemade costumes for pregnant women. (I love the “bun in the oven” costume!) Thrifty Fun has many excellent ideas, many of which I’ve listed below.

juno pregnant maternity halloween costume idea

  • Man with a beer gut  (Optional: Your companion can dress as the wife)
  • Santa Claus
  • Pregnant animal—Say, a cat. Wear all black, attach a tail and ears.
  • (more…)

The Art of Under Indulgence

too many toys clutter home practice art of underindulgenceI’m convinced that indulging your child is all about the law of supply and demand. The extent to which we overload our kids with heaps of stuff is in direct correlation to the diminishment of joy they get upon receiving them.

Case in point: during potty training my son earned a matchbox car (purchased used from a thrift shop) every time he pooped on the potty.  The more successful he became, the less he cared about each toy.  He would play with them for a matter of minutes and then demand that he receive the next one.

When indulgences become a habit, the amount needed to satisfy the child mount.  For example, if you buy your child a warm cookie every time you visit the bakery, it quickly becomes an expectation instead of a treat.  Then, to get something special, you have to upgrade to a donut or cupcake. Once that starts to seem routine, you have to find another item to satisfy your child’s craving for something unique.  When those treats are fewer and further between, however, they become something to be savored and remembered.

The Saturday Question: Should You Let Baby Cry It Out?

sleeping-baby-1Emptying the compost bin, washing the cloth diapers, and tending the garden are all regular green lifestyle routines, but they’re tough to keep up without sleep.  Some parents are resolute about  nursing on demand and happily sacrifice sleep for a few years. Others declare that letting baby learn to self-soothe by crying it out is best for everyone in the long run.  What has your experience been with sleep (or the lack thereof)?

More Eco-Craftiness: The DIY Doll Television Set

How to Make a Television Set for Dolls out of Recycled Materials:

1. Find a little cardboard box.
2. Locate a picture of a television set from a magazine that will fit on one side of the box.
homemade doll television set from recycled materials
3. Cut it out and glue it on.
4. Accessorize! Glue little pictures of DVDs or remote controls to the sides. Cut out a picture of a plant, glue it on some cardboard, and stick it in a slot at the top.
5. Cut out a slot on the front. This is the DVD player. Cut out small pictures of DVDs. Your child can feed them into the slot and retrieve them by opening the box back up again.

Transitioning from Bottle to Breast: An Update

The bliss of breastfeeding can be suddenly interrupted when baby decides that she will never, ever consider drinking expressed milk from a bottle.  As you may have heard from my desperate post awhile back, my own baby went ten hours without drinking a drop of milk when I went back to work, just because she decided not to.  We had tried all temperatures, all bottles, and all times of the day, but she held fast to her decision to starve to death rather than suckle on silicone.

transition from breast to baby bottleLuckily, with the help of our readers and some ingenious thinking on my husband’s part, we have gotten her to loosen her policies on bottle rejection.  She still only drinks about three ounces a day while I’m gone, which makes for long nights of breastfeeding, but we’re grateful she’s taking any milk by bottle.

My $1 Maternity Halloween Costume: “The 1980s Pregnant Lady”

I was six months pregnant on Halloween a few years ago. Of course my main concern was how will I find an eco-friendly maternity Halloween costume?! After considering dressing as a compost bin, a rain barrel, or a Hybrid car, I found the perfect thing at the dollar bin of my local secondhand maternity shop: a 1980s-style yellow maternity jumper. Because I’d dressed as “Eighties Girl” for the previous two or three years, I knew “Pregnant Eighties Lady” was just the costume for me.

maternity halloween costume

So figure-flattering!

The best part is, I still have this romper, which I use as a painting smock. Also, as soon as one-piece floral jumpers come back in style, I’m all set. I could probably gain up to a hundred pounds and still fit in it, so there’s really no reason why I shouldn’t hang on to it forever.

Thoughtfulness Trumps Cost When Under Indulging on Gifts

Underwear, socks, a basketball, and a typewriter. One Christmas, this was the extent of my holiday loot.  My sister and I (who had to share the typewriter, by the way) were always embarrassed about the sad gifts we received from our skinflint parents. Not only were they limited, they often seemed to miss the mark when it came to thoughtfulness.  As teenagers we developed a comedy routine to use when our friends boasted about their presents so we wouldn’t be quite as embarrassed.

You might be expecting me to declare that those limited holiday gifts reinforced love and unity rather than materialism. Here’s the truth—it was no picnic.

What’s the Difference Between Under-Indulgence and Deprivation?

200271182-001What do you think of treating your children, whether it’s with food, new toys, or quality clothes? Is there such a thing as over-indulgence or too much deprivation?  We have an upcoming series of posts focusing on “The Art of Under-Indulgence” so please share your comments and stay tuned!

End of Summer Accomplishments

Around this time last year, I wrote about my End of Summer Regrets (Or, Green Things I Failed to Do). I am sure everyone has been wondering for the last twelve months if I would turn things around this year. Would I plant a garden? Would I go to U-pick farms and pick fruit? Would I can and freeze produce? Would I unlock the secret to reversing global warming? The wait is over! Here’s the report on my summer’s eco-activity:

Gardening. Check! I maintained a green, organic lawn. (Then I let it turn brown to conserve water. So it is not green in all senses of the word.) I planted an organic vegetable garden, and then I complained about my garden being a huge, gigantic failure. And then I (and my garden) bounced back. Then I had an overabundance of tomatoes, for which I was grateful.

The Eco-friendly, Budget-friendly Postpartum Wardrobe

Some mothers leave the hospital wearing their pre-pregnancy jeans. For the rest of us, it can be depressing to return to our closets and find that we have to chose between maternity wear and clothes sized too small for our post-baby bellies.

thrifty post partum wardrobe for new momsMy sad little rotation of four outfits was giving me the post-baby body blues but I didn’t want to spend money on clothing that would only be used while I transition (hopefully) back to my old size. It also seemed like a waste to buy several new items to fit my temporary figure.

Finally I decided to bite the bullet and buy some better fitting duds at our local thrift shop, which was serendipitously having a half off sale on the day I took action.  I returned from an hour of shopping with twelve garments purchased for less than twenty dollars.  The clothes are beautiful and include such brand names as Calvin Klein, Gap and Dockers. Even after my body shifts, I think I’ll keep some of these pieces just because I have instantly fallen in love with them.