Archives for March 2010

Post Partum Exhaustion and Coping with Less Sleep

I’m experiencing temporary insanity.  The  culprit is a twenty pound tyrant who has been hounding me for three straight nights.  Have I dealt constructively with the challenge?

sleepy momNot quite…

I’ve consumed approximately one pound of cookie dough and a third of a chocolate bar.  She’s been crying off and on for forty five minutes and I’m trying to block it out while typing this.  Despite diaper changes, temperature adjustments, teething tablets, soothing songs and her total lack of sleep over the past two days, she seems to be up for the challenge of a good wail for hours to come.

On top of that, my three year old didn’t nap today and was having constant meltdowns all afternoon that coincided perfectly with the baby’s hysteria.  Did they concoct this torture plan ahead of time?

It’s here: The Etsy Giveaway!

Win all of this homemade baby gear from talented crafters!

We’re no strangers to the homemade delights for sale at Etsy. Back in 2008 we highlighted several Etsy shops specializing in eco-friendly baby goods. In The Eco-nomical Baby Guide, we point out that supporting crafters on Etsy is eco-friendlier than buying factory-made junk that’s logged miles all over the world. We love the Etsy vendors who are offering all these products that one lucky winner will win this week:

1 copy of our book, The Eco-nomical Baby Guide. Not only do you get some wonderful handcrafted gifts from Etsy, you get our book! What a deal!

Green Easter Tips for Tightwads

If you’re looking for a way to green your celebration this year, you’re in the right place.  We have an archive packed with tips on how to make your Easter holiday eco-friendly and budget friendly as well!

An electric egg cooker will boil up those Easter beauties in minutes using only a few tablespoons of water.  It certainly isn’t worth investing in one just for the holiday, but if you have boiled eggs on a regular basis, this inexpensive gadget quickly pays off.

Do you want to color those perfectly boiled eggs using plant dyes?  We have spent far, far too much time at researching natural egg dyes—and failing miserably.  Check here for a better listing of which natural dyes really work and maybe you’ll have more success.  green easter holiday celebration with natural egg dyes

Read The Eco-nomical Baby Guide for Free at Your Local Library

Monday is the last day to enter the Great Green Giveaway!

I don’t buy books. This may seem like an odd confession for a former English major, current English instructor, and newly-published author. However, I do support the authors I admire and literacy in general by frequenting my library! According to my reading history at the Multnomah County Library, I’ve checked out 402 items since 2008!
library books

So if you want to read our new book but don’t want to spend the cash, check it out at the library. But what if your library does not carry our delightful, informative masterpiece? Most libraries let you suggest purchases online. Just go to your library’s website and fill out the provided form. (And if you can’t find it online, ask a librarian.) You’ll probably need the following information:

The Friday Question: Why did you go green with baby?

go green with babyWere you worried about environmental toxins lurking in the Lysol, baby’s dirty diapers filing local landfills, or blinking plastic toys threatening to take over your household?  Were you motivated by family and friends or did they challenge your attempts to be an eco-conscious parent?

We’re very interested in what makes expectant families go green because the lure of mainstream baby rearing with its hoards of innovative gadgets and convenient products can be hard to evade when you’re nervous about the transition to parenthood.  When did you decide that you’d like to be a conscientious consumer or even less of a consumer?

When we were both pregnant at the same time, Rebecca and I typed flurries of frantic emails to each other trying to figure out how to use cloth diapers and make our own baby food.  Everyone else thought our cutting edge environmental parenting was a bit kooky, but with the support of each other (a two person green parenting community that has now been joined by all of you!) we took the plunge.  It was far less adventurous and much more fun that we ever expected to be eco-friendly parents.

An Electric Egg Cooker Saves Water and Energy—Just in Time for Easter Egg Dyeing!

The perfect hard-boiled egg. I’ve baked croissants from scratch, concocted dozens of mouth-watering tarts and quiches, and made my own yogurt and ice cream without incident—but somehow the perfect boiled egg alluded me. If I wanted tender  whites and a delicate, bright yellow yolk without a greenish sulphur ring, then I could barely pry the shells off the eggs. But if I over cooked them (or just let them boil away unattended as many people do), the eggs ended up rubbery.
henrietta hen egg cooker
Henrietta Hen Electric Egg Cooker

I followed directions from Julia Child and Cook’s Illustrated. I used gallons of water and shocked the eggs in ice baths. I sat hunched over the stove and watched the pot because I knew one should never, ever let the water actually boil.

Cloth Diapering Tips: A Sneak Peak into The Eco-nomical Baby Guide

All-in-one diapers? Pocket diapers? Chinese prefolds?  Even if  you desperately want to cloth diaper your child, the vocabulary challenges our earnest efforts.  How do all these “diapering systems” work?  Is it worth choosing just one?  How do you launder them and what about the smell?

cloth diaper babyFear not!  Our book, The Eco-nomical Baby Guide: Down-to-Earth Ways for Parents to Save Money and the Planet, features detailed, easy-to-read information on cloth diapering your child that even slackers like ourselves can manage.  We’ll highlight what you’ll find inside by sharing our favorite tips today:

1. Money saving tip: Don’t stock up on every size you think you’ll need before your baby arrives in this world.  Some extra chunky tots (like both of Joy’s nine pound newborns) never need the extra small sizes.  Others are preemies that stay in newborn sizes for months.  Get a few diapers and designate a family member or friend to run out and get more when baby arrives.   What else will you find in the book? Tips on buying secondhand cloth diapers for up to eighty percent less than new, tips on which diapers transition for babies between 7 and 35 pounds, and which diapers offer the best overall value.

Top 5 Reasons to Buy The Eco-nomical Baby Guide

5. We wrote it. And we don’t like to mention this often, for fear of appearing self-aggrandizing, but we are geniuses. We’ve composed poetic, emotional odes to cloth diapers. We’ve poured our soul into manifestos on buying used gear. We’ve conducted ground-breaking research on the best way to puree a steamed yam.

4. It has the power to change lives. Say your beloved friend has registered for heaps of plastic gizmos and coal-operated baby contraptions at Babys R Us. The Eco-nomical Baby Guide would be a nice, passive-aggressive way to say, “There’s a hole in the ozone layer. Let’s do something about it.”

The Great Green Baby Giveaway

To happily welcome our newly published book and reward those of you who are in the trenches of green parenting, we have yet another green giveaway this week.  One reader will win ALL of the quality eco-friendly baby gear listed below! Here’s what you could win this week:

  • An Eco Cradle from Green Lullaby.  A $69 value! This ingenious product can be assembled in minutes without tools, is completely fire retardant while remaining non-toxic, and is designed for a real human baby!

The Friday Question: What Are Your Favorite Baby Shower Gifts?

homemade baby food basketOut of all those colorful booties, soft blankets, and various contraptions, what baby gift was the most thoughtful or useful?  What gifts do you now give expectant families?

Among our favorite presents was a bag full of carefully selected, gently used baby garments.  Many people may shirk at receiving or giving hand-me-downs, but my sister-in-law knew that I ardently love recycled goods and bought me a huge bunch of clothes for the same price that she would have paid for one new outfit.   Another favorite gift was a copy of Shel Silverstein’s The Giving Tree that was presented along with an young apple tree.  (It died later, but it’s the thought that counts!)  We were also gifted with items to borrow which included two slings and an Ergo carrier.  Being able to just use these items temporarily worked out perfectly!