Great Maternity Halloween Costumes

The pregnant skeleton maternity costume is one of my favorites, showing the skeleton of the fetus tucked inside of the mother. My friend made her own a few years ago, but Amazon is selling these Halloween Non-Maternity Pullover Hoodie Costumes for just 34.50. Since they aren’t specifically made to accomodate pregnant women, you’ll have to be early enough in your pregnancy for these to fit well.

If you’re showing a bit more, you can go for the maternity-sized skeleton and baby t-shirt, which is equally clever and a bit roomier in the belly region.

Of course thrift shops have incredible options beyond just the costume section. Rebecca scored this “Pregnant Eighties Lady” item in the dollar bin of her local secondhand store. Doesn’t she look dashing?

Homemade Halloween Costumes: A Family History

One of my all time favorite costumes is this pumpkin suit, purchased for four bucks at a consignment shop and used by both my children in their babyhood.

My son’s infatuation with school buses hit hard the next Halloween, so my husband made him an iron on decal for his shirt and then painted this school bus out of cardboard and attached it to the top of his red wagon. Notice the paper plate for a steering wheel. It makes me laugh to think back on how much time we had to invest in this project. (You’ll see this quality totally degrade once our second arrives!)

DIY Baby and Toddler Halloween Costume Ideas

Searching for the perfect baby Halloween costume this year? Green Baby Guide is here to help! We have heaps of ingenious costume ideas to share with you in these crucial weeks before Halloween. So where should you start? You could just slip baby into a carved pumpkin–which will double as a compostable diaper! It might not be so practical for trick-or-treating, but great for a few entertaining photos!

If you’re going green on a budget with baby, and you want to impress everyone with your creativity, just start looking around the house. Perhaps you can find a bit of lettuce and a blanket, and handily make your little one into a “baby burrito.” Or, with a yellow onsie and some brown shorts your bald bambino can easily transform into Charlie Brown. For more ridiculously easy ideas, check out Last-Minute DIY Baby and Toddler Halloween Costume Ideas.

Saving Sour Milk: When Does Going Green Turn Gross?

Personal confession: My greatest green motivation is resourcefulness…and the inability to throw things away. So when about a gallon and a half of milk started to get a little funky, I was sure that I could save it.

Time was limited! I warmed some of the milk enough to re-pasturize it, and then blended it with peanut butter, chocolate and banana to make frozen fudgecicles. Sadly, that only used about three cups of milk.

Onward to a lasagna with béchamel sauce, blended with a bit of pesto. Six cups of milk later, I still had a half a jug on my hands. How could I save every drop?

Why I Want A Chevy Volt (and Can’t Afford One…)

An acquaintance just raved to me that her new Chevy Volt is a delight to drive and makes the Toyota Prius appear to be a gas hog. From that moment on, I was hanging from her every word.

A full charge of the Chevy Volt costs my friend just a few dollars and keeps her running at full speed (up to 100 MPH) for a full 38 miles. If she travels farther than that, the gas engine kicks in and earns about 98 miles per gallon from there on out. The car can go a maximum of 300 miles without needing charging or gas. Plus, right now the Volt comes with a $7,500 tax incentive and a program to install a charging station (for free) in your garage.

Natural and Organic Crib Mattresses for Less

When we first began writing our book, The Eco-nomical Baby Guide, organic crib mattresses were available only to families who were able to shell out several hundred bucks. How thrilling then to see that by the time the book was published, the market demand really had driven down the price of organic crib mattresses! Check out some of the organic options available to families now!

The Sealy Naturalis Crib Mattress with Organic Cotton is just $95! It’s not completely organic, but for families on a budget at least it’s a more organic option than a standard mattress.

The LA Baby Organic 2 in One Orthopedic Crib Mattress is currently about sixty dollars off, coming in at just $107 on amazon. That’s more than 30% off!

Extended Family Support With Childrearing: The Most Sustainable Solution

Am I the only one who wishes that my mother lived next door? Or that I could move all my relatives into a city block so that we could share casual playdates, huge potlucks and free babysitting? Maybe the reality of all that support is far more complicated and more stifling than my fantasy, but it seems ideal.

Just think of what it would be like if your relatives (and only the healthy, supportive ones) lived a mile away? Want to go out on a date? No problem! The grandparents are thrilled to get the kids. Need to stay late at work? No worries, your sister can pick up the kids. The kids get a deeper sense of family identity and closer relationships and the parents get tremendous support.

Simple, Green Summer Activities for Kids

Now that the crush of my work as a teacher is done for the summer, we suddenly have lots of unstructured playtime on our hands. My kids still enjoy imaginative play (they spent the morning yesterday pretending to be prairie dogs in a fort made of blankets), but it’s nice to get them out in the sunshine without having to buy a heap of materials or make elaborate plans. Following are some incredibly basic activities for semi-lazy parents like myself who want to enrich our children’s summers without a lot of effort.

Bug collecting. This requires one applesauce jar and nothing else. My children have spent hours overturning rocks in search of the most beautiful beetle. Of course, this requires a short education about “catch and release” as my son killed a centipede or two in the beginning in his efforts to adopt insect pets. Still, it keeps them busy and entertained for quite some time!

Investing in Travel with Baby…Instead of Wipe Warmers or Play Gyms

We’re heading off on vacation tomorrow morning..and are currently hacking away at the last minute details. We’ll be climbing aboard a plane that will shuttle us from Oregon to Maryland to see my in-laws and experience a bit of east coast sun.

In the past three years, my daughter has been on a plane five times. FIVE! I think I hadn’t experienced air travel that much when I was several times her age. Flying isn’t exactly the greenest of travel options, but it is important to us that our children know their far-flung family members.

Of course it’s an economic hurdle to buy all those plane tickets, but it is so thrilling to take my children on cross country adventures. And what a relief that the ultra-green, uber-thrifty route we’ve taken in the last five years has left us with money in the bank to enrich their lives in a way that disposable diapers simply can’t. The older my children grow, the more I appreciate the benefits of a thrifty green lifestyle!

Wild Slugs: Reclaiming Our Outdoor Sensibilities After Five Years of Child-Rearing

Lately I’ve been dragging my family out the door every weekend for a romp in the woods. Why? Because for the last five years of our lives, we were so caught up in domestic life that we lost our old wilderness lifestyle. We head to parks on a regular basis, but I wanted to go beyond sand and play structures and into real forest. Before kids we used to do this all the time! We strapped on our backpacks and boldly stepped into the trees without a second thought. Now we have to tuck the sunscreen, the snacks, the extra clothes, and the bandaids into bags even on a local hike.