Thursday, November 17, 2011

Where I'm From...

I am from popcorn and cranberry juice on the front porch watching a rainbow with my brother, from Crayola and Color Forms and brand new fancy pencils and little tiny erasers in a million shapes from the "teacher store".
I am from 30th Street where we rode our bikes "that one way", ran down the hill to the park and were instructed to stay out of the woods.
I am from the tomato plants, lavender, cucumbers, and snap dragons in our back yard, the crab grass that my grandma taught us to whistle with and the lilac bush that grew as my brother and I did, each year a little taller.
I am from fireworks and birthday cake in Norfolk, cookie day in December,  and a yucky shrimp platter on Christmas Eve. I am from blue eyes, from Goossen and Wolfe and Dickinson and Davenport. 
I am from the long line of strong women who do what they have to one day at a time and from morning after seven o'clock morning in the lap of a warm loving dad in an office chair.
I am from "you can be replaced with a small animal" (with a smile) and "eat your bread crusts, it will make your hair curly".
I am from liberal Christianity that is more about the journey than the destination. From Sunday mornings chasing each other up the bell tower to watch the bells ring with our ears plugged.
I’m from Cheyenne, Lincoln, Tucson, and Omaha with roots much, much deeper and longer. I am from semmels and real whipped cream, handfuls of Brach's candy and warm, summer days of picking strawberries.
From my grandmother standing on the plantar in the their front yard announcing my birth, from a head first fall off a retaining wall at a car dealership that ended in a drive-thru, a Coke-a-cola and an Easter dress that matched my owie.
I am from albums and boxes and computer drives loaded with photos and videos, boxes of dusty gymnastics medals,  and an inspiration book that is exploding at the seams. I am from an old yellow blankie that has gone everywhere I have and a family that continues to love despite one another's short comings. I am from a mom that is loving, forgiving and encouraging and from a gentle, giant-hearted dad who would give the world to me if he could. I am from the family that I hope to continue, from parents that I hope to be, and from a life that I pray I can give my little boy.

This was started from a writing exercise I found at the blog Mama's Losin' It.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Some items on my life list

- I will someday learn how to surf. I have been saving up my pennies (literally) in order to do so.

- Learn to ride a motorcycle. Oh wait! I just did that! Yay!

- I really, really want to run the Nike Women's Marathon in California some day!

- Be brave enough to have at least one more little one. I am definitely not there yet.

-  I want to run an ultra. So hard core!

- I would love to do a tandem jump out of an airplane. (My husband thinks this is crazy, he may be right.)

- Sounds crazy but someday I want to go on a date with my husband and not worry about my sweet little boy while I am gone. I don't even know if this is possible. (Wait, how am I going to go surf for a week if I can't even be gone over dinner!? Eeek. I have issues.)

- I would love to pay of my student loans before I die. At this rate, my 14 month old will be out of college before the loans from the medical center are paid off. Sigh. Well, someday...

- I want to make the perfect pan of toffee, like my grandmother used to, with chocolate on top, and no nuts.   :)

- Get back to my photography. I have a studio art minor from the University of Nebraska in photography. Time to dust off the camera.

- On the same note, I would really like to learn and play with some new photo editing software. When I was in college we were still using 35 mm. It's a whole new game.

- Some day I will get a more "extreme" haircut, but right now, I can't live without my ponytail. I have had long, all one length hair that is my natural color for a long long time. I don't do well with change. This will be a hard one.

- I have completed a half Ironman but Ironman is definitely on my list!

- I want to be able to do 50 push ups without stopping. I am at 40! Getting closer. I have no idea why this is a goal or why I picked 50 but by golly I will.

- I want to be a good mom. I want E to grow up strong and healthy and safe and smart. This is a whole separate post but this is definitely on my life list! I'm a work in progress.

This is my entry in the Just Ask Bucket List Getaway Giveaway. Just Ask offers a breast and ovarian cancer screening and is encouraging people to share 15 things that I want to enjoy in my lifetime as a reminder to be aware of my health. Want to enter? Head over to to get the details.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Yes, I may be a little crazy...

... but I'm not the only one.

As our family has stopped buying and eating artificial colors I have been reading more and more on the adverse effects.

Healthy Child Healthy World has had numerous articles on this topic. Also here, and this one I found very interesting as it discusses each of the different dyes.

For instance, did you know that Yellow #5 and Red #40 are azo dyes and they are made from coal tar? "A Consumer’s Dictionary of Food Additives describes coal tar as a 'thick liquid or semisolid tar obtained from bituminous coal, it contains many constituents including benzene, xylenes, naphthalene, pyridine, quinonlineoline, phenol, and cresol'(Winter, 2009, P. 166)." Cancer causing agents.

One item that it is very difficult to avoid food dyes in is children's medicine. They almost all include a red dye of some sort. It's a bit ironic that I can avoid food dyes when he feels good but as soon as he's sick he gets them.

Oh, and don't misunderstand, it's fairly easy to avoid them now as he's so little. I know that as he gets older he'll eat them but maybe the solution is that these dyes should be banned from foods here in the US as they are in other countries. Even in Europe, there are warnings on the labels of foods that contain artificial colorings.

I know that my family thinks I am crazy and maybe that is true. Maybe this isn't the battle to be fighting but in the meantime, I'll be at Trader Joe's. :)

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Baking Soda and Listening to Your Mother

My mom has been touting the benefits of cleaning for baking soda for several years now. I have always nodded and smiled and then reached for the Lysol or Method or whatever other cleaner was under my cupboard. I have no idea why I didn't pay more attention. You would think by 31 years old I would realize how very rarely she is wrong. Sigh. Anywho, I was scrubbing the kitchen (for her birthday party actually) and I went to get out my cleaning supplies and realized I was, for all intensive purposes, out. I have a small child and an even smaller window of opportunity for which to get anything done and so I reached for the baking soda. I was a bit skeptical but miracle of miracles, everything came clean with so much less work. In fact, I was so amazed, that I kept right on cleaning. I did the appliances and the counters and the sink and the faucets. It cleaned the gunk right off the knobs on the stove and it cleaned the stove top with so much less work than usual. Mr KT had made spaghetti the night before (YAY!) as I was working late (BOO!) and it had boiled over, it even took care of that! As I cleaned I just kept shaking my head and thinking, "self, let this be a lesson to you... Always Listen to Your Mother!"

Happy Birthday Mom!

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Living like a tree

We had a doozy of a storm last night. The wind was blowing with force and the rain was coming down in sideways sheets. I was laying in my bed with the curtains open watching the the cottonwood tree branches whip around. Those trees are old and giant. As the wind blew and blew and blew I noticed something, many of the branches actually bent almost in half...without breaking. This may sound cliche but maybe we should live like trees. I will admit that change is not easy for me. I resist and resist and resist until I finally have to give in and bend in half before I break. Those branches held strong to the trunk and the leaves held strong to the branches and each tree remained in one piece but everything was moving with the wind. Each time a gust came up the tree flexed a bit and gave in gently to the force. I was fascinated. There were a few leaves and twigs in the yard this am but no big branches. The tree was changed by losing these small bits and pieces but despite the storm and all of the dancing and swirling the night before was still itself. Still whole. So maybe I should bend and sway with change. Allow the pieces that are not so strong to fall away. Just because things change does not mean that I am not my strong self that I have always been. If trees would have been built without the ability to be flexible they would not survive. Life lesson? I think so.

Thursday, July 7, 2011


As E approaches 10 months he is more and more curious about, well, pretty much everything. I had sent a quick email to a very creative friend asking if she knew where I could get (or how to make) prisms or colored sun catchers I could hang in the window. She sent over the coolest little gadget called a RainbowMaker made by Kikkerland.

This little guy is solar powered! You hang it in a window that gets direct sunlight using the suction cup. The solar panel provides the energy for the gears to turn (which E likes to watch) and then the prism twirls and sends little rainbows all over the room! E and I were both fascinated. E crawled around and tried to catch the rainbows on the floor. Pretty fun!
E watching the rainbows dance.

The only down side, the boy dog also tried to catch the light and was way past obsessed. We'll have to take it down when he comes in or he might actually go crazy.

Thursday, June 23, 2011


I receive an electronic newsletter with super cool ways to keep the earth happy! My mother-in-law pointed me towards it. It is called Earth911. In their recent issue, they have an article about things that are surprisingly recyclable.
For instance, did you know that Crayons are recyclable? The National Crayon Recycle Program has drop-off bins nationwide and a mail-back option! New crayons are made from old, broken, tired crayons. Cool!

How about golf balls? Dixon Golf retail locations will accept used golf balls or you can mail them in for recycling. will buy old golf balls in bulk. There are places to buy recycled golf balls including I'm not so sure I ever throw these away though. Usually they get lost somewhere off the fairway and someone else probably picks them up. I consider that recycling, or at least reusing!

There are quite of few things that could go in the compost pile that I didn't know about. Things like cotton balls and Q-tips, red wine, and human and pet hair. I even learned that there is a San Francisco company that makes human hair into booms that will soak up oil in case of a spill. Who knew!?

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

My popcorn has hair!

And by hair I really mean silk but I think it looks like blond hair sticking out so that is what I am calling it. 

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Time to plant!

Yay, yay, yay! Got the garden in today! My husband put a lot of sweat and hard work into expanding the garden and adding a beautiful wooden fence (to keep the doggies and bunnies out).

Patrick laying the ground work.  

Patrick and his brother, Chris, getting started.

E and I running the saw.

Grama Barb playing with E while we worked.

Tomatoes, snap peas, basil, strawberries, lettuce, pumpkins, yellow squash, zucchini, green and red peppers, popcorn and peanuts! The end result is so good but I have to admit that I love the process. There is something so wonderful about digging in the dirt.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Rain, rain and more rain

Here in the Midwest, we boast about our seasons. My husband and I run outdoors all year long. We run in the winter when it is 10 degrees below zero and a -25 wind chill. We bundle up so all that can be seen is our eyes, we put drywall screws in the soles of our running shoes and we brave the ice and snow and wind. We run in the summer when it is 100 degrees with buckets of moisture hanging in the air and the humidity is 90%. And of course we run in the spring and fall when it seems perfect, albeit a bit windy. In the spring, after the snow has melted those first few days of warm sun are heavenly and in the fall after a summer of heat radiating off the pavement, those first few cool breezes are so welcome. I guess what I am saying is we are lucky, I think, to have a true winter, spring, summer and fall complete with their own joys. With E Man here now, we have to time these runs a bit more strategically and of course he hasn't been and won't be out in the windchill and heat of the day. (Come on, now. I may like to be outside but I have a bit of mom common sense.) In the same token though, I want him to learn that just because the weather isn't perfect doesn't mean that you have to stay indoors. Luckily for us (usually) he is a babe that wants to be out and moving. He is a fuss-budget from about 5 pm until bedtime but if we can get him out in the stroller, or the backpack, or the Ergo, or just out walking holding his hands he is happy.
Recently, this has been more difficult as the rain has been coming down in very cold, very wet sheets. Finally, early this week, it turned into a drizzle! That was good enough for us. We broke out the hand-me-down hiking backpack from my uncle, put that little boy in, put his rain cover over his head and struck off down the street. I am sure that the neighbors thought we were crazy but we all needed out, even the doggies. Also, I spent a lot of money at the medical center on an education that taught me that wet heads and rain do not cause colds, germs do! And good thing, because E man kept leaning sideways out from under the cover to see what was going on which didn't keep him very dry.
We all got a bit wet but we had a nice walk and guess what?! Nobody melted!
Lesson: sometimes it's worth not waiting for the sun to create the perfect adventure

Wednesday, April 27, 2011


Another cool website!
As I was researching a little more about safe, healthy baby products, I happened to stumble onto GoodGuide.
This is a website that gives scientific ratings to all sorts of products and then compares them to similar items. The goal of this company is to make the marketplace more transparent and to encourage manufacturers to make safer, healthier, greener products. You can check them out on the Internet and another cool thing that I am looking forward to trying is using their mobile application and scanning the item right in the store. That's pretty sweet.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Why does it feel like the US is so far behind?

I've been doing a little research about the baby products we use around here. (Next will be the grown up stuff.) I have found some stuff that befuddles me.

Did you know that lots of name brand, every day products have some really bad stuff in them?! Like say, formaldehyde and other carcinogens. Scary. I know that it seems like every time we turn around there is a new warning out but to me, the stuff that I am putting on the baby with the brand new porous skin is pretty important. This is really not new information but it was new to me so I thought I would share.

As I understand it, the formaldehyde forms during the manufacturing process as other ingredients are broken down. The FDA has not banned dioxane from these products (although they do say that they are potential carcinogens) and has said that these trace amounts are not harmful. This may be true if that is the only product you use but what about as it adds up after using multiple products on a daily basis; lotion, soap, shampoo, etc?

In Europe, at a certain level, there are warning labels on these products but not in the US. Crazy.
Check out this website (old article I know) for a list.

So, are the levels of these toxins high enough to do damage? Nobody really knows. It's not like they are going to do research using infants and toddlers to find out and we will just have to wait and see. In the mean time, at our house, we use more natural products. They are readily available not all that much more expensive. It's worth it.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Poem in Your Pocket Day!

Celebrate national Poem In Your Pocket Day on Thursday, April 14, 2011 with us!

The idea is great: select a poem you love (or write your own) during National Poetry Month (April) then carry it with you to share with co-workers, family, and friends or keep it to yourself as your little secret. It's a fun way to talk to kids about reading and about all the different kinds of writing.

We have our poems all ready, thanks to Aunt Julie. I even printed out a few more in case we run into a friend who might want to join in the fun! Now, I just have to make sure that E man has pockets that day. :)

My aunt works in the Children's Department at The Bookworm, a local bookstore here in Omaha. They have fun events for kids, adults, and even pets! E loves to check out the bright colors of the books and watch the other kids play. I foresee spending more time there as he grows. Check out their website and facebook pages if you get a chance. You never know which author may be swinging by for a visit. Oh, and pop downstairs to the kiddos section and say "hi" to Julie. She loves to help visitors pick out the perfect book.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Calculate your water savings

We've been thinking about little ways to make changes for a greener planet and a smaller budget. (That's a win win, don't you think?) One thing my husband and I talked about yesterday was better shower heads. Check out this calculator to see how much water is being wasted during a day of showers at your house. The numbers in the boxes at the bottom are the annual savings of gas, water and money. Crazy, huh? I am not advocating any specific shower head or hardware, that was just the calculator I could find but I think that it is time that we switch ours out, at least upstairs where we both shower. I figure my husbands summer of plumbing should be put to use occasionally, right?

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Looking forward to Spring!

I can't wait for the sunshine! All natural mood enhancing, diaper bleaching, plant growing, snow melting, earth warming, ground drying sun. My husband said that in a past life I must have been a flower. That is how much I love to be outside basking in the sun. Oh, and yes mom and Patrick, Emmett and I will be slathered in sunscreen, don't worry.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Clean Eating

I have to admit that I am getting a little tired of all the talk about "clean eating". This is not really new people! I mean, good for you all for making diet changes but think about why you are changing.  Is it for  the right reasons? Or maybe it doesn't really matter. It seems to me that most people are trying to eat this way to lose weight. Fewer pounds and less inches are good I suppose (except that you all look gorgeous just as you are!) but what about because it is good for your body and the environment and your kids?

This is a "clean eating food pyramid" from The Gracious Pantry. She essentially made it up but I think it makes a lot of sense. More sense than the standard old food pyramid. She has a great website with recipes. Check it out! She also defines "clean eating" for those of you who are curious.

The Basics (from The Gracious Pantry website)
  1. Eat  Lots Of Plants – Eat food that is straight from nature. Eat mostly foods that are off a tree, bush, plant or vine, and you’ve pretty much got it covered. The idea is to stay away from anything that humans (corporations) have altered in any way.
  2. Include Meats - Eat meats that are whole and straight from the butcher. 
  3. Enjoy Grains - Eat grains that are still complete and haven’t been broken down into “glue”. Stick to brown rice, whole wheat and other whole grains.
  4. READ LABELS! I don’t know how many breads I’ve picked up at the store that say they are whole grain. But when I take a look at the ingredient list, white flour is the second ingredient after whole wheat flour!
  5. Eat Fewer Ingredients. Try not to purchase foods that have more than 3-6 ingredients in the ingredient list. And be sure you recognize each and every ingredient. If you find a “mystery ingredient” such as “spices”, contact the company! Ask them what they consider to be spices. If it’s anything other than honest-to-goodness herbs and spices, avoid it! And remember, if you can’t pronounce it, it probably shouldn’t go into your body.
  6. Eat 5-6 small meals per day.
Everyone has to sit down and think about what they want their intake to entail. Do you allow one day or one meal every week or two to treat yourself? Do you eat dairy? Do you bake with regular sugar or switch to honey or agave? Lots and lots of things to consider.

I think I can speak for both of us when I say that we would both prefer a homemade meal from scratch (and doing the dishes) over eating out any day. I have said this before but I prefer to know each and every ingredient that I put in to my body. (Touchy, touchy system).
So, yes! Eat smart, call it "clean" if you like but realize that it goes way past weight loss. That's just a perk.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Food dyes

Anyone else think it is strange that in Europe they use natural food dyes or are manufacturing foods with natural colors and we in the US are still eating the food dyes made in the lab? Dyes that have potentially harmful effects.

In 2008, the UK's Food Standards Agency (essentially their FDA) asked food makers to voluntarily recall six artificial colors in food by 2009. Most all of the companies complied. A few months later, the European Parliament voted to add warning labels with the phrase "may have an adverse effect on activity and attention in children" to products with the same six synthetic red and yellow dyes. This encouraged many large food makers like Nestle to reformulate their products rather than risk a decline in sales. These changes came after several research studies were published regarding the potential link between food dyes and hyperactivity in kiddos.

Many food scientists, physicians, and psychologists aren't so sure the research is conclusive and it is likely that more studies need to be done to prove this one way or the other. One interesting thing to consider is that the safety testing done on the current dyes was done 30-50 years ago. Might be time for an update.

There are lots of ways to color foods. For instance, Kellogg's strawberry Nutri-Grain Cereal Bars that are sold in Britain now contain beetroot red, annatto and paprika extract, while those sold in the U.S. are tinted with Red 40, Yellow 6 and Blue 1. Mmmmm.

I have been paying more attention to the ingredient lists of the foods I eat. We buy a lot of "natural" and "organic" foods and for the most part, steer clear of most processed foods. Kids are obviously the ones most targeted with Fruit Loops and Rainbow Gold Fish and Kool-Aid and we don't yet have any requests for these so we have mainly steered clear. The crazy thing is, there is dye in foods that we don't even think of, some yogurts, the "blueberries" in some bagels, some cheeses, juice, the list goes on and on.

I plan on giving E the same foods his dad and I eat but I am realistic that he will probably eat a red M&M or a little blue frosting somewhere down the line. I just hope that the US catches up with Europe and is at least somewhat conscientious of the problems and concerns.

It's good to be aware!

ADDENDUM added 4/14/11: check out this blog post for more info!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Car seat Recycling

This is a tricky topic. As a Child Passenger Safety Technician (CPST) I have some strong feelings on this. Child safety seats are expensive but absolutely necessary. Due to these factors, many parents and parents-to-be think that hand-me-downs are the way to go. Unfortunately, they couldn't be more wrong in this case. Car seats have an expiration date, just like bike helmets. The material used lasts 6 years and then it is no longer safe. If the seat is in any type of collision including a fender bender, the seat should be replaced. After a collision, there are potentially cracks in the material that can't be seen. This causes weaknesses that, in the event of another collision, could allow injuries to the child. If someone picks up a seat at a garage sale or a consignment shop, there is NO way to know the history of the seat. Scary! The only time a used car seat is considered safe as a "second" is if you bought it new for your own child, the seat was in no accidents, is within its expiration date, and is used for a subsequent child in your immediate family. You must know the history of the seat.

Enough with my soapbox! The whole reason for this post is that there is a way to recycle these seats. Previously, there wasn't much that could be done with them other than to pitch them in the garbage. It seems like such a waste. And I don't even know how long it takes to break down! At car seat check events we would destroy the outdated seats by cutting up all the strapping and then throwing it all away. (Don't worry, people were given new seats!) Now, there is a better way. Here in our area, there is a car repair shop (Offut Collision Repair) that is taking them! Yay!

This is what their flyer says...
"OCR Child Safety Seat Recycling Program

Each year thousands of child safety seats are sent to the landfill, because there has traditionally been no alternative. In an effort to keep child safety seats out of the landfill, OCR has started a
child safety seat recycling program.

OCR is now accepting child safety seats that have expired, seats that have been in car accidents and seats that are no longer being used. All of this is at no cost to the owner. After being disassembled, the car seat materials are then sent to be destroyed and recycled.

OCR would like to encourage parents to be aware of the expiration date on seats and the history of the seats. Child safety seats that have been used in accidents should be destroyed.

Used child safety seats can be dropped off at OCR Monday – Friday from 7:30am until 5:00pm."

So cool. So check around in your area. See if there is a place to recycle your car seats. And by all means, if you bought it new, if they are within the expiration date and haven't been in an accident use them for your second and third babies! Just keep tabs on those dates!

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Puree the Day Away

Mr E is just starting solids! He is loving the sweet potatoes and the squash so far. In fact, he is licking out the containers at the end!

Next will be carrots and then green beans. There is quite the controversy about store bought baby food versus homemade. The organic Gerber brand baby foods are convenient and don't have to be refrigerated which makes them ideal for on-the-go (I do have several in my cupboard to use in a pinch) but I have found that making homemade baby food is really simple and I actually quite enjoy it. Patrick and I don't eat out very often. I prefer to make our meals. I have a touchy stomach and I like to know exactly what is going into my body. We shop for the least packaging possible (a whole different post) and I cook mostly from scratch because that is what the rest of my family does. As I thought about it, why would I feel any differently about what I give to E man?
I have been buying organic fruits and veggies and steaming, boiling and baking them. I add some of the cooking water back in and puree them with my immersion blender (which I LOVE). I divvy them out into little individual containers and keep a few in the fridge and freeze the rest. I ran out of containers yesterday when making acorn squash and so I used an ice cube tray and covered it with aluminum foil. This morning when they were frozen, I dumped them out into a freezer safe container and put a few in little containers in the fridge. It's really easy and the frozen ones can go with you if you need to travel. I just put them in my lunch bag with a cold pack and they stay cold but thaw as you go. Perfect. My sister-in-law gave me a book for Christmas all about making your own baby food and there are some really great recipes! I am looking forward to seeing what kinds of things E will eat and what his preferences are. So much fun!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Goodbye Paper Towels...

... Thanks for all your efforts.

I've decided to try to make small changes one at a time. This one is getting rid of the paper towel waste.
I've used paper towels for a long time, but I was thinking the other day that I don't remember using them at all growing up. There was always a roll under the counter that were used for cleaning the bathroom but we never used them in the kitchen at all. I have caught myself reaching for them because they are "easier". Tear one off, wipe something up, throw it away. No longer. Yesterday I purchased a cloth basket and 32 washclothes for $15. I filled up the basket and set it on the counter where the paper towels used to live. This in itself is an easy solution. The tricky part is going to be the dirty clothes. Here is the issue, the hamper is upstairs in our bedroom/master bathroom and the washer and dryer is down in the basement with the kitchen on the middle level. I definitely need a clothes shoot! Kidding, I put an extra laundry basket in the guest room for dirty laundry. I am going to try that for a week or two and if that doesn't work, I am going to put a small square basket in the hall closet. I just know that if I don't put a basket somewhere on this level the follow through won't be good. I still plan on keeping a roll of paper towels around for bathroom cleaning but let's see how it goes!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

It's getting warmer!

The weather here in the great state of Nebraska has been equivalent to a frozen tundra. The temps have been dipping well below zero, especially with the wind chill. Brrrrrr. It is next to impossible to hang cloth diapers outside in this weather as you end up with diaper pops. Not really functional. The next 7 days, the temperature is forecast to climb. By next Wednesday, almost 60 degrees maybe! Woo hoo! You know what that means? Cloth diapers on the line that I am going to have to build in the backyard!

Where to begin~

This all came about with one 6 lb 15 oz baby boy named E. I always thought that I would stay home with my kids like my mom did with us. That was before I went to PT school at racked up tens of thousands of dollars in student loans at the Medical Center. I loved my job but I love my family more. After a job change that allowed me to be home with the baby part time (I would love to be able to be home full time but alas, that is not to be right now) I decided it was time to figure out ways to be more economical. My husband and I have always been advocates of recycling, reducing waste and a healthy lifestyle but with this new little person watching every move we make, I decided it was time to be as conscientious as possible. I believe that every little step, every little change, every little effort counts, no matter how small. It all adds up. Nobody is perfect and every family has to do what works for them. This is our journey of little personal efforts and changes as we teach our son that we only have one planet and that family is always more important that money or "things".