Monday, June 8, 2009

What's cookin' ?

Miss M's new play food cooked on her new stove, that's what! Yes, I made the stove and food. Yes, I might have too much time on my hands (although, it never feels that way). Now you know what I'm doing when I should be posting on the blog!

In anticipation of the awesome pots, pans, and cooking utensils that I knew were on the way from 2 of Miss M's grandmothers, I got inspired. Actually, it was when Maya walked into the room this morning with a toy tea pot offering me "coffee" that I got the food idea...

Anyway, for the stove (if you want to make one or just know how this one was made). It's a cardboard box, burners are images I found online, printed, cut out, and glued on the top. I cut an opening for the oven door and more cardboard for handle. Voila stove/oven! The play food is the same thing. Pictures glued onto cardboard. All the cardboard I got from my recycling bin. The whole deal (minus the pots and pans, which she LOVES) is all re-purposed (which I LOVE). Pretty simple and I got in touch with my inner child.

Honestly, nerdy as it was, I had fun. DORK, I know! Anymore crafty/re-purpose ideas for my and Maya's idle hands?

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

A Kid's Herb Book

If nature's unfurling is still enticing you to join in the verdant growth, then consider Lesley Tierra's compilation: A Kid's Herb Book. Make some Lemon Zest Sun Tea (heated by the sun), Herbal Candy Drops, a Sun Bouquet, or a fragrant herbal pillow. The final chapter on our ecosystems and particulars for harvesting or gathering is very useful. We have used the more medicinal remedies in this book for ailments, and look forward to the more joyful, fun, and beautifully creative moments in this workbook. I don't think we will resist the Root Beer recipe any longer! With Love, Mandala

Fruits of Our Love

This spring and summer, fresh, organic strawberries are ripe and red again! Little did I know that this book would touch my boy's heart and belly in such a delightful way. Fortunately, we had a cool batch of strawberries lounging in the kitchen when, at the closing of the book, he said: "Let us eat some strawberries to remember." This reading was in season, in synch, and instills some immeasurably profound values in our young ones: loving-kindness with words, generosity, and forgiveness. I hope you all enjoy this Cherokee story! Thanks to Joseph Bruchac for writing this book and to Mr. Michael for finding it! With Love, Mandala

Monday, May 4, 2009

Summertime... and the living is easy?

As the weather begins to warm up, and we enjoy more and more daylight and sweet breezes in our backyard I'm realizing... I stink. Yes, I'm already sweating in the afternoon sun that floods our backyard. Miss M is sticky with dirt and mud already and it's not even 80 degrees!

She doesn't seem to mind, but I see that we can NOT spend the ENTIRE summer in this yard. Sure, some of it, but I gotta give the kid a little more. That, and people are probably going to think we have gophers from all the little digging holes.

So, I've got some ideas about what to do this summer. I can sweat other places (and Maya can get dirty other places) like farms where we can pick berries, the beach, the pool, the botanic gardens. I can keep cool in the museums (and Maya can get dirty there too!), libraries, music class, aquariums, the beach and pool again! And I try interesting and new things like movies in an old Hollywood cemetery complete with a picnic of good food, wine, my little family and friends (I think Maya can get dirty doing this as well!).

We don't have any exotic getaways planned this summer, maybe a trip back east to see family, but I have a feeling that it'll be a great summer. Hopefully, some really beautiful memories will be made.

What are some of the ways you and your babes and family will take in the Summertime? I'd love some more ideas. Summertime with a child/children is not exactly easy (or clean), but it already seems like a lot of fun!

Potty Talk: Update

So, we found a little throne for Miss M. to sit her tiny tush on when Mama goes into the bathroom. It's quite fun. It's the Circo (Target brand) sort of 3-in-1 deal. It's a potty! It's a step stool! It's a training seat for the big potty! It's only $9.99 (I love that)!

The little "container" comes out like a drawer, for easy cleaning (right... sure...) and dumping. This blue center "seat" detaches and can go on the grown-up potty.

The lid goes down and Voila! Step stool, complete with grip.

The only feature we really use is the step stool part. Miss M. does like to sit on it and pretend, HOWEVER, she is no where near dealing with it for it's true purpose. Right now, it just keeps her busy while I'm doin' ma thang (whatever it may be) and maybe, way down the road she'll use it for something other than a place to hide toys in! But, shoot, she looks good on it!

Sunday, April 19, 2009

But Why?

Poor me. While I'm starting to collect cool friends with kids, I mostly still am surrounded by those who haven't (yet) spawned. And when you politely (again) decline a shot of Tequila, you're lame. But why? They whine. Because I have to wake up at 4am. But why? Because I have a toddler. But why? Because babies like to rise early. But why are you leaving so early? (11pm). Because like I said, I have to be alert and playful at 4am, or maybe 6-7am. But why? Because like I said... @#$%! See, adults without kids are really a lot like toddlers.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Introducing Myself

Hello Conscious Mamas. I'm Libby, and I'm the Midwest mom. My daughter, the irrepressible Miss Scarlett is 2 and a half [today, as a matter of fact] and we are expecting our second in about 5 weeks. I can give you any advice you care to hear about subsequent pregnancies [including exactly how long it took me to remember the word 'subsequent' with pregnancy brain] and tell you exactly how important kegel exercises are. Trust me. Important.

My philosophy is thus: I have been making a conscious effort since the birth of Miss Scarlett to do our families part to offset all the brightly colored plastic that has made its way into our lives. We are in no way perfect, but we believe in recycling, cutting out as many chemicals as possible, and shaking our heads in disbelief anytime the Corn Counsel puts a commercial on trying to convince people that High Fructose Corn Syrup is really okily dokily when used in moderation!

Since I don't actually have much to contribute right now [see aforementioned pregnancy brain], I thought I'd share one of my favorite websites. Check our their kids Smart tees! The alphabet is printed upside down on the hem, with the corresponding letters highlighted. Love it!

Oh, and in the interest of full disclosure, I do have to tell you that today I went and picked out my minivan. Hypocrisy, thy name is automatic sliding doors. But when staring down the tunnel of lugging a pumpkin seat and a two year old, you quickly decide that you can step up your environmental impact in other ways. See? Not perfect.