I think at some point, all parents of infants post one of these signs on their door.  Thankfully, we’ve only had a handful of unwanted folks knock on ours in the past ten months.  Hopefully this will derail any more.  Nap times are a coveted (and hard fought for) thing.

Ten Months

Categories: Cecilia | 2 Comments

Dear Cecilia,

You’re ten months old today! Double digit months! Wow! Unfortunately, you greeted the day with a 101.5 fever, which has made you extremely uncomfortable. After you whimpered at my breast, I knew it was time to visit the pediatrician’s office. You clung to me the entire time, but you still managed to smile through your discomfort at everyone there. Your sweet personality never ceases to amaze me. Even though you protest at being poked and prodded (literally – rectal thermometer), you settle back down and return to your sweet self.


You’ve become very interactive this month, playing games, giving kisses, and waving goodbye. Every afternoon, I lie on the floor, and you use me as your own personal jungle gym. You cover my face with slobbery kisses and we roll toys back and forth. (Well, actually, I roll toys to you, and you bring them back to me. It’s really more of a game of fetch.) We’ve also started dancing around to silly songs during the day. Now, when an upbeat song comes on the radio, you start waving your hands to the beat. I have to say, sweet girl, you’ve got better rhythm than I do. You must have picked that up from your father.

This month your separation anxiety has kicked it into high gear. Last week, we were visiting your grandparents, and you refused to be out of my site. I even had to take you with me to the restroom. It felt a little silly since we were in a familiar place filled with familiar, loving people, but it was heartbreaking to hear you cry for me. If I can do something as simple as letting you play at my feet while I pee to keep you from crying, I will do it. That is, assuming the bathroom is clean.


Your separation anxiety has also kept you from sleeping through the night. Your daddy and I had originally planned on having you sleeping in your crib in your room by this time, but as I learned quickly into my mommyhood, plans are meant to fail. You’ve now taken up residence between us for several hours each night. We weren’t huge fans of co-sleeping. We just didn’t think it was right for our family. However, we are huge fans of sleeping, and you sleep better when you’re next to me. To be honest, I enjoy it. I have you in my arms, daddy’s foot is touching mine, and Lucy puppy is sleeping on the floor next to my side of the bed. It’s such a warm, cozy feeling. I know I’ll look back to these nights fondly for the rest of my life. I’m happy we decided to go with the flow and threw out our plan.



Give Me Your Tired and Weary (glass bottles)

Categories: green living | 1 Comment

When I was a kid, my Aunt Berryl had this cool bottle with a stopper in her kitchen for dish soap.  I’m not sure what I specifically liked about it (a cool color, maybe?), but I’ve wanted to recreate it ever since.  When my plastic Method dish soap bottle poo-poo’ed out on me with plenty of liquid still inside, I seized the opportunity! What a fun way to spice up your kitchen and recycle glass at the same time.  All you need is a pour spout!

I used one of Chris’s old whiskey bottles.  It’s heavy and thick so I don’t have worry about it breaking when the garbage disposal vibrates the entire counter.  Also, I was hoping it would inspire Chris to do the dishes without me asking.  Surprisingly, I think it’s working!


A tip - You may want to add a little water to your dish liquid to get the desired viscosity.  If it’s thick as molasses, you’re going to curse it (and me) every time you wash the dishes, like more than usual dish washing curses.

Gardening Eden Book Review

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I’ve posted a few times about books that I’ve volunteered to read and review.  When I had the opportunity to review a “green” book,  I jumped at the chance;  however, I was sorely disappointed.  Very Sorely.


The book was Gardening Eden by Michael Abbate.  It’s full of great tips on how to preserve the earth and become green while citing biblical references that support the green initiative.  It sounds great, and really, it is great.  I’m a Christian.   I’m an environmentalist.  What a wonderful opportunity to combine the two!  After all, caring for the earth and its animals was one of our original tasks!  This book sounds awesome!  However, I didn’t get far enough into it to get super motivated and excited.


The foreword to this book is written by a man named Randy Alcorn.  Apparently, he is an Christian conservative environmentalist.  He agrees that Christians should be concerned with the well being of our planet.  However, as he presents his case for being green, he explains that it doesn’t make a person liberal to be eco-friendly.  His strong dislike for liberals/democrats emanates throughout the foreword, and it offended me to my core.  I’m a Christian liberal.  Somehow, I think he would find that an oxymoron.  His attitude towards democrats really turned me off and made me disinterested in the rest of the book.


To be honest, I didn’t finish it.  Hell, I barely skimmed over it.   However, to honor my commitment to the publisher, I’m going to publish the book’s summary and the author’s bio.  If you’d like to win a copy of the book, please email me.  I’ll send it to the first person that requests it. (It really isn’t that bad of a book.  It’s full of great suggestions - just skip the forward!)


Gardening Eden:
Before the snake, the apple, and the Ten Commandments, God created a garden, placed humans in it, and told them to take care of it.


“Spiritual environmentalism” did not start out as an oxymoron—it was an invitation. Yet today, many believe God’s original job description for humankind has been replaced by other worthier pursuits. So when did this simple instruction become so controversial? How does one sort through all the mixed messages? Is making the world a healthier place for the next generation really a responsibility—or even possible?


Gardening Eden is a new understanding of how the spiritual dimensions of life can find expression and renewal through caring for our incredible planet. Empowering, simple, and never polemical, Michael Abbaté outlines the Bible’s clear spiritual benefits of caring for creation, exploring new motivations and inspired ideas, and revealing the power of our basic connection to all people and living things through the growing interest in spiritual environmentalism.


Green living is no longer a fad—simple lifestyle solutions are now available to everyone. Gardening Eden shows readers how this shift transforms not only our world, but their very souls as they’re drawn into deeper harmony with the Creator. This book invites them to discover the powerful spiritual satisfaction of heeding the call to save our world.


Author Bio:


A nationally recognized expert in “green” development strategies, Mike Abbaté is a founder of GreenWorks, an award-winning landscape architecture design firm. He frequently speaks to students and leaders about practical ways to minimize the impact of building and landscape design on natural resources. Abbaté’s work has been featured in national magazines such as Metropolis and Landscape Architecture and in many local newspapers and trade publications. He and his wife, Vicki, have two adult daughters and live near Portland, Oregon.


You can purchase Gardening Eden at

Blame It on the Rain

Categories: green living | 1 Comment

It’s Earth Day, and I have a confession.  I waste water.  I waste a lot of water.  Every night I take a long, hot shower.  It’s one of the few places that I can be completely alone.  No baby.  No dog.  No husband.  It’s where I get my daily “me time”, and I’m not keen on cutting it short.  I realize that shorter showers are better for the environment.  I acknowledge that they would reduce my utility bill.  I even know that they would be better for my skin. I just can’t do it.  I need that time for my sanity.

In order to compensate for my long shower addiction, I’ve taken a couple steps to conserve in other ways.  First, I installed the low-flow shower head.  Second, I don’t water my lawn.  This really isn’t an effort to save as much as it is apathy.  The yard is mostly weeds with a few small patches of grass anyway.  Third, I bought a rain barrel.  Technically, Chris bought me the rain barrel.  He brought it home one day as a surprise.  He definitely knows how to get me all hot and bothered!

A rain barrel is exactly what it sounds like - it catches rain. We attached ours, like most folks, to one of our gutters. After a good rain, it fills up to the brim, and the “caught” rain water can be used to water the plants in the yard or used to rinse off muddy gardening tools. Many commercially purchased rain barrels are often recycled food storage barrels. (Yea for recycling!) Ours emanates a jalapeno pepper smell.

I realize that I’m not conserving as much water in my barrel as I’m using in my long showers, but it’s a good place to start.

Rain Barrel

Silly Girl

Categories: Cecilia , Photography | 1 Comment

I had a long day today.  Did you?  Hopefully this will brighten it up a bit.


Eco-Friendly Shopping

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I wrote last week that I was going to control my shopping addiction by making only earth friendly purchases.  So far it’s been a success.  I’ve managed to go to Target and Whole Foods without buying unnecessary items.  Of course, Whole Foods has a plethora of organic and natural goods, but their high price point kept me from impulse shopping.  I did place one item in my cart, a reusable bag.  I take them every where I go, and I’m a sucker for a real cute one.  And for only $1.99, I just had to take it home with me.


Employee of the Month

Categories: green living | 4 Comments


I’ve never been a big fan of marigolds.  I think they smell kind of funny, and I don’t really care for the color yellow.  However, marigolds will always have a place in my garden.  These amazing little flowers repel a  slew of bugs that can harm your vegetable and fruit crops, such as aphids, root nematodes, and squash beetles.  They also attract several varieties of insects that are helpful to gardens.  Since pest control is one the hardest aspects of organic gardening, I truly appreciate all the hard work that the marigolds do, and for that, they are a beautiful addition to my vegetable patch, despite their yellow hue.

For a list of additional plants that help your garden thrive, visit this site.

Happy Easter!

Categories: Cecilia , Lucy , Photography | 1 Comment


2009 Resolution Monthly Review: March

In an effort to keep my resolutions, I’m reviewing my progress each month.

Ohhh March, You were not good to me.  Or rather, I wasn’t good to you.

March brought a lot of necessary expenditures that we’d been procrastinating for a while-high chair, stroller, gardening supplies.  We also ate out more than we should have.  Unfortunately, shopping and dining kept me from purging the extra clutter and posting more.

Last month, in an attempt to limit spending, I went an entire week without buying anything.  The end result? I bought A LOT of stuff right afterward.  On the seventh day, God rested; on the eighth day, Kelly shopped.  For the rest of this month, I’m going to focus on buying earth friendly products.  I realize that organic and eco-friendly things tend to be more expensive, but I think that will work in my favor.  I’m less likely to make impulse buys of higher price point items.  Plus, eco-friendly doesn’t always mean new stuff.  It also means using what you have, learning to live with less, and buying second hand and refurbished.  Unfortunately, it will also mean cutting out my daily trip to Sonic.  I really (really, really) love my Diet Cherry Dr. Pepper, but they serve them in Styrofoam cup.  And unless I can convince them to fill my reusable mug, I’m going to force myself to live without them.  That is, by far, the greatest sacrafice of all.