Tuesday, February 24, 2009

On Buying Used

I was watching the local news a couple of nights ago and they did a story about how Salvation Army donations are down 40-60%. They went on to say that many donated items leave the store almost immediately and that shoppers of all kinds now frequent the store. 

Without discussing the state of our current economy, this story pleases me. It seems as though people, for many reasons, are starting to be a bit more responsible when it comes to spending. I'm happy people aren't so quick to donate last year's jeans or the white couch with a grape juice stain. Maybe people are finally being forced to, dare I say it, be happy with what they have. 

I enjoy buying used things. It doesn't make any sense to me to spend $10 on one shirt for Maeve when I can buy an entire bag of clothes at a garage sale for $10. I don't feel bad when one of her shirts get painted on or torn while playing outside. She has a closet full of clothes and most of them were free (yes, free) or bought for very cheap. It seems to be a bit trickier to find used boy clothing in decent shape, but I managed to find some really great things for Finnegan last summer. 

Last year I started buying used clothing for myself too. My closet is full of J. Crew, Gap, Anne Taylor, etc. It took several trips to the thrift store and garage sales to find clothes in my size and style preference, but it was well worth my time. I found a cashmere Banana Republic top for $2.  

When you really start "getting" it, it doesn't stop with just clothes. It's amazing what people consider disposable or are willing to give away. Our train table, kid sized chairs, bookcase, and several other things were all free. 

And the funny thing that I've noticed is that the people giving things away aren't generally the ones who drive the new cars or live in the big houses. They are average people who also appreciate second-hand stuff and who feel good when their unused whatever finds a new home. 

While buying used and re-gifting are excellent things to do, reusing what you already have is even better. I try to re-purpose items as much as I can. I made a dog bed using leftover curtain fabric and old t-shirts. I took the filling from an old, lumpy pillow and used it to stuff a new one. Egg cartons become seed starters. Parmesan containers become new bath toys (seriously, my kids love to dump water and this is one of their favorites). This requires a bit of creativity at times, but using something you already own to create something new is free. 

Here are sites that I frequent daily:

Monday, February 23, 2009

I Love These Kids

Aside from constantly hitting her brother on the head, the kids are at an age when they are finally enjoying one another. Finn is talking (finally!) and loves playing with Maeve. 

In fact, just today Maeve poured Finnegan a saki cupful of "hot chocolate" and he pretended to drink it. He used a great deal of restraint while doing this because the saki cup actually contained several dried beans. None of which ended up in his mouth or nose. 

Saturday, February 21, 2009

New Friends

It's Saturday night and I am excited about gardening, learning to can and all of the various sewing projects waiting for me. 

How did this happen?

It's strange because so many people I know from college and high school still go to the bar regularly and would most definitely not get excited about canning. It's a shame too. I've been out of the bar scene since my last semester of college and have always felt like an outcast. I just have never seen the point in sitting in a smoke-filled venue, yelling to friends across the table and, call me crazy, but if I'm going to ingest something that is going to make my ass larger, it isn't going to be alcohol.

It's been a long road trying to find twenty-somethings who prefer to stay home, raise babies and get excited about nature and craftiness. I have finally found people who share my interests and have similar parenting and learning philosophies. I can talk to them about sewing pocket diapers, nursing past the age of one or homeschooling and they don't look at my like I'm growing another head. It's nice. 

I hope that warmer weather brings closer friendships.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009


Finn woke up from his nap and as I was carrying him downstairs, I asked him if he wanted popcorn for a snack. His response was, "Yes. Go buy some."

Maeve ordered ice cream tonight at a restaurant and said, "I am going to need a box for this!"

Saturday, February 14, 2009

101 Uses for a Maxi Pad

This is hanging on the wall in my kitchen. Isn't it beautiful?

Friday, February 13, 2009

Proof that Spring is Needed

We went to the library a couple of days ago and left in less than 20 minutes. 

Here's a recap of our trip:

We got into the library with few problems. I went to the counter to return our books. Mistake #1 was made: I put Finn down. He ran back to the doors to push the handicap door opening button repeatedly. A very nice woman stood by the door so he couldn't escape. 

I was able to convince both children to follow me to the children's section to pick out books. 

This is where mistake #2 was noted: I did not bring in a stroller. Finn immediately ran off with a menacing laugh. As he was running, he pushed books off the shelves. The more I chased, the harder he ran and laughed. 

I picked up a kicking and screaming Finn and attempted to help Maeve pick out good books. A young girl approached us and asked why Finn was screaming. That quieted him for a good 30 seconds. 

After gathering as many books as I could reach, we went to the check out counter. At one point I needed two hands and had to put my screaming Finnegan down. He, of course, ran off. Maeve chased him and clotheslined him. She then proceeded to drag him across the library floor by the hood of his sweatshirt. A well-meaning man stopped and asked Maeve to stop dragging the screaming little boy. 

Fun times. Fun, fun times.

Ready for Spring

Need I say more?

Well, I will elaborate just a bit. 

It was 60 degrees on Tuesday. We raked the garden, played on the swing set, played fetch with the dog and made a lean-to with all of the sticks in our yard. We did all of this without coats. 

Today we have 5+ inches of snow. 

How is this fair? 

The fresh air and sunshine motivated me to clean, cook and finish the pile of diapers I've been working on for awhile. I need more of that fresh air and sunshine. My kids do too. We want to plant, look for grubs, dig for worms, get dirty and run. 

I guess I will settle for making snow angels and eating my sorrows away with a brownie.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Swallow This

Supplements. I hate supplements.

I am currently required to take 500 mg of omega-3s, 1200 mg of calcium and I have to drink a glass of orange juice daily. 

After receiving my "assignment" from my midwife, I eagerly went out to purchase all that was required. I am a terrible pill swallower so I bought chewable (yes, chewable!) omega-3s and chewable calcium gummies. I thought the chewables were the perfect solution, but they trigger my gag reflex every time I attempt to eat one. 

So, I picked up a huge container of fish oil pills at Costco. They happen to be the size of my foot and there is no way they are going down my throat. 

So, I picked up a DHA supplement for pregnant and nursing mothers because the pill size advertised was small. I got them home and swallowed one only to have it get stuck in my throat. 

I am back to the chewable gummies. Except I looked at the back of the omega-3s to discover that they are not for pregnant women. I have yet to call my midwife. 

This is a great example of why I seldom follow directions.