Thinking Thursday: What we do to be ‘GREEN’….

3 02 2011

I’ve decided that I should attempt to live up to my blogs title and maybe give some background on what we do as a family to be GREEN.  I grew up with Captain Planet and always felt guilty throwing things out the car window… didn’t exactly always stop me from doing it, but I had the guilt ingrained!

I honestly didn’t think much about the environment until Kurt had extreme eczema and we had no clue (including DR’s) how to fix it. It was a long process and along the way I found out about chemicals, parabens, VOC’s and other nasties that are around us everyday. So I packed up all our chemicals, all my makeup and hair products and gave them away. I now clean my house with mostly vinegar and baking soda, I still use dishwasher tablets and  dish soap and laundry detergent for some things. But I always buy from companies that are trying to make things better, no ammonia or phosphates. Companies like Method, Seventh Generation,  J/A/S/O/N. Companies still make compromises, even ‘organic,green,natural’ companies. So I’m always reading labels – I have a nifty iPhone app that helps determine whats good or bad. I read almost any book with the work ‘green’ in the title.

At home, we try to recycle (i get lazy sometimes). Use cloth diapers, cloth wipes, cloth pads and me and Kurt use cloth toilet paper. I turn off lights every time I leave a room. Which is actually a habit formed when I lived in New Zealand – electricity was so expensive! It made a huge difference to turn off lights and unplug appliances. In fact all the outlets had a little switch on them, so you could turn them off. I really wish they had that here…. Anyways. What else do we do? I don’t spray our lawns with chemicals. I try to take shorter showers. We have dual flush toilets. I try to only buy organic or local or organic AND local fruit and vegetables. The really easy things you see in any “how to be green” list.

This year I plan on trying to not buy new. Try not to buy much at all. It’s hard, there is always something you want or think you need. I’m going to try to only buy second hand clothes for the boys. Try to lose weight so I can fit into my pile of skinny clothes, so I don’t have to buy anything ;). Little things. I try to only buy or use organic makeup, which is hard, because of price. I only use organic toothpaste, shampoo and conditioner and deodorant (no excuses!) I also managed to switch my husband over to organic deodorant and toothpaste too!

So yeah, thats our little start of being green as a family. There is so much more to do! But I have to remind myself, one step at a time!

Oh and I never buy bottled water anymore! NEVER! so bad. supporting the privatization of a natural resources that is already becoming scarce is STUPID! So curse you bottled water drinkers! Turn on your tap and be incredibly grateful you can do that ! (ok, I’m done ranting!)





Thinking Thursday: Scream Free Parenting

16 12 2010

If there ever was a book title written for me. This is it. ScreamFree Parenting By Hal Edward Runkel. I laughed out loud in the book store when I spied its title. I have been yelling at my kids so much and in increasing amounts… To the point that MY ears hurt. Not proud parenting moments, that is for sure.

I feel rather foolish after reading his book, that all I really needed was someone to tell me top GROW UP. It’s obvious isn’t it? But sometimes I guess it’s just what you need. To have someone else say it. So he said it and I heard it and for the last two days I’ve challenged my thinking patterns and felt a lot more in control than I’ve felt in a long time.

When the screaming and throwing and hitting starts. I remind myself IAM THE PARENT. It’s my job to see big picture and set the boundaries. Help them become the children and eventually adults that I want them to become. Happy. Seems simple enough. Just happy. Whatever they choose in their lives. I want them to be happy. I don’t care who they marry, what they do for work, if they go to university. I don’t have lofty dreams of them being doctors or lawyers or billionaires. It makes me laugh.

Why would I think those things? Try to imagine them? I don’t even  understand how you would try to imagine what your kid would be? I’m only 24 and my journey is still new and exciting. I’ve made decisions I never thought or predicted I’d make. I’ve learned so much. I want my kids to be happy. Sure my definition of happy might flesh out a bit as they grow and change. I mean.. I don’t really want them to be happy crack addicts.

So big picture for me, is the things I wish I had when I ‘grew up’. I wish I knew how to eat properly, just by habit, naturally. Because this is something I’m still day-to-day struggling with. I wish being active wasn’t such an effort.  I wish I knew more about mortgages, debt and just REAL WORLD stuff. If it wasn’t for google….. I’d be a lost puppy that is for sure! I wish I grew up cooking and baking. So that by now I’d be a pro.

So I guess I do plan on instilling some things into my children’s lives, just so that they have the knowledge. But I dont’ expect them to be fitness instructors or own a bakery. I just want to give them what I felt I missed out on.

So coming back down from my bird’s eye view of the future. Today, I’m going to concentrate on ME. Growing up ME. So I can model for my children the kind of people I eventually want to be. Or at least the people I wish I had been around to model.

PS. NO my childhood was not bad by any means. I had fantastic parents (three in fact!) who gave me many characteristics that I love and appreciate.


Thinking Thursday: Mindfulness and Non-Coercive Parenting

9 12 2010

So I have admit, as of late, I’ve been reading alot of Mama-Om. As well as blogs she links to, and who they link to. The long, inspirational rabbit hole that is ‘mummy blogs’.  So I’ve had alot of new ideas to digest and see what applies to my life.  Non-Coercive Parenting, Mindfulness. And I’ve found that they are trails of thought where words do not follow. Each subject is unique to the each parent, each child.

So yesterday I spent all day attempting to be present. To be in the moment. It was tough. It’s tough to be in the moment of your 2 yr old throwing a chair (small, plastic) at your 8 mos old. At least for me. The anger surges before I can comprehend and I’m screaming, spanking and suddenly VERY in the moment, feeling horrible. This is NOT the mother I want to be. I still remember being spanked as a child sometimes feeling very,very betrayed and hurt. Non- Coercive parenting is lurking in my mind. I know what it is NOT. But I haven’t grasped what it IS.

So I tried to sit in my emotions, to see what reasoning and feelings lurked underneath my reactions. It’s more aware than I’ve been in a long time. Sure I’m always in my head. But not in the present. I’m in a past or future converstaion with my husband or mother in-law. Or I’m planning what to buy on payday. Or I”m re-living a favorite memory from New Zealand. The list goes on….

So to be present is very difficult. Trying to focus my eyes on what is happening now, because I find they are slightly glossed over, waiting for the moment to pass and the next onto whatever I’m planning or looking forward to. Which makes me very sad to say out loud.

I’ve always been like this. Thinking, thinking, thinking.

But I remember when I lived in New Zealand, when I had settled into my life. I was very alive, everything was vivid. I actually had the conversation with some of my friends – ” Wow, I dont feel like I’m dreaming anymore”.

I’m seeking that vividness again. That magical wonder at every new day. The appreciation at the smallest thing.

Eating a cookie (chocolatey and spicy). Listening to my son upstairs pushing a chair towards something he wants. Feeling cold. Feeling the need of accomplishment.