What a week (or two)

It has been a hard couple of weeks around here. First I had quite the adventure when I had to check in at the hospital because of this continuing, horrible, abdominal pain I was having. I thought I was going to get checked out and sent home in an hour or so. At least by dinner!

I ended up staying four days and having an appendectomy. That was fun. Especially since they wouldn’t let me eat anything “just in case” I had to go into surgery. The docs just weren’t sure exactly what was wrong since my symptoms were not quite consistent with appendicitis. You know they couldn’t even FIND my appendix via ultrasound since my uterus had pushed it somewhere hidden? That is weird.

Luckily I am home now and appear to be doing well and the baby has stayed healthy throughout this whole ordeal. And I can eat. I just can’t do much else.

I also learned about a friend’s more tragic news, which I will not get into here. Please just take the time to hug your children tight today. I know I’ll be doing that for some time to come… even if it is from the comfort of the couch.

An eco-friendly Mother’s Day

We want to wish all the mamas (and mamas-to-be) a very Happy Mother’s Day this weekend! I hope you all have a wonderful day to relax and enjoy those little reasons you are a mom!

Looking for green gift ideas? There are so many ways for your gifts to be more earth friendly. Here are some ideas for some of the traditional gifts…

1) Flowers. Buy locally grown first. There are several Farmers Markets that have already opened or find a shop or farm that sells local flowers. Buy organic if you can! Another great option to cut flowers is potted flowers, herbs, or plant.

2) Jewelry. Buy vintage! I just learned that it takes at least 5 tons of water and 20 tons of mine waste to produce a simple gold ring. Plus there is an even greater human rights problem in the mining and production of most jewelry. There are also some great artists that use recycled materials to create beautiful jewelry without the harmful ecological and social impact!

3) Candles. Try to find soy or beeswax candles, or make your own! If you need a scent, look for one made with essential oils and a lead-free wick. Just do a quick google search and you will find lots of information to make your own. Most candles are made with crude oil byproduct, the burning of which releases a lot of nasty chemicals into the air. Who wants that?

4) Chocolate. If you are going to go with chocolate, look for fair-trade and organic. The chocolate industry is rife with human rights abuses and ecological destruction. Fair Trade certified chocolate ensures that forced and abusive child labor are prohibited, farmers earn a price that is enough to endsure that basic needs will be met, and environmentally sustainable methods will be used. Plus it just tastes so good!

5) Spa Day. Choose a green spa! Green spas strive to reduce their environmental footprint by reducing water and energy usage, is committed to using recyclable materials, utilizes natural and organic skin care products, etc.

6) Anything made by little kids is pretty awesome. There are plenty of ways to use recycled materials to make something that will melt any mom’s heart!

See what you can come up with this year!

Portland recognized for bike friendliness

The League of American Bicyclists recently bestowed Platinum status to Portland as a Bicycle-Friendly Community. Portland is the first major city to receive the top honors. Yay Portland!

U.S. Congressman Earl Blumenauer made a short speech on the House floor sharing Portland’s success and encouraging Washington lawmakers to think more on the advantages to promoting bike culture throughout the country.

Bike culture has long thrived in Portland. And why not? It’s a great way to save money on gas, eliminate carbon emissions, get exercise, get a shower… Seriously if we can do it in Portland, where it rains so much of the year, you can do it anywhere at least part of the year! Give it a try!

Want to involve the kids? If s/he is 12 months or older, then go for it! If younger, I know there are options, but I don’t personally feel comfortable recommending them. Bicycling for fun and transportation is great for the whole family. There are bike mounted seats or trailers for the littlest ones and bikes that attach to the parent’s bike for older children. Check out local bike shops and try some things out, just don’t forget the helmet!

What if a monster stapled the baby’s eyeball?

This is what is coming out of my 4 year old’s mouth this evening. Lovely.

Raising kids is never easy. Raising green kids can be even harder. Coming this summer is a great book by a good friend and founder of Itsabelly Concierge, Melissa Moog. Melissa and her co-author Jennifer Lo Prete have created the perfect guide that will help you start out making eco-friendly choices from the beginning.

Itsabelly’s Guide to Going Green with Baby is the first book to provide a simple resource for evaluating eco-friendly baby gear and to learn more about organic and natural family living. We offer mom-tested product reviews and tips to raising a healthy baby and creating a happy planet. The founders of Under the Nile, gDiapers, TheSoftLanding.com and Earth Mama Angel Baby provide insight on why choosing organic and natural baby products is important to creating a healthier lifestyle. Going Green with Baby features personal product recommendations from eco-minded moms Jennifer Lo Prete and Melissa Moog. Jennifer is a writer and mother of two that has long practiced green living. Melissa is mom to a toddler, writer and the founder of Itsabelly Baby Concierge, a premier baby planning agency that specializes in going green with baby.

I am really excited for this book and can’t wait to share it with all of you!