Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Solution to Sweat Shop Dilema!

Success! At least in one area! I don't want Evelyn using a ton of things that have been made by babies in other countries. I would love to have American made products for her to use. Goodness knows our economy can use the support! Well, it's slightly difficult to find a whole lot of clothing options that are Made in the U.S.A. but super easy to MAKE baby dresses! Here is one image of the success I have had so far in making Evelyn's clothes!
This one is made out of flannel. The material is most likely not U.S.A. made, BUT I can probably find fabrics made in the U.S. and order them to make clothes out of for a bit cheaper than buying them already made.
This dress took about two hours to make start to finish. The materials cost about $10 total.

Friday, October 23, 2009

I think I'm hopeless.

My house has mice in it. I don't hate mice. I used to own them as pets. But they do carry disease and poop on everything, so I went to the store to look at mousetrap options.

We tried the basic mouse trap. Little snap traps. We put peanut butter on them, set them, went to bed, and found them unsnapped and sans peanut butter. So I went back to the store.

All of my other choices at Wal-mart were sticky traps with poison in them, or poison blocks you put in wall cracks so the mice eat them and then run off and die in the wall and smell up your house like dead vermin. So I got the sticky poison traps and figure that the mice would eat the poison and be stuck there until they died.

Yesterday, I came home around 7:00 and noticed on of the sticky traps had moved under the washer a little bit. I picked it up, and there was an adorable little mouse, his eyes still staring at me, in that white boxy trap. I started sobbing. What was I thinking? How could I get something that would cause a mouse to suffer? He must have been terrified when he got stuck!

So Doc comes home and I'm heaving from sobbing so hard. He freaks out thinking I went into labor or there is something wrong with the our baby and when I finally choke out "I..ki-killed a mouse!" He starts trying really hard not to laugh, looks at the mouse in the trap, and then ushers me out of the house to go to dinner.

I finally calm down. Enjoy dinner, and on the drive home started remembering the poor dead mouse. "He didn't even look dead." I commented.

"He wasn't dead." I stared at Doc. "I thought you knew that."

I started losing it again. Turns out I happened to have bought a few traps that were not poisoned sticky traps. Just sticky traps. They catch the mice in them, and they starve to death there or have heart attacks from stress and fear. So we got home, I put on rubber gloves and with tears streaming down my face pulled the trap apart and carefully pried up the little mouse slowly. He lost a lot of fur and squeeked pitifully a few times, but I freed him and set him on the porch outside. He hobbled away, his little feet still kind of sticky.

The moral of the story. We are using catch and release traps only from now on...and I may have put some cheese on the porch after Doc went to bed.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009


Whenever a new family forms, they bring old traditions from their old families, and they create new ones for the new clan they began. Us Fowlingtons have been blazing our own trail for two years as of today. I thought in honor of Doc and I's 2 year anniversary, I would share one of my favorite traditions we started.

Candles are used as symbols in most religions. In our little clan, we burn them in honor of something. For example, on Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day (Oct. 15th) we burned a candle we have for Adelaide, the daughter we lost last January. She has a deep red marble candle that smells like cinnamon and is perched atop our mantle. It rests next to her sister, the soon-to-be-arriving Evelyn's, whose is pale blue and smells like water lilies. On the other side is Doc's, an orange marble apricot scented candle, and then mine, a pale green tea scented candle. In the middle, sits our prize candle: the Unity Candle from our wedding day. The tall candle sits on it's silver stand with the brown and red ribbons from our wedding colors still wrapped around it's base. Every October 20th, this candle burns all day to honor the beginning of our clan.

As for the rest of the candles, each person's candle is burnt on their birthday and on significant days for that person. On the day Evelyn is born, every candle will be lit to celebrate and honor our growing clan. On the day I graduate, you can rest assured that my candle will burn brightly.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Reached My Threshold

Shopping for organic foods, cooking, cleaning up after cooking....all things I had plenty of time for in the summer. Now that I'm 31 weeks pregnant, having a lot of trouble moving thanks to pulled muscles from cramping in my legs, and bombarded with school work...not so easy.

I haven't been able to go grocery shopping in over two weeks. I'm pretty sure I have a pot that has been soaking for a few weeks but I can't bend over the sink long enough to clean it (thanks gigantic belly!). So I guess for now I am going to have to resign that I am going to have to eat some processed things for a bit. I wish I had time to eat better, but with Doc not able to help out at all, and my current courseload, and Evelyn...no hope.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

A Few Thoughts on "Away We Go"

Away We Go is a fun little movie about a couple who is expecting their first baby and travels around the U.S. and Canada visiting family and friends to try to figure out where to move so they will be close to someone. On this little journey, they run across a character played by Maggie Gyllenhaal who lives in a "continuum" family house and is the biggest hippie I've ever seen on screen. So here are a few of my comments to her lifestyle:

1.) Really funny exaggeration of what being a "Crunchy Momma"* can mean.
Crunchy Momma: Mother who supports homebirth, breastfeeding, baby wearing, cloth diapering, co-sleeping, gentle discipline, etc. One who questions the established medical authority, tends to be a vegetarian and/or prepare all organic foods.

2.) Doulas and midwifes are wonderful if you research them and it's the right choice for your family. Hospital births are not the devil and are sometimes necessary even for those who don't want to go that route. It doesn't mean that children born in hospitals are screwy.

3.) Who the hell breastfeeds someone else's kid without permission? LoL.

4.) Co sleeping (allowing your children to sleep in bed with you, normally for the first year, but occasionally for a while after that) has some good research behind it if it's done well. A lot of countries do it. Having sex in front of your children is just too much for me. That being said, Doc and I do not plan on hiding our nakedness from our children. I think up to a certain age, it's okay. I still plan on kissing my husband and cuddling with him around them. But there will be no sex in front of children.
Basically this character is a great example of what is wrong with some of the green movement. First of all, there are always extremist crazies. However, I don't think the point is to be "holier than thou" because you recycle more or do something else that is more eco-friendly. It's like Christians who think because they go to church 8 times a week they have a front row seat in heaven. Being completely "green" or "holistic" is not really affordable for most of us. I think the best we can do is decide what we feel comfortable doing, make an effort at least every now and then, and share great ideas when we have them or stumble across them.
Anyway, it was a good movie. It's an odd type of humor but if you get a chance to watch it, you should :)

Monday, October 5, 2009

Local Stew

In celebration of Harvest time and the last Cherry Street Farmer's market of the season, I decided to make an all local, all organic stew! So here's how it went!

I bought some stew meat (beef) from the local/organic butcher. Browned it and threw it in the crock pot along with green beans, corn, potatoes, and tomatoes from the farmers market. I skinned the tomatoes (before my mother explained blanching to me) and diced them. Then added the other cut up veggies and a little salt, pepper, and garlic. Voila! The veggies crocked for about 7 hours on low and tasted unbelievable. The green beans still had a slight crunch (nothing soggy like you get from canned green beans) and the potatoes where soft and yum. Delicious! Completely healthy and completely local/organic!

Happy Harvest!
NOTE: The Cherry Street Market has ended, but Boston Avenue is starting their market next week! A new market! Exciting!

Friday, October 2, 2009

I think I am doing something wrong....

So, vinegar is a wonderful substitute for household cleaners. Particularly if you have a dog like mine that follows you everywhere and wants to stick their nose in every substance you put on every surface. I've found that it works really well too. The smell is not my favorite, but it goes away once it dries completely (it makes my wood look pretty too).

So I came across another handy use for vinegar. White vinegar makes a wonderful fabric softener! Absolutely true! I pour a little in with my washer and my clothes feel great! The smell goes away a lot during the rinse cycle and the rest goes away while they dry.

And now...where I think I am screwing up. Recently, I decided to try a few of the "shampoo free" alternatives. I have heard so many raves about no longer using shampoo and switching to "washing" your hair with a baking soda and water mixture every few days and using a Apple Cider Vinegar rinse. I ran out of conditioner, and thought "okay vinegar! You have never led me astray! Let's do this!"...the smell does not rinse out or go away completely when you dry your hair. I'm so confused. It's never done this to me before! Time to find some answers.....