Monday, September 29, 2008

i love weekends

I really do. I can't get enough of my family and love just a little more time to be together. We started this one by going camping. The weather was perfect and the kids have been begging to go. No need to twist my arm; I love the little escape from the distractions of home. I want to nurture in my kids a connectedness to the earth, but Ella seems to need less urging. That girl is so happy with a pile of dirt its ridiculous. We weren't there ten minutes before she was literally rolling around in it and covered from head to toe. Juden on the other hand, comes in from getting dirty and immediately wants to wash his hands. We sang songs and roasted marshmallows and they loved it. We put them in the tent and listened to them chatter and laugh until one by one they went quiet. I knew going into it, that it would be a restless night, but that was okay. Kind of like when they were itty-bitty and would spend all night burrowing their faces around my chest looking for milk, a pleasant sleepiness that you don't mind too much. I thought of that as I lay in a tangled web of limbs with a flailing Ella between us whose arm kept ending up across my face. It was worth it for how much fun they had and to just lay in the stillness of the woods listening to the rhythmic insect songs.

After our little camping excursion we went down to the park to check out Culture Fest. We saw some dancing and drumming and I lusted after brightly colored saris and wished that I lived somewhere that I could where them everyday.

Photo by chinua000 on Flickr -an awesome and inspiring photographer.

We ended our weekend in this bamboo forest with some of my very favorite people. Have I mentioned that I have two sisters and two brothers that are some of my most favorite people in the world? Some time I'll introduce them to ya, since they all deserve their own post. Part of why I want to have a big family is a direct result of growing up with them. Sure there is stuff in every family but we are our own little tribe, stronger together. Here is my baby bro climbing trees.

One last lovely bit of my weekend, a new favorite song that's been kicking around my brain all weekend. It also happens to be one of Juden's favorites, my boy has some good taste. It's "Furr" by Blitzen Trapper and you must give it a listen here. I like songs that tell a story and he does it in a beautiful Dylan-esque voice. They are old friends of Josh's that are making some mighty fine sounds these days. Many moons ago Josh lived in Oregon and played music with the singer. So that's it for my weekend loves. What occupied your time this weekend?

Friday, September 26, 2008

being green baby bums

If you are not a mama who is slightly interested in cloth diapering then you might as well stop reading now.
When I titled this blog, "being green" a few years ago I had in mind the simple everyday life of our family and what it means to just be in the moments. I had no idea how culturally relevant the phrase would become or that I could have panties with the phrase emblazoned across my rear, or any other article of clothing for that matter. Yes, "being green" is definitely very hip at the moment. Though this was not my intention with the name of our blog, I do feel strongly that God has given us dominion of this beautiful earth to protect and preserve. It is important to be mindful of even the small ways that we can do just that.

Okay , down from my soapbox and on to the point of this post. After years of trying different things in diapering and surveying lots of other moms I think I've figured out a few things by trial and error. I thought perhaps I could save some moms some trouble and maybe encourage others to at least consider giving it a try.

They have made some advances in diapering from what our moms used for us. With the current state of our economy, lots of families are looking for ways to save money and make ends meet. Spending less money on disposable diapers is one practical way to save. With the price of food and gas lately decent cloth diapers are a worthy investment. Here are a few that have worked the best for me, the Motherease one-size with wrap, and the bamboo Bum-Genius. I recently got way too excited when I passed Bum Genius cloth diapers in the aisles of Target! Oh, another reason to love that store. After trying several, my favorite diaper is made by a Danish company I found on ebay; they are similar to Motherease but thicker and softer and made from bamboo velour and are worth the nine dollars they cost. You can read about the benefits of bamboo fiber for your babies skin here . The Bum Genius bamboo diapers took forever to dry because of there absorbency but the Danish ones dry easily in the dryer or sun. I use them with the Bummis Super whisper wrap which keeps the wet in but also is breathable. The wraps can be purchased locally at Greenlife or on line.
I use them mostly at home but disposable when we are out since it is a little more of a production and I don't want to give Juden and Ella any extra time to caress the surfaces of public bathrooms. Yes, they are a little more work, but worth it for the benefits, which are:

1 It feels good when the trash bag going to the dumpster, then the land-fill is a little lighter.

2 You end up saving $money$.

3 It is so nice holding a baby with a cushy soft natural bum.

4 They look very cool with pink patent leather boots( at least Naya seems think so.)

Check out this pose, is she a superb diaper model or what? I 'm sure she'll brag about it someday.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

safe place

It seems that there is a sub-conscious theme of thankfulness in a lot of what I write here. I guess I don't feel as motivated to write about the personal failures, the lost temper, the worry over money, the harsh tone of voice, the fear, and pride,the ugly things, that I wish I could purge forever from my soul, and replace with truth and justice, and love to where it just pours out of me. Surely those things are there, with nagging questions I can not answer and sorrows just beneath the surface. What I write here, are mostly things I never want to forget, the things I am so deeply and overwhelmingly thankful for. I think almost everyday something stops me in my tracks, and takes my breath away with joy-love-gratitude or some equivalent to complete contentedness.
The other day I walked through the perfect morning light with Naya strapped to my back, making sweet little humming noises while Juden and Ella tumbled excitedly down the path filling their treasure baskets with leaves and acorns and wild flowers. And it hit me then. The way the sun fell soft on their faces, the wonder, the green aliveness, and it made me pause, to tuck it away somewhere inside me.

The other day Juden, who is becoming very tender-hearted, in an innocent voice asked me, "Why can't we see God?" and then he said that he would like to.
There it was again, that same feeling.
And then this morning I knelt beside a white-haired woman in her nineties who was not in good shape, and seemed quite incapable of even sitting up. I said "hello there, how are you?" To which she responded with a look of complete sincerity, "just wonderful." For her, years of laughter and family, health and adventure were days long gone. Yet, was there something inside her that made her not just okay, but wonderful despite a body that had all but given out on her, in a place surrounded by strangers? How I want to cultivate that kind of inner peace and joy, by God's grace that enables me to be thankful even in hard things, even in my twilight. I wonder why it seems that often the people that have suffered hard things are the same ones with a spirit of gratefulness.

I know this is a rambly post; I guess I'm in a rambly mood. I must also mention how thankful I am for my husband, with whom I am so smitten. It was a good design, this whole partnering thing. I don't know how I'd do it without him. Last weekend Josh and I went mountain biking. Did you catch that I said Josh and I, meaning not the helmets galore, sippy cups and trailers and baby seats, a-circus-is-coming-your-way kind of biking. This was the light, free, I-can-go-as-fast-as-I-like-down- rocky-narrow-trails kind of biking. Needless to say,this kind of biking doesn't happen too often for me anymore. Josh on the other hand who does not have a ton of height but has what I call power-house legs, rides a whole lot. After we did the trail my out-of-shape self was panting up a steep road and suddenly I felt Josh's hand, firm on my back, powering me up that hill and uttering words of encouragement the whole way. It is not the first time that he's done that. We love to ride together but I am just not as adept of a bicycler. I can't help but smile when I feel that hand reminding me of his strength and how I love to lean on him. I have never had much confidence and Josh seemed to get an extra dose. The hand on my back felt like such a tangible reminder of his voice over the years, saying,"sing, write, create, love, let it shine." The gentle ways his love has helped me see myself through God's eyes, and that my worth comes from Christ alone, nothing else. Anyway we reached the top and collapsed in a sweaty heap, chests heaving and staring at the clouds above the strangely vacant mountain. And there it was again, a moment that makes you stop breathless, and tuck it away in that safe place.

Thursday, September 04, 2008


Mama: What's your favorite color?
Ella: purple.

Mama: What's your favorite animal?
Ella: Mmm...Ella the elegant elephant.

Mama: Who do you want to marry when you get to be a big girl?
Ella: Umm, I fink Juden or Nana.

Mama: What do you want to be when you grow up?
Ella: A flower.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008


On Labor Day we decided to take a little day trip. I haven't left town all summer and lately I've been feeling the itch for something new; a change of scenery. Thinking of the days before bambinos, of spontaneous road trips and cheap motels, diners that smell like stale coffee and cigarettes, fields of flowers and perfect little off the road camp spots. I remember well Josh, on his back on a bed of pine needles strumming this song with only the wind in the trees accompanying, and the smell of fire and leaves in the air. Hmmm.. it's been too long. I want to be in the woods away from everything for awhile, soon hopefully. Okay, so it's slightly more work than it used to be, and instead of a backpack we need a wheelbarrow or u-haul to carry our gear. Maybe anyone that camps within a 5 mile radius is going to hate us when the cries of disoriented babies are echoing through the trees at 5 in the morning, but still so worth it, right?

Any way we took a little drive up to Harrison Bay State Park and mountain biked a lake side trail there, had a picnic and then went to the Ocee River and let the kids wade and watch the kayakers. It was so refreshing to feel the cold river water and to have whole day just to roam and play. I've still got a case of wanderlust at the moment, but the day felt so renewing that I'm really quite content to stay put and just daydream awhile. The day ended holding a naked little Naya, fresh out of the tub and smelling like milk and honey shampoo, limp and sleepy from her day's adventure. I kind of wanted to just hold her like that all night. We're hanging on to our summer days by a thread, what a good way to end this one.

Oh, and I'm still trying to decide what I want to do about the MP3. It seems I'll have to make a music website and link to that, so we'll see.