Tuesday, February 27, 2007


Introducing a new place to learn all things environmental!

Karen and I have decided to join efforts in this environmental quest we are both on. We have been eerily on the same page w/ our feelings and desires to improve our environment, decrease our foot print, create a grass roots efforts to get others involved.... the product: Green Girl's Guide.

We will now be posting together on this new site about what we are doing to decrease our footprint along w/ providing info about how you too can decrease your footprint. We will have book reviews, product links and reviews and are open to suggestions from others about what they want to see and information they need to go green!

So stop by and check it out. Let us know what you think and what you need! We want the site to grow and evolve!

Please pass the site on to your friends!

Saturday, February 24, 2007

I challenge you...Continued

Here's a cool video a friend shared w/ me. A visual is worth a thousand words!

Click HERE.

“It’s about mindful consumerism, not about depriving ourselves.”

Now HERE's a challenge for you!!! Maybe you've already seen this, but I just found this article in the NYT... (by the way... who would have thought I would read the NYT... never have liked the paper, but this online version ROCKS!)

"Cutting Back W/O Deprivation"

You might have to subscribe, but it's free and hey it's the NYTimes.. it will make you feel edumacated! :)

You can also check out their blog at: Compact. You can find a LOCAL Compact Yahoo Group on their site! I feel compelled to do this. I've been doing okay.. aside from over indulgences at both Sam's and Whole Foods. Could I do this for a YEAR!? Wow. Maybe 6 months? I have been buying used for the kids toys and things and felt pretty good about that. Can I start after we acquire the jogger/trailer for the bike?? Does it count if I don't pay for it... we'll be using a sample from Tom's office that would be produced anyway... right?? EEK. Plus I'm buying a new Green Cone in April.. if it's a purchase to help the environment does that count?? Hmm... will have to give this some thought, but in the mean time I will be blog stalking their site and checking out their Yahoo Group. I like the idea.... am I up for the challenge?

One small step for man... one HUGE step for mankind.

2007 is proving to be an eye opener for me. I've always considered myself to be relatively healthful and environmentally aware. I'll be the first to admit that I have always been lacking in global thought and social responsibility when it comes to my consumption... I've been blissfully naive to my individual impact every time I purchase something. Well, no more. It's actually quite daunting to always be thinking about what impact you are having down the line when you purchase something, especially something you consume a lot of... like coffee!

I have a rather long list of books that I plan to read this year. Included on that list is the Omnivore's Dilemma by Michael Pollan. I stumbled across THIS article written by Pollan in the NY Times and have been propelled again into deep thought. The article addresses our (America's) approach to eating. He talks about where we get our 'advice' on what to eat and how getting our advice from scientists and marketing campaigns instead of our cultural roots has thrown us for a loop. Now instead of concentrating on eating FOOD (read: whole foods not processed foods) we are concentrating on eating nutrients. Forever chasing the 'things' that will make us healthy... ward off cancer and heart disease, make us thin and youthful, chasing the anti-oxidants to create a long healthy life. He suggests that much of this seems to backfire on us. We take out the beta carotene for example w/ the promise of it warding off cancer, and what we don't understand is what that beta carotene is mixed w/ inside the food we may be extracting it from. We are told it will act as an antioxidant in our body and help save us from the big C (cancer) diagnosis, but studies have shown that it doesn't do that and in some cases it may act as a PRO OXIDANT. There are apparently A LOT of carotenes w/i a particular food... not just beta carotene. What scientists don't know is how all of those carotenes work together. I can't do justice to the topic - you will have to read the ARTICLE. There is also an interesting section regarding Omega 3 and 6 oils.. I won't even try to summarize it here as I need to go back and read again to fully understand it myself.

If you find your interest or stamina is waining and you fear you won't get through all 12 pages at least skip ahead and finish off pages 11 and 12. They are kind of 'duh' ideas, but they make A LOT OF SENSE.

I read this article kind of thinking I was glad I didn't go on to get my Masters in Nutrition. I started to feel free from having to WORRY so much about what I was getting in my diet (though I can't fix the lack of nutrients in the soil I CAN eat whole veggies and fruits from my local farmer's market.. as suggested. This helps solve not only my nutrition problem, but the environmental and socially responsible aspect of my 2007 goals. Love the kill THREE birds w/ one stone thing here!).

In my eyes here are the three main things our earth and our conscious needs to focus on to take a broad step in the right direction for our mother earth and our fellow man. These will be my big focus for 2007... aside from my little tots and husband. (oh and the dog too)

1. eating wholesome (read: whole) foods
2. environmental awareness / trash, energy consumption, pesticide use, toxins
3. socially responsible consumerism

It seems that by eating wholesome (whole) foods you help to alleviate problem number two by doing away w/ much of your garbage - cereal boxes, juice cartons, individual wrapping on various products you eat - and you can step it up a notch if you compost the scraps from your WHOLESOME foods. I say why not go for the whole enchilada tackle number three too and find a local market to purchase your produce. Hey, and while you're at it take your own bags - whether they be using your other grocery bags again or bringing a basket or canvas bag to reuse over and over. You CAN make a difference!

By environmental awareness I am referring to anything and everything that has an impact on the environment... locally and globally. It can be an overwhelming thought... EVERYTHING we do and touch has some sort of environmental impact. So you get the organic farmers market veggies and fruits delivered to your door.. what of the fuel used to get that truck from the farm to your door. RELAX... baby steps. Do what you can and be mindful as you go through your day. I already challenged you to think about your garbage... to use a bag at the store, to use a canteen style cup at the coffee shop. Do SOMETHING! Do what you can handle at the moment and after you get used to that change challenge yourself to either take that to the next level or tackle another area. Skip the chemlawn treatment on your grass... go au natural. How important is it really to have pristine grass? Why is this so important to you? Wouldn't you rather save that money for retirement anyway? ha ha Change to environmentally friendly cleaning products like SHAKLEE that not only make products that aren't toxic to our environment, but cut down on the garbage hitting the landfills. Ride your bike or walk when you can. I realize this isn't an option for everyone, but cut corners where you can. It's your planet... and your kid's planet. You owe it to yourself and to them.

The socially responsible consumerism is a hard pill for me to swallow too! It takes a lot of thought and research to be a socially responsible consumer! It's daunting for me lately. I'm not sure why, but this new information (for me - I'm a bit ashamed) is causing me to not want to buy anything.. I'm sure this will pass. I'm trying the baby step approach to this as well. Consume less.. maybe pay more for the things I do purchase, but feel good about it.

That's all for now, but I want to direct you to Karen's blog again.. I just peeked over there real quick and noticed she has started reading another book on my list: The 100 Year Lie. It sounds even more daunting a task to consider the additives and synthetic chemicals that surround us on a daily basis, but we can't walk blindly through life anymore.. we ALL must wake up and smell the toxicity. We are creating a life of illness for ourselves. It's going to require quite a bit of perseverance on our parts to turn things around... the 'machine' (read industry/marketing) isn't going to do it for us.

Friday, February 23, 2007


So this is the scene at cheMount while dinner is being prepared for the rug rats. :)

Jason and Lily "patiently" waiting for their dinner:

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I promise I'm working on a post w/ some intelligence and less photos. ;)

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Peeking my head out of the trenches.

Hello there my long lost friends. Sorry I've been a bit MIA lately. These kids have been challenging me, but we seem to be coming out of it for now. :) I'm not sure what was going on, but it seems to have passed... for the moment. (I'm still gun shy about 'talking' about it when things are going well for fear of jinxing it!) It's amazing the difference a week can make.

A friend used the analogy of getting through the marathon to getting through life. I need to use this. I forget in the moment that this will pass ... just get through the next 'mile'. So we are on a quick down hill right now (a good thing).

Yesterday and today (so far) have gone fairly well. The only big change has been the 'big thaw' and being able to get out of the house. We went for 2 walks/day the last two days and this morning we met at an open gym for little kids. :) It was GREAT. L and J are a bit small for open gym, but they seemed to really enjoy themselves. Lily crawled ALL OVER THE PLACE and Jason picked a spot and pretty much stayed put. Two little kids took an interest in him and entertained him while I chased Lily down every now and then.

At one point a - maybe 5 yo - came over and asked if I had TWO babies. When I said yes his response was, "is it hard to take care of them." I thought that was pretty funny coming from a kid of his age. Maybe he has younger siblings? I watched in awe as my friend Kristi's twins ran around like crazy! They are 15 months old and were just loving the open space and balls and hoola hoops to play with! I'm sure Jason and Lily will be doing that in what seems like a blink of an eye.

So next month is my month to officially start training for the Mad City Half Marathon. I'll be in Texas and w/o my jogger... but hopefully I'll get plenty of opportunities to hit the pavement w/ the willis. God knows we BOTH need the exercise. ;) And when we get back it will be babies, willis and me out there running our little butts off! I'm hoping my friend Marie is still on board to run.... Marie??? You still in? Twin powers unite!! We'll be monopolizing that trail this spring!

2007 CSA

I'm excited to announce that Tom and I are joining a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture). We will pick up our weekly 'share' at the farmers market every Saturday. I'm so excited to support local agriculture and to receive yummy seasonal fruits and veggies. Along w/ this we will use less packaging and fuel.. we'll be - hopefully - riding our bikes to pick up our weekly share and to shop for eggs/meat/dairy at the market as well.

Here's a link to 'our' farm!! JenEhr Family Farm. We also get to go to the farm to pick our own strawberries, beans adn tomatoes!!!

Look locally for a farm near you...

I hear Jason saying mamamamama on the monitor. I am being summoned and we're off to meet friends at the open gym.. YEAH!

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Do you want to know how cold it was!?

Do you want to know how cold it was last month???? Our gas/electric bill is $402.12!!!! $270 of that is GAS! Our furnace and fire place operate on gas.


Sorry I've been MIA... these babies sure keep me busy!

Sunday, February 18, 2007

I challenge you...

I challenge you to think.. REALLY THINK.. about the amount of garbage you produce. On Karen's recommendation I checked Garbage Land out at the library and am not even through the Introduction yet and am already REALLY THINKING about my / our garbage production and how I can decrease it. I am daydreaming about the Green Cone I'm going to purchase and install when we return from Texas in April.

We are all responsible for taking care of this planet of ours and each of us can make an impact by changing our own habits! I challenge you to change at least ONE thing... if that means using your dishes instead of paper (no names named), buying some fabric napkins instead of paper towels or paper napkins (doing this today), recycling when maybe you didn't in the past, using a 'to go' coffee tumbler at the coffee shop instead of getting a paper cup, taking your own bags to the grocery store.. whatever it is... chose just ONE thing (at least) and change it.. TODAY!

And read the book Garbage Land if you need some motivation!

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Project Rwanda...

Schwinn is partnered w/ Ritchey to create a bike for the Rwandan Coffee growers. Tom had a large part in developing this bike. It's pretty cool. You can see a picture and read about the project HERE. Tom Ritchey's son Jay is in Rwanda and you can read his blog by clicking on the link at the website.

The blog details the benefits that the bike is already providing for a local coffee farmer named Celestin. Wow! It's great to see the impact that one small thing (okay the entire effort is not that small) can make in the lives of these coffee farmers...

Karen, If I really want to go the distance I suppose I should find out where this coffee is sold and buy it huh? :)

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Happy 8 month birthday!

No time for a real post, but here are their pics for today.. (geez, seeing a 'no time to post' pattern here).

8 months:
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7 months:
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Tuesday, February 13, 2007

We stand...

A picture (or two) is worth a thousand words... I had to put them up in these positions, but they can stay there on their own. Jason in particular enjoys playing like this.. Lily has other things she needs to accomplish in her day so it is short lived for her... they can just "fall" down when they are done and seem fine w/ it as well.. though I stay close while they are propped like this to catch them when I can. I'm on the hunt for a good toy for them to pull up on if anyone has advice! I've heard good things about the incrediblock by fisher price, but haven't been able to find a used one. :(

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They are just so pleased w/ themselves. It's pretty cute!

Monday, February 12, 2007

Fiona Rose..

at long last here is a photo of Miss Fiona Rose... she sure looks a lot like her Mommy!!

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Sunday, February 11, 2007

Like sister like brother...

Just a quick post to let you know that Jason is trying to keep up w/ Lily... I left the room for a moment and came back to this:

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Lily is now pulling up to standing in her crib.. guess we got the crib lowered just in time. :)

Welcome Anna Louise...


Anna Louise Sweet was born Sunday 2/11/07 at 2:49am weighing in at 8lbs. 4oz. Julie's labor progressed so quickly that she was unable to get the epidural. I haven't spoken w/ her yet... though I'm DYING to call... but I suspect all went well and FAST!

Here's a picture of the BEAUTIFUL little Anna.

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Saturday, February 10, 2007

Welcome Fiona Rose.......


Fiona Rose Golding was born on Saturday 2/10/07 at 1:40 am weighing in at 8lbs 8oz. We haven't talked to Greg and Karen so we don't have details or pictures yet, but I'm so excited to welcome her into the world. It's bitter sweet since we can't cruise over to the hospital to meet her in person. I'll share a photo when we get one! I'm sure she's adorable!!!

Friday, February 09, 2007

She laughs too!!

Okay.. I just can't stop w/ the videos. I've been trying to get video of Lily laughing and haven't been able to.. then I heard this from the kitchen and came running. :) Lily's got a cute little laugh!!!!!

Onto the next phase....

Okay.. Lily's got the crawling down and has decided to move on:

Wow, my little peanut is growing up! I went to get her from her crib today and she was on her knees.. I thought.. oh she'll be pulling up soon, but by soon I wasn't thinking an hour later!!!

By the way.. she was fine after she fell. :) Poor thing... and it didn't stop her from trying again, and again, and again!

And now as I sit here waiting for the video above to load so I can add it here I am listening to my frustrated little girl NOT take a nap. I just ran up to make sure she hadn't stood up and couldn't get down (WE HAVE TO LOWER THE CRIB TONIGHT)... well she was getting on her knees then down, but she had dropped her pacifier while working on her kneeling. Poor thing is so tired.. she skipped her last nap too b/c she was 'practicing' and lost her pacifier. I HOPE she takes a nap! She's going to be unbearable if she doesn't. Just when you are getting in a groove they rip the rug out from under you. ha ha nm

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Am I insane?

I went to bed last night thinking... "I love having two babies." Well, except when I think about getitng out the door. :)

Having two babies is SO fun.... they play and interact and it's so fun. L went to bed before J tonight so J had dinner w/o her. He was in his highchair in the dining room and I looked over at him from the kitchen and he just looked so lonely in there all by himself. He wasn't lonely - of course - he was just enjoying his dinner (by the fistful), but he was just there all by himself...

two cute videos of 'the twin thing'

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Plastics revisited - this time as baby toys

I was reading another mommy blog and found this article: San Francisco to Ban Baby Toys

There is plastic all over the place here... as I gaze over at the kids toys (while listening to Jason talk his way through his entire nap time) I see so much plastic... and a lot of it 'old hand me down' plastic no less. Shoot. Do I just throw away all of the questionable crap. I just threw away the "little teethers" teething toy... The wood / fabric toys from the boutiques cost a small fortune.. what to do. I guess you do the best you can huh???

for those of you who are getting ready to have babies and may need to do some bottle feeding:

Safe Baby Bottle Alternatives

Fortunately, there are alternatives to polycarbonate plastic baby bottles.

First, learn to identify polycarbonate plastic containers. They are generally clear and rigid, and may have the recycling symbol 7 marked on the bottom.

Here are a few tips for choosing bottles and using them safely:

  • Select bottles made of tempered glass or polyethylene or polypropylene (recycling symbols 1, 2 or 5). Medela and Evenflo make bottles and nursers from these safer plastics. Evenflo also makes tempered glass bottles. The
  • Avoid heating breast milk and infant formula over the stove or microwave in plastic; dangerous chemicals are more likely to leach when you heat in plastic.
  • To avoid bacteria, look for scratches in plastic bottles.
  • Avoid plastic bottles that have decorations printed on the inside. These can come off into formula when it’s been heated.
  • Avoid disposable nursers if possible, as the plastic bags that may leak or burst. There have also been incidents of babies choking on the plastic tab inside.

Sometimes it's just overwhelming.. this whole environmental, toxin, responsible consumer thing.... I can only do what I can do as an individual at this moment in time...

I hope that sharing these things is helpful to some of you... another good spot to check out is my SILs site: pdxMounts. She's making a big push to walk the talk this year.. she's doing a great job and is sharing a lot of great info too. I poach a lot of the links in my side bar from her!!!! Nice work Karen!

Saturday, February 03, 2007

Even closer...

Okay.. it's Js day. I got a little bit of video of him working on his crawling... toward my pancake - which he almost got! :)

We went to a play group today and J and L were about the same age as most of the kids, L was the smallest and the only girl... and the ONLY one crawling. It was so cute. She even plowed right over J to get a toy! Then tonight J took a few crawling "steps" and just 20 mins later was crawling over Tom's legs to get to his toys. I figure it will only be a couple of days before J is all out crawling! :)

While we were upstairs having 'quiet time' play in the 'warm room' (the babies' room has a space heater and it is so NICE AND TOASTY in there... not like the freezing cold rest of the house - it was -2 outside today at 5pm) Anyway ... back to my story. We were upstairs and J crawled over to grab his devil squeeky duck out from under Ls crib and L came over and nabbed it from him.. they went back and forth like this for a while. No one got upset they just kept taking it from each other.. so fun!!!

People are always saying, "I don't know how you do it w/ two I can barely survive w/ one." I'm not real sure how I'm supposed to respond to this... while I appreciate their noticing that it's tough I don't know what to say. Do I play the martyr and talk about how tuff it is or tell them the stories like the one w/ the ducky above? Tom said I should respond, "I do just fine w/ two." ha ha that may be a bit of a fib most days... well not most days anymore now that I think about it.

J was in a really good mood this evening.. here he is playing w/ Tom...

Friday, February 02, 2007

A little closer...

Jason is getting closer and closer to crawling... it seems as the day goes by. Here's a video from today.. this evening he did an even better job, but I couldn't get up to get the camera b/c it was late and he was tired and he would have just freaked anyway. :)

Enjoy... (gosh is this blog going to turn into one big Jason and Lily show!?)