Saturday, March 29, 2008

Donate Your Breastmilk!

I have been doing a little online browsing and stumbled onto The Breastmilk Project. It is a pretty revolutionary program. As a nursing mom (my son recently told me that I was like a cow), I was especially curious. I don't personally seem to be one of those women that make a ton of extra milk but I have a lot of friends and family that are. (Hint hint hint).

The program goes like this: you pump and store your extra milk. (They will even take milk that has been frozen for up to 10 months). You fill out an online application. They test your blood to make sure that you are a safe donor. They have FedEx ship you a cooler to ship your milk (they ship anywhere in the US). They pay for all shipping costs. You ship your extra milk. They run it through tests and once it is deemed safe, the send 25% of it to babies dying in Africa and use the other 75% here in the US for premature babies. Read more about it on their website. Can a breastfeeding, stay at home mom save lives? Apparently so!!

Sick Days and Snow Days

I put all of our scarves away two weeks ago because the weather was a little warmer and as you know, it's MARCH! We have been stuck at home since Wednesday night with first Finn having the stomach flu and Liam throwing up last night and what do we see while laying on the couch? SNOW! I usually love it when it snows but I am really ready to be outside, go on walks and send my son outside to play in the backyard. While I won't be going out until the boys stop having their food and beverages shoot out of them, it is still a bummer. It's got to warm up sometime though! Doesn't it? Doesn't it!

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Amy Grant's Awesomeness

Women of Purpose Meeting April 6th

Our next Women of Purpose meeting is going to be on Sunday, April 6th at 9:30am in Overlake's Orchestra Room. We will be updating everyone on all current projects and giving you the chance to volunteer to help. Tardiness is totally acceptable. If you are running late, please come anyway! We will only point and laugh at you for a maximum of one minute.

Women of Purpose is a project of World Concern based right here in Seattle. With poverty, child trafficking, prostitution, and slavery running rampant, the Women of Purpose project seeks to link North American women with poor, marginalized women in countries overseas to receive healing and provide opportunity and freedom to women and children. This is accomplished through education, missions, microloan programs, job training, and shelter and safe house programs.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Finny is working on crawling!





We really haven't been pushing crawling with Finn. After Liam, we realize what Finn's mobility really means! Despite our discouragement, he is learning to crawl... It is really cute and just as exciting to watch the second time around. Go Finny!

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Finn's 1st Ear Infection


We are having a rough day. Finn woke up a lot last night and seemed to be in a lot of pain. He eventually went back to sleep. I thought that he was probably teething but he has been thrashing his head around and hitting himself while he nurses. I don't know about you but I am sometimes reluctant to go to the doctor. I hate the looks I sometimes get when their doesn't seem to be anything wrong. It is like I have made up the symptoms or something! So... we went in today and one ear turned out to be infected.

Does anyone else ever feel that way about the doctor or am I the only one? BTW... we go to a huge pediatric practice. Liam and Finn's regular doctor is great and never makes me feel that way. She always says that it is important to trust my mommy instinct. It is when I have to see the other doc's that I am made to feel like a silly sleep deprived mommy. I already feel that way most of the time!

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Finny is going to be Mr. World Baby April!


I know that this is TOTALLY dorky of me - but I sent an email and picture of my precious Finny to World Baby Foods in hopes that he would have a chance of winning Mr. World Baby at some point this year. If your baby wins, he gets a case of World Baby Food for free (that's 12 whole jars).

Well, to my surprise, I received an email from one of the owners of World Baby Foods this morning announcing that Finn has been chosen! You can imagine how proud I am. I will of course remind you, but make sure to check out www.worldbabyfoods.com during the month of April to see my Finny's silly smile!

Monday, March 17, 2008

I take requests...


Last night my son asked if I could take our picture and put it on my blog. Poor Liam has apparently heard a little too much about it to know that it is my blog that I occasionally work on while he plays! So, here is the picture that I took on our computer camera! Does anyone else think his hair is starting to look like Johnny from Karate Kid? Sweep the leg, Johnny!

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Pictures for a Purpose











Our Eastside Women of Purpose group will be hosting our 1st ever Pictures for a Purpose Event! It looks like the event will take place on Saturday, April 26th and it will go all day. Ashley Julian of Shutterbye Baby and Amy Cheng will be taking the photos and all profits will go toward our anti-trafficking project at the India/Nepal border. Stay tuned for more info!! In the meantime, enjoy the beautiful baby pictures! Who wouldn't want pictures taken of their kiddos in order to help keep other kids from being trafficked into slavery?!? Mark your calendars because someone is sure to pressure you into this!

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Bottles and Sippy Cups




So have you heard about what's happening with our babies bottles and sippy cups? Apparently the bpa toxins in the plastic are leaching into our kiddos drinks. Here is what nurturepure.com had to say about bpa's...

"Bisphenol A is a developmental, neural and reproductive toxicant that is found to leach from plastic containers, especially popular baby bottles made from plastic. Since growing children are particularly more at risk due to their susceptibility to toxic chemicals in their environment, their exposure to toxicants like Bisphenol A can have severe and damaging consequences. There is now extensive evidence that children, from the time they are in the mother’s womb to the early stages of development, who are exposed to Bisphenol A, even at very low doses, can face potential dangerous developmental health problems."

Researchers have found that the toxic chemical BPA leaches from popular plastic baby bottles when heated, including Avent, Evenflo, Dr. Brown’s and Disney/First Years. Importantly, ninety-five percent of all baby bottles on the market are made with BPA.

BPA, a synthetic sex hormone that mimics estrogen, is used to make hard polycarbonate plastic. Studies conducted on laboratory animals and cell cultures have linked low doses of BPA to obesity, diabetes, thyroid disease, breast cancer, prostate cancer and other illnesses. BPA exposure is widespread and has been found in 95% of Americans tested.

BPA is also found in some toddler sippy cups, polycarbonate water bottles such as some Nalgene bottles, dental sealants, and the linings of many food and beverage cans, including infant formulas and all canned foods.

SCARY!!!!

So... I am reluctantly getting rid of my son's sippy cups, bowls, etc and moving them into a Kleen Kanteen or Foogo Sippy Cup in the near future. They are NOT cheap though. This means that I am going to be doing a lot of daily washing. You can find these new brands of safe sippy cups at the following websites: www.kleankanteen.com ($15-$18 per cup) or look for Foogo Sippy Cups at www.target.com ($15).

Let me know if you find something else!

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Sound Effects Make Everything Better

My youngest son Finn HATES having his face wiped off. This is a major bummer considering the fact that he is almost always a bit of a disaster. He somehow gets peas and blueberries in his eyes, up his nose, behind his ears... Everytime I wipe him down he fusses and cries and tries to bat me away. Today I made a ridiculously lame shooting sound while I wiped him. Not only did he sit still but he laughed through the dreaded wipe down! What is it with boys and their sound effects?

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Kids Say the Darndest Things

We had a really nice couple from church over to our house this evening for dinner. Liam and Finn joined us for the meal and Liam made small talk with everyone at the table. Out of the blue, Liam said, "Excuse me... excuse me Miss Becky?.. Did you know that Baby Finn came out of Mama's Vajayjay?"

Needless to say we all cracked up and I turned a bit red as I admitted that he heard that from me over a year ago. Advice to all you parents out there - little ears are always listening and their sponge like minds can remember everything!

Day 7 of Liam's TV Detox

We will have completed one full week with very little tv at the end of today. He hasn't had more than two hours of tv (my goal) in one day and often little to no tv at all. It has been a little easier to maintain this because the sun has been out a LOT more and day light savings sure helps. He can play outside or ride bikes so he has been really worn out.

We have also been going through our music library by genre and listening to what I deem as cool. He chooses the genre and I choose the artist. We have been dancing and just generally enjoying ourselves. I love exposing him to what Jesse and I love and seeing what he seems to enjoy... (Beach Boys and Matt Kearney so far...) Finn is a music lover already and has really been shakin it. I love it!

Monday, March 10, 2008

Another cool video...

Another Product Helping People

Always and Tampax have a heart for young girls! A fellow blogger and friend, Neely McQueen, let me know about Always and what they are doing to help young school girls in South Africa. Here is what their website says:

"For some girls in Southern Africa, getting their period means missing school for several days each month.

That's because they don't have access to something many of us take for granted: feminine protection.

Helping girls stay in school is critical. An education gives them a future. It helps build better lives - not just for them, but for their families and their communities."

Pretty darn cool! It sure inspires me to buy from Always and Tampax. Visit the website at www.protectingfutures.com. Watch the videos and see what you can do to help!


Sunday, March 9, 2008

Liam's TV Detox Day 5

Liam has gone 5 days watching no more than a hour and a half of television a day! I won't even admit how much tv I have let him watch this winter.... cold, rainy days, nursing his brother, mama getting ready, no reason at all. He was a junky! I think that he is getting used to not watching something and he has stopped asking. We have been listening to a lot more music, dancing, going over to the neighbors house, painting, playing, or imagining we are somewhere else. The weather is getting a little warmer these days so he is out riding his tricycle a whole lot. He is also a little better behaved.

Things haven't been too bad on my end. I am a little busier trying to entertain or find art supplies but I love seeing him create! So there you have it!

Friday, March 7, 2008

The Shoppers Guide to Pesticides in Produce


THE DIRTY DOZEN (Buy these Organic)
(Highest pesticide levels)
Peaches
Apples
Sweet Bell Peppers
Celery
Nectarines
Strawberries
Cherries
Lettuce
Grapes (imported)
Pears
Spinach
Potatoes

CLEANEST 12 (Lowest in Pesticides)
Onions
Avocado
Sweet Corn (frozen)
Pineapples
Mango
Sweet Peas (frozen)
Asparagus
Kiwi
Bananas
Cabbage
Broccoli
Eggplant

View the full results at www.foodnews.org

Making a Fool of Myself for My Kids

I have been reading a lot about our supermarket produce and where they buy it from. Our produce is rarely from a local grower. Farmers markets are great but often too expensive for our little middle class family. Plus the best produce is out in the early morning and there is no way that I will ever make it in time! So... while I was shopping at the grocery store a couple of days ago, I ran into my produce guy. (Almost literally). I decided that it was my chance to ask him to start buying fruits and vegtables locally. It should have been a natural statement but as he looked back at me with a "she's a little crazy" smile, I started pinking and fumbling over my words while trying to explain myself. I finally found my words and clumsily said the following things... I think.

1) I would like to know where my food comes from and support local organic growers.
2) I would like to know that the people that grow and pick my food are paid fairly and treatly like human beings.
3) We have more rules and regulations in the US regarding how many pesticides we can use on our produce. (We still use too much).
4) Buying locally reduces pollution. Imagine how much fuel it takes to get the blueberries here from Chile?

I am aware that there are more intelligent reasons why grocery stores should buy locally but put on the spot (I guess that I did it to myself), this is all I could come up with. I am pretty sure that I didn't make much sense. Maybe I made a fool of myself. I can pretty much guarantee that the next time I am in there he will be thinking, "There is that ridiculous woman who told me to buy locally. She crazy." But maybe other people will start asking the same questions (and hopefully making more sense) and maybe they will start buying things locally. Who knows. If it means that I can feed my kiddos more produce that I feel good about, it was worth a little embarrassment.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Liam is on a TV Detox Program

Yes, that's right. We are experimenting on our son. I am not sure how long this will last but I am hoping that we can keep it up. Liam didn't watch any television yesterday (but we weren't home much) and watched about one hour today. So what's happening with old Lee Boy now? Is he a new child? Well, he has been better behaved and calmer but I am not sure if that is just because we have been keeping busy. He has been reading and coloring a ton and I am loving that. I am curious to see how the rest of the week goes... Let's see if I can make it!

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Starbucks Responded

I received a response from Starbucks this morning. They didn't seem to respond to any of my actual questions regarding the current price paid per pound but I learned a lot more. Here is what they said...


Dear Marisa,


I want to thank you for reaching out to Starbucks regarding trademarks and Ethiopia.

Starbucks Coffee Company has signed a distribution, marketing and licensing agreement with Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia. Further, Starbucks has agreed to assist in expanding consumer awareness of Ethiopia's famed coffee brands -- Sidamo, Harar/Harrar and Yirgacheffe.

We are also happy to announce that the company will open a Starbucks Farmer Support Center in the Ethiopian capital in 2008. The facility, the first in Africa, will enable Starbucks to work collaboratively with Ethiopian farmers to raise both the quality and production of the country's high quality specialty coffees.

These agreements will help to expand their ongoing collaboration to market and sell Ethiopia's exceptionally high quality coffees.

"Ethiopia is firmly committed to work in partnership with all international specialty coffee companies and distributors of its fine coffees, including Harar, Sidamo and Yirgacheffe. We realize our approach to trademarking and licensing these coffee brands that originate in and represent the best of Ethiopia's coffee heritage is a new approach that not only meets the needs of small Ethiopian fine coffee farmers and traders but also the coffee roasting and distributing companies and their customers," commented Getachew Mengistie, EIPO Director General.

"Ethiopia is recognized as the historic birthplace of coffee and the source of some of the finest coffee in the world," said Howard Schultz, Starbucks chairman. "We're extremely excited to continue to deepen our relationship with the Government of Ethiopia."

Both the Government of the Ethiopia and Starbucks will continue to strengthen our partnership and engage in consultations on strategies to improve the lives of Ethiopian coffee farmers and their families.

Thanks again for reaching out to us. We look forward to serving you in the future.

Sincerely,

Shawn H.
Starbucks Coffee Company

Monday, March 3, 2008

I Emailed Starbucks

I just emailed Starbucks to ask them about their business practices in Ethiopia. Last month I blogged about some info that I heard about how little Starbucks pays the Ethiopian farmers they buy their beans from. This deeply disturbed me. You know it's serious when I start avoiding my favorite coffee chain! Here is what a cnnmoney.com article says:

"Last season, that pound of coffee fetched farmers an average price of $1.45. Figuring in the cost of generator fuel, bank interest, labor and transport across Ethiopia's dusty roads, it netted them less than $1. In the U.S., however, that same pound of coffee commands a much higher price: $26 for a bag of Starbucks' roasted Shirkina Sun-Dried Sidamo."

Read my blogs from February for more info about Starbucks, how fair trade works and why I am doing my best to steer clear of Starbucks these days. Also check out saintscoffee.com and try a bag of their organic, fair trade certified coffee. When you buy a pound of coffee from Saints you pay for an orphan to eat for a month. It is a really good cup of coffee that gives back.

I will let you know if I hear back from anyone at Starbucks Corporate and post their response to my email. If you want to help the cause, feel free to write an email of your own and up your awareness about where your coffee (and all your food if you are feeling crazy) is coming from. Simply go to Starbucks.com and click on customer service at the top of the page if you want to send an email. Let me know if you hear back from them!

Exciting and Educational!

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Living with Liam

While 3 1/2 is a tough age, Liam makes it a little easier by making us laugh hysterically. Here are a few Liam-isms to enjoy.

(Liam comes out of the bathroom after going pee-pee and has his underwear off and his hands in his crotch) "I think I'd like to spend the day with my peeny-dong!"

(We had just walked by a rather rotund fellow) "Wow, that guy was squishy!"

(Jesse and I were spelling something to each other so that Liam would not know what word we were communicating to each other. Then Liam chimes in with:) "The B-I-B-I-B. That's the book for me!"

(As I was stepping out of the shower, Liam greeted Jesse.) "Whoa, Dada. You've got a bunch of ickies around your peeny-dong."

(Liam and Jesse were pretending that he was a pilot flying an airplane)
Jesse: "Captain Butterworth, where are you planning to land the plane?"
Liam: "In Seattle"
Jesse: "Is that where you're family lives?"
Liam: "No, they live in Washington"
Jesse: "Isn't Seattle in Washington?"
Liam: "It's complicated."

(Liam accompanied me to the bathroom and was in the stall with her)
"You don't stand up while you go potty, Mama? Is that because
you don't have a peeny?"

(Liam and Jesse were on the "Winnie the Pooh" ride at Disneyland. Jesse was pretending to be afraid of the "Heffalumps and Woozles" part of the ride.) "Don't worry Dada. It's just a bad Pooh dream."

(Liam was eating an ice cream cone) "I love to lick ass-cream!"

(Jesse and I were commenting on how cute Finn's "chubby leggies" looked) "Awwwww, chuggy ladies. Finny has chuggy ladies!"

(He was sitting quietly playing with his trucks when he calmly looked up and said) "Get me a beer." (We are fairly certain that Jesse has never been that demanding).

(Liam had accompanied me to a very crowded airport bathroom where Jesse had to do a very noisy #2.) "Whoa Dada. Those were a lot of tootsies and poo-poos." (the entire bathroom snickered in chorus)