Friday, April 30, 2010

Rice Krispies is not Rice Cereal

We got clearance for Abby to start on cereal this weekend and we were chatting about it tonight:

Tim: Did you pick up the krispies?

Me: the what?

Tim: you know, the rice krispies for Abby?

me: ROFLMA - are you serious? Babe, we're not going to feed her krispies, we're going to feed her baby this...(show him rice cereal online)...

And so we did....

The First Bite

Half way through...

She did fantastic! We went two rounds followed up with some liquid dinner. This is some exciting stuff! The only down fall is her poop is going to change a bit and we haven't purchased our diaper sprayer yet....

Go Abby!!

Monday, April 26, 2010

just some pics...

While there is a lot going on, I just wanted to share Abby from this past week....

Thursday, April 22, 2010

We're Under Contract!

It's official! I'm a bit leery to post the good news because I'm afraid to jinx us. BUT, a buyer made an offer on Sunday, we countered on Sunday night, she accepted, and we signed the Purchase and Sale on Tuesday morning. Holy Moses this is moving faster than we thought. The appraisal is tomorrow and inspection on Monday. Say an extra prayer to the housing God's that the appraisal comes in where we want it to!

What we thought was going to take forever took about a month. The process of getting back to Maine has finally started. Up next? Employment. I'm sad about this because I love my job very much (and I'm not just saying that because some readers might be my colleagues). I genuinely enjoy my role at VTB, learning about the business, and growing with a great company. I know my skills will be able to transfer to something great, but the unknown is a bit scary. Tim is able to continue to work for PCC by setting up an office at home and telecommuting.

The plan now is to rent in Vermont until we're ready to make the transition to the Vacationland State.

Hold onto your hats,'s going to be a fun ride!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Five months ago....

We received a new addition to the family! Five months later, here she is! How cute is she!!!! Lots of giggles, belly laughs, ear infections, and traveling to see family. She's sleeping well, eating like a champ, and rolling all over the place. She's working hard at trying to crawl. We need to baby proof soon!

Friday, April 16, 2010

Happy Abby, Crabby Abby, Gabby Abby

These are all the different personalities of our Miss Abby. Generally speaking she is a pretty awesome kid and happy as a clam. However, at certain times of the day she turns into a crabby Abby. This is usually followed by something to eat, a diaper change, or lately a trip to the doc. She is working through her second ear infection in two weeks. Last night was an almost replica of our solo night when Tim was out of town.

Lately she has been much more vocal and telling us stories. Yesterday she was telling me how awesome her Daddy is and how much she loves him. (Me, too, Abby!!) It's so neat to listen to her babble away. She looks like she knows exactly what she's talking about ;-) that's right Abster - fake it until you can make it.

Here is content Abby...

Wednesday, April 14, 2010


This past weekend we celebrated Aunt Jackie's 50th Jubilee of service as a Sister of Saint Anne. The service in her honor was at Saint John's in Rhode Island and a beautiful reception was held at the Crystal Lake Golf Course. Bearing witness to such an extraordinary accomplishment was truly inspiring and admirable.

Abby was fantastic during the service and was fussy just a few minutes until she was fed. She turned into Gabby Abby at the quietest times of the service and I never realized how loud she sucks on her hands.

How adorable is this picture???

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Part IV - Recycle

Many cities and towns have made it very easy to recycle or "To use again, especially to reprocess:" The catch with recycling is that it takes resources to reprocess. Extending the life of something or reusing is the best way to go, but if its life has run its course, recycle!

I've visited the MRF (materials recovery facility) in Burlington. It's pretty cool and amazing to see the work that goes into recycling. You can see it for yourself, here. They even have glass broken down into a pulp that can be used for decorative purposes or a beautiful drainage systems.

Recycling is easy and almost any thing can be recycled. Here's a list we can recycle in Chittenden County. Check with you local waste districts to be sure of what can go in the bin.

Here's a quick snapshot:
  • Plastics #1-7 (milk jugs, soda/water bottles, molded packaging, food packaging containers (yogurt, cheeses, etc)
  • Glass (food and beverage containers only)
  • Paper - junk mail, phone books, copy paper, magazines, news papers
  • Box board - cereal boxes, 12 pack soda boxes, egg cartons, toilet paper tubes
  • Aluminum (foil, cans, aerosol cans, steel/tin cans)
  • Cardboard
Here are things that can't be recycled: Think twice about using or purchasing this stuff!
  • No Styrofoam
  • No toys (okay, purchase these, but give them away when you're done!)
  • No paper plates, paper cups
  • No wet or soiled paper (this includes pizza boxes)

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Part III - Reuse

According to, "Reuse in the broadest sense means any activity that lengthens the life of an item."

Absolutely probably my favorite topic. Not only for the environmental impact, but the immediate impact on our wallet. Just think if you NEVER had to buy these things again. Add it up, I dare much $ could you really save??? The below are things we have put into use at our home.

Instead of this .............................................Try this!
  • Paper towels............................ Microfiber towels, cut up old t-shirts
  • Dryer sheets............................ Wool Dryer balls fromhere. Add drops of EO for smell
  • Zip lock bags............................. Reusable Snack sacks
  • soda/water bottles .....................A Nalgene/Sigg type bottle
  • Tissues...................................... Handkerchiefs
  • Plastic grocery bags....................Reusable grocery bags (BYOBag)
  • straws ........................................ reusable straws from here
  • Produce bags ............................. BYOB from here
  • Brown paper lunch bag............... a cool lunch box, or insulated sack
  • Styrofoam coffee cups ............... BYOTM (travel mug) to coffee shops -some even offer a discount
  • alkaline batteries...................... rechargeable batteries
  • disposable diapers.....................cloth diapers
  • disposable wipes.......................cloth wipes
  • cotton balls...............................squares of cotton

Some tips on the above:
  • keep a basket of clean "paper towels" on the top of your fridge or reachable place, and have another basket for dirty ones
  • Add essential oils to your wool dryer balls for a gorgeous scent (dryer sheets leave a layer of film/chemicals on your clothes - wool absorbs the static)
  • check out to pass along your junk - it may be someone else's treasures.
  • Try Craig's List for great deals on items your looking for.
Also, here are some things you can just plain old reuse:
  • gift bags/wrapping paper
  • bubble mailers - just cross out old info
  • envelopes you receive from bills in the mail - keep them to use for other things
  • spaghetti jars/baby food jars
  • ends of candle pieces - melt and remold into new candles - fill a metal can with wax pieces and place in a sauce pan of hot water. Heat on low until completely melted. Pour into a votive holder and add a wick.
  • Milk jugs - turn them into an igloo like this
One of my favorite new books is Handmade Home by Amanda Blake Soule. This book contains instructions on how to repurpose (reuse!!) lots of old things into new and exciting household items. I'm working on a rag rug. Her blog is also fantastic!

These are just a few tips to get you on your way for some reuse in your home. What are some things you do? Leave me a comment - I'd love to know!

Friday, April 9, 2010

Part II - Reduce

According to, "reduce" means to to lower in degree, intensity, etc. Interestingly enough, this is the hardest of the three R's for me. It's easy to recycle and reuse, but to reduce? Some of the best tips I can give is about consuming less. Think about it this way - compete with yourself every week to see how little trash you can throw away. This may mean you reuse or recycle, but let's save those topics for Part III and Part IV.

Reduce your waste using these simple tips....

Reduce paper consumption:
  • Did you know you can set your printer default to print double sided? Print double sided whenever possible
  • Give clean one sided paper a second chance by using it as scrap paper or printing on it again
  • Think before you print- can you send something electronically? print just one page instead of 10?
  • Go electronic
  • Fit more on one page - adjust your margins to use less paper
  • Cancel catalogs, junk mail, etc to avoid getting unnecessary paper in the first place

Reduce Food Waste: Compost!
  • greens, leaves, plant trimmings, raw fruits and veggies, coffee grounds, tea bags, hair, dryer lint can be composted into "black gold"
  • don't forget to add your dried leaves, grasses, straw, woodchips, twigs and branches, etc
  • You can build your own compost bin or purchase one
  • If you want to get started on composting visit this site. It will give you way more information for a successful bin.
Reduce your water consumption:
  • Be sure you have a low flow toilet, if you don't add a milk (juice) jug to the tank of your toilet. Upgrading from a 3.5 gpf (gallons per flush) toilet to a 1.6 gpf model will reduce one person’s annual water use from 27,300 gallons to 12,500 gallons, according to the Federal Energy Management Program (
  • Don't dump your half full water glass in the sink. Instead pour it into a nearby watering can to use for your plants.
  • Does it take forever for your tap water to heat up? Collect water-that's-warming-up and use it for your gardens, humidifiers, plants, etc.
  • Keep your showers short :-)
Reduce your Energy Consumption:
  • Shut lights off when not in use
  • Consider swapping your dryer for a clothesline
  • Invest in Compact Fluorescent light bulbs
  • Use a programmable thermostat

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Part I - Home Detox

Detoxifying your home is one of the easiest things you can do to Go Green. It may not be convenient as purchasing pre-made solutions, but I promise the results are worth it. Not to mention keeping Green in your wallet. As I learned this week from our guest speaker at MOPS, the reasons are plentiful. Chemicals cause cancer. Now, I don't have studies to site, nor do I pretend to be an expert. I'm just going to do my best to keep myself and my family away from harsh chemicals. These include air fresheners, cleaners, bleach, dryer sheets, etc....the list goes on and on...

Making Homemade Laundry detergent is easy peasy! I got this recipe from here, The Eco-Friendly Family Blog. (one of my favorites!)

Here are the ingredients you need:
1 cup washing soda
1 cup borax
1/2 cup of Oxiclean
1 bar of soap, finely grated (I used my food processor)

You can find all this in the laundry aisle at the grocery store. Two batches fit nicely in a 1/2 gallon size mason jar and I reuse a scoop from an Iced Tea mix.

Mix it all up and adding 2 TBSP to each wash should do the trick. Depending on how soiled your clothes are you should adjust accordingly. For HE washers use half the amount. For cloth diapers, use the same recipe but eliminate the soap.

Here are some recipes to make at home. Some of which I use and love, while others are on my to-do list. I found this awesome list at I use variations of these cleaners, and it's really about your own preferences. You could Google and find lots of different recipes.

How to make a Non-toxic Cleaning Kit

Shopping List:
Baking soda
Washing soda
White distilled vinegar
Natural liquid soap or detergent
Tea Tree Oil
6 clean spray bottle (or reuse the ones you already have!)
2 glass jars
Vegetable glycerin
Fresh Lemon
Additional Essential Oils

Non-toxic Formulas:

Pour 1/2 cup of baking soda into a bowl, and add enough liquid detergent to make a texture‐like frosting. Scoop the mixture onto a sponge, and wash the surface. This is the perfect recipe for cleaning the bathtub because it rinses easily and doesn’t leave grit. Note: Add 1 teaspoon of vegetable glycerin to the mixture and store in a sealed glass jar, to keep the product moist. Otherwise just make as much as you need at a time.

1/4‐1/2 teaspoon liquid detergent
3 tablespoons vinegar
2 cups water
Spray bottle

Put all the ingredients into a spray bottle, shake it up a bit, and use as you would a commercial brand. The soap in this recipe is important. It cuts the wax residue from the commercial brands you might have used in the past.

1 cup or more baking soda
A squirt or two of liquid detergent

Sprinkle water generously over the bottom of the oven, then cover the grime with enough baking soda that the surface is totally white. Sprinkle some more water over the top. Let the mixture set overnight. You can easily wipe up the grease the next morning because the grime will have loosened. When you have cleaned up the worst of the mess, dab a bit of liquid detergent or soap on a sponge, and wash the remaining residue from the oven.

1/2 teaspoon washing soda
A dab of liquid soap
2 cups hot tap water
Combine the ingredients in a spray bottle and shake until the washing soda has dissolved. Apply and wipe off with a sponge or rag.

1/2 teaspoon oil, such as olive (or jojoba, a liquid wax)
1/4 cup vinegar or fresh lemon juice

Mix the ingredients in a glass jar. Dab a soft rag into the solution and wipe onto wood surfaces. Cover the glass jar and store indefinitely.

Keep a clean spray bottle filled with straight 5% vinegar in your kitchen near your cutting board and in your bathroom and use them for cleaning. The smell of vinegar dissipates within a few hours. Straight vinegar is also great for cleaning the toilet rim. Just spray it on and wipe off.

Tea Tree Treasure

Nothing natural works for mold and mildew as well as this spray. Tea tree oil is expensive, but a little goes a very long way. Note that the smell of tea tree oil is very strong, but it will dissipate in a few days.
2 teaspoons tea tree oil
2 cups water
Combine in a spray bottle, shake to blend, and spray on problem areas. Do not rinse. Makes two cups.

Vinegar Spray few hours. Straight vinegar reportedly kills 82% of mold. Pour some white distilled vinegar straight into a spray bottle, spray on the moldy area, and let set without rinsing if you can put up with the smell. It will dissipate in a few hours.

Happy Earth Month!

You may have thought I forgot all about it, but I sure didn't! In fact, I've been sharing my passion of Being Green with MOPS, an organization of special moms. The topic this week was Home Detox and Reduce, Reuse, Recycle. I was asked to speak after showing up at Craft Day with my reusable snack sacks. Many of the crafters were intrigued and wanted to purchase them! The news spread and my meeting organizer asked me to present at the next meeting. There were two speakers, one who focused on removing chemicals from the home and myself. I had 15 minutes to chat about the three R's!

In honor of Earth Month, for the next four posts I'd like to continue spreading my passion about Going Green. Using the same topics as the MOPS meeting you'll find Green Tips that are money saving, informative, and best of all easy!

Speaking in front of these wonderful ladies was inspiring and motivating. I hope I was able to encourage them to make small, but meaningful changes in their life.

"10 little kids in a bed, roll over, roll over"

Children's songs have never been my favorite - I'd rather be busting out to some country, classic rock or even Top 40. With an infant around, singing songs are a must. It's a distraction when they are cranky, helps lull them to sleep, and brings such joy to their little tiny faces. I've been making up words to beats and humming when I can't for the life of me think of something at 6am. Here's an example - think of Michael Jackson's Billy Jean. "Abby Jean is not daughter, she's just a kid who claims I am her mom...hum, hum, hum...." right? I know....pathetic.

For now, we have a couple of books (thanks to Kelly and the boys!) that play music when you push buttons and have lyrics to go along. I also just bought a nursery rhyme book to help with the effort.

Now, if I could work on my pitch, Abby might enjoy the tunes I make.

Oh! And one more thing....appropriately enough for the title of this post, Abby has rolled over all the way! From laying on her back to her tummy and then from her tummy back to her back. She's scooting enough for her to move from one side of the the crib to another. Actually showing you this would probably take 10 minutes since it doesn't happen quickly, but I'm guessing soon enough.

There were ten in a bed and the little one said
"Roll over, roll over"
So they all rolled over and one fell out

There were nine in a bed and the little one said
"Roll over, roll over"
So they all rolled over and one fell out

and so on, and so on.....

Wednesday, April 7, 2010


Yes, I know Easter was three days ago, we've been busy! We had a fantastic time in Maine visiting family, getting Abster dressed up in her girly clothes, and buying a new car. Yes, a new car! We had been talking about it for awhile, and with Honda's low interest incentives on the '10's and rush to get rid of their Pilots, we jumped at the chance. It was hard to find one on any lot between here and Burlington - we called four dealerships! We found ours at Honda Prime in Saco.

First things's Abby in her Easter get up! A gorgeous hand me down!

We tried to get her to sleep a bit, but Sophie and her blanket didn't do the trick. There was too much going on!

Her new thing is eating her toes. Literally, she likes them that much :-)

We finally wore her out and she Konked out on Aunt Marie

And, here is my Easter present. I'd say he was pretty good to me this year...Actually, I think Santa Clause, the tooth fairy, and the Easter Bunny were in cahoots on this one :-)

We haven't taken pictures yes, so this is a stock picture from the Honda Website.
Honda 2010 EX-L

Thursday, April 1, 2010


Today marks the fourth anniversary of my paternal grandfather's death. No joke - it's true. We can kid about it as a family, because it seems fitting for who he was. While I have had several grandparents become angels, I am reminded every day of Grampy Dee. Why? I have a thriving Peace Lily from his funeral and it bloomed this week. Earlier last year it had outgrown its pot and need some TLC. I repotted it into three individual plants and gave one to each of my brothers. I hope they're keeping their plant safe. Of all of our grandparents, Tim and I have just my maternal grandfather with us. He met Abby while we were in Florida

Technology sure has changed since I was a kid. Between email, blogs, Skype, facebook, and cell phones we are able to keep in touch with family and friends so much easier than back in the day.

Today, we remember not only Grampy, but all of our grandparents and Abby's grandparent who have passed.

Grampy Dee's Peace Lily

Aline's (Tim's Mom) bathrobe passed down from GJ and Ethan.
It's big now, but that just means it will get some extra love.