Saturday, April 24, 2010

My environmentally conscious 4 year old

I meant to write a post for Earth day but completely forgot until this morning when I was filling up the sink to do some dishes and went into the laundry room to get a towel. Gavin saw the water running and came in there to find me and looked at me in a stern way and said "Mama, NO wasting water" and pointed to the sink. It was so cute that it made my heart melt! I had to pick him up and show him that I was filling it up to wash dishes and that that wasn't wasting water. But I was so proud of him for acknowledging the fact that leaving the water running was a bad thing. I told my husband about it and told him that Gavin was my little 'Earth saving buddy!"

Just last week too, he saw that the computer was left on (I am bad for leaving it on because I am on and off of it pretty much all day) he hunted me down and informed me that I was wasting energy by leaving the computer on when I wasn't using it. I of course told him that he was right and did a good job telling me and had to shut it off! I can't tell you how proud I am of him. He just started this in the past couple weeks and I'm amazed at how much he picks up on. He is definitely great motivation! It made me realize that even that young, kids can see the things that we do as adults that are wrong. They see the things we do and so they grow up thinking its OK to do these bad habits. Well, most kids anyway! I'm thankful that Gavin is outgoing and smart enough to call me out on the things I need to change!

So what I was going to talk about for Earth Day was the little things we are doing as a family to live a little bit 'greener' lifestyle. I know we could be doing so much more but we'll try to work up to that. We've made a lot of changes in our household the past 6 months that I'm proud of. And while what we're doing is good for the environment, which is always a good thing, we also have other motives for doing them that makes it that much more worth the effort.

First, of course you all know that I cloth diaper Gage. I started last July. I started out with just 2 diapers to give it a try. I thought that if I could have 4-5 to use during the day, it would save some money in disposables. Well I jumped in and never looked back! Other than not filling up the landfills with thousands of diapers, I also love cloth diapering because the money saving aspect. My cloth diapers have already paid for themselves by not having to buy sposies every week. But the main reason I like it is, what else can make your kids butt look so cute? Why in the world would you want to put a saggy white thing on your child's bum when you can get adorable, funky, awesome, fluffy, soft, absorbent, natural diaper on him that looks a million times better? I can't find one reason!

Second, We started recycling as soon as we moved into this house. Before, we had a dumpster right out back that everyone just dumped everything in. We didn't have to pay for it (it was included in the rent), it was convenient, and there was no effort in running out a trash bag and throwing it in. Now however, we have to take our trash off. We do have trash pickup but we have to pay for it and with all the new house payment and everything going on, we just don't want to pay for it. We take ours directly to the landfill, it's closer to take it there than a transfer station. My mom lives in another county and there you pay once a year, I think it's $75 or something and you get a card you can use all year long. Here, they don't have that. We pay $1 per bag, which isn't too bad. Using cloth, we don't fill up the bags near as often. But recycling there is free. It's not one of those places that pay you to recycle though but that's ok. Before we were recycling, we were getting a full bag of trash per day. Now we recycle almost everything and we're getting about 2 bags a week. So recycling = Saving money... which is good.

Third, I've always had well water my entire life. Then we moved into the new house which has city water. Now, if you've never had city water and then that's all you have, it's a huge change. I guess we could get used to it but I think it's disgusting! So I had been buying bottled water. I know, bad. I recently bought a PUR water dispenser and love it! I keep it in the fridge and when I get a glass out, I just open the lid and pour another glass of tap in. Simple. It's always cold. It tastes awesome and I don't have one thing bad to say about it. Plus it was only $24 on sale at Target so it was a great investment. I've probably already saved that much just by not having to buy water every week.

We also got a couple of those stainless steel water bottles. My husband uses his sometimes at work but to me, it gives the water a metallic taste so since I'm usually always home, I just use a glass.

And finally, I am addicted to reusable shopping bags. I love, love, love them. I have about 9 of them that range from the regular blue Wal-mart bags, to the beige Ingles (my supermarket) ones, to some really cute polka dotted and flowery bags. I thought I would need more than that but I usually take in too many. In the supermarket, I can usually fit an entire grocery cart full of stuff into 3 bags. 3 BAGS. That sure as heck beats the 50 little plastic bags that seem to always rip or the handles break and you gotta stand in the parking lot and pick up your food off the ground, chasing run away cans rolling under other peoples cars. There is no comparison. I'm the only one in my family that uses reusable bags and I can't seem to get everyone else to understand that you pay 50 cents to a buck fifty for a bag that's going to last a very long time that holds EVERYTHING. It's good for the environment and they make my life so much easier. It takes less trips to the car to carry everything in, and that's never a bad thing!

So that's my 4 little things I do. I know there's more but I'm pretty proud that we're taking small steps. The only one my husband is really for is the recycling because it saves him money and he's the one taking the garbage out but he humors me with the other stuff. He doesn't change any diapers and he would never take a reusable bag in a store but he has quit looking at me weird when I do these things so I think he's coming around!

What are some things you do to be 'green'? Do you recycle? Buy organic? You don't have to do much and it's so much easier and actually more fun than I'd ever thought it could be.

Friday, April 23, 2010

President Obama & family is in Asheville

Some of you who follow me on Twitter may have heard me making fun of Kmart for selling these basketballs with Obama's face on them with a huge sign that said "President Obama is coming to Asheville!" Some thought I was joking but sadly I was not. It was ridiculous! I really regret leaving my phone out in the car because I so wanted to take a picture of it. 

The entire Asheville area is very worked up about the visit. For those that didn't believe me that him and his family are taking a weekend vacation here at the Grove Park Inn, here's a link to ABC news with the article about it.

I really don't think it's that big of deal. I don't think anyone will even see them. Last time he was here (when he was still a candidate running for president), he ate at 12 Bones, this awesome BBQ joint down on the river. They showed him on TV ordering 2 full racks of ribs. 

Fast forward to today, I went out this morning to do some grocery shopping and to pick up the rest of Gavins party supplies. I was on my way home at 1:30. I was about a mile or 2 miles away from the 12 Bones Restaurant (which is about 10 min. from where I live). I see this long line of cars just stopped lined up the road. I thought It's gotta be Obama. He ate here last time and he's probably there again and everyone is stopped to try and get a glimpse. So I turn around to go the other way. Only when I realized that I was sooo close to home and going ALL the way back the way I came was going to take forever so I turn BACK around and then saw that the police had the entire road blocked from about another mile back from where I was the first time. They weren't letting anyone through. They were making everyone turn around.

By this time I'm pretty ticked off. I mean they would shut down the entire road just so the President can chow down on some ribs? Come on. 

I had to drive another 30 minutes to get on the interstate. Traffic was terrible. I got on the interstate and noticed that the side I was on was bumper to bumper. Stop and Go. I was like 'What the heck is going on?' Then I saw that every exit was shut down by the police. All of downtown Asheville seemed inaccessible. There were people standing on the bridges. 

Then I see on the other side of the interstate that there is not a car one. Then I realized that they shut it all down so the motorcade could go through. That's when I saw the first 2 police motorcycles. It just so happened though that about that time, I came to one of those concrete barriers that separates the road. So that's all I saw! The people standing on the side of the road started cheering and waving. I didn't get to see anything but I heard it! I heard the cars going by but that was all. On down toward Patton Ave. There were cars stopped on the side of the road and people standing everywhere with cameras. I happened to have my camera with me so I pull over and wait a minute. There were still police cars, ambulances, DOT trucks... pretty much anything with flashing lights were following them! I swear they had to have used every police car they had. 

Anyway, I remember thinking 'This is good and all but I just want to get to Taco Bell and go home!' (I hadn't eaten all day and by this time it was about 2:30) I never did see the Presidents car, only a bunch of cops, 1 ambulance, 2 DOT trucks and 1 black SUV. The SUV was a bit curious. It was at the end though, probably Secret Service or something. So I was a bit less mad because it turns out that Obama wasn't holding up traffic to eat. But I was still perplexed at the reason for shutting down ALL the roads and exits. I mean they were driving from the airport on the interstate. That has nothing to do with the river (where the 12 Bones is) or any of downtown. I honestly don't see making hundreds or maybe even thousands of peoples lives any harder just because the President is coming through. They could have just sent some police ahead to clear the road before and put some a mile or 2 behind and leave it at that. They shut down all of Asheville just so President Obama can drive through. It took me an hour out of my way to get home today. And this is all I have to show for it (these are after it was all over. By the time I got pulled over, they were gone): 

So that's it. Not much to look at I know. I told Gavin though that this is probably as close as we're ever going to get! Seeing a bunch of police and hearing their car! And this was only a couple police there were tons more, I was just able to get these pics real quick while I was stopped for a second. 


So I was just on the local news facebook page and it turns out they were at 12 Bones restaurant.  Grrr. So that's why the entire road was shut down. They had a pic of him and said " They ate ribs, greens, baked beans, corn bread, and mac & cheese."

There was also a really cool pic from  a woman who got a picture of Air Force One landing at the Asheville Airport. Surprising since the airport is so tiny but they made it! 

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Birthday Portraits

I took the boys to have their birthday pictures done today. We got some really cute poses, I wanted a few more of different backgrounds but I couldn't get the photographer to do anything. She was very nice I guess but she pretty much refused to work much with them. Where I usually take them, the woman will work with them all day and the kids love her but this time I thought I'd try somewhere different just to get a different look. I'm just a tad disappointed. The pics look great but after shelling out $180 bucks, I'd kinda like to get the poses I really want.

The appointment was for 10am but we didn't get in until about 10:05 because they were late opening up the mall. We were the ONLY people in the studio and she kept talking about how she was glad that her 11 o'clock canceled. I was thinking we'd been in there forever so when I got back out to the car (now, this was after taking pictures, picking out what I wanted, burning the CD, paying and all that) I was surprised to see that it was only 10:42. I believe next time I'll just stick with the studio I'm used to. This one was a lot higher, price wise. The usual one is so much cheaper and they take more pictures, they actually leave the collages on the CD so I can reprint them. This place went through and deleted them so I couldn't print any extras. I've learned an important lesson today folks... More expensive DOES NOT mean better quality. Don't get me wrong I really love the pictures I got but I just expected more from this place. That's all.

Anyway now that I'm done with my ranting, here's my sweet lil' boys pictures. I LOVE the fishing ones! (My idea thank you. I even brought my own fishing poles!)

My fave! I got a 10x13 of this one

and another 10x13 of this one

and another 10x13 of this one too! 
I'm going to put all 3 up in the library

I know some of these show some black around the bottom. The prints I'm getting do not have this on them it's just when they burn them to the CD, they put them on there as they were taken. I haven't cropped it out yet.

Overall I'm pretty happy, but I just wanted like one of each standing by themselves in each outfit and a couple different poses and some different backgrounds. It was actually a good price for all the sheets I got plus 3 10x13's, 2 collages and a CD, I just wish there was a few more poses. I like variety!

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Haircuts are torture

What is it about haircuts that little boys hate? We're taking them on Tuesday to have their birthday portraits done and they need haircuts. Like desperately. I always do it by myself. Let me tell you, it's not easy. I usually end up just having to shave it all off and the clippers we had were so dull it took forever and they screamed the entire time.

Today hubby and I decided to just take the scissors and trim around the ears and back. Oh. My. Goodness. You would've thought we were chopping off their little fingers! And all it was was a trim! Both of them cried, wouldn't sit still and it turned out awful. I did Gavins by myself and one side looked good but on the other side, I totally messed up his sideburns. So I had to go back to the left side and try to even it up. Hubby did Gages while I held him and he did the same exact thing! So we decided we'd just have to use the clippers and pretty much just shave their heads.

We got the clippers out and they would not cut. At all. Thankfully we live very close to a Kmart so hubby ran out and bought a new pair. They are awesome! The old ones only had 3 guards on it and the longest was half an inch long. Which still makes them look almost bald. This new set has 8 on it. And it cuts so good. I thought, OK, this is going to be a breeze now... Nope.

Hubby started with Gavin and used the size 6 on him which looked great. It's not too short that makes him bald and it's not so long that he'll have cow licks all over it in the morning.

He cried, wouldn't sit still. Kept pulling away. Then on to Gage. I had to physically hold him down to get his done. He screamed like we were torturing him. Let me tell you, he was MAD! He's always been a temperamental little guy but this was extreme! What started out as a tiny trim turned out to be WWIII. We'd take them somewhere to have it done but they're so bad, once we took them there they'd never be allowed back in!

Hubby did both haircuts and they both look really good. That's the first time he's ever done it. He did a great job so I guess he's the one that's gonna do it from now on. I was thinking he did a much better job than I ever have but then I realized, I've always done it all by myself. With no help whatsoever. When he done it, I was there sitting in the floor holding the kids down, getting itchy hair all over me and in my mouth. So of course he done better than me! But I'm not going to tell him that! I want him to do it from now on.

Friday, April 9, 2010

What would you like to win?

So I've decided to throw in a couple gift cards for the boys' Birthday Bash next month. I'll be using my own money to purchase them so I wanted to ask you all where you want those giftcards to come from. I was thinking of getting 2 to the same store so I could have 2 winners, or would you rather have giftcards to two different stores? It's completely up to you guys, my wonderful readers! Just to give you ideas, I was thinking Target, ToysRus/BabiesRus, Starbucks, Old Navy... you can pick your favorite out of those or suggest another place I haven't thought of.

I might put some other things up too, just because I love ya! Leave me a comment with your vote.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Hoping to have a Big Birthday Bash

So next month my boys will be turning 2 and 4. I should've started this earlier but I've been so busy and it completely slipped my mind.

I see that a lot of the mom bloggers throw big birthday bashes on their blogs for their kids with giveaways and all that. I'd really LOVE to do one to celebrate the boys' birthdays. Their birthdays are only 12 days apart so I want to to it the whole 12 days between their birthdays.

The problem is, I've waited so long to try to get sponsors and I'm not real sure how to go about doing it! I've done a few reviews and giveaways and they were so much fun but this will take quite a few sponsors to make it a good one.

If you are a sponsor, I'd be so grateful if you'd sponsor my boys' birthday bash. Shoot me an email if you're interested!

If you have any ideas of how to get sponsored or tips of how to go about this whole process, I'd really like to hear from you! I need all the help I can get. Leave me a comment or email me any tips or ideas please!

Since we have moved into a bigger house, I'm throwing the boys big birthday parties here too. Before, our house was always too small to fit everyone in it! We always just did it at my moms with only our immediate family.  Now, we're having big cook-outs and inviting lots of people. We just built a fence to keep the kids out of the pond and starting to build a big playground so all the kids will have a blast at the parties! Gavin and my nephew want to go fishing so we're going to have to get some fishing poles! I wonder how hard it would be to get a boat? Like a row boat or something? Eh, I guess they'll just have to sit on the dock.

I also wanted to just combine them and do one huge party for both boys but it seemed a bit unfair to do that way right now. Maybe when they're older. Gavin's is first and if I do one party in the middle, he'll have to wait about a week for his party. Then Gage's will be too early and then when his actual birthday comes around, he won't know it because he would have already gotten all his presents. They probably wouldn't care either way but I would :)

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Happy Easter

I hope everyone is having a great Easter! As for us, we're stuck here at home :( Gavin is too sick to go anywhere.

In the past couple weeks, all my nieces and my nephew have had this thing where they ran pretty high fevers for up to 5 days with a terrible cough. One of my nieces ran one for 5 days and it got up to over 104 degrees. The Dr. told her that it was some virus thing and it'd stick around for about 7 days. Another one of my nieces had the same symptoms and was taken to a different Dr. (the one I take my kids to) and it turns out that she has walking pneumonia. Anyway, Gage had something the other day & had the same cough and a fever of 102.5 but it only lasted 2 days. Now Gavin came down with it on Friday morning and still has it. I'm not sure if Gage's might have been teeth or if he just wasn't as affected as bad as the others. He is getting in his 2 yr molars right now.

Yesterday we were supposed to go to a dinner at my hubbys family's but since Gavin was sick, I stayed home with him and he took Gage. Afterward, they came over to see him for awhile. This morning, I was hoping he was over it so we could go to Church and then to my moms for dinner and an egg hunt. But no such luck. I was up every 2 hrs last night checking on him and waking him up to give him medicine and wet him down with a washcloth. He started puking again around 6am.

So we're stuck at home today with 4 dozen eggs and a sick child. Why so many you ask? Well, I had to buy 2 dozen plastic eggs and fill them with prizes and candy for the little egg hunt they do right after Church and then we dyed 2 dozen real eggs for my moms house. I guess if his medicine kicks in here in a bit we might head outside and just do it here. It's not looking good though. It's one o'clock, Gavins fever just came back up and Gage is needing a nap. He's throwing a temper tantrum right now and just came in here and pinched me on the arm with both hands! Ahhhh, cranky sick babies are tough! Anyway, I'll just sit here and reflect on the real reason for Easter and enjoy my family :)

Happy Easter!