Thursday, August 30, 2007

Thursday Thirteen...13 Before the Chagim Come

Here are thirteen things I have to do before Rosh haShanah

1. Find a babysitter for Erev Rosh HaShanah, Rosh HaShanah, Erev Yom Kippur and Yom Kippur (all day). Does this count as one thing or 4?
2. Make sure all my children have clothes to wear to the Family Services on Rosh HaShanah.
3. Work on Sermon...oh wait, start sermons.
4. Pick stories for Family Services, Alternative Services, and the other Family Services.
5. Mark up the Family Service prayerbooks for my new songleader.
6. Decide if I'm going to bake apple cakes for the whole world again. People do love them. I do love making them. How many should I make? It definitely falls into the "I don't know how she does it" category. But do I care about that category?
7. Make sure I have clothes to wear for each service.
8. Schedule a manicure.
9. Take some time to self-prepare for the holidays. My own teshuvah always seems to get neglected. I start with such good intentions.
10. Decide what we're going to do about decorating our sukkah.
11. Plan, if we want to, a Sukkah Open House. I think we'll do it on the day of the Sukkah Trolley Ride, since we are a stop...and we won't have to ride the trolley except to our house and then we can be done! I think this is a great plan. Guess I should check with my hubby...
12. Convince the baby to sleep through the night.
13. Get over whatever bug is making me sick right now. Sore throat, headache....feels like strep but the rapid test was negative. I know this too shall pass. But look at this list!!!!!

I do love the High Holy Days. But the lists always seem to creep up on me! I thought Thursday Thirteen was a great idea for today's post. See more Thursday Thirteen here...

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Sickness and Health...

Oy I feel awful.
My throat hurts.
My head hurts.
My body hurts.

I had such plans for this post, I think I'm very close to the end of the 30-day blogging challenge (too tired to make a link, see sidebar for link) and I wanted to write great things.

Some days, you just have to drink orange juice and eat popsicles.


Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Shehecheyanu Moment: The First Day of School

Today was the first day of Kindergarten for my oldest child. He was very excited about going to school. We drove together to school (quite early, but he was raring to go), and as we walked in to the playground, I saw that we certainly were not the first to get there! It wasn't David's first time at school but it was his first time playing on the playground. As we walked in, I asked if he remembered about the blessing for something new. He did! So together we said the shehecheyanu prayer as we walked into the playground:

Baruch ata Adonai, Eloheinu Melech ha-Olam, shehecheyanu, v'kiyimanu, v'higiyanu lazman hazeh.

Literally: Blessed are You, our God, Ruler of the World, who has created us, sustained us, and brought us to this joyous time.

As I said it at the playground: Thank You God, for bringing us here to school and making kindergarten! (he is 5, after all)

What an incredible moment for me, to be able to say a prayer of joy at that time, and to share it with my son. I do believe that he understood how special that moment was for me. I wasn't sure that I was going to be able to convey how much the whole thing means to me, that he is now beginning his formal education. I have such mixed feelings, nervous and excited and proud and worried and happy....I think he has the same feelings.

We hung out on the playground for a few minutes (and I took some pictures....go mom), until it was time to lineup, and they allowed all the parents to go in with their kindergarteners. We entered the classroom and did some activities that oriented the kids to the classroom...found David's locker (I didn't get a locker until middle school!), which was MIA until we spoke to the teacher - she forgot to make his name tag. It was a tense moment for David but it all worked out just fine. He drew a picture of his favorite part of the classroom -- the globe -- and had a snack -- a piece of apple. At that moment, I realized that I'd forgotten to eat breakfast and I was starving! (Oops, good job mom. I don't know if I've ever forgotten to eat in my whole life before!) So I ate a piece of apple too:-)

The teacher gave some information to the parents while the kids ate their snacks and then it was time to go. But David thought it was time for the moms to go, so he told me to leave. But it was time for all of us to leave -- a very short day for the kindergarteners! Tomorrow will be a "real" day of school.

I got through the whole thing without any tears (I'm not even sure why I felt like crying) but I'm tearing up now as I write this. I'm not sad about him starting school, in fact, I'm thrilled. I think it's the overwhelming emotion of sending my baby off...

Monday, August 27, 2007

BSM: Brother & Sister Love

I love the way she looks at him.

And he is so sweet with her.

May it always be so.

See more Best Shot Monday here.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

A Dad Blog!?...and 5 Places I've been this week

So there are lots of stay-at-home-dads, right? Not as many as the moms, sure, but dads can, indeed stay home. In fact, my husband is one of these SAHD...which is a bad acronym, since when pronounced, it sounds like "sad"! He is very good at taking care of our young 'uns, and he works part-time outside the home as well. There's another SAHD in our neighborhood, but overall, he doesn't have a lot of support in the real world. He is not really one for blog-reading (unless I pass them on to him)...but I am! And I found a Dad-blog this week, Stay At Home Dad, Geek Style. AND he is having a Stay At Home Dad Digital Camera Give-Away. (which I'd very much like to win)...not only a camera but free stuff from too.

He has a very adorable daughter that he features in photos (I love photos) and they hosted a tiny chocolate lab puppy for a few days that was beyond cute with the little girl. I like reading about how he's trying to make the blogging part of his parenting as well as his work, which is a lot like how I see my blogging as well!

So go check him out...and you too can enter his contest:-)


Five Places I've Been This Week

The Mindset List from Beloit College...the mindset of entering college freshmen. Wild.

How to Fold a One-Page Book...just because it's cool!

Spell with Flickr

From Momma Zen...on balance

The Fall TV line-up - I can't wait for my favorite shows to return:-)
(from my )

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Art and Seeing

For our motzei Shabbat activity (after Shabbat ends, on Saturday night), we had the unexpected pleasure of an hour or so m-in-law was home with the kids, and so we dashed out to see the Highwood Fine Arts Festival, a very small art show in our own small town. While much of the art was nice and somewhat ordinary, we were delighted with the art of Inna Deriy, who paints with pigmented polymers on stone, wood, and canvas. Let me tell you, it leads to gorgeous colors and beautiful images. I am not even really sure what a polymer is (I know I wouldn't eat it!) but I know what I think is beautiful.

I wasn't able to find a picture of the small piece that we bought. It has the image of tree trunks. I love images of trees...I think trees are so incredible and wonderful as a symbol of longevity in nature. I also love the Jewish imagery of the Torah as the Tree of Life, and I also love the idea of a family tree. Overall, I'm a tree girl.

I did find this image, though, and it is quite beautiful. There is also a story about it that the artist's husband shared with us while we perused the booth. He said a blind woman was walking through an art fair they were doing once, and she bemoaned that she couldn't really see all the art that her companion was describing. He offered to let her touch this painting (at the time it was all white, with just the texture of the image -- it's hard to see in the picture here but all her art is very textured), and as she ran her fingers over it, she said, "oh, it's tulips!" but they hadn't even told her what it was.

It is amazing how our senses work. Many people who have full functional use of their eyes are "blind" to the world, not seeing beauty or love....or not seeing problems in the world. This story was a beautiful reminder that we shouldn't always just see with our eyes...

Friday, August 24, 2007

Shabbat With Your Family

When David (now 5 1/2) was young, we told him he could only watch tv on Shabbat. When we'd visit my parents, they would let him watch tv whenever he wanted, which coined the phrase in our house: "it's always Shabbat at Bubbie and Zeyde's house!" (It raised problems for us one Shabbat that we spent with an Orthodox family. In their house, no tv on Shabbat!)

Now we don't do that anymore. He's old enough to know that there is tv available on other days of the week....and he likes to watch it. But we learned that it is possible to be non-traditional in your observance of Shabbat and make the day very special.

So now we struggle with some special thing to define Shabbat in our house, other than our Friday night dinner activities. I would like something special to do or not do on Saturday as well. I think that this may become easier as my children grow older. It's hard to explain to a 2-year-old and it's hard to be consistent in our house when mommy works on Shabbat!

How does your family observe Shabbat? What are some non-traditional traditions that you've developed to make this day special? Leave me a comment!

Thursday, August 23, 2007

8 Things About Me...8 Things I Love About Elul

Okay, so I was tagged by my friend Marci (check out her blog!) to do this 8 things meme...

8 random things about me. So here goes:

1. I didn't go to kindergarten.

2. I am so excited that The Biggest Loser is coming back on television very soon.

3. I haven't slept through the night in 6 months and 2 weeks.

4. I enjoy updating my facebook from my blackberry. Geeky, I know.

5. I hate wrinkly laundry and sometimes I'll rewash it if it doesn't get folded in time.

6. I am somewhat obsessed with the weather and knowing exactly what temperature it's going to be during the day.

7. I am on my second go-round with Weight Watchers and so far I've lost about 20 lbs. Only 20 to go!

8. I have a hard time coming up with interesting facts about me.

Since I can't just leave it at 8 things about me (so self-centered?), I thought I'd also share
8 things that I love about the month of Elul:

1. I love the anticipation!

2. My favorite service of the whole year is Selichot, the Saturday evening before Rosh HaShanah when we say penitential prayers late at night. It's beautiful and meditative and I just love it.

3. I think it's so cool that the initials of the phrase "ani l'dodi v'dodi li" (I am my beloved and my beloved is mine) are the letters that spell the word Elul. I think if I could go back and do my wedding all over again, I'd get married during Elul. Or Sukkot. But that's another post.

4. What am I going to make for a Shana Tova gift for our friends and family? (Do I send gifts to David's new teacher, who I don't think is Jewish?) I love the planning.

5. I enjoy anticipating seeing the people who really do only show up at the synagogue once a year. Sometimes it's young couples that I've married, or older people who don't come around much...I look forward to seeing their faces in the seats!

6. The Haftarot are great during this month.

7. Everyone understands when I explain what I do and that I'm very busy this time of year. It's been described to me once as my "tax season." Which I think is great -- taxing our souls!

8. I like knowing that all over the world, Jews are counting down the days....

And that's me!

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Works For Me Wednesday - My First One!

Works for me...David is in love with books and reading but he still doesn't really know how to read by himself. I'm not pushing him to learn, but I'd like to help him get started and since he seems so interested...

I actually remember the word cards my father made to help me learn to read. They were so much fun to play with and mix up. I'm pretty sure I used them to play school for a long time.

But now Post-it has come out with something really cool -- Sight Word Post-its. We've been having so much fun sticking them up around the kitchen and learning new "sight words" like "the" and "and" (ha ha). We also got the bilingual notes...since David is starting a dual-language kindergarten next week, I figure we should all brush up on our Spanish!

We are having so much fun with this and I realized I had my first Works-For-Me-Wednesday. See below for more pics.

(I'm so excited to participate!)

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Menu Planning Contest...please pick me!

I love to cook. I love to plan menus. But I'm always looking for a new idea or way to make it all easier since I work so many weird hours and my husband does not like to cook. Can I double bold that???? Maybe these menus would work better for him!??

Anyway, Nell over at Casual Friday Everyday (the one who is sponsoring my 30-day-blog challenge) is giving away a full year of this menu planning from Menu Planning Central. It's a pretty cool site...and actually not so badly priced....

So maybe I'll win!!!!

Monday, August 20, 2007

Best Shot Monday...a little late...

So...she's 6 months old.

And here she is, almost standing up in her crib.
(the next pic was of her standing but this one was cuter.)

Will wonders never cease with this one!?
Wish I knew how to get rid of the yucky shadow...will work on it.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

A Contest ..and Five Places I've Been This Week

Check out this awesome "dad-vest" that's being given away at Mom Views. It is way cool and I hope I win it. You can enter too but it's almost over!!!!!
My hubby would be the perfect guy to wear this...


Five Places I've Been This Week....
...Check out these cool notepads at See Jane Work.
...1 Bag at a time, reusable grocery bags. These are the first ones I've seen that are actually reasonable and affordable. Maybe we should all get some!!!!
...Tea and Cookies wrote a great post about caprese salad. I really want to plant some tomatoes and basil next year. Can I plant a mozzarella plant too?
...Radar's Day at the Library, a cool tabblo shared
....Backpack, an interesting site for organizing yourself
(based on my

another august haiku

neverending rain
just two days but where's the sun?
is fall really here?

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Friday, August 17, 2007

Take a Deep Breath...

Shabbat is almost here. The day of rest....

I must admit, my life is not so restful. The two little ones are not sleeping well and therefore, neither am I. Tomorrow I am driving myself and the baby back up to camp for the conclusion of the NFTY Summer Kallah, then back home again on Sunday. There are many things to do...

But Shabbat is here.

During this month of Elul, I'm trying so hard to prepare myself for the High Holy Days. I'm trying to embrace the opportunity that this month offers, to think through myself and my today, I offer this line from Psalm 27, traditionally read each day during the month of Elul:

"Only one thing I ask of God, this I seek: May I dwell in the house of God all the days of my life, to behold the pleasantness of God and to visit God's sanctuary."

If each day of my life is lived as though I am in God's sanctuary, then even the dirty kitchen will hold holiness, for it is in God's sanctuary.

May this Shabbat bring rest and peace and joy to you and yours.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Thursday Thirteen

This is a new one for me, and I'm in a bit of a hurry, so here is my quick-list of 13 things for this week....

Thirteen Things I Love (not including people and in no particular order)

1. Black Cows at Kiltie's in Oconomowoc

2. Fabric Stores

3. My Blackberry (Crack-berry)

4. Facebook

5. Blogging

6. Books books books

7. TiVo

8. my Laptop

9. my family sticker on my car

10. Google desktop/reader

11. going barefoot

12. pre-made Margarita mix (with the alcohol already in it, saves time!)

13. the smell of coffee brewing

See more Thursday Thirteen here...

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Follow-up to Wordless Wednesday

Just in case you think I'm a heartless mom who lets her kiddo cry while she takes his picture...

He was so unhappy and NOTHING would make him stop crying....I'm pretty sure it's teething and it was also a post-nap crabby time, and he wouldn't even let me hold I thought I'd try to jog him out of it with the camera, which he usually loves to pose for and to hold and see the pictures....when even that didn't work I took the picture of the crying!

He finally settled you can see, on the couch with a little help from the paci and Winnie the Pooh...

Wordless Wednesday - 8/15/07

Before.... After....

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

This too shall pass...I hope!

I love Tuesdays. It's my day off, and it's a nice day to have off. Today was a not very nice Tuesday. Sam is cranky, I think it's teething, and he has never pitched quite a fit as he did today....poor baby but also poor mommy! I think that he is really becoming a two-year-old - ack!

I once read an interesting article about the Jewish custom of not cutting your child's hair until they are 3 years old. It suggested that our children are mostly "wild" until that age, and the long hair reflects the wildness. After their hair is cut, then they are a little more calm. Sam has a lot of hair, maybe I should cut it! But seriously, I think this is just a part of life that has to pass....

Ah yes, one of my favorite phrases: This too shall pass.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Best Shot Monday: Camp Feet

Camp Feet
Originally uploaded by imabima.
(Okay, so it's not from this week)

I love the way his feet are so dirty from all the time we spent at camp...

Happy Best Shot Monday!

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Welcome to Elul and Places I've Been This Week

Tomorrow is Rosh Chodesh Elul.

Rosh Chodesh, the new moon, is the beginning of the Hebrew month. It is traditionally regarded as a "women's holiday" because of the connection that women have with the lunar cycle. The Hebrew calendar is actually a combination of lunar and solar, using lunar months but adjusting them (using leap months) to keep the calendar on a seasonal footing (as in, Rosh HaShanah always lands in the fall of the year).

Each month has its own character, just like in our Gregorian calendar, and Elul is no different. It is the month that we count carefully, measuring each day, for we know that at the end of this month, the High Holy Days (Rosh HaShanah and Yom Kippur) begin.

How to fully measure each day? How to prepare oneself to stand before God and begin the year again? And of course, the tachlis, the mundane details, how do we organize the holidays? Write the sermons, plan the meals, the activities? This is the month to do it.

To begin the Elul journey, I offer this poem by Debbie Perlman, reposted from

Rosh Chodesh Elul: A Modern Psalm

Fighting the languor of sultry days,

We begin the turning, back to You;

Moving against the heat of our hearts,

Against the anger inside, we turn.
Call us to begin the examination,

Healing God;

Call for us to remove the garment of our deceit,

The fears that bind us away from You.

Chafing at our tender miseries.
In the month of Elul,

we uncover our secrets,

Examining them with a truthful heart,

Counting the pulse beats of our life,

The selfish pressures we apply and resist.
Call us to the consultation of our souls,

For You are a God of healing and mercy;

Call us to begin without delay,

That Elul might draw us near to You.

5 places i've been this week....

Birthdays Without Pressure -- a whole post in itself someday soon, I'm sure.

The Goody Blog - a new fun site I just discovered as they were just about to give away a lot of stuff. I want to win!!!!

Google Reader - my newest way to check out feeds. I was using IE's in-house feed reader but it didn't always refresh properly. Thanks to ZRecommends for recommending it!

Mabel's Labels - everyone raves about them so I think it's time to buy...

Baby Einstein makes your kids dumber!? Who knew. I always thought they made me dumber....

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Sleep is elusive...this is post #60 for me!

I am so sad that my Sammy is not feeling good. He is running a fever and just cranky. Which means, of course, that he is not sleeping well. Poor baby. And poor mommy and daddy! Not to mention that when he cries at night, it often wakes up Yael...oy! So we have two awake and that means each parent with one. Last night he spent most of the night in our bed, which is fine for me, I can sleep through anything, but harder on Michael, who can't.

Everyone keeps telling me that this stage is so short...and to enjoy them...and I try to....but not on a day like today!

P.S. Did you know yesterday was National Smores Day? I had no idea...yet yesterday, out of nowhere, David and I made smores. Who knew!? He was not happy with the smore I made, by the way, since we cooked our marshmallows over the gas burner on the stove and they got a little blackened. I'm sure that was not the safest way to make smores. I will return to the microwave in the future.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Torah Portion Friday: Tzedakah with your family

This week's Torah portion, Re'eh, contains the following line:
If however, there is a needy person among you, one of your kin in any of your settlements in the land that the Eternal your God is giving you, do not harden your heart and shut your hand against your needy kin. Rather, you must open your hand and lend whatever is sufficient to meet the need. (Deuteronomy 15:7–8)

This line is one of the first lessons we teach our children as we begin to teach them about Judaism. The need to help others, no, the requirement that we help others, is a central focus of what Judaism is all about. The commandment to help others appears so often in the Torah that the Talmud tell us (Bava Batra 9a) “Tzedakah (charity) outweighs all other mitzvot.”

So how can we make this a part of our family's regular activities? Here are some suggestions for making tzedakah a part of your regular routine:

  • keep a tzedakah box in many places in your house: on top of the dryer for loose change, in the kitchen, on your dresser, on your kids' dressers...

  • teach your kids to divide their allowance. My son has a piggy bank with separate slots for "spend" "save" "invest" and "donate" (we bought it from Amazon) -- we regularly talk about putting the money into the Tzedakah slot and what we can do with it.

  • when you sort through clothes and toys, take your children with you to deliver them to Goodwill or another organization.

  • suggest that your child's birthday party be a collection, asking for donations or items for others instead of gifts for the child

  • collect every "request" that comes into your house and once a month (or at whatever interval works for you), sit down with your family and look at all of them to determine where your family's tzedakah money will go.

  • create young philanthropists -- give your kids and/or grandkids a bank account or budget from which they can make their own gifts...discuss with them regularly what it means to make your tzedakah dollars "go far." Teach them about "matching gifts" and make arrangements to "match" your kids' gifts...or invite them to ask other family members to match their gifts.

  • use tzedakah as a reward or incentive: offer to give money to the charity of your kids' choice in honor of an acheivement or milestone.

These and so many more ideas will help your family to make tzedakah (charity) and gemilut chasadim (acts of lovingkindness) regular parts of your family's life. Through these actions we can truly fulfill our mission on earth: to make this world a better place.

How does your family engage in tzedakah? Leave a comment with your ideas.

(crossposted on

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Thankful Thursday

I'm thankful it's Thursday!

I'm thankful for ...
...air conditioning
...the internet
...the joy of breastfeeding wonderful office staff

What are you thankful for!????


Quote of the day: "Do not worry about the world coming to an end. It is already tomorrow in Australia."

Wordless Wednesday 8/8/07

If I write a comment, then it's not wordless, is it???

She's my only child without words, so it's fitting...

See more Wordless Wednesday here.

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Ooh yum

I just entered this contest over at Z Recommends for a really cool looking gadget to keep the ice cream drippies away. Seriously, I think some inventors have too much time on their hands. But it is a pretty genius idea, dontcha think???? Go there to enter the contest. Oh wait, don't. Then I might win!!!! Just kidding.

a To Do List

1. Clean the basement

2. Organize David's closet (put away old clothes)

3. Sort through the clothes I acquired at the rummage sale

4. Go to the gym

5. Start thinking about the High Holy Days

6. Start freaking out about the High Holy Days

7. Find a babysitter for Labor Day Weekend

8. Find a babysitter for Hebrew School Wednesdays

9. Buy Harry's camera for graduation

10. Finish Rashi's Daughters: Book 2

11. Sleep more.

12. Go to the gym

13. Did I mention go to the gym?

14. Stop blogging and start doing!

Monday, August 6, 2007

Best Shot Monday...

So in an effort to make good on my 30 day blogging challenge, I have become minorly obsessed with my blog. I am so nervous about coming up with something to write every day (which isn't really a problem, I have plenty to say), I came up with a weekly schedule of things to write about. Some of them come from other people's blogs, like Best Shot Monday at Picture This and so I thought I'd give it a try today. I'm trying to "get myself out there" in the blogosphere so here goes.

My best shot this week is this one of Sam and Yael being cute together. I must say I was trying for a different effect and will continue to work on it, but she prefers to roll over. Actually, today is a funny day to do "best shot" because yesterday I took the kids to Sadie's for a photo shoot and it was a total disaster. It was post-nap, I thought we could do it, but it just didn't work. Sam would not cooperate, Yael was not happy, and it just all blew up. And my dh says I just have to admit that I was wrong, but I tell you that I was totally disappointed with the photographer. She didn't just take pictures, she waited for the "right picture" which drove me nuts. She missed tons of cute shots of my kids waiting for them all to look at her. I haven't decided which ones to buy; frankly, sometimes I think that I take better pictures of them at home. I think after our Sadie's membership expires (September, I think), we will try another photography studio. I can't really justify shelling out the money for a real professional to take the pictures, but someday I will....

Anyway, here is the picture for Best Shot Monday. Enjoy!

Sunday, August 5, 2007

Sunday Around the Web - Jewish Blogs

Here are some of the Jewish blogs that I like. Some of them I read regularly!

The Fly Fishing Rabbi -- a classmate of mine who has a strange fascination with fish. But still a good read:-)

An Unsealed Room -- no relation, but Allison Kaplan Sommer writes a pretty nice blog about life in Israel. Last summer she gave excellent commentary on the war in Lebanon. (Isn't it hard to believe that was just last summer??)

Jewcy's Faithhacker -- so many interesting things on Jewcy I can't even start to count them! Not all family-friendly, so to speak. But all are thought-provoking, for sure.

Juggling Frogs -- for the links to the parasha (Torah portion) cakes alone, this blog is great!

So as I'm writing this post, I'm totally getting distracted by other blogs...ack! Start with these and if you have some more to suggest, please comment below!

...and of course, if you want more there's always -- I can't seem to get registered on their site.


Five Places I've Been This Week:

The Awakened Heart Project - check out the podcast of the morning prayer service.

Rabbinical School is Ruining My Love Life - on Jewcy, a great site. And it's by a friend of mine from way long ago from camp

Mama Merit Badges - I so want a set.

Wedding Dresses on eBay - no, not getting married again. contemplating selling mine!

Gymboree -- we had so much fun doing Gymbo with Anne Marie in Cleveland that I think we're going to sign up Sam and Yael forthe fall....

Saturday, August 4, 2007

Friday, August 3, 2007

Thursday, August 2, 2007

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

No more Bottled Water - can you take the challenge?

My family has begun to swear off bottled water. It all started when my husband purchased a relatively expensive water filtration system for our house last September. You spent the money on that, I thought, so we should stop spending the money on bottles.

Well, it turned out that we all love our water filter. So much so that we took the darn thing with us to camp. (It only worked for a week, though, before the filter conked out. Camp water, very much in need of filtering.) We bought a bunch of Nalgene bottles and Camelbak bottles and we seem to be all set.

Who knew we were on the cutting edge of environmentalism. Not me.

But we are. There are now articles about how bottled water isn't better. And how it's an example of our overconsumption and indulgence. There are campaigns to end bottled water consumption (see Think Outside the Bottle and Refill Not Landfill). And hey -- I'm all for it. I even put into both of our cars a stack of paper cups and straws so we can drink on the go from drinking fountains. (Straws make it all easier with the almost-2-year-old and more fun for all of us.)

Some facts to consider:

  • Last year, Americans spent $15 billion on bottled water, even though bottled water isn’t healthier or safer than tap water.

  • While the EPA regulates the quality of public water supplies, the agency has no authority over bottled water. Some studies indicate that certain brands of bottled water test positive for chemical and bacterial contamination at higher levels than tap water.

  • One out of six people in the world has no dependable, safe drinking water. The global economy denies drinkable water to 1 billion people, while delivering to us an array of water “varieties” from around the globe, not one of which we actually need.

  • Americans went through about 50 billion plastic water bottles last year, 167 for each person. We pitch into landfills 38 billion water bottles a year - more than $1 billion worth of plastic (while the recycling rate for this particular kind of plastic is only 23%).

  • We’re moving 1 billion bottles of unnecessary water around a week in ships, trains, and trucks in the United States alone. That’s a weekly convoy equivalent to 37,800 18-wheelers delivering water. (this one scares me!)

So...can you do it? Can you put an end to your bottled water consumption???
crossposted on

This is what I'm scared of...

I admit it. I'm terrified of being the mom of a girl. There, I've said it. It's scary enough to be the mom of boys, but I really do believe that it's going to be harder for me with the girl. How can I make sure that she grows up self-confident, independent, and filled with comfort with her body and her being? It does seem like this is going to be a difficult task for me with all the noise of society around us telling her, perhaps, that she is too fat or too thin, too short or too tall, too curly or too straight...oh how I hope not.

Read this beautiful essay from the San Francisco Chronicle to read one mom's struggle with her 5-year-old's first question about her weight.
(This is not to imply that I don't want to raise self-confident, independent, and body-happy young men as well. I just feel that by and large this will be a little easier. I do know, however, how scary it is out there for boys as well as girls. Eating disorder statistics for young men are on the rise as boys are also being pressured by the same media barrage that the young women are. Either way, my most important job is rearing my brood...and damn if it doesn't scare the pants off of me.)