I found the softest, cuddliest, and prettiest organic cotton jammies for me and the kids from Hannah Anderson. I was looking for something my 9 year old daughter Chloe could wear instead of boring old grey sweats and her daddy's t-shirts. While surfing around the net I stumbled on a great list of organic cotton clothing companies on an eco related website. I ended up getting some comfy crazy colored organic socks from Solmate Socks and pajamas for me and the kids. Daddy just gets whatever Sears has on sale and he's done.
Well, it has arrived for the season, but I can't say that I personally have the fever. More like fatigue.
Halloween and Thanksgiving are behind us, but the Holiday sales are raging and crying for our attention at every turn. Holiday mall crowds are growing with every passing day and I still don't have my shopping done. I don't really need anything and neither do my kids or family. We don't wait all year for this one month to get clothes or toys or home goods. We get things all during the year as we need them. And why wait? The holiday sales are like any other sale in any other month or week. The artificial 70% discounts are available virtually every weekend at some store somewhere in the mall.
But I am talking like a scrooge mommy now. My kids want and expect new things for the Holidays and after all they have been pretty good this year. My little 3 year old son Kevin has finally stopped wetting his bed and can almost go potty every single time by himself. He's hooked on the TV show Dinosaur Train and wants the "Buddy" and "Tiny" character dinosaur toys. I can't find those at the mall, much less at 70% off. I found a site online that had all the dinosaur train toys listed that were available on amazon.com so I'll try to get them at least free shipping and save myself the hassle of standing in lines at the stores.
I do what I can to teach my kids how to live an eco friendly life. We grow our own vegetables, we reuse and recycle household goods, and we conserve energy where possible. We are fortunate to live along the Pacific coast where the weather is often warm and sunny even in the fall and winter. I have a good clothes washer and gas dryer, but for years I have hung out clothes to dry in the warm sun. It saves energy and reminds me of my mom who hung out all our clothes and bedding to dry on her clothes line on sunny days back in Texas. My daughter Chloe always wants to help, but she is still too short to reach the clothes line.
One day after a particularly large laundry day of hanging clothes out to dry on the line, I found Chloe had tied a jump rope across the living room window and hung her freshly cleaned dolly "LuLu" out to dry.
Good eco habits get passed down from grandmas to moms to daughters.
Today we celebrated Chloe's 9th Birthday. She invited some of her girlfriends and had banished her brother from the party by the end of breakfast. As much as she loves her 3 year old brother, he has a mischievous streak and loves to get her attention. The problem is that he tends to be bit destructive. He'll tear her dolls heads off, cut their hats up, and once he flushed her iPod down the toilet. I understood her anxiousness about having him run all about at her birthday party. However I knew there was no way we could have the party at our house and not let him participate. We had setup a recycled cardboard playhouse for the girls that I found online while looking for party supplies, and the girls were OK with letting him play inside. After all, there other things to do like swim in our pool, do group Karaoke sing-alongs, and try on costume party jewelry. When it was time to light the candles on the cake, Kevin got a sippy cup with his favorite juice to keep him occupied and he got to sit at the table with the big kids. We lit the cake, and the girls sang "Happy Birthday" and then Chloe blew out the candles.
And then it happened. The girls decided they wanted Chloe to open their gifts before eating the cake and they went to the living room to get them. That's when little Kevin decided he wanted to decorate the cake a little bit more. He poked several holes in the top of the cake and them poured his juice into each one, saturating the cake with red juice until his cup was empty. Then he left.
Chloe was in the other room when one of her girlfriends discovered the scene. She screamed "Chloe, your cake is ruined!" Chloe took one look and immediately knew who did it. She burst into tears and wailed awful things about her brother. Kevin was just down the hall, and when he saw us looking at him, he took off running towards the back yard. I also wanted to cry, but instead I brought out the cupcakes and ice cream and knew I was just going to have to deal with Kevin later.
Having had a baby (Kevin) and raising another child (Chloe) during the great recession of 2009 and beyond, I know how important local employment is to our economy. We have a local thrift shop in town that specializes in selling only items made in America. In an effort to save money and support our local jobs I go there from time to time to find bargains on Made in USA household goods. I got a great waffle iron there even some kid's room furniture. What I have had trouble finding was toys made in USA. They do have a few toys and even some Huffy and Schwinn bicycles, but they were pretty well worn. I wanted to get my kid something new or at least new-ish condition to play with around the house. I was specifically looking for some trucks or cars made in USA that were also safe and non-toxic for Kevin. I was also thinking about getting some skates for Chloe. Now that Chloe is in a gymnastics class, I was also interested in getting a backyard trampoline for her to practice her backflips and whatnot. Thankfully, I found a big selection of toys made in USA here that had trucks, cars, skates, and trampolines all made right here in America. YAY! Now I just need to wrap Chloe in full body armor to keep her safe on the skates and trampoline.