Friday, April 30, 2010

Focus on the Family--May

I can not believe it is May already!!!  April was a difficult month for us but we still were able to get a lot accomplished (here is our old plan).  We are working hard to spring clean, declutter and live with less.  I am also exploring becoming a "Rational Minimalist".  It is a freeing idea and I am slowly working toward that goal :) 

C has been doing well with her bedtime sleep training and though she still puts up a stubborn fight at naps, that too is getting better.  Yes, yes...the working out part of my life is still not in full swing.  I can make a million excuses (no time, I only sleep 4-5 hours a night......) but I know that I just need to make it a priority.  I don't have to train for another 1/2 marathon, just get some exercise in.  I have been taking daily walks with the kids but I need to do more.  Maybe this month :)

If you would like to participate in "Focus on the Family" head over and visit Connie at the Young and the Relentless

Family Time
*Spend a family weekend at the lake
*Take Family Walks
*continue to help S's parents get their house ready for sale
*continue to help my parents stain the cottages at the lake

Z and C Time
*Start C's Solid Food diet
*continue with our daily Walk N Swing (we take a walk and then play on the swing set)
*Take them on at least one adventure
*Start night potty training Z

Momma Time (I am keeping this the same)
*MOMS night out
*Start my workout plan (run a few times)
*Call my doctor for a physical
*Finish another one of my many self-help books :)
*Finish my journal for Lil' C's scrapbook

Momma and Papa Time
*Get our tubby selves working out!!!
*Have a few home date nights
*start doing some pilates or yoga

Home Time
*Continue to DeClutter the House :)
*Plant the garden and finish the yard work
*Paint the Fence
*start prepping the deck for staining

This month I am so grateful for my four sisters.  I am not only blessed with two fabulous younger sisters but also two wonderful sister in-laws.  Each one is unique and I always know I am going to have a good time when I am with them.  They are all very supportive and I am so fortunate that we are not just related.....we are friends.  I love you Kiki, LB, Am and K! 

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Tell me Z, How Does Your Garden Grow???

This past weekend we spent a lot of time enlarging our backyard garden.  Z and S spent 3 hours moving 2 yards of compost/soil into the new raised bed.  Z never complained and loved being along side his daddy for this very important project :)

This weekend we will plant our first rounds of seeds and get our container gardens ready to plant.  Considering it "snowed" here yesterday, we are a bit nervous to put anything fragile into the ground at this point :)

We plan to plant our usual tomatoes, green beans, carrots and herbs but this year we are adding in lettuce, pumpkins (so excited about this), cucumbers, peppers and sunflowers.  The Easter Bunny was very good to Z and left him all sorts of seeds to plant, a new watering can and two books about gardening.  He loves his garden and the veggies that come from it (he would rather eat carrots and cherry tomatoes than birthday cake).

After 4 long years on our To-Do list...we finally started a compost bin :)  Our bin came in this past weekend and Z was so excited to dump in the salad scraps and his banana peels.  I hope his enthusiasm for compost continues.  It would be so great to have a 12 year old skipping to the compost bin to dump in the family table scraps :)  Somehow I don't think that will ever happen.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Photo Tag

Lee-Ann over at Lee-Ann's Crazy Life tagged me for this fun photo tag.  
Here are the Rules:

1) Go to your photo files, select the 8th photo folder.
2) Select the 8th photo in that folder.
3) Post that photo along with the story behind it
4) Then challenge 8 blogging friends to do the same! I'm am only tagging 5. 

This is Z on his big Easter egg hunt this past year.  As the only child on S's side who is able to hunt for eggs, he was spoiled rotten.  The child had a huge egg hunt all to himself and then got 6 Easter baskets!!!!  This was the start of the 90 minute hunt (we had to take a break because there was so much to find).  I can't wait to see what happens next year when he has to share his hunt with Lil' should be interesting :)

I am tagging.....

Annie at Santiago Twins
Lisa and Mommy's Nest 
Nicolasa at Keepin' It in Perspective
Babe in Babeland
Shelly at Our Motto is Patience

Monday, April 26, 2010

No TV Week Wrap Up and All About ME Mondays :)


Truthfully, it was not that bad at all.  Yes we have an old school TV and maybe that is why it wasn't so awful...TV is not really a priority for us.  S did not give it up for the week but considering all he is going through right now, TV was the only time of the day where he didn't have to worry or think.  It was his escape and that was fine with me.  I too watched a movie with him one night because I too was emotionally drained and watching The Hangover allowed me to escape for a bit too.  

As for Z....he did great!!!  He helped me brainstorm the list above and we were able to do most of the things on that list.  We baked, read at least a hundred of book (no exaggeration), went to the library, had daily walks, played cars, trains, pretended we were Buzz and Woody, baked, played was wonderful.  Z didn't ask for TV once, he did ask for the Wii but I explained that we couldn't play that either.  I am thinking of not telling him that the week is over (is that wrong?!?).   It is just that he has been in such a great mood, is easier to get ready in the morning and has dramatically reduced his pouting and fussing.  His imaginative play exploded over the week and I knew that the child loved books but this week I have never seen him "read" so many books.  He was constantly looking at books, asking me to read him was WONDERFUL!  So do I have to tell him?? ;)  

Here are some pictures of our week....

Click on the button above to go and visit MommyBrain (you will LOVE her) if you want to play along too!

So this week the topic is JEALOUSY....something that we all suffer from now and again (even if we don't admit it). 
She said we could share a story or a list of things that make us jealous.....I decided to go with the list of five little things that make me a little bit jealous :)
  1. Ladies with Nice Straight Hair--I would love easy to manage, pretty straight hair :)
  2. People who tan nicely--I burn so easily and try to avoid the sun (I know that it is healthier but it would be nice to get some color). 
  3. Ladies who can eat whatever they want, don't work out and have a great figure (NUFF said :)). 
  4. People who can dance--I wish I had some rhythm but I just don't. 
  5. People with babies who sleep through the night at 6 weeks old :)---Oh, that would be a dream.....

Sunday, April 25, 2010

You are My Sunshine--Say it With a Song

If you would like to play along, head over to BJ Mama's site.

When I was a little girl, my dad would take out his guitar just before bedtime and sing and play our favorite songs.  He use to sing; Puff the Magic Dragon, Little White Duck and my personal favorite...You are My Sunshine :)  It might not be the happiest of songs (especially if you read the rest of the lyrics which I have not posted) but it means a lot to me and it makes me smile. 

I do not play the guitar (that is S's department) but I have carried on the tradition that my dad started long ago.  Every night Z and I sing You are My Sunshine to Lil' C.  It is the last thing we do before we lay her down in her crib.  I hope that my two little monkeys will some day look back on this tradition and smile just like I do when I think about singing with my daddy :)

This song is dedicated this week to Auntie Kiki :)  Happy Birthday!  We all love you very much and we hope you know that you bring so much sunshine into our lives.

You are my Sunshine

You are my sunshine, my only sunshine
You make me happy when skies are gray
You'll never know dear how much I love you
Please don't take my sunshine away.
The other night dear as I was sleeping
I dreamed I held you in my arms.
When I awoke dear I was mistaken
And I hung my head and I cried.

You are my sunshine, my only sunshine
You make me happy when skies are gray
You'll never know dear how much I love you
Please don't take my sunshine away.

This picture is of them looking at their sandbox which has yet to be uncovered!  
Poor kids :)  

Friday, April 23, 2010

Friday Follow--April 23rd

Friday Follow
This is my first Friday Follow and I am so excited to be finally joining in on the fun :)  Welcome to Raising Z and Lil' C.  I am a SAHM (former elementary school teacher) and have two little loves.  Z is 3 (and a half as he would tell you) and Lil' C just turned 6 months yesterday (see that post below).  I have been wanting to participate in Friday Follow for awhile now but life has just been too crazy.  I have a "free" weekend, this weekend so I thought it would be the best time to try it out.
This weekly party is hosted by One 2 Try, Hearts Make Families and Midday Escapades

Here's how YOU can join in the fun :) 
  • Link up your blog name and URL using the MckLinky below. Only need to add on one blog to be seen on all the blog hops. 
  • Grab the Friday Follow button and include on your Friday Follow blog post.
  • Follow the Friday Follow hostesses listed in the first 3 slots.
  • Follow as many other blogs on the linky as you'd like
  • Take a moment to comment on the blogs telling them you're from Friday Follow
  • Follow back when you get a new follower through Friday Follow
I am excited to visit some new blogs and make some new friends.  Happy Friday everyone!!!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

An Earth Day Party for Lil' C's 1/2 Birthday

Today Lil' C turns 6 months old, it is hard to believe.  Six months ago she was a small 6 pound baby who is now weighing in at 16 pounds :)  She has gone from a tiny bundle who cried "slept" all day to a laughing, "talking", drooling, sitting up on her own, would rather party than sleep little love (well I guess the sleep stuff hasn't changed much)!  I am so proud of her and all she has accomplished in 6 short months.  She is the happiest baby I have ever seen and can light up an entire room with her smile (just like Mary) and her piercing blue eyes.  I am so very lucky to be her momma!

Lil' C has the privilege of sharing her 1/2 birthday with Earth Day.  Because of this, Z and I have put together a wonderful celebration for both Lil' C and our planet (and his Mimi, who's birthday was yesterday).  We will plant a tree this weekend, plant some seeds today and make some organic apple cake for our party.   We also made Lil' C some organic sweet potato baby food but she will be starting w/ rice cereal today...her first solid foods!!!!   We are looking forward to a wonderful day and will later post some pictures from the festivities.

Happy Earth Day everyone!!!

BTW...if you are a New Englander and have a Hannafords near you, go on in and buy something because you will then get a free reusable shopping bag to use again the next time you shop :)

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Cloth Diaper Newbie

I have recently discovered something about myself.  When I am feeling super stressed or sad about a situation that I can not control, I search for something that I can control and then I obsess over it.  When my Noni had her stroke a year and a half ago, I threw myself into "Thomas the Train".  I know it sounds crazy but I knew nothing about Thomas before she got sick, other than he was an over priced blue train.  Once she got sick, Z and I learned everything about the Island of Sodor and I became obsessed with landing the best deals on Thomas trains and accessories.  It was really unhealthy but it gave me something to focus on other than my sadness.

Right now we are going through another very sad and stressful time in our lives.  I am not able to share any details but I can tell you that there is a lot of pain and stress in our house right now.  Over the past month I have became obsessed with the world of cloth diapers and I now realize that this is just like my Thomas the train obsession.  At least this time around I have thrown myself into something more productive and healthy for my daughter and the planet but none the less....I seem to have a problem.
Since Z was a baby I toyed around with the idea of cloth diapers.  I did some research but the idea of cloth grossed me out and I could not get past the he wore Pampers.  When I was pregnant with C, I heard about the gDiapers and did a little more research.  I knew we wouldn't be able to flush them because we have a septic, the idea of composting them was not thrilling me and I was still grossed out by the cloth inserts so once again I turned to Pampers. 

My BF is now pregnant and she has decided to try the gDiaper system for her new little one due in July.  Her new enthusiasm got me to do a little more research (okay HOURS of obsessive research) on the topic of cloth diapering.  After finding mixed reviews on every cloth system out there, I decided to order a variety and try them out.  Within my $150 budget I was able to get a good mix of pocket diapers, 1 fitted and two hybrid systems.  I am slowly figuring out which I like best but plan to use them all (we are on a tight budget).  I can cloth diaper for 2 whole days before washing and will experiment w/ overnight this week.

S laughs when I talk about all the cutsie names.....we have a happy heiny, a bumjoy, a bumGenius, a fuzzibunz and the Flip and gDiaper systems with cloth inserts.  I have been using them for almost a month now and really enjoy it.  I have discovered in this whole process that you truly have to find a system/brand that works for you.  I have collected a variety and actually having variety is the system that I like best (if that makes any sense).  C has yet to start solid foods (that will happen next week) and I am sure my feelings about cloth diapers might change once the diaper sprayer is introduced.  But for now, I like it, she doesn't seem to mind it and I am happy to say that we have dramatically cut down on our household waste!  I am also hopeful that we will save lots of money using cloth and that is super important for us right now.  In a week or so I will post again letting you know my personal opinions of each diaper and then my results of the overnight experiment :)

Monday, April 19, 2010

Welcome to Dinner--MEme Monday

I am so nervous....MommyBrain, Supah and YOU are all coming over for supper and my house is a wreck!  Thank goodness that this is blog world and you can't see my huge pile of laundry or the dust bunnies blowing around my floor.  In fact, since this is a virtual dinner party, I am going to create a virtual house.  Here is my castle home...

Please make yourselves at home, I have decided to tell you a dinner story because I can barely cook a dinner for us tonight, let alone a fancy virtual one for all of you.   Z is demanding 100% of me lately (he's out with his auntie right now) and Lil' C is a cranky bear because we are nap training, so a dinner story is all you are going to get ;) 

The Worst dinner(s) EVER...

When I was in college I was fortunate enough to attend Semester At Sea.  For those of you who did not see MTV Road Rules (I went a few years before that taping), Semester at Sea (SAS) is a floating University (a cruise ship) where students, faculty, life long learners and crew sail around the globe while taking college classes.  We visited 10 countries and stayed in each 3-5 days.  It was like a sampler platter of the world :)

While visiting India, I stayed with a Rotarian family (with another student from SAS) for two nights.  My dad is a big Rotarian and this seemed like the perfect match.  Upon arriving in India, our host family served us a large welcome dinner.  It was delicious and I filled myself up on their fine Indian cuisine.  After dinner we went to the local Rotary meeting where we were served another dinner.  Trying not to be rude, I forced down some more food even though I was so full from the first dinner.  After the meeting, my host family took us to a nice hotel for (you guessed it) another dinner!  At this point, Dehli Belly was starting to set in (I had consumed a yogurt drink at the first dinner that may have caused it) and I could feel myself start to sweat as my host father ordered a banquet of food for the 5 of us.  I knew that he was trying to impress us and so I did my best to ignore the rumbling in my tummy and consume more food with a gracious smile.  

That night was bad......we went back to our guest room and my bed was filled w/ little black bugs.  I shook them off, crawled in and thought I was going to die.  My cipro (medication for issues like Dehli Belly) was back on the ship and our guest bathroom had some rocky plumbing :(  The next morning our host mother prepared a large, spicy breakfast for us.  When I asked her if I could just have some plain bread, she became very insulted.  She insisted that I eat the spicy egg and potato dish that she had prepared.....oh I can still remember the pain!  

After breakfast, we joined up with our group for a full day of site seeing.  It was bad....I will spare you the details.  By the time we returned back to our host family's house, I was so sick.  The girl I was with begged the family to return us to the ship so that I could get my medication and see the ship's doctor.  The host father refused to bring us back and offered to take me to their family doctor.  As the two argued, I layed on their couch praying that he would give in.  

He finally did after the girl I was with promised that he would still get the host family tour of the ship the next day (that is why he didn't want to let us go).  She said that she would make sure that he would get his tour and meet him herself (God bless her!!!).  All I remember after that was laying down on the ground of the shipyard parking lot.  The girl got us back through security and must have helped me to my room.  My roommate found my medication and then I slept through the rest of our stay in India :(

I know that I will remember those three dinners for the rest of my life!!!

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Good Morning--Say it With a Song

I'm singin' in the rain here today and feeling kind of blue, so I wanted to share a song that always makes me smile....Good Morning.  It is from the musical, Singin' In the Rain and I used to change the words and sing it every morning to Z when he was a baby. 

Go visit BJ Mama and sing along with us!

Good Morning

Good mornin',
Good mornin'!
We've talked the whole night through,
Good mornin'
Kathy, Don & Cosmo:
Good mornin' to you.
Good mornin', good mornin'!
It's great to stay up late,
Good mornin', good mornin' to you.
When the band began to play
The sun was shinin' bright.
Now the milkman's on his way,
It's too late to say goodnight.
Kathy, Don & Cosmo:
So, good mornin', good mornin'!
Sunbeams will soon smile through,
Good mornin', good mornin', to you,
And you, and you, and you!
Good morning,
Good morning,
We've gabbed the whole night through.
Good morning, good morning to you.
Don & Cosmo:
Nothin' could be grander than to be in Louisiana
Kathy, Don & Cosmo:
In the morning,
In the morning,
It's great to stay up late!
Good mornin',
Good mornin' to you.
Don & Cosmo:
It might be just a zippy
If you was in Mississipi!
When we left the movie show
The future wasn't bright
But tame is gone
The show goes on
And I don't wanna say good night
Don & Cosmo:
So say, Good Mornin'!
Good Mornin'!
Kathy, Don & Cosmo:
Rainbow is shining through
Good Mornin'!
Don & Cosmo:
Good Mornin'!
Bon Jour!
Don & Cosmo:
Bon Jour!
Buenos Dias!
Don & Cosmo:
Buenos Dias!
Buon Giorno!
Don & Cosmo:
Buon Giorno!
Guten Morgen!
Don & Cosmo:
Guten Morgen!
Kathy, Don & Cosmo:
Good morning to you.

Waka laka laka wa
Waka laka laka wa...
Ole, toro, Bravo!

Friday, April 16, 2010

Turn Off Your TV Week :)

Next week (April 19th-25th) is National Turn Off Your TV week.  In honor of this occassion, Katie from Simple Organic is having "Make Week" over at her blog all next week.  She is planning giveaways and will have lots of creative ideas for things to do while the TV is off.  We are hoping to participate here at RaisingZandLil' will be a bit of a sacrifice but in all honesty we have already made great strides to cut back on our TV viewing.  I have not watched a series since the Bachelor ended and I probably watch about an hour of TV all week long (if that)  I use to watch 2-3 hours a day!!!  Z is down from his 2 hours a day to about 30-60 minutes.  He doesn't watch any more TV shows, just DVDS.  We also let him watch one movie per week but that takes the place of his TV for the day. 

Why am I punishing myself in such ways??  Well for Z, I realized that the TV was making him so cranky.  Since I got pregnat last year, I used the TV to help me get through the day.  My son went from watching 60 minutes a day to over 2 hours!  I was not proud of this fact but it was the only way I could get through my morning sickness, the tiredness of being pregnant and then adjusting to a new baby.  This spring I feel like I am somewhat back in control of my life and so the TV was the first to go.  Since I have made this change, his attitude and mood is sooooo much better.  He is so much more imaginative and agreeable.  It has been so nice. 

As for me, I have been so busy decluttering our house, cleaning, helping S with business plans, reading and blogging that I don't have time for TV.  I really don't miss it at all, it is kind of nice :)  I suggested that we get rid of cable again to save money but S was not so sure of this.  He does like to watch his shows on the History, Travel and Discovery channels.  I haven't told him about Turn off the TV week.....maybe I will do that over a glass of wine tonight ;)

Thursday, April 15, 2010

And the Winner Is.....

Z was so excited to pick the winner of today's ReUsies™ giveaway.  

Here is the bowl of contestants.....

Here he is sticking his hand in to pick the winner........


And the winner of the ReUsies™ reusable snack bag and lunch bag is........

And now her daughter's lunch bag will have a little more breathing room :)

Thanks to everyone for entering.  If you did not win, you should go check out their website and place an order.  In honor of Earth Day, you will get 10% off of your order PLUS free shipping and handling! Simply enter the Redemption Code of EARTH at checkout!

I want to thank Becky at ReUsies™ for having such a wonderful product, for sending me two more great bags and for helping to make this giveaway possible.  I want my own snack and sandwich bag (since S and the kids have taken ownership of the ones we currently own) and so I am off to place an order with my mom and sister.....since they didn't win :)  

Happy Tax Day!   


Wednesday, April 14, 2010

2 More Months....

Only two more months and I will be loading the kids in the car and heading to the farm for our first week of our CSA....I can't wait!  What is a CSA you ask??  Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) is a way for people to buy shares of a local farmers crop for the growing season.  Each person pays a one time fee and then each week you pick up your share of that weeks harvest.  Some years/weeks are more fruitful than others but the food is AMAZING.  I love trying to find creative ways to cook the interesting items that we receive.  Have you ever cooked celery root???

This is our third year doing a CSA but this year we moved to a new farmer.  This year we will actually get to go to the farm to pick up our produce and they have many PYO (pick your own) opportunities as well.  My little farmer Z is going to love driving over the farm, picking veggies and seeing where all of our delicious produce comes from.  It should be great!

So what are you waiting for??? You too could have farm fresh organic veggies and fruits this growing season.  It is a wonderful way to support your local farms and your family will benefit from all of the healthy and delicious food.  Yes it is hard to prepay for your produce but if you are like my family, produce is half of our grocery bill every week!  We love our fruits and vegetables and I try to only buy organic (especially the dirty dozen).  Simple Mom does a whole article on eating healthy on a budget, there are a lot of good tips over there.  I know that I am able to feed my family organic fruits and veggies, organic milk, free range and organic eggs, grass fed beef (S is the only one who eats beef), and organic free range chicken and my total grocery bill is usually only $125 a week.  It can be done if you are creative, eat whole foods (cook from scratch), don't eat meat every day and know where to shop :)

Are any of you joining a CSA this year???

If you haven't yet entered my Reusies, reuseable sandwich and snack bag giveaway...please click here to enter!  All entries must be in by 11:59 PM tonight :)

Monday, April 12, 2010

Handwriting Tag

I was tagged by Nicolasa over at Low Expectations for this fun handwriting activity :) 

Here's the rules:
Write down the following, snap a pic and post it. 
1. Name/ Blog Name
2. Right handed, left handed or both
3. Favorite letters to write
4. Least favorite letters to write
5. Write: The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog.
6. Write in caps:
7. Favorite song lyrics
8. Tag 7 people
9. Any special note or drawing


My Blog is GREEN :)

If you are stopping by from UBP '10, Welcome.  Please join the party by clicking on the button (the one with the baby) over there on the left.  If you want to enter my Reusies Earth Month Giveaway, click here

co2 neutral shopping and coupons with

Thanks to Mommy's Nest for sharing this wonderful way to make my blog GREEN :)  It is the perfect thing to do as part of my Earth Month.  We will be planting trees in our yard to celebrate Earth Day and I love that by writing this simple post, another tree will also be planted.

If you want to participate, here is how....

Just write a short blog post about the program “My blog is carbon neutral” and include one of the buttons  on your site (ideally in the sidebar). Send the link to your blog to and they plant a tree for you, neutralising the carbon dioxide emissions of your blog. The trees will be planted in the spring of 2010 by the Arbor Day Foundation. For more information about how and where the trees are planted, see the NEWS section.

What are YOU waiting for?

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Say It with a Song Sundays--Big Yellow Taxi

If you are stopping by from UBP'10, Welcome.  Please join the party by clicking on the button (the one with the baby) over there on the left.  If you want to enter my Reusies Earth Month Giveaway, click here :)   Okay, now on with my song.....


In honor of Earth Month, I decided to pick this little diddy :) Now go on over to BJ Mama's site and link up your own song.

Big Yellow Taxi by Joni Mitchell

They paved paradise and put up a parking lot
With a pink hotel, a boutique, and a swinging hot spot
Don't it always seem to go
That you don't know what you've got till it's gone
They paved paradise and put up a parking lot

They took all the trees and put 'em in a tree museum
And then they charged all the people twenty-five bucks just to see 'em
Don't it always seem to go
That you don't know what you've got till it's gone
They paved paradise and put up a parking lot

Hey farmer, farmer, put away your DDT now
Give me spots on my apples but leave me the birds and the bees, please
Don't it always seem to go
That you don't know what you've got till it's gone
They paved paradise and put up a parking lot

Don't it always seem to go
That you don't know what you've got till it's gone
They paved paradise and put up a parking lot

Late last night I heard the screen door slam
And a big yellow taxi carried off my old man
Don't it always seem to go
That you don't know what you've got till it's gone
They paved paradise and put up a parking lot

Don't it always seem to go
That you don't know what you've got till it's gone
They paved paradise and put up a parking lot

Text and Music: Joni Mitchell
(c) 1970 Siquomb Publishing Corp. (BMI)

Friday, April 9, 2010

UBP '10--Welcome to Our Home!

Ultimate Blog Party 2010
Hello everyone, no need to take your shoes off....we are not that kind of blog.  Go ahead and grab yourself a drink, something to eat (the artichoke dip is awesome) and sit back and relax.....mi casa es su casa!  Unfortunately that is about all the Spanish I know and after 4 semesters of French in college.......well let's just say that languages do not come easy to me :(

So I thought long and hard about what kind of a party I would like to throw for you all and I even asked Z for some advice.  He suggested that we throw a Lightning McQueen/Spiderman party and though I loved this idea, I decided to go with another one of his passions.  This week at the Raising Z and Lil' C home we are hosting a baseball party.  This is in honor of Opening Week at Fenway Park (yes I am a New Englander).  Let's Go Red Sox....Fenway franks and 9 dollar beers for everyone!

It is pretty incredible that I turned out rooting for the good guys considering I was raised by two members of the Evil Empire.  That's right my parents are big Yankee Fans who came to New England from NJ (my dad was actually born in NYC).  Somehow I grew up to love the Sox despite my upbringing and a family rivalry was born :)  Even though the members of this blog are members of Red Sox Nation, Yankee Fans are still welcome.  After all, I have many Yankee fans in my life, it is just important that you all know that 2010 is our year!

Now I would like to introduce you to our team here at Raising Z.  I have included our baseball cards below.  Once you get to know us, stay and hang out as long as you would like, we are happy that you have come to visit.  Oh and if you are wondering why you are only seeing the backs of us.....that is kind of what we do here.  Once the baby turns 6 months you will only be seeing her backside too :) 

  • Switch Hitter/Throws Right
  • Height and Weight:Does not wish me to share :)  
  • Favorite Baseball Player: Tim Wakefield
  • Interests: computers (his job), music (plays the guitar), beer making, hiking, golf, snowboarding, traveling and family

  • Bats Right/Throws Right
  • Height and Weight: 5' 8" and still have 8 pounds of baby weight to lose!
  • Favorite Player: Trot Nixon :(  J.D Drew
  • Interests: blogging, reading, teaching (my old job), traveling, running, creating and spending time with my family and friends

  • Switch Hitter/Throws Left
  • Height and Weight: 39" and 37 pounds
  • Favorite Player: Big Papi
  • Interests: playing sports (golf especially), CARS, trucks, trains, arts and crafts and making pancakes

  • Doesn't bat yet, throws right
  • Height and Weight: 23in and 15 pounds
  • Favorite Baseball Player: Her brother Z
  • Interests: people watching, music, drooling, her milk truck (aka ME), laughing at her brother, rolling and trying to walk

This clip is of Game 7 of the ALCS in 2007.  S and I were there and it was ELECTRIC :)  I thought it was the perfect way to end my party.  Enjoy and thanks again for stopping by.

    Thursday, April 8, 2010

    Good Bye Plastic Bags......Give-Away!!!

    After going paperless in the kitchen, I started to look around to find other places where we could reduce our household waste.  After finding our messy collection of plastic zip bags under our sink, I knew my search was over.  I found this great site called where they have everything you could ever imagine for food carrying and storage.  This website not only has a great selection, it also has so many wonderful features; excellent product descriptions, lots of customer reviews and inexpensive shipping.  After a lot of research and a budget of $40 or less.....I settled on two ReUsies™ snack bags and a 3 pack of Wrap-N-Mats®.  I am so happy with my purchases and though I typically don't do reviews on this site, I wanted to share w/ you how much we really love the ReUsies bags!!!  

    We have been using these bags for a month now and I must say that we use them every day.  I have packed the bags with crackers, cookies, muffins, pretzels, baby carrots, sandwiches and everything always tastes great.  I have even left crackers over night and they were not stale (although they can't guarantee freshness overnight :)!  I love the fun designs and the fact that the velcro is strong enough to keep the snacks in but easy enough for Z to open it.  The bags are so well made, they are 100% cotton on the outside and the inside is lined with water-resistant 100% nylon (BPA, Lead and Phthalate free).  This makes it so easy to keep them clean.  I just rinse them out with some water from the sink and then let them air dry.  You can also wash them in the washing machine (you need to flip them inside out) or in the dishwasher.  The company was created by two moms out in Seattle who were trying to reduce their family's carbon footprint :)  They are a very friendly company with a wonderful website and product and I highly recommend it to you. 

    I wrote the the ReUsies company and told them how much I loved their product and asked if I could give my readers a coupon to try out the product at a discount.  They said that they would do something even better......they sent me out a sandwich sized bag to try (as well as another snack bag) and told me that that they would send one lucky reader a set as well!  So here is your chance to win your own set of ReUsies snack and lunch bags.  I know you are going to LOVE them.  

    To Enter the Give Away You must...
               -Leave a comment telling me why you would like to win the bags :)

    If you would like enter more than once, follow the list below.  Just make sure you leave me comments letting me know what you did :) 

    Additional Entries Can Be Gotten By.......

             1.  Subscribe to the ReUsies Newsletter and let me now (1 Entry)
             2.  Become a fan of Reusies on Facebook  (1 Entry)
             3. Change your Facebook status to mention this giveaway by leaving a link to        this blog (1 Entry)
             4. Blog about the giveaway on your blog (2 Entries)
             5.  Visit the ReUsies website and let me know of your favorite prints (1 Entry)

    I have decided to do the drawing the old school way so that Z can be involved.  All of
    the entries will be written on scrap paper and drawn from a big bowl by Z himself :)
    The drawing will be Thursday the 15th, so please enter by Wednesday, April 14th at 11:59 PM. Good Luck :)

    Wednesday, April 7, 2010

    A Great Earth Day Project for Classrooms or Mom's Groups

    When I use to teach elementary school, every year I would do a HUGE Earth Day unit.  I taught in a multi-age classroom (two grade levels in one room) so one year we would focus on Water Conservation and the other year on the 3 R's (reduce, reuse and recycle).  No matter what our focus was though, we always led our entire school in the participation of the Earth Day Groceries Project.  In fact, I have even done this project with my MOMS club because I love it that much ;) 

    The Earth Day Groceries project is fairly simple and the best part it is FREE!  You first contact a local grocery store (or more than one) and ask if they would like to partner with you.  If they agree, you "borrow" a stack of paper grocery bags to decorate with Earth Friendly messages and pictures.  The week of Earth Day, you return the bags to the store and they pass them out to their customers with their groceries in it.  You can hang signs in your school or send out emails to your club asking that everyone shop at that store during Earth Week and the store can also hang a sign explaining the project. We also sent all of the information to the local newspapers. Make sure you take pictures during the process and then you can upload the pictures and your report to the Earth Day Groceries project website and then you are done! 

    When I did this project with the MOMS club we got together at a members house for a bag decorating party.  For the older children, we wrote the Earth Messages on the bags and they did the decorating.  For the younger children, we drew pictures in black marker for the little ones to color.  We also wrote our club name on every bag to let the community know that we were leading up this project.  We all really got into and the mom's also had fun decorating bags.

    So go out and visit their website and see if this is something you would like to participate in.  They have been doing it since 1994 :)  You can participate with girl scouts, boy scouts, playgroups, after school programs.....just about anybody!

    I will be having a fun Earth Month giveaway tomorrow :)  Make sure you come back to check it out!