Category Archives: planet parenthood

Mama’s milk

I can hardly believe that it’s been a year since I weaned Girly. I wrote before about the many health and financial benefits of breastfeeding . I also feel strongly that breastfeeding helps with the bonding process, which you can’t put a price tag on.

Truthfully, I kind of miss the closeness and the down time that nursing demands. It’s important to take pauses in your day, especially since I’m so apt to go-go-go. But i t is truly awesome to have such portable and free “food.”

I know not all moms can breastfeed, but that why I also love the idea of breast-milk banks. There’s a formal bank (by a friend of Hubby’s) called NW Mother’s Milk Bank In Portland there is also a Facebook group started by another friend of mine called   Local Breast Milk   to connect moms with/without milk.  

I found this video awhile ago, and I love seeing moms nurse their babies. We are nursing our future…

Did you breastfeed? 
Do you miss it at all?

Sustainable Family Finances
The story of a family creating an abundant and sustainable life.

Babysitting Co-op

Maybe it’s because we need a date night, but I’m really intrigued lately the idea of babysitting co-ops. A friend tipped me off about, I’m really impressed by the simplicity of the system they’ve set up.

We’ve only really had close friends and family babysit our kids. They have been very generous in caring for our kids, but we’ve also been reluctant to abuse the generosity. So, as a result, our average for a date night has been maybe every three months…and after five plus years, it sure doesn’t feel often enough. We’re both ready to finally set up regular date nights.

When I was in graduate school (pre-kids), I “babysat” on several occasions for friends/neighbors for free. Their daughter was a great sleeper, and they would always put her to bed before I came over…as it turned out she never once woke up while I “taking care” of her…I just do school reading and listen to a humming monitor. It was a super easy gig, and even though I wasn’t yet a parent, I could tell how much they appreciated it. Plus, they were always doing us great neighborly favors.

The fair trade aspect of the babysitting co-op is what appeals to me most, plus the exponential power of networking. The only thing I’m not so sure about is whether I have the time to be the “leader” just yet…I think I need to do a little more research before I’m ready to commit. 

Here’s a great recent experience from a mom blogger that really gets me inspired.

Are you part of a babysitting co-op?

Sustainable Family Finances 
The story of a family creating an abundant and sustainable life.

Will & Testament: Make it your family priority

At the new year I talked about how updating our wills and creating new “last wishes” documents were a family goal , and about a month ago I wrote about questions for estate planning . I may be stating the obvious, but given the recent death of my father, I realize how essential documenting your last wishes really is for your family. I encourage you to make setting up your estate affairs a top priority for your entire family.

Ironically, Hubby and I signed our wills, advanced directives, and power of attorney when my father had already passed away and we just didn’t know yet. I was planning to have the tough talk with my father the next time we met, and I was already discussing the need for estate planning with my mother. My Twin Sis had tried to broach the subject of writing a will the last time they saw each other in January, but he kind of scoffed at her asking “Why would I need a will?!” She pressed further and told him that writing a will is the responsible thing to do, especially for someone 65 with a heart fibrillation. She insisted that it wasn’t about inheriting money, but it was more about his last wishes. Where did he want his ashes scattered? Did he have any causes he wanted to donate to? What about giving money to his “best-ex” who who was partners with for 14 years and still best friends with? How would we know anything about handling his finances? We knew that we didn’t want to be kept on life support, but that doesn’t matter without an advanced directive…

As in turns out, these questions were forced upon us much early than we anticipated. Please, I urge you to get your estate affairs in order, I promise you’ll breath a sigh of relief when they are done and your family will thank you when you are gone.

Not to keep this post entirely depressing, I want to share Brett Dennen’s new song Dancing At a Funeral from his new Loverboy album.

Do you have a will and testament? 
Does your spouse?  Do your parents?

Sustainable Family Finances 
The story of a family creating an abundant and sustainable life.

Happy Mama’s Day!

I’m excited to be heading for a mini-Mama’s day vacation…dropping kids off at “Grandma and Papas” before Hubby and I head down for a few cherished days as adults…we lived in Ashland for two years prior to kids, so I’m sure it will feel surreal to visit…then we’ll have time as a family for Mama’s day itself.

Last year I took a lot of time to write several of my favorite posts on “Green Mamas.” I’ve gained lots of new readers since then, so in an effort to recycle:

Ode to Green Mamas
Celebrity Green Mamas
Green Mompreneurs – I would now add JBF organizers to this list! 
Global Green Mamas
Great and Grand Mamas

Lastly, to our beloved Mama: Thank you for raising us with green family values and being generous to the core. We  love you more than you can know. 

(photo of Twin Sis on the left)

Happy Mama’s Day!

Sustainable Family Finances 
The story of a family creating an abundant and sustainable life.

Cloth Diaper Tips

I’ve been feeling a bit naked lately…without schlepping cloth diapers to/from the office/childcare. You see, once we got serious about potty training and having Girly visit the Toddler room for potty visits, it became challenging for staff to tote clean/dirty diapers between classrooms with up to four Wobblers. I can only imagine the feet of patience that would require, so in an effort to support their effort, I agreed to no longer using cloth diapers at “school”… naturally hoping that this will speed the process toward no diapers altogether!

cloth diaper tips Not that I want to brag about our effort to use cloth diapers almost full time, but it is pretty rare. I was lucky that the first few months after Girly was in childcare she attended a place that provided cloth service (at no extra charge!), so when we transitioned, I didn’t really want to give that up. But I also knew that it would require quite a bit of effort on my part. Beyond doing two extra loads of diapers per week , one of my initial tests was getting full support of staff to use cloth. They were open to it, but still needed some support on the learning curve…some of these tips should be helpful to new parents too!

Note, most critical factor to hauling dirty diapers is a smell proof container. I bought snapping boxes with handles at Storables, and they truly keep the smell out. I skipped expensive diaper pails in our laundry area for a large snap close tub.

Here is the personal tip sheet that I made for staff to help with using cloth diapers:

Cloth Diaper Tips

Thank you for making the extra effort to use our cloth diapers!

I try to set them up in advance so you don’t have much prep work. Here are a few tips to help make both our lives a bit easier:


  • There are a variety of style diapers – all of Makenna’s fasten in front (G’s are in back)
  • Please use the thin liners whenever possible – helps remove solids easily
  • Pocket diapers or All-in-ones: These can only be used once.
  • Wraps can be used multiple times with fresh folding cloth inserts. They are designed to be very repellent and only need to be washed when poop gets on the wrap itself.


  • Please fasten the tabs to the inside Velcro squares – see photos below, this step doesn’t take any extra time really, but it does save me from fastening before washing.
  • Using one bag to line the box daily is sufficient – saves time on both sides.

Darcy and family

Here’s a review of the new Bum Genius diapers, which happen to be one favorite brand

Do you use cloth diapers in a childcare setting…any tips?

Sustainable Family Finances
The story of a family creating an abundant and sustainable life.