Thursday, May 27, 2010

money well spent...

finn is usually a very cheerful guy. not a lot gets him down.

however, he is now 11 months old and without teeth. but not for long...

the poor guy has been miserable for the last few days as a tooth is on the verge of breaking through.

today, i thought i'd help him out a bit and went to buy a new teether. as soon as we got home, i washed that puppy and put him in his highchair to go to town. however, lily and i were enjoying some watermelon and he was sure he had to have some.

(said teether on table next to finn. amount of attention it received? none. love for the watermelon rind? 100%. money well spent, court.)

::school year::

i can hardly believe that this is lily's last day of school!

as she was requesting her "balloon dress" (which she also wore on tuesday, mind you) this morning, she looked at me and said, "it has gone so quickly!" i echo your sentiments, lily!

she keeps telling finn how excited he should be since they will get to "play together alllllll day long now!" and while i am sure finn is excited, i am even more so. it will be great to have each other's company every day and to enjoy slower paced mornings. i do adore summer.

and even though i am excited, a small part of me aches.

this seems monumental.

i cannot believe we have finished a whole school year. it makes my sweet lily seem so big. i almost wish i could stop time and suspend this precious age and this beautiful stage of our lives. but, i am reminded that each stage we have passed through comes with new joys and excitement. and so i look forward to the next year with eagerness.

thank you, miss betty and miss beckett for an amazing first school year!!

(lily's first day of school)

(lily's last day of school)

Tuesday, May 25, 2010


when lily was a few months old, we decided to use cloth diapers.
we decided to do it basically for two reasons.

initially, i was appalled by how much trash we were producing in diaper waste alone. i knew that cloth would be better for the environment and would significantly cut down on our waste.

and secondly, i was even more appalled by how much money we were spending on diapers. even though cloth diapers are an investment up front, i knew that we would see the financial reward in the long run.

and now that i am well into using cloth diapers on our second child and feel that i have a handle on them, i am still amazed by how much i am learning and how many benefits there are to cloth.

i truly did not know how many benefits there were for the baby until i read the most recent issue of mothering magazine. i am well versed in the environmental and economical benefits, but really hadn't thought too much about it from the perspective of the baby... until now.

in this issue, the author explains how traditional disposable diapers contain high levels of dioxin in them due to the chlorine bleaching process. "the world health organization hypothesizes that dioxin exposure has the most serious consequences on developing fetuses and newborn babies." dioxin is cancer causing and can also lead to severe reproductive and developmental problems. it has been linked to birth defects, decreased fertility, diabetes, learning disabilities, immune system suppression, lung problems, skin disorders and much more.

they also explained that the plastic in disposables and the absorbent nature of them, the diaper region is hotter than that of children in cloth diapers. it has been hypothesized that the "overuse of disposable diapers may be one of the reasons for the decline in male reproductive health, and concluded that the disposable diapers keep a boy's body too hot." being the wife of a urologist, you better know that got noted!

and recent studies have been linking plastic diapers to asthma. "chemicals, including toluene, xylene, ethylbenzene, styrene, and isopropyl-benzene, were off-gassing from the diapers, and were thought to be the cause of respiratory distress."

and every time we have put our kids in disposable diapers for travel or babysitters, we have found they get rashes. we certainly have had diaper rashes with cloth diapers, as well, but we have seen our kids break out each time we've used disposables.

all this to be said, we are not so hard core and my kids have certainly spent time in disposables while traveling or under various circumstances. i do not write all of this to be judgmental, but only to put this information out there. i wish i had known all of this prior to lily's birth. i would have put her in cloth diapers a lot sooner! but, i did find all of this information very interesting and gave me more stamina to stick with cloth!

Monday, May 24, 2010


congratulations, john and carolyn!

it was great to celebrate with you this weekend! much love!

Friday, May 21, 2010


today we went strawberry picking in the foothills of the shenandoahs with our friends kathryn, savannah and caroline.

i don't think i have picked strawberries since i was a child. i had forgotten how delicious they are straight out of the field. amazing.

lily told me as i was tucking her in for her nap that she "really really loved picking strawberries." evidence of this love was found all over her face, fingers, shirt and skirt. true love it was.

even finn got in on the action. he devoured handfuls of his first strawberries to his delight.

when we returned home, i made strawberry jam. it is vibrant and looks delicious. i think ryan's peanut butter and jelly sandwiches are going to be extra special this summer.

and although i am sure my jam pales in comparison to hers, i thought of granny sloo the entire time i smashed and stirred. i only wish she could have been here to share her secrets with me.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

is it bad if...

when i feed them a messy breakfast, i call it a "special picnic" and we head outside?
(it's just so much easier to clean!)

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

::the chief::

our sweet guy. excitement is always palpable with him... and i love it!

and lily getting more and more confident with each passing day.

don't you remember the thrill of learning to ride a bike?

i will never forget my dad taking me to sugarbush to
really learn how to ride a two wheeler.

i was learning on a fancy-hand-me-down-three-speed from my bestie, sarah. it was such a cool bike. and my dad took me down a hill that was larger than life (at least in my mind). i remember rushing down the hill so fast that i thought for sure i would have a terrible wreck. my handlebars were shaking and i was almost out of control...but not quite. because i came to the end of the hill and was able to regain composure and start to pedal again. and i remember being so proud of myself in that moment.

i LOVE that we are starting to create moments like that with our own children.

what a thrill parenting is.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010


we made some additions to the garden yesterday.
i am hoping i remember to water them.

this is the most excited i have been about our gardening endeavors and i think lily is even more excited than i.

last year, ry brought home some prized plants for us to grow that one of his attendings had bestowed upon him. it was very generous, but along with the plants, came a huge responsibility of keeping her updated on their progress and not killing them in the meantime. mind you, i was weeks away from delivering finn and i was worried about my ability to keep another human alive... the thought of ensuring these additional plants didn't die almost made me cry! so, this year, i approach the garden with much less trepidation!

here's to hoping for gardening success in our backyard!

and a sad sign of the times... we have had this birdhouse for years with very little activity. this year, it is bustling with birds but it seems they have built their next inside with litter. sad.

Monday, May 3, 2010

while i was drying my hair...

lily hosted a party. and sadly, neither i nor "special girl" (her beloved imaginary friend) were invited!

but oh how it warms my heart to see her imagination soar...

Untitled from courtney smith on Vimeo.

dirty dozen...

i just spent my nap time pureeing ice cube trays full of every fruit and veggie i could think of for finn. one huge advantage of making baby food is that it is a lot cheaper to feed him organic food than if i bought the baby food jars of organic foods. and as much as i strive to feed both he and lily organic produce, sometimes it just gets too expensive.

i just read a recent post at simple organic explaining that the environmental working group just released it's updated list for 2010 of the most contaminated fruits and veggies in terms of pesticides. and they say that if we buy organic when it comes to the 12 most contaminated, we can reduce our pesticide exposure by up to 80%!

the dirty dozen

these are the fruits and veggies that are most contaminated in terms of pesticides, starting with the most contaminated...
1. celery
2. peaches
3. strawberries
4. apples
5. blueberries
6. nectarines
7. bell peppers
8. spinach
9. kale
10. cherries
11. potatoes
12. grapes (imported)

the clean fifteen

these are the cleanest fruits and vegetables, so if your budget doesn't afford organic you don't have to fret too much about these. they are listed in order beginning with the cleanest...

1. onions
2. avocados
3. sweet corn
4. pineapple
5. mango
6. sweet peas
7. asparagus
8. kiwi
9. cabbage
10. eggplant
11. cantaloupe
12. watermelon
13. grapefruit
14. sweet potato
15. honeydew melon

it's always good t o have a little guidance, right?