Skip to Content


Written by Mama Monday

Blog posts written by mamas on cloth diapering, green living, natural parenting.

Observing Earth Day on Thirsties Blog

This month marks the 44th anniversary of  Earth Day. Created in 1970 by US Senator Gaylord Nelson, many consider the 1970 Earth Day observation as the beginning of environmental awareness both nationally and globally. No matter, your political preference or personal beliefs you cannot deny the impact we have on the environment which we live in. It’s an important lesson to pass on to our children to ensure we’re treating this world we live in with respect and care; after all, aren’t we supposed to be its caretakers?

I vividly remember as a child learning about how bad it was to litter on the highway. In fact when I reach back into the depths of my memories I can see litter skewed all over highway ditches. There’s a different scene now that’s for sure. I also remember spending an entire unit in elementary school learning about the three R’s – you know, reduce, reuse and recycle. Being a proper caretaker for the world we live in is something that we need to teach our children; the environment affects our health and wellbeing. What better time to really focus on that than this month leading up to April 22nd?

Here are some easy ways to teach your child about Earth Day and taking care of the world we live in:

freebie earth day poster from Nothing But Country

One of my favorite ways to add a little change into our home decor is by finding seasonable printables on Pinterest, printing them out and then putting them in a frame that sits on one of the buffets in my living room. I love this free printable from Nothing But Country.

DIY Palette Herb garden from Second Chance to Dream

I still have snow on the ground here in the Twin Cities, but that doesn’t mean I can’t get my seeds started inside. I love fresh herbs, especially cilantro and basil. Not only do I love the adorable look to this palette herb garden from Second Chance to Dream but if you’re new to gardening and a little timid in trying it out, herbs are a very easy way to get started. Plus, fresh basil is SO darn expensive in the grocery store that I just can’t justify buying it when I want to make bruschetta. It’s better to have my own supply on demand at home.

Earth-Day-Activities-for-the-family

I love the ideas that Trish, from Mom on Time Out, has for Earth Day activities that you can do with your entire family. Whether they’re in preschool or in high school there’s something for everyone in this post.

9-recycled-mothers-day-crafts-

Get a head start on celebrating Mother’s Day and teach your child(ren) the principle of reusing by creating some of the ideas for recyclable gifts from No Time for Flash Cards.

Earth-Day-Globes

How cool are these paper mache light-up globes from Housing a Forest?! I’m definitely getting on top of making these with my five-and-a-half-year son. Sure this is a little more time consuming than some of the other crafts that you’ll find out there and I know that my almost three-year-old daughter would last about five minutes (and create a terrible mess) but I like the way they look and can envision having them around the house as a decoration.

Steel Can Flower Planter

I love this idea from Make Myself at Home for a steel can planter. You take magazines, an empty steel can, dirt and flower seeds to create a unique planter that your kiddo can claim as his/her own. If you don’t want to watch the seeds grow just use a grown flower from your local nursery. The materials are minimal, the concept is simple and it’s not going to take forever so it should hold the attention span of your toddler.

Whether you make something at home, take a nature walk, pick garbage up as the snow melts make sure you stress the importance of taking care of the earth to your child(ren) this Earth Day. It’s a great reminder for us grown-ups too!

Tomorrow, Tuesday, I’ll be 32 weeks pregnant. Technically only eight more weeks to go, however, it feels like an eternity. Yes, I’m a little uncomfortable now and doing the normal mommy tasks like changing Kendall’s diaper on the floor is daunting. Overall, it’s not been all that bad. I’ve mentioned before that I live in Minnesota and the winter (like much of the US) has been relentless. Yesterday we had our first taste of spring with a high of 60*F! Supposedly today we’re going to have another winter storm. Sure it’s rain/snow mixed, however, I think I may throw something breakable out the window if I see that white falling from the sky. I think that’s one reason why I’m just so ready to be done with this pregnancy. I’m ready for a change of scene and if I’m not going to get it from the weather than by golly I want to see my new baby!

30 weeks pregnant on Thirsties

The other reason why I’m so ready to be done with this pregnancy is because I have no clue what gender the baby is. If you remember we didn’t find out with this pregnancy and despite my wanting to know I honored my husband’s wishes to be surprised. We had found out the gender with our first two pregnancies and he’s always wanted to be surprised. It’s the least I could do for him (to fully understand this you’ll have to read my previous post). This past week alone I have had three friends have their babies. I want my baby!! Not knowing what the gender is has been killing my patience (and I’m not a patient person to begin with).

I love this baby growing inside of me but the surprise of the gender kind of makes me feel like the baby is ambiguous. I don’t want to think of it as one gender more than the other because if it’s wrong I don’t want to be thrown off. I also don’t really have a preference for any gender over the other. I know the baby’s movements, a basic schedule, and I can kind of picture my baby but it’s definitely not the same as my other pregnancies.

If I could do it all over again here’s what I would do:

  • Baby #1 would be a surprise because I could focus solely on the pregnancy and nothing else. Having other children to care for has really kept me busy and distracted so I rarely lay around soaking in all of those pregnancy moments you have as a first time mom.
  • Baby #2 and #3 would not be surprises for the mere fact that I do not have time to be still and focus on my baby. By knowing the gender of my second child before her birth I was able to think about her, dream about what she would look like while I was chasing my oldest around the house.

That’s my little update…I’ll do my best to be patient. I mean I don’t really have any control over when I’ll meet this child. In the meantime I’ll get to know his or hers quirks until I can see this child face to face.

Before I became a parent and even after I had my son, I never understood how anyone could want to sit alone in a restaurant or a coffee shop. Didn’t they feel completely awkward with the silence? Didn’t they miss the conversation with another? What on earth were they thinking about? Their food? The place setting or decor of the restaurant? It was beyond me to even understand those “weirdos” who enjoyed the company of themselves.

That is…until I had more than one child.

Mommys Me Time on Thirsties Blog

I get it now and I actually crave it. Depending on the kind of day I’ve had, the kids will go to bed and I will revel in the silence of the house. I will turn on my TV and watch anything that doesn’t have a talking animal, fairy or cartoon girl with buttons for eyes. Is it reality TV? Yes. Is it a nighttime TV drama that borderlines on a soap opera? Why yes, yes it is! It’s anything that’s mindless, doesn’t involve me thinking about responsibilities or the well-being of another human being.

Sitting alone at restaurants? I love it now! I can eat a meal at one time without any  interruptions. I don’t have to stop eating to get more water or spaghetti or any other thing that causes me to never finish a hot meal in one sitting. I can sit and eat; I hear my own thoughts when I’m alone. There’s no one to badger me about wanting to watch more TV or invite someone over for a playdate. I don’t have to referee who had what toy first or try to decipher the cries of my youngest, who has learned that she can fain getting her own way by shedding a few tears. There’s none of that; I can sit, in peace and the only voice I hear are my own thoughts.

It’s not that I don’t love being a stay-at-home mom; I do. It is by far the best job I have ever have and will ever have but that doesn’t mean that I’m supermom who can do it all without a break for herself. Clark Kent enjoyed his job at the Daily Planet when he wasn’t out saving the world as Superman. I look at my “me” time as my Daily Planet job; the time I get to spend where no one needs anything of me. I can get recharged; I can come back refreshed and ready to love and care for my children and husband.

So are you making sure that you’re getting some “me” time in daily? Even if it’s for 30 minutes a day, are you making sure that you’re stepping away from life to care for yourself? I really believe that as a mother it’s one of the most important things we can do: be alone, with our thoughts. Whether it’s hitting the pavement with a pair of running shoes or sitting at your local coffee house with nothing more than a book or your tablet, you need that time to yourself. Stay-at-home mom or working mom, there has to be a time set aside each day where the only person you are focusing on is yourself. You’ll be a better mother for it.

The closer we get to baby #3 making his or her appearance the more transitions are needing to take place. Some of the transitions, like Kendall becoming an older sister and being dethroned as the baby, simply cannot happen before baby #3 arrives; there are a few transitions that we can have happen before the birth day.

One of those transitions is moving Kendall into the same room as her big brother, Brennan. Thankfully, our bedset for Brennan’s room was given to us from my cousins so we already had a bunk bed set up. Brennan’s been sleeping in the bottom bunk since Kendall took his room and crib so first we had to get Brennan sleeping consistently in the top bunk.

Moving into a shared bedroom on Thirsties

I’m always surprised when one of my children encounters a new experience and they find it challenging. It’s not that I expect them to never be challenged or scared but having problems sleeping in a top bunk was not something that I anticipated Brennan having difficulty with. I just assumed that his little five-and-a-half-year-old brain would process things the same way I do: there’s a safety bar to prevent him from rolling off and the ladder to get up into the bed is on the opposite end of the bed where he sleeps. We’ve been talking about this process with him since Christmas. He was all excited about it until the time came to actually move on up. Consumed by his fear of falling off, he just could not bring himself to spend a night up there.

We dropped the issue with him. There was no sense in forcing him to do something he was afraid and time was on our side. Now, however, I’m 30 weeks into this pregnancy and time is quickly escaping us. Since I’m pregnant and clumsy my husband took on the task of putting Brennan to bed that first night. He climbed up into bed with Brennan; they read their books, said his bedtime prayers, sang his three songs (Twinkle Little Star, Daddy/Mommy Loves You, and Jesus Loves Me) and cuddled. My husband usually falls asleep with Brennan during cuddle time and the same thing happened this first night in the top bunk.

Once my husband woke up we chatted about how he got Brennan to stay in bed. He said that they had a lengthy conversation about how difficult it would be for Brennan to slip through the bar of the top bunk. His head is too big! Then they talked about how hard it would be for him to roll to the end of his bed and fall down the ladder. Once Brennan saw how these scenarios were really unlikely he was fine sleeping up high.

It’s safe to say that step one of moving Kendall into Brennan’s room is finished. Next, we’ll have to transition Kendall out of her crib and into the bottom bunk. All the while sharing a room with her older brother, whom she adores. I’m anticipating quite a few late nights of giggling and much needed shushing from us parents. On top of that we’ll have to explain to Kendall the importance of staying in bed. I’m certain there will be more than one morning where I’ll find Kendall in the top bunk with her older brother. So yes, the process of teaching Kendall how to get down using the ladder has also begun.

Life as a parent is all about transitions, what transitions have you had to help your child through recently?

Move from 1 Child to 2 on Thirsties blog

When I was pregnant with my second child I was really concerned about how life would change for my first child. I did a lot of research and talked to quite a few friends that had more than one child about how they made the transition from one to two. At the time my son was two-and-a-half years old and because of this I had to try to explain things in a way that he would comprehend what was going to happen. Here’s what we did:

Waited until I was really showing to explain that I had a baby in my tummy. I didn’t want to cause undue worry or confusion for Brennan, my son, until it was very obvious that I was pregnant. I’ll be 29 weeks in the next day and my daughter who will be three in June is starting to understand that there’s really a baby in there.

We looked at books about having a new baby. My son has always related well to books when it comes to understanding things. I think it’s because we can read the same information over and over again; the words never change so it’s less confusing. We’ve done the same with our daughter and we’ve used the same author Joanna Cole with both kids. To help Kendall, my daughter, understand what was happening I tried making a personalized book from Twigtale and this has really helped her understand that she’s not the baby any more. Here are some of the books I’ve used with my kids:

I’m a Big Brother & I’m a Big Sister by Joanna Cole

The New Baby by Mercer Mayer

Twigtale personalized books, it’s like Shutterfly but with a pre-written story that you customize.

Big Brother Party | Bert Anderson for Thirsties

 Have a big brother/sister party once the baby is born! A friend of mine suggested this when I was pregnant with Kendall and I loved the idea. About a month before Kendall was born, we told my son about the party he would get to have to celebrate being a big brother. He was most excited about the cake and ice cream but this really helped him get into the excitement and anticipation of waiting for his sister’s arrival. Plus I like that it puts a positive spin on the oldest not being replaced rather becoming the big brother/sister to the new baby.

We started to accrue hand-me-downs from family friends so we saved those for his party and told him the gifts were from his sister. We invited our immediate family over for the party too.

Whatever you decide to do it’s important that you do actually prepare your child(ren) for any new babies that will be entering the family. It can be quite shocking for them to understand depending on their age but with a few age-appropriate tools you can make the transition as easy as can be.