second-baby syndrome? or something else?

it's funny. planning for the birth of lucy involved a LOT of shopping. generally speaking, items had to be new--the crib, the bedroom rug, the clothes, shoes, blankets, etc. all of the toys--i couldn't dream of letting my newborn baby touch anything that *might* have had some kind of contact with any kind of grossness from a former user, even if said user was an innocent little baby. yes, we had a few hand-me-down clothes from people that we knew, and purchased a couple of vintage items for the nursery because it fit our decor. but for the most part, lucy was the recipient of a LOT of brand-new (expensive) things.

fast forward 18 months. what a difference a little time (and perspective) can make. baby number #02, we love you dearly already. we're decorating your nursery and putting together your wardrobe with (almost) as much thought and excitement as we did for lucy. but i have to tell you, baby-to-be, you're not getting anything new.

clothes? garage & consignment sales. crib? craigslist. furniture? toys? hand-me-downs from lucy. antique fair. decor? handmade. i've yet to waltz into baby gap, janie & jack, or gymboree with the desire to buy a single thing.

here's the thing about buying secondhand. not only can you (for the most part) save a lot of money, but items are less likely to be coated with chemicals (due to repeated washing) or need time to "off-gas." i distinctly recall getting a severe headache after unpacking lucy's stroller from the box. and don't get me started on the way her crib stunk up the nursery--so that we left the windows open for a week before her due date to get it all aired out.

on the subject of nurseries, baby's room is really starting to come together. a few more craigslist purchases (got the crib yesterday), and i'll be posting photos of the finished product. hopefully this post will come very soon--after all, only 5 more weeks to go!


this'll be fun...

want to see the newborn diaper stash that i'm putting together? itty bitty fluff n' stuff? okay--here you go!

the oh-so-teeny orange-edged gmd prefolds...
kissaluv 0's that were our favorites on a newborn lucy...

yellow-edged gmd prefolds...

prowrap PUL covers that were also great on lucy...

fleece soakers i made when lucy was teeny enough to fit them...

consignment store wool covers, plus an awesome fitted pictured in the middle--with identifying tags cut out. does ANYONE know what this is? i want more!

made by me...

in case of boy...

in case of girl...
an attempt at a natural-fiber all-in-one. no PUL as waterproof layer, instead the diaper outer is made from 2 layers of an upcycled, felted cashmere sweater. i have no clue on how this will work. it's crazy bulky though!

that's it for the moment... i've got a few more diapers and a couple of wool soakers that still need photos, and am waiting on 2 pairs of longies from an online trade. baby-to-be may not have a crib yet, but he or she will certainly not be lacking for diapers!


our final csa box...

with our current farm, anyway.

today's box contained:

green beans
asian pears

tonight's dinner was trader joe's mango chicken sausages (so very good) and a saute of green beans, tomatoes, and onion and garlic. lots of olive oil. salt & pepper. cooked until very soft. lucy & i topped ours with cheese. it was quite good!

tomorrow night we're having crash hot potatoes. i made these last week and they were really yummy, so we bought a bunch of red potatoes at the farmer's market this past weekend to make them again. now, with our csa potatoes, i'll be making a couple dozen of them. no worries there--we're working hard to freeze some food so that we can eat (and feed lucy) healthfully once the new baby arrives. we're under the 6-week mark now, people. it's time to get serious. i have a feeling that these potatoes will freeze well.

we're sad to say goodbye to our current csa, but look forward to getting home delivery with our new farm. it took all the resolve i had in me to sign up for the local-only option--there is a box that offers produce from neighboring states washington & oregon. but we're really committed to the idea of staying local as much as we can. our new farm provides a larger box, which will also mean even more produce in our diet--it cannot be a bad thing!

funny, but the talk of produce just reminded me that i found a local source for free-range, grass-fed beef. the cows are being raised not 15 minutes from my home. i had no idea! and fully plan on visiting the farm next week a making a small purchase to try it out. right now we eat only minimal amounts of beef, opting instead for poultry and pork, and omitting meat altogether in many of our meals. having a local source of healthful, humanely-treated beef might just shift things a bit.

happy autumn to everyone!


four little fluff bugs is having a SALE!

clearing out the old to make room for the new--select diapers in the shop are only $19!!! a steal for organic bamboo velour, that's for sure! check it out--and look for new diapers coming soon!


remember the tutu that i got on consignment?

it's a hit. like, such a hit that she wants to wear it everyday. and yes, i took her to "school" (playgroup at a preschool) like this. lucy's now famous with the 2-year old set as the "girl wif da pwetty dress."


check out these babies...

aww, triplets. aren't they cute? in that icky-plastic-made-in-china-junk-doll-kind-of-way? well, don't worry, i haven't lost my head (entirely). lucy's "school" that we attend twice weekly is seriously hard up for some babydolls. many catfights have ensued, my sweet darling baby girl often heading up the punches. seriously, people, we can't expect 15 toddlers to share 1 babydoll and a couple lame-o teddy bears, can we? i think not. everyone knows that teddy bears are unacceptable alternatives to babies.

i picked up these beauties at a thrift shop today at the unfathomable price of 69 cents each. and while i'd totally prefer to be donating dolls made of safer plastic or cloth, i gotta do what fits the budget. and be happy that i'm giving a few unwanted dollies a new home where they'll be loved and adored for years to come, instead of hitting up target for some in-the-box-plastic. i'm also pleased that they don't have that babydoll-fresh-scent to them that new babies have. does this mean they've off-gassed?

well, this post is just a reminder that (for nearly all items) buying used is an excellent, eco-friendly alternative to buying new. even when said items are friends made out of plastic.

and i have to admit i think the middle one is kinda cute. i like her pouty face.

meet the newbies...

from left to right--pippen, foghorn and peach. 11 week-old pullets that we picked up yesterday. pippen is a blue wyandotte, foghorn is an american white (who is supposed to lay 350+ large eggs per year) and peach (named in honor of our old araucana, plum) is, well, an araucana--they lay the pretty blue-green eggs that look to have appeared straight out of a martha stewart magazine spread.

there's been some upset (marked by loud cackling on the part of cee-cee and foster, our existing birds) and the newbies are quite timid. i chalk this up to them never having been outdoors before--they don't seem to know quite what to make of it all. they should start laying within 7-11 weeks. can't wait for that!

for local readers, we got the girls from trunorth farm in walnut creek, and could not have been more pleased with the experience. with the minor hangup that i really want to move onto the gorgeous, sprawling property. oh well, what can you do?


prettying up the silver...

over the weekend i managed to score a few new utensils for lucy. she was desperately in need of forks, only having two. finding antique silver baby spoons is a relatively easy task due to their collectable nature--forks and knives, not so much. so when i came across 4 forks at the sacramento antique fair (priced at $1/each!) i snapped them right up. two of the forks even had matching spoons to go with! aren't they cute?

i mean, cute if you can get past all of that tarnish. not being a very fancy girl, i had no idea about polishing silver, but you can bet i wasn't about to go buy some chemical-laden silver cleaner, right? no, instead i googled "natural way to polish silver," and learned that it can be easily done by making a paste of baking soda and water, letting the items set in the paste for awhile, and then scrub-scrub-scrubbing at them with damp cloth. yes, it took quite a bit of elbow grease (i enlisted jeremy after my arm got tired) but take a look at how cute lucy's wee utensils are now:

pretty pretty, right? and for those of you who requested a belly shot, well, i guess technically that's me (upside-down) in the reflection of the spoons. ha!


truly clean dishes...

i've yet to have tons of luck in finding an eco-friendly dishwashing detergent that really works well. we've tried trader joe's powder and liquid, ecover tablets and seventh generation without tons of success. for the most part our dishes get clean enough, but often times there's a bit of residue, spottiness, or icky bits of food left behind.  

enter the ants. 

our dishwasher (well, our whole kitchen, really) was recently taken over by ants. i ran a rinse cycle to get rid of them, but there was nothing stopping them from coming back. so i whipped out my spray bottle filled with peppermint dr. bronner's (the peppermint is a mild insecticide and kills on contact) and sprayed down all of the dishes in the dishwasher to avert their interest in my dirty dishes. score 1 for your loyal blogger--not only did the ants fail to return, but the dishes came out super-squeaky clean. shiny & beautiful. not a bit of residue or food left behind. 

my new dishwasher routine is an ecover tablet, a light misting of dr. b's on the dishes, and vinegar in the rinse aid compartment. give it a try & see for yourself!


farm box wednesday... and a bonus.

in today's csa box:

~ heirloom tomatoes (supposedly the last of the year)
~ grapes
~ red potatoes
~ a huge bunch of basil (we really need to get on the pesto-making train)
~ sweet peppers
~ peaches 
~ sharlyn melon

all good stuff. we cooked up some older potatoes to make room for the new ones--we'll have them for breakfast tomorrow along with some guilt-free eggs. that's right, we finally found a source for "eggies" as lucy likes to call them--from a family living about 12 miles from our home. they are raising 12 hens and sell the eggs for $3 per dozen. lucy and i drove out today to pick ours up. well, due to a wonky nap schedule on lucy's part, we were an hour and a half early, and the mama that runs the whole operation wasn't home. so we didn't get to meet the chickens this time around. rather, her school-aged boy handed us the eggs though a barely opened door. it was a little strange! but the eggs are big and beautiful--we even got a green one which reminds us of our old chicken named plum who gave us lovely pastel eggs. 

from what i could see through the partially open fence, it looks as though these chickens are raised in the exact same manner as our own: able to enjoy a fenced-in run with access to an open coop. a couple of the hens were scritching around in a pile of hay. i'm fairly certain that these birds are fed non-organic chicken food (as our chickens are) and vegetable scraps. thus, the eggs that they lay are technically non-organic. but i feel that all of the other benefits of supporting truly cage-free, humanly-treated, locally-raised hens are worth going non-organic in this case.  

i was hoping to pick up 3 dozen eggs, but all that was left was a single dozen which we feel lucky to have gotten. the upside is that our new egg suppliers live very close to lucy's good playmate who we happen to visit weekly. so dropping by frequently to pick up eggs shouldn't be a problem at all. 

lucy was unbelievably enthralled with our carton of eggs--so much so that it was a bit hard to get them away from her for the ride home. somehow the idea of my rear-facing toddler alone with 12 eggs in the back of my semi-clean car just didn't sit well with me, you know? sorry lucy!


you would not believe...

this entry should be prefaced by saying that i do 99.99% of my grocery shopping either at "nicer" grocery stores and the farmer's market. i haven't been to safeway in a long, long time. 

but i did run to safeway this afternoon to grab 2 items--nutella & wonton wrappers (to make chocolate hazlenut ravioli--divine). anyway, i went to the quick checkout line (15 items or less). i don't know about you, but i'm a 15 items or less evaluator--yep, that's right, i'm totally counting your items, people. what else do i have to do while i wait? anyway, the woman ahead of me had 14 items. and when it came time to bag up her groceries, the cashier and the bagger gave her--

seven plastic bags. 

yep. they double-bagged 2 quarts of ice cream, and double-bagged a dozen eggs. the rest of the items were lightly divided into the remaining 3 bags. not a single one was full. 

i guess because i spend the bulk of my shopping time at places like whole foods and trader joe's (where many people bring their own bags, and the stores do not supply plastic) i'm out of the loop when it comes to this extreme wastefulness. i mean, i was floored. so much that i really wanted to say something, but all that i could manage to muster was an "i don't need a bag for my 2 items, thanks."

if any of you readers are still using plastic, now's the time to make the switch once & for all! do it for your loyal blogger, who's jaw is still on the floor!


sweet finds...

consignment shopping has its extremes--the well-run, nicely organized, high-end kind of shop where you'd like to buy everything, and the less dreamy, kinda-sketchy, piles-upon-piles of worn-out clothes place where you're stuck to find anything worth spending money on. we recently went to a huge consignment faire in sacramento, hoping to find a crib and rocker for the new arrival. no such luck for that. what we got was mostly the "piles-upon-piles" kind of place. the kind of place where you have to dig. and if you have the time to dig, which we did, some treasures can be found amongst it all. in our case, the treasures included 3 vintage puzzles, a very puffy tutu, 3 pairs of like-new footed pajamas, a pair of jeans, and a never-worn pair of soft soled shoes. oh, and a set of feet for our arm's reach cosleeper. 

i've learned a lot about consignment, resale & thrift shopping over the past few months as i've resolved to buy only used for lucy's fall & winter wardrobes. the high-end places are great, but can sometimes cost nearly the same as actually buying new. the low-end places have a head-spinning disorganization to them, along with some truly disappointing items (who honestly brings stained/ripped/tattered clothes in for resale? and who's the buyer that's purchasing this stuff?). thrift shops and goodwill-esque places are super cheap, but can feel a bit scummy. garage sales can be a major hit or a major miss, depending again on the sellers and the profit they intend to make (i think 50 cents for a standard, good condition item is a great price, and try not to pay over $1.00 unless it's something truly spectacular. but that's my "garage sale" mindset--quite different than when i'm at a higher-end, boutique shop). 

that's my musing on the state of children's resale. and i'm honestly quite happy with the way that lucy's closet is shaping up. for once, i have no real desire to head to baby gap & drop $80 on a few items. that's a good thing. 

how to get a pregnant woman off of iced coffee...

two words: fruit water. 

jeremy started making this last week when indoor temperatures topped out at 91 degrees. simple and so refreshing--plus a great way to use up fruit that is looking a little sad. i haven't been able to get enough. we add cucumber, orange, blueberries, halved grapes, peaches--whatever's hanging around in the fruit bowl or fridge, and just fill up the carafe each time we pour a glass so that it's never empty. i think it's best to replace the fruit every 1-2 days. 

lucy likes it too--especially helping me put the cut fruit into the carafe. then trying to fish it back out with her little paws. what fun, right?

lucy's wearing a made-by-me jacket from amy karol's bend-the-rules sewing. it came out a little bit big (jeremy calls it her kung-fu jacket) but i think it's still really cute. and soft--made from a leftover cut of bamboo fleece that i found when cleaning out my sewing studio. it literally took about 10 minutes to make--the hems are purposely left unfinished to give what karol calls a "deconstructed look." i dig. 

tomorrow in my thrift shopping i'll be searching for an old cashmere sweater to make one for the new baby, in a very wee size. perhaps as part of a coming home outfit!


and the giveway winner is...

jodie, who said "Those are cute clips. My DD is around the same age as yours (bd is 4.28) I would love to know your secret with the early potty training! 
I think the new baby is a boy :)"

congrats jodie! i hope your little girl keeps them in her hair longer than lucy does! send me your address when you get a chance. crazymaizy at gmail dot com. 

thanks to the rest of you for playing along! i hope to do another giveaway soon. 


a solution?

i'm thinking i might have found a perfect ending to my egg dilemma. all at once it hit me to try craigslist to see if anyone might be selling their own chicken eggs independently. look at this posting i came across: 

"Farm Fresh brown chicken eggs from organically fed and free range chickens. Our chickens roam freely on our ranch from morning until evening. They are only supplemented with natural feed that is not chemically treated or enhanced for egg production. We have about one dozen eggs per day depending on the weather so call ahead if you want several. Eggs are assorted sizes from jumbo to small. Our eggs have much darker and firmer yolks than store bought and taste so much better. Our chickens are truly free range and the hens naturally feed throughout the day. "

$3 a dozen

$3 a dozen? seriously? you know what they say--if it sounds too good to be true, than it probably is. but i'm holding out much hope, and calling for more information tomorrow. it seems these egg-layin' hens are located about half an hour from my house, but not too far out of my general circle of travel.

cross those fingers!