Monday, October 29, 2012

Happy 4th Birthday, Aubree!

On October 29th, 2008, the Phillies won the World Series. Danny, my nurse (when she wasn't being called elsewhere), and I watched it in a lovely little hospital room with my newborn daughter, Aubree, sleeping nearby.

Last year, on her third birthday, it snowed. I believe it was the only day that snowed all of last Fall/Winter.

This year, on her Fourth Birthday, Hurricane/Megastorm/Frankenstorm Sandy is moving in.

I'm worried what next year will bring.

Even the hurricane will not flood the birthday celebration. We will still be making the day all about Miss Four Year Old Birthday Girl, Aubree. (I tried to convince her to turn 3 again, but so far she hasn't agreed).

Here is a lot about Aubree throughout the last year.

1. Aubree tells people that she’s not a little girl, or a big girl, she’s a medium girl.
2. When presented with 3 or more objects, she will always pick the one in the middle.
3. When she runs down a hill, the ramp at Church, or if we go down a hill while in the car, she puts her hands up and says “weee!”
4. She likes her blanket spread completely out over her bed.
5. She loves hummus.
6. She likes to point out “Grand Old Flags.”
7. She loves the songs, “God’s Not Dead,” and “Put You In A Song.”
8. I’ll ask her, “Aubree, guess what?” She’ll ask, “What?” Then I’ll reply, “God’s not dead.” Then she’ll get annoyed and yell, “I KNOW! Stop asking me that!”
9. During the winter, she noticed she could see her breath when she exhaled. She was very excited and said “I can make my own clouds!”
10. She calls any big truck she sees a “monster truck.”
11. She can’t read yet, but likes to make up words in books and “read.”
12. When she’s hungry, she’ll tell you her belly has holes to fill.
13. When we are approaching a traffic light, she will shout “stay green! stay green!”
14. She thinks any belt is called a seat belt (including the ones you wear around your pants).
15. She doesn’t say “today” she says “on this day.”
16. When Caura finds a bug, Aubree will say, “Where is it? I’m good at squishing bugs.”
17. She has good manners.
18. She will wear any clothes that once belonged to her cousin Bianca.
19. She is still kind of a loner.
20. She likes that she gets to do tap at dance class this year.
21. If she wants a new toy, she’ll say she “I want it very bad.”
22. If she likes something a lot she’ll say, “I very like that.”
23. She is very into imaginative play, she loves playing doctor, shop rite, restaurant, babies, etc.
24. She likes to wear dresses.
25. She is pretty mellow, but needs to ease into change.
26. She is a very sweet big sister.
27. She likes to wear loops in her hair.
28. She likes to eat her tuna (mixed with mayonnaise) in a bowl, not on bread.
29. Her favorite kind of eggs are the “kind you dip your bread in.”
30. Her favorite color is hot pink.
31. She can paint/draw/color for hours.
32. She likes to wear my shoes.
33. She looks ridiculously gorgeous in any hat.
34. She enjoys going to Pre-School.
35. When I pick her up from Pre-School, she doesn’t offer much information about what she did in class, it has to be pried out of her.
36. She loves to sing.
37. She likes to lie down on the floor and make (snow, sand, imaginary) angels.
38. She is a very good sharer.
39. She is patient and can actually sit still.
40. This year she learned to swing on the swings all by herself.
41. She likes to collect the chickens’ eggs.
42. She likes to pretend that people are over to visit.
43. Earlier in the year, she had two invisible friends, Me-A lived in a red house, wore a red shirt, and sat next to her on the (make believe) bus. Holly had brown hair and lived with us.
44. She likes to play “Rapunzel” from Caura’s bed on the top bunk.
45. She likes to play school with Caura.
46. When she takes a picture, she says “cheese” with her whole face. Her eyebrows often perk up.
47. She likes to find the smallest of items and declare them “babies.” For instance, she picked the smallest pumpkin in the patch because it was a “baby pumpkin.”
48. She likes to wear a toy bucket on her head.
49. She wants to like showers, but she doesn’t like the water in her face.
50. Anytime she does something cute, she asks me to take a picture of her.
51. She looks at the camera until a millisecond before I snap thepicture.
52. She loves to play dress-up.
53. When she plays dress-up, she goes all out, wearing shoes, a wig, a crown, and jewelry as well as the actual dress.
54. She loves oatmeal.
55. She likes to pretend she’s a rock star, singing with her guitar.
56. She’s still a little shy.
57. This summer she learned how to hold her nose underwater. She wanted me to count how long she could hold her nose underwater. One time she wanted me to count by tens.
58. She can swim underwater, but still claims she cannot swim above water.
59. She loved the beach, especially getting buried in the sand.
60. She lets me put her hair up in ponytails and braids now.
61. She likes the crunchy stalk part of romaine lettuce.
62. She likes to dance and be silly.
63. “Aunt” Danielle is her BFF.
64. She squeals in excitement when she opens presents.
65. She likes to line things up.
66. She likes to put on make-up.
67. She can spell her name.
68. She likes to put on my deodorant and perfume.
69. She still puts everything in her mouth.
70. She gets her feelings hurt easily.
71. She doesn’t have an arsenal of synonyms so she uses adjectives semi-incorrectly. For instance, she’ll say “Mommy, I love you the biggest biggest biggest.”
72. When she gets out of the shower, she makes a footprint on the bathrug and says, “Look how big my foot is!”
73. She likes her shampoo and conditioner mixed in her hand before she puts it on her hair.
74. She goes from super independent to super needy in a blink of an eye.
75. She likes to wear long nightgowns.
76. When she’s hungry, she says she’s a “hungry hungry hippo” and when she’s thirsty, she’s a “thirsty thirsty hippo.”
77. Sometimes when she eats she’ll take a big bite and say, “I have a biiiiiig mouth!”
78. When she gets something “stuck” in her head, for instance the sound of a cricket, she’ll say, “There’s a cricket it in my head,” and will try to shake it out.
79. She’s quick witted. One day this year, Caura asked, “Mommy, what do pigs make (as in beef, bacon)?” Aubree answered, “Dinner.”
80. She likes to take pictures.
81. Even though she does have a long Rapunzel wig, she likes to take long scarves or blankets to make Rapunzel hair.
82. When picking out a snack, she waits until Caura has picked something, then picks what Caura picked.
83. She thinks her Daddy is the best ever.
84. She likes watching the same movies over and over and over.
85. She can work the IPOD
86. She doesn’t like sports.
87. She loves Katie D so so so much.
88. She loves jumping on the trampoline
89. If she doesn’t want you to say something, she will put her hand over your mouth
90. She likes to lick the cream cheese off of a bagel.
91. She likes butter...a lot.
92. She likes to pick out her own fork and spoon, and also likes to have a “big girl plate.”
93. She compares her cup to Caura’s to see how tall it is.
94. She likes to brush her own hair, but wants me to finish to make sure she did a good job.
95. She likes to draw with sidewalk chalk.
96. She is easily frightened, but doesn’t have a problem with bugs.
97. She loves to ride the lawn mower, but always gets off before she falls asleep
98. She likes to play in the car and pretend to drive
99. She likes to tell Danny ”Daddy, you’re silly”
100. She loves to pray every night for “all our friends and family”


Monday, October 15, 2012

Thanks For Bagging!

Almost every day of the work week, my husband makes his lunch. Usually everything he brings for lunch does not fit in a regular paper bag and so far, he's too cool to take a reuseable lunch bag (although I almost got him to agree to a camoflauged one, but as soon as he realized I would actually have to buy this bag, he declined). His bag of choice is a plastic shopping bag. However, a half a year ago I really started to be committed to using re-useable shopping bags and my plastic bag stash had become depleted. He's now making do with whatever bag we have, but asks me if I can please bring a few home now and again!

There is no denying that plastic bags are bad for the environment, which is why I have been convicted to use the re-useable ones. Plastic bags are not biodegradable. They are ingested by animals. They use a ton of oil to make. There are hundreds of billions of them made each year, and it is estimated that only 1-3% are recycled, which means the rest take up a lot of room in landfills. There are many ways to re-use plastic bags, such as using them for trashbags, for used kitty litter, for wet clothes, and ---insert one of a thousand other reasons here---. However, I hope you will consider reducing your usage of plastic bags. Here are a few tips to reduce your need for plastic bags and some rah rah pro re-useable bag benefits that apply to you.

1.You can fit much more into a re-useable bag (and it holds much more weight), meaning less trips from your car to your house.

2. Most re-useable bags have long handles meaning you can carry them on your shoulders. More comfortable and again, less trips from your car to your house.

3. Keep some re-useable bags in your car so you don't "forget" to bring them to the store (which was my #1 reason for not using them). My awesome, now retired Midwife, Gwen, gave me the tip that if I hung one on my door knob or somewhere that I will see as I'm leaving, it will remind me to grab them.

4. When you are at a store and you buy one or two things, ask the cashier not to give you a bag. They will look at you wierd, and ask you if you are sure, but still insist.

5. When you are shopping at multiple stores, put your purchase from the second store into the same bag that's holding your purchase from the first store. (For instance if you buy a shirt from Macy's and already have a bag you are carrying from a toy you bought at the Disney Store, just put the shirt in the Disney Store bag.)

6. If you buy something in the store that is already in a bag, just put it in your cart, you don't need to put it into another bag. For instance, if you buy a 5lb bag of potatoes, it will just go into another plastic bag and there will be no room for any other items. Why waste the bag when it's alread in a bag? I do this with a gallon of milk, too. It already has a handle, why do you need it to go into a plastic bag that has a different kind of handle?

7. Not all produce needs to go into a plastic bag. For instance, a bunch of bananas will be fine in your cart without being in a bag.

8. Make sure your cashier knows that you have your own bag. They are very used to scanning and putting the item right into their bags that sometimes you have to tell them several times that you have your own bag. Side note - I once was exchanging an item in a store and went to put the new item in the bag I brought the old item in. The cashier was insisting I take a new bag because the one I had was all "wrinkly." Because I guess the bag needs to remain pretty for me to enjoy the item I bought?

9. Many stores now offer a small cash incentive to use your own bags. The stores I go to give you $0.05 per bag. For me, it works out to about $20 a year. Not a big deal, but I'll take it!

10. It's a really easy step to take to helping the environment.

There are some states that have plastic bag bans. There are many that hope this happens in NJ, too. I think if it does, we will quickly be used to not using plastic bags. Try to get used to it now. Please humor me and next week do something to use one less plastic bag.

Please feel free to add to my list...and Thanks for Bagging!!!!