New writing gig

blogher contributing editorI’m excited to announce that starting this week, I will be writing for BlogHer in the BlogHers Act: Maternal Health area.

While we were in Kansas over Christmas, I got an email from the wonderful women of BlogHer asking me if I’d be interested in joining them as a contributing editor writing on the topic of maternal health. As most of you know, pregnancy and birth, two big aspects of maternal health, are among my passions, so of course I said yes. I am thrilled for the opportunity to write about the things that I love (and I must admit the opportunity to be paid to write is rather appealing as well).

I found it rather ironic though that I came down with a cold just days later. So much for my own maternal health. 😉

While I believe I will be focusing on pregnancy and birth a great deal, I also plan to write about other areas of maternal health such as mental health, environmentalism, and nutrition.

Part of writing for BlogHer includes featuring other women bloggers who write about these topics on their own blogs as well, so don’t be surprised if you find your blog linked to over on BlogHer. 🙂

I’m honored to be a part of the BlogHer community. My first post there will be this Tuesday and now, if you will excuse me, I need to get to work. 😉

Green Tip of the Week #7 – Cold Wash

Another way to save energy is to wash your clothes, linens, etc. in cold water, instead of warm or hot. Generally speaking, cold water will get your laundry just as clean as warm or hot water will. Plus, cold water is less wearing on the clothes, keeping them looking like new longer. (Anything with stains should be pre-treated and/or soaked in advance.)

Have any green tips you’ve recently learned? Please email them to me and I may include your tip with a link to your site or blog in a future post. 🙂

Just for today

I’ve been wanting to make some changes in my life. I haven’t been happy with how I’ve been treating Jody or the frustration in parenting I’ve been feeling the past few months with Ava. I knew I needed to do something and with the new year feeling like a clean slate and an opportunity for a fresh start, it seemed like a great time to take the plunge.

I’m not a member of any 12-step programs, but I’m acquainted with enough people who are to know a bit about some of the lingo.

I started thinking about how many of the sayings from the programs – like “Just for today” or “One day at a time” – can be applied to parenting and really life in general. One does not need to have an addiction to use those phrases in their life. Maybe other people have already figured this out or don’t need to, but for me it really was an “a-ha!” moment.

As a result, I wrote some motivational phrases to myself and secured them with a magnet in a stack on the refrigerator. For the past two mornings, I’ve gone through the stack to find a phrase that I wanted to apply for the day and moved it to the top of the stack.

Yesterday’s phrase was “Just for today.” For me that means I only need to worry about my parenting or my attitude TODAY. I don’t need to think about tomorrow, or a week from now or a year from now. I just need to do it today.

When I think about it in those terms, doing anything “just for today” seems possible. Just for today I can be mindful of my temper. Just for today I can refrain from making snide remarks to my husband. Just for today I can speak without raising my voice. Just for today I will believe in myself. The list could go on and on.

Today’s phrase was “Live in the moment.” It is very similar to “just for today,” but helped me focus myself even more. Like today when Ava was overly tired and started melting down over something little, I chose to live in the moment and not worry about what was to come, but just deal with the situation at hand. It’s true that I still got frustrated, but I regrouped myself and dealt with her more calmly than I otherwise might have. And ya know what? The situation resolved itself that much faster.

Other phrases I have written down in the stack are “Today matters” and “Choose happiness” (both wonderfully inspirational sayings from Tees for Change), as well as “Parent consciously” and others.

It is my hope that because I plan to rotate through the list on a daily basis and add new phrases to the stack as they come to me, it will help me really think about each thought for the day and not have the affirmations just blend into the “woodwork” so to speak as they’ve done in the past when I’ve had something posted on the fridge for weeks at a time. We’ll see how it goes, but for now I like how it is increasing my awareness and helping me focus myself.

Just for today I am aware and am doing the best that I can.

Living Green past and future

I was reading about green new year’s resolutions over on Nature Moms Blog and started thinking about what I accomplished this past year to live a greener lifestyle and how I can improve on that in 2008. Here’s what I came up with.

In 2007, I…:

— Started using my compost bin, significantly reducing the amount of food waste that goes into the garbage

— Grew a few vegetables in a “pot” garden in my yard

— Bought some food at the farmer’s market

— Started regularly using reusable grocery bags

— Replaced the majority of our light bulbs with CFLs (compact fluorescent light bulbs)

— Began using cloth napkins

— Switched to a natural (Charlie’s) laundry soap

— Subscribed to GreenDimes (thanks to a gift from my mom)

— Freecycled, donated and sold unwanted items

Green goals for 2008:

— Continue with the things listed above and…

— Grow a bigger garden

— Possibly join a CSA to eat more locally and shop at the farmer’s market

— Buy some cloth diapers that can stand up to Julian’s nighttime pees and stop using disposables (7th Generation) at night (We cloth diaper during the day.)

— Learn how to can foods

— Learn how to make my own yogurt

— Read “Animal, Vegetable, Miracle

That’s all that’s coming to me at the moment, but I’m sure I will think of more later and may add to the list as I it comes to me.

I have other personal goals for the new year as well, but will save those for another post, another time.

What about you? What are your green goals for 2008?