Shelly Kramer and I Are Buying a Cow. You Should, Too.

Yes, I know the title is misleading because, well, I've recently gone vegetarian. But because I have not converted my husband or kidlets, I am still buying meat for them.

My social media expert and very knowledgeable BFF @ShellyKramer approached me recently as she knows me to be a Green Gal. We're both disgusted by what goes on behind the scenes in the food industry (see Food, Inc. for further details), and are concerned for our health and that of our children. Fortunately, Shelly is friends with a farmer in NE Kansas, and so we have the exciting opportunity to purchase a local, GRASS-fed (as opposed to corn-fed) cow that hasn't been treated with hormones and is allowed to graze naturally. Shelly and I are looking for other locals to go in on this cow with us (it's a lot of meat), so if you are interested, please get in touch with me a.s.a.p.

I just spent 20 minutes on the phone with Deborah, the farmer, who said that right now our cow is hanging out in a 40-acre pasture. The cows on the farm are rotated around the pastures in herds of about 15. They are not confined because that is what causes diseases. They are a licensed, certified organic farm, and their meat is federally inspected. Deborah said they "don't sell to just anyone," that ideally their goal is to build relationships with people who want to know their farmers and where their food is coming from. Isn't that incredible?

We will take the girls to visit the farm this fall and get to see our cow. I think that somehow, watching him just chillin' eating his grass and hay will help me feel a teensy bit better. At least he is living a pleasant life now, unlike his counterparts squeezed into cow lots, injected with hormones and antibiotics, never seeing the light of day and unable to move while standing in their own feces.

Now before you get your panties in a wad and start thinking I'm going all granola, I assure you I am not (not that granola is bad at all, in fact I kinda wish I was more granola-y). So here are some other (random) things about me:

  • Yesterday I ate a non-organic apple with non-organic peanut butter
  • I drive a gas-slugging minivan. And was belting out Bananarama on my way home from a grocery store that was not Whole Foods (although I try to shop there frequently).
  • We have been drinking local Shatto milk for years now; and I only just realized that while it's a local dairy and they use glass bottles which I love, the cows are fed some corn. This gives me the sads. The cows are not given hormones, however. Whew!
  • Some of my fave good-for-you/organic/all natural food brands include Kashi, Back to Nature, Stonyfield, Annie's Homegrown, & Newman's Own Organics.
  • Occasionally Twinkies find their way into the pantry, and typically The Father Load is to blame for this.
  • I have lofty notions of buying a Prius when the girls are a little older/bigger.
  • I think I may be failing miserably at composting. Can someone please come evaluate the contents of my tumbler? I may also be tumbling too vigorously, as twice the contraption has belched out its contents all over the place. So I had to put it all back in by hand. It was tres lovely.
  • FOR LADIES ONLY: you should seriously consider organic tampons. Did you know that they use chemicals like bleach on your Kotex/Playtex, etc? I don't want bleach & chemicals up inside of me where they're absorbed. I bought a Diva Cup a while back, but my ob/gyn told me best not to use it because of menstrual backflow which can lead to endometriosis.
Anycow, I am saying all this because I want you to know that I'm not perfect. There are Twinkies in my cupboard sometimes, there is garbage at my curb every Monday, and I still use paper towels (not as much). I've thought about chucking it all and going back to the way things used to be, wondering if one person/one family can really make a difference. But I've come too far. I am learning and educating myself more every day. Baby steps.

I encourage you once again to watch Food, Inc. Add it to your Netflix queue, go to Blockbuster, or see if it's playing On-Demand. We have got to start educating ourselves and moving in a better, healthier direction.

Go Green


So, it's official! I'm Top Mommy Blogger of the Year!

Folks, it's official. Lesley over at Project Mommyhood posted yesterday about my win. I am so happy, honored, and excited. You can read the actual announcement here if you think I'm telling tall tales. Lesley, do I get a fancy button to display on my blog?

THANK YOU to my bloggy friends, Twitter friends, real-life friends and family for supporting me and voting. I'm sending a great big hug out to Annie over at A Stone's Throw From Insanity who originally nominated me, and the several others who followed suit.

A shout out to the fantastic sponsors of the contest:

Zen Threads I loved this company from the start because they say: As our commitment to the environment, we use biodegradable eco-friendy inks on every item we print. All of our tees are vintage soft and sweatshop free from American Apparel. You guys know this is right up my alley! And to promote my new vow to vegetarianism, I selected this shirt (although there were several others I wanted & I may have to go back!):
 photo courtesy of Zen Threads (with their permission)

The Concord Soap Company ---Yummy handmade soap
Lea's Letters ---Handmade paper goods for all occasions
Mi Bazaar Latino ---Adorable rosebud earrings
I'm Not Spoiled Designs: Handmade Gifts & Boutique Baby Items
The Silver Diva --Custom Personalized Hand Stamped Mom Jewelry (gift certificate)
Stacey Winters ---Whimsical card set
Ahmelie ---Ahmie Roo stuffed owl

Now as I sit back and ruminate on this new title, "Mommy Blogger of the Year," I'm wondering what it means. Does it mean I'm a blogger who also happens to be a mommy? Does it mean I'm a mommy who is also a blogger? Does it mean I blog exclusively about my kids? If you read me regularly, you know that isn't the case. I guess it's just that for the first time, I'm being categorized. And I don't know if it's good or bad or what it means. Where do I fit in BlogLand? Apparently in the Mommy Section.

What if you knew that I lie to my children sometimes when we pass Baskin Robbins and tell them "it's closed?"

What if you knew that I yawn frequently while reading bedtime stories and occasionally try to skip a page or two, or three just to get to the end faster?

What if you knew that my kids eat breakfast for dinner at least once a week? And that sometimes those pancakes aren't homemade, either.

What if you knew that I yell more than I should and more than I care to admit?

What if you knew that I bribe my kids with promises of lollipops, a piece of crap "prize" from the $1 section at Target, or a trip to the park?

Would you still like me? Would I still be your Top Mommy Blogger of the Year?

What if I told you that I get frustrated when Abby writes her name backwards even though I know it's normal and she has previously written it correctly many times?

What if I told you it irks me to no end when Izzy takes forever to spit out a single sentence?

What if I told you I worry that one will get my nose and the other will get my feet? Or that they'll both get my nose AND my feet?

A part of me hopes that you'd still deem me worthy. Because in a lot of ways I'd like to think I'm just like a lot of other moms---taking it a day at a time, an hour at a time, and doing what I can to survive. But I am always honest. I have never claimed to be a perfect mom (or anything close). And as for being a blogger, well, that's an entirely different story, but since I'm still trying to figure out which came first, the mommy or the blogger, I suppose I'll have to finish this post another day.

What if I told you that I'm lucky to be a mom, period? That there was a long time where I wasn't sure I'd ever even earn that title. I am indeed blessed.

I love how Abby asks for Eskimo kisses at bedtime, and to play the "Miss a Kiss" game, where I pretend I'm going to kiss her, lean in close, only to jump away...finally I relent and smooch on her.

I love how Izzy takes her second and third toes and crosses them over her big toe, just like The Father Load does. I love how she plays independently and isn't afraid to be alone. I love how she learns things when I don't even realize and then suddently spouts out some random information.

I love Abby's affectionate and friendly nature. How she develops crushes on The Father Load's friends and acts all girly while she smiles coyly at them. I love her amazing memory.

I love seeing my little self in Izzy. Pieces of me reflected in my own daughter's eyes.

I love how the girls introduce themselves together. Neither one can simply say her own name. They are a unit, indivisible. They are "Abby and Izzy." Though we strive to encourage individuality, they are lucky to have one another.

I look at my girls with wonder and awe. How I have this amazing opportunity to shape and teach them, but to also learn myself to let go and gently guide them into the world. It is at once incredible and scary. How will they turn out? I don't know.

But deep down I know I'm a good mom. I'm not perfect, but I'm me. And that is okay.

I'm honored that you take all of this and somehow turn it into a fabulous and humbling title like "Top Mommy Blogger of the Year."

Thank you.


Please join me/us at The Mommyologist's Prom on June 21st!

Here is your official invitation to The Mommyologist's Prom on Monday, June 21st. Please go visit Mary here for details and to RSVP (scroll down to bottom of the post for prom deets). Please disregard my ridiculous reference to the childhood virus RSV; I was so focused on making sure everything went smoothly. Obviously I meant to say RSVP. But this was the best of all the takes. Oh well!

My prom dress is back from the cleaners and I am so excited for the prom. I hope you will consider going with me so we can BRING MOM SEXY BACK together! If you're not up to speed on the Mom Sexy concept, you have to catch up here immediately. Mary is phenomenal and I love this idea she's come up with.

Here's your special invitation from Abby & Izzy:


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