Eco-Moms & Eco-Dads Unite!
Mama Gone Green is a blog dedicated to raising happy children and reducing our impact on the Earth. My name is Taryn Oakley and I am the mother of 2 young kids and an environmental studies instructor at a community college in Portland, Oregon. Please join me as I journey through life as a mama, teacher, knitter, photographer, gardener, and environmentalist!

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Tryon Creek State Park

Yesterday I took the kids on an adventure. The trilliums are blooming here, but won't be for long, so we needed to make some time to see them. I pulled Finn out of school a few minutes early and we sneaked in a trip to one of my favorite local places. We saw trilliums, a lots of spring plants, some very cool fungus and we even saw a couple of snails in a tree (the pictures below are of a snail about 5 feet high in a tree).... it's the first time I have ever found a snail high in a tree. I think it is a Pacific sideband snail, but please correct me if I am wrong. Apparently, I have lots to learn about snails!

We had a lovely time... until the end, when Phoebe was tired and hungry and threw a meltdown. She does that often, so I wasn't surprised, but did feel bad for the other folks there trying to get some peace and quiet in nature. Peace and quiet is pretty rare with young kid around.. at least my young kids!

Here are a few pictures from our adventure...

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Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Yarn Along

Joining with Ginny at Small Thing's for today's Yarn Along.

I finished Phoebe's purple plain vest on Monday night. I still need to weave in the ends and add the buttons, so a finished picture to come soon. I better hurry while the weather is still cool enough to wear it. I think I have been avoiding picking up my sweater again, but now that I have finished all of my other WIPs, I think it is time.

I just finished The Death Cure, the last book in The Maze Runner series and I enjoyed the whole series. Yesterday, I started Insurgent (the sequel to Divergent) and I am excited to get sucked into this one as well. I will have to start searching for some more young adult sci fi that I can get hooked on!

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Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Morning. Noon and Night

Joining in with Kim over at Mothering with Mindfulness for my first Morning, Noon and Night post.
Morning, noon and night...three little peeks into my day yesterday.


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Sunday, April 13, 2014

Weekend Gratitudes

This weekend has been amazing......

This weekend I have felt grateful for:
  • A moment where Phoebe looked at me, gave me a huge hug and said "Mama! I love you! You are my best friend." My heart almost exploded. (If this seems like not such a big deal, read why it IS here.)
  • Wonderful weather, just perfect for heading to the nursery and planting a few new plants in the yard. A garden update to come soon!
  • A night outside with a fire, spending time with a few wonderful ladies, and a late night bike ride home.
  • Finn. He is doing so well and his anxiety seems to be at it's lowest in years. As I write this he is playing at the neighbor's house. Without me. He's 6, but it's the first time he has ever been at a friend's house without me (except for when he went to preschool at his friend's house). I am glowing with happiness.
  • Two amazing hikes with my kids this weekend. Saturday's adventure was full of wildlife, and I am pretty sure that Phoebe is a budding scientist. Today's adventure was just the kids and I. We saw 3 racoons (check out the photos below of them crossing the stream) and all sorts of birds. Finn even spotted a northern flicker and a bald eagle before I did. An ornithologist in training!
  • Young-adult science fiction thriller novels that suck me in.
  • Green juice. And coffee. My morning treats.
  • Sunday evening out with a couple of mama-friends, and getting to skip the bedtime routine for a change.
What have you felt grateful for this weekend?

Joining in with the other Taryn of Wooly Moss Roots for a Gratitude Sunday post and  Amanda from The Habit of Being for a weekending post.

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Saturday, April 12, 2014

Have I Mentioned... much I love spring? Especially the warm sunny days of spring? Well, I do. They make me happy!
Today the family headed out to Smith and Bybee Wetlands, a great little natural area in Portland that is great for spotting birds. Today we saw so much amazing wildlife in the short hour that we were there. We spotted a beaver dam, several great blue herons, a red tailed hawk, a whole bunch of western painted turtles- finally awake after their long winter slumber, a rabbit, 3 snakes, a goose sitting on a nest on top of a birding blind, and a whole lot of pacific chorus frogs. Phoebe was amazed by the frogs, so I caught one, briefly, so that she could see it up close. After I let it go, she decided to chase it and, somehow, she managed to catch it again entirely on her own. That girl has skills.
The fact that all of this life exists in the industrial part of town, literally right off of a busy road and just a hop skip and a jump from I-5, blows me away. All it takes is a little bit of undeveloped land for so many different animals to find their niche.
Hoping I can convince the family to head somewhere else to hike tomorrow-- spring always seems to be over as soon as it starts, so this year I am trying to soak up as much as I can.... especially before the rains come back!

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Thursday, April 10, 2014

Daddy's Girl

 For a long while now, I have been trying to come to terms with the fact that Phoebe is a daddy's girl. As a toddler, Finn had phases where he preferred one parent over the other, but they were short lived and seemed to alternate between the both of us. Phoebe, on the other hand,  has been preferring her dad over me for about a year and a half. Consistently. Sometimes it is more evident than others- certain days she will only let him do things for her, some days she screams at me to go away and leave, and some days she is happy to be with me. But, nine mornings out of ten, she runs straight to her daddy first. When dad leaves, she often cries... when I go, I usually get a smile and a big wave.
I know she loves me, but it is hard not to let my ego get in the way. I am the one who takes care of her 80% of the time, and I feel like my life revolves around the kids. Yet, I always seem to take a back-seat to dad..... Is it because I discipline more? Am I boring? Do I smell bad? Does Todd hand out bags of candy while I am gone?
Don't get me wrong, I am glad that she loves her dad so much, but man- it's hard to not be jealous. I am just trying to muster up all of the zen inside of me and be happy, even on the days when she screams for her dad and tells me to go away. On those days it is pretty hard, and I would be lying if I said that I never shed any tears about this....
Have any of you experienced a child that strongly preferred your partner? If so, how did you deal with it emotionally? Any parenting tips for a situation like this? I keep hoping that this is just a phase, a very long phase, and that eventually, mom and dad will both be equally cool.

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Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Yarn Along

Joining with Ginny at Small Thing's for today's Yarn Along.

I haven't done much knitting this past week. Life has been hectic and crazy, and by the time I get into bed at night, I have been too exhausted to do anything but lay down. In the few moments I have found to knit, I have been working on a purple plain vest for Phoebe. I need to pick up my sweater again, but for some reason, I am feeling compelled to finish this vest for Miss P first.

I just finished The Scorch Trials (the sequel to The Maze Runner) and actually enjoyed it more than the Maze Runner. I have the third book in the series waiting for me to pick up at the library. My hold on Insurgent (the sequel to Divergent) just came in as well, so looks like I have a fun weekend of reading ahead of me! And, I am still working my way through Game of Thrones. I am enjoying it, but I have actually already watched everything that I have read, so it is not quite as exciting as it should be. I am anxious to get into uncharted territory!

And, say hi to Matty Cat. Of course, he insisted on making an appearance for my yarn along photos!

What are you reading?  What are you knitting?

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