Mama Gone Green is a blog dedicated to raising happy children and reducing our impact on the Earth. My name is Taryn 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!

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Yarn Along

Linking up with Ginny at Small Things for another yarn along.
Still reading The Casual Vacancy by J.K. Rowling. I am only about 150 pages in, but I have had almost no time to read this past week. I am enjoying it, however, there are a lot of characters and I am just now finally able to remember who they all are. I should have made a cheat sheet!
I have put aside the couple other projects I am working on and trying to knit up this fox in time for Phoebe's birthday on Friday.  It's small, so I think I can do it, but I also have about a million other things on my to-do list! It would fit perfectly with her woodland-themed party, so fingers crossed that I get it done!
What are you reading? What are you knitting? Pin It Now!

Monday, February 25, 2013

This Girl

There is a special little girl in our house that is almost two..... hard to believe, isn't it? Party preparations are underway, my mom will be here in just a few days to celebrate, and suddenly my baby is starting to seem pretty big.
The past week or so has been hectic (and amazingly fun) beyond belief. We have somehow had a lot of social plans with friends new and old... too many late nights makes for a tired mama, but I sure have been having fun. Now I am trying to get everything ready for my mom's visit and Phoebe's birthday while still maintaining the craziness of our regular lives. Times like these, when we are so busy and it seems that all we do is go-go-go, I have to constantly remind myself to slow down, to stop and enjoy the little things. Phoebe's approaching birthday reminds me how fast time really does go, and I need to soak up these moments with my littles before they are little-no-more. Pin It Now!

Friday, February 22, 2013

This Moment

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. Inspired by Soulemama.

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Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Yarn Along

Linking up with Ginny at Small Things for another yarn along.
This week, I have finally gotten my hands on The Casual Vacancy by J.K. Rowling from the local library. I got quite a few other books that I had on hold as well, but since I know I won't be able to renew this one, it is going to be my focus until I finish.
This week I finished up this gnome hat for Miss P. She is having a gnome/woodland party for her second birthday (which is right around the corner!) and I thought this would be a great accessory. However, it came out quite a bit big, and basically fits me even though it is for ages 2-3. And,  so far she is not too keen on wearing it. Trying not to pressure her yet as I want there to be some novelty for her party day. Someone will wear it. At some point. I hope. Pictures to come when that day arrives!
Currently, I have a little striped monster on the needles, which I casted-on on a whim a few days ago. I felt like I hadn't knit anything for Finn is ages and his monster I made him last year is still one of his favorites. I will probably set it aside soon though, as I need the needles for another milo vest for a baby that is on its way.
And, I finally got Phoebe's milo on her... she wasn't in much of a photo mood, but I managed to snap a few to share.
What are you reading? What are you knitting?

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Monday, February 18, 2013

A Mama Adventure

Since Finn didn't have school today, I decide that we needed to go on a mini- adventure. I took the kids and both dogs to Sauvie's Island (by the way, just leaving my house with 2 kids and 2 dogs is a mini-adventure in itself, so we don't get to do this sort of thing all that often....). Anyways,  Sauvie's Island is about 45 minutes away and is gorgeous. There are lots of farms, open areas, and marshlands. A portion of the island is a wildlife area and there is a huge variety of birds. There is also a long strip of beach area along the river where dogs can run and swim and kids can dig in the sand. A little something for everyone.
We saw a bunch of birds on the drive across the island, including several hawks and a whole flock of sandhill cranes (which were by far the highlight, at least for me). At the beach we dug, we ran, and we climbed. The dogs did some serious partying. We came home tired and sandy. Clearly, our adventure was a great success.

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Watching for Spring

I just finished up a 2 week bird watching class and I am feeling pretty motivated to improve my bird identification skills. So yesterday, Todd and I took the kids (and the binoculars) and went for a hike at a local wildlife refuge that is known for its abundance of birds. We didn't actually see too many birds... it was a little bit late in the morning, and kids can be pretty loud so I think we may have scared many away. But, Finn was way into it and loved looking through the binoculars and getting a closer view of the world.
As we walked, we looked for signs of spring, which, really, is right around the corner.

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Friday, February 15, 2013

Look Who Came to Visit

Around 8:30 this morning, I heard the ducks making a racket, and went to the backyard to find this little gal in the tree above the duck house and 2 more in the tree on the other side of the fence. They are pretty darn cute, I must say, but since I am pretty sure they have their eyes on a duck-snack I had to scare them out of the yard with the hose.
We always make sure our ducks are safely locked in their house before dark, but a couple times this winter we have seen the racoons prowling around in daylight hours. Anyone know of any ways to deter them from our yards (and our ducks) without hurting them?
Phoebe thought that they were amazing and has been asking to go back out and see them all day. These pictures will have to suffice for now!

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Thursday, February 14, 2013

Happy Valentine's to All My Gnomies

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Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Yarn Along

Linking up with Ginny at Small Things for another yarn along.
Last night I finished up Phoebe's milo vest! Hooray! It is a Valentine's gift, so I will show a photo of her wearing it soon (provided that she will let me put it on her as she has been very anit-clothes lately). I am trying to knit up a quick stuffed monster in time for Finn for Valentine's day, but I really don't think it is going to happen. I procrastinated, well, actually it was more that I forgot about Valentine's day, and unless I stay up super late tonight, I don't think it will get done. I have only knit 3 rows! Maybe I will give him an IOU?
I am currently reading The Kalahari Typing School for Men (the 4th in the No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency books).  I love these books- easy to read, humorous, suspenseful, and about Africa.
What are you reading? What are you knitting?

Oh yes. I am also (finally) including a couple of pictures of Phoebe's bear hood that I finished a few weeks back. It came out great. Since I don't know how to crochet, I had to do some improvising for the detail, but I think it worked out just fine. Unfortunately, Phoebe doesn't really like wearing it all that much so it has taken me awhile to get some photos.. and, as you can see, she isn't all that happy about it!

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Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Happy Mardi Gras!

In celebration of this year's Fat Tuesday, the kids and I made some hand print masks. The masks were inspired by this blog, which I came across via pinterest.
The kids had fun making them, and we are planning on parading around our house later this evening to some traditional New Orleans tunes. Should be quite an event!

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Monday, February 11, 2013

Love is in the Air

Valentine's Day is almost here. We haven't done a whole lot of Valentine's crafts this year... mostly because Finn has to make 31 valentines to bring to school this year. And that has been keeping us both pretty busy...

We did see a sweet idea over from Kim at Mothering with Mindfulness and decided to make our own heart-shaped bird treats. We cut hearts out of cardboard, covered it with sunflower butter and then coated it with birdseed. We hung them from a tree near our front window so we could watch the birds enjoy their treat.

We also decided to make some heart shaped 'stained glass'. The idea is from a craft Finn and I did a couple of years ago when we made Easter egg stained glass. You can find the instructions there. Super easy and looks cute. However, please excuse my very dirty windows shown in this picture!! Egad!

Have you done any sweet Valentine's Day crafts? Finn is home sick from school today, so we may browse pinterest for some some ideas... Pin It Now!

Sunday, February 10, 2013


Joining in with Amanda at Habit of Being

I feel like I was spoiled this weekend, as somehow, I managed to have a whole lot of kid-free time. And not that I don't love my kids to pieces, but it is always nice to have a break.

Friday night I headed out with another mama to see The Wood Brothers perform. They are soulful and fabulous and it made me wish that I played in a band.

Saturday, in between my husband and I running separate errands, I managed to get myself to a much needed yoga class. I did a little sewing, some reading, and then had a girls night out: Ethiopian for dinner (my favorite) followed by a film called Grey Matter, which was shown as part of the annual African Film Festival at the campus where I teach. The movie, about the Rwandan genocide, was moving and very, very sad. Afterwards we headed out for a glass of wine and a long conversation about life. I love lady-time!

Sunday morning, we were woken up early by Finn getting sick... poor guy. I had a bird watching field trip all morning long, so Todd was once again in charge, and this time of a sick kiddo. Hats of to my hubby for all of his hard work this weekend! Sunday afternoon was lazy..... movies and naps for the kids... and hopefully a movie and early bedtime for this mama, who did not sleep enough this weekend!

Tomorrow Finn will not be going to school, so I am already wondering how I will keep both kiddos entertained for another home-bound day.......

How was your weekend?

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Friday, February 8, 2013

This Moment

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. Inspired by Soulemama.

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Thursday, February 7, 2013

What We're Reading

Ever since Finn was a baby, we have been a library family. We go to story times and we always have a basket of library books at home to choose from. Going to the library with Finn used to be somewhat of  ritual.... choosing books and CDs, maybe a movie or two.... but now that Finn is in school 5 days a week, plus therapy and OT, it gets harder and harder to make that trip with him. I have tried to develop that same ritual with Phoebe, however, she is currently in a stage where she just wants to dismantle everything, and going to the library with her is a lot of work. She will just pull book after book off of the shelf until I stop her, and then, while I am cleaning up, she will run to a new spot and do the same. Needless to say, I don't bring her to the library a whole lot these days (unless she is safely secured in a stroller!)
That means that I have been on solo missions to the library more often than not. This also means that I am choosing the books to bring home, and while the kids may not be as happy with my selections, I am happier reading them (you can only read Fancy Nancy so many times, right?)
In the past couple of weeks I have brought home 2 books that I have just fallen in love with, so I would like to share them here: Wazzyjump and Too Tall Houses. Both are sweet books about friendship and both have darling illustrations. They have become fast favorites of mine.

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Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Yarn Along

Linking up with Ginny at Small Things for another yarn along.
So, I did it! I finally tried cables and you know what? They aren't that hard. I mean, yes, you do have to pay close attention and it is far from mindless knitting, but they are OK. Pretty fun, actually. Phoebe's milo vest is going sort of slow, since I am trying to pay close attention, but hoping I will have it done by next week (now that I have overcome my fear of cables!). When I need some mindless knitting, I have been working on baby hats and another drop-stitch cowl (my fourth- I am addicted!).
I started reading The Beautiful Ruins for my latest book club read, and so far it is good. Interesting, ironic humor, and easy to read. I am still plugging through the book Dirt as well, and I am surprised how poetic it is for a work on non-fiction.
What are you reading? What are you knitting? Pin It Now!

Monday, February 4, 2013


Joining in with Amanda at Habit of Being.

This weekend was a long one as Finn had Friday off of school.
Todd took the morning off, and we headed up to Mt. Hood....
to take Finn skiing for the first time!
It was 50 degrees and sunny,
a perfect day.
Finn never made it out from skiing in between my legs,
but he had fun and wants to go back.
A great success in my book!

We spent the afternoon enjoying the sunshine back in town.
We wandered through our garden, taking note of what was there.
The kids were enjoying some kale right off the plant-
it has been quite a while since we have done that!
Throwing a football,
a trip around the block on the scooter....
it was almost like it was spring!

Saturday brought more sun
and a trip to the river with the dogs.
Phoebe, who loves water, waded in before we could grab her,
and was wet up to her chest.
It was pretty hilarious.
Mexican food for lunch,
a few errands and some cleaning,
and more time spent outside.
Saturday night Todd went to the office
and I had a dear friend come over for a drink
and good conversation.
And, I finally found the time (courage?)
to try knitting the cables on Phoebe's vest.

Sunday we were in for a special treat...
after Phoebe coming into our bed at 5 am,
we somehow all slept until 8:00!!!
Unheard of in our house....
It felt quite refreshing.
A big breakfast,
a dog walk,
a mama-only trip to the gym.
Some cooking, baking, reading and knitting.
A slow end to a good weekend.

How was your weekend?

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Sunday, February 3, 2013

Gratitude Sunday

Happily joining in with the other Taryn of Wooly Moss Roots for a Gratitude Sunday post.

Right now I am feeling so very very grateful for the wonderful weekend weather. It can be easy to get the winter blues in Portland, as we sometimes don't see the sun for days on end, and some sunshine (and warm weather to boot) seriously warms the soul.

I also feel incredibly grateful for my 2 amazing children. When I tucked Finn into bed the other night, he told me how much he loved me and that he wanted to live with me forever, even when he was a grown up. As much as I hope that doesn't happen, it was enough to melt my heart.

And finally, feeling very grateful that one of our dogs, Puppy Cow, who recently had a tumor removed, does not have cancer!

Hope you all had a wonderful weekend and have lots to be grateful for! Pin It Now!

Friday, February 1, 2013

This Moment

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. Inspired by Soulemama.
Pin It Now!