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, October 31, 2012

A Star Wars Halloween

This year Halloween was quite the event at our house. Finn, being almost 5, knows exactly what Halloween is all about and the anticipation was almost too much. He was extremely revved up and running around.... and that was before he had any candy.
Months ago, Finn decided what the entire family would be for Halloween, and, like everything else in our house these days, the theme was Star Wars. Phoebe was R2D2 and I saw a very cute R2D2 costume on pinterest and borrowed the idea for Phoebe.I just cut out freezer paper stencils and did layers of fabric paint on a hat and onesie. It was a big hit and she kept running around saying "D2D2" even though she has no clue who he is. Finn was Yoda. I found the cutest pattern for a felted yoda hat on ravelry. I had to size it up quite a bit, which was a little scary, but in the end it worked out. I had to use a whole lot of glue to make those ears stand out though!! I whipped up a quick robe for Finn using brown muslin, and with a lightsaber, he looked pretty cool.
I was Princess Leia. I did make myself an easy muslin robe, but I think the buns say it all. Todd's costume was not-so-handmade. I knew I was in a time-crunch, so he wore a karate suit. With a brown belt and a lightsaber, he could pass for Luke Skywalker (especially hanging with the rest of us!).
The night was a success! Phoebe thought going door to door and getting things out of a bowl was pretty much the coolest thing ever, and Finn has enough candy to last at least a year.
Hope you all had a great Halloween! I am excited to blog-hop and see everyone's photos!

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A Spooky (not really) Yarn Along

Happy Halloween! Getting quite a late start to my yarn along today! Joining in with Ginny at Small Things. 
Making some progress on the tiny tea leaves sweater that will be a Christmas present for Phoebe. I am loving the yarn (Malabrigo) and loving the pattern so far.
As for reading, I am still chugging along on Raising a Sensory Smart Child. It is the best book I have read yet that explains exactly what sensory processing disorder is. Since Finn was recently diagnosed with this, I want to learn as much as I can about this disorder. I also decided to start The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest because I really needed something to take my mind off of everything else for a bit. So far, it has been harder to get into than the other 2 in the series, but I am sure that it will be good.
What are you knitting? What are you reading?

Wishing you all a fun Halloween! Excited to share our pictures tomorrow!

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Monday, October 29, 2012

A Date with Finn...

Yesterday I had a date with a boy..... he's about 4 feet tall, brown hair, and has the cutest dimples you Although we try to spend as much time as a family as we can, it is hard to balance attention between a preschooler and a one and a half year old. I try to take the kids on lots of outings (trips to the park, science museum, etc), but spend a lot of the time there chasing Phoebe while Finn has to entertain himself. Phoebe is at that stage where she is quite reckless but also just so cute and funny that she often gets a lot of attention despite whether she is acting crazy or not.
So recently, my husband and I decided that we needed to try and spend some time one-on-one with the kids. Give Finn a chance to do his thing without worrying about what Phoebe is doing, and to have some time where he is, once again, the center of our attention.
So yesterday, I took Finn on a date. We headed out for a quick lunch and then went to a paint-your-own pottery place where he chose a dinosaur and a hedgehog for us to paint as a team. Then, despite the pouring rain, we went out for ice cream (what date would be complete without ice cream!?!) and finished up by heading to our favorite yarn store so he could pick out yarn for the mittens I will knit him this winter.
We had a great time and I could tell Finn was happy to have a few hours that were just for him. I hope to make this a regular thing.

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Friday, October 26, 2012

This Moment.. A Bit of Sun

{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, October 25, 2012

In A Pumpkin Galaxy Far Far Away....

Monday night we held our annual family pumpkin carving party. I love pumpkin carving. It was a tradition that I looked forward to each year of my childhood and I want to pass that excitement and routine onto my kids as well. But, it's probably Todd's least favorite event of the year... he dislikes carving pumpkins, hates the pressure of having to be creative and think of a design, and only does it because I make him. And, well, the kids are still mostly too little to carve. Finn can't stand the feel of pumpkin guts touching him, so he refuses to scoop them out. Phoebe thinks pumpkin guts are awesome, however, she spent most of Monday night putting pumpkin guts back into the pumpkins I had already scooped. And while Finn can decide on what he wants his pumpkin to be, I still end up having to do most of the actual carving. So this year, as I scooped out 4 pumpkins and then carved 3, the tradition start to loose a bit of it's luster. But, just a little bit.
This year's theme was Star Wars (of course, as Finn would say). Todd chose a storm trooper (because that seemed the easiest), Finn chose Yoda, I chose Princess Leia and Phoebe's pumpkin turned into an awful impression of R2D2 (OK, I was tired of carving at that point). But, all in all, the night went off without too many disasters and the pumpkins don't look half bad! And, of course, the night wouldn't have been complete without apples dipped in caramel sauce and roasted pumpkin seeds.

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Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Yarn Along

Happily joining in with Ginny at Small Things for this week's Yarn Along. The weather here is chilly, the leaves have changed to their wonderful autumn hues, and I have finally really felt like knitting again. Not that I really stopped during the summer. I just slowed down. A lot. But now, at night, I get excited to feel the yarn between my fingers and watch what I am knitting morph into its final shape.
I just finished up a knitting project last's part of a Halloween costume so I won't spoil the surprise and I will make you all wait to see photos until after Halloween (I know, the suspense!).
Last night I decide to start this sweater for a Christmas present for Phoebe. I have only knit 1 row, but at least it is on the needles. I expect to be working on this one for awhile, as I need to get some other holiday gifts made as well and I feel a case of startitis setting in on me..... 
As for reading, the newest book on my nightstand is Raising a Sensory Smart Child. This is another "Finn" book. We have been learning a lot about him, and what is going on inside that brain of his, all of which I have been meaning to share in a post but just haven't yet found the time.
What are you knitting? What are you reading?
Hope you are all enjoying a wonderful fall! Pin It Now!

Sunday, October 21, 2012


Last weekend when my mom was in town, the two of us took the kids to a pumpkin patch. We tried out a new one this year, in hopes of beating the regular crowds, and we were successful. We ate kettle corn, played in some corn, went through the hay maze, saw some animals, and, of course, picked out pumpkins. Phoebe chose one that is about the size of her! We are hoping (fingers crossed) to carve them tomorrow night! The pumpkin theme: Star Wars.. just like everything else in our lives these days!

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Friday, October 19, 2012

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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Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Apples Galore and A Motherly Visit

Last weekend my mom came into town and we spent a long weekend celebrating fall. Sadly, the rain started the day that my mom arrived, but the kids and I were so very happy to see her (thanks for coming, mom!)

Here are some photos of the Apple Festival at our local nursery. We had a chance to sample a whole lot of apple varieties, try fresh-pressed apple cider (that we watched being pressed!), and the kids got to paint pumpkins. We had to brave the first big rain of the season, but it was worth it.

After the apple festivities, we headed to Hood River, a cute town in the Columbia River Gorge. We spent the night in a vintage hotel, did some window shopping, and went out for a fun dinner. Saturday morning we woke up and headed to an orchard to pick some apples. We limited ourselves in how many we picked... this year I already know I don't have the time to do a lot of canning... but the kids had a blast. Phoebe pretty much thought that it was the coolest thing ever!!

After apple picking, we headed back to Portland and had a little time to relax. My mom and I took the kids on another adventure on Sunday..... but I will save that one for another post! Pin It Now!

Friday, October 12, 2012

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, October 11, 2012

Harvest Flags and Hand-Trees

I love fall. I love fall mornings. The stillness in the air, the crispness, the crunch of leaves as you walk. I normally fill my fall with outside adventures and autumn-inspired crafts. This year, things have been a bit hectic and we haven't had as much time as normal for crafting or exploring. But, we have managed to squeeze in a few fun things....

A couple of weeks ago we made some harvest flags to hang in our garden. The whole family was involved, using fabric markers and fabric scraps to decorate muslin squares with 'harvest-themed' ideas (although many of the ones that Finn drew would be more of a stretch to relate to harvesting and Todd's contribution was a drawing of a beer (ha) and the hops that would be harvested to make that beer). Anyways, we hung the flags proudly in our garden to celebrate this most wonderful time of year.

The kids and I also made some fall-colored hand-trees. We simply traces our arms and hands as the tree trunk and then added pieces of tissue paper in fall colors for the leaves. Finn has so much fun that he made a second!

Have you done any fun fall crafts lately? I am looking for some simple things to do with the kids to celebrate the seasons!! Pin It Now!

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Yarn Along

Happily joining in with Ginny at Small Things for another October Yarn Along. Life around here has still been crazy. Very crazy. And I haven't found much time for knitting, reading, blogging, hiking, or most of the things that I wish I was doing. I have been enjoying the small moments of freedom: a 10 minute stroll with Phoebe or sneaking in a chapter of reading in between business. My family has had a lot on our plates these past weeks, and most days it seems that nearly every moment is scheduled. But, I think we are starting to move past that, at least a bit. And until then, I will take my 10 minutes of unscheduled freedom when I can.
I am sort of in-between knitting projects right now. I should be casting on a hat for Finn for Halloween. He is going to be yoda so I am going to knit and felt him a hat. I saw an infant hat here, and I want to make something similar, but Finn has a big ol' head. Bigger than mine actually. And I am not sure how many stitched to cast on. I got size 13 needles and pencil size roving.... anyone have any clue how I figure out how big to make something before felting? I am a little nervous to begin, although tonight I think I will just need to dive in and see how it goes.
I finally got the book Gone Girl from the library. We are reading it for our book club (that has taken the past few months off) and I have been on the wait list at the library for months. I started it and it is hard to put down. It's s thriller, and not the type of book I normally read, but it is nice escape from reality these days.
What are you reading and knitting? Pin It Now!

Sunday, October 7, 2012

A Weekend Farm Trip

This weekend, Phoebe's playschool (which used to be Finn's old playschool) took a field trip to a farm about 40 minutes away. We have been to that farm several times over the past 2 years, but each time we go back it is a treat... enjoying the seasons, watching the animals grow, and seeing how things change over time. It was a perfect fall day, full sun and blue skies, with plenty of blueberries ripe for the picking! Yum!

we saw some chickens...

found some friends....

ate LOTS of blueberries....

explored the woods....

acted pretty silly.....

lost our way for just a moment...

chose some pumpkins to bring home.....

ate sweet corn fresh out of the garden....

and made some new friends....

How was your weekend? Pin It Now!