I got some good stuff, About $200 in cash (gone) and the Jessica Seinfeld Cookbook, a book called "Play Unplugged", some kitchen towels, some other small stuff... a Targus Chill Pad for my laptop (mine quit working and needed to be replaced) and Evan and I together received a Shiatsu Heated Chair Massager which is completely awesome and I may be addicted to.
I also got a $30 gift certificate to Austin Parker Naturals and a Cookie Lee Butterfly Pin. Ardyn got a $20 Gift Card to Wal-Mart which I will probably use for diapers and wipes, and she got a $20 Gift Cart to Target from Josh and Lisa, which I used to buy 4 new pair of cotton pants and 6 pair of socks for her. Good daycare essentials. And Lisa also finished a crocheted blanket for Ardyn, which I am totally in love with, because back with I was pregnant, Lisa asked if I would like one and what colors, and I told her if it was a girl I wanted pink but not baby pink- hot pink and orange. And she SERIOUSLY did is justice. Ardyn used it Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. I love love love it. Anya and Brad and Ava got Ardyn a Gund Boo-Boo Bear that has a little ice cube in his belly for boo-boo treatment. It's so cute!
I plan on using my Christmas Money to buy a shelf for Ardyn's room, that we can store toys on. I saw some modular stackable units at the Company Kids Store... I want them in white. A set of open dual bins for the bottom, and two stackable units with adjustable shelves above that. Which will run me about $300 and all of my Christmas money. But having her toys stacked on the floor is already driving me nuts and she is not even 4 months old yet! Plus with all my research, I decided these would be the best buy because they are modular and versatile and would grow with her. She could either take them to a big girl room or they could stay in the nursery for our next child. I like that the shelves adjust either vertically or horizontally. I expect that the quality must be pretty good for the price. Anyone ever order from Company Kids before?
I am pretty sure we are "officially" teething, based on the low grade fever and the rosy cheeks that she has had two nights this week, and the constant gnawing of hands and toys, and the out of control drooling and nighttime fussiness. AND the congestion that only seems to be there overnight.
I have been thinking about New Year's Resolutions. I have never been a big fan. I get so sick of the "lose weight, quit smoking, etc." Bullshit resolutions that everyone makes and never follows (although I lost 25 pounds in 2006, gained 12 while pregnant in 2007, and lost 40 after having the baby... so weight loss CAN work)
This year, my resolution is a real one. I am determined to make one positive lifestyle change that will affect the environment. Not one for the entire year. Oh no. One for every month of 2008. Yep. Lofty goal? Nope. Perfectly do-able. My first resolution? January= reusable grocery bags. As a matter of fact, I am ordering them today. And not just reusable bags. Reusable PRODUCE Bags too. Yeah. We don't mess around. I bought two of "these kits" from reusablebags.com A totally cool website with a ticker across the top to determine how many plastic bags are being wasted. It freaks me out to just LOOK at the ticker.
Of course while I am there I start to want a Kleen Kanteen bottle with Insulator Sleeve but honestly one person can only own so many cups, mugs, and water bottles before it gets obsessive. Of course the reusable water bottle that I have is plastic, doesn't have a cool insulator sleeve, and doesn't fit in any cup holder, so in general it pisses me off royally. It's an eddie bauer with the ice cores but I almost never use it now because it doesn't really stay cold. Ice core or not. Doesn't work. The Kleen Kanteen would totally hang on the stroller or diaper bag handles and I could totally drink out of it. It would hold hot or cold liquid. It would be greatness. But It would be obsessive. It's not like I am going mountain climbing and would need a carabiner or anything.
Top Facts - Consumption
Each year, an estimated 500 billion to 1 trillion plastic bags are consumed worldwide. That comes out to over one million per minute. Billions end up as litter each year.
According to the EPA, over 380 billion plastic bags, sacks and wraps are consumed in the U.S. each year.
According to The Wall Street Journal, the U.S. goes through 100 billion plastic shopping bags annually. (Estimated cost to retailers is $4 billion)
According to the industry publication Modern Plastics, Taiwan consumes 20 billion bags a year—900 per person.
According to Australia’s Department of Environment, Australians consume 6.9 billion plastic bags each year—326 per person. An estimated .7% or 49,600,000 end up as litter each year.
Top Facts - Environmental Impact
Hundreds of thousands of sea turtles, whales and other marine mammals die every year from eating discarded plastic bags mistaken for food.
Plastic bags don’t biodegrade, they photodegrade—breaking down into smaller and smaller toxic bits contaminating soil and waterways and entering the food web when animals accidentally ingest.
As part of Clean Up Australia Day, in one day nearly 500,000 plastic bags were collected.
Windblown plastic bags are so prevalent in Africa that a cottage industry has sprung up harvesting bags and using them to weave hats, and even bags. According to the BBC, one group harvests 30,000 per month.
According to David Barnes, a marine scientist with the British Antarctic Survey, plastic bags have gone "from being rare in the late 80s and early 90s to being almost everywhere from Spitsbergen 78° North [latitude] to Falklands 51° South [latitude].
Plastic bags are among the 12 items of debris most often found in coastal cleanups, according to the nonprofit Center for Marine Conservation.
Top Facts - Solutions
In 2001, Ireland consumed 1.2 billion plastic bags, or 316 per person. An extremely successful plastic bag consumption tax, or PlasTax, introduced in 2002 reduced consumption by 90%. Approximately 18,000,000 liters of oil have been saved due to this reduced production. Governments around the world are considering implementing similar measures.
July 2003, ReusableBags.com goes live, advancing the mainstream adoption of reusable shopping bags.
Each high quality reusable shopping bag you use has the potential to eliminate hundreds, if not thousands, of plastic bags over its lifetime.