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“Only when the last tree has died and the last river been poisoned and the last fish been caught will we realize we cannot eat money.” ~ Cree Indian Proverb 

Note: In March of 2010 I decided I would join the blogosphere at the same time I started writing for Hilltown Families. I was becoming somewhat disgusted by the wasteful way in which our family was living and I wanted to find a way to make us greener, more sustainable, and more conscious about how our actions affected our environment. I began a GREEN MAMA blog or MAMÃE VERDE (in Portuguese, in honor of my “adopted” Brazilian family) to document our progress. I stopped writing that blog when I realized it was hard to focus on that one topic each week, and I wanted a blog that would let me write about all aspects of my life as a mom. I tried one more time with a different blog (I’ll resurrect parts of that here later), but then stopped the blogging for a while. A little more than a year and a half later I discovered Renaissance Mom, and my passion for writing about her journey, and part of that journey is my continual struggle to live greener. My family has somewhat fallen off the “Green Wagon” lately, and I thought to help get us back on track, and also as a belated recognition of Earth Day which occurred on April 22, I’d resurrect Mamãe Verde on this blog, and begin with the original blog archives, the first of which is posted below. Enjoy.

An Introduction to Mamãe Verde

Pre-children I worked as a school adjustment counselor and psychotherapist, and it was my job to help children and their parents work through a variety of issues. You name it ─ behavior problems, depression, anxiety, divorce, death, education issues. If it had to do with children, I was dealing with it. I even had to teach parenting classes as part of my job description at the school. So when I became pregnant in 1998, I experienced nothing short of enthusiasm at the prospect of embarking on this wonderful, life-altering adventure with my husband. Well, okay that’s not exactly true. I did cry a little, actually a lot, after an ultrasound at seven weeks revealed I was having twins. But hey, the more the merrier right? Afterall, I had worked with hundreds of kids through my job, how hard could two of my own be?

Alright, for all of you with children in the, oh let’s say 3- to 21-year-old age group, quit laughing, pull yourself together and finish reading. For those of you who’ve never had children and don’t plan to, continue reading, this might be good for a laugh or to reinforce that you made the right decision. For those of you who’ve raised your children already and are enjoying the pleasure of being a grandparent, sit back, sigh as you briefly reminisce about this period of your lives, and rejoice in the fact that you can spoil your grandchildren rotten without any of the repercussions you had as a parent. And for those of you thinking about having children or pregnant with your first (and probably naively thinking what I was thinking back then) . . . don’t despair. What I am about to tell you, isn’t as bad as it sounds ─ it’s worse (but in a good way, if that makes sense.)

The 'Terrible Threesome' then. (Pictures were added to the original post for this blog).

I had those cute, adorable, cuddly, “cutest babies in the world” (come on, I can say that, I’m their mom), Max and McKenna, and I loved it so much and found that my husband and I were such incredibly, natural, intuitive parents, that we had another baby two and a half years later. Let’s just say that when my twins were about 21 months old, I became so incredibly ecstatic that they were finally walking, semi potty-trained and not being lugged around on my hips all the time, (and I wasn’t looking too bad either having lost the last of that baby weight and then some), that my judgment became temporarily impaired. But Shea was cute, cuddly and adorable too, and . . . an absolute terror.By the time Shea was 2 years old, my husband and I decided that his (my husband, not Shea) having a vasectomy would be in our best interest.

So let’s fast forward to the present. I have now been a CLP (certified licensed parent), I know they don’t officially give out that license but they should, for 10 years and 6 months. And let’s just say there have been a few bumps in the road.
Like when I let my 18-month-old twins out of my sight for 20 seconds, forgot the child-proof lock on the Lazy-Susan was broken and came back to find my black lab painted with an entire container of fluffernutter. Or the time when I left my 2 ½ -year-old twins playing quietly in the playroom while I nursed the baby only to realize moments later that “quiet” and “2 ½-year-old twins” should never be used in a sentence together. Needless to say, I followed their giggling to an upstairs bathroom, and found them stripped down to their underwear, swimming in a sea of water and hand soap they had created on the newly installed hardwood floors. (Note to anyone with young children considering installing hardwood floors in a bathroom: it looks great, but severely warps when covered with approximately 100 Dixie cups worth of soap and water).

There was also the time Max’s head split open when his younger brother, then about 3, decided to throw a rock in his direction just to see if he “could throw that far,” or the somewhat frequent temper-tantrums of a 3-7-year-old McKenna just because she’s, well, McKenna. Or Max’s ADHD diagnosis ─ to those parents I counseled whose children were ADHD, I apologize. I had no idea the effect this could have on the entire family. Let’s just say, the list goes on for a while.

So why am I telling you all this? Afterall, I’m sure you have stories of your own.
Well, the one thing that I’ve found to be most helpful throughout almost a decade of parenting, especially on those days when I’ve traded in my CLP license for my AWPOTY (Absolutely Worst Parent Of The Year) certification, is hearing similar stories from other parents.

OK, maybe not everyone has come into the room to find their children wrapped in Scotch tape or redecorating the living room with, of all things, butter (Ah, my budding artists)… But, I’m sure there are some good stories out there and I’d love to hear about them.

The 'Terrible Threesome' Now!

So, you can hear about my trials and tribulations as a parent in this blog and hopefully they will help you regain your CLP status knowing that there are others like you struggling through this parent thing, too. Or, if you’re lucky, you will read some of these blogs and think ─ “Hey, it could be worse. I could be her.”

The original post can be found at: http://agreenmama.blogspot.com/2010/03/in-beginning.html.