Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Pipsqueak Pretties!

In all my spare time (ya right!) I love to sew. My mom gave me a lesson a few years ago and I taught myself the rest. I also love to make Jayna bracelets and everyone loves them so much I wanted a place to sell some... so Ive created an online store through! :)

Pipsqueak Pretties

Some weeks I can sew a lot, some not at all. Im being mindful to keep hubby, the kids and homeschooling my top priorities. Usually I sew at night - I get spurts of creativity :)

Thanks for checking it out!

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

PVC aka Vinyl

PVC is the most common and the most harmful plastic manufactured. Here are some facts from this article:

- enviromental by-products are dioxin, ethylene dichloride and vinyl chloride. These cause health issues like: cancer, endemitriosis, birth defects and more
- Dioxins travel through the air and accumulate in our bodies, specifically breast milk
- PVC cant be made without additives like LEAD, cadmium and organotins, and phthalate plasticizers. According to the article these, "leach, flake or outgas from PVC over time raising risks that include asthma, lead poisoning and cancer"
- cant be readily recycled

So what can you do????

Well sadly even childrens toys have PVC. Just today I picked up a Little Einstein book that someone gave Jayna - it was one of those soft, white plastic, squishy books. Well the back said that the cover was made of PVC!!! That means it could contain lead - and what do babies do with everything? Put them in their mouths of course. I threw it right into the trash.

There are even teethers made from PVC!!!! (the only safe teethers are those made of silicon like the Razzbaby teether or from a safely-finished wooden toy like those made by Haba)

** If the recycling symbol on a prodcuct is a "3" or has a V beneath it, then PVC is contained in that product. So avoid plastic bottles and othe products with this number.

** Check your shower curtain - many are made of PVC.

** Check any squish/plasticy books, bath toys or teethers your baby may have.

** If in doubt, call the manufacturer!

** Also check your infants sleep positioner - these are often sprayed with flame retardants and those are dangerous for babies to breathe.

Article 2
Article 2- May '07 Walmart to phase out PVC from childrens products
Article 3 - Toy "Report Card" - which manufacterers are doing their part?
Article 4 - quick article, ready to print
Artilce 5 - phylates found in bath toys, teethers, sleep positioners

That should be enough to convince you that this is some dangerous stuff.

Again - there are government agencies that KNOW this stuff is dangerous and KNOW its in our babies' toys, cribs, clothes, etc, etc, etc. so why is nothing being done?!?!?!?! We need to be educated mommies so we can look out for our own families!

Monday, May 21, 2007

Win an Ergo!

The Ergo carrier is one of the most popular among those of us who like to "wear" our babies. Its also very expensive! Go to to enter yourself to win one - its free! :)

Saturday, May 19, 2007

"0 Trans Fat per serving"

Chances are you have seen "Zero Trans Fat per serving" advertised on the box of something at the grocery store. When you see a product use the words "per serving" in its boasting, be aware. Its a loophole in the FDA guidelines and chances are, if they use "per serving", there is trans fat in it after all.

Girl Scout cookies advertised "Zero trans fat per serving" but there are hydrogenated oils listed in the ingredients for several of their cookies. According to FDA guidelines, a product with 0.5 or less grams of trans fat "per serving" can make the claim to have "zero trans fat". How stupid is that?!?!?!?! What a ridiculous marketing scam. Sometimes government agencies really are ridiculous. Who are they working for anyways?!?!

So dont just read the nutritional information in the white and black box, because it wills say "Trans Fat 0 grams" but read the ingredients list. If you see anything "hydrogenated" then steer clear and make a better choice for your family!

(margarines almost all say this now - because servings of margarine are small they get away with murder. I promise real butter is better for you than yellow-colored plastic in a tub ;) )

Friday, May 18, 2007

Heaven on Earth

Tonight as I tucked Caleb in for bed, he put his chubby little hands on my cheeks, looked up into my eyes, and said, "sweetheart mommy ever" ...... I melted right then and there. That made my whole day worth it. *sigh* :) What a gift to be a mother. Thank you Lord for showing us Your love for us through our children!

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

"Windex" recipe

Here is the recipe I use for a healthy glass cleaner:

2 cups water (I use filtered)
1/2 tsp liquid soap - dish soap, liquid Dr. Bonners, etc.
1/4 cup vinegar

I mix it all in a spray bottle and thats it!
This recipe is from Better Basics for the Home: Simple Solutions for Less Toxic Living

It works great in the kitchen and bathroom too! My favorite thing for the bathroom though is hydrogen peroxide - it disinfects and it cleans around the sink/faucet really well. My favorite for the bottom of the shower is baking soda. You'll have a clean bathroom without the fumes! :) Healthy cleaning!

Tuesday, May 15, 2007


As Ive studied vaccines over the last 4 years an interesting blurb Id see now and then, is the suspicion that heavy metals like aluminum may play a role in autism and alzheimers. Probably aluminum doesnt "cause" either one, but children or adults with autism or alzheimers may not be able to excrete metals correctly and this can lead to unsafe levels which may have unknown effects on the body and brain. Often VERY high levels of aluminum and mercury are found in hair samples from autistic children and elderly people with alzheimers. Scary.

Its a controversial topic, especially in reference to vaccines (more to come on that!). Aluminum is a common preservative in those vaccines requiring one (only vaccines that are live like the MMR and the chickenpox vaccine dont require preservatives). Because of the controversy involving thimerosal/mercury in vaccines some vaccines now claim to be "preservative free" or "thimerosal free" but this is not usually true. Often the vaccine still doesn contain thimerosal but its listed on the ingredients as something other than a preservative so it can be labeled "preservative free". Or they just replace the thimerosal with aluminum or formaldehyde (eek!) so its "thimerosal free". Sometimes they add it then "wash" it out and residual amounts remain. Regardless, our children (and ourselves as well!) are getting more aluminum exposure than we need. Around the home its an easy thing to fix......

Things that have aluminum: antiperspirants and deodorants, aluminum cookware, drinks from aluminum cans, tap water which often has aluminum compounds added, baking powders, bleached flour, processed cheese, some table salts, some antacids, and dust when aluminum oxide sandpaper.

Many grocery stores, and health food stores carry aluminum-free baking powder and baking soda. They are barely more expensive so that is an easy change if you make muffins, banana bread, cakes, etc.

Bleached flour is the easiest to change. Just get unbleached white flour - and of course the best thing to buy is whole wheat (King Arthur has a new white whole wheat, from a more mild tasting white wheat berry that is great!)

Ive already posted healthier options for deodorant and we all know that soda is absolutely horrible for you - its water with chemicals, dye and aspartme (diet soda) which is linked to cancer.

Another way to avoid aluminum: dont use aluminum foil, and particularly dont cook with it. This is something I havent changed yet, Ive used it so long! Parchment paper is a better alternative for cooking ... I need to pick some up!

Baby steps and you'll create a healthier home before you know it!

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Happy Mother's Day!

Happy Mother's Day!!!! :)

Caleb told me he loved me for the first time this week (he'd signed it but never said it to me unsolicited before). What better gift could I ask for than that?!?! :)

What a gift to be a mother!

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Sitcom Days 2

Some of you may remember my post about the kind of day I call a "sitcom day" where I feel like I must be living inside a comedy with all that goes wrong. Oh MY did we have one of those days yesterday! Its probably our fault for trying to do too much in one day, with three children, and no naptimes. We did survive .... but only by the grace of God.

Here is a brief rundown. Enjoy ;)

Before we were even out the door, Caleb had an accident so I put him in a pull-up and in the only spare pair of shorts Id packed for the trip (see where this is going?)

We left at 10:30 for BJ's pizza in Plano, about one hour away. (BJ's was one of my favorite place in Ca and I hadnt been in over 3 years) A big traffic accident delayed us at least half an hour. we are all tired and sick of being in the car when we arrive. Pizza was to-die-for though!

We left BJ's to head to Ikea, about 20 mins away. Halfway through Ikea Caleb pooped in his pullup. The diaper bag was in the car so he has to tough it out. We were in a hurry anyways but Ikea is HUGE so by the time we got to the register they were tired, whiney and stinky

They told me I had to go get the giant, heavy boxes for the beds we were buying, myself. I had no idea Ikea was so do-it-yourself and I was not happy about it. I was tired and whiney now too.

I took Caleb to the car to change him while my mom checked out..... Poop everwhere - out of the pullup and onto his shorts. So I cleaned him with nearly every wipe I had and put him in a diaper with no pants. I cleaned everyones hands, changed Jayna, nursed her, and we were good to go again. I could have laid down on the asphalt and taken a nap though!

An employee, my mom and I loaded the car with two rolled up foam mattresses, two beds (one on top and one inside), three children and all our stuff and none of could see anyone else. It was hilarious!!!! My mom even had to hold the box away from me so it didnt hit the gear shift! But after all that work to load up the boxes there was no way I was going to pay them $100+ to deliver them!

The store we looked forward to all day was Sam Moon. But we were out of time and Caleb and Jayna were asleep. So I went in for a quick walk through - it was like torture not to buy something. And I thought I had no self-control! Then we headed ot our dinner with friends for their wedding reception.

The restaurant was on a one-way cutesy main street. I drove by it the first time so I turned right to circle back around. Going down the last street before I turned back onto the main street again, this man in a big red truck started honking and waving at us. A few seconds after we determined we didnt know him, I realized I was going the wrong way on a one-way street!!!!! Eeek!!!!! We were able to quickly pull over and turn without dying which was, of course, a good thing.

We parked and saw that Noah was asleep (and that never happens!). When he woke up he told us he had peed in his pants on accident. Thankfully my highly intelligent mother had picked up an extra pair when we stopped at Target to get Caleb some clean shorts to wear. But Noah said he had to pee more like "NOW" so my mom grabbed my stand-by empty water bottle (I love having boys at times like that!) and Noah took care of business. She set the bottle down on the ground.

Meanwhile Im nursing Jayna in the front seat while digging through bags, around this giant box wtih a bed in it that is between the two front seats. I find their new shirts for them to change into and toss them to my mom.

I didnt know that a few seconds prior, Caleb had gotten out of the car and knocked over the "water bottle 'o pee" all over the ground. Of course one of the shirts fell right into it. ARGH! So the boys stayed in their dirty polos for dinner. My mom and I brought nicer clothes to change into but we were already late and couldnt find them anyways. We just wanted to run into the restaurant before something else went wrong!

Dinner was great. Afterwards we headed to my moms friends house for wedding cake

A mile from the turn, a big rig was stuck across both lanes of the two-lane country road. We need to go off the road, around him to the right to get by but it was VERY muddy and full of water. The driver infront of us, knowing more than me, stepped on the gas and flew right through it. I - in light of the rest of the day - was scared to drive through so I went slllloooowwwllllyyy. Well you learn something new every day! Turns out thats not the best idea in a giant, deep, sticky mud puddle (go figure). I realized that out about halfway through and stepped on the gas - I called on the name of Jesus (outloud!) several times and we managed to get through it without getting stuck. Thank you Lord!!!!! Off-roading in a minivan loaded with Ikea furniture. Nice.

After a stop for gas we finally made it home about 10pm .... nearly 12 hours after leaving that morning. But we made it!!!! :)

Its days like that that make my regular work week seem like a breeze! :)

Wednesday, May 9, 2007


We are very strict about manners with the boys - please, thank you, yes ma'am, etc. We try to model these manners ourselves with everyone we meet.

So yesterday I went through Starbucks for an iced coffee (long night!). I said, like I normally would, "May I please have xxx". As she told me the total it sounded like she was laughing so I figured a coworker made her laugh. When I pulled around she opened the window and had a huge smile on her face...

"You said please! No one ever says please to me".
"Really?!?! Seriously????"
"Really. Everyone always says 'Give me x'"

Wow. Isnt that sad?

Even more than learning the right words to say and when to say them, it is so important to teach our children to think of others above themselves. To think about the person you are talking to when you order a drink or checkout your groceries, to consider the kind of day they are having and how hard they are working.

"Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others." Phillipians 4:3-4

Im still challenged daily by the Lord to "die to self" and to think of others above myself. Im so thankful for the opportunity to teach my children to be like Jesus when I am still so far from His standard myself.

Monday, May 7, 2007

Happy Birthday Caleb

My second baby turns 3 tomorrow. Where did the time go?

I thought Id share a few of my favorite things about Caleb:

- His compassionate heart. If I make a noise like I hurt myself he always asks "ok mommy?" If you have to go to the Dr. he will always offer to hold your hand :)

- His love of books and being read to.

- His snuggles. He is our snugglebug.

- How he loves his sister and makes her laugh

- Watching him play with Noah. They are best friends and he looks up to Noah so much.

- He is his own person. Noah may want to play outside for 3 hrs but some days Caleb doesnt want to do so he wont. He just knows what he wants and he doesnt worry about following others. I love that.

- His laugh and all his goofy expressions

It was around this time, 3 years ago, that my wonderful labor with him began. We went through a lot during my pregnancy with kidney stones, xrays and lots of tears - and we were bonded more than I knew possible. He was my first child to birth without medication which was very special to me. He has brought us so much joy and so much hope!

Saturday, May 5, 2007

A New Dog

So my hubby went running and this beautiful yellow lab joined him for the entire 4 miles and then followed him home.

He has always wanted a dog and Ive always NOT wanted one - I have enough mouths to feed and poop to clean up.

It has a tag but the number is wrong. We've put up signs all over our neighborhood. She appears to have had puppies recently :(

Poor Steve is like a 8yr old getting their first puppy - he went and bought dog bowls, treats and flea spray. Great. He insists we are keeping her if we cant find her owners - great.

Fine. But if we keep the dog, one of the kids has to go.

Thursday, May 3, 2007


Stevia is a plant that is many times sweeter than sugar. Stevia will not raise your glycemic index like sugar and has no calories! Other countries have been using it for hundreds of years but the FDA has gone out of its way to keep it out our country. Its very safe but who knows with them. Its ok to put chemicals and poison in our food but not to use a plant extract that is proven safe.

It is now legal to sell Stevia but only as a "dietary supplment". You can find it online, at your health food store, and here even our Kroger has it. Its about $12 for 2oz here but it lasts forever and you can get it for about buy-one-get-one-free on!

You cant use it to replace sugar in baking since it has way less mass but it is great for drinks, cereal, sauces, etc. or to replace part of the sugar in a recipe.

Anyways, Ive been using stevia for a couple of years. I buy it in liquid form and add it to my water to sweeten it. Since I have kidney stones I have to drink large amounts of water, especially when pregnant. Plain water made my nausea worse so lemon juice and stevia in my water saved the day!

They have new products that include natural flavorings like Raspberry and English Toffee. I just bought the Vanilla Creme and I LOVE it - it is fantastic in coffee (my new bad habit)! and if you add it to water it tastes like ginger ale. I also use it to sweeten the boys plain cereal and they love it too!

Stevia is a great way to cut out sugar without compromising your health like Aspartme and Splenda do. Ive converted my coffe-drinking mother - who's next? ;)

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