Saturday, March 31, 2012
I like going to the farmers markets here. I like being able to see who is growing my food and being able to ask questions. There is usually a lot of variety and sellers of other goods like bread and honey. There's still that unknown factor, is the food really pesticide free or are they just saying that to get you to buy their food. I've asked a few when I've gone and gotten the yes answer but in my gut I don't believe it. I do know that all the food there is local, that's what I like most, though it is pretty important to me to have pesticide and hormone free!
The point I am trying to make is that where you get your food from is important! I am going to the first best thing and that is to grow my own garden but until things are ready I need a second best and I think I might just stick to farmers markets. I like supporting my local farmer and I can bring my own bags and produce less trash. Prices are just as reasonable. Also if you go towards the end of the day you can get some really great deals.
P.S. I was going to buy a share of a CSA which is the very best second option to get your food but apparently I was to late in the game this year and all the shares were sold out to my favorite farms already when I tried to get it.
Thursday, March 29, 2012
There are a ton of recipes for laundry detergent, my favorite one come from http://www.homemadelaundrysoap.net/ and I kept this one just like it says, it works great and smells great. I think that my clothes come out brighter than with all of the other detergents we used. This is just for the liquid detergent, that's what I prefer to use and would recommend because I know it works.
If you make a double batch of the liquid detergent you need a bucket, I recycled a cat litter bucket, worked great! You also need a greater and a large pan.
Most of the ingredients can be found at your local grocery store in the laundry aisle and at some Walmarts and Targets. Some people have a difficult time Fels Naptha soap. If this happens, you can either try a substitute (such as Zote, Ivory or Sunlight bar soaps, or other low-scented soap) or buy it online at Amazon.com. I got the Borax at Target (76oz for 3.50) I got the washing soda (55oz for 4.50) and Fels Naptha (1 bar for 1.50) soap at Ace Hardware.
To keep your large batch of liquid laundry detergent in a 5-gallon bucket with lid and keep a large wooden spoon in it to stir it before each use. I reused two liquid laundry soap containers and just stirred before transferring it. I did wash them before using them and you do have to shake them before using.
"The detergent has a fairly strong scent right after you make it, but it fades quickly. After the clothes are washed, there is little, if any, scent on the clothes. If you’ve never tried a non-scented laundry detergent before, it might be hard for you to accept that the clothes are actually clean. They are, whether they smell like soap or not. But if it continues to bother you, you might want to try adding a liquid fabric softener to your wash or even adding your favorite essential oil to your preferred liquid laundry detergent recipe"
1/3 bar Fels Naptha Soap (1 full bar Ivory or 1/3 bar Zote will also work)
½ cup washing soda (
½ cup borax powder
2 gallons water
.50 cent vodka (Cheap is fine) you can even use rubbing alcohol.
.25 cents orange
.003 cents sugar
.753 Per bottle .503 if you use rubbing alcohol
Wednesday, March 28, 2012
Tuesday, March 27, 2012
I've heard about eating dandelions but never had the guts to actually try one, after all they are weeds. Well the other day I noticed that there was a few growing in the back yard. Well, with my new found greenness I wanted to try it so while nursing #2 I looked it up and apparently you can eat the whole dang plant including the flowers. After that I went out and harvested about seven of them I washed and sauteed them. Turned out to be pretty good food. I can't understand why people try and kill these plants instead of eating them, they are everywhere, free and delicious!
"With all of the recent focus on eating locally for the sakes of our health and the environment, we may be overlooking one of the easiest and most wholesome vegetables available. The Dandelion is a highly nutritious and versatile wild food that has been harvested for ages, dating back to a time when our winter diets were heavy in fats and starches, and sorely lacked the lush, seasonal greens that we can now buy at the grocery store year-'round.
Dandelion greens are rich in vitamins and minerals. Half a cup of leaves contains more calcium than a glass of milk, and they boast even more iron than spinach. Plus, they're packed with protein, inulin (a natural fiber) and pectin (which has been reported to lower cholesterol). And when you start looking at Dandelion greens as lunch, you'll be glad that they're so easy to come by. Unlike several other wild edibles, there's no need to worry about confusing Dandelions with poisonous look-alikes because there aren't any.ust be sure to avoid plants that may have been sprayed with chemicals by those who have yet to discover that Dandelions are delectable." (http://www.mountainroseherbs.com/newsletter/10/march/dandelion.php)
I just watched a documentary, Plastics. I also did some of my own research. After doing so I realized that we have a ton of plastic in our house. This probably doesn't seem like a big deal, right? Well then I started really looking around and what did I see? Almost all of my kids dishes and toys are plastic! What do my kids do?, they put these in their mouths! I couldn't believe it. First thing I went down to the thrift store and bought ceramic and wood dishes for the girls. I went to Target and got new metal sippy cups and silverware. I also started listing all of their plastic toys on Craigslist so that I can afford to replace them with non-plastic toys.
Why am I doing all of this? Well most of the dishes where labeled BPA free but not phthalate free. Almost all of their toys were not either BPA or phthalate free. Below is part of an article that I found when doing research.
Immediate Health Effects If SWALLOWED, phthalates is Slightly Toxic
If ABSORBED THROUGH SKIN, phthalates is Moderately Toxic
If INHALED (SNIFFED OR BREATHED IN), phthalates is Slightly Toxic
Longterm or Delayed Health Effects This chemical is likely to cause cancer. It is considered a Probable Carcinogen by the World Health Organization, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, or another agency. Allergen Suspected Endocrine Disruptor = May interfere with, mimic or block hormones Development Toxicant = Can interfere with normal development of a fetus or child Reproductive Toxicant = Can harm reproductive system Other Birth defects, including cleft palate and in male reproductive organs, due to prenatal exposure. In laboratory animals, exposure to some phthalates prior to or after birth caused damaged, shrunken, undescended, or atrophied testicles; reduced sperm production; destruction of Sertoli cells, which produce sperm; lowered testosterone levels in offspring and ovarian abnormalities. In humans, some studies have found decreased sperm counts and damaged sperm in men with higher levels of some phthalates. Prenatal exposure may increase a child’s risk of developing behavioral problems in childhood. Some indication that a mother’s exposure to phthalates may shorten her pregnancy by one week. DEHP causes liver cancer in laboratory animals and the EPA considers it a carcinogen. Phthalates have been found in breast milk and may contribute to altered hormone levels in infants. At high doses some phthalates have damaged the liver and kidneys of laboratory animals. Respiratory difficulties in children with bronchial obstruction (such as asthma)." (http://healthychild.org/issues/chemical-pop/phthalates/)
Please Read The Rest Of This Article.
Monday, March 26, 2012
I think if this goes well then I will do this every year. I like the idea of growing our own food. I was even considering getting some urban chickens so that we can have fresh eggs but even though the city says we can have up to ten our HOA says we can't have any. So its on my to do list to go to the monthly HOA meeting to see if I can have that rule changed. If I grow a lot, meaning more then my family can eat I might consider selling a share or two next year or maybe have a friend help with the garden and take a share that way. I think we need to have more back yard gardens. Its gets people and children outside instead of in front of the TV. My #1 girl was so cute! I got her a miniature set of garden tools and she was out there watering the seeds and helping plant them. I was just soaking up the learning opportunity and her cuteness!
The reason that I posted about the past couple of years is just to show that since my children have been born I feel like my eyes have been starting to open. It wasn't until I got Netflix that my eyes opened all the way. I started watching the documentaries. Which my husband says that every time I watch one something changes, lol. I don't think that there is anything wrong with change as long as it is for the betterment of our selves, others or the planet. So there were several that were really interesting to me but one in particular, The No Impact Man. http://noimpactproject.org/ I guess it was because I could see how they actually did it and it really didn't seem that hard. (a little side note, I don't think they should have gotten so much guff for doing that) After I saw that I started looking at my own house and there was still so much that I can change. None of the changes that I've made so far have been difficult except maybe mentally. I think those mental blocks is what I have been thought my whole life have been the toughest thing to get past. One of the hardest, yet easiest thing to do was changing the toilet paper to the family cloth. I have always used toilet paper and when I met my husband we only use the most softest and luxurious of toilet papers, Charmin Ultra Soft. So when I went looking for an alternative I was a little stumped. What is going to be as clean and painless as our current wasteful tp? I googled it and found many people use all kinds of different things. Some use a bidet, some use cloth that they wash in the laundry that they already have to wash anyway. There are lots of choice when it comes which type of fabric and processes to use for reusable tp. I choose to make my own with fabric that I already had which is flannel. It is absorbent and I had many cute patterns. I made it 2 ply and just surged the edges. If you don't know how to make your own you can just use old wash cloths or you can purchase pre made "wipes" on Etsy. Anyway the ones I made cost me about two dollars for 70 sheets. I found that I only need one sheet per use. They are 6x6 and are very soft. We are using regular tp for my husband and myself when it comes to the #2 still but my #1 girl is using it for both and I am happy to report that she is doing great and wasting none! We are not using it for both because I can't figure how to make that clean for us yet or maybe I just can't get past that mental block yet.
Anyway I know I kinda went off on the tp thing but that's not all I changed. I made our own laundry detergent. Which I love. I think it works better then the store bought stuff and even though I was buying an organic type there was still things in it that I have no idea about. My laundry soap has 4 things in it that I control! Bar soap, Borax, Washing Soda and water, that's it! Also It smells great! I've decided as we run out of something I will make that item myself.
I feel like my eyes are open now because before I didn't realize how bad some of these things that we use everyday are bad for us. I feel like I broke out of a dark closet that I've been in my whole life. Some of the reason I've been in this darkness is not all my own fault, I do believe that some of this is do to the way I was raised and companies. Companies don't want to help me they want to make money. Now I have taken my own body and my family's bodies into my own hands. I feel good about that and that we will be helping the planet along the way.
Monday, March 5, 2012
When it came to diapering number one I just went with it, at first. The hospital gave me diapers, they were Pampers brand and they seemed great. They were soft and they didn't leak much. They even had a line on them that changed colors indicating they were wet. So I bought those for a couple of months. Then I saw an article on how it takes about 500 years for a typical diaper to decompose. I could not believe it! So I did some research and would you know it they weren't as good as they seemed.
According to http://www.realdiaperassociation.org There are many health risks and environmental concerns of why you shouldn't use disposable diapers. Here are the health reasons:
"Disposable diapers contain traces of Dioxin, an extremely toxic by-product of the paper-bleaching process. It is a carcinogenic chemical, listed by the EPA as the most toxic of all cancer-linked chemicals. It is banned in most countries, but not the U.S.
Disposable diapers contain Tributyl-tin (TBT) - a toxic pollutant known to cause hormonal problems in humans and animals.
Disposable diapers contain sodium polyacrylate, a type of super absorbent polymer (SAP), which becomes a gel-like substance when wet. A similar substance had been used in super-absorbency tampons until the early 1980s when it was revealed that the material increased the risk of toxic shock syndrome by increasing absorbency and improving the environment for the growth of toxin-producing bacteria.
In May 2000, the Archives of Disease in Childhood published research showing that scrotal temperature is increased in boys wearing disposable diapers, and that prolonged use of disposable diapers will blunt or completely abolish the physiological testicular cooling mechanism important for normal spermatogenesis."
I did notice the gel in the Pampers Brand diapers.
Here are some f the environmental reasons
"No one knows how long it takes for a disposable diaper to decompose, but it is estimated to be about 250-500 years, long after your children, grandchildren and great, great, great grandchildren will be gone. Disposable diapers are the third largest single consumer item in landfills, and represent about 4% of solid waste. In a house with a child in diapers, disposables make up 50% of household waste.5 Disposable diapers generate sixty times more solid waste and use twenty times more raw materials, like crude oil and wood pulp."
After reading this and many more articles I decided to go cloth, gcloth that is, http://www.gdiapers.com/. I love gdiapers, they work so great and take all the guess work out of washing cloth diapers. They come with great instructions and they seem very comfortable. They were a little expensive at first but quickly paid for them selves. I opted for the cloth insert because I thought they look more comfortable and I could reuse them instead of having to continue to buy something. gdiapers.com was was very helpful when I called them with questions. I am bummed that with my second baby they no longer directly sell their products and I had to buy them through a third party. To make things easier for the cleaning process a I bought a toilet sprayer so I don't even have to touch the "yucky" (as number one would say) part. I still use disposables when we are out and at night but I switched to Huggies Pure and Natural as they are more Eco friendly.
It was the most wonderful experience! I was laying in bed resting, I woke thinking that I urinated on my self but with closer examination realized that my water broke. I called my Midwife and told her what happened and that I felt like I had to use the bathroom. she told me not to do anything until she got to my house as she didn't want me to give birth in the toilet. She arrived about 20 mins. after I called her (about 30 min. before my husband could home from work) She was the best! She brought 2 helpers with her and they set everything up and helped make me comfortable, rubbed my back and helped me breathe. They filled a pool with water put me in there and she came out about 10 mins. later, healthy and beautiful. At first she didn't want to take a breath but they were completely knowledgeable and got her breathing in I bet under a min.
After the birth my Midwife and her team helped me into bed and they cleaned my baby and gave her to me right away. They helped me with the breast feeding.They left the placenta attached to her for about 45 min. It helps balance her blood. After a bit they weighed and measured her. They also gave me a choice when it came to giving her Vitamin K. I could give her a shot or give it orally. I choose oral. With my first daughter they kind of just told me they were giving her the shot. I really liked that my baby didn't need to experience pain right away. They were there for about 4 hours after the birth and came back to check on me once a day after that for 2 days. Then I went to their office once a week for a couple of weeks for check ups.
There was a clear difference between the way I was treated at home vs. the hospital. If I was to ever have another I would do it at home.
Once I was visiting my mother in law and I bought a few of the organic baby food thinking it was better than the regular. I tasted it, oooooooohhh it was really gross. My daughter wouldn't touch the stuff. she liked the real thing better. She was like that with breast milk vs. formula too. We thought about weening her to formula because my husband thought that it might be good to do six month breast feeding and the other six months formula feed. Well needless to say she was breast feed until she was 13 months.
Now that shes two she is still eating healthy. She eats whatever we eat. Also whenever we go out to eat we always buy her an adult meal as we see that all the kids choices are crap and not worth the money. For a few dollars more she can have a healthier choice for only a few dollars more.
Anyone that is thinking of not breast feeding because they are afraid that their breasts are going to be saggy please don't worry about it, your breasts are not going to be that bad after and after gravity takes it toll its likely that you're going to be that way anyway. I know because My other in law told me that's why shes didn't and now my husband has the suckest immune system ever!
There are many benefits to breast feeding and there is a lot of research that you can do but http://www.americanpregnancy.org says it all with this table from their website:
|Perfect balance of nutrients||Not as efficiently utilized as breast milk|
|Contains high levels of nutrients||Nutritional content depends on proper preparation|
|Easily digested and absorbed||Some babies have difficulty tolerating certain nutrients|
|Content varies according to milk production stage, which meets the changing nutritional requirements||Pediatrician/care-giver determines amount|
|Infant determines amount|
|Free||Formula ranges from $54 to $198 per month depending on brand|
|Nursing pads, nursing bras, etc.||Bottles, nipples, etc.|
|Breast pump (optional)|
|Always the perfect temperature||Anyone can feed the baby|
|No preparation time|
|Milk is readily available at any time and any place|
|Mother must be available for feeding or to provide pumped milk if she is absent||Warming formula|
|Mother must pump if feeding is missed||Preparation time varies|
|Early breastfeeding may be uncomfortable||Baby may not tolerate formula well|
|Certain medications can interrupt breastfeeding||Always have to carry bottles, formula/mixing items with you|