Thursday, April 28, 2011

Rain, rain and more rain

Here in the Midwest, we boast about our seasons. My husband and I run outdoors all year long. We run in the winter when it is 10 degrees below zero and a -25 wind chill. We bundle up so all that can be seen is our eyes, we put drywall screws in the soles of our running shoes and we brave the ice and snow and wind. We run in the summer when it is 100 degrees with buckets of moisture hanging in the air and the humidity is 90%. And of course we run in the spring and fall when it seems perfect, albeit a bit windy. In the spring, after the snow has melted those first few days of warm sun are heavenly and in the fall after a summer of heat radiating off the pavement, those first few cool breezes are so welcome. I guess what I am saying is we are lucky, I think, to have a true winter, spring, summer and fall complete with their own joys. With E Man here now, we have to time these runs a bit more strategically and of course he hasn't been and won't be out in the windchill and heat of the day. (Come on, now. I may like to be outside but I have a bit of mom common sense.) In the same token though, I want him to learn that just because the weather isn't perfect doesn't mean that you have to stay indoors. Luckily for us (usually) he is a babe that wants to be out and moving. He is a fuss-budget from about 5 pm until bedtime but if we can get him out in the stroller, or the backpack, or the Ergo, or just out walking holding his hands he is happy.
Recently, this has been more difficult as the rain has been coming down in very cold, very wet sheets. Finally, early this week, it turned into a drizzle! That was good enough for us. We broke out the hand-me-down hiking backpack from my uncle, put that little boy in, put his rain cover over his head and struck off down the street. I am sure that the neighbors thought we were crazy but we all needed out, even the doggies. Also, I spent a lot of money at the medical center on an education that taught me that wet heads and rain do not cause colds, germs do! And good thing, because E man kept leaning sideways out from under the cover to see what was going on which didn't keep him very dry.
We all got a bit wet but we had a nice walk and guess what?! Nobody melted!
Lesson: sometimes it's worth not waiting for the sun to create the perfect adventure

Wednesday, April 27, 2011


Another cool website!
As I was researching a little more about safe, healthy baby products, I happened to stumble onto GoodGuide.
This is a website that gives scientific ratings to all sorts of products and then compares them to similar items. The goal of this company is to make the marketplace more transparent and to encourage manufacturers to make safer, healthier, greener products. You can check them out on the Internet and another cool thing that I am looking forward to trying is using their mobile application and scanning the item right in the store. That's pretty sweet.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Why does it feel like the US is so far behind?

I've been doing a little research about the baby products we use around here. (Next will be the grown up stuff.) I have found some stuff that befuddles me.

Did you know that lots of name brand, every day products have some really bad stuff in them?! Like say, formaldehyde and other carcinogens. Scary. I know that it seems like every time we turn around there is a new warning out but to me, the stuff that I am putting on the baby with the brand new porous skin is pretty important. This is really not new information but it was new to me so I thought I would share.

As I understand it, the formaldehyde forms during the manufacturing process as other ingredients are broken down. The FDA has not banned dioxane from these products (although they do say that they are potential carcinogens) and has said that these trace amounts are not harmful. This may be true if that is the only product you use but what about as it adds up after using multiple products on a daily basis; lotion, soap, shampoo, etc?

In Europe, at a certain level, there are warning labels on these products but not in the US. Crazy.
Check out this website (old article I know) for a list.

So, are the levels of these toxins high enough to do damage? Nobody really knows. It's not like they are going to do research using infants and toddlers to find out and we will just have to wait and see. In the mean time, at our house, we use more natural products. They are readily available not all that much more expensive. It's worth it.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Poem in Your Pocket Day!

Celebrate national Poem In Your Pocket Day on Thursday, April 14, 2011 with us!

The idea is great: select a poem you love (or write your own) during National Poetry Month (April) then carry it with you to share with co-workers, family, and friends or keep it to yourself as your little secret. It's a fun way to talk to kids about reading and about all the different kinds of writing.

We have our poems all ready, thanks to Aunt Julie. I even printed out a few more in case we run into a friend who might want to join in the fun! Now, I just have to make sure that E man has pockets that day. :)

My aunt works in the Children's Department at The Bookworm, a local bookstore here in Omaha. They have fun events for kids, adults, and even pets! E loves to check out the bright colors of the books and watch the other kids play. I foresee spending more time there as he grows. Check out their website and facebook pages if you get a chance. You never know which author may be swinging by for a visit. Oh, and pop downstairs to the kiddos section and say "hi" to Julie. She loves to help visitors pick out the perfect book.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Calculate your water savings

We've been thinking about little ways to make changes for a greener planet and a smaller budget. (That's a win win, don't you think?) One thing my husband and I talked about yesterday was better shower heads. Check out this calculator to see how much water is being wasted during a day of showers at your house. The numbers in the boxes at the bottom are the annual savings of gas, water and money. Crazy, huh? I am not advocating any specific shower head or hardware, that was just the calculator I could find but I think that it is time that we switch ours out, at least upstairs where we both shower. I figure my husbands summer of plumbing should be put to use occasionally, right?