Monday, August 17, 2009

Trouble in Crafty Land

I have been feeling a wee bit crafty as of late. I have been thinking of making some wool longies for Harris for when the weather turns, because I would really like to put him back in cloth overnight. I went to the thrift store and purchased a 100% wool sweater, with the intention of "felting" it. I have never intentionally felted anything before (actually, I think that the actual term for it is "Fulled"...???...) but I read a few simple tutorials, and thought I would give it a try. After washing the sweater in hot water in the washer, there was no change. Then I decided to try the "boil it" method, where you literally boil the sweater with mild agitation. Still nothing! I boiled the thing for 30 minutes! The sweater looks as un-felted as it did when I bought it at the thrift! So, what the heck am I doing wrong? I looked at the tags carefully, thinking that maybe I had purchased a "superwash wool" which has been chemically treated to not felt, but I found nothing that mentioned that. The tag even says not to machine wash, and to dry clean only. Any crafters out there have any suggestions for me??



By the way, here is a belly shot! This is the first belly shot that I have taken of this pregnancy, and I am pretty happy with it! This is me at 25 weeks! Only 15 weeks to go! Wahoo!!


And, of course, I couldn't leave out a cute pic I snapped of the Boy, the dog, and the Mommy!

Monday, August 10, 2009

BPA- How I loathe thee!!!

So, in my last post, about lead, I also mentioned the article I discovered about how many BPA free products, did, in fact, contain unhealthy levels of BPA. At that time, they did not have the info as to which companies were wrongly advertising their products as BPA Free, but NOW THEY DO! Here is the link! I am so upset, I just want to cry! We picked our sippy cups based on the fact that they were BPA Free. Well SHIT. All this time, we have aparently been POISONING our son with this hormone altering CRAP. It just goes to show you, even when you think that you are doing the right thing, PLASTIC IS STILL THE DEVIL!

Waaaaaaa!

Ban plastic! Embrace glass!

Thursday, August 6, 2009

got lead?

A few weeks ago, we took Harris for his well-child checkup at the pediatrician. Along with the typical exam, questions, and (unfortunate) vaccines, the pediatrician was doing lead level tests on every child that came through his doors in light of all the recalls that have been happening because of lead-based paint in children's toys. We are big proponents of quality wood toys with non-toxic paint and varnish. We have tried to keep nasty plastic toys out of Harris' hands from the get-go, but in this day and age, it is practically impossible to do that with everyone giving plastic toys as gifts and favors etc. I am not saying that all plastic toys are the devil, but I don't feel that any plastic is safe, especially in light of all the BPA nonsense that has been pulsing through the media. In fact, I just read a disturbing article about supposedly BPA free products being tested and found to actually contain BPA! Anyways, we were pretty confident that Harris was ok since we have tried to watch what we offer to him. Well wouldn't you know it, Harris tested higher-than-safe for lead! The Pediatrician told us that his number was not high enough to warrant a medical intervention, but he highly recommended that we evaluate our house and all of his toys in an attempt to eradicate the source of lead that he was getting.

Bewildered and surprised, we quarentined all of Harris' plastic toys, along with any wood toys that we were unsure of. Then, we went online and ordered some lead test kits in an attempt to find the culprits. A few days ago, our tests arrived, and Mindi tested the toys today. Much to our surprise, it was not the cheapo, made in China painted and chipping 99 cent dolphin squirt gun, or the dime-a-dozen chipping painted dinosaur. What tested positive was a Matchbox brand bath toy rescue boat, and a VTech telephone. I highly recommend that if you or anyone you know has either one of these toys, you GET RID OF IT. Lead paint is VERY DANGEROUS!




TOP 5 THINGS YOU NEED TO KNOW:
1. Lead is the number one environmental poison of young children in the US.
2. Exposure to dangerous levels of lead can leave a child with lifelong learning disabilities as well as behavioral problems and physical problems.
3. Usually, there are no outward symptoms when a child is poisoned.
4. The most common source of exposure to lead is through deteriorating lead-based paint and varnish in a child's own home, especially the tiny particles of dust created as the paint deteriorates.
5. For a child who has been poisoned, there is no cure for the developmental and physical problems that the poison may have caused – special education and intervention to minimize the impact of the damage is the only effective treatment.
LEAD POISONING IS 100% PREVENTABLE.

Do you know of any toys that contain lead? Please share!

Monday, August 3, 2009

Can't Help But Share

This last Thursday, Mindi, Harris and I all went to a U-Pick Blueberry farm for the first time. We had a fantastic time picking the blueberries! Despite our best efforts to try and get Harris to try some, he was more interested in spitting them out whole and watching them drop to the ground. He did, however, do a great job following directions when we told him to pick a berry and put it in the bucket! We tried not to go overboard when picking the berries, because we did not want them to go to waste. We ended up coming home with almost exactly 1 pound of blueberries.

The next morning, Harris helped me make blueberry pancakes for the first time! He was a great little helper mixing the batter, and really enjoyed putting the blueberries in the mix. He ended up chowing on almost half of the pancakes that we made, despite not wanting to try them at all at the field. He is turning out to be like his Ima (me) in that he only likes cooked blueberries...

After some snacking on the blueberries by Mommy (Mindi), I decided that unless I did something else with the berries, like muffins or something, we would lose them all. I decided to make homemade blueberry syrup! It turned out WONDERFULLY! I had never made a fruit syrup before, and it was so super easy! I used the remaining 2 cups of blueberries, 1 cup of sugar, 1 tsp of vanilla extract, and 1/4 cup of water. I tossed it all into a saucepan and let it cook for about 15 minutes while stirring. By the end of the cooking session, the blueberries were a beautiful, liquidy mush that I proceeded to mucho mushify with the side of my spoon in order to get all the good stuff out of the skin. Now, one could decide to serve the syrup warm and skin-filled, but I opted to strain the syrup and bottle it for later.




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