Thursday, August 26, 2010

Like a kid in an organic candy store!

Last week, we drove to Durham to Common Ground Green Building Supply to buy some truly non-toxic paint (see previous post on my disappointment about our "zero-VOC" paint).

I had a blast! Everything in the store is non-toxic, non-off gassing, natural and green. I could walk on cork floors (and they are every bit as awesome as I was hoping), see all the fun colors of the marmoleum flooring (alternative to linoleum floor tiles) and browse paint samples to my heart's delight. (They even had a few mistints, but I didn't succumb).

Not only did we buy paint, but we found some really great (pretty cost-effective) options for the continued kitchen renovation. I won't tell you all right now, but cork floors might really be in my future :-) See we love them already!


Wrapping Mattress (DIY)

Please see my previous posts on preventing SIDS

One aside before the DIY:
Don't be mislead!
My SIDS soapbox is not about "cheap" mattresses that off-gas. The
mattresses (even those with special covers and toppers) are treated with flame retardant chemicals. So even though someone says - "Oh I got a good mattress - no worries," it does not matter. The only safe options (unwrapped) are going to be natural latex (like from savvy rest) or an organic cotton mattress. Even if the mattress you buy says "Eco, Soy, Plant Derived or Bio" it is often still a polyurethane foam (mixed with some healthy stuff). Just watch closely for PVC vinyl wrapped mattresses. Bad and often not disclosed. ----------------------------------------
As promised, here are pictures and instructions for wrapping your mattresses. We just graduated Faith up to a "big girl" bed. Since we aren't in a position to purchase the natural latex mattresses for the girls, we made sure their beds are wrapped.

1. You can purchase the wraps already cut to size or purchase a roll of 6 mil clear plastic sheeting (not PVC or Polyurethane) and cut enough to completely cover the mattress with overlap.

2. You want to wrap the mattress like a gift so that all of the seams are on the bottom (whichever you determine is the bottom). Clear tape is the ideal. This is semi-clear packing tape I'm using.

3. Ironically, you now need to cut a few vent holes in the plastic on the underside of the mattress. We want to stop the off-gassing the mattress, but it still needs a minimum amount of ventilation. The jagged holes prove I'm not a perfectionist (LOL)! It's going to be on bottom anyway.

4. Now you make the bed! Make sure vent holes are down and all seams are thoroughly taped shut. I have a wool blanket and an all cotton mattress cover then the fitted sheet. It makes the bed a little softer. It also cuts down on the "crinkly" sound that is an unavoidable result of the wrapped mattress.

Happy Wrapping!


Friday, August 20, 2010

Hands Free baby

I'm so grateful that God has brought this pregnancy to the halfway point! Since we aren't planning to have another ultrasound (we had one at 7 weeks to verify viability of the pregnancy before we told family), we will be finding out the gender of this birth ;-)

Yesterday I had a lovely time in the afternoon with my mom & sister sorting out baby clothes I've gathered and packed over the years. We sorted clothes and picked out a couple of blankets and three outfits each.

Sorting though all these memories (I mean, clothes) reminded me of when I first became a "mamma" over 6 years ago.

Even though Gracie was my first, I was grateful for the baby sling and the option of multitasking motherhood LOL. Now as I contemplate what life will be like with three kids, I'm even more excited about having my sling.

My mom made this one from a pattern we bought online. Since then, I have added several others just for the love of pretty fabric :-) If you are mom (or planning to be) I highly suggest you get a sling. It takes a little time to get used to it, but so worth it!


Wednesday, August 11, 2010

I'm spending more money, I feel like junk and you say I'm getting better?

Ever been addicted to caffeine? It's delicious, isn't it? I was soooooo in love with Dr. Pepper that I had a t-shirt. I loved iced coffees from my favorite local spot - Coffee Underground. Ahhh, the days.

When we began walking down the path of natural living I expected to feel better, be less sick and lose weight. I did..... eventually.

One thing that is curious about natural stuff is: You feel worse, before you feel better. It's true, if you stop drinking sodas, you will get a headache. As you stop putting in the refined processes stuff and eating real food, you will probably feel yucky.

This weekend we took a mini-vacation and stayed a night at Great Wolf Lodge. We tried to make fairly good choices but after a weekend of visiting family, wedding food and a night at Great Wolf with random available restaurant food - I felt interestingly okay......til I got home.

Less than 24 hours after coming home to homemade cereal, fresh milk and organic veggies - I was a digestive wreck. My body was been "releasing toxins" all night.

So if you are on the first steps to less processed, real food -- be prepared. If you feel yucky for a bit - congratulations - it's working!


Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Oh for the want of a healthy home...

My sweet husband made a discovery this week. He just finished this AWESOME computer desk for me and the girls. I'll share a picture very soon (I'm re-working the whole den and I just drug a futon in front of it. So it is not picture-ready yet. :-)

So back to the discovery - I have been loving the ability to redo furniture with zero-VOC paint I can get at Lowes (Olympic). So Pete is researching a safe stain for the top of this table. The wood grain is so lovely, neither of us have the heart to paint over it. So in his research, he finds a site that is pretty critical of zero-VOC paints. [Here it is.]

Not to be swayed by one site (and a site that sells paint), we pressed on. Pete contacted Olympic directly and asked for their MSDS sheets (a government required detail of the ingredients of products). Indeed, the chemicals were present. He even spoke to a representative who was very nice, but stated, "We cannot guarantee that these chemicals are not present in the paint - it is a part of the processing the product." Honesty - that was cool.

Unfortunately that left me feeling a little "creatively inhibited." As you see in the photo, I have projects waiting for some colorful expression. I mean, I'm pregnant after all and this nesting thing is very, very real.

But again Pete brings me back. He reminded me of our choices. We spend less money on movies (aside: we went to see Toy Story 3 yesterday, but I had two free tickets. Before TS3, I think it has been maybe 2 years since we saw one?).

But life is about choices. Pete reminded me that we can choose to spend money on more expensive (truly non-toxic) paint so I can continue to nest and create. We'll just adjust other areas. I appreciate that ;-) So what kind of paint are we headed for? Don't know quite yet. We're still researching the best alternative.

Also - We'll be doing some mattress wrapping in the next week. I'm excited to share the pictures and how it all went. If you missed my last post, definitely read it and share it with your pregnant friends ;-)