Guest Post: How Can Pregnant Women Avoid Dangerous Everyday Chemicals?

Doctor Reveals Household Hazards
Expecting Moms Need to Avoid

Pregnant women are trying to be healthier.  Many take all the right steps to promote the birth of a healthy baby, including eating right, taking vitamins and eliminating alcohol and nicotine from their lives.

Unfortunately, all those efforts may be for naught if they are still being exposed to unseen chemicals in their daily lives. Dr. Doris Rapp, an experienced physician and expert on all the hidden household and environmental hazards, wants women to know about the many insidious and dangerous threats to their unborn babies. The harmful exposures can cause serious harm and damaging birth defects to babies in the womb, and they are right under our noses.

“One of the most dangerous groups of chemicals to pregnant women is known as PCBs,” said Rapp, author of 32 Tips That Could Save Your Life(www.dorisrappmd.com). “PCB stands for polychlorinated biphenyls, and they are commonly used in industrial pesticides. While they may not be in your house, they may exist in your office, your water or your food, especially if you live near the Great Lakes or consume seafood caught there. These chemicals pass through the placenta into the unborn, and some exposures have been known to cause devastating birth defects.  These chemicals have also been found in the breast milk of women.”

According to Rapp, some of the dangers of these pesticides include, but are not limited to:

  • Lower birth weight

  • Smaller head size and developmental delays

  • Movement, mental, and behavioral problems

  • Increased or decreased activity levels

  • Slowed thought processing and “less bright” appearance

  • Lower reaction times

  • Compromised nervous systems

“Moreover, a group of pesticides known as organophosphates also poses a high risk for pregnant women,” Rapp added.

“These include Bisphenol-A and phthalates,” she said. “They are derived from World War II nerve agents and are highly toxic. Even at low levels, organophosphates can be toxic to the developing brain, and studies show that they can affect brain and reproductive development in unborn animals. While most pesticides categorized as organophosphates have been banned for household use, they are still permitted for commercial use, including in fumigation for mosquitoes.  Malathion, a common toxic organophosphate, is still allowed for use as an industrial and household insecticide.  In the US, approximately 15 million pounds of Malathion are used each year by the government, as well as by businesses and homeowners.”

Her advice for women is to do all they can to avoid contact with these chemicals, starting before conception.

“Stay as far away as possible from pesticide-treated areas,” Rapp said. “Do not eat pesticide-laden food or any fish from the Great Lakes. Try to eat only organic foods. Further, if your job requires you to be in contact with any chemicals or pesticides, insist that other tasks be given to you for the duration of your pregnancy. Half the battle is knowing these dangers exist, but the other half is being informed and conscientious enough to be able to avoid contact with these dangerous and toxic agents.”

About Doris Rapp, M.D.

Dr. Rapp is board certified in pediatrics, pediatric allergy and environmental medicine. She was a Clinical Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at the State University of New York at Buffalo until she moved in January 1996 to Phoenix. She practiced traditional allergy for 18 years and then, in 1975, began incorporating the principles of environmental medicine into her pediatric allergy practice. She is a certified specialist in environmental medicine. She has published numerous medical articles, authored chapters in medical texts and written many informative and “how-to” books and booklets about allergy for the public. She has also produced numerous educational videos and audiotapes for the public, educators and physicians.

Myachi Battle Paddles Review and Kickstarter Project!

Do you or your kids like to play hacky sack?  My boys do, although I am terrible at it! It must be a guy thing. Myachi has developed a product that is similiar to hacky sack, but is much easier to play! So easy in fact, my two year old can do it!

The Myachi Battle Paddle
Pricing: $20 (2 Paddles and 1 Myachi handsack)

Over the many years of teaching Myachi to the world, the company has learned a few things:

#1. Little kids have little hands

#2. A larger surface area makes it easier to catch a Myachi

With this knowledge in mind, the company decided to create the ultimate Myachi addition: the Myachi Battle Paddle!! Combining the design of a lacrosse stick head and the functionality of a baseball glove, the Battle Paddles are worn on the back of your hands and allow players to catch a Myachi thrown from far distances as well as successfully perform difficult tricks. Now, players can compete harder, faster, and longer!

Myachi has always helped keep kids active, and now with the new Battle Paddles, Myachi Maniax everywhere will find even more and exciting ways to keep active, stay healthy and most importantly have fun.

Available in 4 awesome color combinations and fitting virtually every player 5 years old and up, the unique ambidextrous design allows for the Paddle to be worn on both hands. Now you can land more difficult tricks or compete with your friends playing any of the numerous Myachi Battle Paddle games, such as Myachi Football, Myachi Lacrosse, Myachi Pong, Myachi Golf, and many others.

 

 

To “kickstart” the Battle Paddle launch, Myachi is running a special offer and campaign on www.Kickstarter.com, a really cool social network site designed to help companies fund development and launch new products.

To get in on the ground floor and be one of the first to get the all new Battle Paddles, here’s what you should do:

1. Click this link: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/760241060/myachi-battle-paddle-project?ref=live

2. Watch our Battle Paddle video, and see the rewards on the right side of the page listing what you will receive for pledging your support. This special introductory offer is only available for the next 30 days and ends on November 2nd, so check it out now before it’s too late!

3. Contribute at least $10 and continue to be a part of Myachi History with your very own “I supported the Myachi Battle Paddle Project” Limited Edition Myachi, as well as the coolest, most amazing new product to hit the market since the Myachi itself: the Myachi Battle Paddles!

ToysCamp.com Review and Giveaway!!

Toyscamp.com is a rapidly growing online discount retailer of specialty Toys for Extraordinary Kids – featuring the most comprehensive collection of high-quality, nonviolent, safe, and incredibly fun Toys for kids.

A full scale toy store dedicated to satisfying the unique desires of any child and simplifying the lives of adults who appreciate convenience, friendly service and competitive prices at their finger tips.

Whether you’re looking for specialty toys to foster learning and development, games for children or the entire family, personalized baby gifts, or toys that encourage outdoor activities such as kites, wave riders, balls and “kid-sized” gardening tools, Toyscamp has them all. Toys that encourage young minds to explore and discover. Items that delight and fascinate, amaze and enchant. It’s the most exciting assortment you’ll find, anywhere!

But Toyscamp.com is more than just an online store-it’s a fun-filled experience every time you visit!. No matter where a child’s interests lie, there’s sure to be a Toyscamp.com will have toys according to Kid’s specific interest!

ToysCamp.com has a fabulous selection of toys for infants to teens. There are so many specialty toys, educational toy and traditional toys, you will be pleasantly delighted! Here is one of my favorites!

Djeco Cubanimo Cubes For Infants

Free-form set includes boxes, ramps, roofs and characters. Open-ended play. Very colorful with great graphics all around pieces. Color retail packaging shows the all the pieces in the set and different ways of using it. Coated heavy cardboard, very durable, very brightly printed. Adorable animals and characters are made of soft PVC and are washable. Recommended Ages: 18 months & Up. Includes 17 fun pieces!

I also love that ToysCamp.com has so many award winning toys and well known name brands you already love at a discount!

Please check out ToysCamp.com for your holiday shopping! You can find them online, on Facebook and on Twitter!

You can purchase your own set of Djeco Cubanimo Cubes for Infants for $27.99!

Or…..You can win a set here!

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Rocket Bottoms Cloth Diapers R+G

NEW MAMA BASH! Almost everything a new mama needs to breastfeed, cloth diaper and baby wear a new baby! I am hosting this giveaway with Katie over at Misadventures Of A Family Of 8! You can enter from either blog, but you can only enter once.

Along with the one size pocket diaper I received to write this review, I won two Rocket Bottoms fitteds diapers recently, and I love them all! They are so super soft, and absorbent. Purple is Putter’s favorite color, so she was super excited to get the sparkly purple butterfly fitted.

Purple Butterfly Fitted

When Krista had a problem with the fall color fitted, she generously tossed a free cover in to compensate for the fact that the diaper was not perfect. Although I can’t even find where she said she messed up, I love the diaper cover she sent!

Cranberry Fall Fitted

I did have a slight problem with the new waffle fabric that Krista used on her inserts, but as soon as I told her I had a problem she set out to make me new ones. The problem was not her fault at all, it was faulty material. Krista’s customer service is A+!

Fold over top to fit smaller babies

The very soft, absobent insert....

Those of you that read my blog or FB page regularly know that I really dislike velcro diapers. I have problem after problem with velcro diapers. So I was not too happy when Robyn at What Mama Wants, asked me to review her velcro Rocket Bottom OS Pocket Diaper. But I am glad that I said yes. This diaper quickly became a favorite in our house. Not just because of the bright fun colors, but that it is super easy to use! The large openings make it easy to stuff, and the velcro is super sticky yet doesn’t get a bunch of lint in it when washed. I love that! It’s also one of Putter’s favorite diapers now and she will always pick it first if I give her a choice of which diaper to wear… who wouldn’t?! Take a look…

We call it the "Gabidellic" diaper around here!

Side shot! No gaps

Rear shot!!

Rear Shot!!

This diaper has been used for daytime, night time, around town errands, busy days when I forgot to change her on time.. and there has never been a leak, or a red mark! I really LOVE this diaper!

Want a Rocket Bottoms Cloth Diaper for yourself? Head on over to the online Hyena Cart store, or Facebook and check them out! You can even buy patterns to make them yourself if you know how to sew!

Or Enter to win a Diaper (Rocket Bottoms chooses diaper, you choose boy, girl or neutral) or Diaper Pattern Winner’s Choice!

Be Blessed…

~Katie

Misadventures Of A Family Of 8

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Winnie The Pooh DVD Combo Pack Giveaway and App!

Return to the Hundred Acre Wood, for the latest adventure featuring the world’s beloved bear, Winnie The Pooh!  Join Pooh, Tigger, Rabbit, Christopher Robin, Owl, Kanga, Piglet, Eeyore, and all of the classic characters you know and love when Walt Disney Pictures releases Winnie The Pooh on DVD and Blu-Ray October 25, 2011!

The Winnie The Pooh widget has an awesome assortment of games and activities so you and your family can have your own adventure!  Download coloring sheets, exclusive “Pooh” cooking recipes, party ideas, crafts, games and more!

I’m giving away a DVD/BluRay Combo Pack of the brand new Winnie The Pooh movie! It’s super easy to enter and this giveaway is short! All you have to do is go to my Facebook page, click on the Winnie the Pooh tab on the left and take the personality quiz! Then comment on the Giveaway post on the wall which Winnie The Pooh character you resemble most! Easy peasy!

For an extra daily entry, share this giveaway by clicking the share button on the bottom of the Giveaway post or tweeting or blogging about the giveaway. Then leave another comment with where you shared on the Giveaway Post!

 

Guest Post: Think Safety First During ‘Spooktacular’ Halloween Family Festivities

hayride

Halloween is the second largest commercial holiday in the United States. There is fun and frightening activities to partake in this fall season, but keep in mind the following safety tips so festivities remain a treat for all.

Have a Safe Scare at a Haunted House

Haunted houses may be required to abide by fire and safety codes and may be subject to inspections before the general public is allowed to attend. Some may also be required to have a sprinkler system, early warning smoke or heat detectors, emergency lights, easy access doors, and other safety features. But regulations may not be the same in all areas and you are responsible for your own safety. To stay safe while visiting a haunted house:

·        Take a flashlight with you. Even though the safety lighting might be fine for others, it may not be great for you.

·        If you are going with small children, attach a glow stick to their clothing so they can be easily found in the dark.

·        If there are stairs in the haunted house, be sure to use handrails and walk, do not run, up or down the stairs.

·        If visiting a haunted house in a group, have a meeting place in case you get split up.

·        Know where the exits are before entering the haunted house. Some attractions will provide you a map of the house so you are aware of where you are going when inside.

·        Keep an adult in the front and rear of your group going through the haunted house to help monitor young children so they do not stray.

 Just a small portion of the Corn Maze

Don’t Get Lost in the Corn Maze

Corn mazes are large fields of corn stalks, anywhere from a small field to more than 20 acres in size. They can be great fun if they are completed safely.

·        Equip your group with flashlights and cell phones and try to stick together.

·        Some mazes provide young children and groups with colored flags to wave in the air if they get lost. There are also mazes that have call boxes that will turn on a light to alert an attendant that you are lost or need assistance.

·        Teach young children to not go outside of the maze’s path. There may be a busy road or another unknown property beyond the corn stalks.

·        Wear appropriate clothing and shoes as you will be outside. If the path is not wide, corn stalks may scratch your arms. Remember that rain can create muddy, slippery surfaces. Fallen corn stalks may also be a tripping hazard, so watch your step.

·        Avoid smoking while in the maze as dry corn-stalk could easily catch fire.

 Hayride

Hold on During the Hayride

Hayrides, whether haunted or not, can be a very enjoyable experience for any age. Sitting atop a truck, wagon or sleigh decorated with hay or straw is a great family tradition. Be sure to follow all signage at the hayride along with these tips:

·        Be cautious when loading and unloading from the hayride. Make sure the hayride is at a complete stop before getting onboard or off. If there are steps, they could be slippery because of the hay or straw.

·        Be careful when finding a place to sit. Your foot could easily slip between bales if you walk on them.

·        Make sure everyone in your group is sitting at all times during the hayride and all arms and legs are kept inside the wagon.

·        Hold on to small children and railings as bumps in the path could easily bounce you and them off of your seat.

·        If the hayride is horse-drawn, be careful around the horse and do not approach it if the hayride operator states not to. If it is a tractor pulling the wagon, do not touch it as there are many handles and buttons that could accidentally be pushed. The tractor could also be hot from running for a long period.

·        Do not walk in the hayride path. Stay in a safe, well-lit area when you are not riding.

Always remember to wear proper attire and footwear and plan for weather restrictions

.Enjoy fall festivities by planning in advance and being safety-conscious.

 

 

About the author: Paul van Gorkom is the Vice President of Operations at AlliedBarton Security Services. AlliedBarton is the industry’s premier provider of highly trained security personnel to many industries including higher education, commercial real estate, healthcare, residential communities, chemical/petrochemical, government, manufacturing and distribution, financial institutions, and shopping centers. 

True Love

My "big" girls showing LOVE!

The thing about true, absolute love is that it is dramatically different for each and every person. It’s an action and an emotion.

Dictionary.com defines love as a noun and a verb:

–noun
a profoundly tender, passionate affection for another person.
a feeling of warm personal attachment or deep affection, as for a parent, child, or friend.
sexual passion or desire.
a person toward whom love is felt; beloved person;sweetheart.
(used in direct address as a term of endearment, affection,or the like): Would you like to see a movie, love?
–verb 
to have love or affection for: All her pupils love her.
to have a profoundly tender, passionate affection for(another person).
to have a strong liking for; take great pleasure in: to love music.
to need or require; benefit greatly from: Plants love sunlight.
to embrace and kiss (someone), as a lover.
To me, it is a much more personal thing. Love is the feeling I get when I look at him and see the best parts of myself. It’s my heart racing, skipping a beat and not breathing for a second whenever he is in the room. It’s the smile on my face and in my heart when I see his name on my caller ID. It’s love letters and texts, sweet words and terms of endearment. It’s being a priority. It’s feeling beautiful, special, worth something, smart and funny. Love is respect.
Love is also the everyday hum drum. It’s waking up every morning to his face and a kiss goodnight before I fall asleep. It’s arms around me as I drift off to dream. Love is in the laundry I do, the dishes I clean, the meals I prepare. It’s counting the minutes until I see him again. Love is clean sheets, and gas in the car. Love is laughter and giggles, it’s tears and hugs and kisses. Love is a hand to hold as we sip lemonade on the porch swing. It’s memories made, and growing old together.
Do you think I can find someone who treats me with respect I deserve, who thinks I am worth treating kindly? Someone who can accept me for who I am, with all of my faults and love me in spite of or because of them? Is there someone out there that will love me and never stop? Someone who won’t take me for granted. A man who can be a man, and still meet my emotional needs? Most importantly, a man who will accept my children and love them? I don’t need a daddy for them, they have one. I need a companion, a partner, a friend, a lover. Does he exist?
I feel like maybe I am a curse on love. I’ve done it unsuccessfully so many times it might not be worth looking for it again. It might not be wise to open my heart to another only to get it crushed again. Maybe I am meant to be alone, as much as I hate to be. As much as I long to be the other half of someone. I tell myself I will never get married again, and maybe I won’t. But all of my dreams of growing old with my love, and having grandchildren, and traveling the world with someone holding my hand would be wasted. Marriage is so pivotal to me. How could I commit my life to another someday and not get married? Those vows are sacred and important to me. They make me feel safe.
Now? Now I am on my own. Five beautiful, loud, rambunctious children, a cat, some fish and me in this big house. Daycare by day, silence by night. Sounds full right? I’m alone. Lonely. Sometimes, so bored out of mind. Longing to share my chaotic life on a daily basis with someone. No rushing in, not with my eyes closed this time. Longing for someone real. Someone true. Wish he was here right now. Too bad he’s not.
What is love to you? What are your little things? I want to hear the stuff that makes your heart flutter and skip a beat, I bet we share something in common.
And P.S.
Sorry I rambled on and on. I rarely have adult conversation anymore and I can’t remember how to function in the adult realm anymore.

Guest Post: Top 5 Halloween Safety Tips!

Real Moms and experts share safety tips as part of the Care.com Interview Series

On Halloween night, little goblins, ghouls, pumpkins, and ghosts take to the streets in their adorable costumes, and it’s our job as parents to keep them safe, and help them have a good time! “Halloween is one the greatest nights of the year for kids–to keep it great, we must keep it safe,” says officer James Kenneally of the Boston Police Department. With that in mind, we asked our favorite mom bloggers and our friends on Facebook to weigh in with their advice and safety tips to make Halloween night safe and enjoyable for all.

1. Stick to the familiar. Ilana Wiles, who chronicles her NYC family adventures in Mommy Shorts, gave us the city perspective: “Since we are in Manhattan, people mainly go to the doors in their own building or the buildings of their friends. It’s very contained and I’m guessing way safer than in the suburbs.” Officer Kenneally agrees: “If you can, stay in your neighborhood to trick-or-treat. It’s likely you’ll know the people handing out candy. There’s also less likelihood of kids getting lost.”

2. Stay visible. It’s always a smart idea to take a flashlight and hang glowing lights around your child’s neck, but Elizabeth Demers of the blog Bumpsmitten takes it one step further, pulling her children in a wagon with reflectors. “That way, drivers can see us, and tired kiddies can get a ride to the next house,” she says.

3. Look for the welcome signs. Hard to believe, but some folks just don’t have the Halloween spirit. Officer Kenneally advises, “Trick-or-treat at well-lit homes. Some people may not be in the spirit to trick-or-treat, but well-lit homes decorated with carved pumpkins are a good place to approach.”

4. Practice wearing costumes before the big day. Our Facebook fan Tara Lindsay knows a lot about this one. She noted, “Toddlers in long pretty hoop-skirted princess costumes and the front stairs on every neighbors house are not, in fact, a wise combination. Trust me.” Another Facebook fan, Becky Lyons Borgia, agrees, adding: “Have your child wear their costume a few times before Halloween to make sure it not only fits them well, but to get comfortable navigating in it. Have them practice climbing stairs in it, too. Make sure children wearing masks can see well out of the eyeholes — if they can’t, make the holes bigger before the big day.”

5. When in doubt, throw it out! Mother of five, Angie Lee of Seven Clown Circus is diligent about checking her kids’ loot, even if they only trick-or-treat in their neighborhood. “The kids never get to go alone, and I always inspect the candy when we get home,” she says. “Any candy that is open must be thrown away,” adds Jen Mitchell, the blogger behind Buried With Children. Many police stations offer inspection services and can even run candy under a metal detector. It’s worth a phone call to see if your town police offer this courtesy to families on Halloween night.

From quick and easy costume ideas to safety tips every parent should know, Care.com has everything you need for a spooktacular Halloween this year!

Introducing Secret Pocket Pillows! Perfect for EVERY child!

 

Just in time for the holiday’s, a fun and functional new product! Secret Pocket Pillows are so much more than just fun, colorful pillows! They have a secret pocket for all of your child’s treasures! You can stuff a lot into the pocket too! Take a look at the video!

 

 

 

Secret Pocket Pillows come in 4 cute designs, Cody Car, Rocco Rocket, Bella Butterfly and Florence Flower. They are so soft, and will match almost any room decor.

Bella Butterfly

Cody Car

Florence Flower

Rocco Rocket

 If you order your Secret Pocket Pillow online, you’ll receive a secret toy surprise! Each Secret Pocket Pillow is just $19.99, plus shipping and handling. You’ll receive 15% off each additional pillow you order at the same time,  this is a Christmas deal for families with more than one child!

Purchase Secret Pocket Pillows online here, and Fan them on Facebook too! You can also join the Secret Pocket Pillow’s Kids Club and get the official theme song CD featuring Mark Bryan of Hootie and the Blowfish! Which one is your favorite?

Tips on Why Role Play is Important for Kids Year-Round

As you know Halloween generates excitement in children unrivalled by virtually any other holiday. With that being said, I would like to introduce Melissa Bernstein who has designed thousands of toys over the past 24 years for Melissa & Doug. The company she co-founded, with a single-minded focus on “real play”—creative, boundless, non-judgmental exploration—to help children discover untold worlds of imagination and growth.

Melissa’s objective is to create a dialogue that will shift the focus of today’s technology-driven society, balancing it with time-honored childhood values of creative play, artistic expression and interaction with others. Her dedication to listening to parents has positioned the company as a trusted partner by millions of families, and the playthings she creates are designed with those families—and her own six children—in mind.

Although Halloween is OFFICIALLY the one day of the year when children and adults everywhere are given license to dress up, at Melissa & Doug we feel it shouldn’t be. At Melissa & Doug, we believe that role play is a crucial, YEAR-ROUND activity and shouldn’t be put removed and placed into a closet on November 1st .


1.     Allow your child to take part in choosing exactly how they will be dressed for the occasion, it gives them power and investment in the holiday.

2.     Role play is a critical form of pretend play, and a crucial aspect of early childhood development.  It is one of the best ways to help a child to develop an understanding of the world.  When children are given the opportunity to CHOOSE a costume or character they wish to portray, they are given the ability to explore the areas they are most interested in.

3.     Dressing up helps children (and adults!) to get rid of their fears and inhibitions, and be free to “act out” something they may not be comfortable expressing on a daily basis.  Children develop social awareness, self confidence and are more open to exploring themselves and expressing pent-up thoughts or ideas.

4.     Role play offers an excuse to let go of one’s inhibitions and be free.  Such free, unstructured play offers tremendous benefits developmentally and a HIGH level of creativity!  This will build strong imaginations and fertile, innovative minds.

5.     The best costumes are ones in which children are truly transported to another place and begin to believe or act as if the character they’re portraying actually would.

6.     Testing the personas of different characters is a great way to teach children about different roles and their various behaviors.  A pirate can talk with an accent, a police officer can speak with authority, and a chef can come up with tantalizing recipes that are created and served to an enthusiastic audience.  Role playing involves improvisation and having the awareness of how different characters act, and portraying the appropriate emotions and characteristics that depict them!

7.     Grandparents can easily incorporate dress up and pretend play into play time with grandkids.  They can create a special dress-up/pretend play closet or chest, and allow grandchildren to explore it whenever they visit.