Sunday, August 31, 2008

WARNING - may cause rash and biting!

Ok, so it's probably not the sunscreen to blame for Mr. Mischief biting his brother's finger three times this week...but I played Sherlock Holmes and it is definitely to blame for the horrible rash he got on his trunk, legs and face.

I used Banana Boat sunblock on him when we went to the HollyGlen pool and was horrified to see he broke out in a rash within two hours.

A week later, I put it on his face in a moment of desperation before dropping him off at childcare. I returned to a red-faced little guy - albeit not miserable or itchy at all, just too pathetic looking for his momma.

Finger pointed. Accusations sent - here's a picture of the monstrous concoction that did it.

Interestingly, I had looked it up on Cosmetics Database and felt "ok" with its score of a 3... which is the only reason I allowed myself to keep the tube until it was empty.

but looking do I know if I have the "2006 formulation" which then scores a 7?

Shouldn't products be labelled if they're going to stalk you like a haunting high school friend on Facebook? Something like - "Class of 06 will make you break out in hives" ????

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Boys birthday parties - great for


From The Daily Green -

The Food and Drug Administration has wrapped up testing of vitamins for women and babies, and found that almost all contain trace amounts of lead.

Lead is of particular concern to pregnant women, fetuses and young children — particularly those under the age of six. Lead, a naturally occurring metal, is know to cause permanent brain damage, limiting IQ, causing behavioral and learning problems and affecting other aspects of development. Some studies have linked exposure to violent spates across the country, and the government has worked to limit exposure by banning or limiting the lead content in paints, gasoline and, most recently, lead in many toys and children's products.

The FDA vitamin research covered 324 multivitamin-mineral products available over the Internet. The FDA failed to detect lead in only four.

However, the FDA does not consider any of these vitamins unsafe, based on lead content.
Remembering that the FDA has not labeled any of these products as unsafe, here is a summary of the 10 vitamins tested by the FDA that would result in the greatest and least exposure to lead, by age group. (complete list.)

Greatest Exposure, Ages 0-6
Nature's Plus Animal Parade Shake (Powder)
Superior Multi Age (Powder)
Nutraceutical Pedia Power (Tablet/Capsule)
Physio Kids Multilogics Chewable (Tablet/Capsule)
Ola Loa Kids (Powder)
Nature's Plus Animal Parade (Tablet/Capsule)
Vita-Big-Kids (Tablet/Capsule)
Wonder Laboratories Formula Nineteen (Tablet/Capsule)
Clinicians Choice Chewable Daily Multivitamins (Tablet/Capsule)
Dynamic Health Multi for Children (Liquid)

Least Exposure, Ages 0-6
Twinlab Infant Care (Liquid) *
Natrol Liquid Kids Companion (Liquid)*
NF Formulas Liquid Pediatric (Liquid)*
Windmill Bite-A-Mins (Tablet/Capsule)
Kids Liquid Dolphin Pals (Liquid)
My First Flintstones (Tablet/Capsule)
Natural Wealth Children's Chewable Multivitamins Plus Extra C (Tablet/Capsule)
Uno Diario Ninos (Tablet/Capsule)
Flintstones Plus Immunity Support (Tablet/Capsule)
Natural Wealth Children's Chewable Multivitamins (Tablet/Capsule)
* denotes vitamins that contained no lead, in FDA testing.

Greatest Exposure, Ages 7+
Kal Enhanced Energy Teen Complete (Tablet/Capsule)
Clinical Nutrients for Female Teens (Tablet/Capsule)
Clinical Nutrients For Male Teens (Tablet/Capsule)
Doctor's Choice For Male Teens (Tablet/Capsule)
Maxi Teen Supreme (Tablet/Capsule)
Rainbow Light Active Health TEEN (Tablet/Capsule)
Nature's Plus Source of Life Power Teen (Tablet/Capsule)
FoodScience Teen's Superior (Tablet/Capsule)
Esteem Total Teen (Tablet/Capsule)
Vitanica Women's Symetry (Tablet/Capsule)

Least Exposure, Ages 7+
Lil Critters Drop Zone for Teens (Candy-like)
Nutrition Now Zow for Teens (Candy-like)
Michael's For Pre-Teen Boys (Tablet/Capsule)
Michael's For Teen Boys (Tablet/Capsule)
Puritan's Pride Mega Vita Min For Teens (Tablet/Capsule)
Michael's Pre-Teen Girls (Tablet/Capsule)
Michael's Teen Girls (Tablet/Capsule)
Good 'N Natural Ultra Teen (Tablet/Capsule)
Futurebiotics Derma Teen (Tablet/Capsule)
GNC Mega Teen (Tablet/Capsule)

Greatest Exposure, Pregnant and Lactating Women
After Baby Boost 1 (Tablet/Capsule)
A to Z Naturals Wow! PreNatal (Tablet/Capsule)
Vitamin Source Prenatal Complete (Tablet/Capsule)
Prenatal Superior (Tablet/Capsule)
Rainbow Light Complete Prenatal System (Tablet/Capsule)
Buried Treasure Prenatal Plus DHA Complete (Liquid)
DaVinci Laboratories Ultimate Prenatal (Tablet/Capsule)
Life Time Professional Pre-Natal Formula (Tablet/Capsule)
Daily Foods Baby & Me (Tablet/Capsule)
Carol Bond Women's Choice Prenatal (Tablet/Capsule)

Least Exposure, Pregnant and Lactating Women
After Baby Boost 2 (Tablet/Capsule) *
Nature's Sunshine Nature's Prenatal (Tablet/Capsule)
Nature's Plus Prenatal Liquid (Liquid)
Natrol PreNatal Care (ablet/Capsule)
Pregnancy Plus (Tablet/Capsule)
Pure Encapsulations PreNatal Nutrients (Tablet/Capsule)
Maxi Health One Prenatal (Tablet/Capsule)
Nature's Bounty Prenatal (Tablet/Capsule)
Stuart Prenatal (Tablet/Capsule)
Natural Wealth Prenatal (Tablet/Capsule)
* denotes vitamins that contained no lead, in FDA testing.

Greatest Exposure, Adult Women
NutriBiotic Ultimate Matrix (Tablet/Capsule)
Super Nutrition Women's Blend (Tablet/Capsule)
Esteem Total Woman (Tablet/Capsule)
Garden of Life Living Multi Optimal (Tablet/Capsule)
GenSpec VF-1 for African American Females (Tablet/Capsule)
For Women Only (Tablet/Capsule)
Garden of Life Living Multi (Tablet/Capsule)
DaVinci Laboratories Spectra Woman (Tablet/Capsule)
Women's Superior (Tablet/Capsule)
GenSpec VF-3 para Mujeres Hispanas (Tablet/Capsule)

Least Exposure, Adult Women
FemOne (Tablet/Capsule)
Viactiv Multivitamin Milk Chocolate (Candy-like)
Family Value Multivitamin/Multimineral for Woman (Tablet/Capsule) Women's Basic Multi (Tablet/Capsule)
Kirkman EveryDay (Tablet/Capsule)
Vitabase Woman's Multi (Liquid)
Food Force Women's Force (Tablet/Capsule)
21st Century One Daily Women's (Tablet/Capsule)
Viactiv Flavor Glides (Tablet/Capsule)
NewChapter Organics Every Woman's One Daily (Tablet/Capsule)

Great birthday gift for 3 year olds!

What little slugger wouldn't want this?

Cute, inexpensive gifts for friends

You know me and how I like to find something of great value to the gift recipient and myself...then I buy it in BULK.

Here's one that you can take advantage of too =)

Cute keychains from Pottery Barn Kids. Stock up on both genders. 50/50 chance you can use one of them with each new birth =)

Wednesday, August 27, 2008


How to help your daughter avoid the walk of shame...

Logo a No-Go: Make your house as unmedia and unlogo-focused as possible.

Get Unplugged: Avoid electronic toys linked to marketing. No televisions or computers in kids’ bedrooms.

Be Realistic: It’s not practical to protect kids from all forms of media all the time, so moderate their media interaction. Limit screen time — this teaches kids to self-regulate. Remember, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends no screen time for kids under the age of 2.

Just Deal: If you and your child see a movie trailer that’s far more sexually charged than the PG film you’re about to see, talk about it. Ask her why she liked the trailer. Tell her that just because there’s, say, a pretty girl in the movie, doesn’t mean it’s age-appropriate.

Stay Connected: Communicate with your kids. You want them to feel it’s helpful to talk to you, especially as they get older. So, if your darling Madison sees a nail polish commercial and mentions that her BFF is allowed to paint her tootsies, have a give-and-take conversation about it. Include, “It’s fun to put on nail polish, but we don’t do it in our house yet.”

Play the Field: Encourage open-ended play — dolls, blocks, art supplies, dress-up, storytelling — because it promotes imagination, socialization and problem solving. Keep in mind that online communities such as Club Penguin and Webkinz can be isolating and are about virtual lives instead of real world experience.

Gender Bender: Expose kids to a broad range of activities and try to avoid stereotypes. Teach kids that boys and girls can be friends, not just boyfriend and girlfriend.

Diane E. Levin, Ph.D., and Jean Kilbourne, Ed.D. (of award-winning Killing Us Softly) are the authors of So Sexy So Soon: The New Sexualized Childhood And What Parents Can Do To Protect Their Kids.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Kan I have some more? Kan I?

BabyDaddy gave in to one of my latest Green Whims. Probably because it involved REI...

We are now the proud owners of two 27 oz. Klean Kanteens.

I've been hemming and hawwing about which BPA-free, good for the environment reusable drink container to get for Mr. Mischief and myself. (BabyDaddy would need one million dollars to stop using his precious Nalgene bottle.) I figured Mr. M could start using it in place of his BPA-free Nuby sippy cup. I was getting tired of tossing the spouts because he was cutting them with his teeth. They're still my favorite sippy, but be prepared to buy more spouts on ebay when you can.

So, half-heartedly debating the SIGG and this one. Recently a friend reminded me that Sigg is made of aluminum and that made the decision easy.

I figured it would be good to use the brain that I have now to avoid a metal? alloy? whatever that some studies claim will make it harder for me to use it later.

Amazon reviews say the bottles get dinged easily and that sometimes the liquid can taste like metal.

I'll let you know in a week. Do you think if I spike my water with tequila it will take out that taste? Worth a try. After all, school is starting again.
I've got a bunch of other websites to order the bottles from. Just give me a month to go through my Favorites menu and put them on here. No, really. Maybe a week.

Don't touch that! You can play with this...this...piece of paper.

I went on one night when not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse.

I clicked on "Search by Brand" or something like that and went through all the names of manufacturers I knew were in the house.

Funny how many of the toys other people across the country are checking are also in my cabinet. Good marketing...

Anyways, the chlorine/PVC is what scared me the most. I got rid of anything Oriental Trading Co. or questionable as to origin. Any toy whose color came off in Mr. Mischief's mouth was scraped as well as random crap I just didn't want.

The few, the brave, the "I can't part with that" included the "Who Loves Baby?" photo book that I've given to everyone I know (sorry) and the Fascination Stations by Sassy. The photo book has a clear vinyl slip for each photo and the Fascination Station has vinyl INSIDE one of the circles. I love the photo books and so do the boys. I just won't let them eat it anymore.

Problem solved?

We'll see when they hit puberty.

I also went through ALL of the toys, pulled any that I could call the manufacturer about and kept any that were cited as safe on other websites such as

Check out this article from BabyCenter as well.

Tips for toy safety Reviewed by the BabyCenter Medical Advisory Board Last updated: September 2007

Highlights General guidelines Specific hazards to watch out for
Toys are the treasures of childhood, as long as they're chosen with care. But are toys really hazardous?Consider the year 2004: In that year, an estimated 210,300 toy-related injuries were treated in U.S. hospital emergency rooms. Seventy-seven percent (161,100) of the injuries involved kids under 15 years old, and 35 percent (72,800) involved kids under 5. Also in 2004, 16 toy-related deaths of kids under age 15 were reported to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC).
General guidelines • Suit the toy to your child's development. Most toys bear a "recommended age" sticker, which should be taken as a starting point in the selection process. Be realistic about your child's abilities and level of maturity when choosing an age-appropriate toy. Toys that have projectiles, for example, are never suitable for a child under age 4 — and even some 6-year-olds aren't mature enough to handle them. Likewise, if your 3-year old still puts everything into his mouth, continue to steer clear of toys and games with small parts and pieces.• Think big. Until your child turns 3, toy parts should be bigger than his mouth to avoid the possibility of choking. To determine whether a toy poses a choking risk, try fitting it through a toilet paper roll. If a toy or part of a toy can fit inside the cylinder, it's not safe.• Avoid heavy, tippy toys. Could your child be harmed if it fell on him? If so, pass.• Look for toys that are well put together. Make sure tails are securely sewn, seams of stuffed animals are reinforced, and paint is not peeling. Stuffed animals should also be free of buttons, yarn, ribbons, and anything else your child could yank off and put in his mouth.• Make sure your child's physically ready for the toy. For example, parents may buy a bike one size too big so as not to have to buy a new bike the next year. This tactic can lead to serious injury if a child doesn't have the physical skills to control the bigger bike.• Check the condition. Used toys passed down from older relatives or siblings or bought at yard sales can be worn or frayed. Examine all new or used toys for possible dangers.
Specific hazards to watch out for • Toys that use small magnets. In 2007, the CPSC named magnets the #1 hidden home hazard. Small, powerful magnets are often used in toys, and may fall out of the toy and be swallowed by a child. Two or more swallowed magnets (or a magnet and a metal object) can be attracted to each other through intestinal walls, causing twisting and pinching of the intestines, holes, blockages, infection, and worse if not discovered and treated promptly. As of August 2007, one death and 86 injuries from magnets had been reported to the CPSC, and 8 million magnetic toys had been recalled. The agency recommends keeping toys with magnets away from kids under 6 years old.• Toys with a string or cord longer than 12 inches. A cord can too easily be wrapped around a young child's neck, causing strangulation. Be particularly vigilant about older toys. For example, an older model of a popular play kitchen may have a phone attached with a potentially deadly cord, while the latest model of the same kitchen has the more current and safer cordless phone.• Balloons. Uninflated balloons and pieces of broken balloons pose a choking hazard. Keep them out of reach of kids younger than 6.Older kids' toys. Whether you have older kids at home, older kids are visiting and they bring their toys, or you're at someone else's house, make sure all the playthings your child can get his hands on are age-appropriate.

Cleaning House. What's your method?

Method. People against Dirty.

Count me in.

I've been using their fragrance free laundry detergent for two years since Mr. Mischief was born. I love that there's not residual smell for vomiting-smell associations...and I can wash a full load with half a cup in my HE machine.

We've also been happy with the shower spray, all-purpose cleaner, floor cleaner and both the hand and dish soap.

Just started using their baby wash and shampoo. A little nervous as up until now they made cleaning products for the house and not the skin....Mr. Mischief did get a suspicious rash. I haven't ruled this out as the culprit yet, but Mr. Happy seems to be doing fine with it.

The eco-friendly packaging is a plus too.

Their marketing campaign is a huge hit with sarcastic, think-I'm-funny me as well.


Wednesday, August 20, 2008

All because two people fell in love

So here it is.
My self-claimed opportunity to express my thoughts/finds/feelings about what's it really like being a mother of two boys (so far) in Los Angeles today while attempting to live a cleaner/greener/safer life.
Agree with me or not, I just thought I'd share the things that I seem to have the time to come across...

Am I prepared for this adventure?

On an empty stomach?


Gotta go - Mr. Mischief just hit me.