Start em While They’re Young!! – Part 1

Some people (sometimes I would think most people in our society but I want to stay real and as positive as possible here) think that it’s irresponsible to have many children. I do understand the mindset behind this…”we are in an over population crisis! People are starving all over the world!…People use and wast so much energy in our country…There are landfills popping up everywhere..” and on and on it goes. I’m not saying these points are not valid, they certainly are! However I do not believe that the solution to these problems is making sure our communities have 1.5 children. I personally have seen landfills grow and even took a class in engineering school to learn how to design one to fill MORE garbage. I personally had a grandfather that said the meanest things about me wanting a large family. But here’s the thing, there is power in patiently educating without shoving points down people’s throats.

I do believe that we need to do better. Better in taking care of what has been given to us and being grateful for this earth that we live on. We need to show our kids that these are gifts given to us and to be good stewards of them. What will happen if I shove my believes into them without patiently teaching the HEART of the issue? They’ll flee from it all.

There are so many things that I am personally learning and I’m seeing how much grace I need in this as well. (Like when I’m just too lazy to rinse out the 12th yogurt container so that it can be recycled).

One thing I want to talk about today is instilling responsibility in my kids and teaching them that they need to take part in helping diligently and cheerfully. If I do everything for them, they will grow up believing that things should come to them on a silver platter. First they learn at home so that they can go out in society and apply it there.

Every morning my children are expected to do two chores laid out for them. We have a chore chart on the refrigerator that changes every season. I’m not saying that this is easy. Goodness there are many mornings that I want to run far far away from teaching this chore thing!

Along with these chores, my kids are learning about healthy living and how we keep our home safe from chemicals. They are able to do just about every task because we use Norwex and I don’t need to worry about toxic junk getting on their hands or being consumed.

 

Using Norwex in my home has effected my kids in ways that I don’t always realize. The other day I was trying to get some supplies together to do a craft with the kids. When I asked them if we had any paper towels, my 5 yr old responded by saying “what on earth is a paper towel??! It sounds like a towel made out of paper and that’s weird”. These simple things can have huge impacts for our world and communities. We can all take part in educating in some way!

How We Potty Train Around Here

We are already on round five with the potty training process! My husband came up with an idea to train our kids from kid #1 that has worked every.single.time. Every child is different mind you, but this lovely method has worked for all of them and it really isn’t that complicated.

We start by going to the chocolate store in Richmond, VA (called “for the love of chocolate”) and buying $30 worth of eye catching animal chocolates for the kid’s #2 reward and some Jelly Belly beans for the kid’s #1 reward. A little potty is set up in a good central location and the treats are dangled in a good place for all to see. 
When ready to begin, the kid is encouraged to sit on their little potty to become comfortable with it. Then they will run around for the next few days without a diaper, pants or underwear. This is important because it gives the child the realization as to what is happening when they need to pee or poop. Of course there will be some accidents! That’s why my Enviro Cloth is always handy! (it’s nice to have one Enviro Cloth designated just for the nastiest messes).

When they pee, a jelly bean is given. When they poop, they get to pick out a fancy animal chocolate from the hanging display. See?! Simple! Wish us luck as we embark on round #5 this weekend!

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The New Chenille Hand Towel

Norwex came out with this brilliant product in August and I can say with conviction that it has improved my husband and my sanity in our household ever since we began hanging it from our oven door. It’s important to have something to dry your hands on in the kitchen. It’s even more important to have something to dry your hands on that isn’t chocked full of bacteria. This towel has Norwex’s BacLock silver agent in the fibers, inhibiting bacterial growth within the towel and allowing us to hang it for weeks before throwing it in the laundry.

Ichenille-hand-towel used to use Norwex’s Kitchen Towel for this purpose. But if you have kids, you and I both know how often towels end up on the floor! ahhh!! Norwex has outsmarted kids everywhere with this design. The Chenille Hand Towel is designed to hang from a bar, towel rack, etc. without being pulled off!

Ditch all the hand towels that you have billowing out of that drawer in your kitchen (you know what I’m talking about) and simplify things by having one of these in your kitchen. It’s a must.

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Our Dinner Table – Cloth Napkins

attachment-1Kids get real messy at mealtime. Face, hands and sometimes more. If my kids don’t have something to use to wipe their hands throughout their meal, their shirt WILL become their cleaning tool. I don’t like buying paper towels and the throw-away-after-one-use type napkins. I would rather use the money for some tasty cheese or ice-cream and I’m not a fan of contributing to my local landfill for such things. Plus with messy kids they don’t work very well anyways. I tried the cloth napkin route and that worked for a season but it didn’t 100% suite my fancy. I became tired of laundering cloth napkins after a kid only used it once.

cloth-napkinsNow I have a system that I like. At meal times, each child receives a damp mini (travel size) Enviro Cloth. When mealtime is over, I simply rinse the cloths out, hang to dry, and allow the BacLock silver agent to clean the cloth between meals. I LOVE that I don’t
have to care/worry about who gets what cloth since I have peace of mind that there will be no cross contamination. If my Claire uses pink at breakfast, my Elliott can use the same pink at lunch.

I also like using the Travel Size Enviro Cloths in the car, while I’m out and about (shopping carts, kid’s hands, cell phone, etc.).

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What Cloth for What Job?

I often get the question from people “what cloth for what job??” at my parties. Especially when it comes to kitchen cleaning. Norwex offers an array of cloths/products for our homes but this is not to over complicate matters. Once we know what jobs we need to target in our homes we can choose the appropriate cloth. This lovely chart clearly breaks it down for you. My must haves that I use in my home very regularly to clean include the Enviro (think Everything!) cloth, window cloth, dusting mitt, kitchen cloths/towels, bathroom scrub mitt, and the dish cloth (not listed in the chart). 12563_What_Cloth_for_What_Job_US_CDN_Final_LR

With JUST water?!

I was convinced that I could clean with just water alone when I got the Enviro Cloth and Window Cloth (the Basic Package) in my hands. When cleaning surfaces all over my home, I quickly noticed how CLEAN they felt. How the cloths only picked up grime, germs and filth while leaving behind NO residue. I became aware of how my previous cleaners were leaving a film behind…even my green cleaners! and guess what, filth is attracted to film and will come back and stick to your surfaces sooner which means cleaning more often (NO THANKS!).

1a76928a0cb42fba7cb7e3d9088415a6I was convinced that it was possible to clean with just water when I was cleaning in half the time that I was before. Goodness, the Enviro picks up so fast and so much! I’m STILL blown away that I’m only using a cloth and water to clean. Nothing else.

But I wanted to know for sure that these Norwex cloths are picking up germs that my naked eye can’t see. I did the chicken juice test over and over and read up on how microfiber works. I blame the science in me.

What Norwex product convinced YOU it was possible to clean with water alone?

R R & R

I do believe it is my responsibility to teach my kids how to be good stewards of this earth. I cannot help but cringe when I see trash littered all over the place because I am reminded of how some people just don’t care about taking care of our planet for future generations to come. Who wouldn’t want their kids and grandkids to enjoy clean lakes to swim in, clean hiking paths, clean drinking water, healthy air, and more and more.

I grew up in a state that values taking care of the environment so there were strict penalties for littering and pollution causing which is all fine and dandy BUT I think it is MY job as a parent to instill these values into my children. How?

*Model the behavior you want your kids to have by showing your kids how to reduce, reuse, and recycle. We show them what is important to us with the choices that we make and the priorities that we have (car we purchase, house we buy, being creative with using things over for another purpose, etc.)

RRR*Talk with them! Talk about why we choose not to put everything in the trash and why we hang a Norwex grocery bag in the kitchen that continually overflows with recyclables. Talk about why we don’t take 20 minute showers. Talk about why we don’t leave our toys around for the dog to chew up (and possibly choke on). You get the picture.

* Involve your kids as much as possible. Plant a garden with them. Clean up dog poop in the yard with them to show the value of keeping things from getting nasty and how we all need to have some dad gum responsibility.

*Celebrate Earth Day or something like it. My kids LOVE any reason to party 🙂 and they remember all the parties that we have no matter the reason. Many times we think of the nasty things happening on the planet (oil spills, plastic in the ocean, extinction of the whales) which is good to be aware of to learn from. But I want my kids to celebrate the beauty of what God created for us to be stewards of.

* Practice being more sustainable. We recently bought 6 backyard chickens to eat the ticks & other bugs without needing to use a chemical to do so. We will use our chickens for some winter dinners and then buy more chicks in the spring.

Being a good stewart is a big and sometimes hard job but the rewards that we reap from what we sow are more than worth it.

lets talk about wet wipes

I have three children that still need help cleaning themselves when they poop. There is a three-year-old boy that calls “MOM! come here and wipe my butt!!” at least once a day and a two-year-old toddler that also calls from the toilet after doing his business and flushing the toilet 10 times while he waits for mom to show up. Oh, and my Ari girl is 4 months old…need a say more? Some days I think I deserve a medal for being an expert on poop.

With lots of poop to clean up there’s lots of wipes used under my roof. To be honest, I barely used disposable wet wipes in the past because they cost $ and I’m not a fan of spending $ on things to just use for a second and throw away! (this may sound nasty to some) but I have been using reusable wipes since my oldest was born mostly to save money. BUT when your 5th child comes, anything to make life a little easier is totally welcomed. My lovely neighbor friend gave me a HUGE  Costco box of disposable wipes and this is the beginning of my story.

With two boys needing to be wiped throughout the day, I thought it was a marvelous idea to put a big box of wipes on the top of my toilet. This is a great convenient place to grab a wipe when needed. I soon learned that the subconscious mind will throw nasty used wet wipes in the toilet once in awhile (and who wants to fish it out afterwards?? NOT ME!). So this is what happened. A wet wipe was flushed instead of trashed…one here and one there. But oh dear, one soon leads to more and more and more.

One Friday night (Friday is laundry day around here by the way. Probably 10 loads go through the washer) after starting the washing machine for the 10th time, human sewage began rising from all the drains. My house smelled like a wastewater treatment plant and nothing would go down the drains. Poor husband rushed to the Home Depot (we otta get some stock in that store!) and came back with a $500 tool to unclog the pipes.

After a couple of hours taking toilets off and sloshing this new fancy tool through the pipes, it was brought to my attention that these lovely wet wipes were to blame! Thanks to my personal experience and costly mistake, I was forced to do more research on these wipes because I imagine that I’m not the only one flushing them “here and there”!

WHY SHOULD WE DITCH THE WIPES AND SPEND OUR $$ ON SOMETHING THAT’s HEALTHIER?

Wet wipes contain chemicals that you don’t want to use on your baby’s (or anyone’s!) behind. They contain alcohol, perfume, chlorine, dioxin, potassium laureth phosphate, Polysorbate 20, Tetrasodium EDTA, DMDM Hydantoin, Methylparaben, Maleic Acid, Tocopheryl Acetate (Vitamin E) and a formaldehyde-based preservative that has been linked to allergies and cancer.

All wet wipes are NOT biodegradable and generate 7.6 billion pounds of garbage each year. People (including me) will flush them down the toilet, clogging pipes and doing A LOT of damage to wastwater treatment plants, oceans, and beaches.

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A mechanical rake at the Newtown Creek plant collecting solid waste, mostly wet wipes, for disposal. Credit Karsten Moran for The New York Times

SO WHAT’S THE SOLUTION?

Use reusable cloths! It really isn’t hard and they work a million times better anyway.

travel

I like using the Norwex Travel Pack while I’m out and about. I have a pack in my purse/bag and dry them out on the dashboard of my car. I love knowing that they are removing 99% of bacteria off surfaces with just water!

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The Baby Pack is wonderful for cleaning messes off my kids’ faces and hands. I’m not using a wipe soaked in chemicals every time they need to be cleaned (which is mostly on their little faces and hands!)

Here’s to not using expensive chemical filled wipes that clog our pipes (and turn our homes into wastewater treatment plants!), decorate our beaches and landfills, and ruin our sewer systems. And here’s to using a better, cheaper, and healthier option!

The New Stuff is HERE!

It’s always exciting to see the NEW products that Norwex launches in the fall. This company is always looking for more and better ways improve our quality of life and I’m a lucky gal to be apart of it all! Ladies and gents, here are the new 2015 products:

11994_New Product Flyer_US_Final_LRI will be doing a post about each product as I get my hands on them  and use them around my dirty house. Stay tuned until then!

When Messes are Dad Gum Fun

I love being fearless with my baking. I tend to try new things when people come over for dinner or when it’s someone’s birthday. My son’s second birthday is today and I thought I would utilize this occasion to make a lovely chocolate beet cake with cream cheese beet frosting. This is in NO way an attempt to get my kids to eat veggies (call me old fashion but I simply make them sit at their seat until their greens are in their tummy) by hiding them in a cake. This is a birthday people and on birthdays you don’t focus on healthy cakes. At least I don’t anyway. I want something to go in the memory bank and I thought this fun treat would do. The man of the home hasn’t been as thrilled as me for this cake (I have to admit, I have been talking about it ever since I saw beets at the farmers market) but I’m excited to surprise his taste buds.

Fun recipes mean fun messes. At least for me they do. Have you ever worked with beets? Or beets with kids?

beetmessWhen my 6-year-old saw this georgeous spill she nonchilantly says “yeah that’s fine. We have an Enviro Cloth…”. Yep we do. I personally don’t mind if my cleaning cloth becomes stained with beet juice.

FullSizeRender copyWhen the birthday kid found us making messes in the kitchen he didn’t want to miss out on the fun! I handed him a wisk and the dry ingredients were soon mixed AND spilled all over the floor. Nothing the mop can’t handle.

When the cakes were baking in the oven, the helpers dove into the left over batter in bowls and utelzels.

The end result:

FullSizeRender copy 2In case you are wondering how my fearless cake turned out, it was a hit. Even my husband loved it and even put a large piece on his nightstand so that he would have it waiting for him in the morning.

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I love that I don’t have to completely freak out when mess bombs go off in my home. Norwex really does help ease the mess tension and gives me the green light to hand off cleaning tasks to the little people of the home. No chemicals and a very effective cloth give those little busy hands something to do and a mom that can sit a little longer with coffee in hand.