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!

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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.

Sleeping with the Enemy

I hate to break this to you. This type of thing sometimes is better left unknown while you sleep in peace because knowing what I’m about the tell you will most definitely cause you to loose some shuteye. While you sleep in your cozy beds at night, you very well could be sharing your pillows and mattresses with millions and millions of these guys:

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dust-mites

Delightful eh? Dust mites make up 80% of the dust in your home and they live on dead skin cells, fungi & bacteria, and water vapor. We provide these ugly bugs all the nutrition they need to survive and multiply while we sleep. Dust mites also love to live in sofas, dog beds, stuffed animals, etc. but most live in your bedroom!

A single dust mite will produce 20 to 100 fecal pellets per day! Nasty! And this is what people are allergic to. The average person will toss and turn while they sleep 75 times in a single night. When we move in our sleep, dust mite feces expel into the air for us to breath.

I personally sleep a lot better at night when I’m NOT breathing in bug poop (or hearing my husband breath loud from his bug poop allergy). Thank you Norwex Mattress Cleaner!

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The Norwex Mattress Cleaner is an enzyme designed to remove organic material (dead dust mites, dust mite feces, dead skin cells) from mattress, pillows, bedding, and fabric furniture. It also neutralizes nasty odors in your bed (anyone have urine smells or stains in your bed?).

How to Use:

  • Use once every three months (I personally use it on the first day of each season so I remember to keep up on them bugs.
  • Spray directly on mattress, pillow, stuffed toy, etc.
  • 10 sprays for a twin, 15 sprays for a queen, 2 sprays for a pillow.
  • NO DOT use on non-absorbent crib mattress or covers.

How Does this stuff work? The Mattress Cleaner uses enzymes to feed on the dead dust mites, fecal material, pet dander, dead skin cells, and yeast & fungi. The enzymes feed off of these materials until the end result is carbon dioxide and water. When the enzymes are finished eliminating the organic material, they disintegrate! (NO dust mite bones left behind 😉

Please reach out if you have any questions! I have been amazed at the testimonials that I have heard from using this product. People with asthma especially have benefited from the Mattress Cleaner and I’m so excited that there is a simple solution to their breathing problems.

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.

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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!

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.

A New Appreciation!

In the past month we have added two new members to the family. Yes two.

First came Silas:

Silas

And then came Ariane:

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Our daily life is more lively then ever with these little ones which I really really wouldn’t change for the world. I have to admit, with a puppy and a baby in our home, a new found appreciation for Norwex has risen. I have used my Enviro Cloth more then I can remember with puppy accidents and oh man…this lovely product sure comes in handy when we wake up to a nasty NASTY dog crate:

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With summer almost here, my four walking kids plus the puppy are always going in and out to play…making my lovely hardwood floor quite drab. The Superior mop is amazing. The dry head picks up the pet hair and any dry crumb laying around and then the wet head makes my floors look like new again in seconds. I probably mostly love that it’s SO fast and easy (which is key in my life!).

I have used my Travel pack throughout the day for spit up spots on my clothes and the UPP laundry detergent non-stop. The fact that Norwex makes my life simple and cost effective is great but I’m so glad that I’m not exposing my new little girl to chemicals. I’m super excited to spread the word even more because everyone needs to at least know that there is another way!

Does it work??

I wanted to test the effectiveness of the Norwex cloth right in my very own kitchen. Norwex claims that their cloths remove all contaminants from a surface with just water but the science in me wanted to conduct my own experiment and compare Norwex with other popular cleaners. First I smeared raw chicken all over the counter and then cleaned the surface with each cleaner. I used a ProClean testing swab (a protein testing strip used by the food industry to test for surface cleanliness)  to see if the surface was truly clean. The color on the swab indicates how contaminated my counter still was after using the specified cleaner (Here is a graph showing how the test swabs indicate whether or not there is protein left on the surface)

weber-scientific-chartAs you can see, GREEN is clean and contaminant free and any shade of grey or purple means there is still protein on the surface. Here are my findings:

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There was only ONE completely green swab…the Norwex cloth and WATER! Norwex truly leaves a clean and residue free surface without the nasty smelly chemicals. Why waste $$ on that other stuff when it doesn’t even work effectively??

New to Norwex? These are my favorites for people just getting started and while using them (and eliminating tons of useless cleaners), you can be assured that they are truly cleaning your home effectively!

The Household Pack

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The Bathroom Scrub Mitt

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The Perfect Pair

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Let’s introduce the famous Enviro Cloth and Window Cloth, the perfect pair and the cloths that got me hooked on Norwex. There are four reasons that make the Norwex microfiber unique and able to pick up all contaminants off a surface with just water.

1. Each microfiber in the cloth is guaranteed to be 1/200th the size of a human hair! (compared to 1/6th the size of a human hair in your store/over the counter microfiber). These tiny fibers have the ability to pick up an amazing amount of grime and particles from VERY small to larger.

2. These cloths are PACKED full of fiber. The Enviro has 1,700 miles of fiber packed into it! So if you were to unravel all the strains from the cloth, it would stretch above the border of Canada to the border of Mexico! Why does the thread count matter in a cloth? Well like bedsheets, the greater thread count increases the quality of the cloth and gives it a greater ability to hold onto more junk.

3. Norwex has embedded the little microfibers with micro silver (trademarked BacLock). This micro silver antibacterial agent goes to work to self-purify and inhibit bacterial odors, mold and mildew growth within the cloth. No need to throw it in the washer after every other use!!

4. Norwex has a 2 year warranted on all their microfiber! Now that replaces a lot of paper towels, sprays, and time!

I like to call the Envrio cloth the “everything” cloth because it’s amazing for almost every surface. Hard ones, sofas, you name it. I was blown away at how much it picked up with just water!

In the kitchen I like to use my Enviro on my greasy stove top, sink (not for dishes), counter, and tabletop. It picks up a huge amount of soap scum in my tub and I have my little ones use it everyday on bathroom sinks/counters to pick up toothpaste blobs and other interesting contaminants from small people. My husband loves using my Enviro when my daughter spills on the rug or sofa. Trust me, he was blown away with how great it picked up chocolate milk stains in our couch. The list goes on and on with all the jobs this cloth can handle.

If the “everything” cloth is paired with the Window cloth? Your cleaning capabilities around the house greatly increase. If you want a surface to be streak free, simply dry the surface with a Window cloth after wiping it down with your Enviro. I love to spray windows with butter to make them extra nasty and then show people how amazing these two cloths clean (with just water!).

It is very easy to care for your cloths but important if you want them to last years and years. Between uses, simply rinse your cloth under warm water while rubbing it together. Then use the tag to hang it up to dry. As the cloth dries, the BacLock silver agent goes to work purifying your cloth. When the cloth has been used for a few days (on everything possible!), throw it in the washing machine and remember these three simple washing rules:

* Do not use bleach
* Do not use fabric softener
* Do not wash with linty things
 
Then throw in the dryer! That’s it!
 
Happy cleaning!!