A Big Muddy Beast

I have this dog that my husband considers mine. His name is Silas and he is the breed of my choice…a lovely, fluffy, and large Bernese Mountain dog. I’m glad that we got him. Even when I notice all the scratches in the new hardwood floors or the muddy water drops on the walls from his wagging tail. I love how he greets me every morning with a lick and how he expects a walk in the woods everyday (I need some accountability when it comes to exercise!).

It’s what I consider mud season here in Virginia. Growing up in Vermont, we actually had a separate 4th season dedicated for the mud. At the end of the day this Silas dog of mine is totally filthy!!

Last night my husband was on a business trip which doesn’t happen too often but I like having Silas inside sleeping close by to be my watch dog. When I went to bring him in for the night, he looked like a swamp dog that had been prancing around in the mud all day long. Washing him in the tub is crazy, he’s just too big. An easy and quick solution just had to be an option for this tired lady (that just finished putting the 5 kids to bed) so I tried taking a 5 gallon bucket of warm water and the pet wash mitt to see just how effective it would be. Three minutes later, he was clean and ready to slumber inside (although I had to admit that my socks and pajama pants were quite wet afterward!).

On warmer days this is how we tackle such jobs:

 

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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.

What a Mess!

Let me tell you how my Saturday went. We live in a fixer-upper house that we dream of selling someday for a profit. So when Saturdays come, my man and I have lovely tasks in mind to cross off the “to do” list. I wanted to strip all the nasty paint off the front porch and he wanted to tear a wall down and mow the lawn. Side note: Two days earlier, I went to the Home Depot with my 5 little ducklings in tow to buy play sand and a product that would help strip nasty porch paint. A nice man in the paint section, insisted that I try a product that would make all the paint come right off in minutes after the first application. AND it was affordable! So I applied the stuff that the Home Depot man suggested on my Saturday morning and soon realized how dangerously full of chemicals it was. If it came in contact with skin, burning would soon come. If it touched any plant it would also burn it to smithereens. I can’t believe I just took somebody’s word without really doing my own research!! As I worked, I couldn’t help but think of my kids that I come in contact with all day and exposing them to this junk. My poor man. He agreed to trade jobs with me. I mowed the lawn and he stripped the porch 🙁

Later that afternoon, I insisted that we all go on an outing to the Home Depot for porch paint. Man, I so wanted to get this project done! My oldest duckling put the puppy in his crate and off we went. We had a good time looking at our options then came right home to make dinner. My baby duck was super hungry and wanted to eat so I sat my a cozy chair to feed her and handed the dinner tasks over to husband. As soon as I sat down, my oldest duckling came running up the stairs, declaring that puppy had exploded in his crate and was COVERED in poop (my man had fed him some carrots earlier that afternoon. Enough said). Poor husband…he just gave our puppy a bath hours before…

To help ease some of the chaos, one child was told to clean potatoes in the bathroom for dinner and then help husband with puppy stuff. Meanwhile, I was trying to finish things in the kitchen while baby cried in her swing and toddler boy continually banged his kitchen stool into my heels. Some time went by and husband came up the stairs, declaring that we had a real problem. I came quickly to see the damages. (Remember how a child was cleaning potatoes in the bathroom?). The plugged sink was left on (the emergency drain is totally plugged with who knows what (remember how I told you this is a fixer upper house?)) and the bathroom was completely flooded and water was flowing into the hallway. The bathroom and hallway underneath in the basement was also flooded and walls and ceilings were nice and soggy.

And this is how our Saturday ended.

Norwex used for the day:

Bath towels to clean flooded bathroom (thank goodness they absorb 7 times their weight in water!!)

Body cloths to clean my skin from the pant stripping project and dirty kid feet at the end of the day

Enviro cloth to clean poopy puppy mess, kitchen cleanup, and probably a lot more!

Chemical free hand sanitizer while touching all sorts of germy things at the Home Depot

Travel Enviro Cloth to clean baby spit-ups