What I'm Reading (a Short List of Green Favorites)

OK, here's the truth. Since I had my third baby, I often go months without opening Google Reader. I love a great green tip as much as the next gal, but I just don't have the time to keep up with all the awesome green blogs out there. I do try to keep up on the news, particularly news related to environmental and health issues. Here are the websites and blogs I still manage to regularly peruse for information and inspiration.

Environmental Working Group
Home of the Cosmetic Safety Database, the Shopper's Guide to Pesticide in Produce, and the Guide to Healthy Cleaning, EWG is one of my favorite resources for reducing my family's exposure to toxic chemicals. I also heartily admire and support their work to reform our national Farm Bill. EWG's blog about environmental connections to public health, Enviroblog, is at the top of my Google Reader.

Healthy Child Healthy World
Another great resource for avoiding toxic chemicals. Their blog helps keep me up on the latest research and legislation with toxins. They frequently feature posts by experts, and have many great posts for parents beyond the topic of toxic chemicals, such as a post about toddler development with respected pediatrician Dr. Greene (including how to handle toddler meltdowns), or ideas for family nature adventures. I get their weekly e-newsletter to make sure I don't miss anything.

My Plastic-free Life
I am always trying to further reduce my use of plastic, and particularly disposable plastic, and Beth's blog (and book) are my best resource for doing so.

Green Phone Booth
I post about once a month now at Green Phone Booth, but read almost every post published. I love this collaborative and the sense of community fostered there, and the diverse perspectives offered by this awesome group of eco-heroes.

Additional Suggestions
There are many more blogs I wish I had time to read. If you are looking for additional green bloggy reading, may I suggest the contributors to the recently launched Green Sisterhood. I also recommend checking out the many blogs that are part of the Green Moms Carnival, such as Groovy Green Livin or The Smart Mama. You can check out additional organizations I frequently use for research on green topics and safer products here.

I also do my best to stop by the blogs of readers who comment whenever I have the chance. Thank you for your questions and encouragement!

What are your favorite green websites? 

Natural Nursing Pillow as Sitting Aid for Baby

My 7mo baby using the Blessed Nest nursing pillow as a sitting aid. I still use it for nursing too.

I never liked nursing with the Boppy pillow I received as a baby gift. But I did find it useful as a sitting aid for my first and second babies once they were around five months. My babies are pretty late on the physical developmental milestones. My current baby at nearly 10 months still isn't sitting independently. Plus I have wood floors and falling over hurts. So, for me, some kind of sitting aid comes in very handy and is used for many months. But I don't own a Boppy anymore. It didn't make the cut during the last move.

So I was pleased to discover that my Blessed Nest nursing pillow actually works quite well as a sitting aid. It works well because it's so flexible and adjustable. I can move the sides all the way around so they fit snugly around the sides of the baby, and distribute the hulls either evenly or variably with more in the backs or on the sides.

I thought some of you might like to know.

(You can read my full review of the Blessed Nest nursing pillow and other natural nursing pillows in this post.)

One Small Step: Bar Soap in One Bathroom

About a year ago I switched to a shampoo bar. My husband too. It has great natural ingredients, is handmade by an Etsy shop, and requires minimal packaging. My soap (from Dress Green) came wrapped in tissue paper in a cardboard box.

So I was thinking about how lame it is that we still use liquid hand soap at our house. Which means that, along with the actual soap, I'm paying for a whole lot of water and a non-reusable plastic bottle. So why haven't I switched to bar soap (which is arguably a smaller step than switching to a shampoo bar)?

My kids. I mean, shoot, I finally just trained them to wash their hands. And I've trained them to do it using liquid soap, and I'm loathe to disrupt the conditions under which they will actually wash their hands without copious amounts of bribery or nagging.

But I had an idea. I switched from liquid soap to bar soap in just one location: the master bathroom. My bathroom. And since I wash my hands more often than anyone else (with diaper changes and bottom wiping and all manner of other dirty tasks), the bar soap gets plenty of use. And I am noticing how very, very long the bar soap lasts in comparison to the liquid soap. Of course all the frugalistas out there know that bar soap is much, much cheaper than liquid soap. With all that extra dough I can to afford to spring for the deluxo natural organic essential oils shea butter moisturizing handmade eco-friendly packaging bar of soap. Personally, I like Whole Foods french milled organic lemon verbena bar.

So now every once in a while I get my kids to wash their hands in my bathroom. They need a little more coaching on how to use the bar soap, but they can do it. My kids sometimes use WAY too much liquid soap (they love to create a sink full of bubbles), so that's another reason to make the switch to bar soap with them. I'll be honest, though. I'm not really running in that direction. I think I'll just keep helping them wash their hands with the bar soap in my bathroom every now and then until it's no big deal.

What about germs? Don't worry. People have already worried about that, and it's not an issue. Nonetheless, I can already tell you the last place I'll be switching to bar soap is the kitchen.

What about you? Are you using bar soap? Could you change from liquid soap to bar soap in one location in your home?

Photo credit: soapylovedeb

This post is part of
Frugal Friday

The Poop Report: Diapering and Pottying at 9 Months

I love letting my 9-month-old wear a Kissaluvs fitted diaper
(without cover) around the house.

My 9-month old pees and poops on the potty every morning. Maybe twice a month she only pees without pooping. And here's the really crazy thing. Two days in the last month she has woken up completely dry. That's 10+ hours in the same diaper, folks. Dry. And that's how I know that babies can hold it.

Don't Throw Out the Baby OR the Bathwater

About a month ago, my husband brought the bathtub outside on a hot day to help the sweaty baby cool off. We don't have a wading pool. Since she hadn't been bathed in a while (frequent occurrence), he decided he might as well suds her up while she was enjoying cooling off and splashing around. When the baby was ready to get out, the 3yo (who often resists baths) decided she wanted in on the action as well, and so she also got a very much needed bath that afternoon. What a success! We have since given all baths outside.

Here is why outside baths are such a brilliant idea:


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