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Mommy Truths: May 2008

Mommy Truths

The Hard Learned Lessons and Eye Opening Realities of Raising Young Kids

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Bye Bye Plastic - BPA banned

Okay, well this is a nightmare come true. In 2004, I fed my infant Son from Avent baby bottles (weren't they supposed to be the best?) and formula after nine months of breastfeeding. Now, we learn that Avent bottles, as well as formula cans, contain a harmful ingredient, BPA, found in many clear plastics (such as the Nalgene bottles Husband and I have used during hiking). I heard my first warnings a couple years ago (and moved to different bottles for Daughter) but now "a draft report by the National Toxicology Program has found "some concern" that the chemical could cause behavioral changes in infants and children and early onset of puberty in females." Furthermore, Canada has just banned selling certain products, such as baby bottles, containing BPA. Toys R Us and Walmart will ban BPA baby bottles on their shelves.

To be safe, avoid plastic bottles and products with the 7 symbol on the bottom. Fortunately, Nalgene has quickly decided to cease using BPA in its products. Read more on BPA.

It's hard to stay up on what's safe so I've added a Green Parenting blog link to my Recommended blogs list to help us stay informed.

If you're looking for additional green parenting tips, visit Baby Center: Going Green: 20 Small Steps that Make a Big Difference.

On a broader environmental note, I'm in Barcelona, Spain this week and amazed at the green design I see everywhere. It's just so startling how Europeans have been thinking this way for awhile and designing many functions with environmental awareness in mind. A short list:

  • Upon entering my hotel room, I insert my key card to turn on the lights. When I leave the room with my key, they all go off. How simple is that?

  • The elevators at the convention center have motion detectors and only run when you step on them. Why can't American malls, etc. duplicate this?

  • Recyclable trash cans are placed on street corners and in public meeting spaces

  • Many citizens drive motorcycles and have easy parking

  • Public transportation (metro and trams) are clean and easy to use

I haven't been to Europe since Son was born so I'm finding that my heightened sensitivity to green living makes me see it everywhere and realize where we're still so behind in the States.

Will it take $6 per gallon gas for Moms to carpool more and avoid unnecessary trips in their SUVs and minivans? Can we start organizing local toyswaps to trade plastic instead of contributing to the production of more? Is it that difficult to compost food?

For the sake of our childrens' futures, let's get on it!


Saturday, May 10, 2008

Classic Tunes for Tots

In an article in the New York Times this week, a producer for Inside Edition said the campaign trail has become the “greatest reality show on television.” Amen. Until it got so negative and I decided I’d had enough. That’s when I turned to American Idol for some lighter fare. And while my toddlers can correctly name a front page picture, “That’s Barack Obama!” (is it a form of brainwashing if Son puts a bumper sticker on his toy car?) they like it even better when I break into Beatles’ songs over breakfast.

It was a bright Spring morning several weeks ago when I launched into “Here Comes the Sun” after Brooke White sung it on American Idol the night before. (Her bright yellow dress was fun but there’s a reason she’s been voted off.) Despite her average performance, the song stuck in my head and reminded me how great Beatles songs are for kids. In the next few weeks on the show, Mariah Carey didn’t offer much inspiration for the little ones (though David Cook rocked!) but Neil Diamond opened up a whole new world of cheesy classics. Who can’t belt out “Sweet Caroline” to her four year old?

Well, a couple of “Cracklin’ Rosies” later and I was traveling all the way downhill to “I Think I Love You” by The Partridge Family. While Husband was a bit aghast at my fierce attempt at Keith Partridge (with a little bit of sister Laurie on keyboards thrown in), Daughter and Son were enthralled. It’s fun to watch Mommy get down to a song. Why, I wondered, should our children only learn Bruce Springsteen songs from Dad?

So, to parallel the rockin’ playlist Dad created for the kids, I’ve made my own mix of Mommy tunes. We can’t put the Beatles on our playlists since they aren’t on iTunes or Rhapsody (our subscription service). But the songs are catchy and fun to sing along to, with harmless lyrics. Come on Moms, rock on!

Mommy's Classic Tunes for Tots

on iTunes

on Rhapsody

Dad's Classic Tunes for Tots

on iTunes

on Rhapsody

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