September 24, 2010

Go Reusable

Everything nowadays is individually wrapped. Think of all that packaging in the dumps...! When you shop, think about buying bulk and passing on the individually wrapped items. Or buy bagged items instead of plastic. Or, ask yourself "What can I reuse around my house?"

You can keep them in your car trunk. Paul bought me 8 for Christmas. This is something simple that will save waste and unneeded plastic. This doesn't mean that you shouldn't ever take a plastic bag home with you...afterall, if you have some they're great to use around the house (like bathroom trash liners).

I bought a cute one on that you can wash when you wash your laundry (obviously I do cloth diapers, so you may not need this suggestion).

It doesn't hurt to give a quick rinse to your sandwich bags and such. I do throw out the ones we use to hold the cheese blocks though...because there's more chance for mold growth. But chips, sandwiches, etc., it makes sense. I'd try to stay away from one-use containers...they're a waste and fill up landfills like crazy.

Why? Why not use a lunch pail or the newer titanium or steel pails. I have a plastic sandwhich container I use for my sandwiches (of course it's plastic).

There's so much stuff you can buy that come in cool containers you can use again. We reuse containers of nuts for holding rice, flour, snacks, candy, etc. and just label what they are and when we put it in there. We also fill up old little spice containers with some of the seasonings from large bulk containers.

I always save my gift wrapping and ribbons. It's helped a ton when I just need something to tie onto a goody plate so it looks better. Tissue paper is really helpful for that too.

I have used an old dress, shirt, table cloth and wash rags to make some fun little pillows and baby toys and also a wall hanging. Sometimes you can get great creations from a cool material or pattern you have laying around the house. Plus, it's definitely cheaper.

September 21, 2010

Natural Fruit Fly Trap

Fruit Fly Trap
1 quart jar
1 piece of paper, rolled up into a funnel
apple cider vinegar
small slice of banana

Fill a quart jar with a 1/2 inch of apple cider vinegar and a small piece of banana. Roll up your paper into a funnel shape (larger at the top) and tape it in place. Place the funnel into your jar and make sure all the edges are secured shut with tape. You may have to adjust the size of your funnel to make sure it fits nicely into your jar. Place the jar where the fruit flies are flying around and let it go to work. You will be amazed at how well this trap works. The fruit flies will smell the fruit and climb inside, but for some odd reason they don’t fly back up the funnel to get out. When you have caught a good supply, place the entire jar in the freezer. After a short time that flies with die and you can remove the jar from the freezer and use it again without even removing the old contents. Use repeatedly until your fruit flies are eliminated.

As you can see in my picture, this easy trap is amazingly effective!


September 2, 2010

Baby Yoga!

So I checked out a Baby Yoga DVD from the library. It was pretty cute, and amazingly simple. At first I thought it was a crock, because the moves were so simple and almost cheesy, though cute too.
Then I checked out a book Infant Massage, by Vimala McClure and saw similarities. So I'm a fan...but the book really did a better job at explaning why you do the moves--the video didn't go into that good instruction.
Since then, I've started a morning and evening baby massage routine for Ethan that's focused on his belly, for his gas issues.
The book said to not do full massages until he's use to just the gas-focused moves.

Overall, I realized that infant massage can really provide a way for Mom (or Dad or sibling even) to connect with baby, and get the baby use to a routine so he/she can relax. It probably takes a week for the baby to get used to it. Ethan still doesn't love it all, and I can only do moves he lets me. But everytime I do the bicycle move he gets a big grin and relaxes now. I think it's helped him cope. It's all about doing what feels comfortable to the baby though, not forcing any of the moves.

I love doing his routine with him in the morning, once his nighttime sleep is over. I turn on some Dido music and I reapeat little phrases with each move, so he gets use to the sound as wel las the movement. I don't think the book emphasized words, but I think it's helped our sessions. I enjoy doing the routine and then doing superman at then end. IF I didn't think about massage, I probably wouldn't take as much time to regularly play with him in little fun ways like this.

The great thing about doing it to music, for me, is that I do it to the rhythm. Maybe he'll grow up to have good rhytm, eh? I'm not sure if ideal or not, but we enjoy it that way. I think I need to schedule in some regular dancing time too. :)


So I checked out a DVD at the library about reflexology: the study of how your hands and feet are mapped to the workings of your whole body. It's really interesting. Basically your body can get off-balance or sick and by applying pressure to certain areas of your hands or feet you can both tell where the ailment lies, as well as help to correct the imbalance (granted it takes time and knowledge and probably can't correct all ailments). But it really is cool. It reminds me of acupuncutre (not that I know much about that), and it has been practiced by Indians, Asian and Eqgyptians since long, long ago (how do you like that for my knowledge).

Paul and I tried it after I watched the DVD (Reflexology Massage, Dr. Ann Gillanders). I massaged his feet by giving them a ten minute warm up and then worked through the different parts, as listed on the chart (and how instructed on the DVD). I told Paul to tell me when the places on his feet hurt as I applied pressure. (He knew nothing of the correlated body parts).

The three places Paul mentioned that hurt on his feet all corresponding to ailments he was having: sinuses, Right tooth and eyes. Fancy that. IT was pretty cool. I decided that week to give him a full foot massage each night that week, focusing on those areas the most.

I'm not sure how much it actually helped, but I believe that if I knew what I was doing and was consistent in massaging his feet in those focus areas that it would contribute towards healing in those areas. I haven't tried the hand chart yet, but if it's as fascinating as the foot chart, then I'm all for trying it. I've posted a foot chart that also lists some ailments you could have and what areas on your feet to focus on for helping those.
Foot Reflexology - The Medicinal Arts

Now I don't think reflexology is a cure-all, but I believe that a basic understanding can help us supplement with other things we're using to try to cure our ills. At least take some time to look at the charts and play around with your massages to see if you can make them a little more applicable to the person you're trying to help.

Apparently even the ears have one!

Side note, there is something called iridology, which states that your eyes are also a map to the functionality of your entire body. I however do not like the fortune teller-ish sense this gives, but I read in a book called "The Eye Care REvolution" (I think it's called that) that helped me understand the benefits. Check out my post on it.