Laundry products

My mom wanted to know how they make clothes permanent press, and a quick google search revealed that they accomplish this magic by by gassing the cloth with formaldehyde and other noxious chemicals. Here is an article that talks about this in detail but what I found interesting is about vegetable oils. “Some of the chemicals commonly used in laundry products to reduce wrinkles include: [ ] sulphated/sulphonated vegetable oils”

I have mentioned before that laundry products can contain oils. Depending on how sensitive you are this can be a source of exposure. It was sort of a blow to me when I realized that unscented products can contain masking scent. In order to have truly unscented cleaning products I look for the words “fragrance free.”

I knew about the scents but I had no idea that the wrinkle reduction process might have vegetable oils as well. I am going to avoid such fabrics in the future although its very hard to know what has been sprayed onto a fabric at this point. It’s certainly not listed on the label.

At this point I don’t use most laundry products. In my regular load I use detergent, oxiclean, vinegar, and a tiny amount of fabric softener. Sometimes if I need to get rid of a stain I use concentrated oxiclean or baking soda or washing soda.

I haven’t had an oil reaction from laundry products but I have definitely had allergic reactions bad enough to put me to bed. Has anyone else experienced oil reactions? Please share in the comments below.


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A Note On Minimalism

I am not into minimalism. I like my stuff and I feel that spaces that have too little in them are barren and depressing. So I have more stuff around my house than I probably need or even want. But that might be changing.

My child is 18 months old now and starting to make huge strides forward developmentally. It’s quite fun to watch. What’s been striking to me how much her environment influences her behavior. For example if we go to the playground and there is no one there she will eventually run around to various equipment and play on each and when we need to go home she will not cry or fight about it. However if we go and there are people with children there she will stand on the sidelines and watch with a dead expression on her face before shouting a comment on what they are doing. She will insist on following them around and then if it is time to go she will throw a fit.  

I’ve also noticed that if she has a limited amount of toys to play with she will play hard and become very involved in her play but if there are too many she will lose interest and start throwing things on the floor and basically act frustrated and dissatisfied.

In the spirit of experimentation I have tried to figure out exactly what is the magic number of toys that keeps her happy, but I can’t seem to find it. Some days she likes more and some days she needs less. I find myself ‘grooming’ her toys regularly to find that perfect balance that encourages play. I don’t take her toys away for good I just move them out of her prime living room shelves into the less prime bedroom toy boxes.

What I find funny is that the other day I noticed her grooming her living room shelves. Moving things around till they were just so.  Apparently even though I don’t like or try to live a minimalist lifestyle for myself I have modeled it. Her shelves look like a decorator arranged them not a child.

If I had more energy I would try and move my stuff around to see if I could achieve the same thing for myself. As it stands now I just keep trying to groom the areas of regular traffic such as bathrooms, hallway, living room and kitchen to make it safer for my little one. So far that grooming has made a big difference in my life though. Things look nicer, flow better, and are easier to keep clean. I can’t wait to try it out on other areas like my bedroom.

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Montessori Parenting

I have been watching Montessori videos of children baking and it’s been eye opening. I realized that kids really don’t move as fast as adults. They take time to process information and act on it. Sometimes lots of time but this doesn’t mean they can’t do anything. They are capable of lots of things that I didn’t even think about.

Long story short I started letting my kid do more and gave her longer to do it only helping if she asked and she really likes it. We are going getting along much better now and she seems much less frustrated.

Hooray for youtube!

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