I have been buying plastic toys from Green Toys since 2016, and I am so excited to share some of my favorite products from this company. I absolutely love that these toys are made from non toxic plastic! My current favorites are:
Green toys is a company that creates plastic toys out of recycled milk jugs. There are seven types of plastic; and milk jugs are made from type 2 plastic. Type 2 plastic is made from high density polyurethane, which is considered safe because it does not contain bisphenol A nor phthalates. Polyurethane is considered toxic only when inhalation occurs due to off gassing–usually from products containing Polyurethane foam (such as sofas and mattresses); but off gassing does not occur with polyurethane plastic. Not only does this company use a safe type of plastic to create their toys, the functionality of the toys are incredible. I choose to buy plastic toys from Green Toys because I love that the toys are made from a non toxic plastic, the toys are affordable, and my son absolutely loves every item that I have ever purchased from there! If you are looking for a company that sells affordable non toxic plastic toys, I would highly recommend purchasing them from Green Toys.
I have been buying wooden toys from Maple Landmark since 2016, and I am so excited to share some of my favorite products from this company. I absolutely love the quality and educational value of these toys! My current favorites are:
As a mother who has researched the toxicity found in wooden baby products, I was so happy when I discovered Maple Landmark. I reached out to the company and asked them my typical questions; and I was so pleased with the honest, detailed and prompt email responses that I received in return. This is a company that genuinely cares about the quality of the products that they sell and provides an honest explanation about any possible toxicity that may be present in their wood. Here is my initial email to the company:
I am interested in your sorting bench and block sets. I would appreciate if you could answer the following questions:
- Are the products made from certified sustainable wood or hardwood; or pressed or engineered wood?
- Does it come unfinished?
- Is it completely lead and phthalate free? or does it contain little amounts?
- Is this toy binded with adhesive that contains formaldehyde; what type of glue is used?
Thank you so much and I appreciate your response!
I received this detailed email in response:
Jill passed your email on to me to respond. We thank you for your interest in our products. Any answers we supply are written in an attempt to give you the full, honest case as we know it.
So, for example, we do not claim that our wood is “lead-free”, which you would interpret to mean it has zero lead. We do not guarantee that since wood is a natural substance and lead is a naturally occurring background element. We have never had lead detected in our wood (and yes it has been tested for lead), but there are also limits to what can be detected. In this respect you will find that our wood is no different than any other domestic supplier.
You do have to know that virtually all Asian logs are chemically treated with insecticides and fungicides. They generally are not on the list of reportable chemicals at the consumer level. We recently had problems shipping our product into Asia because it was not chemically treated.
We source our wood locally and it is not chemically treated at any stage in the process. It is not sustainably certified, which doesn’t mean it is harvested with a lack of concern for sustainability. Our local / regional mills have been in business for generations and there is more forest land in Vermont than 100 years ago. https://www.maplelandmark.com/
In our area, there is a lack of certified material readily available, the cost of certification is too great for smaller companies. I would rather deal locally than haul in lumber from hundreds of miles away.
We do use some plywood in our puzzles and other products that require wide, thin, flat pieces. It comes from the Baltic region of Europe and meets CARB II (California) standards, including no formaldehyde glue, etc.
There are no phthalates in our raw material. We have worked with our finish suppliers to reduce / eliminate phthalates in the rare cases where they might have been used. For the most, they are not part of our product. There are some chemicals that we buy where we have little or no control over the chemical makeup and there are no alternatives. In those cases we make sure the chemical levels are under federal and state standards.
As Jill mentioned, we developed our Schoolhouse Naturals line https://www.maplelandmark.com/
schoolhousenaturals/sn.lasso to offer options for people who have the greatest chemical concerns. However, all of our children’s products meet federal standards and are regularly tested for compliance.
I hope this helps.
I then responded with this email:
Thank you so much for the very detailed message; it was very helpful and I look forward to supporting your business! I am also interested in your puzzles.
- Are these puzzles made with hardwood, plywood, or fiberboard? Does it contain formaldehyde?
- What are the puzzles colored with? Does it have any VOC’s?
- I am also very interested in your Name Train products. What are you trains and tracks made from? (hardwood, plywood, fiberwood)
- What are the trains colored with? Does it have any VOC’s?
Thank you so much!
I received this email in response:
The puzzles are made from plywood. We do not use fiberboard for any product. As I said before, the plywood meets the CARB II standard regarding formaldehyde.
Our finishes are low or no VOCs. VOCs are how solvent based chemicals dry. There are exempt VOCs, which are not anthropogenic and non-exempt VCOs which are. Generally, where necessary, our finishes use exempt VOCs.
The water-borne dye stains on the NameTrain letters do contain some VOCs. The clear top-coat does not.
Our print inks (like the puzzles) are UV cured which, I believe, is non VOC.
Our track is solid hard maple.
I purchased some toys following these email exchanges and I am so pleased to say that my experiences with the products from Maple Landmark’s Schoolhouse Natural’s line have been exceptional. I have been buying wooden toys exclusively from Maple Landmark Schoolhouse Natural’s line because I love the quality of their products, the toys are affordable, and my son absolutely loves every item that I have ever purchased from there! If you are looking for a company that sells high quality wooden toys, I would highly recommend purchasing them from Maple Landmark.
Happy Saturday! I am so excited to share pictures from Paulie’s second birthday celebration! It was so wonderful spending time with people that we love so much <3 There is nothing more important to us than spending quality time with people that we love; and that quality time is exactly what made his birthday so special! Everyone who couldn’t make it due to illness or distance was wholeheartedly missed and present in our hearts. Paul had such a fantastic time and he was so happy to play with his cousins =) We are so lucky to have such a big family; and I am so happy that Paul Bear has so many wonderful cousins that are around his age that he can grow close to =D He absolutely loves them! It was so awesome to see how outgoing, friendly, and happy he was to spend time with them; and today will forever be such a special memory in my heart.
Everything about this celebration was super exciting for Paul. Paul had such a blast going food shopping with Matt and I to get everything we needed for his special dinner; he had fun helping Matt cook the morning before the party; he had a blast blowing up balloons; he had fun making the goodie bags and handing them to his cousins; and a smile did not come off of his face throughout the entire duration of the celebration =) Thank you for everyone who was able to come and celebrate with us to make his birthday so very special! <3
On the Celebration Menu:
- Sweet Sausage, Peppers, and Onions
- Birthday Cake
Here are some pictures:
Thank you for reading! I hope you have a happy Sunday! =D
Good evening and Happy Monday! I can’t believe my Paul Bear is going to be 2 years old on Wednesday. Over the last month, his language and vocabulary have drastically developed. He has acquired so much vocabulary. He asks questions like ” where is mama?” By asking “mama is?” He can say five word sentences and is really great with his manners, for example, “I want more water please” and “I need a diaper change please” and “I love you mama.” His manners are incredible. He says “thank you” every time we give him something. He also calls us “Cutie Pie” and “Sweetie Pie” which melts my heart. He really copies the way I speak to him; including my tone, mannerisms, and vocabulary. His sentences are really descriptive, for example, “open the yellow play doh please.” He loves dressing up in mama and dada’s clothes and shoes, and walking around the apartment in them. He absolutely loves singing songs, such as ABCs, jingle bells, down by the bay, five little monkeys, open shut them, skidamarink a dink, and wheels and the bus. He can sing the ABC’s in it’s entirety. He can sing the majority of five little monkeys and wheels on the bus with omitting some words. He sings all of these songs and does the hand movements. Saying it’s adorable is an understatement. He loves looking at himself in the mirror and making funny faces. He loves watching videos of himself and of his family. He knows his name, mama and dadas name, and his cousins names. He can recite his favorite books such as Chicka Chicka Boom Boom and Peekaboo Elmo. He loves reading, playing with play doh, figuring out puzzles, playing with cars, pretending to be cookie monster, and hiding and popping out and scaring us. He carries around this little Elmo doll his grandma gave to him and he just doesn’t let it go. He also loves wearing these adorable Elmo slippers that his Nana got for him. His play has become much more sophisticated. His problem solving skills are incredible. He loves being active, running, jumping, climbing, etc. He loves being tickled and chased. He is my little playful jokester. He likes bumping into walls and pretending he is hurt. He says “sorry,sorry,sorry” when he wants to do something independently and someone tried to help him. In general, he is just really independent. He knows how to wash, rinse and dry his hands thoroughly. We are teaching him to clean his own body in the bath and can latter the soap up on his body parts. He can put on his own pants; and is working on pulling them up over his diaper. He is definitely ready to be potty trained. He will go into a separate room and insist on privacy while he is pooping. It’s so cute! He likes to help mama and dada with chores; and when it is time to clean up his toys, he will put everything back in it’s designated area and sing the clean up song. Paul is really good at feeding himself, and most of the time can keep making a mess to a minimum. Paul’s last four molars have been growing in for what seems like forever. The bottom 2 are finally cutting!
Paul had strep throat and a stuffy nose for 10 days this month, and this was a catalyst for him becoming extremely disinterested in breastfeeding. While he was sick, he went to sleep in his crib on his own for nap a few times, but now that he is better, he is trying to skip nap altogether; but I am enforcing it because he is exhausted after lunch and sleep is so important. We have a new routine for nap. He eats lunch at 11:30. He is usually finished with lunch around 12:00. I tell him that it is time to rest our bodies by having quiet time or a nap. We change him and brush his teeth. Then we go read books together in his room. We read books until 12:45. I give him a bottle of water, kiss him, and tuck him in. I give him 15 minutes to try to fall asleep on his own just to get him comfortable with the idea that he will be napping in his crib. After 15 minutes, I offer him to come into the bed with me and give him the option to nurse; which he usually does and then falls asleep immediately.
Tantrums have decreased drastically now that he is using his words, and when he starts to cry, we encourage him to tell us whats wrong and he uses his words instead of crying. If he does have a tantrum, we talk him through it, explain to him how he is feeling and why he is feeling such intense emotions, and help him work through it. If the tantrum started because he wanted something and we said no, we make it clear that even if he tantrums he still will not get whatever it was that he wanted; and offer him different options that he could chose from. Tantrums usually occur when he is tired or overtired.
Paul is just such a happy, funny, fun and thoughtful boy. He makes me so proud to be his mama. I just love him so much; and these last two years have been the best years of my life. Happy second birthday baby angel.
Here are some pictures:
Thank you for reading! I hope you have a happy Monday! <333
Every year, our family has a beautiful experience where we travel to cut down a tree from a Christmas Tree farm. For the last couple of years, we have driven up to Wantage Christmas Tree Farm in North Jersey. We love the drive up there, the location, and the tree selection.
The experience is always spectacular. This year, Paul had a blast roaming around the land, exploring nature, and selecting trees that he liked. He was intrigued with the dirt roads, grassy land, mountains, and trees. We just roamed and enjoyed our time for a good hour before selecting a tree.
We chose a beautiful, full, relatively short Douglass Fur tree. Paul helped Dada cut it down, collected part of the trunk that Dada cut off, collected some branches and pine needles, and helped drag it down the moutain.
Here are some pictures from this beautiful experience:
Thank you for reading! I hope you have a happy day!
Good morning and happy Thursday! Paul bear is 22 months old today =) Month 21 was incredible. He tries to say every word; he communicates using two to three word sentences; he is practicing using manner phrases such as please, thank you, I’m sorry, and you’re welcome; and he says the words for fruits, vegetables, animals, colors, numbers, vehicles, household items, letters, etc. Matt and I constantly encourage him to use and practice language. While he is always using words to communicate, we are always encouraging him to use more words in his sentences to expand his vocabulary and his understanding of sentence structure. He is learning the English alphabet as well as the sounds that go with them. He can identify all of the letters in his name, and produce the sounds that each individual sound makes. =)
Paul still loves to engage in pretend play. I love watching his imagination play out in his play. He also loves company when pretend playing.
He also absolutely loves social games with mama and dada.
He loves being Outside and exploring his enviornment. Walking is probably his favorite thing to do… Next to eating =)
Here are a few pictures:
The first three weeks of breastfeeding were completely disheartening and discouraging. Breastfeeding is something that I thought would come naturally to me, but at that time, it was for me the most difficult part of being a new mother. I find that there are two components to breastfeeding, the emotional and the physical. Emotionally, I have an innate desire to nourish my baby with my milk from my breast, so when I was faced with the necessity to both supplement with formula and pump my milk and feed him with a bottle, I felt like a complete failure. Then, there is the physical component where I just want my baby to be nourished, even if the nourishment does not come from me. I just want what is best for my son.
My husband and I met with two lactation specialists during the two days that we spent at the hospital after the birth of my son. We had issues with latching from the beginning, which caused my baby to lose 10 ounces during our hospital stay. It was devastating to us. Both specialists said that he had a posterior tongue tie as well as a lip tie. The lip tie was preventing him from opening his mouth wide enough to latch on correctly and the posterior tongue tie was preventing him from maneuvering his tongue correctly to efficiently remove milk from me. The poor latch caused breastfeeding to be painful and he would try to drink for up to four hours at a time every 30 to 60 minutes because of his inability to remove milk from me.
The two lactation specialists presented me with three options: to continue trying to breastfeed with the lip and posterior tongue tie, to get the tongue tie and lip tie released with a laser by going to see a dentist, or to get the lip tie and posterior tongue tie released with surgical scissors by an ears, nose, and throat doctor. I tried to continue breastfeeding with the ties for three weeks, but I felt defeated. He was constantly hungry, I was in pain, my nipples were bleeding and my ducts were always clogged which as a result prevented my milk supply from increasing. We found ourselves supplementing with one to two bottles a day and I had to pump directly after breastfeeding to unclog my ducts. Since his appetite was increasing and I was already unable to satisfy his hunger, I decided to make an appointment with the ears, nose, and throat doctor.
Going into the office, I was very hesitant about the procedure. The doctor spent a lot of time with us during the consultation explaining everything we would need to know and answering our questions. We felt comfortable with her, so we decided to get the procedure done. She did not use any anesthetics. The procedure lasted about three minutes. She cut the lip tie, and she made four cuts underneath his tongue. To me, there was a lot of blood, but he stopped crying almost instantly. The doctor then spent time with us working on his latch, and there was an immediate noticable difference. For the first time, breastfeeding was painless. He chugged until he was satisfied and he passed out for the first time after 30 minutes of nursing. I cried with delight–this was the first time I was able to satisfy my son’s hunger; it was the first time my milk ducts were not clogged; and to my delight–no more bloody nipples!
For seven days following the procedure we had to massage the area to ensure that it did not heal back into the tongue tie. If you are having difficulty with breastfeeding; if its painful, if your bleeding, if your ducts are clogging, if your baby is never satisfied, he may have a tongue and/or lip tie. There are different types of ties, but they all impact a baby’s ability to eat efficiently. I highly recommend taking him to an ears, nose, and throat doctor who can perform a frenulectomy.
Three and a half months following the procedure, my breasts were producing enough milk that I was able to discontinue supplementing with formula and solely exclusively breastfeed. My son cluster fed for hours each day which increased my body’s supply. Now, my son is twenty months old and we are enjoying every minute of extended breastfeeding. Our journey with breastfeeding has been incredible.