Tuesday, December 16, 2008


Do you buy handmade toys or clothing? Do you sell them? Do you want the option to buy them in the future should you choose to do so? Well on February 10, 2009 you may not have that option anymore.

In response the the lead recalls of 2007 Congress took action and wrote the Consumer Product Safelty Improvement Act, CPSIA. Never heard of it, well you are not alone. This new law will require manufacturers of items for children under 12 to test their products for lead and some items for phthalates. No more lead in childrens toys, games, or clothing. Great right?

The problem with this new law is not the removal of lead its how and who are required to do this. All manufacturers are required to test each finished product for lead. Note I said finished product and not material. So take Fisher Price or Mattel who produce millions of each toy and they can afford the up to $4,000 testing cost without signifigant loss. Now take the WAHM (work at home mom) or Grandma who is selling toys or clothes she makes (most likely purchased from materials sold in the US!) online or at the local craft fair. Can Grandma Betty making children's dresses afford to pay to test the fabric, the buttons or snaps, the zippers of the dresses she makes. Remember the testing is per batch. So if she makes twenty of the same dress then test one, but if she makes twenty dresses of different fabric she needs to test them all. Bye bye handmade toys and clothes.

A second part of this law applies to current inventory. When February 10th rolls around what was on the shelf Feb 9th becomes a banned hazardous material unless it has been tested and meets the new requirements. Think off all the businesses who are going to be bankrupt. Think of the landfills.

This new law will close thousands of businesses here in America while the businesses that manufacture out of the country (made in China) are going to be just fine.

Please contact your representatives and congress men/women! There are many sites out there with form letters to email but if you can call and make your voice heard.

Some Articles and Sites for more info:
The Smart Mama
National Bankruptcy Day

Stranded in Astoria

In July we decided to take a day trip to Astoria, OR. Coming over one of the last hills into Astoria the van started to make a horrible noise, we were losing power and the car was barely accelerating. We pulled into a gas station that was a little scary looking and the man said he could maybe fix it but we could also try another mechanic in town. Hoping and praying we would make it, we went 10 blocks down the road to the other mechanic. He told us the he no longer does major engine work and to head 10 blocks down the road to the dealership. Okay, with the car barely making it and afraid that it would die at stoplights we went 10 more blocks down the road. We arrived at the dealership to find them closed for three days because they were moving. We turned back and went to the closest thing we found which, to the delight of the kids, happened to be a McDonalds. As we had just had some major work done Joe called the mechanic here in Vancouver who put us on the phone with Chris. Can I just say Chris is awesome. We have been to Dick Hannah to get some work done and Chris is the mechanic on our "team". They divide customers up into teams that get color names. Our team is the "green team". How funny is that. Okay back to the story. Chris was amazing. He took so much time to try and find us a rental car and a tow truck. Sadly the only rental car large enough for us and the 4 car seats was in of all places Vancouver. We chose to get a hotel for the night and Chris was sending a tow truck in the morning to pick up Joe and the van. Joe would then get the rental and come back to Astoria. We decided to make a trip of it and stayed for several days. It was a nice vacation.

Our "home" for several hours.

Our very patient kids who sat and played in the car for hours while we made phone call after phone call to sort this out.

No they were not confined to their seats for hours just when we needed to know they were not running around. :)

The hotel sign.

The small beach in front of our hotel

Exhausted first night!

When Joe was getting the rental van the kids and I took the trolley around town.

The trolley.

It was foggy and cold but so much fun.

Indiana Joe

Exploring the shipwreck

More shipwreck

The kids built a sandcastle

The two water lovers.

One of the beaches we visited.

Sunset from our room.

Jumping in the hotel pool

I did it!

We went to dinner at a pirate restaurant.

Stopping to nurse Nomy on the way out of town to head home. We made it all of 15 blocks before we had to stop. lol

The kids playing while they waited.

I cannot say enough nice things about Dick Hannah Service Department. They went out of their way to make sure we had a rental van that worked for our family size. Since the item that broke was inside of (or near it, not sure?) something they had just repaired. They were unsure whether it just wore out or if something happened when they serviced it. They paid the entire bill for the rental (for a week!), the towing, and we were charged nothing for the repair even though it was not certain they made an error. We did not even have to ask for this. I have to say that was very good customer service. Yes I know dealers are more expensive but the customer service we have recieved from Chris, the green team, and the other staff at Dick Hannah has made us loyal customers.

An update for July

I am so behind in blogging here are some random photos from July:

Kids on the roof.

Michael made a volcano.

We went to the Ape Caves

The Ape caves were a lot of fun. We did not make it to the end as the kids were cold (and a bit afraid of the dark).

Monday, December 15, 2008


The first annual MDC Holiday Cookie Exchange and MNO was a great success! Despite horrible, icy (very un PNW like weather) several mamas were able to make it (and several were missed). We gathered, sans kids, and ate, drank, and traded cookies. 8 moms, lots of appetizers, and about 32 dozen cookies made for a very fun night.

The cookie table

Again the cookies. :)

Individual cookie pictures. I would post what they are but well I can't remember all of them.

Sorry no people pictures I was too busy eating and chatting. We planned on a group shot when Joe got home to take it but well we forgot. LOL.