Sunday, August 5, 2007

It's Hot + Cool Stuff

Supposedly Austin has had a relatively mild summer so far. Since moving down here it's been in the mid-nineties with a couple of days of such intense humidity that I almost fainted at one point. One would think that such conditions would force you to stay inside all day with the air conditioner blasting, but fortunately we have discovered some lovely parks that are quite shady and pleasant for Harlan to romp around in. There are even pristine swimming pools nestled below the cover of live oak trees, and I must admit it kicks ass to be outdoors here despite the oppressive heat.

My camera's USB connector is currently in a warehouse in New Jersey with almost everything else we own, waiting for a long distance truck to pick it up and bring it to us. The expected move in date is now August twelve, which seems like a hassle considering they picked everything up on July twenty-fourth, but is actually a blessing in disguise. We are using the time to paint, re-floor, and de-popcorn the ceilings of our new condo, so it works out quite well to have the place remain empty a little longer.

Since I don't have interesting crafty photos of my own to share, I figured I would post about children's items available online that I love and recommend.

For those of you who, like me, can not get down with Crocs or Tivas on your own feet or those of your offspring, I am loving the Saltwater Sandals. They make them for toddlers:
and also for adults: They are leather with natural soles and they are waterproof! No need for rubber shoes ever again. To top it off they are cheap cheap cheap (well the women's ones are anyhow). I paid under $30 for my red pair at an annoying hipster Williamsburg store where the salesdude acted like he was doing me a huge favor by selling me shoes. I think I'm going to order a white pair online. I got Harlan's the week before I bought my own, and they are so darn cute on him I can't stand it.

Children's art: I have four prints for Harlan's room from One Good Bumblebee which I adore.

When we actually live in a house with more room, I would love to buy some Ashley G. prints:

Who can resist the funky prints by Portland's popular Apak?

Harlan has been sleeping in this travel cot which is not only super easy to set up and extremely light, but also super comfy, since there are no bulky metal bars around the edges of the mattress for Harlan to bang his head against.

I highly recommend spending the extra fifty bucks on this over any of the other pack n play type of travel cribs.

We just bought a cute Sigg sippy cup so that Harlan can drink his water and look cool at the same time, without worrying about plastic and whether or not it's going to poison him even more than the mercury in our air or sea or any of the other far more serious dangers in the world. As you can see, I may use cloth diapers and own a car that runs on veggie oil, but eating and drinking from non-plastic items is not high on my priority list. I do avoid plastic when possible (ie the Sigg canteens) but at the same time I am also aware of the fact that we can not avoid all of the toxins that are out there, and to obsess over avoiding every toxin would end all of us up living like the lead character of Safe. Don't get me wrong, I pop Excedrin if I come into contact with Windex or a kitchen just "cleaned" with a bottle of Fantastic, but just because I'm hyper-sensitive doesn't mean I don't realize that there is no truly "safe" way to live in an industrialized nation. (For any of you who have spent time in Berkeley, what's up with those germophobes who dress in all white and wear face masks to keep the germs away? Why does wearing white help?) There was a great article in Elle a couple of months back where the author had her blood, hair, and dryer lint tested (along with samples from her children) for every possible toxin out there. The results were really quite upsetting, because they included DDT from thirty years ago still in her system as well as that of her kids, but ultimately the author realized that there really is no way to avoid every possible poison out there. Sad but true.

Wow, that was totally an off-topic rant. More cool stuff for kids to buy or make:
These cowgirl/cowboy outfits
Free amigurumi patterns to crochet.
These amazing bears
Anything from here
And of course the amazing light switch plates and tiles from Robot Candy. I can't wait to get one for Harlan's new room.


Kim said...

Woohoo! A new post!

Gotta love those blessings in disguise. But man, couldn't they have been a little more upfront about keeping your stuff in an NJ warehouse this whole time? Jeesh. That part kills me. Like moving cross-country isn't expensive enough, now you have to dig deep for meals out and hipster hotel rooms? Boogers. Anyway.

Great about the parks -- we took a walk through the fabulous Stacy Park heading over to David's mom's best friend's house (a mere mile from you, according to Yahoo maps) during one Austin visit. Looked like it kicked FGP's ass!

More later. Good to see you back online :-)

Angelina said...

I read that same article and thought it was fascinating and also horrifying.

How exciting to be in Austin. I think I didn't read your last post well enough, I didn't realize you bought a condo. I thought you guys were going to rent first and then find a house.

I would probably die in the heat there.

Kim said...

I haven't seen Safe, but I get the impression that David is just a few crucial degrees away from being the Julianne Moore character. I agree with you, though: Do what you can/choose, feel good about that, and don't go overboard. Of course, Davd and I have different ideas of what overboard is, and so periodically I have to reign him in. Kinda like what he has to do with me and my spending...

greenChris said...

Sigg kid bottles look cool and all, but their aluminum bottles have some kind of an inner coating that I am not comfortable with. Check out the 12oz Klean Kanteen, It is made of a single layer of food grade stainless steel, no coating needed!

Violette Crumble said...

I read that the coatings in the Sigg bottles are totally non-toxic. I forgot where I read it, but I did a bit of research a while back when I bought Siggs for myself and my husband as a means to not buy tons of throw away bottles.

Can you tell me what you know about the coating? I'd rather not waste the money I spent on these suckas if I don't need to :)

Anonymous said...

yikes, it's hot! glad you're finding a way to stay cool. how about a good old fashioned slip 'n slide?

i guess i'll have to speak up for berkeley-ites and say that i have NEVER seen any of those germophobes. although i will now guiltily admit that i do live next door to a collective, which seems pretty berkeley to me. plus, i read a while ago about some berkeley collective who posted on craigslist, seeking a breastfeeding mom who was interested in participating in their "experiment," whereby she would receive a free room in exchange for breast milk for the adults. you know, for the health benefits! i've been looking askance at them ever since....

futuregirl said...

Love the art you have picked out. So glad you got to Austin safely.

Safe is one of my all time favorite movies. I could watch it every day.