Saturday, February 20, 2010

Loose Ends

Spiritual Life Retreat

To those who have asked, we had a great time at the spiritual life retreat. As someone who cooks a lot, I was looking forward to a few days without cooking. Still I found myself in the kitchen helping out the students as a way to get to know them a little better. Many of these students I was meeting for the first time, so I really enjoyed my time with them.

The teaching sessions were awesome, but we were only there for the tail end of the retreat, so we didn't get the full message. Still, we came away invigorated and thankful.

The kids were a big hit. Everyone wanted to hold Bobby, but he wouldn't let them. Thomas, though, was passed around to everyone. It reminded Dan and I of our pre-kid life when holding a baby would be the highlight of our day. Now, it is our whole day, but still a great joy.

Most of all, this was a retreat for us. We were able to put away the stresses of our daily lives for a few days. We didn't think or talk about the blog, work, or even classes. That was refreshing.

Mattresses, Mattresses, Mattresses

I think there has been some misunderstanding about the no-mattress idea.

First, the links I posted of alternatives were not of alternatives I was thinking of getting, but ideas of bedding types I was inspired by. Beds that fold up or roll out are neat and worth considering, which is why I used the word "like" when mentioning them.

Second I don't want a conventional mattress for reasons that have been discussed. I think the best alternative I am looking at is a nice blanket mattress. This would not be a blanket thrown on the floor, or even folded once or plopped on the floor. This would be three or four blankets folded three or four times, depending on the size and type of bed we end up with. It would also depend on what my kids want for firmness and it may talk a few nights to figure out exactly how that will go. Then, when we've got them the way we like them, I would sew them together in a way similar to how you would sew a quilt to keep the batting in place. They would then be covered and put into place. If people genuinely think this would be uncomfortable, go get a stack of blankets, fold them up and see if it is cozy.

It will take longer for my husband and I to convert our own bed to this, since we simply don't have that many blankets. I imagine we will achieve this by the end of the yard sale season for our bed.

One More For Haiti

After I wrote the post about helping Haiti without money, I received an email about one more way to help. It took me six minutes to donate $1 through Brickfish. All you have to do is go here, make an account and submit a photo. For each photo, they will donate $1. You can then tell others about it so that more money can be donated. Here is the photo I submitted:



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Copyright Under $1000 Per Month, 2009-2010

84 comments:

slk2042 said...

Maybe I missed your explanation, but why do you want to get rid of your mattresses? (Especially yours and Dan's?) It would seem to me that it would be more frugal to maintain what you already have than go out and buy new/used blankets to "convert" to mattresses (which you already have).

Susan said...

Emily, I can't find your post on why you are so against mattresses. Could you provide the link again? Thanks
Anyway, I would like to put in my two cents here. Your idea of the blanket mattress is very similar to a futon. There may be an upolstery place where you could bargain for them to cut a full size futon in half for each of the boys.
I still think you will need a waterproof barrier between the mattress and the boys. Moisture will build up and cause mold/mildew problems unless you do something to stop it.
I couldn't put my daughter down on a mattress without a mattress cover and sheet. It just seeemed so uncomfortable.
I also worry about the dust mites in your blanket bed or futon. I have allergies so to make our bed less dusty we have a vinyl cover. Then a mattress pad, then sheets which both get washed weekly. I was my comforter at least every month, again to reduce the dust mite particles.
How do you clean your bedding? It seems the Wonderwash would be too small to wash those sleeping bags or more than one sheet at a time.
Glad you had fun and were refreshed at the retreat. It helps to get out, socialize and recharge the batteries.

Susan
http://susan-grandmaskitchen.blogspot.com/

ETS said...

Ok, I'm new here, but I guess I don't understand how blankets sewn together would give you or the children the support you need for your spine? This just doesn't seem like a good idea. I do understand where you are coming from in terms of space saving, but it just doesn't seem like a good idea long term for any of you.

crabcakes said...

Even if you DID mean exactly the types of mattresses you linked to, I still don't get why people were jumping all over you for it.

As for the padding you are looking for, why don't you consider making a trip to Boston one day and checking out Chinatown. I've been several times and they also have a lot of shops with Japanese made items and I'm fairly certain you'd be able to find Japanese bedding that is common in that country.

I haven't submitted my "idea" for the room yet, but another thing I was thinking of was to take any of the options that "pass" to you and just doing a mattress wrapping on it (which is what people do to reduce allergens and exposure to chemicals)

All in all, it's YOUR choice emily. I'll give you thoughts and ideas but I don't see how screaming at you over something is productive. Don't your readers realize that the ruder they are about it, the more it pushes you away?

Melissa said...

Thank you for the explaination about the mattresses. I think the idea you described can work. After you sew it all together would you just put it on the floor or are you thinking of making some kind of frame or platform to get it off the ground?

Thanks for the info about Haiti. That is something we all can do to help!

Farwood said...

Emily have you looked into Shiatsu mats?
http://www.zafustore.com/shiatsumat.html
They are meant for massage and so are soft even when kneeling on them. They can also be rolled for easy day time storage.

As for your blanket idea for about four months I slept on doubled over blankets. A sheet wrapped around the blankets acted as a bottom sheet and keep the blankets clean.
There were no issues keeping the layers together but I also wasn't moving the bed during the day. One perk of having doubled over blankets that aren't sewn together is they are easier to wash.
I actually have a picture of my bed in last weekend's post: http://farwood.blogspot.com/
It is actually comfortable with just two blankets if you like a firm bed! If your sons like something softer perhaps you can add extra blankets or put it over a cot.

Abi said...

This is kind of unrelated, but I saw in the most recent issue of Family Fun some awesome storage ideas that you could make from recycled things and your kids could help you decorate. I'm not sure if they're online or not yet, but they were basically milk jugs and cardboard boxes and the like. So it wouldn't store everything and probably wouldn't be the most reliable, but it might be fun to make with your boys and try.

Marcie said...

Are you going to start putting the boys in pullups at night? Because if not, the sewn together blankets, are going to be filthy beyond words in a couple of nights. How are you planning to wash them? Will they fit in your wonderwash or are you going to take them the a laundry matt? I can see how this will work if you get them thick enough, I'm just worried about them getting clean.

Juliana said...

I personally think the no-mattress thing is a great idea! I have always intended to go mattress free with my children so that they would learn to sleep anywhere. I did some work in Central Asia, where people sleep on thick mats called that are made of felt and cloth with a felt rug underneath called a sherdak. They are similar to the blanket mattresses you describe and quite comfortable once you get used to them. The advantage to the design the Kyrgyz use is that you can wash the upper part pretty easily--it is similar to a sleeping bag once you take the middle part out. We have small rooms and will need to have multiple children per room (and we have a total of 2 full size closets for the entire house) so I'm very enamoured of sleeping arrangements that don't include bed frames. Good luck sorting it all out!

Anonymous said...

ETS, all you need to support your spine is a floor. Padding is all for comfort, which is relative.

Lynn

Gizmola said...

How are you going to wash the blanket-mattress when Daniel has an accident? Will it fit in the Wonderwash?

There are organic covers for mattresses. What's wrong with using a regular mattress and putting a cover on it?

Did you receive the mattress I sent? Please tell me you're going to use it. It's free; why not? It's organic so no phlaslates (or whatever they're called). It was only $40 so why not invests in a couple more so your children have something better to sleep on than garage sale blankets. Please.

Further, you never did answer whether you got the light fixed or the shelves moved. These are not thing that can wait or that are unimportant. They are safety issues.

Emily said...

slk2042 and Susan,I wrote about it a little in the comment section of the redsign post

http://under1000permonth.blogspot.com/2010/02/pause-redesign.html

Susan, I am definitely planning on having something to waterproof the blankets, but I think it will be easier to clean thoroughly than a mattress. The wonderwash is too small for some blankets. The big blankets get washed the old fashioned way, unless there are a lot to wash at once, in which case we'll go to the laundromat.

crabcakes, I've looked at some of the Japanese bedding online, and it looks like a neat idea.

Melissa, we'll have a platform for our bed so we can still use the under-bed storage, and most of the ideas for the boys' room include a platform as well.

Farwood, I loved that pic of your bed! It looks so comfy. I like my bed a little firm, and Dan likes it a little soft, so this might be a great way to cstomize, like a sleep number bed!

Emily said...

Gizmola, we did not get any mattress, but if you sent it, I'm sure it will arrive shortly. If it's organic, we'll use it. I was a little concerned that we'd be getting like seven mattresses or something, but I'm sure you have it all organized so we won't. Where did you get it for $40? Yes, the light is fixed, and I said I cut off the bottom shelf above the crib.

Becky said...

Emily,

Are you planning to move the baby out of your bed before you switch to your homemade mattress? That would be a very unsafe sleeping arrangement for the baby.

Anonymous said...

Beautiful boys!!
Mrs B.

Susan said...

Thanks for the link. I didn't read it the first time due to being sick. It is very interesting and there is a lot more testing and research to be done on the subject of gases and SIDS.
Good luck on your search for the type of bed you want for the boys.

Taurman Inc. said...

Emily,
I think the blanket idea would be excellent. Something you could customize to what you need. When we have kids over,all ages, they would all rather sleep on a pallet on the floor then in beds. You could even sew something to close with at the ends. Strong velcro, nylon straps with plastic buckles,the kind you find on shopping carts, high chairs etc... I just finished headboards for mine and my daughters bed and I used old blankets to pad them.Why even buy expensive batting, blankets hold their shape much better. What do people think folks slept on 100 years ago before we had 20 inch thick mattresses.

frugalredneck said...

Can someone answer me how did humans survive before or still survive in some places? I really really don't know how my grandparents and before them lived. No mattresses, or 6 kids in a bed, or a bucket to go to the bathroom in at night instead of going to the outhouse. Maybe some of you, Should just try living one time. If I worried like you I would be dead or want to be. Emily whoever that was that posted about all you need is a floor for spine support was right, You do what you want, Don't waste your time, every second you waste responding to some of these comments is one second of your precious life and time with your family. I would have never cut that shelf because of what they said, It was never going to kill any kid, and you were right, if he wanted a toy he could reach up and get it. Kids get owies, it happens, Just this morning the 2 year old stacked up 4 toys and tried to stand on them, I was in the other room, He fell, He put a tooth through his lip, he bled. We fixed it up, he is fine. I did not run to the dentist to make sure he did not misalign his teeth for petes sake. I am betting he won't stack toys like that again, Ohh who am I kidding, of course he will!!!! I would be interested to know how many of those pack and play systems are bought each year, those are a mat layed on a piece of cardboars, yet babies come out just fine, Noone has any problems putting their babies in those. And as far as the baby sleeping with you, I completely believe in co sleeping, it has been done since the beginning of time and baby wearing. Unless you are complete moron, your baby is not going to die from laying on a homemade mattress, Now if you are a moron who will roll over on your baby, or not sleep with one eye open please refrain from doing this. Michelle also you don't have to post this if you don't want to , I was just talking to you, I won't be one bit upset if you don't. Also glad you had some nice quiet time at the retreat, and the boys got lots of attention.

Anonymous said...

Don't you think that even though poor people in the 3rd world countries do, in fact, sleep on mats on the floor - that they would give their eye-teeth to sleep on a comfortable clean sheeted matress instead? Why do you constantly seem to want your children to live like the kids we see on tv that we are encouraged to send money to help? What is the rationale for this? I'm truly confused.
Instead of wasting 6 hours of your day writing down how to sew old blankets together - do something useful for real money and buy a matress. Organic or whatever.
MrsYoungie

Sandy said...

The point about the pack-n-play is a good one. We have one for our 1-year-old son and the base of it is just a thin mat, and very hard. We did get a piece of specially made foam (mattress foam from a mattress company, of an approved firmness for infants to sleep on) for it recently, but he slept in it with no problems for almost a year.

My niece, who is now 14, an an athlete and model, spent the first ten years of her life sleeping in a sleeping bag on the floor at the foot of her parents' bed. BY CHOICE! She had a lovely bed in her own room, but never slept in there until she was a teenager.

I think some good points are made here, and I agree with concerns about the shelves above the crib, the tube meat, and the lack of fresh produce. However, I think people need to be careful about getting carried away with claims of abuse. There is absolutely no evidence that Emily physically or verbally abuses her children, and many many children live with parents who are violent drug addicts. The system is overburdened as it is, trying to save the most desperate cases.

Gizmola said...

Emily, it was shipped on 2/17 and is in transit. I found a crib mattress with organic covering on Overstock.com. Please, please consider getting more instead of making blanket beds that cannot be properly washed. They will also hold all the dust and mildew from the house. Especially if you're line drying clothes in the room or in the house period. No one is trying to control you or make you feel bad - we just want the best for your children.

Emily said...

frugalredneck, I thought your points were well-made, and usually are. Most people aren't able to think things through like you are and I appreciate your comments- always.

Sandy, I don't usually publish comments with the phrase "tube meat" as that is something only said on the gossip forums and something you won't find here. I would recommend you read more of my blog before you simply believe everything they tell you about me. Of course, I agree with you that claims of abuse are outrageous, as they are mostly based on lies spread about me on those gossip forums, not things that I have said.

Gizmola, how ironic that YOU would say no one is trying to make me feel bad after you exert so much on your energy towards trying to make me feel bad.

Sandy said...

Emily, I have read your entire blog and I enjoy it very much. I'm glad you decided to post my comment since I was DEFENDING you and being supportive.

I used the phrase "tube meat" because that's how much of your readership defines the diet you feed your family, not because I believe any "lies" spread about you. Admittedly, what you feed your family is a diet very high in saturated fat, which comes from CAFOs meat. If you want to do some research, check out how those cows live. The chemicals and hormones in that meat are going to far outweigh the effects of off gassing from a mattress.

Domestic Goddess said...

I wonder how people got through thousands of years without mattresses. Seriously? Not everyone uses them and some people are just fine without them. Blanket mattresses seem like a great idea. We have beds for my kids, guess where I find them almost every morning? On the floor. On top of a blanket. Go figure.

sara said...

I agree with some of the others-not having a mattress is not going to scar your children for the rest of their lives :) My 3 yr old prefers to sleep on the floor of her room and she has a perfectly good 'normal' bed-she doesn't like it. I like your idea of a blanket bed-very intriguing!
sara http://myfrugalfunlife.blogspot.com/

Emily said...

Sandy, I appreciate your defending me, really, I do. I completely agree that the system is overburdened and there are real children being truly hurt that the system should be focusing on.

On the "tube meat," maybe my readership uses that phrase to describe my diet on other sites, but I don't publish those comments here, unless you're only looking at the week of unmoderated comments. I don't have any meat in a tube. Someone made that up.

Anonymous said...

On the Gizmola comment, yes, I agree with her. None of the stuff is attacks on you personally, but trying to get you to understand how upset she was about your childrens' situation.
Her sending a mattress is a testament to that.
If it was just you and your husband, I don't think anyone would care what you slept on.
Please take that $50 and continue improvements instead of 'redecorating'.
Megan M.

Anonymous said...

Crabcakes, a futon isn't pratical for Emily's house. To keep them in good condition you need to turn and air them daily. You can't exactly hang a futon out over the balcony railing all day when you've got kids sleeping on it every couple of hours for naps.

Emily, I thought I saw a post about breakfast when you told us you buy that dollar store meat for a dollar? That comes in tubes at my local.

Ethel

Elizabeth said...

I agree that you won't be harmed by not having a mattress, as long as you have a comfortable place to sleep. I wonder though why you plan to sew the blankets together? I understand it will make them be more sturdy and stay together, but then it would make a huge pile of blankets impossible to wash. Or are you going to do some type of sewing or tying that can be undone easily if the blankets need to be washed? I just think that with young kids sleeping on them they will get dirty and need to be washed occasionally. I think even adults sleeping on blankets would want them washed every so often. :)

theresa said...

When I first met my husband, we were both college students on very limited budgets. He shared an apartment with some friends and wanted his room to be more of a "hang out" room than a "bed"room. He had a couch, a loveseat, a chair, tables, etc. but no bed. When his/our friends were done hanging out, he would pull his "bed" out from under the couch. It was just an old comforter folded over and several blankets and then sheets. He didn't have them sewn together. And they were very easy to keep clean, as he just washed the top layers when he did the rest of his laundry. He slept on these blankets on a hardwood floor and was quite comfortable. He found that layering the blankets in different ways made them more or less comfortable.

I am almost wondering if you didn't sew them together if it would be easier to keep clean. Or if, perhaps, you could use a sleeping bag, put several layers of blankets in it and sew it up and then periodically, you could wash the blankets inside (especially during nighttime potty training). This may pose the problem of the blankets slipping around and bunching up inside, but a few minutes to straigthen them in the morning may work. Just a suggestion.

Sophia said...

Emily you could state your case better if you didn't lie. Here is a picture you posted of your freezer with meat in a tube
http://under1000permonth.blogspot.com/2009/12/small-home-living-advantages-and.html
I understand why you buy that kind of meat, it is cheap and you are on a budget. But don't lie about it

Su. said...

emily way to be a defensive ungrateful person. gizmola spent their OWN MONEY for concern over YOUR kids and sent you something you should at least be a little grateful for it. and if you can
t seem to fathom that emotion send it back or donate it.

Mary K. Martin said...

I believe that the reference to 'tube meat' would be the large bulk ground beef you buy and the packages of turkey sausage from Dollar Tree. You had in the past posted a picture of your freezer showing those items (the ground beef and bulk cheese). Just wanted to elaborate on that. No need to post this if you don't want to. I think it is sweet that someone who does not know you IRL would send your children an organic mattress that fits your lifestyle, regardless of that persons reasons.

hickchick said...

I don't understand how a mattress (that was never intended to be washed) is somehow more sanitary than a blanket (that you can wash).

Anyone?

Anonymous said...

Emily,
Did someone else write this post?
http://under1000permonth.blogspot.com/2009/12/small-home-living-advantages-and.html
Since you don't have any meat in a tube that must not be your freezer, but I'm wondering who wrote that post then? I didn't realize you had collaborators on this blog.

Melia said...

Emily, I think people are referring to the round, elongated packages of beef in your freezer as being "tubes" of meat, if you're wondering where that term came from.

sara said...

I was trying to figure out what in the world tube meat was LOL! We're also a family of five and I have a $50 a week grocery/toiletry/hba budget so I'll have to go through your old posts and see what your diet/grocery shopping habits are-I'm curious to see how they compare to mine :)
sara http://myfrugalfunlife.blogspot.com/

Emily said...

tube, according to dictionary.com -
"a small, collapsible, cylinder of metal or plastic sealed at one end and having a capped opening at the other from which paint, toothpaste, or some other semifluid substance may be squeezed."
None of my meat comes in a tube. You are the ones either lying or with a very poor vocabulary.

On Gizmola, Gizmola has spent hours and hours of her time spreading lies and writing downright nasty things about me. The little time she spends working "for" us in sending us a mattress is so tiny compared to the amount she has spent working against us. Sending the mattress is an act of spite and pity. If she cared anything for my children, she would not be trying to destroy my children's mother.

Elizabeth said...

Emily,

I'm one of the people who said "tube meat" in a comment the other day that was not put through. I was just using it to refer to meat that comes packaged in one of those plastic tubes (like generic store ground beef, or Jimmy Dean sausage) and I could have sworn that I've read on here that you use it (although it may have been in the week of unmoderated comments). Looking back, I see that you've referred to dollar store "turkey rolls" and "sausage rolls" - are those the same thing that I'm thinking of? I won't pretend that I never eat meat that comes in a tube, but after seeing too many documentaries on packing plants, anything that costs $1 per 12 oz makes me very nervous. Much more nervous than conventional mattresses do.

As far as your mattress idea, the risk of SIDS is lowered by sleeping on a firm mattress versus a soft surface. Do you think that the blanket mattresses are going to be okay? Also, I keep seeing comments about putting pull ups on the boys at night. Do you diaper them at night? My son wets pretty heavily at night but we double-diaper him (2 prefolds) and then stick him in a cover, and we never have leaks. Prefolds are quite cheap - you can often buy them on Craigslist for $1 each.

Christena said...

you've got to be kidding emily. that meat is in tubes. if those aren't tubes of meat, then what are they? My mother buys meat in elongated cylindrical plastic packaging almost exclusively and i've referred to it as tube meat for years. way before i started reading your blog. I don't even think it really has a negative connotation really. it just describes the packaging.

Anonymous said...

Emily,
You forgot to look at this definition of tube, right above the one you posted:
1. a hollow, usually cylindrical body of metal, glass, rubber, or other material, used esp. for conveying or containing liquidsor gases.
Really, this is unnecessary to post for anyone with common sense, as it is clear that the meat in your freezer is in tubular shapes--thus the name. And the definition or wording does not matter--what matters is what is in the meat you feed you kids. THAT is what people criticize you for, especially when you choose to spend your time and energy getting rid of something like mattresses (where the health risk is minimal) and keep the meat (where the health risk is significantly higher).

Elizabeth said...

The first definition of tube on dictionary.com is, "a hollow, usually cylindrical body of metal, glass, rubber, or other material, used esp. for conveying or containing liquidsor gases." This is how a lot of ground beef and sausage is packaged. Honestly, I'm getting confused here.

Anonymous said...

I don't understand how Gizmola could spread lies about you? From what I've seen, everything that's posted about you on any other site is from what you've posted yourself, here. If I'm missing something, please let me know. Thanks.

Marcie said...

According to websters dictionary, it is : any of various usually cylindrical structures or devices: as a : a hollow elongated cylinder. So technically, according to the pictures you posted, they are not lying calling it that. If you don't call those tubes, what do you call them?

Marcie said...

If you are going to call them rolls, not tubes, one of the synonyms of roll is cylinder which is basically one of the definitions of tube.

Sandy said...

Emily, the meat you feed your kids is 20% saturated fat and comes from CAFOs cows who live in concentration camps and are pumped full of chemicals and antibiotics.

What shape it comes in is not the point.

Emily said...

"tube meat" is actually short for "test-tube meat" which is an experimental means of growing meat. It's not yet on the market, so it's not in my freezer.

http://aaronbsam.blogspot.com/2008/04/peta-and-tube-meat.html

What we have is what they call "GROUND BEEF."

Anon, I'm not going to post the link to sites that trash on me here.

Audrey at Barking Mad said...

Emily,

This entire game of semantics you're playing with your readers (like me, who are clicking through, adding to your traffic which will inevitably increase the check you get from BlogHer Publishing) is getting a bit tiresome.

The kind of meat you purchase, in bulk, from WalMart or whatever place you get it from has been referred to as "tube meat" since time immorium. I am neither lying nor do I have a poor vocabulary and to refer to me that way would be insulting as I'm sure it is to others who have either casually or offhandedly referred to it that way.

Little do you know that the producers of ground bulk meat such as the kind you have in your freezer, refer to it as "tube ground round" or whatever cut of beef that it was ground from. It's not just some crass, snarky term that a bunch of women on a snark forum started to pick up and use to refer to solely you.

I did some Googling and digging around on the internet and read everything Gizmola has written as it pertains to you and Dan specifically and whilst she is snarky and has written some, what you will no doubt consider rude, parodies, I do not for one minute believe that by sending you a mattress that it was an act done out of spite or pity. I think it was a selfless gesture made out of concern for your children. You seem unwilling to upgrade their standard of living despite earning enviable blog revenue in the last month. But then, who's to say whether that revenue will last? In the event that it doesn't, isn't it nice that so many people have offered to reach out to you and give of what they can, or already have? You seem so ungrateful in the face of all this generousity.

I hardly doubt she is trying to destroy you as you state. That's overly dramatic. If anything, I imagine she just wants to offer your kids something comfortable, clean, and safe to sleep on.

Ya know Emily, I left you a comment a while back when we were still living in Maine (We still have our home there and visit often), right after my husband was laid off...something to the effect of while I thought you were pretty unconventional, I respected what you were doing and might be able to use a few of your tips. That was before I saw how you've reacted to the sudden internet infamy your blog has brought you.

I've been around the blogosphere for a very long time and I've seen people come onto the stage here in Bloggywood and handle their sudden popularity with so much more grace and humility when what they write isn't nearly as potentially influential as what you're writing is. These people also know that now that they have "put it all out there" like you have, what might come down the pipeline and haven't become as deffensive or abrasive as you are. Sure, some do get defensive, but for the most part they ignore those who live to critisize them.

If you plan on staying out here you either neither to temper what you post with a modicum more privacy than you already do (to a certain degree, you invite some of the invasive and heated discussion that occur out here and on snark sites), or grow thicker skin and not become so offended when people are suprised at what you're doing, or want to reach out and offer help.

Gizmola said...

Spite and pity? No, Emily. Pity, yes. Pity that your children have a mother that lets them sleep under a crib, have shelving hanging over into the crib, uses a desk lamp balanced on a towel rack as light near a shower. Pity for your children.

Spite? Nope. You're wrong on that one.

I sent that mattress for one reason: I could not stand to think of your children sleeping on yoga mats, piles of Wonderwashed blankets, a piece of foam or whatever else besides mattresses. I could not sleep at night knowing that they didn't have a basic bed. If I didn't care about your kids and do whatever I could to help I wouldn't have found an organic covered one, which I hoped against hope would prompt you to use it. Others told me not to bother; that you'd throw it away, refuse delivery, sell it. I told them I didn't care. I don't care if you sell it, chop it up, etc. I just know that I subscribe to the Edmund Burke theory in life: "The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing." I couldn't do nothing.

Yes, I have written parodies of your site and have frequented forums that deride you. I am not hiding it. I'll admit it. But in the midst of that I started to feel guilty. So I emailed privately with you. What turned me against you was your reluctance to admit that taking your children to the doctors was not a luxury but a right they have and that you should fulfill if you want to be called a good mother. That was non-negotiable to me. To refuse medical care for your children was what made me write you off.

What do you care what I or any of my mean-spirited cronies says, writes or thinks about you? If you are confident in what you write and how you live your life then what we say should roll off your back. Dan cut and pasted something I wrote on one of the sites on his Twitter feed. I thought it was hilarious and showed that he not only had a sense of humor but he thought we were just silly and immature. Which we, admittedly, are.

Think I'm evil, hate me if you want. Fine and dandy. Just please, please give your children something decent to sleep on. Curse my name but use the mattress in the spirit in which it was sent: for the good of your children.

Anonymous said...

"Instead of wasting 6 hours of your day writing down how to sew old blankets together - do something useful for real money"

LOL, Mrs Youngle, Emily is making $1000 a month and paying no childcare fees writing about sewing old blankets together for a hour or two per day. Do you know how much she would need to earn to pay the childcare for three children under 4, let alone clear $1000 over the top of that?

Ethel

Gizmola said...

Further, I would love to know how I am trying to destroy you. I didn't know I had that much power over another person.

BTW, it is tube meat. It's a plastic tube full of meat. It's disgusting. It's not good for your family. You worry about the very possibility of plastic fumes from a mattress yet you feed your children the kind of meat I wouldn't feed my dog. Um...messed up priorities, perhaps??

L said...

Emily said...
tube, according to dictionary.com -
"a small, collapsible, cylinder of metal or plastic sealed at one end and having a capped opening at the other from which paint, toothpaste, or some other semifluid substance may be squeezed."
None of my meat comes in a tube. You are the ones either lying or with a very poor vocabulary."

Emily, I have followed your blog for a number of months and can empathise with being a young wife and can also understand, despite the fact that I disagree with many of the things you do, how frustrating some of your critics must be. However, the deliberate lack of manners you display here, not to mention the fact that you seem to be intentionally misreading what people mean when they say "tube meat", is part of the reason why you have so many critics. You are clearly an intelligent woman. Why, then, when people raise valid questions and link back to your own blog posts asking about the meat in tube-like packaging, do you feel the need to respond in this snooty and deliberately obtuse manner? It is neither Christ like (yes, I am a Christian) nor does it do justice to you as an individual. If your readers are rude, let them be, it is no excuse for you to react in kind. If you could lay your ego aside and respond to questions and criticism with more grace, you may find that you could learn something beneficial to you and your family. We all have things we can learn from each other after all, even if we have very different lives and worldviews. I can't see myself homebirthing or homeschooling, for example, but have learnt a great deal from Sara at walkslowlylivewildly because her joyful and gracious demeanor make me more willing to keep an open mind.

L.

Gizmola said...

Also, I honestly don't remember lying about you once. Give me one example of a time where I printed a lie about you and I will never grace your blog or any of the other blogs or forums again.

Anonymous said...

Emily, Your children use the food they eat a raw materials to build their brains, muscles, organs and bones. What goes into their mouths must be of over-arching importance compared to any other environmental factor.

Whatever it's packaged in, meat that cheap will include a high percentage of mechanically recovered meat. After the real meat has been cut off the carcass machines blast off anything left on there, then they sell the red slurry that results as meat. The potential for contamination by spinal cord tissue, e-coli and other nasties is off the chart.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/health/1482140.stm

ironically, tube cultured meat would be far healthier than $1 a pound ground beef. There would be no chance of contamination or of toxins.

If you are truly concerned for your children's health to the level of worrying about off gassing from their mattresses and can't afford real, safely raised meat you need to find non-meat sources of protein to supplement what meat you can afford. Nuts, legumes, eggs and dairy products need to feature more prominently in your diet.

Ethel

Christena said...

emily, you are being willfully ignorant. if you used common sense you'd realize that people are not saying that you are feeding your kids test tube meat. they're saying that you're feeding your kids meat that you buy in tubes or rolls. when did anyone ever insinuate that you eat meat that's grown in test tubes? can you give us a link?

Anonymous said...

okay, in Emily's defense, I did google tube meat and most of the links on the 1st page are test tube meat.

But...I have always called those rolls of meat tube meat simply because they are shaped like a tube. My mom called it that too. She refused to buy what she called "those tubes of meat"


No matter what you call it, tube meat, rolls of meat, ground beef...it is still a very low quality meat. Seriously, you're paying $1 for. There's a lot better ground beef out there that the rolls from Dollar Tree.

I know you are trying to be GM free. You do realize that the cows that are used in your rolls of meat are feed the worst possible food. That they are not feed GM foods.

You have stated on multiple occasions that you are morally opposed to GM foods. I therefore cannot understand your reasoning in wanting to eat rolls of meat since the cows were certainly feed GM food.

You have also previously stated that when you see a great price on a food item that you can freeze, such as your rolls of ground beef, you will buy a bunch and consider it an investment in your family.

Why won't you take some of your blog earnings and buy better meat. Is there a local farm that sells half cows or quarter cows?

mandy

Deborah said...

Well Emily, after reading the comments I am more convinced than ever not to have a blog.
I can understand suggestions for making your children's room safer. I think pullups are great for keeping bedding dry while potty training.
But SO WHAT IF YOU EAT GROUND BEEF FROM A TUBE-SHAPED PACKAGE!!! Millions of Americans eat it without keeling over dead.
As long as your children are safe, warm and their bedding is clean it doesn't matter what they sleep on.
The snark cloaked in "caring" must get old.

Mrs. Wonder said...

Deborah- it's not the fact she eats ground beef from a tube in itself.
It's her stating her preferences for the foods she buys and the fact that there are the plastic packages in the freezer that many(myself included) call tube meat as as slang that she is saying aren't tube meat.
My favorite book about eating it What to Eat by Marion nestle. Emily, you are a reader, you should check it out fom the library. It will change your way of looking at that prepackaged meat, and show how higher-quality food is affordable.

Anonymous said...

This butcher refers to tube meat as "meat that has been pre-ground, packed into a tube, and frozen".

http://www.butcherblock.net/meatpage.htm

Deborah said...

There is the old saying, "You can catch more flys with honey than vinegar".
I was concerned about safety issues when I saw the kids' room too. But the way that some went about pointing it out lacked tact. If I were Emily my defenses would have gone up also.
People do not learn when they feel they are being verbally attacked.
I've done my fair share of "snarking" and finally realized that other than providing myself with some unhealthy entertainment, it was accomplishing nothing. And attempting to make me look good at the expense of others.
Hang in there Emily, and as I said before, eat the fruit and spit out the seeds. There are some that really do care and it shows in their comments.

Gizmola said...

I'm still waiting to find out what lies I supposedly spread about you. If you want me to stop writing parodies and, in your words, "trying to destroy you," then all you have to do is come up with one lie I wrote. And calling your "ground beef" tube meat doesn't count because EVERYONE uses that to describe those rolls of cheap meat - and did long before you came along. So what lies did I spread?

Paislee said...

Oh Emily. Forgive me, but I am a teacher and I feel compelled to do it. I have learned so many things from you, perhaps you will be willing hear just one tiny, tiny thing from me.

Occasionally in your blog you will use an incorrect pronoun case when using compound pronouns in the object. For example, "Since that time, God has instilled a desire in my husband and I to have a large family." It would be correct to replace the I with me. My mom (my personal grammar nazi) taught me to always take out the first pronoun in this situation, ie - "Since that time, God has instilled a desire in I to have a large family" and say it in my head to see if sounds right and if not, to replace the "I" with "me." And to this day that's how I do it!

But as I said, I am a teacher and that is really the only reason it grabs my attention. Your blog is rich with content on which to focus.

~Amelia

Anonymous said...

Frugalredneck said:
"I really really don't know how my grandparents and before them lived."

Well. A lot of them didn't. I have several uncles who died young of conditions related to thing that we consider entirely preventable today. It's kind of irresponsible to make gross generalizations when it comes to safely and always better to err on the side of caution. Most kids may never fall out of their crib, but guess what? Mine did. And he broke his arm. AND it was expensive to fix. And when I was little, I pulled on a low shelf and the whole thing came down on me. It probably won't happen to Emilys kids, but why play with the chance? It only takes one accident to change your life forever. A split second.
Also, I am an avid cosleeper, but I would NEVER consider it moronic to be aware that a baby is a risk in my bed. I take every precaution to ensure that if I fall into a deep sleep, my child is safe. Again, it only takes once.

tarynkay said...

a little bit off topic, but in keeping with making mattress from yard sale blankets (which is genius, by the way, though i think i would not sew them together so as to be able to wash them easier should they ever need it):

http://tinyhouseblog.com/yurts/gertee-houses-made-from-scraps/

i love this. i think you would love this, b/c you are down with yurts and love making things. and it is possibly a better alternative than a trailer in terms of being able to easily move it. you could even potentially have a few of these to accommodate a really big family. anyhow, just wanted to share!

dmelen said...

Hi Emily, I just started reading your blog and I am truly amazed at how you run your household. Amazed in a good way! I may not agree with everything you do but you are doing what works for you and your family. That is wonderful in my mind! Keep up the hard work and living your frugal life and I will follow along in true amazement. And who knows...made some of your ideas with stick with me and help me save money and live a more frugal life.
Thank you
Dawn

Gizmola said...

I've been clicking on your site quite a bit tonight just waiting for the big reveal of all the lies I've spread about you. I'm sure you're writing a nice, long post or comment detailing all of these things.

While you're at it, please let me know how I am attempting to destroy you as well. I'm kind of confused as to how writing a parody of someone's somewhat wackadoodle ideas and snarking on them is destroying them. I've also snarked on Britney Spears and various celebrities - would you say I was trying to destroy them? Am I to blame for Britney's troubles because I snarked on her? Please enlighten me.

Chevy_Chick95 said...

Emily- there are obviously many people who have nothing better to do than to trash on you. For that I am sorry. I can not believe some of the things I have read and the utter rudeness of people.

I just want to let you know that there are people out here who LOVE your blog! I can't wait to see what you've posted each day. While a lot of your ideas I already do, I have learned so much from you. I truely appreciate you putting up with the crappy people for us who do love to read your blog. Keep your head held high.

Anonymous said...

The United States has one of the highest instances of SIDS in the world. The united states also has one of the highest numbers of babies sleeping seperate from their mothers.
Babies who die in beds usually die from suffocation. And the vast majority of those cases the parent had either been consuming alcohol, taking medication, or was obese. There are multiple studies that have pointed to this. These are the biggest risks to suffocation deaths.

However SIDS is not caused by co-sleeping.
In the countries where mothers sleep with their babies, and most often on mats or in cots or in hammocks WITH their babies, the SIDS rates are truly lower than ours. As is the suffocation rates.We're doing something wrong in this country. Angel care monitors, bumper free, wrapped mattresses have not reduced the rate of SIDS deaths of babies who sleep alone in cribs.I don't have links, but those are facts and someone with more time than I can look them up I'm sure.

Anonymous said...

spotted a couple of typos in my post above...and one of them does not make sense....

I know you are trying to be GM free. You do realize that the cows that are used in your rolls of meat are feed the worst possible food. That they are not feed GM foods.

That last sentence was supposed to read "That they(menaing the cows) are feed GM food." There is an extra not in the sentence. Sorry about that and any confusion that may have caused.

mandy

Amanda said...

Hi Emily,

The biggest drawback to the blanket mattress idea, IMO, would be cleanliness. I imagine these mats would be real, real hard to clean. Especially if you don't use a washer or dryer, which I've read in a previous post that you don't. They're right there on the floor and get dusty, and would absorb any kind of spill or accident. Also, have you thought about how they could settle and flatten after a few weeks/months? Those are just my first thoughts about it.

I mention all that to say...my recommendation is still air mattresses. =) I've slept on a nice, high (foot high) air mattress for several years now and it's seriously been the most comfortable bed I've ever had. The good kind can last for years and are still inexpensive. ($25-$50, depending on size.) They have automatic pumps attatched to them which makes inflating/deflating as easy as pushing a button. You can make them as soft or firm as you want, and best of all- they're extremely clean and sanitary. No need to worry about liquids absorbing into it, or dust mites, bed bugs, sagging in the middle...none of that. Seriously, think about the air mattresses!

Cristin said...

Oh, my goodness, Emily. I don't know why there are so many nut jobs commenting on your site. How do you deal?
People actually using definitions of "tube" to prove you wrong. Geez.
Anyway, I hope you know some of us are on your side. That doesn't mean we all agree on everything but you do have supporters. Take care.

Amanda said...

I do feel compelled any time I see people discussing the fact that "other people have managed to live just fine without XYZ" to clarify that the average life expectance in the U.S. in 1910 was about 50 years old and the average life expectancy in some poverty-stricken countries today is around 40, so while some people may have [gone without regular medical care/eaten low-quality, high fat food/slept on the ground/ridden in a car without seatbelts/worked in factories before OSHA] I'm not willing to take my chances.

Emily said...

Gizmola, a lie is easy to spot. You said no one is trying to make me feel bad. YOU put a lot of effort into trying to make me feel bad, as do your cronies.

I'm surprised you used the word cronies. I wouldn't think they would like that. It is obvious that you are the only one with half a brain amongst all of them. Any witty line that they say originates from you. They have no wit of thier own. You are obviously intelligent and could be doing great things. Instead, you are lonely and lashing out. I feel for you, I really do. I can't imagine being your age without kids, unmarried. But that doesn't make you a nice person.

It's funny that you equate not having a mattress to "evil." You know, there is human trafficking going on in this very country. I think you're a brilliant woman who knows how to move people to do powerful things. I think that instead of using that to mock people, you could use that to make a big difference in the world. Since I've provided you with your lie, you'll have plenty of free time.

Emily said...

tarynkay, thanks, I love that yurt!

Amanda, I think the blanket mattress woud be much easier to clean than a regular mattress, as it can be disassmebled and washed piece by piece.

Emily said...

Audrey, I don't mind the popularity and think I handle that part fine. If you haven't noticed, I am a victim of severe cyber-bullying. Maybe I don't have the proper etiquette in responding to that. I let the comments go unmoderated for a week so that my readers could see what it is exactly I am dealing with so that maybe, just maybe, they'd cut me a little slack with how I handle these people.

Patty said...

I find it amazing at how much time and energy all of the "good people" (christian or not) are spending debating about the term and merits of "tube meat" when Emily is providing for her family. There are millions of children that don't get meat and probably billions more that don't get much food at all. Sure, its not perfect, I'm not sure what could be perfect in this world we habitate but Emily's children have a temperature controlled roof over their head, food AND toys and most of all two loving, caring parents. Emily appreciates advice and it seems she does follow up/research the ideas presented to her but spending hours debating semantics isn't going to make waves in this world. Instead think to spend your time writting letters to the meat industry (or mattress makers or whatever it is that you think is wrong) so they clean up their practices and spend time finding ways to give food and shelter and love to those that need it most.

Amanda said...

Emily said: "Amanda, I think the blanket mattress woud be much easier to clean than a regular mattress, as it can be disassmebled and washed piece by piece."

Easier to clean than a regular mattress, definitely. But not an air mattress. Nothing's easier to clean an air mattress. If anything seeps through the sheets, you can just wipe it off with a washcloth. :)

Amanda said...

One more thing, Emily...re: those website or forums or whatever that are deriding and snarking on you. I'll give you the same advice my grandma would give if she were alive today: ignore them. I noticed that you are dialoguing with some of these people and defending yourself, etc. From you comments, I can see you visit these sites. Stop doing all that. I know it's difficult, but the more you engage them, the more ammunition you're giving them.

Sabrina Carter said...

I too have issues with Mattres's. They can hold allergens, mold (from children wetting the bed), dust mites,ect. Both of my kids have Asthma so it has been an issue for us, but after talking with an orthopedist and chiropractor I decided on a way to make using the mattress safe. You purchase the child a new firm mattress, firmness is important for the spine. Second...go to Walmart or order online an Allergen free matterss inclosure. It is like a pillowcase with a zipper, but the size of the mattress. They are around $19.00 each. You incase the mattess in one and the box springs in one. These covers can be taken off and washed in your normal size washing machine and then you can put your mattress back in them. I am so glad to have this due to the fact that my daughter vomitted on her bed last week. Thankfully the mattress was protected, I just took it off of her mattress and washed it.

As for the blankets stacke on sewn together...you are going to have a major headache when you try to clean them and if you sew them together you are going to have to dry them in the dryer forever (which is not a money saver). IF YOU DO NOT GET THEM COMPLETELY DRY YOU ARE GOING TO HAVE MOLD ISSUES WITH THE BLANKETS. If you chose to go the blanket route you need to enclose them in something or wrap the blankets in something that will keep moister from them ( drooling, peepee accident, barfing)etc. I understand what you are wanting to do but you need to keep the maintenace of the bedding to a minimal, you have adorable kids to give your love and attention to instead of having to do so much laundry. I would love to hear what you think about my suggestion.

www.caringbridge.org/visit/mackensiegracearter

scarter67@comcast.net

Anna said...

Emily,
I didn't get to read this post until today but I just wanted to say I hope that I didn't disuade you from using straw mattresses/ticks by giving you directions about how to use them. Robyn if you are reading this your welcome for my previous comments. I just didn't want one of your boys to have a princess and the pea kind of night. We had them on bunk cots as a child and later on an antique bed frame with slats. They may be a better solution once you are able to homestead though. That being said the blanket mattress is a great idea who among us has not slept on a pile of blankets as a child? As to washing them I wash extremely heavy comforters and quilts in the bathtub. I fill the tub halfway add homemade laundry soap, some vinegar and put the blankets in and stomp them with my feet for about fifteen minutes my girls help. I drain the tub roll and stomp the water out and repeat the process to rinse them. I am pretty sure you could do the same thing with a large rubbermaid tote in your shower stall. I dry them on the clothesline outside after that I realize that you don't have a clothesline so this may not be practical for you but they come out just as clean or cleaner than if I had taken them to the laundromat and it saves me five dollars a load (yes that is what it costs me for a large front loading washer) and is easier on my antique quilts too. Just a thought for all those people who are so concerned about them getting dirty.

And on the lif expectancy thing, some of the people with the longest lifespans 100 + live in remote places with very little if any modern conveniences. Think Pakistan and remote Greece, Kurzikstan etc, the exception to this being Okinawa. These people have incredibly long lives and most have very little access to modern health care and for sure do not sleep on conventional mattresses!! Their secret is diet, and state of mind. Yes children die of preventable accidents but we can't bubblewrap our kids just so nothing happens either. Sometimes we as parents have to take a big breath and accept that risks are out there and accidents will happen, we do our best to prevent them but you can't prevent everything you can try but that is helicopter parenting and your child will never learn to think for themselves nor will they learn the vital scientific concept for every action there is an equal reaction!!

Emily don't let all the cyberbullying get you down. Alot of this is guilt by people who know they should be doing better and you make them feel guilty so they respond by being mean so you look dumb and their conscience will shut up. Keep your chin up and a stiff upper lip as the Brits say.

And on the great tube meat debate I think what is happening here is a debate of regional dialectism. I have heard hot dogs called tube steaks and tube meat too so I think it just depends on where you are from. So lighten up people!

Simply Natural Homestead said...

I get a kick out of the ridiculous things people get so worked up about, lol! As if there aren't people all over the world (and NOT just 3rd world countries) who sleep without a 12" pillow top luxury mattress!

I think if the kids like it well enough, more power to you. First, people forget that kids can be comfortable sleeping in contorted positions in a car seat. They're young and flexible, and haven't spent decades eating fake foods that ruin their health (yet). Second, they'd be complaining or, if too young, up all night whining if they were uncomfortable.

I personally bought an expensive (to us) mattress for one of my kids just last year. He ruined it having accidents (all waterproofing methods failed eventually...this kid is a peeing pro) in very short order, and we had to throw it out. At least with blankets you can wash them, even bleach them if necessary!

I think you're smart. And anyone who flames you about it is just a judgmental busybody, looking for attention.

Two words: Comment moderation. Don't give these narcissists the attention they are drooling for. Sure, I hate comment moderation, but I'd rather see that than see a pathetic, bitter person's diatribe on how you are ruining your kids and/or the world in general by using sleeping blankets. (ROFL I can't even believe that's really happening, how sad.) My guess is, they'd find something better to do (or probably not...just a different place to do it) if they didn't keep getting their name and/or blog's URL into your comment section repeatedly. Unless they're truly psychotic, that is.

Just my opinion. ;-) Keep up the good work.

Simply Natural Homestead said...

Oops, that's right, you do comment moderation already. LOL. Okay, so change that to "don't publish their tirades". IMHO. :-D

nepamom said...

Just had to share this swith you since I was one that initially wasn't sure about you having the boys sleeping on a mattress or whatever directly on the floor with no bedframe...

The first night my little boys slept in their new room (you might remember me mentioning that I just switched them into a bigger room) guess where the 3 year old ended up sleeping? Yep, on the floor with nothing but his blanket around him. The 7 year old too. Why? I don't know about the little one, he hasn't slept a full night in the bed yet since I moved him. The 7 year old said it was because he didn't like having his bed near the window so he moved to the floor so he couldn't see the window anymore. Neither woke up miserable or cranky so a night (or a few) on a blanket on the floor didn't harm them!

But wait, I have more. The older kids were here for the weekend also. I usually pull out my air mattress for my oldest son. (I don't have the extra bedroom space to have a permanent bed for him yet). Just my luck, the pump wouldn't work. He ended up sleeping on the floor, on a pile of pillows wrapped in a sheet. But honestly, once I added his blankets and pillows, it looked and felt no different than a mattress. He was comfortable, he slept well, no harm done.

So I just wanted you to know that while I do still worry you could have problems over the lack of mattresses and bedframes should certain people decide to overburden the system by turning you in over stupid things...I have learned first-hand that kids adapt well and don't care so much about mattresses. So, like I said in my room ideas submission...do whatever you want for the boys' bedding. They'll be just fine.

SabrinaT said...

Ok, I had to post a response! I have been reading your blog for a while now and the responses to this one cracked me up!

My family and I live in Japan. And here is a tiny secret. Most Japanese children DO NOT own beds. They sleep on what is essentially a thick futon. Japanese homes are VERY small and most of the time a room designated for sleeping is also used for another function during the day. Most mornings you can drive around my neighborhood and see the "beds" hanging off the patios (this is done by using HUGE claw hooks) to air out.
I have to say that after living in Japan for 4 and a half years now there doesn't seem to be a rash of children running around with bad posture. They all seem to walk upright just fine. There is also no more higher risk of sids in Japan. When our family comes to visit they sleep on (yep you guessed it) a Japanese futon.

By the way A LOT of adults opt to sleep on futon beds as well.... And lest someone mention that older Japanese women have poor posture.. To that I say YES they do. Because for many years in Japan calcium was not a HUGE deal. Japan now has a national campaign for parents to encourage their children to drink more milk. That is difficult given that the majority of the population is lactose intolerant!

I say if you want your kids to sleep on a futon type bed go for it! No worries about them falling out of the bed. Gosh because you know then they might get a serious head injury!!!!

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