Saturday, November 28, 2009

Happy Holidays from OTTB!

We've got some new items in store, just in time for the holiday shopping season. We are now carrying Earth's Best baby wipes and diapers. These chlorine-free products are unscented and hypoallergenic for the most sensitive baby's skin. No chlorine means no dioxin released into the environment, which is good for us and good for the earth. The diapers come in infant thru 37 lbs. and the wipes are in packs of 80.

We are lucky to have a new vendor in from Monterey, VA! Hand Felted by Lisa :) She hand makes felted booties, mittens and hats in newborn and infant sizes. They are felted on the outside with a cotton (non-itchy!) cotton lining. Come in and check out her creations!

Another vendor, Diane Goodbar, knits up a storm here at On The Turtle's Back and we are holding a holiday give away on her cool knit hats. Receive one hat free when you spend $50 or more this season. They come in many cute color combinations, so come get one while they last.

If you are looking for a stroller this year for your family or for a friend, we have a high quality Peg Perego stroller in navy blue and plaid. This stroller retails for $400 and we have one here for $200! Fits children from infancy until toddlerhood. Made in Italy.

Check out our blog for more in the coming weeks featuring our local vendors and more product highlights. Have a happy and healthy autumn!


Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Maclaren recalls 1 million strollers

Stroller maker says its umbrella strollers have resulted in the amputation of 12 children's fingertips.


NEW YORK ( -- Stroller maker Maclaren announced a recall on Monday that affects about 1 million umbrella strollers that can reportedly amputate or lacerate children's fingertips.

So far, the company said there have been 12 amputations across the country. This happens when children get their fingers stuck in between the stroller's side hinges while it is being opened or closed.

The South Norwalk, Conn.-based company announced the voluntary recall in cooperation with the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission and advises customers to stop using the products manufactured in China sold since 1999 at stores including Babies R Us and Target.

Consumers can contact Maclaren at 877-688-2326 or visit to receive a free repair kit.

Maclaren said the kit includes hinge covers designed to fit all Maclaren strollers.

The recall affects the following models, which range in price from $100 to $400: Volo, Triumph, Quest Sport, Quest Mod, Techno XT, TechnoXLR, Twin Triumph, Twin Techno, and Easy Traveller. To top of page

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Comparison Chart between the common cold and swine flu

Know The Difference Between Cold And Swine Flu Symptoms
Swine Flu
Fever is rare with a cold. Fever is usually present with the flu in up to 80% of all flu cases. A temperature of 100°F or higher for 3 to 4 days is associated with the flu.
A hacking, productive (mucus- producing) cough is often present with a cold. A non-productive (non-mucus producing) cough is usually present with the flu (sometimes referred to as dry cough).
Slight body aches and pains can be part of a cold. Severe aches and pains are common with the flu.
Stuffy Nose
Stuffy nose is commonly present with a cold and typically resolves spontaneously within a week. Stuffy nose is not commonly present with the flu.
Chills are uncommon with a cold. 60% of people who have the flu experience chills.
Tiredness is fairly mild with a cold. Tiredness is moderate to severe with the flu.
Sneezing is commonly present with a cold. Sneezing is not common with the flu.
Sudden Symptoms
Cold symptoms tend to develop over a few days. The flu has a rapid onset within 3-6 hours. The flu hits hard and includes sudden symptoms like high fever, aches and pains.
A headache is fairly uncommon with a cold. A headache is very common with the flu, present in 80% of flu cases.
Sore Throat
Sore throat is commonly present with a cold. Sore throat is not commonly present with the flu.
Chest Discomfort
Chest discomfort is mild to moderate with a cold. Chest discomfort is often severe with the flu.

Preventing H1N1

Here is the Precautions to help fight against H1N1.

The only portals of entry are the nostrils and mouth/throat. In a global epidemic of this nature, it's almost impossible not coming into contact with H1N1 in spite of all precautions. Contact with H1N1 is not so much of a problem as proliferation is.

While you are still healthy and not showing any symptoms of H1N1 infection, in order to prevent proliferation, aggravation of symptoms and development of secondary infections, some very simple steps, not fully highlighted in most official communications, can be practiced (instead of focusing on how to stock N95 or Tamiflu):

Frequent hand-washing (well highlighted in all official communications).

2. "
Hands-off-the-face" approach. Resist all temptations to touch any part of face (unless you want to eat, bathe or slap).

3. *
Gargle twice a day with warm salt water (use Listerine if you don't trust salt). *H1N1 takes 2-3 days after initial infection in the throat/nasal cavity to proliferate and show characteristic symptoms. Simple gargling prevents proliferation. In a way, gargling with salt water has the same effect on a healthy individual that Tamiflu has on an infected one. Don't underestimate this simple, inexpensive and powerful preventative method.

4. Similar to 3 above, *
clean your nostrils at least once every day with warm salt water. *Not everybody may be good at using a Neti pot, but *blowing the nose hard once a day and swabbing both nostrils with cotton swabs dipped in warm salt water is very effective in bringing down viral population.*

5. *
Boost your natural immunity with foods that are rich in Vitamin C. *If you have to supplement with Vitamin C tablets, make sure that it also has Zinc to boost absorption.

6. *
Drink as much of warm liquids (tea, coffee, etc) as you can. *Drinking warm liquids has the same effect as gargling, but in the reverse direction. They wash off proliferating viruses from the throat into the stomach where they cannot survive, proliferate or do any harm.

I suggest you pass this on to your entire e-list; you never know who might pay attention to it - and STAY ALIVE because of it -

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Top ten reasons to buy local products!

Here is a fabulous list of ten reasons to support locally owned shops and buy locally made products. Since we at OTTB are both locally owned and comprised of mostly locally made products, we wanted to pass on our reasons behind our local commitment!

copied from the website:

Why Buy Locally Owned?

There are many well-documented benefits to our communities and to each of us to choosing local, independently owned businesses. We realize it is not always possible to buy what you need locally and so merely ask you to Think Local FIRST!

Top Ten reasons to Think Local - Buy Local - Be Local

  1. Buy Local -- Support yourself: Several studies have shown that when you buy from an independent, locally owned business, rather than a nationally owned businesses, significantly more of your money is used to make purchases from other local businesses, service providers and farms -- continuing to strengthen the economic base of the community.(Click here to see summaries of a variety of economic impact studies; these include case studies showing that locally-owned businesses generate a premium in enhanced economic impact to the community and our tax base.)
  2. Support community groups: Non-profit organizations receive an average 250% more support from smaller business owners than they do from large businesses.
  3. Keep our community unique: Where we shop, where we eat and have fun -- all of it makes our community home. Our one-of-a-kind businesses are an integral part of the distinctive character of this place. Our tourism businesses also benefit. “When people go on vacation they generally seek out destinations that offer them the sense of being someplace, not just anyplace.” ~ Richard Moe, President, National Historic Preservation Trust
  4. Reduce environmental impact: Locally owned businesses can make more local purchases requiring less transportation and generally set up shop in town or city centers as opposed to developing on the fringe. This generally means contributing less to sprawl, congestion, habitat loss and pollution.
  5. Create more good jobs: Small local businesses are the largest employer nationally and in our community, provide the most jobs to residents.
  6. Get better service: Local businesses often hire people with a better understanding of the products they are selling and take more time to get to know customers.
  7. Invest in community: Local businesses are owned by people who live in this community, are less likely to leave, and are more invested in the community’s future.
  8. Put your taxes to good use: Local businesses in town centers require comparatively little infrastructure investment and make more efficient use of public services as compared to nationally owned stores entering the community.
  9. Buy what you want, not what someone wants you to buy: A marketplace of tens of thousands of small businesses is the best way to ensure innovation and low prices over the long-term. A multitude of small businesses, each selecting products based not on a national sales plan but on their own interests and the needs of their local customers, guarantees a much broader range of product choices.
  10. Encourage local prosperity: A growing body of economic research shows that in an increasingly homogenized world, entrepreneurs and skilled workers are more likely to invest and settle in communities that preserve their one-of-a-kind businesses and distinctive character.

Think local first + Buy local when you can = Being a local!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Why not to give your child the swine flu vaccine

Here is an interesting article on the swine flu and upcoming vaccine. At the bottom of the article are more sources.

Do NOT Let Your Child Get Flu Vaccine -- 9 Reasons Why

Infant Tylenol Recall

NEW YORK — Johnson & Johnson's McNeil unit said Thursday it is voluntarily recalling 57 lots of infants' and children's liquid Tylenol products because of possible bacterial contamination.

The products being recalled were made between April and June and include nearly two dozen varieties, including Children's Tylenol Suspension 4 oz. Grape, Infants' Tylenol Grape Suspension Drops 1/4 oz. and Children's Tylenol Plus Cold/Allergy 4 oz. Bubble Gum.

Johnson & Johnson said it has contacted wholesalers and retailers about the recall. An inactive ingredient didn't meet internal testing requirements, the company said, and B. cepacia bacteria were detected in a portion of raw material that went unused in the finished product.

The company said in a letter that no bacteria were found in the finished product, and that the likelihood of a serious medical event is remote. However, in consultation with the Food and Drug Administration, the company decided to recall the products.

"It was decided, as a precaution, to recall all product that utilized any of the raw material manufactured at the same time as the raw material that tested positive for the bacteria," the company said.

Consumers with questions should call McNeil's consumer call center at 1-800-962-5357. A full list of the 21 recalled products and their lot numbers can be seen at:

Consumers can find lot numbers on the bottom of the product's box and on the sticker that surrounds the product's bottle.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Resource for finding the healthiest products

Now you can help your friends and family members by sharing a new resource that has just been released this week: Healthy Stuff tested 5,000 products for unhealthy chemicals, and created a handy searchable database so consumers can access the results.
We're sending this link to everyone we know because none of us want hazardous chemicals in our homes. Feel free to forward this email far and wide to friends and family so they can access this information too.

Here are some highlights from Healthy Stuff tests on products families use every day:

Women's Handbags tested over 100 handbags and found lead in over 75% of the bags they analyzed. We worked hard to get lead out of children's toys--- but both of my kids still enjoy playing dress up with my old purses. Find Out More.

Car Seats and Booster Seats
We all know boosters and car seats save lives, and using them is a MUST. But over half (58%) of car seats tested by Healthy Stuff contain hazardous chemicals, including PVC, BFRs and heavy metals. Car Seats can be made without these chemicals - the Baby Trend Flex-Loc; the Graco Nautilus 3-in-1 Car Seat; and the Graco Turbo Booster all passed the test with flying colors. You can research your child's carseat or booster in the Healthy Stuff database .

Cars and Minivans
Chemical levels found in cars can be 5-10 times higher than in homes or offices. For moms, dads, and kids who log hours in carpool duty every week, this can be a major source of toxic chemical exposure. tested nearly 700 new and used vehicles for dangerous chemicals. The U.S. made Pontiac G5 and Chevy Cobalt rated best among 2009 vehicles. Look up your vehicle here.

Pet Products
Since there are no government standards for hazardous chemicals in pet products, it is not surprising that alarming levels of toxic chemicals were found in beds, chew toys, collars and leashes. One quarter of all pet products tested had detectable levels of lead. Check out how your pooch's favorite plaything tested.
As parents, grandparents, and allies, we can all work together and use our power as consumers to demand healthier products and improved safety standards. The positive feedback from the safe school supplies guide we sent around last month was overwhelming. It turns out (surprise, surprise!) people want to know if the products they buy are exposing them to toxic chemicals that are associated with health issues including fertility problems and miscarriage, learning and developmental disabilities, and a wide range of cancers and other diseases. 1

Clearly with such a long list of products that contain toxic chemicals, the nation's chemicals policy needs to be reformed so that known-dangerous chemicals will not be found in the products we buy everyday for our families.2 While we're distributing information about toxic chemicals in commonly used products, we're also working to reform the nation's chemical policies so we don't put our children at risk. Stay tuned.

Monday, August 17, 2009

redefining "family friendly"

We all know what family friendly means to us... basically an environment I can take my two year old and find something for him to eat, possibly with the added benefit of comfortable seating. Wouldn't it be nice if the term really meant what it set out to! Redefining family friendly is an initiative of mine that I hope we can all join in. I want to walk into a "family friendly" establishment to see employees with babies in baby carriers on their backs, going about their work with the support of their coworkers and customers. I want to patronize a place where if my two year old breaks down, someone comes up and plays with him or offers to hold him or reacts in some productive way instead of rolling their eyes or refusing eye contact! We are striving to create such an example in our little shop and encourage others to take a similar initiative in their businesses. We would also love to have input on how we can better achieve our mission... please always feel free to email us at

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

VBAC on the interstate

Check out this fabulous story about a VBAC after 3 cesareans... unassisted on the side of the highway! A very inspirational story about the power of birth!
How about on the Interstate?

Monday, July 27, 2009

Big push for out of hospital maternity care

A call to action forwarded by a friend:
"Regardless of your feelings on health care reform, you should support the addition of CPM's as enrolled care providers. We could save the system billions in the long run and to deny CPM care to medicaid moms is discrimination. Please sign and forward to your friends."

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Lions, Tigers, and Plastic... Oh my!

(great idea Brian!)
Many of you have heard that plastics can be harmful to babies (and parents too!)... but why?
Some plastics (particularly relevant clear plastics used in baby bottles, among other things) have been found to release a harmful chemical called Bisphenol A (or BPA). BPA is an environmental estrogen and thus can cause hormone disruption, something that can be harmful to anyone but is particularly disruptive in the developing system of a young child. BPA can be released regardless of the age or number of washings of a container. The warmer the temperature of the container, the more BPA is released. In reaction, many bottle companies are using new, BPA-free plastics and many retailers are refusing to sell products containing BPA. Many parents are also looking into plastic free feeding options, like glass bottles or stainless steel containers like the Safe Sippy that we carry at On the Turtle's Back.

Why I support backyard chickens in Harrisonburg

We at On the Turtle's Back have founded our store on ideas of sustainability and carbon neutrality, which we activly seek by both recycling gently used products and selling locally made products. In this way we support the local economy and cut back on the emissions that go into producing and shipping goods over long distances. On the subject of sustainable Harrisonburg, I strongly support the measure before City Council presently to legalize backyard laying hens in Harrisonburg with the stipulations put forth by the Harrisonburg Backyard Chicken Project. As we work toward making Harrisonburg an effective Transition town, we have to look towards putting mechanisms in place to produce practical food sources in the city. Chickens not only create a constant source of protein with little necessary space or resources, but also provide fabulous fertilizer for backyard gardens, can eat large portions of organic food waste, and can be amazing pets and educational additions to any child’s learning process. Many legitimate concerns have arisen in this process, but many can be addressed with some dialogue and a well-written ordinance. I encourage anyone with opinions on this matter to visit the website and also to email with ideas or concerns. By increasing dialogue from all sides on the matter, we can help set Harrisonburg up for a more sustainable future while doing so within limitations that most residents can feel happy with.

You are still breastfeeding???

Ahhh, yes, the question many of us often hear... coupled with "When are you planning to stop doing that?" or "Isn't that getting uncomfortable?" My answer tends to be the same "actually, even the American Medical Association has publicly recognized the benefits of breast feeding until 2 years of age" (my son turns 2 tomorrow.) That usually ends the conversation. But, maybe I should be continuing it. After all, with all of the great nursing gear our store offers (nursing covers, nursing clothing, and even easy-to-nurse-in baby carriers) who would want to quit!?
Actually, I recognize that plenty of mothers can not or do not want to breast feed for as long as I have chosen to. I respect that completely and understand that work, schedules, and even medical conditions can make the choice I have made impossible. However, I wish people would use the same understanding and acceptance of my decision as I have the decisions of others. As much as there are plenty of reasons moms can't or don't breast feed there children after a certain amount of time, there are TONS of reasons to prolong breast feeding as long as your child wants to nurse. At an age when my child is continously exposed to germs and sickness, I am continuing to give him great antibodies. Less sickness is enough reason for me! It also prolongs bonding and increases his feeling of security. Not to mention the influx of great vitamins to his developing body. He is also learning a lot about nurturing that he will hopefully pass on to his children. Just look at this great photo of him giving his dinosaur "Nah-nah" (the name he loving gave to breastmilk.)
In closing, lets support each other in whatever decisions we make in regards to raising our children. We all are coming from the same place, doing what is best for our kids!

In the beginning...

Hello and welcome to the first of many On the Turtle's Back blogging posts. We plan on using this blog to keep our readers updated on new ideas and thoughts on raising happy, healthy young ones with bright and beautiful futures. If you have any ideas for us to address, please write us at We are always thrilled to hear your feedback and ideas!

Today we got in our first batch of Safe Sippys! We are carrying the original Safe Sippy and the Safe Sippy 2, which doubles as a straw cup and a sippy cup. In deciding which safe-feeding item to start with in the store, we went with Safe Sippy for a few reasons. The first is that it is a fabulously versatile, leak proof cup that is extremely easy to use. We also loved that the company is expanding into bottles as well (please send us your opinions on whether or not a stainless steel bottle is something you would be interested in!) Stainless steel was our preference in materials because, unlike plastic, it is completely safe and free of any leaching of toxins, and unlike glass it is extremely hard to destruct. We hope you will be as pleased with the Safe Sippy addition as we are!