Love Story

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Homemade Baby Wipes

 I finally got low enough on wipes to try out this "recipe" for homemade baby wipes. It was super easy and I had everything on hand but the paper towels. I am extremely happy with the end results, they clean really well. The only downfall from regular wipes is packaging. I started by keeping them in old wipe containers but they wouldn't dispense right since the roll was so big and it was still in a circle instead of layered like regular wipes. I am currently keeping them in a Ziploc which works well. I recommend unrolling some so they are easy to grab in situations where you are in a hurry. If you are wanting to pack them in a diaper bag, pull some off and put them in a sandwich size Ziploc bag or an old travel size wipe container.

Here is the recipe I followed:
*1 cup hot water
*1/4 cup baby oil
*1/8 cup baby lotion
*1/8 cup baby wash
*1 roll Bounty Paper Towels (Everything I read said you MUST use Bounty, they are the only ones that hold up to this. I didn't have baby wash so I used baby shampoo and that worked just fine)

-I actually doubled this putting it in two separate bowls and pouring it over each half. That seemed to saturate the towels just right for me, but you can just use the above mentioned on both halves and it would work well too.

1. Cut paper towel roll in half, remove cardboard. *I did this using a serrated knife. My counter looked like the cats had got into the paper towel roll when I was done with it but it got the job done. Let me know if you find something that works better for you.
2. Mix the solution.

3. Insert paper towel in container.

4. Pour solution over entire roll. Seal and let sit overnight. *This will be very oily if you try to use it too soon. I checked it after about 10 hours and it was still very oily. Letting it sit for an entire 24-48 hours seemed to be the best. I then moved it into a Ziploc for easier access.

Those of you who would like to make reusable baby wipes check out this bloggers version.

Edited to add cost analysis as requested:
*Obviously you can use any number of products from dollar store brand to natural brands, which would change the cost ratio. For the purpose of this blog I based this on Johnson and Johnson products. The wipes can also be bought at various prices but I chose to compare to Huggies.

Homemade cost:
-Johnson and Johnson's Baby Oil (20 oz) = 3.74
-Johnson and Johnson's Baby Wash (28 oz) = 4.99
-Johnson and Johnson's Baby Lotion (27 oz) = 4.99
-Bounty Paper Towel (1 regular roll w/ 56 sheets) = 1.97

2 oz of baby oil = 0.37
1 oz of baby wash = 0.18
1 oz of baby lotion = 0.18
1 roll bounty = 1.97
               TOTAL = 2.70 , since you cut the roll in half you get a total of 112 wipes. That comes to a cost of   0.02411 per wipe

Store bought cost:
Huggies wipes (2 pack with 72 wipes per pack) = 6.50 , with 144 wipes in the two packs that comes to a cost of 0.04514 per wipe.

So in general it costs about half as much to make your own. Pretty good deal if you ask me! 

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

A fresh start

As we get ready to head off to buy school supplies for the boys, I can't help but reminisce about my school days. I always loved that time at the end of summer when we went off to pick up all of our new school supplies for the year. Whether it was elementary school when I was organizing my pencil box or high school when I was making a folder for each class and putting clean sheets of notebook paper into my 3-ring binder, it always gave me a little rush. Some of you may be whispering screaming NERD and maybe there is some truth in that but I think it speaks for my optimistic side. New school supplies always meant new school year which meant new beginnings. A chance to start fresh, to have a clean slate. I would always resolve to make this the year that I stayed on top of everything. Then there was the possibility of new friendships and new crushes *swoon*. And of course new clothes were like the cherry on top of the sundae.

I wrote yesterday how Nathan had my same crazy love for school supplies. He has yet to actually experience school so I know they don't hold the same meaning for him yet but I can just see that he too will be a nerd optimist when it comes to school. I hope that each year will be full of excitement for the possibilities it brings and that he takes the opportunity to embrace each new beginning. Watching them grow can be hard it times but I love how it brings me right back to that time in my life. It lets me linger for awhile in a place that is long gone. It is that gift of seeing the pieces of myself that live on in my children. 

Unwrapping with Emily:

tuesdays unwrapped at cats

Monday, August 16, 2010

Letting life happen

This weekend we received a letter from our son's preschool. He was to be starting his first year in September but it turns out the program did not get enough interest and they weren't going to be able to keep it going. My initial reaction was shock. Then anger and frustration. Finally the worrying set in. How were we going to get him into a school this late in the game? What weighed even heavier on my heart was how were we going to tell him? He has been psyched about starting preschool since we signed him up in March. Many of his strides in potty training (wiping himself, standing to pee, putting back on his own pants and underwear) were because he wanted to be ready for preschool. He has talked about it nonstop and I did not want to break his little heart.

In the midst of all this emotion I stopped to pray. My favorite verse to pray when I am worried is Matthew 6:25-27. I realized that this too is a minor bump in the road and that I needed to put it in God's hands. Jeremy and I discussed it at length and decided that I would just home school him for preschool. He is a very independent learner and I don't worry at all about him being prepared for kindergarten academically. The one area I do worry about is socially. I always said that if I stayed home with my kids I would put them in preschool so they could get used to another adult's authority and interacting with other kids. So we decided to use the money we put away for this year of school and sign him up for extracurricular activities. He is starting Soccer Tots in September and we are looking into Karate. We definitely plan to do swim lessons as that was going to be something he learned at preschool and we want him to learn to swim as he is seriously fearless when it comes to the water. That combined with his weekly classroom experience at church makes me feel good about the social aspect of things.

I still feel bad having to break the news to him. He will be bummed. But we are going to soften the blow by taking him shopping for his very own school supplies. Believe me, he will love this! He is a little nerd like me and when we were filling backpacks for our church he went crazy over the school supplies. I am also going to make a routine for school time. He likes things structured and I think making it as much like school as possible will be good for him. I am planning to use this curriculum (recommended by one of my friends and a fellow blogger) and am thrilled that it is Christian based. It also includes two workbooks so Jordan can join in if he wants to.

After having worked this all out I feel such peace about this change. It is not what I had originally planned. It wasn't my first choice. But it feels right. I can see that this could be a huge blessing in our home. I get more time with my boys and I think that getting to spend the time teaching them will feel amazing. My degree is in teaching and I always thought I would focus more time on the boys' learning. I teach them a lot but it has never been a focused thing and I have kind of felt guilty about that. Not because anyone has made me to feel that way, it has just been a self-induced guilt. This is Nathan's last year at home full time before school starts so I am going to soak it up. I know that I am lucky to have this option of being home with my kids and teaching them myself. Not everyone has that option so for that I am thankful. I am sure this will have its ups and downs but I am choosing not to worry. God's word reminds me that I don't have to!

 Lilypie First Birthday tickers

Sunday, August 15, 2010

That kind of dad

I am one of the lucky ones. I ended up with a man who not only is an amazing husband, but is also an incredible father. The kind of dad that the boys will brag about one day when they realize how truly lucky they are. The kind of dad that I was blessed enough to have and that I hope my sons turn out to be. Really it is the seemingly small things that make a great dad. Yesterday for instance; Jeremy had been up 24 hours because of night shift and came home to get 5 hours of sleep but asked to be woken up so he could take us to Kids Day (something the boys had been BEGGING us to go to for 2 weeks). He was tired and would have been justified in sleeping in, but knew it was important to his sons and chose to sacrifice for them. There is no way they are able to comprehend what he did for them, but one day they will know. I know. And it fills me up with such great joy.

I made sure to tell him in the simplest text while he was at work last night. He responded in typical man fashion with a brief "Thanks," but I knew it really meant something when I woke up this morning to a box of doughnuts with a note attached saying how much that text had made his night. I am so glad I followed my heart and spoke out loud what I was thinking. It seems so often it is much easier to tell him the things I don't like or the areas that he could do better but those times when he really shines just pass by with nothing said. This is my attempt to spend more time focusing on the good. Realizing what I am so lucky to have. Love you babe!!


 Lilypie First Birthday tickers

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Continued Progress

I have been writing lately about trying to get organized (here and here) and thought I would give a progress report on how I am doing. My daily routine has continued to shape up starting with me getting myself completely ready. As I am finishing getting ready I put back all of my things and wipe down the bathroom, including the toilet. Yes, everyday. This has made a huge difference because it is constantly clean and only takes two minutes of my time to upkeep. It feels so good to take this little step that stops me from having to do the deep clean after it has been neglected for days weeks.  I then get all of the children dressed, start a load of laundry, feed them breakfast and wash the breakfast dishes. The rest of the day consists of me working on whatever zone we are in (last week was the kitchen, I did things like clear the counters and wipe them down) and hitting some of the "hot spots." I do dishes after every meal so that they don't pile up and I make sure the sink is shining every night before bed. I still have work to do, like incorporating more daily small cleaning to keep up on things and tackling some of the bigger problem areas like the boys' bedrooms but I can confidently say that I am making huge strides and have no doubt I will be able to keep this up. It has done wonders for my state of mind and has made me not only feel better about my home but about myself as a homemaker. My husband has noticed as well and has been kind enough to constantly praise me on my new found organization. That alone makes me want to keep it up!

 Lilypie First Birthday tickers

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

A smell, a taste, a sound

Yesterday as my 3 little men were napping and I was doing some catching up on the computer, I overheard my husband watching an episode of Band of Brothers. The men were singing the song "Glory, glory, what a hell of a way to die" and I found myself in a different place for just a moment. No, it was not World War II. That song had triggered a memory of my grandfather who used to sing military songs to us. I could see a moment in the living room with him and my brother, I could feel what I felt at that moment, I could almost smell my grandparents house. It is amazing how our memory gives us those small gifts.

All of my grandparents have passed and I treasure these moments where I am taken back to a time when they were still alive. Sometimes it is a song like yesterday. Sometimes it is the smell of something cooking that reminds me of my grandma's kitchen. I have even been brought back by the smell of Oil of Olay as that was what my one grandmother always smelled like. A phrase or gesture can  trigger this time warp. All of my grandparents had qualities that were distinctly them and when they reappear in a different form I am instantly reminded of them. It makes me wonder what kind of things will trigger someone's memory of me when I am gone. Will my husband smell someone else wearing my favorite Bath and Body scent and think of me? Will my kids be at a park with their kids and be brought back to a time when we frequented the park? In someway it is comforting to know that these pieces of me will continue on.

I am so grateful that those we have lost can still live on in our memory. It is like an appetizer...something to tide you over until we have the real thing again one day.

Unwrapping this post at:
tuesdays unwrapped at cats

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Homemade Laundry Detergent Part 2

A little over a month ago I tried my hand at making my own homemade laundry detergent.  Days after making this my detergent was put to the test with several loads of vomit covered items (I know, lovely).  It was then that I realized that this would not pass the test for heavy duty loads. I have since also discovered that it does not do well at removing things like deodorant and sweat stains and that it leaves clothes pretty much smelling the same as they did when they went in the washer. So when doing a load that has my husband's clothes in it, they all come out smelling like his cologne which is nice smelling but not how I want MY clothes to smell.  Of course this is a much better smell then the clothes that went in with vomit on them.  I also had to bump up the amount of detergent to a cup each load to try to make it cleaner so this has reduced the amount of loads I get out of a batch, also reducing the amount of savings. Now having said all that you may think I have thrown in the towel on homemade detergent. But seeing as I still had ingredients left and that I am determined to give it a proper chance before resorting back to overpriced, watered down, chemical filled store bought detergent, I gave it another go. This time trying the powdered detergent hoping that by not watering it down it will be more effective. I haven't washed any clothes with this but promise to update when I have properly tested it out.
* 2 cups grated Fels Naptha (or other bar soap)
* 1 cup Washing Soda
* 1 cup Borax

(Again, I was able to find all 3 of these together at Fred Meyer's)

I just tossed all 3 of these into my food processor and gave it a spin until it was powdered. A little warning, this is much like putting flour in your food processor and creates the same lovely "dust" so don't make near any open food or drink (says the lady who had a class of Iced Via sitting about 6 inches from my food processor at the time of making this).  When that was done I put it in an old empty flax seed container (I hear many people use old large yogurt containers). I added 15 drops of essential oil, orange is my scent of choice at the moment, put the lid on and gave it a good shake. I then labeled the top with a reminder that I would need 2 Tbsp per load and put it in my laundry room. Again, I will update when I have used it long enough to really get a feel for it. Hoping this goes better then the liquid version!

Since I was on here today getting the measurements to make some more detergent I thought I had better update you on this current version of detergent that we are using. I can happily say that this powdered version is working MUCH better than the liquid and I have continued to use it on a regular basis. I now make a triple batch at a time and don't have to remake it all that often. I have started using Dial bar soap instead of Nels Faptha as it is more readily available and with sale and coupon I can get it an 8 bar pack at a great price. Plus, I love the great clean smell:) Speaking of smell, I no longer have had the issue of my clothes coming out smelling the same as they went in, so I am pleased.
Also, I am very happy with how long my supplies are lasting. I just ran out of Washing Soda today and I bought it 5 months ago. There is still about 1/3 of Borax left.

It's a date:)

I still haven't been able to make it out on a date with my hubby since the little one was born but I did decide to make a date with my older boys. I figured we were in need of some alone time since they have had to split my attention with a needy baby for the last 10 weeks. Since I am still exclusively breastfeeding and haven't been pumping at all I knew I had to make it a fairly quick outing so daddy wouldn't be stuck with a hungry baby. So we hit the local Barnes and Noble. I told both of the boys that they could each pick out their own book. As I suspected, as soon as we hit the children book section they both wanted the first book they saw. It took some prompting to get them to look around a bit and we finally landed in the discount section which allowed them each two books. They then played with some other kids on the stage area and then we moved to check-out. They both wanted to carry their own books and upon arriving at the register they proudly plopped their books upon the counter. The check-out lady even commented on how well behaved they were, which always does my heart good. She must be a mom because she made sure to give them each their own bags to carry.

After purchasing the books we decided a treat was an order so we hit the Starbucks inside the store which also happens to carry Cheesecake Factory desserts. Jordan practically plastered his face to the display counter and pointed at each dessert exclaiming, "I want that one!" They finally settled on chocolate cupcakes with chocolate frosting mounded on top. I got the Godiva chocolate cheesecake which was to die for! A few messy faces later and we were ready to head back home. They were so excited to show daddy their new books. All in all it was a great time spent with two of my favorite little guys.

 Lilypie First Birthday tickers

Monday, August 2, 2010

It's a start!

For those of you who read my last post I was confessing my overall state of disorganization. I have to say in the few short days since I wrote that I have already been making some changes and it feels great!! Starting with the house first since the visible clutter seems to effect my mental state in other areas, I took the advice of a fellow blogger and checked out and am glad I did. Right now I am working through the baby steps of developing a good housecleaning routine. Since I started I have woke up to a shiny and empty sink every morning. I had to laugh when I first read how she thought waking up to a shiny sink was like a hug for yourself but the enthusiasm I have felt over having a clean sink is pretty ridiculous so I have given into the fact that although it may be cheesy, she is totally right. I have also woken up each morning and started the day by getting ready head to toe. This has been good for me as being a stay at home mom for 4 years now has helped me fall into a routine of sweats and no make-up on days Jeremy works.  It has made a big impact on my motivation when I start my day by getting myself ready. It is also helping me reach my goal of having my house company ready at all times. This means that not only does my house need to be presentable, but so do I.  Like I said before, these are all baby steps but it feels good to be moving in the right direction. 

 Lilypie First Birthday tickers
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