Oct 29, 2015

Crunchy Laundry Failures

Well, we can't all get everything right. I try my hardest to find alternatives to the various products we use in day to day life, and while I have had some mild success in a few areas (lip balm especially), other areas I have not been so lucky... the product I was the most keen on was replacing my laundry detergent. I have tried (and failed) with numerous recipes. Nothing really did the trick, and some of them left a noticeable stink on my towels and cloth diapers after a few washes. Some of them built up residue and made diapers (and towels) repel moisture. Yuck. I tried to make the switch mostly because I have sensitive skin pretty much anywhere the smallclothes touch, and I worry about my son developing the same sensitivity... and when wearing a diaper made of cloth, that really wouldn't be the greatest of things.

As I sit here with my latest failure in the homemade laundry detergent category, I cannot help but sigh, and maybe laugh. I have 3 gallons (I did not realize it would make QUITE that much), and I really do not care for how it makes my diapers or towels come out. If I could drink, I think I might crack open a cold one, sigh, and go back to the drawing board. Since I have roughly 18 weeks to go, I will pour myself another glass of water, and I think (just this once), give up and go back to buying my laundry detergent. I have found a few new brands that are supposed to be good for sensitive skin, and cloth diapers both. Let's hope they also get rid of diaper-funk.

Am I giving up? No. I will keep trying. But maybe I might take a break on this one, just for a few months. You win some, you lose some. This one is a definite (not-so-fresh-scented) loss.

Oct 28, 2015

Apple Butter

Mmmmm... fall. One of my favorite times of the year! I know I have mentioned Apple Hill before, and I just have to mention it again... apple. everything. We just brought home 60lbs  of apples, and I spent the weekend turning it all into apple butter. Yum. Is there anything better?

Oct 23, 2015

Football games & pregnancy

My sister came for a visit from Alaska (melting in the California heat of course, poor girl). She had a blast, we all did. We were able to reconnect over things we enjoy (like quilting, and of course, football). Our family, the whole lot of us, are huge Seattle fans. It started with my dad, who lived in Seattle for a long time. While he was there, the team was formed and he became a fan, and stayed a fan. Growing up, the Seahawks were just who we rooted for. Don't get me wrong, I will root for other teams for extended family, the 49ers, the Chargers, and the Packers included, but Seattle is where my heart is. Our family bleeds blue & green. So, when it was discovered that she would be here during the 49ers-Seahawks game, well, we just had to go.

Oct 21, 2015

Navigating toddlerhood...

I love my child. He is growing up into a strong-willed, quirky individual. And that means we butt heads, often, as he learns to express himself. Chasing around a toddler while halfway through pregnancy is making me think "Sweet Mother, what am I doing?? WHY did I want another?"

We have decided to try a few things... and we definitely have hopes that this works out. I'll post an update in a month or two, to compare and see, and would welcome any suggestions you may have to help.

For starters, he has so many toys.  His toys, almost all of them, usually wind up spread all ove rthe floor, every single day. The house looks like Hurricane Bug hit it at max force within an hour of his waking. To make cleanup easier, and give him "more variety", we have decided to split his toys into 3 large tubs (with a bin inside those tubs for things like his wooden blocks, or his mega blocks)... every Sunday after bed, we will change the tub out. That will keep the toys "new" to him, and also help reduce cleaning time every night. While we are doing this, I think we will set aside the definite "baby" toys and hide them until the baby is not only here, but of the age to be interested in toys, in general. maybe by then Bug will be less interested in those toys, and actually let the baby play with them.

Second, we are going to get a huge tub, and every single toy he throws in frustration/defiance (as a result of being told no, we don't throw), the toy will be picked up and deposited in the tub for the day - boom, no more toy. Gone. We will explain as we pick up the toy that he doesn;t get it anymore, because he threw it. We already know from experience that this will bring about a few extra thrown tows, and eventually a tantrum, but we are hoping that he will eventually learn and get the picture: "don't throw shit."

Building from that, is a food challenge. He throws his food/plate/utensils/water if he has been told "no" at the dinner table. So, if he pushes his food and plate away, he can ask for it back - once. We already know that he will turn it into a game (push away, get it back, push away, get it back). So once and done. If he throws his fork/spoon to the floor, he doesn't get it back. Same with his water - we will give it to him to drink after dinner is over, if he wants it. If he throws his food, anywhere, he is done. Even if it is the start of the meal, my husband or I will get up, take him away from the table, and start his bath.

I predict tantrums, at least at first. But hey, it will save our carpets, and possibly teach him boundaries. Let's see how this goes, eh?

What are some suggestions you have for helping to teach kids boundaries?

Oct 19, 2015

Wintertime skin care (or "skin care for dry-itchy-pregnant-skin")

"It rubs the lotion on its skin, or else it gets the hose again..."

OK, OK... so maybe wintertime pregnancy skin isn't quite so dry that I need a creepy guy handing me lotion in a bucket. But I have enough issues with dry skin, and with winter fast approaching, and pregnancy on top of that, I know from experience that I am in for some seriously crazy itchiness, EVERYWHERE. Anti-itch cream and calamine lotion not only won't help, but they stink to high heaven too. So what is a girl to do? Well, get crafty, of course. And I have two recipes that will be sure to help out!