Friday, August 19, 2011

a week ago

A week ago today little man attended his first day of school.

So far so good.  He's doing much better than I thought he would.  I didn't really know what to expect in terms of his behavior at school.  Part of me thought he'd cry all day long, and part of me thought he'd love running around with all the other kids (after a few days of course).  In terms of at home behavior, I really thought I'd have a super clingy kid on my hands for at least a week or two, until he settled in.  Nope, nada, not at all.  The kid really seems to love it.

By the second day, he's going Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from 8:30-12:00, I was hearing good reports.  By the second day, he was starting to enjoy himself.  By the second day, he was no longer throwing tantrums that resulted in him hitting himself or hitting his head on the floor.  He comes home from school in a great mood, and of course Mom is in a great mood because of this not to mention her time alone.  All in all the kid is growing up, and we're excited to see him do so...of course we're crying because he has to, but still we're excited.

Monday, August 8, 2011

morning routine

The little man starts school this week.  Wednesday is open house.  Then Friday is officially his first day of preschool.  Do you hear the crying?  Oh no it's not me, it's the lovely ladies that will be wrangling him in each day.  Actually it is bitter sweet.  The little guy is all grown up and leaving the nest for bigger and brighter things.

Since he's moving on...seriously before I know it he'll be heading off to college, luckily we live in a college town so he won't be going far, no dorm rooms for you buddy...I thought it was perfectly acceptable to get a bit more snuggle time in last week.  Every morning he woke up, I fixed his breakfast, and we promptly headed into my room to climb on the bed, watch some toons, and eat.

Lately he has been asking to watch movies.  And on top of that he has to watch them in our room.  He is perfectly content to sit on our bed all day, watch movies and play with his cars.  The only thing better is going outside of course.

Caught him mid cough.

Even Sophie has enjoyed our morning routine.  Enjoy it while it lasts Soph.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

hey good lookin'

whatcha got cookin'?
We got laundry soap a cookin'

I've wanted to try to make my own laundry detergent for a year or so now.  However I've always been too scared to, in fear that it would fade our clothes.  A week or so ago I decided to make a few of my own cleaning supplies and after making one I wanted to make another then another until finally I was only left with laundry detergent.

So I gave it a go.  All went well until the next day.  I had read not to be alarmed when you wake up the next day to find a few lumps, that it clumps as it cools, to just shake it up a bit.  I put mine in two milk jugs, and I really believe that I could of cute the jugs in half and the detergent would have stood on its own.  There were no lumps, there was one big lump.  I had to stick a wooden spoon handle down in the jug to break it up some, then squeeze like hell to get it out, then mush it up with my hands until it was finally more of a liquid form.  Fun times.

We do however now have homemade laundry detergent and I have used it a few times.  So far it has been a success.  We'll see how it continues in the future.

Here is the recipe I used for the laundry detergent.
I did make a couple changes, because I heard that with hard water you need more stuff to water ratio.

Homemade laundry detergent

1 bar of soap grated (I used an orange honeysuckle softsoap, who knew they made bar soap now)
1.5 cups Borax (I used 1.5 rather than the 1 cup it called for)
1.5 cups Washing Soda (again 1.5 rather than the 1 cups it called for)

Pour a gallon of water in a pot with your grated bar soap.  When the soap has dissolved add the Borax and Washing Soda.  Bring to a boil.  Then add another gallon of cool water.  I let mine cool slightly then poured them in two gallon sized milk jugs...actually one gallon sized milk jug and one gallon sized tea jug.  It will thicken as it cools.

The next morning you could be in big trouble.  Next time I plan to just let mine cool in the pot overnight then mush it the next morning and put it in the jugs afterwards. 

Next up an all-purpose cleaner.  I've looked around trying to find where I found this and can't.  There are tons that are very similar but not exactly like this.  I haven't tried the others so I have no idea if this one is better or not, it's just what I started with and it works so I'm sticking with it for now.

All-Purpose Cleaner

1 T Vinegar
1 tsp Borax
3/4 c warm distilled water
2 T liquid Castille Soap

Mix the vinegar and borax together in a spray bottle.  To that add warm water and mix well.  Add castille soap and 10 or so drops of essential oils if you want.  

For the castille soap I used Dr. Bronners, which I have found in the fancy bath soap aisle of both Publix and Target.  I was unable to find unscented the first time and bought almond honey or something like that but this eliminates the need or desire for essential oils...a cheaper route if you are interested in that sort of thing.  Also I used this on the Mr.'s shower and OMG the soap scum practically jumped off the walls by itself.  Who would've known, I sprayed it, left it on for about 10 minutes, and effortlessly wiped the walls down with a magic eraser.  I'm sure a rag would work fine too, I had the eraser so I used it.

Next we have the best glass cleaner there is.  I used to be a vinegar whore.  I'm a bit ashamed to admit it but it's true.  I used vinegar for everything, my favorite thing was glass and mirrors.  It, especially when used with newspaper rather than paper towels, will give windex a run for its money.  I've seen the light.  This stuff is the bomb diggity.  I compare it to HD tv.  Yeah it's that good.  Just like when you first get HD you sit there flipping back and forth between HD ESPN and regular ESPN...because we all know ESPN is the clearest for some will sit and look back and forth between the window that you have cleaned with this stuff and the others.  It's that good.

Alvin Corn Glass Cleaner

1/4 c. rubbing alcohol
1/4 c. vinegar
1 T cornstarch
2 c. warm water

Combine in a spray bottle and shake well.  The cornstarch will settle between uses so shake before using as well.

Let me just say that when you put warm water in a spray bottle with other stuff and shake it, it will create pressure possibly expanding the bottle and possibly leak a bit.  So maybe just stir it with the lid not screwed on.  Or shake then unscrew the lid to release the pressure until the contents are warm.  I'm not sure if this happens with everything but it has happened with everything I've made so far.

Just when you think you've found the best glass cleaner and you think it can't get any better...I will present you with the greatest furniture polish.  I'm not one to believe in conspiracy theories, or even start them but shhhh....I think pledge is trying to screw us.  I'm only kidding here, no lawsuits please.  I gave this one a go and I must say that the dust stays away far longer than it does with pledge.  I've used it on older furniture, that isn't sealed, and so far so good, but please use this at your own discretion, I'd hate to be the reason your Great Aunt Edna's buffett was ruined.

Furniture Polish

1/2 tsp Olive Oil
1/4 c. Vinegar

Mix in a glass jar and use a rag to apply/polish.

I actually used more than 1/2 tsp of olive oil, it just didn't seem like enough.  I actually just poured a slow skinny stream for 3 seconds.  I only dust once a week now, could probably go longer.  I probably only dusted once a week before, could have definitely done it more often though.

And last is just a simple trick.  Dump some baking soda in a jar that has some hole poked in the top, sprinkle in some essential oil, I used lemon.  Cover with saran wrap and shake around.  Let it sit overnight and tada instant carpet freshener....ok not instant but freshener none the less.  Sprinkle on your carpets or rugs and let sit for 15-30 minutes and vacuum as normal.

Ok so go grab you some spray bottles and old pickle jars and go to town.  You will thank me later.