Wednesday, 30 June 2010

Making laundry detergent

Earlier this year, I blogged about making things.  One of the things I like to make is laundry detergent.  It's great!!!  This saves us lots of money, and has fewer additives than store bought detergent.  The recipe involves three ingredients and water.  Borax can be found pretty much anywhere in the laundry aisle.  Washing soda can be a bit more difficult to come by.  I found mine in the laundry aisle at Market Street.  You can really use any old bar of soap, but I like Dr. Bronner's hemp castile soap for a couple of reasons.  First, it's made from natural, fair trade ingredients, second, because it has essential oils in it that smell yummy.  :)

To begin with, put 4 cups of water in a pot to boil.  While water is coming to a boil, grate your bar of soap.  This is the most labour intensive step of making the detergent, and takes a little under ten minutes.  I really thought grating soap would be much more difficult, but it's not at all.

Once the water is boiling, add the grated soap a bit at a time, and stir until it's dissolved.

You'll end up with soapy soup!

Add 3 gallons of warm water to a large bucket with a lid, 2 cups washing soda, 2 cups borax, and your soap soup.  Stir well, put the lid on your bucket and let it sit for 24 hours.

Here is the last little bit of detergent I poured out of my bucket before I made the new detergent.  As you can see, it sort of congeals and has some clumps in it.

I keep a long spoon on top of my bucket to stir the detergent with each use because it will separate, as well as a 1/4 cup to measure it.  This recipe lasted us for six whole months!  It's SO much less expensive than the 7th Generation laundry detergent that we were buying, and no one's skin has had a reaction to it, which is always questionable around here when we switch detergents or soaps.  :)  This whole process takes me a grand total of about thirty minutes.  Twice a year?  To save a TON on laundry detergent?  I'll take it!  :)

Monday, 28 June 2010

25 Weeks and some home improvements

Here I am at 25 weeks.  I think, possibly, that every mom heaves a big sigh of relief at this point in pregnancy.  It doesn't matter how many normal, healthy pregnancies you've had, there's just something about knowing that if the baby were born right now that he would have a good chance of surviving.  Of course now, I'm anxious about going to labour when Jonathan is out of town, but that's just life!

Our master toilet has had some issues in the last year.  We (meaning Jonathan) have now officially replaced every part in the tank.  Hopefully, this is not a repair we will have to do again soon.

While the tank was off the toilet Sunday, Jonathan was sweet enough to paint the wall behind it so that we wouldn't have to worry about that again..  Perhaps that will give us motivation to finish the rest of the room!  ;)

Thursday, 24 June 2010

More fluff!

I spent some time this afternoon with a sweet friend here in Anna who makes and sells cloth diapers.  She also homeschools her kiddos, so we had plenty to talk about.  :)  ANYWAY...  It was great to be able to actually physically pick up all the different kinds of diapers she sells, and I brought home a couple of snappis, and some very pretty dyed prefolds.  I think I may have to pick out an even dozen in different colours.  These are gonna be so cute on my little Zachariah's bum!  :)

**UPDATED**  I didn't have the snappis out of the package for long before Celestia and Tatiana asked how they work, so we had a brief cloth diaper training session with a teddy bear.  :)

Tuesday, 22 June 2010

24 Weeks

I woke up this morning and realised that I hadn't had the girls take a picture of me yesterday.  So, good morning, everyone!

Thursday, 17 June 2010

Just the two of us

Celestia has gotten too old to go to our beloved Camp Copass *sniff sniff*, so Sunday afternoon, we saw her off to a new camp at Abeline Christian University.

Tatiana was not too happy about her sister being gone for a week, so we promised her some fun time with just Mommy and Daddy.

Yesterday morning, I had a doctor appointment, and Tatiana got to go with me.  Not fun, you say?  Well, she thought it was AWESOME to be able to hear her little brother's heartbeat (150 BPM)!  My doctor is absolutely amazing, and spent a bit of extra time with us.  She let Tatiana hear the heartbeat for longer than was really necessary, and talked to her about camp and the aquarium.  On a side note, she says that everything is perfect, my blood pressure is great, I've gained just the right amount of weight, and I'm measuring a week and a half early, which is about what we expected.
There's no better place for a girl who wants to be a vet than somewhere full of animals (and no better place in the heat of June for a pregnant mama than somewhere indoors!).  We had great fun having lunch together at Cafe Maya, overlooking the shark tank and flamingos...

and then took off to see all our animal friends and take pictures of EVERYTHING!  I don't normally take so many pictures.  I love looking at wonderful pictures, but most of the time prefer to just relax and watch everything going on around me.

This bird flew right down to us, and Tatiana put her finger in the bird's face, and got bitten!  Silly girl!

This is my favourite place in the aquarium.  I love waterfalls!

Here is a close second favourite.

We saw several nesting animals.  Love is definitely in the air.

I even took a couple of self portraits.

Can't wait to bring my Zachariah here to enjoy the animals!

We had a great day together, spending the whole afternoon in our favourite place in Dallas!  Tatiana took a ton of pictures on her sister's old cell phone, and if we can ever find a data transfer cable, I'll post some of them, too!

Monday, 14 June 2010

23 Weeks and fun baby goodies!

Here I am at 23 weeks.  People seem to think I look like I'm due soon.  I think they have me confused with someone who isn't 4'11".  lol  Where else is the baby supposed to go but out?  I am starting to get really sore though, so it's time to start some prenatal yoga to help out with the aches and pains.

Tatiana saw this frog the other day when we were at the aquarium, and I just couldn't resist picking it up!  He fits in perfectly with our nature theme, and he croaks when you squeeze his belly.  TOO CUTE!!!

Friday, we headed to BuyBuy Baby to use a coupon that was about to expire.  I had no idea what to actually buy, but decided that this giraffe would be an item that I would definitely purchase if we didn't get it for a gift, so that's what we settled on.  It makes 4 different sounds that you can set on a timer to help soothe baby to sleep: "play" which is a kind of drum beat with animal sounds, "soothe" which is just the animal sounds, "calm" which is a waterfall, and mother's heartbeat.  He also comes with a storybook about the gentle giraffe.

In other news, Zachariah was finally cooperative this last week, and has allowed Jonathan to feel him move!  Previously, he would stop moving the moment anyone put their hand on my belly.  I'm hoping this will mean that he's going to be an easy baby, and a good cuddle will calm him when he's fussy.  With two big sisters and parents who have been waiting for him several years, I think cuddles will be easy to come by in our household!  ;)

Monday, 7 June 2010

22 Weeks

This is what a worn out momma looks like after a day of shopping for summer camp with two pre-teens in 100+ heat. Whew!

Sunday, 6 June 2010

Cloth diaper stash... continued!

When I ordered our first round of cloth diapers, the fabulous Megan at Pampered Buns sent a coupon for some free cloth wipes along with the order.  Of course, I went back to her for our second round of cloth dipes!  :)  "One size" diapers almost never fit newborn babies, so you need something to use for at least the first month or so to get the baby up to a size where they'll fit.  Our plan is to use prefolds, and covers.  Now, before you start wrinkling your nose, and thinking of white plastic pants, take a look at these!

Aren't they adorable???  These are Thirsties Duo diaper covers in a size one.  They fit from 6 to roughly 18 pounds, so we'll get much more use out of them than we would out of a small fitted cover.  They can be used over fitted diapers, or over prefolds.  Our newborn stash is now just about complete.  I will be purchasing some infant prefolds to go in them, which we will be able to use for extra absorbency even when they're too small to wrap around the baby by simply tri-folding them and putting them in a shell!

I think these wipes are absolutely adorable, don't you?  I'll be making many more soon, but since I had the coupon, I figured that would be 3 wipes that I wouldn't have to sew myself!  :)