Friday, August 29, 2008

Vinegar can do THAT???

Okay, so I need to be quick, b/c I promised myself I'd get to bed early tonight...but I just HAVE to tell you about my cleaning discovery yesterday! I told you before about how I'm trying to use less chemicals, and I've heard over and over that white vinegar is great for cleaning...but I'm so skeptical about stuff like that. I mean, how good could it possibly be? Especially when the recipes I've seen call for you to add only 1/4 C. or so to about a quart to half a gallon of water.

Was I ever wrong!! So, I added 1/4 C. white vinegar to about 24 oz. water (b/c that's how much my spray bottle held), and I added some grapefruit-peppermint essential oil, to make it smell wonderful. I started by using it to mop the floors. I tried something else new, too. Instead of using the regular rag-mop, which I hate, b/c I hate working with a heavy bucket of dirty water, I picked up a pack of 18 white washclothes for a little over $3 at Wal-Mart this week. I put one on my regular Swiffer dry mop and just pushed the wash cloth corners into the little holes where you usually push the swiffer pads. It worked GREAT!! (This was a tip from my sister, Karen!) And they scrubbed the floor wonderfully - honestly, they are so rough, I don't know how anyone could possibly use them on their bodies!! So, anyway, I sprayed the floor with the cleaning solution, then mopped it with my washcloth-Swiffer dealie, and it worked wonders! Grease spots - gone. Spit-up spots - gone. And instead of having to ring out a dirty, nasty mop, all I had to do when the rag was dirty was flip it over and use the other side, then switch it out for a new rag (seeing as I have 18 of them and all!). Piece of cake!! And my house smelled great too!

But I didn't stop there. I decided to finally tackle the white railing along the top of the loft. It was still gross from when we moved in - dusty and covered in dirty handprints from the kids who lived here before. Spray and wipe - unbelievable - the black handprints came right off!! So then I decided to try it on the black handprints on the white walls near the staircase - spray, waited 20 seconds, wiped (didn't even scrub!) - gone! I became a believer!! I then used it to clean the bathroom sinks and faucets, and let me just tell you how easy it was to clean my bathtub - you know that nasty, stuck-on soap ring you get from the bubble bath - yep - spray spray, wipe - gone! Unbelievable! Seriously - why did I ever buy chemicals from the store??? Now when the babies are crawling around on the tile floors slurping up dust mites, I have no worries about what random chemicals they are sucking on!!

And, before I head to bed, here are some of the lovely aprons I am admiring...some are from sewing sites I visit, some from etsy, some from Seriously - don't they just make you wanna be like martha??? So so so cute!!!

Hope everyone has a great weekend!!

Tag, You're It!!

I've never been tagged before...hmm...well, now that I wrote that, I'm thinking I may have been tagged once before by my sister, and I'm thinking I maybe never did write my entry!! Oops!


Here are the rules of this tag game:

1. Link to the person who tagged you
2. Post the rules on your blog
3. Write 6 random things about yourself
4. Tag 6 people at the end of your post and link to them
5. Let each person you have tagged know by leaving a comment on their blog
6. Let the tagger know when your entry is posted

1. Thanks, Alison!!

2. Check

3. Hmm...6 random things...okay...
  • I have a current obsession with aprons. I cannot wait to get a sewing machine so I can start making some!! For me, for gifts...seriously, you should see how many pics of cute aprons I've downloaded in the last few days...there are some REALLY cute ones out there!! Go on and search "flirty apron," and check them out!
  • My feet hurt. All the time. Seriously. I take an enormous amount of ibuprofen just so I can walk around without being in horrible pain all the time. It's really aggravating!!
  • I just noticed Anthony get his step stool, out of the corner of my eye, and take it to the kitchen. Curiosity made me watch to see what he was going to do. Yep, he got up to the island and got the corkscrew down to play with it. Great toy.
  • I'm starting to kind of enjoy cleaning...a little bit. Well, maybe I should rephrase that. I'm starting to not hate it quite as much as I used to.
  • I found a great new deodorant scent, thanks to my sister Karen - Dove, grapefruit lemongrass. It's wonderful. Who knew deodorant could smell so yummy??!
  • I'm finally getting an apnea monitor belt for Makayla today...only b/c I called them AGAIN and once again threatened to sue them if my daughter dies, AND I have to drive to Temecula to get it. I'm gonna find out who I can write a letter to and file a formal complaint...this is ridiculous. She's been without a monitor now since August 4!!
4. Tag 6 people...okay, here goes...
5. Okay, gonna go do that now...

6. And gonna go do that now...

And I'll be back later (hopefully) to tell you all about how I've discovered the wonders of white vinegar!!! :)

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Bloggers unite for an incredible cause!!

I am so overwhelmed this morning, reading blog after blog of incredible women who have come together today in the great "blog-0-sphere" to help another blogging mom. Stephanie, aka "Nie," and her husband Christian, were in a horrible small airplane crash a couple weeks ago, and are both in serious condition in the hospital. Their family has rallied around them to care for their children, and you can find updates on her sister Jane's blog, C Jane Run. I've only been reading Nie Nie's blog for a short time, but here's an example of what I love about her - The bell is ringing...again. What a completely awesome way to celebrate the beginning of the school year!

But today, something really incredible is happening. It started small, but it has mushroomed into something HUGE. There is an online, silent auction taking place. On many blogs. With incredible products. And all of the proceeds are going to a fund set up to help pay medical bills and household expenses for Stephanie and Christian during what the doctors say will be many months of recovery.

If you would like to take part, or just get a glimpse into what's going on, here are some of the participating blogs:

Design Mom - she's the one coordinating the overall effort
Oh Judy
Tangled and True
A Room Somewhere
Vermillion Rules - this one's very cool - she'll make a quilt out of your baby's outgrown clothes!!

Those are just a few - there are literally probably a 100 different sites, if not more, holding auctions in honor of Nie Nie and her husband, in addition to many online stores offering to donate proceeds to the fund. Go to Design Mom for the complete list.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

What a day!

Well, we survived...I'm glad I dragged us back out to the children's Bible study, b/c Anthony really had a good time, and I had a nice time visiting with the other moms, too. Even the girls got some lovin'. :) We ended the day with a good dinner, and Anthony ate faster than I've ever seen him eat - he was motivated, b/c he wanted to go outside to play with his remote control truck, which he's been doing a LOT of the past few days! (These pics of him are actually from yesterday outside - never mind the shoes on the wrong feet!)

Hopefully tomorrow will be a little more laid back...and I've NO plans to leave the house!!! We do have a friend coming to see us, in the afternoon, so that will be nice. I have lots of housework to do, since I didn't get my daily chores done today, and I want to try to get the new gate put up at the top of the stairs. Wish me luck!!

Where do I pick up my medal?

You mean, I don't get one? After this morning, I deserve SOMETHING! Maybe a "worst mother of the year" award?

The day started innocently enough. I only got woken up once during the night, around 2:15 a.m., by Makayla. Then I got to sleep in to 7:00, when Mackenzie woke me up. I got her, and she was fussing, but not anything more than normal. We went downstairs, and I made her bottle. We sat down on the couch to start our day...

..and then I figured out why she was so fussy yesterday. Teething, like I had assumed? Uh uh. Perhaps it was the green crud flowing out of her ear!!! Poor baby had a RAGING ear infection! So I called Kaiser and requested an appointment, and went through the go-arounds about which office we should go to...blah blah blah. A while later a nurse called and we got an appointment in Moreno Valley, which is the closest, thankfully.

So I rushed around to get everyone fed and dressed, and out the door, and we made it to the appointment on time. We got in the exam room, with Anthony and Makayla in the stroller, and Mackenzie in the sling. Makayla decided she was hungry, so I began to switch Makayla and Mackenzie out. I took Makayla out of the stroller, and plopped Mackenzie in, but then realized the stroller doesn't have a middle-support between the legs, so I would need to strap Mackenzie in so she wouldn't slide down and fall out. So I laid Makayla on the exam table, put my body against the table, and leaned down to strap Mackenzie in - you see where this is going, right??

Yeah, next thing I know, Makayla is moving head-first towards the tile-floor, and try as I might to catch her, she slid right through my hands and hit head first. Auughh!!! My baby!! The nurse heard me yell, and came running in to see me clutching Makayla to me. She was crying, not screaming - I think I was crying harder than she was. I nursed her, and within a minute, she was totally, not so hands didn't stop shaking for like an hour!

So then they had to check Makayla in too, so the doctor could examine her and make sure she was okay. She may have a little bump on the back of her head - hard to tell - but she's otherwise fine. They said to watch for signs of a head injury, like irritability or vomiting - OH, you mean normal-Makayla behavior??? I'll be sure to keep on eye on that!

Anyway, then we had to go to the pharmacy, b/c poor Mackenzie has not one, but TWO infected ears - 12 days before her surgery!!! Ack!! She's just too darn good-natured about things - perhaps if she'd run a fever, or tugged on an ear, or screamed bloody murder b/c she was in so much pain...maybe I'd have had a clue?! But no, she has to be "the good one," and just waits for crap to come flowing out before I get a clue!

Then we had to go to Babies R Us, b/c we desperately need a gate at the top of the stairs, now that Makayla is crawling, and I couldn't find the right kind at WalMart or Target.

So now we're home, but headed back out, b/c Anthony has a children's Bible study this afternoon, and I don't want to make him miss it. What a day...

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Dare I blog about this??

I'm not normally a superstitious type. I turned 13 on Friday the 13th, after all, and nothing bad happened. At least, not on that day...other birthdays have held not so fortunate my 10th, when my dad broke his leg roller skating and had to have surgery, or my 23rd, when my apartment got broken into, or my 32nd, when I had a miscarriage. But I digress...I'm not typically superstitious. And yet, I'm a bit timid about blogging about this, and am tempted to start knocking on some heavy duty wood before doing so!!!

Two nights ago, a miracle happened in our house. I got to sleep for 4 hours, uninterrupted. Why? Because my darling Makayla, my "I need to eat every 2 to 3 hours or I'm going to starve to death" adorable baby girl, slept for 11.5 hours straight!! Of course, this scared the you know what out of me, since we are STILL without an apnea monitor (thank you, very much, Apria and Kaiser, for your astonishing customer service and commitment to the safety and health of my 8 month old high risk infant!), and I woke up at 4:30 a.m. in a panic, certain she had stopped breathing and I would find her lifeless. I laid in my bed praying and getting up the courage to go check on her for several minutes before I finally forced myself to go look, and there she was, just as peaceful and ALIVE as could be, sleeping soundly. I had put her to bed at 7:30 p.m. She woke up at 6:00 a.m., nursed, and went back to sleep, and slept for 2 more hours.

I was not holding my breath in hopes of a repeat performance, because this is, after all, Makayla, who LOVES to eat!

Last night, I put her to bed at 7:15 p.m., and when I was headed to bed at about 11:25 p.m., I went in to check on the girls. Makayla wasn't quite awake, but was stirring, and not wanting to just lay my head on the pillow to hear her cry, I went ahead and got her up and nursed her. And the next thing I was 6:00 this morning and Darrell was bringing her to me in bed!! Which means - I got 6 hours of uninterrupted sleep - for the first time in...I don't know - like maybe a year, at least, since I never slept well while I was pregnant?!

Could it be real???? I can hardly wrap my mind around the idea of having all 3 of my children sleeping through the night! Anthony didn't sleep through the night until he was, what, like 3 years old??? Mackenzie, of course, has been sleeping through the night practically since she was born - even when she wasn't SUPPOSED to sleep through the night!! Anyway, I'm still not holding my breath that this will continue, but I am thankful for a couple nights' reprieve!!

Monday, August 25, 2008

Guess what Darrell found???

That's right!!! He found the camera cord, in one of the boxes still in the garage!!! YAY!!!!! Which means, you get pics today!!! :))))) So, I took some goofy ones of me, b/c I'm trying out some new photography stuff for a scrapbooking challenge I found on a cool blog (check it out - over on the right - pretty paper...). And of course, the kids, and some of the house, even though we're not close to being done with it yet.

See how much tamer the hair is AFTER mommy gets a chance to do something with it???

The blue patch on the wall by the refrigerator is the color the walls will be in the kitchen and family room.

The craft room - as you can see, it's sort of a mess, b/c it's already being used!! :)

Sunday, August 24, 2008

A blemish...

...on my perfect driving record...?!!! Wah?????? And for something I truly, honestly did NOT know I was doing wrong! Surely there have been times they could have rightfully ticketed me for speeding or not coming to a full stop...but this time, I honestly had NO CLUE what I had done wrong when the officer pointed at me to pull over!!

I had Anthony with me, and we were on our way to Sage's birthday party in Temecula, which is about 35 minutes from where we live. I haven't been to Temecula in about 4.5 years, and I've NEVER been on this particular freeway off-ramp before. I had never been to the place where the party was being held, so I was just focusing on following the directions to find the place. Well...APPARENTLY, there's a sign - nay, TWO signs, says the officer, saying "no turn on red," at the end of the off-ramp. So, the car in front of me comes to a stop, looks to make sure no cars were coming, turns, and I did the same thing. We made the next turn, and a motorcycle cop sitting in the median flips on his lights and motions at the car in front of me to pull over. I thought, "What did she do wrong? I didn't see her do anything!" And then he pointed at ME to pull over too! And I thought, "What did I do????"

So I patiently waited for him to go talk to the driver in front of me, all while listening to Anthony ask me a dozen times, "Why are we stopped? We have to go to Sage's birthday!!" The officer came over and asked for my license, reg, and insurance, and I obliged, and said, "Could I ask why you pulled me over?" He said, "What color was the light at the off ramp?" I said, innocently, "Red, I stopped, looked to make sure it was safe, and turned." He then informed me of the signs.

I tried to explain to him that I'd never been there before, that I was from out of area and trying to find my way to a new place, but he didn't care. He said they have a lot of accidents there and that's why they're out there giving tickets. Well, um...maybe you should be giving tickets to the people who LIVE there who intentionally blow the signs on a regular basis...that might cut down on the me one, someone who will likely never be at that intersection again...not really gonna do so much! And did I mention that I have a PERFECT driving record????? Had. Had a perfect driving record.

As Sage's mommy said...that was the most expensive birthday party I've been to in a long time!! Good thing I made my own laundry detergent to save money last week, huh? :)

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Weeks One and Two...I'm gonna call...a success!!

So, as I've said, one of my new blog loves is Simple Mom. One of the things I LOVE LOVE LOVE about her is that she's totally inspired me to get so many planning, cleaning, paperwork, etc.

So, two weeks ago, I started menu planning. I decided to go with a generic weekly plan, as she did. So, our generic weekly plan looks like this:

Mondays - Salad
Tuesdays - Mexican
Wednesdays - Italian
Thursdays - Stir-fry or Leftovers
Fridays - Homemade Pizza
Saturdays - Something New or an Old Favorite
Sundays - Grill night

This made it SO much easier for me to plug in meal plans, having a basic framework - otherwise I found myself getting overwhelmed with just too many recipes to choose from. Anyway, I started by looking at what meat and fish we had in the freezer (which, we happened to have just about everything, due to some major good buys recently), and started plugging in meals based around that. I started off by planning 2 weeks worth of dinners, and used her printable grocery list to check off everything I needed for the recipes.

Then, also at her suggestion, I set up Google Calendar and plugged in my meals for each day. One great thing about Google Calendar is that you can set up many different calendars in one - so I have a "menu" calendar, an "events" calendar (for events/appointments), a calendar for Darrell's days off, etc. Each of those uses a different color for the text, and I can turn them on/off as I please - so I can see them all together, or each separately, as I wish. Then, I set up reminders for each meal - one email reminder, to be sent 12 hours before dinner, and one pop-up reminder, to be given one hour before dinner. That way, when I get online in the morning, there is an email in my inbox, reminding me what's for dinner - this is my reminder to get the meat/fish out of the freezer so it is thawed by dinner time. Then, the pop-up reminder kicks me into gear if I get distracted online - which I tend to do!! Also, I print out my menu calendar and keep it with my household organization binder to have a handy paper reference as well.

And I have to say, it really does alleviate a lot of stress not having to worry about what's for dinner. It's great to not have to worry about it, or get to 5:00 p.m. and be standing in front of the refrigerator trying to figure out what to fix, like I used to. The worst part, of course, is the clean-up. I love cooking; I hate clean-up. But hopefully I will get past that!! :)

The other tool from Simple Mom that I've been using is her Daily Docket. Oh, my, this is a wonderful tool!!! The way I've been using it is to print off enough for the whole week on Sunday. I fill in the meals then, as well as any appointments I already know about. I also developed, this week, a weekly cleaning plan, and I write in my cleaning tasks for each day on the daily dockets. I am a person who LOVES checking things off a list - so this works great for me!! Then, each night before bed, I look at my daily docket for the next day. I determine my 3 MIT's (Most Important Tasks) - these are not just another "to do" list - but TRULY, if I ONLY got those three things done, my day would be a success. Things like...spending quality time with Anthony, or making Darrell feel special on his birthday, or spending time with a new friend. Or following up with the incompetent medical equipment company who has left us without a working apnea monitor for Makayla for THREE weeks now!!! (Don't get me started or my blood pressure may spike a new high!!) I've found that the daily docket really does help me keep on track during the day! cleaning plan. You know I HATE cleaning. It is definitely my weak point as a wife and mom!!! But I am determined to turn over a new leaf in our new home. I feel so much better when our house is clean and organized, and I know Darrell does too. So, here's what I came up with, so that I don't end up spending huge chunks of time at any one point during the week.

Monday - grocery shopping, clean out frig, clothes laundry, swiffer kitchen
Tuesday - vacuum upstairs, dust upstairs, launder bedding
Wednesday - clean bathrooms, launder towels, vacuum stairs
Thursday - vacuum rugs downstairs, mop downstairs, dust downstairs
Friday - file paperwork, pay bills, tidy up, clothes laundry
Saturday - Darrell does the lawn work
Sunday - menu planning, print daily dockets, grocery list

This means that by the end of Thursday, the entire house is clean for the weekend, which is nice, and leaves more time to spend as a family on the weekend. This was the first week doing this, and it seemed to work out okay. I mean, yes, I'm tired, and yes, when the kids go down for a nap, I'd much rather take a nap too! But intead, I take some B-12 and drink some Emergen-C, and get busy cleaning so I can try to have my chores done before they wake up. I tried to get most everything done during the twins' morning nap, so that I wasn't dreading my chores all day. Certainly it's harder when we have play dates or outings to go on - then I'll have to do my chores during the afternoon nap. And I'm praying too, that God will help change my heart so that I don't dread it so much anyway!!

So...this morning I've been able to sit with my laptop and linger over my cup of coffee (after I got the kiddos fed and the girls put down for their morning nap, anyway). It's been nice, not feeling like I SHOULD be up cleaning! (I mean, there are, of course PLENTY of things for me to do - still many boxes in the garage - but you know what I mean!)

I'll keep you updated on how it all continues to work!!

Friday, August 22, 2008

Wanna learn sign language??

As we've been dealing with Mackenzie's apparent inability to hear, I've started to research what's available "out there." I remembered that when Anthony was a baby, I used to watch a show on PBS called, "Signing Time," and I did some baby signs with him. Nothing major...just basics...milk, more, eat, all done, please, thank you, i'm sorry, strawberry, banana, etc. Anyway, I set up the DVR the other night to start recording and saving EVERY episode of "Signing Time" that comes on. So far there are 3 episodes recorded...and I am loving them!! I forgot how fun Rachel makes them, and how catchy the tunes are!! Anthony is loving them too, and asks me so many times a day to watch it that today I actually used it as an incentive to get him to not whine at naptime!! (tee hee hee) They also have a great website, including message boards. Also, Mackenzie's Early Intervention teacher is going to email me a website that has a tool where you can put in any word, and you can get a video demonstration of the sign for that word...very cool!!

I can't believe that in 2 weeks and 3 days, her lip will be repaired!!! It seems like we've been waiting for this for so long, and now that it's almost here, I'm so nervous. I think she's just perfect the way she is, she's so beautiful and precious...I can't imagine her any other way. I don't know what I have more butterflies about - the anesthesia, how her face is going to look, what the results of the hearing test will be, how the recovery from the surgery will many things! And yet, I know that He who sees all and knows all and is the Great Healer is holding her in His hands, and that no amount of worrying on my part will accomplish a single thing (other than to give me a stomach ache and a migraine)!!

Fabulous Fall Giveaway at

One of my favorite new blogs to read is I have taken LOTS of her suggestions and have started using them - I'll be telling you about them in the days/weeks to come. But for now, let me just tell you that she has a wonderful giveaway going on right now, and all you have to do to enter is leave her a comment telling what your favorite thing about fall is!

Here's the link: Simple Mom Fall Giveaway


Thursday, August 21, 2008

Random pics

Forgive the quality - these pics are all from my cell phone - still no camera cord!!

A friend gave us their highchair, so now we have one for each of the girls. Actually, I like that one better than the one we had already - it's wood and takes up less space. Thanks, Nancie!!

My new friend Heather and her daughter Sage came over for a play date a couple weeks ago, and as you can see, Anthony and Sage became fast friends. We're going to her birthday party tomorrow, which Anthony is looking forward to.

I needed a binder to keep track of all of Mackenzie's medical info, therapy stuff, therapists cards, etc. So I took a plain binder I already had and covered it with some pretty paper (from the dollar aisle at Target, no less!), and added some flowers, stamps, and a transparency quote, Inside, I used regular 8.5 x 11 sheets of cardstock for dividers, and used my file tab punch from Stampin' Up! to put pretty tabs on the divider sheets. I think it turned out pretty cute!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Crunchier with age?? And a bit more frugal...

So...wanna play 20 questions? I dare you to guess what I made yesterday afternoon. Something homemade. Nope, not something yummy to eat. Nope, not a cute scrapbook page or card or anything else with paper. Nope, not anything for my craft room. Nope, not anything for the girls' room. Not a storage item. No curtains or pillows. No candles. Figure it out yet?

Before I give it up, let me back up a bit. I am ashamed to admit that it's taken me a really long time to start thinking about green stuff. Not money green, not color green - you know, stuff like recycling, the environment, how much STUFF we consume, that kind of stuff. We JUST started recycling like a few months ago...yes, I'm hanging my head in shame... Anyway, lately, it's been on my mind, and so I've been pondering different ideas and reading about different ideas, getting my head churning.

Several things have been creeping into our lives - I've been trying to buy more organic produce, especially as far as baby food goes. For some reason, it seems easier to put pesticides into MY body, but not so much when I think about the babies!! I've also looked into the diaper situation; I just can't bring myself to do cloth diapers, yet it does bother me that we are putting loads of plastic-filled (read: will not break down in thousands of years!) diapers in the landfills. A nice alternative I found, which I was interested in, are gDiapers, and I would LOVE to be able to use them...but they are simply cost-prohibitive for us at this point. Isn't that sad? They are at least double what we pay for pampers/huggies. :( However, for those of you who can swing it, they do seem like a more environmentally-friendly way to go!!

I've also been researching a bit on how to reduce the amount of chemicals we are using in our house. Which is hard for me, b/c I really like products that are fast and easy - wipes, sprays, etc., that make life simple - but a lot of those are really harsh and the materials really damage the environment. I did find some awesome Method brand bathroom wipes that smell lovely and are biodegradeable and FLUSHABLE - which is REALLY nice!!

Which leads me to what I made yesterday. I found a list of recipes for more earth-friendly cleaning products, and at first, I was not interested at all. Until one thing caught my eye. The price tag. How much do you spend on laundry detergent? I know we get a big thing of Gain liquid detergent, and it probably costs at least $12, and lasts for a couple months, if that? It's a 1.3 gallon bottle. Yep, I made laundry detergent!!! And you wanna know how much I spent on it? I made 2 gallons of it for about 65 cents. Yeah. As in, 6 dimes and a nickel. The instructions say to use 1/2 C. per load, but let's say even if I end up using a full C. per load - at 32 C. per batch, that comes out to about 2 cents a load!!! Seriously - how can you beat that???

If you had suggested to me, maybe 5 years ago, that I would even CONSIDER making my own laundry detergent, I'm fairly certain I would have laughed you out of the room! Seriously! Crunchy, I tell you!

At any rate, the recipe is remarkably simple, and from start to finish - including set up, cleaning the old bottles, grating the bar soap, cooking it, mixing it, pouring it, and clean-up, it took me 50 minutes. And as a bonus, my house smelled quite lovely at the end of the process, too!! :) I actually used Pink Zote bar laundry soap, as I couldn't find the specific bar laundry soap listed in the recipe (though it also says you can use regular Ivory bar soap - the Pink Zote was less expensive). Also, I could not find "washing soda," sold as such; however, washing soda is sodium carbonate (note - this is NOT sodium BIcarbonate, aka baking soda) - which is also sold as a pH-riser for swimming pools. Alas, I found it as such in the pool chemical section of the store!! The borax was easy to find in the laundry aisle. The Pink Zote has a nice lemony scent, and I also added a bit of lavender essential oil at the end, and it turned out to have a wonderful scent. The final test - I had to wash something!! I decided to do a load of towels, figuring that was pretty safe. I didn't really notice any difference from my old commercial detergent. The real test will be when I have a load of the girls' puke and poop-stained clothes!!!

There are lots of other cleaning recipes on that website, too, if you are interested. I haven't tried any of them myself, yet, but another mom I know tried the dishwasher detergent and liked it. Let me know if you try any of the recipes!!!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Smores at the Park

Yesterday we went to the park with the mom's group and made pizza
box-oven smores. Yum!!

Catching up...

Wow, it's been a loooooong time!!! I have soooo much to blog about, but I won't be able to catch up all at once - especially typing one-handed while feeding a baby!! Part of why I have put off blogging is b/c I cannot find my camera cord, and I know everyone wants to see the house and the kiddos, but I'm probably going to have to order a new cord...ah, the joys of moving!!!

I do have a couple pics that someone else took of us at the park yesterday!! (Posted already!)

Anyway, we are slowly but surely getting settled in the new house. The kids' rooms are painted, our bathroom is painted, and the craft room is painted. We have paint for our bedroom and the kitchen/family room, but haven't started painting yet. Darrell did lots of work on the garage this past weekend, and it's looking much more organized...yay!!

The girls are growing like weeds. Makayla is almost crawling. Mackenzie is getting closer to sitting up. I've emailed pretty much everyone to update you regarding Mackenzie's possible hearing problem. The surgery date for her lip repair, ear tag removal, and hearing test is set for September 8.

We've gotten involved with an awesome Christian mom's group here, and I've made some great friends already. Play dates, park trips, pool parties, moms night out...we've been having lots of fun!

Anyway, gotta go eat and get the kids down for a nap, but I promise to try to keep up. I have lots of other stuff to tell you about!!

Saturday, August 02, 2008

Barefoot Books

Shortly after my twins were born, my sister Karen came to visit us, and brought along a book that belonged to her then-18-month old daughter, Emma. The book, Animal Boogie, was published by Barefoot Books, and came with a music CD. One look at the book, and one round of romping through our living room to the bouncy, can't-help-yourself-from-jumping-up-and-down music, and I was sold. She did NOT take the book back home with her!

Barefoot Books are unlike anything I had ever seen. Not only are the illustrations GORGEOUS, but they are intentionally inclusive - of cultures, of ethnicities, of abilities - this specific book even included a little girl in a wheelchair. Given that I had just given birth to premature twins, one of whom was born with a cleft lip and palate and who would have untold problems later in life, that touched my heart. There are other books which are specifically about different cultures and countries; activity books; puzzles (some of the most gorgeous, sturdy puzzles I've ever seen!); puppets - so soft and unbelievably realistic looking; wonderful board books and beautiful collections of story books. My son couldn't get enough - and neither could I - and I quickly signed up to sell their products.

The company recently revamped their entire website and ambassador program - and it's easier now than ever to sell their products and build your own business. In fact - IT'S FREE. That's right - unlike any other home-based company I know of - it is absolutely FREE to sign up as a Barefoot Books Ambassador, get your own online marketplace, and start earning money. You decide if you want to order business supplies to sell to people in person - or you can choose to only sell online and never order any business supplies. You decide if you want to order products to have in stock to sell at home parties or one-on-one selling. You can do fundraisers for schools or organizations, even. It is SO flexible.

In today's economy, I don't know anyone who couldn't use extra income, and this company is making it as easy as possible for anyone to have their own business. Click on the link at the top or bottom of this page to go to MY marketplace to see what the company is all about, and when you are ready to start building YOUR business, click the "Join My Team" link on the left side of my marketplace page.


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