Monday, February 4, 2013

Random Monday Cleaning Projects

You know what the best part of Pinterest is...??
Actually DOING what you pin!!

Today I cleaned my washing machine using her method...

AND I cleaned my microwave using the vinegar method that I have been doing for a long time.  I pour a little vinegar (1/2 cup/1 cup??) in a bowl, microwave for one minute, wipe clean, use some of the warm vinegar in the bowl for tougher spots, repeat heating process if it is really bad (like mine was!)  Heating the vinegar loosens all the gunk and it seriously wipes right up!  And the best part...NOT TOXIC!

What did you guys clean today?  Did you use any good Pinterest ideas?

Here is an after photo of the microwave (this probably took 10 minutes top from start to finish!)...I am seriously way too embarrassed to post a before pic...



Saturday, January 5, 2013

Welcome New Year!!  One of my resolutions for 2013 is to make more products instead of buying them at the store.  Thus, using greener products that are safer for my family AND spending less money in the process.  Most homemade products are made using things you already have in your cabinets! 

I am already making several products that are used often in my home...
  • My toilet bowl cleaner is a mix of 1/2 Borax and 1/2 Baking Soda in a Ball jar.  I just sprinkle a little on the inside of the bowl and scrub away with a toilet brush.
  • My "Febreeze" stinky smell (read: dog smell) spray is water + Purification oil in a spray bottle.
  • My all purpose cleaner is 1 part vinegar, 3-4 parts water, and Tea Tree Essential Oil + Lavender Essential Oil (10-20 drops each).
  • My laundry spot cleaner is the mighty mixture of Dawn (couple of tablespoons) + peroxide (a couple of cups, depending on your bottle size) in a spray bottle.  I have found that mix gets almost ANYTHING out, even oily stains (which are prevalent in my house). 
  • I just use straight vinegar as the rinse aid in my dishwasher.
  • Hand soap is a couple squirts of Dr. Bronner's Pure Castile Liquid Soap (your favorite scent, I prefer Lavender) and water (you can also add a squirt or two of Almond oil if you feel it is drying to your hands).  I use foaming soap bottles (spray painted to match my bathroom - Pinterest project!) to refill.
  • Baby shampoo/wash is Dr. Bronner's Baby Mild Pure Castile Liquid Soap + water + Gentle Baby Essential oil in a foaming bottle.

I just made a new one this morning! My new wood furniture dust spray is 1/4 cup white vinegar, 1ish tablespoon Almond oil, 5 drops Lemon Essential oil, fill the rest of the bottle with water (I used a small spray bottle).

A couple of new things I will be making this year is jewelry cleaner to refill my little tub that is empty and hand sanitizer.  I have the ingredients for the hand sanitizer, I just haven't gotten to it yet.

I will update throughout the year when I find more homemade items to replace store bought ones!  What are some of you favorite recipes?

***As you can tell, I do not do exact measuring for these products, I mostly just eyeball them.
***We use old Gerber "cloth diapers" instead of paper towels to clean.
***I am a distributor for Young Living Essential Oils so all the oils I use are Young Living.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

I call it Natural Parenting

I used to call myself an Attachment Parent (and I still do), but what more accurately describes me is...Natural Parenting.  I happen to think that is where a lot of today's problems are coming in, people are forgetting about NATURE.  Parents try so hard to do what is good and right for their children, but a lot of the time we are missing the mark because we are going against nature.  I swear life is a lot easier if you just follow your heart, your gut, AND nature when it comes to parenting. 

So what does "natural parenting" mean to me?  Well it just means that the things I choose to do are the closest to nature and what is natural, I strive to mother my children in most natural way possible. 

-I birth drugs, no interference, and this time no hospital.  I birthed at home like millions of our ancestors have for eons.  Birth is the most natural process of all and yet it has gotten FAR far from that.  Get back to nature and your body and your baby will thank you for it.

-I cloth diaper.  What is more natural than cloth on your babies bum?  You don't want chemicals and plastic sitting on your baby's most sensitive parts all day.  Get back to nature cloth diaper or use elimination communication. 

-I breastfeed on demand and use donated breastmilk to supplement, since I don't make enough to sustain her (stay tuned for another post all about this!!). 

-I also practice natural weaning from breastfeeding.  This means I allow my children to self-wean, which means right now I am tandem nursing a two month old and a two year old ;)

-We bedshare, again very natural.  What feels most natural to me is laying down to go to sleep and taking the baby with me.  We both sleep peacefully and she is right next to her source of nourishment and comfort all night.  What in the world did the first humans do with their babies?  I know they didn't put them in a bassinet, they laid down with their babies to sleep!  We also bedshare with our older children when they need it.  But what works even better is having them share sleep as well.  So right now my four and two year old bedshare as well.  It is natural to share your sleep with others, our ancestors were cuddled up together to sleep for warmth and safety.

-Right now we are keeping our new baby free of vaccines and other drugs.  Again back to nature, it is totally against nature to inject these brand new precious bodies with chemicals. 

-When my son was born he was born with an intact perfect penis and at two years old his penis is still intact and perfect because that is what is natural. It goes without saying for me that you don't cut normal healthy body parts off at birth, that would be COMPLETELY AGAINST NATURE. 

-We babywear.  When we have to go out and about we put the baby in a sling or other carrier and keep her close to use.  When she needs to be held at home and we need free hands for other things we use a sling or carrier.  Again nature...what did our ancestors do and other communities around the world?  They don't get out the Graco stroller, they wrap a piece of fabric around themselves and the baby and they babywear!

-We use natural healing techniques for illness.  For example I don't give my kiddos antibiotics for ear infections and I don't give tylenol for fevers.  We treat illness and try to stay healthy in the first place by using vitamins, herbs, supplements, healthy eating and living, and chiropractic care.

-We try to eat as natural as possible.  Eating food that is free of antibiotics, hormones, chemicals, etc.

-I try to buy products that are natural.  Again free of nasty chemicals that are harmful to our bodies.

I'm tired of appologizing for the "crazy" way in which I parent.  I find it sad that as a society we have gotten SO far removed from nature and what is natural with our bodies, our children's bodies and our parenting.  How can I possibly be so crazy for the choices I am making when all I am doing is following my basic human instincts and following nature.  I've decided I am not crazy I am normal and natural and that is how I will stay.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Cloth Toilet know you want to try!

So this is the blog I have been promising for awhile...the one about my switch to cloth toilet paper!  Some think it is gross, some think it is great, where do you stand?  For me it started as a thought that became a nag in my mind and led me to do more research on the subject.  I was really sick of buying toilet paper ALL THE TIME!  Between my daughter and my pregnant self we were using A LOT of paper.  I am already washing cloth diapers and wipes a few times a week, so it wasn't going to be an issue to add a few more items to the laundry pile.  The problem it seemed was creating and learning a new system.  When I saw how easy it seemed based on another blog (I Googled it), I thought hey I can give this a try.  It really doesn't take much to start, just a few cloth wipes and a wet bag to put them in, easy peasy right. 

I have 3 bathrooms so that is really the only irritating part about the whole ordeal, buying enough supplies (wipes and wet bags) for 3 bathrooms (and then keeping all 3 stocked!).  The start up cost to doing cloth toilet paper is really not bad at all even if you do have a few bathrooms to stock.  All you really need is several wipes, a wet bag, and maybe some bottom spray or an old peri bottle full of water, oh and of course a cute basket to keep your wipes in ;)  I purchased 3 small Bummis wetbags (I choose 3 different colors to sort of coordinate with my bathrooms), 32 of these wipes (these are best for duty #2), and 30 of these (I like these for duty #1). 

That's it!  That is all it took for start up...$84.44!  If you are handy with a sewing machine, you could buy flannel and sew your own wipes or use some old receiving blankets and save even more money!!  And obviously if you have less bathrooms that means not so many wet bags to purchase, so start up could be practically nothing.  Either way for me, $84.44 to start and so many less trips to Target for toilet paper and going crazy trying to find coupons for it has been amazing!  I'm pretty sure I have only purchased paper toilet paper once since we started and half of the pack is still in the closet.  We started in July and are still going strong.  Full disclosure, my husband WILL NOT use them and that's fine.  He's not here all day while at work and I don't think men wipe when they his use is pretty minimal anyway ;)

So how does it work?  VERY simple.  Go potty, pick your favorite wipe from the basket on the back of toilet, wipe, place wipe in wet bag...SO EASY!  When going #2 best scenario is to pre-wet your wipe in the sink, but that doesn't always work so having some bottom spray like this or this in your basket or a peri bottle of water to wet your wipe with works just fine.  I get frequent yells from the bathroom now...Mama, can you wet my rag!!!!!!!!!!????????...I mean really that is better than...Mama, can you wipe my butt!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!?????????????...which is the yell I used to get all the time ;)  She finds it a lot easier to wipe herself now and I know she is getting cleaner with the wet wipe instead of just toilet paper.  Yes, I'm sure some use those toddler wipes right, but again expensive and frequent trips to the store (not to mention that outrageous bill from the plumber when those darn things clog your pipes!), no thanks.

So when the wet bag is full or you are running out of wipes, throw your cloth toilet paper into the laundry with your cloth diapers!  I'm not sure what I will do when I am no longer cloth diapering, as in what will I wash my cloth wipes with?  But I have several more years of diapering ahead of me, so I will cross that bridge when I get to it!

Here are some pictures to show my system... 
This is my master bathroom.  Basket on the back of the toilet holds cloth toilet paper and the wet bag hangs on the paper toilet paper holder.  I did have to buy this basket, BUT it was 1/2 off at Hobby Lobby so I don't have to count that in my start up cost, right!?
If you visit my house this is the bathroom/powder room you will use.  Please feel free to give my cloth toilet paper a try!  Again, wipes are in a basket on the back of the toilet (I already owned this basket, HA!) and you put your used wipe in the pretty pink wet bag.

Now doesn't that look easy!?  Don't you want to give it a try?  I challenge you all to give cloth toilet paper a try.  Once you go cloth, you'll never go back, I promise.  I haven't even mentioned one of the best parts, which is how much better cloth feels on your bottom and how much cleaner you feel.  That, PLUS you are saving money and trips to the store, PLUS you are helping the environment! 
Oh and if you are visiting my house...the other rule we live by is...
If it's brown, flush it down!  If it's yellow, let it mellow! 

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Could it teaching them to parent already?

Am I the only mama that worries about her kiddos getting older one of these days and making strange decisions?  What if God forbid my daughter or my son and his wife choose NOT to birth naturally, or breastfeed, or babywear, or co-sleep, or cloth diaper, or keep their sons intact, or make their own baby food, or eat organically, or recycle, etc.  What on Earth would I do?!  I guess I just have to lead by example and hope that they take good lessons away from growing up in this household.  So far both of my kiddos are breastfeeding, babywearing, co-sleeping, cloth diapering "parents" to their dolls and stuffed toys.  So, maybe I AM teaching them well :)

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Empowered Birth Awareness Week

This week has been Empowered Birth Awareness Week!!/event.php?eid=119031084860920

I am thinking that an empowered birth must mean several different things to different people because when it comes to birth there are so many WAYS.  And everyone thinks their way is the best, right.  I have actually had it two different ways, with a third new and different way coming in October :) 

My first birth was just that, the birth of my beautiful daughter.  I love her more than anything in life, but I do not love her birth.  Her birth broke me emotionally and left me feeling broken physically.  For my second birth, it was the birth of my first son, a beautiful boy that again is my world, but also the birth of a new me.  I changed the day I VBACed my son.  Not only was a new tiny man welcomed to the world, but a new woman in me was born too.  Now that is what I call empowered!  I empowered myself in his birth to TAKE BACK what had been stolen from me the first time I birthed.  Sometimes I think I would change the way my daughter was born, but other times I realize that if that was changed, I would not be where I am today.  Everything happens for a reason and I needed to be shown something that day.  I am so thankful for the lessons I learned during my first very medicalized, traumatic, surgical birth.  Because what I learned is that I didn't want or need ANY of that.  I trust my body and my baby more than anything or anyone else.  I do not need any doctors or nurses telling me what my body can do.  I will tell them what my body is capable of, and they will watch and learn.  My birth is just that, mine and my child's.  I refuse to ever again let someone else have control over the natural beautiful miracle that is BIRTH.

Please educate and empower yourselves for your own births!  Whatever that means for YOU.  Just remember always that YOU are in control, not the medical professionals.  You can always say no, you can always look for other options, you can always walk away.  Be EMPOWERED and your mind, body and spirit will thank you for it later. 

Sunday, July 24, 2011

26 weeks

I had hubby snap a pic of the belly before we left for a friend's cookout yesterday.  When I see preggo pics of myself all I can think is ROUND.  Very big round boobs and a big round belly.  This shirt is almost too short now, what is up with that?!...too much roundness I guess.