Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Bathtub Crayon Romance

I discovered some graffiti in the shower this morning & it made my day.

Monday, June 28, 2010

The Help

To put it eloquently, this book is turning my heart to squish. It is adding to my ever-increasing realization of the sweet and complex challenge we have as an interracial family. I am determined to do a good job helping our children to understand their racial heritage in a healthy way. Books like this give me a glipse into soul of the issue, for which I am grateful! Please, keep them coming!

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Homemade Laundry Detergent

Thanks to my frugalista sis-in-law, Carrie, I have discovered the benefits of making one's own laundry detergent: chemical-free cleaner for clothes (which go against your skin) and seep up from back yard septic system, and best of all- lots of $ saved! When you do the math (which I'm not especially saavy at doing), you find that quite a chunk of grocery money goes into a $15-$20 container of detergent, which lasts maybe three months...(for a small family). A three gallon batch of this stuff costs us about $1.75. It's worth the effort.

So here's how you do it:
You will need...

1/2 cup Borax <$3 a box
1 cup Washing Soda <$3 a box
1 bar of Fels-Naptha (or any basic bar of soap like Ivory, or Zest) $1.00
OPTIONAL a few drops of essential oil (I use lavender & tea tree)

The first three items are available in the laundry section of most stores- the essential oils are at health-food or craft stores.Grate the bar of soap. It's easier than it seems; it grates like parmesean or any hard cheese.

Boil 4 cups of water, then stir in the grated soap until it is dissolved. This usually takes me about 5 minutes.

Pour the 1/2 cup of Borax and cup of Washing Soda into a large container. I bought a 19 quart container for this purpose.

Fill it up with approx. 3 gallons of hot water. While it is filling, stir in the melted soap.
Stir the mixture until everything is dissolved. Then, wait. In about 3 hours, the top layer of detergent will thicken and become like jello. I like to stir mine up one last time so that the mixture is more uniform. Because it is more concentrated than normal detergent, you can use less per load. I just eyeball the amount in an old measuring cup. We have experimented on David's daily dirt-caked attire and this stuff is just as effective as any.

VOILÁ! Happy laundering.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

The Closet Walker Is Out

Mia has never taken more than two steps without support, but yesterday evening, she decided it was time to let us in on her secret: she has been practicing behind our backs for weeks. I'm certain of it, because her premiere showing was a casual stroll across the room- not at all what I'd image her first independent steps to be.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Bon Anniversaire, Mia!

Mia's birthday throne:

Our healthy, garden variety cupcakes- peas & carrots on a bed of rich compost:

We decided to open presents intermittently throughout the day in order to get the optimum reaction each time (we don't believe in wrapping paper, by the way):
This is, by far, Mia's birthday product of choice. She can really zoom with it!
Waiting for the real festivities to begin:
Mom was anxious to get the party started before the peas and carrots melted on the cupcakes. We sang a quick happy birthday before all of our guests had arrived (Dad is still learning how to use the video camera without making the audience nauseous):
Our other, more furry, daughter received her share of attention from Gpa R at the party. Look at that smile!
Mia's post cupcake grin heralds a slight resemblance to Izzy's. You can see her cute under bite here in all its glory!
By the end of the day, she was full and content. I just hope her taste-buds aren't spoiled after all that chocolate!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Palouse Falls

This should be considered one of the wonders of the world:Palouse Falls (200 ft.) comes roaring out of the middle of a baren desert! According to David, it also holds the world record for biggest successful kayak drop.

Mia thought it was great!
When she wasn't enjoying the scenery, Mia seized the opportunity to give mom a little taste of "hair time." She gets to experience it on a daily basis, and there is nothing gentle about doin' up her curls:
Dad & Mia nearly gave me a heart attack while attempting to view the waterfall from this adventurous angle. Here they are, sadly crawling back to safety and a party pooper mom:
'twas a memorable Memorial Day.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Little Fish

We've got a natural swimmer on our hands! This girl was beside herself over our swim session last week. She couldn't stop squealing in excitement and flashing upper toothy grins (neither could we)!

A damp love for mom-