Monday, January 28, 2013

Meg vs. Myself: Weekly Goals Jan. 28- Feb. 2

I told myself I would post more and get more done this week. So it goes.

January 21-26
*Put bathroom vanity back and start staining.  It is really hard to get working in there with these boys! I am hoping they will get on a more normal sleep schedule someday so I can get things done...
*Fill the green waste bin.
*Get quotes on tree removal and plumbing. In my defense, I waited twice for the tree guy and he didn't make it, and my phone is out of order so this has been tricky.

January 28- February 2
*Clean and sand the vanity, get prepped for staining (scaling back on this one!)
*Get that tree guy out here for a quote!
*Work on cleaning out the garage, getting rid of the rats (GROSS!!!)

In other news, this week we found out where my husband will be doing his clinical rotations. It is about 7 hours from here, so commuting isn't really an option. That is somewhat significant for this blog, because it means we are moving away from this house! Depending on how each market is looking we will either be renting it out or selling (probably renting it, but we'll see). And for me that means that I need to get all of the major projects done before the beginning of June. So hopefully from now to June you will see more progress going on around here. And after June, who knows what house I will be battling next...

Friday, January 25, 2013

Meg vs. Time: Facebook Friday

I am proud to say I mostly stayed off of Facebook this week, and my computer time in general went down significantly! As a result, I am making better progress on War & Peace and other goals, so yay! Now here are my Facebook faves this week:

1. Stormtrooper humor.

2. Two friends had baby girls, and another is due in August. Always lots of baby posts on Facebook...

4. A high school friend started a site for her beautiful wildlife images. Check them out at Suntrail Images.

Port Aransas, TX 2012 - Images by Sivani Babu

5. This scary shaved bear.

Most animals get funnier when you shave them. Bears just get terrifying.

7. Seriously.

8. Love Kid History!

9. Cutest picture of my sister holding my baby.


10. If you haven't read these reviews, you must. About 10 different people posted this one =). Hutzler 571 Banana Slicer

Monday, January 21, 2013

Meg vs. Myself: Weekly Goals Jan. 21-26

January 14-19
*Finish cleaning out the bathroom and put the vanity back.
*Start staining the vanity.
*Order the topcoat for the vanity.

Try, try again...

January 21-26
*Put bathroom vanity back and start staining.
*Fill the green waste bin.
*Get quotes on tree removal and plumbing.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Meg vs. Time: Facebook Friday

I don't think I am alone in the fact that Facebook has become my default time waster. When I have a minute or two in between things, I mindlessly look over Facebook, not looking for anything in particular. Then one of two things happen: I leave it just as bored as I was before I opened it, or I get caught up in something worthless and waste a lot of time on it. Maybe one in ten times I actually communicate with someone or do or read something worthwhile.

So I decided I am going to try a new experiment: Facebook Friday. In theory, I will avoid checking Facebook except on Friday (unless I actually need to communicate with someone, like a family member who is more likely to check Facebook than answer my calls, though I am not naming any names there). Then I will post whatever cool/funny/worthless things that strike my fancy.

So here is my first Facebook Friday:

1. I entered to win a gift card from Brickyard Buffalo, the cute daily deal site started by my SIL's sister and where my BFF is a vendor.

2. I offered to lend our digital scale for our local Pinewood Derby. Something useful! That is the one redeeming virtue of Facebook; I find out about what is going on with people and how I can help.

3. Read lots of status updates about the weather (75 degrees in SoCal, -10 in Vernal, UT, "Wicked cold" in Boston).

4. Saw a lot of pictures of other people's kids.

5. Someone I knew in high school is having a girl.

6. It's Trafficking Awareness Month.  Check out the story on CNN. Someday I want to volunteer or work for an organization that represents trafficking victims.

7. People complaining about Obama, complete with sacrilegious magazine covers.

(Also, who can save Europe if not women?  =))

8. Lots of complaints about gun conrol.

9. Someone linked to this blog post about mothering and being enough. It is awesome.

10. More grumpy cat.

Happy Friday!

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Meg vs. Babies: Cloth Diapers and DIY Cloth Wipes

I have thought on and off about trying cloth diapering ever since we had our first boy. And now that we are on number three and the diapers keep piling up, I finally decided I needed to go for it. It haunted me that we paid so much, threw so much out, and didn't have something sustainable in case of an emergency.

Thankfully, cloth diapers aren't what they used to be. After looking all over for affordable used cloth diapers on Craigslist and elsewhere, I found Alva Baby, which is a Chinese pocket diaper manufacturer (I know, bad American. But I am a poor American, so this is what I can do). Their new diapers are cheaper than almost any used ones I could find here in the bay area, and they had pretty decent reviews. For about $135, I got 20 diapers (they actually ended up sending me 22 for some reason), 40 inserts (20 that came with the diapers, and another 20 more heavy duty liners with bamboo), a roll of liners, and a wet bag for the diaper pail.

They arrived after about a week, and I washed all the covers and inserts with bumGenius Diaper Detergent that I ordered from Amazon (washed the bamboo ones seperately 3 times in hot water to prep them), and was ready to try them on the boys. Since they have snaps to adjust the size, I can use the same batch for both of my boys in diapers.

I was worried about Mr. 2-year-old being resistant to switching up his Huggies, but he thought these bad boys were pretty fancy.

Then I got to thinking, "Why should I keep buying wipes, too?" So I pulled out my stash of flannel receiving blankets, most of which I received as gifts but haven't used because I have big babies and can't keep a good swaddle with them. I cut three of them up into squares (16 squares per blanket), and folded them tissue-style so they would pop out of my wipes container. Here's a quick how-to on that in case you're curious.

1. Lay out a square, like so:

2. Lay another square overlapping half of the first.

3. Fold the first over the second, like so:

4. Lay down a third where the first one was.

5. Fold the second one over the third one (see where this is going?).

6. Repeat until you get a stack like this:

I put a stack of 48 wipes (three blankets' worth) into an extra wipes container, and then went to work on some wipes solution.

I had pinned this solution a long time ago, but on reviewing it, it seemed like it used a LOT of soap for the amount of water it required. Plus in includes baby oil in it, and I read mixed reviews online about whether you should use baby oil with cloth diapers. I also read reviews from people who said just to use water and forget about adding anything. So I took my own approach, boiled two cups of water, added a squirt of the baby wash I had on hand (I think Johnson & Johnson's shea butter something-or-other), and dumped all over my lovely new wipes. Done!

Note: Due to gravity, more solution will sink to the bottom of the stack, making the bottom wipes soggy and the top wipes dry. I would just flip your stack over once a day to redistribute the solution. I do this with my store-bought disposable wipes on occasion as well.

So far they work fine, and it is kind of nice to have something sturdier than my regular wipes between me and whatever mess I am cleaning up (even if I am then throwing it in a laundry bag instead of the trash).

*Update: I realized after a couple of washes that these wipes would fray, since they are flannel (duh, for anyone who sews regularly; I sew not-so-regularly). So as I have pulled them out of the dryer I have been doing a quick zigzag stitch around the edges to prevent more fraying. Otherwise, a few weeks in and I am still happy with them!

One day in, and I would say that the cloth diapers are only marginally more work than disposables (granted, I haven't washed a load yet, but I have a machine that will do all that work for me!). And here is my take on the eww factor: If you are on your first baby and still kind of grossed out by poo, this can seem a little gross, since you may have to do some rinsing (like for my 4-month-old), and you have to pull wet inserts out of covers, dump big poos into the toilet (for my 2-year-old), etc. But after three boys and potty training, the poo part doesn't really bother me, and it is no grosser than cleaning out the training potty we used for my oldest (seriously, for some reason poop is so much grosser in that little potty than in the diaper. Not sure why.). The cloth diapers have done better at containing the newborn poop (we had a blowout pretty much every time he pooped before), which means that I don't have as many clothes to scrub and soak. And the liners in my 2-year-old's diaper minimize the poo interaction there. But to make things easier, I got this Diaper Sprayer on Amazon for $15 (though it looks like it has gone up in price since then), and am planning to hook it up today.

If I change my mind about this whole cloth diapering thing after a couple of weeks I will let you know, but so far I am pretty happy with it!

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Meg vs. Organization: Pinned It, Did It Shirt Drawer

I saw this pin

and thought of my husband's drawer of tees (that is all he wears unless he absolutely has to dress up), which looked like this

and so I did this.

He says he likes it. It will make my life better, because I am the one who does the laundry, and I hate opening the drawer and having all the shirts get stuck and rumpled up. I think I will do the same to my drawer of tees/camisoles.

Now if only I could get the rest of the house clean... It was nice to get one thing put in order; it made me feel in control (that doesn't happen very often). No wonder people get hooked on organizing (not that I am likely to get hooked, I'm just saying)!

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Meg vs. Myself: Weekly Goals January 14-19

Well, obviously I am doing this a bit late. Better late than never? I am trying to focus on simplifying this year, and sometimes that just means going to bed instead of staying up to blog...

On to the report:
Januray 7-12
*Touch up any paint necessary in the front bathroom, take down the tape, clean it out and have it ready to put the vanity back.  I forgot how much touching up was necessary; there were a lot of little nooks I had to paint by hand with a tiny brush... I did clean most of the stuff out of the bathroom and also put the ceiling fan/light back together, but it still needs more work before the vanity can come back.
*Finish putting away everything we packed/received/accumulated over our Christmas break.
This was about three carloads worth of stuff; all the stuff we took on our trip, all the stuff we received, more stuff my mom brought up, and more from our second Christmas celebration with my family. Phew! Now I have to purge so there is room for everything.

I tried to put things away right away instead of letting them sit and pile up. I even put up the new frames my aunt gave us!

Now to actually put our pictures inside might take a while longer. Those people look nice on our wall though. (Oh my goodness, I am turning into my mom!)

*Take down and put away the Christmas decorations. This was a serious task. I even hauled the Christmas tree out, cut it up, and put it in our green waste bin all by myself. I still need to reorganize a couple of the boxes because we keep accumulating Christmas stuff, but I am satisfied with getting it out of my living room.

January 14-19
*Finish cleaning out the bathroom and put the vanity back.
*Start staining the vanity.
*Order the topcoat for the vanity.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Meg vs. Myself: Weekly Goals January 7-12

My mantra for this year is to simplify and focus. More reasonable goals, doing them more consistently, and getting rid of the excess. We have a lot of craziness coming up ahead, and I am determined to keep my head as much as possible.

So here are my first weekly goals of the year:

Januray 7-12
*Touch up any paint necessary in the front bathroom, take down the tape, clean it out and have it ready to put the vanity back.
*Finish putting away everything we packed/received/accumulated over our Christmas break.
*Take down and put away the Christmas decorations.

I am tempted to put more, but I am keeping it at that.