Tuesday, December 8, 2009

The Very Latest in Cuteness!

Boo is up to some fun shenanigans lately, and I thought I'd share. In list format, of course!

1. He's not so obsessed with stairs anymore, though he does still enjoy them. Now he is obsessed with containers and lids and putting things in containers and putting containers inside other containers, etc. He does this on the living room floor, in the bath, on the kitchen counter right next to me when I'm working in the kitchen, everywhere, really.  Because he's been doing this for quite some time, and seems to be mostly sick of all his toys (I haven't wanted to get anything new since Christmas was right around the corner!) at the moment, I've become VERY creative in collecting many many different containers for him, ie: an empty, washed deodorant stick and lid, empty water bottles and lids, empty baby food jars and lids, empty pill bottle and lid, tupperwares, pitchers, you get the idea. Consequently, when Boo has been playing, it looks a little bit like a pile of very clean trash.

2. Ever since he was a baby Jon and I would sing a little scale when we went up and down stairs with him. Something like "up, up, up, up" or "down, down,down". Not increasing or decreasing in volume, but going up and down the scale. Now he does that all the time, without help or prompting. It's pretty cute.

3. In other singing news, in addition to singing little ditties to himself, especially while sitting in the car seat, which are also hilariously punctuated with some new word or sound of his, something like "lalalala uhoh laleeloola uh oh" or "beboobeebot meow babababa meow", his latest super cute thing is thanks to his daddy. Jon would always pause whenever the moon was out and with his arm outstretched and pointing to the moon sing this little song to Boo, "Moon, OH moon, You shine in the night. Moon, OH moon, We see your great light". Now whenever Boo sees a moon, or a picture of a moon, or even when we just go out at night he says, "OH moo" in the same singing way Jon does. I love it.

4. After his bath, when he's naked or just in a diaper, he runs over to the full length mirror and cracks himself up by sucking his tummy way in and then puffing it way out and several other variations of this same game. He cracks me up too.

5. He still loves the bath and spends large quantities of time in there. Mostly he pours water from one container to another and puts lids on and takes them off (see #1). He does this all with intense focus and concentration, sometimes declaring, "IN!" and sometimes laughing quietly/maniacally to himself. A little naked, wet, mad scientist, basically.

6. It's funny how very mechanically aware this little boy is. Are all little boys like that? For months he's been doing a very good airplane noise the minute he hears/sees any hint of a plane. Often this is way before we've noticed anything, and he even knew right away when he was ON a plane, and he even has noticed the blinking, moving lights in the sky at night and figured out it was a plane before we told him. I always figured it must have been something his Grandpa Walt taught him, as he has been taking Boo on tours and explaining things since he was born. But I asked him and he said they only saw a plane once. It just amazes me! He's done the same thing recently with trains. He's never really seen real trains, but he has figured out their existence and the noise they make from one book I have that just shows a picture of a toy train, and now he notices them all the time and makes the noise too.

7. This probably could have been in the last one, but it was getting long :). Boo does really great impressions of all kinds of noises, many are of things that I would have described as sounding the same, but he knows the difference and his little copies are very different and I can usually tell right away exactly which machine he means. He does impressions of: the wheat grinder, my blow-dryer, the washing machine, the blender, the mixer, police sirens and ambulance sirens and fire truck sirens, the tea kettle, cars, airplanes, trains, a handful or more of animal noises, of course (his rooster crow is the cutest, in my humble opinion) and even does a pretty good impression of me! He has a pretty hilarious version of the way I sometimes shout out, "Jon!" you know, to get his attention. Walter's, "Don!" cracks people up all the time.

Anyhoo, that's the report on the little things that make up my day. Thanks for indulging a doting mommy!

Monday, November 9, 2009

More Buckets of Pictures, Part 3.

What more could you want than to sit in your Aunt Kelsey's lap, hear a story, and eat an "appo"?

Helping out at Grandma and Grandpa's.

I don't normally get pictures of my child sleeping as it might break my cardinal rule of motherhood, "never, never, never disturb a sleeping baby," but as this was totally adorable, and as his head was completely swaddled, I risked using the flash.
This is probably the only family picture you are going to get. Think this will work for the Christmas cards?
This might be a possible future career for Boo. While at the state fair he wasn't impressed or excited by a lot (a few big animals of course, also piqued his interest) but he really came alive when he saw a bunch of his beloved appo's ready to be picked and played with. He's standing at my side looking at this picture saying "appo! appo!" right now. Too funny!

Monday, October 26, 2009

Buckets of Pictures, Part 2

These all have a beachy theme so, they go together! Makes sense, right? I think these are all taken at the beach at Deception Pass in Washington State, one of the most beautiful places I've ever been. Walter loved the beach!

Tidepools are the best bathtub, EVER.

This is what happened the first time mom tried to put sunscreen on Boo!

Dad had fun burying Boo in the sand...
and this is what Mom had to do to get all, or, well, most, of the sand out of his pants after Dad buried him!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Buckets of Pictures, Part 1.

So my main issue with blogging is pictures. They are just such a pain to upload, and to get in order, etc. But I'm just going to work on uploading pictures for a while, and not worry about writing, so that grandparents and aunts and uncles will start speaking to me again, ha ha. There won't be lots of explanations and it's going to be several posts over the next few days (or weeks, who am I kidding?) but I WILL, as Google is my witness, post these pictures! Some are from all the fun we've been having in the last couple of months, and some are even some more pictures from our big vacation in May. Here goes:

fun at Pike Place Market!

You won't believe it, but Boo took some of his very first all-alone steps to some strange, but very nice vendor at Pike Place Market. I wish I had gotten it on video.

No trip to Washington is complete without a ferry ride!

Entertaining himself (with the contents of my purse) under the table at my friend's wedding reception. I just thought it was a cute pic!

Look at that, I did have time to do some captions! Ok, more picture posts coming soon....

Saturday, August 22, 2009

For My Mother, On Her Birthday:

Just a quick little post to let my Marmee know how much I love and appreciate her. I'm feeling a little sad right now, because the summer's over, and Mom will be going back to work in the school district. It's been so great spending so much time with her, I love to just spend the morning at her house hanging out with one of my very best friends. I know that Boo really loves going to Grandma's house and playing on the stairs (first and foremost! he loves those stairs!) and playing the piano and trying to get that one porcelain bowl that he can juuuuust reach on the shelf before anyone notices him and takes it away. But mostly he just loves his Grandma! So it'll be hard not to have as much time with her, but I'm oh so grateful for all those lovely, lazy, stolen summer days spent with my Mom. Happy Birthday Mom, and may you have all the happiness in this world and the next.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Good Reading...

I thought I'd throw out some recommendations of good reading I've had lately in case there is anyone else out there who loves to read as much as I do! Also, because this post is chock full o' links, I figured I'd better finally figure out how to embed a link! Aren't you so proud? I'm getting so big!

These I'll be really brief about--
Skellig, by David Almond --lovely, lovely, tale. Youth fiction, not fantasy or sci-fi, but more like mythical, lyrical.
The Various, by Steve Augarde--great adventurous fairy tale set in the modern English countryside. It's the first of three, and the next one, Celandine, is also great. I've got the third one on hold at the library!
The Princess and the Hound, by Mette Ivie Harrison. I really enjoyed this one and look forward to reading some of her others. Also youth fiction and fantasy. What can I say? It's my favorite genre!
The Unhealthy Truth, by Robyn O'Brien--interesting journey of a normal, run of the mill mom, who's kids come down with crazy food allergies, and all the stuff she learns about the food industry and the FDA while trying to figure out how to help her kids. Great reading, even if you don't have a kid with food allergies! I read this one a little while ago, but I've been recommending it to everyone, and I don't want you to think I'm not well-rounded in my reading!

Here is a very interesting article I picked up on the other day about how, basically, we might be killing our kids with knowledge. I'm one of those mom's who definitely believes in children having a childhood for as long as they can with as much unstructured play as they can, and I was, and still am, pretty appalled that they invented all-day kindergarten! Anyway, I guess in some parts of the country preschool is not enough of a push to get kids reading, etc, super early, but now there is a big boom in extra, professional, TUTORING, for preschoolers. Anyway, read if your interested in studies about education and the different ways that children learn!

This is a link to my friend Rosalyn's blog. She's just talking about a tough day of parenting, and yet I found it really uplifting and sweet and funny. Maybe it just feels good to commiserate!

I'm on a blog list called Mormon Mommy Blogs and they have a home blog with guest writers who write about different things pertaining to mormonness and mommyness and bloggyness. I really enjoy reading these guest posts as they are usually VERY beautifully written, and they take me into another person's world and experience. This particular post had me in tears as it was so beautiful, about a young woman's struggle with infertility. Not very long of a read, check it out!

And this recommendation is for an entire blog, not just one particular post. I recently discovered it because it had the same title as one I had been considering starting myself, but I'm not bitter that she already thought of the title first, because this blog is GREAT, and a total treasure. It's called Old School, and the author mainly writes posts on how to do useful things like sew up a tear in your kids jeans, or can turkey, or (my favorite) how to cook with dried beans. But this is all incidental, as while she is imparting all this wisdom clearly and succinctly (we're mom's; we don't have a lot of time!) she is also pretty darn HILARIOUS. You've got to check it out, you won't be sorry! This link is specifically to the funny bean post (actually about making split pea soup) but you should look around the rest of her blog!

Anyway, Happy Reading!

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Then something just went "Click!"

Boo is signing! It is so exiting, I can't even describe to you how much fun it is to see him do his little signs and see his face light up (and mine too) when he sees that I understand. We've been watching the Baby Signing Time videos for months and I've just been patiently perservering, waiting for him to show some...sign, ha, that he was getting it. He's been saying a handful of words now for over a month, like hot, on, up and down, walk, and more recently something that sounds like I go or let's go, I can't quite tell. But no sign that all the signing I was doing and the videos he was watching were making any impact. Except once, about 2 weeks ago, he seemed to make the sign for hat, but as I didn't see it again, or anything else, I wasn't sure. Well on Thursday we were in the car and I turned around and saw him doing the sign for "more". I just about jumped out of my seat! And bam, just like that, it's like he got it, and there's no stopping him now! Boo, in just 2 days, has now effectively done the signs for "more", "water", "milk", "grandma", "all done", "book", "eat", "sleep", and just now, he did the sign for "bath"! It's so exciting, have I said that already? I'm so glad I did this, even though for a while there I really thought it wasn't going to work.

Speaking of baths, remember how he used to love baths? Then he just stopped, out of nowhere, for more than a month. He hated them! Baths became this thing we inflicted on him while he stood there screaming, tears and snot running down his face, as seldom as possible. And then, after playing outside with the water hose in grandma's backyard, "click!" went that little thing in his brain again, and ever since then I haven't been able to keep him out of the bath! I think he took 5 baths yesterday! I know, the granola in me is cringing at all the water usage, but can you blame me for letting him? It's just so great to be past that little phase, I'm willing to give him lots of baths! ( just so you know, I am trying to limit it a little more now, for instance, he's only had 2 baths today! lol).

And while we're talking about growing and developing news on the baby front, I should mention (as I know I haven't posted in quite some time, more on that later) that he's been walking now for more than a month, and has gotten really quite good at it, and speedy! That was another funny little click: it seemed that he knew how to walk for like 6 +weeks, we'd catch him at it all the time, but he prefered crawling. I think he thought he was faster at crawling so he wasn't going to bother with that walking stuff too much. But then click went that thing in his brain and he suddenly figured out that walking was much more preferable than crawling, and just like that he was a full time walker!

I'll try to work on pictures or video of some of these new tricks, and I promise to write a post really soon on why I've kind of sucked at blogging lately, and I'm going to post more! I promise! To try!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Vacation Part 1

There are so many pictures, I'm not sure where to begin! I'm pretty sure it's going to take a few posts. It was such a fun, jampacked trip with lots of wonderful family and fun things done and beautiful places seen. I guess I'll start with the beginning of the trip, which was at my Grandpa's house, and included a quick jaunt over to the mainland, via the ferry, to see my friend Jessica get married. At Grandpa's house, Boo had lots of fun...

splashing in the birdbath...

taking a bath in Great-grandma's sink...

and oh, just endless hours of going up and down the stairs, up and down, up and down. At home or abroad, stair-climbing is this kid's favorite past time!

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Home Again, Home Again, Jiggety-Jog

So right now I SHOULD be writing all about our great vacation we just had, but all I can think is, "There's no place like home." I guess I'll write that post later, because the trip really was great, and of course we have a million cute pictures, but for now, here are some wonderful things about being home.

--I was really worrying about my garden, so it's great to see that it's doing well and growing big, and we even had lettuce for a salad our first night back!

--I can eat weird Megan food like salad for breakfast again.

--It's good to be reunited with the stroller, so I can take Boo for walks again.

--Two words. Cloth diapers. We did disposable the whole time on the trip and I really missed our diaper system at home. Holy cow you have to buy a lot of diapers when you only use disposables! I don't know how anybody affords it!

--Having Booboo to myself. Don't get me wrong, it was a great break having so many wonderful relatives to play with him all the time, and I'll probably wish someone would come play with him in a couple of days or so, but for now, I'm kind of relishing all our private time. I have such a wonderful little boy!!

--There's a lot of cleaning to do and unpacking and whatnot, but it's at lot less stressful when it's your own house and you know where stuff goes and you're not bothering anyone asking them all the time where stuff goes!

--Ok, two more words: comfort zone!

--I'm excited to start using my new cute diaper bag I found in Washington!

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

To My Darling Baby Boy, On His Birthday:

One year ago today, (ok, yesterday, sheesh), I became a mother. You made me a mother by consenting to come into this life, into this home, and taking us from a couple to a family. As that is something your father and I wanted very much, and had been wishing for(individually) for at least a decade, we will always be especially grateful to you for that. I will always think of that on your birthday. Thank you for being our guinea pig; the one who teaches us how to be parents, how to cope with chaos, and how to live every day with a heart so full of love it almost hurts. You see, every time your life expands to include another person, be it friend, husband, or child, your heart expands too. What a gift from God that is, and what a gift from God you are. So, I guess, on your birthday, I also have to say thank you thank you thank you, to my wonderful, loving Heavenly Father. THANK YOU!!!

Ok, moving on to less sappy are some things about you that I hope to always remember. A sort of verbal snapshot of my little boy at the age of 1 (don't worry, there are real snap shots below).

--You are mostly outgoing. You roam around church or family parties playing with people's shoes and pulling yourself up and patting their knees. You pull the pacifiers out of other babies mouths and investigate people's watches and jewelry and books all the while winning hearts by batting your big blue eyes and giving a wide toothy grin. Every so often you have a shy spell, which usually has more to do with how tired you are, and I suspect, is sometimes a flirtatious facade...

--You love to squeeze yourself through tiny spaces, mostly in between people's legs. If I am standing still, doing dishes or folding laundry, you will come and push your head into the back of my legs until I'm forced to spread my feet a little and you squeeze through and then you stand up in the tiny space between me and the cupboard below the sink, thereby forcing me to move back which is why my dishes are never done and my clean laundry is never folded. Sigh.

--Even though I keep hoping you will grow out of it, you still adore pulling books from shelves, and sitting and crawling on big uneven piles of books, and getting your hands on mommy's paperbacks so you can run your fingers along the edges and make the pages go fffffwwwwwwppppp.

--Often, when you are intently examining some thing (including my face) you will suddenly tilt your head to one side, not just a little, but till your head is practically parallel to your shoulder, to examine it some more from that angle. It just kills me!

--We have a game I like to refer to as "smooshface". Not as in smoosh your face with my hands; as in smoosh our two faces together in hilarious and slobbery ways.

--You love your dad. If I didn't have you to myself for 8 hours a day I might start to feel neglected! You especially love to go on tours with him. You've gotten to the point where you get a little mad if that's not the first thing he does when he comes home from work!!

--Those brightly colored toys with bells and whistles and cute animals and not-so-subtle educational stuff painted all over them designed to delight and entrance any baby are not really your thing. Oh sure, they might interest you for thirty seconds or so, but they are not nearly so wonderful as those little tins that hold lipbalm or handcream, or zipper pulls, or faucets, or light switches, or drawer handles, or mason jar lids. If it's metal or wood, you are FASCINATED.

--You do this funny thing when you will roll something, and then chase after it, but when you catch up to it you bat your hand at it so it rolls away again and you can chase after it again. The best things for this are little jars because they roll erratically. The awesome thing is you will do it with stuff that doesn't. roll. at. all. Like your toy phone. You'll just kind of bat at it until it flips over a few times and then follow after it and do it again. Then I hand you your little toy ball and you look at me like, "what's this for?" and abandon it to find something else completely unsuited for this game.

--You've finally figured out what the heck to do with stuffed animals: squeeeeeeze them, sink your teeth into them, and lay on top of them.

--Stairs are endless fun and wonderment. Someday I'm going to invent a little toy baby escalator and I will be rich!

This last weekend we went up to your Great-grandmother's and we celebrated your birthday. Here are some pics from that--you really enjoyed my homemade ginger bread!!

Here you are with daddy:

You're not so sure about that open flame...

You gingerly taste it...And voila!! the final shot: happy baby, no more gingerbread, and a demolished shirt!!

I love you little boy!! Here's hoping we have lots of lovely messy years together!

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Why God Invented Soap and Water...

So Booboo can help his mommy and daddy in the garden!

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Two Years Ago Today*...

My honey and I walked into the Jordan River Temple, nervous as can be. A little while later, after one of the most beautiful and moving experiences in my life, we walked out, newly married, with eternity ahead of us. Friends and family gathered that evening to celebrate and wish us well. So many people had helped so much to get us to that point. I remember standing in the midst of my reception, feeling so much love and joy, feeling so grateful for how incredibly blessed I was at that moment. We had a pretty small reception, and the room was stuffed to the gills with people, people who loved us and were so happy for us. People who had baked and organized and hung decorations, chopped vegetables and addressed invitations, performed beautiful music and traveled pretty far to get there. People who had come bearing gifts and advice and love and hope.

Today I have a happy home, and a wonderful husband and a darling baby boy. Life keeps moving and changing, but with Jon at my side and a lot of faith, I think I can handle it, and I look forward to what our little family will become.
*Ok, when I started writing this post it was "today" but now it should really say "Two Years Ago Yesterday", oh well. As we spent the day with a teething baby and his first fever (not his first teeth, but the first time getting a fever-he's doing a lot better today, so hopefully we can go out tonight as we had planned!) I know you'll understand the slight delay.

Monday, March 16, 2009

I'm always up for free books!

The blogroll I'm on, Mormon Mommy Blogs, is having another giveaway, and this time it's for a free set of books! I'm always interested in new authors, and as I've been on a non-fiction kick for quite a while, I definitely feel lately like I need some fiction! So if you're Mormon and a Mommy, or not, or not, then go check it out! (See the link on the side of my page--->)

Friday, March 13, 2009

Breathing Through Our Mouths...

This is just a quick post to explain why I've been so MIA lately: We're sick!!! Ok, just Booboo and me, so far Jon has managed to escape it. But it's really hanging on with me and Boo. Basically I've just been coping and then everytime he goes down for a nap so do I. I also didn't think that you guys would want to see a Wordless Wednesday of a pic of very red noses and a river of snot. Boo is holding up pretty well considering this is his first real sickness. But I'd like it to be over now! All I do is wipe noses all day, his and mine! And can someone explain to me why babies hate like poison to have their noses wiped (even though I've mostly been using nice soft burp cloths) only to immediately turn and wipe their noses on your shirt? What's the difference, really? Just a mystery of babyhood, I guess!

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

I Am a Child of God!

Lately I feel like this inside:
I feel so very blessed, just wonderful, and loved, and lifted up by the Spirit, the last couple of weeks. I've had answers to prayers, small but miraculous changes in my own heart, opportunities to sing again, a chance to go to the temple last week, I've made some new friends, spring is right around the corner, I have a loving husband and a beautiful baby boy. My Heavenly Father loves me, and He loves you too. And I love you!

I'd better make sure you know where this beautiful picture is from:
Check it out if you haven't yet! Beautiful, beautiful pictures.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

This Wednesday's Wordy, But it's Worth It!!

I have a story! I live in an apartment that was created in the upstairs of this 100+ year old house. Because of this there are lots of strange quirks, the strangest being the bathroom. It is basically a converted closet in the kitchen/laundry room. It is tiny and is definitely my least favorite thing about an otherwise beautiful and interesting and pretty roomy apartment. But it does have one great perk: because it's tiny and basically in the kitchen, when I give Booboo a bath I can just leave the door open and get some work done in the kitchen without any fear of being a horrible mother and being dragged off by the CPS for leaving my child in a bath unattended!! He is always within my sight, indeed within 10 feet of me, so it works out great. Because we like to save water, and because he likes the secure feeling of being able to hold onto the sides, we still use a little baby bath that we put in the big grown up bath, which also helps when he decides to have a serious splashing party!! So I can make my lunch and sweep the floor all the while talking to him and smiling at him and listening to his happy little splashy/babbly noises. I can always see his head over the rim of the big bathtub because he's sitting up.

He doesn't usually stay happy in the tub for that long, though, he get's kind of bored and starts trying to climb out after 10-15 minutes usually. So I was really happy today when he seemed to be happy for a longer time and I could make a long, involved salad for my lunch. When I finished preparing it I decided he had been in there long enough and went to go get him out and I found this:

No water in the tub!!! I have no idea how long he had just been playing naked in an empty tub!! The little stinker discovered the plug (you can see it just barely)!! Oh man, I laughed for quite a while after that! I'm still laughing.

Oh well, I had planned to give him "air time" after the bath anyway because his awful diaper rash is back. And in the spirit of causing great future embarrassment and hopefully an "aw, mom!!" here's a picture of some more air time!!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

How To Get a New* Wardrobe...For Free!

1. Finally lose a little bit of the baby weight.
2. Have a really nice sis-in-law who is also losing weight and doing a better job than you give you some of her old clothes.
3. Clean out your closet!!!

A perfect storm of events has taken me from wearing the same pair of maternity jeans everyday to owning more pants than I can possibly wear (hmm...and no where to wear them!). I was just feeling like I was still huge so I wasn't paying any attention to what actual size I was anymore. I really didn't want to buy any new jeans in an in between size since I really wanted to just lose weight back down to my old jean size, and my maternity jeans, while hanging off me, had not actually fallen off yet, so I just kept wearing them and trying to not care what they looked like. When my sister-in-law offered me some of the clothes that didn't fit her anymore (thanks Jess!) I tried them on skeptically, because I did NOT think I was down to the size of the jeans yet. Low and behold, they fit! So I was very motivated to go through some of the clothes I put away into storage when I got too pregnant to torture myself into them anymore. Now I've got a nice expanded wardrobe! (and two practically new tubes of Burt'sBees Honey Lip Balm!!)

*To get this "new" wardrobe you must meet some of these preexisting conditions: you must have recently given birth, you must have a nice sister-in-law, you must be a cheapskate who doesn't really love to buy new clothes, you must refuse to weigh yourself or pay any attention to numbers like that, and you must have a messy closet and a baby who keeps you a little too preoccupied to care much about what you're wearing! Lastly, you must also have a rather broad definition of the word "new"!

Monday, February 23, 2009


I'm this blog roll called Mormon Mommy Blogs and they have this fabulous giveaway going on right now. You get an extra entry if you post about it on your blog, and the stuff is pretty enough that I'm actually posting about it! So go over there and check it out, and if you post a comment, you can get entered into the giveaway also!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Like Father, Like Son...

I promise I closed the laptop and whisked him away right after I took the picture!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Booboo starts with B and that rhymes with T....

which stands for TROUBLE!!!!!

Crawling has certainly made life more interesting around here. He keeps me on my toes!

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Wordless Wednesday: Apparently Bees Are Funny.

I've decided to start a new tradition here on MegandJon that I've seen done on other blogs. On Wednesdays I will do a mostly wordless post (there might need to be an explanation) that will basically be a picture or video. Probably these will consist mainly of pictures of this one really cute baby I know, but I might branch out and post a pretty picture or some cool video I found online or something. Today's post is a little wordy, a Wordy Wordless Wednesday, if you will, because I wanted to explain what I would be doing.

The inaugural post is a video of Booboo, of course! I was reading a little book to him with a bee, and when I made the Bzzzing noise, he laughed hysterically and wouldn't stop. So I had to take a video, and I wanted to post it even though it's rather shaky. You try making a bzzzz noise, filming, and laughing, all at the same time! Also, please excuse the mess...that's why we call him our little Havoc Wreaker!

Photo Sharing - Video Sharing - Photo Printing

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

If my house smells like chemicals, it's not clean!

I have a very sensitive nose. I've had this affliction my entire life. I especially can't stand the smell of commercial cleaners. Don't tell my mom, but even as a teen, when it was my turn to clean the bathroom I would 1) open all windows and doors and turn on the fan, 2) use a miniscule amount (or, ahem, none)of Scrubbing Bubbles and Comet and whatever, 3) run up my parent's water and heating bill by just scrubbing with masses of hot water. I swear my nose has gotten even worse with time and age (and peaking during my pregnancy when I could hardly go to church because some old lady sitting 3 pews away from me was wearing perfume). After nearly a decade of living as a single girl with beaucoup roomates and having to put up with their cleaning habits and products, the final straw was my last roomate. She didn't clean super often, but about once a week she would go through the kitchen and bathroom and lay down this inches thick (I exaggerate not) layer of Comet over all the surfaces therein. And then she'd let it sit for hours, sometimes even overnight. And I had the only migraines I've ever had in my life. It would be instantaneous. I'd walk in the door and be hit by that smell and boom! There was my headache. And all I could do was hide in my room and sit by my open window.

But I made a decision. I'd heard of people who could clean their whole house with lemon juice and love and crystals and chi, tee hee, and I resolved to become one of those people now that I would have charge of my own little nest. Then, as I often do, after having made this decision, I did tons of research on the matter so as to bolster my resolve, and have some good facts on hand in case anyone should tell me I was crazy. But I don't want to spend all kinds of time convincing in this post. I figure most of you probably have already heard some rumours on the wind about the asthma rate in children rapidly increasing and scientifically linked to chemicals and how the air inside your house is 50 times more toxic than the air outside, even if you live right next to the freeway and some drycleaners and an oil refinery and how many of these chemicals never leave our bodies, they just build up and up and up over our lives. I'm not going to go into all these things because I want to dedicate this post to just how easy, effective, and gosh-darn-cheap organic cleaning can be.

The secret is in the magic ingredients. There are three main ones, but the first and foremost and can't-live-without is vinegar. White distilled vinegar; you can use it for everything. The second and third are baking soda and hydrogen peroxide. Before I move on to how I use them, I just want to take a moment to talk about the other supercool features of these three ingredients. They are useful for TONS of things. Over here in Mormonville we believe in food storage, which actually means more than food storage. It means everything-you-need-to-live storage. So as that is a big list I like to simplify and consolidate. So instead of having a year's worth of window cleaner and bathtub cleaner and drain de-clogger and disinfectant and floor cleaner and that stuff that covers up/get's rid of funky smells/causes infertility, I just have vinegar and baking soda and peroxide. And all three of those things have other useful purposes besides cleaning, like baking, and you could make salad dressing, and hydrogen peroxide has all kinds of medical usefulness. And if you're in a pinch (which is the point of food storage, right?) you could also brush your teeth and wash your hair with those ingredients. Crazy.

1) Take one empty squirt bottle.
2) Fill it halfway with vinegar.
3) Fill it the rest of the way with water.

This is all you need to clean your counters, your floor, and your mirrors/windows. For the first two I use rags/mops (no sponges! sponges are the devil!). For the last one I use some form of newspaper (usually the free ones I get in junkmail as we don't have a subscription). I also use it to do wipe downs of sinks and the toilet (that last one i use special designated rags for). But Megan, you say, doesn't vinegar offend your delicate little nose? Not really. Watered down by half like it is makes it a lot less stinky, and it dissipates lickety-split. And this stuff also works to deodorize everything. I spray it in my garbage and diaper pails after I've emptied them and I've even just sprayed it in the air if there's some kind of lingering funk from one of these two pails (and then I invite my mother-in-law over, who then breathes deeply and decides I'm not such a horrible housekeeper after all, just like the Febreze commercials).

4) Buy a bottle of hydrogen peroxide.
5) Replace the little cap with a squirt bottle top you stole off another empty squirt bottle. Most of them fit.

This I use for extra germ killing power. The one-two punch of vinegar and then hydrogen peroxide leaves no germs, and then no residue. They both completely evaporate. And even if you managed to lick the counter before they evaporated, no harm done. Just to illustrate the super cool power of these two ingredients; industrial meat farms, some of the nastiest, dirtiest places on earth, use vinegar and HP (I'm sick of typing the whole thing out) to clean--and it works. Other cleaners (bleach, Lysol, etc.) leave chemicals behind. Some hints with HP: it's not aerosol like Lysol, but you can use it basically the same way. Things will be a little wetter, but just let it air dry, and then it's good to go! This is especially important if you sprayed it on your toilet seat! If you then sit on it before it's dry, it won't hurt you, but it will give you a strange, fizzing sensation (or so I've heard...I've of course never done that...ahem). Also, you do not need to use HP every single time you wipe your counter down. I tend to spray my counter down once every other day, but you could do it once a day if you are a little more nervous than me (I do clean with the vinegar solution several times a day). And once a week or so I'll go through the place and spray some major germ spots, like doorknobs, and the phones/remote controls (although I spray it on a cloth and wipe the phone instead of spraying directly).

6) Get a box of baking soda. Or if you want to be like me, buy huge bags of it at Costco.
7) Sprinkle it where you need it!

Baking soda I mainly use in the bathtub, and when I want to more thoroughly scrub down the bathroom and kitchen sinks. The trick here is to very thoroughly wet the entire surface down with the vinegar spray, and then sprinkle the baking soda pretty liberally over that. Then leave it alone for a few minutes. This part is important and makes all the difference. Go clean something else for a minute, or lick your counter again, ha ha, then come back and scrub the paste off. Cleaning this way is alot like cleaning with Comet, minus the migraines; you just sort of scrub the paste into the surface and then rinse it off. Beautiful and shiny! You could use a rag for this, but I prefer those plastic meshy scrub pads, which I then rinse off with pretty-darn hot water. The other cool thing I use baking soda for is the drains. Here's how you keep your drains fresh and clean. Once a month or so you throw a couple of handfuls of baking soda down the drain, then you pour straight vinegar on it (i'm not sure how much, maybe a 1/2 a cup? I just pour a little, watch it fizz, pour a little more, watch it fizz, a couple times) then you let it do it's thing for a few minutes, then poor boiling water down the drain. Voila!

I haven't got it all figured out yet. I still buy toilet bowl cleaner and dishwashing liquid and dishwasher detergent, though I get the environmentally friendly version of all those (mostly Ecover and Method brands). Some day soon I'll figure out how to do those cheaper and easier (a little bird told me you can use vinegar in the toilet bowl too, but you have to do it more frequently) and then I'll let you know. You can find a lot of homemade cleaning recipes online, but they are more complicated then I can committ to. This system works for me, and it works well. Most of it I found in a really fabulous book called (are you ready for this title?) Organic Housekeeping: In Which the Non-toxic Avenger Shows You How to Improve Your Health and That of Your Family, While You Save Time, Money, and Perhaps Your Sanity, by Ellen Sandbeck. This is one of those non-fiction books that's a great, easy, interesting read; and she does all kinds research and very clearly presents the proof to you about the truth of all this germ-killing, anti-biotic, toxic chemical controversy, and much more.

So there it is! A pretty simple, cut-and-dried, cleaning method, written up in a really complicated, wordy post. Feel free to ask any questions! Or just roll your eyes at my kookiness!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Hubby Tag

Where we met: In the side yard of the house in which we currently live, actually! It is my aunt's house and she introduced us. We gave her flowers when we got engaged. She is now currently our landlord!
How long we dated before we got hitched: 6 months.
How long have we been married: 2 years in March.
What's my favorite feature about him: His eyes, his height, his hair, his legs, his...ok, I'll stop.
What's my favorite quality about him: His intelligence and spirituality. The way he has wholeheartedly thrown himself into fatherhood and husbandhood. The way he totally supports my granolaness. The way he loves me!
What's his nickname for me: Lately he calls me Meganstar.
His favorite color: He likes navy blue and dark dark purple. I think. Guys don't often do fave colors, you know?
His favorite food: Cheese, much to my despair. And peanuts/peanut butter.
His favorite sport: Is hiking a sport?
Who said the L word first: Jon said, and I quote, "I think I'm beginning to love you." All I did was ask him if I should introduce him as my boyfriend at my work Christmas party.
First kiss when and where: In my living room about 2 months or so after we started dating.
Favorite couple thing to do: Going out to eat (Mazza's and Bombay House) and watching movies and none of your beeswax.
How many kids:1 little boy.
His hidden talent: cooking.
His age: 31, but not for too much longer.
His favorite music: classical.
What I admire most about him: His cheerful attitude and willingness to help. And his extensive scriptural knowledge, at least compared to me.
His favorite pastimes: hanging out with his family, playing on the computer, the aforementioned hiking.
Will he read this: If I tell him to!

I tag: Jess and Julie, and Emily and Rosalyn, and Jen and anyone else who wants to do a little reminiscing/bragging about their husband!

Monday, January 19, 2009

We Have Liftoff!!!

For weeks now Booboo has been nearly crawling, and not just rocking on his hands and knees but even putting one knee forward and one hand forward. But then he'd always just lunge at whatever he was trying to get to and go down on his stomach again. If he wasn't able to reach his prize he'd get back up on his knees and do it again! I've just been waiting for his little light to click on and for him to string those individual little "steps" together before I officially called it crawling. Well today, ta da ta da!!! while at my mom's he finally figured it out! Now the full force of his exploratory energy will be felt and nothing will be safe. Lock up your valuables.


Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Grab that Cash with Both Hands and Make a Stash!!!

Money!! It's a crime!!

Ok, I'll stop quoting Pink Floyd now and get down to it. Money has been much on my mind lately and I have a tiny inkling that I might not be the only one feeling that way. Yet it seems hard to talk about it, like its a sensitive subject or something. Perhaps it has to do with our definitions of success: if I talk about worrying about money or pinching pennies then people will think we are not successful and feel sorry for us and in our society not successful with money=not successful as a human being. We at least feel that way a little bit, deep down, even though it's not true!! But in today's economic climate, you can make pretty good money and still feel the pinch!! We are not suffering for lack of money but I'm still suffering from a chronic disease known as Worrywartitis. Have you heard of it? Maybe you have a touch of it too? If you watch the news you are probably experiencing symptoms of worrywartitis. It's definitely contagious!!

We have been working really hard on storing up food and necessary items and I think we have done really well there. If you haven't worked on that I highly recommend it. It feels really good to look at a pile of food and know that you will be ok for awhile if something should happen! We are also trying to pay off our only debt, which is basically MY student loan. The thing that we really need to do for me to lessen my "symptoms" would be to build up more savings. We have a fairly good amount in our 401k, but that is pretty inaccessible (and quickly losing its value). What I'm really trying to work on is our basic savings account. To accomplish this, I need to get better at saving money. Makes sense, right?

Like you (probably), I have things I'm good at and things I'm not so good at. Not so good at: sometimes I just cannot HANDLE eating or preparing anything we have in the house so we go out to eat; I'm picky about the food we eat and sometimes buy the more expensive but healthier stuff; sometimes I buy clothes that I never end up wearing and I never take back. That's just a few of my downfalls but you get the idea! And yet I think I have some strengths in the budgeting area also. The other day I told my sister-in-law that I'm a bit of a cheapskate and she said she would never have guessed that about me! At first I thought she was being sarcastic! Then I realized she really just hasn't known me long enough. I've often joked that I was raised in the Great Depression. In truth I've just spent my life reading way too many books that take place during that time. And I really LOVE to find ways to save money. Frugality feels a little bit like creativity to me, does that make sense? I may not be making something, but I'm saving something and that is pretty close. This nutty frugality kick of mine is very closely related to my inner granola. If something saves me money and trees then I am on it!

So here is where I come out of the closet and confess some of the zany things I do to save money and the planet (I'm not saying which is more important although I'd like to also remind you that by "the planet" I also mean our children's health and cuddly animals, and drinkable water and yes, beautiful, gorgeous, good-smelling, spirit-lifting, wind-breaking, erosion-preventing, air-quality-improving, huggable trees). Feel free to scoff at my silliness and don't think too hard about the one or two things I left out because I'm a little too chicken to admit to them unless I know you are a card-carrying member of the Clandestine Hippie Club. So now in no particular order....

Crazy Little Things I Do That Probably Don't Save Much But Make Me Feel Better Anyway:

1. I wash and reuse sandwich baggies, plastic produce bags and sometimes even foil, and use plastic shopping bags for our trash bags.
2. I've never bought a paper towel in my life. Those commercials about how this or that brand of paper towel has a more "cloth-like feel" really crack me up. Guess what has a really "cloth-like feel"? Cloth!!!
3. We use cloth diapers. I know, crazy. But don't knock it till you've tried it! We love it and find it super duper easy. We do use a few disposables, to be honest, but I'd say it's only 10% of the time.
4. My entire skin care regime consists of one thing: coconut oil. That's it. Ok, if I'm feeling like I want to pamper myself I'll use a little honey. But that's pretty rare. It's great, it's cheap, the tub I bought nearly 2 years ago is only maybe half gone and coconut oil has a fantastically long shelf-life. It also works great in your hair and helps kill cold sores! It's pretty miracle stuff!
5. (I'm almost done!) We eat pretty basically. Almost no processed foods. We bake our own bread and sprout our own sprouts and have even started making our own breakfast granola. I hope that it makes up a little (budget-wise) for the fact that I'm not the best bargain-shopper and sometimes I splash out on organic and I don't cut any coupons. Last summer we grew our first garden, but because we had a newborn we mainly just grew buckets of tomatoes, which worked out perfectly because I eat tomatoes like they are going extinct. This year we really hope to grow more, but since neither one of us is what you'd call a natural green thumb, it will definitely be a learning process!
6. Last but not least, I wash pretty much my entire house with vinegar and baking soda and a little hydrogen peroxide.

I hope this doesn't sound like bragging. I'm actually really nervous to post this because I'd hate for anyone to think I'm extreme. This stuff is mostly just a balm for my worrywartitis flare-ups. It's kind of like when your whole house is a mess and you're all stressed out because you feel you can never get it Really Clean so you just do the dishes and scrub the sink and you feel SO much better to have that one shining little corner in the chaos. Do you have anything like that? That little thing that gives your spirit a lift when you've been down in the dumps or that little bit of service you perform when you've been thinking about yourself too much lately or something deep and intelligent you think about when you've been talking about the potty with your toddler for far too long?

Coming Soon: I'm going to post more about #6 on my list because my cousin requested it(sorry this is taking so long Adrienne!), because your house will be a cleaner place (meaning dirt, germs, AND toxins that hurt you and your kids), and because it really is super cheap and super easy. But not tonight because I need to go to bed!

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Belated Christmas Pics!

The Dreaded Christmas Cold has prevented me from posting this for a while. But I'm feeling better (slowly) so I thought I'd just throw some cute pics on here and call it a blog post. When I'm feeling better I'll write more! This was Booboo's first Christmas, so it was pretty easy to go low-key, but as you can see in these pics, he had a blast!

The wrapping paper is the most fun.

Man. He looks more and more like his dad everyday!

I got him a sippy cup as a toy/I hope to get him drinking out of it soon. See how he's holding it? Yeah, he's not any closer to drinking out of it now, 2 weeks later! At this rate, it could be months!

Mama and baby. 'Nuff said.

Jon was fooling around with one of those pics from the photo shoot a while ago. It's not perfect but it's pretty cute/funny!
I hope you all had great holidays!!