Friday, November 18, 2011

10 things you might not know about us

A little bit of randomness for your Friday...

1) For as type A and organized as I am, I'm so not a list-keeper. When I start to get stressed, my brain can't hold all the things I'm trying to keep track of, so I start randomly writing things down - at home, at work, in the car. Which makes me even more stressed because I can't remember where I wrote what. I'm testing out Google tasks and so far I like it, we'll see if it sticks.

2) Joey and I both work in IT, but we don't fit the typical IT stereotype. We have one video gaming system - a Wii - that's probably been played for an hour total since January. We don't have a server or an elaborate home network, and we don't rush out to buy the latest gadgets. We're the boring type of nerdy.

3) Joey drove a 1991 Chevy Caprice when we first met. And I still married him.

So big a family of 6 could ride comfortably.
4) We sold this car on ebay. I changed the battery in it before the buyer picked it up, by myself. I inherited my dad's mechanic skills. Joey, not so much.

5) Joey thought we should head to Vegas when we'd be dating for 3 weeks, and you know, get married. I still married him, 18 months later, in Vegas.

We married in Vegas, not by Elvis, and not in a little white chapel.

6) When I was 6 (ish) months old, I fell down my grandparents' stairs in my walker. This explains a lot, right? :) I think my aunt (who was watching me at the time) may still feel a twinge guilty about this, but I just think it makes for a good story now.

7) Joey has a metal rod in his hip that is the size of an unsharpened pencil. Something about his hip not being formed correctly, or something. (I listen, I swear!) No, it doesn't make metal detectors go off, but it does cause him some pain when the weather changes.

8) Joey moonlights as Captain Planet... we recycle so much stuff we only end up with one little trash bag of trash per week.

9) I don't own a hair dryer. I couldn't go out in public if I ever used one to dry my hair, it would be like blonde Carrot Top.

10) I have a rather strange love of even numbers. My favorite number is 24, it's round and looks nice, and 2+2=4. I like that all 4 of us have birthdays on even numbered dates. I was kind of adamant that our anniversary be on October 14 because 10/14/06 looks nice to me. I realize this is totally weird and I'm ok with that.

It's your turn - I want to read 10 things about YOU!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

you too can make your own baby shampoo

Over the last few days, there's been some chatter in the news about Johnson & Johnson having two potentially cancer-causing chemicals in their baby shampoo. I generally take this type of thing with a grain of salt and don't pay much attention to the outcome, but this one just makes me angry. We've been using J&J's Baby Wash (which also contains quaternium-15) on both of the boys since they were born. And the thought of rubbing formaldehyde on their wee melons... ::shudder::

You can take away what you want to from the story and make the best decision for your family. I thought we could do better. There's tons of other options for organic and natural baby washes, but they can be pretty pricey. And now that we all know I'm pinching pennies, I was on the lookout for something more cost friendly.

So! I made my own. And? It was so easy I should have done this long ago. It literally took 15 minutes from start until I was washing Jbug's hair with it.

I used this "recipe":

And I took pictures!

You'll need:
12 oz. distilled water
4-5 Tablespoons of castile soap flakes
1-2 drops essential oil (I used orange, lavender would be lovely too)
a storage container (I used an old salad dressing jar)

A few notes: To get the soap flakes, I just bought the bars and used my cheese grater. You can probably use the liquid castile soap too, but I'm not sure what the conversion on it would be (let me know if you try it though, I'm curious!). Castile soap is natural soap made from olive oil, mine also had coconut oil in it. I got the soap and essential oil from our local natural food market, but someone mentioned Target has the soap as well. It's CHEAP, the soap bars were $1.38 each and the oil I chose was $4. And I have enough to outfit a small island nation with shampoo for a whole year.

Bring the water to a boil then remove from heat and let cool for 10 minutes.

Stir in the soap flakes until they dissolve (they'll dissolve, I was worried they'd just get gloopy, but they don't). Then add the drop(s) of oil - it's very very concentrated, 1 drop would probably be enough. Stir until blended.

Store in a container with a lid. Shake gently before using. (Those are bubbles on top, but they went away quickly.)

We gave Jbug a bath as I was finishing up. Gratuitous photo of giant baby in the tub:

I had visions of the shampoo being thicker, but it's really only a bit thicker than water - I thought it would be too runny but it's not at all. I was also worried the soap wouldn't lather, but it did! It's a really light soft lather that washes away quickly - it's really more awesome than our old body wash which took several rinses to get all the soap off. He was squeaky clean when we finished, and smelled just a tiny bit like oranges and mostly like a deliciously clean baby. I've read that castile soap can be a bit drying, so we made sure to put lotion on him.

Let me know if you try this. Seriously, SO easy!