Saturday, July 20, 2013

Doctors

Since Adam has started his rotations we have been all about doctors in our home. Adam leaves every morning in his white coat, and then one day a week when I take the car from him Logan sees him being dropped off at various hospitals and offices.

It has actually been good because Logan has a fear of doctors offices and some doctors themselves. I am actually a little paranoid that when Monica comes Logan will refuse to come in the room and see me because it freaks him out too much. So talking about doctors, visiting doctors, playing doctor, has been very productive in our home.

There have been a few unplanned golden moments with Logan in regards to all of this and I wanted to make sure that I had the chance to share them.

This is one of the days I borrowed the car from Adam- Logan refused to leave the house without a backpack just like "Daddy doctor!" and they were too endearing together to not capture. photo IMG_3132_zpsafba18b8.jpg

This first video is of Logan doing an exam on Adam. As you can see Logan takes HIPAA very seriously :)
And this second video is of Logan demonstrating the proper use of surgical tools.

Friday, July 19, 2013

The Fourth

 photo IMG_3120_zpsfebd7252.jpg photo IMG_3112_zps0bac1739.jpgPretty sad that I am just now realizing that I never blogged about the fourth huh?

We were suppose to start the day with a grand breakfast with our new ward but I woke-up and decided that I was too tired and a little too sore that day to be "meeting new people friendly." Luckily, Adam had the day off so I made us our own huge pancake breakfast and we were able to spend the day just the three of us having fun.

 photo IMG_3124_zps64bbeeff.jpg photo IMG_3117_zps88063f5d.jpgI was trying to get Logan accustomed to the sight and sounds of fireworks that afternoon so I got on Youtube and we watched some firework shows together. The best seemed to all be New Years celebrations in London. Adam told me later that he was proud of me for explaining to Logan that even though we were watching London fireworks they don't celebrate the fourth like we do because "its the day we beat them." :)

 photo IMG_3123_zps0badadff.jpgThat evening I made a big southern style meal- BBQ chicken, potatoes, biscuits all included. Logan loved it :)

Then afterwards we went outside and did popits and sparklers. Last year when we were in Oregon Logan was decidedly afraid of fireworks so we wanted to take it easy. Logan thought both of them were pretty fantastic so I think we will try to go bigger next year. (Monica will be ready for some scarring then right? :)

Thursday, July 18, 2013

The Simple Life

When Adam and I were still living in Morgantown I read this totally awesome post about finding your decorating style. Previously I would have considered Adam and I to have no style- or to be at odds. But I knew that we were going to be moving to a nice place here in Martinsburg and- lets face it. I had been living in a tiny half packed apartment for MONTHS and I was sixth months pregnant when we moved- I wanted to nest.

So I took the article to heart and went through all the steps- finding words that described mine- and hopefully Adams- style. And my goal way to KEEP these words in mind as I decorated our new apartment.

What was interesting was that one of the main "words" that we wanted in our home was "simple." Adam is a huge minimalist at heart and as anyone knows- I tend to be a little bit more of a sentimental pack rat. But I really felt the importance of making a home that Adam wanted to come home too every day. It may seem strange since I am IN my house all day- you would think it pleasing me would be the most important thing, but I was thinking of the future. When Adam is gone all day, when my kids are gone all day, I want them to WANT to come back home. I want our house to be a place they crave. And for Adam, that means simple.

Its been an interesting transition for me- I like to keep every thought and every picture, every word that touches me nearby and I have had to really narrow down what those things are. Instead of keeping every picture I had to find the ones that mean the most to me to display. Luckily- I think it has worked out well. There are no random pictures on my walls- all are things that reflect my family, and what is important to us. Its kind of like I took my style from before and just put it in a more concentrated form.

This is the view of my living room from our entry. Notice that there are toys on the floor- I have a two year old- there are ALWAYS toys on the floor. Even after we pick up. So you are getting the real essence of our house here :) The pictures on the wall are in chronological order- I like seeing all lined up how our family changes and grows every year. The picture above the mantel is Adams very favorite. The couch pillows are homemade by me from old curtains and are PERFECT for evening reading and reclining. (Never would have imagined that circle shape was so great.)
 photo IMG_3157-001_zps906d2a0c.jpg

Do you see the two shaded doors in the picture above? They lead to our balcony, and I am leaning against them to get this view of our dining room. Yes, the table is chalkboard painted and it was the BEST adjustment I have ever made to any furniture. Logan LOVES it and it cleans so easy. I made the chair covers.
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This is the view of the dining-room from the entry. The shelf is really Logan's shelf. All the books are kids books that he is responsible for getting and replacing every night. The boxes hold his art supplies, play-dough etc. They are all labeled with pictures and the word of what is inside of them so Logan can get into them on his own. I have been AMAZED at how well he has adopted the responsibility to pick these things up and put them back after he gets them out. Logan I think loves the freedom to get into crayons, stickers, play-dough any time he wants. And he does often.
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What has been even more interesting has been that this desire to simplify has seeped into a lot of the other corners of my life as well. Maybe its because I am about to undergo a huge transition going from one kid to two, maybe its because Adam has undergone a huge transition going from classroom student to student doctor (yes, he does procedures and helps out during surgeries.) But ever since we have moved Adam and I have both been feeling this great desire for just- less.

That's where the blog design came from. I got on here to look at a friends blog and almost cringed at mine. It was cute yes, but it definitely didn't reflect our new life and my purging streak went so far as to slash through the blog as well :) Clean, white, simple, with that always pop of color that my life would never BE my life without :)

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

All Natural Solutions from the All Natural Skeptic

I have said before how I am not much of one for the new "all natural" craze. It makes me feel like a bad Oregonian if truth be told. I don't buy organic (unless for some reason its cheaper) I live in an apartment so I don't recycle. I don't do cloth diapers.

I do prefer "green" toys or Melissa and Doug. I do use Organic shampoo and conditioner (curly haired people- USE IT! Organix brand- you will not be sorry.) I do hand-make a lot of things and shop second hand but sometimes- the time it takes isn't worth the stress for me.

And in my defense I have actually given "green" cleaning a try in the past. I followed a pinterest idea on how to easily, and greenly, deep clean a microwave. It was awful. Not only was my microwave NOT clean but it smelled of eggs for WEEKS. Awful.

When we moved into this new apartment I made a goal to be cleaner. Mostly because it is a MUCH nicer place, and also because we have a brand new baby coming any day and I wanted our home clean for her and all the visitors that we will be greeting these next three weeks.

I was MOST excited about one nice clean addition that our new apartment has. That's right. The coveted dishwasher. It was with great love that I went to Costco and bought my first in who knows how many years box of dishwasher detergent. I was so excited to spend TWO MINUTES loading my machine instead of an hour of hand drying hand washing. 

The dishes were not very clean. I was CRUSHED.

I talked to a lot of people in our apartment complex to discover that our apartment has EXTREMELY hard water and that the deposits I was seeing and ineffectively scraping off the bottom of my dishwasher were in all actuality hard water deposits. (This hard water has actually started to become an issue in my hair and in our clothes as well- I am currently searching for solutions.)

On to pinterest I went. I tried everything- store bought cleaners, home made cleaners- even the dreaded vinegar. Nothing worked!

Then I found this amazing link where I discovered that during the time that my husband and I have been without a dishwasher, there have been laws passed saying that there are no sulfides allowed in detergent anymore. I actually have NO idea what this means except for that sulfides are apparently what USED to battle hard water, and made my dishes come out unfilmed and unspotted.

I was desperate. My husband was suggesting we just hand wash again and I couldn't handle the prospect. So I bought the materials and I made this woman's amazing Green Dishwasher Detergent. (I will add here that the idea of throwing away my HUGE box of Cascade was just too much for me, I added a cup to her recipe. I figured it would stretch her recipe and help me not waste what I already had.)

Friends, I WISH I had taken a before picture of my dishes so you could understand how incredibly clean this stuff has left my dishes. And how it has also helped clean up the inside of my machine! (Apparently I have the salt to thank for that.)

Since that time I have been MUCH more open to the idea of hand making my cleaning supplies. Not all- not yet at least. I still love my Clorox toilet bowl cleaner. I still love my wet swiffer. I still love dryer sheets and caustic oven cleaner. I probably will NEVER be able to give up Bath and Body Works antibacterial soaps and hand cleaners.

But, for your knowledge, I have made a pinterest board called Pinterest WORKS! In which I copy all the cleaning tips, organizing tips, clothing patterns etc, that I find really work for me and my house. (I also have a board of Pinterest Recipes I Love- all of which have been tried and eaten with gusto.) Anything that I try that doesn't work? I just delete.

But, just in case here is the working list of beloved homemade and green cleaning by the Green/ Organic skeptic:

1. The Oh SO Amazing Hard Water Battler Homemade Dish Washer Detergent

2. Removing Old Stains. Like OLD OLD. This Detergent is AMAZING. (Sorry that its not homemade. AND its spendy- but it WORKS like a charm.)

3. washing and cleaning old pillows- I did this today because I wanted to clean my Boppy before baby came and ended up washing every pillow in the house- I DID take before and afters of this for your viewing pleasure. AMAZING. (Note- her recipe calls for bleach which I didn't have so I used peroxide instead and still worked great.)
 photo IMG_3153-001_zps06759c1a.jpg photo IMG_3155_zps8152c675.jpg

4. Sparkly Bathroom- seems weird but it TOTALLY works. (Note: I find I have to use USED dryer sheets- apparently my dryer sheets are potent cuz if I use bran new ones they leave a residue.)

5. Cleaning a Microwave WITHOUT vinegar. (yay!) Apparently you can replace lemon with Vanilla extract to make your house smell like vanilla in the fall. I WILL be giving that a try.)

6. Cleaning Stove Rings- WORKS LIKE A CHARM and its very green.

7. I DO have to apologize for this one being caustic and smelly- but if you are hard on your stove like I am you NEED this to Clean Your Burners/ Drip Pans. I have never had anything work more effectively.

8. I did mention earlier that I replaced Bleach with Hydrogen Peroxide in a cleaner I made- can I say I have basically replaced Bleach totally with Hydrogen Peroxide? And that I use it A LOT as a disinfectant for quick cleans of things like shower curtains and mold. Here is a list of GREAT hydrogen peroxide uses- I have not tried them all but I LOVE Hydrogen Peroxide for almost anything now.

If you have anything to add- any tips for combating hard water especially- let me know so I can try them out!!