Homemade Laundry Detergent

A while back, I found this pin for DIY detergent. (Isn't Pinterest grand?) It seemed like a cool idea (and I even knew a couple people who had made their own), but it wasn't the right time. We had just moved to GA and only had a small percentage of our things. I knew we'd be buying a house and moving [again] soon, so it wasn't a priority. I could have done it, but I just didn't want to deal with it at the time.

Since then, I've thought about it a lot. The real appeal to me was the money-saving aspect. We spend about $10 every month or two on detergent. Now, that's really not a lot, but it is a reoccurring expense. The idea of making my own detergent for about $20-30 and having enough to last months sounded pretty good to me. (Especially knowing that we'll have another mess-maker in the house in a few months!)

Armed with the list of ingredients, I headed to WalMart. I'll go ahead an admit that I bought everything from their site-to-store option. Apparently our store doesn't carry Zote soap (but they do have Fels Naptha, which is similar), so that was my only option to buy it. Anyway, it was nice to just go in and pick up everything I needed, except for the bucket which Joe had gotten for me beforehand. I didn't take any pictures of the process because you can find it on the website I pinned. They are better pictures than I would have gotten anyway. ;-)

Everything but the Borax!

This stuff is so easy to make, guys. Grate [or microwave] the soap, and mix the baking soda, super washing soda, borax, oxiclean, and purex crystals [optional] all together and you're done. I layered it like the directions suggest, but you could also just stir it all up together if you've got enough strength. I put mine in a 5 gallon bucket (with a lid!), but since it's barely half full I'd say a smaller one would do just as well.

I put some of the mix back into the oxiclean tub, and have been using the scoop that came with it to put the detergent in our washer. I fill the scoop to the first or second line and dump it in. So far, I can tell zero difference in what I used before (ALL, in case you were wondering) and the stuff that I made. If anything, I feel like our clothes smell better than before, and they're just as clean. My bestie said that she had found pieces of soap that didn't dissolve in her washer and/or clothes when she made this. That hasn't been the case for me yet, and I've been using it for a few weeks now. [Side note: This soap doesn't foam, so if you make it, don't freak out. It's working!]

Basically? I'm loving this stuff. It's cheap, easy to make, easy to use, and will last forever. If those aren't good enough reasons to make your own....I don't know what is!


Bad Things, Good People, and God

My heart is breaking for some people right now.

As I was messing around on FB Saturday night, I found out that an acquaintance gave birth to a little girl...who was stillborn. I barely know her, and yet my heart hurts for her. I don't quite know the pain she is experiencing, yet I do to a certain degree.

Sunday morning, I woke and checked my phone to kill time before Charlotte woke up. There I found that Diana's little boy was doing worse. This woman... A strong Christian, and contributor to a blog/women's bible study group online, is losing her third little boy in the span of about a year. Last year, her twin boys were born at 19 weeks. One lived minutes, the other a few hours. I haven't been keeping up with her blog very much since then, so I don't know the details of this pregnancy. I only recently found out she'd had a little boy. A boy who was supposed to be her rainbow baby.

To a point, I can relate. After going through a miscarriage, I know the fear that sets in early on in a subsequent pregnancy. The fear of losing again. The fear of not being excited about being pregnant. (Oh, yeah. How's that for guilt?!) Then there's the realization that God is in control. So you let go of the fear, embrace the pregnancy and allow yourself to feel excited. You allow yourself to plan, to hope, to dream.

After all that, I can't imagine what she's feeling right now. I just can't. Truthfully, it makes me scared, too. It's selfish, but it makes me scared for me - for my family. Because if this can happen to her - someone with whom I share similarities - it could happen me, too.

I know there are many people out there thinking, questioning how God can allow these things to happen to good people - His people. The answer is... There isn't an answer that will satisfy us. Not really. Our world is broken, and full of sin. It's why we die. It's why people kill other people. Sin is why bad things happen to good people. Yes, God is ultimately in control, but we sinful people broke the world He built for us in the beginning. Good people - even Christians - aren't exempt from the consequences of our sin. God didn't promise us an easy life just because we're believers.

Even if God could answer our "why" questions, would they be enough for us? If God told me he allowed me to miscarry our second baby because it would teach me something about Him, myself, and others like me, would that satisfy my heart? Would it make me grateful? I honestly doubt it. If God told the thousands of women struggling with infertility, that He wanted them to wait until He said it was time, would that satisfy them? Would it make their struggle easier to accept? My guess is that it probably wouldn't.

God is in control. Even in the bad things in our lives, He is good. He is faithful. He cares for us. He wants to hold us through the tough things, and even the not-so-tough things.

{Edited to add:} This morning, through a post on SheReadsTruth, I learned that Diana's little boy passed away. I can't begin to say how much my heart hurts for them. Please pray for her family. And also, please read the post written on SheReadsTruth. It perfectly depicts the heart of a believer in times like these.



Do you ever just feel like you're drowning in the stuff of life? The dishes, the laundry, the cooking, the cleaning, the caring-for-a-tiny-human and husband? I'm feeling that way a lot lately.

Nothing is right. My hormones are off the stinkin' charts. I'm tired. I'm achey. I need to be more active, but OMG I'M TIRED. And it's hot outside. My allergies and asthma are kicking my butt lately, too. I'm on medicine and it helps, but I still get winded far too easily. The resident tiny human is clingy, often whiny, and almost always hungry. My husband is here, but not here, and not always a fan of how/when things get done. 

I feel like I'm drowning.

I definitely have more energy now than I did in my first trimester, but I'm still taking care of a toddler all day. Changing diapers, playing, feeding, cleaning, saying "no" a bazillion and one times, cuddling, translating, and often appeasing. 

There are still boxes of yard sale stuff hanging around (things that didn't sell *sigh*), which honestly doesn't motivate me to do much. Because, really? Boxes are clutter and don't make my house look clean even when it is actually clean. It just seems pointless sometimes. Okay, a lot of the time.

There is organizing to be done, but nowhere to organize things and put them away. For instance, my sewing and craft stuff. No room for the desk that once held  most of it. No shelves in the laundry room to store it. So it sits in a box in the soon-to-be-nursery awaiting a "home." The only thing out is my sewing machine, and all I've sewn in months are Charlotte's too-big pants and a new rank patch on one of Joe's PCs. I don't even have motivation to sew because of my lack of work space. UGH.

I still know next to no one in this town, but efforts are being made. (First time at PWOC this week!) I'm suffocating just knowing that I know so few people here. I may be an introvert, but I still need friends and people. Need. I just don't need them 24/7.

My hormones make me irritated (as previously mentioned).... Everyone and everything (at some point) irritates me - friends, family (sadly, they take the brunt of my hormones), the dog, something some random person did or said. I even know I'm not being completely rational, but it's hard not to feel the way your hormones say you should feel!

Basically? I feel like I'm getting next to nothing right. It's frustrating. I just feel defeated, which only propagates the issue. It doesn't make me want to do - or be - better. It just makes me want to sit here on the couch, wallow, and cry. I'm not even sure I know what to do anymore.

Or is it just the hormones talking?


A Journey

That's what breastfeeding has been for Charlotte and I - a journey. 

I've been meaning to write this post for weeks - if not months now - but for some reason just never got around to it. Okay...that "some reason" is probably Charlotte herself. Haha! Let's be honest: toddlers are demanding and busy little people. Cute, but needy.

Our breastfeeding journey has been full of ups and downs. We've had great, sweet, cuddly moments and I-want-to-rip-my-hair-out moments. That's just life, and breastfeeding is part of ours. We had a rough time in the beginning, but thankfully it got easier as my body adjusted to doing the breastfeeding thing and finally healed up. There were days when I felt like nothing but a milk-maker....and days when I was the one who needed the cuddles. 

3-4 months old. Life is tough for a baby. ;-)

After almost 17 months, our journey has come to an end. I breastfed Charlotte for the last time on Monday morning. I had known this moment was coming for a while, so I tried to enjoy every nursing session I could. Even if she was pulling my hair, shoving Bunny in my face, or putting her fingers in my eyes/mouth/nose (she's big on pointing out facial features and showing off). 

I probably could have stopped nursing her weeks ago and she wouldn't have minded much. But I really wanted to wait until she completely refused. That way, it was her idea to stop. Even though Babywise (our go-to parenting method) is all about the parent(s) deciding these things, I felt like it would be easier on both of us if it were her idea. I did wean her down to 2 feedings a day back in June, but she never seemed to miss nursing throughout the day. (Well, with the exception of the stomach virus she - and I - had in July. She nursed like crazy that week! And I was happy to do it considering she wasn't eating and barely drank anything.) She's a busy little thing, so I can't I was surprised she didn't miss her mid-day nursing sessions.

6 months old, nursing in the doctor's office. One of my faves.

She stopped nursing before bed a few weeks ago, which I found kind of odd. Most babies hang on to that feeding for a while... Charlotte was the opposite, though. She hung on to the morning feeding. Can't say I blame her, though. I don't wake up ready to go first thing in the morning, and I like cuddles too! :)

Also around 6 months...another sweet favorite. :)

I'm sure the real reason behind her end to nursing is that my body is producing colostrum now. I feel pretty certain that she'd still be going strong if it weren't for that. Part of me is sad that our breastfeeding relationship has ended....but the other part of me is really glad that she did it on her own so that I didn't have to wean her before December. I know some moms tandem nurse their toddler and newborn, but I personally don't feel like I could handle that. Now, if Charlotte asks to nurse after Amelia arrives....? I have no idea how I'll respond. Haha! I'm not totally opposed to the idea of it, but it doesn't 100% appeal to me, either.

Last breastfeeding picture of us - 16 months old. ❤
 An impromptu feeding on the couch, recovering from the stomach virus.

Anyway, I have mixed feelings about this. Overall, I've enjoyed breastfeeding her. Every single moment wasn't fabulous, perfect, or wonderful, but it was a great way for us to relax and bond. That's what I miss. But even now that she's not nursing, we still have a great bond. (I know...it's only been a few days. Humor me here, okay?) She definitely has an attachment to me, and she obviously still needs me for lots of things. She just doesn't need my milk anymore. And...I guess that's alright. 


The Final Wednesday Walkabout

We have officially been doing this Walkabout for 1 year now. Crazy, right?! I really don't feel like it's been a year... But then I also don't feel like my baby should be closing in on 17 months, or that I'll have another little girl in just a few months. So maybe I have a problem with time perception? ;-) Anyway, it's been a great year of linking, reading, finding new blogs and friends. I hope you've all enjoyed it as much as we have!

We did a little "goodbye gift" giveaway, and today we're announcing the winner! Congratulations, Elena!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thanks again to all of you for linking up and hanging out with us for the past year. Hope to see at least some of you around here again! :)


Welcome to the Wednesday Walkabout! Thank you so much for hanging out with us, linking up, and reading new blogs. 

A little info about the Walkabout:

This is a weekly linky party with myself and 3 other co-hosts. The idea? Just put your URL in the linky (it can be a specific post or your "homepage"- whichever you prefer), visit a few other blogs, and possibly make some new friends. Easy peasy, right?!

Oh, and you only have to link up with ONE of the co-hosts. =) 

There are just a few quick rules we've set for the linky party...

1. Please follow at least ONE hostess, and let us know you're a new follower and how you follow!

Sarah - G.I. Joe's Wife (That's me!)
Chantal - Scattered Seashells 
Jane - Poppiness 
2. Try to visit 3-4 blogs that interest you. Take some time and let them know where you came from.

3. Grab the button from my sidebar and spread the word! (Not required, but just cool if you do.) The more, the merrier.

Thanks for stopping by! Happy blog-hopping!


19 Weeks + Gender Reveal!

How far along? 19 weeks!

Size of baby: About the size of an eggplant...or around 9 inches.

Maternity clothes? You betcha! I still have plenty of shirts that fit, but I definitely need the pants. Or super comfy yoga pants. ;-)

Best moment this week: Seeing the baby in the ultrasound!!!

Miss anything? Eh, not really.

Movement: Yes! Not a ton, but I definitely feel punches and kicks. And rolling. I found out during the ultrasound that I don't feel this one as much because of where my placenta is. *sigh*

Food cravings: Sweets. This week it's been Butterfingers. Who knows. =P

Food aversions: Nothing really comes to mind right now. I can eat PB again, but it still just doesn't sound good. 

Gender: Eeeek! I've been dying to share!!! Of course, if you follow me on IG, Twitter, or Facebook you already know...but for the rest of you....

Aaaaah! I can't even begin to say how excited I am to have another girl! I was seriously a little shocked that the ultrasound tech said, "It looks like you're having a girl!" I had been feeling that all along, but I never really trusted those feelings. Because, really? You don't truly know. And I felt like I was kind of....biased, for lack of a better word, because I didn't really want to need to buy everything all over again. Anyway, it doesn't matter now! 

Rainbow Baby is a girl! And her name is Amelia Mae. =) I know Amelia is a pretty popular name these days, but we really just love it. And since we have an extremely hard time agreeing on girls' names, I figured we should probably stick with it. Not to mention it's really stinkin' cute. Also, I really kind of want to call her Millie. {Sorry, Erika! The name-stealing was/is totally not intentional. LOL! ;-)} I mean, really. Because how cute does "Millie Mae" sound?! Eeeek! 

I also can't wait to see my baby girls together. =) I just know they're going to be so adorable! And I really hope they'll be close since they're so close in age. A mama can dream, right? Oh, and? Both of their 19 week ultrasounds look almost identical. I have this feeling that Amelia is going to look quite a bit like Charlotte. I am totally okay with this, in case you were wondering. Poor Joe is going to have a rough time with these adorable little girls running around the house. Hehe. 

Labor signs: Nope! Let's keep it that way for about 20 more weeks, please!

Sleep: I've been tossing and turning a lot lately. It's definitely getting more uncomfortable, but adding pillows only makes the tossing worse. *sigh*

Symptoms: Some heartburn, back pain, round ligament pain....the usual. 

Belly button in or out? Still in!

Looking forward to: Starting on Amelia's room! Hopefully that will happen soon....that room is a disaster area right now. Ah, the joys of moving.

P.S. Have you checked out the giveaway on our Wednesday Walkabout linkup? If not, you definitely should!


Wednesday Walkabout #50!

A few weeks ago, the other co-hosts and I decided 2 things:

1. After 1 year of hosting this linky, it's time for us to say goodbye.
2. As a "going away gift," we're doing a giveaway!

It's kind of sad to be ending this, but all good things come to an end at some point, right? Plus, I'm sure those of you who have linked up faithfully have found bunches of new blogs and friends by now. That was sort of the goal for this, and if that's happened, I'd say it was a success! Wouldn't you agree? So in two weeks, we'll have the last linkup and announce the winner of the giveaway. Good luck!! :)

a Rafflecopter giveaway


In other news, I have an ultrasound this afternoon. Be on the lookout for a gender reveal post tonight or tomorrow! We can't wait to find out! In the meantime, who wants to try and guess Rainbow Baby's gender before I post it?! 


Welcome to the Wednesday Walkabout! Thank you so much for hanging out with us, linking up, and reading new blogs. 

A little info about the Walkabout:

This is a weekly linky party with myself and 3 other co-hosts. The idea? Just put your URL in the linky (it can be a specific post or your "homepage"- whichever you prefer), visit a few other blogs, and possibly make some new friends. Easy peasy, right?!

Oh, and you only have to link up with ONE of the co-hosts. =) 

There are just a few quick rules we've set for the linky party...

1. Please follow at least ONE hostess, and let us know you're a new follower and how you follow!

Sarah - G.I. Joe's Wife (That's me!)
Chantal - Scattered Seashells 
Jane - Poppiness 
2. Try to visit 3-4 blogs that interest you. Take some time and let them know where you came from.

3. Grab the button from my sidebar and spread the word! (Not required, but just cool if you do.) The more, the merrier.

Thanks for stopping by! Happy blog-hopping!


18 Weeks - Getting Closer!

How far along? 18 weeks - almost 19 now. My middle name should be Procrastinator.

Size of baby: Sweet potato! Or about 8 inches.

Maternity clothes? Yep! Most of my shirts still fit just fine, but I definitely need the pants!

Best moment this week: Hearing baby's heartbeat at the doctor, and finally entering the nesting phase! Woo!

Miss anything? Eh, not really.

Movement: Yes! Lots more movement lately. I may have to take back anything I said about this baby being more laid back than Charlotte. Haha! It's like one day I was barely feeling anything, and the next this kiddo is moving and kicking like crazy! The only kicks I mind are the ones to the bladder. Why do my babies do this to me?! LOL

Food cravings: Mostly just sweets, although I did have a craving for a burger last week.... I'm guessing it was a hint that I needed some more protein.

Food aversions: Yogurt and string/stick cheese still sound gross to me.

Gender: Still unknown, but we find out on the 7th!!! =D What's your guess?

Labor signs: NOPE.

Sleep: I'm starting to having a little trouble getting - and staying - comfortable, but it's not affecting me that much. I'm thinking I'm going to need more pillows soon, though. *sigh*

Symptoms: Round ligament pain and cramping like. crazy. Occasional heartburn and back pain. Wahoo.

Belly button in or out? Still in!

Looking forward to: Our little mini-trip to NC this coming weekend, and then finding out the gender next week!