Sunday, August 19, 2012

How you can help my Trauma Mommas!!

I think I've made it pretty clear on here how important my "trauma mommas" are to me. And how important the Early Trauma & Attachment Annual Meeting (ETAAM) in March is for all of us.

For most of us it takes quite a bit of juggling to arrange for the time to be there. Many of our moms are single and have to arrange respite or other child care for their kids. (I'm lucky that Rich realizes this is important and is very supportive of my time away.)

On top of arranging all the logistics, many of the women struggle to pay for the weekend. Because of this, Corey, the founder of  ETAAM, offers scholarships for as many women as she can. The main funding for the scholarships comes from a Christmas in August Benefit Auction she has organized for the last two years.

An annual respite retreat created BY moms of kids with attachment issues FOR moms of kids with attachment issues, to create a support network for women parenting this challenging population.

The auction is going on right now and ends this Wednesday, August 22, 2012 at 9:00 PM EDT. Right now there are well over 200 items up for bid. Items range from DVD'S and books, jewelry, electronics, to home made yummies and hand made crafts.

Here are a couple of my favorites! (click on the pics to go directly to the item in the auction)

Yes, it's back, and better than ever! Kathy's famous shortbread will cure whatever ails you. It is SO good that I made Kathy promise me long ago that she would not give me the recipe.. because I cannot resist it.
This lot includes:
-2 shortbreads
-1 peanut butter fudge "crack" (also completely amazing)
-1 surprise treat
Upon request, the crack can be gluten-free, and the surprise treat can be vegan.

This adorable crossover bag is one of Sheri's creative creations! This bag is lined and has an inside pocket, and has a variety of adornments including a beaded bottom. The bag is approximately 18"x 12".

This beautiful 48x48" quilt was made by Corey's mom. The 100% cotton fabrics are a rich red, green, and red/green floral, with a mostly red backing and floral binding. It is machine quilted with red thread in a leaf pattern (which is easily mistaken for hearts). The filling is an 80% cotton/20% polyester blend. It would be a perfect lap quilt, or gift for any child.

 Kellie D, ETAAM's cupcake extraordinaire, is putting her amazing baking skills to work for you! Win this item, and you will receive 1/2 dozen of Kellie's Rainbow Cupcakes baked in their own see-through jars. They are heavenly to eat and beautiful to display. All I can say is, "YUM!"

And even I donated something! If you were at all impressed with the crochet skills that I showed off here and here you now have the opportunity to bid on a handmade blanket of your own!

Choose from this,

Kristine N will crochet a beautifully crafted blanket or scarf of your choosing from the patterns pictured. Winner can personally choose the pattern and color of their preference.

I'll work with you to pick the perfect color(s). I only use 100% cotton yarn (machine washable) for the baby blankets. The scarf is made with hand spun and dyed wool that I order from a small shop in England.
 Right now the bids aren't even covering the cost of the yarn. So if you want to stroke my ego a bit, go and bid on a blanket or scarf!
or this!

 Or bid on any of the other 200 plus items that are posted.

All money goes directly to the scholarship fund and will help send very deserving moms to our Orlando retreat for much needed respite and (re)connecting with other moms that get it.


Sunday, August 12, 2012

Nine years in.

Nine years ago today I officially became a mommy!
Pointing to the "going home" booties Grandma made!
Yet, in my heart it happened almost seven weeks earlier, when we first met this little baby.

First family photo!

 Before I knew what a blog was I started documenting our journey online here.

Seven years ago yesterday I started this blog with a silly little post I titled, Picking up The Boy. Although I mentioned "gotcha day" anniversaries and blogged about our adoption, I didn't post an official "gotcha day" blog post until three years later. You can read it here. Two years later I reminisced on that day some more.

And here is The Boy today! 9 1/2 years old. So freaking cute I can't stand it sometimes. The past nine years have not been what I fantasized pre-adoption, but oh, the journey has been so much more interesting than I could ever have imagined.

And Grandma, I still miss you every day. I truly believe you would have been Noah's biggest champion and one of my greatest supporters. He still sleeps with the blanket you made for him, although it looks nothing like it did nine years ago. I wish you were here.


Monday, August 06, 2012

Making our own dishwasher soap (updated)

I was pretty sure that the laundry detergent we made was going to be OK based on all my friends who use similar versions. I was less confident however, that homemade dishwasher soap would work.

I figured it was worth a try though, because we run at least a load of dishes a day and the gel-packs I like to use aren't exactly cheap.

I looked at a few different recipes and decided on this one at Homestead Revival, mainly because it was simple and I had all the ingredients. I used the washing soda and Borax I had left from making the laundry detergent. I bought the citric acid from Amazon for around $12. I used 2 ounces so have enough to make 7 more batches. I figured if this didn't work I could still use the citric acid to clean the dishwasher and still save money over the commercial dishwasher cleaners.
Here are the ingredients.
I strongly recommend you read Amy's post on Homestead Revival as she gives good information about the ingredients and if you should or should not use salt in the recipe. She also recommends using vinegar as a rinse agent, which we haven't tried yet since we keep forgetting to buy it.

Dishwasher soap recipe:

1/2 cup borax
1/2 cup washing soda
1/4 cup food grade citric acid

I pored it all into into this Ziploc container and shook it up. Super easy.

Like I said, I wasn't all that confident that it would work. Rich was even less confident. We have used it every day this past week though and it is working great. I use a little less than a tablespoonful each time. I should get about 36 loads from this at about 5 cents a load.

UPDATE: It just never quite worked as I had hoped. We have had a few really good loads come out, but mostly I have ended up washing things twice. We are going back to commercial products until we can figure out what we need more/less of. 

Posted by Picasa

Sunday, August 05, 2012

Making our own laundry detergent.

I've been intrigued the last few months by the number of people I see online making their own cleaning supplies, especially laundry detergent. I kicked the idea around for a few months, not sure it was worth the hassle. Then I realized several people I know were doing it and were happy with the results, so I figured I'd give it a try. Plus it sounded like a good project to do with Noah.

I looked at several different recipes and finally decided on Being Creative to Keep my Sanity's recipe, with a couple of adjustments.

  • 1 - 4 lb 12 oz box Borax (2.15 kg or 76 oz) found in the detergent isle
  • 1 - 4 lb box Arm & Hammer Baking Soda (1.81 kg) found in the cooking isle
  • 1  box Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda 55 oz (3 lb 7 oz) found in the detergent isle
  • 3 bars of Fels-Naptha soap, found in the detergent isle (if you use Zote bars use 2 bars instead, Zote can be found at Home Depot)
  • 2 small containers of Oxy Clean or store brand Oxy Clean (try to get about 3.5 lbs total (1.58 kg)) found in the detergent isle. (This is optional, I added it into mine because I have pretty messy kids and the cleaner the better.)
 Because I wasn't completely convinced this was going to work I decided to make a half batch of the recipe. I used Zote laundry soap instead of FelsNaptha. I also didn't include the OxyClean since I forgot to buy it. I figure I can add it later if I need it. 

Here are my supplies, including my morning cup of chai.
Noah grated the bar of Zote. It has a wonderful lemon smell to it.
We dumped everything into a large trash bag set inside a five gallon tote.
Since we did a half recipe I made Noah do the math and measuring.
and the stirring.
Noah showing off the final result.
Labeled and ready to go!

This is our final recipe:
  • 1/2 box of Borax (38 oz)
  • 2lb of Arm & Hammer Baking Soda
  • 1/2  box Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda 27.5 oz
  • 1 bar Zote laundry soap (shredded)better)
Next time I will shred the Zote so it is finer. I think it will distribute better if the pieces are smaller. 

I have been using this in our HFE front load washer. I put it right in with the clothes. I am using about a tablespoonful per load, with slight adjustments depending on the size of the load. The clothes come out of the washer with a nice fresh clean scent.

So far it seems to be working great. This is the first weekend I'm doing all of the laundry with it, so I'll know more later when I fold everything. 

If you make your own laundry detergent leave a comment and tell me what you use to make it.

Tomorrow I'll post our dishwasher soap recipe.

Posted by Picasa