Friday, June 22, 2012

Take me away...

Alone time... Wait, what's that??? Derek and I haven't been away without the boys in two years! Now, I don't mean we haven't had an occasional night just the two of us or anything like that, but we haven't been AWAY (like a mini-vacation or something of that nature). When we first got married, we were broke college kids and didn't have time for a honeymoon after we got married because we had to move just a few days after our wedding. For our first anniversary, my dad got us a weekend at a cabin in the mountains as a gift. It was wonderful being able to get away from it all and reconnect as a couple. Then, when I was pregnant with Ian, we went on our first "real" vacation to Panama City with my dad, step-mom, and younger brother. It was Derek's first trip to the beach and we had a blast soaking up the sun for a week on our last adventure before parenthood. I unfortunately have no pictures from the beach because a week after our return, I was showing the pictures on my camera to some co-workers and accidentally dropped my camera and it erased my memory card. Very sad :(.But that was the last time we went anywhere until Ian was a year old. Because our wedding anniversary is New Year's Day, we always have a hard time trying to plan time away with everything going on for the holidays. So we usually have to plan a trip for our "dating" anniversary, which is at the end of May. Well, when Ian was about a year old, we needed time away, so I planned a weekend in Gatlinburg (about two hours from home) for just the two of us. It was so nice to feel young and again, reconnect as husband and wife, not just Mommy and Daddy. I think sometimes after a baby, it can be difficult to maintain the husband/wife relationship (especially as a woman). You find yourself completely devoted to a new little human who needs you so much more at that time than your spouse, and sometimes the relationship suffers. So a weekend away was just the thing we needed. We came back completely refreshed as a couple. And if my math is correct, it was also the weekend we conceived Evan. He was the best souvenir we ever got :).Well, then we had two kids and no time to go away (and really, no money either, LOL). But my step-dad's boss had a condo which he graciously let us borrow for the weekend and everyone joked that I would come back pregnant again. But we didn't (I don't think I would have ever been able to talk Derek into going ANYWHERE alone with me again if that happened). That was two years ago. And while I have traveled, mostly for our Missions group from church, we haven't been anywhere just the two of us. And I miss my hubby! So for his birthday this year, I am whisking my man away for the weekend. I can't tell you where we're going right now, because it's a surprise for him, and he has been known to take a peek at the blog from time to time. He knows we are going somewhere, but doesn't know where. And he has been an exceptionally good sport about the not knowing part. He really doesn't like surprises all that much and is not much on traveling long distances (and really, anything more than 30 miles is a long distance to him). But I have been thoroughly enjoying the planning of it all. I am a perpetual planner by nature, so planning this trip has been like crack to me. On our list of stops are several historical landmarks (which will probably appeal more to me than him, but I'm planning, so I say it will be fun), as well as a few places featured on the show "Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives". He does know about this part and is pretty happy about the food aspect of our trip.  I am trying not to over-plan though, leaving room for the little jewels we may find on the way to our destination. I am planning on staying off the interstate as much as possible, making finding said jewels even easier. What is your favorite thing to do on a road trip? Ours is going to take anywhere from six to eight hours -- depending on traffic and how many times I get us lost. We do have a couple audio books to listen to, as well as the old stand-by, the license plate game. Do you have anything that you do to make road trips special? I'd love some more ideas!

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

DIY Disaster!!!

I have been cloth diapering now for over two years. From the start, I used Rockin' Green detergent with great results. Within the last six to eight months, I began making my own laundry detergent for our regular laundry in an attempt to save money. My home made detergent recipe worked beautifully. Recently, I came across a recipe for homemade cloth diaper detergent on Pinterest. I had heard great things about it from people who had regular-type water, so I mixed up a batch since I already had everything on hand from making my own detergent and was running very low in RnG anyway. For about a two weeks, my homemade diaper detergent worked great. I used the same measurements as I had always used with RnG and the same type of wash routine. After a couple weeks, though, I began to notice that the diapers began to still smell after they were "clean". So I tried adding more detergent, and that seemed to do the trick. Then a few washes later, I began to have issues with repelling. So I added another long rinse at the end of my wash. It was beginning to frustrate me. For two years, I hadn't had any issues what so ever with my diapers (while on RnG). So I happened to find a sample of Rockin' Green in my laundry cabinet while organizing last night and used it in yesterday's diaper laundry. And of course, it worked like a charm! So I guess I will be making a trip to my local cloth store or placing an order for some Rockin' Green (in Motley Clean, of course!). I suppose the moral of the story is: if it ain't broke, don't fix it! And from now on, I'll leave the delicate chemistry to the professionals!
Have you ever tried any DIY and had it turn out horribly wrong? I'd love to hear about it!