Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Part 2...Because I Forgot to Finish...

 I managed to get myself to (and from) my appointment this morning with only minor up swings in my blood pressure, thank you to the jerk wad(s) that decided to cut me off without even bothering to look before they decided their big SUV needed to be exactly where I was driving at the exact time I was using that "spot"!  Not only did it happen three times on the way to the doctor's office, it happened a fourth time on the way home too!  Having avoided major catastrophe though, I made it home just in time for a late lunch (left over Mac & Cheese from our night out earlier this week and a cup of Mandarin Orange segments for nephew #3, after only minimal screaming that he did not want to go to sleep...I really hate the "food and nap" routine...).  I actually had a yummy Egg Salad Sandwich with Dill and some Hawaiian Sea Salt (which is, of course made in NY and is just "Pacific Sea Water" dehydrated with activated charcoal in it), it was pretty darn good if I do say so myself!

Then it was off to run a few errands (read as "wander around Wal-Mart for an hour") while Garrick got a little peace and quiet at home.  He worked from home today so that I didn't have to take the rambunctious 4 year old to the doctor with me, wasn't that nice?  While at Wal-Mart, I ran across their "discounted" plants, this is my favorite section!  Most of what they had was overgrown and poorly trimmed Pothos in giant hangers...they looked horrible and someone had gone through and just whacked away all the nice tendrils!  They also still wanted around $10 a piece for those...no thanks!  Then, tucked away in the middle of a bunch of dying plants (because they never bother to water the plants the sell) were four tiny little plants with bright green, waxy leaves!  Dry as a bone and in serious need of a good long soak, but in otherwise healthy condition (and only $1.37 each)!  What are they you ask?  Why, Coffee Plants!  These little guys sell for huge amounts of money in the "catalogs"...okay, maybe not huge amounts, but way more than I can ever justify spending!  From what I have read (and will now need to do more reading on these plants), if properly cared for, they will produce a fruit in four to five years (yes, I said years) that is actual, honest to goodness coffee beans!  The Scientific name for these little guys is Coffea arabica, so here's hoping for healthy, strong coffee fruits in the year 2016 (or 2017)!  In the mean time, they are a very pretty green plant that will help transform some of the carbon dioxide that we expel back into breathable Oxygen!  I did buy all four plants...and four new hanging baskets to plant them in.  I also bought four brightly colored large planters for my tomatoes this year.  What I did not buy though, was the soil to plant them in!  Next trip I suppose...

Back at home again, after watering our newest green additions, Nephew #3 and I went out in the backyard to continue the "quiet work time" in the house.  He had great fun plucking the leaves off of the abundant Dandelions in the yard and tossing them in the chicken run for the girls, who gobbled them up as fast as he could pick them!  He also got to run off a bit more steam, always a good thing.  While outside, I did manage to check on all of my Rhubarb and even take a peek at the Raspberry bushes too!  The Rhubarb that moved here with us is surviving, but staying very small...I don't think it likes the location that it is in, but I like it there, I can see it!  The new plants, that we planted last May, are doing great though!  In fact, some of the stalks, while still not gigantic, could be picked and made into Rhubarb Sauce/Cobbler/Cake/Etc... already!  The Blueberries didn't survive last summer, not really sure what happened there, but they never did very well.  However, the Raspberry bushes have taken off like rockets!  I need to get under them somehow and pull some weeds...oh how I wish I could put my chickens on leashes and let them out in the yard to do their chicken-y thing!  Sadly, my gals would take the opportunity to "fly the coop" I fear, and I really don't trust the neighbor dogs to be as afraid/respectful of them as poor Rosie is.  I believe only 2 of the original 4 starts survived, but what did live is filling in the space very nicely!

I know I said I wasn't going to "do the plant thing" this year, but I just cannot help myself it seems!  As soon as the weather turned to the warmer side of things, I was drawn like a moth to a flame...a pretty, potential ridden, good smelling...flame.  I'm already hungry for the sweet red berries (that probably still won't appear for a few more years) from the raspberries, the tart and tangy Rhubarb (a veggie in disguise as dessert), shrimp wrapped in long ribbons of Sage, and Tomatoes...oh the things I plan to do with those!  Of course, the mint gets tossed in with the shrimp sometimes too, but it's main purpose is for tea...or just rubbing it and smelling the bright minty flavor/smell wafting around the deck and on my hands!  I could live without the smell of the catnip, but the cats love it so much, I just love giving it to them!

I am totally and completely wiped out now, but I did manage a full, home-cooked meal tonight and dessert!  We aren't low-carbing while I'm pregnant, mainly because I could not stomach the thought of an egg during my first trimester and it really is just easier to follow the directions of my doctors than it is to argue with all of them (Endocrinologist, OB/GYN, Nutritionist, Dentist, etc...they all have something to say about how I should be eating and generally treating my body now, even though most of them loved the effects of the low-carbing, especially the weight loss)!  So, dinner tonight was Spaghetti (whole wheat pasta, at least it's better than plain white flour pasta...) with "fresh Mushroom" Prego (for pure irony) sauce.  I also sliced up and browned a Beef Kielbasa and tossed it in the sauce after draining the excess fat off.  Nephew #3 also helped make Garlic Butter today before we went shopping!  We melted down a stick of unsalted butter and added 4 heaping 1/2 teaspoons of Chopped Garlic to it, after blending the garlic in, we added about 1/2 teaspoon Parsley to the mix (for color), a few grinds of black pepper (he loved getting to help with the grinder), and just a bit of the "black sea salt" I mentioned earlier.  We made garlic bread using the butter mixture and "Health Nut" Bread, which happens to be my favorite of the "non-Rye" breads, Rye of any flavor is my all time favorite, but it doesn't make for very tasty peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.  I also got a dessert made today...sort of.  I have had a no-bake cheesecake sitting in my kitchen for about 3 weeks waiting for me to make it, today while we were out shopping, I picked up a six-pack of "single serve" graham cracker crusts and finally got the "cake" made!  I know, not a huge accomplishment...but it is for me, lol...now if I could only get the cupcakes made and frosted (those ingredients have been on the counter for a month)!

We were going to skip nap today, to see if it made bedtime any easier, but after all that running around today, I laid down with him to catch up on Eureka (I can't believe what they did to Felicia Day's character last night!) and he was out within the first 5 minutes of last week's show!  I let him sleep for about an hour, while I finished watching the show and then cooked dinner, when dinner was ready, Garrick went and got him up...which translated into a lot of whining about how he wasn't going to eat anything (including his last cup of orange slices, which he loves).  Once he had time to wake up and we had finished our meals, he was ready to eat!  He gobbled up his oranges and tried his (now cold) spaghetti noodles with nothing on them.  Then, he asked for them to be warmed up (we had already offered this "service") with a little butter (like his Uncle had)...after they got a warm up, he happily sprinkled Parmesan cheese over his 1/3 cup serving and cleaned the plate!  Of course, reminding him there was a "whole cheesecake" in the fridge with his name written on it didn't hurt either, lol.  We did go watch this week's episode of Eureka before we had dessert, but all in all, the evening was pretty pleasant, considering we have a 4 year old running amok in the house!  He's even in bed, jammies on before 10pm tonight!  We tend to keep the kids up later when they visit so that they sleep in a bit later as well (from their normal routine), this "trick" always takes a few days, but I now have the little guy getting up at 7:15am rather than 5:45am!  I still have to get up earlier than I normally do, but it isn't nearly as bad.  They all go to sleep in our room too and get moved to the spare bed when we're ready for bed...this frees up my computer for use in the evenings, lol.  Once we get everything moved downstairs (yes, I was talking about doing that last summer too, but now we need one of the rooms to be a nursery), that plan will change and they can just go to bed in "their" bed.  It is cooler in our room though, so having them shut in there makes it easier for the boys to go to sleep and also cools the room down significantly so that is is nice and cool for us when we go to bed too.

Food is so hit and miss with this nephew...he'll gobble something down and then the next day (or even between bites), he'll decide he "hates" it!  The other day we had chicken and cheese taquitos for dinner and I made Deviled Eggs to go with them (for variety).  Mind you, I was extremely happy with my (slightly over-cooked) hard-boiled eggs, really hard-steamed eggs, since my egg cooker steams them, they were the first eggs from our girls that I tried to cook in the shell!  I had read how difficult fresh eggs were to peel, so hadn't tried it before.  Honestly, these eggs aren't exactly "fresh"...we have a stockpile of around 5 dozen eggs in the fridge right now!  So, the eggs I cooked were about 4 weeks old, perfect!  Anyway, back to the Deviled ones, nephew #3 took a huge bite of the egg half I gave him after asking what I did with the "yuck" in the middle, and loved it!  However, I think he figured out that the creamy center wasn't just mayo and mustard like I had claimed, because after proclaiming how much he loved deviled eggs and that he wanted to eat all of them...he wouldn't touch it again!  He also only ate about half of a cheese taquito too.  He refused lasagna hamburger helper too...but we did finally get most of that down him with trickery and bribery (we have a half-gallon of ice cream in the freezer that he hasn't gotten any of yet because he forgets about it after he's done eating!  Other stuff he just inhales (sometimes after refusing it for hours or at least other meals)!

Time for Spring Planting!

Chocolate Mint!
With temperatures reaching near (and over) 80 degrees the last few days, I decided it was high time I started my 2012 gardening "experiment"!  To get me started this year, I wandered down to where I had hidden away some of last year's herbs in an attempt to "over winter" them.  Much to my surprise (and delight) some of them survived!  Specifically, my Catnip!  I love having this for our cats, but am never thrilled to spend the $3 on a new plant every spring (on sale, I have no idea what they cost when the herbs aren't on sale 2 for $6).  Then, I got even more excited when I noticed that both my Chocolate Mint and Apple Mints made it through the winter and have sprouted sweet smelling mints too!
Apple Mint!
In addition to these herbs from last year, I also still have the Stevia plant growing in my kitchen window, it is doing really well there and is ready to be trimmed back again!  I really need to find a good recipe for extracting the "sweetener" from it.

Pineapple Sage!

For the "new additions" this spring, I have kept it pretty simple so far.  I bought another Pineapple Sage plant (when you brush against the leaves it smells like fresh pineapple, yum!) because we used the heck out of the one we had last year, but it doesn't appear to have survived the winter.  I used the Pineapple Sage when we made the Fiery Skewered Shrimp (a grill-time favorite in this house, even when the kiddos are here), of course..I skip the Cilantro in favor of the Sage and modify the recipe even more...the ingredient list is about the only thing I stick to (I don't even skewer them)!  I think once this sage is cut though that it smells more like a Granny Smith Apple than a pineapple though...still way yummy.

And, because I'm a glutton for punishment (or maybe just disappointment?), nephew #3 helped to pick out four new tomato plants to try and grow (again) this year!  Last year's foray into cherry tomatoes went "oh so well" with my whopping 5 tomatoes from one plant and nothing from the other two...preceded by the "heirloom experiment" that yielded a few dozen very small tomatoes (that were yummy but not worth the effort really).  So, this year, we have a variety of sizes and colors and I'm hoping for the best!  We've got "Black Prince" Heirloom tomatoes (dark, dark purple), Jubilees (Orange?), Lemon Boys (Pale Yellow!), and "Patio" tomatoes (I'm guessing these are a cherry tomato...bright red here).

I'm going to go wander around Wal-Mart today and see if I can find any sort of "worthy" container for the tomatoes...I know they need bigger planters than I have here!

Sunday, April 15, 2012

I Found Energy!

It's been a long while since I had any energy to do anything more than look at wonderful project ideas from all of my favorite bloggers, so today (and yesterday really) have been a real treat for me!  I got to put some of those great ideas to work in my own home!

Yesterday I finally got around to sewing up my first "test" diaper following the newborn sizing of a Snail Shell.  It isn't pretty and had way too much elastic to really be "useful" I think, but it was a good "first try".  I even followed it with making the next size up!  The size small is much easier to sew since it does not have the umbilical cut out.  You can sort of see the cutout on the red diaper...I don't like the location of the blue snaps either, those are to hold the PUL liner in place (not made yet).  On the Newborn sixe, it is right on the seam allowance!  If I can even use this one, I'm going to have to hand-stitch around those snaps to stop the loose material from fraying.

The Green diaper is the small size, it went together so much easier!  First of all, I used less elastic, and I pulled the crud out of it while I was stitching it in!  For the first one, I just secured the ends of the elastic and then turned and top-stitched so the elastic was left "loose" in the channel.  On the green one, I zig-zagged the length of the elastic, I think it really helped a lot!

I think, after making one of each, that I'm going to stick to the size smalls and just pin the center down if I need to once baby is really here (and will then be "real" and not just a blip on the doppler).  I may get really adventurous and try to modify the newborn pattern slightly to exclude the cutout, but that is more "work" than I really want to take on today.  I won't be making anymore (except a liner) until after my trip next week.  I'm taking these two south with me to play dress-up on my sister's youngest (he's almost 5 months old now).  Then, I'll be back "in the swing of things" and can really get sewing on these!  Of course, I'm also bringing our 4 year old nephew home with me for a week long visit, followed by another visit from my Mom and a cousin who has yet to see our place (yikes, I better get cleaning energy soon)!

Yup, you saw that right...I'm taking on the 4 year old (again)!  In all honesty, any of the kids are pretty easy on a one to one basis, for me anyway.  The older boys have to wait until school gets out this year before they get to make the trek, but by then we should know if they are getting a boy or girl cousin!  I've promised both of them I'd take them shopping and let them pick out special outfits "just from them" while they're here (our local thrift shops sell baby gear for $0.99, I figure I can give them a $5 limit and let them each go hog wild, lol).

The 4 year old might even be lucky enough to get in on some "building" while he's here (assuming I get my butt in gear and get to Home Depot soonish)!  Rather than looking for and spending a ton of money on a dresser and (or) a changing table, I found this site!  I'm planning on making 2 of the 4-basket tall laundry basket dressers, at 48-49 inches high, it means I won't have to be hunched over while changing diapers and Garrick (who is 6'6") will only have to hunch minimally.  Nothing I do, save getting a step stool for me to stand on will make the table top an easy level for him...so he can just deal with my "best" solution, lol.  I've priced out the wood for each dresser (since I need to make two of them) and that should run us about $45 if prices online for Home Depot are on par with in-store (they usually are).  I didn't price out the nails, glue, etc...but, I did round the price to an even $100 for both dressers.  To that, I'll need to get 8 laundry baskets (measured so they fit the dresser)...the ones used for the project are the "cheap" Sterilite ones, available at my local Wal-Mart for $6.50 each ($6.50 * 8 = $52)!  So, the dresser project works out to be pretty spendy in the long run, around $175 if I round up for paint and such.  But, considering we could just as easily spend $200+ on a dresser and another $100+ on a changing table (that has no real purpose past the time baby learns to roll over)...it sort of brings the price into perspective a bit.  I'm waiting until closer to June for this project right now...I want to get them painted ASAP after they're built!

Back to projects I have accomplished though!  I ran across this site several weeks ago and have been toying with the idea of making my own Laundry Soap ever since.  You see, everything I read about cloth diapering (or rather washing them) tells you all the things not to use!  Dreft is out, All is out, the list goes on and on and on!  I thought I had found a "solution" in the form of Planet laundry detergent, except, the store I "knew" stocked it doesn't stock it anymore!  So here I am, with a pile of pre-owned cloth diapers just begging for a wash (I found stains in them I'd like to try to get out) and nothing to wash them with!
Getting started in Laundry Soap making!
 So, after doing even more research on the topic last night (and spending several hours laying awake thinking about it in the middle of the night), I decided today was the day, I was going to take the plunge and give it a try!  Besides, someone mentioned that this homemade stuff was good for people with Eczema and other skin issues (which my BIL and nephews all suffer from).  How could I not try this?  There's also the money saving side of things...The site I linked up top there stated that she did the math and the cost per load worked out to less than $0.01 per load!  I'll do my own math in a bit...but we'll go with that for now, talk about a money saver!
Ivory soap ready to hit the water and become laundry soap!

And while I was at it...I also picked up a container of LemiShine (it's a powdered rinse aid...I had never heard of it before)!  With it, the Borax, Washing Soda (and check this out for even more money saving), and some Kosher Salt (I have this from when I made the SauerKraut), I have all the makings for homemade Dishwasher Soap too!  Do not be surprised if this years Christmas presents are Laundry and Dishwasher soap...I think this stuff is pretty danged cool!  I found the "recipe" for that here.

So, my price breakdown...
     Laundry Soap:
Borax (76 ounce box) - $3.57                  Borax (4 ounces) - $0.19

Washing Soda (55 ounce box) - $3.17    Washing Soda (4 ounces) - $0.23
Ivory Soap (3-pack) - $1.69                     Ivory Soap (1 bar) -$0.56

Since I can't buy these things "in bulk" and get just the amounts I need, I had to buy the boxes and use what I needed.  The box of Borax houses 19 half cup "servings" and the Washing Soda contains 13.75 half cup uses (going by weight of course).  I chose to use a whole bar of Ivory, but your soap usage may vary.  My first batch of Laundry Soap cost $8.43 (and the rest are all free) or I can make at least 2 more batches costing $0.98 each before I need to replace any ingredient!  That's under $1 for 2-gallons of Laundry Soap!  Usage varies a bit as well, I've seen recommendations for anywhere from 1/4 to 1/2-cup  per load.  At "max dosage", that's 64 loads of laundry at $0.015 per load.  And because I like to be difficult...if we use the first way of "mathing it", it's $0.13 for each of the first 64 loads, and the next 128 loads are free!

Done and starting it's "overnight" sit!
Next time I need to buy supplies (assuming "we" like this stuff and I continue making it and saving us the $18-20 per 60 loads of laundry we pay now for Tide), I'm going to give Castile soap a try, it's a coconut oil based soap (think Dr. Bonner's here).  It's supposed to smell "less soapy" but work just as well, some say better.  It's on sale right now at Fred Meyer for $2.09 for a 3-pack, so the cost per batch would go up a few cents, but not much.

Cost for the (as yet unmade) Dishwasher Soap (which can be turned into pre-portioned "packets" as well)...

LemiShine (12 ounce bottle) - $3.66 LemiShine (8 ounces, doubled cause we have hard water) - $2.44
Borax (76 ounce box) - $3.57            Borax (8 ounces) - $0.38
Washing Soda (55 ounce box) - $3.17   Washing Soda (8 ounces) - $0.46
Kosher Salt (?? already had it) - free      Kosher Salt (4 ounces) - still "free"

So, assuming you also have salt lying about (the author used regular iodized table salt with no ill effects), the "batch cost" here is roughly $3.18.  Not bad...especially if you have priced out those little Cascade pouches recently!  You only need 1 Tablespoon of this stuff too, so if I do the math there...3.5 cups * 16 Tablespoons per cup...that's 56 loads of soon to be clean dishes!  Or, about $0.06 per load.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Happy Easter (Early)!

I probably won't be around "here" much tomorrow, so I wanted to tell everyone (all three of you) Happy Easter!  Whether you are a church-goer or just an "Egg Hunter", have a great Sunday tomorrow!

As for today though...I successfully got a size "small" diaper pattern printed out to go with the "newborn" size I got put together the other day!  Oh, I also relocated the page I got the pattern from that, you know, contains the directions on how to use said pattern...here it is in case you are wondering what the heck I'm yammering on about.  You do have to "register" with the forums, but so far I haven't noticed anything "bad" about signing up with them...you can even just link it to Facebook (if you're lazy like me)!  So, here I sit with two of the cutest (clearance) fabrics, a brand new pair of snap pliers (specially made for the tender plastic diaper snaps), a pack of "icky" colored snaps, a yard of PUL (Poly-Urethane Laminated) Fabric, and no real "want" to cut out the stinking pattern!  I just want it to magically "happen" and be ready for me to sew!  I have the same stalemate going with the ingredients for Chocolate Rice Krispies right now...oh how I want to sink my teeth into a yummy krispy treat...but actually do the cooking?  Yuck. (Yes, microwaving butter and marshmallows counts as cooking...)

I think I may make a size small first out of "scrap" materials from the boxes in the dining room (What?  Where do you keep your fabric?), hopefully before my trip to Central Oregon in a few weeks.  That way I can try it on my sister's baby to check fit.  He fit so perfectly into the little tiny all-in-one I bought at Other Mothers!  The waterproof liner that goes into these diapers is the same size for the newborn and small size (bonus!), so the plan is to follow the directions to make the liners "removable" with snaps rather than stitching them in permanently.  Also, this means I won't have to put the PUL in my dryer, extending the lifespan by many, many uses!

I got these two fabrics in the clearance section at Jo-Ann's the other day!  $6 a yard for the brown one with dots (so I only bought 1 yard) and $3 a yard for those cute Dinos (I bought what was left, 2 inches shy of 3 yards)! The dino print is very thin, so I may end up lining that one with a white (blue, green, yellow, whatever) anti-pill fleece on the inside, it would make it warmer and less "see through" at the same time.  I also bought a couple of yards of a Christmas print...but I can't share those pics...ya know cause it's for gifts this year!  I figure with a teeny tiny at home this Christmas, I won't have too much "craft time" in October, November, and December this year).

I'll either get a diaper made today or the chicken coop cleaned...maybe both, but that's a little heavy for an afternoon where I haven't napped.  We finally remembered to go buy Hay today!  So now, I really have no excuse not to clean out the coop.  While at the feed store today, I got to peek in at the babies (chicks)!  They only had two little Brahmas (cute little black and white mottled chicks) left and a half full tray of Cornish Crosses (meat birds), happy chicks they were though!  With that many chicks in the one bin (and so few in the Brahma tray), they were all pretty quiet!  If only I could convince my other half that we "need" more chickens, lol.  (That dream will take winning the lottery and moving to many acres...)  Speaking of my girls though, they have just been tearing through the Oyster shell recently!  Has anyone else noticed this or is this another of those "unique to my chickens" things?  They have a bird feeder dish that holds 1/2 cup each of grit and Oyster shell and I have had to refill the OS every other day for the past 2 weeks!

Well, off to clean the coop (or make a diaper)!  Enjoy the weather a little maybe too, it's 51 outside and sunny!

Sunday, April 1, 2012

April, Already?

My, oh my, one-quarter of the year gone already!  As a side note, we hit 10 weeks on Wednesday last week, so one-quarter of the way through our pregnancy too!

This last week, my Mother, Sister, Brother-in-law, and all 4 of our nephews came to visit!  We had a lot of fun in the time they were here, even if it did leave me exhausted at the end.  I had doctor appointments on the day they got here (after they arrived of course) and the afternoon of the only full day they were here!  I also had to go have blood work done in the morning of the day they left, so it was a very busy week for us all.  However, we did manage to pack in lots of baby shopping too!  They even helped me start my diaper stash!  Mom brought us a 10 pack of the single fold cloth diapers...I didn't realize how thin those were, but once I figure out how to fold them properly, I'm sure I can use them!  While they were here, we went to 4 or 5 second hand baby shops (I think they're all consignment types).  I wasn't really impressed by Other Mothers, mainly because they didn't have what I was there looking for...not prominently displayed anyway!  I did manage to find an adorable Tye-dye patterned all in one that is teeny tiny for only $1.99 (I snatched it up so fast my Mom didn't even know what I had gotten a death grip on)!  I also got a pale green Snappy for $0.99.
At Bugaboo's I found a one size (fits most) for $7 and a three pack of extra soakers for $5.99.  I sent one of the soakers home with Mom to copy, she even has one done and is mailing it back to me "for inspection" already, lol.  My favorite of all of our stops though has got to be Baby Boutique a resale shop, but their "actual" name escapes me...they had giant baskets stuffed with all kinds of cloth diapers!  All in ones, pockets, everything!  I picked up three more there!  While the family was visiting, we also hit Babies R Us, where my sister had a gift card to use, and she picked up a store branded version of a Boppy and I picked out two packages of Pre-folded cloth diapers from Gerber (also 10 packs, they were on sale buy one, get one 50% off), along with a package of white diaper pins (I can only find three of the four diaper pins I had floating around the house for craft projects).

Along with all those diapers...I got some hand me downs (from my sister's youngest who is 4 months old now), a couple of new ducky outfits (they are too hard to pass up and yellow works for a boy or a girl), a toy, a couple of homemade crib sheets (have you seen how pricey those suckers are?), a blanket, and half a package of baby hangers that my Mom crocheted on (they're super cute)!  Plus odds and ends, socks and such.  Our baby stash is out growing it's corner in the closet already!  We need to get furniture moved around and a dresser bought ASAP!  Also, from Garrick's parents, they are giving us a crib and high chair they bought when our nephew on that side of the family visited the first time, we need somewhere to go with those too!

Going with our "homemade" baby theme...I found a recipe for Homemade Diaper Wipes!  I don't think there is anything "wrong" with purchasing them, I just found this to be substantially cheaper then buying them!  A single roll of paper towels (the Select-A-Size kind), cut in half makes two containers of wipes!  From what I have read, that should last about a week, but even if I use more than one roll a week, it's all stuff we'll have "on hand" anyway and took all of 5 minutes to make!  The recipe I followed called for 2.5 cups of hot Water, 2 Tablespoons of Baby "soap" (I used Johnson & Johnson Baby Shampoo in Original scent), and 2 Tablespoons of Baby Oil (it said you could use Coconut or Vegetable oil instead, so I used the Vegetable Oil).  Since Viva paper towels are thicker than Brawny (the only brand I have seen recommended for this), I ended up using a full batch of the liquid with only half the paper towel roll (you cut it in half with a sharp, unserrated, knife).  Also, I added the other half of the liquid because the paper towels sucked up the first half and left dry towel in the center!  I poured the second half into the hole in the center to ensure they got soaked in the oily/soapy water too.  I'm giving this set of wipes to my youngest nephew (or his Mommy anyway) when I go down to visit them in the middle of April.  I'm going to purchase some tubs specifically for these wipes as soon as I make it to WalMart (where I can get them on the cheap), and get them "decorated"...then I can hopefully sit on my hands until a week or so before the baby is actually here to make up my first batch for "at home" use!

It's gonna be a very busy few months!  I have doctor's appointments every week in April, Garrick will be out of town the for a good portion of next week, and I'm bringing the 4-year old nephew back to spend a week with us before his Grandma and one of my Dad's cousins come for a visit and to take him home!  May and June appear quiet for the time being, but I know my Endocrinologist wants to see me every three weeks or so throughout my pregnancy, there's the monthly visits to the OB, and several more appointments with the Diabetes educator/nutritionists to boot!  As a side bonus...I won't have to do the Diabetes test at 20 weeks (since I already have it)!  Oh, which leads me back to June!  We'll be finding out (hopefully) if our little "Olive" (this week baby is the size of a Green Olive) is a boy or a girl!  Then, the first weekend in July is the big "kid swap/baby shower" weekend!  Our oldest nephew will be getting to come up for a week (or so) prior to that weekend and will travel with me to Portland for the shower and then I'll be bringing Nephew #2 home with me after the fact for his week of visiting.  Then, my Mom (and sister and Nephew #4, maybe) will come for another visit a week (or so) later to take him home!  Then August and September should be fairly "quiet" while we await early October and 37 weeks!

In the mean time...I'm off to Google "flat diaper folding" and "how to use a pre-fold diaper", lol.