Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Dishwasher Repaired.... hopefully (updated)

As it turns out, Fridgidaire makes some of the noisiest dishwashers a person can buy. Ours was making the most awful noise (and lights were blinking) so the repair guy came by and installed some new motor. Hopefully this fixes the problem (though one of my friends has already had 3 different machines because they couldn't repair hers properly). While he was here, he informed me that the dish-washing liquid we were using is not recommended. He told us we needed to use a powder, which makes sense. He said that the liquids are actually gels. Companies must add extra ingredients to the soap to make it a gel. This means that in a dishwasher, it doesn't work as efficiently if it has to break down all the extra ingredients as well as the soap.

Because powder detergent is recommended, that got me thinking. I could make my own dishwashing detergent. This would save me money and I could use all natural ingredients that are safe for my family as well as the environment! Why didn't I think of this earlier!? Most recipes I found use borax. While borax is all natural, it is considered toxic. When using borax in the dishwasher, you must make sure that your machine goes through the entire cycle (and no soap residue is left on your dishes). I think this goes for any dishwasher detergent.  And with any cleaner, make sure you store it where kiddos and pets can't get into it. Also, (as the repair guy told me) you must make sure that the water temperature on the heater is no lower than 120 degrees. A bit higher is even better, unless you live in a home with small children.

Through searching for recipes, I decided to develop my own recipe.

1 tbs. baking soda
1 tbs. borax
1-2 drops of essential oil (optional)

Add these all to the dishwasher dispenser. Essential oil is added more for the smell than anything. American seem to be obsessed with the idea that something has to smell good to be clean. Some oils also have antibacterial and anti-fungal properties, which is always a good thing when it comes to cleaning.

For the rinse aid, pour distilled white vinegar into the rinse aid dispenser.

Happy washing!

*An update:
I cannot get this to work right. We have extremely hard water and every time I wash with this, I end up with really cloudy dishes. Anyone have a solution/suggestion?

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Elections... ugh...

Can I just say how I am sooo glad that the elections are over? I hate how politics just seem to drive a wedge between people, as opposed to bringing them together (unless, of course, you believe the same things, then I guess it can be uniting). Each is entitled to a unique opinion, but I firmly believe that we should not belittle someone simply because they don't believe the same things we do. Here is where it can get a little crazy though.

I believe that Jesus is our savior and I try love God and love others. I think this is essential for those who follow Christ. But why is it that when politics are brought up and there is always some bill that is being pushed that the "Christian community" is against, that those trying to live their lives for Jesus seem to forget how to love others and NOT be the ones passing judgement? I believe there is a loving way to dialogue with others and share beliefs. However, I do not believe that method is often used when it comes to politics and so many just end up feeling hurt or angry. Pressuring another person will never help them to see your point of view or help them develop a desire to understand where you are coming from. This isn't how God wants us to share His word, or His love.

So how do we change someones opinion? Do we need to change other's opinions? It seems that I can see both sides of the argument and don't really have answers to these questions. Does this make me fickle? I'd like to think I am just keeping an open mind.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Poor little sick baby :( (updated)

     Our little Lily has an ear infection. I am glad that we figured out what is wrong with her, but now I am worried about a load of other things. The doctor put her on Amoxicillan and now I am concerned about her little digestive system. I need to supplement her with some probiotics... but sadly, I have no idea where to even start with those. I have heard that the different brands have varying qualities and some just don't work (any suggestions here would be greatly appriciated). She developed a rash and I took her in, just be be sure it wasn't a reaction to the antibiotics, which the doctor didn't think was the case. She felt it was a contact rash. The only thing I can think could have caused this is her new hat that my friend Jordan knitted for her. It is amazingly cute and made of organic yarn, but I guess I still need to wash it. Poor baby. However, I do need to get some baby Benadryl on hand, in case the rash gets worse (because of the antibiotics).

     I also found out that not only does her prescription make her poo an alarmingly bright green color, she now has diarrhea and could potentially get a yeast infection (which if it developed in her mouth, we could both get thrush). She uses cloth diapers and if this rash develops, I will need to disinfect her diapers. But after investing my time and money into her new GroVia diapers, I don't want to ruin them by using bleach. Not to mention, her skin is super sensitive, so the bleach just may aggravate the rash that she already has! As some of you may know, we used to use Tide Free and Gentle on her clothes, which gave her a rash everywhere except where here diapers were. We have used Country Save on those from the beginning and as soon as we started washing everything in this, the rash disappeared! I can't rave enough about his detergent. It is safe to use on cloth diapers, is safe for baby/sensitive skin, and is safe for the environment! I now use this detergent on all of our things. Oh, and I figured that per load (because of our HE washer), this detergent is actually cheaper than Tide!

     So anyways, to disinfect Lily's diapers, this is what I have come up with!

  • Wash on a hot cycle. I usually was warm because of the TPU waterproof layers. 
  • Add 1-2 tsp. of Tea Tee Oil (TTO)to the wash. This has great natural antibacterial properties! Make sure it is essential oil. Other forms won't be concentrated enough to really kill off anything.  
  • Dry on high (I usually dry on warm because of the TPU) 
  • Lay out in sun (those uv rays are also great at disinfecting!)
   Not only does Lily use cloth diapers, she also uses cloth wipes. I make my own solution and have decided to change my recipe. I wanted to include the TTO in this for it's antibacterial properties, and some lavender essential oil for its anti-fungal. 

   This is my anti-fungal baby wipe solution recipe:
  • 2 cups boiling or distilled water
  • 1-2 drops tea tree oil (or grapefruit seed extract) - acts as an anti-fungal/bacterial agent
  • 1 tsp Olive Oil
  • a few drops of your favorite essential oil (Lavender, Chamomile)
I add all the oil to the bottom of my wipe container and pour the boiling water in. Then I add the wipes.  I love the way this solutions smells, though for some people, the TTO can be a bit over-powering. 

    I'll keep you posted about how this all turns out! 

update: lily did not end up getting a yeast infection. however, i add the tto to her presoak cycle. (i presoak in cold, wash on hot with a second rinse, and the do another quick rinse). i also add a teaspoon of original dawn to the presoak if i feel i need to strip her diapers. i am also ordering some rlr to use. our hard water seems to be depositing minerals and i have noticed that my wipes are not absorbing as quickly as they used to, which means my diapers are too. 

Thursday, October 21, 2010

First Posting!

     My name is Lesley Peck and I will be doing most of the postings on this little family blog. I have been thinking of starting one for a while now, seeing as my husband and I live so far from our families. I figured this was a great way to keep everyone posted on what is going on in our lives, to post pictures of Lily as she grows, and to share thoughts that have been weighing on my mind.
     I should state, however, that I am a horrible writer. Those of you who read this, I do caution you. There are bound to be spelling and grammatical errors as well as unfinished thoughts. Sometimes my writing maybe disorganized, or may make no sense at all, especially since I will be sharing what is going through my head. Now, if Josh were to write here (as I hope he will), it will be beautiful and poetic, because I have married an amazing man, who happens to be a much better writer than I am. As thoughts are shared, I must also apologize in advance. It is not my intention to offend anyone. However, sometimes I may get on my soapbox and share what I feel about controversial issues. I would love to create dialogue through this, but please no hateful posts. I won't hesitate to delete them. I am not in the position to judge others, or to make them feel judged, and that is not the point of this blog anyways. I also have no idea what I am doing, so each blog will happen by trial and error. I'm sure I will get better at formatting and what not as I progress.
     As many of you already know, we are a family of three. My husband and I just had our first baby at the end of July and let me tell you, she is stinkin' adorable! We also have a chocolate lab (Frodo) and a grey tabbie (PitPat). Life has really changed these past three months. During this time, it has left me wondering "what's next?"  I love being a mom and hanging out with Lily all day, but I have been wondering how I can serve those around me. My small group is going to start by lending help to a new mom in our church, which I think is wonderful. When they brought it up last week, I was so excited because it was something that God had really laid on my heart recently. I think it is a good starting point for me, seeing as we haven't lived here long and don't really have a lot of connections here. However, the people in my church are great about loving on one another. So, now I have been thinking about how I can reach out to those who don't have people like that in their lives. It's hard meeting people like that when one isn't working and has a hard time meeting new people outside of church. Which leads me to a whole knew thought...
     I feel like we have just fallen into a bubble. It isn't where we want to be, but we are comfortable here for now. Well, maybe comfortable is the wrong word for it, seeing as we don't like that fact that we are in a bubble. Perhaps complacent is a better word. What a life to live: a complacent one. I know this isn't what God has called of us. But how many Americans live their lives that way, simply because it is easier. How lazy can we be? It is time that we make a change (starting with ourselves). But what does that look like? I don't have an answer for that yet. It is what I have been thinking of a lot lately.