Tessa makes 3!

The adventures of a young couple starting a family, teaching each other and learning as we go, and having fun doing it!

October 15, 2010

Diary of a Mad Pregnant Woman

So in case anyone was wondering, bed rest is NOT all it's cracked up to be. Sure, it's nice being home and spending time with Joel before our family of 2 becomes a family of 3. But I can't sit on the couch for days and days. I want to go on walks, reorganize things, and clean the house before Tessa comes. But, I can't. I feel bad that I sit on the couch or bed while Joel finishes the things on my lists. So, I've done as much as I can while sitting down.
My first project was making homemade laundry detergent. Some of you probably think I am crazy, but it was very easy and extremely cost effective. Here's the ingredients:

3 Boxes of Arm and Hammer Washing Soda (55 oz each, it's a box like this)
2 boxes of Borax, which are 76 ounces each.
 This recipe also requires 1 bucket of Oxi-Clean, which is 96 ounces

You'll definitely want a 5 gallon bucket for this mixture. It filled up my 5 gallon bucket to more than 3/4 full. Mix all of these ingredients together until well mixed and there is your cloth dipaer detergent. You only use about 1 tbs per load, so this stuff literally lasts a lifetime. I bought all of these for less than $20, and will probably last us more than a year doing diaper laundry.

To make the laundry detergent for regular clothes, you use the exact same recipe and simply add soap. So I purchased bars of plain Ivory soap. I laid out the bars of soap to dry for a couple days, then grated it. Then, I let it dry on cookie sheets for another day so it would be very dry. I just used my hands to make the pieces as small as I could. The EFF Blog recommends using a food processor, but we don't have one of those so we did it by hand.
 Since I wanted to be able to use this recipe for both our cloth diapers and our clothes, I divided the recipe to fit our needs. The full recipe for the laundry detergent is the same as the recipe for the diaper detergent. Then, you just add 24 bars of soap. Yes, 24. Well, I knew we didn't need that much detergent, so I did 1/6 of the recipe. That includes 4 bars of soap + 68.333 ounces of the detergent mix I had already made. This made a jar of regular clothing laundry detergent, as seen below. I also bought another jar (5.99 at Hobby Lobby) for the regular cloth diaper detergent. I then stored the rest of the 5 gallon bucket detergent so I can refill as needed.
 It takes a while to mix the bars of soap flakes in with the rest of the detergent, but I've already done 3 loads of laundry with it, and it works great, plus smells wonderful!!

Another of my bed rest projects was reorganizing the laundry room area. Don't worry, I sat on the ground while Joel got on the step ladder and moved things around how I wanted them. I won't show you the before pictures, but the after pictures sure make me feel good! There's just something about a clean, organized space that warms my heart.
Of course I had to put labels on my jars so if Joel or anyone else would do laundry they would know what to use. I use 1/8 cup laundry detergent per load, and 1 tbs cloth diaper detergent per cycle (I will probably run 2 cycles, 1 hot and 1 cold for the diapers). This makes it super easy for anyone to figure out, and it's much more fun to look at than a box of Tide.

We also got all of Tessa's bath stuff ready and got her bathtub down and ready to go! I can't wait to see her in it with her whale tub and pink rubber duckies!! Bed Rest won't get me down, but I am trying to figure out a way to pass some of my extra energy onto Joel, who seems to be losing his at a rapid rate! Hopefully a weekend of relaxing with family and watching football will rejuvenate him.


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