Monday, September 30, 2013

How To Make Sure Your Towels Stay Super Absorbent

This towel was being abused. So I stole it. 
As expected, there were many, many things that were slowly driving my OCD-fueled brain slightly crazy while on vacation. The number one nuisance though? Towels.

From my mother's house to my mother-in-laws house and every stop in between, towels across the state of Wisconsin are being brutally treated all in the name of "fabric softener" and "detergent." 

I had no idea that this was such a widespread problem until I casually stepped out of my first shower and attempted to dry myself. Attempted being the key word. I think all the towel really managed to do was move the water droplets around my body enough times that I eventually air dried. 

"Mom, what the heck did you do to the towels?"

Sigh. Sadly, this story repeated itself so many times over the course of my five-week stint in Wisconsin that I vowed to take action. I had to do something to help. I myself have quite an arsenal of nice, fluffy, absorbent towels, purchased one by one over the course of several months. They stay fluffy. They stay absorbent. 

Here's how to maintain that new-towel freshness.

  1. Wash your towels separate from the rest of the laundry with a detergent that will not leave a film. A quick guide to see which detergents will be okay for your towels is to see which detergents are suitable for washing cloth diapers. My absolute favorite detergent is Crunchy Clean, which I use for all my clothes and cloth diapers, but here's a good list to see if your detergent is suitable for washing towels. 
  2. Do not use fabric softener/dryer sheets.
  3. Avoid the towel shrinkage by washing in cold water, and drying on a low heat. Yes, it cleans just as well as hot water. 
  4. Don't wear the towels out in the washer and dryer so much. Use them a couple of times before washing them. It's okay. Really.
  5. If you really need some type of "fabric softener," consider a woolen dryer ball. (See more info)
If you've all ready sinned against your towels, there is help. Simply strip your towels. 
  1. Gather all your towels together. 
  2. Apologize to your towels.
  3. Wash them all on one hot cycle with 1 cup of vinegar.
  4. When that's finished, wash them again with 1/2 cup of baking soda.
  5. Dry as normal. 

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Burn! Dealing With My Toddler's Burned Hand

I'm not the type of mom who gets crazy every time Lizzie stubs a toe. I leave to Andrew. But then she burned the s*** out of her hand. Okay, it wasn't a hospital-worthy burn or anything but as it was the first major injury to happen to my sweet little lady, I panicked. 

She touched the exhaust pipe on the Jeep. I was holding her other hand and we were walking around the vehicle, and after I realized what happened, I rushed for the cold water. But you try and convince a one year old in pain to do something like hold her hand in the cold water. It doesn't work and I ended up soaked.

I have almost no experience with burns, so I did the old standbys as my little one was dripping snot and tears on my shoulder: use Google & text all my nursing friends.

Though it ended up being a second degree burn (blisters) it was on a small enough area that it wasn't considered a major burn. Two weeks later it has healed beautifully, mainly because I was able to stop myself from popping the blisters. Thank goodness everything I read said DO NOT pop the blisters because I had no idea! In fact the very small area that she actually did end up popping naturally during play ended up scabbing horribly while the rest seemed to just sink into the skin. Crazy!

Here's the two websites that I found most helpful while trying to ease her pain and help her heal quickly: 

Mayo Clinic: Burns
Web Md

While the burn ended up not bothering her after a few hours, I'm hoping that this won't kick off a string of injury-causing activities   

Monday, September 23, 2013

Back to Business

We did it! After five long weeks, a wedding, and lots and lots of driving, we are finally back in the Charleston area. Being in Wisconsin for five weeks was surprisingly relaxing, and Andrew still has a week left of his leave to just stay put at home and do nothing. Something which he very rarely has the opportunity to do.  I have five weeks of everything to catch up on, including getting this blog back on track, getting Lizzie back into her routine, and catching up on all the web work I missed. I also need to get back to cooking at home and working out. Apparently, five weeks of brats, beer, and cheese curds can pack on pounds. Who knew? 

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Vacations Ruin Things

The coolest kid in the north woods.
This toddler is too cool to be ruined by
vacation, right?
So I've officially reached the one month mark on this vacation. One whole month away from home. Two weeks so far with my parents. Two weeks with my in-laws. And visiting every aunt, uncle, cousin, great grandparent, friend, and former high school classmate I thought I'd never have to see again ever in between. 

Don't get me wrong. I am, surprisingly, not losing my mind up in the north woods. My in laws have amazing toys. I've been using the ATV, the paddleboat, and been fishing a lot. We've been busy. We've had fun. But enough is enough. Vacations ruin perfectly good toddlers. It's time to go home.

Vacations Ruin Potty Training

Since Lizzie was six months or so, I've been practicing a light form of elimination communication. It got to the point where I was able to get her to pee on the potty a couple times a day. That is HUGE for a one year old. Then vacation happened. Cloth diapers were left in South Carolina, along with the potty. And we've been using icky disposables for the past month and I'm worried she's lost all sense of when she is going. Getting her back on potty track is priority #1

Vacations Ruin Sleep Habits

If it had been a week of vacation, maybe we could have managed, but OVER A MONTH with no bed time ritual? I'm screwed. Really, really, screwed.  The only good thing that may come out of this is that this may be a good time to transition from the crib to a bigger style bed. 

Vacations Spoil Toddlers

Staying at grandparents' houses for over a month. Do I need to explain this one?

Thankfully, we will be home by this time next week. I'll be fished out by then. I'll be so sick of driving. And I'll be trying really hard to get Lizzie back on track and de-spoil her. Maybe it's time for chores? ;)