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Wednesday, June 30, 2010

WFMW - How to wash child's thick hair

I read another blog post this morning from Works for Me Wednesday that inspired me to write this tip.

Princess1 has really thick hair! It's so thick that even when she lays in water and we swish it around, there are sections of hair that are still dry. This makes it really difficult to wash.

Add to this thick hair, Princess1 has Sensory Integration Dysfunction. Fortunately, it's better than when she was a toddler. One of her biggest areas of issue has always been her scalp. She would scream bloody murder whenever I tried to wash her hair when she was little and couldn't stand to have her hair brushed either. It is a little better now - I don't have to pin her to the bathroom counter EVERY day to brush her hair, just once a week. And she is learning to brush her hair herself and do it more often so there are less tangles which pull on her scalp.

So washing her hair has always been difficult.

Now that she's out of the baby/toddler stage, I've been trying different kid shampoos for her but it wasn't until I tried the Suave kids shampoo that I found success. It works great for her hair, without using an entire handful of shampoo to cover her hair.

At a Relief Society getaway weekend in March, I got a tip from a stylist with the dry hair sections. She said that when the hair doesn't suds, it's still dirty and to wash again.

I came home and tried it. It works! One of Princess1's complaints was how long I took to wash her hair and all the scrubbing. Now, we get along great because washing twice takes less time than trying to get all the hair at one time. There's less scrubbing because I'm not trying to get dry areas wet and sudsing on the first try.

So here's what I do...

Wet hair, lifting it up as I pour the water on to try to get all sections wet.
Wash with quarter-size plus amount of shampoo.
Scrub gently
Using a quarter-size amount of shampoo, I wash her hair again.
Scrub gently
Rinse well.

Note the difference in rinsing? Because I know I'm washing a second time, I don't feel the need to spend 5 minutes (slight exaggeration but only slight) trying to get all the shampoo out of her hair the first time.

Also because I know I'm washing a second time, I don't stress about areas that aren't sudsing during the first wash. And generally, there's not a problem the second wash.

And that Works for Me!
For more Works for Me Wednesday, check out We Are THAT Family.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

WFMW - Stop a soft taco from opening

Our family LOVES tacos.  Soft tacos and hard tacos.  But my little girls always have a hard time with keeping their taco together.  When you go to a restaurant (fast food or normal), they don't seem to have much problem - but I believe that's because they steam their tortillas fresh which lets them bend easier.  I've tried heating them up in the microwave but that only lasts for so long.  But earlier this year, I came up with a trick that's definitely working for my family.

Sour cream.

That's my trick.

I build the tacos for my daughters, and of course, they HAVE to have sour cream on their taco.  After putting the sour cream on the inside, fold the "bottom" up a little bit so that nothing falls out the end after you roll it.  Then roll the sides in.  On the first fold, place a small dollop of sour cream and then spread it around.  Then place the second fold on top.  The sour cream "glues" the taco together so that when my girls set it down, it doesn't fall apart on them.

For more Works for Me Wednesday, check out We are THAT Family!

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Forced to slow down

Note:  If you also read the family blog, the same story is posted there.

Have you ever been forced to slow down your life? I've had quite a few instances in the past few months where Heavenly Father has forced me to slow down. Normally it's been because I spent time in the sun and ended up with a migraine/nasty headache (I don't confuse the two but I've had both recently) or tummy issues (not vomiting or nausea, but just where my stomach doesn't feel good).

Then there was the day that I intended to go to Chik-Fil-A with my neighbor for lunch and ended up helping another friend try to break into her van (locked keys inside) and then her house and finally we all ended up at Chik-Fil-A. That day I decided Heavenly Father thought I needed to spend the entire day with friends.

Today, Heavenly Father decided I needed to spend the entire day at the strawberry patch. The plan - leave at 8 am, pick strawberries and back home by 10 am, make freezer jam, clean my house before pest control arrived (ants!) and then start packing my family's gear for a trip to Grandma and Grandpa's house tomorrow.


Leave home at 8 am, pick up neighbor and her kids and drive to strawberry patch (20-30 minutes away from home)
Arrive at strawberry patch, sample some strawberries as we pick them (Incredibly good! The best I've had in 20 years.).
Pay for strawberries and load all 4 kids (mine and my neighbor's) in the van.
Turn key to start van.
 "Click, click, click".
Wait a minute.
Try again.
Click, click, click.
Repeat until giving up.
Call Love. He's in at work, an hour from our home. This was not his week to drive so he doesn't have a car and left his cell phone at home.
My neighbor calls her husband. He's at work - without enough gas to drive out to us and he left his wallet at home (so he has no way to buy gas to come get her).
Call closest mechanic - he's out for the next hour.
My Mom, who lives close to the patch and has a vehicle that would hold all of us, is out of town.
Think - if we leave the van for someone to fix it there or to tow it back, who can we call to pick up all 6 of us since we won't fit in the tow truck.
At 10 am, Love leaves work with a coworker who drops him off at home.
My neighbor's husband borrows a work vehicle and picks up his family.
The girls and I hang out at the strawberry patch.
Love goes to the auto parts store and confers with them - it's the starter.
12 pm Love purchases a starter and drives to patch, stopping at McDonald's on the way to get lunch for his stranded family.
1 pm Love arrives with food, tools and a starter. Everyone enjoys lunch.
After eating, Love installs the new starter.
We try starting the van.
Click, click, click.
Look in phone book for closest auto parts store for battery.
Love experiments with the van and believes we have another problem.
Love calls the tow truck to take our van to our mechanic - estimated arrive 1 hour.
I call our neighbor to come pick up the girls and take them to her house - estimated arrive 30 min.
I move everything in the van to the car.
Tow truck arrives and tries jumpstarting with their power jumper (or whatever you call it).
Van starts.
Neighbor arrives and takes our girls to her house.
Love and the wonderful guy from the tow truck try turning off the van to see if it will start on its own.
Click, click, click.
They rejump the van - success.
I drive van, with Love following, back to town.
4 pm-ish Arrive at our house, Love drives the van to auto parts store and gets a new battery.
I do some cleaning to prepare for Pest control (did I mention the ants?)
4:30 pm Pest Control arrives and Love calls to say he's headed home with a van that will start again.
4:45 pm Pest control informs Love that our immediate neighbor's house has active termites!
5:40 pm pest control finally finishes spraying for ants inside and outside our home and yard.

We were so blessed today!

Why? We were blessed to have the van break down at a location with water, shade, plenty to eat (strawberries), a bathroom (port-a-potty) and a swingset.
We were blessed that this did not happen halfway to Grandma and Grandpa's tomorrow.
We were blessed that this did not happen halfway to our vacation later this summer.
We were blessed with an incredibly detailed pest control company!  Pricing is comparable to what we've spent every other year as we've fought these ants but never have any of the other pest control companies spent almost an hour and a half searching for the ants (and termites now) and spraying.
We were blessed with a very friendly, helpful, and informative guy from the Towing company. I'd heard others recommend them but I have to say, he was better than I expected.
We were blessed with a friendly and patient owner at the strawberry patch who had no problems with us hanging out there all day.

After all these blessings, I'm going to be pondering what I'm needing to change so that Heavenly Father doesn't need to send me any more "Slow down!" messages. And we're ready to relax for the evening.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

WFMW - Clothesline Tips

Two summers ago, it seemed every blog I read was talking about using a clothesline.  I learned a lot, but didn't have a clothesline.  At the end of that summer, a friend came over to visit and I mentioned my desire for a clothesline.  She asked if I had some rope.  I did.  So she immediately grabbed her cub scout son who was with her and the three of us headed outside and strung up a line between my trees.  I started using it but not always.

Then last summer, as soon as school let out, my husband got laid off from work.  Not knowing how long I would need to stretch our funds, it became a necessity to use the clothesline.  I only used the dryer for "privates" or if it was raining.  In the process, I remembered some of those tips I had read the previous summer and learned from experience. 

This last week a friend posted on Facebook "A certain friend of mine will be excited to here that I hung up a clothesline today."  I naturally assumed that friend was me because we had talked about it a few days earlier.  I immediately commented with some tips for her and thought it'd be a perfect Works for Me Wednesday post. 

Here are those tips.

1.  Hang everything loose.  When I first started, I'd hang the clothes tight between the clothespins.  Do you know what that gets you?  Stiff clothes.  They need to be able to blow in the wind and the clothes need to rub against themselves.

2.  Hang pants and shirts by waistline.  There are two reasons I've come up with for this.  First, the larger opening is held "open" by the clothespins so more air gets inside the clothes to help it dry.  Second, if you end up with any clothespin marks, they are hidden more.  Imagine you hung up your shirt by the shoulders and the pinch from the clothespin is visible while you wear the shirt later.

3.  Hang towels and sheets folded in half, with fold toward ground.  This creates an opening at the top to let air in and the halves rub against each other - the friction decreases stiffness.

4.  Snap clothes before pinning up.  I'm not exactly sure what this does - I'm assuming it gets out a little more water but if I don't snap, the clothes tend to be stiffer.

5.  If out of pins, hang panties with other clothes.  This one is a silly tip.  But if you're run out of room on your line or out of clothespins, you can hang panties by hooking the legholes over a clothespin already in use.

6.  If concerned about fading in the sun, hang inside out.

7.  If too stiff, put in dryer for 15 minutes.  Sometimes, items just get stiff (especially queen size blankets that I can't snap before putting on the clothesline on days when there is little wind).  When this happens, I simply throw the item in the dryer for 15 minutes to soften it up.  It's okay because I'm running the dryer less than I would to completely dry the item.

The benefits I've had from using my clothesline are many.  First, I use less electricity so my utility bill is lower.  Next, I'm not heating up my house from the clothes dryer so I'm using less air conditioning to counter that heat, so my utility bill is lower.  I'm not an outside person and this gets me outside for short periods of time (so I don't become overheated) and I get sunshine.  I also get more exercise from walking the clothesline and pinning than I would from tossing the clothes in the dryer (every calorie counts, right?).  My sheets smell wonderful.  I think the towels are more absorbent (but that only lasts for 1 or 2 uses).  Also, my clothes/sheets/towels have no static cling!

For more Works for Me Wednesday tips, check out We Are THAT Family!