She's From Venus

July 22, 2008

I think my daughter, Amanda is from outer space. I mean, I know "they" say, "women are from Venus," but it's got to be because there's some logic in it, right? Surely there are people where she comes from that speak her language, but I'm sad to report that I'm not one of them. I've tried...God knows I've tried, but it makes me physically weak sometimes trying to decipher what it is that she's talking about. Just trying to get her to answer a simple "yes" or "no" question can sometimes take hours! (OK, I exaggerate a little bit...) Getting a response to things that shouldn't even be difficult like, "do you want milk?" can cause me to hyperventilate.

Now, I realize that if I don't end my sentence with, "pick one: yes or no," I'm asking for trouble and it's clearly my own fault. I know I should know better, that's a rookie mistake. If I simply ask if she wants milk, I might get a story about how during lunch one time one of her friends ate all of her (DD's) cheese curls and tried to get her sandwich too, but she needed to tell a teacher so that she could get her to stop and then she got in trouble herself when she hollered for the teacher to come over, and didn't get to drink her milk at lunch. (I know! Wow, that's a long way to go to talk about milk!)

Meanwhile, back in reality, my arm that's been patiently holding the gallon jug of milk carefully over her glass and waiting for her response begins to tremble until finally, I either put it away or decide to go ahead and pour it (without being invited to do so), which inevitably ends in wails for orange juice because what she is trying to tell me in the first place is that she no longer enjoys milk, but I'm not listening. (Do you see what I have to go through?)

And it's not like she's too young to be able to articulate a proper response, either. She's going into third grade! She's just from Venus, and I only speak conversational, touristy Venusuvian.

Case in point: Last night, she came up to me - apparently after pilfering through my jewelry box - holding a pair of dangly silver earrings. "Mom, can I please have these?"

(Not even can I wear these, or can I borrow these, or even I love these, but straight to "can I have these")

ME: No. They're mine, they're dangly, (she's not allowed to wear danglies) and they're not real (they'll make your ears hurt they're not real gold).

HER: Well, you see, I have a lot of gold earrings, and I like gold, but only because it goes with orange. And yellow. And sometimes some brown and maybe red...but. I have always wanted silver earrings because I love silver and silver goes with everything, and I always wanted hoops anyway, but not dangly earrings, but I love these ones, though and I thought that since you never wear them I could have them, and because they make me feel cleanse.

ME: Hmm? Cleanse? Did you just say they make you feel cleanse? (she nodded in agreement). Amanda, honey, do you even know what cleanse means? (It's not even in the right tense for this sentence! Where are you pulling this from!)

HER: No, but I like the way it sounds. And I feel it.

ME: Well, OK then! (Who can argue with that logic?) But no, you still can't wear dangly earrings.

Homemade Antibacterial Lavender Surface Cleaner

July 12, 2008

Homemade cleaners are better for you, your family, the environment, and your pocketbook.  This particular cleaner is perfect for just about all messes, and it's antibacterial too.  The best part of all is how easy it is to make.

Prior to this cleaner, I had been using a simple 1:1 mixture of vinegar and water, but I wasn't satisfied with it for a couple of reasons. The smell was awful, and it took a long time to dry - even after wiping it off with a towel.

Armed with just a few common household ingredients, I created a spray cleaner that is perfect for surface cleansing. The ingredients kill bacteria, and the final product is superior to commercial cleaner (in my humble opinion).  It smells GREAT too! 

Give it a try - and be sure to check back here and let me know how you made out!

Antibacterial Lavender Surface Cleaner
2 Cups of warm water in a measuring cup
2 teaspoons of Dr. Bronner's liquid Lavender castile soap
1 teaspoon vinegar
2 teaspoons rubbing alcohol
8-10 drops of lavender essential oil - optional
Mix well, add to your favorite spray bottle.

Here are the reasons it works so well:
  • Dr. Bronner's contains essential oils that also kill bacteria
  • The vinegar also kills bacteria
  • The rubbing alcohol makes the solution evaporate quicker by reducing the surface tension of the water and it kills germs too!
I estimate that with one bottle of Dr. Bronner's, one bottle of vinegar, and one bottle of rubbing alcohol will cost roughly $7, and can yield approximately 40 bottles of prepared cleaner. That brings the per unit cost down to $0.18 per bottle, compared to $3 to $5 for a comparable commercial cleaner.

The best part of this cleaner is that you can change the castile soap you add, which changes the scent of the cleaner you make. Dr. Bronner's has some wonderful smelling soaps! My personal favorites (after lavender, of course) are the peppermint soap and the Almond soap.

Words heard on vacation...

July 8, 2008

Over the 4th of July holiday, I went to Colonial Williamsburg for 8 days with my BFF, my two children, and her two children. We spent a very exciting 8 days together, and along the way, we had a lot of fun laughing at the words our children came up with. Here is a list of some of what I heard:

Gillet: That thing that comes down and chops your head off (origin - my daughter, Amanda)

Telepathetic: is the ability to mentally control any function the brain controls, hearing other people's thoughts and sending thoughts directly to other people's minds. (Origin - BFF's #1 DD, Ashley)

Surfectent: A cross between disinfectant and surfactant...maybe it's a soapy germ killer.(origin: BFF)

"P"terodactyl - This was said with a non-silent "P". (Origin - my son, Ryan)

Intensification of the Super Fog - (Origin Williamsburg's ABC weatherman) OK...I know that intensification is a REAL word, but at 11:00 at night, it sounds downright funny! Intensification. HA! It still sounds funny. And the superfog that he was referring to, is a mixture of smoke and fog. Isn't that SMOG? How does he get to make up his own word for something that already exists. That's like me calling a FIRE a super hottie. Why. Why would anyone do this?
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