Kid, Pet and Wallet Friendly Weed Killer: My Attempt at the Dish Soap & Vinegar DIY Plant Murderer

Kid, Pet and Wallet Friendly Weed Killer: My Attempt at the Dish Soap & Vinegar DIY Plant Murderer | mrsmommymack.com

For the first time, my husband and I are in charge of keeping a house from falling to shambles. And let’s just say we don’t know the first thing about… anything. So, I get a LOT of my tips from Pinterest.

While cleaning up my yard today, I noticed our cracked sidewalk was looking a little extra Jumanji. I have turned a little crunchy now that I’m almost 30 and am trying to use vinegar to clean with and any other way I can be a little bit more “natural.” I found this website that discussed the many options available to use vinegar to kill off weeds.

All I knew was I had some dish soap and vinegar, so, I was giving that a whirl!

I had a bottle of dish soap that was almost empty — about two tablespoons remained. I filled the rest of the bottle with white vinegar until it looked like this:

Dish Soap and Vinegar Weed Killer | mrsmommymack.com

Then, I squirted it on this:

Natural Weed Killer: Dish Soap and Vinegar | mrsmommymack.com

For the record, the squirt bottle the dish soap comes in was PERFECT for getting in the cracks. I will definitely be keeping it around. After I got it all soaked up (about two bottles worth) I let it sit in the sun for a few hours. I finished squirting at about 11 am and this was what I had at 4:30 pm after I swept:

Kid, Pet and Wallet Friendly Weed Killer: My Attempt at the Dish Soap & Vinegar DIY Plant Murderer | mrsmommymack.com

Wow! I will be using this again!


Tell me what your favorite weed destroyer is! Do you make it yourself?


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If You Poop in the Woods, Will Anyone Hear? A Tale of My Most Embarrassing Moment.

If You Poop in the Woods, Will Anyone Hear? A Tale of My Most Embarrassing Moment.  | mrsmommymack.com

As I mentioned in a recent blog, I tend to have to go #2 at the most inopportune moments. Most of the time, I get that boiling feeling in my guts when I am as far away from a toilet as humanly possible. Also, I have the luxury of having no more than a one minute window between feeling like I’m going to shit my pants and actually shitting my pants. This is one of the many ways I charm my darling husband.

I have had emergency status poop pains countless times in my life. Restaurants are a biggie — patrons love the hot stench of diarrhea with their meals, I’ve heard. Almost always it’s an embarrassing situation where I have to rely on others to help me get to a toilet before all hell breaks loose (literally).

The absolute most embarrassing moment of my life comes with the memory of violent bowel pains. The year was 2002. I was 17 years old and a camp counselor for a week-long sleep-away camp for sixth graders. I had just gotten a vicious perm on my fried-blonde hair, my breasts weren’t awkward anymore and the biggest crush of my young adulthood was also a counselor. The odds were in my favor.

I spent the first half of the week up at dawn braiding my hair and practicing different ways to wear a baseball cap to impress this dreamboat I had my eye on. I was looking forward to a hike, appropriately called The Death March, that would take place the day before we left camp. This would give me the opportunity to stealthily slide next to this hunk and discuss Creed or Eminem or something else 13-years-ago-manly.

The morning we departed onto this six-mile adventure, the senior counselors gave everyone apples as a form of hydration to keep the tweens from getting too out of hand. This was meant to be held onto for the trip and eaten when we needed it, but being the instant gratification whore that I am, I gobbled it before step one.

I spent the first mile working up the courage and speed to get into stride with my crush. However, just as I was about to make my Night Moves, my stomach rumbled. This rumble was a mixture of under-ripe apple, empty stomach, teenage nerves and mild exertion. It could be heard 10 campers back. I wasn’t going to give up that easily, so I took a deep breath and paced on. I barely made it 50 yards before my guts clenched so hard I had to snap my butt cheeks together before an immediate evacuation.

I ran backwards toward the senior counselors.

“I need to get back to camp immediately,” I growled at this towering Home Ec teacher with a leather fanny pack.

“Oh, ummm, OK. Is everything OK?”

“I feel very sick and just need to get back. Which way is camp?”

“Oh, honey, I will show you. Let’s go.”

Since my head was swooning over the American Eagle model for the entire morning, I hadn’t kept track of how long we were walking or in what direction. I had no choice but to let this nervous woman skittishly lead me to a toilet.

After five minutes, I was sweating and swaying with the pain in my guts. Oh, and we were lost.

“I have to go to the bathroom,” I stammered as though I had been shot point-blank.

“Well,” she said excitedly, “I remembered to pack a Kleenex! You can just go pee over there while I figure out where we are going.”

“No,” I said quietly. “I don’t have to go pee.”

But, before I could sit here and hash out the graphic details with a woman I had to see second hour for the next two months of school, I snatched her Kleenex and raced up a hill to get as far away from her as possible. I was frantic and shit was getting real. I dropped my CK shorts and the noises that came out of my body were similar to the scene in Anaconda when the snake pukes up Jon Voight. 

                           You can hear it, can’t you.

After what felt like a lifetime of pain, I finally starting coming to. I looked to my right and to my absolute horror, my Home Ec teacher was standing 1.5 feet away from me. She had followed me up the hill to “stand guard.” She had seen, heard and smelled the most atrocious thing I had ever done in a closer vicinity than the tree I was splattering upon.

I whipped my head in shame in the other direction and glanced over the back of the hill. Not only was it NOT camp, trees or anything else I thought was on the other side of this hill. But, it was the entire sixth grade winding next to a river enjoying the fecal scenery before forging the river.

My one moist Kleenex was about the equivalent of using a Q-Tip to clean a severed limb, but I quickly attempted to clean up shop and raced back to camp. I sat in the moldy showers watching my shame and never-to-be love life swirl down the drain.


Now, you tell me. What was your most embarrassing moment? I sure hope it was shit related!


Five Easy Ways to Avoid Toddler Tantrums While Shopping

Five Easy Ways to Avoid Toddler Tantrums While Shopping | mrsmommymack.com

Let me start this blog by saying, my kids make me want to drink at 8 am at least 8 times a week. They are by no means runners-up to be named saints in the next century or two. However, I did notice that somehow, I accidentally got something right when raising them. There is a time of day that I want to scream less often and that’s when we go shopping.

I have been thinking about this quite a bit lately and initially chalked their good behavior up to being little, but my son is three and I see kids half his age purple-faced and flopping in checkouts almost daily. So, I thought I would come up with some tips for those sweaty moms with the pleading eyes that are throwing bags of chocolate at their children in hopes to make it out of the store before leaving their child with the cashier.

1. Distraction is my best friend. While I don’t let the kids bring toys in and absolutely DO NOT give them a toy off the shelf to amuse them while I walk, I take this time to talk with them. They have a million questions and almost 75% of them is, “Mom, can I have that?!” Even though my kids have only had a handful of meltdowns while shopping in the past three years, it still makes me flinch like a beat dog every time. But, I always answer that the same way, “No, oh my goodness did you see this!?” Then I quickly point my finger and something or someone to get them very excited about the next thing and forget about the box of tampons they wanted five minutes ago.

2. We don’t promise rewards. We don’t do the, “If you can make it through the store without crying until you puke I will buy you a king’s ransom!” Don’t get me wrong, I have done it, but by giving them the option of public humiliation you are already setting the stage that this is a possibility. Good behavior is the expectation. You can’t walk into the store expecting shit to hit the fan. You got this. Deep breaths.

3. They get a reward if they don’t ask for it. If we can make it from walking through those automatic doors all the way back to the checkout without tears/begging/slapping of siblings, I will grab a treat for them. If they ask for it, the answer will be “No.” This gives you the control and they are rewarded for NOT asking for something.

4. We explain cost. One of the many conversations we have while shopping is about the cost of items. This comes in handy when things are asked for that are extravagant. We explain that this item costs money and when Daddy is gone all day that is what he is earning. In order for us to be able to get that toy/treat he would have to be gone a looong time. We don’t want that, do we? Make sure you only use this one when kids are well rested. Otherwise, Daddy might not like the answer to that question.

5. This is fun! Shopping for our family is a family outing. We really enjoy doing this together and get some quality time without electronics or television. We work together to pick out meals and it’s the time of week we look forward to. If going to the store is seen as hell fire and damnation, kids will act like Satan’s minions. Remember, deep breaths. You got this.

Toddlers with Eczema: 9 Ways I Taught Myself to Take Care of My Daughter’s Rashes

Toddlers with Eczema: 9 Ways I Taught Myself to Take Care of My Daughter's Rashes | mrsmommymack.comAlmost exactly a year ago, we FINALLY figured out what was going on with my daughter’s skin. Since birth she had crunchy skin. It started as cradle cap and blossomed across her body. Specifically, she gets very red, cracked ankles and knees. I spent months carting her from pediatrician to pediatrician who were very eager to dole out steroids without giving me a REASON for her painful skin. She kept herself up at night scratching, dug in her poopy diapers to itch her butt and I was not going to let my peach keep hurting. I needed answers.

She was finally diagnosed with eczema after breaking out in hives from eating eggs. The doctors finally put two and two together and realized that her skin rashes were from allergies (eggs, peanuts, dogs, cats, soy, dairy and dust to name a few). This is after me questioning them on allergies and our pets since she was born, to which they all poo-pooed me saying that her having allergies is very uncommon. Needless to say, once I left with her laundry list of allergies I was fuming. Why doesn’t anyone listen to moms?!

With this new diagnosis, I had no way how to deal with it. I needed guidance. What can she eat? Will it go away? Does she need an epi-pen? All of which were answered with, “We don’t know. It’s all trial and error and you’d be better off researching this online and finding out what she can and cannot have.”

WHAT?!

So, after a year of raising a toddler (two in November) with non-stop eczema, I figured I would give some pointers out there for parents who are as dumbfounded as I once was.

1. Facebook groups are great. There are TONS of groups out there for parents of kids with allergies and you will need a support system. Get following them ASAP and don’t be afraid to ask ANY questions you might have. We have all been there. A few I recommend are: Kids with Food Allergies Foundation, Allergies (egg/milk) Parent Support Group, and National Eczema Association.

2. Get an epi pen. While eczema isn’t always caused by allergies, if you’re concerned, get at least a few. Keep them at your home, train all grandparents and caregivers on using them, get spares, and keep on top of expiration dates. Note: When you pick them up at the pharmacy, check the expiration date ASAP. I have gotten burned on getting ones that expire in a couple weeks.

3. NO SOAP. My heart broke into a thousand pieces after getting home from the allergist and realizing I had been rubbing milk-based soaps into my daughter’s open sores. We don’t use soap unless it’s critical (spaghetti night). Then, it has to be unscented and very small amounts. No bubble baths or scented lotions!

4. Oatmeal baths. This was a huge win for us. Aveeno makes a oatmeal bath for eczema, but for $10 a package, we really couldn’t afford to do this each night. So, my amazing mother-in-law ground up oatmeal and packaged them in pantyhose for individual servings and MUCH less expensive!

5. Cortisone cream. I spent months fighting this battle. I have a closet full of creams, lotions, ointments and salves. The only cream that even remotely soothed her was cortisone cream. I don’t like using this regularly, but after her baths and before bed she gets lathered to avoid scratching until she bleeds. EDIT: Thank you to reader Tikeetha T who said this tip might not be a good avenue for African American children since she experienced lightening of her son’s skin when treating his eczema.

6. Swimming pools! Well, this is my most favorite treatment for my girl. Chlorine cleans and soothes eczema like a dream! Slap on that bikini and have her swim until she’s a prune. Makes things clear up wonderfully.

7. Keep antihistamines everywhere. I’m talking: diaper bag, car, grandma’s, campers, daycare… every where you take your child you’ll need some. It never fails you’ll forget it and need an emergency drugstore run. Our favorites are Zyrtec (if she’s badly broken out, she gets some in her sippy cup at bedtime to help her not scratch in her sleep) and Children’s Benadryl.

8. Teach your other children and family the triggers. My three-year-old son has no allergies or eczema. But, he understands that he canNOT give his sister his cow’s milk, cheese or eggs. He is very cautious with giving her food because he knows she can get sick and sees her sore legs. Family members are much to eager to dole out baked goods to my daughter and have been reprimanded enough times to know that permission needs to be granted before she can have ANYTHING.

9. Be prepared. This is one I am going to reiterate. Having a child with eczema or allergies can make you want to batten down the hatches and not move from your home in fear of a breakout. That’s no way to live your life. Just prepare yourself for breakouts. Know what soothes your child the best and quickest and learn the early signs of a breakout. This helps avoid the overwhelming parental guilt that comes with those itchy little fingers.