Friday, October 12, 2012

Now we're cookin'

Two weeks ago, L. Soup reached a stage in her life where she either eats solid food, or she ends up consuming 30 oz of milk in a day.  I personally felt like that was a little bit of overkill for someone so small, so solid food it is!  We started off with some (homemade) rice cereal.  Here is the recipe I followed:

Wholesome Rice Cereal
1/4 cup (around 1 oz) brown rice powder
8 fl oz (1 cup) water
a little formula/breastmilk

To make the rice powder, grind brown rice in a blender or food processor. This is best achieved by grinding in small quantities - but to make the powder REALLY fine, we recommend trying a Coffee and Spice Grinder (advertisement).
You can use white rice if you prefer, but this page explains why brown rice is more nutritious.
Bring the water to a boil.
Add the rice powder, stirring constantly with a wire whisk.
Reduce the heat to very low and simmer gently for about 10 minutes (don't forget to keep stirring, or the rice will stick).
Then stir in enough formula or breastmilk to give the consistency that's best for your baby.

The first experience wasn't the greatest, mostly because these instructions missed a vital step.  After you grind up your rice, you have to sift it through something very fine.  There were still large-ish pieces of rice after it came out of the grinder, so this step was absolutely necessary in order for everyone involved to enjoy the rest of the experience.  Grinding the rice is a bit time consuming, but I do a large batch every time I start to get low, and then all I have to do is measure out whatever I want to cook every few days.

After we got verification that she was interested in rice cereal, my mom made applesauce from some apples off the tree outside her house (more on that later).

Public Service Announcement:
If you are planning on making your own baby food, keep a few things in mind.  Most importantly, remember the dirty dozen.  Make sure to buy organic if you are planning on giving your baby any of those items.  Actually, you should make sure to buy organic if you are planning on eating any of them yourself. Good news though!  There are fruits and vegetables that are super clean, and you don't have to worry about buying them organic.
Also remember to check if your chosen fruit or vegetable is alright to give to your baby.  Some things are restricted to a certain age.
We mixed the applesauce with the rice cereal and BAM.  It was gone.  She LOVED it.  Awesome.  So we went a few days with applesauce, and I stopped at the vegetable stand on the way home one day and picked up two butternut squash.  I cooked those suckers up, following this recipe:

Butternut or Acorn Squash

1 acorn or butternut squash
1. Cut acorn or butternut squash in half, scoop out seeds
2. Place halves face down in a pan and cover with an inch of water
3. Bake in a 400 degree oven for 40 minutes to 1 hour - be sure the “shell/skin” puckers and halves feel soft then scoop squash “meat” out of the shell
4. Place squash "meat" into your choice of appliance for pureeing and begin pureeing.
5. Add water as necessary to achieve a smooth, thin consistency.
After the initial yuck face, she gobbled that right up too!  We've also had banana, but that only needs to be squished up.  I think our next adventure might be peas.  Or carrots.  I haven't decided yet.

She gets lunch and dinner every day now.  And let me tell you, if you are a little behind schedule with one of them, she lets you know.

My awesome little eater.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Year Two

Eleven years ago I met a boy that was so completely mean to me every time he saw me that at one point I ended up in tears.  I did not like him, at.all.

Nine years ago today I realized that same boy was only mean to me because he liked me, and was unsure how to show it... Other than the in the way of a 5 year old.  And I started dating him.

Two years ago today I married that boy man.  In a beautiful building surrounded by our friends and family.

One year ago today I celebrated with that man, and a little tiny addition to our new little family cooking in my belly.

I couldn't be happier with the steps that it got us to get to this point.  We have our days that we don't really like each other.  But we always end up working things out in our way. We are both stubborn and hotheaded, and we try to do way too many things.  But we make sure to find time for us.  We never curse at each other.  And we make sure to say I love you as often as possible, no matter what.

I love you.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

I think I'm the only person in the world that enjoys painting.

  1. Find antique TV stand and refinish it.
  2. Build bed frame.
  3. Build matching night stands.
  4. Refinish dining room table.
  5. Refinish bedroom furniture to match bed and night stands.
  6. Build computer desk for D.Soup.
  7. Refinish wing back chair.
  8. Build floating shelves.
  9. Build outdoor planters.
  10. Install cabinets with clothes folding space into laundry room, with cat door.
  11. Paint L.Soup's bedroom.
  12. Paint foyer.
  13. Sew pillow for L.Soup's bedroom.
I have this whole big plan for painting in the new house.  Well, at least parts of the new house.  I have two rooms I know for sure what I want to do, and one or two others that I'm on the fence about if I want to paint them at all.  I'm pretty sure I'm going to let the colors on the furniture do all the talking.

Luckily, the house is new.  Like, brand new.  Never been lived in before.  And the builder painted everything a nice off white color.  So there's no glaring issues with anything currently.  Unlike the old house, where every room I demanded we paint or I just might scratch my eyes out.  (who needs that many different wall borders in a house less than 1000 square feet?!)


11.  Paint L.Soup's bedroom.

I know exactly what I want to do in L.Soup's room.  I had intended on doing it in the old house, but then we encountered the hobo and I lost all inspiration to do anything else in that house, and started looking for new places to live.

I have a very light yellow that I want to paint on three of the walls.  The fourth wall is going to look like this:
Only without the border.  And 16 squares instead of 9.  Because I need in include all the colors of the rainbow or my brain might explode.  I also may paint the inside of her closet a different color than the walls, but I haven't quite figured that out yet.

I've bought all the paint, and I've got the bottom of the wall all taped and ready to go.  I just need to finish taping the rest of the room and I can get started.  But I've been too lazy to bring the step ladder upstairs to tape the ceiling.  (And who wants to hold their arms up for that long anyway?)  I also need D.Soup's help taping the lines for the squares, because my arms aren't long enough to get the lines straight.   So I've been kind of putting it off.


 12.  Paint foyer.

I found this image on Pinterest a while ago and it lead me to a blog post describing how the girl had the same color paint in flat and high gloss, and she made this amazing design:
 And I've decided I want to do that in my foyer, with stripes.  In this color:

Now, one of the walls in the foyer is like, a million feet tall, so we're going to leave that wall blank.  Instead, I'm going to fill that wall with picture frames, all painted to mirror the opposite wall.  In my head it looks really good.  I hope it works out.


I also want to paint our bedroom, but I'm uncertain what color to go with.  The comforter set is mostly gray with white and yellow accents.  I'm already leaning towards painting the furniture gray, but I feel like it would be too much.  I don't think the walls in gray would look very good.  I'm contemplating painting the furniture yellow and staining them, but I'm just not sure how it will look. 

We shall see.

I need to get some of the other stuff done on my list first.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Someone does not want me to finish these projects.

I've been working on overcoming my dislike for the sewing machine.

We've had a hate/hate relationship for... well, basically forever.

But I've been on a steady campaign to minimize the amount of waste that we have in the Soup house. And the sewing machine can help me with this effort.  So I've been trying to let bygones be bygones and put aside the petty feud we've be waging...

It's not working.

Let me start over.

When I found out I was pregnant, I did a lot of reading.  Reading that helped me make a lot of decisions about how I wanted to raise this baby.  One decision was the choice to try cloth diapering.  I convinced my husband, did my research, picked the type of diaper that I wanted (One Size Pockets) and the brands (bumGenius, Fuzzibunz, Rumparooz) and started stocking up.

I love cloth diapering.  I actually prefer using cloth diapers to disposables.  Whenever I use a disposable, I feel awkward and uncertain about using it.

(side note:  We are currently using disposables because L.Soup had a rash that was associated to something wrong with the diapers.  I finally finished successfully (hopefully) stripping them the other night, and I hope to start back up using them today.)

What I didn't think about when I planned on using cloth diapers, was the fact that I am still making waste with disposable wipes.  About a month in, I finally realized that using cloth wipes would be more beneficial.  So I started searching around for some cloth wipes, and realized something.

They are outrageously overpriced.

Oh, and by the way.  While I was in the middle of this project, I decided I would just work on some reusable nursing pads.  It's the same deal.  So expensive.  So easy to make.

I did some more research, found a "pattern" that I liked the most.  Purchased my materials.  Cut out my squares (and circles for the nursing pads).  All with no problem.

Enter the sewing machine.

We started off getting along fairly well.  I've been trying to spend more time with it recently, because I have so many things that I dream about making.   The only issue is it's not mine.  It belongs to my mom.  Which means on a normal day I can't use it because I'm not at her house.  And on a day where I am at her house, I have a little person that needs me at a high enough frequency that I get enough time to sit down and turn the machine on before I have to get her.  So naturally, it's taken me months to get the two pieces sewn together, flip them inside out, and ready to have one more final edging stitch finished.  And I haven't even started on the nursing pads.

(I just recently asked D.Soup if he could maybe get me one for Christmas.  We'll see how that works out.  It would be super convenient to be able to sew after L.Soup is sleeping.)

Anywho.  I finally asked mom if I could just borrow the sewing machine and take it home with me for a few days.  I'm really the only person that uses it at the moment, so it wasn't a big deal.

I packed up all my supplies: thread, fabric, pins.  I even packed a second full bobbin so I wouldn't have to stop and refill when the one in there ran out.

I got home, had dinner, fed the baby, put the baby to bed and then excitedly got to work.  I only had a small pile of wipes left before I could start working on the nursing pads.  So I knocked those out fairly quickly.  I was on a roll and feeling pretty good about myself.

I get all the individual pieces of the nursing pad sewn, and set out on sewing them all together.  I make it about 97% around the edge when I hear this weird *thwink* and everything stops.  And I'm all WTF.

Check the bobbin, nothing amiss there.   Cool.

Check the needle, and the thread is gone.  Okay then... so the thread broke.  No big deal.

So I look up at the spool and see this:

And again I'm all WTF.  Something doesn't look right.

Because it's EMPTY.

The entire spool. 

Empty/Not Empty.
Unfortunately for me.  This picture is from the next night.  I hadn't expected finishing off the entire spool, so was caught completely unawares by that turn of events and was left incapable of continuing on, and very bitter about it.

I understand that this is not really as traumatizing for anyone else.  But I just needed a moment.

That is all.

And to top it all off,
My mom found some more unfinished wipes.

Friday, September 28, 2012

Where do I even start?

    This new house has inspired me to start making (or refurbishing) things myself instead of looking for new pieces.  The house just needs to be filled with a certain type of furniture, I can feel it.  The problem is, buying something new that would feel right in the house is expensive.  Non particle board furniture is ridiculously overpriced!

    Luckily I read about 50 crafting blogs, and one day followed a link to Ana White's DIY website.  If you haven't been there, you should check it out.  Unless you want to avoid getting sucked into a never ending BUILD ALL THE THINGS vortex, then I would probably avoid her website at all costs.

    I'm really excited about building something and making it our own, instead of finding a piece of furniture that we sort of like and going with it just because it's the closest option.  We haven't actually started on any of these projects yet, as we're coming to a close on actually MOVING ourselves into the new house.  I am constantly hoping each day will be the day that D.Soup says "Okay, lets go get our supplies."  I'm ready, the list has been made (and made, and remade, and made again). 

     As I've already shown you, I have a ridiculous amount of projects that I would like to work on to make this house exactly what we want.
    1. Find antique TV stand and refinish it.
    2. Build bed frame.
    3. Build matching night stands.
    4. Refinish dining room table.
    5. Refinish bedroom furniture to match bed and night stands.
    6. Build computer desk for D.Soup.
    7. Refinish wing back chair.
    8. Build floating shelves.
    9. Build outdoor planters.
    10. Install cabinets with clothes folding space into laundry room, with cat door.
    11. Paint L.Soup's bedroom.
    12. Paint foyer.
    13. Sew pillow for L.Soup's bedroom.

    2.  Build bed frame. 

    I have been drooling over this bed for over a year.  I love almost everything about it.  I love the way it looks, and how functional it is.  I love that I won't lose things that I store under the bed anymore because they end up in the middle where I can't reach.  I love that I will know 100% that my cat's aren't hiding underneath the bed when I try to shut the door...
    The Stratton Bed from Pottery Barn
    With drawers
    I don't love 2 things:
    1. The fact that the way it is made in this picture, I would have to move the nightstand every time I want access to that first basket
    2. The price tag.
    In comes Ana White.  I was already in awe of all of her other plans, but when I found this I almost cried.  There it was.  The bed of my dreams.  And I can make it myself, for just the price of materials?!  I'm sold.

    This is totally not my bed (yet), or my dog.  I will post again when we finally get started.

    So then I proceeded to click through and snatch up every set of plans that I found for projects around our house...


    3.  Build matching night stands.

    To match our bed, we're going to make these.

    It is based off this plan from Ana White's website.  I'm pretty sure these are going to be our first project.  It seems to be fairly easy, and it will help ease us into the whole process.

    My only dilemma with this (and the bed) is what color to paint them.  This is the comforter set that I've purchased for in the bedroom:
    So I'm still debating color options.  I originally wanted gray furniture, but now I'm thinking that might be too much.


     6.  Build computer desk for D.Soup.

    This is a later project, after all the others are finished.  D.Soup's old computer desk got left behind for his brother at the old house.  It probably wouldn't have survived another move anyway.  He doesn't desperately need a desk at the moment, so he has time to pick out exactly what he wants before we move ahead.  We were discussing it the other day though.  I recommended that we look into building a desk that would span the entire long wall in the computer room (I may have also mentioned that it would be nice to have a little bit of that desk space for crafting).


    8.  Build floating shelves.

    I love these shelves.
    I originally saw them on Shanty2Chic, and loved them.  Of course the plans were also from Ana White (how had I not heard of this website before this month!?)  I plan on making quite a few of these to go around the house, but they are probably going to be more like in between projects type things.


    9.  Build outdoor planters.

    The last "build" project on the list is planters for the back yard.  I want to start growing some veggies, and now that I have a yard that's large enough to do something with, I want to build up some planters and get to it (well, in the spring). 
    Also not my dog.
    These are going to serve double duty in my back yard.  They are going to serve as planters, obviously.  But they are also going to serve as covers for the piping sticking out out of the ground sporadically throughout my yard.  We are on well water, so we have a inspection pipe for that, as well as an array of inspection and clean out pipes for the septic system.  They are kind of ugly, so I think these would be helpful in covering them up.  The only thing I'm worried about is the random placement around the yard, but I think we could figure something out.

    Well, that was an excessively long post.

    Thursday, September 27, 2012

    Overachieving List and Antique store finds

    Buying a house is a lot of work...

    It might just be because I am crazy have a ton of projects that I want to work on.

    The last few years I've purchased everything that we need from big box stores.  I could never justify purchasing anything made with real wood because it is so outrageously priced and the house we used to live in was not worthy of anything nice looking tiny.  So everything that we have owned has been made of particle board.  When we moved into the new house, I decided we needed a fresh start. 

    I'll go ahead and list everything out, and then take my time explaining each one:
    1. Find antique TV stand and refinish it.
    2. Build bed frame.
    3. Build matching night stands.
    4. Refinish dining room table.
    5. Refinish bedroom furniture to match bed and night stands.
    6. Build computer desk for D.Soup.
    7. Refinish wing back chair.
    8. Build floating shelves.
    9. Build outdoor planters.
    10. Install cabinets with clothes folding space into laundry room, with cat door.
    11. Paint L.Soup's bedroom.
    12. Paint foyer.
    13. Sew pillow for L.Soup's bedroom.

    It all started with an entertainment center.  We had a few requirements for the piece -- it had to be short enough that our mischievous cat would not be able to reach the TV from the top of the furniture once the TV was on the wall, and it had to have enclosed storage space so we (I) didn't have to look at the gaming equipment all the time.  The feel of the main floor of our new home is very vintage. Finding an entertainment center that matched our requirements and that style, but was in our price range proved to be an issue.  We decided to switch gears, and head off to search the antique stores in our area.

    I've always loved the idea of antiquing.  But never had anything I specifically needed, so I wouldn't bother going to the store.  I was so excited to be able to wander around some stores with an actual purpose!

    After a few stops and some near misses with pieces that *might* work but we weren't absolutely sure about... we found an amazing antique store/consignment shop.

    We spotted a coffee table that we loved, and thought would be perfect as an entertainment center after a few tweaks.

    Then, right next to it was a matching side table.

    As we were "oohing" and "ahhing" over our amazing two finds, my friend pointed behind us... to a matching TV stand!  It was meant to be!  The stand is a little bit taller than we had originally intended, but once the TV goes up on the wall I think it will work out just beautifully.

    So we ended up with three pieces for our living room when we originally went looking for one.  I believe they are pretty much brand new, they still have tags on them!  There's a little water damage and a few scratches.  So its even more justification as to why I need to refinish them.  And we got them for a great price!  They are an off white/yellow color, but in my head I see them as this steel gray/blue with a distressed finish. 

    While we were wandering around, I found the most beautiful china cabinet.  Someone had already distressed it, and it was GREEN.  I turned to D.Soup and said "I love this so much I can't stand it."  We decided to wait it out and see if it was still available when we came back to pick up the other pieces.

    A few days later, D.Soup, my mom and I went back to the store.  I immediately showed my mom our pieces, and then dragged her around the corner to get her opinion on the cabinet.  Much to my dismay, there was a sticker on the glass that said "SOLD."  I was so upset.

    As I was standing there, wallowing in my own self pity... D.Soup walks up behind me and says "Oh, that?  I bought it.  Happy Anniversary."  I didn't believe him for a solid five minutes.

    Stop screwing with me.

    No really, I bought it.

    Isn't it beautiful?  I'm so happy with it.  And with my husband who so sweetly caught me off guard with it as a surprise gift.

    I can't wait for the next trip to the antique store.

    Friday, September 14, 2012

    She's Alive!

    So, I haven't posted here in basically forever.  That means the next few minutes is going to be a giant cluster of me trying to remember what's happened in the last uhm... YEAR.  Ugh.

    1. First and most importantly:  I made a baby.  Well, D.Soup and I made a baby.  She's kind of precious.  I think we'll keep her.  I can't post any pictures from WORK (geez, way to ruin everything).  But I'll try to remember to add some later.  She's going to be 5 months old on Sunday.  I shall dub her - L.Soup.  Or I'll call her that for now and change it around later.  Who knows.

    2. In other news, we have moved!  YAY FINALLY.  We actually JUST moved last Friday, so we are still very much in limbo right now.  But we're getting there.  There isn't any internet or television at the new house right now, so that pretty much sucks.  But everything else is spectacular, wonderful, amazing, awesome.

    3. I originally started writing this BEFORE we had moved.  When we were tiptoeing around our old house, surrounded by box towers, worried that something was going to knock them over and we would suffocate under the pile.  Luckily we survived, and (almost) everything has moved over to the new house, where the boxes don't have to be stacked on top of each other with just a small pathway to get around.  I mean, how did we even live in that house?!  We went back over earlier this week - my first time back since the move - to grab a few straggler things (we still have MORE to get too, ugh) and I couldn't believe how small everything looked.  It was really eye opening.  

    4. We found a drunk man asleep in the yard behind our old house.  We've also since seen him wandering around the street outside our house, and cleaning up road debris and leaving that shit in a pile in my front yard.  Hence the move - well, that was part of the reason anyway.  It gave us a real push to get out of that area.  It wasn't like he tried to break into the house or anything, but it was definitely still scary.  And annoying.

    5. The name of the blog has changed, if you hadn't noticed.  I finally decided what should go here, other than ranting and whatnot.  D.Soup and I have all sorts of craft things planned for this new house.  As well as crafty things I've been working on while I was gone to help save us a bunch of money the planet.  So I plan on detailing all that information on here for your reading pleasure.  Hopefully.

    6. My camera is broken.  I need to get it fixed (obviously before I can start sharing the awesome things I'm doing with you).  It got stepped on during one of the many family get-togethers that we had this summer -- totally my fault, who leaves a camera in the middle of the floor when they know it's going to be crazy time in less than an hour?!  Now that we've moved, I can finally order the piece and work on fixing it.  As soon as I find it.  Awesome.

    7. We are cloth diapering.  Its been a learning process, but we are actually really enjoying it.  I need to invest in a few more diapers, and then I'll feel like we are set.  Right now we sometimes have to delve into our disposable stash, which makes me sad.  More on that later.

    8. .....................I can't think of anything else.  That's really embarassing.  An entire year gone and I have 7 bullets to show for it.  And most of them revolve around moving, which JUST happened.  Le sigh.  

    I'm so glad to be back.