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.