Sunday, May 30, 2010

Acorn Squash

Looks yummy right?  Acorn squash are actually a pretty bland food sometimes.  They can be found almost year round at the grocery store though!  When I eat them I like to bakethem with cinnamon and eat it, but for baby, we'll do it a little differently.
First, cut the acorn squash in half and then spoon out the seeds.  This is really easy, unlike pumpkins where it takes forever!
Nice cleaned out squash half!

Now, it's summer.  I don't want to turn on my oven and heat up my house if I don't have to.  So I'm going to use the microwave method.  Just put a little bit of water (like 2 tbspns) into each half and set them on a microwavable dish.
Microwave on high for 10 minutes.  Let stand in microwave for 5 minutes.  The squash will be really hot and you have to touch them for the next step so don't rush the 5 minute wait or you'll be sorry. (I'm speaking from experience.  My poor fingers!)

Spoon the guts out of each acorn squash half.  It should come out really easily with a spoon.  Think of it like scooping the fruit out of an avocado.  You should be able to get right down to the skin.  You can scoop this directly into the blender!
Now, add 1/2 cup of water ot the squash and puree!  Acorn squash comes out close to the consistancy of apple sauce instead of a paste like other baby foods tend to.  Now, you can pour into your ice cube trays, freeze, and store!
Tip:  If you are making two baby foods and don't have enough trays to freeze them all, you can often just pour the food into a container and put it in the fridge.  When you remove one food from the trays, you can freeze what you stored in the fridge.  Note that some foods change colors to an icky brown color if they are not frozen immediately so think about that when chosing which one to freeze first!

Carrots - A Detailed "How To"

So, after you make a few of the baby food items the way the book recommends, you get the idea.  So here is how I make carrots.

Pour entire bag of frozen carrots (no butter or anything) into a pot.  Add enough water to somewhat cover the carrots.  Cover the pot and cook on medium until the carrots are done.  You can tell they have been cooked well enough by sticking a fork into the carrots.  If the fork comes out easily, they are done.  If the fork sticks in a carrot, they are not.

<=Not Done


<= Done

Strain carrots to remove excess water.  Carrots will be HOT!

Pour carrots into blender or food processer and add 1/2 cup of water.  Puree.   You can add as much additional water as you would like to achieve a desired consistancy.  I add water slowly until my blender is capable of moving all of the food freely and it is entirely pureed.  For the carrots, I added an additional 1/2 cup of water.  My daughter sometimes has a problem with food that isn't "thick" enough, so instead of rice cereal made with breastmilk, we add a little rice cereal to her solid foods.

Next, you will pour the pureed carrots into one of the ice cube trays as pictured.    Smooth food with a spatula until each compartment is covered evently and you can see the dividing lines.  Then cover with the lid (or you can use seran wrap if using normal ice cube trays).  And freeze!  One bag of frozen carrots makes 24 servings, or two ice cube trays full. 

Freeze overnight, then remove and separate into individual servings, repackage and return to freezer!

Intro to Making Baby Food

To make my daughter's food, I use to So Easy Baby Food Book.  It comes with a guide for picking out fruits and vegetables, as well as instructions for each type of baby food you can make and when it's best to introduce the foods to your little one.  Today, I made carrots and acorn squash.  Squash and carrots are not in full season yet, so they are not available at the farmer's market.  So I went to my grocery store and bought 1 acorn squash and a bag of frozen carrots.  I always opt for frozen if a vegetable is not in season.  They don't have a high fructose corn syrup or other additive bath before eating.

I also use ice cube trays with covers from So Easy Baby Food to freeze my baby food.  I like them because the covers fit perfectly!  This is something you can register for at Babys R Us if you are expecting, or pick up there as well!
For most baby foods, you need a microwave (or pot if you are a stove lover like I am), spoon, blender or food processor, water, and ice cube trays.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Breastfeeding in Public LoL

I took my little CadieBird to the zoo today!  We went with my mom and my sisters and my brother and his girlfriend and every field trip group ever, lol.  But, as usual, I sat down to nurse Evelyn on a nice shady bench.  A little girl with one of the field trip groups ran over when she saw the stroller and went "Look!  A baby!"  Then she realized the baby wasn't in the stroller, and was under a blanket where I was holding her.  She stopped, looked really confused and said "what is she doing to that baby?"  The leader of her group grabbed her hand and said "the baby is cold," and dragged her off.  It was extremely hot out.  I doubt she bought it.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Oh, to recycle...

Our new apartment has presented some recycling difficulty.  We have yet to get a system into place and some of the rules here are creating problems!

First, there is no recycling drop off/pick up in the apartment complex, unlike our house where they came to collect recycling twice a month.  So we're going to have to sort it and haul it somewhere.
Second, we are not allowed to store trash outside on our balcony or outside the front door in order to keep down pest issues.  So I have to find a way to store our recycling that doesn't take up too much space and Evelyn cannot get into.
Third, I am going to have to move it in my car (let's face it, Doc's not going to take the recycling) and I need to it be mobile and not make a mess.

My choices of containers range from
A Nice 12-gallon Recycling Bin to Stackable Containers to those plastic tubs you see used for Christmas decoration storage.

BUT, I want something like these Awesome Fold-Up Bags

Must find a solution!  Must find an affordable solution!....a job would help that

Saturday, May 22, 2010

How to fold a cloth diaper

To fold a cloth diaper, you first lay it out flat.  Note that I color coded the sides to make it a little bit clearer.  The colors are green, blue, pink, and orange. 

 Then, hotdog fold the diaper (you teachers know what I mean).  Fold it so you have a long rectangle.
Next, fold the diaper again by folding the rectangle in half.  Your diaper should look like this. 

Now, this is the tricky part.  Grap the top layer of the cloth diaper like this.  Hold down the other three layers.  The corner you grab is the only one with a loose corner you can pick up.  You are going to pull it across to make a triangle.

< = Like This!  Then you need to flip the entire thing over
Next, take the square part that seems separate from the triangle and fold it over itself to kind of roll it towards the center.  And finally....

You get this!  Yay you're done!

I color coded my first folding diaper until I figured out how to do it without keeping track of sides, but once you get it down, you can fold them really easily!

Friday, May 21, 2010

Putting a Cloth Diaper on a Baby

First, you have to catch your run-away baby who is trying to steal her clean diaper cover.

For cloth diapering I use:
Gerber Flat Fold Cloth Diapers
Thirsties Diaper Covers

You need to fold the flat fold cloth diapers.  I like to fold them kimono style right out of the laundry so they are ready to go when I need them.  (How to fold post to come later).

You lay the diaper flat on a surface you plan on changing the baby on.

Then, place the baby on the diaper, where the long part of the triangle fits as the waist line.  The pointy end comes up to cover up the baby goods.

Note: the diaper's thickest part of the fold covers all baby exits.  This is important! 

Fold one side over.

Then the other.

Then secure with a snappie.  The snappies have little teeth that hook into the cloth diaper and hold it in place, kind of like a clothes pin, but without the "OH SHIT I STABBED MY BABY WITH A STRAIGHT PIN" hazard.

And finally, you put the diaper cover on over the cloth part and your kid is ready to take off!  Notice, that the cloth diaper hugs around her butt, so even as she crawls and rolls over, there is not a gap...unlike those crappy disposables that like to leak liquid poop.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Is She Really?....Ugh. That is disgusting!

You know how it goes.  You see some lady standing or sitting out in public with a blanket over one shoulder.  You think "weird."  Then you see little feet sticking out of one end of that blanket.  Oh.  She's holding a baby.  That's nice.  And then it happens.  Whether you can hear gulping and sucking noises or you suddenly recognize where that babies head must be, you know.  That.  Woman.  Is. Breastfeeding.  In public!  Omg!  It's so unsanitary....

Ok.  Really?  Where would you like me to nurse?  The bathroom?  Do you eat in the bathroom?  Screw off!
I would just like to say that it took me 4 months to work up the guts to nurse in public thanks to people who go through the thought process above.  Now that I've finally stopped freaking out about it, my life is so much better!  Want to go out to eat?  Totally!  And I won't worry about whether or not Evelyn might get hungry because I can feed her there!  It's wonderful!  I don't have to drag a pump, bottle, etc. with me all the time!  I just need a little blanket!

Places I have now nursed in public:
The Tulsa Zoo
Pei Wei
I-40 Arkansas Welcome Center
Cherokee Nation Travel Center

and my list will keep growing.

I'm not trying to offend people.  I'm feeding my baby.  It's covered up, it's a natural bodily function, and I'm gonna keep doing it.  We need to change our attitude about breastfeeding, especially men's attitudes.  Maybe then fewer women will feel so self conscious.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Please Go Back To Sleep....Please?

For the last 4 nights, Evelyn gets up at least every 2 hours.  It's like she is just really uncomfortable.  She just isn't staying asleep and she's wanting to nurse all the time at night.  It's driving me crazy.  It's not the initial bedtime that is hard.  She goes right to sleep around 8 every night.  I just don't understand.

She has been moody and drooling alot and chewing on everything, but she's been that way for over a week and no signs of teeth, so I'm thinking I can't really blame teething anymore.  I don't think there is anything wrong, but I keep hearing about these other parents and babies who have children younger than her who sleep all freaking night long.

Now from a breastfeeding mom standpoint, Ouch.  All night is a long time to get engorged.... BUT, from a tired as hell mom...WHY? WHY CAN"T EVELYN DO THAT JUST ONCE?!?!


So I got up this morning at 5:30 with my darling little one and sat to googling for support.

Encouraging and just hippie enough to give me the power boost of confidence that this won't last forever and one day she will sleep all night...

Monday, May 17, 2010


Here it is!  My herb line up!  Starting with the left, we have chamomile, cilantro, chocolate mint, cilantro again (can never have too much), spearmint, and lavender.

I wanted pretty planters, but they all cost at least $5 to get bright colored pots.  SO, I bought the cheap clay pots that cost $1.50 a piece and painted them bright colors.  It's nice to look out my window and see the prayer flags and they bright colored plots.

I'm waiting for the cilantro and lavendar to start growing, but the other ones I can start cutting and drying pretty soon.  Now I just need to figure out how to dry them out and store them until I want to use them.  I'm thinking I need some clear canisters or something along those lines.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Herb Garden Beginnings!

Ok, officially started my herb garden today after buying 3 potted herbs at the market. Today's purchases:

Chocolate Mint: a mint plant I plan on using for teas and maybe stuffed peppers
Spearmint: great in water during the summer to cool off, for colds and allergies, and for making tea.
Chamomile: Aromatherapy scent as well as a good cough suppresant if you are looking for a calming tea.

I still want to expand to include other medicinal herbs and delicious herbs (lemongrass!) as well as some commonly used kitchen herbs. Definitely need some cilantro!

Any ideas out there on good additions to my tiny upstart?

Friday, May 14, 2010


Trust Google. Trust the power of searching for exactly what you want to find, and finding it!

I needed motivation for finding some way to keep motivated and I mentioned making signs in my last post. Well, I decided a wise and earth friendly quote was what I needed. AND...:

"We do not inherit the earth from our ancestors, we borrow it from our children." - Native American Proverb

That's all I needed. Today, cloth diapering with the acception of travel time. And I remember why I loved it now! She pooped and there was no leaking. She lets me know when she needs a diaper change, and they hug her body much better as she crawls, rolls, and squirms around.


Thursday, May 13, 2010

Cloth Diaper Update

Well, after my mom (who was unwilling to cloth diaper) watched Evelyn last month, switching back to cloth has been very difficult. I have managed to get her back in them in the mornings when we are at home, but I'm finding it really difficult to be motivated to keep doing it when I feel like I have no support. All I hear is negative comments from people about cloth diapering. I know the research shows that it's good.

I'm trying to continue, but it's much more difficult when I am by myself. The first months Matt was home a lot and my mom was there to help, but now it's just me.

Ugh, maybe I'll make myself motivational posters and put them up around the house....

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Puree le peas!

Well, here's to throwing away the parenting handbook and listening to your baby!

Evelyn is supposed to eat one meal a day. Yeah, right. She's constantly going after food, so we switched to two meals a day. Guess what! She sleeps 6 to 7 hours every night now instead of waking up hungry every 4. Good call? I think yes. So, she is now eating sweet potatoes and rice cereal, but it's time to introduce a new food.

GO PEAS! Peas aren't in season yet (not much is) so I bought them frozen. One bag of frozen peas, boiled, pureed in a blender and poured into containers!

Evelyn watched me make them and when I started pouring the pea paste into the ice cube containers, she started SCREAMING! So, I got a spoon and let her taste some of it.

Verdict = Peas are freaking delicious.

Peas contain the vitamins and minerals that sweet potatoes lack so between the two Evelyn is getting a much more balanced diet. We'll do squash next and then start fruits. Veggies first!

Monday, May 10, 2010


Yesterday was Mother's Day. Usually, we spend the day honoring our mother. I was honored by my husband two and a half hours before midnight when my husband asked me to marry him again on our next vacation. We have endured and struggled through the last two and a half years. The normal struggles of marriage were easily passed and we have felt great joy in the arrival of our daughter. However, losing a child a year ago has marred both of us. Yesterday, while thinking about what we will vow at our next wedding, I realized I was finally ready to let go of my child's spirit.

After a year of feeling pain at her absense and knowing what could have been, I am ready to get rid of the things I saved for her. I want to honor her memory, yet I hate to think that by holding on to her I would someone keep her from peace. So I am burning her candle down until it can burn no longer and releasing her. I am finally ready to let go.

This mother's day was about more than gifts from my husband and child. This mother's day was about honoring what it means to be a mother, a guardian and caretaker of a child. I am honored to be Evelyn's mother, and I will honor my lost one for the last time this week. Happy Mothers Day.