Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Homemade Applesauce

I made my own baby food for the first time today!

I have absolutely no moral qualms about using store-bought baby food. I don't think doing so is lazy or unhealthy or in any way inferior to making one's own. I am, however, incurably cheap. If there's a way to be had to save money, I'm going to take advantage of it.

Now, a chef, I am not. In fact, I'd have to say that I really hate cooking. However, I hate spending money that could be saved even more. So while I felt a little nervous and unprepared to try making my own baby food, stinginess ruled out in the end.

So this week, when apples, pears, and carrots were all on sale, I figured I should probably give it a shot.

I started with the applesauce, as that seemed the easiest. I used 7 gala apples. All it took was to peel, core, and cut them into chunks, then into a bit of boiling water (just enough to cover the apples) they went for... well, I don't know how long I left them there. Until they seemed soft. Then I dumped them into my cheapo Hamilton Beach food processor and pulsed until they were smooth, adding a bit of the apple water as I went. I don't know why I thought I'd need a fancy food mill or blender. The puree came out beautiful regardless. The baby stores will try to sell you fancy ice cube trays to store your baby food in, but I just used my Pyrex storage bowls (purchased on clearance for $3) and leftover Gerber tubs.

I spent $2.53 to make 32 oz of applesauce, or .08/ounce. Gerber food was costing us .80 for 5 oz, or .16/ounce. Even with a coupon and sale priced Gerber, I was paying .11/ounce. Mission accomplished.

I was even able to make use of the apple skins. I put them on a baking sheet, sprinkled on a bit of cinnamon and sugar, and baked for 30 minutes on 350. Yum.

I also made some carrot puree, which turned out much grainier than the applesauce. Not sure what went wrong there. Maybe that's just in the nature of carrots? Anyway, we'll be saving that one in the freezer for a few months until Miss Meg is ready for more texture.

All in all, not too evil a way to spend a day. Next week we'll try pears and butternut squash. Joy.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Foggy

Function, brain, function! I'm in a fog the past few weeks. Man! There are all these things I want to work on, but my head can't seem to morph the ideas into action.

I have gotten a few things finished lately, though. Most noteworthy, my massive (at least it felt like it!) bib order:







We're also buckling down a bit on Meg's sleep schedule. Girl thinks 27 catnaps/day will suffice, and doesn't realize that her mother is nearing the point of babbling incoherently to the walls while plucking at her hair. But, let's face it, nobody really cares to read about someone else's sleep training methods. Moving right along...

Margaret has figured out how to pull faces. She's settled on a particularly... special one* as her signature move. She loves to play a little game where she holds her silly face until you laugh loudly, then she grins at everyone else in the room before resuming the funny face for you again. Repeat until the grownups get bored (heaven knows she won't). I really need to get a video of her doing it.

*The best way I can think to describe the face is that she pulls her upper lip down over her gums, turns the corners of her mouth into a frown, and raises her eyebrows and her little nose. Sort of a skeptical look, I suppose. Or an "any bats in the cave?" expression...

Firefox spell checker doesn't recognize the word 'gums'? Honestly?

The little one is also enjoying trading "goo"s back and forth. Like this:

video

Ok, dude, I really do need to go fold some laundry now if I want to get any sleep tonight. Best motivation I know for getting the laundry folded: sort it on the middle of the bed. This friendly household tip brought to you by the domestic goddess. You're welcome. (I just typed "your welcome." Take my temperature.)

Monday, February 15, 2010

5019 Words

I'm suffering from fried brain lately, so here are some recent photos of Meg to pacify the masses (snerk).





Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Margaret's Pad

It occurs to me that I've never gotten around to showing off Margaret's nursery. You know, before I had Meg I always thought going all out to decorate a nursery before a baby was born was a colossal waste of time. Cute nurseries are really more for a parent's benefit than the child's. And, in theory, I still believe that. But try to tell that to an 8 months pregnant woman in full-on nesting mode.

We moved into our current house this past summer when I was in my third trimester. It was a crazy time with being so pregnant, Fritz's long hours at work, and our demanding foster kids. I was severely anemic and dealing with preterm labor. Through all this, though, emotional me just couldn't stand the idea of bringing my little one home to an unfinished nursery.

We didn't even need it done for practical reasons. We planned on having the baby sleep in our room for at least the first few months, and they really need so little in those early days. But I wanted a tangible way to express just how excited for and in love with this little one I was.

It's sappy, but when I look around her nursery even now, all I can see is that love I and others had for this child none of us even knew yet.



I dragged myself out of bed one day and, trying very hard not to exert myself and hasten my bug's arrival (ha!) put together her crib - the crib I used as a baby.

My husband spent a few of his days off getting a base coat of aqua on the walls, and my mom painted a really fun mural. I wanted it sort of organic and abstract, and I like the way it resembles fire, water, and grass all at once.

I sewed the bedding and throw pillow in her crib, and my grandma recovered the glider we bought on Craigslist and also sewed the valance.



The nightstand and dresser were from my childhood furniture set. The finish was a bit worn and dated, so I refinished them myself. That's when I first discovered my obsession for furniture restoration.



I've already talked before about our adventures refinishing and assembling the changing table. I also sewed the changing pad cover.


The monkeys are one of the things I'm most proud of. I described the process of making them here (scroll down).

So that's little Meg's room. I still get a kick out of it every time I go in there, and it's still the only room in the house that's completely finished.