Sunday, February 27, 2011

Puree the Day Away

Mr E is just starting solids! He is loving the sweet potatoes and the squash so far. In fact, he is licking out the containers at the end!

Next will be carrots and then green beans. There is quite the controversy about store bought baby food versus homemade. The organic Gerber brand baby foods are convenient and don't have to be refrigerated which makes them ideal for on-the-go (I do have several in my cupboard to use in a pinch) but I have found that making homemade baby food is really simple and I actually quite enjoy it. Patrick and I don't eat out very often. I prefer to make our meals. I have a touchy stomach and I like to know exactly what is going into my body. We shop for the least packaging possible (a whole different post) and I cook mostly from scratch because that is what the rest of my family does. As I thought about it, why would I feel any differently about what I give to E man?
I have been buying organic fruits and veggies and steaming, boiling and baking them. I add some of the cooking water back in and puree them with my immersion blender (which I LOVE). I divvy them out into little individual containers and keep a few in the fridge and freeze the rest. I ran out of containers yesterday when making acorn squash and so I used an ice cube tray and covered it with aluminum foil. This morning when they were frozen, I dumped them out into a freezer safe container and put a few in little containers in the fridge. It's really easy and the frozen ones can go with you if you need to travel. I just put them in my lunch bag with a cold pack and they stay cold but thaw as you go. Perfect. My sister-in-law gave me a book for Christmas all about making your own baby food and there are some really great recipes! I am looking forward to seeing what kinds of things E will eat and what his preferences are. So much fun!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Goodbye Paper Towels...

... Thanks for all your efforts.

I've decided to try to make small changes one at a time. This one is getting rid of the paper towel waste.
I've used paper towels for a long time, but I was thinking the other day that I don't remember using them at all growing up. There was always a roll under the counter that were used for cleaning the bathroom but we never used them in the kitchen at all. I have caught myself reaching for them because they are "easier". Tear one off, wipe something up, throw it away. No longer. Yesterday I purchased a cloth basket and 32 washclothes for $15. I filled up the basket and set it on the counter where the paper towels used to live. This in itself is an easy solution. The tricky part is going to be the dirty clothes. Here is the issue, the hamper is upstairs in our bedroom/master bathroom and the washer and dryer is down in the basement with the kitchen on the middle level. I definitely need a clothes shoot! Kidding, I put an extra laundry basket in the guest room for dirty laundry. I am going to try that for a week or two and if that doesn't work, I am going to put a small square basket in the hall closet. I just know that if I don't put a basket somewhere on this level the follow through won't be good. I still plan on keeping a roll of paper towels around for bathroom cleaning but let's see how it goes!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

It's getting warmer!

The weather here in the great state of Nebraska has been equivalent to a frozen tundra. The temps have been dipping well below zero, especially with the wind chill. Brrrrrr. It is next to impossible to hang cloth diapers outside in this weather as you end up with diaper pops. Not really functional. The next 7 days, the temperature is forecast to climb. By next Wednesday, almost 60 degrees maybe! Woo hoo! You know what that means? Cloth diapers on the line that I am going to have to build in the backyard!

Where to begin~

This all came about with one 6 lb 15 oz baby boy named E. I always thought that I would stay home with my kids like my mom did with us. That was before I went to PT school at racked up tens of thousands of dollars in student loans at the Medical Center. I loved my job but I love my family more. After a job change that allowed me to be home with the baby part time (I would love to be able to be home full time but alas, that is not to be right now) I decided it was time to figure out ways to be more economical. My husband and I have always been advocates of recycling, reducing waste and a healthy lifestyle but with this new little person watching every move we make, I decided it was time to be as conscientious as possible. I believe that every little step, every little change, every little effort counts, no matter how small. It all adds up. Nobody is perfect and every family has to do what works for them. This is our journey of little personal efforts and changes as we teach our son that we only have one planet and that family is always more important that money or "things".