Friday, October 25, 2013

Homemade Baby Food From a Mama Who Doesn't Cook

Okay, so I have to admit... when I first read about mamas making their own baby food my first thought was "I don't even cook for myself and Mark, why would I cook for the baby". But then Jase was born, and the motherly instincts kicked in and I wanted to do it all... I wanted to be the cloth-diapering, strictly-nursing, baby food-making mama. Well, the cloth diapers are leaking, my milk wasn't coming in enough but the baby food... I CAN DO IT! And you can too...

Before we started at 5 months I researched everything... but I was hung up on what I needed. Do I get a blender or food processor? Baby Bullet or Beaba? Steamer or press? Silicone trays? Ice cube trays? And don't even get me started on storage... I have come to the conclusion that every mama has her own system and what works for one, might not work for another. Here is what I do... so take it for what its worth.

I start with fruits and veggies. I buy frozen... We eat frozen veggies so our son will too. All of this cost about $14.

I usually do one fruit or veggie at a time. I developed a schedule where every Sunday afternoon I set aside an hour and make one fruit and one veggie. Because they last so long I didn't need to do more than that a week. This allowed for a great rotation and many choices for him. I just started by peeling (if needed). This here is squash... one of his favorites.

Next, I cube it and put it in a pot with just enough water to cover it. Bring it to a boil for about 5-10 minutes.

I then drain the water but keep it in a bowl. For some fruits or veggies you may need to add water to make it the consistency that you little one likes/needs. If I do need to add water I use this excess water because it still has some of the nutrients in it. I just use a basic blender that has a puree setting. I debated on the baby bullet or some of the others but figured to try our brand new blender that has been sitting in our cupboard never used since our wedding... and it works!

Once I have gotten the consistency I want I spoon it into one ounce ice cube trays. I picked these up at Wal-Mart. Pros: Cheap in cost, comes with a cover Cons: It is hard to get the cubes out (I have to run warm water over the bottom) You can find the trays here.

I then place the cubes in a zip locked bag with the date labled on it and stick it in the freezer. These cubes are great when eating at home... I just pop one or two out, warm it up (be careful with the microwave) and dinner is served.

When we go out and feed him away from home I like to use these pouches. They can be bought at Babies R Us and the whole system is less than $30. You just scoop the food in then use the little tool to push it right in. You can find the Fresh Squeeze Station here.

These are great to throw in the diaper bag and eat on the run. They even have a spoon attachment so no bowl is needed.

Again, by no means am I a pro in the kitchen but I have found that this is so easy, healthier, and much much cheaper.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Happy BIRTHday Jase!

I was told by so many people to spend the night before my induction relaxing, spending some quality time with Mark, and getting the last few things together... This is exactly was I was expecting to do when I was told Wednesday morning that I would be induced on Thursday. Mark and I were going to go to church, go out to eat for the very last time as just husband and wife, then head home to finish packing, spend some time with Ruby, and get a good nights sleep. But then the storm came... and the power went out... for 5 hours! Just as we were getting ready to leave for church lightening hit a pole down the street and the power was gone! We also thought we had a power line down across our driveway but it turned out just to be a phone line... phew! We still managed to get to church and go out to the Olive Garden for dinner but as for the rest... we were at my parents until 11:00 then finally decided to head home to pack by flashlight. Thankfully though, as we were driving up the street we saw the lights slowly start to come on. We did what we needed to do, headed to bed at 2:00 with our alarms set for 4 am.

4:00 am: Beep Beep Beep... the alarm went off and woke me from a very light sleep. I hopped in the shower and started to get ready for our big day.

5:15 am: Nothing beats a McDonalds breakfast

5:30 am: Arrive at the hospital only to find out that they were not expecting me... ugh!

6:00 am: The nurse prepped me for my IV and we got the party started! This nurse also gave Mark a very important piece of advice... EAT! She said there is nothing worse than a husband passed out on the floor!

8:00 am: The anesthesiologist came in and began my epidural. My doctor wanted it done early because she said my cervix wasn't favorable... I gladly agreed :)

9:00 am: Dr. DeMartino came in and broke my water.

11:00 am: 3 cm dilated

12:00 pm: My parents arrive and shortly after Mark's arrive. The pastor also stopped by and prayed for a healthy baby and a safe delivery.

4:00 pm: 4 cm dilated

5:00 pm: 4 cm dilated

6:30 pm: Still 4 cm dilated... At this time the nurse came in and told us that the doctor wanted her to prep me for a C-Section. I immediately began to cry... I didn't really have a plan but the little bit of a plan that I did have did not include a C-Section. I was crushed... I felt like I was being robbed of a moment I had been waiting for... After talking it over with Mark and my mom, and after praying about it, Mark asked the doctor for one more hour to see if any progress will come. I think the only reason why the doctor approved was because she wasn't even at the hospital yet...

7:30 pm: The doctor arrived and to satisfy our request she checked me one last time... WHAT?!?!? 10 cm? Really? Sure enough, I had progressed to 10 cm in that short time. I had started to feel the contractions but I just thought that the epidural was wearing off... never would I have thought I would be ready to push...

9:00 pm: This was when I really began pushing. The hardest part for me... holding my breath for so long. Mark was great. He was holding my leg and so encouraging.

9:23 pm: Welcome to the world Jase! I can't even put into words what this moment felt like... everything was happening so fast but yet slowly going through my mind. The overwhelming sense of joy I felt when he was placed in my arms... I just cried and cried...

10:00 pm: The family came in and Jase got to meet Mamaw and Papaw, Grandma and Grandpa, and Aunt Christy and Uncle JD...

I look at this little boy and I cannot thank God enough for my precious son. I loved him while I was carrying him but the love you experience when you hold your child for the first time... well, there aren't words that can describe it. 

Monday, March 25, 2013

Camping Themed Baby Shower

Mark and I celebrated Jase with our closest family and friends at the beginning of the month. I wanted something new and different for our shower theme and fell in love with an outdoors/camping theme. All of my inspiration came from here. Here are a few of our pictures...

Our centerpieces consisted of a campfire, trail mix, balloons, and a camping bear table number
Here is a table with the balloons. They were made with tulle instead of string.
Trail Mix
The table from a different perspective. The party favors were AVON lotion tubes with flowers on them. Every table also had a rustic silverware package and a Baby Bingo Board.
Silverware Package... I used brown lunch bags and got 6 packages out of 1 bag. I then stamped them with words like 'enjoy', 'dig in', or 'eat'.
Baked Potato Bar 
We had chili and chicken and dumpling soup to go along with the baked potato... and it was a cold snowy day... perfect for the two!

'Jase Thomas' onesie banner I made using my cricut
Guests were encouraged to write daddy a little message on the diaper to make him laugh during his late night diaper changes!
Some of the messages were so funny!
Our Wishing Tree: Guests were encouraged to write a wish for Baby Jase, mommy and daddy!

Here are some handmade gifts that I received and absolutely LOVE... I know some very talented people!

This probably has to be my favorite gift and it was made by my dad! I love, love, LOVE my tree bookshelf. It will fit perfectly in Jase's room. (He even made a little tree stand to go with it!) Thanks Dad!

Rachel, my matron of honor, made me a baby quilt out of the bridesmaid dress she wore in my wedding. The material from the dress is the dark blue patches... love this more than ever! It will be a forever keepsake!

Christy and her boyfriend's mother, Lynn, made Jase crocheted football helmets... here is the Bengals one and there is also a Dallas Cowboys one for when he is with grandma and grandpa.

My mom, dad, sister and brother had many personalized onesies and bibs made... This one is from Christy and says "If you think I'm loud you should hear my aunt"... another one says "If you think I'm cute you should see my uncle". They even made a bib that has a picture of Ruby, our dog, on it and it says "Best Friends Forever"
Another gift from Rachel... she made a 4-Wheeler diaper cake. I wish we had gotten a better picture of it!
Mark and I are so blessed with such wonderful friends and family! We love each and every one of you and appreciate all that you do for us. We can't wait to welcome Jase Thomas into the world and introduce you all to him. We know you will love him as much as you love the both of us! Thank you for all of your gifts and well wishes!

Thursday, March 14, 2013

March Craft Night

With Easter just around the corner what better way to decorate than with some colorful string Easter eggs?
For our March Craft Night we followed Alissa's directions from Craft Endeavor to create our centerpieces. The directions were very easy to follow and the craft was a huge success. A bit messy... okay very messy, but the eggs turned out great!
Thank you to all the ladies who came out and a special thank you to those who provided the snacks, devotion, and door prize!

Now let's see how everyone's eggs turned out! Pictures please :)
Mari decided to hang hers as garland over the fireplace!
Trista has all her eggs in a basket :)

Monday, January 14, 2013

A Wedding Ornament

So one of my very close friends got married this weekend and I was able to make another invitation ornament. I have to say... this is kind of my 'go-to' handmade wedding gift. Its so easy but yet looks so nice and is a great keepsake for the bride and groom.

A clear glass or plastic ornament
The wedding invitation
A paper cutter
A pencil
Ribbon to match the colors

 Step 1: Find the wedding invitation... (And make sure you copy down all information so that you know where the reception is and what time both the ceremony and reception start...)
 Step 2: Using your paper cutter, slice the invitation into strips. Each strip should have only one line of text on it. It doesn't matter if some are thicker than others... you won't be able to tell. I also only use the strips with 'wedding' text (For example if the invitation gives directions I don't include the directions or information like that.)
 Step 3: Using a pencil, loosely wrap each strip around to form a curly-q. (Yes, that is a technical term.)
 Here is what you will get. Don't worry if it looks to 'tight'. They will loosen up and expand once in the bulb.
 Step 4: Place each strip into the ornament. I found that rolling it in a small circle then poking it through the top works best. If you feed it through, one end to the other, it tends to uncurl.
Step 5: Add a ribbon to the top and there you have it! Now the bride and groom have a copy of their wedding invitation and an ornament to remember their wedding by every Christmas!

What are some wedding keepsake ideas you use?

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Why I Love My Husband

This time of year I really start to think about my love for my husband. You can find our Love Story here but here is a Cliff's Notes version... Mark and I 'met' in seventh grade at youth camp. The boys from his church roomed with the boys from my church and they became friends. I on the  other hand, wanted nothing to do with the boys from his church. Fast forward about 15 years and we started casually talking on Facebook. That January he was working at Seneca Lake Youth Camp and I went as a chaperon for our girls. After spending a little time together that weekend he asked me for my number. He called the NEXT day... he was such a gentleman that he did not need the whole 3 day rule!!! Our conversations from that night on were at least 3 hours... every night. 2 weeks later he came up to Poland, from Louisville KY, for our first date. Due to the snow that date ended up being a weekend and by Sunday I. Was. In. LOVE. Monday on the phone he asked me if I wanted a silver or gold ring! Wow... So, why do I love this man?

1. He has such a love for God! Many of our conversations revolve around loving the Lord and trying to be faithful to his calling for us as a couple.

2. He is so funny! Just yesterday he had me laughing so hard I was crying... and it wasn't even trying to be funny! He sings, he dances, and he just likes to goof off and have fun!

3. He is my rock! He has gotten me through many ups and downs. With him by my side I can accomplish anything.

4. He is faithful! I love knowing that he only has eyes for me. He makes sure I know that I am the only one for him.

5. He is oh-so-SEXY! Especially in his Bengals jersey and hat turned backwards... Hubba Hubba!

Now I could go on and on but for times sake I would say that this is why I love my husband! Join me over at Happy Wives Club and link up your post on why you love your husband. Why I Love My Husband