Thursday, April 25, 2013

Its about time

This week the house that has been falling down next to our for years is gone, the guys came with their big trucks and machines and much to the delight of C and his friends they knocked it down, its gone. The light in our house has gotten much nicer its not so dark in our laundry room and kitchen any more. It all so makes our house look simultaneously better and worse. Better in that we are no longer next to the worst looking house in town and worse in now you can see so much more of our house and it really needs a little tlc. We have the paint and the pressure washer and hopefully in the next two weeks we will start the prep to begin painting the house a nice mocha color. I'll post pictures later when I find the cable to hook up the camera. Its a big improvement and we are so exited. 

Monday, April 15, 2013


I love waking up and finding the sun shinning and the weather nice. Yesterday we headed to the university plant sale and got 14 tomato plants and a few flowers to fill out our raised beds. Its still weeks before the frost date passes and it will be safe to plant them outside.  So for the time being my upstairs bathroom has been over taken by plants.   I think today we will walk down to the local food co-op and get a few seed potatoes and seed packets.
I can't wait to get C out in the garden to have him experience the joy and excitement of looking for a yummy strawberry, and picking a ripe tomato and eating it. All children should have edible plants growing at home, a potted plant in a window a small tomato plant on the patio. If every house had a garden even a tinny one it would make the whole battle against obesity and proper nutrition so much easier.

Friday, April 12, 2013

What I learned ~ All about Cloth

I knew that I was going to have a big baby, my husband was 10lb 10 oz and I was 8lb 8 oz at birth, I fully expected to be having a baby that was around 9 pounds.  Lots of blogs and things I read said that newborn diapers were pointless only fit for a week or two, and not to bother with them and just get xs covers that would last a lot longer. It seemed like good advice. I really really wish I hadn't listened.  C was 8lb11oz, he was a big boy and we probably would have been OK with ill fitting covers had he gained weight after birth, he lost a pound and took a month and a half to get back to his birth weight. We managed with small overs and prefold after a week or so of doing disposables (we went ended up using nearly three packages of newborn diapers there are maybe 6 or so left in the last package that I plan to use for the 1st day or so for the next baby so we don't have to deal with cloth and the brand new baby poop.)

Lesson one: is get a few newborn covers, buy them used,they last forever since they are only lightly used and, they have a few advantages such as the cut out for the umbilical cord and since they really do only wear them for a little while they last for ever. Lots of cloth moms pass the newborn stash of diapers around the neighborhood, so if you have friends that use cloth ask if you can borrow the newborn sizes.

Lesson two:You really do want a snappi, When we started we just couldn't see why we really needed a snappi, sure it was a littler harder to get the prefold in the cover with out one but we managed until C started rolling and I gave in and bough a snappi, Seriously wish I had done it sooner it makes prefolds so much easier. We ended up getting three one that lived in the diaper bag one that stayed on the baby and one at home on the changing table. On really messy diapers they sometimes get yucky or when changing wiggle worms its nice to be able to finish the change and wash the snappi later to get the yuck off.

Lesson three: Try a little of everything. Starting out I said we only need a few covers and prefolds, all the pockets, fitted, all in one, insert business seems unnecessary and so much more expensive. We rocked prefolds and a few brands of covers as well as a combination of snaps and apex. Starting out we loved the apex covers, I had compleatly been converted to snaps, they don't come unstuck in the wash and attack everything in the machine. We started using a combination of fitted diapers and prefolds until we out grew out current sized prefolds and all our friends were raving over one size pocket diapers so we switched and have completely fazed out our prefold usage.

Lesson four:  Start buying diapers early. I knew what I wanted and still was so overwhelmed by the choices of kinds of covers and types of prefolds. I was so worried I was going to make a mistake and I didn't want to "waste" my diaper budget buying the wrong thing.That I just couldn't bring myself to buy anything. I know now that buying something that's not right for you or your baby happens, its easy to resell your stash if you need to and having a back up of stuff you don't love is better than having no back up at all.Trust yourself really you can't go wrong. If your not sure buy one of a few different kinds of diapers and once your little one can wear them you can sell the ones you don't like and buy more of the ones you do.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Grumpy mom

C dumping the puffs and grinding them into the carpet

As a mom I feel I spend way to much time saying no, don't touch that do that, stop that, leave it. I spend way to much time feeling angry and grumpy.
I hate being an irritated mommy. I want to be one of the easy going parents and most of the time I am able to parent gently. I fully believe in attachment parenting. I know my child is a better because we don't cry it out, I listen to what he is saying and feeling and respond to his needs. Sure it means I don't have "Me time" but I feel like I get plenty of selfish time. I get to do what I want I get books read, I go out with friends, I take walks and go shopping. I just do it all with my little person snuggled up next to me.

Its getting harder as he gets older to feel like a calm easy going mommy. I get caught up in the constant redirection and it stresses me out and I end up losing my calm and snapping. I am done. I know how I want my day to go, how I want to be as a mother and I know I've gone off that path, I'm drifting and so I've decided I need a change.

I am going to try to actively work toward being a better mother, defining my ideal and figuring out what my life right now is lacking, I have started a long list of parenting books and memoirs I want to read, I have lots of projects I've been meaning to get around to. Ideas for structuring our days to avoid the dreaded toddler melt downs. I just need to put all this research into affect. Its not just parenting, its being a better wife, a better friend, its about being a better me.

I'll be posting a list of goals, a list of projects, and a list of books later and then I'll start working through the lists. I'm hoping that by having them written out and by using this blog I'll be able to keep myself on track.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Homestead daydreams

I am a little obsessed lately with the whole Homestead in your own backyard, mini farm movement that seems to be sweeping the country.

 I love the idea of The Little House in the City, vegetables growing in raised beds while small livestock like goats,sheep and bunnies graze peacefully in the backyard, the free range chickens cluck and wander laying pretty brown eggs that I whip up into delicious from scratch meals in my plastic free kitchen while wearing an apron that I sewed and embroidered myself, the panty is overflowing in homemade canned goods. At dinner we sit by the light of candles we made during afternoon craft time with the children and my darling husband sips his home brewed beer. I love the idea of this simple life with everything homemade and real not processed and packaged in plastic and just the buy more more more low quality fast life that seems to be so mainstream. I want my children to play in the dirt, I want them to know where food comes from, I want a simple life. A good life.

  In many ways the whole movement was how I was brought up, we grew a lot of our food, caned, lived simply and I want that same sort of life now. With the number of food issues we have in our house and the number of food issues that seem to keep popping up in the news suggesting that processed foods and gmo foods are really bad for us, it makes sense to get back to basics and grow our own.  I'm cheap too, I want to eat well but I can't afford to feed my family organic foods all the time, I can afford the time it takes to grow them however and so this month we have been converting our front yard in to a pretty amazing vegetable garden.  I can afford much nicer things if I buy them second hand from thrift stores and yard sales. I like the thrill of not knowing what exactly I'm going to find. I like that I could, if I wanted to, make just
about anything my family needed, I can do all sorts of crafty homemaker things that have become a novelty I can sew, can, bake, I'm good and figuring out how to make things work or go with out. I like the chalenges of being responsable for my home and family.

That's not to say that my house is always clean, it rarely is, or that we don't have nights were dinner is what ever you can find that's edible in the house. I would like to be a "better" mother and wife, to be more organized and together. I want to have the time to do all the crafty things I see on pinterest and to take the time to give my child pretty bento meals all decorated in a theme vs the same old standbys. I am human and there are only so many hours in the day.

That said I do want my house to be more.

This week the small one has been over joyed to spend the day sitting in the front yard with a spade and a pile of dirt to dig in while mommy and daddy work hard at converting a boring lawn into a bunch of raised beds. I have great plans for a large vegetable garden and its been  hard blistering work. I think once we get done its going to look amazing. We have already gotten complements from the neighbors probably because they have realized that this summer our yard wont be an over grown weed monstrosity it was last year.

Not only is a large vegetable garden on our to do list, building a chicken coop, new clothes line, jump starting the compost bin and a lot of do it from scratch recipes are on the list for this summer. Cheese making, and brewing beer are on the list too. There are lots of sewing projects like new cushions for benches and reusable bags that are on my ever grown list as well.

I'm excited I know that lots of things that go onto my list wont happen this summer, or even next but just having a list, having goals to work toward and things that I feel will make our family closer and life easier in the long run is comforting.

 I'm hoping that keeping this blog and posting my long list of Homestead wishes and Crafting to dos out in the open will be insensitive to do them, instead of spending hours looking and neat ideas on pinterest or talking about how we should have a craft night or canning party on facebook, I'm hoping that I will be able to use that time to just do it. 
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