Friday, November 26, 2010

6 Years

On November 13th, Jared and I celebrated our 6th wedding anniversary. It's hard to fathom that it was 6 years ago that we said "I do". Some days it feels like it's been so much longer, but other days I feel like we're still newlyweds and we're just pretending to be a grown-up married couple. I hope we can say the same thing when we're celebrating our 50th wedding anniversary! Don't get my wrong, we've had our bumps along the way - but for the most part it's been a very smooth ride and I wouldn't change a single minute of it.

To celebrate this year we decided to eat in and then see a double feature at the cheap theatre. I made a delicious meal of butternut squash soup with chicken caesar salad. We didn't have time for dessert or we would have been really late for the first movie - but it was worth the wait! Homemade white chocolate brownie with whipped cream and chocolate sauce. YUM! All in all, it was a wonderful night. We really like movies, so it was the perfect date! And coming home to no children and being able to sleep the ENTIRE night without being woken up once as also divine!!!

Friday, November 12, 2010

Baby Food Making Central

Eating fresh food is always something Jared and I have strived to do. I've never been the type to buy a lot of pre-packaged, pre-made food. I grew up eating things fresh out of my mom's garden and there's nothing that beats home grown food.

After Xavier was born I looked into making my own baby food, but at the time we were living with my inlaws and I really didn't want to take over their kitchen for days at a time to make food - plus we didn't have a ton of freezer space for me to store it. With Shaela, I started making some of my own, but the small food chopper I had just wasn't cutting it, so I made a few batches of stuff, but ended up buying mostly jarred food for her. With Cohen, however, I was determined that he would never eat baby food from the store. Everything he ate would be made by moi. The one exception to that is cereal, since I don't really know how you would make that....maybe I'll research it for the next one.... foray into making baby food needed to start with a good food processor. Our blender is terrible and the small one I had when Shaela was a baby was not going to work. I needed to invest in a good one. After asking around, I determined I would buy this one and then I sat around for two weeks eagerly awaiting its arrival. When it finally came, I was so happy! I went to the store the next day and spent about $30 on fresh produce - which should last us until Cohen is ready for more solid foods.

The next day I got started! So far, my list of foods made is: corn, carrots, sweet potatoes, butternut squash, acorn squash, summer squash, spinach with bok-choy leaves, green beans, apples, eggplant, and beef with some spinach thrown in. Still on my list of foods to make: plums, mangoes, chicken, rutabaga, and peas. After reading a few different blogs on methods for making baby food, I decided the simpler, the better. In order to make sure there are no allergies to anything, I didn't want a ton of additives in the food (like chicken broth, which is what a lot of people apparently add. I don't think babies really need all the sodium that's in that stuff!).

I basically steam or bake everything first, and then throw it in the food processor until it's a smooth puree. If I need to add a bit more liquid to thin something out, I either use breastmilk or water. Then once the puree is the right consistency, I freeze whatever I've made in ice cube trays. Cover with a layer of plastic wrap, so they don't get freezer burn and the next day, put the cubes in freezer safe ziplocs. Simple, fast, and oh-so-yummy for my little munchkin! Whenever he's ready for a meal, we pop two cubes in the microwave to defrost and warm the food a little and we're good to go. I love it! Just make sure you label your bags. :)

Of course, this post would not be complete without pictures of my handi-work!

 Green beans being steamed. Corn in the food processor and then ready for the freezer.

Fresh Gala apples (our favorite!). 
I peeled and cored them, steamed until soft, and they pureed like a dream! No additives needed!

 Butternut squash frozen and waiting to be bagged, and the freezer, nicely stocked for the next months of meal-times!

{Did you also know you can make your own nut butters in a food processor? I made almond butter last week - delish! Can't wait to try peanut butter when the jar I just bought runs out! (Did you know there is added sugar in there?!?!?) Also did a batch of hummus two nights ago. This thing is seriously my new favorite kitchen tool.} 

One Small Victory

Xavier slept through the night DRY last night!!!! WHOO-HOO! For those of you who are in the throes of potty training - or have just recently finished potty training, you'll know why I'm so excited for this! It may seem like a small thing, but the joys that will be present in my life if he keeps this up!

He was 4 in June, so not so old that it's a bad thing that he's still wetting the bed at night. But the constant laundry and the dealing with him asking to wear underwear to bed. It gets old. FAST! The last few nights he's been going almost the whole night without peeing his bed....and then last night, he went the entire night without a drop! We are soooo proud of him! And sooo hoping he'll keep it up! We'll see how tonight goes....

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Batman and Cat Girl

My beautiful children decided this year that they wanted to be Batman and a cat for Halloween. Xavier's costume we found on sale at Sears for $10. SCORE! Shaela's on the other hand, proved to be a bit of a challenge. We're not the type of people to start buying costumes for our kids ridiculouly early. Or even think about buying costumes that early. We like to wait until about a week before. And then start planning. Cuz, you know, working under pressure is so much more fun! :P

Anyway...after hitting up every store I could think of that might sell a cheap cat costume, I was out of luck. I couldn't find one anywhere! So, I got creative - which I love. Walmart had black stretch pants and a black shirt for $6 each. I picked up a nice thick headband there as well. And then went to the fabric store for some black fleece, which cost me less than $2.00. A couple hours later, I had sewed a tail, stuffed it with plastic shopping bags and stitched it to the pants. I also cut out ears and sewed them to a larger piece of the fleece. Then hot-glued it onto the headband. Voila - cat girl! Oh, and I picked up some black mini-mitts and stuck white felt onto them to make them look like paws. Add on some whiskers and a pink nose and she was the cutest cat on the block!