Friday, July 20, 2012

Diapers for college

Today as I was taking my afternoon shower (since Lucy keeps me pretty occupied until her nap time), I was thinking about how I wanted to buy one of the new Lovelace Freetime diapers by Bumgenius. They are a great diaper, which I will remind myself to do a review on this next week. Feeling a little guilty, I thought to myself, "why do I need another diaper?" I could easily diaper Lucy and another baby with the amount of fluff I have in my stash. I actually have so much fluff, I've loaned out 10 or 12 diapers to my sister-in-law to use with my adorable little niece. I am ashamed to say I may have gone slightly overboard....slightly...And I could also cloth diaper a child exclusively in wool with fitteds, and a newborn...hehehe :)

I have more, lots more....

So blah blah blah, several minutes later it hit me. I like saving money, hence the cloth diaps and making my own baby food. Maybe, I could channel all my diaper buying energy into saving money for Lucy's college fund!

(clouds open up and choir of angel babies sing hallelujah)

Why didn't I think of this earlier? Oh yeah, I was shopping online for more diapers. Oops. 

So, I'm going to challenge all of you cloth diapering mommies and daddies out there to do this with me. For each child that is in diapers, if you can make ends meet, try and put the amount of money you would have spent on disposable diapers for that week into a savings account or college fund that you have set up for your little pipsqueak. Also, if you want to be really ambitious and the bank account can take the hit, I challenge you to also put the amount of money that you would spend on baby food in there as well. Breastfeeding mommas you can put the amount you would spend on formula. Y'all get the jist, right? (This is of course on top of the actual amount you are spending for feeding your child. I am in no way suggesting that you save the money you would have spent on diapers, formula, or baby food instead of buying those supplies for your little one.) 

So I formally commit, without having discussed this with my husband at all, heretofore to stop buying diapers (after I get the lovelace one of course ;) ), and start saving what I would have spent on baby food and new diapers for Lucy's college fund.

Because in the end, I'm doing it for those cheeks. Look at my little Panda baby. Isn't she the cutest?! Once she potty trains, I'll figure something else out. Ideas anyone? 

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

The lazy mom's guide to making baby food

Yes I can! No I can't! Yes I can! Wait, I'm lazy. Why would I do that? I can't even be bothered to cook for my husband and me, why would I add on other chores?

Enter the Baby Brezza.

Just take a minute and say a little prayer of thanks to the lazy gods for giving thrifty mommies this lovely contraption


Okay, so there is a lot of debate going around the Internet "tubes" about if using one of these baby food makers is worth it.  For me, it has been. If you are reading this blog and you don't know who I am, or what kind of lifestyle I lead (doubtful), let me give you my background.

1.) I am lazy. I am a hard worker when it comes to my 9-5 job, which I am without at the moment. But when it comes to cooking and cleaning, I'm a little laissez faire.

2.) I am living in a hotel, apartment without my kitchen stuff. No blender, a toaster made by a three year old, and a coffee maker are all we have in this cozy apartment. Don't get me wrong, I'm not ungrateful, it's just hard to live in a hotel for close to six months.

3.) I cloth diaper, therefore I have extra laundry. This of course taps into my very small storage of cleaning time I allot myself each day.

When we started solids officially, I tried making food for her once and she didn't like it. I used my new Baby Brezza, and I had every intention of making all of her food. Giving her pure, organic vegetables that mother earth had offered up especially for her as a sacrifice in exchange for one day growing a more responsible steward of the planet.

She spat it up and cried hysterically. :(

Failure! Why, oh why must I suck at everything! First my daughter starts refusing my breast and now, my perfectly cooked organic carrots, pureed to perfection? So it was back to the store and eventually Plum Organics won the taste test from the world's pickiest little eater.


Well, we passed the stage 1 and 2 foods, and I had started feeding her a little off of my plate. I found out that my daughter in fact did like food, and that she had quite the adventurous palate. Curries, rillettes, and stinky French cheese were all the rage on our two week trip to Pau, France to visit friends and down to Houston to visit my family. This discovery, coupled with the empowerment I felt having taken a baby on a transatlantic flight, by myself, gave me the last push to start cooking for her again.  However, this time I had learned that she liked food that tasted like food, and not like mush.

I resurrected the Baby Brezza, pulled out my moon shaped ice cube trays and got to cooking. I looked at all the pouches of food that she liked and decided to try my hand at the same combos. Some were a hit, orange banana, and some were a flop, under cooked mashed potatoes (oops). The great thing about the BB is that you can just prep the veggies and pop them in. Then select the stem+blend option, walk away, and when you come back, they will be cooked and pureed. What? Yes. It's just that simple.

Alright, enough babbling, here are three recipes that have gone over really well with my little stinker. The two sweet ones are sized for the BB. The other one you'll just have to figure out.

Orange Banana smoothie

2 bananas
2 containers of Dole mandarin oranges (drained)

Blend and you're done!

Berries & Cream

2 containers of raspberries, washed
1 banana
2 tbsp of creme fraiche (or full fat Greek yogurt)

Blend and you're done!

Roasted Red Pepper Aioli

I got this recipe from here. I had made these fries for my husband and I and thought to myself, man, this sauce sure looks good enough to eat alone. I wonder if a certain baby would eat it? She did and she loved it!
I modified it by putting in full fat Greek yogurt instead of mayo.

1 jar of roasted red peppers patted dry and chopped up (This is the only prep you have to do, but it is required for the BB.)
1 tsp of minced garlic (you can omit this if you like)
1 container of Greek yogurt (the personal size)

Blend and enjoy :)

After about thirty minutes in the kitchen (total) I had all this food to show for it! Each of the little spaces in my trays are 1 oz portions (21 per tray). The cilantro tomatillo sauce was from dinner last night. I used it on some healthy spinach enchiladas I made and had a surplus so I figured I would save it. She ended up loving it for lunch! 

That's all for now. Remember mommas, this should be fun! If you don't like making your own baby food, then don't! Whatever you feel comfortable with doing should be king. I love the fact that my daughter eats my food and whines for it when I'm not feeding her fast enough. It gives me a sense of accomplishment and boosts my self esteem. We had a really hard time with breastfeeding, and I suffered a lot of rejection along the way. This is my way of doing a little work and seeing the pay off :)

Happy blending everyone!

Monday, July 2, 2012

Diaper liners, traveling, and improvising

Parents improvise to survive. It's a skill you learn early on, and perfect around 3 a.m., when your newborn is screaming their head off and they aren't hungry, won't go to sleep, and the diaper has just been changed.

What do you do?

You improvise.

You dance around the house, singing, kissing, and enduring the screaming until it subsides, because whether you like it or not, that baby is going to cry until it's decided to stop.

Well, this post is not about how to soothe a fussy baby. I'm no expert. I know my daughter, and what she likes. Babies are like snowflakes, and pissed off babies are unique little bundles of concentrated fury that only can be mastered by patience and copious amounts of vodka love.

With all of this in mind, I'm going to segue into something completely different, diaper liners. By now, you may have noticed that your child doesn't just pee in diapers. They also do something else that I'm going to refer to now as poop. Birds do it. We do it. I'm not sure if bees do, but Ella, I apologize for soiling your song. I found myself two weeks ago packing for a little vacation for two to the grandparents’ house. I was faced with the question, did I want to cloth diaper while at their house? I have in the past, but this time, we would be flying instead of driving, and I had to weigh the cost of paying for an extra suitcase with buying disposables. I quickly decided to stop doing that because it involved math and committed to cloth diapering so I could blog about it.

I packed up the little one's suitcase with the usual necessities; diapers, wet bags, and clothes for the sahareque temperatures. This time I brought a second large wet bag instead of my pail liner, and I have to say, it was a lot easier because it doubled as a wet bag, which was convenient when leaving the house. haha...However, I had forgotten one of the most important things you mustn’t forget if your child is eating some solids, on formula, or no longer on breast milk.

Diaper liners.

Oh dear lord, I was screwed. If by some freak accident you have arrived at this post and you have not changed a gooey, smelly, peanut buttery diaper lately, let me just tell you that it is not shall we say, not messy. That's right, I just wrote that sentence and I'm not taking it back.

Needless to say, when I arrived in Houston I had a little moment of panic, followed by an epiphany. Why not use paper towels instead?

(For those of you who do not know what diaper liners are, let me enseigner you into the finer points of poopy diaper management. Diaper liners are god's gift to mothers who cloth diaper and whose children have not yet been potty trained. They come in biodegradable and reusable. Personally, I don't see the point of the reusable ones, especially if you use the Bummis brand.*)

So, did it work?

Yes they do, and they were a convenient solution. I honestly would not have been able to do it without them as I was also without my diaper sprayer. The only thing I didn't like was that they were not as sturdy and some of the fabric would break down and stick on my daughter's bum.

Now on to the greatest part of this post-The Bummis liners that I use can be washed and reused at least once, sometimes twice. How cool is that? I had read a review on Amazon when purchasing these in which the reviewer explained that she had done this and I thought to myself, how stupid. Are you really that frugal that you need to rewash disposable diaper liners? You're cloth diapering already. Seriously? Well, by accident some of the liners got into the diaper pail and what do you know, they survived the washer and dryer! I actually prefer the washed ones because they are softer and the weave becomes tighter.

Above you can see a picture of three liners. The first is new, the second has been washed once, and I don't know what happened to the third one. My daughter has had some pretty violent reactions down under, but I haven't noticed anything that could produce that kind of damage. (Just for a little perspective, the middle one is plenty wide and long enough for the diaper. These are the large ones, and the width is quite a bit larger than the actual diaper.)

That's all I have about diaper liners. Until next time!