Let’s Make Baby Food

I like to make my own baby food. I find it satisfying.  I made I’s baby food when he was little and I had always planned to make M & E’s baby food as well. So far so good.

The trouble is they eat too much. I make a huge (or so I think) batch of baby food and it is gone in a week.

My “go to” food is carrot. They are inexpensive and I can make a huge batch. I have on occasion turned my kids orange! OOOPS!

Foods we have made so far:

  • Carrots
  • Squash
  • Cauliflower (a surprising success)
  • Sweet Potatoes
  • Plum
  • Milled Rice Cereal
  • Banana Purée
  • Peas
  • White Potato Purée
  • Apple Sauce
  • Cantaloupe

First, I steam or bake the vegetables then with either my Baby Bullet or food processor I purée the veggies. Then I freeze the baby food in ice-cube trays.  I then dispense the frozen ice cubes into containers and store in the freezer.  It is convenient and I know exactly what I am giving to them. It makes me happy to make their food!

Today, I had a long to-do list (one for Husband dearest too…I don’t think we stopped moving from 6am – 7pm aside from eating lunch and dinner [even at that we each have at least one other mouth to feed while we eat HA!])!

I made batches of cantaloupe, carrots, cauliflower and milled rice cereal.

6 lbs of carrots to be peeled, cut and steamed.

Brown Rice ready to be simmered into “yummy” rice cereal.

My first batch of cantaloupe.  Younger Son liked it more than Baby Girl (but then again he tends to like ALL foods more than her)!

Phew…I am finished.

12 x Rice Cereal portions

12 x Cauliflower portions

20 x Cantaloupe portions

3lbs of Carrots (I decided against the 2nd 3lb bag) (Carrot soup this week?)

Thanks for visiting.

S

ps. While waiting for the rice to cook I decided to make a treat for my monkey and make homemade chocolate syrup for Older Son’s “treat” at lunch (note: we loved the deck weather…brisk wind…but we’ll take it)! THUMBS UP MOM! I LOVE CHOCOLATE MILK!

Grocery Challenge

 

I created a challenge for myself.  Do not grocery shop for 2 weeks (1 cheat allowed – fresh fruit).

In a previous post, I wrote about our new membership to a farm share.  We have been enjoying our delivered meat, vegetables and eggs on a bi-weekly basis.  However there is still a need for grocery shopping.  I have also shared a couple of my experiences shopping with my children (I love shopping. I love my children. Shopping + Children = not my favourite)!

My challenge was to grocery shop for 2 weeks worth of food. Our typical pattern is to shop once per week. I make a meal plan and loosely stick to it.  But 2 weeks? Could I do it? From the beginning of the challenge I decided that at the end of the first week I could go to No Frills for 2 items: bananas and apples. We eat tons of them with little kids!

April 13 – Grocery Trip for 2 weeks worth of groceries = $126

April 20 – Grocery Trip (Bananas and Apples) $5.98! Woot Woot!

April 27 – We are allowed to grocery shop again. TODAY! Phew. The fridge is looking bare and we are out of milk and cheese. Isaac resorted to having rice milk in his cereal this morning.  We all have to make sacrifices!

The result:  

Successful. We had plenty of food to eat, entertained a few visitors and still have food leftover in the fridge. I am going to try it again. I felt liberated last week when I knew that I did not have to make a big, grocery trip.  Granted the farm share delivery helped us achieve this goal when fresh eggs and veggies were delivered ($18 (veg) + 2 dozen eggs ($9) should be added to the total).

Thanks for visiting.

S

ps. The babies are eating lots of solids now. They are starting to eat finger foods like bread (GF for Max), little pieces of banana and even had French Toast today!  We may have to increase the food budget to accommodate a family of FIVE eaters now.

Don’t Forget to Stop and Smell the Roses…Oh wait…I can’t!

I have no sense of smell.

Really, I have no sense of smell. If you have ever asked me to smell something and I answered you …I lied when I answered you! I am sorry.  It is sometimes easier to pretend that I can smell then to answer the usual questions that follow…

Have you ever had a sense of smell? Not that I can remember.

Can you taste? Not like you.

Can you smell flowers? No. I cannot smell.

Can you smell cookies? No. I cannot smell.

Can you smell bad smells? No. Seriously I cannot smell. There are perks.  I cannot smell dirty diapers.

Do you miss your sense of smell? Yes. I am curious to know what it is like to smell cookies baking, freshly bathed children and so on. I am envious of those who have such fond smell-related memories such as, the smell of a person or a place.

When did you realize? When I was a teenager, I told my parents that I could not smell. They took awhile to actually believe me!  They eventually took me to a specialist who determined that I do, in fact, have nerve damage.  It cannot be fixed. Darn!

While researching I found this part particularly interesting “Often people who have congenital anosmia report that they pretended to be able to smell as children because they thought that smelling was something that older/mature people could do, or did not understand the concept of smelling but did not want to appear different from others. When children get older, they often realize and report to their parents that they do not actually possess a sense of smell, often to the surprise of their parents (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anosmia)”.  I distinctly remember trying to pretend that I could smell as a child. I really had no idea what people where talking about! ha!

No sense of smell? Is that even possible??? Anosmia (pronounced /ænˈɒzmiə/) is a lack of functioning olfaction, or in other words, an inability to perceive odors (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anosmia).

How many people have Anosmia?

The true incidence of anosmia is difficult to determine, although the National Institutes of Health have estimated that more than 2 million persons in the United States have a smell dysfunction.
– Ear, Nose and Throat Journal December 1, 2001

Aside from the inconvenience of it (having to visually check for dirty diapers) (not being able to detect what is for dinner until I actually see it…not such a problem anymore since I usually am cooking dinner)! 😛

There is a dangerous side to Anosmia in my inability to detect things like gas leaks (the irony is not lost on me considering my place of employment), spoiled foods and fire.  It is important to take extra precautions.  I am always leery of foods that I am not sure how long they have been in the fridge.

I think my mom is the one person who is most in denial or disbelief about my “disability”.  She is constantly asking me to smell this or that. To which I exclaim “MOM I CAN’T SMELL”!!! I don’t blame her. She means no offence. But it would be like asking a person who is blind to look over there! Not possible.

Dear Mom: There is even an Anosmia Foundation (http://www.anosmiafoundation.com/intro.shtml).

I often compare my lack of smell to someone who is blind. I am blind to warning signs or precursors to events.  Our toaster has recently been malfunctioning.  I NEVER catch it because I cannot smell the burning toast. It comes out charred, black (as a side note: it is extremely frustrating when it is my LAST piece of GF bread). I almost cry.

All in all..I live a full life without my sense of smell.  It has been a missing piece of me for as long as I can remember.  I do wish that I could smell my kids, my husband (although sometimes I am glad that I can’t JK! love you! and my favourite foods.  But I am thankful for the senses that I do have. I am lucky.

Moral of the story…next time you take in a big whiff of your favourite food…be thankful for your sense of smell. Don’t take it for granted!!

Thanks for visiting & letting me share.

S

Flying Solo

The plan. Andrew will come home from work. Have dinner. Take kids to Canadian Tire to buy an Outdoor Rug ( Very excited to have our covered porch re-finished for this SUMMER woot woot). Sounds simple?

2:30pm. Dinner prep begins. M & E have “solids” and snack on Cheerios while watching mommy prepare dinner. Isaac Naps.

4pm. Isaac wakes up and runs around like a maniac. Daddy arrives home. Dinner preparation ends. Dinner is served by…

5pm. Family eats dinner.  M & E are thankfully entertained by Older Sons’ “antics”.

5:20pm. Family finishes dinner & Andrew says “Why don’t you go shopping by yourself and I will take the kids on a walk?”

SCREEEECCH. What?

Sarah:” Um. Okay. That would be nice (the plan has changed)”. By myself? How long can I take? What will I do? Will they be fine? When did I last feed them?

5:30pm Sarah leaves home & travels to Canadian Tire and Winners (which really is quite the treasure trove…I could really, really use some new clothes about now).

The whole time I am shopping I feel almost naked. I must have forgotten something. I have my purse. I have my car keys. I have my wallet. I take a quick peek at my hair…not horrible…not great but at least it is in a ponytail!  I am wearing a somewhat matching outfit and it is somewhat clean.  A few slobber marks from M & E.  I reach into my pockets. I pull out a toy car, a soother, a wad of scrunched up Kleenex etc. What has happened to me?

Most days I dream of being able to walk out my front door uninhibited and run errands freely.  I finally have the chance to leave the house by myself and I am a ball of nerves. I feel strange. Out of place. I feel like no one around me can possibly understand who I am …because they do not realize that I have been up since 5am with a two-year old and two eight month old babies. It is an unsettling feeling when your identity is so closely tied up with three, small people.  They belong with me and I with them!

I tell myself to calm down and enjoy this rare experience of solitude.  It is only an hour after all. There is always the nine to ten hours tomorrow while A is at work.

In the end, I found the outdoor carpet that I was looking for (20% off…woohoo). It will be perfect for little babes crawling around on summer afternoons.  *Sigh* I can hardly wait!

Summer is right around the corner…anyone else excited?!?!

Thanks for visiting.

S

Easter Egg Garland

It is almost Easter!!

We have little decorations for Easter so I decided to make it into a fun afternoon craft with Older Son (craft + 2 year old boy = mommy making the craft and him drifting around the kitchen OR crashing his cars).  In the end, he said “that’s cool mom” so it was worth the effort.

Last week, I painstakingly poked kitchen string through the tiny hole on the top of plastic Easter eggs to hang on our tree out front (and yes, I am aware that some eggs do come with a string…but the upheavel it would have caused to pack them up and head to Walmart…I decided stringing up 12 plastic eggs would be easier)!

This week’s craft is a DIY Easter Egg Garland. It is the ultimate in “cheap and cheerful”.

Supplies:

*Paint Chips in a multitude of Easter-y type colours ——FREE (a Big Thanks to Home Depot)

*String (in the end I used dental floss) ——-FREE

*Template of an Easter Egg (found online) or free hand ——FREE

* Scissors —–FREE (we already had them)

*Patience!

The excitement of running around with our flimsy, little Easter Egg garland to find the perfect resting place = Priceless!

Thanks for visiting!  Happy Easter!

S

ps. I am feeling my strength weakening around all this CHOCOLATE and SUGAR.  I was so close to eating a whole batch of brownies under my kitchen table the other night. I love Max too much …but…would one bite hurt him? just one little bite…..

Farm Share

We now call ourselves “farmers”.  We aren’t. Not even close!

We signed up for a farm share at a nearby farm.  If you have not heard of a farm share or a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture program) it is a neat way to encourage people to eat locally as well as healthier in addition to supporting farming in your community.  You pay for a “share” upfront and commit to purchase a weekly or bi-weekly (winter months) share of farm fresh vegetables, eggs and/or meat (beef/chicken/pork).

We decided to try it out. Last Thursday our first delivery arrived at our doorstep around 5pm.  They placed our 1/2 bushel of vegetables into a cooler that I had left on our step! What service!  Our 1/2 bushel last week included lettuce, beets, carrots, tomatoes and spinach as well as two dozen eggs.  The catch is that you have to adapt to what is given to you…if you really feel like potatoes and you are not given potatoes…scratch potatoes off Sunday’s menu!  I hope it will encourage us to be more adventurous in our meal plan and the food will certainly be fresher.

We are excited to try the Farm Share experience.

Did I mention I do not like beets? Uh oh!

Thanks for visiting!

S

If you are interested check out the website:

http://www.coopersfarm.ca/Index.html