Just a Blurb of Thanks

So I have to say, I am blown away. I have experienced a remarkable amount of positive feedback for my blog. Today alone I had two friends tell me about how my first post inspired them. One friend told me that she had decided to join me in my goals, while the other told me about how she adapted my goals to her own needs.

I am humbled and amazed that my opening up about my struggles has inspired and motivated others. So this evening, I did my dishes. And almost entirely because I know that I am not alone in this. We all struggle. We all have challenges we must face. But we can do this. One day at a time. One load of dirty dishes at a time. We *will* do this.

In what ways are you trying to change? Do you have any goals for the next month? Next year?

Making Baby Food

Its more fun with friends!

IMG_1991.JPG IMG_1992.JPG

And since Eden no longer eats purees, I decided to invite some friends over to make baby food for their children and take some pictures for my blog. We had three babies playing for the better part of a day, and it went surprisingly well! Although there were the obligatory simultaneous meltdowns…

IMG_1996.JPG

And clearly, the day must be started with a nice chai tea latte :)

IMG_2003.JPG

Before I actually made baby food, I had planned on buying a fancy baby food maker. My good friend Jena set me straight and convinced me to buy a Cuisinart food processor instead ($150 at Costco and can be used for so much more than just baby food! I have this one) This was a great decision, because I can make much bigger batches of baby food, so the process goes much faster.

To start with, the girls brought apples, sweet potatoes, carrots, yellow squash, lentils and black beans to make.

IMG_1998.JPG IMG_1999.JPG

Step one, peeling. Lots of peeling.

IMG_2001.JPG

Next, you want to chop everything into smallish chunks (helps them cook faster than big chunks).

IMG_2005.JPG

The black beans had been soaked in water over night, to speed the cooking process. Yellow squash was cut in half and the seeds removed (like you would a pumpkin) and then sliced.

Apples must be peeled and cored, so we used my handy apple peeler from Pampered Chef (this one) that I bought for $10 at a garage sale!

IMG_2009.JPG

The whole carrots were peeled and chopped, but there weren’t a ton of them, so I added some baby carrots which worked fine too. We boiled the carrots, with the water level covering all the carrots.

IMG_2010.JPG

The sweet potatoes, squash, and apples were all placed in baking dishes, mostly covered in water, and baked at 350′. Sweet potatoes and squash need about an hour, carrots and apples start with 20 minutes and then see where you are at. Your goal for the veggies is to be soft and mushable, if you get my meaning.

IMG_2012.JPG IMG_2020.JPG

Yep. We filled my entire oven.

Beans and lentils we started simmering for one hour, and then checked on them. Cook less time if you want them more firm, more time if you want them softer. Its really personal preference.

IMG_2021.JPG

And the whole stove.

Once the veggies were done, we pureed them using the Cuisinart. Use the water the veggies were cooked in to puree the food. This preserves the nutrients lost in the cooking process. Apples (and pears, etc.) are naturally watery and don’t need much water added for the puree.

IMG_2028.JPG

Allie and sweet Adelaide loading up the food processor :)

The nice thing about this is that the water the fruits are cooked in ends up being juice! We freeze it and thaw when you want to give them juice. The squash was also very watery so needed little added.

IMG_2032.JPG

Homemade apple juice!

Add more/less water based on the consistency you are wanting. For example, the sweet potatoes needed a bit more water than the carrots. But make sure you don’t use the water the carrots were cooked in to puree them. It has too many nitrates in it, so you need to use fresh water. Also, if you want a smoother texture, but not more liquid, just let the food processor run a little longer.

IMG_2038.JPG

Once everything is pureed, you can keep it in the fridge for up to 3 days before freezing it. I like two types of ice cube trays (these and these) They are great because they have lids so stack nicely, saving space in your freezer. When filling your ice cube trays, it helps to knock them a few times on the counter to get the bubbles out. Make sure you put the food in the fridge for a few hours before transferring to the freezer so that you don’t lower the temperature in your freezer too much. I like to freeze them overnight and then transfer to ziplock bags (dated so you can keep everything straight). Each cube is a one ounce serving.

IMG_2042.JPG

 

And now you have a freezer full of baby food! Yay for good friends and good times!

2013-08-23

 IMG_2044.JPG

If you have any questions or there is anything I can clarify, please let me know! I hope you enjoyed this super long post :)

Did vs Didn’t, Seeing the Positive

So I have discovered today that something I really struggle with is seeing the positive. Instead of seeing how much work I have gotten done, I can only see how much there is that still needs to be done. Today I had a wonderful friend come over to help me clean. She saw my first blog post and told me, “I love cleaning so much! Can I please come help you?!” I mean, my goodness, who would say no to that?! So today she came over to help clean. But instead of seeing how much we had accomplished in only about an hour an a half, I saw how much more needed to be done in my entire house.

This morning I made the bed. Today we scrubbed two bathrooms. Tonight I did the dishes. But what did I see? That the laundry wasn’t done. Eden’s highchair tray needed to be washed. The window sill in front of my sink is dirty. The floor isn’t swept. And on. And on. And on.

This needs to stop. If I am going to accomplish the goals I have for myself, and achieve a clean and orderly house for my family and my children, this must stop. I need to see what I *have* done. Not what I haven’t. Because there will always be something that didn’t get done.

But today Jd and I are able to look back and laugh at how incredibly messy we were in college. I mean guys, it was bad. I really was *that* roommate (once again, sorry about that guys!) But I am so incredibly determinded to change this pattern in my life! And I can positively say that I have come a *very* long way!!!

And so, for the hilarious moment of my day, but one that could bring an impressive amount of accountability…
I was brought into my manager’s office today for the yearly employee evaluation. Now since I am a new employee, we aren’t evaluating past goals, but coming up with goals for this next year. I was asked to come up with two goals, one work related, and one personal. The work related was pretty easy really, I want extra education in our area (trauma). The personal is a bit funnier.

I decided that my goal should be doing the dishes every night (since that is what I have the hardest time with) but was quickly informed (through chuckles) that it somehow needed to be a measurable goal. So that means, I need a chore chart? Like I’m in kindergarten? Okay, yeah, maybe I do need one… Fortunately she didn’t feel like a chore chart for the whole year was quite necessary, but at least a month or so.

With this in mind, I have decided to find some super cute chore chart to help me stay motivated and accountable. Maybe a Melissa and Doug magnetic one? Maybe this one? We shall see… Any fun ideas that have worked well for your family? I will let you know how it goes!

Flamingos aren’t real, are they?

No wait, I’ve seen them at the zoo – the hubs

 

So I’ve been working on a bathroom re-do for Eden’s bathroom (aka the guest bathroom). I wanted to make it more kid friendly, but not so much that it is weird that its our guest bathroom. I didn’t take any before pictures (re-do began before I started the blog) so I’ll just have to tell you about it. I had a pretty, but plain gold colored shower curtain and used tan and green towels, with no bath mat.

And then, one fateful Ikea trip, I decided I was tired of not having bath mats, and didn’t care if they didn’t perfectly match our towels, I wanted bathmats! And then, I spotted this super adorable pink flamingo shower curtain on clearance for $7! Umm, yes I want it!

IMG_1963.JPG

So since it was for Eden’s bathroom, which I wanted to be more kid friendly, I figured I might as well buy two coordinating bath towels, a hand towel and washcloth, and of course, a bathmat.

IMG_2048.JPG

I also decide to do a fun little project to bring a little bit of personalization to the bathroom. I wanted to some flamingo hand print art. I used paints I already had on hand and some basic art paper.

IMG_1969.JPG

I used kindergarten technique to make myself some pink paint from the red and white I had.

IMG_1974.JPG IMG_1967.JPG

I made several different prints because we all know that babies love to cooperate and give us perfect handprints.

IMG_1977.JPG IMG_1976.JPG

Once I had the prints made, I cleaned the baby up and put her down for a nap (she was having a meltdown haha).

Now for drawing the actual flamingo. All I did was look at some examples online, and draw a head and legs from the pink paint, and then added a beak and eyes with black paint.

IMG_2051.JPG

 

One of my friends had the adorable idea that I could have used my own thumb print for the head of the flamingo. How cute would that have been? Oh well, too late.

IMG_2054.JPG

I then picked out my two favorites and put them in frames that I already had. Don’t they look great in Eden’s flamingo bathroom?! There are still a few things I want to do for decoration in here, I’ll keep you posted!

IMG_2047.JPG IMG_2050.JPG

 It already looks much cuter and more cohesive, which was my main goal, so yay flamingos!

Scrub-a-dub Tub

Let me start this post off by saying that you don’t realize how truly gross your bathtub is until you have taken a nice camera with a good flash, and taken a picture of said bathtub. So…

We have all seen those posts on facebook that claim that baking soda is the most magical bathroom cleaning agent in the world. Well I decided to test that theory. Enter gross bathtub.

 IMG_1920.JPG

 Really, really gross bathtub

IMG_1919.JPG

So gross, I’m a bit embarrassed to put these online…

IMG_1918.JPG

But here goes nothin’

 

The pinterest ideas say to use blue dawn dish soap (also hailed as one of the most amazing cleaning agents ever, apparently amazing for stripping diapers. To be tried at a later date…) but all I had on hand was Palmolive original dish soap, so I used that. I didn’t measure anything very specifically, just eyeballed everything. I started with the baking soda, and dish soap and then added vinegar until I had the consistency I wanted (paste-like).

IMG_1925.JPG IMG_1915.JPG

Since my tub was so bad, I wasn’t convinced that just applying it and then rinsing off after a few minutes would actually work. I decided to scrub the concoction into the tub walls (using a basic Ikea scrub brush) and then let it sit.

IMG_1929.JPG IMG_1928.JPG

I scrubbed pretty much everything, including the faucet and soap dish.

IMG_1932.JPG

After scrubbing, I let it sit for probably an hour (the baby was not interested in cleaning at this time, so it sat for longer than was probably necessary) and then just rinsed it off with the shower head. Unfortunately, one pass didn’t quite do the trick.

IMG_1938.JPG

IMG_1937.JPG

And Eden decided to join me as I did a second application. This time, the results were much better (probably would have been even more dramatic if I hadn’t run out of baking soda. I used an entire box). And now I have a nice clean bathtub that I’m not afraid to bathe my baby in!

IMG_1950.JPG

IMG_1947.JPG

Admittedly, it isn’t perfect and the walls could use some love, but that’s all I got done for this day. And it spurred me on to a fun craft to add some decoration to Eden’s bathroom (more on that later! Stay tuned, it’s pretty much adorable!)

P.S. It worked really well on the sink too. Yay clean bathroom!! IMG_1961.JPG

Hey There!

Hey guys! So I’ve decided to start a blog, as you can see. I just want to share with you the joys and struggles of being a mom and wife. I know that I have found encouragement through the experiences of others, and thought I would share a few of my own.

First things first, a little about me…  If you don’t k know me already, my name is Christine. I live in Colorado with my beautiful daughter, wonderful husband,  and our two crazy dogs. I am a full time mom, and part time nurse. And I am one of the most unorganized people on earth. But I see the atmosphere of order in other homes and so badly want that for my family! And that is part of what this blog is about, learning to be a better wife and mother and bring a little bit of order into our life of chaos.

IMG_1840                                                  IMG_1595

IMG_1425

So I think I will make my goals for the year public (like my new favorite blog does here, http://www.younghouselove.com/2010/12/twenty-eleven-resolutions/) so that there is some accountability on my part. Yes I am aware that these are seemingly silly goals that everyone should already be doing, but they are goals for me none the less.

Goal #1: Do the dishes every night after dinner, unload every morning. When I am actually diligent about this, it is remarkable how much better our kitchen looks on a consistent basis.

Goal #2: One load of laundry every day, this includes folding and putting away! (Anyone else out there incredibly terrible about leaving the clean laundry in the basket? I know I’m not the only one…)

Goal #3: Make the bed every morning.

 

I have a whole bunch more goals out there for myself, but I think it is important to start small. And I know myself, and realize that if I don’t start small, I get overwhelmed and just don’t do any of it at all. And that just doesn’t work. I want my kids to grow up in a house of cleanliness where there are routines that they will take with them when they leave the house (so they won’t be the roommate in college who doesn’t do their dishes, like I was… sorry about that, guys!)

I also have plans for our home in general. Like decorating, and figuring out how to make a room look finished. Not just decorated, I can do that, but the put together look. We all have those friends with absolutely incredible decorating talents and their houses look amazing. Well, I want to be that friend. And go.

Wait, where do I start again??

 

Oh that’s right. Dishes.

IMG_1982