Sunday, March 23, 2014

Our Garden!

I'm so excited to finally have a yard to garden in! I have big plans for our yard. This year we won't be able to have quite as big of a garden as I would like, but we've got a few little plants in the ground and plans to get ready for next spring!


Here is where I plan to build our raised beds.
I'm leaning towards using cinder blocks for the bed. 




Here is our persimmons tree. It had fruit on it pretty
well into the winter. I'm hoping it'll liven up again soon.



Eventually I will clear this out and use this bed as well.
I'd like to try some hardy herbs in this spot.

This bed was cleared out and is home to our
little garden for this year. Next year I'd like to make this the
boys' plot and let them pick what they'd like to grow.


Here's Alex with our little garden!
We've got two tomato plants and four pots of leaf lettuce.
We got the plants from a local nursery: Deep Roots Nursery
which uses heirloom seeds and natural growing methods.

What's going into your garden this year?

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Compost!

As part of our gardening plans and attempts at a more sustainable lifestyle, we've started a compost! Now, at first, I really liked the idea of a simple, open air compost, but then Alex hit the toddler stage and I realized I wouldn't be able to let him in the backyard without worrying he'd come running up with some rotting banana peels.

So I started looking at composters and oh my goodness were they expensive! I can't believe people pay over $100 for a box to put trash in. It just blows my frugal little mind! Obviously, the commercial composters weren't for us. Luckily I come across several others who seemed to have the same problem as we did and had found a solution!

After reading multiple articles and blogs, I had a plan, and my husband had a job to do! :) We (and by "we" I mean "he") made a compost bin out of an old storage tub. Bonus: the tub has locking handles!

It really is simple, though maybe a bit time consuming.
Take a dark colored plastic storage bin and drill holes in all
sides, bottom included. This allows for proper airflow and drainage.

I can't wait until we have usable compost! Does your family compost? What kind of container do you use, or do you?

Bacon Pancakes!

When a post about bacon pancakes came across my husband's Facebook feed, it was determined that I must make this coupling of his two favorite breakfast foods. I'm pleased to say that it was rather easy and tasty. We decided it could use something a bit sweet to match the bacon's saltiness (we don't generally use syrup) so next time we're going to add chocolate chips to the pancake mix first.

Cook the bacon as you would normally, try to keep it flat.
Mix up your pancakes using whatever recipe/mix you like.
After the bacon is fully cooked, lay it out on the griddle
(you could use a skillet but that would take much longer).
Then pour your pancake mix over each slice.

Flip the bacon pancakes and keep cooking until the pancake is done.
Whole foods- use a homemade pancake mix with whole flours
Vegetarian- use a meat-less bacon
Vegan- meat-less bacon and a vegan pancake mix
(non-dairy milk and egg substitute)

Enjoy! 

It really was that simple! These would be great for potluck brunches, breakfast after a little kid sleep over, Father's Day treats, really any time you'd like to serve bacon and pancakes and make it just a little fancier.

Friday, March 7, 2014

International Women's Day

Check out today's Google Doodle for an awesome tribute to women! I love that the doodle includes women of all different backgrounds! The theme of this year's International Women's Day is "Inspiring Change" focused on encouraging positive moves towards equality.  I'd like to encourage you to embrace International Women's Day and celebrate the women in your life and their contributions to our collective life. Consider ways that you might help to make your home, workplace, or church more equitable between the sexes and then take action!

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Alex's First Haircut!

We had a big milestone today. It was Alex's first haircut! We hadn't cut Alex's hair at all and it had gotten really long. I had put off the haircut for as long as I could, but I couldn't style Alex's hair out of his face any longer so it was time to bit the bullet and let the hair fly!

Here's Alex a few weeks ago with his long blonde hair.
Many of these hairs have been there since birth.
Some were even seen on his ultrasound!

My grandparents were in town to meet Locke and were glad to accompany us to Alex's first haircut. We went to the local Cool Cuts. Alex did great! He got a little antsy but he never cried or got upset. The stylist did a great job and was really quick. I was quite impressed with how she handled him and the facility was very neat and clean. (Abilene folk- it may be expensive, but it's worth it for a hassle-free and low-stress event, which with little ones, can be worth a lot more than a haircut!)


We also got a little lock of hair in a special certificate/photo page keepsake thing. It's kinda sad to think that my first boy is growing up so fast. He's not a baby anymore, but he's growing into a very fine young lad.

Friday, February 14, 2014

My First Basket!

I just picked up my first Bountiful Baskets basket. I don't know that I've ever been so excited about produce. Seriously, I got excited about seeing what veggies I'd get and I'm not a veggie-lover.

Bountiful Baskets is a food co-op that supplies produce as well as some other foods. The baskets are the main item and can be conventional or organic. Here's the catch: You don't know what will be in your basket until you pick it up. It'll be about half fruit and half vegetables but that's really all you know. You can order add-ons that are specific foods or food types but the main baskets are a surprise. (How's that for adding some surprises to your meal planning!)

Here's my first basket:



This is a conventional basket so it was $15 plus the processing fee and the one-time first basket fee. It ended up being right around $20 for all that produce! Included this week: two bags of carrots, one pineapple, one acorn squash, two heads of lettuce, several bananas, one bunch of spinach, one bag of apples, three avocados, one bunch of leeks, five tomatoes, eight tangerines, and eight new potatoes! It all came looking great!

Oranges, apples, and bananas will be snacks and breakfast fruits. The spinach, lettuce, and tomato will be used for salads. The carrots will be steamed for Alex (maybe I'll toss a few in the salad, but don't get your hopes up). Pineapple will likely be snacks or saved for Alex. I have no idea what to do with the acorn squash, avocados, or leeks. I have never cooked acorn squash or leeks and generally don't enjoy avocados. The new potatoes will also be interesting as we usually eat plain white potatoes.

I'm really excited about planning our meals for the next two weeks now!

Locke's Surprising Birth

A little after 3:00 in the morning of January 30th, I woke up having some minor contractions. They seemed to be sticking around so I timed a few. They were about a minute long, coming every eight minutes. Well, we had seen that pattern almost daily for the past month so I rolled over and tried to get some sleep.

Around 4:30 the contractions got bad enough they would wake me. I stayed in bed until about 5:00 then decided to get a shower. Being up and moving, the contractions got stronger and closer together and by the time I got out of the shower I knew tis was the real deal.

I made my way to bed and woke Philip up. Alex had had a rough night that night and Philip had been up with him most of the night (stupid teething!). Needless to say, Philip wasn't too thrilled to be woken up and hour early, but that quickly changed when I explained the reason for the early wake up.

We got Alex up, dropped him off at daycare, and headed for the hospital. On admission I was dilated to 3 cm and 100% effaced. Doc broke my water and said he'd see me in a few hours. (He wasn't joking!) It took a little while to get a room as they were full and had to wait for one to be cleaned.

Once they got me back and all hooked up, the nurse immediately started prepping for delivery. I thought that a bit premature but she said she wanted to be ready as second babies can surprise you. I'm telling you, everyone else seemed to know something I didn't.

Anywho, I let Philip nap for awhile. Contractions weren't too bad and I was dealing just fine looking at funny memes online. Around 11, I woke him up and told I was probably going to start needing him soon. If I hand't woken him then, he would have been awake pretty soon thereafter. It seemed like all of a sudden the contractions got really strong and were coming rather fast.

I started feeling a slight urge to push, but thought that maybe I just needed to use the restroom. Not wanting to be mistaken, I called the nurse. The nurse said I was at a 7 and if I felt I needed it, she would bring me a bedpan, but she didn't want me to go to the restroom as she didn't want me to have the baby on the toilet. The urge to push started coming and going with the contractions a few minutes later. The nurse said I needed to wait; that I wasn't dilated enough.

It wasn't long after that I had Philip calling her back in the room. At this point I told her I had to push. She quickly called out to the nurses station to have her back up come in and for them to page my doctor because "She's pushing and she's not stopping."

I don't even really remember the doctor or the other nurse getting there. I felt like I couldn't really focus on pushing, that I just had this insane urge to get the baby out. I remember yelling for someone to "just get him out". Well, somehow we got him out, in less than thirty minutes of pushing.

I looked up and saw his little bottom and a brief moment of panic came over me. "Why isn't he crying?" The doctor told me he was just fine and to just give him a minute. Apparently, they hadn't suctioned him yet. As soon as they did he let out his little cry and I saw him. "He looks just like Alex!"

Philip cut the cord and after a quick glance over, the nurse brought him to me and laid him on my chest. She placed a few warm blankets over us and told us that she would be back in about an hour to check his vitals. We had a wonderful cuddle and Locke pooped all over me and the blanket- the surest sign of motherhood!

The nurse came back and checked Locke out. He was perfectly healthy. He came in weighing a whopping nine pounds, 15 ounces and measuring 22 inches in length! We all agreed that had he not pooped all over me, he would have been at least an even ten.

I still find myself sitting back in a bit of shock. Not only did I just have a ten pound baby, but in less than ten hours of labor! It seems like the whole pregnancy and then delivery were here and gone in the blink of an eye!

Locke is healthy and I've recovered well. Alex is adjusting as well as can be expected and has actually had fewer issues than I expected.

Locke
1/30/2013, 1:09 pm
22 inches
9 pounds, 15 ounces