Friday, December 7, 2012

Happy Friday!

Happy Friday, y'all!  It's been a strange couple of weeks for us, but things are looking good for the next few weeks.  I can hardly believe Christmas is in like, 3 weeks. That's crazy. 

To celebrate the end of another's the cutest baby in the universe belly laughing.  You're welcome, interwebs.

Here's another to keep us thankful for the non-snowy weather we're having in Minnesota this year...

Have a good weekend!!!!

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Catching Crap

This post is about diapers.  Specifically, cloth diapers (dun dun duuunnnn!).  I know, I probably didn't think I was that kind of mom. And I'm not. At least, not really.  I'm not a crunchy, granola type, I promise. I am, however, the type who tries to save a little cash here and there.  I kind of have one foot on the whole cloth-diaper-make-your-own-baby-food-extended-breastfeeding-cosleeping bandwagon.  On the other, foot...I am all about making each day as easy as possible, for me, my husband AND our baby.  That means we use some disposable diapers, jarred baby food, and bottles when we need to. 

The totally great thing about modern cloth diapers is that they are SOOOO EASY!  And I don't even have any of the fancy schmancy diapers...yet.  That's right.  I splurged today.  Weird that I am excited to splurge on diapers.  Poop catchers. Baby britches. But I''ll get to that.  First...a rundown of our current diapering situation:

1.  Green Mountain Diaper prefolds. 

We have a few dozen of these, in the yellow edge and the red edge sizes.  They're fantastic.  You can fold them up and put them in a cover, you can pin or snappy them on under plastic or wool pants. Either way works really well and is very economical. They wash up really easily with the rest of our laundry. You can double them up for overnight or heavy wetters. They make fantastic burp cloths, dust wipes, and changing pads.  They are kind of all-purpose and I always have a few in my diaper bag.

2.  Thirsties diaper covers

This is not a picture of my son...but it shows off the cover really well.  It's just a simple cover that uses velcro.  You pop a pre-fold diaper inside - folded in thirds and just set in the cover - and you're done.  No pins or snappy.  Nothing fancy.  They are also very economical at about $12 each.  We have 4 right now, I think.  I only change the cover if the edging gets wet or if it gets dirty with a dirty diaper, otherwise, we rotate through and I just hang it up to dry and use it again.

3.  Wool shorties, from smallwonderwoolies on Etsy

It took me awhile to think that this would actually work.  See, Mitch has slept consistently through the night since he was 5 weeks old.  Lucky, I know...please don't hate me...I had nothing to do with it!!! We had to use disposables at night since Lord knows I wasn't about to wake him up just to change his drawers.  Amy at pointed me in the direction of wool, and I'll never turn back.  This is the one we have and it's made from recycled wool sweaters.  I lanolized ours with some leftover lanolin nipple cream and it's awesomesauce. I pin a prefold on him stuffed with a couple of Green Mountain doublers and we're set for like, 12 hours.

So that's the rundown.  We use disposables when we go shopping, or go to church, or out for dinner.  So we really use quite a few right now...and Mitch is outgrowing his prefolds, so they're getting harder and harder to pin on we use more and more disposables at night until I have the time/funds to order a new batch of prefolds for him.

And then!  Amy recently tried gDiapers.  I had seen them in the stores and wasn't sure about them.  The liners are disposable, so I didn't think that would be much of a cost saver for us.  Well, I did some research and read Amy's posts about them (including her most recent one) and realized that I can use them like a normal cover, stuffing them with a prefold and some doublers, but ALSO use the disposable liners when we're out and about or at grandma's house...or when mom is feeling lazy. 

 And they are so darn cute!  I love the fancy stripes...and I really wish they still carried the cute chevron print.  I love that one.  So I ordered the Starter Kit that includes two gPants (the cover and what they call the pouch - which is a plastic snap in liner) and a pack of disposable liners.  We'll see how they go, and I'll let you all know!  I can't wait to take some cute pictures of Mitch's cute little cloth bum!

Friday, November 2, 2012

Our Great Pumpkin Adventure

We were bored one to the Pumpkin Patch we went!  Really, we had been planning to take Mitch so we could get some good, formal-type pictures of him for the grandparents.  I know we have been really lazy about taking formal photos, but I just can't justify paying someone to take pictures when Mike does a great job of it.  We just have to make more time to take more planned photos.  Anywho.  Back to the pumpkins.  This post is really just a great excuse to post a bunch of pictures of the cutest baby in the world. 

Mitch gives the pumpkin patch one thumb up.

We were standing by the big corn pit (like a ball pit, but with corn kernals.  It's actually kind of gross if you stop and think about it).  I'm pretty sure the other parents thought we were nuts, what with the way we were dancing around to get Mitch's attention.  Picture one kid, plopped in the middle of all the pumpkins, and 6 adults squealing and dancing around. 

Kind of looks like a prison photo...this one cracks me up!

My little sisters and my dad also came with us.  It was a fun little family outing and the weather was wonderful!  We can't wait to visit Santa, go cut christmas trees and all the other fun holiday traditions that our family has.

Every family has that one goofy sibling...

Thursday, November 1, 2012

I know it has been awhile...bad blogger!  But life happens sometimes.   To catch you up, here's a long, rambly list of stuff:

1. The Munchkin is starting to move around more...he knows how to pivot on his stomach to change direction on the floor.  Every time he does this, I hear Ross, from Friends, in my head yelling 'PIVAAAAT!!!' 

2. Our floors were refinished and our roof was reshingled.  Anything else the house would like us to do for it, or can we take a breather for awhile? Yes?  Good. But first...please drool over my GAWGOUS floors!!!

3. We took Munchkin to the Pumpkin Patch and had so much fun!  We propped him up next to every pumpking we could find and took some really cute pictures.  Of course, everything went straight in his mouth. I'll do a write up of our trip later this week...I promise!!

4. My office had a Halloween Decorating Contest...and no one thought we would get this into was kind of ridiculous... Our group was spider themed, but there was a graveyard, a psycho operating room, the land of Oz, and the game of Clue complete with a murder mystery. 

5. Thanks to Amy from, we bought the Munchkin a little pair of wool pants, it's basically a sweater upcycled into a diaper cover.  I bought it from this seller on Etsy.  I didn't believe it would work, at first.  I mean, putting cloth over a cloth diaper will OBVIOUSLY stay dry.  Duh.  But I'll be darned if it didn't work!  So we finally have a nighttime diaper solution for our litte guy.  You see, he sleeps straight through from 9:00 to 7:00 so there is no way in hell I am going to wake him up in the middle of the night for a diaper change. 

Well, I think that about sums up my Fall so far.  I know we still need to get through Thanksgiving, but I am so looking forward to Christmas this year.  I might have to bust out the Christmas CD's early...

Monday, September 24, 2012

I'm doing grape, how about you?

So- not nearly as many pictures were taken this weekend as I though would be.  But, that's ok. We'll live. 

I went over to my Grandma's house this weekend to put up some grape juice.  Turns out I am really bad at estimating weight.  I told Grandpa I had 15 pounds of grapes.  I actually had more like, 30.  Oops.  We ran out of lids after 24 jars of juice.  We decided to try freezing the leftover grapes.  We'll try cooking them down for jelly later on, after the wedding. 

So - on to the exciting stuff. 

Canning isn't nearly as difficult as I thought it would be.  You hear all kinds of terrible stories about how intimidating it is.  So and so's great grandmother burned the house down while canning, or my husband's great aunt lost an eye when a jar exploded.  It sounds like canning is a full contact sport, when in reality, it's a lot of sitting around and waiting.  And moving slowly so you don't burn yourself or spill boiling water on the dog. 

For our juice recipe, the most difficult part is keeping the water boiling, and cleaning the grapes.  I did most of the grape cleaning - I stood over a sink and picked each grape from the stem and dropped it into the sink filled with cool water, swished them around and dumped them into a bowl.  The end. Just kidding.

We sterilized the jars in the diswasher, so that was easy.  Then we added grapes, sugar and boiling water to each jar.  We placed the lids on each jar and screwed on the ring. Then we put 8 jars into Great Grandma's canner, made sure they were covered in water, and processed them. 

When the timer went off, we carefully took each jar out and set them on the counter on a clean and dry towel, making sure they weren't touching each other.  We covered them with a dishtowel and let them cool.  As they were cooling, you would hear the occasional 'Pop!'  This was the lid sealing itself on the jar. 

I left them at Grandma's to cool, so I don't have any pictures of the finished product, yet.  I'll pick them up later this week and I can't wait to try it!  Our juice is very red, where Grandma's juice used to be kind of pinkish, mostly due to the grapes.

As I said, we're freezing the leftover grapes to make into jelly.  For jelly, you cook down the grapes, and strain it through cheescloth.  Then you add sugar, and gelatin to the juice you strain out.  I'll let you know how that goes, too.

So that's what my weekend was all about.  How about yours?  I think I've been bitten by the canning bug, now that I know it's not nearly as hard as I thought it was.  I'm officially adding a canner to my Christmas List.

Friday, September 21, 2012

The Grapes of Wrath

It's been a crazy week - so no posts.  Sorry about that.  My little sister is getting married (!) in two weeks, so we've been consumed with wedding crafts.  50 pew bows have been made, 4 flower stands were decorated, and her card box was constructed, painted and decorated.  Mike has worked on her programs and table numbers, and also her placecards.  On top of all that, we've been trying to keep up with all our social obligations.  We're going to Festa Italiana on Harriet Island tonight, and we're going to the Minnesota Rennaisance Festival tomorrow. 

Frost is imminent here in Minnesota, so we needed to pick grapes.  Our good friends bought a house this summer and they found out they have lots of grapevine on their fence.  The grapes were really good, and they didn't want them this year, so I said I would take them and can some grape juice with my grandma.  We pulled the grapes last night since it is supposed to frost this weekend.

We gathered them all in bags and brought them home.  I had to lay them out in a single layer, using every. single. last. pan or tray I have.  I do this so they don't get squished and lose all their juice before I am ready to can. They are very heavy, and just the weight of the grapes will smash the ones on the bottom if you're not careful.

Holy grapes, Batman!

Then I stacked them in my fridge to wait until canning day on Sunday!  Hopefully, I will remember to take lots of pictures on Sunday so I can document my first attempt at canning! 

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Babies and Animals

Before Mitch, our animals were our babies.  I know lots of people say they love their pets like children, and I thought I did, too.  But then I had a baby and I realized that my love for my son is NOTHING like what I had for our pets. Totally different. Not better or worse, just different.

I gets this thing gets that human...

Apparently, our human kids and our fur kids will get along just fine.  Greta likes to french kiss the baby (she does not have permission to do so, but sneaks it in anyway).

At least buy me dinner first, dog!

As you can see from the look on Mitch's face, he does not enjoy this display of affection. Just wait until the boy starts pulling on her ears.  That'll teach her!

It didn't start that way - Greta was wary of the little guy at first.

The cats, on the other had, are completely different.  I don't even have any pictures of Scotch with the baby.  He stays far, far away from the little grabby hands. We do have another cat in the house (for now).  His name is Paul.  He was my Father-in-Law's cat before he passed away last month.  While FIL was sick, we offered to take Paul.  Paul will be living out his 9 lives with my Sister-in-Law when they close on their new house (!) later next month. 

Paul LOOOOOVES Mitch.  He can't get enough of the little guy.  He just sits by the baby and lets him run his fingers through his fur, over and over again.  When Mitch grabs a handful of fur, Paul gets up, walks in a circle around the baby, and lays back down for more.

Ow. Ow. Ow. rubbins. Can't beat that!

On a different note - baby toys and dog toys are ridiculously similar.  Seriously.  I could mix up the toy bins and both baby and dog would be completely happy with anything they pull out.  Except the dog bones.  Although, they would probably make great teethers (Mom of the Year, here I come!).