Saturday, December 31, 2011

2011 - An Overview

  • We started practicing natural family planning
  • We worked hard to eat more sustainably
  • I had serious depression following hormonal contraceptive withdrawl
  • I started plants for the garden
  • We remodeled our bedroom after discovering our walls were full of mold
  • *B* worked at my school for six weeks
  • We saw Prairie Home Companion live for the second time
  • We traveled to Oklahoma/Texas
  • *B* performed my best friend's wedding
  • We kayaked on the Shenandoah River
  • I went to a conference in Tennessee
  • I started the couch to 5k running program
  • We got rid of television
  • *B* and I started paying off debt
  • The garden was just about a bust, other than tomatoes and peas
  • We experienced a magnitude 5.8 earthquake while teaching
  • I officially lost 35 pounds
  • *B* and I paid $5000 off of our debts
  • I got pregnant!
  • I ran my first 5k ever in good time
  • I slept - a lot
  • I slept - a lot more
  • I turned 26
  • I got my energy back when I hit the second trimester
  • I restarted my blog :o)

This list is a little more sparse than last year, but it's been a good year.  Have a happy and safe new year!

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Cloth Diapering - Not My Mother's Diapers

Ever since I was little, I knew I would cloth diaper my children. My brother and I were both cloth diapered before it was popular again.  My mom hand made them, and they were fastened by safety pins.
My brother's girlfriend gave me a gorgeous diaper bag for Christmas.  This gift got me thinking of diapering.

I had NO IDEA diapers had changed so much since I was little.  Now, there are pocket diapers, all-in-one diapers, all-in-two diapers, hybrids, wahm diapers, prefolds, and I'm sure more than that.  *B* and I bought a set of gdiapers just to play with and see how they work.

They have cloth or flushable inserts depending on your preferences.  They come in small, medium, and large.  It seemed pretty straightforward, and I was set.  But then I started reading more.

I found that there are other diapers (like BumGenius) who fit babies that are 7-40 lbs.  That seemed like it would do the trick, but I was hesitant now.  I asked other moms on a message board what I should get, and the answers were widely varied.  Most of them had a variety of diapers they like.  I want to be able to register for diapers.  How do they know what will work??

What diapers do you use and how did you know you'd like them?

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas!

 4 So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. 5 He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. 6 While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, 7 and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them.
 8 And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. 9 An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. 10 But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. 11 Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. 12 This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”
 13 Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,
 14 “Glory to God in the highest heaven,
   and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”

 15 When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.”
 16 So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. 17 When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, 18 and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. 19 But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. 20 The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told. 

Luke 2:4-20

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Productive Days

On Monday, I started out week one of two weeks of Christmas break well. I soaked and cooked three pounds of kidney beans in a giant pot, and I soaked peas and lentils for *B*'s favorite soup (more on that in a bit).  I made and froze 8 quarts of vegetable stock with the scraps that have been in the freezer forever.  I also FINALLY used the San Marzano tomatoes that I froze from our garden this summer and made tomato paste, though it looks more like pizza sauce.

Apparently, that was way too much work.  I got a sharp reprimand from my body. So yesterday I took it easy all day and only went grocery shopping.

Today, I was feeling better, so I picked up where I left off but a little slower.  I got all of the laundry put away (a big feat in this house), washed all bedding, and finished up in the kitchen.
*B*'s favorite soup comes from Nourished Kitchen: Curried Lentil Soup.  It's a little rustic and very tasty.  It's so good that it could be served over rice as Indian food.  I doubled the recipe and freeze the leftovers in muffin tins.  When the soup is frozen, I pop the soup-popsicles into ziplocs and *B* can swipe a few cubes for his lunches.  It works so well. 

The kidney beans had melded into the perfect bean and bean liquid mess in the day's rest.  When I make lots of beans, I vacuum seal them and freeze them in one cup pouches.  That way, if I need to make chili, I just grab four pouches and throw them in.

I've found that if I cut the vacuum rolls in half, my canner funnel just fits perfectly in the neck.  The beans don't get stuck in the funnel, the bags stay clean, and all I have to do is rinse the funnel in the end.

When I packed and sealed all 20 cups that the 3 lbs of dried beans makes, I laid them flat on a cookie sheet.  Once they're mostly frozen, I dumped them in the basket in our stand up freezer.

Whew!  That was a ton of work.  But all my little food projects are done for now.  Aside from cookies, there are no things hanging over my head that I meant to do - just in time for Christmas.

Monday, December 19, 2011

A Long Few Months with a Number of Changes

It's been a long few months with a number of changes.  Since my last post in June, I took up running, lost about 35 pounds, started my fourth year of teaching, took two very intense master's courses, was in a wedding, and, most importantly, found out I'm going to be a mother in June!

The first three months were rough, though I'm thankful that I was better off than others I know.  As of Wednesday, I'll be fifteen weeks.

I've thought about restarting this blog a number of times, but life has always gotten in the way.  Between having more class until I'm finished my master's degree in January, and the impending birth of the baby, I think that now is a perfect time to refocus my blogging efforts.

*B* and I decided that I need to stay home at all costs for at least the first year.  We both feel very strongly that we shouldn't be paying someone to raise our children.  I'm going to try to find a part time job in the evenings to cover the expenses that he can't make.  While I still have an income over the next few months, I'll be restocking our pantry, which had become depressingly depleted, making freezer meals for the future, saving like mad, and preparing everything for the little one. 

I hope you all decide to come back and visit :o)