Sunday, February 12, 2012

I made baby food!

With my first two children, we were WIC participants so I used the jarred baby foods, but we no longer qualify so we decided to start making it.  I've read a few baby food blogs so I had a vague idea of how to do it, but I didn't want to follow a recipe.

So I just went for it.  We had sweet potatoes, carrots, and applesauce on hand, and these are things my six-month-old has already been introduced to, so I had no problem with mixing them together, or with other things to acheive the desired results.

I started by wrapping the sweet potatoes in foil and putting htme in a 400 degree oven, knowing it would take a lot of cooking to get them soft enough for Baby.  I then rigged up a steamer and put my carrots in it.  After half an hour, they were still hard as rocks so I transferred them to the oven.  After anoither 45 moniutes, they were still not mashable, so I caved and put them in a pot on the stove, barely covering them with water. 

The reason I didn't want to boil is that too much water is not good for young babies, and when you boil something in water, the water itself soaks up many of the nutrients.  Baking or steaming is healthier.

You do need some moisture, though, when you're pureeing, so I made some formula and pulled out the apple juice and applesauce.  I tried just pureeing the vegetable itself and it was clear I needed to add liquid.

I mixed the sweet potatoes with some formula and apple juice before pressing it through a sieve.  I separated it into three portions.  The first I put into my mini-muffin tin for freezing (I don't have ice cube trays).  The other two got their own bowls, to later be mixed with carrots.

When the water started evaporating from the carrots on the stove, I replaced it with apple juice.  When they were fork-mashable, I removed them from the water and ran them through a sieve.  This gets to be a pain in the ass and the result will be watery, but you can always add cereal to it at feeding time.  I added half the carrots to some sweet potatoes and half to some applesauce, also adding applesauce to the third division of sweet potatoes.  I put some in the mini-muffin tin, and some in my cute bug molds, which are about 3 times the size of a mini-muffin cup.

I labeled freezer bags : Sweet Potato Carrots, 4 Feb 2012; etc.  Once they were frozen solid, I put them in their corresponding bags and now they're all nice and neat in my freezer :)  A couple hours on a weekend will keep Baby fed for quite awhile.  I estimate I made at least 15 servings, maybe closer to 20.

For the next batch I'm going to try some broccoli and canned pumpkin puree, and maybe bananas, but I'm not sure how they'll freeze.

Yesterday I made boxed mac and cheese for my older two, and put one of these guys in the mix!  Delicious and nutritious :)

Friday, February 3, 2012

Turns Out I Can Sew!

I bought myself a sewing machine shortly after Christmas and have hardly given it a rest.  I bought for the express purpose of keeping my baby clothes.  This may come as a shock to you, but I've known for months:  we are done having babies, by choice, and I am kind of excited about it, haha!  This meant, however, that when Aurelia outgrew the newborn clothes, my husband wanted me to sell them.  These are clothes all three of my girls have worn at their tiniest and I didn't really want to part with them.  So I devised a plan.

I would cut the most adorable squares out of every item and sew them together to creat a quilt-like blanket.  I say quilt-like, because I'm pretty sure a real quilt has to actually be quilted.

So that's what I did :)

Then I wanted it to be a little bigger so I created a border with some adorable butterfly fleece.  I then cut a rectangle the same size as the whole blanket to cover the back.

Gorgeous blanket all by myself!!

I also made this fort-like tablecloth.

These were my first two projects, so they are "what I learned on," essentially.  There is A LOT to learning a sewing machine.  I thought I would just plug it in and start sewing.  No such luck.  You have to wind the bobbin, thread the needle through 6 tension points, draw up bobbin thread, and then test it out to see if your tension is at the right setting, which it most definitely is NOT, and you spend a few DAYS watching YouTube and experimenting with tension and bobbin orientations before you finally have it down.

Once I figured out HOW to use the machine, I was ready to attempt what I had been assured was an easy first clothing project:

Pillowcase dresses!

I love dressing my girls alike so I was excited at the prospect of choosing the fabric and making matching outfits all by myself!!  I read several tutorials on pillowcase dresses but this one from Crafty Gemini was the one I liked best.  While we've never met, Vanessa and I have a lot of mutual friends so I checked her out first.

Here they are :)

They are a little snug.  Sizing seems to be my biggest problem; everything I make is either too big or too small.

I have come across a lot of amazing sewing projects on pinterest.  This one from Sweet Verbena is awesome:

And so is this one from Make it and Love it:

Those sleep sacks are 20 bucks in the stores, and I made mine with LEFTOVERS!  Amazing.

In short, a while new world of crafting has opened up for me and I am up to my eyeballs in bobbin thread :D

I don't have to tell you I'm usually better than this at posting on time, but clearly, I've been a little busy :)

Happy crafting.