Friday, November 16, 2012

And baby makes 3

Yep, we are pregnant again. None of our children were planned per say but we have welcomed everyone of them. I am about 4 weeks along now, the dog food making me queasy was our E.P.T.
   I am very excited about this pregnancy because I will get the chance to practice all the interesting holistic ideas I found out about after Miranda was born. For starters, there is a pregnancy tea that I found out about when I was looking for a lactation tea. It's called tea for two and it is amazing. It doesn't need to be sweetened for me (and I live for sweet tea). It also helps with morning sickness, which with two under 4, there is no way I well be able to slow down for that.
   Next, I am very excited that I found out about some yoga moves that a will help with the pregnancy and labor. Unfortunately, I haven't lost any of my pregnancy weight from Miranda and everything I have researched says not to loose weight while pregnant. I am hoping that with not having the pressures of working out side the home, eating more real foods, doing yoga, and staying hydrated, I might be able to maintain my weight or just become more healthy for the baby's sake.
   As I mentioned earlier, I am moving away from processed everything and trying to just feed me and my family real foods. By real food I mean whole (not overly processed with heat or chemicals) chemicals, artificial anything, and gmos. This had been a goal my family has been working toward for years. We have slowly changed eating habits to more homemade fairs and have almost eliminated shopping from the middle of the grocery store. Some of our next moves are buying in bulk and sprouting grain then milling it to make flour.
   These are just a few of the things I am excited about for this pregnancy. We will be using our midwife again if this proves to be a pretty normal pregnancy and God willing have another home birth.
I will be keeping y'all posted more frequently and reorganizing my blog here soon.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

T minus and counting too moving day

We finally found a homestead to buy. Now while we are playing the waiting game with banks and inspection and what not, I am desperately trying to get everything organized and packed again. Did I mention I hate packing just slightly less than I hate moving. At least this should be the last time God willing and the creek don't rise.
   Goal 1 is to get caught up on laundry and as I fold I am inspecting everything and anything that needs to start over goes in the donation bag. There is also the bag of no hope for all the holey clothes we have enjoyed a little too much. Strangely enough doing this has greatly reduced the amount of laundry I am doing every week.
   Goal 2 has been even harder and that is going through my son's toys and making the broken ones disappear. He is a very smart boy and knows when something is missing. He has confronted me several times about his favorite car with three wheels.
   That's about all I have time for right now. Just normal cleaning, parenting, homeschooling, homesteading, cooking, you know home making stuff. Of course, if I can keep up with that then I will be better prepared for the move.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Pre K at home

Conner will be turning 3 years old in October and many of my friends with kids his age are putting them in pre k. I am assuming this is the age for it. He is very smart and has picked up a lot already as you have seen with his cooking and cleaning. I would definitely say he is on track or ahead of his peers.

So next week we will be starting our pre k. We have our library trip planned for Monday. We are going to try the letter a day program I found. It's free, a major plus, and it seems simple.

The main thing is a learning board. This is where I got creative. Instead of making 26 different boards for every week, I made 6 signs ( theme, shape/color, number, vocabulary word, letter, nursery rhyme) and taped them to the fridge door. Also, I am finding workbook pages to tape under each label for him to work on.

In addition to working with Conner, I am hoping that some of this may rub off on Miranda. She is very observant for her age. I have an app on my phone to track her progress and she has hit all her milestones up to 4 months and she is only 2 months.

I am also hoping that this will give our day some more structure so I can document and research items about homesteading, schooling and cooking. I plan on making a seperate blog to follow the experience of homeschooling my children. So keep an eye out for it.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Cloth diapers my way

After two years of disposable diapers with Conner, I was fed up with them.  I hated how quickly the diaper pail filled and how full the garbage can was all the time. I hated when they busted open. But most of all I hated paying $20 a box for something I was going to throw in in garbage. The hunt for a better way was on.

Of course there were many who didn't understand why I wanted to put more work on my shoulders with cloth diapers but I was determined. I researched as much as I could and realized I wasn't alone in wanting something else.

There seemed to be three groups on the subject. First, there are the environmentalist that want to switch to feel they are helping save the planet. It makes since that not throwing away 10+ diapers a day for one baby for 2 years. Lets follow the math 10*365*2=7,300 diapers from one kid. (Don't start doing the math on if the hubby changed his fair share).

Then there are the trend setters. If a celebrity does it, endorses it or mentions it them it must be cool. Not many admit to this group but they exist

Then there is my group, those tired of paying for garbage. There are numerous ways to go about this but this is what I am doing. I went to Walmart and bought 5 packs of the gerber prefolds and a diaper pail. Then I went to and bought 3 thirsties diaper covers with snaps. I lay two of the prefolds in the diaper cover like a thick feminine pad and snap it closed.

Now, when you first get the prefolds, wash them 6 or 7 times in a row to get the oil off of them so they will actually absorb something. Because I double up on prefolds I do laundry every day or every other day. It costs about $120 up front to go this route but compared to what I would have spent on disposables. Back to the math 1 kid *10 diapers per day *365 days per year *2 years =7,300 diapers per kid's diaper age /100 diapers per box optimistically *$20 per box of generic diapers = $1,430 thrown directly in the garbage. For the finally of my math fun $120 < $1,430.

When I finished with the visual of pitting that much money in the garbage made me sick. I also can't go back because Miranda os allergic to the disposable diapers.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Baby olymics

While watching the relay races, I hear thumping in the background. Turning my attention to my son he after a very loud "ready, set, GO! ". And he's off around the corner, over a pair of boots, sharp turn around the toy castle and finished with a dive into my pillow. It's amazing the imagination he has.
It's this imagination that worries me about homeschooling him. I don't doubt the decision, I am nervous about holding his attention. He learns so quickly it worries me that I won't be able to keep up. He picks up stuff so fast that I have absolutely no clue where he is getting it.
We are hoping to start home school on labor day for preschool. The board is made and the library list is ready. I am very excited to start this journey.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Archery lesson number one

After looking at our future home, we all went to sportsmans outdoors to look at bows for the upcoming season. We got a recurve to try and keep in mind I haven't shot one since before my last pregnancy. I used to be a pretty good shot but the first shot I snap my forearm... painful but not terrible. The second shot, the guy helping us tries to help me correct me hold. This time the string hits the inside of my elbow and drags to my forearm. Again painful but not unbearable. Then the bruise shows up and encompasses all of my elbow. It looks so much worse than it felt. Long story short we bought the recurve and I cannot wait for my arm to heal a bit to shot it again. Yes I am slightly crazy.

New house

So hoping for this to go through. We found a house on 9 acres that I have absolutely fallen in love with. What makes it better is it is surrounded by 120+ acres that is also for sale. We can't afford to get it all at once but I would love the opportunity to expand.

We are hoping to start substance farming- kitchen garden, chickens, boar goats, and honey bees. After all that is established I want to start a heard of angora goats to harvest fiber for spinning yarn. We are also playing with the idea of cows but gor now goats is the road I am choosing.

Also the kitchen is perfect for canning and processing veggies and meat, not to mention a huge pantry for storage. Oh, the previous owners are leaving the dishwater. Yay! I have never owned a dishwasher before.

I need a lot of prayers a good wishes if you don't mind. This is our dream come true

Friday, August 3, 2012

Yoga for mommy

I finally am clear to start working out again! This is about the most unhealthy weight wise I have ever been. To get back to pre pregnancy weight I need to drop 20lbs. To get back to my ideal weight I need to drop 110lbs!

Like most, I have no idea where it all got packed on at. When I worked, it was 50 hour weeks of very active days. I admit that in my down time before kids I didn't want to do much of anything. When Conner came around, I tried to keep up but never dropped the weight and gained more. Then Miranda packed on quiet a bit.

I know diet is my main issue. I can't have any sweets in the house because there is no self control. Why tempt myself if I don't have to? This has been a blessing to because Conner doesn't beg for candy as much as some kids we see.

Another major battle is portion control. I am use to cooking for two adults and making huge meals to save for later. Now that Daniel works nights and they feed him I have slowly started learning to cook less. Conner eats like a bird so it is hard to count him as someone I cook for.

Issue number three is I eat when I'm bored. Not that much of an issue with two kids, however if I'm not busy then I start inching towards the fridge.

I noticed today that my posture has become terrible. After confirming with my people about post partum exercise, I got the go ahead for yoga or palates or anything low impact. So out came the yoga mat and 6 week program I use to do in college. Sorry to say I only got through half of it. ( Granted I was being used as a jungle gym while doing the poses.) I started to get down on myself about not finishing but then I started to feel how much better my back felt.

It is my goal to at least get to where I can finish the program daily even with Conner climbing on me.I also intend to better manage my diet now that it's just for me and the kids. Daniel does eat with us every now and then but not enough to count. Wish me luck.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Tea time

Every morning, I brew two pots of tea. First there is black tea for everyone and then there's my nursing time tea.

I am still breastfeeding my youngest and it has been an adventure. With Conner, he was tongue tied and couldn't latch on properly, so I ended up pumping all that I could and supplemented with formula. He really took to the formula so I stopped trying after three months.

With Miranda, her tongue was blessedly not tied but for whatever reason we couldn't get it together and I now pump and feed her with a bottle. She, however, can stand any formula what so ever. She becomes the fussiest child on the planet.

I had to do something to help me produce more milk to meet her demands. I asked the midwife that helped deliver her what she recommended and she gave me an herbal tea that was suppose to help but it tasted horrible. I took it upon myself to find something and found nursing time tea.

The stuff works. I went from producing maybe four ounces at a time to eight or nine. I was sold. Now I don't have the luxury to sit down and enjoy a cup of tea, so I brew up a pitcher in the more and drink on it all day chilled. This works for me as I don't have to wait on the water to boil and then the tea to infuse and then cool enough to drink. By the time I do all that 3 or 4 emergencies and dire issues have occurred.

I would also, since I am on the subject if breastfeeding, like to encourage any pregnant woman or woman trying to get pregnant to try to breastfeed for the first month. You don't have to be that lady that goes till the kids in grade school but honestly try exclusively for the first month. If it doesn't work out, hey you tried. There are options like what I do, pump and bottle feed, or mix with formula, or formula feed. As long as the baby is health and mommy isn't stressed then everything is great.

I would like to make clear that I was not paid to plug a product, I just wanted to make known what worked for me in the hopes that it might help someone else.

Monday, July 30, 2012

A very sad day

Today, our beloved bloodhound, Daisy, died. She jumped the fence and ended up hanging her collar. Daniel found her after having to stay over at work for 4 hours. To say the least, he was devastated. The kids and I had to take her to the shelter as we couldn't dig a hole big enough for all 80lbs of her.

Daisy literally walked into our yard and life 2 years ago. We had her checked out at my vet clinic and had her dna tested to see if she was.mixed with something. It came back that a full blood bloodhound in fact walked into our yard with no tags or microchip.

Word around the neighborhood was she used to live with this guy who was in jail and that she had been running the woods since she was a puppy. She wasn't one for staying put. At 80lbs she could flat foot our fence.

She had two litters with us. The first had 13 and the second 9. We still own two boys from the second litter, Red and Chester. It was clear they tried to help her from the dirt on their noses.

She was a great obnoxious lovable girl and is greatly missed. The hardest part is Conner asking where Daisy is. The best I could think to say is she is in heaven.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Tomato science project

Yesterday, I was walking through Walmart and found my personal favorite section - the clearance section. At the end of summer all the garden stuff goes on sale and there was one of those upside down tomato planters for $2. How could I pass it up.

I have been pretty bummed this year not getting to plant a garden so I saw this as a silver lining, who knows I might get a harvest in time for canning time. So the experiment is does it work. It took me a while to find a place to set it up. The shepherd hook I planned on using bowed over in half after filling it half way with dirt. I ended up hanging it on the side of the shed.

So far the only down side to this upside down planter is how heavy it is. I would have gotten half the workout if I had just dug a hole and tied it to a stake. It took a lot holding it up and guessing how high to put the screw.

I also found some potato planters that I plan on starting as soon as some potatoes get eyes. Really looking forward to my discount garden experiments. Wish me luck.

My cleaning solution

I think I found what will work for to make cleaning something that doesn't get in the way too often. Now this won't eliminate the chaos in my life known as Conner and Miranda but I am hoping to reduce the amount of time I spend daily on chores.

I found this in Parent magazine. Since I am not made of money, instead of paint and a shadow box, I used Conner's crayons and some paper.

First I categorized what all I do into 5 areas: Bedrooms, bathrooms, laundry, kitchen, and outside. I didn't include the living room because that has to be everyday or it will look like a tornado plowed through it. Also I needed at least two days for laundry.

Second I looked at my normal week and assigned those areas a day of the week with one day as a free day. For example, Tuesdays and Thursdays are laundry days.

The hardest part of this is sticking to the area for the day. I am very much a type A personality and get fixated very easily.

Lastly, post this somewhere you will see it. While working on this project, Conner made his own sign. Here is how it works out
Day.             Mommy.          Conner
Monday.      Kitchen.           Baking
Tuesday.      Laundry.          Preschool
Wednesday. Bedrooms.     Pick up toys
Thursday.     Laundry.         Preschool
Friday.          Bathrooms.    Park
Saturday.      Outside.          Garden

Miranda being barely two months old gets to do whatever we are doing. Daddy works a swing shift at work so he also gets off easy. All he has to do on his days off is work the dogs and play with the kids. He also cooks.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Chores .... bum bum bum!

I will let you know how it goes but I am trying an experiment. My whole life I have worked outside the house and chores where part of my off time. Now that I am home full time, I am missing that since of accomplishment that work gave me.

So here is the plan and feel free to weigh in on it. Turn the hours between 9am and 5pm will be very structured and work like and anything after that will be free time.

The only flaw in this plan are the 2yr old and 2 month old. They don't understand that Mommy needs to get somethings done to feel useful. Don't get me wrong, I love playing with and teaching them things and if someone would come clean my house daily for free that is all I would do.

This is also exciting because I can start exercising again and drop the 100+ pounds I have gained between both pregnancies. If this whole scheduling thing works out I will be making a second blog to follow my weight loss journey.

Wish me luck!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Cleaning ... does it ever end?

I'm not normally one to complain about cleaning, sometimes I even enjoy finishing various projects; however lately it seems like it has been never ending. As soon as the sink is empty the laundry basket is over flowing. As soon as the floor os mopped it seems toys explode from the toy box. It's mind blowing how fast everything has been unwinding.

Luckly, Conner has been trying to help as much as possible. When I am doing dishes he is right there filling his cup with water to rinse the dishes. As soon as the dryer sounds off he is running to open the door for me. He even has his own rag to wipe up his spills.

Unfortunately not everything he does is helpful. Just a bit ago we were changing the laundry out and I pulled folded clothes out of the dirty cloths basket. Conner said "I helping" as he brings more clothes out of the closet. He was helping mommy have something to do. Thanks but no thanks.

Sunday, July 15, 2012


<p>When we moved to Mississippi two months ago it was to our current rental house. It has served its purpose but we are itching to move to our own home. <br>
Today we went to see a realitor about homes in our price range. We told her one to five acres and not in a subdivision. She took is to three terribly small houses on 1/4 acre lots. When we got home i googled four properties that were perfect for us. I was amazed at how little this woman listened and was more concerned with moving these properties. Granted, I don't know much about realistate, bit I do know it's nothing like buying shoes.

Long story short we will be looking for a different realtor tomorrow. Though the title of this blog includes the term "homesteader" we aren't there yet. We are at the starting line in that aspect. We have researched what we want to do and what will be additional sub categories are goat herding for dairy and fiber. Raise chickens, garden, harvest our own grass fed meat and home school our children. It's ambitious but it is also exciting.

If you are also at the starting line, I would like to recommend the following books as they have changed my families life: the encyclopedia of country living, made from scratch, and nourishing tradition. Good luck and till next time.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Cooking leasons

Potty training

Well, its that time in Conner's life to gain the independence of big boy undies. I got the hint finally when he said to me, "Mommy I am wet help." This was also around the time that my daughter was due. Talk about a lot on my plate: nine months pregnant, potty training a two year old and getting use to Daniel going back to work.

Right after Miranda was born, my mom came up from Texas to help me with things while I got back in the swing of things. She decided she would try potty training Conner and bought him those expensive pull ups. The week and a half she was here Conner ran through $70 worth of these trainer pants. To me and him they were just diapers. I don't have a clue as to how anyone could potty train a child on these. Valued effort but no success.

A few weeks later, I got in some diaper covers called thirsties for Miranda. I also got 1 big enough for Conner because, I refuse to buy another box of diapers again. Well, he took to them and even became more aware of when he needed to go potty. Right direction but still no dice.

With two babies in cloth diapers, there was a every two week trip to Walmart for one or two more packs of Gerber cloth diapers, my initial supply was for one newborn. Next to the cloth diapers was a pack of cloth trainer pants which because Conner's big boy undies. It was a miracle, almost like instant potty training. There are still accidents at night which is fine ( thats what mattress covers are for) but the minute he got big boy undies he never looked back.

The only down side is his pants don't fit now that he doesn't wear a bulky diaper. Hey, if thats the only bad thing I will gladly except.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Welcome to the game

The quickest synapse of how I got here goes something like this: Got dragged to Austin Texas in highschool, met the love of my life, had a baby boy, moved to Dallas where I worked 50hrs a week and hubby stayed home with the kid. After some time our dogs walked into the yard and we got pregnant. In my last trimester we moved to Mississippi and had a our daughter at home. One month later Hubby is back in the work force and I am home full time with two babies in cloth diapers, four giant bloodhounds and one white labrador, and we our still optimistic.   
After reading all that I hope you are still intrigued and will be understanding that posts are randomly added.