Product Review: Babyganics

A few weeks ago I ventured into BabiesRUs. They were having a pretty big sale (unfortunately, it was pretty picked over) and I found Babyganics for BOGO free. I don't know about you, but I am a sucker for BOGO free deals. Not BOGO 50%, not Buy 2 get one free, but BOGO free (you don't see it much any more). I'd never tried Babyganics products before and was looking for a wipe to clean up Sweet P's spot at the counter. I wasn't disappointed.

Babyganics were made by 2 dads who were pretty much germophobes. I bought The Grime Fighter wipes (which is where the Babyganics link will take you). Here is the list of ingredients per their website: Plant Based Cleaning Agents (Coconut, Palm Kernel, Corn and Sugar based surfactants), Soy Ester (Soy based), Filtered Water, Water Conditioning Agent, Preservative (less than 0.05%)

Those are ingredients I can pronounce! The wipes work great on counter tops (kitchen or bathroom), table tops, high chairs, cribs and more. They did a good job cleaning up the food that turns to cement when it hardens (like bananas) and made me feel like the table top was really getting cleaned...without harsh chemicals. While these are fragrance free, the only negative I have is the smell. I'm not particularly fond of it, but I'd trade a not so great smell for chemicals any day!

Healthy Babycakes

Sweet P has been refusing pretty much any type of food I give her since she's been sick. She will no longer eat bananas or anything I try to give her on a spoon. I wanted something like a teething biscuit, but also like a pancake for her to try so I came up with this recipe. The majority of my ingredients were organic, everything else was what I had in the pantry.

The Recipe:
Oatmeal Babycakes
Makes 10 small pancakes (I made oblong, but silver dollar sized would work)

What you need:
1/3 c organic oat flour
1/3 c organic oats
2/3 c water
1 tsp flaxseed
1 scoop probiotics (not necessary, but I'm trying to get them in her system)
1 tbsp organic yogurt (plain or flavored is fine)
A pinch of each: nutmeg, cinnamon, coriander, ginger
1/2 tsp baking powder
Olive oil for skillet/griddle

Combine all ingredients into a batter (will look chunky, but like pancake consistency). Cook like regular pancakes on a skillet or griddle. Flip after 1-2 minutes.
I didn't know if they would hold together, but they held up great. They also tasted pretty good. I had her in the sling while I made them so she watched the entire process and then when I held it up to her mouth...she opened it to take a bite! (she has not trusted me with food since she's getting sick, she's always afraid I'm going to put meds in there) Then she ate 3 of them!

The best part is that there are no eggs, no wheat and no milk so they are perfect for your little one. Next time I might make enough for me!

Arrr! Wipe me booty!

Yes, that is my title.
Yes, my child has a onesie that says that on it.
Yes, she has worn it.

Auntie K made it for her when she was a newborn. It was an iron on we found at Hobby Lobby. Sadly, she outgrew the outfit so quickly that she only wore it twice. It was pretty hilarious. But the title doesn't refer to this onesie, it refers to wipes. Homemade wipes.

I've been making wipes since Sweet P was born. I used to travel with them and then found that it was a little easier to take store bought wipes on the go. I now only use the homemade wipes at home, but I love them. They are quick. easy. and best of all...CHEAP! Each wipe recipe I've seen varies a bit, but this is what works for us.

We ran into a few bumps as we tried them out. They worked great until she stopped needing her diaper changed every 5 minutes and then we had a mold problem. I don't know if it was the type of paper towel or something else, but ewwwww. I almost stopped making them until I found a solution. One that didn't require me to purchase anything I didn't have at home. So here is our wipe recipe.

What you need:
1/2 of a paper towel roll (select-a-size are the perfect size)
1 tbsp baby oil
1-2 tbsp baby shampoo
1 tbsp vinegar (vinegar is a natural disinfectant and this is what helps keep mold at bay. I also clean the container out with vinegar before making a new set of wipes. This was my solution.)
large container (mine is Rubbermaid from Target)
2 cups water (boiled, then cooled to room temperature)

Cut a roll of paper towels in half. We've used both an electric knife and a serrated knife. Either way, it takes some elbow grease. Place in container.
Boil 2 c water on the stove. Allow to cool. Once cooled, add baby oil, shampoo and vinegar and whisk.
Pour over top of paper towels and put the lid on the container. Allow to sit for 5 minutes, then pull out cardboard center (it will be really easy to take out). After 5 minutes, turn the container over and allow the mixture to completely soak into the paper towels. Your wipes are ready to use!
NOTE: I keep my wipes in the refrigerator. Sweet P is not bothered by this. Children with a sensitivity to cold may need to have the wipes warmed in your hands first.

Update: Sweet P is on the mend. She still has a terrible diaper rash, but I hear that's to be expected with these meds.

Out of Service

That is what my blog will be for a few days until Sweet P is on the mend. We took a trip to the ER early, early, early Friday morning and this morning we woke up to a reaction to her meds.

It's tough being a mama and watching your little one hurt like this. Please keep her in your thoughts and prayers.

We'll be back soon.

Quick and Easy

Looking for a quick and easy dinner? I've got you covered. Last night I got home from class to find that The Farmer hadn't eaten dinner. When I asked him why he said, "There wasn't anything to eat." So I looked in the fridge. And he was right! It was close to 8pm so I wanted something quick. Using what I had in the fridge and pantry, here's what we had. Of course, I didn't decide to tell you about it until today so there are not pictures.

The Recipe:
Black Bean Tostadas

What you need:
1 15 oz can black beans
4-6 corn tortillas (or more depending on how many you are making)
shredded cheese
shredded lettuce
fresh chopped tomatoes
sour cream

Preheat oven to 350˚. Place tortillas flat on a baking sheet (I fit about 4 small tortillas on one sheet), top with black beans and cheese. Bake for 10 minutes (or until tortillas have browned). Garnish with avocado, shredded lettuce, tomatoes (we didn't have tomatoes, but I would have used them if we did!), sour cream and salsa. Enjoy!

5 minute prep time, 10 minute cook time for a 15 minute meal! And they were yummy!

Note: You don't have to use black beans (that's just what I happened to have on hand). Experiment with black beans, pinto beans, white beans...I could keep going!

Ash Wednesday

Despite Sweet P's sickness, we made it to church today. We went to the noon service and she played with some bracelets of mine I have turned into toys for her...until I noticed the elastic was about to break...I quickly took it away from her before 20 little blue balls went dancing all over the floor of the church. What a sight that would have been! It wasn't our home church and Sweet P was extra chatty so we were already getting looks from the 2 older men seated in front and beside us. However, their attention was soon diverted to the 4 year old boy down the pew who kept loudly asking his mom (about Sweet P), "What's that baby saying?!" How did he not know? I thought it was crystal clear. And I'm sure the priest did too as she was shouting "DADA" at the top of her lungs. And me being the bad mom that I am can't help but laugh when she does it. How can you blame her? The acoustics in church (especially big Catholic ones) are amazing!

And in case you're wondering, no we aren't C & E Catholics. We go most Sundays. I say most because sometimes we go to an evangelical church. If you're gasping at the polarity here...don't fret. The Farmer is not Catholic. I am. We found our home church and we both liked it so most Sundays we go there. Every so often The Farmer asks to go to Valley. So we do. And we get to see Mama Rose on those days which is always a treat. We are in, what communication scholars call, an Interfaith Marriage. It works for us. The Farmer does not feel called to become Catholic and I don't push him to do so.

So here's to 40 days of Lent. We're both giving something up and trying to do more acts of faith during this 40 days of well. Of course acts of faith should be done year round, but this is helping get our booties in gear. And speaking of booties, I need to get mine in bed because as you can see...I'm past my challenge bedtime.

Good night.

PS. C & E stands for Christmas & Easter
PSS. I am making a resolution (I decided this right now) to take more pictures! My posts are lacking in the picture department. I'm blaming the snow.

The House Hunt

There are days that I still feel 16 or even 20 years old and as immature as a 12 year old. There are days that I look at my child and cannot believe that I have already experienced pregnancy and childbirth (and survived both!). There are days that I can't believe I am 29 years old, married and living in Iowa. And today was the day that I find it hard to believe that we are finally on our way to buying our first home.

Our ultimate goal is to get closer to the farm, but on top of that we'd like a nice started home that we can grow into with a big kitchen and lots of storage space. So far, that's been tough to find. But we know God has the house picked out for us, we just have to find it. And I'm antsy about it. I'm ready to move now. Right now. Sigh...

For now, I'll just enjoy my apartment (hopefully my last) and all of the memories it holds. Our first (and second) year of marriage, 4 birthdays, one pregnancy, one birth, Sweet P's first year, loads of visits after her birth, 2 looong winters, lots of meals, lots of laughter, lots of tears (happy and sad, but mostly happy) and lots of love. But I'm ready to move on.

What's for Dinner?

A few weeks ago we bought green curry paste and coconut milk in hopes of making curry one day. Well, Tuesday night I finally did it. And it was so good. (I can hear Auntie Rosita gagging, she is not a fan of curry--no matter the color). And since our apartment has smelled like curry since we moved in, we decided it was time to have some of our own.

The Recipe:
(I tried to find a recipe for this online, but finally just decided to be creative)

Peanut Green Curry with Basmati Rice

What you need:
Organic Basmati Rice (we just happened to have this, my mom sent it home with us at Christmas, brown rice would work just fine)
2-3 tbsp Green curry paste (depending on your spice level)
1 15 oz can Coconut milk
4 carrots (chopped)
3 celery stalks (chopped)
4 mushrooms
1 c broccoli
1/2 medium onion
1 package firm tofu (chopped into 1/2 inch cubes)
1 tbsp garlic
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp peanut butter
1 tsp coriander

Prepare rice in rice cooker or as directed on packaging. Saute onions and garlic in olive oil. Add additional vegetables, adding tofu last. In a medium sized pot on medium heat, pour in coconut milk, green curry paste and coriander. Stir until well combined. Add tbsp of peanut butter (can add more depending on how much peanut taste you'd like). Stir until combined. Pour curry sauce on top of vegetables. Top rice with veggies and serve.

SO GOOD! This makes 4-5 servings depending on how much you eat. It's also great leftover (because I'm eating it now!). I suppose you could also use red curry paste if you'd like. I'm very sad (and very sorry) that I do not have a picture of this. We made it after I got home from jump rope class and I was starving so no time for pics!

Note: Coconut milk is not the healthiest thing in the world (12 g saturated fat) so remember to eat (or drink) in moderation.

Why I moved to Iowa

I remembered why I moved to Iowa.
It's because I love The Farmer. And I love the farm. And I can't wait to raise Sweet P as a sweet little midwestern girl. It's far from family, but it's a great place to call home. Now if I could just everyone else (Gammie, aunties, Nana Nancy) to move here...


There are days that I want to just crawl back into bed as soon as I get out.
This was one of those days. Except it was about 6pm that I wanted to crawl back in.

And I'm going to be honest and tell you that my Sleep Challenge progress is, well, not really progress. BUT! I have excuses. Really, I do. Plus, it was only Saturday night and last night that I didn't abide by my rules.

Saturday: Last Monday my jump drive decided to wipe itself (translation, it wasn't doing what I wanted and froze the computer (which is weird because we have a Mac) and wouldn't close powerpoint so I did what any woman would do and shut it down...but took out the jump drive before it was done...whoops..but! it worked after that, until..). I got to class (I teach a speech class, remember?) and put in the jump drive. A little prompt came up that said "Disk unreadable." And it gave me 2 options, neither of which provided help.

That said, on Saturday night I found myself recreating powerpoints for the rest of the semester. Luckily, it's an 8-week course and I only have 3 weeks left. Otherwise, I might have cried. Which I have already done twice today.

Sunday: The Farmer had food poisoning so I stayed up with him until he felt comfortable enough to go to bed. Poor guy, it was a rough night for him.

Today, I'm getting back on schedule...especially after the day we had. It didn't start off spectacular for various reasons. The biggest reason? Snow, snow and more snow. But I packed Sweet P in the car and we went to the gym anyway since I had to teach this morning. And then we made a trip to Wal-Mart (which is reason enough to have a mental breakdown) and when we got home I was famished so I put Sweet P in the PackNPlay while I made a quick lunch. When I scooped her up to sit her at the table while I ate, I realized there was poop. Everywhere. On every toy she was playing with, on the PackNPlay, all over her. The lucky Farmer chose that moment to walk in the door and saved the day by helping me get Sweet P into the bathtub and clean. It was a doozy.

Later while Sweet P and The Farmer napped, I tried to figure out what was wrong with our faucet. It's been making weird pressure noises. It wasn't until Sweet P and The Farmer walked into the kitchen that the head shot off the sprayer and shot water up my nose, soaked my front and sprayed the ceiling and cabinets behind me. I was done after that. So I cried.

But I'm better now and going to snuggle with The Farmer. And go to bed early. And be thankful I have this in my life:

Why do you blog?

Last night before I went to bed (which was later than I was supposed to, sorry challenge...I'll explain WHY I was up so late in another post), I was thinking about why I blog. So here it is:

I don't blog because I want the world to read my thoughts. I don't blog because I think I have fabulous things to say. I don't blog because I know tons about farming (because I don't) and want to share with an audience. And I don't blog because I'm an awesome writer and want you to know.

I realized last night while getting ready for bed that I blog because I miss writing. I have a bachelor's in creative writing and you wouldn't know it from what I do now (or from my lackluster writing). After college I experienced a series of unfortunate events, during which my writing became obsolete. All I dreamed to do floated away and I became an empty shell not sure who I was or what I was doing. (A few short months later I met The Farmer).

For awhile, I stopped writing because it made all the hurtful things in my life real. Writing probably would have been therapeutic, but I put it aside. Then, after I began dating The Farmer and opening my eyes to the glory of God around me, writing just seemed like a waste of time. I was too busy drinking in all God had to show me, so my writing remained on the back burner.

Then this summer, while digging through boxes of keepsakes at Gammie's house, I saw how much I loved to write. There were dozens of pieces of paper with short stories, poems and beginnings of what I was determined to make into a novel (when I was 12). I have wanted to be a writer for as long as I can remember. And while I may never write a novel, or a collection of poetry, or a short story; I can still write a blog. The most interesting things to read are about a person's life anyway.

I've tried several times to return to writing and it never seemed like the right time. So if you are reading this, you are taking a journey with me. A journey that won't have an ending because it's a journey toward becoming the writer I always wanted to be (and we all know that a writer's work is never really finished). And for me, writing about my life with The Farmer and Sweet P and the love Christ has for us is the best place to begin.

So why do you blog?

Weather Forecast

The Beginning of the December Blizzard

We are supposed to get 8 more inches of snow on Monday. 8 more! Added to the 43 we already have! If you don't see me for awhile it's because I've gone crazy from this weather.

Someone remind me again why I moved to Iowa?

What's in your mouth?

Oh, the words I utter 100 times on a daily basis to my child. Also on the list:
"Keep it out of your mouth."
"Leave it out of your mouth."
"Leave that alone."
"Biting hurts mommy."
"Careful." (this one is said about 1000 times).

I try hard not to say NO to Sweet P alot because I don't want it to be her first real word. I also try reeeeally hard to keep negatives out of the statements I use when I don't (see it's hard) want her to do something. It's tough! That's why I have resorted to "leave it alone" and "keep it out of your mouth" instead of "don't put that in your mouth." I do say "Stop," so my luck "Stop" will be her first word. But that sounds a lot better to me than NO!

I read somewhere that their brains don't really process the negative part so they only hear "put that in your mouth." I've heard this before in regards to self-talk. By saying "Don't forget the grocery list," it gets put into your brain as "forget the grocery list" and then, well, we all know what happens.

So the most used phrase around here has become "What's in your mouth?" I no longer have to vacuum my house because Sweet P does it for me. She also enjoys vacuuming friends houses as well. Just call her Hoover (let me know if you need to borrow her for your house cleaning). So far I have caught her with a corn chip crumb, carpet, thread, and a vast number of pieces of lint. And a few of those things actually made it into her mouth (and the fishing out began). The kid can find and pick up something I can't even see! I guess I better start vacuuming every day!

Note: Please know that I do not use my child as a vacuum. This post is supposed to be humorous.

PS. The Sleep Challenge is going great!

The Sleep Challenge

Sweet P at 6 weeks old

Don't worry, it's not that you have to get a certain amount of hours of sleep (because everyone knows there's no guarantee of that when you have a 9 month old). The Sleep Challenge goes like this:

Sunday-Thursday: I plan to be in bed by 10:00pm. This is, for some reason, very difficult for me. I use the time to catch up on things I can't do while Sweet P is awake, but at the same time hate going to bed later than The Farmer. It's going to be a challenge, but I think I'm for it. (I tried to start last night, but I'm sick remember? So I didn't fall asleep until 1am because I couldn't breathe.)

And you know what? As soon as I fell asleep. Sweet P woke up. Go figure.

Friday-Saturday: In bed by 11:00pm. Whoa, look out now. I'm giving myself an extra hour so I can watch movies and stuff with The Farmer.

If you want to join in, please do! You don't have to use 10:00pm, but pick a time that works for you and try sticking to it! I can't wait to see if I notice any changes. I'm going to try this challenge for the entire month of February.

Signing off at 9:42pm and I'm starting this challenge NOW!

Are You Up for a Challenge?

After my last challenge, I got to thinking that it might be nice to challenge myself every month. I had so much fun with the Recipe Challenge that I started thinking of other ways to test my mind, body and cooking abilities! I'm still on the mend from the sickies, but I'm getting there! I just need plenty of fluids, soup and rest...that's a small preview of what February's challenge will be. I'll tell you more about it soon! I hope you'll join me...are you up for a Challenge?