Reusable Snack Pouches

Is it worth it to buy reusable snack pouches and make your own puree?Do you buy the disposable baby food pouches from the store? They’re about $1-$2 and amazingly convenient – lunch on the go for a little 6 month old, and a life-saving snack on the go for kids up to 3-ish years old. But I wasn’t feeling awesome about throwing away the snack pouches after every use. A little secret, I actually would rinse it, refill it with some puree I had made and throw it in the fridge short term (24 hours max). To rinse and refill the disposables, I used a 60cc syringe that we had brought back from the hospital after the baby was sick. It’s amazing, but obviously not a long term solution as the disposable pouches are meant to be disposable, and you also can’t rinse them very well.

I looked into all the different pouches out there and read all the reviews etc. I bit the bullet and bought a four pack of the Little Green Pouches based on the reviews I had read online. Most of them are a bit pricey but these ones were reasonably priced and had good reviews so I went with it. I’d like to take this opportunity to inform you that SOME of the pouches on the market require their own lids. If you lose the lids, the pouch is useless and you have to buy more, special lids from that company. It’s annoying. The Little Green Pouches accept the lids from disposable pouches. I consider that a HUGE win. I chose jack fruit, spinach, yogurt, some frozen tropical fruit and water as my first combo and dumped it all into the blender.  Then when only half blended, I accidentally DUMPED HALF INTO THE SINK when the lid came off as I was trying to shake it up. So I replaced the missing stuff with pears. Le woops. OK so blend blend blend, then you can pour from the blender right into the pouches, which I did successfully. It takes a try or two to get the quantity right so it doesn’t squeeze out when you seal the pouch, but you can always keep the spout open over the blender as you seal it so the excess has a place to escape.

Reusable Food PouchesMy first time doing this was a bit of a disaster, as mentioned above, but since then I’ve learned how to make smaller batches (in the Magic Bullet, followed by transfer to measuring cup for filling) and how to make less of a mess. Sorta. If I didn’t have a dishwasher, I wouldn’t be doing this at all, but that’s just me. Just sayin’.

Because I only have four pouches, it’s inevitable that I will need some short term storage for excess puree until I can free up a pouch. To be honest, with one baby, I don’t need more than four pouches, but I *do* need something to store the rest of the puree in. At first I used some breastmilk storage bags. I needed to use up the rest of the pack because I don’t want them kicking around and collecting dust until we have another baby. But this is yet another disposable solution. I went out and bought a bunch (like 10) of jars of strained pears and just used those to flavor his oatmeal in the morning and then used the jars to store excess puree. It’s working, certainly.

I tried using all fresh ingredients but the peeling/steaming/waiting until they’re just ripe enough was a bit much for me to do/keep track of, so I find if I have a can of something on hand it makes the whole process much easier, faster, more tolerable.

I’m not *totally* convinced that it’s a cheaper/better solution. It’s kinda time consuming (especially if you’re using exclusively fresh fruit), you need a lot of fruit/yogurt/whatever to make a decent batch so it’s not particularly cheap, considering you have to buy the pouches as well, and it’s super messy. But I do like that we don’t throw the pouches away all the time, so I will continue to go this route.

Here are a few of my favourite combinations:

Spinach + Pears + Avocado

Spinach + Pears

Pineapple + Peaches

Peaches + Berries + Chia Seeds

Tell me your experience with reusable food pouches. Which ones did you get? Do you love/hate them? Do they work? Can your little one work them? Leave me a comment and let me know!

Posted in 2013, Babies and Parenting, DIY and Projects | Leave a comment

DIY Flatscreen Babyproofing

Welcome, baby proofers! You, like I, have heard the crazy high statistics of children being injured OR KILLED by a flat screen television and are hoping to prevent that from happening in your home. You, like I, looked up the price of the two straps used to hold your TV to the TV stand and were all “Wut? I could make that…” And so you Google searched and here you are.

I poked around my TV for a bit, wondering if I needed something adhesive or if I could screw something into something else (technical terms, obviously). Well TVs are designed so you can mount them if you so desire, and so I noticed four unused screws on the back of our TV. I unscrewed one and there was nothing there! So I got to work.

The general plan was to take two straps, attach them to the TV, attach them to the bench, and save lives. So I needed two straps and something to do the attaching. As I didn’t want to spend any money and I was trying to do this one day while I had a minute, I found two very sturdy straps made of webbing. Guess where? On one of the THOUSANDS of reusable shopping bags that we have in this house. This one to be exact. A tutorial on how to anchor your flatscreen against babies and toddlers using just the straps on a reusable bag. I cut them off but left part of the bag on the end of the strap to reinforce it. Then I drilled a hole through the bag part, and had to cut some strands on the webbing instead of drilling because the drill got tangled in it; consider yourself warned.
A tutorial on how to anchor your flatscreen against babies and toddlers using just the straps on a reusable bag.
I drilled the two straps to the TV, then I poked a screw though the webbing and drilled them into the TV stand. Then I flexed my muscles like I had done something amazing, and then I realized the baby was reaching for the drill. I tucked the excess into the back of the stand instead of cutting it off because I wanted to leave options for myself in case we needed to reposition the TV on the stand or whatever.

A tutorial on how to anchor your flatscreen against babies and toddlers using just the straps on a reusable bag. BUT WAIT, you don’t want to drill into your TV stand. Well, you shouldn’t care. I cared at first and then I thought “hey wait a minute, this TV stand is ALWAYS facing the wall. Why would these screw holes ever ever ever be visible to anyone? Plus this TV is going to be anchored until we’re done having kids so that’s a few years at least.” Just do it.

And voila. There is the project in all its glory. Ten minutes well spent!A tutorial on how to anchor your flatscreen against babies and toddlers using just the straps on a reusable bag. Let me know if you do it! Leave a comment! Lots of people find my posts later when they’re doing projects and I assume they do it but nobody ever tells me. SOB.

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Gifts for New Baby and New Parents

Some interesting gift ideas for a new baby (and new parents) - ESPECIALLY if you aren't sure what to bring over.When Harrison was born we had a few visitors, as everyone does. But MANY of our friends here are single and/or childless and aren’t quite into the stage of life yet where all their friends are having babies. So while they wanted to bring a gift, they kind of didn’t know what to bring. The OBVIOUS choice is a 0-3 month outfit from Carter’s. Quick, returnable if something goes wrong with it, and a pretty safe bet. But what if you don’t live near one or don’t want to do that? Well this is for you!

1. A Good Travel Mug.

When you have a brand new baby it’s EXTREMELY hard to drink a cup of coffee before it’s cold and wretched. We have an abundance of travel mugs, which I’m not quite sure why, and I started putting my coffee in there. Then I could drink it when I had set him in his playpen to stare at the ceiling or nap for 5 minutes and it was always STILL HOT. My friend fought doing this for the longest time and then was like “WHAT HAVE I BEEN MISSING THIS IS THE BEST!” See? I’m right.

2. Their Drink of Choice.

I don’t suggest this to be like “YOUR LIFE IS SO HARD NOW LOLZ LET’S GET DRUNK!” but rather, for birth moms, they haven’t had a full drink since they found out they were pregnant. And sometimes that sucks, yo. Especially if you really enjoy a certain drink, like a *cough* gin and tonic every once in a while. Nursing moms, you can drink. I mean, not excessively, but a glass of wine/a beer is fine, just do so right after you nurse. Some friends brought us wine and we dug in basically right away.

3. Food in any form.

FOR REALS. Cooking with a baby needing constant attention is sometimes impossible, AND you’re pretty tired, so even if they’re sleeping you don’t really want to be cooking. Meals that go in the freezer are great, and don’t be afraid to bring something, EVEN IF you’re not a great cook. Some people stopped at a grocery with one of those self serve salad/appetizer bars and compiled a dinner for us and we were extremely appreciative and ate it all. One thing we often make for people is this. And we make a HUGE 4x batch and give them enough for like 3 meals and then we eat it for dinner that night too.

4. One Handed Snacks

Get a bunch of those Ziploc snack bags and put together a ton of one handed snacks. As I’ve said before, newborns need almost constant attention and it’s hard to get away sometimes. So you can hold them while they sleep or nurse and eat nuts, veggies, granola, whatever with one hand. Do it.

5. Cleaning Service

You can get people a maid for a day, or YOU can be the maid. When we were brand new parents (we still are), my husband was able to stay home from work with us for FIVE weeks. Not everyone has that privilege, and having a cleaner come by about a week after the (assuming here) husband goes back to work could be a Godsend. Tidying was fine, babies don’t make a lot of mess, but CLEANING was definitely put on the back burner. The bathrooms, eww. And when can I vacuum with a baby “always” sleeping? (read: never sleeping but always trying to make him sleep). Oh, I’ll do it on my ten minute break when I. Just. Can’t. listen to him scream for another second.

6. Take Their Other Child

Ok, don’t TAKE their other child. Only borrow. And only with permission. Now, in my experience, when people have a second child, they seem to be in much better spirits than with the first, and seem to have EVERYTHING under control, but they will I PROMISE YOU appreciate it if you take their toddler to the park for an hour. Even if they just sit and stare at the wall, they’ll appreciate the silence for a few minutes.

7. Something for Later

If you want to get them something tangible, you can get their baby something for later, like clothing in a bigger size (just be cautious of changing seasons) or a toy for when they are bigger (if you need a suggestion, FREAKIN’ STACKING RINGS AND CUPS ARE A HUGE HIT AND SO SIMPLE AND AFFORDABLE).

That’s all I’ve got!

Do you have anything to add?

– Sarah

Posted in 2013, Babies and Parenting | Tagged | Leave a comment

Baby and Toddler First Aid Kit

This post has lots of must-haves for your toddler and baby first aid kit.As you bring your first baby into the world, you realize a NUMBER OF THINGS. One of which is that you wish you’d had that *thing* (whatever it is) at home already instead of having to go and buy it in the middle of a heated situation (moms of teething babies be like mmhmm, mmhmm). Now I don’t like to buy things that aren’t really necessary in case I don’t use them but it’s definitely worth it to stock your first aid kit with a few must-have items. I’ve listed them below. Now while Harrison isn’t quite a toddler just yet, I’ve also included some items I’m aobut to add to our first aid kit to last us the toddler and child years. Cringe.

Baby First Aid Kit Checklist

  • Gripe Water – also helpful: liquid baby Probiotic for infant gas. This is the one we use.
  • Thermometer – imagine wondering and wondering and wondering if they’re sick because they feel warm etc. Just get a thermometer and you’ll know in less than a minute.
  • Nasal aspirator – you don’t want to be messing around if your baby’s sinuses are clogged. Make sure you have one of these on hand. I recommend the Nosefrida.
  • Infant Tylenol – teething pain seems to be more aggravated at night, which is the last time you want to be out buying infant Tylenol.

Once they start crawling, pulling up, standing, walking and FALLING, you’ll want some heavier duty stuff on hand.

Toddler First Aid Kit Checklist

  • Bandaids – bonus points for any character or theme they like, although I’ll just go with the neon coloured ones. Get a bunch of sizes.
  • Butterfly bandaids – for those terrible splits – and keeping them together especially if you have to go to the hospital, double cringe.
  • A couple lollipops or other long lasting treat – nothing worse than trying to do something totally unpleasant with a worked up child. Seriously.
  • Antiseptic – for cleaning the gravel out of the wound.
  • Benadryl or other suitable antihistamine. For when you find out your child is allergic to whatever just stung them.
  • Gauze and a tensor bandage – I’ve never used them but the kit has always had them and I’m afraid to be without it!

And of course any other items you seem suitable depending on the situation, your lifestyle, where you live etc – i.e. a camping first aid kit is MUCH more robust!

What would you add?

– Sarah

Posted in 2013, Babies and Parenting | Leave a comment

Nautical Nursery Tour

It’s been so long since I posted here. I had a nursery tour all ready to go though, so here it is. Oh, also. I had a baby this year. If I neglected to mention that.

As long as I can remember, I’ve loved the water and everything about it. I have always loved the crispness of navy and white together and grew up with a bedroom in that scheme. Throw in some double breasted jackets and gold buttons and I’m “on board,” if you will.

When I was newly pregnant, my husband took me took see a submarine in real life for the first time. It was in Connecticut and we stayed at a bed and breakfast in a nautical-themed room and loved it. We already had a dresser we were going to use as a change table and it was stained a light colour that was impossible to match. I was wondering what I was going to do with it and thought of going with a muted Hundred Acre Wood colour scheme and then the thought if everyone giving us Winnie the Pooh everything was too much to bear (BEAR, get it?!). I decided I could do a nautical theme no problem with a couple colours of wood. It freed me from continuing to search for a wood to match the dresser.

Here is what we started with. Yes it always was that messy.

Before

We removed that white shelf and painted that wall navy and the rest a very very light grey.

2Our friends gave us an espresso crib, you can see that in the corner above. I bought the glider and draped a yellow quilt over it that my mother in law made the baby. I grabbed a lumbar pillow for $14.99 from Target that fit the theme perfectly.

3

Then I stained some Ikea spice racks (more here) to use as bookshelves and made a couple of curtains from two tablecloths (more here).

4I finished off the crib with a navy striped crib sheet and white/navy crib skirt. I finished the decor on the navy wall with an “AHOY” burlap pennant banner for $15 off Etsy, a “Welcome Aboard” navy and white buoy for $20 from Ebay and a $10 (on sale) oar from Canadian Tire.

IMG_6539 IMG_6507 IMG_6535

Three boat cleats-as-coat-hooks and a $5 shelf that I stained myself go along the wall with the door. The shelf is pretty dainty so it houses only light, decorative items, including a sailor’s hat from the submarine we visited in December.6

5 I eventually want to put two books there that are nautical, but I didn’t really have any so I just went with the colour scheme.

Opposite the navy wall is the low dresser that started it all. You’ll notice the shelves have been stained to match it. Ordinarily I would have spray painted the shelves but I figured on a boat you see many natural fabrics and different kinds of wood so that was my inspiration for the stain.

I bought an $8 vintage-inspired world map off of Ebay and mounted it above the change table. Our diaper pail is behind the door. And you can see the hamper in the before picture. I don’t have an after pic of it because it was in the laundry room. Here’s before and after:

Change-Table-B-AThe diapers-and-wipes box (holding our Applecheeks!) was from HomeSense and the navy change pad cover I bought when we drove across the border one day. Psst also see that little snakey thing above the change pad? That’s a Mighty Bright booklight that I had in my bedside table from FOREVER ago. I think it was a stocking stuffer one year. Anyway, I clipped it to the dresser and it’s an invaluable aid for night time diaper changes. Seriously so handy. Except when the baby kicks it, because it’s got a flexible neck on it.

I finished the room with a beigey rug from Ikea that I don’t LOVE but whatever, it’s fine.

Here is a before and after panoramic:8

and the other view:9

I’m still looking for a side table to put beside the glider but that’s a very slow process.

What do you think? Leave me a comment and let me know!

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It’s Been A While

Hey! It’s been a VERY long time since I blogged! I hope to pick it up again soon, but until then you can find me writing regularly over on the Snuggle Bugz Blog here.

See you there!

Sarah

Posted in 2013

What I Wore – August/September

The end of August was pretty crazy around here so I didn’t get an August WIW post up. Here it is! The two dresses at the bottom (blue/gold and red/white/gold) are new finds I bought in Boston. Not necessarily a bargain but I like getting dresses from independent stores while I’m visiting a city. It rounds out my wardrobe. I also bought a few new pairs of pants in these two months to suit my NEW BODY coughbiggercoughgetsomeexercisesarah. Anyway, which item is your favourite? Leave a comment and let me know!

WhatIWore_AugSep-2

Posted in 2013, Fashion, What I Wore | Tagged , | 4 Comments