Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Nesting Homestead Style

About to be Moms nest toward the end of their pregnancies.  Some do it right away and call it nesting. I think that's more excitement than nesting, but no matter.  I did everything early with my oldest. The nursery was decorated, his tiny outfits were washed in special baby detergent, the changing table was organized and reorganized and the diaper stacker was full.  When nesting actually hit, I went OCD in an attempt to create a perfectly clean and sterile environment. 
With G, nesting took a backseat to moving, which happened a few days before his birth.  This time things are very different. I am getting the urge to get things done. When I can't I feel agitated.  But the things I want done reflect my experience as a Mother and where my life is today. I'm not worried about where the white teddy bear with the silky pink ribbon will look best in the nursery or if certain clothes should be folded or hung. I'm worried about making certain we are all ready when baby comes home.
   I don't want to have to think about making dinners.  I also don't want Chris to have to run to the store or pick up quick and junky dinners. So I'm starting to prepare slow cooker freezer meals and stock pile them. Those first few weeks after baby are difficult.  I remember not being able to find time to shower after B was born. I also remember being uncomfortable and not 100%. So I lived off of potato chips rather than real food. But that won't work with G in football and growing so much. He'll need healthy and hearty dinners. So we're investing in a chest freezer and making dinner in advance.  I haven't started on this endeavor just yet. But on my to do list this week is to compile a list of meals to make and obtain the proper ingredients.
   I've mentioned before that I'd like to try using cloth diapers. Regular laundry detergent ruins them. So this weekend I made a huge batch of baby detergent, which can also be used on our clothes.  It's dye and scent free so it will probably be what we all use. Not to mention it's very inexpensive to make and will last forever. If you're interested, I used a recipe I found here. http://theecofriendlyfamily.com/2009/08/cloth-diaper-detergent/ B had a horrible reaction to fabric softener when he was a baby. Poor guy was miserable and looked like he had acne every place he touched my clothes or sheets that wasnt covered by his own clothes.  So I learned to make my own fabric softener crystals for the washing using all natural ingredients.  It will also save us a lot of money, as an added bonus.I found that recipe here. http://happymoneysaver.com/homemade-fabric-softener-crystals-recipe-just-2-ingredients/  I tried it yesterday on clothes dried on the line and it works!
   One of the struggles with an infant is the added amount of work required for simple trips to the grocery store. So our attempt to save everything we can from the garden is also helping be prepared for her arrival.  The more we save and store the fewer trips we need to make. We currently have jam, kale, spinach, carrots, beets, and pickles. In a few weeks we will be harvesting tomatoes and making salsa, spaghetti sauce, catsup and anything tomato based we can think of. Our beans and eggplant are flowering, and  zucchini, corn, cabbage and peppers are coming in. We are ready to till the empty carrot and beet area for our Fall harvest which will include peas and more spinach to name a few.  Potatoes and sweet potatoes have been covered in more soil. Although they are coming in now, if we harvest them at this point, they will go bad. If we keep them well covered in the ground and harvest when it's cooler we can enjoy them into the winter as long as they're properly stored. 

    I'm learning to make my own baby cereal. I will head to the food co-op to purchase raw ingredients soon. The ingredients store well so I'll have a jump start on things before baby gets here. I plan on using recipes found here. http://www.vegkitchen.com/kid-friendly-recipes/homemade-baby-cereals-from-whole-grains/ I'm also learning to freeze homemade bread dough. I hear it's tricky and would like several months worth complete in advance. G packs a lunch and so does Chris. We go through a lot of bread. Having it in the freezer will save a lot of trips to the store.
     All the prepping for baby will make life much easier when she gets here.  It also saves money. Our ultimate goal is for Chris to make his business a full-time gig. So the less we spend and the more we save is forward motion.  I also really care about what goes into all of our bodies. If I were to store shop for organic, non-gmo food with a tween who has the ability to grow half an inch and gain 5 plus Lbs a month, the cost would be astronomical.  But, I get to feed him the very best, very inexpensively.  And, the truth is, we just enjoy doing it.  We enjoy learning how and seeing our hard work pay off.  There are so many upsides and basically no downsides.  I'll worry about her nursery after my showers.  I'll probably go into hyper cleaning OCD mode in the few weeks before her birth.  But right now, my concern is setting up a lifestyle for the entire family that is environmentally friendly, cost effective as without sacrificing convenience.  So far so good.