Thursday, August 1, 2013

Locavore

As I mentioned in my previous post, my husband has gone totally vegetarian.  I'm not quite there yet, but I'm darn close, usually only eating meat once a week, and at this point it's only at a restaurant or at my parents' house. 

One area where I have pretty much committed is eating local as much as possible.  Yup, I'm a locavore.

Here's this past weekend's farmer's market haul:


I wound up roasting a lot of those veggies for dinner on Tuesday and served them with some gnocchi.  There were basically no leftovers.  I think I need to make more time for those kinds of meals, because they are easy to prepare (I was able to quickly clean and chop up the veggies while Amelia amused herself in her high chair), and they are actually quite inexpensive. 

That's the neat thing about shopping at the farmer's market:  When you're buying produce, it's often both fresher and cheaper than the grocery store stuff, and quite frequently it's organically grown as well. 

The budget busters at the farmers market tend to be the pre-made foods.  $6 for jam, $4 for black bean hummus... I could certainly get those things cheaper at the grocery store, but the truth is that the local stuff truly tastes better.  Those are our splurges, which we justify because overall we're still saving money.  And when I get the chance, I make my own hummus, which is even cheaper than buying it at the grocery store.

Have you seen the USDA Food Plan charts?  They're updated monthly.  For June, the "thrifty plan" for 2 adults aged 19-50 is $378.90/month.  I'm pretty sure we did go over that a bit this month, but most of the time our food budget is in the $350-ish range.  That includes non-food groceries and my extra 500 calories a day.  As long as you don't live in a food desert, it's definitely possible to eat well on a budget.  And for the record, we found ourselves relying on convenience foods more than usual this month, in part because I went back to work full-time and was working off-site a bunch.  We went over budget by something like $100.  Time to start menu planning!

So, which plan do you fall under on the USDA charts?  Is it just me or do those numbers seem kind of high?  Or do I just have our farmers market and mostly cooking from scratch to thank for our comparatively low budget? 


And here's some fun stuff that's been going on with Amelia lately:


Not even 6 months old and the kid can already stand while supporting herself on furniture!  Time to start baby-proofing??


Elvis was kind of wary of this new little person at first, but yesterday he jumped up on our bed and laid down next to her.  He was letting her hold his paws and touch his face, and it was adorable.

Here's a picture Glen took of the two of them:


Amelia's face in that picture is pretty much the greatest thing I've ever seen!  

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Time Flies

I haven't so much as signed on to Blogger in 2+ months, and now my baby girl is 5 months old! 

I haven't done her 5 month pictures yet, but here she is at 3 months:


And at 4 months:


And here's one of my absolute favorite pictures of her, taken during tummy time:


And here she is during her first time in the pool, last week:


It's been pretty crazy trying to juggle a new baby, two jobs, and still trying to maintain a social life, which is why my blog's been kind of neglected lately. 

While I can't say I regret my decision for my blog to take a bit of a backseat, I found myself missing it, and the the people I've connected with through it.  Especially since I feel like I have soooo much to say lately.

Glen and I have always been a bit on the crunchy side, but I definitely feel like having a baby has enhanced the crunchy factor. 
  • We've always gone to our local farmers market, but now I'm also planning to use the produce we buy there to make our own baby food.
  • Our decision to cloth diaper is going wonderfully so far!  Good for the environment AND the bank account!
  • At 5 month, Amelia is still exclusively breastfed.  This was important to me for a variety of reasons.  There advantages of breastmilk that formula can't replicate, such as antibodies to help boost her immune system.  It's cheap (would be free if I didn't have to pump at work).  I am lazy (for real, I can't imagine having to prepare formula and warm a bottle - I don't envy my mom or Glen the task of preparing a bottle for a hungry baby while I'm at work!).  But also, less waste.  There's the pump and bottles, but no formula containers to throw out and fewer bottles to wash.  
  • We switched our regular laundry detergent to a clean-rinsing one.  This was mostly to avoid residue on the cloth diapers, but we use it on everything now.  We also started using dryer balls instead of fabric softener sheets.
  • Glen's gone vegetarian.  I'm debating eventually joining him in that since meat isn't a big part of my diet anyway, but I'll never go vegan.  You can pry the cheese and eggs from my cold, dead hands!
I'm sure there are more, but those are the big ones that come to mind.  I'm leaning toward going a bit green with this blog and doing a series of posts about some of our crunchier lifestyle choices.

I'll also be making the rounds, visiting the blogs I technically follow but haven't visited lately.  I hope you're all doing well, and I'm looking forward to seeing what everyone's been up to!

Thursday, May 2, 2013

April: Concerts, Anniversaries and Tummy Time

April was my first full month back at work, albeit still part-time.  It was a busy month, nonetheless.

On April 10, we took Amelia on her first road trip, to visit our friend Eric in Philadelphia.  While we were down there, I met up with some friends to see Andrew McMahon:

 

The concert was amazing, a mix of Something Corporate, Jack's Mannequin, and his new solo stuff.  

Oh yeah, and I made out with Eric's chinchilla, Mittens:
 

Amelia turned 2 months old on the 10th, but this picture was taken the following day, since we spent the 10th in Philly:


As of her two-month appointment, she was 23 1/2 inches long, which they told me was 90th percentile for height.  She clearly does not get her height from me!

On the 22nd, Glen and I celebrated 7 years of marriage with our traditional trip to Minado, which has an amazing sushi buffet.


I love that picture above.  Three of my favorite things: My husband, my daughter, and all-you-can-eat sushi!

And even though Amelia's been holding up her head pretty consistently since she was a few weeks old, we finally figured out the trick to tear-free tummy time:


It seems that propped up on the Boppy, in the crib is the way to go.  This past Sunday, we tried it without the Boppy, and she rolled from her stomach to her back twice! 

In other news, I've been debating downgrading my jewelry business to a hobby, because clearly once I go back to work 10 weeks from now, I will have even less than the currently-almost-nonexistent free time I have now.  For the past 3 years, I ran it as a business, complete with sales tax returns each quarter and a Schedule C each year.  

At this point, based on this IRS publication, I don't think it really qualifies as a business, since I'm not really able to put much time and effort into it and I don't depend on the income to make a living since I already have two other jobs!  The hassle of filing quarterly sales tax returns and filling out a Schedule C doesn't seem worth it as this point, but I still want to continue to make and sell jewelry as a creative outlet.  If I report it as hobby income, I could still deduct certain expenses, I just couldn't claim a loss.  Potentially having to pay slightly more taxes feels worth it to me since I'd have more free time, and right now time is more important to me than saving a few bucks!  

Saturday, April 6, 2013

A Tour of Amelia's Nursery

Finally, I'm taking time to post the long-awaited tour of Amelia's nursery!  

But first, here's a semi-recent picture of Amelia:


Ok, it's actually from three weeks ago, and since she's only eight weeks old, I guess it's not really that recent.  But I think it's pretty darn cute!

But on to the tour:

Here's a birth sampler my mom made and had framed for the nursery.  It's currently hanging on the door:


Here the "before" shot of the corner of the room that functioned as my office space:


And here are a couple of shots of it now:


My mom made the pillows and crib skirt, since I couldn't find any sets I liked.  The wall decal is from the Etsy shop Quirkee Walls.  All those thin, wispy sections of the branch made it pretty difficult to get up, but I think it was totally worth it!

Here's a close-up:

 

And Amelia's bookcase:


She's already got quite the library!  Yes, that is a current picture, and yes, Go the F**k to Sleep is still prominently displayed.  I promise I will put it somewhere else before she learns to read. ;-)

Here's a before shot of the other side of the room, which functioned more or less as a guess room, what with the futon and all:



And here it is, looking slightly to the right:


You can see the curtains my mom made, which match the crib skirt and pillows.  The glider is from my mother-in-law, and that little black table from the "before" picture found a home next to it.  That's where I keep water, snacks, and burp clothes for all those late-night nursing sessions.


The changing table is now fully stocked with cloth diapers, covers, and wet bags.  

The lamp in the "before" picture also found a home in Amelia's nursery, I put it on the dresser:


And no, the picture in the frame is not Amelia, it's the one that came with the frame... although since I took this picture, I DID put a picture of her in it!

Amelia seems to love all the birds in her nursery.  She'll lie on the changing table, babbling and smiling at the curtains, and she does the same with the decal when she's in her crib.  It's absurdly cute.  We tend to leave her on her changing table for awhile after diaper changes are done, just because it's so entertaining!

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

One Month!

That's how long it's been since my last post. 

It's also how old Amelia is now!  Crazy!



Anyway, as promised, here are the 39-week belly pictures:

Posing in the nursery.  I was totally using the crib to hang maternity clothes.
Belly close-up!  Hard to believe that's Amelia in there!
Amelia is a super easy baby most of the time, we just need to work on getting longer stretches of sleep at night.  Part of the problem is that she seems to like to sleep on her stomach (during the day she will often take naps on her stomach, lying on my chest), but she is not a fan of sleeping on her back.  Once she can roll to her stomach on her own, I think we'll be golden.

And of course, she's super adorable all the time.  Here's one of my favorite pictures of her, at 10 days old:


There are a TON of pictures of her on Glen's website, but first you have to get through the many, many pictures he took of Amelia's stuffed robot, Mr. Toyboto - Glen took him on a comedy tour in Nebraska this past week, and it seems Mr. Toyboto may have a drinking problem. ;-)

Amelia, Elvis and I have been spending a good chunk of that time at my parents' house, since I'm not quite ready to deal with caring for a new baby and a dog (the functional equivalent of a toddler) on my own.  Right now Amelia and Elvis are napping together on my mom, and I can't end this post without sharing:


Seriously, I have the cutest kids, furry and otherwise. ;-)
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