Saturday, May 31, 2008

cloth diapers and so forth

so, remember yesterday i wrote that i'm looking for cloth diapers? no? well, go now and read yesterday's post, directly beneath this one. then, once you're done, come back up here. ... [humming a cheery tune to myself whilst you read elsewhere.....] done? good. so you know what i'm talking about.

ok, now forget it.

we had used cloth diapers for blithe for a couple years, almost right up until she potty trained. then we had bram, or as i like to call him, "his royal highness, prince bram the sensitive." God forbid he sense a couple wee drops of something wet in his nappy! seriously, you have no idea. screamed like a banshee until we'd change his perfectly fine, almost bone-dry diaper. oh, yeah, it was just as fun as it sounds. ugh. so that was a no-go, and he was in disposables (much to my chagrin, but relief).

enter asher. he's in disposables at the hospital, and at the beginning, i'd had to give up so much else that i believe in regarding parenting, that the diaper issue really never came up. he's been in disposables this whole time.

at one time, we were going to get rid of the cloth diapers. in my mind, we already had. so, imagine my surprise last night, as i was checking out, when ed says ever-so-non-chalantly, "heather, we still have diapers upstairs." "um, excuse me," says i, in my most non-valley girl tone, "those are disposables. i want cloth. duh." he rolls his eyes (not unlike you upon reading this), and heads upstairs. i hear some stuff being moved around, and down he comes with a laundry basket filled with blithe's old diapers!

long story short (yeah, right, this is me, after all), we have diapers. and covers. just need to freshen them up a bit, and fix a seam on one, and we're in business! well, first i want to finish up the disposables. i paid good money for them, and i don't think we have too many left. so, later this week, my baby/toddler will be a cloth-diaper-wearing, butt-even-bigger-than-i-ever-imagined-possible-on-a-hypoplast kid! woohoo!!!!!!

i just need to find some extra liners for overnight. until i do, i still have some flat diapers that i can fold up and put in there, but i'd like the extra liners. they fit perfectly. and before you offer your oh-so-predictable protest, "but heather, he's on laxatives! yuck!" i'm going to be perfectly honest with you. but sit down before you read this, because it will shock you. ready? ok. when blithe was wee, i cleaned a lot of poopy cloth diapers. and you know, i washed those ones by hand, and took great pride in getting them clean. and i mean clean! i defy you to find a stain on those diapers! go ahead and look (if you get the chance ever). you won't find one. that's because i'm gooooooood. it was actually quite rewarding, in a crappy (pun intended) kind of way... to get something so dirty and gross, so clean. so there. i can't wait. i'm so excited, i'm like a little puppy! ok, not that excited. i'll leave that to bram (honestly, today he and a little red-haired girl - how ever so charlie brown! - were playing fetch. seriously, fetch! and bram was not the one throwing the ball. no, he was down on all fours retrieving the ball with his teeth. "bram, are you a dog?" i asked. "no, mommy," says he, clearly disgusted by my ignorance, "i'm pretending to be a dog.") ok, now where was i? kind of lost my train of thought there. ah, yes, cloth diapers. woohoo!

so, to sum up:

  1. i'm disorganized and absent-minded.
  2. when quoting myself, i make myself out to be a twit.
  3. i have cloth diapers for asher.
  4. bram is whipped.

that's today. tonight i cleaned my kitchen (well, mostly, anyway), and tomorrow i'm making pasta, rice and beans with the kiddies in the afternoon, and donating toys to somewhere. that's my sunday coming up. well, i've gotta go. his highness beckons. toodles! :)

Friday, May 30, 2008

i'm trying to focus my "energies"

lately i have begun trying to minimize the impact my family and i have on the environment. i have also been trying to reduce plastic usage, buying "stuff" (so, less consumerism), decreasing waste and increasing composting and recycling, saving money, reducing gas usage, reducing hydro usage, eating less meat, and on and on and on.

and, yes, it's just as overwhelming as it all sounds.

today, in a moment of eco-fatigue, i sat down for a moment and asked God, "what am i supposed to do here? there's so much i need to do, but i can't do it all. how do i do this?"

and my answer came, as clear as the words on this post, "just pick one." one at a time. i can do that. so.....

i have decided on minimizing waste and consumerism. increase recycling and composting, buying less stuff (don't worry, pam, paper and chipboard are biodegradable, so i'll still be paying your hydro bill, lol), and cooking more foods from scratch. less in, less out. oh, and we will also be driving less (uses less gas and saves money).

so, for the "cooking from scratch," i'm going to do some cooking/baking this weekend:

  1. my own pasta
  2. dare i try bread?
  3. maybe i'll just start with banana bread
  4. a big batch of rice, to be kept in the fridge for the week
  5. some beans, to be kept in the fridge for the week

i think that's ambitious enough, esp given that we have 4 hours of respite tomorrow and i still have no idea what we're gonna do for 4 whole hours! especially if it's going to rain. better get planning, i think.

i've also posted on Freecycle (St Thomas chapter) that i'm looking for cloth diapers for asher. let's face it, he's not going to be potty-training anytime soon, and with the diurretics and laxatives that he's on, we go through a lot of diapers. i hate spending that much money, and sending all that waste to landfill. but... if you have cloth diapers, or access to some, and they need to be the big ones, so they'll fit 25lbs and up, please let me know.

i also have one other item i need to look for: a solar-powered generator, to be used as a back-up power source during black-outs. given that one cannot really predict events like that with much certainty, and given that my child is technology-dependent and required power in order to be fed, this is somewhat of a high priority for us. but like i told a friend earlier: i don't know anything about power generation, and therefore, i don't know what i'm really looking for. you can see my problem. so, if you know anything about solar-powered generators, or if you have a lead on one (and you're reasonably local, say, within the 519 area code), please contact me. you can either post a comment here, or email me (if you have my address, that is). thanks so much! :)

anyway, have a great weekend; may it be simple, green, and filled with power during the storms (take that metaphorically if you will; i'm just hoping we don't have any black-outs!).

Grandma's Banana Bread

my grandmother's recipe. the best ever!!!!!!!

1/2 cup butter, margarine or shortening (Grandma uses hard margarine)
1-2/3 cups sugar
2 eggs, slightly beaten
1 tsp salt
1-1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
4 tbsp sour cream
4 cups mashed bananas (approx 2-3 bananas)
2 cups flour
1 tsp vanilla

cream together margarine and sugar until light and fluffy.
add eggs and salt. mix well.
dissolve baking powder and baking soda in sour cream and add to mixture.
stir in banana pulp.
gradually add flour and vanilla.
spray the inside of soup cans (like Campbell's soup) with cooking spray (spray works best b/c it gets into all the ridges). fill cans about 2/3 full.
bake at 350F for about 1 hour. check after 45 minutes.
yields 4 "cans" of banana bread.

you can also make it in a loaf pan. bake at 350F for about 1.5 hours. check just after 1 hour.

blithe's art

this morning i was doing dishes while the kids (well, the older ones, anyway) were snacking on watermelon. blithe, of course, finished hers first (and most cleanly) and, since we've turned off the TV for the rest of the day, she pulled out her craft supplies and did "kindergarten stuff" (as bram called it. here's what she drew:

apparently, no one else knows how to do this. that's what she said. the back creature on the left is a dragon, breathing fire out of its nose. and the little blue person? that's princess blithe (see her pink crown?) and she's holding a "peanut butter nut" that she's going to give to prince bram. but she'll add him in another day.

then, she went upstairs and tidied up her desk, making it a nicely organized scrapbooking desk in her room. she put all her crayons and markers and stamps and stuff in the drawer, and you can actually see the top of the desk. she said it's like my desk, although those who know me know that you can only see little bits of my desk. :)

anyhoo, that's our simple morning. this afternoon we have respite for a couple hours, and the older kids and i are going to run some errands, including a little item i picked up on freecycle. i can't wait! :) ttys! h

Thursday, May 29, 2008

i don't bake...

but i'd like to change that. minor problem, though: no recipes. and when you don't make a habit of baking, you can't really wing it right off the bat.

see, here's the thing. it's not so much the baking i mind. it's the measuring. never tell a formerly messed-up pastor's kid what to do, how to do it, when to do it, and for how long. which is why the rebel in me refused to bake for, um oh, ever!

until now, my friends! but again, you see my problem. i don't bake, so i lack recipes. what to do, what to do?

i want to start with some old-fashioned things that just about everyone i know can bake (ok, so maybe i'm caving in to peer pressure or something, or maybe i want to give my children what i was deprived of: memories of baking with mom. sorry, mom, but i don't remember doing that with you.) anyhoo...

i love the smell of baking bread. at least, i want to love it. i think i've honestly only smelled it a couple of times in my life, but in my soul, i love it. so, i did what any SAHM who spends too much time online does: search the net. stupid, naive me, entered "bread recipes." don't know what i was thinking; there's THOUSANDS of sites out there with bread recipes! yikes! well, i'll admit, i don't scan them all and choose the best. maybe i should, but i don't. i just pick the first one on the list. if it doesn't "speak to me" i move to the second. i don't remember the last time i got to the third link on the list. well, i found this website ( and it has a whole section on bread! (can you tell i'm new at this? the bread section was a surprise for me! i mean, who knew there were so many recipes for bread? lol) so i printed off 3 recipes:

  1. traditional white bread
  2. amish white bread
  3. simple whole wheat bread

i can't wait to give them a whirl. maybe tomorrow with the kids. we'll learn together. :) (and a quick note about printing the recipes: you can choose the format: full page, 4x6 or 3x5. i chose 3x5, seems like a nice traditional recipe card size [am i wrong? i hope not, i want to do this right, and that means down to these seemingly stupid details. yes, i'm a nerd, but i can't help it. lol] it prints off in 2 small boxes, surrounded by dotted lines which are your guides for cutting it out for real-life recipe cards. can you believe it? i have recipe cards! woohoo! lol)

ok, sorry about that little outburst. i'm just a little excited here. maybe a little too excited. that could be. i'll take a sedative later (ah, the simple life. lol). but wait! it gets better! i found other recipes, and printed them off, too!

  1. banana banana bread
  2. BASIC PASTA!!!!!!!

oh, i am just too excited about the pasta recipe! i can't wait to try it out! i feel like asher sitting in the grass or bram playing with his trains or blithe looking at anything pink! ok, i should stop writing now, otherwise i'll go on and on and never get any sleep tonight and then tomorrow i'll be tired when i deal with the kiddies and that's no good. i get cranky when i'm tired. but i also have to do a quick sample for my scrappin challenge blog and give asher his meds, so i just need to stop now.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Welcome to "My Simple Life"

ok, ok, so my life anymore is not so simple. hasn't been for about 18 months. but it was once, and i was happy. much happier than i am now. so....

in that spirit, and in the spirit of renewal and personal evolution, i am reclaiming Simplicity for me and my family. this blog is the story of that journey. basically, all about me re-connecting with the self i lost a while back.

i'll write about homeschooling, greener household products, money-saving ideas. i'll also post about my garden, my kids, and what we do on a day-to-day basis.

this is the unseen side of Asher's and my blog, the home-side story. if you read it, fine. if you like it, great! but this is really for myself, and those interested in the real-life, practical, day-to-day journey of my life.

Why I Write Here

i like this blog. this is where i write about homelife. my kids, my pets, recipes, natural cleaning products, gardening, cool finds... that's what i write about here. this is the hands-on part of my personal journey. i'm reclaiming myself, a self i lost in a hospital somewhere, among all the meds, plastic, waste and complexity that comes with Special Needs parenting. i crave simplicity, and this is my journey to create it for my family and me.

i'm prolific! check out my other blogs!

you like me! you REALLY like me!!

i'm on facebook! add me! :)


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