traditional homemaking: a homemade winter! - Page 4 - Mothering Forums

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Old 12-29-2009, 07:41 PM
 
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I am in a dinner funk. I just don't want to deal with it anymore. All of the restrictions of this anti-allergy diet are paralyzing me and have sucked all the fun out of cooking. I'd rather clean the bathroom than cook. Wah.
That's part of why I don't post (much). I miss things like making bread/pizza/cookies/etc, and all my energy is drained by food/reactions and I haven't figured out yet how to do much else. Last night I made soy-free miso soup which was , and yesterday I finished the kitchen sink mat - very basic, made from old jeans and towels.

I have trouble making goals/plans, cause then I get attached to them and dd has other ideas. On the to do list is to finish decluttering (stuff is all in boxes from getting floors redone, it's a matter of sorting/parting, and actually getting rid of it) then paint the second bedroom so we can turn it into a kids room for dd well before the baby gets here at the end of march. I also want organize the kitchen, make refrigerator magnets of dd to mail out as holiday cards, make dh some of the fingerless gloves you all keep talking about, and finish a scarf for dd. That should keep me plenty busy for the next 6 months or so

allergy-nutrition mama, dh, 4yo dd, and March ds
Eating shouldn't be stressful!
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Old 12-30-2009, 10:35 AM
 
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Thanks for all the input ladies. I am well into making the decorations. I don't know that I could sell them after all as they are not perfect. But I do hope to pass them onto a local friend or something.

Pinkoi-Great job on the reupholstry of the chairs. Isn't that such a fabulous feeling..the before and after. I just love redoing things and improving upon what they were. So rewarding!

artparent-please post pics of the cowl. That is on my to do list of projects.

Sunflower-I hope your baby is okay!

Did I mention I got a new bread machine for Xmas? I would love to say that I make bread from scratch by hand, but I don't. But I do make it from scratch in the breadmachine. I received an old one on freecycle two years ago. It worked well for awhile, but only make small white bread and white/wheat loaves. I've been tired of it for awhile. My mil got me a nice Panasonic one that makes up to 2 lbs loaves and I can finally make whole grain bread and all sorts of things. I have not had time to use it yet, but I am very excited about it. I got so tired of the old one that I started buying our bread again. I cant wait to get back into making it fresh.

Hope everyones week is moving along. anyone have great New Years plans? We never do anything anymore, but New Years day is always special, b/c that is my first sons birthday!

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Old 12-30-2009, 12:47 PM
 
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I like the idea for reusable party decorations.
Don't be scared of your sewing machines ladies! Find a project that gets you excited and figure it out as you go. If you mess up, that's good because you're learning. Basic sewing is much easier than people think.
I'm getting jealous of all you knitters. Not jealous enough to knit... some day.
Did I say scared... I meant terrified Angelique too bad you didn't live closer as I would take sewing lessons from you in a heartbeat!


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That's part of why I don't post (much). I miss things like making bread/pizza/cookies/etc, and all my energy is drained by food/reactions and I haven't figured out yet how to do much else. Last night I made soy-free miso soup which was
Please post any recipes you have find etc... I'm trying to plot how to go gf without impacting my family too much as I have a sneaky feeling that's a factor in some of my health problems lately. I love to try any yummy foods, (df, sf, gf, corn-free), so if you need a buddy for meal ideas or a tester/taster. I'm in!

All is calm on the homefront currently. Project Granola was a huge hit with friends, co-workers & of course the family. Everyone loves it and it was a super easy recipe to do. If anyone wants it I'll post here if you'd like, please be aware though its not healthy and has dairy in it (butter).

I'm shopping for my supplies for candlemaking (whee!) and working on compling recipes for DH on how to make basic cleaning supplies at home, so I don't have to cram it all into a weekend to avoid him complaining and then running out to buy something. We just made basic dishsoap (to wash the dishes) with the Dr. B's I have. 1/5 Dr. Bs to 4/5 h2o with a 1/4 c lemon juice. DH is nervous its not working as it doesn't suds up like our old 7th generation stuff, but I showed him how it was working since all the dishes didn't have a greasy film, no food stuck on 'em and the water smelled heavenly (I did a blend of lavendar & peppermint ). So now I'm waiting for the rest of the cleaners to be used up and then replace those, the foaming handsoaps, and create a facewash/soap for me. It would be nice to find recipes for dishwasher soap as that is getting expensive for us (we buy the non-phos. type) UGH.

treehugger.gifAnd you who seek to know Me, know that the seeking and yearning will avail you not, unless you know the Mystery: for if that which you seek, you find not within yourself, you will never find it without.treehugger.gif

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Old 12-30-2009, 03:32 PM
 
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Hi, I'm a new lurker trying to incorporate more homemade goodness into my life.

I saw awhile back that someone mentioned making a bathrobe out of old towels. I really would like a bathrobe for DS and I happen to have a bunch of old towels. Any tips on how to make this? I googled for directions but they seem to only apply to adult-sized robes. I have a machine and basic sewing skills.

Baby Boy 9/08 & Baby Girl 3/11

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Old 12-30-2009, 03:48 PM
 
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Hi, I'm a new lurker trying to incorporate more homemade goodness into my life.

I saw awhile back that someone mentioned making a bathrobe out of old towels. I really would like a bathrobe for DS and I happen to have a bunch of old towels. Any tips on how to make this? I googled for directions but they seem to only apply to adult-sized robes. I have a machine and basic sewing skills.
I think if you follow these directions

http://www.ez-fit.com/bath_towel_robe.cfm

but use handtowels you would make a kid size one.
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Old 12-30-2009, 09:41 PM
 
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Today Dp wiped down all the walls/doorways upstairs and cleaned the bathrooms. I scrubbed the shower base (as flecks of my paint from my project were stuck in the soap scum!)

I started putting away the Christmas ornaments, ran some errands and then came home to make some meals for the freezer.

I made Mexican chicken tortilla soup (I cheated by chopping up the leftover chicken enchiladas, adding some chicken broth and black beans). It is cooked and chilling now, I think it might make 3 quarts for the freezer.

My third meatloaf is in the oven! Two are wrapped up and chilling for the freezer as well!

I don't know if this squeaks anyone out, but I CANNOT put hot food directly in the freezer. I have to chill the hot food, then freeze it. Am I weird?
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Old 12-31-2009, 03:37 AM
 
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Oh my WORD, and she's sold out of the patterns now. NOOOO!!!! DS absolutely adores horses with all his tiny-almost-two-year-old heart and I am trying to figure out how to sew him a stuffed one. Maybe would you be willing to share the pattern love? I promise not to sell any, it's just for DS's birthday next month.

There's a free pattern/tutorial here.


And now that I've posted I should introduce myself.

I'm a sah/homeschooling mama to 4 kids. Over the past couple of years I've been focusing more and more on healthy, frugal and sustainable living which has led me to learn to do things like canning, baking our own bread, making yogurt (cheese is next on my list) sewing, knitting, soapmaking, making our own cleaning products etc. (When I look at that list the 25 year old Bay Street Banker in my laughs and wonders how things changed so much ). I still generally suck at cleaning though - lol.

I often wish I could talk to my grandmother who raised a family of 4 through the depression. I didn't pay much attention to what she tried to pass on and now I wish I had.

Projects I am working on for this winter:
~ wool socks for me and all my kids (I manged 3 pair in time for Christmas and need to finish the last kid pair this week.)
~ patchwork duvet cover for our bed
~ heavy curtains for the boy's room - a branch smashed their storm window in mid December and I don't know if we will have a warm spell that we can get it down to get it fixed. Until then I did draft snakes but I really need to do curtains soon.
~ canning more applesauce using seconds from our apple guy at the market

This year I'd like to work on learning to make a rag rug and collecting fabrics for it, learn to make cheese, make candles, delve more into making more of our own home remedies and helping DH with more of the outdoor fix-ups - which seems never ending unfortunately but I figure that building/woodworking isn't much different than sewing right??

Blessed partner to a great guy, and mama to 4 amazing kids. Unfortunate target of an irrationally angry IRL stalker.

Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else; you are the one who gets burned. ~ Buddha

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Old 12-31-2009, 05:14 AM - Thread Starter
 
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welcome lizzylou + karen
lots of interesting things to do!

i *finally* found a proper wooly winter coat for myself, now we are all duffled. it is so nice to be really warm! of course, it is a different colour than i've been wearing, and my wooly things don't look good with it, so *shucks*, must make myself a cowl + fingerless cabley gloves to suit. and this is how my knitting projects quadruple

a friend on here on another thread mentioned cleaning the house top to bottom to welcome in the new year. we've been in such chaos over the holidays, and now my sweet has departed for london i think i will take the day to bring some serious order. a good way to deal with us feeling bereft! i'm finding it tricky to have any kind of routine when we're visiting canada, and it really shows

my tall girl would like to sew clothes for her doll, and now that she hasn't got quite so much around to be busy with, it seems like we can get started. anyone else sewing with children?

*
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Old 12-31-2009, 01:33 PM
 
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I did take a beginner's class, but I found the lady taught me everything I had taught myself from this book. She did start us with paper and following along a pattern on there first to get comfortable with the machine. Good luck to all of those getting ready to learn!
PNCTink - that looks like a lovely book for starters. I'm bookmarking now!

Anyone have fabulous plans for this blue moon new years eve? I wanted to make for this evening & for future years a set of party hats for all of us in the family to wear (like a top hat, princess crown, hat with ear flaps, pointed cone hat etc) and have the kids help me decorate them with beads, jewels, ribbons, feathers etc. Think of the movie ya-ya sisterhood and the crowns they had made for themselves.... that's my inspiration as my family had hats for us to wear as kids on new years eve since we didn't go out to parties. It was fun to fight over which one would get which.

Does anyone else do this?

treehugger.gifAnd you who seek to know Me, know that the seeking and yearning will avail you not, unless you know the Mystery: for if that which you seek, you find not within yourself, you will never find it without.treehugger.gif

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Old 12-31-2009, 02:22 PM
 
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I saw awhile back that someone mentioned making a bathrobe out of old towels. I really would like a bathrobe for DS and I happen to have a bunch of old towels. Any tips on how to make this? I googled for directions but they seem to only apply to adult-sized robes. I have a machine and basic sewing skills.
That might have been me. I used our adult robes as a pattern, and basically folded a normal size towel to wrap around and open in the front, cut off the extra, then cut out arm holes and shaped the shoulders. Then added sleeves, hems, pockets and belt loops. I took some pictures I'll try to post soon - it came out really cute, but there was some awkwardness around the armpits and the neckline, and an older towel might have been even better cause it's kind of stiff. But dd's 3 and now can wear a robe just like mommy and daddy, and loves it

Angelique, have you seen there's an allergen-free recipes and meal ideas thread in the allergies forum? I think it's linked in the resources sticky. Lots of great ideas in there!

After spending the day in the city yesterday, and dealing with food reactions the first part of the week, I'm hoping today I can make some headway on converting the kids room. The painting I want to do will take several days (it's lots of layered washes) so if I can just clear and prime the walls, that would be awesome!

I'm also trying to figure out how to block the light that comes in through the upper windows at night. It's a peaked roof, and there are two trapazoidal windows that are hard to figure out... I'm thinking horizontal wooden slats, but don't know if that's even possible with the angled side.

allergy-nutrition mama, dh, 4yo dd, and March ds
Eating shouldn't be stressful!
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Old 01-01-2010, 12:34 AM
 
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Okay. I feel like a slacker today reading about all you productive, creative mamas. Especially today. Tell me other moms have days where it feels like NOTHING gets done. Here was my day:

Get up later than I wanted because my cosleeping kiddo won't sleep without me in bed and had a bad night; made a late breakfast of pancakes; made bread; put in load of laundry; knitted two rows; worked on my sermon for Sunday; read a looong chapter in our chapter book to my girls; taught my 6YO DD how to knit; made boxed (organic at least) mac and cheese for lunch; did family art time where we all drew a dinosaur circus performer, a sun, an owl with lights on it (don't ask me - it was 3YO DD's idea) and Christmas lights; knitted two more rows; updated my blog; started trying to figure out dinner; gave my kids bread, almond butter, and homemade blueberry jam and hardboiled eggs while I figured it out; spent half an hour pretending to be a dinosaur; helped the girls clean their toys up; put dishes in the dishwasher; decided that we would make it a new year's eve tradition to eat ice cream for supper and so I made ice cream; worked a bit on our farm newsletter; put the girls to bed; remembered the laundry I started 12 hours ago and put it in the dryer; and here I am.

Does anyone else have days like this where there is nothing to show for your day and you feel like you got nothing done? Seriously. How was that my day? LOL.
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Old 01-01-2010, 12:47 AM - Thread Starter
 
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sounds like a busy day! making ice cream in particular it happens to me a lot.

i've cleaned the house a LOT today, which feels great, and i've also begun knitting a pair of cabley handwarmers. i'm going to make a longer thumb on these ones and so i'm adapting the latest pattern from purl bee for that.

have a lovely new year's eve! off to bring in the new year knitting with friends

*
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Old 01-01-2010, 01:14 AM
 
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Yeah, sunnylady, that sounds pretty productive to me.

For me, for some reason my level of satisfaction is directly tied to how the house looks at the end of the day. If it's pretty tidy, I feel good.

It's all right today. We slept in and had breakfast out, which I hate but dh really wanted, so we went. So, we were lunch-free. We hit the library for books and movies, and then I baked a big batch of bread (I freeze them) and cooked a pot of chili. Which my dh apparently is not interested in eating. Then I did some knitting, and just now I read a little for a work project I'm considering.

I'm trying to decide how much I want to work outside the home. I get sucked in because it's work I enjoy, and it gets me the (almost) instant gratification of people being pleased with my work...as opposed to the personal work I want to do, but I just can't be bothered to set aside time and place. Also, there's the whole money thing. But already I can see that I can't balance it all. I've only recently begun to see that, indeed, being married--that is, being a partner to my spouse--is a job for me. I don't like the way that sounds when I type it here. I don't mean it in a bad way. But I am likely only going to work until the first signs of spring (kidding in March, I guess), and then I'll be once again 100% dedicated here.

Happy New Year, mamas.
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Old 01-01-2010, 03:54 AM
 
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That sounds like a day I dream of having sunnylady!!

I think the most productive thing I did today (aside from caring for and playing with the DC) was making hambone and bean soup in the crockpot. I have become obsessed with reading again (voracious reader through teen years, got married and forgot about books ) and was lent a copy of You Are Your Child's First Teacher, so that is what I have been doing instead of household things. I'm kind of soaking in the last days of the holidays with the kids and next week I'm hoping to get our new routine going. Well, get it a bit more structured anyway.

Nicole, sewmachine.gif Mama to hearts.gif C (4/07) and whistling.gif Z (2/09).
 

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Old 01-01-2010, 06:42 AM
 
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Sunnylady, I lurk here because I always feel so unproductive in comparison and you post was no exception. Your day sounds incredibly productive to me
The first day of the year is just finishing up here and I haven't really done much at all except play with the kidlets and talk to dh. DD requested DH make pancakes for breakfast, we had lunch out (while shopping for a crock to make saurkraut, no luck ) and now DH is roasting the last of our grass-fed beef for dinner so I haven't even done any cooking.
I did shine the sink though. My only NY's resolution is to give flylady's 31 babysteps a go. Not the shoes though. I've tried before and I get her point but we have free range chickens in the yard and a crawling baby inside. We take our shoes off at the door for a reason!

grateful Mama to DD May '06 and DS May '09
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Old 01-01-2010, 03:20 PM
 
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Welcome to the newbies!
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Did I say scared... I meant terrified Angelique too bad you didn't live closer as I would take sewing lessons from you in a heartbeat!
I taught myself from patterns and books. I'm no expert, but I can assemble basic things. I think it's my willingness to completely screw up and start over that has gotten me this far.

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I figure that building/woodworking isn't much different than sewing right??
I laughed when I read this because I feel the same way. Before I got pregnant, DH was running his own carpentry business and I was his "apprentice" (lackey). With a strong background in art & crafting, carpentry mostly makes sense.

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my tall girl would like to sew clothes for her doll, and now that she hasn't got quite so much around to be busy with, it seems like we can get started. anyone else sewing with children?
As kids, we crocheted clothes for our barbies. Not sure if your DD is interested in crochet, but the freeform sculptability of crochet allows for quick success IMO. I know that in the frontier days, boys and girls used to help with the sewing around age 5 & up, so she should do great!

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Angelique, have you seen there's an allergen-free recipes and meal ideas thread in the allergies forum? I think it's linked in the resources sticky. Lots of great ideas in there!
Thanks. My solution was to go completely off the wagon...

Sunnylady- I used to feel that "nothing to show" feeling a lot until I revised my expectations. My current criteria for a "productive" day: Everyone dressed and fed, actively played w/ DS, did any cleaning (even a little), did anything else (even a little). That's enough!

Happy New Year!!!
May your meals be healthy and delicious, your floors be shiny, your crafts inspired, your children engaged, and most important of all: May your home be full of love!

Student Midwife : Nature Loving Mama : to Quinn : June '08 :::
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Old 01-01-2010, 08:16 PM - Thread Starter
 
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happy new year, mamas. i happily spent it soused, with an old friend, and teaching a new friend to knit i'm not sure if it was the blue moon, but none of our children could get to sleep - my poor folks had one of mine bring in the new year with them

so we're a little sleepy out here, but i have been working on the pair to my cabley gloves, and i cut up a bingo game i once printed + laminated, it is off marthastewart kids...very pretty but must come up with all the bits to go with it we've been having a *great* time with 'brain quest' games with the little one, she loves it, and it points to what we haven't played with much, in her case it is recognising written numbers, so i got out the play money today and bingo...maybe we can play some card games sometime too. before we forget about it again and just live

i have a request to do some sewing with my tall one, must find materials.

i started the day with some yoga! it felt like a huge relief, as if i hadn't really been present in my body these last few months. i hope to make this a lifelong practice.

oh, by the way, i finished the lion brand cowl, i wore it out last night, it was very cosy but i may put in a couple of ties hidden inside to tighten it up around my neck, or something...if i make it again i might decrease it around the back of the neck somewhat, and make it longer. i want a different pattern for the grey one i want to make. 73 projects on my brain.

*
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Old 01-02-2010, 12:11 AM
 
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hello..hello!

the days are flying by! my computer has been acting up and is now in the "shop" hopefully getting all better. i have tried posting here a few times in the past weeks, but it freezes every time. arg. i love my lime green laptop

last night we shared a lovely hot bonfire in the snow and potluck and fireworks show at a friends house, got home after 1am with 2 out of three littles asleep..and slept in till 10am this morning *sigh*
we are currently under assault by some major snow. we spent the late morning at the local polar bear swim (did not actually get wet) & bonfire..ate veggies dogs and hot apple cider with cayenne, then headed to the sledding hill where we got completely soaked and freezing. its heavily snowing but big fat wet flakes that melt when they land on you. still, we had a ton of fun, at least till we got icy fingers and toes.

now we are home, enjoying a cozy evening by the fire, the kiddlets are watching a movie, a special treat and baby is napping.

i still have my tree up, its so bright and sparkly and im feeling like im not ready to say goodbye to it just yet. usually by this time im so ready to get it out of the house..

im kind of in limbo with my body. af is late and im feeling pretty off.. but i poas last night in the early morning and got a bfn. it was a year old though & expired..so im not sure what to think. its putting my head in strange places though because i am having baby lust and know i should not be thinking of having babies right now. my sil is pregnant and my best friend in the world (she lives in holland now) both due in the summer.. im surrounded by pregnancy and all i seem to see are new babies and pregnant woman. my littlest one will be 2 in a few short weeks and i know that's part of it, but i would really like to get my moon and be over the speculation and onto being really carefully trying to avoid.

on home-making..not much to add.
i got a brand new king sized feather duvet & white cotton cover for Christmas from my mama, so i have been trying to spend extra time snuggled in heavenly warmth...a few days left till my boy is supposed to go back to school.. im thinking of keeping him home another few days though..im really enjoying the slow days.

 

 

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Old 01-02-2010, 02:52 AM
 
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Happy New Year!

We had a nice night last night. Oldest dd went to an old friend's house for a slumber party which was nice. She hasn't seen her old friends for quite some time and I know she misses them a lot. The rest of the family cuddled up on the couch with popcorn and sparkling apple juice and watched some episodes of "Man vs Wild" which we all love. At midnight the kids got to go outside and make a bunch of noise with the rest of the neighbourhood (and boy was it noisy! LOL) and then everyone was off to bed at about 1:00.

Today was pretty quiet since I was still beat from the late night with the kids but I did manage to do 4 loads of laundry and make 2 loaves of bread. This weekend I plan on doing more de-cluttering and organizing so hopefully dh can drop load of stuff off at the Salvation Army on Monday. It always feels so good to see that stuff leave the house, like a weight lifted off my shoulders.

Fern - I am in the same boat as you with the baby lust. My brother just announced that he is going to be a daddy over Christmas and we just found out that our neighbour is pregnant as well. It feels odd to not be the one pregnant or with a small baby. I know that having another just isn't a good idea right now since our life right now is so uncertain. Dh isn't working due to several disabilities (which we've been waiting for ages for various doctors and tests and possible surgery). Dh keeps bringing up another baby and I have to keep reminding him that it's just not possible (okay, it's possible but wouldn't be very responsible) right now. Ugh, I'm hoping 2010 brings good luck, good health and peace with whatever we decide as far as family goes.

Oops, forgot to mention that ds's wrist is fine. No break and he's completely back to normal.

. : Jill, mama to 5 kiddos, soon to be 6 in June 2013 : .

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Old 01-02-2010, 03:46 AM
 
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I struggle with being a homemaker. I'd like to be one, but I find it hard to get off the computer and organize my time sufficiently. Also, both my parents worked full time and I grew up on frozen dinners, so I don't have a RL role model. I feel pretty clueless.

So I have some questions for all you lovely homemakers (sorry for dumb questions):

What is your definition of a homemaker? What tasks does s/he do?

What is your schedule like?

When are you done with your day? What do you feel you need to get accomplished to feel like your day was productive?

What book(s) do you recommend?

Thanks!!!

Loving my girl since Feb 2010! vax!
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Old 01-03-2010, 06:06 AM - Thread Starter
 
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earthnut, welcome. we're all learning + aspiring here, join right in!
for me being a homemaker is growing from balancing needs in the home for cleanliness, order, health, good diet, appropriate clothing...caring for children and helping them learn, making this little internal world work for everyone in the family....to becoming something of a calling, where my home is beautiful, considered, and where the homemade is central. it means that instead of meal being a chore, it is something i am involved in from as early as possible and all the way through...i hope one day to grow a lot of my food, preserve it, learn how to prepare it in different ways. i may move towards homesteading/having a small holding, or i may never even get chickens, but for me i'm already in a state of homemaking. i like my day to end when the children are asleep, though i may spend the evening making something while i spend time with my sweetheart...i also like for weekends to be quieter. to feel productive i love to have made something, but to feel peaceful i need to have the place reset, more or less. that means a clean kitchen, toys put away, and laundry in good order...spaces clean + clear for the most part. this is not always happening!!!
will look for my best books..

i am so happy, our floors in london are being finished today! they are GORGEOUS and the whole house is lighter and brighter. i'm going to bring my old finnish broom with me (very small, shaped like a rustic hockey stick) to use there. i can't wait to go settle in and set up the old studio as a children's room, and the old family bedroom as *our* bedroom...put everything in its place and just enjoy it (keeping it clean + maintaining tidy is less inspiring, but you know )

only i'm having too much fun in vancouver

i love my cabley gloves, and i've started a pair of socks for my seam-sensitive little one. i decide to base the toe on the knitty 'widdershins' and used their universal toe up to calculate the size. then the variegated yarn was so beautiful i have decided to just do stockinette, though i may add some lacy stuff at the leg. it is entrancing to watch the colours grow.

what are you making?

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Old 01-03-2010, 11:22 AM
 
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For me, homemaking has meant sacrifice, to an extent. In my case, it means saying no to a career-track job outside the home in order to ensure that family needs are met to the fullest extent possible.

In our case, it is a smallholding, with livestock and chickens and gardens. We do grow a lot of our own food, and what we don't grow, we do cook with few exceptions. So there is a lot of work around the home, no matter the season, and then the cleanup after the work itself.

What I have found is that it makes our home truly the center of our family life, rather than a crash pad. We eat almost all meals as a family, we work together on a lot of tasks, and much of our social life takes place here, too.

I have a close friend who lives in a city but also, IMO, is a traditional homemaker. Obviously, no chickens or livestock and her garden is smaller, but she works daily at making her home the center of the family life. In her case, more time is spent on creating homemade clothes, toys, decor, etc., but spending time on our kids' educations, teaching them skills in the kitchen and at a crafting table (which also happens to be our kitchen table )...that's all part of the job.

And all this is not to say I have completely given up WOHM. I still do, to varying degrees. I'm much more careful now, though, about making sure I have the time and energy at home to take care of things.

My cowl is about halfway but I have had to take a break because my hands are locking up. So, I am working on other things, writing, and working out at the Y. Loving the membership, and looking forward to really using it when the kids are back in school.
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Old 01-03-2010, 01:31 PM
 
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Welcome earthnut! I agree with Artparent, we're all learning here and its more fun together.

For me being a homemaker, is defining a balance between my career (full time WOHM), school & home projects and a lifestyle both DH & I want to build for our kiddos. Homecooked meals from scratch (less processed if possible), learning the art of preservation,using homemade cleaners instead of other pre-made items, more upcycling & recycling, gardening, composting, learning to knit & sew to create items which I now buy (socks, rugs, quilts, curtains, & towels).

My mom was a SAHM until we all were in school, I'm the oldest of 3 and that's it. I love to cook - learned myself, but I can barely bake, and yikes to sewing & knitting. This xmas she is supporting my desire to learn to can and etc with some lessons next year during the season, but this was after 2 years of badgering her about it.

We just got done with our monthly grocery run, so I'm going to be busy cooking & preparing items for freezing today. I'm trying very hard to switch our meals to a more seasonal embrace so lots of soups, chilis, speghetti sauce which doubles for lasanga. Last night after the costco run, we got one of their prepared chickens, and I chopped up an acorn squash, rutabaga & green apple roasted them and served it with some basic risotto.

I've also started 2 jars of homemade vingear (white & red), so hopefully in 12 weeks I'll have some of that to enjoy! DH has also mentioned he wants to start making pizza crust from scratch (we cheat for time sake on worknights with premade dough) so we might be learning to bake together.

treehugger.gifAnd you who seek to know Me, know that the seeking and yearning will avail you not, unless you know the Mystery: for if that which you seek, you find not within yourself, you will never find it without.treehugger.gif

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Old 01-03-2010, 04:27 PM - Thread Starter
 
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yum, we loved pizza night, we'd used the breadmaker to make the dough at the time, but no reason to really. if i can figure out to make it gluten-free, but without corn...maybe i can try it again! i'm starting to think i and one or both of my kids may actually be gluten intolerant. interesting article on this. we used to invite friends round and we'd all put the pizzas together, i will never forget how much fun it was

interesting how working at home or outside the home plays into all of this. sometimes i'm not up to much else, but sometimes i can handle my art practice or some design/illustration work as well. i think the more organised i get the more i take on

ktg, how did you make the vinegar? i'd love to make some properly

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Old 01-03-2010, 07:04 PM
 
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Old 01-03-2010, 10:54 PM
 
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We do pizza dough in the bread machine too. I tried it in the kitchenaid last week, but it was much easier in the bread machine so that's what I used tonight.

Homemaking to me is taking care of my family and home in the best way I can that works for us. I have been making more meals from scratch (and baked goods too), cleaning on a schedule (no schedule=no cleaning for me), and making a calendar to organize myself and all of the activities. I've also cut down the use of the computer. Previously, I had it on all day and would pop on for "a minute" and end up wasting an hour. Now, I don't start the computer until the kids go for their afternoon nap. I am accomplishing more that way. I also sew clothes for the kids from tutorials from various blogs and/or Craftster. This spring I am hoping to put a garden in, but I'm not sure it will be as large as I had hoped. Our soil isn't ideal at the new place, so I'm thinking of a raised bed. However, we just moved here in July and have many other things that need to be done, so i may have to settle for a few containers of veggies.

I would also like to know how you make vinegar! I just learned how to make vanilla extract a few weeks ago, but we use much more vinegar!

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Old 01-03-2010, 11:09 PM
 
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Originally Posted by earthnut View Post
I struggle with being a homemaker. I'd like to be one, but I find it hard to get off the computer and organize my time sufficiently.
Hi, earthnut! I'd say I'm an aspiring homemaker, too. My Mom was a SAHM, but I grew up thinking that was a second-class path and I didn't really pay much attention to what she did. I do remember a clean house and dinner every night at 5pm.... which made my Mom laugh when I told her. Apparently, things weren't nearly as smooth as I remember. Which gives me hope for my failings not ruining my kids!

Anyway, I've been a SAHM for a little over 2 years now, and I'm just starting to take it the homemaker part of it to heart. It kinda reminds me of the deschooling that homeschoolers talk about. I spent a long time letting the house go, letting it keep the state it was in when DH and I both worked long hours. I'll let myself chalk some of that up to having an infant/young toddler, but a lot of it was just a lack of effort on my part.

It's only been since about last summer that I've started to see homemaking as my job (although I've been cooking for our family for years). I've tried a lot of different skills and approaches; for instance, daily/weekly schedules of what to clean didn't help me at all and I'm still a terrible knitter, but I'm good at cleaning little areas at a time and I'm a decent sewer as long as I don't have to follow a pattern. But I try to do enough during the day that, at the end of the day, I feel like I've been productive.

My goal is to make incremental progress in each area. I've cooked for a long time, but it's only recently that I've been baking our own bread (thanks, 5 minute refrigerator bread!), and I'm currently working on cutting our grocery purchases down to the most whole foods that I can. Around the house, I've finally made a habit of keeping the dishwasher cycling and keeping dirty dishes from piling up, and keeping the main living areas pretty clean. I'm currently working on those side areas that love clutter. I've now sewn enough that I can make clothes for my daughter, and I'm slowly slowly slowly working on the knitting.

I'm not the most patient person, and I usually get frustrated by small steps. But for some reason, I'm finding a lot of satisfaction in seeing the slow progress I'm making. But I've had to find my own path and areas that inspire me (or give me a kick in the rear); trying to adopt someone else's system didn't work for me.

Jen, former sys admin and current geek , wife to DH , SAHM and Montessori homeschool teacher to DD "Nugget" (05/07) and new arrival DS "Sprout" (03/31/10)
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Old 01-03-2010, 11:13 PM
 
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I did shine the sink though. My only NY's resolution is to give flylady's 31 babysteps a go. Not the shoes though. I've tried before and I get her point but we have free range chickens in the yard and a crawling baby inside. We take our shoes off at the door for a reason!

us, too ... same reasons!! backyard chickens and a baby on the floors.

I grew up in a no-shoe house, and I find shoes in the house to be rather uncivilized. So I made that a rule for my family as well.

I've been a FlyLady-follower since 2000. not so committed, most of the time, but DH & I have made it a resolution for this year. tooooo much to do around our house, so we're going to follow her schedule more deliberately this month.

My life over the next 6 weeks is mostly going to be governed by kids' birthdays, though. DD3 turns one next Sat. DD2 turns 6 in Feb. DD1 turned 10 in Dec, but her bday party had to be postponed, so it will be sometime in between the others. I'm have very clever home made plans for all if them.

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Old 01-03-2010, 11:54 PM
 
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Thanks for the welcomes! I went to college but have never had a 'career' so I'm not giving that up. I want to be at peace at being a homemaker (without a nagging guilt about not having a 'real job' ). I do have many self-taught skills -

I can crochet (I know how to knit but it is slow and stressful. My mom has a knitting machine for when I really want to knit)
I can sew, rudimentarily. I seem to best without a pattern.
I can cook, though I've had no motivation to do so recently.
I can bake bread, but I haven't done it in a while because we found a place to get free, artesian bread.
I can grow my own food, in fact botany was my major in college.
I have chickens, and hopefully bees this spring. Someday I'll get goats, but with a new baby, I don't know when. And we live in the middle of the city. :nana
I collect mushrooms and wild plants for food.
I can can, we've been quite productive in this for the past couple years.

But I don't feel all those skills make me a homemaker. I think I'll start trying to have a tidy (if not clean) house each day. Cleaning is another thing I have no motivation for.

Loving my girl since Feb 2010! vax!
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Old 01-04-2010, 12:32 AM - Thread Starter
 
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earthnut, those skills are great! i didn't have a clean house until i *had* a baby - because i never really had a reason before. it started to drive me quite mad...i found flylady really useful for me and have adapted my own routines to that. when i do them life is very, peaceful, and my home becomes increasingly beautiful. there's lots of time for everything you want to do. i find the trick for me is to make it an aesthetically satisfying experience, to the point of becoming spiritual i've written about washing the dishes this way. i actually really love putting on my beloved rubber boots and taking out the compost now though i still forget and avoid it! and i love my weekly cleaning hour because everything is reset to clean, and if i get a certain level of clean + tidy it is so easy to maintain - then everything else i want to do falls in line.

PNC..i need better computer habits too. as you can see

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