My drab thumb attempts container gardening

I have decided that my thumb color lies somewhere in those funny ugly colors between green and brown.  My mother always referred to that color as “baby s**t green” (which I can TOTALLY relate to now), but I’m going to refer to that particular lovely hue as “drab“.  So I am officially saying I have a “drab thumb”  (although “baby s**t thumb” happens a lot around here too, but that’s a whole other can of worms, we won’t go there).

My gardening has always been based on a “survival of the fittest” philosophy.  I buy a plant, I plant the plant, I water the plant whenever I remember.   If said plant survives, I buy another one next year to replace those other weaker varieties that just didn’t make the cut, i.e. shriveled up into brown withered husks of their former selves.  But looking at some of the plants in my backyard you’d swear I had a green thumb….




Fortunately for me, we already trimmed back all of the old, dead plants and replaced them. So you don’t get photographic evidence of the brown side of my thumb!  Let’s just pretend those plants never happened.

OK, so they did happen, but whatever.

Moving on.

This year I’m making the great effort to improve my gardening skills (i.e. remember to water).  I’m thinking I might succeed since Simon loves sitting in the backyard.  So I actually GO in my backyard every day, which is the first step to increasing my watering frequency.  One problem though…we might be moving to another city this summer, so why should I waste all this valuable watering time on plants I can’t take with me? Hence the title of this blog. I’m attempting to grow herbs and some squash and some peppers in pots this summer.  OK, so “grow” might be ambitious, how about we just say “keep alive”. I have actually seen some growth in the last week, surprisingly, so I am currently quite optimistic.

Here is what we have:

summer squash, oregano, sage, tarragon, parsley, two types of peppers, chives, zucchini and mint.  All appear to be ALIVE!  YAY!

I had all the pots (with the exception of the lovely Home Depot Homer Bucket’s) from previous gardening failures, so I just needed the plants and some extra potting soil.

So what’s with the ugly orange bucket thingy?  Good question!  The bucket I can explain, but the color…? Well, that’s all Home Depot had.  I think it adds a little somethingsomething to my lovely garden, don’t you think? Anyways, back to the question. My favorite mommyblogger, Amalah, recently posted about her self-watering container garden she and her kids keep up with.  I was intrigued.  Could there really be a way that I don’t HAVE to water as frequently?  So I did a little Googling and found this site with instructions on how to make the planter.  Piece of cake.  You should have seen me out there with the baby in his bouncer and me with my husband’s power tools…hell yea. I am doing a side by side test of two squash plants, one in a regular planter and one in the self watering planter.  If the awesome orange bucket contraption proves to actually grow a healthier plant that yields more squash, then next summer I’m going to go crazy on these suckers and try all sorts of veggies…in possibly more tastefully colored containers.   For now though, we’ll stay small and orange.

So grow, my little garden, grow.  In two months we introduce you into Simon’s diet.

I will let ya’ll know how it goes in a few months.


Pear puree: part deux. A resounding success!

I decided to try something new.  Not only would we try the pear, but I would offer him two different tastes in one feeding.  Switch it up on him to see how well he took the flavor change.

We started with this:

Three pieces of pear, one piece of butternut squash, and a bit of oatmeal powder mixed with water to get us started. I like to give him the oatmeal first because it’s bland and kind of eases him into the whole solid process. It reminds him that,  “Oh yeah, it’s time to eat now”, without shocking his palate.

He ate a few bites of the oatmeal and then I stirred in two blocks of pear slowly, one spoon full at a time, until it was almost 100% pear.

I then switched straight to the squash, straight up, to see what he would do.  He gave me a funny look after the first bite, and kind of made a mess out of it…

But then ate the whole thing! He then downed another block of pear, and this was what we ended up with…

I’d say  my little experiment was a resounding success!

For you other mom’s out there, the pear also helped nicely with the “binding” issues we’d been having.  You know what I mean.

Pear puree: not as time consuming as I thought it would be…

One of the last items we have yet to try in the 4-6 month chapter of Simon’s baby food book is pears.   I decided that TODAY IS THE DAY!!  So when we went to the grocery store this morning I bought 5 super humongous Bosc pears.

When I got home I  washed the pears and cut the meat off of the cores.

Elapsed time: 2 minutes.

I then put about an inch of water in the bottom of my pot, put the steaming basket on top of the water, put in half of the pears, put on the lid, and turned on the heat to medium high.  I then went and ate about half of the container of Greek Gods yogurt I had just purchased and checked Facebook.  Ten-ish minutes of yogurt bliss and Facebook stalking later I went back in the kitchen, pulled the pears out with tongs, added a bit more water, the second half of the pears, put the lid back on, and returned to Facebook.

Another ten-ish minutes later I removed the pears from the steamer and left everything to cool.

Elapsed time: 24 minutes.

I then went about my business around the house for about an hour.  Simon woke up from his nap, he ate, we played a bit, and then he watched his Baby Einstein video while I returned to the pears. I took my paring knife and peeled the skin off of the pears.  This was far easier than I had expected.  It just kind of sloughed off.  Piece of cake.  This took WAY less time than you’d think.

Elapsed time: 1 hour 40 minutes.

I then put the peeled pears in the food processor and whirled them for about 30 seconds and ended up with this:

Which I then put into the freezer trays:

Elapsed time: 1 hour 48 minutes.

Clean-up was easy.  I utilized my always available to help, garbage disposal/pre-wash cycle dish clearer.

Elapsed time: 2 hours 3 minutes.

So total work time = about 25 minutes.  Total elapsed time:  2 hours 3minutes. Piece of cake!

Tomorrow we see what Simon thinks!

Frozen cubes of deliciousness



Who’s a badass?

The last two months

Simon is almost 6 months old, which means he has been eating solids for a whole two months already!  A lot has happened so I figured I should catch you up!

After his 4 month checkup we started him on rice cereal.  It was an immediate success! His first encounter with solids was fantastic, albeit quite messy.  He downed about 1/4 cup rice cereal in just a few minutes.  He even mastered the whole swallowing thing within the first few bites.  “Great”, I thought, “this solid food thing is going to be a breeze!”.  Famous last words.  I ambitiously set out to make him some tasty and delicious foods to try after about a week of rice.  I bought those organic apples, I sliced them, I steamed them, I pureed them, and I fed them to the baby.  I then came to the quick and painful realization that new flavors are something completely foreign to my son and that the reason he likes the rice cereal is because it has breast milk in it!  It tastes like breast milk, from a spoon!  Yay! So several nights of tears and screams and dramatically shortened feeding sessions, we put the apples away in the freezer for another day.  On to sweet potatoes!  I roasted those suckers, pureed them, mixed a little breast milk in and even mixed it into his rice cereal.  Same result.  Two bites in and ridiculously dramatic hacking/gagging/tongue sticking out faces ensued.  OK.  Sweet potatoes go in the freezer.  Now what?

I consulted Cooking for Baby and saw they had zucchini in the 4-6 month chapter.  Really? Zucchini?  Well, I had a few in the refrigerator so I decided to give it a shot.  INSTANT SUCCESS!!  Not only did this child eat a whole tablespoon mixed 1:1 with rice cereal, he was still opening his mouth for more when he finished! I couldn’t believe it.  Zucchini?  Fine, my strange child, zucchini it is.  I decided that the sweetness of the first two choices were just too much for him.  I then tried avocados.  He loved them.  Ate them up like a vacuum.  OK! Progress!  Since then we have eaten peas, carrot, and butternut squash.  I reintroduced the apples and sweet potato a month later and amazingly, he’s eating them! Persistence wins again!

So there you have it, the exciting (to me) or not so exciting (to you) synopsis of the last few months.  There are some good anecdotes I could relate but honestly, I don’t have the time today, so you will just have to wait and see what shenanigans Simon is up to later.