Archive for the ‘Children’ Category

This entry is a departure from regular Townhouse Homesteader fare.  But it will tell you a bit about someone we want to homestead for.

Today, our little guy turned two.  Jon and I had been married for a little over 3 years when we found out that I was pregnant.  We were thrilled.  From the get go, we knew that I was not going to have a run of the mill pregnancy.  In the late 1990’s, I had experienced a hormone related pulmonary embolism.  As a result, I was going to have to give myself two shots of blood thinners every day, for the duration of my pregnancy.  We took that news in stride and continued reveling in our excitement.

For the first few months, everything went according to plan.  We eagerly anticipated the new arrival that was due on August 29th.  Ah, yes.  I did say August 29th and this entry is posted on June 11th

In the very early morning of May 26th, I woke up thinking I was developing an incontinence problem.  Within 30 seconds I realized that my water broke.  I went downstairs and called my OB/Gyn who advised me to get to the hospital ASAP.  When I went back upstairs, I woke Jon to tell him what happened.


“Honey, get up.  My water broke.  We have to go to the hospital.”


“Can we just change the sheets?”

As soon as the grogginess faded, he hopped up and was all action.  We got to the hospital and, long story short, my water had broken and I was to be admitted until our little one arrived.  This certainly wasn’t in our birth plan.

Two and a half weeks later, he was born.  I was 28 weeks and 5 days pregnant.  Just a couple of weeks into my third trimester. 

He was big for a 28 weeker – 3lbs & 14 oz.  His lungs were extremely immature and he was sporting a vicious lung infection.  But he was perfect.  And he was ours.

He was a resident of our local NICU (Neonatal Intensive Care Unit) for 82 days.  Two days after his original due date, he came home – on oxygen and a monitor – but he came home. 

Our journey home from the hospital came with none of the usual celebration of a baby homecoming.  Our parents seemed to realize that we just wanted to be alone with our baby.  In our home.  On our couch.  Without the beep of monitors and the busyness of nurses in the background.  To be the family we did plan on.

Today is his birthday.  He is still perfect.  One would never know that he was so early.  He was just so excited to meet us, that he couldn’t wait until August.


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I am always trying to find new ways to get our little one to eat more vegetables.  Don’t get me wrong, this toddler has an adult palate.  Twenty two months and he eats everything from spinach to sriracha.  But you can’t go wrong with more vegetables.

Currently, he is on a bit of a hummus kick, eating it stuffed into the celery groove.  In an effort to find more stuffing ideas before hummus has worn out its welcome, I reached into the recesses of my memory and pulled out the veggie spread recipe I learned when I worked in a bagel shop in high school. 


12 oz. Neufchatel or cream cheese

2 carrots

½ red pepper

1 stalk celery

1 inch of scallion

Place all vegetables in a food processor and pulse until finely chopped.

In a separate bowl, whip Neufchatel until smooth.  Add vegetables and continue whipping until combined but still firm.

Easy peasy, huh?  Snack for the little guy…

Snack for Mommy…

Happy Homesteading,


Tips & Tricks:

This spread keeps for about 1 week.  I think it tastes better each day.

Spring for the Philadephia brand.  It’s worth it.

This is also a great dip for pretzels.

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Every year on the first day of spring, my mom would always stand an egg on end.  It was always so “egg-citing” to watch.  Yet when I moved out on my own, I eventually forgot about the fine upstanding egg.  Last year, I remembered and dazzled Jon with my steady hand and “magical powers”.  Ever the researcher, he sought out an explanation online.

Mom had always been told that the egg balancing had something to with gravitational pull on the equinox.  However, it seems you can balance an egg any day of the year! 

This egg was balanced yesterday.

Whatever the reasoning, it doesn’t lessen the fun.  Welcome Spring!

Happy Homesteading,


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Every so often I experience a twinge of resentment over the amount of money I spend on poop, between pooper scoop bags, kitty litter and diapers.  For nearly the past year, I’ve seen various instructions for making your own baby wipes all over the blogosphere.  This idea speaks to me!  I do not enjoy being beholden to the diaper companies. 

When I made the switch a few months ago, I found it liberating… and cheap.  The wipes I had been using were about $0.03/wipe, but this homemade version costs less than $0.02/wipe.  Sure, a penny a wipe doesn’t sound like much, but if I use only 1 wipe for each diaper change, averaging 8 changes a day, that is a savings of $58.40 over the course of 2 years.  And let’s be honest, 1 wipe per diaper change? 

An added perk is that I always have these ingredients on hand. 

You will need:

2 cups of water

baby oil

baby wash

½ roll of Bounty select a size paper towels – Bounty seems to be the best for this task

a plastic container big enough to hold the paper towels that seals tightly

Using a sharp, non-serrated knife, cut the paper towels in half. 

 Pour 2 cups of water into your container.  I’ve marked a 2 cup line on the side of my container with marker to make it easier.

Add 2 Tbs. of baby oil.

Add 2 Tbs. of baby wash.

Place paper towels in and gently push to the bottom of the container.

Flip the container over and wait 5 minutes for the water to be soaked in to the paper towels.

Flip back over, remove the lid and pull out the cardboard tube.

The wipes will now easily dispense from the center.

Tips and tricks picked up along the way:

When adding the wash and oil, I squeeze and count “1Mississippi, 2Mississippi”.

Some people recommend adding tea tree oil to the wipes.  However, I have read that there may be a connection between tea tree oil and breast tissue growth in boys.  I’d rather not risk it!

Because these are preservative free – bonus! – we rotate our 2 containers.  We use far fewer wipes upstairs.  When the downstairs container is empty, we bring down the upstairs container and deposit fresh ones up there.

I found our container at Target.  It’s the perfect size and the way the lid snaps on creates a great seal.

Happy Homesteading,


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