Monday, August 25, 2014

Easy, Recycled Fire Pit

Shawn has always wanted a fire pit for our backyard. Every time we saw one for sale at Fred Meyer or Costco or H-Dizzle, he would stare longingly at it and we would walk away saying "someday..." We never bought one for several reasons: price, timing, and just not wanting to buy something that was cheaply made in China.

Well, his wish finally came true on Father's Day when I built him a fire pit from recycled cinder blocks. My sister's hubby was in the process of taking apart an old fish pond that they acquired when they bought their house which resulted in lots of cinder blocks. They also had mortar on them that needed to be chipped off.

So the boys secretly kidnapped Shawn to go watch a World Cup game at a bar and my sister and I equipped ourselves with some hammers and crow bars and got to work.

Dude, chipping all that mortar off was hard work! But we did it, feeling rather proud of ourselves.

We are woman!!!
Once we got all the mortar off, the assembly was a cinch. One paver stone was stacked on each cinder block that was arranged in a hexagon and, ta daa! Fire pit. 

My original plan was to glue the paver stones onto the cinder blocks but I haven't done it yet. I don't know if it actually needs it, to be honest.

Fire. Pit.
Cleaning it out will be easy too since the cinder blocks aren't glued to the ground.

Well, as you can see, this was constructed several months ago. You're seeing this post now because Shawn finally got a chance to use it this weekend.

Happy husband.

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Breastfeeding: Part 2

This post is way late. But it's World Breastfeeding Week so. Perfect.

I did it. We did it. Breastfeeding is officially easy. It's been easy for almost 3 months now. And it's awesome. I honestly don't know what helped with the change, other than Eddy growing, lots of practice, and a lot of perseverance on both our parts.

It's so convenient. I don't have to worry about packing her anything when we leave the house, and I can feed her the instant she gets hungry. Not to mention the fact that I can feed her while we're both half asleep. In bed. Super cool. And feeding her in public (without a hooter hider) is still something I'm working on getting comfortable with, but I'm determined to get there for the freedom of all mothers in the future to feed their babies without shame and ridicule.

She's just over five months old now. (Aca-believe it!) At four months, we started giving her a tiny bit of rice cereal because our doctor mentioned we could and it might help her sleep longer. After a week, we decided she wasn't quite ready for it since she was more cranky and wasn't excited about me putting a spoon in her mouth. We tried again a few weeks ago, and still no. She just doesn't seem to like it. So we stopped again. Yesterday, just for kicks, I put a piece of cantaloupe up to her lips and she made a hilariously disgusted face followed with a few adorable baby gags. I know it takes a baby up to 14 times to try a new food before she likes it, so I'm not worried. (Shawn gave her almost a negligible amount of vanilla ice cream yesterday and she actually enjoyed that. Go figure.) We're thinking maybe apple juice or peach juice next. 

So we're happy with our system now. She is starting to sleep for longer periods at night, so I know we'll eventually get there. I love the fact that I am personally responsible for her growth and nutrition, and I still get to eat the extra calories. Oh, and I've heard that breast feeding helps reduce the chances of breast cancer, and seeing as how I genetically have pretty much a 99% chance of getting it in my lifetime, I'll take all the help I can get. Oh, and hello pre-pregnancy weight!!! She's sucking the pounds right off of me. :)

The only downside to the whole breast feeding thing now is the fact that I have to pump a couple times a day while I'm at work and am constantly worried about my supply. (But that gives me good reason to drink stout beer and eat lots of lactation cookies :))

So in the end, my naive excitement about breastfeeding has come to fruition. I actually love it now. She's growing up so fast, but I feel like I'm right there with her. She smiles up at me several times throughout a feeding, and we hold hands while she kicks her little feet at whatever she can kick. She absolutely cannot stay still while eating. The thought of weaning now makes me sad. But I won't have to think about that for a little while.

I love my little lady.

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