May is national Foster Care Month. Follow me on instagram @havencamp I’m doing a 31 day challenge posting about Foster Care.
If you’ve considered making baby food at home there are a lot of advantages. Its easy and actually can be fun. You can choose more of a variety, hand pick your organic fruit or vegetable and its fresh, oh so yummy and even cheaper!
This batch I made here was green beans, sweet potato, peaches and pears. Not only am I able to pick out my baby’s food but I can buy organic fruits and veggies and save!
First, lets start with green beans!
Rinse them well, chop the sides off and toss them in a steam basket. Next place the basket into a large pot that has been heated up on medium. It takes about 10 minuets to get soft enough to puree. Pull the basket out safely and allow them to cool a little to prevent cracking in your blender. Put the beans in the blender and add the remaining water in the pot that has lots of the nutrients left in it. Pour as much as needed to reach your desired consistency.
With this amount of green beans I was able to make 3 baby jars full at only .64 cents. You can make larger batches but this is her first time and I didn’t make a ton. If you were to buy store bought baby food 2 4oz tubs would cost around $2.
Next sweet potato. Wash well and peel. Cut into cubes, toss into basket just like the green beans with new water. I went and watched my show as these cooked as they take a bit longer. Let them cool a bit and put into the blender with remaining water. Sweet potatoes blend up so nice and smooth! Take a spoon and fill each hole of a ice cube tray.
Sweet potatoes also give you a lot for the price!! So here you can see I paid 0.84 cents and this one potato made 15 servings! Again 2 4 oz tubs of store bought food is about $2.
Then, cover the ice cube tray with tin foil. Some ice trays have covers (which I need to find.) Let them freeze overnight or about 12 hours.
Pop them out onto a paper towel and put in your labeled freezer bag. I was concerned they would stick together but surprisingly they do not. Just make the bag air tight to prevent freezer burn. Also, I have put two different foods together without any issue. I just make sure they’re different colors so I can tell which is which.
When its time to eat, grab a cube. I place it in a little glass petri dish and place in the microwave for 10 seconds. If its fruit, like peaches or pears I may just place it in the fridge that morning and it will be ready!
Have fun and break out the napkins!
We have a second home now, and that would be Children’s Hospital! 🙂 Seriously though I’m really getting to know my way around that place. Baby J has been doing great these are just some follow up testing to make sure she gets everything she needs! Visits are in full swing and the craziness has began.
She has been screened with early intervention and she will be getting services twice a month with a physical therapist to make sure she stays on track. We have started solid foods and that is always super fun (and super messy)! At first she was not having this spoon business but shes coming around and gets super excited eating. She loves her morning banana cereal.
We’re starting to roll from back to belly, and teeth are emerging! I’ve finally got a life book idea started. So far things are going pretty smooth.
It has been a month since our little girl, Baby J was brought home! We have come a long way in a short period of time. She is recovering and healing. We are earning her trust.
We’ve noticed some developmental delays and waiting on our local early intervention program. We have yet to meet birth Mom, visits have been scheduled once weekly for two hours supervised at the agency. She has 3 other siblings staying with her grandparents and they may visit as well. The nerves always take over around visit times.
Our love multiplies each day. We are in the process of purchasing our home so a few extra days picked up from work has been needed. I asked my Mom if she could watch Baby J for a little while. She told me “I can’t wait to see her. I hate to get attached but I think I am already.” That statement makes me sad because I know that attachment is what these kids need the most, but I get it. I respond “Don’t hate to get attached, they need the love more than our feelings.”
You can say that over and over again and it doesn’t make it easier. I’ve brought my parents along on this journey. They have fallen hard for my previous placements, that have gone home. Foster Grandparents grieve too. I don’t usually go out of my way to introduce my kids to extended family for this reason.
So I can come back with a strong response but truth is, I do get worried too. So very worried I am going to fall in love, too deep, too fast, all over again. But its not going to stop me. Here we go again, diving in and we have no idea how deep.
It began pouring cats and dogs when we placed the baby with his grandma, in the parking lot of Arbys. This is foster care, awkward and messy. I carried the boxes and bags to her quickly. As we stand in the cold, pouring rain exchanging things she begins to thank me, she tells me she will keep in touch with us “because he loves you too.” I almost lost it. This made the transition a little easier. The worst part is the fear you’ll never get to see them grow up and they’ll forget your face. She told me she would put a picture of us on his dresser and always tell him how special we were. That is the best thing you could ever say to a foster parent.
Later that evening we picked up some dinner and came home. I don’t think it really hit me yet. We have had kids in our home for the last 10 months. We had no break in between placements and were denied vacations from birth parents. I walked up the old wooden steps quietly, half way up remembering I didn’t have to anymore. This morning I’m kind of lost but I continue to watch the clock and think hes probably hungry or sleepy right now.
When you’re expecting a new baby you wash all their new clothes given to you from a baby shower and hang them up by size. You set up their crib and put all the newborn diapers in place. But when you foster, you keep putting things away. You may take it down and prepare to restart. When each time a child goes home I feel the need to go through their closets organizing, I clean everything for the next children. I put away the bottle rack and warmer, the bath tub, swings and jumpers. I call it ‘unnesting’.
You pack their things and put away what you may use for the next. You move the coffee table back where it belongs because there’s no babies rolling around today. 🙂 Its crazy to go from potty training age, then back to infant and with each child you have to learn where they are with their milestones and maybe start all over again.
Here are 5 quick tips for nesting and unnesting for foster care:
- You can never have enough storage bins! I feel like I’m always buying them and still can’t fit all my clothes. I even send home lots of outfits. I love shopping for kid clothes. Sorry, not sorry.
- Convertible everything. I have the 4ever Graco seat that we’ve used on our newborn and our 18 month old and we love it. Only down side is when they’re tiny you gotta wake them up to go into a store. We kept a carrier in the trunk for the cart. Convertible baby tubs with a sling that is removable. Cribs that break down to toddler beds to twins. Bottles that turn into sippy cups. There are even high chairs that turn into little desks, its getting crazy guys! Not only are you saving, its very convenient to always be ready no matter the age.
- Try to Stay organized. Key word try. This makes it easier to find what you need, when you need it. One way is with toys, I keep a bin with baby toys, one with baby dolls and girly things and ones with trucks and boy things for the living room, everything else stays in the playroom. That way toys are not taking over your floors and you can take down what you need. Although most of the time kids will play with whatever.
- Make a kids kitchen cabinet. This one is full of the colorful plastics. Their sippy cups, bottles, plates, thermos etc. This has helped with loosing lids and all the little pieces and I’m able to find what I need.
- Keep diaper boxes. They become very convenient when you need something to transport their clothes and toys in, if they move.
What do you do when a placement leaves? How do you unnest?