Monday, June 27, 2011

Caleb's 1st Birthday Party

To me, the ideal 1st birthday party would include all of Caleb's family and friends. All the people who have loved on him, snuggled him and supported us throughout this year. However, that guest list would overwhelm even the most social of babies!

As it was, we were blessed to spend this special day with our dear friends Tim (a coworker) and his wife Jen. This couple visited us at the hospital and delivered pizza and Motrin our first night home with our new baby. They've since had their own son, 4 month old Christopher, who also joined the party. Denise, another coworker and friend was also able to make it. She's been a wonderful help as we've been settling back in to our home in PA, babysitting on short notice and even helping us out with our garage sale.

Since Caleb and I both tend to be a little on the high strung side, I figured keeping the day low key would make it more enjoyable for both of us. As it turned out, the adults definitely ended up having as much fun as the kids!

Preparations for the party began the night before and Caleb was more than willing to help. Our mini-toddler wanted to be part of filling up the kiddie pool (our gift to him).

Of course, he needed to test the water.

It was all fun and games until a good yank on the hose made it squirt him in the face.

After Caleb was in bed, I put David to work shredding carrots and I started mixing the batter for carrot cake cupcakes.

After the cupcakes were out of the oven, David and I set out plates, napkins, etc., tidied up a bit more and went to bed.

The sun came up and the day started out perfectly with Caleb letting us sleep in until 6:30am. No, that's not sarcasm. He's been waking at 5:30 every day this month and we felt like new people just from getting that extra hour of sleep.

After eating breakfast together we traded off playing with Caleb and getting the last few party prep tasks completed. I made a cold pressed sandwich with pesto, salami, ham, provolone and red peppers (you can read the full recipe here) and put it in the fridge to chill until lunch. I also made home made cream cheese frosting for the first time, which ended up being way simpler than I thought. It did make me painfully aware of just how much sugar was in it, but the "yum" factor was totally worth it.

Guests began arriving around 11 and we spent about an hour letting the babies play and visiting with one another. Since Caleb takes two naps each day, time between them is limited so it was soon time to open presents and eat lunch and cake.

Caleb received lots of wonderful gifts including a "big boy" swing to hang outside, clothing, books, just-his-size gardening tools, a tool bench, new puzzle and a ball. He had so much fun ripping the paper and exploring each object. He certainly didn't seem to mind being the center of attention at all.

The adults ate lunch while Caleb fed himself what I hoped was enough slow burning carbs and protein to balance out all the sugar he was soon to ingest.

I tried not to have high expectations for the cake "smash" as Caleb had just begun feeding himself less than a week ago and it was getting really close to nap time. However, none of those factors stopped him from lifting the entire thing off the high chair and trying to cram it into his mouth. I laugh so hard every time I watch the video, but at the time I was petrified he was going to choke he kept putting such big pieces of cake in there!

After the babies were in bed for naps (yes, both at once miraculously), it was of course, time for the adults to clear the table and play Settlers of Catan! We finished the game just in time for the babies to awaken.

The original plan had been to spend the hottest part of the afternoon splashing in the kiddie pool, however, we decided between the breeze and a high that barely eeked over 80 degrees we'd have two chilly babies if we tried that. Instead, we worked on making foot prints on canvases for the grandparents. Tim and Jen also made one with baby Christopher. It was a fun and messy experience!

Paint on
Paint Off

After lots and lots of play time, feeding the babies dinner, doing bath time for Caleb, both babies went to sleep for the night and the adults were free to play Catan again. This time we played the geekier "Cities and Knights" version which totally overwhelmed me the first two times I tried it, but was much more enjoyable this round.

It was a wonderful day for celebrating his birth and spending time with great friends. Here are a few more of my favorite photos from the day:

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Happy 1st Birthday Caleb!

Caleb turns one today. The days leading up to this morning have been emotional ones for me. One minute I'm elated that we made it through the first year and that each month gets better and better. The next minute, I'm feeling wistful for the little bundle that could only sleep on my tummy who now hardly has time to sit on my lap.

Each month brings so many changes, but this past one in particular has been an explosion of milestones. Just as the month began, Caleb started walking on his knees. This gave him the stability and height he needed to throw things onto the couch (one of his favorite activities). Always look twice before you sit down in our house, you may find a tennis ball, block, book or stacking ring has appeared in your seat since you left it!

Daddy's rock climbing genes are coming out. Our little dare-devil tests everything to see if he can get a heel-hook and pull himself up to a higher vantage point. Fortunately he's only gotten about 4 inches off the ground so far, but seeing as he is already trying his best to climb out of the bath tub, I think I'm going to have my hands full!

The second week of June, tooth #7 makes it's arrival (bottom left, 2nd from center) and I can see a molar just below the surface on the right side. Despite teething and having a double ear, nose and eye infection Caleb spends his days rearranging furniture and fooling mommy into thinking he's not sick until he spikes a 101 degree fever during nap time. On the upside, that doctors visit let us know Caleb is now up to 20lbs 9oz (the 10th-20th percentile) so he is probably weighing in at around 21lbs on his first birthday. Not bad for the guy who lost instead of gained weight for 2 out of his 12 months of life!

Other new developments that week included "knocking" on the window (instead of just smacking it), standing alone (going from squatting to standing without help) and learning to crawl with a toy in his hand. His two favorite things to hold onto while he crawls are his tennis ball (which makes him crawl like "peg leg" baby and is totally hysterical to watch) and a wooden block, which makes a satisfying SMACK each time it hits the floor. Hey, at least he's easier to keep track of that way!

Receptive language keeps expanding through out the month. Caleb adds "volley ball" (his favorite!), "clap", "yay" (which also means "clap" to him),"down", and "up" this month. We're pretty sure he knows "outside", "Ergo" and "Bye Bye" but there are usually some visual cues to tell him about those things so it's a little harder to tell.

This month has also been a good one for expressive language. He found the "on" button for babbling again and has spent most of the month telling us all about it, usually saying "mammamamamama" in a very conversational tone. He does make lot of other sounds, just not as often (sa, ja, shu, ga, etc.)It's been so amazing to see that side of his personality.

My favorite moment was the "lecture" he gave daddy after running the vacuum cleaner. Caleb has this huge approach/avoidance conflict with the vacuum. It simultaneously fascinates and terrifies him. When it's off, he'll crawl to it, touch it, crawl back to us and cry. When it's on, he listens closely and then begins full body shaking that doesn't end until the vacuum turns off again. When David finished vacuuming the floor this week, Caleb crawled up to him and started saying in a loud, angry voice "nya nya nya nya" over and over. I think that's his version of "no, no, no"!

He's also started pointing, though I don't think he quite understands what it does yet. And no wonder, sometimes when he points we feed him, other times we merely name the object and still others we pass him over to be held by a different person. There's one thing he knows for sure. The index finger is a powerful tool and he will keep pointing at everything until he discovers how it works.

The two biggest accomplishments of the month though, came in the last week. As many of you know, I've been trying to encourage Caleb to pick up finger foods for the past 3 months. I'd offer them, he'd smear them. I'd feed them to him, he'd throw the rest on the floor. Then, finally, it all came together.

At first he'd pick up a puff and put it in my hand (and I'd feed it to him). Then, a few days ago, he just started eating everything finger food style. Bits of English muffin, cheese, ground beef, pasta and mashed potatoes all being stuffed into his mouth with both hands! In fact, he loves his new skill so much he will no longer take more than a few ounces off the spoon (unless it's a big person spoon, then it's a different story). Suddenly we can all eat meals as a family rather than taking turns feeding the baby while the other person eats. It really has been a dramatic (and wonderful) shift.

Last, and best of all, Caleb took his first independent steps a mere 5 days before his first birthday. It's not something I've been in a rush for him to learn, and to be honest, I never really understood why it's considered the "big deal" milestone.

However, now that I've experienced it, I can honestly say it's like nothing I've felt before. The closest comparison I have is the feeling I get when trying to get a kite into the air. After lots of false starts, suddenly it's soaring all on it's own. Seeing Caleb walk was like that for me. A few tiny steps seemed to represent to me the gradual independence he'll be gaining over the next 18 years. It's beautiful and bittersweet all at once.

It's been an incredible year. Today we celebrate that Caleb arrived safely into our arms one year ago, all he has accomplished since then, and of course, that David and I survived it all ; )

Friday, June 24, 2011

Reflecting on the First Year

Where Love Began
I will never forget the feeling of seeing those double lines appear on the pregnancy test. I had no idea I could love someone the size of a poppy seed so much. Already I found myself rubbing my belly protectively and praying for the health of this little life. I tried not to get excited. I tried to remind myself of the long family history of difficulty carrying children to term. But I couldn't help it. No matter what the next weeks might bring, this was my first baby and I loved him.

We'll skip over morning sickness and the other joys of pregnancy to this morning one year ago. I woke up a little early to go to my 40 week OB appointment. I was already fairly certain labor was near and anxious to hear what the doctor would have to say. She encouraged me to do some walking, I took her advice and was in the early stages of labor by midnight. I won't recap the entire birth story, but just after noon the next day I gave birth to a healthy baby boy with a true knot in his umbilical cord.

I've said many time this year that his cord was exactly as thick as it needed to be for him to survive and as knotted as it needed to be to remind me that I am only a steward, his life and health belong to God. It's something I've needed to remind myself of many times over this past year!

And Now...
This morning, I woke up at 5:30am to a little boy who sleeps through the night, takes only minutes to eat and then wants to crawl and explore. Looking back, it amazes me that we could come so far in one short year. I would certainly consider everything I have learned this year about our son and our marriage to be the greatest accomplishment of my life thus far. I still tear up when I think how overwhelmed we felt sometimes during those first few months contrasted with the joy we feel now.

The Recap
The first 3-4 months are an absolute blur to me now. Sometimes I feel guilty for how little I enjoyed being a mother during that time. It often felt like it was all I could do to survive each day. Caleb never really had a sleepy newborn stage. During the day he slept no more than 20 minutes at a time and "at night" (midnight-10am) he slept 1.5 hours at a time.
I spent 8-10 hours every day for the first month just nursing him, since it was the only thing that calmed his colic. He never did take a pacifier well (as you may have noticed in the photo above where I'm trying to keep it in his mouth). I got mastitis during his 5th week of life. The AC died a few days after arriving home from the hospital during a summer of record breaking heat and didn't get fixed until he was 6 weeks old. He had blood in his stools for the first 4 months, so I went on an extremely restrictive diet. This problem (thankfully) resolved itself with no explanation.

I don't say all that to complain, but merely so when I say I didn't start enjoying being a mom until he was 5 months old and every single month has been better than the one before it, you'll know where I'm coming from. I felt so helpless to make him feel better during that time and so inadequate as a mom.

Those difficult months taught David and I to lean on one another in a way we never would have had to without Caleb and to give grace generously. David was tireless in his efforts to bring me relief. He never took time to relax when he got home from work. By then, I was at my breaking point from holding the crying baby all day. He told me work was his break, and then scooped Caleb out of my arms and held him almost the entire night until Caleb finally went to sleep around 10. I took night shift so David would be able to function at work. I don't think we've ever admired each other so much.

Of course, there were some wonderful things about the first few months. I loved the feeling of him sleeping on my chest, the joy of getting to know and love him more each day, the itty-bitty-ness of it all.

However, after 5 months old, the fun really began. His colic began receding (though his reflux remained into the 7th month), he started sitting up. He actually smiled at us. It was a truly amazing time.

Each month he began exploring more, interacting more and crying less. We learned his quirks, the (sometimes strange) things that bring him joy- being held upside down, pushing furniture everywhere, turning pages in a book, etc. Now, he frequently smiles and laughs with us. Some days it almost seems surreal. Four months of crying doesn't seem long looking back, but the days we lived it seemed to be endless.

Even before I became a parent, I used to write an Elizabeth Stone quote on almost every baby shower card I wrote. It read, “Making the decision to have a child is momentous. It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body.” I could never have imagined the depth of those words until I became a mom.

This little guy is such a treasure, such a gift. Even the challenges we faced at the beginning have only added to the deep bond our family has formed over the past year. I can never express fully enough our thanks to all the friends and family who helped us through the hard times, encouraged us, and watched him grow this year. We are so blessed!

Monday, June 20, 2011

Memories, Milestones and Mishaps

Did I mention June is a busy month? Lets recap:

Weekend #1: Hosted a small group cookout. Don't let the name "small group" fool you. While our group has the typical number of adults (about 5 couples) we have 80% of the kids who attend Hope Church. Ok, I might be exaggerating slightly, but when you see the joyful chaos of a dozen kiddos playing in your back yard, you know your "small group" has something extra special.

I loved the chance to get to know some of the kids better and was especially thankful for the beautiful weather that let us all sit outside and gave the kids room to run. Caleb, amazingly, slept through it all which makes me feel a lot braver about having people over after his bed time.

Weekend #2: We set up our very first yard sale. People tried to warn us it wasn't worth it and after two loooong, hot days and very little traffic, I have to say: I completely agree. However, I'm still super excited about all the stuff we are getting rid of and will be hauling to Good Will. Extra special thanks to Jen and Denise who helped those hours pass cheerfully!

Weekend #3: We were blessed to host David's middle brother, Josh. While we were still in Florida, Josh and a friend moved up to New York so this is the first opportunity we've had to visit with him in person for almost 5 months. I love having weekend guests and thoroughly enjoyed planning meals and activities. However,as any parent knows, the best laid plans...

Josh arrived Thursday night after Caleb went to bed. It was my first time doing Caleb's bed time routine by myself since he was 7 weeks old and I was pleasantly surprised to find I was up to the challenge and it went quite smoothly. Though, I will admit, I was too afraid to take my hands off of him in the tub to soap him up so his bath that evening was water only!

The next day, we set aside some of the fun we were planning so I could take Caleb to the pediatrician. I just had this gut feeling his ear infection wasn't gone despite the fact we finished antibiotics that morning. Sure enough, the right ear was still infected. So, round two of antibiotics began.

That evening another family hosted our not-so-small "small group" and David's coworker, Denise came over to watch Caleb while we enjoyed dinner baby free. Caleb had a hard time going to sleep so I sent David and Josh ahead, but managed to make it in time for food. When we got home, we asked Denise to stay played Fluxx, Apples to Apples and ate ice cream. It was a wonderful night!

Seriously, does this kid look sick to you?

Saturday, we attempted to go hiking, only to find poor Caleb was being swarmed by biting yellow flies. Josh got to see my neurotic mommy side come out and we promptly made a dash for the parking lot. I spent some time beating myself up for not thinking about bug spray as the guys shook their heads. Eventually I relaxed, chalked it up to a learning experience and we went to go get ice cream. Ice cream fixes everything, right?

Watching the river in a non-yellow-fly-infested area

The last time I was checking out this stream I was 8 months pregnant!

Sunday began at 5:30am with a very alert Caleb. Completely forgetting it was Father's Day, I asked my sweet husband to get up with him. David changed him and played with him until I rolled out of bed at 7. Neither of us realized what day it was until Josh wished David a happy Father's Day. Oops!

The rest of the morning was spent learning and worshiping at church followed by a lazy afternoon of relaxing and cooking steaks on the grill. I was so excited to make Josh some mashed potatoes (his favorite) but was sad to discover I still need a bit more practice! The potatoes were on the "al dente" side as Josh graciously termed them, but ended up tasting pretty good with a generous dose of milk and a dollop of sour cream.

One of the cool castles Uncle Josh built for Caleb to destroy

This morning, I woke up feeling sad about Josh leaving, but all other thoughts were quickly pushed from my mind when I suddenly realized I'd been overdosing Caleb with antibiotics for two days, ever since the doctor had moved him from an antibiotic that was given 2x's/day to one only given once/day. No wonder the poor kid was having some loaded diapers. Talk about a terrible feeling. The 20 minutes until my doctors office opened were some of the longest of my life. Josh definitely got to see a second mommy-meltdown!

Fortunately after talking to the office, who told me to call the pharmacy, I was reassured that the type of medicine I'd been giving twice/day instead of once/day would have no long term effects. I definitely learned my lesson though, in the future both David and I will read the dosage instructions so he can double check my medicine giving!

After I stopped hyperventilating, it was time to take final pictures and give last hugs. Caleb absolutely loved all the time he spend with Josh from the moment he got here. Uncles are great for shoulder rides, teaching you how to high five and feeding you pieces of their banana. It was a wonderful weekend and David and I are already looking forward to the next one : )

Next weekend: Caleb's 1st birthday!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

9 Things I've Learned About Finances Since 2009

What do getting married, becoming a home owner and having a baby all have in common? For me, they've all taken place in the past 2 years and required David and I to be on the same page when it comes to finances. Here's what we've learned,
in no particular order:

1. Account for both yearly and monthly purchases. Part of the reason I found sites like hard to use is anytime we had a bulk payment (like homeowners insurance) it made our budget look really off kilter. There was no way (I could find anyway) to "pay yourself" each month to save up for these big payments.

A large chunk of David's paycheck each month goes towards paying ourselves for future expenses. We itemize them in a separate tab. This past year we were blessed that all the money we set aside for traveling to family for the holidays was unnecessary because of our surprise move. We ended up using that set-aside money to pay our hospital bills from Caleb's birth, which we had seriously underestimated (oops!). Each year of life experience gives us a better idea of what to budget in these areas. Other yearly expenses include: dentist, gifts, auto, medical, etc. These are things that can be sky high one month and nothing the next.

2. Budgeting can be emotional, especially if you have to come to consensus with your spouse. When David and I set up our budget, it was the first time we'd ever had to consult another person about how each dollar would be spent. In fact, with both of us being pretty frugal by nature, it was the first time we'd set up a budget beyond "spend as little as possible."

At first, I felt very constrained by having an actual dollar limit. Sometimes I had to get very creative to live with in it and many times in those early months, I blew it completely. As time went on though, I learned many strategies that helped, rarely went over in any category and often had money left over which we were then able to save or give.

Because we set up our budget early in our marriage, I can honestly say David and I have never had a fight over how much someone spent. We've had a few looong discussions over how we wanted to spend money in the future, but because we are both living under the same "rule" of the budget, we've never had a "you spent WHAT?!?" moment. That's one of the best things about the budget to me!

3. It takes time realistic numbers for each category. It took several months of tracking our purchases, explaining our goals to one another and re-evaluating the budget to find the right balance. For instance, one of my priorities is eating organic milk, meat and eggs. David supports this and gives me a grocery budget that allows for it. My challenge? To be smart enough with what's left over to also afford organic produce when I can. Your goals may be different, but find a way to both allow money for things that are dear to your heart while still challenging yourself.

3. Plug in your numbers frequently. As those who read my blog often already know, I got caught by not doing this in January. A budget is no good if you don't know where you stand in it. Even better? Put the cash you have to use for things like grocery's and eating out (easy places to go over) in an envelope.

4. Dream Big. A budget seems constraining if it's not helping you achieve some dream. We have 2 big goals that make the budget worthwhile to me. One is to pay our home off in less than 10 years. This seemed like a huge, unachievable goal when we set it, but we have seem amazing progress and are currently on track to meet this goal. Each time I deny myself something small now, it's so much easier when later that month I get to make an extra payment on our principle.

The second goal that keeps us going is giving. It can be tempting to say, "I'll wait to give until I don't have a mortgage, then I can really give". However, we believe that he who is faithful with little will be faithful with much too, so we are trying to be faithful with our little. Plus, I don't want those who are going without something today to wait until I have achieved my dreams before they receive what they need spiritually and physically.

Finding a balance between a personal dream and giving is tough. For us, we commit to give and those commitments are honored first, then our monthly bills, then extra goes toward the house.

5. When life changes, the budget will probably need to change too. Part of the reason we are so passionate about paying the house down now is we know as we add kiddos, there will be less "extra" at the end of each month. Don't try to make the same budget work for 10 years. At the very least, re-evaluate every new year. When we first started budgeting we re-evaluated every month!

6. Be creative. It's amazing the areas of our budget we've been able to cut. We still enjoy life, we just find less expensive ways to do it. We don't watch much TV so instead of cable we do netflix, we take advantage of any discounts for paying "up front" instead of month by month (we save on our garbage service, homeowners insurance and car insurance by doing it this way) and we think outside the box when it comes to entertainment. It never ceases to amaze me where we've been able to find savings now that we watch where our money goes.

7. See how simply you can live. This is a new one for me. I started realizing how much stuff was cluttering up our home simply because I got a coupon or "good deal" on it. Sometimes, that's a good thing, I love having a freezer full of meat I got a good deal on, but getting a good deal on unnecessary items is not a good deal. I didn't think I was buying unnecessary things until I started looking for ways to re-purpose what we already had around the house before buying something I though we "needed".

I've realized keeping a lot of extra "things" in the home wastes not only money, but the time it takes to organize and clean those things.

8. When it's time to buy- used items are my friend. From cars to clothes, this has been a huge savings for our family. Craigslist, consignment shops and even yard sales can be great sources of gently used items.

9. Things you only need to use once can be borrowed. This is especially true of tools. Recently, David borrowed a wood plane to help the doors in our house fit correctly. Since we'll probably never use something like that again, being able to borrow instead of buy was definitely a blessing. If you're worried about asking for too many favors, consider offering a trade. David often offers to be tech support to the lender should they ever need it.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Is It Worth It?

One of my favorite bloggers, Kara, over at Simple Kids likes to say, "My family's simple may be your family's complicated." Can I just say this is so true?

When I meet new people I often get questions about why I do one thing or another, which I have no problem sharing about. In fact, part of why I write about the things I'm leaning on our blog is because someone told me about it, I tried it, loved it and figure someone else might too!

However at the end of the explanation, I'm often asked if I think ________(insert one of the following: cloth diapering, yogurt making, veggie growing, baby food making, etc.) is "worth it"?

There is no other question I find so difficult to answer! For our family some of the above have been worth it, others have not. I have no idea if any of them will be worth it for your family.

I can however, answer the question: How do you (Sarah) decide if something is "worth it"?

To be worth doing, a task has to meet several criteria for me, and I think the final one is the most important:

1. It benefits our family in some way
2. The time required does not exceed the value added
3. The type of challenges involved feed my soul, not drain it dry

For instance, cloth diapering is probably the thing I get asked about the most. To me, it benefits our family by saving us money, only adds two loads of laundry to my week and I love laundry. It's out there. I said it. Doing laundry, hanging clothes out to dry all bring peace to my heart. Not having to worry about running out of diapers simplifies my life. It's worth it.

Making my own baby food however, turned out to be another story. I was hoping this would be another money saver, but it turned out that a bag of organic frozen veggies combined with a handful of organic meat costs only pennies less than the same amount of organic jarred baby food. And then I had to wash the food processor. I hate dishes. It's out there. I said it. Seeing dishes piled up on my counter top, cluttering my food preparation area drains me. It wasn't worth it.

I think however, that all the things we learn and try, whether we stick with them or not, benefit us. I still make homemade baby food in a pinch (aka: Caleb ate faster than my subscribe and save shipment from Amazon could travel).

There are lots of wonderful things other families do that make me wonder "would that be worth it for our family?" Sometimes the answer is yes, sometimes it's no. Either way, I love looking at parenting as something I can learn from others about and be encouraged in, not as something that's a competition. That can be hard when you really admire something someone else has said "Yes" to.

There are several things I've seen friends try that have made me feel this way. Should I be doing that too? It seems to save them so much money. But for each money saver, there is usually a small time investment. And there are only so many chunks of time in our day to give away. And that's why I only choose money savers that also give me joy.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Friday Favorites: Broth from Bones

I've had a couple people ask me recently exactly what I do when I make chicken broth. I've mentioned my love of home made broth several times on here, but never really done a "step-by-step". So for those who are interested, here's what I do:

First, cook up a whole chicken (or bone-in chicken pieces) any way you please.

Eat up, then pick off any excess meat from the bones (great for soups!)

Once your bones are semi clean (there's still plenty of skin and fat left on mine usually) place them in a large pot.

Wash and chop up carrots, celery and onions into ~1 inch chunks. For my taste preferences I usually do 2 carrot sticks, 3-4 celery sticks and 1 large onion. Feel free to skip peeling the carrots and taking the leaves off the celery, both of these add flavor when left on. I've heard the onions don't need to be peeled either, but I haven't been that brave.

Toss the veggies into the pot with the bones and cover with water until bones are fully or almost fully submersed.

I also like to add several grinds of pepper, a pinch of sea salt and a bay leaf, but those are all optional.

Bring water to a boil, then turn down heat to low-medium and simmer for 1 hour.

Let cool, strain and freeze or refrigerate as desired.

Straining is the only tricky part in this whole process. I never realized this because I typically make my stock in one of the beautiful pots loving friends and family purchased from my bridal registry. The stock pours out of these perfectly, never spilling a drop.

During our stay in Florida, however, I made stock in the cheap cookware provided by the rental company and pouring was disastrous. The stock ran down the side of the pot and got everywhere. The moral of the story: pour your stock into a container safely located in the sink until your sure which type of cookware you own.

Also, I find it much easier to have one person stabilizing/holding the strainer while the other one pours the liquid through.

I was really intimidated the first time I tried this, but now I never throw chicken bones away before they've made some of this yummy broth.