Saturday, October 30, 2010

Donating Breastmilk

A couple weeks ago a realization hit me like a truck.

Nearly all the expressed breastmilk I have in the deep freezer is from when I was consuming wheat, dairy and soy. Or some combination of the three.

In other words, it is useless to me.

All the breastmilk in the freezer really isn't that much. Perhaps 30 ounces tops. I loathe pumping and only pumped a bit in the beginning for relief (because my milk came in so fast). I've only pumped here and there when it seemed I had an oversupply, likely from consuming too many oatmeal cookies the day before. I really had no intention of feeding Bubby pumped milk; I figured much of it would be used to thin our homemade babyfood. Still, I was disheartened when it dawned on me that we couldn't use that milk.

I'm happy that we found someone through one of my mom's groups who was looking for donated milk. While getting milk from a milk bank is a preferable solution, the reality is that it isn't a viable option for many mothers.

I'm so glad that my "problem" can become a solution for someone else.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Wordless Wednesday

To say this Autumn has been difficult so far would be an understatement. Between PPD and my strong propensity towards seasonal depression, these last few months have hit me like a double whammie. But, I am happy to say that after a long talk with Glenn I am going to really reach out and seek some help. I'm going to call my midwife this morning and see if she has a counselor she recommends. I kept thinking that if only the colic was over, if only we beat thrush, if only we identified Bubby's food issues, if only, if only, if only. But it hasn't gotten better. Time to give up on the if onlys...

Anyhoo, I tell you all this because we had a really good day last week. We caught a break in the crazy windy, rainy, stormy weather and went to the pumpkin patch.

Sunday, October 24, 2010


Maybe crazy, but I'm thinking of participating in National Blog Posting Month in November. It's a spin off from National Novel Writing Month where writers try to write a novel in a month. Apparently, NaBloPoMo is no longer just November, but every month.

We're crazy busy here. My mood is up and down and all over the place. But, if I know one thing, it's that writing has always been a great outlet for me and committing to writing each day in November might force me to take the "me time" I have been neglecting.

Anyone want to join me?

Saturday, October 23, 2010


I'm pretty convinced moms should be immune from being sick. Like on Survivor. Only I don't care about immunity from some silly vote. I want an immunity necklace that keeps me well. 

Luckily it hasn't been too bad. We all got the sniffles and, luckily (or unluckily perhaps) mine were the worst! Then we all started feeling better only for me to start feeling yucky again. No fair.

When I'm sick I almost feel like I'd rather work outside of the home. Like I could go to work and just go through the day in a fog. No such luck when you've got a three year-old who feels great and a seven month-old who is in that I-only-want-my-mommy-and-she-absolutely-must-be-in-my-sight stage.

I've been trying to get some extra rest, making sure I take all my vitamins, and taking care of myself. I'm ready for all of us to be feeling 100% again.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Oatmeal Berry Cookies

Oatmeal Berry Cookies

Last week I made my first batch of gluten-free cookies. I was very pleased with how they turned out! At first I thought they were a little too crumbly, but I quickly realized that was only because I was eating them before they cooled. They were delicious. I think this is originally the recipe from the Quaker Oats box, but I've had it in my cookbook for so long I'm not 100% positive.

Oatmeal Berry Cookies

1c Earth Balance dairy-free, soy-free butter
1c firmly packed brown sugar
1/2c granulated sugar
2 eggs
1 1/2c Bob's Red Mill gluten-free flour
3/8tsp xanthan gum
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
2tsp flaxseed meal
1/2tsp salt
3c oats **
1c Trader Joe's golden berry blend (dried golden raisins, cherries, cranberries and blueberries)

1. Heat oven to 350 degrees.

2. Beat "butter" and sugars until creamy.

3. Add eggs & vanilla; beat well.

4. Add combined flour, xantham gum, baking soda, cinnamon, flaxseed meal, and salt; mix well.

5. Stir in oats and berries; mix well.

6. Drop by rounded Tbsp (or larger if you like big cookies like me!) on ungreased cookie sheet.

7. Bake 10-12min (13-14min for larger cookies) or until golden brown.

8. Cool on cookie sheet; remove to wire rack.

Yield: 18 large (like six per cookie sheet) cookies.

** Since I am not gluten-intolerant myself, I just use regular oats. If you are dealing with Celiac's or other gluten intolerance, you may want to seek out gluten-free oats due to the risk of cross contamination. For more information on oats, click here.

Friday, October 8, 2010

My Love Hate Relationship with Autumn.

I have all these blog posts started in my head. Some even half-finished here on Blogger. The ones in my head are blogs I feel like I can't just sit down and hammer out in twenty minutes. They're important blogs. To me. And, hopefully, to others. But, I'm frazzled, tired, and probably only have a short bit of time so, instead of meaningful commentary I am going to provide you with some rambly blog vomit.


I have a love-hate relationship with Autumn. I love the leaves changing colors, the pumpkin patches, and the crisp sunny fall days. I love pretty much any baked good with pumpkin added in, cider, and drooling over thinking about Thanksgiving. I hate the days getting shorter and the nights getting longer. I hate the dark settling in earlier and earlier. It sucks.

I've suffered from depression in the past. Seasonal depression too. I live in just about the worst place ever for seasonal depression. When I was working I'd often go to work in the dark and come home in the dark. In the past I've used one of those lights (think prescription strength) to help with my depression. It hasn't been a problem in recent years, but I can feel it creeping up on me this year. It seems the darkness just snuck right up on us. Like one day I looked outside at 7pm and it was pitch black. What the heck??? At least it's not dark at four. Yet.

I'm trying to make the most of the things I enjoy about Fall and take the shorter days in stride. Time if flying by so quickly; before I know it Winter will be upon us and the days will slowly but surely be getting longer again.


Beanie started art class again yesterday. The teacher was helping the students rinse out their bowls. She had the water running while she went back and forth from the table to the sink, grabbing each kid's bowl. Beanie cried out, "Hey!!! She's wasting water!"

Ah. My little environmentalist.


Today we met with some new friends to talk about home-preschooling. We had met them once before, but it was fun. I think it'll light a fire under my lazy butt behind to collaborate with someone else. As I've stated before, we largely follow an unschooling philosophy, but I do want to dedicate some time to working on certain things.

We had a really good time with our friends. Until the end. Cue a baby and preschooler who both woke up too early and were much, much too tired. Beanie threw her half-naked self down on the ground in the bathroom and was inconsolable. It was just melt-down central. We even tried a little quiet time to calm down, but I think she was just beyond the point of no return. I know all moms have been-there-done-that (or I assure you that someday you will be), but it's sort of embarrassing. Especially the first time you go to someone's house.

Better luck next time!


I'm going to make some apples for Bubby. I made sweet potatoes the other day. I forgot how much more work they are to make than the pears were. At least to get them to the right consistency. It probably didn't help that they only had very small organic sweet potatoes at the store so it seemed like a lot of effort for a small amount of cubes.

He does seem to be fairly interested in baby food. I wouldn't say he ever eats more than 1 cube. A lot of time probably not even that much. Sometimes he lunges forward reaching for the spoon with his mouth wide open -- it's so cute! We'll keep up with it. So far no reactions to anything. We're well versed in taking it slow with baby food since Beanie wasn't really interested at all until she was older.


My bangs are finally grown out. They're about to my chin which is where I wanted them so I could chop my hair. I guess there's really no point in keeping it long for ponytails seeing as how Bubby either just sucks on my ponytail (eeeeew!) or grabs the tiny little hairs that aren't held back. It's been over a year that I've been growing my bangs out. Finally they're where I wanted them. And, you know what, now I have some wild idea that maybe I should cut bangs again.

Someone knock some sense into me.


That's it. I promise a return to more meaningful blogging soon.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

A proud babywearer.

One of the things I have really embraced as a mom of two was babywearing. The fact that I had a Moby that sat on a shelf in the closet when Beanie was a baby just perturbs me now. Back then, I was intimidated and never tried to use the Moby. I tried using it very early on with Bubby and I LOVED it. And, really, I can't believe I didn't use it with Beanie (who was definitely an in-arms babe) just because I was a little nervous to figure it out. After tying the Moby once or twice with Bubby it really became second nature. I could tie it on quickly and easily. During the day, Bubby would calm down in the Moby and often would fall asleep. In the evenings, the Moby was one of the many things in our arsenal we used to try and calm him. Over and over again. For hours on end. With the colic and food intolerance issues we have had, babywearing has been a lifesaver.

I still wear him most every day, although now we use the Ergo. I've been meaning to play around with the Moby again, but we are both quite comfortable using the Ergo right now. It's easier to get on once we're already out and about and I love that it has a zipper pocket for my wallet, phone and etc.

One of the hardest things when my back was out was not being able to babywear. It has become a part of our daily routine. Bubby feels safe and snuggly close to his mama and I can go about my day with my son close to my heart and comfortable. I know he's safe there next to me. When we go out anywhere I babywear. When he was younger the thought of lugging the infant carrier carseat around was daunting. I HATED having to use that when it was too painful to carry him. For us, it is much easier to wear Bubby and have Beanie in the shopping cart, holding my hand and walking next to me, or in the stroller. I'm sure more than a few of my Facebook friends laughed when I posted something along the lines of How do moms of two survive without babywearing??? Of course, it wasn't really as drastic as that, but not being able to babywear really put a cramp in our life. It made things harder, it made me sad, it was a difficult time for us. Luckily, Glenn seems to like the Ergo as much as I do and he did a lot of babywearing while we were in Oregon on vacation.

Things with my back have gotten better and we are back to babywearing. I'm a much happier camper and so is Bubby. It is so much easier to get out of the house and I am more comfortable with things. Babywearing has become an essential part of our life. When I think back to three years ago I almost have to laugh when I remember that I was too intimidated to try out the Moby. Now I'm a pro and help others learn how to babywear.

Babywearing has gotten some bad press lately with recalls and etc. I really wish that people were educated about babywearing, its benefits and the safe ways to babywear. Babywearing is not dangerous; for Bubby and I it was a lifesaver. Seriously. A sanity-saver. The last six-and-a-half months have been harder than I every imagined and I am so grateful we had babywearing to make it just a bit easier.


Learn more about babywearing at Adventures in Babywearing and check out the Baby Carrier Industry Alliance Facebook Page. The BCIA has posted a Call to Action asking people to blog about babywearing. Join in and spread the word on the benefits of babywearing. Thanks to Brittany over at Birth Unplugged for writing a babywearing post and alerting me to this call to action.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

On the flip side.

Three is a fun age. There are so many things I love about Beanie being three.

She's curious about everything. It makes every day so much fun. She wants to know about letters, numbers, baking, why things are the way they are. She asks questions about everything and, while sometimes infuriating when they're completely repetitive, I love her inquiries. She's learning about the world at an amazing rate and it brings me great joy to see her figuring things out -- either on her own or with our help.

Her memory never ceases to amaze me. She remembers things I can't believe. The other day we went to a playdate at a coffee shop. I was packing some snacks for myself and she said, "No mommy, you don't need snacks. They have bagels for you." We haven't been there since January and she remembered I always (used to) get a bagel there. While everything in the past seems to have happened "yesterday," she remembers details about friends, places, and things that always blow my mind.

She is an empathetic & caring big sister. She has really blossomed in her roll as big sister. I'm sure there are difficulties ahead, but she is so loving to her brother. At least 99% of the time. If he's starting to get upset, she alerts me that he's hungry and wants to nurse (apparently even she knows that nursing is the "fix" to almost everything). She cheers him on as he rolls over and tries to push up on hands & knees. First thing in the morning and last thing before bed she hugs & kisses her brother. She wants to help with everything.

The littlest thing can make her the happiest girl in the world. She's three and it doesn't take anything huge to get a big smile on her face. And, in turn, mine. Yesterday was a difficult morning, but break out a tunnel and a couple balls, roll them back and forth and you'd think we were at the fair. It's the little things and I try to remember that. She is SO excited about Halloween and I can hardly wait to see the fun that Christmas will bring.

Three isn't all bad, that's for sure. The good time more than make up for the difficult ones.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Life is tough when you're 3.

I don't want a ponytail.


I do want a ponytail.


Bubby pulled my hair.


I pulled Bubby's hair.


Brushing my teeth scares me.


It's raining.


It's sunny.


You follow me?

It's been a rough week here. I'm trying to be compassionate, empathetic, and understanding. I won't lie, it's hard. I try to see things from her perspective, that really the idea of having (or not having) a ponytail could be earth shattering. And that her thoughts on said ponytail can change from one second to the next. I can't help but feel like I'm failing her a bit. What am I doing wrong? Why can't I get her to take a deep breath and calm down? Or why does it just have to be the idea of closing her door and she can stop crying on a dime and say, "I'm calm now." At least I know her "thing."

We don't really do time-outs, especially not for overly dramatic emotional outbursts. Obviously there's a reason she's feeling this way or needing to express herself this way. Is it just because she's three? She does well with taking a deep breath, counting to three and saying, "calm down." Mama has been needing a lot of "1-2-3 calm downs" these days too. She takes "quiet time" in her room when she (and I) need to calm down and have a little space.

I guess we'll keep going with the flow and hope that this too will pass.

What gentle parenting tools do you use with your toddler/preschooler in similar times?

Friday, October 1, 2010

Ann's Almost Famous Pumpkin Bread

Ann's Almost Famous Pumpkin Bread

My friend Ann gave me a pumpkin bread recipe a few years back. If there's one thing I love about Fall, it's pumpkin bread. And cookies, scones, pancakes, lattes, I could go on and on. Apparently I have a lot of recipe adapting to do this Fall.

The bread poofed up quite a bit while it was baking and then sunk down after I took it out of the oven. Do any gluten-free bakers know why? Too much xanthan gum? Not enough? It didn't sink too bad, the texture was good (if anything maybe a bit too moist??) and it definitely didn't affect the taste. The bread was delicious. I'll definitely make it again, although I may play around with the recipe a bit more.

Ann's Almost Famous Pumpkin Bread


3 1/2c Bob's Red Mill gluten-free flour
3 1/2tsp xanthan gum (**It was recommended to me by Amy at Simply Sugar & Gluten-Free & Devan at Accustomed Chaos to try less xanthan gum, like 1 1/2-2tsp. I will try it that way next time. Thanks ladies.)
2tsp baking soda
1 1/2tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon (I used ginger this time because, ergh, we were out of cinnamon!!)
2 tsp nutmeg
3c sugar
1c oil
4 eggs
2/3c water
2c mashed pumpkin or one small (15oz) can pumpkin
1c chocolate chips (optional -- I use the Enjoy Life brand; they're free of the top 8 allergens.)

***edited 10/28/11: I made this the other day & totally eliminated the xanthan gum. They were perfect!! I also added 2Tbsp of ground flaxseed. I think my dozen muffins and one loaf were gone in close to 24hours. I'll be making more tomorrow.***


Sift together dry ingredients. Make a well in center. Add remaining ingredients and mix well. Divide into two greased loaf pans (I use Spectrum palm shortening) and bake at 350 degrees for one hour or until toothpick comes out clean.

Serve warm with a dab of Earth Balance dairy-free soy-free butter and a hot cup of coffee or apple cider and enjoy.