Friday, July 30, 2010

My evolution.

Not that kind of evolution.

Although I am much more of a Big Bang type of girl than a the-world-was-created-in-seven-days type girl.

I'm talking about my evolution as a mom. The evolution of my blog. They very closely mirror one another.

When I started this blog I was tired (hence the URL). I was stressed. I was conflicted. I was buying into the assumption that my dear little girl should sleep on her own in her own room. That I shouldn't hold her sleeping in my arms every night until I was ready to lay down myself. That she shouldn't have to nurse to sleep. That she should be sleeping through the night. Those societal assumptions made me feel like I must be doing something wrong.

But, I wasn't. I was following my instincts. I was doing what worked for us. Once I accepted that fact (and, indeed, fully embraced it) I was happy. My little girl slept better next to me. I slept better next to her. She did need to nurse to sleep -- maybe not for nourishment, but most definitely for comfort. And, really, when you're breastfeeding the line between the two is often blurred and doesn't really need to be distinguished.

There was no need for us to wean at one. Or even two. We would wean when we were both ready. Luckily, in our case, the timing aligned very well.

Now I'm a mom of two. I don't have the anxiety or worry about whether I'm doing things in the way the majority of our society approves of. I do things the way that works for us. The way that feels right to me and my family. This doesn't amount to judgment of how others choose to parent and I wish, at times, I didn't feel so judged or ostracized for how I choose to parent (although, recently I have met more and more people who parent similarly and it does make things easier). Bubby is a more independent sleeper than Beanie was, but we cosleep. He naps on his own which is something Beanie didn't care to do for quite a long time. I sleep better with him sleeping next to us. Since Bubby is a better sleeper, Glenn does too. We nurse on demand. He often nurses to sleep. Unlike Beanie (who would stay latched on all night if I'd let her), Bubby often pops off when he's done and falls asleep. I hold him in my arms every night until I lay down. I comfort him immediately when he's fussy or upset.

And this time around I don't question any of it. It is a much better feeling, being confident in how you are parenting, knowing you are doing what's best for your child, not worrying about what others think. It's freeing. It's allowed me to evolve into a better mom. A better person.

This blog has closely chronicled all these things for me. It's helped me sort things out in my head. It's helped me meet people who are supportive and encouraging. I hope it has also helped others. I usually blog about what the "big issue" in my life is at the time. Lately what has consumed me is the elimination diet and trying to identify just what has been going on with Bubby. Who knows what will be next? I feel like I'm finding my groove though and I like it.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Gluten-free, Dairy-free Blueberry Oat Bars


Actually, they're vegan too.

I adapted this from a recipe a friend gave me. They are delicious.


GF DF Blueberry Oat Bars

4 1/2 c rolled oats
1 cup GF flour (I used Bob's Red Mill Brown Rice flour)
1 tsp baking soda
1-2 tsp vanilla extract (I used a bit more probably bc I went to add "a little" splash and dumped a bunch in lol)
2/3 c DF "butter," softened (I used Earth Balance dairy-free soy-free buttery spread)
1/3 c honey
1/3 c packed brown sugar
1/2 c applesauce
2 tsp cinnamon
2 c blueberries (you could use DF chocolate chips, raisins, cranberries, etc etc)

Mix all ingredients in a large bowl. Press into a greased (I used Spectrum palm shortening) 9x13 pan. Bake at 325 degrees for 18-22 min. Let cool. Cut into squares & wrap individually in wax paper. Refrigerate.

They really held up well in the fridge. All three of us really liked them and they gave me quite a milk supply boost. Yay for another galactagogue if I need one!!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Support.


Call it a clan, call it a network, call it a tribe, call it a family. Whatever you call it, whoever you are, you need one. ~Jane Howard


The above quote was posted by Moby Wrap on Facebook today (fan them! They post really great stuff). A friend posted something similar on her Facebook last night -- that she liked to hear when friends had help with their kiddos. I really needed to read both of those.

And thanks for all the support, comments & cyber hugs (either here or on Facebook). I needed them today and they were much appreciated.

I think a lot of times moms get wrapped up in trying to do it all (or is it just me???). We strive to be super mom and feel like a failure if our attempts are futile. I really have tried in the past to get over my mommy guilt about certain things and I'm striving to let it go again. I am imperfect. Everyone is. We have good days and bad days. Sometimes there are more dishes in the sink than I could ever imagine. Sometimes the laundry doesn't get folded. Sometimes I would be embarrassed if someone knocked on the door unannounced.

Today was one of those days.

But, you know what? My kids know I love them. They'd rather have a few extra cuddles and a happy mom than a perfect looking kitchen. And today, mama getting some rest was far more important than mama doing the dishes. We all napped together this afternoon. We all needed it.

It is true that Glenn & I don't have the support system we need right now, but we're working on it. I seriously don't know how single moms, military moms, or moms with hubbies who leave town for work a lot do it. It makes me feel bad for complaining about Glenn being gone for 13hours a day. Everyone needs a support system. Everyone needs help. For moms sometimes the hardest part is asking for it.

If I was a betting girl...

...I'd be a winner.

Appears Bubby has an intolerance to both wheat and dairy. Starting yesterday morning I noticed some yucky diapers and by 7pm last night Bubby was an inconsolable baby. It broke my heart. He was obviously in a lot of discomfort. He was up for most of the night -- I think we got some spurts of 45min of sleep here and there. This morning he had a super gross diaper. So, here I am a gluten-free and dairy-free mama.

I called my mom this morning in tears. I hardly ever call her like that, mostly because she isn't really the warm & supportive type, but I didn't know who else to talk to. I was exhausted from the night before, Glenn and I had a rough day yesterday, Beanie woke up at 5am this morning and wasn't going back to bed, Glenn woke up and decided to go on his hike despite everyone having a very rough time. I don't know, I guess I was hoping he'd wake up and think, Oh what a rough night for all of us. It'd probably be helpful to stick around the house today. I know he's been working his butt off at work. I also know I've been working my butt off here with the kids. I can't do it all. It's hard for me to even try lately. Sometimes I really wish that we had some family closer to us (even though they're all pretty cuckoo and if they were closer I might find myself wishing they were farther away). I just know that we need some help right now...

Anyhoo, off that tangent. Sorry. Can you tell my mind is totally rambly and in need of some strong coffee this morning?

I've been working through some thoughts on this whole elimination diet process, but I'll have to save that for another post because Bubby is seemingly ready for a nap already. I guess that's what happens when you're up all night. If only Beanie was ready to go down too, but that's wishful thinking ;)

Monday, July 26, 2010

Elimination Diet: Reintroducing Dairy

Yesterday I reintroduced dairy. Admittedly I was a bit reluctant with this reintroduction. Bubby did show improvement when I had eliminated only dairy very early on. Some improvement. However, I'm not really sure if my wheat consumption was also lower during that time. Now that we are pretty sure he has a wheat intolerance I do feel it's worth it to give the dairy a try for a few days and see where it brings us. I originally thought we might wait a bit, but Bubby has his four month well check on Thursday and I would like to have an idea of what's going on before we got and meet with the pediatrician. It will be helpful to know if we're dealing with a wheat intolerance or a likely wheat and dairy intolerance.

We went to Whole Foods on Friday on the hunt for some Udi's or Kinnikinnick (say that five times fast) gluten--free hamburger buns. We didn't find either, but did find that they had their Udi's products on sale (I'll save my reviews of those for a separate post).

I've been thinking about the reintroduction of dairy and there were a few things on my list I really wanted to have considering the possibility that I may only be consuming dairy for a day or two. On the top of the list? Pizza. There's a local pizza joint that has quite a few gluten-free and vegan items on their menu. We usually get "normal" pizza there, but a ways back we had gone with my friend who was gluten-free and she said their pizza crust was really good. So last night we totally blew our food budget and ordered out once again (July's been a bad month for the dining out budget with my birthday, hot weather and long days).

The pizza was delicious! It was small but I *gasp* ate the whole thing. Glenn also picked up a  WOW chocolate chip cookie which was probably one of the best cookies I've ever had gluten-free or otherwise.

Needless to say, I ate way too much food.

Bubby seems to be doing well so far. We'll see what the next 24 hours or so bring.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Hobo Mama: Why Breastfeeding is Important

In case you didn't see this in my side bar, this post is awesome! Definitely one of my favorite new blogs.

Why Breastfeeding is Important

One Year Ago Today...

....I saw this. I wasn't really surprised. In my mind I knew we were pregnant, but I was trying not to psyche myself out. We had just gotten back from our totally insane family trip to Georgia. In Georgia I had noticed I was having horrible stomach problems (my first early pregnancy sign with Beanie) and I was uber emotional (and not just because I was stuck in a house with my crazy mother-in-law for three days). When we flew home I was feeling nauseous on the flight. I attributed it to turbulence, but when we got home I was still feeling "off." I told Glenn that either my little nephew got me sick or we were pregnant. I refused to test until cd (cycle day for you non ttc-ers) 28 since I had gotten a BFN (big fat negative) with Beanie on cd 28.

So, on the morning of July 24, 2009, I woke up, took out the pregnancy test and went pee. I saw the very faint line immediately. I texted a pic to Glenn, but (of course) the quality wasn't great and he could hardly tell. I could though. Still, I made him buy a digital test on the way home. It said "YES+" (why couldn't he have bought one that said "PREGNANT" in blaring big letters???).

Today, one year later, my son brings me so much joy. He makes me laugh, smile, and beam with joy every day. He's the perfect addition to our little family. We're complete now (much to my father's chagrin we are d-o-n-e done now, although he keeps bringing up how we should have more babies --ugh!!).

So, one year ago I got to see some little lines on a pee stick. Today I get to look at this guy...


How lucky am I?

You can read Bubby's birth story in this post.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

The "Why" behind the "No"

Beanie is three. Nearly everything we talk about is met with the question of, "why?" I love her curiosity, her desire to learn more, and her enthusiasm. But, as every parent knows, sometimes that question of why can be exhausting.

The other night we were driving home from dinner and we had to stop at the store. Beanie wanted to come too, to which I replied no. She wanted to know why and was upset which brought about a conversation between Glenn and I. See, I only said no because I just had to grab one quick thing (the palm shortening for the icing) and figured it would be a heck of a lot easier to just run in, grab it and pay while Glenn sat in the car with the kids. But, was that really a good enough reason to upset my little girl's hopes of coming in and helping Mommy? Glenn talked about how whenever his parents said no and he asked why they never had a reason. It was just "because I'm the parent," or something along those lines. Our job as a parent is not to exert control over our kids and tell them no just for the sake of stroking our ego and showing that we are the ones in charge. There's always a why behind the no. Sure, sometimes it's easier to say, "because I said no!" but that doesn't really help your child to learn the reasoning behind what you do. It doesn't help your child develop, grow and learn.

I'm not saying I never will say, "because I'm the parent," but I do think we need to examine the reasons behind saying no to our children and to explain those reasons to them. If it's just a matter of convenience -- like saving a minute or two at the grocery store -- is it really worth it to say no just to exert your power?

All four of us headed in to the store to pick up that one little tub of shortening. Did it take longer than if I'd just run it and done it myself? Sure. But, you know what, we don't always get a lot of time as a family and, hey, I'll take it even if it's just buying some shortening. Beanie had a great time telling the cashier she was going to make me a Big Bird cake (don't know exactly where that came from), she got to help, and I got a good lesson in really thinking about why I'm saying no.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Well, Hello 31.

Years. Not flavors.

Although back in high school I really loved me a Cappuccino Blast with Gold Medal Ribbon.

Anyhoo, here's my birthday cake...


It was pretty darn good! Beat my expectations for a gluten-free, dairy-free, soy-free cake. I picked up some of the Bob's Red Mill gluten free Vanilla Cake Mix the last time we were at Metro Market. I looked for some dairy-free frosting, but no luck so I figured I'd look online for a recipe. Strangely enough, Cindy over at Gluten Free in Montana posted a recipe for Dairy Free Creamy White Frosting that very same day! Perfect. I ended up using about 5Tbsp of rice milk. The icing was a bit sweet for me so if I make it again I'd probably cut the sugar a bit. I'm not a huge icing fan anyway, so no surprise there. The cake was good too. Moist and fluffy like a "normal" cake. The strawberries were an afterthought -- Glenn picked them up because they were on sale & thought they'd be good on the cake. I agreed and Beanie had a great time arranging them with me.


******

And now about my birthday. It was great. Bubby helped me celebrate by being up to nurse every hour the night before ;-)  And Beanie woke up early, but Glenn got up with her. Glenn made breakfast & then we went on a hike. I had thought Beanie would like to walk some or all of the way, but she rode in the Kelty backpack. I carried Bubby in the Ergo. I can tell I'm out of shape because hiking back up I was hurting!! Beanie had a great time finding (and eating of course) huckleberries & Bubby enjoyed the scenery when he wasn't napping. It was our first real hike as a family of four. Glenn BBQ'd for dinner and then we did presents & cake. I got a gift card to go have some me time & go clothes shopping!! Woohoo. I keep holding out on buying anything because I have so many pants from my post-partum time with Beanie that almost fit. I really could use a few new things though and I can always go shopping again when I am at my desired weight again.

Here's a few pics from our hike. It wasn't a great time of day for photography with the sun out & very bright (and I was taking pics with my cell phone camera), but you get the idea.

The upper falls.

This picture does not do the scenery justice at all. It was gorgeous & I really wish Glenn had had his camera on him.

  The lower falls.

Anyway, happy birthday to me!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Elimination Diet: Reintroducing Soy

I reintroduced soy today with a caramel macchiato from Starbucks. It was okay. I really don't care for Starbucks in general. And then it dawned on me that the caramel most likely had dairy in it.

FAIL.

If what I've been reading is accurate though, I'd be surprised if soy was what was causing Bubby so much upset. According to what I've read, most children who have an intolerance to soy react to the protein and have an easier time with the oils. I had little, if any, soy protein during Bubby's first couple months. Maybe some tofu once or twice. So either Bubby is in the smaller percentage of kids who react to soy oils consumed by Mama or (hopefully) he won't have a problem with them.

We'll see what else I eat (drink) for my soy reintroduction. I was thinking of maybe making some stir fry with rice noodles and tofu, but I sort of wonder why I'm going to the effort of worrying so much about the soy proteins when they're not something I regularly consume anyway.

Recharging the Mama Batteries.

I know I have PhD in Parenting linked over in my sidebar, but I wanted to highlight the following post...

Grin and bear it? Parenting, happiness and the pressure cooker

There was talk recently in my mom's group of the New York Magazine (I originally typed New York Times and have been meaning to edit since I published -- eek! Mommy brain on the loose) article mentioned in the post, but I haven't actually read it. I did really enjoy this post though.

I'm definitely guilty of trying to do it all. Not stepping back when I need a break and taking it. It's hard with our current scheduling and all, but I know there are times when I could allow myself more of a break than I do. Even just with Glenn watching the kids. And, in our situation that's all I'm really talking about. Right now we're not comfortable leaving Bubby with anyone else. And we don't have a village, that's for sure. We have a little family around, but they are busy with their own families, work, etc etc. We're not really comfortable leaving the kids with anyone who isn't family...just don't really see a need for that right now. Maybe when they are both older?

I've been trying to be better about getting some "me time" in, as little as it may be. I don't mind being around Bubby all the time -- he's a little nursling still and he needs his mama 24/7. I loathe pumping. But, I have really been trying to be okay with Bubby being upset and Glenn helping. It sounds so silly, like why wouldn't I want his dad to help him calm down? But, fact of the matter is, Bubby calms down better/faster/whatever for me. So, when he's crying his pour little eyes out and upset I want to help calm him. But, it's okay for us to take turns. Glenn is a source of comfort for Bubby too, although at this stage comfort for Bubby mostly equals the boob. He likes lunges too (likes them a lot actually!), but Glenn doesn't do them so often with him. I often wonder why. Anyway, getting off topic here....

What I'm trying to say is we do all need a little break. Some time to refresh ourselves as individuals whether it be a long shower (by myself without also having to shower a toddler -- lol), a night out with friends, or just a little time alone in your room reading a book. Even just a few moments. I often feel guilty asking for these moments. I think it boils down to feeling so bad for Glenn always being tired and working so darn much. But, then I think about how much I am working even though it might not be outside of the home. I've learned to ask when I need a little time. We both are. I still feel like our "me time" isn't exactly balanced, but we're working on it.

Anyway, I'm really glad I read that post tonight. It was good for me. I even got to read it enjoying a little "me time" while Bubby sleeps on the bed next to me. I'm sure many mamas wouldn't qualify that as me time, but Glenn is laying down with Beanie while she falls asleep and Bubby is sacked out on the middle of our bed which means I get computer time and get to type two-handed. That's good me time in my book ;)

What do you think of the article? Are you guilty of trying to do it all? What do you do to recharge?

Monday, July 19, 2010

Blueberries Overfloweth


That's what 7 1/2 pounds of blueberries look like.

We went to an organic blueberry farm to pick berries. We picked. And picked. And picked some more. Beanie did really well, although I'm pretty sure we probably should've paid for about 8lbs of blueberries for all the ones that made it into her tummy instead of her bucket.

I have lots of ideas for things to make. Not sure I have 7 1/2lbs worth of ideas, but, really, we'll probably go through a pound or two just snacking. Blueberry muffins, blueberry scones for Glenn, pancakes, granola bars, fruit leather, smoothies. Dinner bribery for the toddler ;)

I'm thinking we'll have to go out and pick some blackberries later this summer too. One thing I might sort of miss about the condo (and there's not much that's for sure) is all the blackberry bushes that were right out back.

What are your favorite things to make with blueberries? I'd love to try some new things out!


Sunday, July 18, 2010

For the love of the outdoors


When I was a kid we never camped. We didn't hike. We didn't really do much outdoorsy at all. See, my dad worked (and still does work) in the hotel industry so we weren't really ever looking for a place to stay. My mom's idea of "camping" was being in a hotel room that wasn't right next to the ice machine. Okay, maybe an exaggeration, but you get the idea.

I didn't camp until the summer after my junior year of high school. And that trip I don't really count for numerous reasons that may (or may not) have something to do with a cooler full of Icehouse (eeew, I really drank that stuff??) and my best friend's cousin being so high she smoked a tampon because she thought it was a joint. Not lying. I have pictures. Somewhere.

When I met Glenn that all changed. There was the night he took me out to look at the stars and I was deathly afraid of all the noises. I mean, frogs are scary. Wait, are there even frogs in the mountains?? Whatever, it was scary. He introduced me to hiking, to camping, to kayaking (the waves on the local lake are HUGE just in case you didn't know), to cooking over a campfire and sleeping in a tent. And now I'm an outdoor junkie. I love it all, although I'm still not too fond of peeing in the bushes. The outdoors are fun. I sort of feel like I really missed out as a kid.

Beanie loves the outdoors. She loves to get dirty, to tromp through the woods, to roast hot dogs and marshahohos (although she has started calling them marshmallows now). I'm glad we can share the outdoors and instill a love of nature in her. We'll see where it takes her.

Bob's Red Mill Gluten Free Pancake Mix


I've mentioned before that one of my favorite things about Glenn actually having a day off is having a big breakfast together as a family. Well, Glenn didn't have today off -- he had to work a few hours this morning, but he was home in time for breakfast.

We made pancakes. Again. Beanie loves making pancakes. The kid would eat pancakes every morning for breakfast if she could. We had blueberry pancakes on Wednesday which was my first try with the Bob's Red Mill Gluten Free Pancake Mix. It was great! I had tried another brand of GF pancake mix before (it may or may not have been from Trader Joes *wink wink*) and I didn't really care for it. I'll admit, then I was also not having eggs so I used bananas in place of the eggs in the TJ's mix. They were, um, edible. I guess.

The Bob's Red Mill ones are great. They look like real pancakes. With a good dousing of syrup they even (pretty much) taste like real pancakes. The mix is gluten free and dairy free. It calls for 3/4c of milk (any kind -- I use rice milk),1 egg, and a Tbsp of oil (I use canola oil) added in to 1 1/2c of the mix. Both times I've made the pancakes I've used quite a bit more milk. The first batch I made, I made two pancakes after adding just a splash extra of milk. They were pretty gritty in my opinion. I made the rest of the batch after adding in more rice milk and they were delicious! Today I added in even more milk and they were really good. I probably had to add even more milk today because, oops, I had run out of rice milk and so I had the mix sitting there with the egg, the oil, and a tiny bit of rice milk in it while Glenn ran to the store to pick me up some more milk. Great hubby!

I'm so glad that I can have good pancakes again. I was thinking of playing around and making my own from scratch (it's probably cheaper, right?) but the Bob's Red Mill ones are so good I may not even bother!

Friday, July 16, 2010

Elimination Diet: Reintroducing Peanuts

On Thursday I reintroduced peanuts with a yummy Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Zing bar. I've written about them before in this post. I didn't care for the peanut butter chocolate chip one as much as the Chocolate coconut one, but it was pretty tasty. There is one other flavor (Cranberry Orange) that is also dairy, soy, and gluten free. The rest have dairy in them.

Tomorrow night I'm planning on making Swimming Rama, one of our favorite Thai dishes. Glenn actually made some a couple weeks ago & it looked delicious. I was quite envious and mine looked so plain without the peanut sauce.

The next two reintroductions are the biggies -- soy & dairy. I have long assumed that Bubby had an intolerance to dairy and something. I almost hate to try the dairy again when he is doing so well right now. It's the only real way to know though, I guess. I'm just hoping it's not wheat, dairy & soy. Glenn thinks it may just be the wheat. I'm not convinced of that at all -- Bubby did do better when I had cut out only the dairy, better just not great. I may wait longer to reintroduce the dairy...I don't know. I just don't want to ruin what we have going right now.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

The P word.

Princess.

That's a four letter word in our house.

For some reason when my inlaws were in town (and when they talk to Beanie on Skype which oh my god I wish we'd never let them talk us into getting an account) they like to talk all about princesses. They tell Beanie a story about "Princess Beanie" and her castle and yada yada.

We do not like princesses here. Glenn hates Disney and we just don't care for the connotations that being a princess has. Or the assumption that every little three year-old girl wants to be one or is one.

We were at the park a few weeks ago for her birthday playdate and Beanie came running by me exclaiming, "I'm a princess!" I was surprised and said, "Really?" Some of the other kids had decided that they were going to role-play and play princesses. When we got home I told Glenn and he asked Beanie what princesses do. She replied that they ran around and played in their castles.

She does know one princess. Princess Pea from Super Why! We've vastly cut down our media addiction and Beanie doesn't watch much TV at all. She watches a couple shows in the morning while I'm getting breakfast ready and doing some chores and that's about it. We've completely moved away from Nick Jr and we only really watch PBS -- mostly Super Why! and Word World. There are a few other shows she watches occasionally and I'm okay with that.

I just wonder, why the assumption that all little girls want to be princesses? Truth be told, Beanie would rather be playing soccer or exploring in the woods than playing "princess."

Elimination Diet: Reintroducing Eggs

***It was yummier than it looks. LOL***

On Sunday morning I reintroduced eggs. Glenn made a yummy scramble with eggs, potatoes, ham, peppers & onions. He added cheese to his & Beanie's after he scooped mine out. It was so yummy!! One of my favorite things about Glenn's days off (not that he's been having many of those lately) is eating breakfast as a family.

On Monday I made an omelet with peppers and onions. It was really good too.

So far so good with the eggs. Bubby is showing no signs of difficulty with me eating  them. I'm pleased to say that my happy baby is back. He was doing so well before I reintroduced the wheat and it seemed to take him awhile to get back to his new normal after the tough time with the wheat. Thing seem to be much better again though and he's only normal baby fussy.

Misson Complete.

Well, almost.

I was all set writing this post in my head last night and then, of course, this morning Beanie had an accident.

We are (pretty much) full-on potty trained. After a bit of regression after Bubby was born, Beanie has now been in undies 24/7 for the last month or so. We bought one pack of Pull-Ups but then decided they were really a waste -- Beanie had been dry in her diapers overnight 99.9% of the time and my only reservation was the fact that if she had an accident I'd be dealing with that and a newborn in the middle of the night. So, we tried the Pull-Ups. Again, almost always they were dry. So, we took the plunge and put her in underwear at night.

She didn't have an accident.

Not once.

This morning I was super tired and she got up out of bed to go potty. I laid there with Bubby waiting to hear, "Mommy, I'm all done." Instead I hear, "Mommy, I had an accident."

I moved Bubby cross-wise on the bed and went to help her clean up. She had almost made it to the potty, her pants and undies were around her ankles and she was very upset that they were wet. I reassured her it was okay, it was just an accident, and asked if she had more pee for the potty. She did. Then I took her in the shower and rinsed her off.

Just a kink in things, but I definitely still consider the potty training mission complete.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Trader Joe's Organic Brown Rice Penne Pasta

Tonight we made pasta for dinner. If there's one thing that I thought I would for sure miss being gluten free it was good pasta. Recently I heard about the Organic Brown Rice Penne Pasta from Trader Joe's so I thought I'd give it a try. Glenn and Beanie had regular old spaghetti and I had the penne.

It said on the package to cook it only 7-10minutes and emphasized not to overcook. Also to rinse it very well (I had also heard that from the person who told me about it in the first place). So, while I had our homemade sauce simmering I took a shower and Glenn boiled the water and cooked the pasta.

When all our dinner was ready I scooped the pasta onto my plate. It seemed a little undercooked. Glenn had cooked it for seven minutes so I think I'll try to cook it a few minutes longer next time. I threw the pasta in the microwave and cooked it for thirty seconds. That, along with the sauce on top, softened them right up.

I was surprised. They were really good. Last week Glenn and Beanie ordered pizza from a neighborhood joint that also has gluten free and vegan items. I got the GF spaghetti. I found the noodles really mushy and wasn't too impressed at all. Their sauce was really good (not as good as ours...heehee) but I just couldn't handle the consistency of the noodles. As an aside, I've heard their GF pizza crust is very good so I am itching to reintroduce dairy with some yummy pizza! I guess my expectations weren't really that high when I tried the rice pasta, but it was delicious. Much better than I anticipated! I will definitely be getting it again. They also had rice spaghetti so I'll probably pick up a package of that as well. Maybe good pasta isn't something I'll have to miss out on.

I was impressed with my sauce-making skills today too. Usually Glenn makes the pasta sauce, but he and Beanie had taken a trip to Costco and it was getting late (for us) for dinnertime so I started it up. I was proud of myself because whenever I make the sauce I always feel like it leaves something to be desired.

Add a green salad with some of the Annie's Tuscany Italian dressing and I'm still full from dinner. Usually around now I'm ready for a snack.

We definitely have one more thing to add onto our regulars list at Trader Joe's. I usually attempt to stick to a list there otherwise I spend a boatload of money. It's like Impulse Shopping Central for me.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Christopher.

Please continue to keep my friend's son Christopher in your thoughts and prayers. It is now thought he has very little time (think days) left with his family and friends. I think of them all the time and I just can't imagine the pain my friend is going through. Send them good thoughts & prayers for more time with their son and a cure for his horrible cancer.

Christopher's Caring Bridge Site

Elimination Diet: Reintroducing Shellfish

On Thursday night we made prawn skewers for dinner. I marinated the prawns (well, my prawns) in the Annie's Italian dressing. I marinated the rest in regular old Italian dressing. They were really yummy. I served them over a bed of brown rice. I totally meant to take a picture, but I forgot.

I am admittedly a bit frustrated with the elimination diet. I feel like there's nothing in the house I can eat unless I go out and spend a ton of money at the specialty stores. I waffle between feeling that way and being adventuresome trying new foods. Bubby is still a bit fussier than he was before I reintroduced wheat. It's also been very hot out (well, hot for the Pacific Northwest) and I do believe he is teething. His diapers have been a bit on the yucky side -- sometimes way more so than others.

I guess I'm just frustrated that when I re-eliminated the wheat that he didn't go back to how he was before. I'm sure it may take a bit to get out of my system, but it's been a week so I was hoping for more I guess. I just want him to be a little happy camper again.

I would like to reintroduce another thing in the next day or so, but with his diapers being so yucky still I wonder how I'll notice the difference. I wondered if it was all in my head about the wheat, but Glenn said he notices that Bubby is definitely doing better now. He said, just like I had noticed, that it didn't seem that the wheat bothered him right away, but rather that it was like a build-up over those couple days and Bubby got progressively worse. Good to know it wasn't all in my head -- I'd definitely wondered with him still doing so poorly this week. It does seem though that within the last couple days that he is only fussy when tired, so that is a marked improvement again.

Next on the list to reintroduce is eggs or peanuts. I wasn't surprised that the shellfish did not pose a problem. I've always assumed that the problem allergens were things I consumed often. While I had shellfish here and there before I started the elimination diet, it wasn't a regular menu item, that's for sure.

I have a few products we've tried that I've been meaning to review...hopefully I'll get around to it soon!

Friday, July 9, 2010

Park Etiquette 101

Today we met some new friends from our mom's group at the park for a play date. It's a park we especially like -- fully-fenced so Beanie can run and I don't have to worry about her running into the street, sandbox, swings, lots of grass, and play equipment. Awesome park. It's also nice because most of the time the park is fairly quiet. But, with temperatures forecasted in the 90's again for today the park was busier than usual. Not busy per se, just busy for that park.

I was chatting with a couple other moms as Beanie played in the sandbox. All of the sudden my mommy radar went off as I heard Beanie crying. I whipped my head around and saw my very upset girl and a little boy throwing sand all over the place. The same boy who not ten minutes before was throwing wood chips all over the place. Nice.

Another mom said, "She got some sand in her eye."

Wrong.

Your kid built a fricking sand castle in my kid's eye.

I walked towards Beanie and she walked towards me. She had her hands over both eyes and was crying. Her eye was full of sand. Not "some sand" like Oh, my kid accidentally got a little crazy with the sand like her eye was full of sand. Her hair was full of sand. Her ear was full of sand. She had sand stuck to her arms and legs because I had lathered her up with sun lotion.

Okay, I'll give the other mom a pass and think she may not have realized just how much sand her kid had managed to shovel into Beanie's eye. But maybe (just maybe here) when she was laying on the blanket screaming and crying while I was pouring water in her eye for ten minutes you might've gotten a clue that it was a little worse than you previously thought. I mean, I would've come over and made sure your child was okay. I would've made my child come over and apologize, even if it was an accident. But, obviously, I don't parent anything like you.

My poor girl took it like a champ. She was very upset, don't get me wrong. I thought it was surely the end of our play date. She was very upset I was pouring water in her eye. We finally got all of the sand out of her eye and she sat and ate a little snack before playing some more.

My friend said, "Wow, you handled that a lot better than I would've. I would've been so angry. Maybe you were..."

And I was. But by the time I was sure my daughter's eyeball wasn't going to be scratched because of the amount of sand in it the other mom and boy were gone. I don't know that I would've yelled. I'm not really the whole make-a-scene type of person, but holy hell, I was upset. I kept apologizing to Beanie as I was rinsing her eye out and she said, "It wasn't your fault, Mommy. It was my friend's fault." And by friend Beanie means the kid who just happened to be playing at the same park as she was.

It was her "friend's" fault. Accidents happen, but I truly believe that how you react and how you teach your children to react is really important.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

It's a good day.

Ah, the sun is out. Beanie is running around in the backyard. Bubby is snoozing and I'm taking the opportunity to drink a bit of coffee and have a bit of time to myself. Once there's a little more shade out, Bubby and I can go out back and enjoy the gorgeous weather too. Glenn said he wants to go do something fun after he gets off work, so we're trying to make plans for the afternoon.

I love today.

I had a glimpse of feeling guilty that Beanie is out in the back by herself, but I really need about two seconds of time to myself. And, I'm in the dining room with our huge windows cracked. I can feel the breeze and hear her playful laughter. Nothing brings a smile to my face more.

I've been having a rough time lately. I know some people have it much, much worse than we do, but it's been hard. I've been down. And anxious. Having bad dreams. Lonely. It's been hard. I'm trying to keep an eye on things because I do have a history of depression and anxiety. I want to make sure we notice the signs of post-partum depression should they be arising.

I miss my hubby. I appreciate that he's working so much so that I can stay at home. I feel bad he didn't get a day off in almost 3 1/2 weeks. It was hard on him. And me. And Beanie. I'm jealous that other families go out and do fun stuff on their weekends while we don't seem to have the time (or energy or motivation or whatever).

I've recently gotten more involved in my AP mom's group. It's really nice. Everyone is so welcoming and friendly and everything. I have a hard time forging good friendships anyways, so it's nice to fine a place I feel "at home." It helps to have a super outgoing three year-old who makes friends wherever she goes. I'm excited to meet more people in the group & make some long-lasting friendships.

Well, gotta run. Bubby is up. Beanie is singing, "It's a happy day...I feel okay..." (Thanks Caillou).

It's a good day and I'm quite thankful for that.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Carnival of Nursing in Public.

Art by Erika Hastings at http://mudspice.wordpress.com/


Join in the Carnival of Nursing in Public. Celebrate & support breastfeeding mothers. More info here.

Sharing snacks with Mama.

Beanie loves to share her snacks with Mom or Daddy. Lately, of course, I can't eat as many of her snacks as I used to. She sometimes seems sad and I try to explain that I can't have it because it might hurt Bubby's tummy.

The other day, clear as crystal, she said, "Oh, because it gets in your milky?"

Smart kid.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Adventures in Allergen-free baking



Okay, this post has been long promised and I am just now getting around to uploading our pics and having the time to write it out. I posted the recipe and etc earlier, but for the sake of having everything in one post (and because the recipe from Spark People was not exactly the same as my cookbook) I'm going to post again. The other post did have caloric and nutritional info for the original recipe, so if you want that click here. This recipe was adapted from Deceptively Delicious.

Applesauce Muffins

Topping:

2/3c old-fashioned oats (I used quick oats because, doy!, we didn't have any old-fashioned ones)
1/4c firmly packed light brown sugar
1tsp cinnamon
2Tbsp Earth Balance dairy free soy-free buttery spread

Batter:

1 1/2c rice flour
1c old fashioned oats (quick oats here again)
1tsp baking powder
1/2tsp baking soda
1/2tsp cinnamon
1c unsweetened applesauce
1/2c rice milk
1/4c canola oil
1 banana



Instructions:

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Coat a 12-cup muffin tin with cooking spray or line with baking cups.

To make the topping, stir together the oats, sugar and cinnamon in a bowl. Stir in the buttery spread.

To make the batter, combine the flour, oats, baking powder, and cinnamon in a large ziploc bag or mixing bowl and stir or shake to mix. In a 2nd bowl, mix the applesauce with the milk, sugar, oil, and banana with a wooden spoon. Add the flour mixture slowly, stirring just until moistened. Do not overmix -- batter is supposed to be lumpy. (I'll be completely honest here -- this time making these I totally spaced on doing the batter separately and just threw everything in one big bowl and stirred.)

Divide the batter evenly among the muffin cups and sprinkle with the streusel topping. Bake until the topping is lightly browned and a toothpick comes out clean when inserted into the center of the muffins, 18-20 minutes. Turn the muffins on to a wire rack and serve warm or cool.

 My little helper.

They turned out great. I really liked them but was a bit worried when Glenn said, "I guess if you were on an elimination diet they'd taste pretty good." He then said he was joking and they were good. Hmmm. I took them to Beanie's birthday playdate and everyone seemed to like them and said how good they were, so unless everyone was lying they really were a hit! I made three dozen and only brought a handful home.

And, bonus, they really boosted my milk supply although I really didn't need that at the time. Something to remember for later I guess.

Oh, and another bonus, the streusel topping is good enough to eat right out of the bowl with a spoon :)

Wheat is Prime Suspect #1

After thinking about how things have been going the last few days I have come to the conclusion that Bubby likely has an intolerance to wheat. Since I reintroduced wheat on Wednesday Bubby has been:

-- having yucky diapers
-- extra fussy
-- not sleeping well at night
-- been having the "I'm in pain" cry again

This morning his face was a little broken out & his bum was red.

Could it all be coincidence or related to teething? I suppose, but I'm not going to take that chance. Sigh. I have re-eliminated wheat from my diet. I'm going to hold off on any new reintroduction for at least a few days to see if/how he improves.

Any gluten-free tips are greatly appreciated :)

Friday, July 2, 2010

Another good blog post (not written by me)

LOL.

Man, people were sharing good stuff on FB last night.

I absolutely love the following post:


On Wealth and Privilege (and being a stay at home mom)

Glenn and I were actually just talking about this the other day. People often say I'm "so lucky" to get to stay-at-home. You know what, I am. But it's not because we're well off or Glenn makes so much money that we aren't totally struggling to make ends meet right now. It's because we've chosen that we want to be the ones to raise our children, teach them, and guide them. And I'm not saying everyone doesn't want that so don't get all put off. But it's not easy. We sacrifice a lot for me to stay at home. Glenn has been working seven days a week lately and he routinely works six day weeks. We've cut back and cut back and find that we need to even more. But, it's a choice we made. I don't regret it for a minute.

Unlike the author linked above, we won't home school and I will likely go back to work part time once both the kiddos are in school. Then maybe things can open up for us financially. And by open up I mean we might actually be able to save something or not live paycheck to paycheck. But we make do because that was the choice we made when we first decided to have children.

Great post JoniRae -- I couldn't have said it better.

The Guessing Game.

On Wednesday I reintroduced wheat. Yesterday Bubby had a few yucky diapers. He had been a bit fussy the night before. It's so hard. The diapers seem to be getting a bit better. He's also teething right now which I remember caused changes in Beanie's diapers. I'm going to wait and see how he does. May hold off on the next reintroduction or, if it seems necessary, re-eliminate the wheat and see if there's improvement in the diaper situation. He's in good spirits today.

I feel like it's a guessing game right now. Yesterday morning I was pretty convinced it was the wheat, but with the improvement I just don't know. I wish he could just say, "Hey Mama, *this* is what's bothering me!!!"

I'll be honest. I really don't want it to be wheat. It would be hard. I would re-eliminate it in a heartbeat if it would make him feel better, but wheat is a biggie. As I posted the other day, reintroducing wheat opens up a lot of things into my diet. I've been trying to stay away from other possible tummy-upsetters (like we didn't have spaghetti because I wanted to be able to identify wheat solely as the possible agitator, not tomato sauce). I'm trying to keep the diet fairly the same minus the reintroduction of the wheat to rule out as many variables as possible.

I guess we'll see how things go from here.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

PhD in Parenting: I won't ask you why you didn't breastfeed

I've found a few new blogs I really like. A while back my mom's group had a discussion about who they "like" on Facebook. I've always been a fan of Kellymom on facebook (look them up -- she posts awesome links!) but have since added a few more. Mothering, NPR, Scientific American, my local LLL (I went to my first meeting ever today -- yes, this crunchy mama really had never been to a LLL meeting).

One of my new favorites is PhD in Parenting.

This great entry was linked by Kellymom on facebook today. I tried to "share" from the site, but I must've done something wrong. Oops. Here's the link:

I won't ask you why you didn't breastfeed

Okay, more later but I'm typing one-handed right now while singing/chatting to Beanie while she falls asleep. Too much multi-tasking ;)

My heart aches.

I posted here about my friend's son who is battling cancer.

Unfortunately, after multiple rounds of chemotherapy & six weeks of radiation Christopher's cancer has progressed.

I really have no words. Just heartache and tears.

You can read more about Christopher in his Caring Bridge journal here.

Just make sure you have a box of Kleenex handy.

Please continue to keep them in your thoughts & prayers as they continue this next difficult portion of their journey.