Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Minimizing Distractions and Focusing on What Really Matters

I've been working at really being present with my kids. Not checking emails on my phone or thinking about the chores that need to be done. Just being completely present, enjoying their company and giving them my undivided attention.

I'm still not back on Facebook. I miss some things about it, but other things not at all. I'll be back. Someday.

Right now I'm enjoying getting back to what really matters.

Branson over at My Reflection of Something contacted me to write a guest post about distractions and focusing on what's important. I jumped at the chance. I've been meaning to write about it for quite awhile (I think I have a draft from back in December) and I was excited to finally get it all typed out.

Head on over, check it out and join the discussion there.

Minimizing Distractions and Focusing on What Really Matters

(And, while you're there, check out some of Branson's photography -- it's great!)

Monday, April 25, 2011

Menu Plan Monday: April 25

We had a really good week last week. The yam and black bean burritos were a hit! They were a quite delicious start to our goal of one vegetarian meal a week and we will definitely be making them again. Soon. We'll probably add another can of black beans next time, but no changes otherwise!

Shabby cell phone pic of definitely-not-shabby yam & black bean tacos.

Glenn also had the idea to take out cash for our weekly food budget each week and then when it's gone, it's gone. Food is really where we spend the most money (and blow our budget). It's hard to keep our budget as low as we'd like (or, really, we need) when I am on this restricted diet. Not that we used to eat a lot of crap anyway, but still. It's still more expensive. I will be excited when the farmers markets start up next month; it will be something fun to do with the kids and we can stock up on good fruits and vegetables.

This week our cash is in an envelope -- we'll see how it goes. We'll have to save up any leftover money for our Costco trip. I'm hoping to cut those back, too.

Indonesian Chicken

All menus are wheat-free, dairy-free and soy-free, or easily adapted to be.

Sunday: Pasta sauce from freezer with Trader Joe's organic rice pasta
Monday: Sloppy Lennies
Tuesday: Meatloaf Muffins with mashed potatoes and green salad
Wednesday: Indonesian Chicken served over steamed spinach and rice (sub Coconut Aminos for soy sauce)
Thursday: Leftover night
Friday: Breakfast for dinner
Saturday: BBQ Chicken with homemade potato salad and green salad with strawberries

Click on over to I'm an Organizing Junkie for more menu planning ideas.

Sunday, April 24, 2011


Sometimes I just feel like I'm waiting. Waiting for something. Waiting for many things.

Sometimes I feel stuck. In limbo.

Sometimes I feel like I'm drowning. Or like a time bomb about to explode.

Sometimes I feel like I'm ninety, not thirty-one. I can barely walk. I'm in so much pain. My head is pounding. I feel like I'm going to vomit.

Sometimes I wonder if I'm a big fat failure at this parenting thing.

Sometimes I want to get out for some time to myself, but I just don't know where. I don't want to talk to anyone. Not even long enough to order a coffee.

Sometimes I look at my daughter, her hair glistening in the sun and smile wide across her face, and wonder how I got so lucky.

Sometimes I look down at my son as he smiles at me while he's nursing and know I wouldn't trade anything for being where I am.

Sometimes I look in to my husband's eyes and know that I couldn't have a better partner in all of this.

Fortunately the good sometimes are starting to outweigh the bad ones.

Sunday Surf: April 24

I unplugged a bit more than I had originally intended for Screen Free Week and it was really, really nice.

I did have the opportunity to read some really good stuff over the week though and here are some of my favorites.

Head on over to Authentic Parenting for more Sunday Surfing.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Menu Plan Monday: April 18

Another attempt at weekly menu planning. We've actually been doing pretty well. I was going to try and post up last week, but didn't get around to it. I realized nothing I was making had any links so you didn't miss much!

I didn't go grocery shopping today, so I'm hoping that doesn't throw a kink in things. We have plans every day this week. It really helps us to go shopping just once, but with playdates every day, four doctor appointments, and family in town we're going to have to work to make that happen! One shopping trip -- I'm aiming for Monday afternoon before my chiropractic appointment or maybe Glenn can take the kids with him while I'm at my appointment.

Enough about that, here's our weekly menu plan:

All menus are wheat-free, dairy-free and soy-free, or easily adapted to be.

Sunday: La Bamba casserole (no cheese)
Monday: Chicken and Dumplings (we're going to try the gluten-free Bisquik for the dumplings this time. We usually use Bob's Red Mill gluten free biscuit mix, but Glenn doesn't care for it much.)
Tuesday: Stuffed Peppers
Wednesday: Broccoli Beef (I use Coconut Aminos in place of the soy sauce)
Thursday: BBQ Chicken (crossing fingers for good weather) and Texas quinoa salad (I'm going to try and recreate a chilled salad I got at PCC -- it was quinoa with tomatoes, chiles, roasted red pepper, and cilantro)
Friday:  Yam and Black Bean Burritos (I think we are going to start trying for one vegetarian meal a week. I'm really excited about this! Glenn just wants to make sure we have good recipes to cycle through. We had these at our friend's house and they're delicious! So, send me some vegetarian recipes!)
Saturday: ??? We have family in town and are coloring Easter eggs, so who knows. Maybe leftovers? Maybe we'll go out?

I'm linked up over at I'm an Organizing Junkie so click on over for more menu planning ideas.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Sunday Surf: April 17

Not much reading this last week with a never-ending migraine, a hectic week with kiddos and more, but I did want to share a few things I really enjoyed this last week.

Did you check out the Carnival of Natural Parenting? This month's theme was compassionate advocacy. Here are a few of my favorite posts. I can't wait to go through and read some more of this month's posts.
And a few more:
Sort of a lackluster week, but, hey, that's how it goes sometimes. I'm hoping for a headache free week this week. I'm back to using my Posture Pump after giving it a break for a few days, so I'm hoping things keep moving in the right direction.

Screen-Free Week: April 18-24

Screen-Free Week is this week, April 18-24. And just in time.

This morning I was making breakfast sandwiches for everyone and Beanie comes in the kitchen singing, "It's fun for you...It's fun for me..."

What song is that, I thought.

Yes, my daughter was singing the Xfinity advertisement.

I think she had just heard it on the TV as Glenn flipped it on, but still.

We don't watch much TV with the kids, but we have been watching more than I'd like lately. With PPD, horrible back pain, neck pain and headaches and a teething one year old it's been easy to slip into the habit of turning it on in the morning and then just leaving it on. I'm okay with our normal TV habits with Beanie -- a show while I nurse Bubby down for nap and a show or two before bedtime. I would like to get away from mindlessly having the TV on and from her seeing any parts of adult shows. Or Xfinity ads because, damnit, now I have that tune in my head.

Where I'd really like to make a change is with my screen habits. I don't turn on the computer unless everyone is sleeping or Glenn is with the kids. I don't really watch TV until everyone is in bed either. But, I check Facebook and emails all the time on my smart phone. Mindlessly check it. Do I really need to check it 200 times a day? Did anyone comment on my status? Does anyone like my picture? Did anyone read my link? Does anyone like me??? I'm in a place where I've been taking things too personally too, so I really feel the need to step back. I had to do it before with my online mommy boards. Now it's time to cut ties with Facebook, at least temporarily. I'm going to deactivate my account for a week. A friend suggested that was extreme, but I know if I don't actually deactivate it I will check it. "Hello, my name is Kristen and I'm addicted to Facebook." As for emails, do I need to feel like I should drop everything and check that email the instant it arrives? Do I need to respond lest I forget later when I actually get on the computer? And, no mind-numbing TV in the evenings. I just have it on for noise, mostly, because there aren't many shows I like watching lately. Except Food Revolution just started.

So, I'm going to unplug more. I'm not committing to being screen free. In fact, I know I won't be. I'll check emails once or twice a day. I'll blog if I feel like it. The point is to be more mindful of media and how we interact with it.

Are you participating in Screen Free Week 2011? What are your plans?

Friday, April 15, 2011

The Natural Parenting Blog Party

I've been wanting to get on and write a quick post about this, but it's been a rough week. I've had the headache that just won't stop -- the kind that comes and goes and debilitates you and nauseates you. I think the combination of corrective care on my neck and personal stress is just too much right now. My chiropractor thinks the stress is probably playing a greater role, so I'm going to try and rejuvenate a bit this weekend.

 The Natural Parenting Blog Party is hosted by The Peaceful Housewife and is going on right now. I'm excited to find some new blogs to read (I've decided to spend more time reading, whether it be blogs or books, and less time staring mindlessly at stupid stuff on the Internet).

Anyway, here's a bit about me:

  1. How many children do you have, and how old are they? Two, Beanie is almost 4 and Bubby just turned 1
  2. Do you have a partner, or are you a single parent? I have an amazing husband who I totally take for granted sometimes. He really is great. Works his butt off at work so I can stay-at-home with the kids and then comes home and helps around the house more than anyone I know.
  3. What are your “hot button” parenting issues? The two I feel most strongly about are breastfeeding and informed birth choices.
  4. Have you made any parenting choices that you didn’t think you would make before you were a parent, i.e. cloth diapering a child when you had previously thought it was disgusting? I said I'd never cosleep -- haha! I LOVE cosleeping.
  5. Is there one book or person in particular that’s heavily influenced your parenting choices? Not really. Just learning to trust my own instincts.
  6. If you had to describe each of your children using only one word, what word would you use? Beanie: Energetic, Bubby: Observant
  7. Is there one parenting decision that you regret more than others and wish you could change? I regret not transferring prenatal care earlier with my son. We transferred at 34 weeks and had a great experience. I wish we would've trusted that switching was the right thing to do earlier on.
  8. Is there an area of your parenting you wish you were better at? Right now? Gentle discipline.
  9. Now for the fun questions – is there one particular food or type of food that you could eat every day? I think I could eat pho every day.
  10. Vanilla ice cream or chocolate? Usually I'd say vanilla, but since I'm dairy-free for my son I prefer chocolate coconut milk ice-cream. I think the chocolate flavor masks the coconut flavor better.
  11. What’s your guilty pleasure? Hmmm -- I have food on the mind because of the ice-cream questions, so coconut milk ice-cream or some tasty cookies.
  12. If you could be part of any television show, which show would it be? The Daily Show or The Colbert Report. I miss cable when I think about those two shows.
Well, that's all for now! Looking forward to finding some new blogs to read. Hope you do, too!

    Thursday, April 14, 2011

    Three Years!

    Image Credit: nlmAdestiny on Flickr

    It's my blogiversary, my blog birthday, my whatever-you-want-to-call-it. I've been blogging for three years.

    Actually, a little longer. I had a short-lived blog where I mostly ranted about things that bugged me. Like pharmaceutical ads on TV. And how organic good-for-you food costs so much more than a box of crap. And other things I'm sure. Like I said, it was short-lived.

    But, this blog is three years old!

    I've come a long way, baby.

    When I started this blog I was tired. I was conflicted. I was trying to sort out what really felt instinctual to me as a parent and what society said I should be doing. Now? I'm comfortable. I've evolved in my parenting (don't we all?). I'm confident. It doesn't matter to me what others are doing or what they think we should be doing.

    I'm not tired. Well, no, I am sometimes (who isn't?). Not all the time though. And every time I see that damn URL I think about the mama I used to be. Not that there's anything wrong with that. Just the where I was versus where I am now. It also makes me think about how evolving as a mother has really changed me as a person. For the better.

    Stay tuned.

    Tuesday, April 12, 2011

    The Importance of Advocating Compassionately

    Welcome to the April Carnival of Natural Parenting: Compassionate Advocacy
    This post was written for inclusion in the monthly Carnival of Natural Parenting hosted by Code Name: Mama and Hobo Mama. This month our participants have shared how they advocate for healthy, gentle parenting choices compassionately. Please read to the end to find a list of links to the other carnival participants.

    I've written this post at least a dozen times in my head. I have drafts in Blogger. So, when I saw that the topic for April's Carnival of Natural Parenting was "Compassionate Advocacy" I knew it was time to polish this off.

    Recently a friend told me that she thought I was rare in the fact that I was "crunchy," but not judgmental. I respectfully disagree. I think that many natural parenting advocates are characterized by the actions of a few, making compassionate advocacy even more important.

    I am a strong, respectful and compassionate advocate because I desire (and expect) to be treated with respect and compassion, because I don't know what the person before me said, and because you catch more flies with honey than with vinegar.

    The blanket statements, the "Oh, you just needed to do x,y, and z," and name-calling can become rampant on online mommy boards. It seems much too easy for some to forget that there is a person behind that screenname, a person who has thoughts and emotions and struggles just the same as you do. A person who, perhaps, planned endlessly for an unmedicated birth, but ended up with a cesarean section. A person who tried so hard to breastfeed only to be told they weren't making enough milk, baby wasn't gaining enough weight, and they needed to supplement. A person who wants to parent gently, but struggles because of how they were raised. And, sometimes, a person who has read, educated themselves, and just chosen to do things differently than you do.

    I know many lactivists, birth advocates and et cetera just wish people were truly informed. We want people to be informed and empowered as they initiate their breastfeeding relationship. We want people to know there are risks associated with epidurals, continuous fetal monitoring, routine IV fluids and other birth interventions, and that it's okay to ask your care provider about these things and expect an honest answer (not just an "it's hospital policy"). Sometimes our message is lost in the quest to disseminate information. Sometimes a few are disrespectful and judgmental and give a bad reputation to the many who follow behind them. Sometimes we forget that even the most factual statement can have loaded meaning to a mother who has been hurt or felt judged in the past. Sometimes we say, "Oh I'm so sorry, this is what worked for me," when just an "I'm sorry," would suffice.

    I have mentioned before that I link a lot of blog posts and articles on my personal Facebook page. Most are parenting oriented, although I throw in political, diet-related or philosophical links in sometimes, too. I post all these links not to annoy the heck out of people trying to quickly scan through their news feed, but because you never know who you might reach, who might need to read that particular message that particular day. I have an eclectic group of friends on Facebook -- friends from high school I haven't seen or talked to in nearly fifteen years, friends from college, friends from kung fu, from my old job, other moms, relatives -- and I post things because I hope that maybe just one person will say, "Oh, I never thought of it that way before." Maybe one person will decide to see an Internationally Board Certified Lactation Consultant for a second opinion. Maybe one person will decide they are unhappy with how they are being treated at prenatal appointments and transfer care. Maybe one person will realize they are not alone in their struggles, whether they be in gentle discipline, nighttime parenting, or potty learning.

    When I was pregnant with Beanie I joined an online birth club board. We were all due in the same month and bonded strongly. I remember struggling when Beanie was a newborn, wanting sleep and wondering if I would ever sleep again and one mom asked if I had ever considered cosleeping. I hadn't, but that one shared idea made an impact, we tried it, and things improved from there on out. I joined another online board when I was pregnant with Bubby, but was not nearly as involved as I had found my groove, so to speak, and didn't have all the questions or need the confirmation that I was doing right as a parent. I did, however, feel that I had the opportunity to respectfully provide an alternate view on some topics, to share our experience, what we had learned, and where to go if someone was looking for more information. I hoped that I could be the one to share an idea someone hadn't considered before.

    I don't spout off the latest research and information to every unsuspecting friend and family member, but I keep sharing information in the hope that I can reach just one person. Who knows what they may do with their newly acquired knowledge? It could change their thinking or free them from the idea that there must be something wrong with the way they are doing things because (it seems) they are doing things so differently than others. With every interaction I strive to be the most respectful, non-judgmental and compassionate advocate I can because that's the face I want to put on natural parenting. Because that's who I really think we, as natural parenting advocates, are. Because I expect nothing less in return.


    Carnival of Natural Parenting -- Hobo Mama and Code Name: MamaVisit Code Name: Mama and Hobo Mama to find out how you can participate in the next Carnival of Natural Parenting!

    Please take time to read the submissions by the other carnival participants:

    • Natural Parenting Advocacy by Example — Jenn at Monkey Butt Junction uses her blog, Twitter and Facebook as her natural parenting soapbox.
    • You Catch More Flies With Honey — When it comes to natural parenting advice, Kate of The Guavalicious Life believes you catch more flies with honey.
    • From the Heart — Patti at Jazzy Mama searches her heart for an appropriate response when she learns that someone she respects wants his baby to cry-it-out.
    • I Offer the Truth — Amy at Innate Wholeness shares the hard truths to inspire parents in making changes and fully appreciating the parenting experience.
    • Advocating or Just Opinionated?Momma Jorje discusses how to draw the line between advocating compassionately and being just plain opinionated. It can be quite a fine line.
    • Compassionate Advocacy — Mamapoekie of Authentic Parenting writes about how to discuss topics you are passionate about with people who don't share your views.
    • Heiny Helpers: Sharing Cloth Love — Heiny Helpers is guest posting on Natural Parents Network to share how they are providing cloth diapers and cloth diapering support to low income families.
    • Struggling with Advocacy — April of McApril still struggles to determine how strongly she should advocate for her causes, but still loves to show her love for her parenting choices to those who would like to listen.
    • Compassionate Advocacy Through Blogging (AKA –Why I Blog) — Jennifer at Hybrid Rasta Mama shares how both blogging and day-to-day life give her opportunities to compassionately advocate for natural parenting practices.
    • A Letter to *Those* Parents — Zoie at TouchstoneZ shares how to write an informed yet respectful reply to those parents — you know, the ones who don't parent the way you do.
    • Why I Am Not A Homebirth Advocate — Olivia at Write About Birth is coming out: she is a homebirth mom, but not a homebirth advocate. One size does not fit all – but choice is something we can all advocate for!
    • Why I Open My Big Mouth — Wolfmother from Fabulous Mama Chronicles reflects on why she is passionate about sharing parenting resources.
    • Watching and Wearing — Laura at Our Messy Messy Life advocates the joys of babywearing simply by living life in a small college town.
    • Compassionate Advocacy . . . That's The Way I Do It — Amyables at Toddler in Tow describes how she's learned to forsake judgment and channel her social energy to spread the "good news" of natural parenting through interaction and shared experiences.
    • Compelling without repelling — Lauren at Hobo Mama cringes when she thinks of the obnoxious way she used to berate people into seeing her point of view.
    • I Am the Change — Amanda at Let's Take the Metro describes a recent awakening where she realized exactly how to advocate for natural parenting.
    • Public Displays of CompassionThe Accidental Natural Mama recounts an emotional trip to the grocery store and the importance of staying calm and compassionate in the storm of toddler emotions.
    • I will not hide behind my persona — Suzi Leigh at Attached at the Boob discusses the benefits of being honest and compassionate on the internet.
    • Choosing My Words — Jenny at Chronicles of a Nursing Mom shares why she started her blog and why she continues to blog despite an increasingly hectic schedule.
    • Honour the Child :: Compassionate Advocacy in the Classroom — Lori at Beneath the Rowan Tree shares her experience of being a gentle and compassionate parent — with other people's children — as a classroom volunteer in her daughter's senior kindergarten room.
    • Inspired by the Great Divide (and Hoping to Inspire) — Rosemary at Rosmarinus Officinalis shares her thoughts on navigating the "great divide" through gently teaching and being teachable.
    • Introverted Advocacy — CatholicMommy at Working to be Worthy shares how she advocates for gentle parenting, even though she is about as introverted as one can be.
    • The Three R's of Effective and Gentle Advocacy — Ana at Pandamoly explains how "The Three R's" can yield consistent results and endless inspiration to those in need of some change.
    • Passionate and Compassionate: How do We do It? — Kelly at Becoming Crunchy shares the importance of understanding your motivation for advocacy.
    • Sharing the love — Isil at Smiling Like Sunshine talks about how she shares the love and spreads the word.
    • What Frank Said — Nada at miniMOMist has a good friend named Frank. She uses his famous saying to demonstrate how much natural parenting has benefited her and her family.
    • Baby Sling Carriers Make Great Compassionate Advocacy Tools — Chante at My Natural Motherhood Journey shared her babywearing knowledge — and her sling — with a new mom.
    • Everyday Superheroes — Who needs Superman when we have a community of compassionate advocates?! Dionna at Code Name: Mama believes that our community of gentle bloggers are the true superheroes.
    • Words of advice: compassionately advocating for my parenting choices — MrsH at Fleeting Moments waits to give advice until she's been asked, resulting in fewer advocacy moments but very high responsiveness from parents all over the spectrum of parenting approaches.
    • Peaceful Parenting — Peaceful parenting shows at Living Peacefully with Children with an atypical comment from a stranger.
    • Speaking for birth — Lucy at Dreaming Aloud soul-searches about how she can advocate for natural birth without causing offense.
    • Gentle is as Gentle Does — Laura at A Pug in the Kitchen shares how she is gently advocating her parenting style.
    • Walking on Air — Rachael at The Variegated Life wants you to know that she has no idea what she's doing — and it's a gift.
    • Parenting with my head, my heart, and my gut — Charise at I Thought I Knew Mama shares her thoughts on being a compassionate advocate of natural parenting as a blogger.
    • At Peace With the World — Megan at Ichigo Means Strawberry talks about being an advocate for peaceful parenting at 10,000 feet.
    • Putting a public face on "holistic" — Being public about her convictions is a must for Jessica at Crunchy-Chewy Mama, but it takes some delicacy.
    • Just Be; Just Do. — Amy at Anktangle believes strongly about her parenting methods, and also that the way to get people to take notice is to simply live her life and parent the best she knows how.
    • One Parent at a Time... — Kat at Loving {Almost} Every Moment believes that advocating for Natural Parenting is best accomplished by walking the walk.
    • Self-compassion — We're great at caring for and supporting others —from our kiddos to other mamas — but Lisa at Gems of Delight shares a post about treating ourselves with that same sense of compassion.
    • Using Montessori Principles to Advocate Natural Parenting — Deb Chitwood at Living Montessori Now tells how she uses Montessori principles to be a compassionate advocate for natural parenting.
    • Advocacy? Me? — Seonaid at The Practical Dilettante discovers that by "just doing her thing," she may be advocating for natural parenting.
    • Feeding by Example — Mama Mo at Attached at the Nip shares her experience of being the first one of her generation to parent.
    • Compassionate Consumerism — Erica at ChildOrganics encourages her children to be compassionate consumers and discusses the benefits of buying local and fair trade products.
    • The Importance of Advocating Compassionately — Kristen at Adventures in Mommyhood acts as a compassionate advocate by sharing information with many in the hopes of reaching a few.
    • Some Thoughts on Gentle Discipline — Darcel at The Mahogany Way shares her thoughts and some tips on Gentle Discipline.
    • Compassionate Advocacy: Sharing Resources, Spreading the Love — Terri at Child of the Nature Isle shares how her passion for making natural choices in pregnancy, birth, and parenting have supported others in Dominica and beyond.
    • A journey to compassion and connection — Jessica at Instead of Institutions shares her journey from know-it-all to authentic advocacy.
    • Advocacy Through Openness, Respect, and Understanding — Melissa at The New Mommy Files describes her view on belief, and how it has shaped the way she advocates for gentle parenting choices.
    • Why I'm not an advocate for Natural Parenting — Mrs Green at Little Green Blog delivers the shocking news that, after 10 years of being a mum, she is NOT an advocate for natural parenting!
    • Natural Love Creates Natural Happiness — A picture is worth a thousand words, but how about a smile, or a giggle, or a gaze? Jessica at Cloth Diapering Mama’s kids are extremely social and their natural happiness is very obvious.
    • Carnival of Natural Parenting: Compassionate Advocacy — Even in the progressive SF Bay Area, Lily at Witch Mom finds she must defend some of her parenting choices.
    • A Tale of Four Milky Mamas — In this post The ArtsyMama shares how she has found ways to repay her childhood friend for the gift of milk.
    • don't tell me what to do — Pecky at benny and bex demonstrates compassionate advocacy through leading by example.

    Monday, April 11, 2011

    Beanie and the Woodpecker.

    "Hey Mommy, I have a great idea.  Next time a woodpecker comes to our house I'm gonna say, 'Hey woodpecker, hey woodpecker don't peck our house. Why don't you go peck a tree? They're made of wood too, you know. Otherwise where will we live?"'

    I wonder if the woodpecker will listen?

    Sunday, April 10, 2011

    Sunday Surf: April 10

    Well, I missed last week of the Sunday Surf so I'll have a few extras for you. Glenn has been on vacation (again! I could get used to this two-weeks-on-one-week-off thing -- I'm sure he could too!). It's nice that we've been able to have the evenings together after the kiddos go to bed and, sure, I missed my blogging time a bit, but I'm sure I'll miss our evening time together even more. Of course I will! It's easy to forget how much his schedule really impacts things (especially us having time to ourselves). It's nice to be able to chat, drink wine, and watch good shows together. I'm sure this next week will be a hard adjustment for all of us.

    But, without further ado, here is my double edition of the Sunday Surf.

    Saturday, April 9, 2011

    So(y) Slowly

    We made the decision to slowly reintroduce soy into my diet. I've been taking my prenatals which contain soy lecithin in them and we have added a few more products with it in them, too. It's nice to be able to use cooking spray for my poached eggs for instance, although I revert to using olive oil, the soy-free Earth Balance spread or nothing out of habit anyway. I tried some wheat-free chocolate chip cookies from PCC. They were quite delicious and I'll be buying them again for sure.

    The plan is to progress to adding soybean oil into my diet, although I'm really not too excited about that. Soybean oils are present in many processed foods, but I'm still planning on avoiding those as much as I can. The most exciting thing about soybean oil is that maybe I can use a few of the salad dressings I like (and that isn't really exciting at all).

    After consuming a diet that includes soy lecithin and soybean oils for a bit, then we'll try to add some soy protein. We can add some tofu to our stir frys and we'll see where to go from there.

    I guess if Bubby doesn't have any reaction to the above, then we'll give him some soy. He is very interested in food now which is cute. I knew we just had to wait and he would be ready to nom-nom-nom. He wants to eat everything in sight now, although he still has some troubles with textures and bigger pieces of food (bigger being a relative term -- he likes his bites very small). All in good time. I'm glad I was able to (mostly) trust my instincts on this one and (mostly) not worry. I'm sure he'll be eating us out of house and home in no time.

    Friday, April 1, 2011

    No Fooling.

    Image credit: das farbamt on Flickr
    I wrote before about how I was starting to feel better, almost like a cloud had been lifted from over me. Of course, there is the inevitable ebb and flow to feeling better. That is normal to anyone's life, but for me, right now, it's a bit more challenging. I feel thrown for a loop every time things seem to be getting so much better only to have another kink in the road. I know that's how it goes. It's like climbing the switchbacks on a trail. You just keep plugging along and sooner or later you'll reach the top.

    I feel like I'm pretty close to the top. I don't want to jinx myself and come crashing down, but I feel pretty good. I have things I want to do and I feel like I can (if only colds and flu bugs didn't keep getting in the way!). I have ideas and I want to implement plans to make them happen. I feel optimistic. I don't want to take everything on at once, but I really feel like these baby steps will eventually get me somewhere. I'm no longer feeling so paralyzed by that perfectionist voice in my head. Surely I have many things to work through with counseling, but I feel like the debilitating PPD has eased itself.

    I feel like April is my month. No fooling.

    Now if we can just all get physically well then we'll really be rolling.

    March of Kindness Wrap Up

    March of KindnessOkay, I'm a day late. Remember that whole 28 hours of things to do in 24 hours? Yup. Still there. I'm looking forward to this new month; I'm feeling good and like I'm ready to move forward. But, I did want to post a little conclusion to our March of Kindness with Code Name: Mama.

    I think our month really went well. I had originally thought we could focus more kindness on strangers or in the community, but it turned out our family was really in need of some kindness. As I've stated before Beanie has been having some difficulties and we've really been focusing on making her know she is an important and integral part of this family. We've been doing girls dates (or daddy/daughter dates), spending quality one-on-one time with her every day, having girls time after the boys are in bed, playing more Chutes and Ladders than you could imagine (any suggestions on another board game to pick up? We need to add one to the rotation!). Glenn and I have been working on reconnecting. We both needed to be kinder to ourselves and to each other. We worked on extending kindness to our extended family. I worked on reaching out to friends whom I've lost touch with over the last year.

    The last week was more about kindness to others outside of our family. I got some clothes packed up to mail to my sister-in-law and I donated clothes that I've been telling myself I'd try and sell on Craigslist (I mean, seriously, there comes a point when you just need to get rid of them! How long am I going to tell myself I'll try to sell them?). When we went to the grocery store the VFW was there collecting donations for care packages for the troops so we bought some things to contribute. Beanie was very excited she got a flag after dropping her donations in the bucket.

    I'm glad we participated. I knew we wouldn't be doing anything earth shattering, but I'm glad I was more mindful each day of the ways I could be kinder to myself, my family, my friends and others.

    If you're interested in more March of Kindness, read the final wrap-up at Code Name: Mama.