Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Three Strikes.

This last weekend included a lot of




sibling rivalry,


and birthday party planning.

And not a lot of blogging.

Perhaps June, with all it's plans and busyness, wasn't the best month to revitalize my blogging self and try to blog every day....

Friday, June 10, 2011

On Food: Part One

Last month Glenn came home from work and told me about what he's heard on NPR earlier that day. Author Michael Pollan had been on Wait, Wait Don't Tell Me. I hadn't heard of Pollan or his books, but what Glenn heard peaked my interest and now I'd really like to read The Omnivore's Dilemma and In Defense of Food. Actually, friends have told me they are very similar.

It's not that we ate horribly before, but if there's one thing I'm thankful for over this food journey with Bubby, it's that we are more aware of what we eat. We now eat a predominantly whole foods diet. We sort of have to, but I'm not sure we'd want to go back even if we could.

Like I said, we didn't eat a terrible diet before, but we just weren't aware. The classic example I give is when Glenn went out and bought a different brand of tomato paste than we usually use. He didn't look at the label and when I looked (after dumping it in our homemade pasta sauce of course!) I noticed the can said "Contains wheat, dairy, and soy."


Shouldn't it contain, I don't know, tomatoes and, um, paste?

All silliness aside, we didn't really pay attention to the extra stuff in our food. At first I'd get upset because Glenn didn't read labels as closely as I did. Then he started noticing. "This has soybean oil in it? Why?" Soy is a sneaky one. Check your pantry and I'm sure you'll find it places you didn't think you would.

We are devout label readers now. We have to be. At least we don't have to read as many labels since our shopping cart is primarily full of fresh foods. But I like that we're more aware of what we are putting in our bodies and that we are, in turn, teaching our children to be more aware as well. Beanie eats pretty darn well as is. She's never had a soda. We don't drink juice. She knows that McDonalds is a place "some people" go to eat. I was amazed when she told my dad that we had to take the jam back (Glenn had purchased the one on sale without double checking the label) because it had "stuff in it that isn't good for people," namely high fructose corn syrup and corn syrup. Really, both. And sugar. Bleh.

We're far from perfect. I don't claim to be. Beanie's favorite quick breakfast is an Eggo waffle (I'm thinking I should just make a big batch of waffles and freeze them? Or atleast starting to buy frozen waffles with an ingredient list that is a bit shorter). Until I watched Food Revolution I could down a whole box of Mike & Ike's in one sitting. But, we're making progress. We're getting there.

It's Friday and I'm off to catch up on Food Revolution. Love that show!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

"I want nobody to take care of him."

Those were the days....

It took nearly fifteen months, but today it happened.

And by it I mean Beanie asked to get rid of her brother.

I actually was surprised it didn't happen sooner, especially with his non-stop crying and colic before we figured out he had food sensitivities.

This afternoon/early evening she was having a very difficult time. I think she spent the majority of time in time out (which I somewhat reluctantly started trying with her when she hit her brother. I haven't been big on time-outs, but the constant clotheslining, hitting, shoving, and pushing of her brother had to stop and my therapist suggested trying this). She was overly tired and, at the same time, a constant ball of energy -- running around, jumping, screaming, and on and on. After her ten-millionth time out (or did it just seem that way?), she finally let it all out.

"No babies...no babies...no babies."

"I don't want a brother."

"I want it to be just mama....dada...and [Beanie]."

"How can we get rid of him?"

"What can I do? I don't like angry people."

"I want nobody to take care of him."

And there went my heart, broken in two. We try so much to give her individual attention and it just seems never to be enough. I have forsaken any opportunity to tidy up, establish some sense of order, etc while Bubby naps just to spend all my time one-on-one with her. Glenn and I set aside time for "dates" with her.

Bubby has been crankier than usual (hence the "angry people" statement). His bottom gums are incredibly swollen where his molars are (hopefully) about to cut through. He seems to be in the midst of a growth spurt. He can't decide whether he's a one-a-day napper or two. We tried the soy somewhat unsuccessfully (more on that later). He's at that stage where he wants to do a lot of things that he isn't ready to, or things he just can't (like play in the garbage or with the toilet water) so he's easily frustrated. It is frustrating to me; I can't figure out what's wrong with him. Any help I give seems marginal at best. I imagine it is 100x more frustrating for an almost four-year old who doesn't really have the ability to comprehend what it going on.

I held her and we talked. I assured her that it was okay to feel that way and that I was glad she told me. I knew this was likely and, dare I say, normal. Her actions have been telling us these feelings for some time now, but this was the first time she ever said it all out loud. I'm pretty sure I felt exactly the same way about my little sister when I was young; I'm also pretty sure I was not allowed to feel that way. I want her to feel okay expressing these things, they don't need to be hidden away, she isn't bad for feeling them -- all those things I was made to feel when I was younger. I'm going to try my hardest to support her in any and every way I know.

It still breaks my heart though. I'd give anything for each of them, and hate to see Beanie in so much turmoil. I feel like I've failed her somehow. Obviously, this is a huge trigger for me and I'm just so sad tonight. What an end to an already rough evening.

If you're a mom of two (or more), how have you gotten through this stage?

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

"Girls Can Be Pirates Too."

Image credit: mikebaird on Flickr

Beanie will be four at the end of the month. As birthday planning commenced (a whole six months before her birthday) Beanie decided that she wanted to have a pirate birthday party. Cool, I thought. It's a nice change from the princess party, a character party, or etc. We play pirates quite a bit; she sets up chairs to make a pirate ship, she has a telescope, and we go digging from treasure around the house. A pirate birthday is perfect for my little girl.

I can't tell you how many times I've been asked if we're doing "girly pirates,"  as if girl pirates need to have heart-shaped eye-patches and pink clothing. I overheard my father-in-law telling her about piratesses (???) and later she told me that grandpa said she could be a pirate queen or princess. The pirate stuff was in the boy's section at one of the party stores we checked out.

Glenn and I told her that if people started telling her what kind of pirate she "had" to be, that she could just reply, "Girls can be pirates too!"

Because they can.

And they can be any kind of pirate they want to be.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

On Hold

I had a copy of Raising Your Spirited Child on hold at the library. I didn't pick it up in time, so I guess I'll have to put a hold on it again.

Darn. I really have a feeling it could come in handy.

I mean REALLY.

Especially these last few days.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Menu Plan Monday: 06/06

This week is save money and go through the freezer week. We're trying to stick to $125/week for groceries (including Costco). I'm sure this sounds outrageous to my couponing friends, but between my special diet, trying to eat organic when we can, and Costco (which I'm really trying to figure out if it's worth it for us; we've cut down to only absolute staples there and we try to find them on sale elsewhere beforehand. It's nice to know we can get some ground turkey at a reasonable price if our freezer stock is gone though) $125 adds up fast.

I've also tried to really cut back on the food items I buy. Like coconut milk coffee creamer is A MUST. Cannot live without. But gluten-free, dairy-free, soy-free waffles? More like a once in awhile thing. It's hard because I still go through phases where I feel like there's nothing in the house I can eat, but I try to make sure I have an adequate supply. Like today I got two Lara Bars and two Amande yogurts (almond milk yogurts which are pretty good; I wasn't a fan of the coconut milk yogurt I tried so we checked this one out. Tasty, but little nutritional value; I think I'm just in a missing dairy phase...). Also trying to stock up on fresh fruits & vegetables and nuts for my evening snacks. I guess I'm just mostly trying to eat foods that are naturally free of gluten, dairy and soy.

Enough rambling. Here's our menu.

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

Sunday: Turkey Tostadas
Monday: BBQ Chicken with homemade potato salad and fresh veggies
Tuesday: Vegetarian Stuffed Peppers (we're winging this -- some sort of concoction with lentils, rice, veggies, etc)
Wednesday: Breakfast for Dinner
Thursday: BBQ Pork, polenta and green salad
Friday: Leftovers
Saturday: ??? We'll have to grocery shop again on Friday so....

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Sunday Surf: Late Edition

I haven't really been reading a lot lately. Well, except for links I see on Facebook. I'm trying to get back in to reading the blogs I enjoy, but here are some of the best things I read last week:

  • I was sad to read  in Bringing Nature Play Back that the average child spends only a 1/2hour per week engaged in unstructured outdoor play. I really like the idea of a dedicated digging pit. One of my favorite memories is playing for hours with my sister digging and playing in the dirt. I'm sort of sad we don't have a dirt area for the kids to dig in; they can help with the garden (once we finally get it going), but I think we'll save some garden boxes or get containers that are their own little spaces, too.
  • There's a Summer Reading Challenge over at No Time for Flash Cards.
  • Enter to win an Ergo baby carrier over at Job Description: Mommy. Or don't, giving me a better chance to win (just kidding!)
  • A good reminder to take a break from technology and Be in the Moment
  • A good overview of carseat types and information over at The Stir.
  • Amanda at Let's Take the Metro reminds us that by believing that we are enough we teach our children that they are too in I am Enough.
I haven't linked up (maybe I will when I get regular with posting these), but you can check out more Sunday Surfing over at Authentic Parenting.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Just what I needed

Quite awhile back I'd scheduled a mom's afternoon out for today. Just a quick trip to a local coffee shop. I always feel like I can be a better parent when I take the time to refresh and rejuvenate. I've been involved in other mom's groups that do a lot of mom's night outs, but those never really work for me (since, you know, my kiddos fall asleep by nursing). I'm glad there's a pretty good response in our AP group for afternoon mom's only events; babes in arms are always welcome and, in fact, even those that don't always like to stay in arms are welcome, too.

As today started I found myself wishing everyone would just cancel and I didn't have to go. I get in moods like that sometimes. Bubby has been very cranky lately (molars, a bit of a cold last week and the soy reintroduction turned out to be the triple threat) and only mom will do. Beanie has been having an especially rough time; it finally clicked that it's probably quite taxing on her to have an upset little brother screaming and hollering all the time, too. As I was getting ready to leave, both kids were sprawled out on the hallway carpet, not happy campers. Glenn got them up and took them in to the back yard and I finished getting ready. I said my goodbyes and made my way to the coffee shop.

It was just what I needed. Many times when I start feeling like our day is spiraling out of control I feel like just hunkering down and staying in. I forgot how much a change of scenery can help, not only for the kids, but for me too.

I sat outside in the sunshine (it's absolutely gorgeous here this weekend!), tried hemp milk for the first time (it was good, but I think I prefer rice milk lattes), and made a new friend. The other mom I met is also gluten-free, dairy-free and soy-free (imagine that!) so we had lots to talk about. Her daughter is just a week older than Beanie and they attend a local UU (Unitarian Universalist) congregation (do you call UU establishments "churches," I don't know. Not something we're interested in right now, but I've definitely thought of it.)

My sister came over later and we played outside with the kids, BBQ'd, and roasted marshmallows. It was a good day.

Sometimes when I just want to hunker down and hide from the world I really just need to get out and confront the day head on. Easier said than done.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Zucchini Bread

Zucchini Bread
I'd been wanting to make zucchini bread for quite a long while and we finally got around to it. I've been pretty pleased with how all my breads have been turning out, so yay! I used a tiny bit of xanthan gum, but I think I probably could have left it out since there was so much moisture in the recipe anyway.

If we ever get around to planning and planting our garden, I'd love to grow some zucchini and yellow squash. The weather this weekend is forecasted to be spectacular, so maybe we'll get around to weeding and digging out some of the old owners' stuff in the next few days. We need to do the digging quickly as some plants are popping up that are really encroaching on our blueberries.

Zucchini Bread


4c coarsely shredded zucchini
3c gluten-free flour (I use Bob's Red Mill GF All Purpose Baking Flour)
2c sugar
1c canola oil
4 eggs (beaten)
1Tbsp + 1tsp pure vanilla extract
2 tsp cinnamon
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp ground cloves
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp xanthan gum
1/2tsp gf baking powder


  1. Generously grease two bread pans. (I use Spectrum palm shortening)
  2. Beat all ingredients at low speed, scraping bowl constantly.
  3. Pour in to pans and bake at 325 degrees for 50-60minutes (or until toothpick comes out clean).
  4. Cool ten minutes, then remove from pans.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

"He's Really Attached to You..."

As I stated earlier, my inlaws moved back recently. After a hello and a kiss (oh, I am so not the huggy and kissy type), my mother-in-law said to me, "We heard [Bubby] is still really attached to you, so I guess we won't be getting any hugs."

I was pissed.

I don't know why, other than the obvious negative connotation she implied. It was an accurate statement. Bubby is really attached to me. The likelihood that he would give a near stranger (sorry grandma, but you haven't seen him since he was 2months old which makes you pretty much a stranger) an instantaneous hug was slim to none. As I relayed this story to my therapist she asked me what I could have said in response. I replied that I could have said, "Yes, he is. We don't see him being  attached to his mother as a problem."

Ooh, I wish I would have thought of that one on the spot!

Children who are securely attached grow up being trusting of others and without concerns of abandonment; they have a high degree of self-worth and feel liked. Attachment is "a secure base from which to explore close relationships."

My children know that they can count on us, as their parents, to be a safe haven and a place of comfort. They know that from that safe place they are free to explore their world and live to their fullest potential.

And, you know what, that's exactly what he did. Once he got acclimated to the situation, a new environment, new people and three little yip dogs pitter-pattering around, he was running around blowing kisses and giving away hugs.

So there.

Score: Secure attachment - 1; Nay-sayers - 0

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Just Me and My Blog.

Three. Three posts in May! Eek. I have got to get out of the blog rut. I decided to sign up over at NaBloPoMo (which apparently is now National Blog Posting Each and Every Month) and commit to blogging every day in June. (We'll see how it goes!)

It's not that I don't have anything to say. I do. I've been unreasonably hard on myself about what I have to say,  my anxiety is at a level not seen since my college years, the PPD is still ever present, I have physical problems coming to a head besides my horrible neck and back pain (but, on the upside, I may actually have a diagnosis for what is going on) and it's just been a hard time for my family -- all of us.

All that complaining (or was it just explaining) to say that I'm here. And I'm going to write. I don't know what about. We've slowly been reintroducing soy. My inlaws moved back here. We're starting up Beanie's co-op preschool adventure. The weather is getting nicer. I want to start making our household cleaners. We've been talking a lot about food (real food) vs. food products. I don't know what the next month will bring, but I'm just going to carve out time to write. Time that is just for me. Where I don't have someone peering through the door jam as I pee. Or yelling at me that the sparkles on their shirt are hurting them. Or wanting to stay latched on 24/7.

Just me. And the computer. And my blog.

The theme (which I can tell you right now I won't be sticking to) for June NaBloPoMo is "Fan."

Image credit: SCA Svenska Cellulosa Aktiebolaget on Flickr

No, not that kind of fan.

The kind that cheers you on and supports you.

The kind of fan people like to have when blogging.

Sometimes it seems like it's a competition. How many followers do you have? How many page views? What do you write about? Who reads? Who comments? Do people share your posts on Facebook? Retweet your tweets?

I just want to get back to where it's just writing. Because when you're just writing, the rest falls in to place.

It's not like this blog is paying the bills, after all.