Wednesday, January 30, 2008

My momma's new digs

HattieJane is the name of my Mom's retirement entertainment--not to mention supplement to her teacher's retirement fund.
You have to check out her Etsy shop right here, right now. Cuz she's my Mom, and I said so. Also, she makes way cute stuff. She also has a basement full of the absolute cutest and awesome vintage fabric. If she doesn't sew it up before she kicks the bucket, I'll have to buy a storage facility for it. Not because I'd be obligated to keep it necessarily, but I'd have a hard time getting rid of it. So head over there, have a look and then, if you don't see what you like, give her a custom order. She is really good at custom work.

Ahhh, rice.

So it seems that rice may be something that we have to watch out for. C is right. We need a rotation diet. And some professional help. So I have a call into a nutritional therapist and I'm working out new recipes. (Read--I'm dumping flours into the mixing bowls in ever new and creative ways and waiting to see what comes out of the oven.) By so doing, I've made a few disoveries.
First off, millet flour and tapioca starch biscuits are quite yummy.
Secondly, teff flour makes a delicious pizza crust. I like it better than the rice flour one. Much softer and has a better "mouth feel."
And, sadly, cooking without rice flour is expensive. A 25# bag of rice flour was running me in the neighborhood of $15. The 25# bag of teff flour I just ordered was $37.
I've been reading up on diet options. It seems we already pretty muc follow a Paleo-type diet. Only with only the meat for protein.
Our no-no's currently:

  • eggs
  • nuts and peanuts
  • wheat and gluten (oats, rye, barley, spelt and relatives)
  • sesame
  • dairy
  • corn
  • potatoes
  • refined sugar
  • anything at all artificial (dyes, flavors, sweeteners, preservatives)
Our things to rotate--ie, not use every day:
  • rice
  • soy-I try to just use this as soymilk when I really need it or tofu for Thanksgiving
  • sorghum
  • goats milk
  • legumes
  • I may need to watch out for tomatoes as they're related to potatoes
But there are lots of things I can use:
  • I found a good source for local, grass-fed beef if I buy a full side
  • all the other grains such as, buckwheat, teff, millet, quinoa, sorghum and amaranth
  • hemp seems to be safe
  • flax is working out pretty well for baking with
  • all other meats except shellfish are fine, and I do have access to lots of local, sustainable meats
  • fruits and veggies are fine
  • coconut, palm, olive, canola, avocado, grapeseed, and sunflower oils--I do have to work to make sure he gets enough fats
Nothing like a little challenge to keep my brain nimble. My hope is I can get M seen by the guy here in town who is so good, get his gut healed and have him be healthy finally. Wouldn't that be nice? I really don't want to have to send a really sick kid off to college who can only eat 4-5 things. I've got about 9 years.

Monday, January 28, 2008

My Dear President Hinckley

My husband just called me from work. He was listening to the radio and they announced the passing of President Gordon B. Hinckley. I hadn't been online yet. I'm so sad. Well, sad and not sad. He was 97 years old. He would have been 98 in April. That is such a long time to live. His beloved wife, Marjorie, died in 2004. They had 67 very happy years together and he missed her so very much. I am happy that they can be together again.
I was baptized a member of the Church in December of 1997. President Hinckley had been prophet for 2 years already. He is the only prophet I've ever known. It will be odd to have someone "new." But, on the other hand, I love President Monson so much. I'm assuming he will be called as the new prophet.
President Hinckley was a prophet of God. He taught and practiced love. He loved people of every color, creed and nation. He taught his people to show kindness to everyone. He truly walked the talk and lived the teachings of Christ. Perhaps I'm partial to the fact that he loved traveling to Africa. He thought temples there were one of the best achievements.
Here is the link to the announcement of his passing on LDS.org and Deseret News.
I learned a lot about marriage and family from President Hinckley. Here is the interview with his wife, Marjorie, where they talked about marriage.
And it seems no coincidence that this talk about children was his last official message to the members of the church. Please, please, read it. Even if you are not a member. If you have children in your life, please read it.
I'm so glad that he was allowed to lead this church for 12 years. I'm also glad that the Lord has a plan for what comes next. No worries. Now, to try and live what he taught for so long.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Toes!

E has discovered his toes. Actually he found them a few weeks ago, but needs assistance in getting to them. Sitting in Mom's lap seems to give him the perfect angle. He does have to struggle over the tummy a bit--there's a fair bit of grunting and shortness of breath involved. You can see from the look on his face that this is serious business! The venture is complicated by the fact that he is just learning to coordinate his hands. Adding feet to the equation takes a lot of concentration.
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Monday, January 21, 2008

Crafting for L

For some reason, I've been on a bit of a craft binge for my niece, L. Actually, it's because of Christmas and her birthday. I wanted to post pictures of what I've been working on. The first is doll clothes for her baby. They took almost no time at all and were lots of fun. I don't generally get to sew doll clothes. :)The second set is play food made out of felt and a bag to carry it all in. There are 3 oranges, 2 each of tomatoes, strawberries, lettuce, pancakes, bread, eggs and 4 slices of cheese and 1 slice of bacon. I had lots more planned out, but I ran out of time and my family ran out of patience with me sitting and blanket stitching tiny pieces of felt for hours at a time. LOL
I had fun anyway. And yes, I could make felt food for my boys. I even asked them if they wanted any because I really wanted to make some after I saw the stuff some of my fellow crafty moms were making. But they scoffed and turned up their noses. No surprise that when I finished the first egg I had a hard time keeping track of it. And every. Single. Piece. After. That. So it's good to be putting them in the mail. I hope she likes them as much as her cousins.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

My challenge--and I seem to have accepted it...

We are eliminating rice from M's diet for a few days to see what happens to his eczema. It has gotten really bad again--especially on his face. It has been hanging around since early Dec and only gets better if we keep him drugged up on Benadryl. But Benadryl has other chemicals in it that are nasty. As well as the fact that it only masks the symptoms and does nothing to actually help the eczema. So, after talking to M about it, we have cut out goat and sheep milk and rice. Rice of course, is the toughest. But it also makes sense. He eats rice at every meal. When you cut out wheat and other gluten grains, corn, potato, reduce soy, as well as his other allergens like nuts, peanuts, dairy, eggs, and sesame, well, it leaves you kinda limited. And rice is cheap. Dirt cheap. My food bill is high enough with all the specialty cooking.
Yesterday was the beginning of our trial. He's been eating applesauce a lot. Hot dogs for lunch. Salsa chicken for dinner. Millet cereal for breakfast yesterday. Oh, and ground pork for a snack. We made the decision to do this night before last, so I haven't taken the time to really plan this out. It's been sorta-go through the house and see what we've got. This morning I'm playing around with rice-free pancakes. So far-so good. M declared them edible.
I really, really hope this does nothing. I know that sounds bad on the surface. But I really, really hope it's not rice causing his problems. I think I'll spend some time today checking out the Specific Carbohydrate Diet (and picking your brain, Caitlin!). I may also make an appt on Monday for him to see the nutritional healer here in town. He's really good and I think he could really help M.
We are also keeping G off the goat milk. I kind of thought the first time I gave him some that he didn't do very well on it. But that was a year ago or so. He started eating it again just recently. He seemed to be doing okay, so I let him. Then I bought this really yummy raw milk cheddar from Whole Foods. The kids loved it and G was totally hooked. After that, he was asking for cheese all the time. Most recently, he sat down at the table with a log of chevre and a spoon. It was cute--but his potty is unbearable. So, out with the goat. It's just too much for his system.
What is S learning from all this? That she needs to keep her kids from overdoing stuff. Something she already knew, but has a hard time putting into practice apparently.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Just to jump on the bandwagon

I give. I'll join the party. Here's my results today. I'm sure it would change tomorrow. This doesn't cover all the issues important to me. For instance, I want health coverage, but I don't want to be forced to immunize my kids or see a dr on a particular schedule. I also want freedom to homeschool protected and I wonder where the candidates stand on a woman's right to breastfeed.
91% John Edwards
90% Barack Obama
88% Chris Dodd
86% Joe Biden
85% Hillary Clinton
84% Dennis Kucinich
80% Mike Gravel
78% Bill Richardson
40% Rudy Giuliani
37% John McCain
26% Mitt Romney
24% Mike Huckabee
22% Tom Tancredo
21% Ron Paul
13% Fred Thompson

2008 Presidential Candidate Matching Quiz

New sweater


GramRe finished this adorable sweater for E. Apparently it was extremely last minute--like in the car on the way to the airport. But I love it and think it is fabulous. E just thinks Aunt J is beautiful--see that look of adoration?

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Babywearing

2 kids, 1 wrap and a momma with her hands free.

G always wants to cuddle in the afternoons-typically about the time I need to start dinner. He hasn't been worn in a very long time (he's 36# for crying-in-a-bucket! Look at the proportions in the pic above) so he wasn't sure about the wrap last night. But he had fallen asleep in the car on the way home from Village Home and kept wanting to go back to sleep. I had to make dinner for C's birthday. What to do? Plop him in the wrap. He loved it and it was just enough to transition him to wakefulness. And we had a lovely dinner with my own variation of Turkish chicken and rice.

Babywearing is one of those "crunchy" things, but I can't understand why. Who wouldn't want to have free hands and a happy baby? And who really wants to haul around one of those baby buckets (whose handles are always being recalled anyway?).
I asked for a sling for M and always wanted one, but never got one. Boy do I wish I would have!! He was the ideal candidate for babywearing. By the time G came along, I knew more, and had a pattern for a ring sling. I made 2 and used them constantly. Then I discovered wrapping. I made a couple of woven wraps and wore those quite a bit too. When G was suffering from his wheat allergy that was still unknown to his parents, he screamed constantly. I couldn't put him down for anything. Ever. That's when I made my first Mei Tai. Beautiful thing to have. He lived in that for quite some time. Even after I stopped feeding him wheat. For quite a long time, it's where he went down for a nap. Or should I say UP. Babywearing is how I survived Village Home with a busy toddler.
This time around, I made a jersey wrap like a Moby Wrap. E spends a lot of time in that. I think he has only been transported in his carseat 2, maybe 3, times. If we are out, he's in the wrap. The pictures above are of my very first purchased babycarrier. It is a Hoppediz and I'm in love!
So why babywear? Other than being able to get things done with a baby/toddler around? Studies have shown that babies who are worn cry an astounding amount less. Like hardly ever. They breastfeed better, and mom is much more attuned to the baby's cues. Spending time together just increases familiarity.
Because baby is facing towards mom in all situations (or should be--don't use the outward carries unless you are just at home in a calm setting), baby can see mom's-or dad's- face and therefore learn how to respond to various situations. Babies read expressions on their caregivers faces to learn what situations are safe/happy/worrisome/stressful.
Even though a baby looks pretty squashed in a carrier, it's very comfortable for them and helps them feel safe. Just like swaddling. But, there is more "give" than one might expect. This has an interesting side effect. Because the wearer is in constant motion, baby has to learn to adjust to the movement. This has a dramatic effect on balance coordination. And it may be life-long. You just don't learn much balance sitting in a carseat.
There has been a lot written lately about the flat heads babies are getting. Between sleeping on their backs, sitting in carseats, laying on playmats, sitting in swings and bouncy seats, it's no wonder they are getting flat heads. Not in a baby carrier. Baby is cradled in fabric or sitting upright. No pressure on the back of the skull=no flat head.
Babywrapping is also ideal for skin-to-skin time or "kangaroo care." The wrap goes all around mom's torso and cuddles baby right against her chest. Then mom can still move around or just stand and sway in the living room. This is especially beneficial to preemies and adopted babies.
I love babywearing in public because it provides private space for my babes. In a carseat perched in the shopping cart, it seems like they are up on display for anyone to come and admire. Yes, my kids are amazingly beautiful, but they get tired of hearing it from strangers--or being petted by strangers. People are not likely to touch or sometimes even see a baby snuggled in a pouch of fabric on your chest. It just isn't considered very polite to reach out and touch a woman's chest. That way, baby can sleep or cuddle in peace and safety.
For more information on babywearing, my favorite site is The BabyWearer.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Piece of Chicken


I've heard lots of different insults in my life. My favorites are the ones that the little boys in my life have come up with. My brother used "Conker Head." M said "Bad Guy" with such vitriol it felt like the worst thing that could be said of a person. A few days ago, I heard a new one.
G stood up and pointed his finger at M. "Piece of Chicken!" he exclaimed. Then he fell into a gale of laughter. Now he runs around proclaiming M a piece of chicken at every opportunity. No idea where this came from. I wasn't even really sure if he meant any malice the first few times I heard him say it. I replied with something along the lines of "yum! Chicken is good. Let's eat M." G looked at me funny, so I asked if it was good or bad to be a piece of chicken. "BAD!" Okay then...
So, if you need a new insult--here ya go. Three good ones to choose from. Now I'm curious what E will come up with.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Screaming baby



E's brothers have been very dedicated to teaching him how to scream Isn't that loverly?

video

Thursday, January 10, 2008

The big 100

I just realized as I went to post this that I had 99 posts. Already?? I must talk too much. So here's the little celebration I deserve-- <3
Now, I wanted to title this "I'm one of those People." Y'know? The kind that is obsessive about puzzles? I cannot have jigsaws in the house. I can't have them because I will not leave them alone until they are done. I won't eat, sleep or pee. And I can only imagine how my children would suffer if I can't meet my OWN basic needs. So, I didn't think very clearly when I started this. And why should I? I had never done chart work before. I had only done very simple lace. I thought it would just be a fun way to expand my knitting skills. That and my niece would get a nifty cardigan out of the bargain. So I bought some fun yarn and waited until my other projects were done to start it. Work commenced directly after Christmas. Wowsa. This was much more complicated than I realized. At first I considered chucking the idea of this sweater and making something more simple. But something made me continue. As I got the hang of reading the chart and the feel of the pattern, it got a smidge easier. It's not easy, it's still quite a challenge. But I can't stop. I have to keep picking this thing up. I prefer to knit it over peeing. My water intake has suffered. E gets nursed a lot more. I'm working on L's birthday present too--which is a blast. But I keep picking up the sweater. And it suddenly clicked why. My brain sees it as a puzzle. Oh dear. I guess this means it will be a finished object. Here is the progress so far:


For Christmas from my husband, I got some great bowls--huge, medium and small stainless-- and the shoe bench I wanted. But it needed to be assembled. Since D is fabulously wonderful, she came over and did it for us. Here is D with the boys sitting atop the finished product. I hope this helps with the shoe disaster.



I had to include this because it is just cute. I made chocolate cake and gave the bowl and beater to the boys. I told them to share, not really expecting that to happen. It did!! They did very well and cleaned it right up. The cake was yummy too.

Chocolate Cake with strawberry yum:
Cream together 1/2 C butter with 1 1/3 C sugar
Sift together:
1 1/2 c brown rice flour
1 C tapioca starch
1/2 C arrowroot or cornstarch
1/3 C sorghum flour
1/2 C cocoa powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp xanthan gum
3 tsp baking powder or 1 tsp baking soda and 2 tsp cream of tartar

Add to creamed sugar alternating with 2 C water. Pour 1/2 the batter in an angel food or tube pan. Spoon strawberry jam along middle of batter. Pour remaining batter in. Bake at 350 for35 minutes or until a straw comes out clean.
For instand gratification, I microwave it in an angel food pan on 70% pwr for 10-12 minutes.

Papa and the babies



My new favorite picture--well add it too the list anyway. PapaCoyote with L (my brother's daughter) and G. This was taken by a good family friend, Wendy Martell, at the open house my parents held after Christmas. They had so much fun together.
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Sunday, January 06, 2008

I'm a mean mom

I learned this while putting kids to bed tonight. For background, our routine goes as follows:

  • make beds
  • get out pj's
  • go potty
  • brush teeth
  • put on lotion/brush G's hair
  • put on pj's
  • say prayers
  • kisses/singing/sleep
So, I sent them upstairs at bedtime which was apparently unfairly early. I'm not sure if something changed or not, as it was the normal go upstairs time, but whatever. I headed up the stairs with E and found the boys in the bathroom. M was helping G go potty--very cute. But then they proceeded to play and I had to kick them out. Strike 1.
Once in the bedroom, I had a hard time getting G to help with his bed. M dawdled like a frozen sloth. He was particularly talkative and when his mouth moves, nothing else does. It was taking forever and I was having to remind him of every step. I figured since he had been in the bathroom so long, he had already taken care of toothbrushing. Apparently not, but I wouldn't let him go back in. Strike 2.
Then, hairbrushing, and constant prodding, and finally some help with, lotion. 9 year olds don't like help from mom on putting on lotion. Strike 3. But I'm mom, so I don't strike out at 3.
Prayer time. I couldn't get M to acknowledge me so I had to 5-4-3-2-1 him into saying prayers. I got a glare and a prayer. Then G's turn. He hasn't wanted to for days. I put him on my lap and say it for him, just so he knows prayers are important. M is sitting by him, patting his back, saying "it's ok, it's ok." I grab G, put him on my lap and repeat the prayer time of previous nights. M tells me how horrid it is to force people to do things they don't want to do. I tell him that sometimes we have to do things we don't want to. Time for goodnight kisses. M stands in front of me and gets help with his pj's and then turns, saying "people who are mean to other people don't get goodnight hugs and kisses." Huff, and strike 4.
After tucking a pretty happy G into bed, I tell M about his childhood.
"When you were little, you wanted to eat the food other people had and I wouldn't let you. Was that mean?"
"NO! I would have gotten really sick!"
"As a parent, didn't Heavenly Father tell me to teach my children about the Gospel and about Him and Jesus?"
"Yes"
"And if I don't teach my children, isn't that kinda mean? Since then they wouldn't know about Him?"
"Yeah."
I tucked G back into be and got his shark. When I popped up to turn on the lights, M told me he decided I could have a hug and kiss.
"I think you're a good mom."
I tucked G back into bed.

Friday, January 04, 2008

Snow--Yay!

My boys have been wanting snow ever since the last heat wave of summer. We got lots of it during our Idaho trip. I decided to put all the snow pictures together.

Imagine a grandpa's suprise and delight when his grandsons beg to shovel snow! Here they are out in the dark, all bundled up and having a great time in the snow. Grandpa has a shovel on hand for everyone, so there were no conflicts there--phew! They actually did a fairly good job too.

After work comes play! Here they are with their wonderful snowman. G and M made sure he had all kinds of interesting features. I think Grandpa had a lot of fun with it too--can you tell?

In my parents' town is a park with a great sledding hill. After the snows that came a few days after Christmas, this is how PapaCoyote, C, M, G, UncleD and AuntH and L spent the afternoon. They had so much fun!
M with UncleD on a sled being pushed by Papa
G and Dad getting ready for the plunge
Of course, then there's the back-up-the-hill bit. Good thing Papa is willing to help.

Fun trip!

We had a great trip down to see family. First stop was GramRe and PaR's house. The tradition there is for grandkids small enough to still be lifted to "Say Hi to the Birds." This is E's first. He doesn't look all that excited about it. When he gets older, he'll be just like the other kids, screaming for Grandpa and the birds as soon as they come in the house.


C in the middle with his sister, J and is dad. They are very goofy. And very fun.

After Christmas at C's parent's house, we went to Papa and Mama Coyote's. My brother and his fabulous wife have produced the world's cutest little girl. G and L had so much fun playing together, and we had a blast watching them. It was pure entertainment. Both of them are potty-learning right now, so they each had their potties set up in the living room. It was like dueling potties. Whenever one would head over, the other would go too just to be social I guess. I think it helped, they both stayed dry! I have pictures, but I don't think I'll post them. If you're family and want a copy, let me know. ;)

GrandmaJ has a living room with lots of cushions. Sometimes they are on the couches, but they seem to prefer this:

E got sick while we were down, darn it. He rested pretty peacefully in PapaCoyote's arms while I packed stuff up to get ready to head home.

The trip home was eventful only becuase it was so smooth! With E's cold and the older boys showing signs of coming down with it, I was seriously debating waiting in Idaho another day. But then, that would have turned into waiting till Monday with the storms coming through. E was happy enough Wednesday afternoon we decided to chance it. Since C is in Asia for business, his mom and sister drove home with us. Aren't they wonderful? Anyway, we all expected to be stopping about ever hour at least to tend to the baby's needs and were ready to stay in a hotel for the night if need be. Were we ever shocked when we made it halfway without stopping! Then just a couple of stops after that! We left at 8:30ish and were in the front door of the house and car unloaded by 6pm!! We even stopped at Whole Foods for dinner and groceries. I honestly thought we'd be lucky to make it home by 8pm or so.
Of course we did this because E slept so much in the car. He made up for it last night. He's asleep again in my lap now. I guess we have to learn about night and day again. Oh well, we're home and I'll work on it when he feels better. For now, I'm going to take advantage of him sleeping. By sleeping...