Monday, August 30, 2010

For Your Viewing Pleasure

BuggaBoo chose to watch this video tonight. I think it's a winner.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Montage in Red

All pictures taken at my parents' home.

Be aware there might be more color montages. This was probably inspired by the lovely Darling Petunia.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Lady in Red Shoes

So a while ago I felt I needed a pick-me-up for my feet. But, who wants to spend money? Not me! So this is what I found in my closet:

I bought these wedges a while back from Target for five bucks and I love them. Obviously, though, they've seen better days, probably because I love them too much. The first thing I did was take some E6000 glue and secure the peeling edges. Then I sanded the wedge part to get ready for painting. After sanding I wiped the wedges down with nail polish remover to get all the grit off. It made the surface sticky, which made it better for the paint to stick. I love it when things work out like that.

I picked out the perfect candy-apple red acrylic paint from my extensive paint stash and slapped on 4-5 coats of paint. Then I sealed it with 3 coats of glossy Modge-Podge. Voila! New-lookin' shoes.

Lemmie tell ya, I *strut* when I wear these babies. And what could be better than red?

Sunday, August 22, 2010


Sorry for the lack of substantial posts around here, my life imploded. Here's the laundry list, 'cause I want to get it all out with as least typing as possible:

1) Our car died, something with the front differential and the axle. A good friend of ours that owns a used car dealership is helping is fix it for extremely cheap but getting parts has been troublesome. We would like to buy all used since we drive a 1992 Toyota Camry and it's not worth it to put in new parts but one of the parts we need is NEVER sold used because you need new gaskets to rebuild it and the manufacturer doesn't supply gasket kits. Awesome.

2) Our cats brought home fleas. My entire house is flea infested now, and all four of us humans are getting bitten constantly. I don't want to use chemical means to get rid of them because Doozer is constantly on the carpet or trying to eat the cat. We've been brushing out Pistachio (the kitty that comes home, I haven't seen Bella in days [it's the summer, she goes feral {how many parenthesis can I put in here}]) a few times a day and drowning the fleas in soap water. We've also been trying to vacuum several times a days but that brings me to point number...

3) My house is a disaster. Why? Let's look at points four and five...

4) BuggaBoo is growing or something and is in need of major Mommy time. And...

5) So is Doozer. She's learning to crawl (almost there!) and teething and getting sick again and starting separation anxiety. So either my arms are full of baby or she's crying on the floor or we're sleeping together in bed. She's also only napping for about five minute stretches (oh, how I wish I was making that up) so she's also really sleep deprived.

6) The Hubby is still having to work mandatory overtime. So that on top of already having to work nights isn't fun.

7) I deleted my Facebook account. Which has been a pretty positive move, but has an unintended side affect.

I'm lonely.

And it's more than just the deletion of my account that is causing my loneliness. I mean, I hardly have a present or conscious spouse around. My car is dead, which makes getting places difficult. Going on walks is always possible but it's so hard to get out of the house. I don't like making phone calls because BuggaBoo can be playing by himself so nicely but as soon as I pick up the receiver *WHAM!* he attacks me, starved for attention. If I don't get off the phone quickly he then spirals downward into malicious behaviors to force my attention.

And I have a few friends from the past that I'm pretty sure aren't friends with me anymore but don't have the courtesy to tell me so, which is a major bummer. I have made new friends, so that's good and wonderful, but it's not a straight conversion process. Seriously, one new friendship doesn't make up for one dissolved one.

I'm trying to figure out where things fell apart, and I'm feeling anxious about it. I think it's my fault because it's after I share what I deem to be needed information that the other person clams up. I know that last sentence looks really rude on the surface, so let me defend myself a bit. I feel strongly about many things in life, but the big ones in my life right now are attachment parenting, breastfeeding, natural and midwife-attended childbirth, male and female genital integrity, co-sleeping, vegetarianism and veganism, delayed or non-vaccination, and homeschooling. I know that looks like an overwhelming list, but most of them are covered under birth and parenting practices.

I totally understand that all of the above are touchy subjects. Most were touchy with me when they were first brought to my attention. I actually became "converted" to attachment parenting trying to disprove it. We were going to circumcise our sons for many reasons until we researched it in depth. We were going to practice cry-it-out with our babies until we read about how it can be damaging.

I know that situations vary for different families. I get it. I'm not living in some rose-colored hole in the ground. I also know that I might be the determining factor in some of my friend's eating and parenting decisions. I don't think I'm being overly aggressive about my point of view. For instance, a friend was having a conversation about vaccinations and the LDS Church's stance on them. She said it was not open for discussion, but then the comments were starting to be condescending towards those who choose not to vaccinate. Here is my reply:

I understand and respect all of your opinions, but please don't think that people who don't vaccinate are somehow stupid or ill-informed.

As for polio when the government started vaccinating for it the vaccine was a live-virus vaccine. All the cases of polio after that were contracted from the vaccination. Now that they are using a dead-virus vaccination it's not 100% effective, so the child that does contract polio may well have been vaccinated for it.

*sigh* I'm not trying to debate, please believe me. I want to bring up different point of views. I truly understand the Church's stance on this matter. I also understand that the Church knows that individual circumstances vary (think about working mothers). For my family we are following a delayed, limited vaccine routine due to the correlation of vaccinations and Type I diabetes. Our pediatrician agrees.

Yes, I'm fishing for responses like, "Oh, that was perfectly tactful," or, "Thought provoking, not aggressive!" But I also want to know if I stepped out of my bounds. See, this friend has not replied back to this or any of the several comments I have left her on her baby blog. Not one. I'm sure that I've lost this friend, someone who called me twin in college because we were so alike. And because we disagree?

Oh, look at this, I'm turning this into a real whine-fest, aren't I? Sorry, my blog, my open journal, I'm going to whine if I wanna.

I'm just curious when it happened that we became such a polite society that it because the preferable option to stop talking to someone rather than tell them you don't agree with their point of view. I know this is possible, I have this relationship with my sister-in-law. We have a lot in common (of course, my brother married her) but there are things we disagree on, notably vaccinations aned co-sleeping. And that's okay! We still talk. Heck, we even talk about those points on which we differ and still have friendly, horizon-expanding conversations.

Okay, this is getting really rambly and I don't know how to end it, so here I try. I'm lonely, that sucks. Talk to your friends, because if you don't that sucks. And having fleas in your home sucks.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

They Grow Up So Quickly...

"Oh my gosh! Did you see what she was wearing
yesterday? I know. Anyways, I gotta go. Call me, we'll do lunch. Ciao!"

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Morning Musings

Me: Hey, put this diaper in the bathroom trash for me. (yes he was in a 'sposie...)

BuggaBoo: The diaper has pee in it?

Me: It sure does, you peed in it!

BuggaBoo: There was pee in my body?

Me: Yep, but not anymore, because you peed it into the diaper.

BuggaBoo: And there is poop in my body.

Me: Probably.

BuggaBoo: And there are feelings in my body!

Me: Well, yes, but not in the same way as poop or pee...

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Milk For Thought

I don't have much time to post about my train-wreck of a life right now, so here's an interesting link about how bottle-feeding your newborn can make your body believe your baby died.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Word to the Wise

I've been making water kefir for about a month now. My grains have multiplied from two tablespoons to over forty in that time. I've tried to give them away but only two people have picked some up. I've been having the extra camp out in my fridge until I can figure out what to do with them.

In the meantime the ones I'm actively using to ferment are still multiplying. I make six cups a day and that's plenty for our family, especially since The Hubby doesn't usually drink it (he has a sensitive palate). So, what to do with the extra two tablespoons that grow every day?

I started eating them a few days ago. No biggie, right? I mean, I've been drinking nearly half a gallon of the stuff plus take a few capsules of probiotics every day. When I started drinking kefir I had a mild yeast die-off response of a horrible achy back and slightly loose bowel movements, but nothing since.I should be used to probiotics by now. I should be fine.

Friends, let me suggest to you if you decide to eat your extra kefir grains that you start s-l-o-w-l-y. If you don't you may have a, ah, slightly explosive situation. To put it more plainly I've been having some serious intestinal cramps and the accompanying diarrhea.

So in conclusion: Killing yeast is good, but do it wisely. And make more friends who want your extra kefir grains.

Speaking Up

I live in a pretty quiet neighborhood. We have some gang activity, usually just tagging and some light scuffles. Overall, however, I feel very safe where I live and have no qualms walking around by myself.

Yesterday was not so quiet. My neighbors were having a horrible fight. Their family consists of a mother, father, and beautiful two-year-old girl. The parents are about my age.

The mother was yelling over and over, "Why are you doing this to us?! Why are you DOING this to us?!" I instinctively froze and started eavesdropping, and so many memories and emotions started flooding through my body.

See, when I was younger my father was rather abusive, emotional more than physical. I remember the fear and anger and the wanting someone, ANYONE, to come rescue us. It's not like we were being timid about it. A few dear friends did come to our aid and would help diffuse the situation.

But usually not.

Usually my father would get into a dark mood and proceed to batter us down through words and actions. When we did make a stand it often ended with one of us physically hurt.

I'm going to pause in my story to make sure to everyone reading this that my dad is NOT like this anymore. He has learned to control his temper and let his funny, sweet, amazing side out. I really enjoy being around him now and feel comfortable when my children are alone with him. He has grown so much.

So I stood in our apartment parking lot, listening for a thump or slap or scream. And it seemed the universe was conspiring against me. Whenever I started to understand what was happening a noise would happen. Emergency sirens, dogs barking, BuggaBoo running up to me and asking to play. The most annoying was my other neighbor who was running his table saw in the front yard.

I eventually went over to him and asked him to stop for a while because I was afraid this woman or child was going to be hurt. His reply to me was, "Oh, yeah, I heard them fighting." And I feel this is the crux of the problem, how society handles things like this.

See, I feel that embarrassment will keep people from helping more than anything. Yes, there is fear of physical hurt. But I would argue that most people just don't want to get involved because it's embarrassing. What would you say? "Hi, I heard you guys fighting rather vigorously and I was afraid that someone may get hurt or die. Yeah, I know you think it's none of my business, but...*shrug shoulders*" I don't see many people doing this. I know because it hardly ever happened with my family.

I think this whole culture of ignoring others' abuse it deeply ingrained. Think about it. If every abuser knew that a loud, scary confrontation would mean active neighbor interest, don't you think they would think twice about being loud? I guess that would mean that the abuse could be driven to be done in secret, but hang with me for a second. Abusers know they can be loud because nobody will stop to help. They are saved from persecution because of others' embarrassment.

Don't worry, I'm human, I felt these same emotions. I was agonizing about it to The Hubby, trying to figure out what to do. "What if they're just having a loud fight?" I would say. "What if someone gets hurt?" he would respond.

Finally we walked over together and knocked on the door to help.

No one answered.

Luckily I saw my neighbor walking home with her daughter later that evening. I walked right up to her and asked if everything was alright. She said it was going to be, and that sometimes her husband/boyfriend (not sure which) was just mean sometimes. She said her daughter would be okay.

I told her that my dad was abusive growing up and I always wanted someone to stop by, so I wanted her to come to me if she needed to. She said she appreciated that. I offered to take her daughter whenever, and she looked relieved about it. She acknowledged that everyone heard the fight, and I said that was true, but nothing to be embarrassed about. She said, "But it is embarrassing," and I said, "That is true, but I don't judge you."

She seemed honestly happy, if a bit chagrined, at my approach. I'm glad I did it. I never thought that my abusive past might help someone else through their situation. I always thought that my past was meant to make me grow. It has, I have grown a lot, but perhaps this is bigger than me.

Please, if you hear a fight and you have any idea that it might get physical, stop by. Be honest. Yes, it's scary. Yes, be prepared in case you might get hurt. Call the police if you can't do it yourself. But do something, because to do nothing could result in someone being hurt or worse. Believe me, I've been there.

Friday, August 6, 2010

The Big Latch On

So here in Portland we had something called the Big Latch On. I participated today with BuggaBoo and Doozer so I wanted to share the really small picture. Enjoy!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Snack Tray Attack

Okay, I feel really lame for bringing this up since I haven't put together a snack tray in ages, but I love them and I want you love them, too.

I read about snack trays in "The Baby Book" by Dr. William Sears and his wife, Martha Sears, RN. I wanted to try them out since BuggaBoo likes to graze. I'm sure being a distracted toddler is one reason for snacking all day, but I strongly feel another is because BuggaBoo has a weak epiglottis. When he was a baby he spit up all the time. I am not joking. Our pediatrician was surprised that he even gained weight. I always fed him on demand, I know that's why he thrived.

My mother-in-law said all her babies had the same thing, and both my nephews from that side of the family had it as children. My one nephew who is ten still has episodes of vomiting, especially if he eats too quickly or has a carbonated drink. So I think grazing may be BuggaBoo's way of not overloading his stomach.

The basic principle of a snack tray is to offer a variety of finger foods in a balanced manner. Dipping sauces are encouraged since toddlers can't resist them. First of all I sat down and composed a list of toddler-friendly nutritious finger foods that were quick and cheap. When I started I used a muffin tin.

What you see here, left to right, is whole wheat spiral pasta, bagel with peanut butter, pear chunks, tortillas filled with hummus, homemade seitan, and steamed carrot sticks. Well, this was way too much food for my little guy. He also didn't get the concept at first, he kept coming to me and telling me he was hungry. I would direct him back to the tray telling him he could eat whatever he wanted whenever he felt like it.

The next day he caught on and was so very excited about the whole thing. I decided to scale down production to an ice cube tray so there wasn't too much food.

This one was pretzel sticks, dried apricots, tortilla spread with peanut butter and wheat germ before rolling up, steamed broccoli, cucumber chunks, olives, peaches, and steamed carrot sticks. The dip was homemade hummus. As you can see by the glimpse of BuggaBoo's face he was pleased with his snacks. The ice cube tray proved to be the right amount of food to feed him until dinner.

After that BuggaBoo put in orders for what snacks he wanted and hovered over the assembly. As soon as I set his tray down he pounced on it, and even offered me some of his food. Snack trays became a hit in our household.

Here we have bread with peanut butter, olives, celery sticks, leftover Field Roast, honey tangerines, dried apricots, sauteed tofu, garbanzo beans, and something so obviously delicious it didn't make it to the photo shoot.

On benefit to having a free-access snack tray is BuggaBoo has a better mood most the day. He still has a hard time articulating when he's hungry and I'm so bad about preparing food on a set schedule. I eat whenever I'm hungry and it's not always when he's hungry, but I forget that he'll get hungry before me. I know, bad mommy. By the time he's hungry his mood has deteriorated to a point of nuclear war and trying to make something for him during the meltdown is difficult. So a snack tray circumvents all that! Also, I love to share with him, there's something about eating food that is bite-sized.

Olives (BuggaBoo adores them), pear chunks, canned peaches, pretzel sticks, cooked pasta, zucchini sticks, and sauteed tofu. Dipping unknown, something creamy.

So in conclusion I want to start making these again. They're fun, easy to put together, and the rewards are, well, rewarding. And I sometimes find little treasures like these:

This is, of course, and animal cracker drowning in peanut butter-apple sauce dip. He was delicious.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Dust, Go To Sleep...

Doozer's first bath

Mother, O Mother, come shake out your cloth,
Empty the dustpan, poison the moth,
Hang out the washing, make up the bed,
Sew on a button and butter the bread.

BuggaBoo and Mommy, a few weeks before Doozer was born

Where is the mother whose house is so shocking?
She's up in the nursery, blissfully rocking.

Mommy and Doozer, a few weeks old

Oh, I've grown as shiftless as Little Boy Blue,
Lullabye, rockabye, lullabye loo.
Dishes are waiting and bills are past due
Pat-a-cake, darling, and peek, peekaboo

BuggaBoo, 2.5 years old

The shopping's not done and there's nothing for stew
And out in the yard there's a hullabaloo
But I'm playing Kanga and this is my Roo
Look! Aren't his eyes the most wonderful hue?
Lullabye, rockaby lullabye loo.

Mommy and Doozer, heading to a postpartum checkup

The cleaning and scrubbing can wait till tomorrow
But children grow up as I've learned to my sorrow.
So quiet down cobwebs; Dust go to sleep!
I'm rocking my baby and babies don't keep.

BuggaBoo, having fun with Mommy's lipstick

- Ruth Hulbert Hamilton

Mommy, Daddy, BuggaBoo, and Doozer