The kiddos are watching a color-changing nightlight, so let's see if I can hammer this out before they get bored with it.
Okay, those-without-children, are there parenting practices you've promised yourself you'd never do? And, those-with-children, did you HAVE things you'd promised yourself you would never do, but you do them?
Here's my list:
When I saw parents do The Count I always snorted, mostly internally, and I swore I'd never count to my kids.
Well, we count. BUT! We don't do this count: "Okay, Johnny, you come here right now. I'm going to count! One, two... No, okay, I'm serious, come here! If you don't come here by three you're going to be in trouble. One, two, two-and-a-half... Johnny! Come here now!" Ugh.
But, like I said previously, we do count. BuggaBoo has a hard time transitioning. Seriously, what toddler doesn't. So we count to give him a concrete time to be done. Baths, nursing, playing with friends, it works for a lot of scenarios. It's become a useful tool for us.
I used to be all about the spanking. I was spanked, I'm fine, it's how you control kids. Well, we've changed about this, too.
Our personal philosophy is we try to teach our kids to not hit other people, even when angry, even if the other person did something wrong. We teach them to use conversation skills instead, and if that fails then get a grownup to mediate.
So, in our opinion, if we were to spank it would send the message to our children, "You don't hit, but if you're bigger, or in control, or angry, or didn't like what the other person did, or if you tell them you're going to hit them, that's okay."
Also, me coming from an abusive background I've noticed that allowing myself the opportunity to use physical punishment for discipline can be a slippery slope to adult temper tantrums. So for myself it doesn't work.
Co-Sleeping and Cry-It-Out
I was adamant our babies would sleep by themselves, all the way until halfway through my pregnancy with BuggaBoo. Then I read "Our Babies, Ourselves" by Meredith F. Small. Talk about a complete paradigm shift for me. In this anthropologically based book Small talks about the need babies have for primitive parenting. So, we changed our minds about that.
We also realized that excessive crying, especially cry-it-out, was not how babies were programmed to work. So we (try) to comfort every cry. As our children get older we do realize the differences between cries, such as pain, hunger, frustration, anger, etc. With our older children we respond differently to different cries, but when they're young each cry is attended to.
I always knew I would breastfeed my babies to a year, but no longer than that! It was weird, unnerving, sexually wrong, and just plain spoiling them. Then I read "Our Babies, Ourselves" and decided that extended breastfeeding would be okay, but only until about age two.
BuggaBoo will be three soon and he's still going strong. He certainly nurses as often as Doozer. And I'm okay with that. The Hubby and I have decided that he can nurse as long as he wants to. I understand that extended breastfeeding, or EB, is not for everyone. But it totally works for our family.
So, sweet readers, what beliefs do you hold dear? Those with babies, did you change your mind at all? How has it impacted your life? Oh, and if you do things differently than us, that's totally fine. Every family is different and I have a firm faith that parents do what's best for their children and themselves. So polite debate is fine, but try to keep any comments out of the realm of rude.
Oh, and if you guys are wondering if the kidlets were entertained the whole time, think again. We've had a scuffle, a crying jag, and a little boy standing IN the toilet whilst trying to write this. But that's okay!
So my brain is feeling a little fried. I'm still having emotional upheaval in my life, but it's becoming more complicated. I'm realizing many things about myself and my family dynamics and I've come to the conclusion that I need to work through my childhood before progressing positively with my life. And, ugh, how cliche is that?
After The Hubby and I got married we took nightly walks down by the river while I ranted, yelled, and cried about my childhood. When The Hubby joined my family they dynamics had settled down quite a bit, so I was opening that filthy chasm into my past so he could understand me. Together I healed enough to have a pretty amazing marriage. I thought that chapter of my life was closed, that I was "over it."
Kids enter stage right. Now I know that my past hurts have not been resolved, that things still aren't optimal between The Hubby and I, and that I am so child-like from my wounds I am not fully able to parent my children. If it had just been us two adults I think everything would have been okay except for the occasional meltdown. Well, that's not exactly true. I've been reading a lot (which is what I do when confronted with a problem) and I now know that though I love The Hubby like a spouse and lover, I was/am expecting him to fill me with the parental love I didn't get. And to quote my older sister, "Who really wants their husband to love them like a parent? I mean, when you're actually being logical?" I don't.
In case you're interested, here's my reading list, plus my thoughts on the books.
Okay, I know not everyone loves Dr. Laura (I hate some of her advice), but this book was pretty amazing for me. It was hard to read, it was hard to put down. I remember reading it a few years ago and thinking, "Eh, I'm over all this so this isn't for me." Now I want to read it again and take notes. I had some pretty big revelations through reading this book, but I think they deserve a post of their own.
This little treasure helped to reaffirm my parenting ideals while giving me practical tools to carry out said ideals. It also gave me the confidence to realize that my son is not a brat, no matter how much certain family members may think so. Basically this book reiterates for me that my goal in parenting is not to have a perfectly behaving child, it's to help form a fully functioning, independent adult. An adult who can make their own decisions in life, not just what I tell them to do. It also has a section on what to do about parental anger. Hint: anger happens, it's how you deal with it, and everyone makes mistakes.
We're getting books that's I've started, haven't finished, but like what I read so far. This one contains informaiton on how giving approprate love to your children can help heal your childhood wounds. I want to read the companion book, "Getting the Love You Want".
This is a good book so far, I think it would help my mom out more in dealing with the relationship with her mom. I'm only halfway through, so I can't give a complete review on it, but I'll finish reading it, so it can't be horrible.
So there we go, that's what's on my bookshelf. Have any of you read any good book on dealing with your childhood? Care to share?
I'm been making dairy-free gravy since I went vegan, but I've never felt confident sharing it with too many people. I mean, The Hubby and I thought it was amazing, and the kids don't count because they've never had dairy, but what about other people? You know, those that still eat dairy.
So I tried this out on my little sister since her new li'l one can't tolerate dairy in the breastmilk. And Jillyn loved it. Since I usually just eyeball this I actually sat down and figured out measurements so I could share with with you. You're welcome.
I'm going to talk first about making the sausage flavored TVP, then how to make the sunflower seed cream, and then how to make the gravy.
1/3 cup boiling water 1 tsp fennel seed 1/2 tsp rubbed sage 1/2 tsp garlic powder 1/2 tsp paprika a few shakes of cumin a few shakes of red pepper 1/2 cup TVP
I like to grind my fennel seed, but you don't have to. Also, I like to add my fennel to the water before boiling it to soften the seeds, but once again, optional. Mix all of the above. The TVP will not be fully reconstituted, it will finish reconstituting in the gravy.
Sunflower Seed Gravy Cream
1/2 cup sunflower seed kernels (no shells) 2 cups water 1/2 tsp salt 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
If you need to grind your seeds in a coffee grinder first, do so. I take the lazy route and blend the seeds with about 3/4 cup water in my blender until it's smooth. Then I add the rest of the ingredients. Blend until smooth and creamy.
3 Tbsp oil 3 Tbsp flour
Put the oil in a pan, add the reconstituted TVP. Fry for a little bit. Add the flour, stir until combined with oil. Slowly whisk in the sunflower seed cream, creating a white sauce. Cook until as thick as you like it. I like my gravy pretty thick. If you want a thinner gravy use less flour and oil. If you want it thicker, like a brick, use more. After you're done cooking add:
1 tsp liquid smoke
Taste for salt and other seasonings, then serve over biscuits.
Whew! I hope that wasn't too confusing, it's actually pretty fast to throw together. You can make this gluten free by using cornstarch to thicken the gravy instead of the roux. I really like using sunflower seeds for my gravies and cheeze sauces, the flavor seems just right after cooking, since it's a bit sharp. Yum.
We recently started EC'ing with Doozer again. We promptly stopped after starting because life became hectic. However, she is now big enough to use a toilet seat insert and she loves it. As evidenced by this picture of her loving it:
And how about another one? This time, cute, chubby, nakey baby:
She still wets diapers at night but always pees and poos in the morning. She is, ah, demanding to use the potty about 60% of the time. It's been a lot easier using the seat insert rather than holding her over the sink.
A while ago The Hubby purchased a wagon and the kids love playing with it.
You may notice our kids are starkers a lot. Well, a lot of that is due to having to change or potty Doozer often, and BuggaBoo has been potty training all summer. He has a nearly perfect track record if he's naked from the waist down. This has apparently caused distress among some of the neighbors, since BuggaBoo will play in the front yard while in an undressed state. We live in a somewhat cul-de-sac produced by the apartment parking lot, so it's not like he's running around town like this. And last time I checked he was, uh, two. I don't know maybe I'm missing something. Dear Readers, what is your opinion on this? At what age does public nudity become a cultural sin? I'm feeling around 3.5 to 4 years old throw some clothes on the kid for normal play, and I'm okay with a 5 year old being naked for water play. What do you think?
Anyways, back to the cute happenings of my family.
Oh, this happened several weeks ago. Broke my heart.
I mean, how pathetic. I assure you I swiftly swept her into bed.
Buggaboo was so proud yesterday for reaching this screen in his game he made me take a picture of it.
And, I think that's it. So enjoy your Sunday, I hope it's a great one.
This last Saturday we bought a gorgeous cabbage from the farmer's market. I was seriously excited about it because it still had its outer leaves on it. They don't sell cabbages like that at WinCo. I decided to make some cabbage rolls in the crockpot since we had a busy day running errands and later attending my pattern drafting class I'm taking Monday nights.
I was influenced by Jennifer McCaan's recipe but altered it to use ingredients I had on hand. So here we go!
1 cup raw hazelnuts, chopped
1 cup sprouted lentils, chopped
3/4 cup oat bran
1/4 cup bread crumbs
1/4 cup flour
1/2 tsp marjoram
1/4 tsp thyme
1/2 tsp onion powder
2 Tbsp soy sauce
water to moisten
cabbage leaves for stuffing (Go to Jennifer's recipe to read how to prepare the leaves.)
tomato sauce (I used leftover spaghetti sauce from a can. High class, I know.)
Mix everything but the cabbage leaves and tomato sauce together. Add just enough water to create a mixture that will stick together when pressed. Create stuffing logs that will fit comfortably into your cabbage leaves, leaving about an inch on each side of the leaf to tuck in, like a burrito.
Spray your crockpot with oil and put one or two tablespoons of tomato sauce on the bottom. Put in your cabbage packages seam side down.
Spoon you tomato sauce over your cabbage rolls. Cook on low for 4-5 hours, until filling is cooked through. Enjoy eating these, because they're mighty scrumptious.
What I would do differently next time is add cooked rice, which I didn't do this time because I didn't want to go to the trouble to prepare the rice. Also, I think some sauteed garlic and onions and other veggies would be quite at home in this. I wish I had Dijon mustard to add, because dang that would have been good. I think throwing some sauerkraut in the pot around the rolls would be divine. Basically I don't think you could do these a wrong way.
Rolling is easy but a little time consuming, especially with trying to get the leaves off the cabbage head in one piece and blanching them. To save on time I might try shredding my cabbage and mix it with half the tomato sauce. Then I would put down a layer of cabbage, a layer of filling, and then another layer of cabbage. Top it with more tomato sauce, cook it, and serve it like a casserole.
And that it for this. Have a great night, I'm going to go snuggle in bed with the family.
So for breakfast I decided to make some pureed broccoli soup to use up some questionable produce in my fridge. What, don't you have soup for breakfast? Also, I wanted to put some veggies in my kid since yesterday was firmly in the all-he-ate-was-french-fries category. *hangs head in shame*
I had part of a broccoli crown, a broccoli stem, and some collards that needed eating, so I whipped this up and was surprised. This was so good! I want to eat it all but must restrain myself so that The Hubby can has his share. I really have to do this because it was so good I sneaked him a bite while he was sleeping off his night shift. Lesson learned, if I want more soup I can't share.
Look at that gorgeous green!
I didn't measure, but I hope that won't deter you. Also in the list of hopeful-non-deterrents is the sprouted lentils. I had them on hand because they're useful. Soak them for about eight hours, drain, then put them in a container with a lid to keep them moist, rinsing at least once a day. This is my second day sprouting this batch.
Water, not too much
Broccoli equitable to one crown, chopped
Four collard leaves turning yellow, ends discarded and chopped. I keep my stems, why waste good food?
One medium potato chopped, for smoothness
A good handful of sprouted lentils
Another good handful of raw sunflower seeds
Simmer everything except for the nutritional yeast because heat will destroy the B vitamins in the yeast. When things are tender but not falling apart puree the soup in batches. Keep the center portion out of your blender lid and use a towel to cover it. Watch out for steam! After the soup is smooth taste for salt adjustment then add nutritional yeast to taste. Ladle up, adding more nutritional yeast as a garnish if wanted.
BuggaBoo likes it, Doozer loves it, and I'm hoping to make it again soon. Yum! This is obviously vegan but also gluten free, so all ya'll of my friends that have a hard time finding good quick gluten free recipes, try this out. Tell me how you like it.
BuggaBoo was excited to eat his soup with a straw. He also requested nutritional yeast, Diaya cheese, AND a spoon.
Because everything tastes better with more stuff. This is the first time we've ever owned Diaya cheese, it was purchased for a date and we're so stingy with any processed vegan faux food that we still have some left, even after making a pizza with the leftovers. BuggaBoo is, of course, in love with. It's okay, it's stringy like real cheese but not worth the cost, in my opinion.
So go look in your fridge at those languishing veggies and cook up an imaginative soup. Come on, I dare ya. You can even eat it with a straw if you want to.
First, a retraction: In my last post I brought up the fact that when I visit my family I have the tendency to slip into old behaviors that I don't like. While that is true I shouldn't have left out that being with my family is also a positive experience, not all negative. I love being with my family and there is so much good that goes on. There is a lot of growth I see in everyone, there are new and old babies to love, a huge farm to run around on, and family that loves me. I just happened to be focusing on the not-so-pleasant at the time.
On another note I hear an imagined chorus whilst typing such posts. What is this chorus saying? "Okay, Krista, get with the happy-making. Enough with this doom and gloom stuff, this isn't why I came here, I visit this blog to read cutesy updates of the kiddos. Or tutorials. Or there better be at least pictures." If you're coming here for that kind of stuff you'll need to glean it. I actually started the blog to document my life and the changes I'm making. The Hubby and kids happen to feature prominently in that life, so they will make steady appearances. But the bulk will be personal revelations and doings, often in a navel gazing manner.
See, I approach my blogging as an open journal. Maybe I should be keeping a private journal, but something about reaching an audience is so tantalizing that it keeps me writing whereas a traditional journal would not. Having this audience also makes me aware of my writing process. I need to be absolutely clear about my meaning so others can understand me. By being so clear for someone else I help to sort my thoughts for myself. Many times I've come to epiphanies through explaining my thoughts.
These personal thoughts of mine help me, but I hope that they help others. This is the second reason why I blog, and do so with boldness. One motive for keeping a journal is to help others in their journey. Well, with the danger of sounding prideful, I would like to help others now. And many of my friends, both in the blogging world and in real life, have expressed gratitude for sharing my struggles and triumphs.
I may not speak kindly or positively about those in my life. When I first set up this blog I wrestled with the decision to share it with my intimate friends and family for fear of hurting their feelings. I especially worried about my mother and father reading since so much of my growing has to do with overcoming childhood pain. In the end I decided to include everyone. I know that even though I will try to be tactful others' feelings may become hurt. However, I believe that most times hurt is necessary for growth, for both parties involved. I believe that true understanding can help. I do not claim to always take the higher moral ground, as I will have times of passive-aggressive moments where I will bring up personal hurts here instead of with the responsible party. I'm trying to do better. Sometimes the issue has already been brought up but I'm still sorting it out in my life. So I will journal it.
I hope that all of you reading up on me will appreciate my postings. I feel honored that so many want to know what goes on in my life, the good and bad. I am grateful for the outpouring of support shown to me and the sharing of personal stories. I'm excited to get to know you all better, whether you've been in my life this short while or with me my entire life.