Sunday, December 26, 2010


Old Farm.Image via Wikipedia

Homesteading is an idea I that I am sort of new too. As a child my parents used many homesteading ideas, we had chickens, a garden, my dad would pickle vegetables,and make jerky. But the older I got, and when my mom went back to work all of these things slowly ended. We bought everything we used and needed.
I still have fond memories of being a young child collecting eggs, pickling with my dad and tasting his smoked and dried meats. I remember having a friend whose mother always made all of her clothes. I always thought it was the coolest thing and was a little jealous of their unique clothes. Now looking back their mother made their clothes probably because they couldn't afford to buy them. But with that savings they put a decent amount of money away for their children's college, something my parents never could do.
Other then the money savings there is something so fulfilling about making things yourself. Being capable of truly taking care of yourself and your family in a world where we are so depended on the economic market.
So even though I have some experience in DIY I have decided to start small. This summer I took kitting lessons. Now for Christmas I received a sewing machine. I am hoping to be able to teach myself to make some summer dresses for Liv.
I just feel so strong that I need to teach myself how to do these things. We have just lost all connection in how to and where things come from. I want to be able to take pride in my homemaking and my skills. I want to do more then push a button to cook dinner, be a chauffeur for my children, and become a desperate housewife.
I will keep you updated in my DIY adventures and expanding my home into a homestead.
Enhanced by Zemanta

Thursday, December 23, 2010

My Christmas Home

A Christmas tree in the United States.Image via Wikipedia

I am still keeping my promise to myself to fill my home with seasonal scents through natural things, not candles.
Christmastime has some of my favorite scents. I love the smell of a Christmas tree. I have never had a fake tree and don't think I could go with out our tree. I love the smell the pine needles bring into my home. Today I bake Gingerbread men, the first time ever. Usually I just do Sugar cookies, but since we are hosting Christmas Eve and a Christmas brunch I wanted extra cookies. I love how they turned out, they taste so yummy.
And now my house smells of gingerbread cookies. It was so nice to come back into the house and smell our baking and hard work.
Tomorrow we will light a fire and the smell of the sweet burning wood will fill our home.I love the natural warmth of a fire and the sights of it. It is so beautiful to sit and look at a fire. Much more entertaining and warm then the t.v.
Happy Holidays, and enjoy the scents and warmth of the season.
Enhanced by Zemanta

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Christmas Traditions

Christmas EveImage via Wikipedia

This is our second Christmas, our first one that Liv is more aware of what is going on. I am very excited to start some Christmas traditions for our family this year.
One I am really excited to start is my husband reading The Night Before Christmas to us Christmas Eve with a nice fire light. It sounds almost magical to me. Then when Liv is older we can leave out home made cookie and some milk for Santa.
When I was a child Christmas Eve was always crazy. My dad owned a flower shop and Christmas Eve was one of his busiest days of the year. My Christmas Eve memories are of my mom rushing me to bed, since she had to do it all herself since dad was working.
I am hoping to create a more peaceful, and less stressful memory of Christmas for my kids. As a young child I can even remember the stress my mom put on herself to shop shop shop. Christmas was always a fun time, but peaceful, no.
I hope to make Christmas less about gift-giving and more about the birth of Christ and spending time with your family and friends. This really, to me, is what Christmas is all about.
I don't want my children to think of Christmas as a time to be greedy and want, want, want. Last Christmas we bought Liv only several things, and this Christmas we are doing the same. I don't want to get into the "Keeping up with the Jones" aspect of Christmas. I hope to not fall into that when Liv is older.
For now our traditions will be sweet and simple, but hopefully they will create a lifetime of memories.
Enhanced by Zemanta

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Easy Soup- Spinach Tortellini Soup

My husband was working 10-8s all last week so I was making dinner for just Liv and me. This is a challenge for 2 reasons, 1) figuring out what to cook, 2) making it simple since Liv always gets very clingy around my cooking time.
Some one night I went to one of my old favorites, Spinach Tortellini Soup

Cook some fresh Tortellini or mini raviolis according to the package I like buitoni
Cook 1 can or 1 box of chicken broth or more since there will be extra.
Before the broth is boiling add frozen spinach and salsa to taste. Cook till the spinach is cooked.
Add as many tortellinis as you would like.

Liv loved this. She was eating up the spinach like it the best thing in the world.

Yummy yummy easy sound, homemade taste with almost no effort.
Enhanced by Zemanta

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Getting Your Child to Help Out

1951 Girl with washingImage by theirhistory via Flickr

It is never to early to get your child to help out around the house. I really believe the earlier this habit is instilled the better. Liv is only 15 months old and she helps me unload the dishwasher, put toys away, hands me clothes pins when I am hanging wash on the line and put things in the trash or laundry basket for me. She also "helps" wash dishes by sitting next to me while washing. She also "helps" me cook and bake. She loves mixing.
She really enjoys helping me out and I enjoy teaching her how to maintain our home. It is so wonderful to help her feel capable of doing things for herself and others, make her feel that her help makes a difference, and to connect to her in simple ways.
These are all very important for a child of any age. Too often parents want to do it all for their children, but they are doing themselves and their children a great disservice. When children can they should. If children don't feel they are capable they feel worthless, dependent (in a negative way) and incompetent. Doing everything for you child also makes them feel entitled, makes them lazy, selfish and self-centered. They also can become very unappreciative of the things you are doing for them and things other people do for them.
Now her helping can be additional work for me. It takes time to wait for her to unload each fork at a time, to hand me a clothespin or to wait for her to waddle over with some laundry. But isn't time a patience what being a good parent is about? I am teaching her simple skills, but the fact that I am making her feel valuable, teaching her to be appreciated and appreciate, teaching teamwork and the value of helping each other and doing things for one another makes all the extra time worth it.
And I really do enjoy doing these simple things with her. I look back on my own childhood and I don't remember my mom playing with me on the floor, I remember folding laundry together, or baking cookies.
Another plus of getting child to help out early is hopefully in the future she will take over some chores and help our family run smoother. My house may not look perfect, but it feels like a home and all who in it help make it this way. We are creating many great memories in just the daily rhythm of our day.
Enhanced by Zemanta

Monday, December 6, 2010

Condolences Etiquette

Berteaux Funeral in Champs Elysees, Paris (LOC)Image by The Library of Congress via Flickr

Recently an old student of mine passed away in a car accident. Her father and infant daughter were also killed in the crash. This is a horrible tragedy and I feel greatly for her family and her ex-boyfriend. I have been keeping them in my prayers.
One thing that has bothered me about this situation is the lack of etiquette by the teenagers and other young adults who are supposed friends of the deceased and the baby's father. Not just so much the etiquette, but also just common decency and respect.
This young girls ex-boyfriend, and the father of her baby has a facebook. I have seen tons of posts on his facebook. Some very inappropriate. But I wonder how many of these people actually took the time to write a note, go to the wake or funeral or give this young man a call or visit?
Taking 3 seconds out of your life to post "RIP" on someone's wall with no follow up is not a proper condolence.
I really feel for this younger group of adults and teenagers who have grown up with this technology, that has many benefits, but also many down falls. One is the lack of connect between really people. We have become so self-centered that we can not take anytime out of our lives to help someone who is grieving and needs support.
But it is not just younger people. We have become a nation of apathetic and self-centered people. People rudely on there phones in restaurants, the check out line, not holding doors for each other, pushing are way through crowds, cursing in public. I even over heard a man complaining how no one held the door open for him while he was pushing his crying baby in a stroller. But his wife was right behind him rudely talking on her phone the whole time! she could not be bothered to open the door for her husband or check on her crying baby, but they both expected strangers to hold the door for them! How can someone expect others to help them out when they won't but any effort out themselves.
This attitude seems to continue when we offer condolences. People don't take anytime out to help those who are grieving. Companies don't give people anytime off to attend funerals or wakes. What happened to bring casseroles for grieving families? People don't even take the time to dress appropriate to a wake or funeral.
I do know that this young man has some great friends that he can lean on and help him through this difficult time. Some good people who are taking time out of their busy lives to help him get through this difficult time. At his young age he is learning one very important lesson. Who his real friends are, and what makes a real good friend.

Enhanced by Zemanta

Friday, December 3, 2010

My First "Real" Bread

Bread rollsImage via Wikipedia

Several weeks ago I got a great children's book at the library called "You Can Cook". This book was in the children's section, but is so perfect for anyone who hasn't been cooking or baking to long or just wants some simple, quick and fresh recipes.
The book has a great easy recipe for baking bread, complete with pictures to show how to knead the bread. Since I never had made a "real" bread before (well once I did a no-knead recipe and often bake quick breads) I thought this would be a perfect recipe to try out.
It was a cold windy day out and Liv and I were not planning on leaving the house all day. So before lunch we sat down and started to make our bread.
It felt so good to make something for myself. I don't know what it is about kneading the warm dough in my hands, but I just felt so relaxed, peaceful and connected to the moment. It was a wonderful feeling.
The whole process made me feel like I can produce for myself and my family. I felt connected to women years ago, who couldn't go to the store to buy some bread. I couldn't believe how much I would love doing something so simple. I felt like a real homemaker, not a housewife.
What even made this whole process better was the reaction from my husband and daughter. Ken jokingly asked me where did I hide the bag from the bakery? And everytime Liv sees the rolls (I made one loaf and 8 rolls) she trys to open the bag to eat them.
It made me feel so good to see my picky eaters enjoy fresh bread, with almost no sugar, just pure simple ingredients made by my hand.
It was also wonderful to smell the fresh bread in my home the whole day.
The process was not as hard as I thought. I am suprised more people don't make fresh bread.
This is something that I will continue to do and hope Liv learns this skill that she can use to provide warm and healthy food for her future family.
Enhanced by Zemanta

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

You're still not Breastfeeding?

this is what a nursing toddler looks likeImage by sierraromeo [sarah-ji] via Flickr

Last weekend I had a girls night in. We has some cocktails, braided each others hair, and talked up till the night. Since cocktails were involved my girlfriends crashed on my couch.
The next morning they were excited to see Liv, since she was asleep when they came over the previous night. Well after hanging out for a while Liv came over to me and started to lightly bang on my chest, her sign for I want milk. My one girlfriend said "That is so weird she still does that, its not like you are still nursing her?" "well," I sheepishly replied, "we still are." "But she's walking!" my friend replied. Like the milestone for weaning is walking. I was so glad to have my only other close girlfriend over who has a child, who is now much older. She chimed in "I nursed Dylan till almost 2 years." "Oh" my other friend replied. I could tell she was weirded out about me nursing my toddler. And she didn't want to get into it with me.
This I feel is more common from people who have never breastfeed, if they have children or not.
My own grandmother made a comment to me about when I am going to wean. She never nursed one of her 6 children and knew so little about she asked me when Liv was young if I still have to burp her.
It amazes me how little people still know about the benefits of breastfeeding, but also the benefits of extended breastfeeding. The WHO recommend breastfeeding for 2 years. This was what I replied to my friend when we talked about nursing this long. "But yeah, thats for babies in countries with out good food." "No, babies in those countries often nurse even longer. This is the recommendation for all children, and most European guidelines reflect this." "Toddler are notorious poor eaters and breast milk is the best supplementation for them."

Well unfortunately I don't think I convinced my friend one bit, and I really don't think she wanted to here it, even though she wants to nurse her own children when she has them.
I just hope that with the growing "trend" of breastfeeding, and the growth of knowledge in how beneficial it is that there will be a trend of extended breastfeeding and getting out all the information in how helpful it can be. Not just for the child's health, but for tantrums, and bonding. This, in my opinion is when the bonding of breastfeeding is really different from bottle feeding. Most mothers hold their babies close while bottle feeding, but when their child weans to a cup this bonding time is often over. This time of closeness and comfort is still very present in a nursing toddler, and it is the part I greatly enjoy.
Enhanced by Zemanta

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Thanksgiving Bake-A-Thon

Pumpkin pie, from via Wikipedia

This year I am doing most of the desserts for my family for Thanksgiving. Now that I am a SAHM I really have no excuse to not help my mom out more for ou Thanksgiving feast.
This year I am making Pumpkin cheesecake, pumpkin pie and a side spinach dish. As you can see we love pumpkin, and I personally love to eat with the seasons and what is more seasonal for autumn then pumpkin.
Liv loves our baking days. She loves to mix things. Just last week at a La Leche toddler group I go to she went over to a child's kitchen set, picked up a bowl and a spoon and started to "mix." I couldn't believe it, guess I need to get her a kitchen set sooner then later.
As a child my mom loved to bake and cook, but did not have the patients to teach me along with her cooking. I remember the smells and taste of her dishes, but I also remember getting shoed out of the kitchen when I even went in for something to drink.
Because of this I was never taught to cook or bake, but I have made a huge effort to teach myself. I can not remember who said "anyone who can read can cook" but this is a huge part of my learning since I love to check out cooking books from the library.

I still love the classic cookbook by better homes and gardens. This book is one of the few I own and I often use it as a resource to make up my own dishes from their's with simple modifications or to just read and cook right from the pages.
I also think working in restaurants has helped greatly. I always asked the cooks how they made things, and was very lucky to work with great cooks who loved to show me and tell me how they cooked.
This is a skill that it not often passed down anymore. Too many people have no idea how to cook and get most of their meals from a take-out menu.
Our weekly baking days is a great tradition for Liv and me. And its wonderful to start Liv to understand how to cook and where her food comes from.
Tommorow my kitchen will be covered with flour and sugar and so will my clothes (I need to get myself and apron) but it will also be filled with wonderful scents, laughter and great memories and spending time with my daughter.
Enhanced by Zemanta

Friday, November 19, 2010

Candle Give Away

This great blog is doing a candle warmer give away. They are so cute and great for the holidays I have to share about this. Enter for your chance to win.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

This the Season..of shopping

Shelves at Target store in Silverthorne, Color...Image via Wikipedia

Today I went to Target to get some much need baby supplies and that place was screaming Christmas.
Every year it seems earlier and ealier this stuff comes out so you have a longer season to buy.
But really isn't Christmas everyday for most American children?
An American child an average receives 70 toys a year. That is almost 6 a month, and you know that is not all just from Christmas and their birthday.
This Christmas Liv is only getting about 5 toys from us. So her Christmas she will get receiving less toys then the average child gets most other months. Well realistically lots of those toys for other children are from Christmas and birthdays, but they are not getting 35 toys from each of those holidays.
As a child I only got toys on my birthday, Christmas and an Easter basket with some toys and candy. That is it. When I got my Nintendo for Christmas I played Duck Hunt and Mario Brothers till my birthday, we I got some more games for it.
We have become a nation of consumers we are addicted to it.
Children will learn to appriciate gifts and toys if they do not get one everytime they leave the house or everytime they get an A.
In addition to the problems I see in child-rearing when children receive so many toys the Green "tree hugger" gets disgusted by the amount of waste wwith all of these toys.
Most of the toys children play with are disposable, plastic, and poorly made. They are not made to last. They often end up sitting in landfills once a child grows bored with them. And really what does this teach our children?
That they can not be happy with out lots of stuff or the newest items out there.
It start younger and younger. And as a parent it is your duty to prevent this from a young age.
Liv has a very limited number of toys. Part of the reason is with me not working we can not afford lots, but I do make a conscience effort to limit the junk in our home.
I try to limit the amount of plastic toys. I think just about every plastic toy Liv has was received as a gift.
I also limit her tv, right now it is to zero! I do not need her seeing commercials that are just designed to make her want and find happiness in material goods.
I hope I can teach her to appriciate the gifts she receives, material and other gifts that we see daily, and those other gifts are what I focus on.
The smell of fresh made blueberry bars, mixing them together and tasting our work. Being close and spending our days together. Sitting on the couch reading or just watching the wind blow through the trees. These are truly enjoyable things, that don't hurt my wallet, my mother earth and leave me with a healthing longing, not an addiction like longing for more then I need or can afford.
Enhanced by Zemanta

Monday, November 15, 2010

Big Bird Learns about Breastfeeding

Sesame StreetImage via Wikipedia

This video is from the 70s and is such a great piece. I love it but at the same time it upsets me to think about how much we've gone backward too.
Could you imagine the uproar if this was on Sesame Street now? People couldn't handle Katy Perry I couldn't image what people would do if they aired and updated version of this.

I would love though if they did air something like this. I always feel awkward when a friends child asks "what are you doing?" Or what's under that blanket, can I see?
I really long for a time when can I nurse my child and not get stares or looks from parents, children or anyone.
I love the messages Sesame Street used to teach children, and still often do. Its a wonderful thing to nurse your child, and just as wonderful to normalize it and educated other on it.
Enhanced by Zemanta

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Unconditional Parenting-Book Review

Unconditional Parenting by Alfie Kohn is a great read for any parent. He has looked a many studies involving parent and discipline and basically tells the reader that most parenting books out there are wrong. He shows with real studies what how to show your child you unconditionally love him.
Most parents do love their child, but he shows with psychological studies how many parenting styles touted by so called experts can teach young children that your love comes with the condition of the being well behaved.
He calls time out "love-withdrawl." And when he breaks it down it makes sense that is how a young child will view it. When a young child acts out and you put them in a room or corner alone, he is not thinking about what he did wrong, he is either thinking that mommy is mad and doesnt care or thinking about how to avoid punishment next time.
He also discusses the inverse power of praise which was also recently discussed in another great book Nurture Shock.
There is really so much in this book that really makes you re-think parenting and ignore all the other parent books and go with your instinct, which is what I feel his book lets you do.
Kohn definitely has a rainbow colored glasses with this book, but his basic ideas are great and just for that its worth the read.
Hopefully in the future I will go into great detail about his book and how I apply it to my daily life with Liv.
Enhanced by Zemanta

We have a Walker

Happily learning to walkImage by deltaMike via Flickr

Liv is almost 15 months old and finally in Sunday she took her first steps...and walked right across the whole living room.
She really has been so cautious with walking, she is naturally a cautious kid. On Sunday she was walking with Daddy and got so excited she just took a few steps, stopped, then realized "hey I'm walking" and kept going.
Now all she wants to do is practice walking. She "asks" to hold my hand then we walk around our house.
Now I am the parent of a toddler.
Let the fun begin.
Enhanced by Zemanta

Saturday, November 6, 2010

My New Fav Wood Polish

Olive Oil!
In many "green" books I have read it suggests to use olive oil to polish your wood instead of using Pledge, which I can't even begin to imagine how bad that stuff must be to breath in. They all warn you to test a small area first then if it goes good go wild.
It takes a little extra elbow grease, but my coffee table shines like never before. And it also protects the wood, adding moisture to it.
I can't believe that people stopped using this natural cleaner for pledge and other wood cleaners. This way just works so much better and I love the natural smells.
I just love being able to keep one less harmful chemical out of my house and to do my little part to be eco-friendly.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Is Civility Dead?

Rules of Civility, Rule 1Image by Jeanne-Erin via Flickr

I am not a morning person. No matter how much sleep I get I still drag in the morning. Since being a SAHM my morning routine is usually drinking a cup of green tea while watching the Today Show while Liv plays.
This week they have been doing a series on Civility and is it dead.
Having a young child I often feel I see the best and worst of people. I have had strangers rush ahead to open a door for me while holding Liv, I have also have strangers let a door slam in my face behind them while holding Liv and a bag of books at the library.
I have had people ofter to let me go in front of them in line at a store, or even to vote, while on my way out Liv smiles and waves at another person and they rudely look away. Like it is so hard to smile back to a 14 month old who is excited to see you and your dog?
I've have had people smile at me when Liv yells and screams in delight, I have also have had people stare in contempt.
I've had people smile and chat about how lovely my newborn is while I nurse her in public. I have also been stared down and talked bad about how I nurse my daughter in public.
Most of the time I feel Liv brings out the best in other people's manner, but when people are rude around her it just seems so much worse then.
It really makes my day when Liv waves and smiles at a person who just seems to be having a bad day, and when they see her happy smile, sparkling blues and her had waving away they for a second forget what was bothering them and smile at my little girl. Very often I can tell that the person is saying to themselves "that made my day." The pure innocence of a child's smile is usually enough to melt the coldest hearts.
But I still see people being rude and crude to others. With or with out a child it is just the right thing to do to hold the door for someone behind you, to say thank you and please and to just have common courtesy for others. I try my best to model these behaviors for Liv so she will grow up using manners.
Do unto others, love thy neighbor, we all live on this earth together.
We need to share it and make our time here together pleasant. A little civility goes a long way and can really help our days be easier and less stressful.
Enhanced by Zemanta

Monday, November 1, 2010

Homemade Bread

King Arthur Flour - Premium 100% Whole Wheat Flour - 5 Lbs. (Pack of 3)King Arthur Flour - Premium 100% Whole Wheat Flour - 5 Lbs. (Pack of 3)

Homemade breadImage via Wikipedia

I've have been a little scared to make bread from scratch. I love to bake, but with a toddler at home I have been too worried to devote as much time as is needed to make fresh bread.
Well last week I ran out of bread and didn't feel like going to the store. I looked on the back of my whole wheat flour bag and saw this recipe. This no knead reciped seemed easy to make and didn't require too much time so I gave it a whirl.
The bread came out pretty good for my first try. My DH even ate it with some honey spread on it. He hates wheat breads.
There was something just so satistying about making you own bread.
It was lovely for my whole house to smell like fresh baked bread.
I am now feeling a bit more adventurous and might try a knead bread soon.
Enhanced by Zemanta

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Homemade Always Seems to Taste Better

Apples are an all-American success story-each ...Image via Wikipedia

Last week we went apple picking at a local orchard. After almost a week of apples and apple crisp I was getting a little board of apples, but I had a bunch left, a mix of green and red ones. They were now in the fridge since its been a while since they were picked and were not as yummy and juicy as then once were so I knew if I didn't do something with them they would go bad and be a waste. And being the green momma and moneysaver I am I could not let them go to waste. So I knew I was going to make porkchops one night so I decided to make homemade applesauce with it. I modified a simple recipe I found.
I can not believe how good my applesauce was. It tasted nothing like the suff you get out of a jar. I don't think I could ever eat jarred applesauce again. And the best part was that it was so easy. Growing up in these times were are just so accustomed to getting everything off the shelf in jars and cans. I am slowly changing my mind set to more DIY and my palate thanks me.
Its also just feels good to make things from scratch. It amazes me that people stopped making certain that are really easy. I never knew that applesauce was so easy to make, I have only ever had Motts out of a jar as a kid.
I really enjoy the fact that even though Liv is so young I am creating memories and teaching her skills that will last a life time.
If you have some left over apples enjoy this recipe. It tastes great warm and makes an healthy dessert.

Homemade Apple Sauce
3lbs apples, peeled and cut in slices. Use a mix of sweet apples and baking apples, mostly baking, about 2/3 baking so you don't need so much sugar.
1/3-2/3 cup sugar, with the mix of apples you only need 1/3 tops. You can even do less or do all sweet apples and no sugar.
About 1/4 teaspoon of cinnamon, more or less to taste (I like more)
Put all the ingredients in a pot on the stove, bring to a boil.
When boiling cover, reduce the heat and simmer 8-10 min till apples are tender. Adding more water if needed. (if you end up adding too much you can drain a little at the end, but you should leave some in the mix when you go to blend it)
Place the mix in a blender and blend till smooth. You use a potato masher to make lumpy applesauce.
And Enjoy! Great warm or cold.

This is a great snack for toddlers too. Liv will dip a breadstick in the mix or just eat some with a spoon.
Enhanced by Zemanta

Monday, October 18, 2010

Weeky meals

Pork chops, cooked and served.Image via Wikipedia

I grocery shop every Monday, its part of our weekly rhythm. So Sunday I sit down, go through coupons, flyers and my fridge and freezer and plan meals for the week. Here is this weeks meals.

Monday-Paninis- with pesto, mozz cheese and tomato with a side salad
Tues-Pork Chops with apple sauce and some veggies
Wednesday- Turkey Burgers and fries mmmm
Thursday-Pasta night, Thursday is often pasta night in my house
Friday-Pizza night, another weekly staple, our only take out for the week
Saturday-Breaded chicken with mixed veggies
Sunday Turkey meatloaf with potatoes.
I have this listed on a whiteboard on my frige. It makes it easier and I always remember to take out some meat from the freezer if need.
Enhanced by Zemanta

Keeping my Fall Promise

apple crispImage by MissMessie via Flickr

Last week I kept with my Autumn promise of filling my home with natural scents of the season by making homemade apple crisp.
We went apple picking at a local orchard and picked tons of apples. We enjoyed the best tasting apples all week and after dinner we enjoyed some yummy hot warm apple crisp.
I am so glad to be keeping my promise of filling my home with natural scents and creating seasonal memories for my daughter.

Apple Crisp
5 cups of baking apples sliced and peeled
1 tablespoon sugar
cinnamon to taste
1/2 c oatmeal
1/4 c flour
1/4 c butter
1/2 Cup brown sugar
Mix apples white sugar and cinnamon in a square baking dish
Mix oatmeal, flour and brown sugar, cut in the butter till the mix is crumbly.
Spread over apples.
Bake 30min at 375 degrees.
Serve warm, can serve with vanilla ice cream
Enhanced by Zemanta

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Daily Rhythm

Ergo Baby Carrier Black with Camel Lining

Woman SweepingImage by moonbird via Flickr

In addition to our weekly rhythm we have a daily rhythm that we follow most days. The fact that this is rhythm in our day, not a structured schedule it allows for changes and flexibility.
Wake up-cuddle time. When Liv wakes up we nurse in bed and relax. I am not a morning person so this gives me some time to wake up and gives her some time too.
Breakfast-I need my morning green tea and morning news. This is the only time of the day I usually watch any tv. Liv plays for a little bit while I enjoy my tea. Then after my tea we both sit down to breakfast. This space between wake up is good since nursing first thing seems to fill her up for a bit.
Get dressed- this is not always get dressed for the day for me, but for Liv it is. I dress in sweats at this point most days.
Walk-on every day its not raining or freezing we go for a nice long walk or if I feel up to it a jog/walk. We walk to a farm take a break there and look at the cows.
Free play- After our walk Liv does some free play while I clean up the kitchen and get ready for lunch.
Lunch- we eat an early lunch since she has no morning snack and her nap is usually around noon
Nap- after lunch we go upstairs, get cleaned up and get ready for a nap. She may "read" books for a bit alone if she isn't ready yet while I do some cleaning up upstairs. Then we read some books together, sing a song and its her nap time.
My time- durning her nap is my time. I usually take a 10-20 min catnap then often take a shower and get really if I didn't squeeze that in earlier in the day. I usually try to do something for myself and 1/2 of chores that are hard to do when Liv is around.
Wake up- When Liv wakes up this is our playtime. We might sing songs, do some fingerplays, or just other playtime together.
Afternoon snack
Outside play-after the afternoon snack we try to do some outdoor play if possible. If not we might bake or clean or do other household chores.
Dinner prep-Usually my DH is home and he will play with Liv if not she plays in the kitchen while I get dinner ready.
Dinner- most nights we all eat together.
Bedtime- Right after dinner is bedtime. We go upstairs, some nights she will get a bath. We have a nice nighttime routine that lasts about 20 min of so. If she is not ready for bed right after dinner we still go upstairs and she will do some independent play in her room while I do more upstairs chores.

I try to give Liv a nice balance of free play and playing with me. She has more time set for playing with herself, which I think is very important for her. This is an ideal day, but more often it changes a little or a lot. Liv is a very attached baby (she is still not walking alone yet) so she often wants to be involved in what I am doing, which is very hard at this age. She is heavy so when she I am doing chores that involve going upstairs and down or in and out I put her in my Ergo on my back.

This routine or rhythm helps me get stuff done in my day and brings a sense of consistency for Liv.
Enhanced by Zemanta

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Structured Learning Too Early

Theresa, JT, and Hedgie readingImage by brungrrl via Flickr

I came across a great article in the NY Times about how we are pushing children way to hard at a young age. The lack of play in kindergarten and even now in preschools and how this is harmful to our children.
Even though there has been so much research that this pushing of our children in harmful to their life long learning. I keep reading about getting a head start and ahead of the game, but education is a life long process, not a race that has a beginning and an ending.
This is one reason why I love Waldorf Education. They see that play is an important part of a child's day. Unstructured play is essential for a child to learn many skills that they can not learn in a structured setting. They can learn about their environment. How soil feels in their hands, what happens when they take their friends toy, and no parent makes them give it back with a forced apology. They learn how to use their imagination. All of these skills and many more are lost on children who are pushed into a structured learning environment too early.
There is so much more to it then what I am blogging here. Please think twice before sucummbing to all the outside pressure to push your child to read early, do flashcards and other early educational tools that are too often used. I see this pressure every where, on tv, in playgroups and now many states are even mandating preschool.
Let kids be kids.
Enhanced by Zemanta

Friday, October 8, 2010

Babywearing Week

Babywearing friendsImage by katirae via Flickr

This week is coming to an end, but it is still not too late to celebrate International Babywearing Week.
Babywearing is a wonderful thing. It can help calm a colicky baby, soothe your LO to sleep, and best of all keeps your baby close to your heart. It is wonderful for newborns and younger babies who should be carried often. Babies feel safe and secure. Babywearing can help promote attachment. It is also a great way to do things with your arms free. When Liv was younger I could cook with her in the sling, do laundry, dishes and clean. Now she wants to particate more, but sometimes she still wants to be held when I am doing these things, so on my back she goes. That is why babywearing is great for toddlers. It keeps Liv happy and we can do more with her on my back and go places that a stroller could never go.
There are so many other benefits to wearing your baby. Mommas everywhere have been wearing their babies for centuries. It keeps the baby safe, warm, babies can often nurse with ease in many holds and kangaroo care has even more benefits for preemies. It even brought one back to life!

I always feel for the moms in the mall pushing an empty stroller while carrying their crying child. While I am wearing Liv and am shopping with no problems because she is content to watch and observe while being so close to her momma. Babywearing is a wonderful thing and a wonderful way to express your love.
I hope more momma's discovery the wonderful benefits of babywearing.
Enhanced by Zemanta

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Filling my Home with Scents of the Season...pumpkin bread

gooey pumpkin cranberry breadImage by sweetbeetandgreenbean via Flickr

In an earlier post I pledged to fill my home with natural scents of the season, not with fake candle smells.
Well on this cold, rainy day I fill my house with warmth from the oven and the lovely smell of fresh baked pumpkin cranberry bread.
MMM. I use this recipe. It says you can use "craisins" or sweetened cranberries. I use fresh cranberries and let them sit in some sugar to sweeten them a little, but I like the contrast of the tart cranberries and the sweet bread, which that contrast would be lost with craisins.
This recipe is great since it makes 2 loafs, one for me and then one for a friend. It is one of my fall favorites.
I am glad to be keeping my pledge and fill my home with scents of the season.
Enhanced by Zemanta

Monday, October 4, 2010

Seasonal Dinner..mmmm

Cucurbita moschata 'Butternut'. Original descr...Image via Wikipedia

Over the weekend I made Liv and myself a nice pasta with a light cream sauce, peas and butternut squash. Mmmmm, good. Liv ate the peas and squash right up. Those were def her favs! She barely touched the pasta, which she usually loves pasta. I love finding different veggies that Liv will eat and different ways she will eat them. It is just so nice to eat fresh, seasonal produce. I love fall!
Enhanced by Zemanta

Friday, October 1, 2010

Book Review-The Grocery Game

Example of an American grocery store aisle.Image via Wikipedia

Shop Smart, Save More: Learn The Grocery Game and Save Hundreds of Dollars a MonthThe Grocery Game is a book I recently picked up from the library in my hopes to save some money on groceries. She also has a pay website to help with the "game."
Her advise is very simple and really boils down to a few pages in the book. Buy in bulk only on sale with coupons. This is the short version of her advise. She discuss in detail about the rotation of sales in weeks and the during seasons. On her website she tells you what to buy at your local grocery store.
She offers other advise through out the book, on planning simple meals, dinner parties and other household things.
Her advise is not very earth friendly at all. She tells the reader to use all disposible for dinner parties, bbqs and other events to save time. This to me is not very budget friendly and also very bad for the planet.
Long story short her grocery advise can save some money, but not too much if you buy a lot of fresh foods, which I do. Check it out from the library is my advise, unless you buy lots of "commerical" foods then her book might do you some good.
Enhanced by Zemanta