Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Wordless Wednesday September 28th, 2011

Harvest time! We have been learning new ways to make our own foods!

Plum Jam

Apple Butter

Natural Ferment Sauerkraut

Friday, September 23, 2011

For the Love of Farmer's Markets

Who doesn't love the farmer's market? So many things to see, smell, taste, hear, touch. Yes, every sense can benefit from a trip to the farmer's market. Even your sense of adventure and well-being can be boosted! Especially when you have to worry about every little thing in your food. In our home we have to avoid gluten and soy. Two tricky ingredients that seem to hid out in any packaged food your might come across. So, picking fresh items is always the easiest choice. Besides, our family is lucky to live in the pacific northwest, an area with very diverse food options available (at the right time of year!). Every area has it's own environment and food options, I encourage you to seek them out!

The easiest way to do this is to find out which stands that are actually run by the families that sell the product. When the baker can tell me every ingredient that went into that cookie. The beekeeper can describe the plants his bees frequent. The butcher can tell me the temperament of his animals. Why is this important? I don't need to know these things to gain nourishment from these items. I like to know because it reinserts me into the food cycle. Just because I am not able to cultivate enough food to feed our family (I am happy with growing our own pumpkins) does not mean I am not responsible for how they get to my table. Sourcing foods grown locally, sustainably, and organically creates the market for those items. Thus, making it easier in the future to have better access to them!

Rarely do we go to the market with specific items in mind. (Well, the adults don't. My kids know exactly what items they would like to keep an eye out for.) We love to just wander and see what is new, fresh, and exciting. On this particular overcast Sunday, it was the shellfish that caught our eyes. Plump shrimp, buttery looking scallops, and some solid looking clams. When paired with local wine and served over gluten free pasta, you start to wonder why you would ever look farther than your own "backyard" for amazing food.

2tbsp unsalted butter or substitute (coconut oil is good!)
2tbsp shallot
2 stems scallions
1tbsp garlic
2 bay leaves
Salt and Pepper to taste
about 1/2lbs scallops 
1oz lemon juice
1-2 c white wine (We used a 2008 Silverlake Sauvignon Blanc)
1lb clams
1lb shrimp (precooked, I hate overcooked shrimp)

Using Medium High heat, melt butter/substitute in pan. Add shallots, green onions, garlic, and bay leaves. Sweat until translucent. Salt and Pepper scallops, add to pan; brown tops and bottoms. Deglaze pan with lemon juice, reduce to half. Add wine (don't cover seafood) and bring to boil. Add clams. When shells open, add shrimp. Salt and pepper to taste. If sauce is a little too acidic to your tastes, you can smooth it out by adding a little more butter, until you like it! Serve on bed of pasta. 

Awesome, right? You should see what my kids picked out and was turned into desert. Just a hint: peaches, blueberries, and raspberries...

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Wordless Wednesday September 21st, 2011

Just in case someone didn't believe I am more rounded than in past pregnancies!
Oh, and can I just say: How the crap is possible to be in my THIRD TRIMESTER next week?

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Tell All Tuesday September 20th, 2011

My boys have a new favorite movie, and it confuses the crap out of me. I guess it is filled with bright colors, music we love, and all manner of weirdness. They ask to watch it at least once a day, and I usually say yes because they actually zone right into the movie and I can get things done with music I can sing to as the sound track. Ready to guess what it is?

Today is L1's FOURTH birthday. I can't even believe it has been 4 years already. Or that it has taken me 4 years to generally be ok with his birth, if only because without having had a c-section, I don't know that I would have come to know the awesome-ness that is homebirth.

My husband has been approached at work to take on a better paying, more responsibility position. Something that would really be great for him and our finances. But, it would mean he wasn't home for bedtime. This is big for us, because Daddy does bedtime. It has always been his time to bath, snuggle, read, and support them in falling asleep (as in, he stays with them until they are well-off in dream land). To change this would be major, especially with Little Three's arrival right around the corner. For the first time we might have to make a decision that could mean a major change for our children, or an opportunity to be in a better financial position (something no one can take lightly in the current economy, right?).

So, how is your life this week? Good, bad, or ugly, it is time to Tell All!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Tell All Tuesday September 13th, 2011

This Tuesday Tell All, I am glad to say, is a bit brighter than the last few. Things are finally working better for me. I found some things that work, and am working on learning new things to change my perspective.

I started reading "Confident Parents, Remarkable Kids" by Bonnie Harris. A simplistic explanation of the idea presented is that kids WANT to be in line with us, and behavior (good or bad) is just their way of trying to communicate it with us and it is up to us to keep from taking offense and decode their message. I am not very good at it yet, and sometimes when I get angry I think it is crap. But, when I am calm and my brain is actually functioning properly, I know that it is true. My two year old is NOT actually out to drive me nuts. What good would that do him? Check out more from Bonnie Harris.

26 weeks
Little Three is getting stronger. Not really too active with hitting and kicking, but is quite squirmy. New babies may be all that and a bag of chips, but the squirmy feeling starts driving me nuts after a bit. I keep trying to tell him/her that there is no escape for a while yet, and with my ribs and lungs up and cervix and pelvis down, it would be great if s/he would aim outward, but no such luck. But, we are starting to run out of room, so I know s/he is just trying to find more space. 

The one sad note for this week is a prayer for a woman who was my connection to the group where I found the friends who now surround and support me. We didn't know each other very well or very long, but she touched my life and I can never thank her enough. Whitney is a bright young woman, with two beautiful children, who has bravely battled colon cancer for 3 years. That battle seems to be drawing to end, and I wish her great peace, and her family all the love I could send. I only wish I lived closer so I could do more.

A Blue Candle, for Colon Cancer Awareness.
Whitney, you are a light to so many people.
I hope this isn't the end, and if it is it means peace for you and your family.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Weekly House Blessing (otherwise known as: Cleaning Once a Week!)

I have never been too concerned about keeping things tidy. But, with two kids I had to figure out a way to keep up with it all. So I turned to Fly Lady and it was great. Every morning I got up, got us dressed, started a load of laundry, fed everyone breakfast, and went about our day. I had dinner planned every day. It went smoothly, but then we moved things changed and now I am pregnant with Little Three. Everything just got away from me. I have had to change and adapt the routines to work for our family. So now we focus on the Weekly House Blessing.

I still meal plan every week, it REALLY does save us a TON of money. I plan 8 or so meals and just pick and choose through the week. This keeps me from feeling trapped in my plan, allows for adaptation of schedules, and if I am behind on getting to the store I have a spare meal. With food sensitivities and a vegetarian in our house, meal planning can be daunting. For the most part we have some trusted favorites and mix in something new when we can. I am thinking of starting to share our meal plans, if anyone wants to see.

The second part is the house itself. There are chores to be done. Sure, vacuuming might need to be done more than once a week. But having the whole house clean at once seems to make it easier to keep up with. Oh, and I can live with the toilet not getting scrubbed daily, the floor mopped regularly, or even the bed being changed weekly (We shower/bathe at night, so as long as there are no accidents of course!) so my list may not be exactly how you want your house to be. But, this post is all about how we adapted for our family's needs and expectations, do the same for yours!

Ok, the list. During our House Blessing we find something to occupy the kids (sometimes they help, but I mostly keep this for during the week when there is more time) be that art, toys, or usually ends up being a movie. I have a list of tasks, labeled for the estimated time it takes to complete the task. Then I break them up between my husband and myself based on time and our abilities to effectively complete the job. These days I get the "handicap" for the baby belly making getting down and scrubbing difficult.

Make meal plan ~ 1 hour (Sometimes. This includes finding recipes, and making a grocery list)


  • Wipe Mirrors/Sinks ~ 10min
  • Wipe Cabinet Fronts ~ 5min
  • Sweep/Mop Floor ~10min
Every Other Week:

  • Scrub Toilet ~ 5min
  • Scrub Tub ~ 15min

  • Empty Dishwasher ~10min
  • Fill Dishwasher ~ 15min
  • Wipe Counters ~ 10min
  • Wipe Cabinet Fronts ~5min
  • Sweep/Mop Floor ~10min
Once a Month:

  • Clean Microwave ~ 10min
Living/Play Rooms
  • Pick up Living room ~ 15min
  • Pick up Playroom ~ 15min
  • Vacuum Living/Playroom ~10min

  • Clean Closet ~ 15min
  • Pick up Bedroom ~ 15min
  • Vacuum Bedroom ~ 5min

  • Change Bedding ~ 20min (King, Toddler, Crib)

  • Switch Laundry ~ 5min
  • Fold/Hang Laundry ~ 15min
In case you weren't counting that is just under 3 1/2 hours of work, and it is divided by the two of us so it takes just under 2 hours (not including Meal Plan, I do that after bedtime). It seems like a lot, but it makes our whole week flow better. It has really helped me to have a clean space to be in. Every week it seems to take less time as we get better at the chores too. 

Do you have a clean routine? 

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Tell All Tuesday September 6th, 2011

Pregnancy is hard.

Nursing a toddler is hard.

Keeping up with an almost 4yo is hard.

Crying everyday is not normal.

Sometimes you have to ask for help.

I am glad I realized that I was having some problems dealing with my moods, recognizing some troubling behaviors from a time when I was dealing with depressive episodes. (I never went for a diagnosis for depression, but took some classes that helped me move past my past a bit and learn to focus and manage myself a little better.)

I asked my doula/midwife assistant friend if there was such a thing as prenatal depression. I mean, Wikipedia doesn't know about it if there is! She said yes and sent me off to my naturopathic midwife.

Our course of action has been to see if addressing some possible deficiencies could be a culprit. I now take some supplements for Vitamin D, B6, and Omega 3 fish oil (something you should discuss with your care provider). Within a week I could feel things changing. I don't cry everyday. I have a *little* more patience. I could ask my friends and family to help me, without feeling so ashamed. They are my lifesavers.

This Tell All Tuesday was hard to write. No one likes to share that they don't have everything under control, or are having a hard time. But, I can personally tell you that sharing my problems has been a good thing, and I want others to know that they are not alone. If you are constantly at a loss for why you feel "this way," out of control, not managing yourself well, please speak up. There is always someone who cares, and there may be things that can help.

Symptoms of Depression and Anxiety during Pregnancy:
  1. Extreme fatigue combined with excessive sadness and crying.
  2. Extreme agitation and/or mood swings.
  3. Compulsive eating or inability to eat.
  4. Inability to enjoy the things that you used to enjoy before pregnancy.
  5. Disturbed sleep patterns, such as the need to sleep all the time or insomnia (neither being related to pregnancy).
  6. Panic attacks.
  7. Obsessive behaviors/irrational thought processes.

For more information on prenatal depression: