Saturday, July 25, 2009

Whole Wheat Waffles

1 cup white, unbleached flour
3/4 cup whole wheat flour
1 Tbsp. honey, sugar, brown sugar, or agave nectar
1 Tbsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. sea salt
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1 cup butter or vegetable oil
3 eggs
1 cup sour cream, yogurt, or buttermilk
3/4 cup milk

Whisk together dry ingredients - flours, sugar (if used) baking powder, baking soda, and salt - in a large bowl. In another bowl, beat eggs. Add sour cream (or yogurt/buttermilk) and milk (along with honey or agave, if used) and whisk thoroughly. Add melted butter and whisk until well-combined. Add wet mixture to dry and stir until just moistened. It should be lumpy and it is ok if there are a few small dry spots. Cook on preheated waffle iron. I made these for dinner last night and added some blueberries - they were oh-so-good! :) Yes, there is a LOT of butter in them (two sticks), but it is so worth it. You can use less butter (1 stick) for softer, fluffy waffles, but using 2 sticks makes them dessert-quality scrumptiousness!

The Cold That Wouldn't Die.

I know. Sounds like Mystery Science Theater 3000 fodder, right? Seriously, this cold just will not quit - Leo's, I mean. He's had this terrible cough for a week now. He's usually ok during the day, but will have coughing fits at night and in the morning and they just won't stop. He goes until he's out of breath, then he cries. And not just any cry; he does THE LIP and looks at me like, "Mommy, why?" It breaks my heart. I just want to hold him and make it all better. I guess it's getting gradually better, but it's still there and it sucks. I'm just so sad knowing that it's gonna be like this for the rest of my life. Experienced mammas, help me out: What do you do when you can't make it ok?

EC - 15 week update part 4

What happened to my happily ECing baby?!? Oh, this afternoon was terrible. He kept peeing on me, and he actually pooped on me once. He NEVER does that. He is teething pretty hard, so I'm sure that's it. The signs were just gone - no warning at all.

But on a better note, we had our first diaper-free outing today! We went to a worship service at church this evening in his training pants. About 4 or 5 trips to the bathroom in 3 hours, but no accidents! Yay :) We would have been fine on the way home as well, except the dumb-asses at McDonald's were SO slow - ridiculously so - and he wet in the drive through line. He then began to scream so much I had to take him out of the car seat and put in on my lap while I waited for my food. I parked and changed him and then he was fine. Poor thing. He tried so hard!

Then tonight, whilst we were sitting on the couch, he did the sign for pee-pee! :D I put him on the potty and he peed! I was so happy, it made all the extra laundry worth it.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

EC - 15 week update part 3

Alright, alright, so my over-confidence in the last few posts has taught me a lesson.

Haha, God, very funny.

I was peed on no less than half-a-dozen times yesterday. Even at that, we actually made it to the potty at least 10 times, which means this little bugger is peeing about 16-20 times a day! I guess it's safe to say he's eating enough. Interestingly enough, I haven't missed a poop in over three days - probably longer. Yay us! Today has been much better. Only one accident this morning, just as I was taking him to the potty, and one overnight. Not too bad :) The funniest thing is he got his butt from my side of the family (poor thing) and it's such a bubble butt his undies don't cover it, lol! My GOD it's freakin' cute as hell! Totally the best part about ECing, lol.

Have an opinion? Write a blog, but leave me out of it!

I am so sick and tired of everyone telling me that I am doing everything wrong with my child! Everything I do gets some kind of criticism, or at the very least, condescending skepticism. I really don't want to hear it anymore.

I don't keep my baby on a schedule. I know your baby goes to bed at 6:30pm and sleeps until 10:00am. Good for you. As for me, I don't force my baby into a schedule. I like to think his needs come before my comfort, but hey, that's just me.

I use cloth diapers and elimination communication. No, it's not a hassle to wash them, and at least I'm not polluting the world with human feces in landfills and chemicals used to manufacture disposable diapers. In addition, elimination communication is not really infant potty training, but that's apparently all anyone understands so I bill it as such. I am not training my baby to go to the bathroom through EC any more than I am "training" him to eat by breastfeeding. He just does it naturally. Really. I'm just not "diaper-training" him like most people in this country do, and then wonder why they have such a hard time "potty training" when they've constantly reinforced elimination in a diaper for two years. Yes, it's a commitment. Yes, they DO have some control over their bladder and bowels from birth. No, it is not "mommy training". It is simply communicating a need and fulfilling it. You can laugh and call me ridiculous all you want, but I don't remember the last time I changed a poopy diaper and my 3-month-old has not worn a diaper in three days. How much money have YOU spent on diapers this week? Yeah, so shut up.

I breastfeed my kid. I breastfeed in public without a cover, because I don't think it is obscene, and neither does the state of California. If this offends you, stop staring. I shall continue to breastfeed him until he weans himself, whenever that may be. I will not force him to wean by any means. If that means that I will be nursing a 5-year-old then so be it. He's not gonna be chewing on your tit, so what do you care? Back off.

I intend to practice baby-led weaning. I will not be giving my baby cereal or pureed "baby food." He can eat regular solid food like everyone else. That's what he was intended to do. That's what God made teeth for. Babies can't move food from the front of their mouths to the back before they can chew, and they can't chew before they can pick the food up and put it into their mouths themselves, so if I allow him to naturally follow his own development, there should be no problems. I happen to think that letting him control what goes into his mouth is better and safer than shoving pureed foods down his throat and teaching him that he does not have to chew his food.

And since he is breastfed, he DOES have to be fed more often. Babies are actually efficient at digesting breast milk, so no, it doesn't last long. The fact that he is eating every hour or so does not mean he is not getting enough from the milk!. He has been gaining weight at a rate of almost 1 lb. per week. Trust me, he's getting PLENTY of food. I don't need to supplement with cereal early just because he's frequently hungry. He is hungry because he's growing. That's what most babies tend to do. He will not die without cereal. I promise.

I don't carry my baby around in a car seat everywhere. I wear him or carry him in my arms, because I realize that wearing or carrying your baby has tremendous benefits on his cognitive and psychological development. Not only does it assist him in forming proper attachments, it also helps him learn balance and movement, which drastically improves physical and cognitive development. I know it's inconvenient at times, and he is getting heavier, but at least I'm getting a workout and losing that baby weight. Besides, his brain and muscle function are a little more important than my convenience anyway. I'm not asking you to carry him, so leave me alone.

I do vaccinate my baby, but I do not intend to give him all the vaccines recommended, and I delay many vaccinations. He's not going to die from any STDs as a baby and he's not going to give your child some deadly illness just because he hasn't been vaccinated for it. Measles doesn't just appear out of thin air - it has to be contracted from someone, and when was the last time you saw a kid with measles? I've researched the risks, and by "research" I don't mean talking to my pediatrician about it. I'm not going to explain my reasoning to you. If you think my kid is gonna give your kid diptheria then stay away from him. It's probably for the best anyway.

I co-sleep with my baby. Lordy, Lordy, God save her soul! Don't go preaching to me about how "dangerous" that is. If anyone cares to actually READ the studies, rather than just quote what they've heard, they will see that bed-sharing is only dangerous if one does not take the same precautions one would take under ANY sleeping conditions. If you are not under the influence of drugs or alcohol, and make sure your baby can't be strangled by loose bedding or wedged in between pillows or mattresses and headboards, co-sleeping actually DECREASES the risk of SIDS. Bed-sharing helps to regulate an infant's heart rate and respiration and allows the mother to wake more easily if something is wrong with the child, in addition to facilitating breastfeeding and reinforcing good sleeping habits. So wipe that shocked look off your face and let me sleep!

Of course, I AM planning to have my next child at home as well. Don't even approach me on this one. You will not win. That's a whole 'nother blog. Go read it.

So yeah, just stop condemning me and let me raise my child. I have enough stress trying to take care of a baby - I don't need your constant bitchy comments as well.


Tuesday, July 21, 2009

EC - 15 week update part 2

Alright, so last night we had 2 accidents - which were really just a case of me not wanting to get my lazy ass out of bed and hold him on the potty, so I let him pee and just changed him right away. We've also had 2 accidents this morning already - one was my laziness, but the other I didn't even expect. He peed on me right as he started nursing. He almost never goes while nursing, unless it's the middle of the night and he's not really "awake". I chalked it up to being sick. Poor little thing is still getting over this chest cold that mommy gave him. His cough just won't go away, and he is so congested. I keep saying if it gets any worse I'm going to take him to the doctor, but it hasn't gotten any worse. It just hasn't gotten any better, either. He's napping right now, so we'll see how the rest of the day goes...

Raw Vegan Chocolate Raspberry Cheesecake

Ok, so for those of you who know me, I am NOT vegan by any means. I do like me some meat and dairy. However, since the a/c has been broken, I have had to be creative. Thus, the raw food kick lately. Here is a little something I whipped up last week. It still needs some tweaking, but will do for now.

3 cups raw pecans
5 medjool dates
1/4-1/2 cup agave nectar

Process pecans in a food processor until they are finely ground, but not forming butter. Add the dates and process until they are finely chopped. With the machine running, add the agave nectar. I didn't measure this, so add it until you can press the mixture together and it holds together nicely. Press this into a spring-form pan that has been greased with coconut oil. Set aside.

1 1/2 cups raw cashews or macadamia nuts
Meat from 1 thai coconut
1/4 cup fresh coconut water
Approx. 1/2 cup agave nectar
Vanilla (extract or scraped vanilla bean)

Process the cashews or macadamia nuts until they are finely ground. Add the rest of the ingredients except agave nectar, and process until mixed thoroughly. With the machine running, add the agave nectar (again, I didn't measure, so add until it's sweet enough to your liking). Pour into the pan and spread over crust.

1/4 cup raw carob powder
Agave nectar

Add agave nectar to carob powder until thin enough to drizzle over the cake.

Sprinkle with fresh raspberries and chill in the refrigerator for at least one hour.

DO NOT drop the entire cake upside-down on the carpet like I did. :)

EC - 15 week update

Ok, so here's how the Elimination Communication adventure has been going. We started this from the day Leonidas was born, and so far, so good. We began by holding him over the potty, which was great with a 6 lb. 8 oz. baby. Ten weeks later - at 15lbs. 1 oz. - not so much. So, for the sake of my back, we decided to get him a potty. We got the Baby Bjorn Little Potty, and he LOVES it. He peed in it the first time we tried. That was easy...or so I thought.

The biggest problem has been figuring out his "cues". He began by crying a certian way when he had to go. Then he moved on to hitting me - hard. That was pretty easy to read - until he began hitting EVERYTHING as a way of playing. So we decided to teach him the sign for "pee-pee", which is working well. He has signed pee-pee a few times, but usually just gies me a certain "look" when he has to go. Lately, we've been going more on timing than anything else. He goes when he wakes up and right after he eats. He alsu usually goes during a feeding - he comes off the breast and looks at me like, "Well, take me to the potty, and hurry up about it!"

Today we went 24 hours without a diaper for the first time, and last night was his second night diaper-free, with no accidnets. Yay! Only two accidents today, which, for a three-month-old, is not bad! Tonight he's sleeping away again, and so far, no misses. We got him a bunch of tiny underwear and a few pairs of training pants. He looks so grown up in his little boxer-briefs, laying next to daddy on the bed. I don't want to fall asleep every night - I just want to look at them both. They are so precious to me. I can't believe how much my little boy is like his daddy! I'm so blessed to have them both, and I don't thank God nearly enough.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Why I'm such a home-birth nut...

When I was pregnant and I told people that I was going to have my baby at home, I got one of two responses: "Wow, you're brave," or, "Yeah, that sounds like you!" I wasn't really sure how to respond to either of these. What I really wanted to say was something like, "No, I'm not brave. In fact, I think the women who have their babies in the hospital are braver than I am." Of course, that would have sparked a full-blown dissertation on the safety of home birth and the dangers of hospital births, and I really was never up to that, what with the morning sickness and all. Of course, I'm not sick anymore...

So let's talk a little about homes, births, hospitals, and paranoia. I'll get to each one in turn. It's quite obvious that the comfort factor of the home birth is unrivaled. Be it ever so get the idea. There are no I.V.s, no hep-locks "just in case", no fetal monitors, no elastic girdles, no hospital gowns, no adjustable beds, and no interference from the woman laboring down the hall. What is there in a home birth setting? Whatever you want! Candles? Incense? Your own bed? You got it. Your baby is monitored intermittently, which (according to every study on the matter) is equally as effective as continuous monitoring, but has a LOWER rate of c-sections. That is because there is such a margin of error for misinterpreting the fetal monitor readings and thinking the baby is in distress when it's really just going through normal birth. So there's a plus.

Of course, you CAN have just about all these things in the hospital as well, if you're up for a fight (or just happen to be lucky enough to find a mom-friendly hospital). But there is one thing present in a home birth that will NEVER be found in the hospital. Know what it is? GERMS! That's right - YOUR germs, to be exact. You know, the ones you've been getting used to for months and months and building up an immunity to. You make antibodies to fight off the harmful germs in your own house, and you pass those on to your baby. So no matter how "clean" the hospital is, unless you've lived there throughout your pregnancy, you're not immune to what's out there. What you ARE immune to are the germs in your very own home, and since that is what your baby is exposed to during a home birth, HOORAY, no infections! I know, I know, I'm stepping on a LOT of toes, but it really just make sense to me. Why would I want to take a newborn baby - whose immune system isn't functioning on its own - into a big building full of sick people? Whose brilliant idea was this? I can't tell you the number of people I've known or talked to whose babies have had MRSA. This is a hospital infection, everyone. You don't get it from your house. You get it in places where they've killed off all but the strongest of bacteria and thus created an army of antibiotic-resistant bacteria that you can't get rid of. This is exactly why I no longer have antibacterial products in my home. You can't kill them all, and if I'm going to have bacteria all around me, I want them to be weaklings! I shall not be exposing my newborn to staph any time soon.

And we won't even go into the statistics on the OUTRAGEOUS rates of c-sections and unnecessary interventions in hospital, or the astonishingly high rate of injuries and deaths caused by medical intervention (the stats on that one are hard to find, but they ARE out there). Seriously, a 40% c-section rate is ridiculous.

"But what if something goes wrong?" I love this one. You know, it takes 20-30 minutes for them to prep for surgery when you need an "emergency" c-section. If you live less than 30 minutes from the hospital, you can call when you leave, and they'll be all ready for you when you arrive. Same waiting period. Either way, if you need help in less than 30 minutes, you're screwed, even if you're in the hospital. And that's IF you need one. There are so many things you can do for various "complications" (as they are often erroneously called) that don't require surgery or panick. Seriously, people need to relax.

Now I'm not one of those people who think that doctors are just out to "get you." I don't think that at all. They really do want to help. I think the problem is no one told them that birth is not a medical condition. They are trained to help when things go wrong, and of course, they want to be helpful, so they tend to see things that maybe really aren't there - or aren't what they appear. I've done it, myself, in other areas. It's hard to feel helpful when there's nothing to fix! It's only natural - of course, so is childbirth. We have all been trained to think of birth as a medical emergency. Thank television and cinema for that! Most doctors have never even seen a normal, natural birth. It simply is not their area of expertise. Midwives, on the other hand, ARE trained specifically in natural childbirth. A certified nurse midwife has a Master's degree that includes years of training in birth only. Doctors have a rotation for a little while and then move on to something else. They simply do not have the training necessary to assist a natural birth. Just because they have the "higher" degree does not mean they are right for the job. When my car breaks down, I don't take it to a neurosurgeon! I take it to my mechanic who, although he hasn't had as much "schooling" as the neurosurgeon, is the expert in fixing my car. It's just common sense. Midwives do normal birth - doctors do surgery and emergency fixes. Go to the one that specializes in what you're going to do!

When I recently went to the emergency room (for an unrelated ailment) the triage nurse asked me if I had a primary care physician. I said that I didn't and she asked who my O.B. was. I replied that I didn't have one. With a confused frown, she asked, "Who delivered your baby?" "I did," I said, "after all, I carried him. Ain't no one else gonna have him for me!" She kind of laughed a little and just said, "wow," like I had accomplished some great feat of daring and bravery. I am not brave. I like to think I played it safe by having a home birth. I didn't do it because I wanted to be a "hero" or because I wanted to "prove something." I did it because I wanted my baby to be born in the safest place, in the safest manner, and with the best of care. I did my research, and I made my decision. Women have been having babies at home for simply dozens of years and the human race has not died out.

I am, indeed, a "hippy jungle girl" (as I like to refer to myself) and think life would be wonderful if we just lived a little more simply and didn't get so worked up over little things. If having my baby at home makes me brave, then having a baby in the hospital must make one a superhero, and you couldn't pay me enough to do it! If home birth is safe, comfortable, relaxed, simple, natural, and beautiful, then yes, home birth definitely "sounds like me," and I consider that a compliment.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Leo's 2-month check up

Three weeks late, but oh well. Leonidas weighed in at 15 lbs. 1 oz., and was 23.5 inches long! That puts him between the 75th and 90th percentile for height and off the charts for weight. No problems with my milk supply, I suppose, lol. He's a growing boy, for sure - and wearing 6-9 month clothing now (for anyone interested).

He got his first shots as well. We aren't doing all the shots, but I did want him to have a few. He got Hib, DTP, IPV, and PCV. We are not doing HepB or Rotavirus. Unfortunately, they were out of the 3-in-1 shot, so instead of getting two shots, he got four! He took it like a champ, though. He was asleep when they started, and didn't even really wake up until the second shot! He cried a little, pf course, but it lasted all of 5 seconds and then he was back out. What a brave boy!

All in all a clean bill of health. His umbilical hernia is looking much better and it should heal on its own. Some reflux problems but nothing major - lungs are clear and heart is great. He's just a healthy rolly-polly little boy!

Lea's famous potato salad

2 pounds of mixed fingerling, red, and blue potatoes (I got a big bag at Costco and used a little less than half)
1/2 medium onion, diced
1/2 cup mayonnaise
2-4 Tbsp. red wine vinegar
2-4 Tbsp. honey

Boil the potatoes until just done - not too soft. Cut into halves or quarters, depending on how big they are. Add mayonnaise, vinegar, honey, salt, and pepper and mix with the potatoes and onions. Chill for at least an hour. You can adjust the vinegar and honey to your liking. Really - that's it! :)

Spinach salad with chicken, avocadoes, and strawberry vinaigrette

Today's menu: Spinach salad with chicken, avocadoes, and strawberry vinaigrette.

One bunch of fresh spinach.
One large avocado
15 strawberries
One chicken breast
Alfalfa sprouts
1/4 cup balsalmic vinegar
1/2 cup oil (I used avocado and olive)
1 Tbsp. honey

This serves two people. Cook the chicken breast by microwaving on high for 5-7 minutes. Cut the stems off the spinach and rinse, then let dry. Pick out 4 of the best-looking strawberries for the salad and set them aside. Put the rest of the strawberries into the food processor along with the vinegar, salt, and pepper to taste. Pulse until the strawberries are pureed. With the machine running, add the honey, then the oil, slowly. Divide the spinach between the two plates. Slice the chicken breast very thinly and pile in the middle of the spinach. Slice the avocado and reserved strawberries and arrange around the chicken. Put some sprouts on top of the chicken, then drizzle the dressing all around, making it look beautiful and expensive!

Almost-Veggie Burgers

Yesterday I ventured into the world of making veggie burgers. Not bad for a first try, but they were really more like veggie-burger-pancakes, based on the consistency! I like making these because you can put into then whatever you happen to have on-hand. These were "almost veggie" because I did use some left-over chili in them.

1/2 zucchini, chopped
1/2 carrot, shredded
1/4 cup chopped onion
2 cloves garlic
1/2 cup bulgur
3/4 cup chili
1/2 cup cooked pinto beans
1/4 cup salsa
1 jalapeno, chopped
4 hamburger buns
1 egg
1 cup old-fashioned oats

Soak the bulgur in 2 cups of boiling water for 20 minutes, then drain. Put everything except the oats into the food processor and process until you can't tell what's in it anymore! Stir in the oats and put in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes. You can add more oats if it is too thin. I don't measure ingredients so these are all estimates. Fry over medium heat in about 1/4 inch of hot vegetable oil until they are well-browned underneath, then flip and brown the other side. Now, when I did this they still were not done, so I put them in the microwave for 5 minutes, which dried them out nicely. I sered them on whole wheat buns with whole-grain mustard, mayonnaise, fresh spinach, tomatoes, alfalfa sprouts, and avocado. The awesome thing about them is you can put any relatively-dry vegetables you want in them, along with cooked grains like brown rice, wheat berries, quinoa, or barley. It's pretty much a left-over dish - if you grind it up enough, no one will ever guess you ate the same thing 2 days ago, haha!

Ok, let's see if I can keep this up...

Yep, startin' up a blog, because there are simply too many hours in the day, right? Here I am, typing with one hand because Leonidas won't fall asleep anywhere else besides in my arms tonight. I know I don't really have time for this, but I will try to keep it updated. We'll see...