Saturday, March 30, 2013

101 Uses for Breastmilk!

Just kidding. Only one. BUT it's a good one. :)

In my quest to eventually cut out most pasteurized dairy from our diets, I often run into the problem of...well, my children. Namely, their undying love for ice cream. This seems to be most pronounced when they're sick. Now, I may give in to a lot of requests, but ice cream after a full day of vomiting is not one of them. So what's a girl to do?

OMG! Epiphany! Breastmilk ice cream!!! It's perfect. I can use natural ingredients that will actually be HELPFUL to them instead of feeding them a bunch of chemical CRAP. Genius. AND I can make it in one-serving portions while letting the kids do most of the work. :) Wow. It's like medicine in ice cream form. Somebody stop me.

I used mommy's milk, or course, in addition to some raw honey for sweetener and organic vanilla extract for flavor. You can use any kind of flavoring you want, obviously, and sweetener, too, for that matter. I used the honey because of it's added medicinal benefits for my poor sick babies. :)

Here's the scoop, so to speak:

Mommy's Milk Ice Cream

4 oz. breastmilk
2-3 tsp. raw honey
1/4 tsp. organic vanilla extract

Other Stuff You Will Need:
Small snack-sized or sandwich-sized storage bag (I used the Lansinoh breastmilk storage bags - works perfectly, and I don't have to worry about accidental opening)
Gallon-sized freezer bag

Start with all your stuff. Mix the milk, sweetener, and flavoring in the small bag. If using honey, I recommend having the milk at room temp (or better yet, just pumped). This will ensure the honey dissolves. Tried it with cold milk - the honey separated into a frozen clump at the bottom of the bag :/ Mix thoroughly!

Add ice and salt to the gallon bag. How much? Doesn't really matter. I used a tray of about 16 ice cubes and maybe 1/4 cup of salt?

Then put the little bag into the big bag, like so...

Then...SHAKE SHAKE SHAKE...for about five minutes (this is the part the kids like to do)...

Take it out when it feels pretty solid... this...a solid clump of ice cream (well, ice milk, if you wanna get all technical on me)...

Wahnanaaaaa! Ice cream that makes you all better!

Just dig right in...

Oh yeah. Feelin' better already!

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

The Truth About Parenting.

Frequently, I look around at the chaos all around me and think to myself, "Why didn't anyone tell me this parenting thing would be so hard?" Parenting is difficult. I mean really, REALLY difficult. I had no idea how many different FEELINGS I would be forced to feel and deal with in a single day. I mean seriously, daily struggles with highs, lows, and in-betweens that I never knew existed. Even a single minute could be filled with love and hate almost simultaneously. WHY DON'T THEY TELL YOU THIS WHEN YOU SIGN UP FOR THE JOB?!?!?! Ok, some try, but no one succeeds in expressing just how INSANE the whole thing is. I guess that's just how it is when you are responsible for another human being. Am I doing the best thing? Am I doing the worst thing? Is this helping? Hurting? What could I do differently? What should I keep the same next time? Is this even making a difference? Should I bother? But what if I don't? Will that be helpful, or harmful...


Happiness - Kids playing.
Joy - Kids laughing.
Anger - Kid 1 hit Kid 2.
Fear - Kid 2 is hurt.
Irritation - Kid 2's screaming is getting on your nerves.
Frustration - neither Kid 1 nor Kid 2 will respond to you.
Relief - Kid 2 is no longer hurt.
Content - Kids are playing again.
Excitement - Kids are playing with you and having fun.
Pride - Kid 1 is helping Kid 2 with no interference from you.
Sadness - Kid 3 just woke up and will not be consoled.

Ok. 5 minutes down.1435 to go...

To parents-to-be, someday-parents, and brand new parents, hear this now. This is the most exhausting, energizing, challenging, rewarding, exhilarating, frightening, enlightening, horrible, wonderful, stupid, intelligent, back-breaking, heart-wrenching, mind-boggling, hand-wringing, life-altering, death-defying, soul-searching, physical, intellectual, spiritual adventure you could ever - make that, never - imagine. Do it. You will not be sorry...except on days that you are. And even then, you'll get over it.

To all current parents: Keep fighting the good fight, brothers and sisters. One day, your kids will become parents. They will ask you what it is like to be a parent. Don't tell them. They won't believe you anyway.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Why I don't make my kids say...anything!

Hey, folks! I'm back. Admit it. You missed me. :)

So here's the thing. I REALLY don't want to be one of those moms who doesn't want anyone else to discipline her child...but I am. I mean, if everyone approached discipline the way I do, it would be a different story; however, they don't. And since I'm pretty particular about it, it bothers me to see other adults talking in a demeaning way to my kids. Mamma Bear breaks loose. There's blood. It's not pretty.

The sad thing is that most of these parents do not realize that the way they are talking to my children is something that I (and they) would term "demeaning." So there's the problem. How do you say, "Hey, stop treating my kid the same way you treat your kid because I think it's disrespectful and mean," without implying that the way they raise their own kids is disrespectful and mean? Well, you can't. So when this happens, I admit. I freeze. You've heard of "flight or fight"? Well, there's another "f" - freeze. That's what I do. Yep, I'd be dinner in the jungle, for sure. But I really am at a loss at times. Torn between not wanting to make enemies of the other parents in the playgroup or at the park, etc., and not wanting my kids to be treated like crap...I know, it shouldn't even be a question, right? Wrong. Either way, someone is getting hurt. But here's where I differ from most...

I HATE... I mean I really, really HATE the idea of telling kids to say...ANYTHING. "Say sorry", "say please", "say thank you", "say hello", "say bye-bye"..."what do we say?" Makes me cringe. Here's why. First of all, children don't take orders well. It's just not our nature. It's not how we learn best. We learn best by imitation. We learn LEAST through direct orders and "teaching." Telling a child to "say thank you" is far less effective than simply saying "thank you" yourself whenever you are thankful for something. That way, the phrase does not just become a mash of empty words. It has meaning. Children WILL begin to say "thank you", "please", and "I'm sorry", when they reach a developmental stage of being able to be truly thankful, pleased, or sorry for something. Is a child truly sorry if forced to say it? Probably not. That is called LYING. I will not teach my children to lie. It does NOT teach them to be polite, courteous people. It teaches them that (a) empty words fix things, (b) it is ok to lie if it gets you out of trouble or pleases someone else, and (c) these adults do not respect you because they are forcing you to say something you do not want to say. Want your kids to be polite? Be polite to them. Ask them to do things, rather than telling them. Say "please", "thank you", and "excuse me"...and mean it. It's not difficult. Stop over-thinking it. You have better things to do, I'm sure.

So no, you will never hear me tell my child to apologize for hitting, stealing from, yelling at, kicking, or stabbing your child. Get over that. If my child is truly sorry for his/her actions, he/she will show it. If not, well, guess what - "sorry" won't make your kid's knee stop hurting or put his toy back together again, nor will it make my child remorseful. Believe it or not, it is completely NORMAL for a child of 1, 2, 3, 4...even 5 or 6 years old to NOT feel remorse over every little wrong doing. Hell, most adults aren't "sorry" about half the things they do "wrong", for that matter. So if my three-year-old gets mad at your kid for telling him that he can't play with her, and he hauls off and hits her in the face in anger and doesn't feel sorry about it...that's normal. But, in many parents' minds I guess that makes my kid an asshole.

Sorry. :/