Confession: When I graduated from college, I couldn’t find a job. Given the lack of options at hand, I boldly went where far too many graduates have gone before. I took a job as a beverage cart girl at Cowboy’s Golf Course. Yeah…Hey, I can hear you snickering! Moving on! So there I was, the day before Thanksgiving, driving my beverage cart up to the next hole when a pack of turkeys bolted across tee box number four, gobbly gobbeling at the top of their lungs. True story.
I checked the news to see if the pack might have been escapees from an overturned turkey truck somewhere, but no. They were real, wild turkeys. The next day I gathered around the family table. Unfortunately, my turkey encounter was the highlight of the meal. At least, it certainly wasn’t the food. My mom made “healthy” versions of our fave dishes, including pecan pie with stevia . . . blech! **We defined healthy differently back then***
Where was I? Right. Health. Now, I am all for healthy food, but there are some things that just shouldn’t be messed with. Like pie. And green bean casserole, stuffing, candied yams, cranberry sauce and gravy. Or should they?
Jenny at Nourished Kitchen has created a holiday cooking course featuring our favorite recipes real food style. And she’s giving away a FREE Mini-Lesson to prepare you for Thanksgiving! No refined flours, sweeteners, or oils. Just whole, nourishing ingredients. Unlike the stevia pie debacle, these recipes will undoubtedly melt in your mouth. Jenny is my FAVORITE real food blogger for one reason: Her recipes never fail me. Like, um, never. If she says I make healthy sugar cookies (class #3) that will delight my little ones, I know I can.
When Katie grows up and moves away I want to give her a recipe book filled with photos and handwritten memories: The carrot cake we made for her first birthday, her favorite rye crackers, fig canapes and more. Wherever she goes, she will be able to recreate a little bit of home. Unfortunately, most of the recipes from my childhood are full of JUNK.
Until now I’ve been able to eat the junk and leave it off her plate. But she’s old enough to notice now and it’s time to make a change. Tis’ the season for sugar cookies, pumpkin pies, and buttermilk gingerbread. We’ll doing the whole nine yards with Jenny’s help.
The full course includes more than 50 menus and more than 175 holiday recipes, plus shopping tips and video tutorials. You can pay to get the whole course (10 classes for $89). Use coupon code NK20 for 20% off
Sign up for individual classes at just $15 each.
Registration ends November 30, so go check out the classes and see what churns your butter.
Disclosure: I am an affiliate of Nourished Kitchen. Jenny is my favorite food blogger, but even though I send her fan mail I still have to pay for my classes ; – )Read More »
This creamy, luxurious bisque is full of vital nutrients like selenium, vitamin B12 and phosphorous. I’m telling you now, but I promise the first time your spoon touches your lips you’ll be thinking “Phospor what??? Who cares, I’m going to need a bigger bowl!!”
Note: This is a copycat recipe of the Crawfish Bisque from Pappadeaux Seafood Kitchen. I worked there when I was in college . . . and yes, I befriended the cook.
To boil shrimp:
To make the bisque:
Remember this difficult day as told by Daddypotamus? I’m kind of living it over again except it’s not our house this time. Sometimes we choose change . . . sometimes it chooses us. In this instance, change has come faster and harder than we were prepared for. I need to watch this unfold a bit more before I decide what I think about it all. When I know you’ll know. Deal?
Although The Bump’s Mommy Blog Contest was extended and I have not technically lost, I think I’ve spammed you enough with vote requests. THANK YOU for all your support. Yes, I saw you up last night doing last minute campaigning. I was up way too late trying to process coming changes, and there you were, stumping for me. And there I was, sitting in my living room alone . . . realizing that I am not alone at all. Thank you. Your kindness makes winning or losing an afterthought.
Our family is a bit emotionally frazzled right now, and in dire need of an extra nap or twelve. I’m taking the day to recharge for an unexpectedly challenging holiday season. See you soon.Read More »
[info_box]This sleep miracle was brought to you by Angela Aitken, who first shared this book with me on THAT Mom. Angela is just one of the many women here that have inspired, taught, and encouraged me. Thank you! [/info_box]
In a previous post I wrote about the disastrous results of attempting the 90 Minute Baby Sleep Program without, ahem, actually reading the book. Well, when the book FINALLY arrived I decided not to bother with it. My baby couldn’t stay awake for 90 minutes, so the theory was just another unhelpful fad . . . end of discussion, right?
After being clued into a possible cycle, I couldn’t help but notice that it kept popping up in real life. Micah would wake, fuss about one hour after being awake and fall asleep around 90 minutes. Nothing consistent, just some patches of pattern here and there with the occasional meltdown (his and mine).
Finally curiosity got the best of me. I picked up the book. Five pages in I was hooked. Dr. Polly Moore’s advice goes against much of what I was doing and most of what I’ve heard, but her research and reasoning is very compelling.
Specifically, she discourages the practice of waking babies up from long daytime naps to keep them from getting their “days and nights mixed up.” Baby’s neurological network is running a “system check” while they sleep, she says, adding that baby must be allowed to complete this task in order to achieve quality sleep. According to her research, the profound neurological benefits of uninterrupted sleep are worth the temporary day/night confusion.
I decided to give it another try. Disaster AGAIN. Micah was doing reasonably well up to that point, why couldn’t I just be happy with that? Why did I have to tweak things and mess up our routine?
Simply put, because I prefer to let nature take its course wherever possible. If there is an innate rhythm to babies sleep I want to know about it!!! But after that second meltdown I decided I was out on any more experiments.
As Dr. Moore explained her theory in more detail I began to reconsider whether those miserable two attempts were really failures. Apparently there is often a recalibration period that can be pretty messy. Maybe those miserable days were the beginnings of a transition to something better, so I decided to give it another shot.
WORST. DAY. EVER.
Followed by three days of bliss. It could have been five, but I’ll get to that. On the no good, very bad first day of the program Micah fell asleep every 90 minutes as predicted. However, he only slept for ten to twenty minute intervals all day long. By evening we were both on the verge of hysteria. As the sun set I laid down in bed with him, desperate for some rest after a day of non-stop nursing, rocking and walking. To my surprise, we both fell asleep.
He woke up a different baby. I have gone whole days with barely a whimper at naptime. I nurse, I rock. He stares lovingly up and me, smiling until his lids close and he goes limp in my arms. He sleeps deeply for long stretches.
It’s freakin’ beautiful.
I will say this, though: The first chapters extremely helpful, but I do not agree with later parts of the book in which Dr. Moore recommends teaching baby to “self soothe’ around the six month mark (she is pro “cry it out”). Fortunately, the 90 minute approach works without that aspect.
And boy does it work.
The other night I was rocking Micah. As his lids drooped closed I said to Daniel “It’s 6:10 isn’t it?” He looked at the clock behind me. “Yep. How did you know?”
“Because that’s when I predicted Micah would fall asleep.” Pretty cool, huh? The best part about discovering this rhythm is that I know where to focus my efforts. When Katie was a baby, I sometimes carried her for HOURS before she fell asleep. It would seem she was almost asleep and then her eyes would pop wide open for another hour of misery. Now when I soothe Micah I can see why. At the end of his wake cycle he gets a little fussy. He begins to squirm and whimper. With Katie I would take this as a sign that what I was doing wasn’t working and I needed to try something new (swaddle, unswaddle, change diaper, etc.).
Now, if Micah begins to fuss right before the 90 minute mark I don’t change a thing. Swaddling or changing him during the few minutes his body is most receptive to sleep wastes a precious opportunity. If I know I am in the sweet spot I just continue to soothe him. There have been times I thought, “This is not going to happen. He’s four minutes from the 90 minute mark and he’s wide awake.” But, believe it or not, he somehow settles down and sleeps. Here’s an example of how it went today:
1o:50 a.m. – Awake. Check time and determine the next sleep interval should be around 12:2o p.m.
12:10 p.m. – Smiling and cooing
12:15 p.m. – Body stiff while I walk with him, eyes WIDE OPEN
12:17 p.m. – Body more relaxed, sucking fingers
12:22 p.m. – Asleep
12:27 p.m. – Transfer from my arms to bed
I promised to share my experiences in real time, so here they are. However, I’ve only been doing this for about five days. What happens on day six is anyone’s guess.
I will say this: I went against Dr. Moore advice and tried to get Micah to nap “on the go” while Katie had a few playdates. His sleep during those two days was more disrupted than previous days. For now, I have decided to plan short play trips for Katie that don’t interfere with Micah’s naps. Hopefully when his naps fall into a more predictable cycle (around 3-4 months) I will try to push the boundaries again. For now, though, I think it’s worth it to stick close by.
These past few days have been incredible. My stress level has plummeted. I make scheduling decisions, like when to get Katie ready for a nap so we all fall asleep together, with confidence. It’s not perfect, but it’s better.
Again, big thanks to Angela for telling me about this book!
Back in the ninth grade I was nominated for Valentine Sweetheart. Glitter covered cans popped up everywhere, ready to take in the loose change that constituted as votes for one nominee or another. My besties rallied like grass roots radicals, shaking hands and kissing babies (in this case, 7th and 8th graders) . . . whatever it took to get another penny in that pot. It was all for naught, though. Some girls mom stuck a hundred bucks in her can and called it a day. Boo.
Where were we? Oh, right. I’ve been wanting to ask for your vote for two days now (Not just mention the nomination, but actually ask). But you know, I wasn’t sure I would vote for me, so how could I ask you to?
“Will success change me?” I worried. “Will I be too busy hanging out with Oprah to chat with folks in the comment section?” Ha!
I wasn’t sure, but now I am. I would totally vote for me. Not to stroke my ego, but to grow our community by connecting with other eco-minded moms. I promise not get a big head if I win. If you don’t believe me keep reading.
Oh yes, the lovely H1NT. Craved by fashionistas around the world.*
That’s right, the H1NT is your “Mommypotamus Don’t Get Too Big For Your Britches” insurance policy. And yes, I will leave the house. I will go to the park, the gas station and even the grocery store on the posh end of town. I will wear my H1NT with my head held high, without a hint that my outfit is anything other than the hottest frock in SOHO. And of course I will discreetly videotape it for you.
So there you go. With one little click you can bring me one step closer to a steaming bowl of accolades with a side of humility. Sounds good, yes?
So go vote now You don’t have to vote for me, but exercise your voice and all that. And if you want, you can leave a comment telling me where you’d like to see me wear the H1NT.
*Note: When poking fun at a baby shower gift it’s usually a good idea to make sure it was not a serious gift at one point . . . and that the original gift giver does not read your blog. However, if this does happen, it’s always good if the giver possesses a well-developed sense of humor! You rock, Mrs. B.Read More »
Congratulations, Lucy! Your new home will soon be filled with the warm glow and joyful scent of a handcrafted candle.
If you didn’t win, Heather at Sawgrass Candles has kindly offered to sweeten the pot on all new orders. Just use the word “SAMPLE” in the comment section of your order and she’ll send you a surprise gift. Thanks Heather for donating your yummy candle to this giveaway!Read More »
For your grownup party AND something your toddler will gobble up like a turkey prepping for Thanksgiving? Look no further. These elegant little appetizers are a real crowd pleaser . . . at least they would be if Katie and I would stop eating them all before the crowd arrives.
Special thanks to Daddypotamus for bringing home the wrong figs that resulted in this happy accident . . . er, recipe.
Read More »