Last week Melodie at Breastfeeding Moms Unite referred to me as a “Real Food Blogger” on her awesome post, Why I Think Going to Blog Her ’10 Would Be Like Going Back to High School.
There’s one crowd I really want into. My idea of the “cool crowd” but I’m really not sure if they’d accept me. Other than a choice few like Heather from The Mommypotamus and Alex from A Moderate Life I’m not sure if they accept me now. This would be the “real food” crowd. And I’m pretty sure at least some of them are just putting up with me because I do a good job of linking to their posts every week on my Vegetarian Foodie Fridays. See, I don’t eat meat and they do, so I think that they think (yes, this is so totally high school) I shouldn’t be allowed to hang with them because I’m doing my body a disservice. I disagree but I don’t make a big stink about it. They’re smart and know nutrition and that’s why I like them so much. And then my would-have-been, could-have-been vegan friends who I also think are pretty cool because they don’t eat dead animals don’t want to be my friend either (I’m just guessing) because vegetarians aren’t as pure as vegans – even though they think eating tofu is good for them and I know better.
It seems self-serving to post this (and maybe it is ; – ), but it got me thinking and since I read it I haven’t been able to get one question out of my head: Am I a real food blogger? Unless you consider breastmilk real food, I haven’t blogged about the subject in weeks.
Besides, just a few years ago my M.O. was to slap a hamburger patty on a plate (burned on the outside and raw on the inside, mind you) and call it dinner. I’m not like Jenny at Nourished Kitchen, who posts recipes so tantalizing I am almost always tempted to immediately hop in the car and get the ingredients I need to make it right now.
The truth is, I’d like to be a full-fledged Real Food blogger, but right now life is about finding balance. It’s about agreeing on a name for this baby before my water breaks, getting our house sold, finding a place to live, and relishing these last couple months with Katie before everything changes. So rather than perfect my own recipes, I am content (for now) with savoring recipes dreamed up by others.
Don’t get me wrong, I miss the opportunity to be creative in the kitchen . . . to satisfy my pregnant cravings with gusto and lots and lots of cheese. When I get back into that mode largely depends on when other stuff falls into place. The sooner the better, but for now I’d like to share with you some of my recent recipe obsessions.
I love this recipe from Nourished Kitchen because it takes a nourishing, meatless (aka frugal) meal and makes it easy. Quiches are an elegant step up from our weekly dinner omelette. Because this recipe doesn’t require making a dough crust, it’s simple too! Not to mention delicious. Did I mention we have almost polished off three of these in the past two days?
Just a few quick notes: Don’t worry about buying chévre. Using what you already have will save money and taste just as good. Also, I brushed the potato crust with a little oil to keep it from burning but as you can see it did a little. That’s why I’m adding this pie crust shield to my birthday wishlist.
This recipe from Kitchen Stewardship is easy, delicious, beautiful, and grain free, too! I’m tucking this one into my “inexpensive dishes with zazzle” folder for when I really want to impress guests and stay in my budget. Yes, I said zazzle. There are so many variations with this recipe: We’ve used bananas, blueberries, strawberries, coconut milk, maple syrup and more. We’ve even used the crêpes to serve homemade bananas foster.
There are so many reasons I love this recipe from Nourished Kitchen. First, oatmeal is one of the most nourishing, least expensive breakfast foods around. Second, I can make a big batch of these and be done with breakfast for several days. And third, Katie loves them. On the mornings I have these on hand she doesn’t have to wait for me to whip something up and everything seems to go more smoothly. I will say, however, that if buttermilk pancakes and bacon are on the menu she’s more than happy to wait ; – )
There, I blogged about Real Food. I feel better now.Read More »
I make schedules and “to do” lists just so I can ignore them. It makes me feel spontaneous. This week I wrote a list of topics I want to cover and so far I have completely denied their existence.Until today.There is a deadline looming over my head. Okay, not my head . . . someone else’s.
I would love to know how to get my two year old to sleep through the night without waking up to nurse – before our number two gets here in 7 weeks! I love nursing her to sleep and nursing her down for naps, but some nights she literally stays latched on for hours upon hours and it’s making me go crazy!
When I got pregnant Katie was two and still waking me up several times a night to breastfeed. I knew I couldn’t handle a pregnancy on such disrupted sleep, much less be physically ready for the demands of a newborn. I wish I could say I handled my concerns with grace and dignity, but in reality I began freaking out. Finally Daniel insisted we buy “The No-Cry Sleep Solution for Toddlers and Preschoolers.”
He took a day off work to read it with me while Gigi watched Katie. By sundown we had a plan. I’ll admit I was skeptical. Amazingly, it actually worked! Here’s what we did:
“Is that all?” you ask. Hey! I can hear that sarcastic tone in your voice! Give me a chance, because I felt that way, too. It is possible to move most toddlers past their need to breastfeed to sleep while still nursing at bedtime AND co-sleeping (if that’s your thing). The trick is to incorporate a different soothing technique after breastfeeding but before sleep.
Nursing a child to sleep is such a sweet ritual. It’s so simple nothing else is really needed. Daniel and I found that when we were ready to discontinue said ritual, a lot of things were needed to replace it. In short, she needed a “wind down” ritual. So, about an hour before she needs to go to bed we begin dimming the lights and talking more softly. Then, in the exact same order every night, we:
The final step involves Daniel laying his hand on Katie’s back while she gently falls asleep. Although at first she protested his presence instead of mine, it was easier for her to accept going to sleep without nursing if I wasn’t present. However, it wasn’t long before she began enjoying the time with her daddy, and now she “shoo’s” me away when she is done nursing and ready to cuddle.
The ritual you create will most likely be different and may include bathtime, a stroll around the block, or quiet play of some kind. If you focus on making the “wind down” ritual something your child looks forward to I promise the process will go much more smoothly.
Once Daniel had proven that Katie was actually capable of falling asleep without nursing or “crying it out,” we moved on to Step 2. In her book Elizabeth Pantley describes a variety of strategies for reducing the frequency of nighttime nursing. These were the two that we had the most success with:
Tip #1: The Pantley Pull-Off. Although originally developed for younger children, Pantley modifies this technique for toddlers.
A helpful first step is to create a phrase that means, “We’re all done nursing.” You’ll want to first use this during the day at the end of each nursing session. As you finish nursing and are moving your child off your lap and closing up your clothing, repeat your phrase two or three times. Choose your own phrase, based on your personality and your child’s age, but it could be something like, “All done. Milk is all done. Bye-bye milk.”
Once you have established your phrase, you can use it at night to shorten nursing sessions. When your child wakes up and wants to nurse go ahead, but before he/she falls asleep use the pull-off technique. If there’s a fuss use your phrase and try to soothe via touch, patting, etc. If there’s a big fuss go ahead and start nursing again, then try it as soon as the sucking reflex begins to slow down. You may have to do this many times before your little one decides it’s not worth the hassle and goes to sleep after you disengage them. Eventually (often sooner than you think) your child will realize they can fall asleep without nursing and will wake you less.
What worked for us: In addition to a post nursing cue, I have found that telling Katie she can have “one more minute” of milk before our nursing session is over helps her transition more easily when I give the “all done” cue. Now if I give the “all done” cue without the “time’s up” phrase she’ll lean back, look directly into my eyes and say “ONE MORE MINUTE.” Stickler.
Tip #2: Set Time Perimeters. We used this and it worked well:
If you’ve been on call for your nursling all night long, you don’t necessarily have to go “cold turkey” and stop all breastfeeding.
. . . Set a period of time when you will say no to breastfeeding, such as from midnight to 6:00 A.M. During that time, if your child wakes to breastfeed, tell him “the milk is sleeping” or a similar description that he can understand. Hold him, pat him, let Daddy or your partner rock him, but persist in the idea that the milk is asleep.
The first few times you may do this may be quite difficult. (OK, truth be told, it may be very, very difficult.) But if you are consistent, after a few days of this your child will begin to understand and the fussiness will dissipate. When that happens, you can then expand the milk-sleeping time by an hour in either direction and continue to make adjustments until you reach a point you are happy with.
Allthough Katie did protest and cry throughout this process, I felt okay about it because I was right there with her, comforting and soothing as I could while remaining firm that we would not nurse until morning. In the short-term I actually got less sleep doing this than when I just went ahead and nursed her, but it wasn’t long before she began waking me up with requests less often. Now we never nurse at night, and except for normal pregnancy stuff (getting up to go to the bathroom, braxton hicks, etc.) I sleep great!
What did I miss? Please share your tips!Read More »
Suggestions are still trickling in to my nifty little suggestion box and I’ve just got to say, ya’ll have the best questions!
I’m interested in your birth plan for baby numba two. What’s a MUST have and a must not for The Mommypotamus on the big day?
Genevieve at Mama Natural
To say I am the nesting type would be a whopping understatement. I am the ultimate nester. Unfortunately, due to the fact that we are doing whatever we can to sell this house in the next two weeks despite the fact that we haven’t found a house to buy (that we can afford), I am currently without a nest at all. I have no idea where we’ll be in 6-10 weeks. That has made planning rather difficult.
The upside of our less-than-ideal circumstances is that it’s got me focused on people rather than places. Here are the key players:
Daddypotamus – Daniel is doing double-duty for this birth. Like many husbands he is taking on the role of comforter and encourager. However, I am also looking to him to provide a little something extra this time.
When we found out we were pregnant I thought we had plenty of time to find a new home, but that seems more unlikely with each passing day. Having a home of my own to lovingly prepare for the big day is part of my nesting ritual. It calms me. It helps me to feel prepared and ready. Most likely, it’s not gonna happen.
The thing is, I am not a big talker when I’m in pain. I went through almost two days of labor without making so much as a sound until my midwives asked me to try not to internalize so much. I tried yelling for them. It felt weird. Anyway, because I internalize when I need to keep my focus, Daniel felt at times like he was unnecessary during Katie’s birth.
This time will be different. I trust him and I’m going to need him to help me adjust to whatever circumstance we find ourselves in. Our marriage is good but life is hectic and sometimes we fail to connect. We are making an effort to correct that so that when the time comes we will be completely on the same page.
Midwife/Chiropractor/Friend – Dr. Cindy came to my first birth in the role of chiropractor. Her adjustment helped me move past the 12 hour puking streak I was on. Since then, she has become one of my best friends and my best resource for all things birth and health related. I am grateful that she will be acting in all of these capacities as my lead midwife on the big day. Note: Last year Cindy and I attended our close friends birth together (she was the midwife and I was the photographer). It is truly amazing the kind of bond we all have and I hope it will only deepen as we raise our kids together.
Doula – We are in the process of interviewing doulas right now, but we know we want one present. We didn’t have one with Katie because I thought my mom could act in that role. Um, no.
“Doulas often use the power of touch and massage to reduce stress and anxiety during labor. According to physicians Marshal Klaus and John Kennell, massage helps stimulate the production of natural oxytocin. The pituitary gland secretes natural oxytocin to the bloodstream which causes uterine contractions and also secretes it to the brain, which results in a feeling of well being, drowsiness and a raised pain threshold. Synthetic IV oxytocin cannot cross into the blood stream and brain, so it increases contractions without the positive psychological effects of natural oxytocin.”
Sign me up! Besides, Gigi will be staying with Katie at the birth. If Katie chooses to be present Gigi will help her understand what’s going on. If not, they’ll do something else.
Birth Photographer – Although I can’t really call birth photography an essential, Lynsey Stone is a confirmed part of our birth team and I am so excited to have her.
We have nothing but a few grainy pics and a short video (in which almost nothing is visible) from Katie’s birth. The whole experience was so surreal I don’t remember much. This time I plan to document every moment, which I’ll probably end up sharing here ; – )
Birth Tub – My happy, happy place. I cannot imagine giving birth any other way. Water birth:
We’re all looking forward to baby #2, though he/she doesn’t have a name yet and we’re all so busy we sometimes feel that we haven’t soaked in the anticipation like we did with baby #1.
The clock is ticking! So while I re-read my list and make sure I didn’t leave anything out, I’d like to hear from you: what will YOU do differently with your next birth? Any new must haves on your radar? Any must avoids?Read More »
My apologies for writing every Daddypotamus post about vision, destiny, and intangible life meaning stuff. At this exact moment in my life, I can’t force myself to drum up an explanation of my paternal views on extended breastfeeding. What I CAN share is my focus and experience, and that leads me back into that great big, super-duper, all-important visioneering black hole.
After reading Joy’s guest post on Belgexan.com, I was reminded yet again that sometimes God allows us to wait MUCH longer than we want for things because He’s more concerned about our hearts. I don’t want to establish a doctrine on the subject, however, because sometimes God wants us to walk into His provision and we’re sitting back expecting it to take forever. So while there ARE moments that God allows us to sweat because it’s purifying, we would be limiting Him if we choose to expect the same situation and response every time we want something.Read More »
I think it’s funny that you offered to write a Father’s Day post. Cute really, but did you really think I would let you? What would be next? Me sending you out to buy your own birthday presents?
No. I have something to say about Father’s Day. And I’m saying it directly to you (via my blog, which I guess technically makes it indirectly).
Despite how I love sleep and regret the early morning routine that goes along with having a toddler, one of my favorite moments of the day is first waking up. When I hear Katie stirring I know what is coming. Half asleep she calls “Daaaaaaaady!!!”
Of course, you were up long before us, spending time with the Father of us all, but you always hear that call. No matter where you are in the house only seconds go by before you are at our bedside, scooping your sleepy girl into your arms for an early morning cuddle.
Do you know what I think about as I lay there trying to muster the motivation to give up my snuggly body pillow? I relish the fact that you are our daughters first thought. That she waits for you to come . . . and you always do.
One day our daughter will wake up alone. She’ll be on her way to becoming an adult. I hope that when this time comes her first waking thoughts will be of her Heavenly Father. I hope that she will be aware of His presence and love for her, just as she is aware of yours in these early years.
It seems like that’s how it’s supposed to work. I’ll never know for sure . . . I never had what you two have. All I can say is I really needed to witness this. I needed to know firsthand that the love of a father is more than a myth.
You cannot comprehend the power of what you’re doing. You see one little girl, but there are really two hearts in your hands. The little girl in me is watching, believing, and letting go of the pain.
Thank you. You’re an amazing man and an incredible father.
I love you.
~ MeRead More »
Today my alter ego is guest posting over at Belgexan. While Dr. Potamus is not as crunchy as me, she makes a few good points. Go check her out!
Oh, and please… Leave your pitchforks at home.Read More »
Okay, I’ll admit it. I’m slacking. Truth be told, all I want to do lately is go to the pool with Katie. The sun and music, not to mention the way Katie gets cuddly after playing hard in the water for two hours, are just too tempting resist.
So I’m not. At least not today ; – )
If you are headed to NRH2O today please know that I am seven months pregnant and wearing a bikini. Consider this your warning ; – ) Ironically, I am pretty self conscious about wearing a bikini around here when I am NOT pregnant because nursing women are, ahem, endowed. Strange men staring at me gives me the heebie jeebies. But slap an extra 15 or so pounds on me and I’ll wear one no problem! No pictures, though, as you can see.
Today I am picking Linda’s question from the suggestion box because, well, it’s the easiest. And because I get to talk about my family.
Hi Heather! I am kind of interested in the fact that you live with your Mom as an adult. Why do you choose to? How do you keep your relationship with Daniel spicy? How do you keep your relationship with Daniel between you 2 and not letting it spill over & airing out dirty laundry, etc. In light of recent events, we have had to move back in with my Mom (my husband and our 2 kids), and I find it much harder to live here now that I am older.
Thanks for asking, Linda! When Daniel and I first got married, he made it clear that he was a “leave and cleave” kind of guy. It was hard for me at first. When something I didn’t feel prepared to handle would come up I often found myself halfway through dialing my mom’s number before I realized she wasn’t the one I was supposed to talk things over with anymore.
Fortunately, both of our parents had the wisdom to give us time to unify as a couple. They let us fight (sometimes during holiday gatherings) without interfering or taking sides. They stood by quietly and watched us make bad decisions without offering unsolicited advice. On the flip side, they celebrated our milestones with gusto and let us know we always had their support.
Eventually, Daniel and I began to believe we could “let our parents in” our lives without the boundaries getting all murky. They had proven they could treat us like grown-ups, even when we weren’t acting like it.
My mom semi-retired right around the time Katie was born. Because I was still doing part-time PR work from my home office she graciously offered to watch Katie a few hours a day. I’ll never forget her bringing Katie to nurse during big conference calls. Thank God for the mute button! Having my mom there with me in those early months, supporting me and just being downright proud of me, was one of the best experiences of my life. I grew up in a multi-generational home, so the idea was nothing new to me. But having her around seemed to clench the idea. My mom was single. She had tons of friends but lived alone. Daniel and I decided she should be with us.
Regarding how it’s worked out, there have been some rough spots but Gigi tells it best. The only things I will add is that it’s hard to hide when we are arguing, but Gigi is a smart lady and finds somewhere else to be when we need to work things out. On our side, learning to restrain ourselves is good practice for not arguing too much in front of our children.
As for keeping things spicy: We have no complaints ; – ) My mom has an active social life and is gone a lot in the evenings. And those loooong excursions to the duck park she takes with Katie don’t hurt, either.
Read More »