Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Well, it's been awhile...

A great deal of time has passed since I last posted.  We've been busy.  A new house--a foreclosure that needed major renovations.  A new baby joined our family, a boy!  He is sweet and cuddly and so very warm and came 7 minutes after we arrived at the hospital.  We moved on my due date.  Sweet baby boy cooperated and waited until after we moved to arrive.  The pregnancy was horrible.  My childbirth injury from my first delivery came back to haunt me this pregnancy.   This made renovating and moving very difficult.  The most important ability needed for moving is the ability to bend.  I couldn't do that. What adventure would you like to hear about first?

Friday, September 28, 2012

7 Quick Takes--Fall Food

Well, it's been a while, but time flies when you're washing dishes, folding laundry, sweeping, working, driving, visiting apple orchards and taking model-T rides.

Here are 7 of our favorite gluten-free fall recipes in no particular order:

1.  Butternut squash bake, lose the crackers and just use extra parmesan.

2.  Cranberry apple salad:  freeze 1 bag fresh cranberries.  Throw into food processor with 2 cored sliced apples 1 cup sugar, 1 whole orange.  I forget when you are supposed to process the orange, probably first.

3.  Find and roast a fresh chicken.  Find a good, fresh chicken source.

4.  Pumpkin butter.  Food of the harvest.  Consoler of those who dread winter.

Something tragic has happened to the following food items.
{5.  Apple pie

6.  Apple sauce

7.  Apple Butter}

Every year, every single year of my life.  For 29 years, I have gone to an apple orchard and picked apples from the trees.  I even went to my favorite orchard when I was in labor.  I thought the bumpy ground would help the contractions come faster.

There I am.  42 weeks pregnant.  Water broken from polkaing at my very first polka partner's wedding.  We had polkaed together since we were 5.  Belly swollen with a determined to stay in the womb, about to be evicted baby.  See those apples.  That's what happens in the fall.  Apples grow on trees and people pick them.  And that picture is 4 weeks later at the pumpkin patch at said orchard.   That was the first week that I could walk without a walker and the first time I carried him outside.  The first time we left the house for a non-medical visit.  I cried, I was so excited to take him to the apple orchard.  It was not such a good decision because that bumpy ground was no good for separated pelvises.  But we picked the apples, because that is what we do in the fall. 

This year, there were no apples on the trees.  Not a single, solitary one.  The whole orchard, barren.  Empty.  It was disturbing.  My now 2 year old ran through the orchard screaming "apples!  Where are you?"  I cried.  The apple crop was destroyed by an early spring and late frost.  The apples never had a chance.  Apple orchards in our area are shipping in apples in hopes of staying open another season.  Cider is $10+ a gallon.  There are apples in other parts of the state that fared better.   Later in the season, if we determine that we cannot survive without apple baking, I might just <gasp> buy some apples from the grocery store.  But, it just won't be the same.  My neighbor has a pear tree that has so many pears she is begging us to take some.  We'll try pear sauce.  Maybe even a pear tart.  And next year, we will make up for loss this year and all that baking and cooking will be done with a new appreciation for the glory that is an apple picked right from the tree.

Head on over to Jen's for more 7 quick takes.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Never say never

Recently, I was presented with an opportunity to enter a different practice of law.  It would mean higher pay with the opportunity to work from home, in my pajamas!  I could work less hours and spend more time with Little Bear.  The problem is, I would need to go back to school and take 32 hours of science courses.  I am not sure that this is a good decision for my family.   Luckily, classes don't start until next week, so I have approximately 5 days to mull it over. 

Toddlers and Comparisons

We were at the park this week and my son met another little boy and stole his ball temporarily.  The other little boy didn't notice and the boy's family encouraged my son to keep playing with it.  He was running and kicking the ball.  When he tired of that, he proceeded to steal an older boy's frisbee.  It was like a regular frisbee, but it had a hole in the middle.  It took Little Bear a while to figure out, but he was able to throw the frisbee about as well as a not yet two year old can.

The older boy's mother, very well polished and with a strange everything in the world is rosy expression flagged me over and said "I noticed that your son has a natural aptitude towards sports.  I have been watching the way he runs with the ball and the way he kept trying to figure out that frisbee until he could do it.  My son has a natural aptitude toward sports.  It was just amazing watching your son and seeing how much more he could do than that other little boy who is almost his age.  Your son definitely has a natural aptitude for sports."

I just kind of stared at her, reminded myself to be kind, and said "Isn't it amazing how they all develop differently."  But she didn't drop it and repeated that my son could do so much more than the other boy.  Again, I worked hard to be kind and not say "You mean, judgmental woman, they're not even two.  I know you are trying to compliment my child, but there is nothing wrong with the other little boy.  Who cares how quickly they can figure out a frisbee?  Really, you think you can pick out a sports aptitude at not yet two?  Just let them play."  But I didn't say that.  I informed her that it is amazing how children are different and that my son absolutely refused to eat until he was 10.5 months old.  I explained how small I felt when I was at a mom's group and all the other babies his age were eating and how I wondered what was wrong with him.  Thankfully I had a pediatrician who assured me that the first year, baby knows best and that he will eat when he is ready.  It just wasn't his thing.  Then I noticed her husband was wearing a Christian ministry shirt so I threw in some statement about how God created us all different and isn't that a beautiful thing?  She said a hearty "Amen!", but I don't think she got my point.

This interaction left me feeling unsettled.  I am sure that if we watched that sweet little boy who couldn't kick a ball yet, that there would be multiple things that he could do better than my son.  But why would people choose to spend their time like that?   When did not yet two year olds running in a park become something to compare.  Sigh.  Part of what upsets me is that I know this will continue.

How would you have handled the situation  

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Vegas baby

We've been at my brother's wedding in Vegas for the past few days.  It was a wonderful trip and Little Bear learned the following words:

Double down
Well drink
Ring bearer
Big sand (desert)
Dora (we don't have cable at home)

More posts will be coming soon, I promise.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Parenting Articles that Will Never be Published

Here are some topics for articles that will never be published in a parenting magazine:

1.  You will never sleep well again for the rest of your life.

2.  God does not match babies and parents based on similar sleep patterns.

3.  You do not understand parenting a human just because you "parent" a dog. 

4.   You do not know the depths of loving a child until you have a child.

5.  Every single relationship you have will change.

6.  One good way to avoid unsolicited parenting advice is to not complain about your child to people that you are not seeking advice from.

7.  Your first native language conversation with your child will not be for approximately two years after birth.  But it will be so worth the wait.

8.  One day your toddler will teach you new words.

9.  Yes, you really need to tell your child to do things 1,000 times and sometimes more.

10.  That $300 crib set you registered for, you can only use the fitted sheets, the rest of the stuff poses suffocation hazards.

11.  That crib you bought may never be slept in, but having a warm comfy baby next to you in bed might help you sleep better.

12.  Even though you make clear that you are breastfeeding to your health care professionals, that sneaky formula company might get your address from a popular maternity store and mail you a sample of their formula.  Then, after you threw it out, you might get a letter stating that said formula was recalled because of a beetle infestation at the formula plant.  And you will be thankful that your milk will never be recalled due to beetle infestations.

13.  You will have happy dance parties at work, and your colleagues with children might just join in.  Everyone else will think you are nuts.

What parenting articles do you think will never be written?

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Plum Jam

I just love to cook and eat.  Our wonderfully kind and wise next door neighbor brought be a grocery bag full of over ripe plums.  She is a very interesting lady, a Christian, born in Jordan, who was married at 15 and has 10 children. 

We can't eat that many plums, so I googled what to do and plum jam came up as one of the most common responses.  As a girl, I remember making strawberry jam.  Mmmm red stained fingers and steaming pots of boiling water.   For my first solo attempt at making jam, I decided not to make it shelf-stable, but just to keep it in the fridge.  Below is the recipe I followed, but I bought the classic pectin (rookie mistake), so I switched to the steps on the pectin box.

It was absolutely delicious and the most gorgeous pink color.  We took some to the neighbor lady mentioned above, and she went crazy over it too.  She actually went out and bought more plums and made some for herself.  On a jam kick, I went out and bought strawberries and made strawberry jam.  We all liked the plum jam better.