Monday, October 18, 2010

Latest Updates in a Mama's life

Dang it!  Time got away from me again and Life handed me way too much to do....well, honestly, I guess I found too much to do...crazy days....

So here is my quick list of what has happened (I know I will leave things out just because it is late and I really should be in bed...):

We have started - and continued - homeschooling our five year old and have been loving that decision :D  If I haven't mentioned it before, we are using Oak Meadow, a Waldorf based school.  It has curriculum and educational tools for K-High School and are really liking

We have not been going to the chiropractor weekly and I am feeling it :(  I hope to be able to get back to it in a few months, though ;)

I went to the Florida La Leche League Conference last weekend...well, just Friday and Saturday, and for just a day and a half instead of three days.  I was there with Sandy Jamieson and Sandy Hill, my ladies full of lactation wisdom.

And I killed three chickens (not our own!) at a friend's "Meat Harvest" the war-wounds to prove it!  It was something that I have been thinking about for a while and am in a place in my psyche/life that I can/could/did do it.  One more small step away from the grid....and I will be there again for more "Harvesting" next Sunday!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Confessions of a Homeschooling Mama

There are great days and there are not so great days.  I have only schooled The Older three days and already we have had both.  The first day, we - Mama, Dada, The Older, and The Younger - went to the was called Paradise Beach, with a park/playground, beautiful sand and it is the only beach in the south part of my county to be staffed year-round with lifeguards.  If it wasn't so far away, we would be there more often. 

When we got in the water, the lifeguard (Georgie) came over and commented on how wonderful that I was using a Fuzzibinz cloth diaper (she used them on her kids years ago) on my littlest and we talked about homeschooling and natural mothering things.  Would have liked to talk to her more but had to watch The Younger because she was getting pummeled by the rough waves (and liking it).

It was unfortunately way too hot to play on the playground (all the equipment was burning from sun exposure), but vowed to come back when the weather cooled off.  But they had a wonderful playground, kids swings and toddler swings, slides, and a large resin boulder with rock climbing handles on it!  So cool!

But not all is so wonderful.  The first week, we are learning to make the capital letter A correctly.  Up until now, she would make good letter As the right way, but lately, she has been getting sloppy....and refusing to accept that the way she had always been making As was correct....

Ah, joys of life!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Next Chapter

I am about to embark on a new adventure: Homeschooling....a five year old...with an 18 month old in the wings.  At least I have a fantastic support group to help!  (Hey Ladies!)

Since before my husband and I got married, we decided that if we were still living in this area when we had kids, we would homeschool.  We talked about it, defended our position, chose friends that had the same mindset, got info from our family that does homeschool, found a good starting curriculum, planned out the next few months, got school supplies.....  and I am scared sh!tless...  because it is just around the corner!  We are finally here!

But like I said: fantastic support group, et all shall get me through it!  Woo hoo!  Yeehaw!  Here we go.....

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Knee-jerk reaction

I have a knee-jerk reaction to all things Mama related: pregnancy, birth, breastfeeding, child-rearing...  Every time I hear another mother being oppressed or told misinformation, my first reaction is to fight someone!  Or let loose a barrage of tips to the Mother, "Have you tried...?" or "Did you know...?"  But I must refrain, and find just one or two things - helpful and doable - for that Mother to say or do to get control back in her life. 


...or just a reasonable portion of it...

But the truth of the matter is: there IS a revolution happening...we just aren't physically feeling it yet...It is only online, on the internet, on Facebook, on Twitter...we are socializing without shaking hands or hugging...or kneeing someone....

I don't know if that is better or not, but different from those in the past.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Dehydrator Lust

I....have dehydrator lust.  I admit it!  I just got this email from a great blogger and want it bad.  But instead of trying to convince my self that I need it now, I will just enter the contest to get one (go ahead, you can too! you KNOW you want to ;) then go and feed my chickens.


Keeper of the Home: Naturally Inspired Living for the Christian Homemaker

1000th Post Party Giveaway: Deluxe Excalibur 3900 9-Tray Dehydrator ($220 Value)

It's been a hard secret to keep, but at last I can announce that after the smashing success of our Excalibur Dehydrator giveaway last fall, it's time to give away another one!
I've owned a 9-Tray Excalibur for about a year and a half now. I keep it on my kitchen counter the way that most people have a microwave or toaster oven. Yes, I use it almost that often!
As someone who uses my dehydrator so extensively, I can't imagine going back to the cheaper model I used to have. This is the ultimate dehydrator. It is absolutely top-notch and I cannot say enough good things about it.

In my previous review, I mentioned the main reasons that I chose to go with an Excalibur Dehydrator in particular:

  1. Large, square shaped trays (as opposed to round with a hole in the center). The means no more wonky-shaped fruit leather. No more grains falling through the cracks into the dehydrator motor. Less wasted space in arranging items on the tray.
  2. Adjustable trays. You can remove the tray above if you're drying something tall to give it more space. You can remove all of the trays to do something like mason jars with yogurt, or for rising bread. You can remove the bottom half of the trays to do pint sized jars of yogurt and still keep drying nuts or herbs or fruit on the upper trays. The possibilities are endless!
  3. Trays that slide out through the front. With a round dehydrator, I had to lift off all of the top trays in order to access something in the middle or on the bottom. With the front access, I can just open it up and pull out the exact tray that I want to see.
  4. A heating/fan unit along the back, rather than down at the bottom. This allows for more even heating of the entire dehydrator and items that finish more or less at the same time.
Read the rest of my previous review.

There are so many things that I use my dehydrator for! These days, the most common is probably for making crispy nuts (nuts that are soaked and then dried). I also use it frequently for making granola, for soaking and dehydrating oats for granola bars, for drying herbs or vegetables, for making dried apples or pears or fruit leathers, for making "cheese" crackers... just to name a few.
One additional feature about the model that is being given away is a 26 hour adjustable timer, so that you can set the dehydrator to turn off while you are out or during the night, so that you don't over-dry things or waste energy! This is new since I bought mine, but it would be such a handy feature to have!
To learn more about my thoughts on the Excalibur Dehydrator, definitely check out my review.
Another great place to learn more is in this promotional video. I wanted to embed it into this post, but wasn't able to. It's worth clicking through and visiting their website, though, so that you can get more of a feel for how the dehydrator functions and what makes it unique.

So who wants to win themselves a Deluxe Excalibur 3900 9-Tray Dehydrator ($220 value)?

To streamline giveaways a bit more, we are experimenting with a new system. Rather than leaving multiple comments to get all of your extra entries, simply click on the link below and complete one survey, checking off the entry options that you have completed! That's it!

Click Here to Enter the Giveaway!

Giveaway ends Friday, June 25th at 4pm PST.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Plan for the Future...

It would be great to have one of those!  And time to do so :)  I did recently have 24 hours to myself, away from everyone, got to do things by was weird and wonderful at the same time.  It was a gift from my husband - he watched the girls, they did fine - and I got to catch up on a bit of reading and TV watching (we don't have live TV in the house, so I watched it in the hotel room...still nothing on!  So glad we don't have cable or dish or whatever :). 

I did get to start planning for the immediate future of homeschooling my 4 1/2 year old which is starting in August.  I have the first day of school planned: we are going to the beach!  Hopefully all day or at least most of it.  After that...well... I have curriculum from Oak Meadow that I will be working from.  And this first year (kindergarten) is really practice anyway.  If I can homeschool this year, I can homeschool all the years!  Of course, now that I think about it, that will be (in total with both girls) 17 years at least!!  wow.... but let's just try the first year and not think of the rest....

And in my immediate future (this month), enjoy Mother's Day, shop for shelves, purge, reduce, and clean my house...without a working vacuum.....and get backyard chickens...I wonder how much grass two chickens can eat?  (my lawnmower is not working...)

Friday, March 12, 2010

Follow-up to "My 3-hour-tour..." 2009

Last year, I gave birth to my second daughter.  It was beautiful and wonderful!  And it was at home!  My midwife discovered a vaginal cyst and it was decided to go to the hospital for quick removal and then back home....three days later (!) we left the hospital.  Read my postpartum story here

Go ahead.  I will wait.  Get yourself a drink and read it if you haven't before.

Why did I have elevated liver enzymes?  They never could figure it out...  I went to another GI doc as an outpatient and he wanted me to have more tests done...SCREW THAT!  I never had it done.

Then today I came across this article on shower curtains and volatile organic compounds (VOCs).  And I remember reading something many months ago (1, 2, and 3 different articles - I can't find what I did read originally) about how VOCs can cause a variety of problems, including elevated liver enzymes. 

The key element in this is that I bought two new shower curtains - one for my shower and one for my bed - for the birth.  I had been exposed to VOCs without even knowing it!  And that, I believe, raised my liver enzymes, causing an unnecessary problem of me being in the hospital for three agonizing days!!  It kills me because I carefully chose a no-VOC paint to use in the bathroom just shortly before the birth.

I currently have a shower curtain from IKEA that is either low- or no-VOC, so I hope I don't have to worry about that....just wish I had time and energy to clean my bathtub ;)

Saturday, February 20, 2010

And here we are...

Daciana, my second child, will be one year old this Thursday.  I could continue with a cliche, like "time flies," but I already did that.  I have tried to be in the moment with her as much as I could, trying to balance my attention with everyone else in the house.  It is very hard.  

I have talked to other Mamas about maternal guilt and they have all encouraged me to know I am doing the best I can and to not let guilt have any of my precious time.  This is also a hard thing.

Advice has been given to "Make time for yourself."  This is possibly the hardest thing to even think of.

I know that Motherhood is a very difficult position for a woman to be in.  I chose this.  I wanted this.  I got it, I am in it.  I love my girls, and at times, they are very....challenging.  Life is constantly testing me.  Right now, I feel like I am failing.  I have a wonderfully crafted sickness that involves much mucus and constantly hacking up a lung, which lowers my energy to zero.  Mothers don't get sick days - we don't have the time!  I am already behind on everything, why do I have to get sick now?  *cough*cough*wheeeeze*

I know.  I can hear you yelling, "This is just a test!  You can pass it!"  And then along comes an email from a dear friend (here is an excerpt):
"We really need moms just like you, the ones who have had such diverse challenges and experiences, and are setting such a good examples for other moms to follow. It gives them hope and faith that breastfeeding and committed mothering really do work and payoff with great rewards.

"It’s my pleasure and privilege to be with you and the girls ~ they are such precious angels and YOU are such a wonderful role model of good mothering. I have used you and [Daciana] as good examples of kangaroo mothering many times.  The time I spent with you at the LLL [La Leche League] conference seemed miraculous ~ I’ve never been around a baby for that long w/out hearing them cry ~ multiple times.  {I wish I’d known about it when I was a young mom.}

"I think you’re probably really wise to realize that the meeting environment can be a challenge for Anastasia ~ I wish more moms were as tuned in to their children’s needs as you are!!!  This world would be a much better place."
I took the girls to the last La Leche League meeting which was at night and kind of last minute, so no time to prepare Anastasia in my expectations of her, and since we are no longer a breastfeeding pair (it's all for Daciana now), she didn't have anything to do or look forward to.  It got a little crazy.  There were lots of little babies and she wanted to play with them all like she does her one year old sister.  So we left the meeting early after I warned her many times to chill out.  Future LLL meetings will also become another Daddy-Daughter night.

God only gives you what He knows you can handle.  I know this to be true because I am still alive.  My life - and all its "adventures" - has made me stronger, and I don't think I am done yet.  At least I hope not.

Friday, January 1, 2010


New look for a new year...may still tweak it a bit here or there but i think this will be it for a while :)

HAPPY NEW YEAR 2010 !!!!!!