Musings of a crunchy, domestic goddess

Just another mama musing about her kids, Attachment Parenting, activism, photography, and life in general

Brown rice, millet, quinoa – oh my! February 27, 2005

Filed under: Food,Health,Natural living,Vegetarian — amygeekgrl @ 2:20 pm

Having a child can make you examine your own eating habits a bit more closely. It’s true that Ava is only consuming breastmilk and baby food at present, but soon will come the day when she’s eating table food alongside Jody and me and I want that food to be as healthy as possible. Also we just found out Jody’s cholesterol is a little on the high side, so that’s another motivating factor for me to attempt to cook a bit more healthfully.

I have to say that for the most part our eating habits aren’t that bad. We rarely eat fast food (thanks in part to how turned off we were after watching “Super Size Me” – definitely worth watching if you haven’t yet seen it) or when we do it’s Taco Bell, and I try to make a lot of our meals from scratch though I do use box mixes or prepared foods as well.

I’m happy to say that since an organic co-op market opened up in our neck of the woods, I’ve been buying more of our food there (at least what I can afford). And I’ve discovered the wonders of bulk items like brown rice, millet and quinoa. I feel like a kid in a candy store filling up my bags full of these things. Hee hee. I used to be all about buying boxed instant brown rice, but now that I’ve made slow-cooked brown rice I’m never going back to instant! There’s a huge difference in the taste and texture of it. Slow-cooked is so much tastier! :)

It’s thanks to some of my friends that I’ve added words like millet, which is a grain, and quinoa (pronounced keen-wah, who knew?!), which is like a grain, to my vocabulary, and now I even know how to prepare them. (Woohoo!) Both are very healthy and I didn’t even know they existed. I have a feeling there are a lot of healthy foods out there that I’ve been missing out on. ;)

So far I’ve made the millet in a stirfry, using it as a substitute for brown rice. It’s really tasty. The texture is kind of crunchy, and I guess it feels almost like a nut. I made the quinoa with black beans which we used as a filler for burritos. It was pretty good, but I think I prefer the millet over the quinoa.

Anyway, I’m excited to have come across this grain and pseudo-grain. Now I need to go scour the ‘net for some recipes to incorporate them into our diet in new ways. :)

 

Everyone likes to feel validated ;) February 26, 2005

Filed under: Activism,Attachment Parenting,Health,Kids,Mothering,Natural living — amygeekgrl @ 7:26 pm

Since Attachment/Gentle Parenting isn’t the philosophy that the majority of U.S. parents subscribe to, it’s always nice to see a study (by Harvard, no less) that validates what we as APers are doing.

I’m lucky to live in an area where I’ve met families who have similar parenting philosophies to my own. But I know many others – who I’ve met on the ‘net through message boards – who don’t have that same kind of support network. I imagine that articles like the ones below are even more valuable to them because without support, you’re more likely to doubt yourself (at least I think I would). So that’s my motivation for sharing it, to let those APers know that they aren’t alone. Even though the Dr. Phils of the world may not agree with co-sleeping and it seems like so many people advocate CIO, don’t fret, Harvard researchers say it’s OK (and even good) to let your baby sleep with you or comfort your crying little one.

(This article dates back to 1998, but it recently surfaced on a Yahoo Group I frequent. Being that it’s 7 years old, it makes me wonder why this kind of information hasn’t made it’s way into mainstream society yet.)

Children Need Touching and Attention, Harvard Researchers Say

By Alvin Powell
Contributing Writer

America’s “let them cry” attitude toward children may lead to more fears and tears among adults, according to two Harvard Medical School researchers.

Instead of letting infants cry, American parents should keep their babies close, console them when they cry, and bring them to bed with them, where they’ll feel safe, according to Michael L. Commons and Patrice M. Miller, researchers at the Medical School’s Department of Psychiatry.

To read the entire article, click here.

I also ran across the following article (from the United Kingdom) that says much of the same thing re: crying, though this one is more recent – from November 2004.

Science shows up Supernanny

A mental health expert warns that fashionable advice to ignore your child’s tears may cause lifelong harm

Amelia Hill, education correspondent
Sunday November 7, 2004
The Observer

Nanny no longer knows best, the Contented Little Baby Book could undermine a child’s development, and Dr Spock’s advice that a child should be left to cry could cause psychological damage.

When it comes to the crowded and hotly debated world of how best to bring up baby, there is a new theory that uses brain scans to argue that controlled crying not only damages babies’ brains but produces angry, anxious adults.

For the entire article, click here.

 

Just doing my part February 25, 2005

Filed under: Activism,Ava,Breastfeeding,Family and Friends,My life,Natural living — amygeekgrl @ 1:52 pm

I’ve always felt lucky, blessed really, that I’ve been able to provide milk for my baby without any troubles. Unfortunately I know that for some women, that’s not the case. I know at least three women who have had trouble either producing enough milk for their baby or not producing any at all.

I bought a breastpump when Ava was 6 months old so that I could express some milk to mix with her cereal. We didn’t end up feeding her cereal for very long because it constipated her. So then I was left with a pump that I didn’t figure I’d have a use for anymore.

During that time I learned about a woman in my area who was expecting baby #3 and, while she wanted him to have as much breastmilk as possible, she knew based on her experience with her other two children that she couldn’t produce enough for him. Traditional formula wasn’t an option either because her older son was allergic to it and there was a good chance this baby would be as well.

She tried contacting the Mothers’ Milk Bank, and while her son qualified for milk with a doctor’s prescription, the milk was just too expensive for her family to purchase.

When I heard that she needed breastmilk for her newborn I e-mailed her to offer up mine. Since I’ve been so fortunate to feed Ava, I wanted to extend the offer to help out her baby. I thought she might be leery, as I would be, since she only knew me from a message board, so I provided her with my medical history, blood work results, and other information that I figured I’d want to know if I were in her shoes. She happily accepted and I’ve been pumping for the lil guy daily ever since (with the exception of when I had vertigo for a week).

I am so happy that I’m able to help her and her baby out in some small way. Now that I have a breastpump, I plan to donate my milk to the Milk Bank if/when I have baby #2. God’s blessed me with such a plentiful supply that I can’t imagine not helping out someone else if I’m able.

I’ve since met the woman and her sweet baby boy in person. And she’s since qualified for financial assistance through the Milk Bank so that she’s able to get some milk for free there as well. :) I plan to continue to pump for them for a while, at least another month or two.

If you are interested in donating breastmilk or learning more about Mothers’ Milk Banks in your area, please visit this web site.

 

An apology (re: epidural post) February 23, 2005

Filed under: Activism,Crunchiness,Health,My life,Natural childbirth — amygeekgrl @ 10:35 am

I’ve been thinking long and hard about my post re: the epidural shirts Target was selling and I want to make an apology. I also have other information I’d like to share and follow up on regarding epidurals and my original post, but I will do that at another time, in another post.

First of all, oy! What was I thinking making a post about epidurals (specifically sharing my excitement that a letter I wrote to Target made a difference) the very first post on my blog?! Could I have chosen a more heated topic??! I have to admit at the time I was just so elated that a bunch of women writing letters could bring about a positive change that I didn’t even consider that some people might read what I had to say and take offense at it. (Again, for the record, my issue was with Target for selling a shirt that advertised drug use, not with women who get epidurals.) I wish I would’ve posted something more tame – like an introduction telling about me and my reasons for starting this blog – before I delved into such controversy, but I can’t go back and change that now. Live and learn.

Back to my reason for this post. I realize that I made a generalization about women who receive epidurals and I don’t believe that was fair of me at all. I can’t speak for the reasons why women get epidurals. I should have made some clarifier, like “based on the people I’ve spoken with through my job and on various message boards, etc., I’m lead to believe that the majority of women don’t think twice about having an epidural.” But do I honestly know how thoroughly they’ve researched their options or taken into consideration the risks involved in receiving an epidural? No. (However, now I’m thinking about doing some polls to get a feel for their motivations, etc.) Anyway, my point is that it’s unfair for me to speak for anyone other than myself, so I apologize for making generalizations and I apologize to anyone who I offended by making those generalizations. I’m truly sorry.

Thanks for reading.

 

Happy (sort of) anniversary to us February 21, 2005

Filed under: Uncategorized — amygeekgrl @ 5:38 pm

Yesterday was the 7 year anniversary of the day Jody and I met in person. It’s amazing to think that it’s been so long since I got on a plane in MI and flew to OK to meet a guy I’d only known virtually for a year and a half.

The whole trip nearly was canceled about a week beforehand, but I decided (thanks largely to some prodding by my sister Carrie) that if I didn’t go for it and do it then, there was a very good chance that I never would. And then I’d be left forever wondering what might have been.

Am I glad I did it? Yes.

Has the journey to get to where we are today been an easy one? No.

Was it worth it? Yes.

Would I do it again? Definitely.

I could search the earth and never find another Jody. I love him for his wonderful – often wacky – sense of humor, his quick wit (which I’ve grown to match), his idealism, his convictions (and by that, I don’t mean crimes), his capacity to love, and for the amazing father he is.

I’m so happy that our paths crossed on the Internet so many years ago. I can’t imagine living my life with anyone else.

 

Toes to the Nose! February 19, 2005

Filed under: Ava,Breastfeeding,Health,Jody,Parenting — amygeekgrl @ 3:45 pm

I have to admit that I’m quite preoccupied with baby poop lately. I assure you it’s not some weird new fetish of mine, but is it too much to ask to want to see a diaper full of it at least every other day?

Since Ava is no longer breastfeeding exclusively, gone are the days of regularly occurring, non-offensive, runny, mustard poops. Even though that meant changing 3 to 4 poopy diapers a day, I have to say oh, how I miss it!

Now I hastily check each diaper hoping to get a smelly surprise. Who knew that becoming a member of the “mommy club” meant so closely monitoring the contents of your baby’s diapers?!

When she goes through a whole day or two (or going on three today!) without any grunts and nary a bowel movement save the ocassional toots, I start to get concerned.

When my husband goes upstairs to change her diaper, I yell up, “Any poop yet?” To which he usually replies, “No poop,” secretly relieved to have dodged that bullet. (It’s both amusing and disturbing how often and in what detail we can talk about baby poop around here.)

In the meantime, I prepare to perform my pooping exercises on her that go something like this. I lay her flat on the floor and pump her legs from a straight out position to putting her “toes to the nose!” as I like to exclaim, making the exercise into a game. I also massage her lower abdomen in a circular motion with my thumbs, thinking that maybe it will get her intestines moving.

Actually I can’t take credit for the logistics of the “toes to the nose” exercise. After Ava was born and had gone several days in the hospital without pooping, a nurse who prided herself on her ability to get any baby to poop (all the other nurses raved about her) came in and performed the ritual, while using a rectal thermometer to stimulate her uh, rectally. She was successful (Ava pooped a lot!) and was able to maintain her flawless pooping record.

I can’t say I’m ready to inflict the probe upon her yet. I just wish she would poop already so I could get out my Sharpie and mark a big “P” on the calendar and start counting the hours until her next big movement.

 

World On Fire

Filed under: Activism,Miscellaneous — amygeekgrl @ 1:17 pm

I’ve been a fan of Sarah McLachlan for a long time, at least since “Fumbling Towards Ecstacy” came out in 1993. I saw her in concert three times, twice at Lilith Fair. Her music has always seemed so powerful to me, so full of passion. She really seems to sing from the heart.

After recently discovering what she did with her “World On Fire” video, I have even more respect and admiration for her.

View the video here

Even if you aren’t a Sarah fan, this video deserves a look just for the message that it has.

I admire her for doing something different and donating nearly $150,000 (the typical cost of making a video) to charities around the world. Imagine if every artist did that with just one video, what a difference it could make.

Anyway, Sarah is an inspiration to me. She seems like such a grounded person who isn’t wrapped up in all the money and fame that can accompany stardom. She uses her status to help bring about change and make the world a better place and I think that’s awesome.

 

 
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