Tuesday, December 27, 2011

7 Months

Dear Sweet Little Taryn,

7 Months old.  We love you so much.  You are just moving all around.  You are still doing your army crawl and sometimes getting up on your hands and knees.  But on our pergo floor, it's easier to just slide along.

You just had your first Christmas where you were spoiled with presents from both of your grandparents.  Getting lots of new (very much appreciated) clothing too since you are wearing 12 month clothes!  And they fit waaay too well.  What will you wear at one year?  That's a scary thought, though, it's only 5 months away :(

You are LOVING food.  One morning you ate half a squash and an egg yolk.  Most foods are ok for you.  You've even tried some that aren't supposed to be for your age, like little satsuma oranges. There's lots of things you have tried by accident.  Like this morning you crawled up to a plate of chocolate cake that was left on the floor.  Oops.  But I caught you just in time.  You like egg yolks, squash, banana mashed with coconut oil, kale (another accident food), avocado, roast, ground beef, chewing on bacon, etc etc etc.  I think you like every thing.  You are just so opposite of Luke.  I think you like food a little too much.

I think of you as a continuum concept baby (from the book The continuum concept) because you just crawl around and explore until you've wet your diaper or until you are hungry and need something.  One of your favorite places is the pantry, pulling the potato bag down on top of yourself.  You're very lucky daddy saved you.  Otherwise you are just happy as can be exploring around the house.

EC is going pretty well for you lately too.  Sometimes you go in your diaper, but sometimes you just won't and insist that we pee or poop you in the potty.  And in the night you have to pee in the potty or you just won't settle back down, but you don't like any minute of waking up to do it.

You are still great in the car.  You're just great almost all the time.  You are so easy going.  You just are happy all the time.  And you are most happy when you are getting into your brother's train tracks, to which he says 'Mama, move Taryn!!'.  But you can't resist, you just love him and playing with him so much.

We love you dear Taryn.  You are growing too fast, you aren't our newborn anymore.  You are turning into a girl just way too fast.  You are so sweet and we love you so much.

Love, Mama and Daddy

Monday, November 28, 2011

6 months!

Dear little T,

You are so sweet and already half a year old. Wow.

army crawling
You have had two big things happen in the last month. Your first tooth came, the bottom left one. Sharp as ever. And boy do you bite like crazy now. Everything and anything. And now it hurts when you bite our fingers!! But when you pull me in to bite my head you have a funny grin on your face which is a good thing because it hurts so bad lol.

biting grandpa's cards

You also have learned to crawl! You do the army crawl now and you try so hard. It seems to really strain you but you haven't figured out the regular easier way.

Now since you can crawl, all the sudden your brothers toys are with in reach. He's gonna have to get used to that.

You've tried some foods on propose and on accident. Egg yolks, chicken liver, banana and chicken broth on purpose. Yams, squash, kale on accident. Yams gave you a diaper rash though so we'll wait a while before doing it again. And I let you suck on a piece of apple when I make dinner.

trying egg yolks

You seem to enjoy all the foods. Or at least experimenting. You will actually cry when we don't give you food that you want. Luke never did that so we think you are really eager to try new things.

hand in the broth

I can tell you are sleeping less now. But still wanting to sneak in naps when Luke is having a down time so you won't miss anything. And it seems like your teeth are bothering you at night some nights. Your 6 month check up is Friday. We'll see how big you are then.

Pickle is something else to you. When you catch a glimpse of him your expression says 'I can't believe my eyes'. And, of course, you love Misu.

brother and sister
You are just so sweet, we can't believe it's been 6 months. What blessed last 6 months it's been. We love you sweet Taryn.

Mama and Daddy

Monday, November 21, 2011

2 and a half

My dear sweet Luke,

You are something else, something special. We love you just so much more everyday.

You are growing like crazy. And really growing out of your clothes!! We had to say goodbye to all your 2t clothes and welcome in 3t.

You say so much more now. Sometimes I don't even know where you come up with things. Like...

Luke: I want the dryer
Ben: you wanna look at the dryer?
Luke: no I want to get in the dryer

You still have cute things you say like you say your name is 'nuke' even though each day the n is sounding more and more like L. And when you give our dog, Misu, a treat you say 'good Grill, Misu, good grill'. You don't have to ever get those right though because it's just so cute.

You also are quite assertive. I say I'll get it and you say 'No! Let me get it'. Or I say 'oh look it's a dump trunk' you say 'No! That's a dump truck!' You remind me a lot of myself, sometimes I wonder if that's good or not ;)

You like playing with trains, your guitar, cars and all my stuff in the kitchen. 

You watch Kipper, Wonder Pets, Rugats, Wheels on the Bus, Clifford and random Youtube videos of Sesame Street or Trains.  Everything else is 'too scary'.

You love to sing.  You have memorized a lot of songs, all of the ones we sing at Mass... Gloria, Holy Holy, Alleluia, and Lamb of God and you walk around singing those.  You also know most kids songs, Wheels on the bus, twinkle twinkle little star, ba ba black sheep, where is thumbkin, etc.

You LOVE to read. And I am surprised by your interest in longer books now. You love to read all different books from the library, your kids bible your god parents bought you, and almost any book laying around. There's a couple books you like so much you've memorized- Thomas and the school trip, Stuck in the mud, Terrific Trains- and you read them to me.

reading with Daddy

We think you're pretty sharp too. You can count to 20. You learned the ABCs from this song that we listened to about a year ago. You recognize the symbol of pi, thanks to Daddy. And your memory is astounding. How do you remember so much from so long ago?

You are potty graduated. You basically 'trained' yourself. But we've always been ECing so it came pretty natural.

Your favorite foods are eggs, bacon, sausage, bananas, apples, pears, nuts, cheese, and chocolate just to name a few. You like most veggies. And you even sneak tastes of raw eggs and ground beef. You eat pretty well but Mamas milk is still #1. When you were sick recently I asked you 'can you take this medicine before you nurse' You said 'no no no the milk is good.'  I am so very thankful you are still nursing, you have only gotten sick once in the last year and it wasn't so bad.

Cooking is also something that you have always and still enjoy doing. Recently you learned how to make Mama coffee by yourself. And cracking eggs is your new thing. You are very involved in the kitchen and I love that.

You are the big brother around here and you are such a great one too. When Taryn cries you say 'she needs her Mama' or 'she needs to nurse'. You are always concerned when she's not around and with Daddy. You always say Where's Taryn?

And even though you both are my babies, you'll always be our first born. You are the one that made us parents.  You'll always have a special place in our hearts. We love you more than you know.


Mama  and Daddy

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Sick and Today

We have been sick. We all caught a cold. Taryn seeming to get it first. She got a lot of snot and a cough. Then we all got it, not thinking it was too bad. Boy was that a mistake. My husband came down with walking pneumonia after a couple of little sleep days and lots of stress with work. He was really sick for a couple of days. He actually went into the ER in the middle of the night because he couldn't breathe because he felt so sick. They gave him and inhaler and antibiotics that helped immediately. I slept terrible that night which probably added to my sickness and about a week later I suffered from a sinus infection. Thankfully my husband was about recovered. Luke was sick too with that nasty two year old snot and cough. Both kids had it very minor, thank you breastmilk!!
I still have sinus congestion. I actually got pretty bad and ended up on antibiotics too which I am terrified of. I know they disrupted my gut a little and that's a shame. Lots of probiotics for me and bone broth.
Today my husband is healthy back at work, my kids are healthy and I am almost better just still have a little congestion. We went to the library this morning for story time and to return some overdue stuff. I forgot how hard it is to get two kids out of the house. My house is currently a disaster again. I probably should do something to help the stress level when I wanna go somewhere. Hopefully it gets easier when they get older.
Taryn is really trying to crawl, see her at the library....

Monday, November 14, 2011


This is for Let's Take the Metro's challenge for posting 100 things I'm thankful for on Thanksgiving.

These are not necessarily in order. :)

1. God, my creator

2. Jesus, my savior

3. The Holy Spirit, my companion

4. My spiritual mother, Mary.

5. My husband. I would be nothing with out him. He is the best thing that's ever happened to me.

6. Luke, my sweet first born

7. Taryn my little love

8. My Dad. He raised me and I am forever thankful.

9. My step mom Lisa. My dad couldn't have married a better person.

10. My grandparents, my Catholic role models.

11. My grandma. She is awesome because she does things the old fashioned way so I've learned so much from her.

12. My inlaws. They are the best. So great, I think of them as my actual parents too.

13. My brother in law and

14. sister in law and

15. my niece Kenzie

16. and nephew Kruz

17. Usa. My best friend.

18. Lisa my best mommy friend and my all day texting partner.

19. Friends

My cousins
20. Jill & Bryan

21. Erin

22. Laurel

23. Bradley

24. Amy

25. Elisa

26. Holly

27. Heather

28. And all their kids

29. My Uncle Chris

30. Aunt Debbie

31. Cousin Frankie

32. Cousin Carley

33. Aunt Kathy

34. Aunt Janese

35. Uncle Ted

36. Grandpa Raymond

37. Being Catholic.

38. My cat Pickle

39. My doggy Misu.

40. Having a house.

41. My husband has a job.

42. I get to stay at home with my kids.

43. Coffee

44. That we have savings.

45. Our local library. The story time is awesome.

46. Water. We had our water shut off last week because we forgot to pay te bill lol. Anyway I felt grateful that it was so easy to call and pay. Some people cant pay and just have to have it shut off :(

47. My car.

48. The bible.

49. The daily reflections website I read every day.

50. The Internet.

51. One of my really awesome Mama friends Holly, her daughter Aiden and her husband Josh. They are. Such an awesome Jesus loving family.

52. The house I grew up in.

53. The time I got to spend with my mom before she died.

54. Coming from a small town.

55. My basketball career. More like I'm thankful basketball was my life growing up.

56. Love.

57. For God letting me know that my husband was the one the first time we hung out.

58. Natural Family Planning. Such a gift to my marriage.

59. Thankful for the awesome farm we live close to that provides is with high quality meat. Grass fed beef, pastured pork and chicken and eggs!

60. That we got a once a month gig at the farm. We get paid in meat and eggs.

61. That we live close to a raw milk provider for my husband. He loves the milk.

62. Thankful we live close to a farm that does a year round CSA.

63. Finding out about living Primal.

64. Facebook. Yeah I know, pretty lame, but I can get updates about family really fast.

65. That we have heating.

66. That we have power.

67. That my dad was a math teacher

68. And my basketball coach

69. A family photo session

70. The Solemnity of Christ the King

71. My friend Usa is spending the holiday with us and my family.

72. Our neighbors. They make us feel safe here.

73. Hot showers

74. That we can afford food especially for our kids.

75. That I got to grow up with just my dad. Im not glad my mom died but I'm lucky to have had such a special childhood with my Dad.

76. That I know how to cook

77. My friend Jocelyn and her family

78. That God is ever so forgiving.

79. Parenting blogs I read

80. Paleo blogs I read

81. That I always have something to talk about with my husband.

82. Summer

83. That it rains most of the time instead of snows where I live.

84. Flowers

85. My summer garden

86. The Sun

87. The moon. My son loves the moon.

88. The Saints that show us how to live.

89. The Rosary

90. The Divine Mercy Chaplet

91. The people who have fought for our country.

92. Bacon.

93. Friends.

94. Sunday dinners at my grandmas as a kid.

95. my birth mom for choosing life

96. Father Theo

97. Family Time

98. That Luke can say four prayers perfectly. Hail Mary, Our Father, Grace and Bless himself.

98. Sunday's

99. Beautiful falling leaves

100. The Church liturgical seasons

There are so many things I'm thankful for and so many more things I've probably forgot.
Happy Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Growing Up in the Kitchen

Welcome to the November Carnival of Natural Parenting: Kids in the Kitchen
This post was written for inclusion in the monthly Carnival of Natural Parenting hosted by Hobo Mama and Code Name: Mama. This month our participants have shared how kids get involved in cooking and feeding. Please read to the end to find a list of links to the other carnival participants.

My daughter watching me cook!
I love to cook and try new things in the kitchen.  I always have.  When I was a kid, I used to watch some cooking show on TV that always led to me asking to make dinner that night.  It was just me and my dad when I was growing up.  My dad was all for my experimentations because he didn't like to cook.

I worried that once I had kids it would mean less time in the kitchen.  In fact, people even told me that they don't have time to cook anymore, that life with kids was too busy for home cooked meals.

But I figured out how to do it.  You let your kids help!

One of my son's first times stirring
Ever since Luke was a baby, he's been in the kitchen with me.  Even as far back as I can remember I used to hold him while I made coffee, explaining everything as I was doing it.  Then when he got a little older he sat in the  Bumbo holding (and chewing) on a spatula watching what I did.  Then he got a little older where he could stand and almost walk, he played with stuff in the sink.  

Concentrating on cracking eggs
The next stage was the hardest for me.  He was able to walk and stand sturdy on a chair.  He wanted to help me stir in the hot pan.  I let him, even though I worried a little about him burning himself.  But I figured once he did it, he'd learn exactly what he needed to.  Don't touch hot pans!  He did it once in the early cooking days, and he rarely ever burns himself now, probably about as often as I do now.

Now he's always in the kitchen helping me by using knives to cut, stirring, and his latest obsession- cracking eggs.  He also likes to just play around, he likes to get into my spice cupboard and taste spices.  He wastes things sometimes, too, but it's worth it to me to let him experiment.

Even though he's only almost 2 1/2, I know he has an appreciation for food and what it takes to make a meal.  I want him to grow up with the knowledge of how to cook and have the tools to nourish himself. 

Sometimes things go slower or get way more messy than if it were just me but what a beautiful thing to see a child learning to create in the kitchen!

How do your kids help you?

Carnival of Natural Parenting -- Hobo Mama and Code Name: MamaVisit Hobo Mama and Code Name: Mama to find out how you can participate in the next Carnival of Natural Parenting!
Please take time to read the submissions by the other carnival participants:
(This list will be live and updated by afternoon November 8 with all the carnival links.)
  • Baking & letting go — Cooking with kids can be a mess. Nadia at Red White & GREEN Mom is learning to relax, be patient, and have fun with the process.
  • Family feeding in Child of Mine — Lauren at Hobo Mama reviews Ellyn Satter's suggestions for appropriate feeding and points out where her family has problems following through.
  • Children with Knives! (And other Kitchen Tools) — Jennifer at True Confessions of a Real Mommy teaches her children how to safely use knives.
  • "Mommy, Can I Help?" — Kat at Loving {Almost} Every Moment writes about how she lets her kiddos help out with cooking, despite her {sometimes} lack of patience!
  • Solids the Second Time Around — Sheryl at Little Snowflakes recounts her experiences introducing solids to her second child.
  • The Adventure of Toddler TastebudsThe Accidental Natural Mama shares a few things that helped her daughter develop an adventurous palate.
  • A Tradition of Love — Kelly at Becoming Crunchy looks forward to sharing the kitchen traditions passed on from her mom and has already found several ways to involve baby in the kitchen.
  • The Very Best Classroom — Alicia C. at McCrenshaw's Newest Thoughts reveals how her kitchen is more than a place to make food - it's a classroom!
  • Raising Little Chefs — Chef Mike guest posts on Natural Parents Network about how he went from a guy who couldn't cook to a chef who wanted to teach his boys to know how the food we love is made.
  • In the Kitchen with my kids — Isil at Smiling like Sunshine shares a delicious soup recipe that her kids love.
  • Papa, the Pancake Artist — Papa's making an incredible breakfast over at Our Mindful Life.
  • Kids won't eat salad? Try this one! — Tat at Mum in Search is sharing her children's favourite salad recipe.
  • Recipe For a Great Relationship — Cooking with kids is about feeding hearts as well as bellies, writes Hannah at Wild Parenting.
  • The Ritual of Mealtimes — Syenna at Gently Parenting Twins writes about the significance of mealtimes in her family’s daily rhythm.
  • Kid, Meet Food. Food, Kid. — Alburnet at What's Next? panicks about passing on her food "issues" to her offspring.
  • Growing Up in the Kitchen — Cassie at There's a Pickle in My Life shares how her son is growing up in the kitchen.
  • Harvesting Corn and History — From Kenna at School Garden Year: The kids in the school garden harvest their corn and learn how much history grows in their food.
  • My Guiding Principles for Teaching my Child about Food — Tree at Mom Grooves uses these guiding principles to give her daughter a love of good food and an understanding of nutrition as well as to empower her to make the best choices for her body.
  • Kitchen Control — Amanda at Let's Take the Metro writes about her struggles to relinquish control in the kitchen to her children.
  • Food — Emma at Your Fonder Heart lets her seven month old teach her how to feed a baby.
  • Kitchen Fun? — Adrienne at Mommying My Way questions how much fun she can have in a non-functional kitchen, while trying to remain positive about the blessings of cooking for her family.
  • Kitchen Adventures — Erica at ChildOrganics shares fun ways to connect with your kids in the kitchen.
  • Kids in the Kitchen: Finding the Right Tools — Melissa at Vibrant Wanderings shares some of her favorite child-sized kitchen gadgets and where to find them.
  • The Kitchen Classroom — Laura at Authentic Parenting knows that everything your kids want to learn is at the end of the ladle.
  • Kids in the Kitchen — Luschka from Diary of a First Child talks about the role of the kitchen in family communication and shares fun kitchen activities for the under two.
  • Our Kitchen is an Unschooling Classroom. — Terri at Child of the Nature Isle explores the many ways her kitchen has become a rich environment for learning.
  • Montessori-Inspired Food Preparation for Preschoolers — Deb Chitwood at Living Montessori Now shares lots of resources for using Montessori food preparation activities for young children in the kitchen.
  • My Little Healthy Eater — Christine at African Babies Don't Cry shares her research on what is the best first food for babies, and includes a healthy and yummy breakfast recipe.
  • Two Boys and Papa in the Kitchen: Recipe for Disaster?MudpieMama shares all about her fears, joys and discoveries when the boys and handsome hubby took over the kitchen.
  • Food choices, Food treats — Henrietta at Angel Wings and Herb Tea shares her family's relationship with food.
  • learning to eat — Catherine at learner mummy reflects on little M's first adventures with food.
  • The Night My 7-Year-Old Made Dinner — Melodie at Breastfeeding Moms Unite! shares how her 7-year-old daughter surprised everyone by turning what started as an idea to play restaurant into pulling off making supper for her family.
  • Cooking With a High-Needs Toddler — Sylvia at MaMammalia describes how Montessori-inspired activities and a bit of acceptance have helped her overcome hurdles in cooking while caring for a "high-needs" child.
  • Kids in the Kitchen – teaching healthy food choices — Brenna at Almost All The Truth shares her belief in the importance of getting kids into the kitchen using her favorite cookbook for kids to develop healthy food choices now and hopefully into the future.
  • Make Milk, Not War — Tamara at Tea for Three remembers the daily food fights as she struggled to feed a picky eater.
  • teaching baby birds about good food. — Sarah at Small Bird on Fire writes about the ways in which her family chooses to gently teach their son how to make wise food decisions.
  • 5 Ways to Enhance Your Baby or Young Toddler's Relationship with Food — Charise at I Thought I Knew Mama shares simple ways to give your child a healthy beginning to her lifelong relationship with food.
  • Toddler at the Table: 10 Creative Solutions — Moorea at Mamalady shares tips for preventing meal-time power struggles.
  • How My Child Takes Responsibility During His Mealtime... — Jenny @ I'm a full-time mummy shares how she teaches and encourages her 32 months old son on adopting good manners and responsibilities during his mealtimes...
  • megan — Kristin at Intrepid Murmurings shares six tips for overcoming some of the the difficulties of cooking with multiple young sous chefs, and a recipe they all can agree on!
  • How BLW has made me a better parent — Zoe at Mummykins shares how baby-led weaning has changed her approach to parenting.
  • My Budding Chef — Jenny at Chronicles of a Nursing Mom is no cook but is happy that her daughter has shown an inclination and manages to whip up yummy goodies for their family.
  • Kids in the Kitchen: An Activity for Every Age — Gaby from Tmuffin describes how she keeps her kids busy in the kitchen, whether they are one week old or two years old.
  • The Phantastically Mutlipurposed Phyllo — Ana at Pandamoly shares how Phyllo is used to create enticing dishes at home! Anything can be made into a Struedel!
  • Kitchen Kids — Laura from A Pug in the Kitchen shares her children's most favorite recipe to make, experience and eat.
  • Independence vs. Connection in the Kitchen: won't you please get yourself your own snack already? — Lisa at Organic Baby Atlanta wishes her daughter would just go make a mess in the kitchen. But her daughter only wants to do it together.
  • Grandma Rose's Kitchen — Abbie at Farmer's Daughter reminisces about her childhood and dreams of filling her kitchen with people, love, noise, and messes.
  • Healthy Food Choices for Kids — Jorje offers one way to encourage children to make their own healthy food choices at MommaJorje.com.
  • Cooking food to thrive rather than survive — Phoebe at Little Tinker Tales is trying to foster a lifetime of good food habits by teaching her children about the importance of avoiding junk, cooking healthy meals, and learning about the whole food process.
  • Evolution of a self-led eater — Sheila at A Gift Universe shares the story of how her son grew from nursing around the clock to eating everything in sight, without her having to push.
  • 10 Ways Tiny Helps In The Kitchen — Jennifer at Hybrid Rasta Mama explores the ways in which her toddler actively participates in kitchen-related activities.
  • The Complexity of Feeding a Child — Feeding children a healthy diet is no straight-forward task, but Lisa at My World Edenwild shares some general guidelines to help your child thrive.
  • Lactation CookiesThat Mama Gretchen shares a fun recipe that will benefit both mamas and babies!
  • The Best Books and Websites to Inspire Kids in the Kitchen — Need inspiration to get your kids in the kitchen? Dionna at Code Name: Mama rounds up some of the best books and websites that can serve as a source for ideas, recipes, and cooking with littles fun.
  • A 4-year-old's smoothie recipe — Jen at Grow With Graces and her son set out to make a smoothie without the usual ingredients. She let him improvise. See how it turned out.
  • Independent Food Preparation (My Toddler Can Do That?) — Megan at Montessori Moments shares simple ways for children to prepare their own healthy snacks.
  • Follow Your Gut — Amy at Anktangle shares her philosophy about intuitive eating, and how she's trying to foster her son's trust in his own inner wisdom when he feels hungry.
  • A TODDLER-STYLE LUNCH + RECIPEManic Mrs. Stone photographs how to have messy fun during lunchtime with a helpful toddler.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Wordless Wednesday- singing to his sister

This morning I got to watch my kids play together. It's starting to happen more and more now as Taryn is becoming more responsive to Luke by smiling and laughing. He loves it. It makes me glad that they are close together in age.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Just Today

I got together with the woman who gave us our dog's daughter and her daughter. Yeah that sounds weird. or I could say our dog breeder's daughter and her daughter. Well, whatever.

Anyway they came over today. Her and her husband and daughter moved a few months ago from the east coast. She had previously been an attorney until she had her daughter and her husband just finished his residency. They are like the Cosbys. Lol.

Her daughter is almost 6 months old almost exactly 1 month older than Taryn. So that was cute. Luke was surprisingly pretty interactive with her baby. It's cute he knows how to play with babies now because of his sister and it is so awesome and really sweet. He kept asking me 'what that baby say?' when she squealed. Then I told him her name was Annalee. And he repeated 'Annawee' so cute.

I had a really good time with my new friend. I hope she likes me and we cam hang out more!

The rest of our day was boring, we killed some time at the library before my husband came home. Then we watched a little Netflix and before you knew it he was home. Then I made everyday paleo salisbury steak with yam fries. Later while Ben was out walking Luke to sleep I was cleaning the kitchen with little T and we made heated coconut milk and pumpkin spice a dash of cinnamon and coconut oil. Stay tuned for that recipe, it's like a paleo hot buttered rum (minus the rum tonight lol).

Well off to bed. According to http://Www.sleepyti.me/ I need to wake up at 7:17 or 8:47. Ha, yeah right.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Zoo take two

Last weekend we (as in the 4 of us) went to the zoo with our good friends and their 19 month old son. They were visiting from about 3 hours away. It was really fun to see them, we don't see them near as often as I'd like to.
We got there with only two hours before the zoo closed so it's a good thing we're members now. We also got tickets for the train, the last one of the day. But Luke's been on this having-to-poop-at-the-zoo tradition so we missed the last train. Fortunately later on, after the zoo closed we got to go ride the city light rail train with our friends downtown for some dinner. So we didn't miss out too much.
This time at the zoo, I saw the elephant pee (last time I saw the giraffe) and it was shocking the amount of water that comes out. It was like a bucket dumped out. It was very different from the giraffe who peed a steady stream for a very long time. Anyway, I wonder what animal I'll see urinate next....

Wordless Wednesday- Fun with markers

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Just Today

I got an email from our dog's breeder last night saying that her all day appointment was today.  We had confirmed for Thursday but I thought it had changed, but I was wondering if she had mistakenly said today when she meant to say tomorrow.  Anyway, she said she would be there around 1030. 

When we woke up I remembered La Leche League was today.  Started at 9.  Luke woke up ten minutes till 9.  We would have gone late if we wouldn't have had the lady coming to get our dog.  Then there was a fireman story time scheduled today at the library at 11.  But I couldn't leave until I knew if she was going to pick up the dog.  I waited.  I finally called, and I was right, it's tomorrow that she's coming to get the dog.  So we missed everything.  To pass the time until my husband came home for lunch we cut up apples to put in the food processor to make lacto-fermented apple sauce (more on that in a later blog post).

My husband came home at 1130 for lunch.  Then we went to an apple orchard because I wanted to buy their raw honey and get some apples.  I forgot the ergo for Taryn.  Blah.  So I was just going to buy honey since I couldn't exactly take the two out to the field with out the carrier AND pick apples.  But the lady said they had some already picked pears.  So I decided I'd get those instead.  And honey.  But they didn't have the jar we normally get, they either had the bear of honey, which doesn't last too long here.  Or a gallon size.  I bought the gallon.  Yes, a gallon.  We'll use it, eventually.

Stopped by my husband's work on the way back  home, gave him a pear.  Then we came home and I tried to nurse Luke down for a nap.  He didn't want it, but he was still happy thankgoodness.  So we played for about 30 minutes doing this silly game on the bed and then when he got tired again we nursed and he fell asleep.  Taryn was with us in bed, she nursed in between the two attemps to nurse and then after Luke fell asleep, she did too.

After nap, we made paleo banana muffins.  Then I tried to clean up a little.  Then we played in the play room until my husband came home.  Then I made dinner. 

The day went pretty fast and we hardly did a thing.  I love days like today.

Wordless Wednesday- Brother and Sister

Sometimes we go to the store at night... mostly to get something we need but also to play around and burn energy.  My kids go to bed late, so it's nice my son has a chance to run around a little bit inside where it's not raining.  We found these chairs at the store tonight.

 For more Wordless Wednesday photos see Hobo Mama

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Accounting for Taste

Welcome to the October Carnival of Natural Parenting: Money Matters
This post was written for inclusion in the monthly Carnival of Natural Parenting hosted by Code Name: Mama and Hobo Mama. This month our participants have shared how finances affect their parenting choices. Please read to the end to find a list of links to the other carnival participants.
I've been working on our budget on and off for the last year.  It was in my New Years resolution post, then I talked about it again as I continued to work on it.  And, let me tell you, it's still a work in progress.

I used this estimator for our budget from Dave Ramsey.  He creates categories and tells what percentage of your income should go to each category.  We already had a basic idea of what we spend each month on certain things.  So we adjusted it to fit us.  Our sample budget is here.  It's really simple.  We just have our set category amounts, then we write in every transaction.  Then we have a really really simple thing that subtracts what you spend out of what you start with.  The hard part is remembering to fill it out.  The good thing is that you want to make fewer transactions so you can fill it out less :)

I think I finally have all of our categories worked out.  We were really struggling sometimes at being able to stick to certain categories in our budget.  Our biggest problem, the grocery category and the personal category.  We were always in a conundrum, how could we eat how we want and still be able to do fun things?

What we do

raw milk
We wanted to have good quality foods at home which equals a higher grocery budget.  I want my kids to know where food comes from and we eat paleo.  We started a CSA fruit and veggie share, and got meat, raw milk and eggs from a local farm.  But have you ever bought grassfed beef?  Or pastured eggs?  They are more expensive than your typical grocery store meat and eggs.  Then raw milk... wow, it's a lot.  But I really want our family to know what real food tastes like.   And I feel happy that our kids don't eat junk that could cause them other health problems.  I know that eating no grains and sugar have limited mood swings and tantrums from my two year old. We think that even if we don't have money for other things the best gift we can give our kids is a lifetime of health.  How could we do this without going broke?  What does it mean for the other parts of our budget?

It means not going out to eat.  It means having to plan fun stuff and consulting the budget instead of doing things spur of the moment.  It means not having cable tv for football season (to watch those OSU Beavers!!).  There are lots of things we want, but we decided we need to be healthy first. 

mmm ribeyes from the farm
When we budget we always ask ourselves, is this something we could or want to live without?  Does it mean we would rather skip our nice farm meat for other meat just to get cable tv?  Well, the answer is no.  Asking those questions makes it clear what your goals are... especially what's best for your kids.

Luke checking out our csa veggies
Asking ourselves what we wanted to spend our money on made all of our other budgeting easier.  We understood what we wanted to buy and it made it easy to hold off on non-essentials.  There's a lot that we are sad we can't do now but compared to good food we know it's just not as valuable.  I really recommend deciding on what is important to you as you go about making or tweaking a budget, it helps prioritize.

Here are some other tips for sticking with a budget that have really helped me.

- Don't spend money until you know how much is available in your spending category. example- don't buy a pair of 30 dollar shoes and come home to find out you only had 20 dollars left in your clothing budget.

- Ask yourself what you can live without.  example- we don't have cable because we'd rather use the extra amount on food.

-Save for what you really want. This seems obvious, but how often do you impulse buy and then you realize later you'd rather have saved up for something else?  example- we really want a couch in our play room, but we'd rather try to save for a trip to Hawaii. 

- Plan ahead.  At the beginning of the month we look ahead to see what we will need to have money for.  Birthday presents, trips, extra food for guests at our house.  We noticed we still have money for fun kid stuff and toys when we planned ahead and skipped spending money on things that were on our 'want to buy list'.

- Little things add up.  Sure it only costs 5 dollars to go to coffee.  But then there's the lunch out for another 10 dollars.  Then there were those couple random trips to the grocery store.  Those add up!

- Go easy on yourself.  We are fortunate to have saved up money, so if we go over a little on a category some months while we're getting the hang of things it's ok.  We aren't punishing ourselves but just remembering what we could do next month to avoid it.

The biggest thing is asking yourself, what is most important for my family?  It may not be food, it may be that you want to have the option of going out to eat more often.  It may be that you want to have a small house because you'd rather spend your money on something else.  You can't have it all, so what's important to you?

Carnival of Natural Parenting -- Hobo Mama and Code Name: Mama Visit Code Name: Mama and Hobo Mama to find out how you can participate in the next Carnival of Natural Parenting!
Please take time to read the submissions by the other carnival participants:
(This list will be live and updated by afternoon October 11 with all the carnival links.)
  • Money Matter$ — Jenny at I'm a full-time mummy shares her experiences on several ways to save money as a parent.
  • A different kind of life... — Mrs Green from Little Green Blog shares her utopian life and how it differs from her current one!
  • Show Me The Money! — Arpita of Up, Down & Natural shares her experience of planning for parenting costs while also balancing the financial aspect of infertility treatments.
  • Material v Spiritual Wealth - Living a Very Frugal Life with Kids — Amy at Peace 4 Parents shares her family's realizations about the differences between material and spiritual wealth.
  • If I Had a Money Tree — Sheila at A Gift Universe lists the things she would buy for her children if money were no object.
  • Financial Sacrifices, Budgets, and the Single Income Family — Jennifer at Hybrid Rasta Mama looks at the importance of living within your means, the basics of crafting a budget, and the "real cost" of working outside of the home.
  • Overcoming My Fear of All Things Financial — Christine at African Babies Don't Cry shares how she is currently overcoming her fear of money and trying to rectify her ignorance of all things financial.
  • Confessions of a Cheapskate — Adrienne at Mommying My Way admits that her cheapskate tendencies that were present pre-motherhood only compounded post-baby.
  • Money MattersWitch Mom hates money; here's why.
  • Money? What Money?! — Alicia C. at McCrenshaw's Newest Thoughts describes how decisions she's made have resulted in little income, yet a green lifestyle for her and her family.
  • What matters. — Laura at Our Messy Messy Life wishes parenting through play was her only responsibility during the day.
  • Making Ends Meet — Abbie at Farmer's Daughter shares about being a working mom and natural parent.
  • Poor People, Wealthy Ways — Sylvia at MaMammalia discusses how existing on very little money allows her to set an example of how to live conscientiously and with love.
  • The Green Stuff — Amyables at Toddler In Tow shares how natural parenting has bettered her budget - and her perspective on creating and mothering.
  • Jemma's Money — Take a sneak peek at That Mama Gretchen's monthly budget and how Jemma fits into it.
  • 5 Tips for How to Save Time and Money by Eating Healthier — Family meal prep can be expensive and time-consuming without a plan! Dionna at Code Name: Mama shares five easy tips for how to make your cooking life (and budget) easier.
  • Belonging in the Countryside — Lack of money led Phoebe at Little Tinker Tales towards natural parenting, but it also hinders her from realizing her dream.
  • Total Disclosure and Total Reform — Claire at The Adventures of Lactating Girl gets down to the nitty gritty of her money problems with hopes that you all can help her get her budget under control.
  • Save Money by Using What You Have — Gaby at Tmuffin is only good with money because she's lazy, has trouble throwing things away, and is indecisive. Here are some money-saving tips that helped her manage to quit her job and save enough money to become a WAHM.
  • Two Hippos & Ten Euros: A Lesson in BudgetingMudpieMama shares all about how her boys managed a tight budget at a recent zoo outing.
  • ABBA said it — Laura from A Pug in the Kitchen ponders where her family has come from, where they are now and her hopes for her children's financial future.
  • Money vs. TimeMomma Jorje writes about cutting back on junk, bills, and then ultimately on income as well ~ to gain something of greater value: Time.
  • An Unexpected Cost of Parenting — Moorea at MamaLady shares how medical crises changed how she feels about planning for parenthood.
  • 5 Ways This Stay at Home Mom Saves Money — Charise at I Thought I Knew Mama shares 5 self-imposed guidelines that help her spend as little money as possible.
  • Frugal Parenting — Lisa at My World Edenwild shares 8 ways she saves money and enriches her family's lives at the same time.
  • Conscious Cash Conscious — Zoie at TouchstoneZ shares her 5 money-conscious considerations that balance her family’s joy with their eco-friendly ideals.
  • Money, Sex and Having it All — Patti at Jazzy Mama explains how she's willing to give up one thing to get another. (And just for fun, she pretends to give advice on how to build capital in the bedroom.)
  • Money could buy me ... a clone? — With no local family to help out, Jessica Claire at Crunchy-Chewy Mama wants childcare so she can take care of her health.
  • Spending IntentionallyCatholicMommy loves to budget! Join her to learn what to buy, what not to buy, and, most importantly, where to buy.
  • New lessons from an allowance — Lauren at Hobo Mama welcomes a follow-up guest post from Sam about the latest lessons their four-year-old's learned from having an allowance.
  • How to Homeschool without Spending a Fortune — Deb Chitwood at Living Montessori Now shares tips and links to many resources for saving money while homeschooling from preschool through high school.
  • It's Not a Baby Crisis. It's Not Even a Professional Crisis. — Why paid maternity leave, you may ask? Rachael at The Variegated Life has some answers.
  • "Making" Money — Do you like to do-it-yourself? Amy at Anktangle uses her crafty skills to save her family money and live a little greener.
  • Money On My Mind — Luschka at Diary of a First Child has been thinking about money and her relationship with it, specifically how it impacts on her parenting, her parenting choices, and ultimately her lifestyle.
  • Spending, Saving, and Finding a Balance — Melissa at The New Mommy Files discusses the various choices she and her family have made that affect their finances, and finds it all to be worth it in the end.
  • Accounting for Taste — Cassie at There's a Pickle in My Life shares their budget and talks about how they decided food is the most important item to budget for.
  • Money Matters... But Not Too Much — Mamapoekie at Authentic Parenting shares how her family approaches money without putting too much of a focus onto it.
  • Parenting While Owning a Home Business — In a guest post at Natural Parents Network, Lauren at Hobo Mama lays out the pros and cons of balancing parenting with working from home.
  • Crunchy Living is SO Expensive...Or Is It? — Kelly at Becoming Crunchy talks about her biggest objection to natural living - and her surprise at what she learned.
  • Mo' Money, Mo' Problems — Sarah at Parenting God's Children shares how a financial accountability partner changed her family's finances.
  • The Importance of Food Planning — Amanda at Let's Take the Metro discusses how food budgeting and planning has helped her, even if she doesn't always do it.
  • Kids & Money: Starting an Allowance for Preschoolers — Kristin at Intrepid Murmurings discusses her family's approach and experiences with starting an allowance for preschoolers.

Monday, October 10, 2011

First Farm Shift

We just recently asked if our meat farmer needed help running his farm store.  We noticed he had some other people help out sometimes.  He said he did and that landed us a once a month Saturday shift. 
You might wonder why we wanted to work there?  I've met some pretty cool people who go there to get their meat.  Most of them are traditional eaters including some paleo people.  So it's pretty cool to talk to them.  Also, we get free eggs and meat! 
This last Saturday was our first shift.  We work from 10-3.  It was kind of too long for Luke.  He loved it until he got tired around 1-2.  But the farmer said we could just work 10-1 while he gives his farm tour, or we were thinking that I could take the kids home once they get tired and my husband could stay.  Probably we'll just do the 10-1 thing.  Even though this week was a pretty long time to be there, we got 6 chickens, 6 dozen eggs and 3lb of pork out of it.  Not too shabby.

my husband and Luke looking around the farm

4 months! (really 4 1/2)

Dear Little Sweet Taryn,

Oh are you something else.  You just are so happy all the time.  You have such a deep love for life.  Your radiant happiness makes all of us happy.

You are SO grabby now.  Everything has to be in your hands and then in your mouth.  This includes my head, any of Luke's toys, anything you can reach from your bumbo chair - safe or not, and a piece of squash from my dinner plate!!  You spit it because you cannot chew and your gag reflex is too strong for you to swallow, so phew.  I am not giving you food till 6 months so you take your time! :)

Not only are you reaching and grabbing everything, you are so insistent to be put down on the ground sometimes.  You practically JUMP out of my hands to go play with some of your brother's toys.  You can sit up now.  Though, this happened a little after 4 months.  But you are so strong.  I'm afraid you will crawl way too early, because you are so desperate.  You've found ways of moving yourself around the play room so you can get some of those toys.

I can't believe how much you sleep.  It's funny because you actually do 'sleep through the night' even though we've done nothing to try to get you to do that.  I think you're just so worn out from watching Luke all day.  We can't complain though, we're tired :)

You are fitting into 6 month+ clothes now.  You have Papa's long arms too, because it seems that all your sleeves are too small.  And you have a huge head!

There is so much drool coming out of your mouth, we are just waiting for those first teeth.  Isn't 4 months too young?  I think so.  But I'm guessing that they'll show up in the next couple months, probably just in time for when we actually let you have some food!

I am just always so amazed about how observant your are.  You have to know what's going on all the time.  When new people come over you really watch them.  Then they talk to you and you give them the biggest smiles.  When Mama, Daddy or Luke come in the room you become 'twitterpated'.

You are just always SO happy.  Not a thing upsets you.  Even when you get hungry, you make a few cry outs to alert us, then you keep making a few ah noises while I lift my shirt, to let me know that you are, indeed, still hungry.   You also fuss when your diaper is wet, you really don't like that. 
When you wake up in the morning, we lift you up, and you rub your eyes and even though you are tired you give the biggest smile with your tongue sticking out.  Oh, so, cute!

You are our sweet little girl.  We love you so much and we can't wait to see what's next. 

Mama and Daddy


I'm so behind about posting.  I really want to keep a better record of what we do everyday so I can look back on my kids when they were young.  Gonna try a little harder :) Coming soon- Taryn's 4 month post (which has turned into 4 1/2 month post)

We went to the Zoo a week ago.  I have been wanting to try a trip up to the city for a while.  It usually takes around 40 minutes to 1 hour.  I was a bit nervous thinking I'd have to stop for Taryn.  Though, of course, she slept the whole way.  Luke and I sang to his 'Luke' cd that Grandma and Grandpa bought him last winter.  I'm driving my husbands car right now, we switched so he could get my brakes fixed and we haven't switched back.  His car's cd player works because a toddler didn't shove coins in his, haha.  
Anyway the trip up went well.  We got there and renewed our membership.  I brought our stroller just in case.  It was a good decision because sometimes I have to put Taryn down while I help Luke potty, nurse, etc.  And Taryn actually likes riding in it, so she took a few joy rides in it while we walked all around.  Luke walked most of the way until the end when I got the pleasure of carrying two kids back up the hill to the car while pushing a stroller, good times.

Overall, trip was successful!  I really wanted to try to go by myself, with out having the pressure of meeting someone.  It was a good way to start, and I'm happy it worked out.  I am so much less stressed about car rides now, because I just feel like I have more confidence and know what to do now that it's the second baby.

Here are some lovely pics of the Zoo!

I saw this giraffe pee for literally 3 minutes.  I kept looking back, and he was still peeing!

on the Zoo train

i just love him so much

Friday, September 23, 2011

A week of almost sick

Two weeks ago we were feeling a little down and out.  Taryn got a little congestion, I had a scratchy throat, and I thought Luke was a little congested though never actually got sick.
We made some play dough and had a really fun time playing.

the sick bug