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

Baby Led Weaning

We did baby led weaning with our son Luke.  I love the idea of baby led weaning.  But there's some glitches that I have noticed.

eating grass fed butter
With Baby Led Weaning you feed your kids a variety and let them choose what they want.  I love that.  I really think that is the best way to let kids go about eating.
You start them off by trying chunks of your food, instead of purees, letting them get a feel for new texture.

It is wrong to force foods into your child's mouth.  As a baby that could lead to choking.  As a toddler, its forcing them to eat when they just aren't hungry.  And it's good to let them try what you are eating. 

The idea is that if you are eating quality, healthy foods, they should end up choosing healthful foods in the right amount.
frozen blueberries from a local farm

Then we started eating paleo, off and on for the last year.  (Off during parts of pregnancy and really back on now that I've had my baby.)  There are some things I've noticed.  If we don't eat any grains or sugar at home, like any, like none at all, I mean none, even including family nights eating out for lunch or dinner, then my son doesn't want them at all. The only thing we have around is dark chocolate- 72% cocoa or higher or very minimal raw honey.

Snack/Lunch- raw milk cheese, banana slices, grass fed ground beef with zucchini.
It is, in fact, very clear to me that the cravings and wants of sugar stem from grain foods, sugar foods, and processed foods. When we are strict paleo, my son doesn't care at all about sweets.  A few months ago, when we were not eating paleo at all while I was pregnant, he wanted bread, he wanted that pretzel or cake at his grandparents. 

When we just stopped having bread in the house, he asked for it every day.  He would ask, we'd say we didn't have it because we didn't think it was good for us.  Once that subsided after about a week, he stopped asking.

Now we have none of that in our house.  It's not even an option.  I don't worry when he eats something not typical for breakfast or nothing at all.  Granted we are still breastfeeding, but his body knows if he's hungry or not.  It's just like how I feel some days, hungry at some meals, not hungry at other meals.  I've noticed that he really only likes two meals, and one snack. 

strawberry from the garden
When we go out, which isn't very often now, we don't let him choose between all the foods.  We let him choose between foods that we think are good foods.  It really sets the stage for later on in life.  That way, when he does eat sugar, like the few bites of cake at his grandparents, he understands what makes his tummy hurt.  And we tell him, if you have the cake, it could upset your tummy.  But that comes after eating very strict for a few months.  I don't believe he would have noticed before.

I think baby led weaning is great, with the right foods.  I just don't think it worked very well when we ate grains and sugar.  My son's little body couldn't decipher between cravings and needs.  The same is true for me.  The less sugar and grains I eat, the less cravings I get.

My daughter will be starting solids in two months and I'm still planning on doing Baby led weaning with her.  The idea behind it is great.  But, I'm really going to make sure she's got the right choices in front of her.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Say Please

Welcome to the September Carnival of Natural Parenting: Parenting Through Play

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 challenging discipline situations can be met with play. Please read to the end to find a list of links to the other carnival participants.


When Luke was a baby, while I was reading a lot of natural parenting blogs and books, I remember reading that kids learn better by action.  I know I always did.  I learn by watching others, and then I follow what they do.  A natural social cue that almost all humans do and probably with out realizing.

Can I have the rock please?
As my son approached the age where he was understanding what we say and observing how we socialize, I decided that's how I wanted him to learn.  Everyone's heard parents say to their kids 'Say hi' or 'Say thank you' or 'Say please first'.

I always wondered why I'd need to force him to do it.  Especially the 'say please' before I give you something.  I felt that forcing manners on someone wasn't very productive.  As he got older he'd do it just because I made him, not because he thought that's how people ask for things.

My husband and I decided to make a conscious effort to always say please and thank you to each other.  (which was good for us too ;) )  We worked at it, but we still don't do it all the time.  We also said please and thank you when asking him for something like saying please and thank you when playing with Luke.  'Can I see that toy please?'  Always trying to remember that play time could also be learning manners time.
Water Please Mama!

Fast forward about a year, while at breakfast, he says 'Water, please, Mama'.  I was taken back.  I had totally forgotten about how we got in our habit of please and thank you.  I realized, I had never been saying, 'say please before water'.  I had just been doing what we had been doing.  Soon after the 'please' (more like pwweeese) came the 'thank you's'.  Again, just by surprise one day.

I really think this is the best way a child can learn how to socialize.  He's not learning by force, he's learning by what he sees everyone else do.  We still are working towards him saying please and thank you to others, since he's going through a shy phase.  And we do slip up sometimes, I've caught myself doing the 'say hi', 'say bye', 'say please' etc.  But it's a constant reminder for me to remember that actions speak louder than words.

How do you teach your little ones social cues by action or playing?


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 September 13 with all the carnival links.)

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Still Primal

My husband and I started eating more Primal after Taryn was born.  We've kept it up for the last 3 months.  We hardly have had any 'cheats'.  A couple beers here and there, a bottle of spaghetti sauce (for primal meatballs) with soy bean oil, and a little bit of cake at my cousins wedding (only I had it, so technically my husband and son didn't cheat then ;).

But we're up for another challenge.   The big 30 day challenge starts on Monday on Marks Daily Apple.  Another chance to embrace the primal lifestyle.  We've pretty much got the diet part down, so we're going to have to see what we can improve on in the other aspects of our lives to be more primal.

A few goals I have thought of...

-Make sure the room is dark when we sleep.  As well as trying to turn down/off lights at night.

- More moderate exercise.  We could use a better routine.  I don't want to push myself too much  yet.  I'm just focused on nursing right now.  But I could do better at walks or some light weights.

-My husband wants to lower his blood pressure a bit.

- Less stress.  I lowered my stress last week by not trying too hard to change our schedule.

I'm sure we'll think of more this month too.

I can't believe how much being primal has really improved our lifestyle.  We eat better.  We have more energy.  We budget better because we want to have money for the best foods.  My son eats well,  very well. He doesn't want sugar or other nasty kids snacks.  He's ripped.  And (knock on wood) haven't gotten sick in a while.

So here's to another primal challenge!


Saturday, September 10, 2011

Another Attempt at a Schedule

My son is currently on a go to bed at 11 and wake up around 9-10 kinda guy.  Then he takes a 2-3 hour nap.  That is his usual, and its almost always predictable.

Somehow in the last month I got the idea that it would be nicer to go to bed earlier.  Looking back now, I can say, what was I thinking.

Ive been trying to push for an earlier bedtime at like 10 then waking up at around 8-9 then nap at around 1.  It has been a terrible last two weeks.  Luke has been moody, not very easy going, and kind of unhappy.  I have also been moody and, well, rigid.  On top of that we were trying to be a little more organized.  Like, making dinner on time when my husband comes home.  Like, making sure the house is picked up.  Being scheduled, you know, like 'normal' families.

We are not a normal family.

I gave up this last week.  It wasn't worth my son hating to nurse on the bed, always arguing with me saying nursing on the couch because he didn't want to go to bed.  He's NEVER not wanted to go to bed, he never fights going to bed, ever, until now.  It wasn't worth the moodyness on all party's just for a cleaner house.  It meant less time with my son, because now my time also divided with Taryn too.

This last week was amazing.  Happy kids, happy Mama, very happy Daddy (came home to a happy house), but  maybe not so much a cleaner house, and a little less sleep.  Ben and I have decided that a little extra sleep isn't worth it.  Our kids will be going to bed themselves in just a matter of a few years, why change a good thing? 

Another thing is that he sleeps WAY better and WAY longer when he isn't messed with.  When he goes to bed on his normal routine, he sleeps 12-14 hours almost every day.  He's so agreeable, so easy going, so fun.

I am happy.  I'm not listening to anyone else because this works for us.  We're just not the schedule type.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Two Paleo Tales Told at a Farm

Today I went to our local farm to get some eggs, which I do every weekend.   We also buy our meat there.  The meat is fantastic and it is grass fed and pastured beef, chicken, pigs and goat.  I usually drop by, pick up the eggs, say hi and off I go. 

We got a half a pig there a while back, and I was going to ask him today if he usually gives the fat with all the meat and I also wanted to get some liver there to eat.  I have been wanting to render some lard to cook with and I noticed that we didn't get any with our half pig.  But he said he often times doesn't put it in because people usually just throw it away.  So he gave me some, the package that was missing.  The other guy told me that their family also uses the fat to render and we talked about how he does it.  All of us got to talking and I found out that they both eat paleo too!  Each with a separate story.

The farmer was a corporate worker down in San Francisco.  He was starting to have a few health issues that he had been noticing.  So his wife and him decided one weekend to purge all of the stuff in their pantry, everything processed, all grains, all conventional dairy.  The next Saturday they went to their local farmers market.  They bought grass fed pastured meat, fresh farm veggies, and all raw dairy.  They ate that way all weekend.  On Monday when he was walking to work he was thinking about how good he felt.  And it had only been the switch over the weekend.  He talked with his wife and said we have to start growing and raising our own food.  So here they are 8 years later, farming.  He said he feels healthier than ever.

The other guy was a husband and a dad of two children, 9 and 7.  They had been eating paleo for 2 years.  He said when they switched they did the same thing.  They purged all the food in their pantry and went paleo.  He said his son was dyslexic and having trouble reading.  He was also having emotional problems.  They had been taking his son to see a psychologist.  He said his daughter would always come in their room at 6:30-7 in the morning and instead of 'good morning' she would say 'I'm hungry'.  If they didn't feed her with in a half an hour, the whole day was ruined.  She would be moody all day

They started eating paleo.  All the problems, gone.  He said his son immediately started reading, feeling great, and they didn't need to take him to see a psychologist anymore.  His daughter no longer came in their room in the morning, she was satisfied and could read in her room till 9 with out needing to eat.  He also said how great he felt.  He said he'd never go back.  He told me how his kids never cheat because they know how bad it makes them feel to eat sugar or grains.  He told me that it was great we were starting with our kids so young, because they won't know the difference.  His kids had a few weeks when they switched that they were unhappy with the new choices.

I feel so inspired by the stories I heard today.  People say paleo isn't for everyone.  But I think it's worth a try.  It's worth the try to feel healthy and to get rid of life time health issues.

The farmer finished with a story.  He said, it's funny how when one of his animals is not feeling well, or when your pets aren't feeling well you immediately think 'I wonder what they ate'.  He said it's so weird how humans don't think that way, almost all problems are caused by diet.  But we just try the next fad of diets or take pills.  We don't even think about how every little issue could be changed by what we put in our body.

It is so true.  It was a good reminder to think about what you eat.  People say, 'it's fine in moderation'.  Is it?

 You could be living abundantly.  Or you could be eating yourself to death.