May 29, 2010

All Grown Up and Going to Nursery

 The Baby is 18 months now, and WOW has she blossomed into her own little person. She's finally decided to begin talking for real, starting with giving herself a nickname. It will only make sense to those of you who know her in real life, but it's Zsa Zsa. Yes, like Zsa Zsa Gabor. I have no idea how to spell that soft 'G' sound, but Zs seems as good as any.

She's getting to be even more opinionated and just a little mischievous. She likes to run away from Mommy in the store. Heaven help her if I don't notice right when she dashes off, because she is FAST! She also likes to steal The Boy's toys and then cry when he steals them back, which makes The Parental Units think The Boy initiated the stealing, if you can follow all that. I know the machinations of the toddler mind are beyond some. 
She's really quite sneaky. Good thing I already know all these tricks, having invented them YEARS ago when I was a young child. Well, maybe not that many years ago...
Also new is her clingy-ness. I blogged about that here. Obviously that has been not as much fun as the talking and singing. We found out she's allergic to all humus, not just the roasted red pepper kind, which probably means she's allergic to sesame/tahini. You should see the hives she gets when a little bunch of hummus gets smeared all over her skin!

Happy 18 Month Birthday (a few days late) Baby!
  Mommy is so excited to go to Relief Society with out you tomorrow. Maybe you can show your brother how to behave in Nursery. I heard you were stellar last week. :)

May 27, 2010

Nothing But Time

If you have ever wondered what would happen, should I have an endless supply of childcare and absolutely nothing to do, I have the answer. Over-posting on Facebook and truly obscene levels of chocolate consumption.
This is why God will never let The Hubs be rich.
With The Sister watching the kiddos and virtually no school work for me to do this week, I've had nothing to do. So I play on the computer, do Sudoku and eat. A lot. I got on the scale this morning and it was not a beautiful thing. It would have been even uglier had I not been spending upwards of two hours in the gym everyday attempting to mitigate the chocolate consumption of the previous day. It's not working.
Perhaps it's time to take up a hobby. I'm thinking something along the lines of marathon sleeping...

May 26, 2010

Corn Muffins

I'm an egg snob. Proof: I paid $4.49 for a dozen eggs this week. They were from free-range chickens (which IS different than cage free) and had not been fed anything with hormones, etc.
But just because I'm an egg snob does not mean I'm stupid. I still use cheap eggs for cooking...because I am poor. Expensive eggs taste better. Promise.
Today I wanted to make cornbread, but we only had the uber expensive eggs so...I searched the nets for an eggless cornbread recipe and came upon THIS little gem.

It's from a booklet called Foods That Will Win The War 1918

In case the link doesn't work, here's the recipe.

1 cup cornmeal
1 cup milk
1/2 cup bread flour
3 teaspoons baking powder
3 Tablespoons molasses
2 teaspoons salt
2 Tablespoons fat (I used oil)

A word of warning, this was WAY too much salt. But (close your eyes Southern Readers) I like sweet corn bread. Yum. I'm going to try them again, but next time I will halve the salt.

Crunchy Mommies

This is a paper I wrote for my sociology class on a subculture to which I belong. :)
It's boring. Promise.

     You've seen us; we’re everywhere. It doesn’t hurt that we’re also loud and proud of our parenting ideals. Some call us Granola Moms or Holistic Parenting Activists, but I prefer to think of us as Crunchy Mommies. We’re the ladies who birth at home, nurse well past the first year, wear our babies and shun bouncy seats, swings, TVs and other “parent substitutes”. Our entire world revolves around our children and raising them in the most natural and nurturing way possible.

One way to spot us is to look for symbols; visual signs that convey a meaning to a group of people who share a subculture. For Crunchy Mommies this would include things like baby slings, cloth diapers and wheat germ snacks. If a Crunchy Mommy has a baby that isn’t a good walker yet, you can bet she’ll have a Moby Wrap, ring sling, Mai Tai or some other soft cloth baby carrier to use instead of hauling her offspring around in a car seat. Die-hard Crunchy Mommies carry their toddler and baby in a soft wrap at the same time. CMs are typically environmentally minded and prefer to use cloth diapers the majority of the time, but since we’re also smart women, these aren’t the cloth diapers your momma used on you! Fuzzi Buns, G Diapers, Bum Genius and other newer brands are contoured and have a removable insert that flushes, so they’re less of a hassle than old school cloth diapers while still enabling Crunchy Mommies to be “Earth Conscious”. They also come in myriad designs so we can show off our Fashion Consciousness as well! CMs are also extremely aware of what we feed our children. You’ll see us in the supermarket reading labels and vetoing anything containing High Fructose Corn Syrup or trans fats. We tend to make most of our food from scratch so we know what’s in it and can ensure the proper nutrition for our families. Some obviously Crunchy ingredients include: bulgur, quinoa, wheat germ, soy beans, tofu and lots and lots of fresh vegetables.

Crunchy Mommy’s symbols are also what make up our material culture-or physical items created by our subculture. Lots of CM’s make baby slings and wraps to sell to other mommies. We whole-sale the cloth diapers of our chosen brand and even make and sell organic baked goods and other consumables. An example is a group of moms who created Bountiful Baskets, a produce co-op, which they run to allow other Mommies access to fresh produce at cost.

Crunchy Mommies also have their own language, or system of symbols we use to communicate with one another. You’ll hear us in spirited conversation over such things as VBAC, HBAC, HBA2C, water births, free birth, tandem nursing, baby wearing, co-sleeping, and free range kids. VBAC, HBAC and HBA2C are all related. VBAC stands for vaginal birth after cesarean. HBAC is home birth after cesarean and HBA2C means home birth after two cesareans. The reason there are so many Crunchy expressions involving child birth is because a bad birthing experience is often what leads a woman to become a CM. A Crunchy Mommy has realized the system is set up to benefit the hospital employees and doctors, not the birthing mom. Once she realizes this, she also sees nearly all the ways we are encouraged by society to interact with our children benefit others, not our children or ourselves-- which leads us to co-sleeping and attachment parenting. We are told by “experts” our children must learn to sleep by themselves before they can even talk, let alone care for themselves. Why? Crunchy Mommies question that logic and then embrace bringing the baby into the parents’ bed. This has the added benefit of easier night time nursing. Babies who co-sleep are generally happier and very well adjusted. We also embrace attachment parenting, which is a philosophy that encourages parents to keep the baby with them as much as possible. Hold, snuggle, sleep with and generally have your baby near you at all times. Slings and wraps make this possible. All my children enjoy being in the sling or wrap while I do my chores and fix meals. They frequently fall asleep during vacuuming!

Crunchy Mommies value, or hold as a standard, ideas that help them parent their children in the best way possible. For most of us, this includes the idea of keeping your child near you almost always while they are in the formative years. Crunchy Mommies are very careful about who they let spend time with their children. For example, my children do not attend day care, even the child center at the gym, because there, I do not control who interacts with my children. Before my pre-schooler is allowed into someone else’s home, I get to know the family first. I invite their children over to play and spend time with the mother. If I am even a tad cautious, my child doesn’t spend time without me in that home. Our teenage babysitters must spend several days in our home with all of us before I consider letting them tend my children alone. For the most part, we put our kids to bed and then the sitter comes over to make sure the house doesn’t burn down on date nights. Crunchy Mommies also prefer Joy School and home school to traditional public schooling because we value being able to teach our children in the way that best suits them. We are also in control of the curriculum, so if we want to skip over certain parts of culture that are taught in public school (like children’s stories about homosexuals) we can. With slightly older children, Crunchy Mommies appreciate the values taught in the philosophy of Free Range Kids, or children who are allowed to play outside unattended. They go to the park by themselves and other activities that help children learn their limits but that are generally frowned upon by the general populous.

The norms, or rules by which Crunchy Mommies live, state that each Mommy does what is best for her particular child without regard to society. Each CM trusts that every set of parents knows what’s best for their child/ren. This will vary family to family and child to child. The ideas described above, such as birthing at home and wearing your baby, cooking healthfully, and home schooling are generally regarded to be the norm among Crunchy Mommies. Lots of CM’s participate in produce co-ops like Bountiful Baskets to help achieve the eating healthfully goal on a budget. It’s also the norm for Crunchy Mommies to avoid working outside the home, which means most of us operate on a very tight budget. Most CM’s are grateful to be able to raise their children so holistically.

I didn’t start out life as a Crunchy Mommy. I was a normal person until an emergency cesarean changed my life forever. Once I got over the trauma that surrounded the very unnecessarean (another subculture word) I received, my Le Leche Group members opened my eyes to another way of living. I slowly started to participate in this subculture that felt an awful lot like it belonged in San Francisco, not Idaho Falls. The more I gave up how I thought society was telling me to raise my kids, the more I enjoyed parenting. I found that as my family made choices that moved us closer to each other, it also moved us deeper into this groovy subculture of Crunchydom. Now I’m so crunchy, you have to poor milk on me, just to choke me down!

May 23, 2010

Adjusting...Or Not

The Baby is NOT doing well.
She hates that I'm gone some of the day at school. Here's the thing, I only leave twice a day. In the morning for about 90 minutes and in the evening for 2-3 hours.
We were about ready to wean, since she's almost 18 months. In fact, we were down to twice a day. Now every time I walk in the door, she wants to nurse. She pulls my shirt up any time I'm sitting down. And if I cave, then she gets mad there's not a full meal waiting there.
What on earth are we going to do in a few weeks when I need to be at school ALL day?
I knew going back to school was a bad idea. Really, I did.
I love my children, but they've become so difficult with all the changes being thrust upon them I feel a sort of relief when I need to leave the house and that's the worst part; being happy to get away. I feel just awful.

The thing I keep coming back to is, it's never going to be easier that it is now to finish school. We'll just have more kids later. And it's never going to be cheaper than it is now, because the cost of school always goes up.
These things make logical sense, but 18-month-olds and 3-year-olds are NOT logical. Not even a little bit.

All they know is their mommy, who is always there, suddenly isn't. And now she's cranky, too.
Sorry babies! I hope you are young enough to forget this summer. I know it has scarred me for life.

May 20, 2010

Idaho Becky And The Case Of The Bagel Thief

The Boy wanted a bagel. We were going to the Evil Empire (Wal Mart) anyway, so I thought, "why not?" 
Then I started reading labels. Did you know that Lenders Bagels contain High Fructose Corn Syrup? As the THIRD ingredient? Also, their dough conditioner is derived from...chicken feathers. Yes, chicken feathers.
Ew. Ew. EW.
So I kept looking. Finally I landed upon a reasonably healthy bagel, which of COURSE cost over $4 for 5.
I brought them home and made dinner. Then I went to class. (Stay with me, the theft part is coming.) The Hubs took The Children to the park. The Momma and The Sister were both gone, so The Hubs left the back door unlocked as a way to re-enter the house when they were done at the park.
The next morning, I went to fix bagels and shmear for breakfast and noticed...dum dum dum...that two bagels were MISSING!
The Momma and The Sister had not eaten them. The Hubs and The Children hadn't seen them. Had I eaten them in my sleep? No, of course not. I sleep, in my sleep.
The plot thickens.
Who has DONE this horrible thing; eaten The Boy's ΓΌber expensive bagel? How cruel, you say! And you are right, dear reader, you are right. It is a most terrible plight. 
I accused The Sister. You know, the HONEST one, of eating not one, but TWO bagels. 
A day went by and then in dawned on me. 
It was THE OTHER sister! The one who lives across town and occasionally drops in to mooch food. 
When asked, she freely admitted to taking the food, quite literally, from my child's mouth. And she returned one of the ill-gotten bagels. The other had already been consumed. Sad day. She also offered to give me 50 cents. Which I refused. Because I am charitable. Which is why I'm writing this post. Really. 

May 18, 2010

Summer School, Dos

I started Summer School yesterday. To be honest, it was kind of anticlimactic.
The one class I was both dreading AND looking forward to was canceled.
Athletic Weights. 
(See? Fun AND scary!) 
Apparently I was the only one to sign up. Which is slightly more disappointing than taking the class with the entire basketball team, which is what I thought might happen.
Then I went to Sociology 101 which they may as well call Marxism 101 because that dude was mentioned no less than eight times in the first chapter of the text. Luckily, my teacher does not appear to be a Marxist, and as my cousin says, it's good to see things from another point of view.
I happen to think Marxism is the point of view of the Devil, but hey, it IS another way to see the world. And really, that's what sociology is; viewing the world differently.

May 15, 2010

Riddled With ADD

I'm just riddled with ADD, and I have proof. Here's a list of stuff that was going through my head last night as I was trying to fall asleep.

1. I wonder if the Queen of England ever goosed her husband in private?
2. Did he enjoy it?
3. Would almond butter have made my brownies more tasty? 
4. Why does Ironman wear an Iron suit? Wouldn't steel be more comfortable?
5. Is The Boy going to remember how naughty he was today in a year, five years?
6. Did I lock the back door?
7. Sociology is a crack science. 
8. I hate bootie shorts on teenage girls. Especially girls who have NO IDEA what they mean.\
9. Does Nicolas Sarkozy wear boxers or briefs?
10. Why am I wondering about world leader's and their bottoms?

May 14, 2010

Tree House Museum (Warning, Picture Overload)

We met up with some friends while in Northern Utah and hit up The Tree House Museum.
Here's way to many pictures of that visit.
Of COURSE there was a fire engine. 
And of COURSE The Boy had to drive it. 
Since he did
So did she.
And since my camera is old and stupid, it over-exposed even on automatic adjust.
Plus, I need to learn to take pictures.
Teaching him the proper way to bull ride was a trick. He didn't want to use the left hand to hang on, but he figured out the underhanded grip pretty quick.
Milking this cow was my favorite part. When stripped, the udder actually expresses liquid into the pail. VERY cool! Sam got wet, but I think that's because his daddy squirted him.
Here's the Prettiest Rodeo Princess EVER.
And here's her brother.
Here's the Little Momma. For some reason, all my pictures of her are over exposed. Do you think it could because she's SO white?

Here's my Scientist Son. 
He had a great time looking at slides and didn't really want to leave this station.
Which was OK, because it was right next to the baby area...
Which little miss, LOVED.
The Boy thought he'd try out the baby station, since The Baby liked it so much. 
But I can't tell if he's feeding or suffocating the doll.
Can you?
I have to say, I was a little irked at this display. I kept thinking, "yes, let's show that putting the babies in little sterile plastic boxes away from their momma's scent and heartbeat is A-OK!" 
Truly, it made me mad.
Moving On...

The Boy, with a monkey on his back.
The Hubs thought this was VERY funny.
Little Red. 
My camera died, despite two-day old batteries, so I had to switch to the cell phone camera.

More Fire Engine pictures, because we had to come back and play here.
The Hubs art project. 
He's so talented.
(Notice it's a winking imoticon.)
All the kids together. 
See that other baby next to The Baby?
She's only two months older.
Just say'n.

You made it!

May 12, 2010

The George

The Boy calls St. George, UT "The George". Or sometimes just "George". I think this is hilarious.
Example: "We going to The George today?" Or "I go see George today!"

Who could resist? So I took my kids to The George. We got to town late, because it turns out traveling with toddlers causes a rip in the space-time continuem making every trip take twice as long as it would with just me or The Hubs and me. Our first stop was my favorite biological uncle on my father's side. (yes, there is only one biological uncle on my father's side, and he's my favorite.) It's still a bit of a shock to see him because in many ways he is very like my dad. It's bitter-sweet to visit. I'm sure it's a tad painful for the rellies, also. Grandma gets weepy about Dad at least once per visit. We had a brief but enlightening visit
during which I learned both my grandparents are very ill. Not surprising because they are also very old, but still sad because they are two of the most amazing people I've ever met. The whole situation is making me wish I had listened better to their stories when I was a kid. (I wish the same thing about my Dad's stories.) Their stories are so much cooler than mine and it would be really awesome to tell them to my kiddos. I digress. Back to the trip.

After some seriously gross Mexican food purchased near the mall (which supports my theory all Mexican Food by malls is nasty, I mean, these guys didn't even offer ensaladas!) the kids and The Hubs stayed at hotel for baths while I made a quick dash to my Auntie's house for a brief, weepy, visit. Sensing a theme? Yeah. Me too. Now.

The next morning we visited my Grandma Cuella (yes, her real name. I had to tell it because it's SO weird, pronounce it "Q-la") and then headed to my other grandparents' assisted living community.
Here's The Baby and The GiGi.
And Three of my favorite Men in the entire world. :)

  After lunch, Grandpa taxied planes outside for my boys, and they flew planes on the computer. I painted GiGi's nails and read to her between coats. It was an AWESOME visit. 

Then we got BACK in the car and drove one of the best legs of the trip to date. The kiddos didn't wake up until Cipio, afterwhich The Boy morphed into a bear, and his little sister thought it might be fun to try grumpy on for size. But that's a story for another post.

Be Sure to scroll down for another pictures only post.


Here are some pictures from the Grand Canyon.  I should have put them in the last post, but I didn't have them downloaded yet.
Here's The Boy, looking happy (finally)
Me and The Baby, cozy in her sling. 
The Boy looking pensive.
 Obviously I'm in the car with a sleeping Baby, because I would not have allowed him to stand on the wall that separates sane folk from certain death.
And here's one to prove The Hubs came with. (And that The Boy was grumpy for most of the trip.)
And some smoggy views, for kicks (thanks Cali, for the pollution distortion)
The End.

May 9, 2010

The Grandest of Canyons

The day before our planned migration, I had the brilliant idea to leave THAT DAY and stop over at the Grand Canyon instead of going directly to St. George. I've never seen it, despite it being the biggest tourist draw in the entire state. Amazingly I convinced The Hubs it would be a good idea. He may have since changed his mind...
I can't decide whether to curse or thank for making it possible. Honestly, who reserves hotels without it these days? I got all our rooms at close to half off. :)
I called a good friend to tell her our crazy change in plans, and she offered to watch BOTH the kids so The Hubs and I could run around like headless chickens finishing up last minute details in the morning. (THANK YOU THANK YOU, S. You're a lifesaver and a super hot pregnant lady, btw.) We left town at a little before two in the afternoon. (Did I mention we made the decision to travel a day early on the day we traveled? Yeah. With two kids. I don't recommend it.)
We arrived at our hotel with super cranky kids and reasonably calm parents. After baths for the kiddos, getting them settled in bed wasn't a big deal. That night was a little rough on the 'ol parents, as the bed was SUPER soft, and we're just not used to that level of "luxury". We like our sleep numbers at 100. :D
Anyhoodles, I woke up early and attempted to exercise but nearly died from the elevation. Sea level to rim of Grand Canyon=HUGE difference. So after 30 minutes, I got everyone up, dressed and down to breakfast. All that plus packing the car took THREE hours. We didn't drive into the canyon until 9. (Well, into the park. I doubt I'd be typing if we'd actually driven into the literal canyon.)
It turns out the Grand Canyon isn't so much fun with little kids, but my expectations were super low, so it worked out. Here's a sample of the day:
"Hey! get back from there!" "WHY??!" "Because, you silly boy, you'll fall in!"
"Look Mom! A SLIDE!"
"NOOOOOOOOOO! Not a slide. Canyon. CAN-YON."
Almost no hiking took place, which is just as well. (See above reference to elevation changes.)
The Hubs and I have been talking about doing Havasupi for an anniversary trip. After this little experience, I mentioned I'd like to do some Blood Doping before the planned hike. The Hubs is NOT on board with that plan. Needles, you know. Oh, and the part where blood is involved. He's not so into that. Sometime remind me to relate "The Uterus" story. It's a GREAT one, for, you know, embarrassing my hubby.

We continued on to St. George in reasonably good spirits, visited some cousins and Aunts and Uncles and turned in with a little more difficulty than the previous night, but nothing this super mom couldn't handle.

To Be Continued...
I'm done blogging for the night. Despite this being Mother's Day, it super sucked for me so I'm going to bed so it can just be OVER already.

May 8, 2010


The Boy is three. This means his favorite question is, say it with me now, "WHY?"
He says this any time a parent, usually me, talks to/with him about anything. Including the following:
"Boy, please pick up your toys."
"Boy, please wash  your hands."
"Boy, Mommy thinks it's potty time!"

Words cannot express the level of my done-ness with the word "why".
Until last night.
Late last night I was up with The Baby and I heard the boy talk in his sleep. He only said one thing, but he said it loudly,


I am not sure why this funny, or even why it's STILL funny nearly 24 hours later, but trust me, I'm laughing out loud. Seriously. Out loud on the inside, anyway. Everyone's sleeping. 

May 6, 2010

Cute Boy Stuff!

The Boy asked me, "Why I a handful?" I answer, "Because you are three".

Earlier today I was explaining travel plans to The Boy. I asked if he'd like to go see Great Grandma. He got ALL excited and said, "In the TALL house?" GiGi lives in an assisted living facility. It's two stories. I think it's awesome he remembers because it's been close to a year since we've been there.
Then he said, "and we go to THE Idaho? See Grandma?" Yep. That's my geographically savvy three-year-old. He knows Grandma lives in THE Idaho. As in, the original. The real McCoy. Not that fake Idaho some people vacation in...
My kids are the, pretty much.

May 5, 2010

The Baby turns 17 Months, Revisited

Just adding a few more things The Baby Says.
"Uh oh!" followed by "gidit" which means get it!
So demanding!

May 4, 2010

It's Personal

We're going to get personal. Since hardly nobody reads my blog anyway, and those of you who do just LOVE ME and understand me (as much as you can, because let's face it, I'm complicated) I'm going to spend the next few blogs doing what The Therapist calls, "processing". Relax. It will be (mostly) painless for you and completely pain free if you just SKIP the post, altogether. :)

I'm a tiny bit baby hungry. But since I'd still rather die than have another cesarean, I've got some issues to work out. And I need to wean The Baby and loose 50 million (eh hem) 30 more pounds. I feel guilty saying this since I know at least 4 people who would take a baby in a heart beat, gut-slicing surgery and all. Not me. It SUCKED. Twice. If I'm completely honest, and The Therapist says I should be, I'd also rather the baby died than have another gut surgery. (I may have mentioned this post would be painful. Suck it up, Soldier.)

So all that is why I called The Therapist in the first place. That and the PTSD from the cesareans. She's AMAZING by the way. If I could figure out how to make her name twinkle on this blog, I totally would. 

Any way, I THOUGHT I was all done processing and ready to move into my year of pregnancy-free and nursing-free bliss during which I could sleep 12 7 hours every night when Sunday Dinner happened.

I cried. In front of The Hubs' Family. I was mortified. Completely and utterly MORTIFIED. I wanted to leave, but it was our last Family Dinner for a while, and The Boy was having a great time. Here's what happened.

We mentioned we'd like to sell The Hubs car, since he's working from home and we don't need it any more. In the course of normal conversation I mentioned we'd save the money no longer going to car insurance for the future purchase of a larger vehicle. Which propagated the question of why we needed a larger car. So I stated we couldn't get three car seats in the back of ours. Because we have SUPER small kids, The Boy and The Baby are likely to be in car seats until they are 20. No lie. 
One of the brothers-in-law IMMEDIATELY jumped to the conclusion I'm pregnant. To which I replied, "No! Just fat." And nearly burst into tears. Not because they thought I was pregnant and am, indeed, just fat, but because The Hubs' Family are baby machines. They pop out a kid the way I order pizza: no second thoughts, no big deal. It's a HUGE deal for me to commit to being sliced stem-to-stern, having my guts dug out of my body and laid on my chest while the baby is sliced out of my womb and then having everything shoved back in again all while I'm AWAKE. Seriously. Our society makes it out to be no big deal but it is a HUGE deal. Trust me. And then there's the 6 weeks wherein you can't pick up your other children, stand up straight, sit up without rolling onto your side first, cough without pain meds on board, poop, twist or lift anything over 7 pounds, which in my case also means THE BABY. The three months after THAT you can't walk fast or have COUPLE time without pain. It's not just a big deal, it's a freaking HUGE deal. So I cried. And ran away. And that kind of made it worse. Because then the family thought I was sad because I thought they thought I was fat. And I don't even care about that right now. So NOT the biggest thing on plate. (forgive me, it was too good an opportunity to pass up.)

I think that's enough processing for one day. I'll leave you with a cute Boy Story.
He saw some Bird turd on my windshield and said, "No bird! No poop ona car! Poop in the POTTY!" I couldn't have said it better, Bird. But you aren't allowed to use my potty. It's usually occupied. By a three-year-old.