Apr 29, 2011

Granola Bars

Carolina, this post is for you. :D
I made some granola bars. Not super impressed with them, but that didn't stop me from eating four so far today.

Here's the basic recipe:
1/2 cup peanut butter
1/2 cup honey
melt in microwave until runny. Add:
1 cup rolled oats
1 cup puffed cereal (I used Kamut®, feel free to use puffed wheat or rice)
1/2 cup chopped nuts
1/2 cup dried fruit
Mix together and put in a 8x8 plastic-lined pan and tamp down. Cut into 16 parts.
I felt these were too sweet. In fact, they made me a tad ill.

Here's my first modification:
1/2 cup peanut butter
1/2 cup honey
1 1/2 cups oats
1 1/2 cups puffed cereal
1/2 cup chopped nuts
I did this in an 8x10 because of the added volume.

These didn't stick together as well, and were still too sweet. I think maybe just a cup of the rolled oats? How do I get it less sweet and still have it stick together? Butter? Coconut oil? This could get dangerous...

Apr 26, 2011

Easter Hats and Other Randomness

You know how this last Sunday was Easter? And how the most important part of the entire Easter worship service is the hats ladies wear?
I totally tricked out my head in a fancy topper and sashayed my sassy self into church on Sunday and do you know what I found?
Not ONE other lady in a hat of any type.

Clearly, I live among heathens.

Not only was I the ONLY person of any generation in an Easter Hat, other people had the nerve to sneer at my incredibly gorgeous millinery confection. No lie. Ladies actually elbowed their husbands and pointed with their snooty noses in my general direction. Smirking ensued. And THIS after I studiously studied Emily Post and her copious rules for headgear all those years a few short years ago in finishing school. Lady Emily said NOTHING about it being appropriate for lookers on to smirk.

Just kidding, by the way. I didn't go to a real finishing school. I grew up in Idaho, remember? Our finishing schools consisted of potato carving class and very lady-like competitions wherein we raced to see who could render down a vat of sugar beets the fastest. No. Really.

But you know what? I didn't even care about those snooty people, because d@m, I look good in a hat.
(PS That's not me under the hat. It's my wood floor...)

Apr 24, 2011

HypnoBirthing, Part Two

This is part two of a series. To see part one, click here.

About the time The Hubs and I hung up, Mom was moseying  toward her room, glass of ice in hand and dressed in nothing but a green negligee and a knowing smile. I hit the button requesting access to the ward and zipped down the hall after her. 
When I arrived in the room, Mom was on the floor next to the bed on all fours. Midwife and nurse were next to her, asking her kindly to get on the bed so they could hook up the machine-that-goes-ping also known as a fetal heart monitor. 
Mom's response? "You want me to MOVE!?! I have to push."
It would be helpful for you to know that in triage, she was 8cm open and 100% thin (or effaced). The fact that the baby stayed in on her stroll down the hall to the room is really a miracle. Seriously. 
The midwife replied that no she didn't, being only 8 centimeters.

This is the point I started to PANIC because the video camera said "read error" WHAT THE CRAP!!! All that and I'm still going to miss taping this birth?!?!? Holy pete. Dad and I had a conversation in terse tones wherein we both cursed technology. Dad got the camera working JUST in time for me to catch the next bit on film (or digital media, whatever).

Mom did manage to move to the bed in the same position she'd been in on the floor. 
The midwife was thinking about gloving up (I saw her unwrap the gloves, look at them, look at mom, look at the gloves and then decide to wait) when Mom said, "I have to pee". Dad immediately moved to the foot of the bed, took a quick peak and said, "we have a crown. That's the head" and before you even knew what was going on, the baby landed in dad's hands, slick as anything. The midwife took baby and passed baby to mom. 

The nurse never did get the fetal heart monitor going, which proves that yes, you can have a healthy baby with out any of the following:
  1. nurses
  2. doctors
  3. hospitals
  4. machines that go ping
  5. screaming
  6. drugs
  7. birthing pools (Since we never even got a chance to set up Mom's)
The rest of the evening was totally awesome. Mom and Dad snuggled with baby. Everyone waited for the placenta to be delivered (scroll down to "The Baby, The Cord, and Active Management) before the cord was clamped and cut. Mom nursed. The midwife finally gloved up and then checked out mom for tears (one tiny skid mark) and we all stood in awe of the power of HypnoBirthing and drug-free birthing. Baby was alert, happy, didn't cry and nursed like a champ from the word go. 
This experience has changed my views of birth. I knew it could be powerful, wonderful, amazing. I did not know it could be awe inspiring. I did not know birth could leave me speechless. That it could be done without pain. 
I have another post to go along with this series where we can talk about it more.

Story posted with permission. All contents copywrited. 

Apr 23, 2011

Hypnobirthing, Part One

cdr4A good friend asked me to videotape her most recent birth. This is probably because I don't have a problem looking at other people's naked selves, and because pretty much the only thing I talk about are my kids and birthing. There are not a lot of people I know who are totally comfortable hanging out with naked people for hours on end. Lets not talk about what that says about me. Let's talk about the birth!

About 8pm the day of the birth I got a call from my friend, asking me to come over. Her husband was gone and she felt like she might be in labor. I'd been expecting this call since about 4pm when she called and said the world was fuzzy during her contractions, but she didn't know if it was "real" labor.
Between the 8pm phone call and my getting there, her water broke.

At this point you need to know a few things. First, HypnoBirthing mommas birth FAST because they aren't scared. Second, this was not this particular momma's first time at the racetrack. Third, I live maybe 5 minutes away.

When I got there, she was talking normally to me, but about every 5-7 minutes, she'd stop, put her hand up, bow her head and close her eyes, shimmy her hips for 40 seconds or so, and then resume our conversation. She had me pack speakers, the birthing tub, and a few other odds and ends. We called the babysitter for the other children (a hunky 21 yo blond German who totally deserves his own post at some point) and the midwife's on call service to let them know she was coming to the hospital.

When her husband arrived, he asked if I'd been timing the contractions. Um, no. I was busy packing. But they were at that point 5-6 minutes apart. I'm guessing that was around 9pm. I had my car packed and was about to drive off to the hospital ahead of mom and dad when I decided to go back in the house for one last interaction. I said a quick little prayer to calm down because I was getting antsy. Not being sure we'd make it in time, and all. Last I'd checked, mom was still in the bathroom. Upon entering the house, I find out she hasn't left the bathroom.

Uh oh. Admittedly, I started to get worried at this point and decided to stick close in case we didn't make it clear to the hospital. She did come out and get into her car and I followed them to the hospital. I could tell when she was having contractions because the car would speed up. This happened four or five times.
In the parking lot of the ER (this hospital makes you check into the ER, which is totally stupid) we all pile out and she says, "I just finished a contraction." "Great, lets get inside before you have another one." Um, no again.
Mom has TWO more contractions before we make it to the entrance of the ER. During the second one, I headed inside to try to check her in while Dad (who was acting as doula, which is SO cool) stayed with Mom.
I told the ER nurse, "There's a multiparous mother with ruptured membranes just outside. Her contractions are two minutes apart. Can we get her upstairs?"
"No. We have to check her in."
"She's pre-registered. Her name is ___________"
"When is she due?"
"In a week, roughly. Although I'd say she's due in about 40 minutes."
"When is her birthday?"
"What year?"
"I have no idea."
"Who are you, exactly? We can't check her in without this information."
I left. Went back outside and dad and I switched places. This didn't seem to help. The ER nurses wanted her to SIT DOWN inside and talk to them.
Um, no yet again. Hypno-mommas in transition don't SIT and they sure as heck aren't very willing to talk. Mom tried to come inside, but the thought of 50 people (the ER was PACKED) watching her contract on hands and knees did not appeal. Strange, I know. She walked back outside and I walked with. This is when I videoed the only tape we have of her fully clothed and having contractions.
Then the transport guy came out with a wheelchair.
"Let's get you upstairs" he says.
"In that!?! I'm NOT sitting in a wheel chair" mom replies.
I chime in with, "This would go faster if you let her walk upstairs. She really does not want to sit."
The crabby ER nurse says "It's hospital policy. We can't have you deliver standing up in the hall."
Mom turns to me and says, "If they talk to me like that upstairs, we are LEAVING!"
I'm thinking, Yeah. Right. Like we have time to get back home! I guess we could deliver in the car, if you're serious, though. 
I asked if we could use the stretcher that was sitting right there and wheel her up kneeling on the stretcher. That idea was also shot down as "Unsafe". More unsafe than delivering a baby outside the front doors of an ER? OK. Whatever.
Through this entire encounter, Mom is cool as cucumber through the contractions and only gets testy when the hospital staff say unreasonable things, like "sit" or "wait".
Finally mom agrees to sit if they promise to take her directly to the OB floor.
Dad is still checking Mom in, so I go with her. At the elevator, Dad missed making it onto the car by a nanosecond. I just was not fast enough pressing the Open Door button, which I still feel bad about. Instead of taking Mom to a room, they dump her in triage at 10pm. I tried again to let them know exactly how close she is to having a baby.
"Mom is mulitparous, membranes have been ruptured for two hours, and she's a fast birther. Her contractions are stacking. Are you sure we can't go to a room?"
"Who are you?"
"The videographer."
"Let me show you to the waiting room."
I've since learned it's best just to say I'm the sister. Sisters don't get kicked out near so often.
Pacing outside the (locked) entrance to labor and delivery, I call The Hubs and have a very testy conversation wherein I lament the fact that I'm going to miss the birth and this will be the only birth Mom doesn't have on tape because of stupid nurses and even more stupid hospital rules.
To Be Continued

Apr 17, 2011

The Saga of the Binky Continues

To preface: I hate pacifiers. Hate them. We weren't going to use any with Zsa Zsa, but then one night a few weeks after we got home from the hospital, she was just so fussy and didn't want boob so I caved and gave her a binky. It totally worked and I got hours of blessed sleep.
At 18 months, she seemed ready to give it up, but then I was in school and she started needing the binky more and more.
When Zsa Zsa turned two, I REALLY wanted to take it away and just be done with the stupid thing. But we were getting ready to move. Again. So I didn't.
Now she's 29 months and A.D.D.I.C.T.E.D. 
So today, we told her she's a big girl now, and we're happy to let her have the binky in bed or in the car. She's not the kind of kid who will just leave her binky in the crib, so The Hubs tied it to her bed. (We also tied one to the car seat.)
Is so doing, we've inadvertently solved another of our Zsa Zsa parenting woes, the fighting of the nap.

Zsa Zsa spent the morning going from the bed to the great room. Finally when we called her for morning devotional, she wouldn't come. I checked on her a few minutes later and found this.

At 11am. It made going to make 1pm church SO much more tolerable. :D

Pudding Pops

We are doing a Two Week Easter Countdown with the children. Each day there is a planned devotional and an activity that teaches the lesson.  Easter is my favorite holiday, and now I can share the deeper meanings with my little lovelies. :D Today The Boy asked me what the Easter Bunny was, so maybe I'm not doing too bad a job at teaching Easter on my own, huh?

One of the activities focused on miracles. The theme for the day was rainbows, so of COURSE we had to make rainbow pudding pops. Also of course, I had no pre-packaged pudding in the house. I also didn't have corn starch. Who doesn't keep corn starch on hand? Ferills.

Luckily, I wasn't out of money for the month, so we were able to get our supples and the next day we made pudding and then these super cute rainbow pudding pops.

Step One: Make pudding
Step Two: Divide pudding

Step Three: Dye pudding
Step Four: carefully spoon into paper or plastic cups
Step Five: Stick a fork in it (that's what I had, feel free to get sticks)
Step Six: Freeze
Step Seven: Set the cup in some warm water to loosen the pop
Step Eight: Eat your protein on a stick (because momma's on a low carb diet, we made sugar free pudding)

I do have one little tip for this activity: If you don't want lumpy pudding, it's best not to turn over the whisking to your four-year-old. In this case, I felt the lumpy pudding was a reasonable cost for quality Boy time. :D

Apr 15, 2011

The Insanity Continues

Holy potatoes, Farm People. I'm insane. You'd think after yesterday, I'd have learned my lesson, but no.

Today I inflicted the same torture on myself, except this time I decided to skip the stroller. Because obviously, that's easier, right? I figured the kids would enjoy the chance to ride the  mall "alligator" up to the second floor. I was right, they did enjoy it. I did not enjoy chasing down my two-year-old as she barreled headlong toward the down-escalator. (Shouldn't the down escalator be a de-escalator or something?)

I ended up bribing my children. The deal was, if they were good, we could get a treat on our way out. We bought some jewelry to go with my new dress (the one I bought yesterday after Dad came on duty) and then we proceeded to check out a couple shoe stores. When I sensed the kids were done, I told them how brilliant they'd been and how I'd appreciated their good behavior. Then I gave The Boy a choice and it all went downhill like a de-escalator on steroids.

I asked if he'd like a treat from the candy store or from the ice cream store. (You Idaho people would not BELIEVE the malls here. They have entire stores dedicated to sugar. It's amazing.) Here is our conversation. You can trust that this is a verbatim exchange because I brought along my stenographer, Ethel. Or it's an argument we have on a regular basis. One of those.
"Boy, would you like a treat from the candy store or from the ice cream store?"
"Um...I choose BOTH!"
"You cannot have both. You need to choose one."
"I want THREE choices."
"OK. You can choose candy, you can choose ice cream or you can choose nothing and we'll just go home."
Cue meltdown.
"But MOM!!!!! I just really want BOTH!"
"That's OK. You can want both. However you can only choose one."
Massive amounts of gut-wrenching sobbing commences. Mom and sweet little girl get on the de-escaltor. Pouting boy follows. At the bottom of the de-escalator the conversation resumes. 
"Mom! I really want a treat!"
"I'd love to get you a treat. Would you like candy or ice cream?"
"MOM! I WANT BOTH!" Hysteria sets in. 
"Son, I'd love to get you a treat, but now you've lost the privilege."
Mom walks through the entirety of JC Penney holding a toddler and towing a preschooler who has somehow managed to attach himself to Mom's leg. Occasionally he tries to get in front of Mom to halt her progress and otherwise makes a scene. Old people who should by rights be dead or moved back to Indiana by now look on with sympathy and amusement. 

One would think getting to the parking lot might end such a poor display of mall manners, but oh no. Not for my child. I was forced to carry two children to the car. Once there, I tried again to reason with my son-turned-Banshee, to no avail.
Then he had the nerve to keep unbuckling his seatbelt and opening the car door. That would never do, strictly from a safety standpoint, so I did want any other hick from the backwater would do when pushed beyond limits and worried for the safety of her offspring: I spanked him. Oh, don't look at me like that. I didn't spank him because I was mad. I wasn't mad at all! In fact, I was happy to help him with this learning experience. I just wish I'd gotten a pair of shoes out of it, is all. I honestly could not think of another way to keep him safe on the way home that didn't involve candy AND ice cream. Or CPS.

The Boy is having a TERRIBLE time making choices. When he has to choose between two good things, he just can't. He chooses both. He can't have both. He needs to learn. Can you imagine if we just kept giving him two good things? He'd have to move to Boulder City, CO so he could have two wives.

The fit continued until 45 minutes after we got home. He had to spend that time in his room, because by then, I had a headache.

I'm kind of at a loss here, so I'm turning to you, Blogghers (and hims). How do you teach your child to make a choice?

Apr 14, 2011


We have an afternoon outdoor wedding coming up. I was looking forward to seeing the family and generally participating in the merry-making, until IT occurred to me. The tiny fact that I've been a stay-at-home-mom for over four years now. This means several things, but the list starts out something like this:

  • I have nothing to wear that can't be worn pregnant or nursing. You know, other than MY wedding dress, but somehow I can't see that as being appropriate attire for a guest
  • It's been two years since I purchased new mascara. TWO YEARS! 
  • My other makeup is almost gone AND older than both my children combined
  • I need new shoes to match the dress I haven't bought yet
  • My recent weight-loss has affected the size of my... well. I need new underthings. New underthings that correct my sagging-boob disorder. (It's a medical diagnosis, look it up.)
Also I spent all, and by all I mean all and then some, of our discretionary funds putting in a garden the first week of the month so I really have no way to rectify my frumptastic situation unless I feed the family beans and rice for two weeks. Make no mistake, by the end of the month, my kids are going to be fluent in Spanish cooking, but I'll feel guilty about it. Maybe not so guilty since I just realized they get to go to the candy-themed reception followed the next week by a massive Easter breakfast and dinner.

Yesterday I packed my children with me on a little jaunt to the mall. Obviously, I was struck by psychosis, thinking it would be a good idea to take them along while I tried on dresses. The Boy did make himself useful zipping zippers, though.
Have you noticed that dresses these days are either not long enough, or if they are, the top half is lacking in coverage? It's like dress makers forgot the appropriate amount of fabric required to make an article of clothing. This phenomenon is exacerbated by my freakishly tall self. I'm sure a person even two inches shorter would not have as much of a problem finding something that covered their bits.

And do you know what I realized next? No? OK, I'll tell you. The Hubs is coming to the wedding, too. Which means he'll have to wear something.  Luckily his geek-a-licious self looks good in just about anything, assuming he remembers not to mix brown and black or white socks with dress shoes. (Seriously. I have to watch out for those kinds of shenanigans.) My shopping trip netted me one new tie for The Hubs. I'm going out again later to shop for dresses. And maybe a bra that actually fits. :D

Apr 11, 2011


I'm so excited to start a new series on HypnoBirthing and to share what I've learned with you. (yippee!)

Recently I had the chance to attend a HypnoBirth, and I was blown away. You can check out the program's statistics here.
The series will start with the birth story from my point of view, and continue with some of the HypnoBirthing highlights and what I took away from the experience and the book.
The story is written and Mom has already agreed to share her story, but I'm waiting for t's and i's. :)

In case you don't know or forgot, I had two surgical births 20 months apart. Neither were planned or at all what I was looking/hoping for. You may or may not have read my Letter To A Bastard that goes a bit more into detail about the second birth. I don't think anyone doubts my level of obsession when it comes to birth. I've read and seen so much in the four years since that first cesarean, that running across something which moved me on such a visceral plane was shocking. I hope that you'll be equally surprised and blessed.

Stay tuned!

Apr 10, 2011

Scripture Study with Small Children

As you may know, we have two smallish children in our home. You may also know we are religious people, and as such, we feel a need to study the scriptures as a family regularly. We also want to instill within our children the same belief systems we have. We want them to grow up to be good people and share the same beliefs we feel guide and shape our lives.
OK, that being said, have you ever tried to read the bible to a four-year-old? It's not exactly attention-grabbing for that age group. Also, even if you manage to get them to sit still and quiet long enough to read a chapter aloud, it's not like they are going to get anything out if, right?
So we kind of gave up for a while, until a more child friendly approach occurred to me.

Here's what we do: At the beginning of the week, The Hubs and I will pick one or two scriptures that meet one or more of the following criteria.

  • addresses a particular issue our family is facing that week, like faith or obedience
  • teach a basic tenet of our faith, like tithing or charity
  • is at most two verses long (this will change as our kids get older)
  • can be discussed and explained to toddlers/preschoolers
The next trick was to find a consistent time in the day to do our scripture study. Right before bed was DEFINITELY not it. We hit apon breakfast. The children are eager to talk with us first thing in the morning, they are willing to stay in one place, since there's food in front of them, and they are fresh and chipper from a full night's sleep.

After we have our morning prayer and dish out the meal, I say something along the lines of "OK, now it's SCRIPTURE time!" I will recite the verse, ask the children if they know the meaning of certain words, explain the lesson behind the scripture, ask for questions, and then we teach the scripture to the children. Throughout the day, such as in the car, or before naps, I will recite the scripture again and the children will then get a chance to take turns reciting it. When we feel they are getting bored with a particular verse or have mastered it, we move on to the next verse, usually doing two a week. Occasionally we will review scriptures we've already learned.

This has been the most meaningful our scripture study as a family has ever been. I'm sure as our children grow and change our methods will change, but for now, this is what's working for us. :)

Happy Sabbath.

Apr 8, 2011

Germicide, it's the new black

Dear People of East Mesa:

Please, please, please teach your children to wash their hands. We are midway through the third bout of stomach flu go-round since we moved back in January. Luckily my kids are pretty immune to this sort of thing, but I get it every.single.time. I wash. I bleach. I hold germ banishing pagan rights. Still, I come down with the Rocky Mountain Two Step every time it goes viral.

This never happened before we moved to the Ghetto. My children inherited their  iron tummies from momma, however mine has apparently rusted through.

Help a girl out? I simply can not spend this much time in bed! (or the bathroom)

In case you didn't know, here's how to properly wash up.

Note: Not that my four year old remembers to wash. But feel free to remind him. I'll return the favor.

Apr 7, 2011

Out of Season Magic

In Costco today, Zsa Zsa was wondering around, per usual, when all of a sudden she looked up and stopped dead in her tracks. There before her was a towering gentleman dressed in a tied-dyed tee, shorts and Birkenstock sandals. With awe, she took in his bushy white beard, flowing hair and small gold spectacles.
Zsa Zsa pointed and whispered with reverence, "Santa Claus", her eyes never left his face. Wonder was her only expression. 

The portly man beamed and replied with a twinkle in his eye and a finger to his lips, "hush. Don't tell".

And off we went to finish our shopping, rather contemplatively on the parts of the children, since they were reviewing whether they'd been more naughty...or nice. 

This report has been brought to you in a completely unexaggerated manner by a tickled-pink IdahoBecky

Apr 5, 2011

We've Got It BAD

So my sister and niece are visiting for a few days. Yesterday both my niece and Zsa Zsa puked. And had loose stools. In the tub I'd just bleached. Because really, why would a baby poop in a tub you're ABOUT to clean? That would totally defeat their purpose of making as much work for me as they possibly can. 

Needless to say, we've all been downing copious quantities of (flavored) aloe vera juice. Everyone is feeling better, except me. I'm going to blame it on the bleaching I gave my house yesterday rather than a stomach virus, because I refuse to be ill. Also, I ate pizza for dinner. If I were really sick, that would not have been possible, right? 

We lazed about all day, except for a quick trip to the store for more plants. The HOA has officially fined us for not having "enough" plants in the front yard. Really, how many is "enough"? Our HOA thinks 9 is enough. I think the HOA doesn't have to pay to water them, and so what we have (5) should be enough. Lately I've been scooping buckets full of tub water and using it to water the landscaping. I see nothing wrong with this as my family has gone chemical free in the soap department. It is kind of a pain, though. Not to mention, sort of ghetto in an Idaho way. Except nobody in Idaho would bother, since water is so cheap there.

Over the weekend I just gave up. We are going to live here for ever so I may as well make the best of it. Along those lines, I dug a garden out of my rock and planted tomatoes and bell peppers. Then I bought two gi-normous grape vines and planted them along the back wall of our house. Then I bought a hibiscus to shut the HOA up. And a lemon tree. Have I told y'all how much I LOVE lemons? I can't get enough free lemons to keep up with my family's lemon-y related demands so we're putting a tree out back. I'd LOVE to put it in the front where it would get more light and provide better house shade, but I bet the HOA would have a problem with that. They seem to have problems with most things are common sense. 

Apr 2, 2011

The Boy, Wit-ified

Is this where I'm supposed to write something witty and clever?
Oh good. I'm in the right place. Sadly, I have nothing witty or clever to impart, so instead I'll leave you with some gems from The Boy. He's rather hilarious right now, being four, and all.

"Mom, I'm hot. <pauses for effect> I get that from you." <nods solemnly> Somebody's Daddy has been teaching him how to flirt.                                                                                                   

Scene: family at the dinner table, parents discussing terabytes and petabytes.                            
The Boy: :What's a petabyte?"                                                                                              
Mom: It's a unit for measuring data.                                                                                                  
The Boy, without skipping a beat: And mommas.                                                                            
Both Parents laugh hysterically as they realize he thought mom meant DADDA.

"When did you turn four?" Look of incredulity on his face as he replies, "On my birthday". His face had that look that just screamed, "what kind of adult are you, anyway!? Of COURSE I turned four on my birthday!"

And here are some pictures he obviously thought were important enough to take up the memory on my wimpy SD card. 

I can't decide which I like best, Stoned Zsa Zsa, or Ghetto Booty Zsa Zsa. Either way, for sure he's a budding Robert Doisneau, except I don't think he paid Zsa Zsa. If he did, I'll need to have a talk with my daughter...

This report brought to you by: A slightly worried mother of future teens. Aka:IdahoBecky