Wednesday, September 1, 2010
Monday, May 3, 2010
Though it is very sad and I wonder if we will go vegetarian (atleast a bit more anyway) or if I will just succumb to grocery store meat and watch as my girls develop early like their peers (??? I know this isn't proven yet but it sure is a great possibility) - all this is sad, but I was so encouraged by Franz and Denise - "We are just moving on to another ministry - He has it all figured out (God, she meant) and it's going to be okay." They are going to settle down in their 'home country' and have a small farm. "Never again retail", Denise says. Who can blame her?
He's got them covered...
Tuesday, April 27, 2010
What about the meat for my children? What about the meat for their children? What about these farmers and retailers that try to sell their food? What is going on in our country?
Sorry to be such a wet blanket today. I just had to rant.
Please, if you have any other ideas or links, share here cause I am up for a fight!
Tuesday, April 20, 2010
Food is an incredible gift. We have such a variety and easily accessible choice of foods in our society that there really is so much to be thankful for. With that variety, though, comes many detrimental habits that can very quickly become instilled in to our vulnerable little people. You all know what I am talking about - the habit of grabbing a bag of chips instead of an apple, or a chocolate instead of a few raisins - whatever it is for you, it is only going to be that much more difficult for your child when they are our age...Food isn't just food anymore - a high percentage of it is processed, refined, enhanced, enriched, great tasting (sometimes) 'substance' - a lot of it I don't even class as food. Now I am not going to give you all kinds of scary stats about Cancer and Heart Disease, Diabetes and Mental Health Issues etc. But suffice to know that these 'diseases' or 'symptoms' are on the increase - we are not winning these battles and as we continue to consume the way we have been consuming, in North America, then we are never going to win them. Nuf said.
Now - that is my heart. That is what I go to my battle with - as I begin to transition from exclusively breastfeeding to feeding my babies solid food - usually not till after 9 months old (I have researched and decided that their little tummies are much better at digesting foods after then- the later the better so I just up my intake so that baby gets enough from me, until I am sure we are both ready) Anyway, when I go to introduce foods in to them I don't mean that I am ready to fight them tooth and nail to eat - that only rarely has to happen - it is more that I am protecting them from other foods that I know are harmful (ie.icecream) or even not healthy/void of nutrition (soda crackers for example) and I am protecting them from caring friends/family who try to feed them these foods too. I think of them as this beautifully pure baby, and every time I have something on the end of that spoon, I imagine it either harming or benefiting my baby and that is how I decide what to feed them. So to start a baby of mine would have just vegetables - steamed (by me) and ground up with the steaming water so that it is a nice consistency. I do not 'do' pablum. Pablum was created in the 50s/60s or so by Heinz and it was a brilliant marketing scheme but it has not been proven to be beneficial or necessary for a breastfed baby and is highly processed. What did we do before then? Well, a long time ago, the mothers would chew up their own food and then spit it out and give it to the baby - that was the first baby food. I am not saying that we should all start doing that but just think about it - why do we have to have this processed powder in the first place? Many babies start with constipation/tummy aches when pablum is introduced. So, I go with veggies first, and then (real) meat and then maybe starches/fruit by 12 months or so - and always whole foods - now I don't mean Dempster's Whole Grain Bread either - read the labels! If there is a word in it that you can't read, then it is not healthy! (for you or for babe!) and very soon after that she/he just eats what we are eating, since our family makes healthy choices most of the time anyway...Oh yes, and food combining too - I don't give them fruit right after a meal - the fruit is much easier to digest and when it sits in the tummy with the food from the meal, you can have a very gassy baby, which no one likes - especially little babe...save the fruit for an hour or two after the meal and by itself.
Now, what got me thinking about this - Boo is 2 years old and I will have to say that she has been my most difficult baby to feed. I know that it is because I am busier, having 4 others to chase, and I have not stuck to my rules as strongly as I did with the others. I have let her have crackers and things earlier, or milk before or with a meal (that is another thing - kids will fill up on their milk and not eat, so cutting out the milk for a while can retrain those tummies). So recently I felt like all was lost with her but alas I would not give up! I went back to this other little strategy that has worked well with the kids that I have had to use it with...Okay so let's say we are having Lentil Soup which I know she likes but she doesn't love and with it we are having some bread - which I know she loves. If I give her the whole chunk of bread then down it goes and then 'more mommy' I want more bread...so, I sit right beside her with her bread and break her off one peice at a time. In order to get the next bite of bread she must have one - or more - bites of her nutritious soup. Now, generally this is done with quite a bit of screaming and lamenting - at least for the first week or so with her, that was the way it was - and I did have to put her in to her crib for a timeout once,but now I just start to threaten it and she immediately gets herself together. Now I can say that I am victorious! She gets it and she goes with it and she is eating so much better even since implementing this method. I have done this method successfully with younger children, too - Lise was just over 12 months when I had to get tough with her when she didn't want to eat her beets - she quickly learned to love them. I am certainly not the first mom to do this - I have friends who have kids that are great eaters and they have implemented similar methods. My oldest - now 10 - thanks me for giving them such weird food - she loves the variety and she notices the way she feels when she eats over at a friend's and doesn't like it. I have tried to naturally educate my older kids so that it is not like I am just saying 'No, you can't have that' without any reason other than your mom is a Kook - I want them to understand what is happening in their body when they eat those foods and make the choices for themselves. I am careful about what movies they watch, who they hang out with, what books they read, why would I not care what food they eat too? These are my precious ones and I am going to do the very best with them for the time they are given to me.
Happy Eating...spring is a comin'!!
Monday, March 22, 2010
This is one of my favourite websites and what a perfect time to get excited about studying Nature! Spring has sprung! Check out their newest affordable products and be inspired!http://handbookofnaturestudy.blogspot.com/2010/03/spring-nature-study-with-art-and-music.html
Tuesday, March 9, 2010
Okay - so about potty training. This was the big leap in to twoyearoldhood and certainly part of why I feel sad - I know, I know - I brought it on to myself. I have trained all my children at this age and lots of people have asked how, so I am going to lay it out for you. I know I am considerably narrowing my audience with this introduction but hey I probably already lost them on the title - I'll catch them on the next post perhaps. ;)
A disclaimer - I use cloth diapers. I therefore HATE two year old poops. I would much rather deal with a week or two of messes on the floor than in the diapers. So - you will see this is MY motivation. It is very important for mommy (and or daddy) to have a motivation. If she is not committed to this than it is not going to be successful. So as much as I might like to think I have brilliant little children that potty train themselves at 2, I know that 80 percent of it is me getting them there. You must be committed. Think of the money, the landfills, whatever gets you moving.
Another disclaimer. We have hardwood floors. Virtually no carpeting - just in the basement. It has been the same for the last 4 kids although for my first we were in an apartment that had carpeting and I used the same method - but I didn't care as much about that carpet as I would my own.
Step one : Choose a treat. This is where friends have chosen things like smarties or other candies but I just can't use a treat like that for my baby to put in to their little body so I choose raisins or dried little fruit of some sort or whatever you can come up with. The key is to not allow the baby to get that treat any other time of the day other than when they sit on the potty or pee pee on the potty or whatever with the potty. You can't be dishing out raisins to them at snack and expect them to get excited about getting it again when they go pee pee. It MUST only be allowed in this relm.
Step two: No pants. I know that sounds so scary and risky, but this is for good reason - My experience has taught me that as soon as a child of this age has 'something' on their little bum bum, they pee in to it and drench it completely. They don't stop, they just go ahead - they figure they are in a diaper. As soon as they go 'pantless' that triggers something different in to their brains and helps them to control their bladders. As a side note I would never use pull ups. What a waste. As soon as you put that pull up diaper on them guess what happens? They pee in it - except the only difference is that it cost you a dollar instead of 30 cents - or whatever the cost difference would be - I really have no idea cause I haven't bought them recently. The only use for them would be for later when the child is already potty trained and you are going on a long trip or for overnight or what have you. By using them at this critical potty training time you waste your time and effort and will not experience success anywhere near as quickly.
Step three: Make it fun. Don't let them be afraid of the potty. You sit on the big one, get a book, invite them over, offer them their favourite treat - and when they just sit down - give them the coveted treat - make it a really big deal at first when they just sit down! That's all you want at first, just an introduction. (even the first week could be spent this way if all they are doing is sitting and not peeing) And then when they just sit down and you give them the treat, you praise them for how amazing they are and wow wow wow...who can resist such royal treatment? At our house everyone gets involved - brother, sisters, daddy - Horray for baby for sitting on the potty - of course she wants to do it again!
Step four: Set the timer. The first few days you will be figuring out your baby's bladder - unless you have already taken note (I never do). They will follow a cycle. She will go pee pee at 8 am and then suddenly again at 8:30 but then not again until 10 am. Watch her, write it down if it helps. When she does make a little pee pee on the floor, don't scold her - just say oops and bring her to sit on the potty again reminding her that that is where we go pee pee. The first few days you will have lots of messes but as you figure it out you will get ahead of that cycle and just before she is about to go pee you get her on the potty and she suddenly goes and so the fan fare begins again...if she doesn't 'go' when you think she should need to go then you put her on every 5 minutes until she does go. Most of my babies need to pee about every hour in the morning but every two or so in the afternoon.
Step five: Be consistent. You go out to the mall, you go to a friends - are you going to leave her naked? I don't. I diaper (unless she is starting to get it) But when we are at home and unless she is having a nap or sleeping at bedtime, she goes underwear free and we keep doing the same old thing. When the baby gets to the point where she starts to pee on the floor and stops herself that is when you are very close to completing this project! She recognizes how to control that bladder and there is no limit to your success now. Next thing you know she is telling you when she 'has to go'. Oh and NEVER ask a child if they need to go - instead you say "okay honey Let's go to the potty," and you just pick them up and go. If you ask them you will inevitably get a big "No- I don't need to go!" Just don't set yourself up.
My two year old learned this within two days and is now (one month later) completely trained. No, she isn't dry at night - I don't find that to be a determining factor. I put diapers on at night and soon I will start to get her up at 10 when I go to bed, put her on the potty and then put a diaper back on her just in case. Once that is dry for a week or two, then we will be done, but I find that usually takes a little longer than I expect. My babies go to bed at 6:30 so that is just too long to hold it for little ones.
So there you have it - I know it is contrary to some practices out there but that's okay - I love that I have no more muss and fuss anymore! Perhaps you would like to join me? Please let me know if you have any questions or comments!
I promise to right something a bit more fresh next time ;)
Thank you for your patience with me...
Sarah Jane - mom of five ALIVE
Monday, March 8, 2010
Spring has sprung - everywhere there are signs of spring!- and just after a huge dump of snow a week ago. So you can imagine therefore we are living in a beautiful sunny but wet, muddy, slushy mess. Because of that I have been encouraging my son for over a week to wear his boots - either his rubber ones or his snowboots - either ones would be fine (although he did leave his snowboots behind at curling last week and so was limited in his choice). For a week he has fought me on it - insisting on wearing his sneakers - repeatedly coming in after 5 minutes with soakers, changing his socks, putting on yet ANOTHER pair of "too large" shoes and heading out again. So stubborn. This morning he wanted to take a walk with me but I insisted he could only come if he wore his rubber boots. And so he did. We walked a good distance, sloshing in the snowy slush, splashing in the puddles, enjoying the day that the Lord had made for us to enjoy!! And then it hit me. I started to talk to him about how much fun we were having and how good it was to not get our feet wet and how if he had worn his shoes like he wanted to then he would have been soaked and cold and we wouldn't have had such a good time. But because he listened to his mom he got to enjoy the walk so much more. And then I explained how GOD gave us His word and we could look at it and say - argh - why do I have to do all those things? Those things are just silly - I'll just ignore all that God said to do and do what I want. But we have to stop and say - wait - God gave us His "plan" for our benefit. It is only when we recognize that and 'submit' to it, that we can truly be FREE - free to splash in the puddles, live life abundantly. Because he loves us so much. And this is where my son chimed in - "To keep us SAFE!" he said understanding very well. Yes, my boy, to keep us safe. To some outsiders perhaps it seems as though Christians are just a bunch of goody goodies, running around trying to follow a bunch of rules because we follow Jesus (and sadly many Christians do have it mixed up and do live out their faith that way) but really the secret is that we are truly free. He loves us so much. He just wants us to follow his plan for our lives. He knows so much more than we do about what we need. He made us. He loves us. When we follow His plan, we reap great rewards. Rewards that never pass away.
John 8:31, 32, 34"Jesus said, "If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free... I tell you the truth everyone who sins is a slave to sin...So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed." (also for further study Romans 6:1518, 8:2 and Galatians 5:1-4)
I am so grateful for the freedom I have in Him. WHAT an awesome gift!
Thanks for listening. We really need to do this more often.