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Our nursing relationship

December 6, 2012

Even before she was conceived I was thinking of her as our “do-over” child; this time I would do things right.  Which, of course, is subjective and there are so many circumstances factoring in to the mother-child relationship you can’t ever be in control of it.  And that’s what I mean by doing things right!  Learning from the way things had gone with my first two children I had an idea of the things I wanted to give up control of.  I saw where stress was created needlessly by my own expectations (especially about sleep schedules and breastfeeding schedules).  I wanted to appreciate the river-like qualities of mothering and go along with the natural course.

One consequence of baby-led weaning is that you could very well end up in an extended breastfeeding relationship.
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My youngest and I have such a good relationship.  She and I share control over nursing.  Sometimes I ask her to be careful because I don’t feel good.  Sometimes she asks me to nurse more often because she doesn’t feel good.  I started working outside the home when she was 16 months old and I figured she would wean within a month or so.  But she is now 41 months old and still nursing 2 or 3 times a day.

“River’s wisdom says to follow the path of least resistance.  She flows over rocks and around mountains.  She takes the shape of each new landscape she enters.  But over time she also shapes the land.  As your child changes, you too must adopt new forms of mothering.  If you hold tight to familiar landmarks of childhood, you cannot offer your children the freedom they need.  Attune yourself to the flow of what is.  Hold on to what is most important and liberate everything else.”  ~The Mother’s Wisdom Deck by Niki Dewart and Elizabeth Marglin with illustrations by Jenny Kostecki-Shaw.

The photos were taken in October by Cheyenne Kody Photography.

When I Grow Up

October 15, 2012

I want to be a food stylist.

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You can make this the night before payday when all you have left is one carrot, one onion, one fourth a head of cauliflower and half a box of raisins.  You have to steam the cauliflower for a few minutes before you put it into the stir-fry.  It is seasoned with a little cumin, garlic powder, black pepper, and soy sauce.

Equal Exchange Holiday Minis

October 11, 2012

Have you seen the new Holiday Minis from Equal Exchange?  I saw a preview photo on Facebook which I shared with a local business owner.  I told him I thought he should consider stocking the Holiday Minis.  Then later I thought, wait, that store is right next to a specialty chocolatier.  Maybe he doesn’t want to stock chocolate!  But I was soon contacted through Facebook by the Social Media Coordinator at Equal Exchange and she let me know that because I shared the photo with the store owner and suggested that he try selling them, she was going to send me a few organic candy bars.  Wow!

A package arrived and we were excited to open it!

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Small Farmers Big Change

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We were overwhelmed by the fun inside the package!  Bubble wrap!  And lots of candy bars!  And a bag of coffee!

I hope that The Sacred Circle does end up placing an order because the Holiday Minis are the cutest little chocolate bars wrapped in beautiful light blue paper for the milk chocolate and dark blue paper for the dark chocolate.  They are going to make the perfect gift for my children’s teachers!  Since about 20 come in each box I figure I can put 4 or 5 in a little clear cellophane bag and tie each bag with a ribbon.

They are also going to be excellent stocking stuffers, but I need to remember to be careful with how many I allow my children to eat.  The serving size says 9 mini bars, but even when my children were limited to 2 each they still got a noticeable chocolate buzz.

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I first saw large bars of chocolate with the striking Equal Exchange logo at a Ten Thousand Villages store which has since closed. Then I noticed the logo again when my parents gave me a bag of coffee which also had a Presbyterian Coffee Project sticker on it.  Their church sells the coffee once a month so my parents have been very generous in continuing to give us coffee whenever they buy it at the church.

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In 2009 I wrote a post about fairly traded chocolate (link to post) after we went to an event at East to West Gifts which celebrated World Fair Trade Day.  I gave away a bar of chocolate to spread awareness of the option of buying fairly traded chocolate and coffee.

Because of the generous gift that I just received from Equal Exchange, I would like to send a chocolate bar and the bag of coffee to you!  All you have to do to be eligible to win is live within the United States, and comment on this post.  There is only one entry per person.

A winner will be chosen among those who comment before Saturday October 13 at 10 am.  Leave a comment on this post before then if you would like to win.  At that time I will close the comments.  The winner will be chosen at random and will be notified by an update in this blog post and by email.

UPDATE:  I have dropped off a chocolate bar and bag of coffee to Emily of supperforsix as she was the winner this time.

Impossibly Charming Staunton

October 5, 2012

I love this town I live in!  October is my favorite time of year because I always feel a little kick of creativity.  Downtown Staunton is featured in Go Magazine on pages 20-21 and on the front cover.  I am impressed with the photos, especially the one of the Temple House of Israel, and the article makes me want to find more ways to participate and interact with the people that make it such a nice place.

These are some of my own photos from my walk today.

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L is for Lunch

September 14, 2011

Logan started kindergarten on August 22.  He wants to eat packed lunch and wants everything separated, so I got these containers from Amazon.com.  I use wax paper to keep the foods separated.  It’s not a completely “waste-free” lunch, but the wax paper works well to keep the crackers and cheese and fruit tasting fresh and appetizing.  I just use scissors to cut the wax paper into sections that are about 6 inches by 6 inches and I end up using 3 of those in each lunchbox.  Even though the containers from Kinetic Go Green have dividers and the lid secures very tightly, there is a little bit of room for small foods like goldfish crackers to move from one of the sections into another.  I am also trying to prevent fruit juices from affecting the taste and texture of the crackers.

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new lunch box

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This photo shows the crackers still wrapped in wax paper.  One section has goldfish and the other has honey sticks.

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new lunch box

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This photo is after Logan has taken the crackers out of the wax paper.

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new lunch box

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Charlotte goes with me every Wednesday to eat lunch with Margaret at 10:40 and then with Logan at 11:15.  Sometimes she will sit down at the table and eat, but usually she likes to run around the cafeteria or crawl under the tables and get attention from all the students.

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visiting for lunch

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I pack the foods like ham and cheese up next to the ice pack and they stay very cold.  The apple turns a little bit brown in the 3 hours that pass between packing the lunch and eating it, but the cool temperature means it is still appetizing for Logan.  The Wednesdays that I have been there to sit with him he has been able to finish everything in the 30 minutes they are given to eat.

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new lunch box

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new lunch box

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I have had to resort to nursing Charlotte while I eat lunch with Logan in order to keep her in my lap because by that time we’ve been in the cafeteria for almost an hour.  It was nice when she fell asleep!

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asleep in the cafeteria

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Margaret is buying school lunch this year, but her lunch is so early in the day that she has to pack a snack.  She ends up eating lunch two times each day because the “snack” that I pack her is just as big as a packed lunch would be.  In these containers I usually pack a plum, peach, kiwi or grapes for Margaret and an apple cut in two and some strawberries for Logan.  Then for the protein Logan likes cheese cubes.  Margaret also likes cheese and she will eat peanut butter crackers or celery with peanut butter as well.  Then in the other two sections they take banana bread muffins made by my parents and graham sticks, goldfish crackers, and Letter of the Day cookies by Earth’s Best.  Half a sandwich cut in two also fits in one section.

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new lunch box

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This is what the Kinetic Go Green food container looks like when it is being washed.  We don’t have a dishwasher.  It’s not a big deal to wash these two boxes and the eight sections every night. They are very good quality.  Logan doesn’t have any trouble opening the lid and I like the size of the container which helps me get the portions right.  The lid is airtight because of a silicon gasket.

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washing the boxes

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These containers are a much better way to pack lunch than the stainless steel boxes with the muffin cup dividers that I was using when Margaret was in preschool and kindergarten.  This way they can carry their lunchboxes by the handles and slide them upright into their narrow cubbies without the different foods mixing.

Well, it’s Wednesday (my day off from work) so I’ve got to get ready to go to the cafeteria and eat!

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B is for Book

September 7, 2011

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reading a book

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reading a book

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A is for Anticipation

August 22, 2011

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anticipation of kindergarten

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