Parenting genius

The other day my daughter was a bit grumpy because she dropped her straw in the potty and I insisted we had to throw it out (they may be low, but I have standards).
Potty took so long that I forgot the warming peanut butter toast in the toaster oven – oops! Too hot, and too hard. Baby didn’t want to eat it.

Genius moment! I dipped the toast (dip dip?) into her left-over tea from this morning. Cooling and softening action at work, the snack was then palatable and gulped down by baby, who loves to dip-dip anything.

Also file under: eco-parent of the year award.

Best Smoothie Ever

’tis the season for blending up yummy drinks at home. We had this for breakfast the other day and baby and I devoured it! Husband isn’t as much of a fan of nutty drinks. Oh well, more for us!
Frozen bananas
Yogurt (the thick kind!)
Ripe avocado
Almond milk
Coconut milk
Peanut butter

Yum! Rich, creamy, satisfying. High fat – perfect to give you energy for the day.

Regime Change

Things are going to change around here.They have to.

We’ve had too many late nights, too frequent crying baby, not enough good food, and insufficient progress towards our goals.

Starting now: My new priorities.
1) Spirituality. Praying morning, evening + obligatory prayer each day. Doesn’t have to be long. Does have to be focused and sincere.
I’m going to add here the routines of connection we’re starting to build. Deep breathing and setting/discussing intentions with our meals; brief times in the evening when husband and I stop and connect. These are the heart of our developing family life.

2) Baby routines. Wake-up, potty, teeth, breakfast, play. Snacks. Lunch. Dinner. Bath at 6:30, teeth, potty, stories, nurse, bed by 7:30. Ab-so-lute-ly essential. Plus, of course, lots of love, cuddle, play, read and fun time.

3) Food. We need to switch to a gluten-free diet. We are also trying to save money. We have a great new cookbook thanks to friends. I will be studying this, making menu plans, buying the right foods and getting rid of the not-right foods.

4) Finances/Family Planning Priorities. I will support us in motoring through the creation of our new family budget, cash envelopes, tracking systems, wills, and the other priorities we’ve established.

5) Everything else??? The course I’m trying to finish teaching. Purging our possessions. Keeping the house clean. Starting new writing projects. Time with friends. On and on!

Hows are a big challenge for me. What does it mean if we make this list of priorities, but we have an entire kitchen of dirty dishes and piles of dirty clothes? Other things still need doing. Here’s how I think this might play out.
a) Spirituality first = getting the energy and focus to do what we need doing.

b) Keeping the vision in mind (Healthy family; happy daughter; moving out of this house and into better accommodations; financial independence; etc.) also helps to streamline my time.

c) No more facebook. At least for a while. SIGH. But, really, time is key and a few minutes here and there adds up.

d) Mainly: this new regime means doing the important things first, AND stopping doing anything else if a higher priority need comes up. I can purge to my heart’s content tomorrow, as long as I run through baby’s morning routine, and have lunch & dinner planned out and going.

Some of you may wonder where my husband – the male sex – fits in with this potentially gendered to-do list. Let me tell you! My husband is amazing. Truly loving, supportive and committed to equality in our family. Just one example: He does the dishes. Almost all the time, unless I sneak in and do them. He actively discourages me from doing them, because it’s something he can do to contribute, and because he wants us to approach chores in a non-gender-stereotypical manner. And yes, he cooks too. In fact, his meals are generally better than mine, in spite of all my talk and cooking effort! He is right now working evenings and weekends (plus weekdays) to finish off the renos on this house that we can’t wait to be rid of. When I say evenings, I mean frequently until 11 or midnight. And yes, dishes too. I can’t do the renos. He does them well and quickly. Maybe in a future fun project we will do this kind of thing together. We want to, and I’m sure we will. Right now? The strategy is divide and conquer, short-term pain for long-term gain. The least I can do is support us in changing our diet over to GF and taking the lead on baby routines and the budget. Which he is fully in support of.

So, that’s that.

It’s 11. I’m going to send a few quick emails and head to bed. Maybe, I might possibly finish reading “Oh the glory of it all” because it’s been consuming me and I”m almost done. Yes, I need to stop reading so many novels, too. At least for a while.

Why I H*** Broccoli

I really don’t like broccoli. At all. I actively avoid buying it as a vegetable for our family.
There’s really only one reason why: it takes absolutely FOREVER to cut it up.

The thing is, I really don’t like the tough skin on the stalk. No matter how much you cook it, it’s still this hard, unchewable barrier on the outside of the yummy broccoli interior. In order to get the broccoli the way I like it, I cut off the end and peel the stalk.

This part is actually kind of fun. I’m one of those people who loves peeling off wallpaper, or scraping up paint, or anything else that involves that kind of removal of long strips of something.

Once you get past the bottom of the stalk, though, the fun stops. Gazillions of trees going everywhere with these deep indentations, also covered in thick yucky outer skin. I peel, cut, peel, cut, and before I know it, 15 minutes has gone by on ONE STALK OF BROCCOLI!

Organic broccoli was on sale at a local grocer this weekend. I know it’s good for us. I caved and bought some. And because I recently learned that to get maximum nutritional value out of broccoli you need to eat it raw or let it sit after it’s cut for at least 15 minutes (or 30? Not sure) to allow this certain really really good chemical to form, and because we want to eat it tomorrow night, I cut it up tonight. At some point, watching the time go by and my precious evening personal time vanishing, I started to cut corners. We’ll see if the result tomorrow is edible!

The recipe: bake/steam in a pyrex dish with water. Then cover & cook a bit more with a topping of pressed garlic, tamari and sesame oil. Yum! Okay, maybe worth the effort.

Monday recap

Today: pretty good.
Baby woke up just before the alarm went off. Lots of nursing and potty. With husband’s help, we were fed and out of the house before 8.

Baby drop-off: seamless.

Arriving at work: parked in a nearer lot, and time to login to computer and get to presentation early.

Presentation: went well. I think I talked a bit too much and didn’t ask enough questions. But still: I think there was some discussion and some points got across.

Work: got stuff done! Ran into people and talked! Got down to it and worked!

Opening for OutWeek: lovely. My speech was fine, the others were great. Heard the Okanagan Song for the first time – beautiful!

Successful meeting, then attended one of the week’s events: viewing of “For the bible tells me so” – greatly enjoyed this film which follows Christian families which came to terms with one of the family members being gay.

Baby pick-up: also went well. Made a haphazard dinner. Baby didn’t eat enough. Bedtime took over an hour, but was fine. We’re changing that up: trying to keep her in the bedroom & on the bed until she goes to sleep. If not sleepy, we read books, etc. So far, so good, though her sleeping before 9 would be great.

Only wish for today: should not have eaten 2 slices of cake. And 2 [small] bags of chips. I definitely need to bring LOTS MORE FOOD to work for lunch & snacks as I’m eating constantly lately.

Food Cravings

I’ve always had dreams about food. I remember one particularly horrible dream when I was a teenager, eating chocolate and chicken-flavoured chocolate chips. And often, when my body seems to be low on energy, I’ll dream about salmon or something sugary. But since getting pregnant the cravings have been increasingly vivid and frequent.
Last night it was pizza. I was in a restaurant and was shown samples of the two pizzas I could order: one savoury, one sweet, both with a wonderfully curly salad on top. Mm, the tomato, cheezy, vegetably goodness! And definitely better in the dream than the pizza we attempted to make earlier in the day.

Two nights before it was refried beans. Proper Mexican-American pinky runny refried beans on a plate with some enchiladas. Dripping in sauce, cheezy, warm and hot, and of course, corn tortillas. Wow … I don’t know how much more of this my stomach can take.

And sushi. That’s another one that’s popped by. And salmon, of course. Speaking of which, I think I’ll put a salmon patty on for dinner.