Archive for April, 2010

Wordless Wednesday – My Peas!!!

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April 29, 2010 at 05:09 Leave a comment

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April 27, 2010 at 23:40 1 comment

Walking For a Cure. . . But Mostly For My Partner

I lay in bed Saturday night before the MS Walk thinking. Going over my game plan for our early start the next morning, wondering if Oliver would have the patience to spend at least part of the walk in the stroller (He didn’t by the way, he put up with it for less than a block before I put him in the ‘Baby Trekker’.), which carrier I should take to wear him in when he inevitably had enough of his isolation pod.

I thought about how I should have gotten those weird looking running shoes that make your butt look good, and if my not so good looking butt would even make it the 10 km with a 15lb baby strapped to me.

And at last I thought about why I was doing this. What possessed me, completely at random one day to sign up for this walk?

When people ask me I usually spew some gobbledy gook about wanting to set a good example for Oliver about charity and activity and all that good productive citizen stuff. That is all true, but that’s not really why I did this.

I knew when I got involved with Das Piper that he had been diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. I had no real idea of what that meant, it worried me some, but he had told me that having been diagnosed for 10 years with little to no progression it was nothing really to be worried about.

I believed him, and in our daily lives I don’t really ever think about it. But as time wore on and I started to take stock of all the things that Das Piper has lost I began to realize that MS is never far from his mind.

From having to relearn to tie his shoes, having to give up playing his bagpipes, which he loved, and having tremendous trouble learning to change a diaper because of nerve loss in his hands, to being limited in his work as a contractor because of vertigo, fatigue, and occasional weakness in his legs, Das Piper is reminded of his disease constantly, and in a way that I can sometimes forget or overlook.

I know he wants me to overlook it. He doesn’t like to admit when his legs are bugging him, or let his frustration show when he’s having trouble reaching the next cord on his guitar but I see it.

The day I signed up to do the walk Das Piper had just gone to work. Moments before, Oliver had been laying on the floor by his father’s feet playing and watching him getting ready to head out.

‘No-one ties their shoes like I do’ I heard Das Piper say. ‘Your mom will have to teach you how to do it the right way.’

I have raised $500 for MS research in the last few months, it’s not much, but I am proud of it. Experts say that they are close to a cure. But more than a cure, I wanted to do this walk to show my partner that I am here, that I love and support him, that I have accepted him MS and all, and that I am willing and able to help him in any way I can, that I don’t mind if Oliver learns to tie his shoes differently. I need to show him these things because I know that if I were to say them out loud I would cry, and he would tell me to stop being mushy, and that I don’t need to worry about him. He hates it when I worry about him.

He wouldn’t even let me wear a tag with his name on it to tell other walkers what had inspired me. But that wasn’t that important to me. He knew that I was doing it for him.

As far as teaching Oliver anything about charity and all that, well, he slept through most of it and was a little oblivious to the whole thing. But he did think it was a pretty nice walk despite it being a bit on the cold side.

April 27, 2010 at 01:52 3 comments

Breastfeeding My "Older Baby"

I don’t know how anyone could wean at 6 months.

I mean, if you did and that’s what worked for you I mean no offense at all, but I personally would be heartbroken if I had to stop breastfeeding now for any reason. Yet that seams to be the expected next step.

More and more in my reading I am coming across the term ‘older baby’, and while I do know on some level that to some people 7 months is ‘getting a little old to still be nursing don’t you think?’, I was really shocked to notice that subtle message being thrown at me from every direction.

There has been a shift in the tactics being used to undermine my breastfeeding relationship with my son. I have made it 6 months without ‘supplementing’ or ‘choosing to introduce infant formula’ or ‘picking a healthy alternative for my baby’ despite the billions of dollars spent trying to convince me to do so.

Now that I have made it this far though, I start hearing things about my breast milk no longer having any immune benefits, not having enough iron, not enough vitamin D, not enough calories, not enough, not enough, not enough. Breast milk is no longer enough, but it just so happens that there are several products available to…. You get the idea.

Of coarse I have introduced solid foods, and understand that eating something other than breast milk is part of Oliver’s development. But I also know that Oliver should continue to get a MAJORITY of his nutrients from me, and not from the cereals, biscuits, and convenience foods made and marketed by formula companies, until he is at least 1 year of age my milk has most, if not all of what he needs, and continues to have countless health benefits for him. (Food for fun until they’re one!)

That is not the message I am getting from anyone BUT my doctor. The message I am getting from the world around me is that my breast milk is no longer suitable. What I am hearing from many of the books, the ads, the popular belief, is that breastfeeding is important for only the first six months, because nobody bothered to listen to the rest of the sentence.

According to the World Health Organization, breastfeeding EXCLUSIVELY is important for the first 6 months, then with complementry foods for 2 years and beyond.

I love breastfeeding my ‘older baby’. I love knowing that while these new and exciting solid foods are delicious (mostly) and even satisfying, only my milk has the power to calm and comfort. I love the heavy lidded milk-drunk look of pleasure on his face as he falls asleep every night. I love that he constantly smiles, pats, and coos while eating to tell me how much he appreciates nursing. I love that he has started testing his sense of humor and experimenting with movement while at the breast when he tries to nurse with his legs up over his head and then laughs at his own sillyness.

What so many fail to understand is that breastfeeding is so much more than just nutrition. Breastfeeding is comfort, bonding, and communication in their purest forms.

In our society, successful breastfeeding is not easy, establishing a breastfeeding relationship is an uphill battle. 43% of women who fully intend to breastfeed, fail to make it to their child’s 3rd month. Why would I give it up 6 months later after working so hard to breastfeed in the first place?

April 25, 2010 at 06:27 3 comments

Wordless Wednesday – Big Fluffy Rock Star Hearts

All photos this week are courtesy of Wenchwire

April 21, 2010 at 21:56 3 comments

Baptism

I would like to have Oliver baptized.

Anyone who knows me at all may be somewhat shocked by that statement. My father sure was, the simple massing priest nearly choked on his dinner when I asked what I would have to do to have Oliver baptized.

It’s not that I am particularly anti-religion, and I am certainly not anti-god, though I have been known to make statements to that effect for sheer shock value, and find great humor in making jokes at god’s expense (with love though, really, please don’t smite me), I have no particular beef with god, any of the gods, or the majority of their followers.

More than anything I would say that my lack of defined religious affiliation comes from a kind of spiritual apathy more than anything else. I have no story of faith lost, or religious rebellion, I simply failed to find any interest in god or his worship.

There was certainly no pressure for me to do so despite the fact that my father is a priest and therefore, presumably, a religious and spiritual man of god.

My siblings and I were never to my recollection forced, or expected to attend any kind of Sunday school, or engage in regular prayer. But the option was always there.

When the time came my brother chose to be confirmed, I did not, and aside from a few gentle nudges from my father there was never any real issue taken with my decision.

The way I see it, my baptism was my parent’s way of saying ‘god, this is our daughter, who we intend to raise to be a moral and loving person. Daughter, should you choose to pursue a life of faith, we recommend you start here because we think this god is a pretty cool guy’.

By baptizing Oliver I wish to say ‘god, while I do not lead an overly spiritual existence, and pay more inclined to study the Zen teachings of Buddha than I your holy gospel, I want you to meet my son whom I intend to raise as a moral and loving person, should he choose to be a spiritual man, please welcome him with open arms. Son, should you choose a path of faith, here is a pretty good place to start your journey.’

Das Piper isn’t religious either. But he is ‘not religious’ in a very different way than I am. Where I am simply indifferent to religious practice, Das Piper has what I can only describe as distain for religion, spirituality, and god.

We have never talked about it in any detail, and I am sure he would deny/disagree with my premise here. But only someone who has been let down by faith and religion could hate it as much as he seams to.

This of coarse has lead to some friction on the subject of Oliver’s baptism.

While he would never forbid me from baptizing our son, it is fair to say that he really would prefer that I didn’t. In an effort to keep the whole process from being something he may feel forced into I am going out of my way to keep him involved, and Das Piper is doing his best to have no involvement whatsoever. He has consented to have Oliver baptized, and agreed to show up to witness it happen, but beyond that it’s been made clear that I will get nothing more.

This, of course, makes me wonder if I should even go through with it.

It’s not like I am dead set on having him baptized, or think that his life would be lacking in any way if we chose not to.

Regardless of whether or not we do it, he will have some exposure to the church I am sure, and will have the option to join a church or religion on his own terms and in his own way. It’s not like he will be banished from god’s house never to be welcomed again if we don’t baptize him, and even though most people are baptized as infants, there really isn’t an age limit on it. He can just as easily be baptized at a later time if that’s what he wanted to do.

What makes me so uneasy is that until this point, Das Piper and I have pretty much agreed on every parenting issue we’ve come across. We agreed that attachment parenting would be the best style for our family, we agreed that Oliver would not be circumcised, we agreed that we would introduce meat to his diet even though I don’t eat it and let him become vegetarian on his own should he choose to, we agreed that he would get all of his vaccinations (though the chicken pox one is still up in the air), and we even agreed that Oliver and I would co sleep after it became apparent that it was the only way anyone would get any sleep around here.

But in this one area, an agreement can not be reached and that bothers me. He will give his consent because he knows that it’s important to me, but I just can’t seam to decide if that is enough.

Is it enough for me to have his permission, but not his support?

Is it really so important to me to baptize my son that I would do so even though the very idea of it makes his father, my partner, so uncomfortable?

April 19, 2010 at 01:41 6 comments

Culinary Countdown to Summer: BBQ’d Jerk Tofu Kabob With Fresh Mango Salsa

Somewhere along the line I lost my recipe for Jerk tofu! Luckily by scoping out and comparing a few recipes on the internet I was able to remember everything I put in it, but not all of the exact amounts, so I will list all of the herbs and spices and you can play around with the ratios and make your jerk marinade to taste. (I very rarely measure my spices anyways)

Also note that while the marinade is of my own creation (though loosely based off a number of different recipes), the mango salsa is pretty much verbatim out of the REBAR modern food cook book (a MUST have in my opinion)

Marinade ingredients:

1-3 hot peppers – pick your poison! Anaheim or jalapeños can pack some spice in larger quantities, but just one scotch bonnet or habanero would pack a wonderfully powerful punch for more adventurous diners! (ALWAYS wear gloves when handling something as potent as a habanero pepper and be sure to wash up afterwards!)

1 large red onion, chopped

3-5 green onions, chopped

5 cloves garlic

1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

1 1/2 cup orange juice

Juice of 1 lime

Fresh thyme

Fresh grated ginger

Nutmeg

Allspice

Cinnamon

Salt

Pepper

Mango salsa ingredients:

2 mangos finely diced

¼ red pepper finely diced

¼ red onion, finely diced

1-2 hot chilies, Serrano chili is suggested, but others can work too!

1 tbsp lime juice

1 tbsp chopped cilantro

Other ingredients:

1 extra large block of extra firm tofu

4-6 rounds of naan or other flatbread

Combine all marinade ingredients in a food processor and puree until smooth.

Cut a large block of extra firm tofu (or some chicken if you’re into that kind of thing) into 2 inch cubes and put on skewers. If you are using bamboo or other wooden skewers remember to soak first!

Place skewers in a large bag or other container with your marinade and place in the refrigerator for a few hours, or overnight. Note: you can choose to skewer after you marinade, some prefer to, but I don’t like digging through my marinade to find tofu chunks, so I marinade on the skewer!

To make your mango salsa, chop all ingredients into a fine dice or larger chunks depending on your preference. Combine into a large bowl.

Have your man slave bbq skewers until tofu is golden brown on the outside. Just before you are ready to take skewers off the grill, brush a small amount of olive oil onto flatbread or naan and heat on grill for 1-2 minutes.



Serve Tofu skewers on warm flatbread with mango salsa and lettuce or any other fresh veggies you would like.

April 15, 2010 at 21:41 Leave a comment

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