Thursday, January 29, 2009

The Weaning Story

So I have been wanting to post this but haven't had time. First off, for those who don't know me, some back ground. I am a certified lactation counselor. I nursed my oldest for 6months(i was 21, had some issues nursing that i was uneducated about namely birth control drying up my milk) I nursed my next two boys for 2 1/2 years. This was the right amount of time for us. I assumed Indigo would be about the same. I was so wrong.
Everything started off normal. He wasn't a great nurser, had some tongue thrust issues but nothing i couldn't handle.(um, I'm like a professional!) He did nurse all night long. That was tough, I wish he would nurse all night long now.
This past summer, just before his first birthday I started to give him vanilla soy milk in a bottle. I had a wedding to go to that was five hours away. I would have to be gone all day and most of the night. Indigo would not drink pumped milk out of a bottle. My theory was if it tasted yummy enough, he would drink it. He did. He also started to take the pumped milk. I was thrilled. After the wedding, and his first birthday, i introduced the sippy cup. Pretty standard. I was also desperately trying to get him into his own bed.
I honestly don't mind babies sleeping with us.Honestly, I love to cuddle with them. Mike loves it less, but usually does not complain. Forrest and Gaynor slept with us. Gaynor until he was four. Harland loved his crib and slept so much better there.(this made me sad too) Indigo seemed to want to be in our bed. The only problem was he writhed and kicked and hit and kicked and (my favorite) head butted us, litterally all night long. No one was sleeping. I even bled a few times! Nothing like a fat lip at 3 am. So, i, in desperation, purchased "THE THREE DAY SLEEP SOLUTION" It comes with a money back garuntee, how could I go wrong! I followed it to the T. Don't let any one tell you different, this IS the Cry it out method. It took two nights and he was sleeping, no binky, no more up in the night....GREAT....RIGHT? Not really.
Indigo was furious! He was awful all day long! clingy, cranky, angry. He immediately associated nursing with going into the crib and refused to nurse, period! This went on for about 5 days, i thought it would get better. He was after all sleeping all night long, in his own bed. Well, it did not. I gave back the binky, stopped the whole process, took him back to bed (head butts and all) and returned the program and got a full refund!, i believe the damage was done. He still would rarely nurse. He just kept asking for a cup. By November, he had weaned completely. I even tried taking the cup away. I was pretty upset.
Mike was confused, "Isn't it ideal for a child to wean himself?" Ya, i said, but at like two, not one! Sad Mamma.

So now, months later, here is how it goes. I am super inconsistent. Like that is any big news. In my defense, so is Indigo. He always takes naps and goes into bed at night with no tears and no problem. (yes he still has the binky in bed only....I'm weak and I'm guilty) He wakes up at night usually just as i am starting to doze off. I swear he has some type of alerting system! ** I sometimes take him into our bed and he will go right back to sleep, all is well. Sometimes I take him into our bed and he beats us up all night. Sometimes I super nanny him, which works really well. I go in to his room, lay him back down with binky, elmo and grover, and sit on the floor near his bed with my head down. He occasionally cries for a minute but usually settles right down. Once he is asleep i go back to bed. Some nights I do this once or twice, all is well. Sometimes, on like the third or fourth time i find myself about to freeze my butt off sitting on his bedroom floor. I just take him to my bed. See ** above. And so the vicious, inconsistent cycle continues.
He has also had staff infection. NO IDEA how this happened. But not one of my "I am the best mom" moments. He continues to get killer diaper rashes often. I even tried disposables, no change. I of course, attribute all of this to him no longer nursing. Yes, I have guilt. It is especially hard on me as this could very well be my last little nursing monkey. I miss it terribly.

Chess (or chest) and Icey window

Harland playing "his own version of chest" (please pay no attention to the half dead tomato plant (not allowed to throw it away) or the lovely spray foam insulation, there will be trim there soon.)

not sure what is going on here, forrest took this one.

This is the ice on the INSIDE of the big boys bed room window. it was 26below zero on this morning.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

I'm still not sure

its hard to photograph the color. although we do have daylight, the room is north facing, its cloudy, and there is nothing in the room to contrast the color against. It seems to actually photograph lighter than it is. It is dark. Darker than I would have picked. Here is how not to pick a paint color. Show husband pictures online of the color you want. Send husband 40 minutes away to hardware store with 5 year old to find a matching color using only his memory. It is the right color, just about 7 shades too dark. I'm gonna leave it and see what i think once the room is back together. If its not right, we will paint it again this spring. I think it will either grow on me or I'll hate it. Once the room is back together, i'll take more pics.

Thursday, January 22, 2009


Alright, Here they are everyone. Sorry Darcy and Conroy, you have been out voted. My sister thinks maybe an owl or hawk. I thought it was really strange that what ever it was, ate it right in the driveway, directly behind the car. We were home and every thing. I guess as long as it is not a bear, I'll be fine. The critters are loving the compost. Tracks of all kinds going in and out. It has become more of a "feed the critters" pile as opposed to a compost pile. Oh well.

Keep in mind this is a Raven I think. They are quite large! I was amazed at how the flesh was picked off the skeleton, but the skeleton was not disturbed. We say it was a bird of some kind because there were no tracks in or out.

Ok Here you go, enjoy, I guess.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

These Are The Days....

Mike was home again today. I decided not to think about what that means in terms of money. He is going to work Saturday. Mike got the trim on our bedroom door and the littles' bedroom door done. I can't believe what a difference trim makes. He also sprayed insulation in around one of the big front windows and the french doors off the play room. Progress is being made. I washed sheets and comforters and made dough for 8 loaves. Indigo has been really rotten(in the cutest way possible of coarse). He is obsessed with the television. What have I done? He cried for literally hours today, starting from the minute he woke up. This is one persistant baby! It was so ridiculous but I will not give in! We need to cut back. I finally manged to distract him but i had to sit right in the play room with him while he played with trains. So, I worked on my new ">wristers.
He did take a little nap from 10-11:30. Then we had lunch and the tantrum started all over again. I just keep reminding myself this "persistence" will be a brilliant quality when he is an adult! So I bundled everyone up and we went outside to play. Nothing like 3 feet of snow as a distraction. He loves that darn sled. we just took turns pulling him around the driveway while the rest of us built rad snow forts. I made stairs up the back of a 6 foot snow bank and a sled path down the front. For a quick escape in case of attack. Sorry I didn't take any pictures today. I was too busy playing.
We came in for hot chocolate and would you believe he forgot about the TV for like 1 whole hour!!! I finally let him watch a movie but not because of a tantrum. I needed to cook dinner and Mike took Forrest to his guitar lesson and to run errands. Gaynor was down stairs playing his drums and Harland was downstairs riding his scooter. I was on my own. Indigo kept getting into the trash, the tools, the bathroom. So Madagascar, my best babysitter went in. I really do wish we didn't have a television, then i wouldn't be able to use it!
For dinner, roasted veggies (sweet potatoes, potatoes, parsnips, carrots, beets with garlic, salt, pepper, tarragon and nutmeg) brown rice, sauteed baby spinach and onions and bread of coarse. should be ready soon.
I love days like these, even with the tantrums. I will fall into bed tonight! But will probably work on my wristers a little more after falling. hee hee.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Hats Hats Hats

The reorganizing of the house is going ok. It's made slightly more difficult by a 1 year old whose favorite past time is dumping things out, everywhere! It honestly took me 30 minutes to sort out hats and gloves today. It is not the first time this season either. I think I need to purchase work gloves for the boys. I was slightly annoyed to find brand new ski gloves with dirt caked to them and the cuffs full of splinters from getting wood. I also moved the crates inside to be more carefully monitored. The porch is wonderful but if i'm not right there, hats and gloves get tossed in the general direction of the crates, and certainly not the right one. Ask me how many frozen hats I found today. they were tossed soaking wet "near" the crates. Guess frozen is better than mildew. We have decided to pull everything out of our bedroom except the bed. This way we can paint, do the trim and closet shelves and door. I will put our dressers in the boys rooms for now. Our plan is to go room by room and finish everything except flooring which will have to wait until last. As a reward for myself,I will make a quilt and curtains to match when it is complete.
Just wanted to let you all know the citrus fast was out the window at noon time on the first day. i can't possibly bake scones for every one and only have a grapefruit my self. NOPE! Can't do it! We are all eating plenty of citrus though. I bought a case of oranges and a case of grapefruit.
I am going to a knitting workshop in a few weeks. In the meantime i have been crocheting up a plethora of hats. here are some i have made. I also made monogramed neck warmers for the boys. I wish black wasn't everyone's favorite color. This is the only time i wish i had a daughter. BLACK! Blah!

Monday, January 19, 2009

Could work actually be more fun than feeling sorry for myself???

7:00 am, up with indigo. he's been running a fever so it was a tossy turny kind of night. no symptoms just fever, could be the 4 eye teeth he is cutting
7:15 big boys are up and dressed and starting school work! WoW! I sit right down to research nursing school, daycare, etc. (it is mid winter, people! time to totally re-invent my life!)
8:00 sit down with oatmeal and new Mother Earth News. feeling inspired! I will pretend i didn't see the editors letter which included population control as a necessary means to fix our over consuming issues!!!! URRRRGGGHHHH! don't even get me started!
9:00 laundry, dress littles(mom that little sweater is so stinkin cute!)clean kitchen, empty and reload dishwasher, switch laundry, check boys progress, change video for Indigo......6 times! this is his new thing!
10:30 write myself a letter reminding me why i moved to maine....must stay focused, school needs to wait another year.
10:45 Make bread dough, enough for 6 loaves.
11:00 take gaynor out to get wood. discover our plow guy has unknowingly plowed in our path to the wood barn. dig through a 5foot high, 5 foot wide wall of snow!! drag and unload sleds full of wood!
just realized this picture makes it look like forrest did the shoveling.. NO! I did it! just asked him to stand there for picture.

12:00 in for hot chocolate and lunch.
12:40 Indigo in for nap, boys out to play me out to do more wood! its a balmy 30 degrees out must get wood done before -26 degrees comes back!!!!
1:20 came inside to blow my nose and Indigo was screaming. Guess he's not actually going to take a nap. We did get a few more sled loads in though.
2:00 Make yummy french lentil soup from Veganomicon
3:00 Bake two loves of bread, quick pick up of house fold 4 load of laundry put more in, sit to blog and blog-stalk

I got a little kick of motivation/inspiration today. Its time to get working on this house! we need to get it finished before spring. It's also time to seriously downsize the "stuff"
Wrote out a house plan today. room by room. Also a plan for what we will be growing this spring so i can start ordering seeds. Getting wood was tiring but kinda fun. It was beautiful out side and it was a nice change from the never ending laundry/cooking battle. Mike worked 5-4 today and has to be in at 7 tomorrow. Guess it beats no work at all. Forrest has a Doctor's appt tomorrow to look at his swollen lymph nodes. I think if its nice we'll go out on the snow shoes and see what kinds of tracks we can find. I have these crazy gross pictures i may post. Something picked apart a raven in my driveway. It was really gross but really weird. Are you up for it. I'll put warnings up before i post it. In the mean time here are some pics from today.

this weird marking is from a big bird i think. It's at our compost pile. Either a turkey or a Raven.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

some pics

Who every thought I would be eating (let alone making) Vegan Nachos MMMMMMMMM

roasted winter veggies, sauteed spinach and brown rice. YUMMA!

yoga in pj's

even though it was below 0 outside it was over 70degrees inside in the sun. we didn't even have a fire mid day. i love this well-insulated, south-facing house!

Sunning ourselves in the window

The end result of our mask making morning while the big boys were skiing.SCARY!

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Did Anyone See the Moon Last Night?

So the moon has been unbelievable lately. So bright, it is honestly as bright as daylight out there. With shadows and all. Last night was the "biggest moon of 2009" due to it's proximity to the earth. As everyone was getting into bed, I stepped outside to take a look. I was considering going snowshoeing but, well, let's face it I'm not that motivated. In my defense, Indigo had all ready been up once. When he wakes up he freaks out if I'm not there. Mike handles it just fine, I just feel bad. Anyway, I digress. The moon, right. It was amazing! So amazing in fact i ran in to collect all boys and men to see it.(except indigo). I even woke Harland and wrapped him in a blanket. He was less than excited about being outside in 0 degree weather. The moon was high in the sky, so not as huge as it had been in the early evening. But, what was amazing was there was a huge rainbow ring all the way around it. It was stunning! I have never seen anything like it and may never again. We tried to take pictures but, um, well lets just say i am lucky to have a camera at all but still used this as yet another reason to get my REBEL. So much more to say, but Mike is making yummy vegan pumpkin waffles and the drool is getting all over the keyboard. Here are some pics instead.

he was angry. i made that little hat for him, more on my amazing hat making at a later date.

the boys watching TV on a chilly morning. Please note Harland is pretending to pick his nose, not actually picking it. He saves that for the car so he can try to hand me giant boogies while I drive.

he really loves to vaccume. He asked for the apron but ripped it off a second later.

My little Artist. He colors every day. In the high chair now. i caught on to his game of walking by his brothers and "accidentally" writing on them.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Hunkering Down

It is snowing again here in the mountains of Maine. 6-10 expected by tomorrow AM. Mike has to be in to work at 4 AM, Forrest can work too but 4 AM? I'm not sure about that. Mike just called to say he would take me grocery shopping when he gets home. He knows i hate going out in this, even with all wheel drive. Honestly it is other people and their crazy lack of snow driving skills that makes me nervous. It always snows on shopping day. The big grocery store is over 30 minutes away with no snow. We do have a tiny one near by, but it is very limited. Luckily, i have been working on stocking my pantry and i think i have it under control. Plenty of beans, flour, 50lbs of oats and 25 lbs of sugar. Tomatoes, pasta, brown rice, and every spice under the sun. i can do this. Mike will pick up soy milk and bananas on his way home, i think that should do it. We have to have soy milk so as to prevent sippy cups of water being hurled at our heads. Plus we will need to have hot chocolate for after snow play. It is only for 2 days or so.

I'm am having major camera issues. Have been for a while. I am coveting a "real" camera. A camera that i totally can't afford or justify purchasing. But i do love to take pictures. my current camera is becoming obsolete. can't find memory sticks that work in it without updates and still issues. A girl can dream can't she. so any way, probably no pictures for a while.

I have been working on crocheting, i made two hats for mike, one for indigo, one for gaynor, monogrammed neck warmers for all boys and a lovely one for me. today I am starting fingerless gloves for me. i vow to use up all yarn i have before i purchase more. I am on a roll. The computer is still sucking up too much time. I did switch to tea this weekend. so far so good. Mike switched as well. mostly because he can't be bothered to make coffee. I am loving my SIL for her care packages of organic tea. I'm going to get good herbs to try my tea ball this week. Enough random thoughts. i need to get things done. Fly lady is going well, school, um, not so much, i did order new curriculum i hope that gives a boost to the boys. I'm picking up my case of grapefruit and case of oranges next week. Bills due and payment schedule posted on wall next to calender, so far so good.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Easy vegan dinner to please

I tend to make elaborate meals and bake a ton. Everything from scratch of course. This leaves me spending hours in the kitchen each day. I having been trying to fit more sewing and crocheting/knitting into my life. Somethings got to give. So I thought i would let you in on my fastest vegan meal to feed six, with left overs. Nutritious??? not really but not too bad i guess. So here goes,,,, this one is for you mom, A meal from my childhood, modified to be vegan.

"Chuna Macaroni Salad" (as in chick peas for tuna)

1 lb elbow pasta
2 cans chick peas (or equivalent cooked chick peas)
1/2 small to medium onion chopped
dill relish (didn't even know they made dill relish YUMMY!)
dijon or brown mustard

cook pasta, rinse thoroughly with cold water (untill cold)
in a large bowl mash chick peas with fork or potatoe masher untill most or all whole beans are gone
add onion
add veganaise(maybe about 3/4 cup to start and more if needed at end)
add relish, to taste i use alot probably 4 heaping tables spoons
add mustard to taste I use about a tablespoon
mix together
add pasta and mix
add more veganaise if needed

serve with salt and pepper and potatoe chips

the kids love it! (All though a three year old guest took an enthusiastic big bite and spit it right out with an adorable "what the hell is this" face- thanks elijah) you can omit the pasta and use as a salad for sandwiches, just like tuna salad the whole thing takes about 15 minutes to prep ...15MINUTES! not two hours like the meal i made last night. as i said it's not the most nutritious thing we make but we don't eat fast food EVER so this is ok once in a while maybe i'll get to sew!

Monday, January 5, 2009

Back on Track.....well at least inside my head

So today is the first day of the rest of my life! All right so maybe I'm being slightly dramatic, but, I am hoping to change a few things around here. Flylady is back in my life. Honestly the only time I can remember really having it together was when i was religiously following her plan. So flylady is step one. Step two, finances. I really need to get back on track here. All though in general it is easier to pay the bills when you have money to do so, i can still keep better track of what has or has not been paid. Won't it be nice to not have cell phones get shut off or get disconnect notices for the power. Budgeting is not my strong suit. I really do try. I am great at getting costs down. I usually grocery shop for under $150 per week which i think for a family of 6 is pretty darn good. However, I am really bad at the actual paper work. In my defense, Mike is self employed. This means he never makes the same amount of money. Some weeks are great, some are not. Trying to balance it all out when you have no idea what is coming in is where my frustration lies. I guess it still isn't a good excuse to just leave the envelopes unopened.
School is our next area for change. Yes, AGAIN! Forrest has decided he really wants a structured curriculum. He has realized it is too hard for him (super unorganized, wonder where he gets it) to be self led. He also wants to shoot for graduating at 16. I said i would try. So we are ordering some courses. I am a little concerned. The work we can afford, correspondence courses, are straight forward, but boring. He is going to have to focus. I am choosing a different math curriculum. Math-u-see i even understood the algebra, and it got excellent reviews. Gaynor will also be using this curriculum. For the rest of Forrest's course work i think i will be going with Keystone High School. We will start with Biology, history, English Lit and maybe add art history. We are still using Rosetta Stone French and love it. All to the lovely tune of $800 ish, maybe more if we go with AP or Honors. YIKES! I guess compared to private school it's cheap but we would never be able to afford private school so how can we compare. Gaynor will be staying with an eclectic mix of subjects and curriculum. He seems to do just fine with what ever comes his way. I am going to try and step it up a bit with him though. He is definitely capable of so much more. We will also be adding music to the mix now that the boys will be in lessons. Each is expected to practice their instruments (electric guitar and drums) for a minimum of 20 minutes per day.
The next big change will be schedule. We decided on a 7-11:30 am school schedule. This was Mikes Idea and it seems to be working for the most part. I would never want to work this way, I like to break things up. For Mike and Forrest, however, constantly changing direction is a giant distraction. Gaynor is so flexible he could go either way. He has decided to try Mikes Idea so as to be finished at the same time as Forrest. Now all we have to do is get our butts out of bed! I'll keep you posted on how it is going.
As far as the littles go, i am getting them more involved in chores. Harland has been down right defiant in this area. He simply says "NO" when i ask him to help. I have been finding what chores he enjoys because clearly picking up toys is not one of them. He loves to vacuum out Indigo's highchair and around the cabinets. He also loves to sweep and will usually fold and sort laundry. Getting dressed is an other story. Indigo loves to do laundry and run the big vacuum. He also sweeps but watch out for your heads.

I am also debating losing the binky this weekend. Have to wait until mike doesn't have to get up at 5:00 AM. I think it could be a long couple of nights. He only has it for bed but he really shouldn't have it at all. I sometimes think it keeps him up. I was so happy to finally have one child out of four that would take a pacifier. Now I wish I had never given it to him. I wonder if it contributed to him weaning himself??? A long and sad story for another time.

I have so much more to talk about but part of my new plan is not staying on the computer all day! I do need to post Harland's birthday day letter, Sorry dude, yet an other way you get screwed having a December 27th birthday. I also wanted to tell you all about skiing, but i'll get to it at some point. Hope every one's holiday is starting off great. I'll leave you with some little things i hope to do this year.

A citrus fast, january 10th-?
adding to my apron collection via sewing
learning to knit (anything besides a scarf)
making more and buying less,
learning to re purpose
growing most of our food or at least half
less sugar (in theory any way)
quiting coffee (don't get too excited I'm only switching to tea, baby steps!)
sleeping baby ( can i actually plan this? probably not but i am hoping)