Imperfect parenting

Posted 09-30-2011 at 09:11 AM by whitneywalters

I am the perfect mother. Now before you close out of this blog and swear to never read a blog written by me again please read on. I am the perfect mother, for my family. The reason for this is because I unapologetically do what is right for my family. Even when it is unpopular with other family members or friends, if it is right for my husband and kids I do it.  I was not always this way, it took a long while and lots of tears for me to come to a point that I was honestly able to ignore what other people said about certain parenting choices and do what was best for my family.

The area I live in is definitely not filled with like minded parents, attachment parenting, home schooling, not vaccinating and breastfeeding (just to name a few) are not very popular parenting practices. My husband and I only have a couple friends and family members that believe in parenting the same way that we do and this caused a lot of grief and hurt feelings for me in my son’s first six months of life. I felt like I had to defend my choices almost daily and some of the things that I heard from other people were down right cruel. It was a battle and I just did not understand why people thought they needed to tell me how to raise my child. After all nothing I was doing was causing harm and everything I was doing was out of love and wanting to do the best things I could do for my child. It took one particularly horrible experience

Diaper Swapers

Climber

Posted 09-30-2011 at 07:35 AM by blairmarie333

Brooke, my 20 month old has learned to crawl out of her crib. I got up this morning when she started making noise to find her sitting on top of her changing table. She must have climbed out of her crib after she got up. I laughed and asked her how she got out and didn’t really think about it again.

Well, nap time came around and I put her in her crib as I always do. About 3 minutes later I hear her crying and banging on the door. I go in her room and she has crawled out again. I put her back in her crib and tell her its bed time, turn around to walk out of the room and before I can make it out the door, she is out again!

I tried just leaving her in her room in her big girl bed (she has never slept in it) but she just plays and doesn’t go to sleep. This all happened about 1pm and it is now 4:53pm and she still hasn’t taken her nap. I hope this doesn’t become a daily occurrence.

Any tips on how to get through this phase?

What is this Stain?

Posted 09-30-2011 at 07:09 AM by Monica Beyer

I started cloth diapering when my youngest was 2 months old. We began our CD journey with two dozen premium prefolds and a few Thirsties covers. It didn’t take me long to get the hang of trifolding them into the covers and fastening the tabs, but I did it incorrectly enough a few times to experience a few, dreaded blowouts.

One time was particularly memorable. My oldest child, a 14-year-old boy, was sitting with the baby on his lap. It was a sweet sibling moment, with the baby just hanging out and the older boy watching television. Suddenly, I heard him exclaim, “What is this STAIN?” I honestly had no idea what he could be talking about, so I walked over to see him poking around a mustard-colored glob on the belly of her onesie. “That’s poop,” I said, “and you are touching it.” He ran to the bathroom to wash up, gagging the whole time.

Yell Less and Have Better Behaved Kids

Posted 09-29-2011 at 08:11 AM by Krista

I don’t know about you, but I tend to yell an awful lot. I hate to admit it, but the truth is I find myself yelling at my children more often than not. Sometimes I feel like all I say is, “How many times do I have to tell you” or “If I have to come up there…!”

I hadn’t realized how bad it had gotten until I shouted at my daughter for climbing onto the counter—OK, this one at least was warranted. She had grabbed one of our knives off the rack—and my husband J. came in and asked, “Is everything OK? With you, I mean?”

“Yeah, I guess,” I shrugged.

“I just mean…well, you’ve been yelling at the girls a lot lately.”

Had I? I hadn’t realized, but it was true. My days was running together until all I could see was an accumulation of stress and frustration, which I displayed through the unsavory act of shouting at my kids.

I couldn’t tell you how it got like this. I never used to yell. No, really. I can count on one hand how many times I yelled at my first daughter, Alison, during her first years. Then, when her little sister came along and she not even two yet, it seemed I was always shouting at her not to touch the baby, or take her pacifier, or bother her in general. (Come on, you’ve been there, right? Aren’t there times where it would be better summed up to say, “Just don’t breathe on him, alright?”)

Disposables & Dioxins

Posted 09-29-2011 at 07:44 AM by Britt Schwartz

To be frank, our initial motivation to get started in cloth diapering was purely monetary. At the time I had no idea of the controversy over the chemicals in disposable diapers as well as the potential health risks for my girls.It wasn’t until I started to read more blogs and articles about cloth diapers did I become aware of dioxins. I, not being a scientist, did not immediately know what they are and it can be difficult to find reliable information about controversial topics from biased websites dedicated to both sides of the cause. Because I wanted real answers, I decided to do some research myself. I had a list of questions I wanted answered and was shocked by some of the answers I found!

I wanted to know what exactly dioxins are and the health risk the posed to my family. I then wanted to know if they really were in disposable diapers, and if so, why? I wanted to get a big picture understanding of dioxin and diapers.

Dioxins are a group of chemically-related compounds that are persistent environmental pollutants. They are mainly formed through manufacturing processes like bleaching pulp and herbicide production. Dioxins are highly toxic and can cause reproductive and developmental problems, damage the immune system, interfere with hormones and also cause cancer. Dioxins are everywhere in our environment and the greatest risk to our health comes from direct exposure. There is no current research to show if there is a safe amount when it comes to the amount of exposure.

I’ve spent two days researching for this blog and I haven’t been able to find a website that states that dioxins are NOT found in disposable diapers, many researchers quickly point out that our diet is a far greater risk to exposure to dioxin than disposable diapers. They claim that

Meatless Meals- Eating Thrifty

Posted 09-29-2011 at 07:37 AM by whitneywalters

After watching our grocery bill double in the last year my husband and I decided we had to do something to cut back. I already meal plan and cook from scratch so after asking around for more suggestions we decided to try the top suggestion made, more meatless meals. Eating meatless does not bother me at all, I love veggies and would be perfectly happy if I never ate meat again. My husband and son on the other hand are not the same way. This made things challenging for me when it came to coming up with recipes that would please my whole family but with a little trial and error we have found several recipes that we all love and do not cost a lot to make.

The one dish I knew I would always be able to make and get my family to willingly eat was grilled cheese and tomato soup. While they were happy to eat tomato soup from a can, I wanted to find a recipe that I could make using tomatoes from our garden. Pair the recipe below with grilled cheese sandwich made with wheat bread and real cojack cheese and it is a really tasty meal.

Ingredients

After You Say I Do

Posted 09-28-2011 at 10:23 AM by Krista

Do you remember your wedding day? What am I saying, of course you do! If you’re like me, then you probably thought of your wedding day from time to time since you were a little girl. Did you want to look like Cinderella, wearing a beautiful, white dress? Did your dream come true?

My wedding day was, like the proposal, nondescript. In his defense, J was nineteen years old when he popped the question. I remember it like a strange dream. One minute, we were talking, and the next, he drops to the floor and starts doing sit-ups.

“I think we should get married,” he panted in-between sets.

“Are you asking?”

“Yes,” he grunted, still pushing it out.

I was speechless. I didn’t ever imagine that my prince charming would propose while burning calories, if you know what I mean. Where was the champagne, the waterfall? What happened to dropping down on one knee?

Once, I teased him in front of our friends about his proposal. I didn’t know that it bothered him until later that night.

“I didn’t propose like that!” he protested.

I stared at him in the mirror as I washed my face. “Like what?”

“You know, you said I just…said it. I didn’t do it like that. It was romantic.”

I couldn’t stop myself. I burst out laughing. “Romantic? Well, sure, if your idea of romantic is ‘let’s get married’.”

Bring new life to leftovers- eating thrifty

Posted 09-28-2011 at 08:30 AM by whitneywalters

Since we are trying to cut down on our grocery bill that was getting out of control we could not be letting any of our leftovers go to waste. I am not a big fan of just eating up the same thing over again so I have been finding ways to bring new life to our leftovers.

We raise chickens each year at my parents farm and since our chickens get much larger then most chicken you are able to buy at the super market we are able to get three full meals from one chicken. The first night I will cook a whole chicken in the crock pot with carrots and potatoes. Then night to we usually have chicken alfredo or another chicken pasta dish. Night three will either be BBQ chicken sandwiches or chicken noodle soup. There are many other ways to prepare leftover chicken into a new and delicious meal, like cold chicken salads or sandwich spreads, chicken burritos, chicken and rice casserole, chicken and noodles or chicken and veggie stir fry. If you are looking for great chicken recipes try using betty crocker, I love this website because they have a tool bar that you can add in ingredients that you have and it will pull up several different recipes you can make with those items.

Whenever I can find a good deal on roasts I will generally pick up a few. It is another item that I can get at least two meals from. The first night we have roast in the crock pot, with carrots and potatoes and then night two we have hot beef sandwiches.

My husband loves chili. I know that I can make several meals from one pot of chili so I will make a large pot and then use it several different ways over the next few days. The first night we have chili with rolls or corn bread. After that we will have chili topped baked potatoes, chili dogs, chili burgers or chili cheese fries.

On the rare occasions that we grill steak I will use any leftovers to make steak and potato soup or beef stew.

If you take the time to get creative you can come up with really good ways to use leftovers and you will save yourself money in the process.

When the Power Is Out, What Do We Turn Into?

Posted 09-28-2011 at 07:40 AM by Monica Beyer

Before Hurricane Irene wreaked havoc in the northeast, we had some severe weather here in Missouri. An outrageous thunderstorm blew through, scared me to death and killed our electricity. Fortunately we had little damage, unlike many families in town who lost enormous trees, like our next door neighbors.

We were without power for 1 1/2 days. We lost the contents of our refrigerator and freezer and I realized how amazingly dependent we are on electricity. No lights …  no matter how often I went down the darkened hallway and flipped the switch, I never got used to it. No stove. No microwave. No refrigerator. No washing machine. No sewing machine. No central air conditioning. No interwebs! And it bloomed up into the mid-90s the next day, and the day after. The air in the house became still, moist, hot and stinky. Willow’s bedroom reeked. Our trash reeked. It was just gross.

We played games and told stories and tried to make it fun. Flashlights and lanterns retain their fun even when you’re hot and sticky.

We stayed in the basement that first night because it was cooler down there. I slept in one of my sons’ beds (who had excused himself to a friend’s house for the night) which is

Capturing a Memory

Posted 09-27-2011 at 08:42 AM by whitneywalters

One of my most favorite past times is photography and while I am not a professional I do have to say I have gotten some pretty beautiful pictures of my kids.  I like having pictures of my kids framed and on display in my house and since we can not afford to get professional ones as often as I like to change out the pictures I had to get inventive and start taking wall worthy pictures myself. In order to do this I started taking my camera with me every where I went since I never knew when we would be somewhere that would present the perfect wall worthy picture.

My son, who is five used to love getting his picture taken and was great about posing for me but here lately is more interested in making silly faces or won’t sit still long enough to get a decent picture taken. So I usually try getting quality action shots of him playing at the park or outside. Recently my parents bought a mini four wheeler for the kids to play with at their house, my son was in heaven riding around the yard on it and I just had to wait for him to ride by so I could snap some pictures.

My oldest daughter who is four is a super girly girl. She loves being all dressed up and loves the camera even more. She is more then willing to pose for me. While I love the posed pictures I get from her I also love catching her just playing or exploring. She is fascinated with flowers right now, we were outside playing and she found a patch of dandelions, only a few days prior to this we had been reading