Saturday, November 06, 2010

Halloween for us

Several people asked me if Simeon was dressing up and if we were trick or treating. The answer was no and for several reasons. First off we're not really into Halloween. I definitely enjoy dressing my boy up, but Halloween has pagan origins that I'm not into. The Orthodox Church celebrates Saturday of the Souls days several times during the year, none of which are October 31st. We have some really cool traditions that I will enjoy sharing with Simeon and talking about as he gets older. One is the tradition of Koliva, a dish that is blessed during the service in commemoration of the dead and partaken of by the members after the service.

That being said if people want to partake in harmless Halloween festivities I really don't mind it, I'm not judging anyone. I grew up participating in Halloween and it was fun and harmless. Daniel on the other hand grew up living in the same neighborhood as many of the other members of what would become St. Peter's Orthodox Church. There families were searching for ways to raise their families as faithfully as possible and elected to have them dress up as Saints some years and have little parties for them. Daniel did tell me that some of his friends did trick or treat. And if Simeon does want to trick or treat when he is older and some of his friends are into it, he won't be dressing as anything evil or demonic, not on our watch. I think this is a great book about why dabbling in the occult can be dangerous, strong for some maybe but truthful. I wouldn't recommend this book for a very young child.

Ok enough about my beliefs! I know y'all are here to see pics of my cute boy. We did have a fall festival at church our teens put on. Daniel and I are the teen leaders and the other parents and teens really pitched in to make this a fun event for the kids at our church. Simeon wore a very fallish Wrangler shirt that I got at a consignment sale, so cute! He always has fun with other kids at church and this was no exception, and I think the parents had just as much fun.

So Halloween is here and gone, and we are a week away from Nativity Lent or Advent as the West calls it. I can say I can't wait. I am definitely in need of a renewed effort to concentrate on prayer, fasting, and almsgiving. If anyone has any suggestions of how to involve a small, busy child with almost zero attention span into our Nativity Lent I'd love to hear them. We will go to church services of course, but as far as at home? I have a neat calendar someone gave me that you fold the flaps to expose a different saint everyday (no there's no candy in it:), and Simeon would enjoy it. I hope I didn't put it up in the attic with the other Christmas stuff.

Parlor Market Restaurant Review

So Daniel and I went somewhere new last week. We have been looking forward to this place opening for awhile. Parlor Market is downtown, not far from the newly renovated King Edward Hotel. They have a website, but there didn't seem to be much on it. Check them out on facebook if you're interested.

First off it was such of a treat to go out. We don't go out much, and our goings out have to be early being Simeon is pretty dependent on me for bedtime. And really I don't mind being a home body. Daniel and I had years to ourselves before we were blessed with a child, and ate out plenty.

So we met some friends down there and had a delicious supper. The atmosphere was very nice, it is very nicely furnished and is a dressier kind of place. The food was very good, portions were small and pricey but very good. And to be fair it was pricey, but no than other nicer restaurants for dinner.The draw for us is the food is local and that was fun to choose from entrees from our state and states close to us. I had the quail and it was tiny, but so delicious. If Daniel hadn't ordered a salad and our friends hadn't ordered an appetizer I would have been still hungry. To be fair it was listed as a "small plate". Daniel had trout and said it was really mouthwatering good. We had a "salad" that was wilted romaine, fried oysters, and comeback dressing. It was good and I don't usually like Oysters.

If you want to go somewhere nice I'd recommend it.

Fall Fun

Wow, I'm so behind. I don't really know where time has gone the last few months. My last posts were primarily about our sleep issues that plagued us all of Simeon's life. It took about 2 weeks to get Simeon on a schedule and sleeping well. We had some rough times, but things our much better now. He really does so well on a routine, I'm so sorry I waited so long to put him on one. I absolutely love the No Cry Sleep Solution. It has really helped us out immensely. I thought we had fallen back into our old ways this week, but it turns out poor Sime has an ear infection and a tooth coming in, no wonder he was up more at night:(

We went to the fair, and since this was during the time we were just getting on our schedule we had to be home early (bedtime at 6:30!), so my mom and I went one afternoon. Now that he is getting regular sleep we can stay up a little later, but we don't push it b/c we know staying up later = everyone getting less sleep. We ate very unhealthy food and Simeon caused a goat stampede in the petting zoo. He started stamping his foot when he ran out of food and the goats got a bit excited, oops! Simeon really loved his biscuit, of course he is a little carb fiend, and I can only blame myself. I'm a carb lover too, and that is what he tasted in utero and via my breastmilk. Too bad they didn't at least put cane syrup on the biscuit, I remember when they did... As you can see Grandma Dee Dee was very into the petting zoo too!

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Good Times

So in my previous post I lamented our sleep issues. Let me be clear, I want us to get us on a better routine for Simeon's sake more than mine. When he is well rested he has more fun than when he's cranky and tired.

I'm loving the No Cry book more the more I read it. I will say our sleep issues are definitely not solved, but we're making progress.

I want to write about some good thinks me and Simeon have been doing, because even with sleep problems motherhood is such of a blessing!

He's into copying what I do: dusting the house, bossing Barley, rubbing lotion on his face...

He's talking more and more, I can't understand most of it. But he certainly understands me: he knows what the bed, bath, his toy fire engine, lambo (manly lovey), and many other things are.

He loves to play outside, I think he'd play outside all day if I let him. We try to play out at least an hour a day. There are many other things I need to do, but he gets so bored inside.

Eating is becoming more of a challenge, he is picky and has taken to throwing food at times. But we persist with meals and snacks and Daniel tells me all the time, he's not starving. He loves fruit and anything sweet, almost everything else is hit or miss.

We got the woolens from the cedar chest, I know doesn't that sound so old timey:) I tried his mittens on him and he wouldn't let me take them off, so he wore them to Petsmart this morning even though it wasn't that cold.

Saturday, October 02, 2010

Sleep Issues

So I haven't written lately about Simeon's sleep issues because I hate to just whine on and on and I had given up.

Let me say he has not been an easy child as far as sleep goes. And a sleepy child is often cranky and this makes it hard too. And I have not been a great parent as far as setting a routine for him. There are several reasons I haven't. I'm at home with Simeon all day long and by the end of the day I'm worn out (actually since he hasn't slept well I'm worn out all day long). So I just have been lax on the routine and I kind of wait for Daniel to come home and relieve me, but this doesn't work great always because he works late some so Simeon has been up too late. And I had a false belief that keeping Simeon up may help him sleep later and better. So we had all sorts of blocks creating our house of sleep disaster!

I should mention my dad told me tonight out of all 5 children I was the hardest to get to sleep! Ahh, why didn't anyone tell me sooner.

So there are all sorts of child rearing philosophies, we tend to pick and choose. There is the scheduled feedings school and their variations and then on the other end of the spectrum there is the attachment parenting school. I have been closer to the attachment parent club as I have continued to breastfeed basically on demand. We don't co sleep and Simeon gets 3 meals a day plus 2 non-milk snacks. So some of the AP crowd says the child will sleep through the night when they're ready and you should nurse a baby until they fall asleep. Well let me say following this routine has worn me out, 13 mos of not sleeping well is rough. It's not always horrible, but Simeon has been nursing to sleep (sometimes this takes 1.5 hrs) and waking 1-2 times through the night. I have adjusted as much as possible, but I'm still fatigued.

So I had decided to chug along with this because other than letting him scream I didn't know what else to do. We have done some cry it out with nap time out of desperation and I hate it. I feel like a horrible mom, but he does take good naps now. He started waking up after being nursed to sleep and refusing to settle to sleep. After one bad night I finally checked out
The No-Cry Sleep Solution: Gentle Ways to Help Your Baby Sleep Through the Night
by Elizabeth Pantley
. I don't want to jinx myself but already this book has made my life far easier. We have a bedtime routine, and when Simeon shows any sleepy sign we proceed as quickly as possible to bed. We are using several techniques, some new, some we are now being consistent with:
- bath every evening after supper (we bathed him previously but sometimes in the morning)
- Lovey (named Lambo)
- using the sleep sheep
- during his last feeding while he is drowsy but not yet asleep, I put him in his crib and rub his back till he falls asleep

Now these are just things we have chosen to do, but oh my gosh things are already much better. Last night he slept from 8-5! Daniel and I can't believe how easy it is. I'd much rather rub his back for 20 mins than have him scream for an hour. Now her method involves gradual transitions, so gradually we won't have to rub his back for so long or at all. I know we will probably have some difficulties, but I hope we're on the right track.

Maybe as I get more sleep I will be better about my job and joy as the family chef and update my food blog more:) Obviously I highly recommend this book to other new parents. It is a gentle for baby and parents sleep approach! I feel like my prayers have been answered.

Wednesday, September 01, 2010

Attached Parenting

So this picture is from our first family beach vacation to Orange Beach a few weeks back. I have mixed feelings about that trip. We went with some friends and really enjoyed the company.

Unfortunately Simeon sleeps horribly in his pack and play, so Daniel and I didn't get much rest on the trip. Some friends let us borrow this pea pod and we have yet to try it out. We didn't purchase our pack and play it was given to us, so I didn't do too much research on them. I know the pad in ours is very thin and probably uncomfortable. Simeon also wasn't too keen on the sand or the ocean either, but this was his first exposure to it.

We attended liturgy in the Orthodox Church in Gulf Shores and were treated so hospitably by the people of that parish. We ate out some, and cooked in some.
Daniel did really enjoy being off of work and in a different place. As for me, being quite hobbit-like I was ready to get back to my cozy hobbit-hole in Ridgeland, MS.

So on the way home I realized I left the baby carrier in the condo. I didn't freak out right away, although out of everything I brought I hated to leave this the most. I thought great I won't get anything done at home and Simeon will be a wild child in the grocery store. After an entire week of calling the realty company they told me that my beloved carrier was lost. I was really upset. I moped all week and really missed my helper. Let me say that I don't use it everyday, but when I use it it is a lifesaver.

Daniel told me to just buy a new carrier. But for me my attachment to my carrier went deeper than the high price I paid for it. I felt like Simeon and I had grown in our mother-child relationship in it, and I planned on using it for all our other future children. Isn't it funny how we parents, probably mothers more than fathers, get attached to our baby gear? Like a boppy I bought used from a friend, she said she was glad it was going to a good home. She nursed her baby on the pillow so it was special to her, but we can't keep every baby thing in our house forever of course! And another friend told me that she kept some of her baby's newborn diapers from the hospital.

Well end of the story, almost as soon as I ordered a new carrier my old one was found. So Daniel got me another carrier for another birthday! This time I picked another soft structured carrier, except I chose a more toddler specific carrier, the Oh Snap. Now before you die from sticker shock, let me say that I skimp on some baby gear, like our stroller ($70) and we got almost everything else second hand. I plan on leaving my Beco in my car. It is easy to use in the store due to the panel that makes it easy to very safely pass the baby from my front to my back while standing up, since I drive a 2 door Civic this is necessary. The Oh Snap doesn't have this panel, but I can put it on sitting on the couch till I get used to it. It is more customizable fit wise and is supposed to be better for leaning tall children, like I have:) I'm really excited about getting my new carrier in. Hopefully I will be able to use both of my carriers for many more years.

Monday, August 09, 2010

Prince Simeon's Party

I should quit calling him Prince Simeon, he may start believing it then we'd really be in trouble!

This post has wonderful pictures! Daniel's cousin's wife Erin Quinn takes gorgeous pictures, she has a business Quinntography. Erin was so sweet to take pictures at Simeon's birthday and send some of them to me. Erin did our Christmas card picture last year and it was great, but she will take pictures for other occasions too. If you need a photographer give her a call. Maybe I should hire her to do a monthly or quarterly shot of the boy since my photography skills are lacking.

The boy ate so much cake I thought he was going to be sick last night. Next time he gets a smaller piece.

What a great Daddy! This may be my favorite picture ever.

Cousin Noelle having a ball

We had a great time, and are so grateful for all our family. I really couldn't have done it alone. Simeon (most importantly) really had fun even though the party was late. We had an evening party so my mom could come, thanks Momma for working so hard all these years. I hope no one ever has to go to the ER at St. D on a weekend night but if you do my Momma will take care of you. Evenings aren't the boys best time but he did really well.

We were able to party at the Oakmont clubhouse and it was pretty open, he seemed to love just running around a wide open space. There wasn't much for him to get into and he had a great time. Simeon ate too much delicious cake. He was excited about the presents, and he should be. The boy is set: a Grateful dead shirt, puzzles, a train, pjs, cool books, a pull along froggy, and a nice new (smaller) diaper bag. When the weather cleared up we got to take a little swim and even tested out the capacity of the swim diaper! That was our second hosing off of the night!

For the love of Etsy

So we had Simeon's first birthday party yesterday. We had a blast and I didn't have a emotional meltdown. It was almost like a wedding, I did so much preparation and planning and then it came and went in a flash. Now some momma's spend lots of time on what their kids are going to wear or some other detail. I focused on establishing family traditions. I love traditions, maybe because I don't like change and traditions are comforting. I also like using the same, quality items over because it is less wasteful. To each their own, but that's my style.

I found some awesome ladies on Etsy to make some special party decorations for me. First off I remember some birthdays when I got to wear a hat and I loved it. So I had Song at GirlGirlBoy make the crown up at the top. Yes if you follow the link you may die at the prices. But I went cheap on other things. And I don't have any free spending money for the next year, just joking:) Several of my guests informed me that Simeon will not want to wear this awesome bday crown for all his birthdays through 9. That's ok, maybe we'll have a sweet little girl who will. I have made a real effort to buy gender neutral party decorations so they can be reused by a future Root girl.

I found a great bday banner made by yellow label kids before I ever had Simeon and knew that I wanted it for our family tradition. They had a matching tablecloth, but by the time I had Simeon they quit making the set and I couldn't find the tablecloth!

So I found this great family on Etsy to custom make me a birthday quilt table topper. They even let me pick my own fabrics. Their price was so reasonable and it is fun, bright, and festive. I washed it this morning and it still looks great. The only hitch was I planned it for our table at home, but we ended up using the clubhouse at Daniel's parents neighborhood and the table there was bigger. If I had planned a bit better I would have had a longer tablecloth to go under it. It was nice anyway though.

Thursday, August 05, 2010

Slow cooker madness

Finally a food post!

I decided that I needed a new slow cooker to better prepare healthy meals for my family, how American right. We always need new stuff for some reason or another. I do like my new slow cooker. I wish that I had ordered my new slow cooker and this cookbook on Amazon and saved some $. If any of my friends out there have good slow cooker cookbook recommendations please pass them along.

I have enjoyed my new slow cooker. It is a better size and shape for my family. My old one was an oval and too big to prepare smaller meals so I didn't use it much. I have been looking for ways to avoid overheating the house during this horrible heat wave we have been suffering from. I have cooked beets and butternut squash in my slow cooker and was very happy with the results. I cooked some Swedish meatballs that Daniel really loved. I cooked oatmeal that was easy and a good, quick breakfast, we'll have to repeat that this winter. I will say some things I cooked seem a bit overcooked, I think my slow cooker might run a bit hot. I haven't got all scientific and checked the temp. during cooking. I'm looking forward to using my slow cooker more.


I'm really hoping today was foretaste of my future as a stay at home mom to a toddler. We had a great day! He was so happy and silly. I guess he did get two good naps. Otherwise I'm not sure why he was so silly, but I certainly enjoyed it. I hate Daniel wasn't home with me all day to enjoy his antics. Warning this post may is kinda corny:)

He really has enjoyed his present from us, it's the first time he has been interested in a gift from us for more than 2 seconds. I found this nice family on Etsy that makes blocks in unfinished different types of wood. I really want to get Simeon some nice, eco friendly toys without breaking the bank and this fit the bill. I love the color variation of the different types of wood. He really enjoys pulling the blocks out of the bag and seeing what shape and type wood he has grabbed!

I will speak about my love of Etsy briefly, it is wonderful. I can buy from small business from my home. I love to support small businesses especially after running my tiny bakery from home for a few years. I have found that people on Etsy offer some great products for great prices and are happy to customize for picky people like me.

Other fun moments we enjoyed today. Simeon was interested in a candle in our prayer corner. I picked it up and sniffed it and he tried to sniff it too. It was so funny because he was breathing in and out of his nose trying to mimic me. I guess you had to be there...

Another silly episode, he has randomly thrown himself on the floor and while laying on his belly started kicking one leg and looking up at me like some sort of model. I have no idea where that one came from. I'm hoping he has inherited Daniel's delightfully sometimes silly personality.

We had a good day, I think the rain bringing a little coolness definitely helped my mood. I'm thankful for all our many blessings.

Wednesday, August 04, 2010

His big day!

Well today is the day my boy turned one year old! I can't believe it flew by so quickly. I also can't believe I have survived on so little sleep. I have been so blessed to be home with my sweet boy. It has been challenging too. I believe that being a mom is making me a more patient and less selfish person. This picture isn't the best, Daniel wanted to capture him opening his first bday present, but there will be many more I'm sure.

I will reflect on Simeon for a bit. He started walking oh a few weeks ago and now he is running! Seriously if I don't have the gate pulled he will run down the hall to explore one of the "not so baby proofed" rooms in a flash. He is still a big momma's boy, he really wants to be held a good portion of the day. I have given up trying to force him into amusing himself when he wants to be held. I am loving being able to wear him on my back around the house, and he loves it even more. I suppose some babies just need more attention and closeness. I'd rather wear him than hear him fuss, and he'd rather be worn too:) Simeon is interested in his toys and books more and will entertain himself happily for maybe 30 minutes a few times a day. By entertaining himself he completes wrecks the room, toys are from one end to the other. What a boy:) My grandmother nailed his little personality while we were visiting. She said "he's just a little busybody, I thought he was hyper but I don't think he is." Although Simeon is very busy he is also very focused when he wants to be. Daniel and I have worried that he might be a bit ADD, but my attitude now is so what if he is. We can help him cope with it it's not a death sentence. He is going to keep me very busy for the next few years. I'm praying that I have the patience to help him channel his vast energy and curiosity into helping me around the house and learning about all sorts of things! He hates to nap, he just doesn't want to miss much. I have gotten better about coaxing him into a nap.

He is still a good eater as he has been from the first! I have been blessed to be able to nurse Simeon for a year. I attribute my success to all the support I've had from my family and being able to stay at home with him. The mom's who go to work and pump for their babies are super moms and I really admire all they do for their babies. I will briefly mention that in the last few months I've started attending La Leche League meetings and wish I had done that so much earlier. Don't be afraid of LLL, not everyone there breastfeeds their kids till they're 6! I have met a lot of nice people there and Simeon enjoys playing with other kids. It's basically a playgroup, kids play and moms talk. I'm pretty much feeding him what I cook for me and Daniel, and he likes most everything. He tends to prefer food seasoned, like a little bbq sauce on his mashed hamburger but who could blame him?

He loves his daddy and will run toward the door when he gets home. He and daddy play fun games that I'm not creative enough to have invented! Daniel has been a great dad and I couldn't ask for more. He has cloth diapered like a pro with few complaints. He pulls Simeon's rickshaw behind his bike, with Simeon's heft it's a 50 lb load! More importantly he has helped me with everything I have asked him to.

I have been reflecting on this last year a lot over the past month and feel so blessed. Simeon is a blessing to us, it is difficult to put into words how much I love him. It does take a village to raise a child and I would have frazzled out this year completely if it wasn't for the support of my family and our wonderful church family. We are very blessed.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Prince Simeon's Rickshaw

So for Christmas last year Daniel's parents gave us a super generous gift to buy a bike trailer to transport Simeon. You're not supposed to ride your baby until they're a year, but we decided he's close enough. I have done lots of research and settled on the most expensive maker of baby bike trailers, but it's hard to put a price on your child's safety. We ordered a Chariot Corsaire XL and it just came in yesterday. Daniel got home in enough time to take a late evening spin, we all had a good time. Simeon was a little dazed, but it was bedtime after all. He is very secure in it, something I was concerned about after trying one out at our local bike shop. And it has this awesome suspension system so he's not jostled so much over the bumps. I'm looking forward to increasing our exercise.

Monday, July 12, 2010


So we're in the middle of July, yikes time flies! I didn't do a post for the fourth and we had a fairly busy weekend. We walked down the street (a 15+ min walk) to the balloon glow. Simeon was up past his bedtime, but was a good sport about being worn around in the craziness! I love this picture on the right, he just wasn't so sure about those loud hot air balloons.

We spent time with our families and worked on some projects. Our beloved Auntie Becca came by to visit. She was kind enough to take over my birthday card invitation operation. Simeon was getting a tooth in and being held was more important that whatever else Mommy was doing! We're exciting about the upcoming celebration. Of course I'm turning into a sappy emotional creature. I just can't believe it is going by so fast!

And Simeon took his first succession of steps! At the AT&T store of all places. We were changing my phone, and were there for an hour. While at the checkout Simeon let go of my hand and took 5-6 diagonal steps! It was amazing, Daniel and I just looked at each other. I think it's a sign he's going to be a techie nerd like Daniel and his dad. He's still mostly crawling but will occasionally take a few steps. He now has 8 teeth and is in a happy period I'm really enjoying. Teething has been hard for my boy, so I'm trying to come up with some new strategies for the next ones. We have been taking a good bit of Motrin and Tylenol as teething rings and a cold rag do no good. I feel blessed to be at home with my boy and am thankful to be here through the good and bad!

Garden July 2010 Edition

So I'm going to try to make this brief. As I mentioned in previous posts the garden seems to be taking a turn for the worst again this year. The good news is it isn't a total failure, we have harvested a few things. But it has not been nearly as successful as I would have liked. My plants aren't producing much and what they have produced has been small. I need to check into having our soil tested. Instead of rolling straight into planting for the late summer or fall, we are going to pause to work on the dirt. My friend Hal recommended continuing to build up the dirt with compost. Daniel fixed the composter after I called the company and failed to get a replacement part. We did a little research and we need to add some more green material to balance out the food waste decomposition. Felder Rushing said that shredded newspapers are fine, so I need to bum some of those off of my parents. So we haven't given up hope yet! I did make a variation of a Julia Child's stew from the carrots and onions pictured here, it was yummy:)

Thursday, July 01, 2010

U Picks

So as a crunchy momma u-pick farms should be right up my alley, and they are. But I've only been to a few and not very often. Why? I don't know about many u-pick farms in this area. I'm sure they're around but I just haven't found them. And I never plan well enough to go when things are ripening. I do know of two that I wanted to mention.

Locust Grove Berry Farm I actually have been to this farm twice. Once last year two weeks after I had Simeon to pick muscadines. It wasn't a total fiasco but I wouldn't call it my most successful venture. I have better hopes for this year. And earlier this week my mom talked me into going to pick blueberries. It's not that I didn't want to go, I have been just exhausted. Simeon's sleep patterns have once again regressed to a newborn as he is cutting teeth, and as I am the one that gets up with the poor dear we have both been cranky. So yesterday it rained and was cool so we went and it was great. I wore Simeon on my back and he had a great time. He picked a few for himself while I was picking. In fact he picked a good many as he was munching and smacking most of the time I was picking. I'm really looking forward to muscadines in a month.

Hope Fruit and Berry Farm
is a wonderful u-pick that I haven't actually visited, although I really want to. The family that owns this place sold at the market when I was selling bread, and they are super nice. There is a schedule on their website of when they visit local markets.

I feel like my lack of sleep is keeping me from doing things I need to for my family, but God will help me do all I need to do. I'm thankful for my family, because with out their help I don't know how I'd make it through exhausting times like these.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Octo Meme

Thanks Denley for tagging me in your blog, otherwise it may have been a month before my next blog entry!

8 things I'm looking forward to...
Simeon's birthday in less than a month!
A date with my husband without a baby snatching from our plates hopefully soon
Baking bread again
Hosting a baby shower for a friend (pregnant with twin boys WOW)in the fall
Having no carpet in the house
The La Leche meeting tomorrow night
Trying again to have a decent garden harvest in the fall

8 things I did yesterday...
Walked the dog
Read Tails and Dear Zoo to Simeon
Made yogurt with local fresh goats milk
Bought bread at Great Harvest
Shopped for a bike trailer baby carrier
Cooked a variation of Julia Child's beer stew
Folded cloth diapers
Stayed up too late watching most of Avatar

8 things I wish I could do...
Pray more
Be gentler and more patient with my family
Sleep through the night
Have an awesome garden
Get ready to go somewhere without having to pull Sime out of the trash or the dog's water bowl:)
Regularly really clean my house
Groom the furball formerly known as Barley
Have more play dates for Simeon

8 shows I enjoy...

I can't answer this because we don't have TV but if we did there's a few shows I would watch if they still come on
Little House on the Prarie
Any Ken Burns Special
Good Eats
Julia Child reruns
The Dog Whisperer
Most anything on the History Channel

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Levels of weirdoness

So calling myself a weirdo started back when Daniel and I first started dating and I would sometimes shop in the "weirdo" areas of the grocery store, where the organic and whole grain stuff was. Well now I'm a true weirdo doing most of our shopping at our health food coop. Really I've had to give up some of my weirdo practices since Simeon came along and that has been OK.

Last week I had a wonderful discovery that has brought happiness to our daily routine. I blogged about my adventures in baby wearing a while back and my problems with it.I like my Beco as much as I thought I could, but it still wasn't just super comfortable to wear Simeon for longer than 1 hour and that's a stretch. He is big for his age and loves to be held like all day! I mentioned last time I've been back carrying here lately and I love it. It is much more comfortable for me and he loves it. The instructions say you can start at 4 months, I hate I waited so long. Seriously so many scream outs could be avoided. I have been wearing him around the house most days at least an hour so I can do food prep and other things around the house.

Yesterday I hung out our laundry to dry, of course it rained but most of it was already dry when I got it in. It's probably strange that I love hanging out the clothes so much, I really love to hang clothes to dry! It's like a little thing I can do to feel like I'm being eco-friendly, and connected with the past.

I've had to start buying bread, horrors. I do buy from a locally operated bakery, Great Harvest. If I'm going to buy bread, I'm not buying stale bread. I will bake again one day, but now my hands are full. I don't know why but every time I bake it seems like I have to pull something out of the oven when Simeon is hungry and having a meltdown.

I'm interested in the Montessori philosophy more these days. I didn't realize we were embracing many of these ideas already. I don't think there is a Montessori program in Jackson suitable for Simeon now. There is a full time infant daycare and a part time pre-school, but no mother's morning out. So I guess we'll try to do some weirdo activities at home. I'd love to have a true Montessori home, but that's not really in the budget for now. I definitely need to research this some more, b/c I was a science major I didn't take a single class in child development.

-Daniel and I are trying to remove our shoes every time we enter the house. There are several obstacles to this, but I love the idea of a cleaner house.

Quality and beauty of the environment and the books and materials is very important in attracting, satisfying, and keeping the attention of the child. If the child is exposed to beautiful rattles and toys, she will help create a world with the same high standards as an adult. Toys, rattles, puzzles, tables, and chairs made of wood instead of plastic develop an appreciation for nature and quality and show a respect for the child.
-Simeon has not received many toys from his parents anyway, and the ones we've bought have been good quality and pretty (and pricey thus he hasn't received many:)

The same hold true for the sounds in the environment. With time the adult brain learns to block out the sound of a TV or radio, but a child is always aware of it. Sometimes a child can become upset by visual and auditory stimulus of which the adult is completely unaware!
-We don't have many electronic (noisy toys) and we don't watch much TV, b/c we don't have one! May I add I'm not totally anti-TV, we just haven't allotted the funds to create our ideal TV setup. We would like a roll away TV cart, maybe for Christmas...

I'd love to keep blogging about what we've been up to and how I'm trying other ways to become even weirder but I must clean my house as to create a happy environment for my family...
We must not only think of the quality, but the quantity. Visible posters, pictures, toys, etc. always affect the mind. It has been shown over and over in children’s environments that cluttered shelves, which are visually blocked out by the adult, are a constant visual barrage for the young child, causing stress. Too many pictures and posters on the wall do the same. The Chinese art of placement, Feng Shui, teaches that clutter, even hidden under a bed or piled on top of bookcases can cause stress.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Getting Hot

Long time no blog. We have been doing well for the most part at the Root household. We've been traveling some, visiting friends and family. We had a great time in Franklin, TN with the Algoods. Daniel's grandfather is not doing well in Arcadia, LA. He is an amazing man who is unfortunately had a difficult time battling Parkinson's. Here is an amazing article about him, second from the top. Simeon Paul is named for him.

Simeon had another ear infections, and he is following this up with more teeth coming in. But for the most part he is pretty happy. He will play independently for short periods of time, although Mommy is his favorite toy. He is playing with some of the natural wooden toys that I bought him and he hasn't been too interested in until now, I was beginning to regret spending top dollar on things he could care less about. I'll have to get a picture if I can catch one. He is in constant motion. He really wants to be held a lot so I have started wearing him on my back in my Baby Beco. This has been the most comfortable baby wearing I have done yet. Up until now it has been bearable but not my choice for getting things done around the house. But I don't mind wearing him on my back. I can get things done and he is happy.

He is sleeping better, and I am feeling more like a person again. I'm trying to do better about planing out our meals, thanks Holly you are truly inspiring. It worked pretty well this week. Prolonged sleep deprivation has been a difficult thing for me, trying to get anything done while feeling like I was in a fog was tough. I'm sure we'll have some more difficult times, but I'm grateful for more sleep and having energy to get some things done.

Onto the garden, ahhh frustration.

First off the newly purchased composter is not holding up well, it isn't completely broken yet... $100 bucks down the drain. It is really my fault for making a spur of the moment purchase at Lowe's and not hunting down the a better quality (probably costlier) product.

Then there have been successes with the garden:
-We have harvested about 4 yellow crookneck squashes.
-One of our tomatoes is doing good and I have 4 tomatoes
-My one eggplant is doing well
-Our hot peppers are doing great, and the sweet peppers are slowly producing peppers

We have had garden failures.
-In trying to help the squash plants cascade out of the raised bed (they were hogging multiple squares) I must have killed one of the two plants:(
-Several of my tomatoes have blossom end rot, I think I had that problem last year. It's kind of late but I'm trying to add calcium back to the soil by adding crushed egg shells around the plants.
-One tomato plant is mostly dead
-Several tomatoes seem to be dropping as many blooms as are maturing into fruit, I'm not sure of the cause.
-My neighbor's yard man cut off the blooming tops of my pepper plants with his weed eater:(

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Garden 2010: Try again

Look at my boy, trying to eat a leaf. That is kinda the story of our lives right now, Simeon learning about his world and me trying to keep him alive! We have had a difficult few weeks, the death of a dear friend, then Daniel and I had a terrible stomach bug, and Simeon had two more teeth come in. But we are very thankful for our blessings: the gorgeous weather, our healthy little boy, introducing Simeon to the joys of playing in a baby pool, and our families and friends. So we have been trying to make the most of our spare time and while the weather is nice we've been trying to get outside.

After our garden fail last year we've been working on some changes to our garden. A friend of ours got us this book about raised bed gardening Square Foot Gardening. I highly recommend it to anyone interested in a small backyard or in our case side yard garden. So the author has a specific dirt mixture he recommends, we tried to add to ours rather than discarding everything we had. Daniel marked the bed off into squares to help us plant without overcrowding.

We also purchased a tumble composter from Lowes and got rid of the nasty rotten "compost trash bucket" we had going. We haven't harvested any of our compost, but I'm looking forward to using it.

I started some carrot and lettuce seeds, and being I started them too late and too deep it's a miracle any of them came up. Then we bought tomato, peppers, onion, and an eggplant and set them out. Once again we have invested a good chunk of change in the garden and are really hoping to actually harvest some veggies this year.

Monday, April 05, 2010

Christ is Risen! Spring is really here!

Isn't that a great picture? My husband is so talented in so many ways. Pascha (Easter as Western Christianity calls it) is finally here. Lent was difficult for me for many reasons this year, I hate to whine so I won't go into my struggles. I know that I am so very blessed in many ways, and I am grateful. I do feel like I have been blessed by the time of fasting, prayer, and almsgiving. I feel like I can make a clean start and am energized to be a good wife, mother, and Christian neighbor to those around me. Indeed he has risen for us!

Daniel and I have discussed the lack of pictures we have taken of Simeon and have planned on ways to change that. We'll see.

Daniel has been really busy at work the past few months. We are blessed that he has a job at all, but I am also exhausted from carrying most of the household load myself. I hope that the majority of his 13 hour work days are over for a while at least. We have also had colds it seems like all winter. So the beautiful weather and the wonderful celebration we enjoyed at church this weekend have been so refreshing to me.

Simeon is really increasingly mobile. This for the moment is making my life easier because he is so excited about be able to get to things and play with them. I think much of Simeon's fussiness in his early months was not being able to make his body do what he wanted. One of his favorite activities is trying to get to Barley, unfortunately playing with Barley is yanking his hair so I have to try to warn Barley if he's preoccupied like he was in this picture.

Simeon is eating more solid food. We have done some finger foods, but are still doing mostly purees and of course breastmilk. He loves to eat and I'm having fun introducing him to more foods.

Friday, February 26, 2010

A Mommy's Dilemma

I am so bad at updating this blog it's horrible. But now that Simeon is asleep, hopefully for the night...

I've had this blog working in my head since I read this article a few days ago. From the things I've read from Michael Pollan we agree on many things. And in my pre-baby days I lived the lifestyle he promotes. I shopped (and worked) at a farmers market, we ate little processed foods, and I prepared healthy food for us at most meals. I was excited about little Simeon's arrival and looking forward to introducing him to healthy foods.

Well to my dismay I'm so busy caring for my dear baby our meal times have become more processed and less crunchy. Now I love my boy and wouldn't want to be anywhere other than home with him. I'm so blessed to have this opportunity. But I feel guilty for letting our meals become less than ideal. Daniel has been eating out most days for lunch, so I really should be preparing better than average suppers to make up for whatever he's not getting at Subway. However my boy is a hungry one and to give him the best I'm breastfeeding him. So it's not much of a dilemma, I'm going to feed my boy first and then after the laundry and the floors are cleaned (important now that he's a little roly-poly and is picking up Barley's hairball off the floor- blahh!) I may throw together something for us to eat.

Seriously tonight: hotdogs with chili (from a can), tater tots (purchased by Daniel as an effort to reduce the grocery bill- containing scary chemicals to promote browning), and a salad. What has happened to me? I wonder sometimes what happened to the girl that baked whole grain bread for us to eat and cooked a good meal most nights.

I did receive the Julia Child cookbook for Valentines day and have enjoyed reading through it a bit. I even decided that I was going to cook a soup recipe out of it that looked pretty easy, well it's Friday and no sorrel soup yet. I did bake some healthy muffins for us to have for breakfast. I just wish I had more time to do everything I want to do for my family. I know I'm doing what is best for my son, but breastfeeding is pretty time consuming and I want to be supermom and do it all. I try to savor his babyhood, I know there will be time for Julia Child later. I just don't want his childhood memories of food be from a can and box, at least not all of them.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

My newest obsession: Julia Child

Why you might ask? Because she's awesome, she cooks with real butter, makes mistakes, and has a unique voice Daniel calls "like Ms. Piggy". It all started when I watched Julie & Julia with my in-laws when Daniel was out of town about a month ago. I loved the movie and wanted to know more about the queen of cooking.

Previously all I knew was she was a really old woman with a cooking show on PBS. Also her cookbooks were very highly esteemed, and were tops for having working recipes. What other type would a cookbook have? Well unfortunately many cookbooks are published with recipes that don't work, ever cooked something that didn't turn out and you really followed the recipe? Well it may not have been your fault. But Julia was always very careful about having cookbooks with very carefully tested recipes.

I don't have her classic Mastering the Art of French Cooking yet. I'm hoping my Valentine might give me the set in hopes I'll make him a yummy meal.

Why in the world would I be interested in some from scratch, possibly complicated recipes now? Because I love to cook. Some of my favorite pre-Simeon times were making delicious meals for my hard working husband to come home to. And I will have the opportunity to teach Simeon about food in the years to come. Being we are home together all day and we don't have a TV, we'll need some activities. Seriously the boy is really active and is going to need some constructive outlets.

Saturday, January 09, 2010

Successful Spelt Substitution

Once again I have stolen a picture from the internet. By the time Simeon was taken care of and breakfast was done we weren't waiting for photo shoots! This is similar to our Saturday breakfast, except ours was better! Why? Because our waffles were whole grain. Yuck you say, bad attitude I say. I made a straight substitution, whole spelt flour for the all purpose flour the recipe called for. Being I had little time (until my child's next feeding) and Daniel and I were hungry I kept it simple. I used a recipe out of The Better Homes and Gardens New Cook Book. I must say I have better waffle recipes, but they require an overnight rise. Here is a pancake recipe I love, Sourdough silver dollar pancakes. These can't be beat, but require some prep the night before.

At any rate the quick fix waffles were very good this morning. Spelt flour is lighter in color than whole wheat and has a milder flavor. It is perfect for quick breads, muffins, cookies, and pancakes or waffles. Try it yourself, be sure to get whole spelt flour and be sure it is fresh. Here's a link to a guide to whole grain storage. Now to clean the mess up...

Friday, January 08, 2010

Mommy Meal Tips

None of these are earth shattering and most people reading this will probably have some better tips of their own. Feel free to share!

-Cook early in the day when the baby is happy, rather than waiting till "the witching hour", 4-6 is not a happy time around here. This is so obvious, but I guess it has taken this stubborn housewife a while to have her little routine shaken up. Gosh I wonder where Simeon gets his determination?

-We eat more processed food, now I just don't have time to cut up sweet potato fries so I bought a big bag of already prepared ones. But I'm not giving up my quest to eat healthy, we'll just have to look for some healthy and cheap quick fix items.

-After talking to a friend, I prepared a "staple meal list". This is a list of meal I typed, printed out, and posted to our refrigerator. They are not dependent on fresh items, they consist of staples we have on hand all the time and they are quick to cook. This is working out pretty well. I'm not entirely giving up spontaneous and exotic meals but I just don't have the time to cook them or ability to acquire the ingredients every night. But I try to have variety, for example yesterday I cooked Mock Manti from my Greek cookbook and frozen spinach with toasted pine nuts and feta. This was quick and got the husband stamp of approval. I want to add more to our list, feel free to share yours.

What's Important

I guess I could have called this priorities 2 because it is a continuation of my previous post about my life after baby. Well much has changed for me since August 4th 2009. I am so very blessed to be a momma, what a joy that big grin is to me. I spend most of my days feeding and diapering my sweet Simeon. And when I'm not doing one of those things I am running about trying to clean our house, cook something to eat, and possibly groom my very neglected dog.

I felt bad for letting my blog posts drop to nothing, I even considered shutting it down. But my dear husband told me it was ok to let it sit for a bit. That made me feel better, that even though I don't have time or more importantly the mental energy to work on this blog I don't have to quit it forever! The picture by the way is not new, I'll try to get a newer one up soon. And I feel that way about many things I used to love to do. I knew that babies were lots of work, but I guess deep down I was hoping for an easy baby that slept a lot so I could still accomplish everything I wanted to for our house. Well there are many days my boy doesn't nap much and after taking care of him I have little time or energy to cook us a healthy meal. Not that I don't still try. I had an idea I could feed Simeon strap him in the baby carrier and go. Well I'm glad it works for some but errands are hit and miss for us. Some days like today grocery shopping is great, he just chills in the carrier and is fine. But last week we went to return a few items and I had about 15 minutes before he had a crank out. Every baby is different and I'm learning to take a day at a time and to enjoy my blessed time with him.

But I have come to the realization that my ideas of running a frugal healthy household might have to have some tweaking at least for the present. Now I'm not giving up but I'm done with browbeating myself for not fixing a fresh salad for every supper, hanging out the clothes on the line, and waking up before Daniel to cook his breakfast. I love doing these things, but my job now is to take care of my dear boy. One day he will sleep more, I hope anyway, and I can start doing more and he can help me.