Thursday, December 17, 2009

Dockers Ad

I'm really, really, really, really sick of hearing about the Dockers' ad. Seriously. Bleh. As a complementarian, I think they have some good points. But in all honesty, I think they were just trying to come up with a catchy, rugged ad to sell pants. I really don't think there was a whole lot of thought behind it. I have no intention of suddenly becoming a Dockers customer. Sheesh, it's just an ad, people! Also, wasn't Dockers the pants company that had the very pro-homosexual ads a few years back, or am I mixing them up? If so, I'd find it highly ironic how quickly the conservative right went from "Dockers is evil" to "Dockers is awesome." But I digress :-). *rant over*

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Hans' first snow (sort of)

Hans didn't care about snow last winter. He did drool over it, but he drooled over *everything*, since he was teething, so I'd hardly consider that proof of his interest. So I consider yesterday's snowfall to be his first real snow. Because he was actually aware that it happened. (And yes, this is the first snow we've had this winter. Late, isn't it? I'm not complaining. . . )

So I suited him up and he looked like the stereotypical poor kid in a movie who can't move and has his arms sticking out from all the padding and extra clothes. He just stood there looking pathetic, and when he tried to walk he fell down because he wasn't used to his boots. He just sort of laid there in a half-sit/half-lay, not sure what to do, afraid to move, but in a very uncomfortable position. It was so hilarious. If I was a sympathetic mother, I would have cried with him, but I couldn't help myself and started laughing. It was SO funny. Poor guy. He's over the emotional trauma. I think.

So I took him outside. Just in time for it to start raining. Yep, the snow turned to rain. Lovely. So he sat in the snow with raindrops falling, not sure what to do with this funny white stuff. He didn't want to move, definitely didn't want to walk. *sigh* Poor guy.

Sooooo. . . this morning we practiced walking in boots, in normal clothes, inside the house. Hans was still petrified, but with some coaxing he finally got it, and then he strutted around the house in his boots, all proud of himself for figuring it out. Yay, Hans! Then we suited back up, went back outside, and re-tried this whole snow thing.

He was very intrigued this time. It was still a little hard for him to walk in the snow with the boots, but he sure tried! And he succeeded some of the time. He also killed the small, pathetic snowman I made. My son, the murderer. He squatted on the ground and hacked away at it forever. Hmm. Maybe it's a psychological reaction to his mother laughing at his misery yesterday :-/.

Friday, March 20, 2009

My son failed!

Hans failed Sermon Analogies 101, apparently. Sheesh. We need to train that kid!

I *finally* got his new carseat installed. Carrying around a 9 month boy in an infant carrier seat was getting heavy. On the bright side, I think I have more arm muscles than I used to have :-). But I digress. . .

Anyway, the carseat came in a gigantic box (it was already assembled so required mucho cardboardo), and I emptied it and put it on its side in the living room, thinking that Hans would think it fun to climb into. I mean, *every* pastor I've ever sat under has used the children-enjoy-the-box-more-than-the-gift analogy at *least* 5 times per year. He ignored the box. All morning. All afternoon. Finally come evening he decided to use it to hoist himself up into a standing position and then just whacked it with his hands a few times. That was it. *sigh* My son, the theological dunce.

Friday, March 06, 2009

Hans has a new friend. . .





I stumbled upon a crochet and knit book that I bought years ago at a used book sale. Most of the patterns in it were clothing, but in the back they had some fun figures to make for play toys. I need to make a Mrs. to go with the lonely farmer, don't you think?

Thursday, March 05, 2009

Glad he finds it funny. . .

When Hans was an itty bitty newborn he HATED hiccups, and they often woke him up or prevented him from falling asleep. But I guess he's gotten over his dislike for them. Yesterday morning he had them and every time he'd hiccup he'd give a little giggle, like he thought it was hilarious. And he kept this up for 20 minutes! It was rather adorable, I thought :-). Hiccup, giggle. Hiccup, giggle. Hiccup, giggle. Hehe.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

A rather unique bread recipe. . .

So. . . as I mentioned before, I'm on this weird agonizing 4-week+ diet to try to figure out where I got a skin rash. So my naturopath doctor put me on both a non-mucus forming diet AND a candida-controlling diet, just to cover all bases and insure that I will have absolutely none of my favorite foods to eat for the next month. :-P Anyway, I've been craving anything close to bread, and specifically wanted to try a pumpkin recipe, so I tweaked another recipe, and here's what I got.

Original recipe was the following banana bread recipe (bananas are a no-no on this diet):

~~~

Banana bread

2/3 cup oil or butter
1 cup honey
4 eggs
5 ripe, mashed bananas
3 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
2 t baking soda
1 t salt

~~~

Then I did some tweaking and tried this instead:

~~~

Eggless, Milk-less, Soy-less, Butter-less, Sugar-less, Yeast-less, Refined-Flour-less Pumpkin Bread

2/3 cup olive oil (I'm not allowed butter, and I try to stay away from soy - hence most/all vegetable oils - because of some concerns as to the effects of consuming a lot of it)
1 cup maple syrup (I'm not allowed any sweetener - even honey - except 100% pure maple syrup)
1/4 c flaxseed, ground and then whipped up in blender with 3/4 c water (I'm not allowed eggs, so this is the best substitute)
1 large can (3 - 3 1/2 cups) pumpkin
3 1/2 c whole wheat flour (Only whole grains allowed)
2 1/4 t baking soda (No yeast allowed)
1 t salt
1 t cinnamon
1/4 t allspice

Whip together oil and syrup; add flaxseed stuff, and blend. Mix in pumpkin. Whisk together dry ingredients and add slowly to batter. Spoon batter into 2 large loaf pans. Bake for 50ish minutes at 350 degrees.

~~~

Overall, not bad considering the restrictions I had on ingredients. Not spectacular either, but wow, did it taste good considering I was craving bread! I'll take what I can get :-). It was sort of dense, but not brick-like. It was moist enough, at least in its almost-fresh-from-the-oven state, but it definitely wasn't extremely sweet. But um, when the sweetener is $4/cup, I'm not exactly going to be using it in abundance :-P. Overall, not bad if you ever find yourself in the same situation. I even was able to resist all the voices in my head telling me to slather butter all over the bread I was eating. It was hard, but I did it :-).

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Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Tomato Soup Recipe and Weird Diet Restrictions

I just tried a new tomato soup recipe that is very yummy and easy. You can see it here.

Unfortunately, I can't make it for myself for the next 4 weeks :-(. *sigh* I've had a rash on my elbows and knees (and a bit on my shoulders/back) for 5 months or so, and I finally was able to see someone about it. Basically, the suggestion is that I do an elimination diet for 4 weeks, eliminating basically every food I enjoy (all the common allergens - dairy, CHOCOLATE *whimper*, sugar - all types except pure maple syrup, peanuts, corn and corn derivatives, eggs, oranges, etc. - just pick one of my favorite foods, and it's probably on the list). Let's just say it's going to be a long 4 weeks. I predict I (accidentally) lose at least 5 pounds.

I just got back from Trader Joe's where I bought some goat's milk, goat cheese, almond butter, and a few other products. I even have to find alternative vitamins, because mine all contain corn startch.

After 4 weeks I slowly add back in foods by category, in the hopes that some light will be shed. We'll see. The challenge is to still get enough calories (still exclusively breastfeeding) and fats in. No butter! I live on butter. Olive oil, here I come. . .

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Birth Survey

A friend from church, who is a certified nurse midwife, sent this link on to her friends. It's a very comprehensive, nation-wide birth survey that's being compiled. I'd already completed it shortly after Hans was born, but I thought I'd pass it on to any of my readers that would like to fill it out. Eventually, it should provide a great database to learn about birth practices both general and specific to providers. You don't have to have had a natural birth or anything of the sort to fill it out; they want all kinds of births included. You just have to have given birth in the last 3 years. It does take a while to complete (20-30 minutes). I'd encourage you to check it out.

I was reading back through it after I got the link, and it really made me SO grateful again for the great prenatal, labor and delivery, and postnatal care I received! Seriously, I <3 my midwives! They have all the knowledge and skill a birth might require, but didn't feel like they had to use it on every birth ;-).

Monday, February 16, 2009

Breakfast Conversation


Me: Do you think we should be concerned that Hans is having a conversation with a shoelace?

Adrian: Nah. It's just his current version of a teddy bear.

Homemade Scouring Powder

I really abhore Ajax and Comet :-P. All that nasty blue-ish residue they leave is icky. I've read a lot of people on the blogosphere who suggested baking soda as a scouring alternative. I tried it and was completely underwhelmed; it just didn't have much scouring power. Then a few months ago I came across this easy recipe on Tammy's Recipes site, and I love it! It works so well, is easy and cheap to make, and doesn't leave that icky blue-ish residue. All you have to do is mix equal parts salt, baking soda, and borax (found in laundry aisle of many grocery stores) in a lidded container for storage. Then just use it as you would a regular scouring powder!

Sunday, February 15, 2009

What Math Nerds do on Valentine's Day

I always knew Adrian was that right guy for me :-). He was in thought yesterday pondering various ways to prove that [sin(theta)]^2 + [cos(theta)]^2 = 1, and he commented that it would be an extremely straight-forward proof if preceded by a proof of the Pythagorean theorem. I agreed, and then got all excited because I remembered one of the many proofs of the Pythagorean theorem that I learned in college, so I sit down and show him. Then he gives me a refresher of how to integrate with trig substitutions. Which was fun, because my calculus is SO rusty. See, calculus is his favorite kind of math, and geometry is mine, so we get to complement each other. Haha.

Then we ate a dark chocolate orange. Because that's always a good idea.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

What is a wok good for?

I just obtained a box of random kitchen items via Freecycle. Mainly I got it for the pizza stone - yay, I now have 2! But there are some other interesting items to try (as well as some that will be re-Freecycled or thrifted). Among them, a wok. I've never used a wok, but I've heard they're nice for stir-fry and such. Please share the virtues of a wok and suggestions on how to use it :-).

I love Picasa! and new photo blog

Seriously, I can't believe it's free. It's such a great, easy to use photo editing program. And it's incredibly easy to e-mail or blog pictures. I started a separate blog just for posting pictures. Certain relatives like seeing Hans photos ad nauseum, and I didn't want to post zillions of pictures on this blog to clog it up.

So if you like seeing 40 pictures of Hans chewing on a block, or 347 of him smiling at me sitting up, then first, you need help, second, therapy is available at www.susanegk.blogspot.com.

Friday, February 06, 2009

Apparently water is more fun than food?

Hans is only increasing his hatred of food. He cries when I put it in his mouth. Then he shudders. Then he spits it out. But water is another story. The kid has an obsession with drinking from a cup! For a few months now he's watched me like a hawk every time I drink out of a cup. About a month and a half ago I went ahead and let him try to take a drink of my water but the poor guy didn't have clue what to do. No effort to ingest water; water spilled all over.

Then a week ago he was particularly interested in watching me drink, so I tried again, and now he totally understands how to drink and swallow. So cute. He gets super-excited when I let him have a drink. Just water for now. I hate juice :-P. I guess I'll have to break down eventually.

Tonight at dinner, the water in my glass was particularly cold, and I think it kind of gave Hans a shock, but then he kept wanting more. Then he'd be shocked and shudder from the cold, and then want more. Hilarious; Adrian and I were laughing so hard. Hans was pulling on my arm for more water; since he couldn't reach the cup, the arm that held it was the next best thing, I guess :-). Hehe. Such a funny guy. He keeps us entertained.

Monday, February 02, 2009

Photos and YouTube

My mom downloaded Picasa for me and showed me how to use it to make basic photo edits. One definite advantage is that it's much easier to post pictures to Blogger now! Also, here are two recent YouTube videos of Hans.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TguJQYtJMrM

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=evd-0Tdnkf0

Awwww

When Hans gets fussy, we walk him in the Ergo. He was pathetic only a few minutes before this picture! Daddy + Ergo = happy Hans.
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Look what Hans made!

Hans has "the knack." Mwa-ha-ha.
Posted by PicasaOr his daddy made it. Whatever.

Happy Guy

Can you see his two teeth coming in on the bottom?
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My Engineer :-)

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And Grammy thought she bought the blocks for Hans. . .

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Hans with Grammy

When you're 7 months and your belly hangs out of your clothes, people go "aw." When you're 37, people go "ew."
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Saturday, January 31, 2009

Rant on the Economy and Government Intervention

Adrian sent me this link a few days ago. His alma mater, Grove City College, publishes semi-regular articles of interest - on current issues, politics, economics, etc. - via The Center for Vision and Values. Grove City is really big into the Austrian school of economics, as is not surprising from this article. Anyway, I'd highly suggest the article; it's a very interesting read. "On Economic Depressions, Then and Now?" is a discussion of depression-era government intervention, and how FDR did more to hinder the U.S. economy than to help it, and how World War II did not bring us out of the great depression.

This article is great stuff, but here's the problem: Americans are too stupid and driven by feeling instead of facts for such truths to take effect. We feel like Bush is to blame for the economy, so he must be. We feel like government intervention will help, so no matter how much good, solid reasoning is thrown our way, it won't change our minds. For that matter, it can't possibly change our minds because we won't even bother to read it.

This is why an unliterary society with popular election is so dangerous! If the discontented and uninformed populace is personally electing officials, they will disgruntingly vote out incumbents who make informed-but-unpopular decisions, because the public wants the congress to cater to their whims. That puts us much closer to a democracy than the original intended republic. Which is why it was a major mistake to change our constitution to allow the popular election of senators. But I digress. . .

By "stupid Americans", I mean we are unliterary. We don't read, or we don't read deeply. We choose ignorance; it isn't thrust upon us. Americans form opinions from the news media, largely, and the media is driven by sensationalism and what the public wants to hear, not by common sense and trying to intelligently change the public's minds. Can you imagine a media effort to convince the public of the facts in the GCC article? Yeah, right! That would be really popular. Why? Because it's not what the public wants to hear.

The public wants to hear that our recession is the result of political mistakes or a few unwise large businesses. They don't want to hear that the solution is for the people to work out the problems themselves via good entrepreneurship, wise spending habits, personal efforts to teach the poor to fish (instead of just feeding them fish), etc. They don't want to hear that their own godlessness in the form of chasing the idol of consumerism is the real problem. It's so much better to think that someone else (read: "Uncle Sam") is the only solution. Whining is much more fun than action. Only thing is, where do we think Uncle Sam gets his funds?

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Organizing :-)

I've been creating a spreadsheet of all the baby/toddler items and clothes that I have - by size, color, gender, style, etc. I do this because I have OCD. Or because I'm type A. Or because it makes thrift shopping a TON easier, and I hopefully now won't end up with 30 warm-weather boy print onesies in the same size (not that I'm speaking from experience. . . *cough*).

Before, all the clothes were stored in cardboard boxes, by size. Then I hit a great after-Christmas sale, where I got to capitalize on the fact that there is actually a market for Christmas-colored storage boxes, and Wal-mart bought too many :-). So I got a bunch of green 18 gallon Sterilite containers for $4 each, and I've been transferring stored clothing to those. This is especially nice since our basement isn't quite waterproof in a heavy rain. But I digress.

I also decided to transfer a few other items to Sterilite storage, like all my maternity clothes. That's what I've been doing just now. Hans is currently totally zonked on my back. Apparently the activity wasn't quite as interesting to him as it was to me. He hasn't gotten my psycho organizing genes, that I know of. But anyway, awwww, so many fun memories with my maternity clothes. I was remembering how much I liked this top or that one, or that skirt. Pregnancy wasn't actually that bad for me for the most part, minus aching hips, not being able to turn over in bed, etc. ;-) I had forgotten how many nice maternity clothes I'd had.

Now if only I can get Hans to figure out that solid food is a good thing, then maybe I'd get to use those clothes again sometime soon ;-). Right now ecological breastfeeding is very effectively preventing that. . . But on the bright side, I'm enjoying this not-throwing-up thing, especially at a time when I have several friends pregnant and queasy. But yay for babies! Always good news :-).

Monday, January 26, 2009

Am I the only one? . . .

So, when I got married I had the best of intentions to have a weekly menu. All the cool kids were doing it. EVERY frugal blog you read lists menu planning as a reliable way to save money. And then you don't have to put daily energy into food ponderings - What am I going to fix today? I kept a menu for the first month or so, and it worked okay. It sure made grocery shopping pretty easy. Then I got pregnant.

All menu plans went out the window. I was just trying to keep anything down, and I fixed whatever I thought would take the least amount of stand-up time, smell the least, and be most likely to stay down. Any dish that I knew about hours in advance would not work! I had to cook on a whim.

After my nausea left I tried to resume meal planning, but I found out some things. First, I like to not be too tied down to a meal plan. I like food surprises! When I make a casserole, for example (see link a few posts back), I pull out some chicken to thaw maybe at lunch, but I like to not decide what type of casserole I'm making (rice, pasta, add mushrooms or not, etc.) until suppertime. It's more exciting!

Second, I can just stock up on staple items and still not have to constantly run to the store for "one more item" . . . most of the time.

Third, despite all the frugal claims, for me, I cook more frugally when I don't have a meal plan. I'm serious! When I'm at the grocery store, I tend to buy the more economical ingredients, with a few splurges, so when I'm cooking, I end up using ingredients I have on hand, which are the more economical ones. But if I meal plan, I'm not as aware which ingredients are cheaper, so I end up buying a lot of more pricey items that I need for specific recipes. I may or may not know the ingredients are pricier, as the prices fluctuate from week to week, even for staples. So I end up spending more. Whereas if I buy more staple items (and note on my grocery list when I want more specific items, which I don't mind buying. . . but not ALL specialty items), I still cook quite tasty, healthy meals, but for much less.

Has anyone else had the same experience?

Trying to "Winter" this Winter

I miss my daily walks :-/. I think Hans misses them too - he loved them! But it's just too cold for his mama to get out every day. Granted it's nothing like it could be, as my I-spent-4-years-in-Minnesota husband reminds me ;-), but for this I-spent-23-years-in-Georgia girl, yet, it's too cold! At least for daily walks.

Mainly I'm getting my exercise these days by doing household chores with Hans strapped to my back. I <3 my Ergo :-). I usually do dishes and most cooking with Hans in the Ergo, because our kitchen is small (sort of galley-style), and there isn't a good floor place for him to play while I do stuff in there. And also I hang laundry in the basement with him on my back. At my neighbor's suggestion, I strung several clotheslines in the basement and have been hanging our laundry for almost 2 months now. It's nice mild exercise with little guy (make that 18ish lb guy) strapped on, and the theory is that it's lowering our electric bill. And it delays us having to get another dryer. . . yet. I'm sure we'll get one soon (Adrian has told me whenever I want), but for now it's kind of fun.

Hans cut his first two teeth last week. We've been having some less-than-sound-sleeping at nights as a result. They're not all the way up, but very distinctly teeth now, when he chooses to show them to us. The best way to do this is to lay him in my lap and tickle him. Hehe. Adrian thinks (and I agree) that Hans has the cutest laugh. Ever. Right now he's on the floor talking to a water bottle and growling at it. He's doing this half drag, half crawl thing nowadays, which is pretty cute. No real crawling yet.

Last week I decided to introduce him to the world of food-that-is-not-breastmilk. He didn't take kindly to the idea. He alternated gagging, shuddering, and fussing. I tried banana, and a few nights later carrot and then potato. No success. He'll have to get used to the idea soon ;-). Mommy's Diner won't be available all his life. He was 7 months on January 18th, by the way.

I still have an obsession with sewing cloth diapers. I got a snap press a few months ago, and I love it! Easily a very good purchase. In the long run it'll be quite useful for all sorts of things, not just diapers. I've already been using it for other things, in fact. I haven't taken many pictures of my latest cloth diapers, but they are a major improvement on my first ones.

I'm going to *try* to post a bit more. No promises. I don't have a ton of free time for blogging, so probably they'll mainly be shorter posts, no long detailed treatises. Maybe a recipe here, a daily anecdote there. Or an isn't-my-son-adorable-go-to-this-picture link. Hmm. I seem to be in a dash mood today :-).

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Casserole Tutorial and a New Blog

I've been meaning to post a general tutorial on casserole-making, but never got around to it. I finally did. . . just not on this blog. Check out my friend's new blog, Share It, and read my post on making casseroles.

New Look

There. I changed the layout, the title, the byline, the sidebar. New skin!

Here are more Facebook pictures: http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=2486555&l=e4ff8&id=4923951