Friday, November 30, 2012

{my moment}

A moment captured from the week that captured my heart.
A Friday ritual inspired by Soulemama.

My six-year-old, Aidan has walking pneumonia and was home with me today. I had a client interview scheduled, and since he isn't contagious he came with me. It was a special occasion that he got to play games on my phone (or even hold my phone at all), and when I scrolled through the pictures looking for something else I found this one. Apparently he and the daddy of this sweet couple really hit it off!

If you're inspired to do the same, leave a link to your moment in your comment!

Happy Weekend, Lovies!

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Honeybee Mama Sponsor - {Mommy's Bliss Gripe Water}

As a doula, I have more than a few tricks up my sleeve. I have my doula bag that goes with me to all births loaded with massage tools and other various tools for comforting a mother during labor, but I also have what I call my Mommy Bag of Tricks. In it is the collective experience of motherhood from myself and my friends as well as actual practical items like baby slings, parenting books, favorite products, etc.

Though I spend the majority of my time coaching pregnant women about how to stay healthy before birth and educating them about their options in childbirth, I am also the person they call as new parents when they encounter various difficulties. One of those is how to soothe colicky babies.

Often colic, or inconsolable fussiness in newborns, can be related to indigestion or acid reflux. A lot of times it can be treated with physical changes like better burping, keeping baby upright after feedings, changes in mother's diet if she's breastfeeding, or switching formulas if she is bottle feeding. Sometimes, when all other options are exhausted, parents need more help and often turn to friends and physicians to see if there may be a medical or chemical component they're unaware of. One of my recent doula clients contacted me when she felt like she was at her wit's end with her newborn. This sweet baby seemed to have the worst case of colic and acid reflux I had seen in a long time. She was even unresponsive to prescription medication.

Before turning to prescriptions though, there are tried and true natural remedies that can offer substantial relief to babies suffering from colic due to indigestion. One of them is Gripe Water. This simple solution includes things like ginger, which, even for adults, is an extremely effective remedy for stomach troubles. I suggested Mommy's Bliss Baby Care Gripe Water to my client, Courtney, and I'd like you to hear straight from her how amazing the product is!

"My sweet little Ava is number three in the lineup. Our previous two children did not have symptoms of colic, were great breastfeeders, and were relatively easy to settle. So we were stumped when at two weeks of age, Ava seemed to cry no matter our many attempts to help her. All we could do was walk and bounce, walk and bounce.
We tried everything. We thought that perhaps she was having reflux because she was arching her back and crying after feedings. She was put on a prescription antacid as well as Mylicon drops for gas. I also removed dairy and artificial sweeteners from my diet. Still, we had a very unhappy baby that appeared to be in pain. I didn't want to accept that I had a colicky baby on my hands because I had always heard that Colic was simply an easy way of saying 'your baby is in pain and we don't know why.' No Mommy I know watches their child struggle in pain without attempting to help in some way.
That's when a friend suggested Gripe Water. Once we started giving Ava Gripe Water, her hiccups went away almost immediately after giving her the first dose. She was finally able to pass gas and have a bowel movement with minimal discomfort. The dropper is easy to use, although it takes some getting used to. Mommy's Bliss smells and tastes pleasant and Ava didn't seem to mind it at all. It also doesn't have to be refrigerated which makes it easy to take with you on outings.
The biggest advantage is that we were able to take Ava completely off of all medications and I have been able to resume eating dairy products. While some children benefit from both, I believe that Gripe Water was just what we needed all along.  Mommy's Bliss Gripe Water is an excellent product-all natural & fast acting, and we now have a much happier baby!"
~ Courtney Keuck, Honeybee Mama Client
Sweet Baby Ava

I really like minimizing unnecessary medications and chemicals for myself and my children, which is why I promote healthy living and natural care products. Mommy's Bliss is definitely one of those products. 

"Mommy's Bliss, a provider of safe, effective and natural premium-quality products for families, soothes tiny tots' rumbly tummies with its Gripe Water. Ideal for relieving gas and stomach discomfort often associated with colic, hiccups and teething; this all-natural herbal supplement is available in both Original and Apple flavors. Containing no alcohol, chemicals, parabens or artificial flavors, it is 100% vegetarian and vegan; as well as recommended by pediatricians nationwide."

Check out the Mommy's Bliss website and their facebook page for more information and special offers on their products. You can also follow them on Twitter to make sure you don't miss their latest news!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Conversations in the Car Vol. 14

We were driving in the car on our way to Stroud for the littles' bi-monthly visit to their dad's house. The boys were eating their fast food dinners while I visited on the phone with a friend who has recently moved to Tulsa. She had asked me about different churches in town and which one's I've visited and my opinions about them. I'm sure I used the term "christian" at least a few times during the conversation. Here's what happened when I hung up.

Aidan: Mom, what's a Christian?

Alec: Yeah, what's a Christian?

Me: Well, a Christian is someone who believes in God and believes that Jesus loves us and died on the cross for our sins and came back to life so we could be close to God.

The Littles in unison: I'm a Christian!!

Me: I am too. Isn't it good to know how much God loves us?

Aidan: Wait, what are sins?

Alec: Yeah, what are sins?

Me: Well, sins are when we make bad choices and do things that hurt other people or ourselves. Things that God tells us aren't a good idea. We all make bad choices, but God loves us no matter what and gave us Jesus to show us how to love each other and make better choices.

Aidan: Oh yeah, that's good.

Alec: Yeah, I like Jesus.


Though I shy away from the label sometimes, and in many ways find it hard to identify with mainstream Christianity, I am a Christian. Jesus is my example for grace, love and abundant life and the Way that he walked has been the vehicle for healing in my life time and time again. Many people celebrate the day or the moment they became "saved" and celebrate this moment in the lives of their children too. I'm not sure my boys have a particular moment to look back on where they would say they "became" Christians, but I know they are.

And I will forever cherish this moment when they told me!

haiku wednesday

giving thanks while life's
good so i'll remember to
when it's bad as well

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Playing Catch Up

I better start blogging regularly before you guys stop considering me a blogger! Been a little quiet on the writing front for me, but not on the home front. I thought I'd take a minute and catch you guys up on life in the hive.

Thanksgiving break kicked off with babysitting. The day before Turkey Day I had the opportunity to return the favor for a dear friend in my neighborhood (who often watches my kids for births and such) and keep her two children while she finished up her holiday baking. Then, we kept six more children of a midwife friend of mine whose client went into labor. It was a busy day as we prepared to host Thanksgiving dinner the following day, but it was filled with snuggles and sweet babies!

We hosted Thanksgiving for my brother and his family, and my dad.

My husband and I were thrilled to do most of the cooking, and we all filled our bellies with yummy food!

Then, we went to Mimi's for dessert and leaves,

and a late night of poker while the kids played.

My husband made some magic with leftovers. These are potato pancakes (from leftover mashed potatoes) with a dill and garlic sour cream sauce. Oh my goodness...they were soooooo good.

Alongside the potato pancakes, a family Parcheesi tournament ensued,

followed by turkey treat dessert making!

You can bet we "gobbled" them up! Hee hee!

There was lots and lots of lounging and snuggling.

Then I had to make some leftover magic. These are ham and cranberry sauce pinwheels made from croissant dough!

Aidie lost a tooth!

I may have finally perfected my homemade bread recipe,

and have successfully gotten my Christmas decorations up earlier than ever before!

To top it all off, our dear friends, who might as well be family, made a stop to stay with us for a few days as they move from Ocala, Florida to Santa Cruz, California. It was heaven to have them here, fitting seamlessly into our home and routine, and bittersweet to see them leave.

I have spent the day putting away extra bedding, cleaning up messes left behind, washing laundry that's piled up and trying to reorganize myself to focus on work. It almost feels like things might get back to normal, for a little while at least.

Of course, now we prepare for Christmas! The kids are making their lists and checking them twice, as we brainstorm about what gifts will rock their world on Christmas morning. And in the midst of the holiday hub-ub, I contemplate how to continue to foster giving spirits in my children. I think we'll start the season right by going to a fundraiser at Bounce U this evening. They are collecting donations for Toys for Tots, and I think that's the perfect way to remind my littles to be givers!

Love and Honey,

Friday, November 16, 2012

{my moment}

A moment captured from the week that captured my heart. 
A Friday ritual inspired by Soulemama.

Maybe one of these days I'll get used to the step-siblings working and playing nicely together. I still constantly brace myself for struggles and hearing hateful phrases like, "You're not my real brother!" or "I never asked for a sister!" But I don't. Especially these two. Corrinne and Aidan are the instigators, the ones inventing games and coming up with ideas to put on plays, concerts, write letters to the Veterans and do crafts on rainy Sunday mornings. While I cooked breakfast this past Sunday, these two busily worked at making foam pine cones to decorate for Thanksgiving and it was precious. Not that there aren't times when some or all of the children bicker, but more often than not I'm the only one who remembers that our family is blended.

And I am so very thankful. 

If you're inspired to do the same, leave a link in your comment to your moment!

Happy Weekend, Lovies!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Real Food Recipe - Chicken Pot Pie

As of late I have been more and more drawn to the "Real Food" craze. If you're not familiar with the term, check out Real Food Defined. Basically, it's transforming your diet into non-processed (or minimally processed), whole foods.

What I LOVE about it is it's actually very non-restrictive, allowing butter, oils, sugars (just non refined like agave nectar, honey, etc.), and carbohydrates (as long as they are whole grains). So I've been doing what I can to incorporate more whole foods in our family menu, and tweaking favorite recipes so that they qualify as Real Food.

One of the first of my recipes to get a makeover was Chicken Pot Pie. Most everything in the recipe was already whole food: chicken and veggies. I really just needed to switch out the crust and the chicken stock. Join me and I'll take you through how I make delicious, from scratch chicken pot pie!

First, make your crust. This is a main switch to making the recipe real food; however, making pie crust is tricky and I didn't have the patience for trying to show the whole process with pictures. I always use Pampered Chef's Perfect Pie Crust Recipe, so follow that. Just substitute Whole Wheat Pastry Flour for all purpose flour. I use Bobs Red Mill Whole Wheat Pastry Flour (Google Affiliate Ad) and I love it!

Then you need to chop about a half cup each of onions, carrots and celery. Toss those into a med/high heated pan with a couple tablespoons or so of good olive oil. Season with kosher salt and fresh cracked peppercorns.

Then chop and pan fry about one small/medium potato (any kind will do). I had leftover breakfast potatoes (sauteed in olive oil with season salt and pepper) so I just used those. It equaled a "heaping" cup. Don't you love recipes that call for "heaping" measurements? I do! Toss those puppies into your veggie pan.

You'll need about a cup and a half of cooked chicken. I had a leftover roasted breast of chicken, but you could use boiled chicken, canned chicken, or grill up a fresh chicken breast. Mine was seasoned simply with a garlic/sea salt blend and pepper. Toss that into your pan with the veggies.

Now, here's where another real food transformation comes in. Normally I would have used a boxed or canned chicken stock or boullion cubes and/or a can of cream of chicken soup. Those come with all kinds of extra stuff you'd never imagine would be in chicken stock (and soup), so I made my own! One of these days I promise I'll tell you how I make mine, but for now I'll let you google it. I added two full cups of chicken stock, as you'll see later was too much, so I'd shoot for more like a cup to a cup and a half.

Then you need to thicken it.  I used a tablespoon-ish of corn starch. You could also use a
beurre maniƩ (butter flour mixture) with a little cream, or a roux, but I was being lazy.

Bring that all to a boil, then turn it down to simmer, stirring occasionally and scraping the bottom.

Add about a half cup of frozen peas. You could use canned if you want, but I think those are nasty so I use frozen.

Don't worry about the peas cooking. They'll heat up once you get the whole pie in the oven. Now, start spooning everything into your pie crust.

Go ahead and pour it all in. And if you pay attention to my note before and use only 1 1/5 cups of stock instead of 2, you won't have this problem!

Get that top crust on top, overlapping the edges with the bottom. Sandwich the top and bottom together and tuck under all the way around.

Then come back around and pipe the edges. To do that, pinch a bit of the crust in between thumb and forefinger, making a little "v," then use your other thumb and push the dough inside that little "v."

Use a knife to cut little vents on the top.

Then, you can brush the top with an egg wash, melted butter, oil or cooking spray, and she's ready to go in the oven! 350 until she's golden brown.

Like this.

Slice into that pretty little lady and scoop into a bowl and ENJOY!

I love my chicken pot pie with a side slice of extra sharp cheddar cheese. Ooh, I'm hungry now after doing this post!

Enjoy, and let me know how you like it!

Friday, November 9, 2012

{my moment}

A moment captured from the week that captured my heart. 
A Friday ritual inspired by Soulemama.

It sure looks like a flying hug, but it was just a reeeeeaaaaaalllly strong "Good Morning" hug. 
They're the best.

If you're inspired to do the same, leave a link to your moment in your comment. 

Happy Weekend, Lovies!

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

haiku wednesday

Can we grow up? It's
still the land of the Free. The
sky isn't falling.

Friday, November 2, 2012

{my moment}

A moment captured from the week that captured my heart.
A Friday ritual inspired by Soulemama.

I just love happening upon my children and catching them "in their element," completely engrossed in the task at hand. Alec was writing a story about monsters. He didn't quite finish it because we had to get ready for school, but believe you me, we'll make time for him to!

If you're inspired to do the same, leave a link in your comment to your moment.

Happy Weekend, Lovies!

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