Monday, November 30, 2009
Monday we had another Thanksgiving meal, here with our camp family. That was another great meal! We took Karis to my mom's because she and Karis needed to finish a project that they started, and Robert, Ethan, and I went to Whole Foods to get some groceries. It was fun :).
Tuesday we spent the day doing NOTHING. We didn't even get out of our pajamas til early afternoon :). It was wonderful. We watched t.v., did some things online, and just hung out. It was the perfect day before going out of town.
Wednesday we drove to Abilene (Robert's family) and it was a pretty stressful drive. Ethan does NOT travel well. He cries/whines/screams almost the whole time. It makes a person crazy after a while :). It took us more than an extra hour to get there.
Thursday, Thanksgiving Day, was great. We all pitched in and made our various "pieces" of the meal, and it was WONDERFUL. We spent the rest of the day just resting and enjoying each others' company. The rest of the time that we were there, the men worked outside on some things, and the women and children just hung out and rested. It was a great time for me to get some naps in and just be. It was much more relaxing than the usual trip out of town :). I'm very thankful to Robert's mom and sister for allowing me the opportunities to take a nap!
We decided to come home late Saturday so that the kids would sleep most of the way, and it worked out! It was a very stress-free, quiet trip home. Robert and I had great "talk time." I love quiet trips home.
Yesterday, Sunday, Robert and I ended up sleeping too late to go to church :(. But, that afternoon we were able to go to town all alone, with-out the kids! Our friend Christa here at camp watched our kids so that we could run errands alone. We ate Schlotzky's for lunch (and had a wonderful Cinnabon cinnamon roll!), and ran many errands. We bought the new car seat (with a 20% off coupon!), re-newed our Sam's membership, bought several Christmas gifts (especially this kids'!), some groceries, etc. Although, we have to take the car seat back today because it's broken :(. But, oh well. It was a great, relaxing time of shopping when normally it's completely stressful :).
I would show some pictures of Thanksgiving, but I just realized that they are mostly of the food :). I don't have many pictures of the people that were present! I will get some from family and post them soon!
Tuesday, November 24, 2009
Monday, November 23, 2009
Several of the things that I have had a LOT of trouble deciding on are:
- Eating in the dining hall: it's free, I don't have to cook or clean up, and we get to spend time with Robert and others here at camp. But, it's not always the healthiest (at least it's not always what we would eat at home). The quality and healthiness of it has improved within the past few years, but when there's a lot of kids here (up to 800), there's only so much you can feed that many people! Another issue is that it has always been hard to plan for because we don't know sometimes when they will have dinner there. We sometimes plan to cook meals at home and end up eating in the dining hall, or we'll plan to eat in the dining hall then they don't end up serving that night, which means we usually go to town to eat because most meals that we make at home require some planning ahead.
- Raw milk versus organic milk versus conventional milk: Raw milk is best, but it has been hard to find and it is expensive. Organic milk is really expensive too, and I just haven't found one that I like (the one that I can "afford" has a bad after taste). Conventional milk is one of the worst things to consume, BUT many brands now sell a hormone free type (Borden, Oak Farms, etc).
- Grass fed/pastured meat and poultry versus "natural" versus organic versus conventional (LOTS of options!): Grass fed/free range is VERY expensive, but so much better for you. Natural meats are hormone free and aren't usually as expensive as organic or pastured... but they aren't organic or pastured. Organic is usually really expensive and not even grass fed, but I can find it somewhat cheaper at Costco. Conventional is just bad, but cheap.
- Buying in bulk (large bags of things) versus buying as we need things: bulk can save money over time, but it takes a big chunk of money at once, which is hard to come by.
- Organic fruits and veggies versus conventional: Organic is better, conventional is cheaper (obvious dilemma there).
- Dining hall: We have decided to just plan to eat lunch there. This way, I can actually plan and budget for all breakfasts and dinners and I know that we will always eat those at home. And, I always know that lunch will be in the dining hall which will just be part of our daily routine. Lunch is always served... even when there aren't guests here. We will get to see Robert while he's working, and we will get to be out of the house and around others. Robert plans to just wait to eat dinner when he gets home, so I will probably try to give some healthy snacks in the afternoon and serve dinner later (when Robert has to serve in the dining hall that night). Summers may be a whole other story since it will almost be too stressful to take all three kids to the dining hall, but we'll cross that bridge when we get there.
- Milk: I've found a place in Georgetown that sells raw milk that isn't much more than the organic milk that I buy (50 cents more). This place is inspected by the health department every month, so I trust it completely. My thoughts are that this is one of those things that is worth buying, so my goal is to start buying enough for a month at a time and freeze it. I have been taught how to thaw it and have been told that it tastes the same after it's thawed. I will really have to work on rationing it so that we don't end up using it all before I can buy more, but that will be a good discipline. If for some reason I need more, I will just buy what I can buy. I will most likely just focus on hormone free. I can't let it be a stressful thing. I hope to buy a gallon or two to make things like yogurt, kefir, etc, but that's just my goal. We will see what happens :). Oh, and I can try to pour the cream off the top to make butter (like I did when I was able to buy non-homogenized milk). Butter I will just buy what I can (probably at Costco), cheese we will probably continue to buy the hormone free kind that we have been buying, and for now, I will just keep buying Stoneyfields farms yogurt.
- Meat/Poultry/Eggs: I have decided that for the most part, conventional is out except for Jennie'O ground turkey (it's at least hormone free). I will do my best to buy natural meats/poultry from Sprouts and sometimes organic from Costco if we can that month. As much as we would prefer buying grass fed/pastured, it's just so much more expensive. I will buy free range eggs from the store, but they aren't too expensive. The biggest thing is that we've decided to cut down our meat consumption. We will find more ways to eat beans, eggs, and use other sources of protein. We will use less meat even in the meat recipes. Robert will most likely shoot at least one deer (maybe even two), which would provide PLENTY of meat for our family (ground meat, stew meat, steaks, etc). I would still buy some chicken to have variety here and there, and maybe some breakfast meats here and there, but that would be all I would have to buy. So, we're PRAYING that he shoots one or two deer :).
- Buying in Bulk: I plan to buy a few large bags of things that we will use ALL the time when I get my stipend from school (wheat berries, sucanat, beans, rolled oats, rice) from Sun Harvest (because this is the cheapest way to buy in bulk that I have found), then the rest I will buy one thing in bulk per month. That way, when I run out, I will just have that one thing to buy and not everything at once. It really saves a lot over time to buy this way. It'll also be nice to know that if there is a month in which we really can't afford to buy much food, we will almost always have lots of food in the pantry. I also plan to buy things like diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, and tomato paste in bulk at Costco because they carry an organic brand that is much cheaper than buying individual cans at the store (about the same price as non-organic). I plan to buy trash bags, freezer bags, toilet paper, laundry detergent (maybe... if I don't go back to making my own), peanut butter, frozen veggies, olive oil, maple, juice, and coffee in bulk at Costco. After all of this, there's not much left to buy :). I will just shop at Sprouts for the rest. They have great sales every week, and Wednesdays are double ad day! So, I will hopefully be able to shop there on Wednesdays! HEB will be the the place that I go to if I just need a few things here and there. I really don't like HEB much...
- Fruits/Veggies: If I buy frozen, I will buy organic (Costco sells these in bulk); fresh I will just pick and choose depending on what we buy that month. I also plan to plant a garden again this year; we'll see how it goes. That will save a lot and is much better. I just don't know how it will go with three babies :).
I plan to put in place once a month freezer cooking, once a month freezer baking, crock pot meals, etc so that I am just focusing in on those things all at once to make the rest of the month easier.
I will begin sharing more and more recipes and my meal plans soon :).
The Family Homestead: Homebirth
Saturday, November 21, 2009
One thing that I strive for through my blog is to show that I am FAR from perfect. I struggle with the desire to be a certain person and with the inability to be that person. I don't ever want someone to walk away from reading my blog thinking that I have it all together or that I'm super mom or something, because that's not true. I have been called that by someone, and it almost made me sad because I would never want someone to think that they are any less of a mom because they don't do things the way I do. Everyone has their own parenting style, weaknesses, strengths, desires, etc. No one mom is going to be the same, in any area. For those of you who want to know who I am in "real life," know that I feed my kids processed foods more than I would like, I struggle with disciplining and teaching my kids, my house is NOT always clean (not even far from it in my opinion!), I don't manage my time very well, I don't play with the kids NEAR as often as I would like (or should!) because I'm either too busy working, cleaning, or being online, I'm not the best manager of my money, one of my biggest "food" weaknesses is Coke (which is HORRIBLE for you), and I sometimes just shut down when I can't do things the way that I would like. I struggle with balance because I am a "black and white" kind of person. I struggle with the fact that since I feed my kids in the dining hall, I might as well just give up on trying to feed them well when we're not in the dining hall (why try when I just feed them there anyway?). I struggle with wanting to even try to keep my house picked up because I know that it will just be messy again in a few minutes. I struggle with even desiring to make a budget because I rarely keep it.
Just as it is easy to focus on all that I don't do well, I am trying to always remember the fact that it's okay that I'm not perfect. No one is. If we were, Jesus would have had no reason to die for us.
I just wanted to share because I'm having one of those days in which I feel bad for not being who I desire. I am sure we all have those days :). I am learning to take it one day at a time.
I almost feel better just from writing this :).
I have several posts "up my sleeve" that I will probably be publishing in the next few days. I have allowed myself some blog writing time lately because I haven't been able to do it much these past few months. So, just be expecting some new posts!
Friday, November 20, 2009
We have a pretty stocked pantry right now, but with the holidays and Spring coming up, we will be eating a lot more at home, so it will deplete quickly!)
* Organic Eggs
* Organic Canned diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, and paste
Friday, November 13, 2009
The Breastfeeding Mother's Guide to Making More Milk is a WONDERFUL book and I recommend it to anyone who has had problems with milk supply in the past. As I have mentioned many times before, I had a lot of problems with milk supply with my last two babies. I am such a "black and white" kind of person... I have a hard time with things because if I can't do it perfectly, I don't want to do it at all. After reading this book, there is possibly an answer to all of my milk supply issues, which actually makes me feel better about things. Through the reading of this book (and from researching online), there is a good chance that I have insufficient glandular tissue, which means that I may not be able to breastfeed exclusively. I have most of the signs and symptoms of this, so there is a good possibility.
This book encourages women in saying that milk supply issues are actually becoming more and more common... and probably because of the amount of toxins in things these days (although there is really no clear answer as to why). I always feel bad about not being able to produce enough because many women think that it's just something that you're doing wrong. Through reading this book, I know that's not true. It is true sometimes, but not all the time. This book helps you to go through every possible reason for low milk supply, and it gives ways to remedy that situation if possible, and ways to supplement without hurting your supply if necessary. I have heard many many times to NOT supplement because it will hurt your supply... but this book re-affirmed my intuition that it is necessary sometimes and it can even hurt your supply if your baby begins to get frustrated and/or lethargic. I know now that it wasn't the wrong thing to do to supplement when with my kids... especially with Ethan. He was not getting anything, really, and he had lost tons of weight (18 ounces by day 3), was dehydrated, jaundice, etc. He was also nursing for 4-5 hours at a time and screaming all the time. He needed more. The problem came in when I decided to stop breastfeeding altogether because I thought it was too hard to do both... and because I couldn't breastfeed exclusively, I thought I might as well not breastfeed at all. This time, I will:
- Supplement if necessary (even at the beginning if I need to), but do it the way that they say to supplement (and my midwife will be working with me on this). The idea is that it will help me to not get overly stressed, which will in turn actually help my supply.
- Begin pumping between feedings from the beginning. The pump that I had with the last two babies was considered a good one (the Ameda), but it HURT me... which made pumping a horrible thing. I bought a new pump, the Playtex Embrace double pump. This pump has many wonderful reviews. People who have had issues with pumps before because of pain, etc, were able to use this one with ease. It doesn't just suck... it massages and sucks which makes it a lot more comfortable. Many women who have not been able to get much milk out at all with other pumps (even the Medela) were able to get a lot more milk out with this one. I know people personally who have had a lot of luck with this pump as well. I haven't heard anything bad about it... only good. And, on the Happy Mothers website, you can buy it pretty cheap compared to buying it in the store or on other websites. I actually got an additional 10% off because they were running 10% off anything over a certain amount sale a few weeks ago. So, I bought it for $148 (usually anywhere from $175-250). We are going to be buying a new car seat from this website as well. Wonderful site.
- Use different herbs and foods to help with supply, from the beginning. Making More Milk has an entire chapter on the MANY different herbs and foods to increase supply. There are way more than I ever would have realized.
- Have a prescription on hand for domperidone. I have heard from midwives and through this book that if you have major supply issues to try this medication.
- Cosleep at the beginning especially. It actually helps increase supply for two reasons: 1) because the baby is right there... all I have to do is lift up my shirt :), 2) the closeness helps increase supply.
Saturday, November 7, 2009
Thursday, November 5, 2009
(our biggest goal with moving the inside furniture was to take the tv out of the front entrance... it used to be right in front of you when you walked in!)
(which, technically, we still have some work to do... but it's MUCH better!)
Anyway... sorry for the length of this post. I feel like it has been FOREVER since I've really written. I hope to pick up again with the holidays coming... we'll see. I still have many things that I would like to post about. I'll get there one day!
Tuesday, November 3, 2009
I have been asked MANY times why I have decided not to receive the flu shot and/or swine flu shot. I hear all the time, "but you're pregnant!" Well, this article is just ONE reliable source of information that explains why I don't get it, and why I don't get it for my kids: What We Have Learned About the Great Swine Flu Pandemic. There is SO much information out there, even in the "mainstream," that shows the truth about the swine flu. Do your research! Don't just go with what the news says.
Sunday, November 1, 2009
Normally when I make a meal plan, I have no idea which nights Robert will be home, so I don't assign nights. This ends up making it tough because then we don't end up sticking with it. This week I actually know which nights he will be home, so I can plan specifically.
Sunday, November 01, 2009
Breakfast: Breakfast cookies
Lunch: Out after church
Dinner: Sausage, potato, and squash soup
Monday, November 2, 2009
Breakfast: Eggs, toast, fruit
Lunch: Dining hall
Dinner: Crockpot chicken and dumplings
Tuesday, November 3, 2009
Breakfast: Egg sandwich
Dinner: Bean and cheese soft tacos
Wednesday, November 4, 2009
Breakfast: Breakfast Tacos
Lunch: Cottage cheese, crackers, fruit
Dinner: Black bean wraps
Plan ahead- soak beans overnight and cook in crock pot through the day; make breakfast tacos evening before
Thursday, November 5, 2009
Breakfast: Breakfast tacos
Dinner: Baked potatoes, broccoli cheese soup
Friday, November 6, 2009
Breakfast: Crockpot cheese grits
Lunch: Dining Hall
Dinner: Dining Hall
Plan Ahead- cook grits overnight
Saturday, November 7, 2009
Breakfast: Baked oatmeal
Lunch: Dining Hall
Dinner: Dining Hall