Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Messy butterfinger?

So, I found a recipe on Pinterest (how many times can I say that?!?!) and wanted to tweak it a bit.
The original recipe is HERE. What I did not like about the original was the amount of refined sugar. I chose to experiment a bit-and the result is messy...very messy, but very tasty!

Ingredients:
1 1/3 cup maple syrup
1 cup peanut butter (real stuff-needs to be stirred-does not have added oil or sugar)
1 cup of Enjoy life chocolate chunks
1 big tsp of coconut oil

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper

Heat up the syrup in a sauce pan until it was super bubbly-checking the temp it got up to 270 degrees-it started to smell a bit burnt, so I called it and pulled from stove top.
lots of bubbles forming (below)
 
-At this point, QUICKLY remove from heat, stir the peanut butter in QUICKLY 
-transfer to baking sheet
-smooth it out as much as possible and CUT it in the sizes you want each piece
-I ended up with a bunch of "ends" and crumble pieces-they will NOT go to waste in this house!



Let cool at room temp (or in freezer)

Melt chocolate and oil together and dip each piece, allow to cool on counter (or in freezer)


They are not pretty-they still need to "firm" up a bit too...

They taste GOOD so I don't care. I will play with the recipe some more (and get a smaller pan so they will HOPEFULLY be more uniform!

Apple Pie Gluten/Dairy Free!! (original post 9/24/13)

Apple pie recipe
Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees

Crust
3/4 cup oat flour
ABOUT 1/4 cup almond meal (if you don't have any-just use whole oats or leave out-works either way)
1 tbsp. tapioca starch
1/4 cup sugar(I used real organic sugar)
1 tsp xanthan gum
4 tbsp. shortening (palm oil)
1 egg
1 tbsp. REAL vanilla extract

Filling
 4-5 Apples, use judgment
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp salt

Topping
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup oats (gf)
1/4 cup oat flour
1/3 cup palm oil (shortening)
(cinnamon or nutmeg if wanted...I forgot this time-about 1/2 tsp)

Stir the flour, xanthan gum and starch. Add sugar and shortening, egg and vanilla. Mix it well and press into pie pan. I used a bit more tapioca starch to "press" it into the pan without it all sticking to my hands. Put in fridge while you make the filling and topping.

Make filling, put in crust (take crust out of fridge first...) and then add the topping. Bake at 400 degrees for about 45 mins!

Crock Pot apple butter (originally posted Sept 2013)

Apple Butter Recipe (posted in September of 2013)
 

Apple butter:

ABOUT 6.5 lbs of apples-cored-sliced
                      -I am not sure what kind I used, they were a mix of tart and sweet
                      -I did not peel them all the way-only the bruises and bugs

1 tablespoon of ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon of ground nutmeg

1/4 teaspoon of ground cloves
                      - I did not have these, so I put in 3 cloves and just took them out...

1/4 teaspoon salt

Put all that in the crock pot for I would say 8-10 hours, walk away and check on it later!

when it is all cooked down-add 1 tablespoon of real vanilla extract
                     -stir in and WALK AWAY

Come back 1-2 hours later and blend that awesomness up. I used my ninja-it was a pain, then I used my mother-in-laws immersion blender and broke it...back to Ninja (MAN I NEED A VITAMIX!!)

 

 

Pork and Beans Soup-DeeLISH

This is from 11/18/13 Posting. This recipe got buried in my postings, and it was so good I wanted to share the recipe!!
 
 
 
 
Original Posting:
 
Meal plan: about a month or so ago, I got "uncured, nitrate free BACON" at the Madison coop. Well, yesterday we opened it and noticed it is not sliced...so we sliced it. We tried to fry it up and it is not bacon, but rather a fatty pork steak. So, we set it aside and made some bacon that we know is bacon.
What to do with fatty pork steak that is not bacon? I am making pork and beans...I think!

Just a quick note-the package said UNCURED BACON, when in fact it is a side pork.
 
To start off, I froze my hands off in the garden digging up a couple big, organic, beautifully imperfect carrots! Peel and chop carrots, peel and chop 2 medium organic onions, sauté in olive oil.


While those are softening up,(stir often) I cut up the pork and tossed it in.

I had an overfull jar of turkey broth in the freezer that I semi unthawed and added that in next

More than a qt of turkey broth

Turkey broth added, chunks of frozen broth floating...

I am not good at measuring, but I added probably 4 cups of water and 3 cups of white navy beans. I eyeballed it to make sure that the beans could expand enough. 

I tossed in about a cup give or take some of chopped up spinach

I took a pic after throwing some of it in!

Then tossed in some ground black better and some oregano 
It looks pretty! I can smell the garlic!
Bring to boil for like 5 minutes
Cover and simmer...low
I checked it 2 hrs later
Beans are softening up! 
I am leaving it alone for now and will see what it turns into!
 
I let it cook until dinner time-probably 4-6 hours total. Could cook longer and not hurt it, it was SOOO good!!

Breakfast Bread (from previous posting)


3 1/3 cups oat flour (I just ground up a bunch in the kitchenaid-use organic and/or gf)
2 full tablespoons of yeast (the fridge kind)
1 1/2 cups warm water
----mix the yeast and warm water together and let set while you mix up the other stuff
6 tbsp. honey
1/2 cup tapioca flour
2 tsp xanthan gum
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp cinnamon
4 eggs

I mix everything up-toss in the water/yeast mixture and put in a 4 spot mini loaf pan (pampered chef stone pan). Let it sit on top of your counter/stove for 45 minutes or so, just so it can rise up and look fluffier.

I baked mine at 350° for 35 minutes and they were perfect

Gluten Free/Dairy Free Peanut Butter Cookies!!

I was on Pinterest this morning and saw a bunch of cookie recipes, they looked super good, but none of them looked simple and healthy! We love peanut butter in this house-LOVE!!

I know some people say it isn't the most healthy thing in the world, but it is something we enjoy.

I knew I wanted a gluten and dairy free cookie. I also have been trying to use less REAL sugar. The sugar we have in the cupboard is getting low-it is organic cane sugar...and I hope to not buy more! Anyone that has gone from white sugar to real cane sugar knows it can take some getting used to. Not all sugars are created equally.

I have toyed with a few 'natural' sweeteners and haven't had a whole lot of luck! I cannot afford to buy fancy sugars all the time, but we do always have real maple syrup on hand! I buy a gallon of maple syrup for $45 locally, it may not be the most economical, but we hope to collect our own syrup soon!

Anyway, back to the recipe.

1 cup of natural peanut butter ( I used smucker's organic creamy, it only has peanuts and salt in it, no added oil)
-2/3 cup real maple syrup
-1 tsp vanilla
-1tsp salt
-1 large egg

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

1-Stir your peanut butter! Get the oil on top all mixed in and smooth
2- put 1 cup of peanut butter in mixer bowl, turn on mixer (I put the kitchen aid on first speed)
3-add in the 2/3 cup or real maple syrup, blend until smooth and starts to stiffen up
4-add in salt and vanilla, mix for a good minute on speed 2, it will stiffen up a bit
5-add in egg and let mix another good minute or so

Put on cookie sheet by the spoonful bake about 13 minutes
(I am sure this could make 18+ cookies for some,but for the way I did it I got about 12-with some extra for me to clean out of the bowl....(my egg came from my hens, so I am comfortable licking the bowl clean!) there is enough batter left for at least 1-2 more cookies...but who wants to bake 1-2 cookies...

I checked my cookies at 6 minutes, and tried to do the fork bit on them, not a good idea. Left alone to bake a good 13 minutes total.
Let cool 2 minutes on pan(or 5 if you get side tracked and forget...)
 
Move to wire rack to cool completely, or eat warm!
 

I offered each of my kids one cookie, and there was a lot of "mmmmm, can I have more" being said!
The cookies are very soft, almost doughy. I love my cookies to be doughy (I mentioned eating the batter right...) if you want yours less doughy, just cook longer, but watch so they don't burn!
 
 (sorry, the cookie is the same color as my table... a little hard to see it!)

Note: Next time, I am going to bake for 15-18 minutes and see how they turn out a little more crunchy!

Friday, January 17, 2014

busy beeeee

I feel like I go in spurts of how busy I am. I decided yesterday, that I was going to make my laundry detergent, and also start making my own dishwashing detergent.

I found a couple recipes on Pinterest and had to tweak things to suit my family. I did not feel comfortable using fels naptha, as I did not really care for the ingredients. I decided instead, to use Kirts natural soap.

I grated and mixed in the Borax and super washing soda and made laundry detergent. It has been setting up setting up since last night and should be ready to use! There is always laundry to be washed, so I hope it gets our clothes clean!

This morning I decided to make my dishwasher detergent. To do so I needed some liquid Castile soap. I don't know about everyone else, but I cannot stomach the price of Dr. Bronner's liquid Castile soap. So last night, in preparation for today, I made the liquid castile soap. The liquid soap needed to set up overnight, so I will not know how well the dish washing detergent works until TOMORROW!
01/22/14
UPDATE: Laundry soap seems to be working fine! It does separate a bit, but I gently tilt it back and forth (trying not to make bubbles) before using it

I made the dish washing detergent, let it cool in the pan and bottled it up. My bottle wasn't large enough, so I left some in the pot until I found a mason jar (with a lid) and noticed it was gelling up already!! I am so excited! I filled an Ecos bottle (72 oz?) and a qt jar with dish washing detergent. All from 1 cup of Castile soap and some borax and washing soda. I used THIS recipe for the dishwasher detergent-after making my OWN liquid castile (omitting the Dr. Bronners)scroll down to dishwash detergent...
1/22/14
UPDATE:The dishwashing detergent is horrible! Even with adding vinegar to the rinse cycle, the dishes are filthy and have a horrible film. I think I need to try the recipes that use salt? Not sure what to do with all the detergent I made!

So, last night-my husband picked on my homemaker skills.

I have not been very good lately at keeping the house tidy, the kids cleaned...or making a decent meal!

I am not sure what is going on with me, but my focus has been off.

I made lentil soup-it was VERY good, he didn't like it!

I made chili, the beans were undercooked (though they cooked ALLLLL day and they had soaked overnight!)

Last night, I made his favorite-meatloaf...I dumped too much seasoning in and it was salty! Not to mention the potato salad...my garlic packed extra punch! We joked that we would be extra healthy, the meatloaf forced us to drink extra water and flush our systems, and there was enough garlic in my salad to kill any germs!

As bad as my skills have been, I take pride in what I do for my family! I may not always smell pretty (I gave up deodorant and smelly sprays SOOO long ago)

Heck, I may not look so pretty most days either! I gave up make-up  and daily showers over a year ago!

My family comes first! Saving as much of my hubby's hard earned money, so we can buy healthy organic food means so much to me! I am doing my part by making healthier (cheaper) household cleaners and food from scratch!

Right on with my "busy bee mood" I made some breakfast bread...I am not sure why I call it that, maybe because it isn't a sandwich bread-it has cinnamon in it...it turned out good!! yay!
 

It was supposed to be for a meeting we were having an hour away from home tomorrow-but that got canceled..so now it is just to fill our bellies!!
(IT IS GOOD!)
As I said before, I found this recipe and changed it-I gave credit to the blogger before me in the other post.

Here is MY version

Recipe:

3 1/3 cups oat flour (I just ground up a bunch in the kitchenaid-use organic and/or gf)
2 full tablespoons of yeast (the fridge kind)
1 1/2 cups warm water
----mix the yeast and warm water together and let set while you mix up the other stuff
6 tbsp. honey
1/2 cup tapioca flour
2 tsp xanthan gum
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp cinnamon
4 eggs

I mix everything up-toss in the water/yeast mixture and put in a 4 spot mini loaf pan (pampered chef stone pan). Let it sit on top of your counter/stove for 45 minutes or so, just so it can rise up and look fluffier.

I baked mine at 350° for 35 minutes and they were perfect

1 1/2 cups warm water
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons honey
Read more at http://www.yammiesglutenfreedom.com/2012/11/gluten-free-honey-oat-bread.html#JhOtCeOlbrIp2sRu.99
1 1/2 cups warm water
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons honey
Read more at http://www.yammiesglutenfreedom.com/2012/11/gluten-free-honey-oat-bread.html#JhOtCeOlbrIp2sRu.99
3 1/3 cups oat flour (or 4 cups of gluten-free oats plus more for the top)
2 scant tablespoons yeast
1 1/2 cups warm water
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons honey
1/2 cup corn starch (or tapioca flour)
1/2 cup rice flour (white or sweet white rice flour. Brown rice would probably work to but I haven't tried that yet)
2 teaspoons xanthan gum
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
4 eggs
Read more at http://www.yammiesglutenfreedom.com/2012/11/gluten-free-honey-oat-bread.html#JhOtCeOlbrIp2sRu.99
3 1/3 cups oat flour (or 4 cups of gluten-free oats plus more for the top)
2 scant tablespoons yeast
1 1/2 cups warm water
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons honey
1/2 cup corn starch (or tapioca flour)
1/2 cup rice flour (white or sweet white rice flour. Brown rice would probably work to but I haven't tried that yet)
2 teaspoons xanthan gum
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
4 eggs
Read more at http://www.yammiesglutenfreedom.com/2012/11/gluten-free-honey-oat-bread.html#JhOtCeOlbrIp2sRu.99

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Quick thoughts on kids being kids

I was on Pinterest-and I came across an article that just STOOD out to me. Here it is. It talks about school time vs play time, play time vs structured time, and basically just how kids nowadays are not allowed to just BE kids.

The timing of me finding this article is PERFECT, as I have JUST come to terms with the fact that my kids may play ALLLLL day long-and that is totally OK.

Right now, we are on a journey. We are embracing unschooling, and just being.

I have watched my kids blossom into the most creative and caring people.

They are learning (again) how to play, how to explore, how to be children.  It is kind of awesome.

Tonight, while I was fixing dinner...before the hubs got home-I turned on Pandora (music). We have it set to a "kids" channel, as I got sick of changing the station every time a not so kid friendly song came on over the holiday season. Anyway, we jammed. We danced like crazy people...we had a blast! ALL 4 of us danced around like crazies...I felt so loved and full of love it is insane. I know I looked stupid-with my big dumb smile stuck on my face. How could I not smile, my kids were totally letting lose, it was AWESOME! Even Torrin jammed out, he would start to yell when the song ended, he didn't want the fun to stop! It was a good night! (until we ate and realized I over seasoned the meatloaf, and over did it on the garlic for the potato salad...OOP-I am not perfect lol)

squeaky clean??

I do not buy chemicals. none.nope...nada! I am not saying we have NO chemicals-some stuff has made its way into our home (not by my hands) and needs to make an exit!

I am in no way shape or form-a clean freak. I used to obsess over clean-but in all honesty, when we mop the floor-people FALL. A little traction is needed! *HA*

I do like to have some decent soap on hand-real soap. Safe soap-no bad chemical stuff.

Finding a decent laundry detergent that is free of all that gunk (and doesn't cost a small fortune...) is REALLY hard! Finding a decent dish washing detergent that does its job is HARDER! I am hoping what I found works! I will let ya know later!!

So, today I made some liquid castile soap. I cannot take all the credit-all I did was grate up a bar of castile and mix it into 10 cups of water. I am hoping it works well for some other things, I know I saved a ton of money! 1 bar is about $1 and it made 1/2 gallon+ 1 pint of liquid soap.

I am hoping to use the liquid soap for hand washing, dish washing detergent, and maybe even shampoo! (have to see how it looks tomorrow!)

This morning, the girls and I grated up a bar of castile and mixed up the things needed to make laundry detergent. I have been using soap nuts for about a year, and I just do not feel like things are getting very clean any longer.  Hopefully, the soap will set up nicely and clean our clothes! I did not add any scents or anything to this batch, figured I would see how it did first!
My helper!

 I have read other pages where people complain about grating up the soap-so they choose to buy liquid. It seriously takes a few minutes, and the kids are happy to help!
I forgot the pictures of when it was on the stove, with me adding water, borax, and washing soda...oops-you get the idea!

Vitacost baby!

So, I almost forgot to share this.

I make a lot of my healthy purchases online. Eating gluten and dairy free can get expensive. We have learned to eat more REAL food, but still like pancakes from time to time. Buying flour to MAKE pancakes gets expensive...and there are days I am simply too lazy to grind up a decent mix. (you cannot just sub oat or rice flour for normal flour in gf baking if you didn't know...) SOOO anyway, I was buying a LOT of stuff on amazon. Amazon has GREAT prices on bulk items, but you are stuck buying like 3-6 of everything to get that great per item price.

I found vitacost awhile back. I did not know how great they were until recently! I am able to buy 1 or 2 of everything I need and still get it shipped for free. (with $49 order). I get more of a variety for my money. So, I can get 2 of several things, instead of 6 of one thing. I like stocking up, but it sucks when I need EVERYTHING at the same time.

If you want to check out vitacost- click on my link, sign up for the referral program and get $10 for your first purchase over $30! The great thing is that I get a coupon too!! Refer more friends, and you get $10 for each friend that signs up and orders!

If you want to help out even more-sign yourself up-then come back here and click on my U-Promise link. It is free-nothing to worry about-and you help my kids earn money for college! It is a slow savings plan, but my kids get 5% from Vitacost for every order that is placed through the link!

It honestly sounds way more confusing than it is! Many online companies donate through Upromise, so check and see next time you place an order! (Target, Wal-mart, vitacost, LOTS OF big stores!)

Vitacost $10 link
https://www.vitacostrewards.com/kCDHkHZ
Upromise link
http://www.upromise.com/guest/2245493297 go to link, type in vitacost in search and click on store. When page is loading you will see it say that you are saving 5% for college.


 
$65.62 shipped to my door from vitacost!

I am all about supporting local businesses, but I have to make sure I can afford the best for my family. I was shopping on amazon, and getting great deals, but had to buy everything in large quantities to get a good per item price

Not so great a blogger

So, here is the deal: I know I am not the best blogger! This "blog" is more of my personal diary-that the world CAN see if they so choose! Call me lame (please don't...it isn't very nice!) but blogging/vlogging helps me feel like I have an outlet-like I am not alone. I have grown so much in the past 2 years-in learning about myself and my children. Putting it all out there makes me reflect more upon how I am living my life. With that said-I attempted a couple of videos!! They are not great, I have no clue what I am doing-but they are real! Let me tell you, recording a video with 3 kids in the house is NOT easy! I lost count of how many I trashed before just saying "to hell with it, this one is GOOD ENOUGH".

HERE I AM!!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b74gYXMDKQw

I roll my eyes when I am thinking-I hate looking at the screen. I also sniffle A LOT, I have an egg allergy, but we have over 30 hens-hence LOTS OF EGGS.

Below is my second video.

First, I am going to ramble on a bit about what led up to this video. Stick with me! I will do this in my random, horrible sentence structure kind of way.

I am trying to type this before Torrin has a melt down and really needs me. It is a wonderful 31 degrees outside right now, so we spent 45 minutes in the snow, he LOVED it (first time ever playing in snow!) As much fun as he had, it was also a LOT of fresh air for him, so he is going to probably need a nap very soon! Everything I do is on his schedule, so please, don't judge too harshly! (look at me caring what others think again...I gotta stop that! This is my safe haven, MY page...Deep down I know if you don't like it, you can leave...)

I made this video with some things in mind. I have my parenting questioned on a regular basis. Normally friends or family do not understand why I do things the way I do. I am trying like mad to surround myself with people who GET it. People I can learn from. By surrounding myself with people who just do not get it, I often wondered off of the path I know to be right for my family. Surrounding myself with negative hateful people, made me a cranky mom and wife. As much as I hate being lonely, not having many close momma friends has me being a better mom! It is better to be alone in my parenting journey, than to have a bunch of moms around me offering candy bars and then bitching at their kids when they have a hyper reaction to the food colorings and everything else that is in that "treat".

My parenting style has changed a lot in the past few years. ( I am going to randomly give a summary of the past 7 years...)

When I had Zariah 7 1/2 years ago, I fell in love with her instantly. My life was forever changed, she was my world. I still remembering telling family I was pregnant. I told Ryatt first-he was my best friend...My mom just KNEW (she is weird like that!) When I told my in-laws, they were not happy. They love all of my kids to pieces, but I think ME having a baby-sealed the deal-I was in for good...thinking they didn't like that idea very much...ANYWAY I think they kind of like it now, I mean seriously, without me there would not be these three awesome little people! I kind of rock in that way!


Unfortunately, I did not follow my gut, but listened to doctors and family / friends. I remember Zariah's 2 month shots like it was yesterday-hell is the only way to describe it! My gut said NO NO NO to vaccines. I feel like the doctors bullied me into them. I was 18 when she was born, 19 a few months later...I was so young! I was raised where you listen to whomever is in charge (smartest adult present), if I disagreed with an adult, my job was to do as I was told (as long as no harm would come of anyone) and tell my mother about it later. Well, I do not have a degree in anything, so obviously the doctors know what they are doing...right? I don't even want to go into the birth of my first-I wish I could forget parts of it and just fast forward to holding her...This was the beginning of me losing myself.

She was given RICE cereal-way too damn early...I didn't want her to have it-but again, doctors and family said she NEEEEEDED it. (Torrin doesn't even know what that crap is! We skipped right to REAL food)

By the time Zarina came along, I looked at Zariah like she was SUCH a big girl. She was, she really was, but she also should have been allowed to be my baby much, much longer!

Having Zarina just after my 20th birthday did not leave any room for growth on my part. I was a child, with 2 children! I had a nurse tell me she didn't envy me one bit, 2 kids under 16 months apart...she had TWINS and said she had it easier. Now, I don't have twins, so I cannot say one way or the other, but I do know balancing the needs of a young toddler and a preemie infant are NOT easy!

My gut said to make changes, but everyone around me had other ideas. (I wanted to long term breastfeed-and thought my milk had dried up...I wanted to cloth diaper and was made fun of...) I had no backbone! This is funny, since everyone around me said I was outspoken and kind of a bitch. Truth is, I hurt easily! I am not a people pleaser...but I am a big softie and hate being hated. I caved. My house was full of more plastic and junk food and everything I HATE. I yelled at my kids...I sleep trained them (I will forever be haunted by this).  I allowed them to have junk, food colorings, watch too much t.v....I was the NORMAL AMERICAN MOM! I was also dying inside. The TAMIKA in me was just blek.

Zarina weaned earlier than Zariah. I felt like a failure! I wanted to make it to at least 1-if not 2...Zariah only made it to 10.5 months, Zarina to 9.5. WHAT THE HELL WAS I THINKING??

I knew as a baby, I had a milk allergy-but I still went ahead and gave my kids COWS milk. (wonder why Zariah always had croup and eczema...hmmmmm)

Let me try to get sort of back on topic. I was a follower. ME, of all people-ME. I always thought I was a leader, that I made my own path, and here I was listening to others about the most important part of my life-MY CHILDREN.

I lost myself, and was failing my children-and my husband.

I about let my family fall to pieces. I was burnt out. DONE-no more. I was all about convenient and easy. I about let myself fall down a very big spiral.
Nathan's love-his persistence- kept me sort of afloat. We mended our marriage and decided to make a baby...It was time for me to grow the hell up-with him by my side again.

I am not sure what changed me.

-meeting the momma's I met in SC?
---when I met them my kids were not longer "babies", and I kind of just thought most of them were wacko-(I loved them, but thought they were EXTREME!)

-Maybe turning 25? Does turning 25 give you a stronger backbone?

-Maybe...actually PLANNING this baby-like bawling my eyes out when the test came back negative kind of planning

-could it be that the doctors made this pregnancy out to be SO high risk, so much so that I did not get to enjoy being pregnant for fear of never holding my baby boy...

-could it be that when I had this dreamed of baby boy-he was so horrible I thought I was being punished for not simply being happy with the first two kids I had...

Torrin changed me!

He really, truly CHANGED who I am as a person.

After wanting my boy for so long, only to be told me might not make it to term (we made it to 36 weeks=totally healthy-only jaundice).

To have my baby, with what had to be the fastest labor on planet earth (Hurt like HELL-try to run a marathon in a minute...that is what it is like to be in labor for less than 5 hours. You still have to get from point A to point B-and super fast just means LOTS and LOTS of pain quickly!)

Have him be only hours old, and let NOTHING sooth his cries. Him needing a breast so badly, so much that my nipples bled and hurt, only to leave us both bawling.

Having a baby in constant pain, though the doctors just called him "sensitive".

Learning to not trust the doctors, to do my own doctoring. Changing MY diet to save my child from pain.

I started eating cleaner because of my son. My whole family changed because of this miracle baby. I learned to follow my gut!

Learning to listen to myself, and to ask others for their advice, or ideas-but to KNOW that my gut would show me the way-it what works for us!

My kids are homeschooled because I listen to my gut. I ask other homeschool moms for advice, or how they do things, but at the end of the day, only I can know what is right for my kids.

When I started this homeschool bit-I had all of these ideas and ideals. Well, that all went out the window and I am learning my kids do better with a more relaxed, unschooled environment. They are learning to love learning. It isn't being forced! They are experimenting, they are free in their home. I am learning right along side them! There is less yelling and nagging, and more OFFERING to help! It is kind of awesome!




Don't mind the mess too much. Last night, Nathan was stocking up our indoor wood pile, and Zariah decided to help out! He didn't ask for help, she offered! They worked together and saw it faster to pass it through the window. Zarina saw what was going on-and hopped into the mix to help out as well!
This naked baby is the reason the video happened. My parenting was questioned-because I chose not to fight him to FORCE him into wearing a diaper. I was asked "Who is in charge, who is the boss..." I replied that I do not want to be the boss of these amazing children, I want to guide them...not force things on them. Honestly-who is it hurting that he is running around nude for a few days? Look how happy he is! (he loves to read books-just have to remind him to not close the book on his penis!)
Now that I have been super random for quite some time-here is the video.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B3NR2RjdC7k

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Trying to not be too lonely, knowing life is good!

Well, I found out my little brother welcomed a beautiful baby girl into the world on January 4th! I wish I had found out by being invited to her birth, or at least by him telling me, but sadly that is not how I found out.

I do hope that one day he will come back into my life. I want to be an Auntie to little miss Nora, and my kids want to welcome their new baby cousin into the world as well. A new baby is supposed to be an exciting time, but I am finding I am quite sad. I hope eventually I get to hold her and love on her!! Ryatt, I doubt you read this-but if you ever do, I will always love you.

I only hope that by becoming a daddy you see that having children makes you do crazy things. I hope you grow into an amazing father, that your daughter ALWAYS comes first! Please, do not ever turn your back on your baby girl-no matter how old she is, she should always be your world. I promise to never judge your parenting style as long as you don't judge mine. Just always, always, put your baby first!

I promise to love you and your baby from a distance, and hope we get to be together again soon.

So, onto less depressing stuff. (maybe still a little depressing??)

I know life is good. There are gaps in "my world" but my kids work daily at filling those gaps. My husband tells me every day that I am exactly what he wants, that I am enough, that he loves me...it is quite sad that I need him to say these things, but I do.

I often get criticized, (never very directly) for my parenting style. I know I am not "perfect" but nobody is! It seems (family/not so nice "friends") like to compare themselves to me, and maybe they just need someone to hate on, I really do not know. I know I am doing what is right for MY kids. I know MY kids are happy. Funny, people say they hate me, yet they find themselves on my google+ page, or on my blog!! Truth-you cannot truly HATE Tamika, and say you love Zariah, Zarina, or Torrin... they are ME!! You cannot look into my kids eyes and not see me-trust me-it is me you will see!

I had posted something onto google+ about Easter (GAH-Easter already?? didn't we just finish up Christmas?) The reason I posted it is because I had family ALREADY mentioning Easter shopping and planning! It seems (I knew this would happen) people think they know MY kids better than I do. Well, hate to break it to you, but you do not know my kids better than me, nope...sorry-sad for you.  I will post my "post" below, feel free to give your take on it if you stumbled onto my blog today!!

This was my posting:
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I know Easter is a ways away...but the girls and I were talking about gifts that they ended up regifting or exchanging because (though they were nice) they were not something the kids would actually play with.
We love everyone that buys for the kids! even the kids (they are so darn smart!) hate to see people waste their hard earned money on "junk" they will never play with....that said...here is a list of things they TRULY want and would make good Easter gifts...feel free to skip Easter basket all together if the list isn't what you are looking for, the kids get plenty from the Easter bunny!

Please don't buy clothes, the girls would rather go pick out their own at the thrift store or on a clearance rack...it is better to have them try things in anymore!

As for candy, enjoy life makes dfgf decent chocolate bars, and also bags of chocolate chunks (cheaper on amazon).

Burnstads sells gum that is free of chemicals and aspartame! They also have organic gummies the kids enjoy. Heck, a box of king Arthur's brand gf flour (walmart $6) and a bag of chocolate chunks ($23 for 6 pack On amazon) the kids will know it means I will make them cookies!!

Please, help us avoid more plastic and junk coming into our home. There are very few toys the kids actually continue to play with day after day that are plastic. They have more than enough Legos now...please no more Legos!

Safe, decent made soap (lusa organics), felted decent soap (they like the stuff I got!) even better, get the good lusa soap, and the felting supplies so we can felt it together!

http://www.walmart.com/search/search-ng.do?search_query=Wool+roving&ic=16_0&Find=Find&search_constraint=0

http://www.lusaorganics.com

Gift certificates for Symons, roller skating, movie theater...any activities that get us out of the house.

Homemade bubbles! Skip the store bought ones, decorate the bottle...they will love it!

"Toys" they really want and will actually play with

Schleich figurines...we have a lot of them so I will list the ones they really want
-apotasaurus
http://www.walmart.com/ip/Schleich-Apotasaurus-Figurine/28199760 -giraffe
-alligator
-polar bear
-zebra, or zebra family
http://www.walmart.com/ip/Schleich-Zebra-Family-Figurine-Set/28199727

They do not need a ton of these as we already have a lot, one per child is more than enough. The good heavy ones run 12-30$ each.

I am posting pics of the ones they have, the German Shepard does have a baby pup that is missing from picture. We like the big heavy schleich ones, not the smaller ones. Mostly zoo and Dino animals.
(I am planning one for each kids from Easter bunny...)



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Not so bad, right?
I am offering suggestions.
We have an amazon list that everyone has access to as well!

Now, to be honest:
The reason I made the post is that my kids got some great gifts for Christmas. They also got some gifts that were NEVER on their radar and THEY chose to return! Zariah actually opened a Monster High doll thinking "oh cool" and later, got it home-set it on her shelf-and hasn't touched it since! I asked if they had ANYTHING to donate or toss (we were in major cleaning mode) and she suggested the doll! I had to remind her that it was NEW-she JUST got it, and that maybe we should keep it. I do not want my kids to be so casual about disposing of things. When you have less, you can appreciate it SO much more! There are "things" that come into our lives, that when they are gone-we do not even miss them! I hate to see people spend their hard earned money on junk my kids forget about 5 minutes after they get it!

The girls are also at an age where they like to pick their own clothes, and clothes are damn expensive *and cheaply made to boot!*

Now, I KNOW my girls refuse to wear tight pants that have zippers at the ankle, also that Zariah HATES leggings 9 out of 10 times (if she has a cute skirt she MIGHT wear leggings if she has cute boots that match)

Also, my kids have tiny booties and long long legs, so most clothes do need to be tried on or they get returned for being too big in the waste or too short in the legs. We returned 4 pair of pants this year-luckily the slips were kept, so it wasn't too hard to do.

My girls (ON THEIR OWN) said they did not want pants, they wanted to use the money to get some of those darn figurines that they LOVE so much. They agreed if any cash was left over, it should go towards gymnastics. I asked the girls what an acceptable amount of figurines was to purchase at one time, reminding them that they didn't need EVERY figurine, and they decided how many to purchase.

Also, Zarina got a second lego set for Chritmas-the same one she got already on Christmas-so I have to have Vicki return it. I know me making a list is less personal than people picking random stuff out on their own, but I do know my kids, and I know what they will or will not play with. My making a list, HELPS YOU! Keep in mind-YOU do not need to buy things for my kids, they get plenty from Santa, the Easter Bunny, and Nathan and myself. Even if the grandparents did not gift one single thing (which will never happen...) the kids have more than enough!
They love swimming...

None of my kids are deprived of material things, they have more than they could need. They also are KIDS, they enjoy BEING KIDS, doing THINGS. My children do not need to sit on their asses in front of a computer screen, or a tv or video game system to be happy. They are content playing and pretending, and READING!!! So, what I ask from you-anyone reading this-do not judge how I parent these amazing kids. I know I am doing a great job. I know my kids better than you do!

Both girls got legos for Christmas, from their Grandparents-they thought they were SO COOL-they put them together one time...then put them away, and guess what, they haven't touched them since! Why on earth should I hang onto stuff that they do not play with? They have Nathan's legos from when he was a kid-and they play with them when HE plays with them. They love legos when Daddy plays-but it is not the legos they are enjoying-it is their time with their father. These kids have taught me that quality time means way more to them than material things.

What I need from everyone that wants to be a part of my life...of my children's lives is this:
-stop judging ME-what I am doing is right for us
-stop criticizing ME-my kids love me just the way I am-hating on me will make them hate you
-stop checking out my blog or google + if you don't like what you see
-stop buying junk, stop buying junk food, just stop...don't ask me if it can be JUST THIS ONCE-accept that I am their mother and I do know what makes them feel icky and what they will not play with more than once

See the beauty in each day-that is my resolution. I see my children every day-I do see the beauty. By ignoring the haters-I can ignore the ugly.