Healthy body, healthy spirit, healthy mothering. This is the journey I have set out on with my two amazing children.

Wednesday, December 07, 2011

Song For a Fifth Child

Mother, O' Mother, come shake out your cloth,
Empty the dustpan, poison the moth.
Hang out the washing, make up the bed,
Sew on a button and butter the bread.

Where is the mother whose house is so shocking?
She's up in the nursery, blissfully rocking.

Oh, I've grown as shiftless as Little Boy Blue,
Lullaby, rockaby, lullaby loo.
Dishes are waiting and bills are past due,
Pat-a-cake, darling, and peek - peekaboo.

The shopping's not done and there's nothing for stew,
And out in the yard there's a hullabaloo.
But I'm playing Kanga and this is my Roo.
Look! Aren't his eyes the most wonderful hue?
Lullaby, rockaby, lullaby loo.

The cleaning and scrubbing can wait till tomorrow,
But children grow up, as I've learned to my sorrow.
So quiet down cobwebs; Dust go to sleep!
I'm rocking my baby and babies don't keep.

~ Ruth Hulbert Hamilton

Monday, November 21, 2011

Truly Thankful

We have 3 days until Thanksgiving 2011.  For the very first time ever I know 100%, with no doubt whatsoever, that I am truly thankful this year.

My inner shamemaker says "What.  The.  Hell.  You have two beautiful, healthy children.  You have a home.  You have family."

I know all of this.  I'm not saying that I'm not thankful for all of those things.  I'm not even saying that I haven't been thankful for them in the past.  This year is just different.

My little sis, my amazing, beautiful, strong, courageous 19 year old sister has joined the United States Army.  She is home for three weeks.  Then she heads overseas for a year.
This is why I know that I am truly thankful.  She is here.  She is strong.  She is healthy.  She is safe.  By the time Christmas rolls around I won't be able to say that for sure.  I won't know because she will be so far from me.

We are going to have a wonderful Thanksgiving celebration.  We are going to play games as a family.  We are going to laugh and argue about rules and have a blast in the borderline dysfunctional way that we always do.  We are going to decorate the crap outta my home while she is here.  We are going to celebrate Christmas before she leaves.

We are going to be thankful to have her here with us.  Healthy and strong and safe.

I am truly thankful this year.

Sunday, November 06, 2011

Questioning

I attended the labor of my newest nephew this week.  She rocked it and once again my disgust with the American labor/delivery medical system was reinforced.  She labored through their induction meds, she stayed away from drugs, she labored hard for nearly 12 hours and she still ended up in surgery.

The reasons why?  I guess that depends on who you talk to.  The Dr. will say her placenta was no longer working and that is why baby's heart rate dropped.  I would say they flipped her onto her back and told her to hold her breath, decreasing hers & babies oxygen, they told her to push against her bodies natural rhythm.

Who is right?  No way to know.  Does it matter?  Baby is healthy (thank God!), Momma will recover.

I just don't know if I can make this my life's work.  It is so draining.  Emotionally.  Physically.  I just don't know what to do.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

What We Ate While Playing Poker

Its time for the fabulous Jenn's What I Ate Wednesday






This week the kiddos wanted to learn how to play poker.  Here's what we ate while we played.



Veggie burgers with a yummy side of pickled cukes & onions.  You can't really see it in the picture but my poker chips are white, brown and the prettiest shade of pink.  So are the cards.  :)


Yum!




Fresh from the farmer's market.  So good!








Meet Mr. Organic Pizza Rolls Man.  He was delicious.


I also made my very first batch of iced coffee here at home.  It was so good



Go Buffs!!











Cold brewed decaf coffee with some chai latte flavored creamer and almond milk.  Delicious and saves me $5.  :0)



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Saturday, August 13, 2011

Spider Week

It seems to be spider month here at the Ramon house.  And I am not a fan.


  • First my son puts this in my face.




Uncool.  He caught that beast in his bedroom and wanted to keep it as a pet.  My answer was no.


  • Four days ago I am sitting on the couch, minding my own business, catching up with my DVR when a spider, same size as the one above only in a lovely shade of gray crawls out from between the arm and cushion of the couch.  I say he crawled but really, that son-of-a-gun was strolling.  He seemed to think it was HIS couch.  I jumped up like my ass was on fire, screeched (scared the dog) and started chanting

"need a cup

need a cup

OH MY GOD!

where is a freaking cup!?"


I spied an empty Starbucks cup, lunged for it and trapped that sucker and took him back outside where he belonged.  If I happened to set him down closer to my neighbors door than mine...well.  I'm sure it wasn't on purpose. 

  • Did you ever see Arachnophobia?  Remember the shower scene with the nasty spiders attacking the poor naked lady?  That was my house this morning.

Ok, maybe not quite that bad, because, after all, I am still alive. 

But I was naked, I did drop my towel in the shower where the water was already running and I was jumping around in the hallway screaming

BIG SPIDER!

BIG SPIDER!

BIG SPIDER!


My son comes running downstairs only to almost crash into his very naked Momma (because my nice, fluffy, momma-sized towel was in the shower with the killer spider), I am dripping all over the floor while yelling at him to get a cup and catch the little bastard before he gets away and hides and my son is laughing so hard he is about to wet himself. 

The damn dog starts barking, my screaming wakes my daughter and I am still jumping up and down (jiggly bits and all) yelling at my son to

CATCH IT CATCH IT CATCH IT!


Kelen is my hero.  He managed to catch his breath, stop laughing at his terrified Momma long enough to toss my robe to me (I wasn't going into that bathroom with the killer spider), trapped the spider and pausing only long enough to lunge at me with the cup a couple times he took that bad boy outside where he belongs.

So that is three different species of big spiders in the past 8 days. 

In.

My.

House.


I may need to rethink my position on poisonous chemicals.

Saturday, August 06, 2011

What I want for my last dinner.

I've been taking part in a Facebook 30 Day Food Challenge.  Basically it's 30 days of What Is...questions.  What is your favorite meal of the day?  What is your favorite comfort food etc...Today's challenge has inspired more than FB allows.


So.  Here it is.


What would you want for your last dinner?


A combination of perfect bites.


I want my Mom's broccoli & cheese casserole.





I want Grandma's papas con carne AND her chorizo tacos on her homemade tortillas.





 I want Tía to make some ribs & her hubs John to make Mud Pie's for dessert.  A bite of Aunt Linda's macaroni salad, Aunt Erma's potato salad & my sister MonkeMama's fried taters & onions.  One bite of each of my loved ones specialties and they all have to be there with me.  That's the perfect last meal.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Nightmare Night

Oh man, last night was rough.  Was woken up by something around 12:30 a.m.  I did that thing where you kind of look around, but of course its pitch black and I just woke up so I couldn't actually see anything.  (Not to mention that I am blind without my glasses on).  I kinda listened for a moment and then I heard it again.  Somebody was crying.  No.  Not crying.  Wailing.

"Kel?  Is that you?"

"No Momma I hear it too.  Nevaeh?  Are you ok?"

My only thought was --no, she's right here--but I pat the bed next to me where I know she was when I fell asleep and no Nevaeh.

Kel and I both race into her bedroom at the same time and she is curled up in a ball sobbing into her pillow.  I actually started to look around to see if someone had broken into my home.  (The security alarm didn't go off but I was still not awake so not really thinking clearly.)

I pulled my baby into my lap, rubbed her back, kissed her head and just loved on her trying to calm her down, at least enough that she could tell me what was going on.  Turns out my baby had a nightmare that Daddy was alive and, in her words, "he was hurting you again."


Dammit.


My freaking past rears its ugly head yet again.  And my little one has to pay for it.



Nevaeh never actually saw him hurt me.



Never.



I left that relationship when I was 2 months pregnant with her and we never lived with him again.  Unfortunately she was a witness to a lot of verbal fights in the 3 short years she knew him and I guess her imagination has filled in the rest.  I don't know what brought that to the front of her mind.  As far as I know there was no music or tv shows to set that off (I am pretty careful about that kind of thing).  All I know is it took a long time for my baby girl to stop crying and to go back to sleep.  She was snuggling so hard last night that I may be bruised this morning.  Her little sleeping body just followed me anywhere I moved, the moment I moved.

So this morning I am exhausted.  I slept but it was not restful.  But I am going to focus on the good in this situation.  My little girl is safe.  Both of my babies are safe.  And I am the reason.  When the past sneaks back up on us, I can, and will, show them how to keep moving forward, safely together.  

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

What I Ate Wednesday: Jenn's Recipe










This week I made one of Jenn's recipes that I have had bookmarked for some time.  She wrote about it on Monday as A post that didn't get the attention it deserves  so obviously I had to make it that night and give it a little attention.

Let me tell you, Jenn was right.  These samosa stuffed potatoes are delicious!

Of course, as with every single recipe I make I had to tweak it a bit and put my own spin on it.

I baked the potatoes in the microwave, because well, it was 95 degrees out and I didn't want the oven on any longer than absolutely necessary.  Instead of sauteing the veggies I did a braised celery, onion & carrot dish


Yummy veggies



and when they were just barely steamed (still very crunchy) I pulled some out and chopped them up to add to my potato innards.  I also used the braising liquid instead of making a veggie broth.










I hid a little bit of havarti love in the bottoms of the skins.  Creamy, yummy, havarti with dill to add a bit of cooling to the curry spiced deliciousness of the potatoes.



Won't that be a lovely surprise?


I ran out of cumin so I used turmeric instead.  Don't you just love that gorgeous yellowy orange color?






Yum!




 Such delicious veggies.



Mmmmmm


To calm the spiciness a bit I made a yogurt sauce to top the potatoes with.  Greek yogurt, salt, pepper, onion & garlic powder, fresh parsley from the garden and a dash of Bragg's liquid aminos.  Both of the kids were thankful for it as the spiciness of the curry and cayenne were a bit much for them.


Now for the rest of the days meals.  Breakfast that morning was some oatmeal with maple syrup & brown sugar.  Nothing special & not pretty enough to take a picture.

Snacks: Frozen cherries in the morning and carrots dipped in the yogurt dip at night.

Lunch:  Some of my yummy Messican soup.  (Beans & rice in soupy form)  This is a staple here in the Ramon home.  I love it!
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Monday, July 25, 2011

Walgreens haul 7/25

Not pictured: 2 newspapers (gotta get more coupons) and some m&m's for the kids


Crest 3D whitening toothpaste and the Crest Pro-Health toothpaste are on sale this week 2/$4.98.  When you buy two you also get a $3 register reward which means you are getting 2 toothpaste tubes for $1.98.  I used two coupons for $0.75 off which means I got the toothpaste for $0.24 a tube.  That is a GREAT deal!

The Scunci hair ties are on sale 2/$3 and you also get a $3 register reward which makes them FREE!

Perfection 8 count tampons are on sale for $1.50 and you get a $1.50 register reward which makes them FREE!  If I don't like them (never used them so we'll see) I can always donate them.

The mini composition books are on sale for $0.19 each with the Walgreens ad coupon so I bought 6.  I think these will be the perfect size to fit in my scrub pants pocket and to take notes as I begin taking on clients.

Now are you ready to see how I actually made some money this week?  The ad said the 50 count Dentek flossers were on sale for $2.99 and you get a $2 register reward.

Clearance!!!


I found these on the clearance aisle marked down to $1.25 a piece.  In my 1st transaction I also used a $1 off coupon making my price only $0.25 for this pack.  Once my register reward printed out I actually made $1.75 on this sale.  That is AWESOME!!

During 3 other transactions (yes I get back in line during the same trip) I bought another 3 of these for the same clearance price of $1.25 earning a $2 register reward with each one. So not only were they FREE to me but I actually made $0.75 per pack.

The water bottle I found in the clearance section and decided to get because its the perfect size for my lunch box.  :)

This was a great week for coupons!  

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

WIAW: dinners





Once again I have slacked about joining Jenn's fabulous What I Ate Wednesday posts.  Things have been a bit cuh-razy around here once again.  :)

So here are some photos of what we have been eating since my last WIAW post.

Enjoy.


Zesty Chicken



The sauce was soooooo good.  


Made with diced tomatoes, green chiles and peanut butter.  I could not believe how delicious it was.  I actually used my finger to wipe that plate clean.


Zesty chicken nachos the next day.  :)



My beautiful Neva enjoying some frozen organic strawberries on the 99 degree 4th of July.



I made hummus.  With barely cracked black pepper corns.  Yum!



Tuna salad made with hummus instead of mayo, onion & celery. 



No bread for us. I put it in buttercrunch lettuce from our garden.


And may I just say, its a darn good thing the tuna was good enough to eat plain because my daughter ate every single one of the tuna-lettuce wraps before I even sat down to join her.

Oh.  And just to clarify.  I use my regular dinner plates as serving plates.  So the pictures you see aren't MY meals.  That is how much I put on the table for the 3 of us.  Only in the case of the tuna/lettuce wraps, my sweet little girl forgot to share. 



Blueberry-strawberry slushies.


We've been making a LOT of these and/or fresh fruit popsicles.   It's just been so darn hot!




Frosting from a chocolate mint cupcake.  This little bakery makes THE BEST cupcakes EVER!!




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Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Breastfeeding picture of the week

As I continue to study, study, study for my upcoming doula training I remember more and more how amazing it was to be able to nurse my child.  I know all about the physiological benefits for mom and baby.  I can explain how milk is made and expressed.  I know several different tips for treating sore nipples.  I am learning to help women with latching problems and the frustration that can bring.

But none of that is what I think of when I reminisce about nursing my own child.  I think of how frustrating it was with my older child.  The anger at my inability to feed my child without pain and tears.  The struggles, the screaming (both him and me) as I tried to fight my way through the most horrific depression and despair.  Then I think of the peaceful feeling that would wash over me when I sat with my daughter at my breast, my son snuggled into the crook of my arm holding onto her feet as she ate.  I think of the extra sleep I got at night, sleeping with my breast out, keeping my child close enough to nurse on and off thru the night as she wanted.  The difference for me?  Education and help.  I brought in a lactation counselor to help me with my daughter.  I needed that nursing connection that only a mother and child can feel.  I needed to be able to show my son, what I could not do with him, to replace the traumatic feeding experiences I had put into his little mind.

So I've decided to start doing a breastfeeding picture each week.  I love that artists have realized the beauty of a woman nursing her child for centuries and I hope to share that beauty with you.  

It is possible.  


It is amazing.  


It is beautiful.



Picasso "Maternity" 1905
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Sunday, June 26, 2011

Dealing

It's been a rough week.

Last Friday I left the house for work only to find that some little bastards had come through the neighborhood slashing tires and being a general pain in the ass, waste of good oxygen.  Yes, I'm sure their mom's love them but I am pretty sure I wouldn't love them or their mom.

 Dammit





Kel & I did a little bonding as we changed the tire.  It took us about 40 minutes mainly because my jack sucks.  It is a little tiny thing, that is pretty rusty and very s-l-o-w to use.
Neva, ran after the ice cream truck and watched us work.  :)


This morning I discovered that somebody has stolen all the money from our vacation/cuss jar.  I have no idea who it is that did it.  But it was somebody that took all of the bills and quarters out of there and replaced them with pennies.  I don't think the 6 year old I babysit would be smart enough (or sneaky enough) to think of that.  I never look in the jar, I just drop the quarters in (it sits under my desk).  It's been in the same spot for at least 4 months so I don't even look, just drop and clearly the sound of a quarter dropping on pennies is the same as the sound of a quarter dropping on quarters.  I hope karma kicks this thief in the ass.

So anyway, after replacing the four tires and buying new rims because it was discovered that one was bent and another was cracked my bank account is very low.

Very.  Low.  As in I had to balance my checkbook and erase the automatic debits that won't actually go through before next payday just to be sure I had enough to cover gas for the newly tired (thats tire-ed not sleepy) car.  So much for the plan of working extra hours to be able to save some money for the kiddo's braces.  :(

Thats ok though.  We are dealing with it.  I work, they play and we get up the next day to do it all again.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

What I Made This Wednesday




For the very first time EVER my What I Ate Wednesday post is actually going to be about what I ate on an actual Wednesday.  :)

This very, today, Wednesday.


I got a serious craving for something sweet last night about 11 pm.  (Yes thats a Tuesday but let me finish).  I sat on the couch, whining to my son as we watched Hercules (Kevin Sorbo---yum!) but he refused to walk to the 24 hour Walmart to get me a Ben 'n Jerry.  (No I wouldn't have actually let him do it but it would be nice to know he would be willing---he wasn't).

By about midnight the craving wouldn't leave so I decided to make some cookies.

What?  You don't bake at midnight?  It's summer in an air-conditioner free home.  Midnight is the only time I willingly turn on the oven.  :)

So I searched a blog desperately looking for the ginger cookie recipe I had found earlier in the week.  Pardon the crappy pics, my phone is not even remotely smart.  It's rather old & stupid actually.







Here's the link to the original recipe.  As usual I changed it up a bit.
Debbi does dinner ginger cookies.


Instead of 1 tsp cinnamon (I was out) I used 1/2 tsp ground cloves & 1/2 tsp all spice.
I cut the vegetable oil down to 1/2C and put in 1/4C natural unsweetened applesauce.
I cut the sugar down to 3/4C and did not sprinkle any extra sugar on top of these bad boys.

They were so good!  I am saving this recipe for sure.

Lunch/very late breakfast was some yummy fried taters with onions, celery, garlic & comino.  I LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE cumin!

Add some scrambled eggs & organic spinach and thats a great day of Wednesday eats!




Side of salsa ready to mix in

What are you making today?  Anything super yummy?


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Wednesday, June 15, 2011

WIAW: Back in the kitchen again

Finally, all of the little sister's wedding brou-ha-ha/nonsense/insanity/wonderfulness is over. I spent too much money, time & energy the past week and I finally feel like my summer vacation has truly started.  (Oh, and Jenn...my sis got the idea from your wedding pics for the poofs to decorate her reception hall.  :)  Or more specifically, Monkey, who also reads your blog got the idea.  So. thank you!  They turned out beautifully.)


She was a beautiful bride.




 The girls poofing out poofs. 






Bride to be & two of the boys working on poofs.


And now that its over, for the first time in over 8 days I have begun cooking real food for my little family.  We were living on fast food, take-out pizza and sandwiches.  Not fancy, delicious sandwiches you want to take pictures of and share with the blog-o-sphere, but slap some peanut butter & jelly on bread & race out the door kind of sandwiches.  Blech.


I am so happy to once again join in Pea's and Crayons What I Ate Wednesday.  So here is what we ate yesterday.







Breakfast:

I am helping out my cousin and watching her two kids (ages 11 & 6) on Mondays & Tuesdays because I don't work those days and the cost of daycare is INSANE!!!  Anyway, these two aren't used to being around the crazy lady who doesn't have cereal in her house so we went for pancakes instead.  :)  Pardon the crappy phone pics, my camera died at the end of the reception.

One batch of plain pancakes.


I found a basic buttermilk pancake recipe in a cookbook and switched it up a bit.  We used soymilk instead.  I used spelt flour instead of whole wheat flour and I added a few dashes of allspice to the dry ingredients.


Uncured bacon for half off?  Score!!!  




2nd batch had blueberries.  Yum!


These were pretty good.   I am still experimenting with spelt flour and these were the best I have made so far.

Lunch:  I had a craving for hot dogs.  A plain ol' hot dog just wouldn't do so I slathered on some spicy brown mustard, added some kosher dill pickle & sharp cheddar cheese.  That was goo-oo-oo-oo-d.  Now I probably won't eat another hot dog until I go see a baseball game later this summer.   






Snack:  Peaches.  Some yummy, chilled peach slices hit the spot as the temp hit 90 degrees.


Dinner:  Meh.  We had some leftover pizza.  


Late night Snack:  A yummy made by me pineapple juice popsicle.  Very refreshing before bedtime.




Pure juice strained from a can of pineapple I used in a recipe.  Yum!

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