Monday, June 28, 2010

Checking in!

I have a bad habit of forgetting what I was planning on blogging about. All week, I've been thinking of great blog posts but as soon as I get to the computer I forget what it was I want to blog about. My mind goes completely blank. Like it's doing right now.
I feel like I've been neglecting my blog and I feel bad. Not that I have very many readers but still.... I like blogging a few times a week, it helps clear the brain a little! ;)
Not much new is going on here...
Ally finished school, she's finished her first year of highschool! We're trying to find summer activities for her but like always we procrastinated on that and it's a little late for most programs. Oops! She'd like to get into dance so I think I found a dance class that's a week long of various different styles of dance. It's nice and close downtown and if she likes a particular style of dance then she can join something in the fall there.
Parker is my wild little man still. He had a hearing test today, not because we're concerned with his hearing but because his speech is behind a bit and that's the first step taken usually. He passed but they'd like to see him again when he's three because although he did great at hearing voice prompts, he had a hard time with the sounds. But she said she's not concerned and is still considered to pass because it's hard to test a 2 year old. So yay! I'm looking forward to having some support from the Infant Development Program at the Child Development Centre and for some speech therapy. I'm just hoping the wait isn't too long.
Sophie is 5 months old, can you believe it?! She can sit unassisted and is trying desperately to move her body but isn't quite there yet. I think she may finally be moving into some sort of daily rythym though. Finally! Her naps are becoming more predictable now that I'm napping her upstairs in our bed and she sleeps better at night too now that she sleeps half the night in our bed. As usual, she's a happy little thing!
Oh! And we got a dog! Her name is Cady and she's a Retriever/Collie mix. We found her on kijiji from a family that owns a horse and goat farm in East Wellington. She's great although you can tell she's a farm dog. She gets very excited when she sees other dogs so hopefully some doggy school will tame her a bit so we can take her to the Farmer's Market and the dog park.
I wanted to upload some pictures but of course we're yet again having computer issues! I bought a new printer a few weeks ago and pretty much since then our USB ports have crapped out on us. So hopefully we'll get that fixed soon, I hate not being able to upload pics or update my iTouch!
Anyhoo... that's the update from around here!
I'm working on a post on Canadian Immunizations that I've been meaing to do for months now. I'm finding that while I still know that I don't want to immunize my kids I do need reminding as to why I'm choosing not to.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Placenta Encapsulation ~ A How-To

I was trying to decide if I wanted to post pictures on how to encapsulate a placenta or not. At first I didn't want to because afterall, it is a service I provide to Nanaimo and area families and didn't want to miss out on business. But then I changed my mind and because I want every woman to be able to experience the benefits of placentophagy even if they can't afford it (although I do offer a trade or sliding scale system as well).

So here it is... thanks to a good friend of mine who's placenta I encapsulated 2 weeks ago and has given me permission to blog about the processs and share photos with y'all!

Please be warned, there is photos of a human placenta and there is some blood. So if you're squeamish then please don't continue reading! :)

How to Encapsulate Your Placenta

This is a placenta that was previously frozen (my friend lives out of town and wasn't sure when I'd be able to come down to encapsulate it for her so she froze it). First thing you want to do is rinse it really well to remove blood clots. I sever the cord and leave the membranes on.

Wrap the membranes around the placenta and add some chopped hot pepper and ginger (I now also add lemon). Place in a steamer and set over a small amount of water.
Steam gently for 15 minutes on each side and bleed it occasionally (bleed it by poking it with a knife). It's done when there is no more blood when you poke it with a knife and the membranes have pulled back.

When it's cool enough to handle, slice into very thin pieces. Think beef jerky. :-p
Either use a dehydrator or line a cookie sheet with parchment paper and put in oven on the lowest setting with the door propped open. This will take anywhere from 7-10 hours.
Don't forget the cord keepsake! This one I later learned was done wrong. When it dehydrated, it was no longer a heart shape but a stick shape. I should have had the ends meet at teh bottom and twisted it to keep it from coming undone.
You can tell it's finished when the placenta snaps and is fully dried. Be careful not to cook it, you just want to dehydrate and a very low heat (remove all moisture but not cooking it). Put all the dried slices into a blender (I use a Magic Bullet) and grind until a fine powder. Use a mortar and pestle to get the stubborn bits that won't grind down.
When it's all ground up finely, fill up size 00 gelatin caps.
And Voila! That's how you encapsulate a placenta. And it only took 12-15 hours, lol!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

I did it!

I am now offering placenta encapsulation for Vancouver Island (mainly Ladysmith to Nanoose but can do other areas for a higher fee).
I am so excited to be offering this!!
Check out my website (still a huge work in progress!): Plakoeis
Why Plakoeis? Well, placenta is taken from the work plakoeis which means flat cake. Seems fitting, no?
Anyways... spread the word! Let's make placentophagy a normal part of the birthing and postpartum process! :)

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Gluten Free Playdough

It's no secret that I love playdough but when we discovered that Parker doesn't tolerate gluten, I was saddened to learn that his wheat playdough days were over.
But then I saw GF playdough being sold on etsy and then I realized "of course!", I can make my own! The texture isn't the same, it's bouncier if that makes any sense and it was lots of fun to play with. We've been experimenting with scents such as apple pie and chai tea.

No-Cook GF Playdough
2-3 cups all-purpose GF flour
1/2 c salt
4 tsp cream of tartar
3 tbls vegetable oil
2 cups boiling water

Mix ingredients together in a mixing bowl, adding in more flour if sticky. You can add food colouring or extracts/spices etc for scents.

To make the Chai Playdough, follow recipe as above but substitute 1 cup of boiling water with 1 cup of strongly brewed chai tea (minus the milk and sugar of course). You can also add in some chai spices such as cinnamon, cloves, cardamom,, etc. if you prefer a stromger scent.

To make the Apple Pie Playdough, substitute 1 cup boiling watwe with 1 cup hot apple juice. Add in 1 tsp apple or pumpkin pie spice.


Healthy Popsicles

Even though I'm in my 30s I still love popsicles on a hot day and my kids are no different. But the store bought ones are full of sugars and artificial colours and flavours. Not to mention expensive! So I make my own and that gives me total control of what my children eat.

The base is often the same but I vary the fruit or veggies in it.

Usually it's yogurt, spinach, whatever berries I have on hand, either a banana or half an avacado, probiotic powder (1 tsp per popsicle), sometimes greens+, sometimes meusli and either water or 100% pure juice. Usually it doesn't need to be sweetened but if it does, I add a bit of honey or agave.

My kids LOVE these. Ally's usually surprised there was any vegetables or greens+ in there at all!

I'm always looking for different popsicle "recipes" so if you have any to share, please do!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

100 Things About Me

1) I'm 32 years old.
2) I have 3 children: a teenager, a toddler and a new baby.
3) I have been married for 2.5 years.
4) I met Dave on an online dating site just over 4 years ago.
5) I had my oldest daughter a few weeks before my 18th birthday.
6) The man I had my oldest with has not called her in almost 4 years, including birthdays or Chrismtas'.
7) I was raised by a single father and nannies.
8) I have two younger brothers.
9) My mother left when I was 5 (brothers were 4 and 8 months)
10) I don't talk to any of my family anymore.
11) I grew up in and around Winnipeg.
12) I moved to Vancouver Island when I was turning 15.
13) While I strongly support homebirth, I've never had one myself.
14) I was not able to find a midwife who would attend a homebirth for me.
15) I have hemorrhaged each time I gave birth.
16) If I have another child, I will have a homebirth regardless of if I find a midwife who will attend it or not.
17) My oldest attends public school and I think that's my biggest parenting regret.
18) I crave simplicity.
19) Chaos and "stuff" makes me feel boxed in and crazy.
20) I love to be creative.
21) I dream of owning property.
22) I want to build my own cob house.
23) I am currently living in a city that I said I would never live in.
24) While I still don't like the city and don't want to live in it forever, I'd be very happy to live just outside of it. Somewhere between Ladysmith and Nanoose please. :)
25) When Ally was 7, we drove through Canada and the US to live for a bit in Mexico.
26) I taught all core classes for grade 1 and 2 in english.
27) I was in way over my head as I have no idea how to teach!
28) I have two cats: Chancho and Stellar.
29) It's horribly mean but I hate Stellar and am looking forward to when he passes.
30) I have crooked pinky fingers.
31) So does Sophie.
32) I am married to my best friend.
33) I love being married.
34) I sometimes miss my old life though: hiking, camping, kayaking and travelling.
35) I'm working hard at reuniting the old me with the new me.
36) I have so many dreams and ideas but am too lazy to see them to fruition.
37) My life has been hugely impacted by people I've never met.
38) During my pregnancy with Sophie, I attended 2 funerals and should have attended one more. THeir ages were 6 weeks, 7 weeks and 3 years.
39) I think about those three little girls every single day even though I hadn't even met one of them.
40) I stopped vaccinating my children when Parker started having seizures hours after his 2 month shots.
41) I need to remind myself why I'm not vaccinating but don't have the time to re-research it all again.
42) I am a chocoholic.
43) I'm learning how to garden.
44) In my 32 years, I haven't had one decent hair cut. I'm plagued with horrid haircuts!
45) I'd like to do my wedding all over again.
46) I didn't enjoy my wedding at all.
47) My husband and I have yet to go on a "honeymoon".
48) I drive a mini-van even though I always said I never would.
49) I LOVE my mini-van!
50) I hate wearing socks.
51) My favourite sandwhich is a tomatoe, cucumber and cheese toasted sandwhich.
52) My house is never clean.
53) I really hate that i haven't found a cloth diaper solution for night time.
54) I think disposable diapers are dangerous and shouldn't be used.
55) I get way too stressed about little things.
56) I don't share alot of the same values as most of the people in my life.
57) It's hard to find friends who share the same values as I do.
58) I often don't fit in. Not mainstream enough, not crunchy enough, etc.
59) I choose not to vaccinate my children.
60) I enjoy menu planning.
61) I love saving my family money.
62) I want to learn to play guitar.
63) I hate Walmart.
64) But I shop there once or twice a month. :(
65) I'd like to stop that but my husband is a Walmart addict.
66) I love watching documentaries.
67) I dislike watching tv.
68) Since getting an iTouch, I've been spending waaaay too much time online.
69) We no longer own a crib. (well, technically we do as it hasn't made it to the recycling centre yet but it hasn't been used in forever and I can't see why we'd use one ever again)
70) I have been a licenced early childhood educator for almost 10 years.
71) The thought of returning to work and having my kids in childcare makes me sick to my stomach.
72) While I'd love to open up a nature based childcare centre, I think I'm going to put that on hold for a long while.
73) Instead, I'll help support my family by continuing to encapsulate placenta for new moms.
74) It angers me when people think you need to socialize babies and toddlers.
75) It angers me even more when those parents put their child into daycare not because they require childcare as they're working but because they feel the child needs to be around other babies.
76) I think parents who follow Babywise should be charged with child abuse.
77) I am so tired of hearing stories about how so many women claim they can't breastfeeding. It's possible that due to medical reasons a mother is unable but it's quite rare.
78) I think formula should be available by prescription only.
79) I'd have no problems nursing a child that wasn't mine.
80) I often wonder what made unnatural parenting the norm.
81) I love to daydream.
82) I love co-sleeping.
83) I don't so much like being headbutted in the middle of the night by my toddler.
84) I'd prefer it if my bed wasn't crammed with a toddler or baby the entire night.
85) I really should be organizing my sewing area right now.
86) But I'm not going to.
87) Instead I'm going to take a short nap with the little ones.
88) I have two tattoos.
89) I can't stand to have long nails, I always clip them short.
90) I had PPD after the birth of my son.
91) I fully believe that Sophie's placenta prevented PPD this time around.
92) I enjoy reading cookbooks.
93) I spend most of my online time reading blogs.
94) I read mostly craft, natural family, waldorf and local blogs.
95) I think I have a cloth diaper addiction.
96) Same with a baby carrier addiction.
97) I'd like to live abroad again with my family.
98) I want to start sewing mine and my children's clothes.
99) I think my toddler is the funniest person ever.
100) Thinking of 100 things about myself was not easy at all.