Wednesday, July 27, 2011

One way to get kids to eat greens

Pesto can be made from more than basil!

Motherhood

This tree is laden with much fruit.  (-;  

Should I do something for this poor tree?

It is interesting how this happened to this apple tree...I have been feeling just like this tree this past couple of weeks.  Do you sometimes feel like this?    



On the one hand, this tree is very blessed!

On the other hand, it could sure use something to help it carry its weight! LOL!!  Hard to reach to the sky..  So much weight on its branches..  but what a bounty!  what wonderful fruit!  But how hard it can be to carry such responsibility.. (and literal weight)  (my 6 mos old is almost 17 pounds now!)

Monday, July 18, 2011

Excess

My two olders greeting our new baby on her first day home with all their stuffed toys..She is being loved by the whole family of stuffed animals.  <3

My six year old daughter likes to fill her bowl up with cereal and then only eat half of it.  I am trying to teach her to take a smaller amount and then take more if she is still hungry.

Sometimes people offer clothing that their child has outgrown.  I am trying to not just say "yes" to it, if we do not need it.  Sometimes we need the clothes, but sometimes we don't.  There are some clothes in my daughters closet that she does not need..that end up on the floor..that are not appreciated.

My children have TONS of stuffed animals...My son has been "collecting" pillow-pets.  They have toooo many stuffed animals.  Their toy chest is full and overflowing.  We do not need any more..  But my children still crave more stuffed animals.  I am in love with kitchen gadgets lately...and they are "my toys"... oh, and books..I love books.

When is it "enough"?? Do we ever get the "sense" of "enough"

Many people have insulin issues in their bodies.  I do not remember what it is called, but someone with diabetes or pre-diabetes may have lost the ability to feel full..at the right time to know when to stop eating.

I think in a materialistic culture many of us have also lost the ability to feel the full of "enough"..

How many gadgets do we really need? NEED??  It seems the more we have the more we want...We are never fully satisfied.

In my religion, each year, we have a period of Fasting in March.  The 19 Day Fast.  This period of time, reminds me how to "restrain" myself.  And let myself feel "empty" for awhile..

Funny thing happens when we allow "space"...  Space does not remain as space for very long.  I bet there is a physics law involved..  Seems there is a force like gravity that is like a vacuum 

When we empty ourselves of food, something else fills that space..

Reflection. Insight.  Love.  Thoughtfulness..  (sometimes sadness and angst too)

What happens when we create space in our homes?

(In my home, other stuff fills it-LOL!)

But, I do notice that when I do a purging in my children's room...They suddenly find the toys that are left in there, more interesting and meaningful..It usually results in a nice wave of imaginative play..

What happens when we have excess...When we have enough, what we have is useful.  When we have excess..what we have is clutter and garbage..It loses its meaningfulness, it creates a burden...we have too much to take care of.  We resent it..psychologically and spiritually..It blocks our ability to have enough "space" for spiritual-mindfulness...It clutters our minds with its allure..its seductiveness..  Our stuff is a little "too cool" and it takes over our thoughts..  Or it is too much of a good thing and it clutters our space and feels like garbage as we trip over it and can't find a place for it.  We "worry about it"...becoming lost or damaged.

There is also the excess of activities or hobbies.  Doing too many things, can sometimes water-down their significance, importance.  Sometimes doing too much leads to doing things too superficially..and not really doing anything important at all..  Too many friends at a party, can lead to too many superficial interactions..  (not always)--but I have certainly had this experience..  Even learning too many things--jumping from topic to topic, can lead to only a surface learning instead of mastery of one topic.  (I am guilty of this)  Trying to cover too much in an essay can water down its purpose..  Writing too many "words" is "wordy"..  Is it not better to be concise.  (I am sure I am guilty as of this even in this article I am writing)

What is enough??  in a culture where the norm is "excess"..  When do we stop accumulating?  What is the limit? How many of us even have a feeling of "full"..or a "norm" of what full is??  in a culture that pushes us to "buy" all the time..

Everywhere I turn, I feel the pressure to buy..  On billboards, in the mail, over the phone, at my doorstep, on the internet, in my children's school..  It infiltrates even at moments I least expect, when I search for human connection, there is sometimes conversation about the "newest gadget"...Materialism saturates everything around me..It is a constant pressure and temptation..and like an addiction I can't get away from, because I have to buy the necessities too..but it is difficult to filter necessity from cultural perception of necessity..or want...  And it gets worse..The internet has made that part worse..

How can we as a culture change this?  How can I change this within my own home?  How can I find the strength to filter it?..and resist it?  especially when I don't even want to sometimes?  Is there hope that we will change this trend globally?  Because it is not sustainable....We can't live in this excess indefinitely..It is unhealthy and immoral.  when so many others do not even have a basic "enough"..but perhaps those who are more "empty" are filled with more of what is more "real"..?

Do you feel a sense of "full" or "enough"?  How does one develop it, when one lacks that feeling?   How do you teach it to the next generation that has it even harder than we...When marketing is even more powerful than it was 10 years ago..  and pressures children at younger and younger ages..(to pressure their parents to buy)  How do I teach my children when I don't even have it all figured out within myself?

I think perhaps, we have to become clear on our priorities. and concise in what we need..  and have money for..and what is ethical to buy or not buy.   And slow the heck down so we can think about it and not be so impulsive...and filter the ads and pressures and even avoid the situations of temptations if we can.

What do you think/do about this?

Expectations


When I was teaching junior high (back in 1998), I was encouraged to have specific "expectations of my students" so that they had clarity on how to behave in the classroom.  I was not very good at this skill...And was confused about how to do this.  Even since that, I have thought about what that meant exactly...

Expecting more of a child so that they know that you believe in them.  Believing in them...in their virtue and ability..

I think about that idea when I tell my children what I "expect of them" so that they are clear on how to behave and how to treat others, etc.  I still vary in my ability to do this...and I feel a little bit of bitterness towards that year of teaching junior high, as a fledgling teacher...and the failure also of the administration in really helping and encouraging me as a teacher and how ultimately they made me feel like I had failed.  (they also did not make their expectations very clear of what they wanted from me either..)  Nor, did they give me credit for my own ability to learn and grow as a teacher..  I'd be a very different teacher now..as I have learned and matured and developed in my ability to "manage children"

I was a timid...progressively minded fledgling teacher in a conservative back country school..  teaching 7th and 8th grade in a district where there wasn't very much parental support..and many children with high needs..  and not enough text books to go around, etc.  I'd assign homework and I'd say I'd get 20 percent who would return it and I was told to not even bother assigning homework, because of that.

Anyway, I digress...I hadn't mean to tangent on that experience..It hits a nerve as I reflect upon it...some wounds not quite healed, I guess..

Expectations...I had meant to write about another aspect of that word.

The part of expectations that is like poison..

Expectations of what we think others "owe" us.

Poisionous expectations..  I have wasted so much time, wishing so and so were different..and more like someone else..  or wishing I had more support from family, etc..

It is what it is.

Family is what it is in this time period in our history..  Where divorce is rampant.  And families are torn apart and money doesn't quite buy what it even did ten years ago...  Grandparents' lives are not as "together" as I perceived them to be when I was growing up.  And they can't always provide what I'd hope for.  They don't always put you or their grandchildren first on their priority table.

Who am I to judge that?

I am practicing the skill of letting go of my own expectations and letting things be as they are..what they are and being grateful for what flows our way and not dwelling on what does not flow our way.

Because I think expectations can be like poison to relationships when you think you are "entitled" to something..because of who you are in the relationship.  And giving people the benefit of the doubt that they are doing what they can..and being what they can..  100 percent looks different when you don't see the whole picture.  Most days, I really try to give my 100 percent..but it does not always show.  It is not always obvious at all..And I have to assume it is the same with other people whose shoes I do not walk.

Hoping for and expecting does not help anything at all.  or at least not dwelling on those expectations and being unforgiving..or holding a grudge..or judging.

I am working on being more "Zen" and letting it go..and loving people for where they are at and assuming that they are giving their 100 percent.

(that 100 percent idea) comes from the Fly Lady...something I just read from her book about doing chores around the home and not taking a martyr attitude.  A partnership is not 50-50...It is 100-100.  It will never seem equal..Yet, each person should give their 100 percent..  And even if it doesn't feel like the 'other one" is giving their "fair share"..to not take the martyr attitude.  Don't stop giving your 100 percent..because you think the other person isn't doing their "half"..Don't think in halves..   Each person should give "their 100 percent"...  but that 100 percent may not "look like" what you "expect it to look like"..

I am badly paraphrasing and inserting my own thoughts into the above...

Another difficult part of expectation is my own perception of what others expect of me...  Supermom-ism..  To be the nurturer, the everything to everyone, the supporter, and somehow get everything done around the house, the net-worker and support the husband's job and family and friends, and make sure my children are properly groomed, educated, behaved, etc..   This is another poisonous type of expectation too...

Ideally, the only standard I should try to live up to, is the standard that should be liberating to me..  and free me from the expectations of others..The standard of my perception of what God or higher power, or higher nature, or (my own higher self) thinks I should be...I know when I give 100 percent. No one else can "measure that" or really know it..except myself..  And even outward criticism, or passive aggressive criticism (or imagined criticism) should not sway me..or "touch me"..if I furrow my own row..and know I am doing the best I can.

Judge not.  others.  and let others judgments (and my imagined judgments) bounce off me..

Friday, July 1, 2011

Rice Cereal Homemade

 Homemade Rice Cereal for Baby--Soo easy!

brown rice
 Brown rice ground up in my Vitamix (can make a bigger batch to refrigerate)

 1/4 cup of rice slowly added and whisked into 1 cup of boiling water
Ready to freeze or store in refrigerator


Add water, breast milk or formula to dilute/cool down/ get to right consistency..


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