Tuesday, January 31, 2012

I wish I lived within walking distance of a library

The joys of babysitting for a friend are never ending. I feel so lucky to be helping her and her family out. She is in the process right now of adopting a child from Eastern Europe. I am helping out by watching her older children while she and her husband are overseas. Please check out her page on Reece's Rainbow to find more information about their adoption. Feel free to donate to their adoption fund. It may seem like they already have a lot of money raised but every penny counts and is still needed for expenses.....

For my headache last night...

One of the best natural remedies for a headache is lavender. I had a slight headache that would just not go away last night. Into the bath I went with some lavender essential oil added to my bath. I also added sea salt and about a teaspoon of coconut oil.  I relaxed as best I could with the three youngest children in and out of the bathroom. (Ben in and out of the tub.) All of that soaking helped. And the best part is that I came out of the tub super moisturized and smelling great....

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Homemade chicken and dumplings

The chicken is boiling and the vegetables are cut. Today I am adding fresh carrots, kale, leeks, and onions to my chicken and dumplings. It is a bit cold today so a nice big batch of soup sounds great. I'll make enough so we can eat on it all day. Sometimes I make easy chicken and dumplings by adding pieces of torn up tortillas to store bought chicken broth and canned chicken. It is filling but its nutritional punch is really lacking. I was going to cheat a little today and still use the tortillas but I was out so I guess I am making homemade dumplings too. To check out an old post featuring easy chicken and dumplings click on this link http://thelifeandtimesofsusanbetke.blogspot.com/2009/12/easy-chicken-and-dumplings.html

The house smells great and I have a lot of chicken left over for some more recipes. I think it turned out great...

Monday, January 23, 2012

My two year old playing

Ben just plain amazes me. He played with the bead tracking toy for a good 15 minutes or more. He was concentrating so hard. It feels like he was  just born. Where did the last two years go?

Saturday, January 21, 2012

My Pa

This is a picture of me sitting in my grandfather's lap. With my fingers in my mouth like that I look a lot like Eliot. Pa has passed away now but Eliot still asks about him. That is a bit strange because she was just a baby when he died. It is hard to believe she actually remembers him......

Annika's walk

I was rainy all morning and then the sun came up. Ben is sleeping and Annika is the only other child at home right now. Annika and I had a talk about the importance of sunlight for our health especially in the Winter. I explained to her about vitamin D and how some people do not get enough to the point that they get rickets. The easiest way to get a good dose of vitamin D is to spend some time in the sun. Of course that prompted her to go for a walk in the sun and soak up some rays. The pictures above are some of the things she came across during her walk. We are lucky where we live that we are far enough south to be able to get vitamin D from the sun year round.

Friday, January 20, 2012

New buds on the trees

Leave it to Alabama to already have buds growing on the trees when Winter really just started. My lemon balm finally withered up but new leaves and shoots are already peeking out under the old. Spring will be around the corner.

Making pudding

Annika was my helper today making dinner. She was in charge of dessert. It was just simple instant banana pudding but she still struggles with simple tasks like this. She had to check with me continuously to make sure she was doing it correctly. Her thought processes are just all over the place sometimes. OK, most of the time they are all over the place. It amazes me that she does so well in public school. Granted, the level of assignments and tests are more on a 2nd grade level than a 4th grade level so she isn't challenged very much. I worry about the life skills that she needs to master to be a productive adult. I wonder if she will ever drive a car or hold a job that will support her enough to not have to rely on others. I feel that she should be able to have social relationships but I worry that she never will understand what it takes to be a successful professional. That is OK to a degree. She does not have to be a medical doctor or a lawyer. I just want her to be happy and self-sufficient.....

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Two years old today!!!

Happy Birthday Ben!!

I can not believe where the time has gone.... At 1:41pm two years ago my baby boy was born. He weighed 7 pounds 9 ounces. His birth was easy and held no surprises. In the past two years he has turned into such a special little boy. He is calm and an easy going little boy. Everyone (OK especially Granny) keeps asking me when am I going to get his hair cut. I always put them off and say , "Oh, when he is 2 years old I will". I like his wispy old man hair style. I may wait a little while longer. 

Happy birthday Ben!! I love you.

Look how much he has grown!!!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Lyn, my alchemist, is working on making herbal hair dye

Lyn has been wanting to play around with some temporary hair dye. She chose annatto and dried beet root powder to start with. She ground up the annatto and added some water to it. She took the beet root powder and did the same. That did not do very much after she added it to her hair. She then added a bit of almond oil to the two separate mixes. That did the trick. She applied it to her hair and left it on for a while and voila, she had pink hair. The annatto added some richness but it din't really add any color on its own. Quick, natural, and easy!

Saturday, January 14, 2012

What I like to do....

I make all kinds of stone, shell, and bone jewelry. It can be really relaxing. I like to design necklaces and bracelets with specific themes. I have a friend on her way out of the country right now to start the international adoption process. I am working on matching bracelets for her and her two new daughters.

I know I am getting a bit older because I am able to work on my jewelry in the mornings but if I try to bead after 3pm my hands just don't cooperate. I blame slight arthritis. Annika is my best helper. I can still design jewelry in the evenings and she will string it for me. With Annika's memory and thought processing problems associated with her seizure disorder she has difficulty with a lot of task oriented activities. Helping me helps her focus on a goal where she can see the results. She has trouble with abstract activities but hands on works great for her.

Check out my Etsy site to see what I have on sale there. The link is on the sidebar. I have so much more available then is listed. Just ask.....

Monday, January 9, 2012

Still working on my Postpartum Doula training.

I am trying to complete all of my Postpartum Doula training before winter is over. I have a lot of independent reading and writing to complete but it should not take me too long to finish. It helps that since I am a CLC (certified lactation counselor) I don't have to participate in a breastfeeding class. In fact I have actually taught a breastfeeding class to Doula students. I participate a little in the birth community in my area but I need to get my name out there more. There are a lot of Labor and Delivery Doulas out there but I haven't met any certified Postpartum Doulas. I am sure there are a few dual certified Doulas out there but I haven't met any.  I am hoping that I can fill a niche that needs to be filled. With my experience working with babies born with special needs and their families I am hoping I can be a unique resource for new parents.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Who needs video games?

This is perfect for Annika. Her weekend is set now. I can't wait to see her teaching the little kids how to play...


Really, it is really the year 2012? This summer I will have my 20 year high school reunion. I have kept up with a lot of friends from high school through facebook or other internet means. I don't really "hang out" with anyone from high school on a regular basis though. It will be great to see everyone in person. I know I have changed. Who hasn't.

I actually think I like the my accessory in the second picture better.....