Monday, February 28, 2011

Five Questions for Dr. Eric Blake ND DLAc on SALDANATION

David has a great blog, the focus is mainly short fiction with a comic every Wednesday but occasionally he'll do a Five Question Interview.  I've decided to share his most recent interview with you because Naturopathy, and Dr. Blake specifically, has made such a large impact on my family's life.  An excerpt from the post appears below.

"If you're like most people, you see a doctor when faced with illness or injury but have grown accustomed to certain discomforts. Maybe cheese gives you a stomach ache and sugar makes you moody but you eat them both anyway. You chalk up fatigue and stress to work and not enough sleep. Hitting the gym makes you sore for a week and you figure you're just out of shape. You don't feel sick but you don't feel healthy. Perhaps you're fine. Sure thing. Take some pills...or maybe keep reading.

SALDANATION is fortunate to have touched base with Dr. Eric Blake ND. He's a Naturopath and director of Hollistic Health pc, a Naturopathic clinic in Porltand, Oregon. We asked him five questions."


Thursday, February 24, 2011

Portland's Idea of a Snow Day

After days of hype regarding the pending winter storm it finally came.  We got one inch of snow, maybe. School was canceled and a surprising number of businesses shut down despite the fact that roads were clear. That's what happens when it snows in Portland.

Flora was thrilled to have snow, no matter how little.   We had big snows the last two winters but she can't remember those so in her mind, this was her first time seeing snow.


She caught snow flakes on her tongue. 


Made footprints. 


And built a snowman.


A sad little snowman.


Look how proud she is!  It's killing me. <3

After building our snowman we drove up to my aunts house and watched some big kids sled on asphalt. They were keeping the dream alive.  By the time we got home at noon the snow had all melted from our yard and our snowman was a little pile of slush and raisins.  It's amazing how fun an inch of snow can be when you spend the day with a two year old. 

Is your city prepared for snow or does it shut everything down?

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Monday, February 21, 2011

Nearly 'Nilla Wafers

Inspired by Mama Pea over a Peas and Thank You I decided to make some Vanilla Waffers.  I used Mama Pea's recipe as a template and modified to accommodate my food intolerances and cooking supplies.  You can see the original recipe here.

We ate all but one cookie before I realized I should probably take some pictures so here is the one, lonely, remaining cookie.


It looks good, right?  Well, here's the recipe.

1/2c Non-hydrogenated shortening
1/2c granulated fructose
2T Soy Milk
1t Vanilla Extract
1 1/3c Whole Wheat Flour
1/2t salt
1t Baking Powder

1. Preheat oven to 350*

2. Cream shortening, fructose, soy milk, and vanilla extract on high for several minutes.

3. Mix remaining ingredients in a separate bowl.

4.  Gradually stir dry ingredients into creamed mixture.

5.  Make tablespoon sized balls and flatten them onto a cookie sheet with the heel of your hand.

6.  Bake at 350* for 9-11 minutes.

These cookies are so good!  I made the dough yesterday and cooked a few.  I put the rest in the fridge an cooked a few more tonight.  I'll probably bake more tomorrow. If you make them with white flour instead of whole wheat they really will taste like 'Nilla Wafers but I enjoy the richer flavor of the whole wheat and I try to avoid feeding white flour to my daughter.

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Sunday, February 20, 2011

Not Quite Movie Night

Last night I went out with a mommy friend of mine.  It was fun.  We see each other pretty regularly but always with our kids and it's been a while since we've even done that since her husband took their son on an extended trip to visit his family in Argentina.

We had so much fun talking during our dinner of Ethiopian food that we missed our movie.  Our plan was to see "Boy" at the Portland International Film Festival.  It looked good and I was excited but they oversold the show and by the time we got there, even though we were ticket holders, there were no seats.  Oh well, I can hope for an art house release.

We didn't let the movie being oversold ruin our night.  We enjoyed a glass of wine and some more conversation.  It was great to learn more about someone I consider to be a friend but who I really knew little about. We always meet with our children and that can make it difficult to hold a real conversation.

Check out the preview for "Boy."  Maybe it will come to your town and you'll do a better job of getting to the theater in time to watch it.  Apparently it sold out every night it was in Portland.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Injured on the Job

If you'll remember, my Valentine's Day involved a vomiting child.  I went to bed thinking about Flora's fever and upset stomach so when she called out for me at 1:30 in the morning I jumped out of bed and rushed to her.  Except I didn't make it more than two steps before I slamed my bare foot into the baseboard heater.  I collapsed to the ground and sent David to Flora's bedside.  

I knew it wasn't your average toe stubbing so after David attended to our child's needs I asked him to get me some ice and and ibuprofen before going back to sleep. When I woke up this morning my foot was swollen and bruised and all my toes looked like fat little sausages.  David called in to work so he could take care of Flora, who is still under the weather, while went to the doctor to get my foot checked. After spending 2 1/2 hours at urgent care it's official; I broke my toe, right where it connects to the foot.  I was given some medical tape, a fancy shoe and some Vicodin to help me through the next couple weeks.  

I have a feeling I'll be seeing a lot of this the next couple days because the nurse also informed me that I have a fever and must be coming down with whatever Flora has.

 This is my first broken bone.  Have you ever broken anything?

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Monday, February 14, 2011

Valentine's Day

My Valentine's day started off great: flowers and a card from my wonderful husband. It ended poorly: vomiting toddler with a fever.

Not the most romantic way to spend an evening but I'm happy I got to spend it with my two favorite people and if one of them was going to throw up on me, I'm glad it was Flora.

How did you spend your Valentine's day?   
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Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Blue Skys

It was chilly today but the sky was blue so I let Flora play in the backyard while I cooked dinner.




Do you let your child play in the backyard when you're not out there?  (I can see her out the window.)

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Potty

I started Flora on the potty a little before her second birthday.  That was over nine months ago and she now wears one diaper a day, when she goes to bed at night.  With the exception of a pee puddle on the bathroom floor last week when Flora tried to go potty without any adult help she hasn't had a daytime accident in months.

Last spring, in the middle of an early stretch of warm weather, I decided I was sick of changing diapers. It was time to see if Flora could use the potty instead.  I talked to her and explained that she was getting to be a big girl and big girls pee and poop in a potty, not a diaper.  She looked unsure so I took her diaper and pants off.  I told her that she didn't have to pee in the potty but if she didn't the pee would get on the floor.  I knew she wouldn't like that and suddenly the potty sounded more interesting.  To expedite the process a little I did something I almost never do and gave her watered down juice. Yes, I'm the mom who only lets her kid drink water.  She was so excited to drink it that she kept asking for more and filling her little bladder.  

Finally, she said it was time to go so I set her on the potty and she peed.  She was so pleased with herself that all she wanted to do for the rest of the day was sit on the potty.  I'm not exaggerating.  I moved her little potty outside and she sat on it all day.  We blew bubbles to help the time pass.  

The next two or three days were like that.  Us, outside, blowing bubbles and sitting on the potty.  It was a very long few days.  

Finally, she bored of that and became more unsure of the potty.  She then didn't want to sit on it at all.  She was able to communicate that her potty was uncomfortable to sit on so I bought her a new one.  After that I would have her sit on it for the length of a song every hour or so.  If she didn't pee that was fine but if she needed to, I gave her the opportunity.  As an added incentive, when she did use her potty I would let her put a sticker on it. Sometimes she would ask me to put one of her cloth diapers inside the potty.  It seemed to make her more comfortable, particularly when pooping.


For the next few weeks we continued to work on using the potty while at home.  She would still wear a diaper while sleeping or out of the house but she was doing a great job in her own environment.  Flora still wasn't telling me when she needed to go but she wasn't having any accidents so I began to allow more time between pee breaks. 

Peeing was going great but pooping was still a problem.  She would hold it until I put a diaper on for nap or bedtime then she would go. Baby poop is one thing and toddler poop is another. I was sick of changing a toddler's poopy diaper. I don't think she liked it either but the thought of pooping on the potty really seemed to scare her. One day while wiping her bottom I asked her why she didn't use the potty to poop.  No answer. I asked her if she like to get poop all over her butt.  She said no. I told her that if she pooped in the potty it wouldn't get all over her and it would only require a little wipe, like when she peed on the potty. She seemed to consider what I had just told her and then, much to my delight, she began to poop in the potty the following day.  

Sometime shortly after her second birthday I got her to pee on the big toilet while I held her up.  Her fear of the big toilet was the one thing keeping us from going diaper free outside of the house so when she faced that fear I decided to start running short errands with no diaper.  She did well.  No accidents in stores and only two in her car seat over the next few months.  

Potty accidents in the car suck!  Have you ever had to remove the car seat cover and wash it?  I never had until she peed in the car.  I do not recommend it and would advise all parents with an inexperienced potty user to carry around an extra small potty in the trunk of their car. Call me gross if you want but a quick roadside pee is so much better than cleaning the car seat.  

The extra potty has now been removed from the trunk of our car and is at my aunt's house because we spend a lot of time there and Flora still won't poop on the big toilet while you hold her.  A comfortable place to play is required if she'll even consider pooping.

Eventually Flora began to wake up from most of her naps dry so i stopped putting a diaper on her before putting her down.  She had two or three accidents but that was it.  She still wakes up soaking wet every morning so we still put a diaper on her at night.  People tell me that I should just leave the diaper off and let her have a few accidents at night because she'll learn faster but if you've read any of my postings on sleep then you know my family doesn't need another reason to be awake in the middle of the night.  She'll figure it out and I'll take her diaper off when she starts to wake up dry most mornings.  Or when she's 3, whichever comes first. 

Flora Potty from Ellie Saldana on Vimeo.

Helping your child learn to use the potty is time consuming. Personally, I think it's our duty as parents to teach our children that it's not appropriate to defecate on one's self at as young an age as possible but  I understand why so many parents wait until their kid is 3 or even 4 to transition them out of diapers. It's a lot of work and I can only assume it's easier when the kids are older and have a more rational brain.  The beauty of just doing it is that then you are done.

Flora does great now.  She tells me when she has to go and unless we're getting ready to leave the house I never make her sit on the potty against her wishes.  If she refuses, fine I don't make her go but I also won't make a special stop for her to pee and she does great, she holds it until we get where we're going.

I think my trick was to push her out of her comfort zone regularly but not to push her to the point of fear. Now if only we could get rid of that night time diaper...

What did you do to help you child learn to use the potty?

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Monday, February 7, 2011

Short Walk

After nap Flora and I went for a walk.  Walks with Flora are never fast but this one was particularly slow.  We walked one block in 30 minutes.

First Flora insisted upon bringing all of her babies covered in many blankets so they wouldn't get cold.


Next she built nests on the sidewalk.


Then she spun around in circles before deciding it was time to walk home for a snack.


It wasn't exactly good exercise but she had fun.  

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Saturday, February 5, 2011

My Favorite Day

Saturday is my day to sleep in.  David and I have to take turns because Flora doesn't care that it's the weekend, she still gets up at 6am.  Some day she'll be old enough to get up, pour herself a bowl of cereal and watch Saturday morning cartoons but we're not there yet.  Yes, I'm the mom who will send her kid to the living room alone for a couple hours on a a Saturday morning when she's old enough.  She's hardly starved for attention.  I'm sure she'll be fine. Until that day, Saturday is my day to sleep in and Sunday is David's.

While I sleep David and Flora watch cartoons, play and Skype with David's parents.  I get up around 8:30, yes that's sleeping in at my house, drink some coffee and go to yoga.  By the time I get home from yoga it's lunchtime, which is followed by nap time.  That means every Saturday I'm essentially off mommy duty until 1:30 when Flora wakes from her nap.  It's the only significant chunk of time I get when I don't have to feed or entertain her and it's amazing.

If you live in Portland you should check your The People's Yoga.  It's where I go and they have a great business model.  If you don't live in Portland you should see if your city has something similar.  I know New York does...

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What do you look forward to every week?


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Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Reading Double

New Year Publishing was kind enough to send me a copy of "I'm Having Twins" and "My Twins are Coming Home."  The books were written by a young girl named Paris Morris about her experience becoming a big sister at the age of three.  I like that the books give a real child's perspective on gaining siblings.  In "I'm Having Twins" in addition to the excitement of a new sibling Paris shares some of the concerns she had, such as having to share her room, toys and parents.  In the second book, "My Twins are Coming Home," Paris learns the happiness a new family member brings.  I think that these would be great companion books for a young child expecting a sibling, or two.  Any child expecting a younger sibling is bound to feel a combination of excitement and apprehension and Paris's story is sure to make them feel less alone in these feelings.

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The Most Perfect Mommy Ever (not me)

This afternoon Flora and I were playing "baby and mommy;" I was the baby and she was the mommy. This is one of her favorite games.  Today, I was instructed to read her stories while she measured me. To measure me she had me sit still, it was very important that I did not move which made turning the pages of the book very difficult, then she held my chin in place while she shined a flashlight through my cheek.  This lasted for a few stories.  I asked several times what we were measuring but did not get an answer.  Finally, I asked why we were measuring and she said it was because she was "the most perfect mommy ever."  Well OK then.  


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