Sunday, February 28, 2010

Purim Sameach!

We had a fun Purim here, our first in Israel. It's similar to the feel of Halloween in the States, but without the goth :) People were already wearing costumes on Friday and kids wore their costumes all day Saturday and Sunday.

I forgot to take photos of our costumes :( I think my FIL took pics, though, so I'll see if I can get them from him. I used animal hats my MIL got me a long time ago from a store in Israel - Yoav was a mouse and Elie a penguin. Yoav wore a grey shirt and grey pants (the hat was of a grey mouse) and I made a long thin tail with pink fabric stuffed with wool and sewed it to the pants. For Elie, he wore black shirt and black pants and I sewed a white oval to his shirt to make him look more like an emperor penguin. Next year I'll do costumes that don't include hats since neither wanted to wear the hats for very long...

We also made these graggers that worked out great. We just used two heavy paper plates, Yoav drew on each one, then I put them together (insides facing eachother, the way it is in the final version) and hole-punched all along the sides. I knotted yarn through two holes and Yoav sewed in and out until we had about a quarter left, at which point he put beans in and sewed the rest closed. It was a great project since it was fast, cheap and involved drawing, sewing and playing with beans (and it made for a sufficiently loud gragger)!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Recent Crafting / GAPS







This is the result of my very limited recent crafting. The first is a pair of baby booties called "Baby Moc-a-Socs". The yarn is hand-dyed (not by me) Purewool. I love how they turned out. I'll definitely be making more of these. And they match the baby hat I made recently (I didn't take a photo, but it's the same as this one, only smaller). These are part of a gift for my SIL, who's expecting a baby boy in May.

The second is a placemat I made last night - I made two, one for each kid, but Elie really needs ten to be of any use since he makes such a mess ;) Yoav really liked it. I don't have any more of that fabric, but I think I'll make two more matching ones out of something else. I cut the fabric 12.5" x 18.5", used interfacing in the middle and canvas for the back.

For some reason, GAPS seems to be all the rage these days. Or, maybe it's Law of Attraction leading me to see it everywhere. You can read about it here, if you want and she has plenty of other links. Yoav was awake for well over an hour in the middle of the night last night itching from his eczema. The allergies are one thing if he can live comfortably with them, but I don't want to see him suffer. He's had worsening eczema for a few months now. I have a few more things I want to try with the eczema - someone told me that it might help to rub kombucha on topically, so Jeremy is bringing some back from NY tomorrow. But still I know that the allergies mean that there's gut issues and I want to try to resolve them. It's so hard to be making two meals all the time and now that I'm eating more raw and fermented dairy, I would so love for Yoav to get the benefits as well. We'll see. The intro diet is quite restrictive, but Yoav is getting pretty tired of the eczema and seemed open to going grain-free for a bit. I'm going to try these pancakes for him. My first step will be to test the various foods he'll need to eat for the Intro Diet and to work on recipes to make it work for him.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Growing Up

I think my big baby is gone... Yoav has transitioned in the past few weeks to someone older, more mature, with empathy (is that possible? I've heard kids don't have empathy until much older) or at least what looks like empathy.

Examples:
* He offered Elie a ball the other day in the car when Elie was crying to help distract/relax him (this is a fairly common one lately);
* He gives Elie kisses, doesn't get upset when Elie pushes him as part of play
* Today when *I* was stressed, he lovingly said to me, "If you want, I can go outside with you for a little bit." (meaning: I tend to suggest going outside when there's too much energy in the house or if Yoav seems off-Center, so he offered it to me for the first time ;) )

He also easily fills up the whole day on his own. He spends hours on various art projects. I had planned to really stick to my rhythm this week because Jeremy is traveling, but I was feeling kind of apathetic today after breakfast and didn't feel up to going outside yet. Meanwhile, Yoav got busy with knitting, so I pulled out my knitting, and, well, we never made it outside...

His projects today included:
* He made a house out of two paper boxes by putting a door and window in one and connecting the two with tape.
* He made a paper box to put strings of finger crochet that he made yesterday (btw, this was an amazing project he did yesterday - he made about ten lengths of finger crochet of various lengths and then put them next to eachother one by one saying which is bigger than which. One was 70 stitches long and he talked about how that one was much bigger than, for instance, the 5 stitch one... A perfect "greater than / less than" self-designed project!
* He made a book about horses for his horseback riding teacher - it's about 15 pages long, taped together along the spine - each page has pictures of horses doing various things -in a stall, eating hay, a pony nursing, one being brushed, etc.
* He made another book of patterns of felt animals - it's about ten pages.
* He drew on some fabric to turn it into designer fabric
* He cut up some fabric and laid it out into a patchwork blanket design for his gnomes (we didn't sew it up, he just planned it)
* He designed some fabric for me on paper - little houses.
* He made his addax costume for Purim - a box with arms and head holes (was part of the house), and horns that are attached to one another and then fit on his head with a round of yarn.
* and I'm sure there's more that I wasn't aware of...

I know it could just be temporary. I'll be sure to refer to this post later if he reverts back ;)

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Centering Yoav - Continued

I recently had a coaching session with Scott Noelle and then posted about my use of his ideas to help Center Yoav when he's upset. Here I posted one such situation.

Today we had another (and many in between actually). Yoav stepped in water and yelled that he wanted a new sock. I said, "Ah, a wet sock! Oh, dear, come lie down so the Sock Doctor can take a look!" He was curious about the game and took the bait. He willingly laid down. Once he was lying on the floor, I realized it was a good opportunity for some massage, so I pretended to be examining his whole body - first massaging his legs one at a time, then massaging his arms. When I got to his arms, I joked about his eczema: "Ah, I see here you have a few dragon bites. I have some dragon bite ointment I can put on." He said, "No, it's eczema!" Me: "Eczema? Sir, I've never heard of eczema and I went to the best medical school in the country! It's definitely a dragon bite!" He said he was a doctor too and knew for sure it's eczema and said there's no such thing as dragons (we just went to a friend's yesterday and we read a book called "There's No Such Thing As Dragons" (I think that was the title)). Anyway, it was fun and then when I was done, I gave him a kiss and said he was good to go. He remembered the sock and said, "What about the sock?" I said, "Ah yes, the sock!" I felt it and said, "Hmm, it seems to be a bit damp. I think I can fix this for you." I told my assistant (Elie) to keep checking him and I ran to get new socks, came down and put them on and All Was Well.

It wasn't all the steps that I talked about with Scott - but I think I helped him get Centered using Scott's ideas - eye contact, massage. The key I think is for him to be totally calm and Centered BEFORE we fix what it is he initially started screaming about so he learns that he can be unconditionally Centered, that he doesn't *need* a dry sock to be Centered.

Zoo Again

We had such a fun day today. We went to Meshek Barzilai, an organic restaurant nearby, for breakfast, which is aways great - the food is delicious, we sit outside and enjoy looking at the beautiful rows of veggies in the garden and the kids run around looking for pecans that have fallen from the huge pecan trees or they run to look at the donkeys. It's the best restaurant ever to go to with kids!

Then we went to the zoo again. We wanted to see how the baby addax was doing :)










It was so much fun. The weather was amazing (nearing on hot, but not quite there) and it's always so empty during the week (a good reason to homeschool!). The best part was that we discovered the petting zoo, which we didn't even know existed before! There's a big gated area with goats and an alpaca that you can go into.

Afterward, we went to a nearby playground. The boys loved the big twirly tunnel slide:

video

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Addax Birth at the Zoo

We went to the Zoo last Thursday and were witness to a live Addax birth!

We stopped to watch the giraffes and the addaxes were in the same area. We noticed the amniotic sac hanging from the addax and I grabbed my camera (which thankfully happened to be in my lap). Addaxes are endangered and there's a special program in this zoo to try to increase their numbers. The woman at the zoo was amazed that we'd seen it as the births usually happen during the night in a secluded area.

And our footage made it onto the news!!

The footage shows the birth and also a scene with a giraffe kicking the addax. What happened was that after about ten minutes, the giraffe sort of appropriated the baby for herself. My understanding now is that the giraffe was trying to protect the baby - maybe thought it was hers or didn't know for sure if it belonged to the addax so wanted to protect it. The addax and giraffe were fighting a bit - the giraffe kicked the addax a few times, but the addax knew she wasn't strong enough to do anything. A few times she head-butted the giraffe when the giraffe was turned the other way - showing that she wanted to fight the giraffe but knew she'd lose and was just angry and nervous... Eventually, I guess she realized the baby did belong to the addax mother and she just walked away.

Enjoy:
http://news.nana10.co.il/Article/?ArticleID=699972&sid=126&typeid=1&sid=126

Rhythm

We've been having such a hard time lately with our rhythm. We had a good rhythm before the Winter holidays, but just haven't gotten back in a good groove since then. We've been stressing about where to live and popping out on short notice to look at homes for sale, which has really made rhythm difficult.

I think now that we've figured out where to live and now that Yoav seems totally off-kilter, we're in for a major push for rhythm! ;)

Our weekly rhythm works well and we've kept that going all along. My only problem lately is that I'm spending so much time cooking, and still feel like I'm not doing enough. I do a lot of the food prep at night, which leaves little time for cleaning, Enki-prep, relaxing and sleep. I'm trying to do as much as possible during the day, but not so much that I'm away from the kids - so as I'm cleaning after breakfast, I quickly wash the bowls that our grains were soaking in and re-mix for pancakes the next day; same with the oatmeal snack - I serve the oatmeal and immediately clean out the bowl and replace with oats/water/lemon to soak for the following night. Another benefit of this is that, on the days that I fall asleep with the kids, I don't have to force myself out of bed in the middle of the night to prepare food ;)

So, just for my sake, to keep myself organized, I'll do my weekly rhythm and my updated (again - I know anyone reading this must be so sick of my rhythm updates - just skip if you're bored LOL!!!)


WEEKLY RHYTHM

Sunday :: Family Adventure Day (morning is usual as Jeremy goes to class; we go to horseback riding class in the evening)

Monday :: Painting Day

Tuesday :: Baking Day (I want to transition this into a "Cooking" Day to make it more general)

Wednesday :: Craft Day

Thursday :: Cleaning Day

Friday :: Soup Day - I usually make a big Friday night meal and we often have guests, so this is a busy day. I usually just call it "Shabbat Prep Day" but I think Soup Day will work since I always make soup anyway, so I'll involve the kids in that and it will help to anchor the day. I used to call it "Challah Day", but I've been leaving the challah dough to rise overnight because it hasn't been rising fast enough in winter . I've actually been doing a lot of the prep the night before lately so I don't have too much I "have" to do on Friday and can just make extra salads or sides if I have time...

Saturday :: Shabbat


DAILY RHYTHM

Wake up :: We snuggle and Yoav tells us of his dreams or usually has some stories to tell us

Get Dressed

Breakfast prep :: We've been eating pancakes for well over a month now LOL - I make the ones soaked in yogurt and Yoav makes his own

Breakfast :: This is a family meal - Jeremy is home for breakfast

Breakfast clean-up :: I clean while the kids play - Yoav tends to draw a little (needs some contraction) after breakfast

Play outside on trampoline :: I have to really motivate myself for this - I tend to want to relax a little after breakfast but this activity is really critical for our day. It is designed to get heart rate up. I have a great game that we play on the trampoline that I started because Circle wasn't going so well (the kids participate only a fraction of the time and I think Yoav needs the Sensory Integration movements.) So the game is called "Make Up" (Yoav came up with it) - we take turns making up games. Yoav's are somewhat random - pretending to be animals, prentending I'm a tree and climbing up me, etc. Mine are all movements right out of the Enki Movement book or Donna Simmons' "Joyful Movement" - pretend we're logs and we have to roll across the trampoline and back; pretend we're frogs and hop around the trampoline; and always a heart rate one of simply - let's jump 100 times :)

Circle :: This is just an attempt. Lately Yoav has actually been enjoying it, since all the movements are about gnomes, but I just go through it and he either does it or not and either way I don't care too much since I think he's getting enough movement on the trampoline.

Snack :: This is usually fresh fruit inside.

Core Story :: I start a new story each week. So far this year, we've been doing all Folk tales from the Enki Kindy Curriculum, but I just ran out, so now I'm on my own. I will probably get most stories from mainlesson.com.

Project :: Painting / Baking / Craft, depending on the day

Lunch Prep

Lunch :: Yoav gets a fried egg and homemade sourdough bread with homemade almond butter; Elie and I get a raw yogurt / raw egg smoothie, Israeli salad and sourdough bread with Kerrygold butter.

Lunch Clean-up

Quiet Time :: I had this going somewhat but we've completely lost it lately. The goal is to sing our transition song "Swing Low" as I bring Elie up to nap and Yoav will play in his playroom with his blocks or farmhouse. I had it working well for a while and just need to be consistent.

Creative Play :: Indoor or outdoor play (outdoor only if Jeremy is home) while we wait for Elie to wake up

Outside Play :: Now that it's warm again we can go out to the playground in the afternoon or take nature walks. This will also be our time for grocery shopping - we've been going to a small grocery near us (Bio-Center) on Tuesday afternoons which has worked well.

Dinner Prep

Dinner

Dinner clean up

Snack :: I go right into snack after dinner so we can head upstairs early.

Bed Routine :: This has been working pretty well lately - we head up, brush teeth, Yoav takes off his clothes, the boys jump on the bed together a bit and play peek-a-boo under the covers. Then we turn out the light and Yoav picks two animals for stories (one story for each animal) - I make up the two stories, then I tell a story about an adult character I made up named Jim (I told a random story a few months ago named Jim and now Yoav loves the "Jim Stories" -- I tell him what Jim did during his day)

Kids Sleep :: And I usually fall asleep with them and Jer wakes me up when all is quiet

Clean / Prep for next day

Sleep

Monday, February 15, 2010

Eshchar

So much to write and update, so little time :( So I'll share the key things and I'll do a separate post after this with my Enki update.

Our big news is that we found a town (more like a small village) in which we BOTH want to live!!! Amazing! I was starting to think it would never happen and that we'd rent forever. It's a yishuv (which I think just means small town) up in the Galil (Galilee region) about ten minutes from Carmiel. The town was started about 15 years ago and now has about 100 families, although only in the past five years has there really been an increase in building. There are 1/2 dunam (1/8 acre) plots available, so we're likely going to buy land and build, although there are also a few houses for sale which would save a lot of aggravation if we happen to like any...

This is the Nefesh B'Nefesh blurb about the town:
http://www.nbn.org.il/communities/template/community/171

And here's the town's website:
http://www.eshchar.co.il/pws/page!3077

Did you notice on the Nefesh B'Nefesh site that there's a petting zoo!?!?!? How cool! It's just chickens, ducks, peacocks, turtles, and gerbils but my kids had lots of fun. At one point, Yoav was running with a bunch of ducks - they were all in a line and he was the last one - it reminded me of Curious George in the Dump Truck story ;) Here's a photo in the petting zoo:


Yoav talks daily about how "one day" he'll have his own zoo - so maybe he can have some responsibilities for caring for the animals. And who knows, maybe I can keep a goat there since I won't have enough land to keep one on our property.

Eshchar is way up in the mountains, so the views are amazing. There are only a few plots left in this current group, so they're not the best plots, but we'd have a view of the mountains and sunset from the second level, so we could do the entrance to the house on the second level with the kitchen there and a deck to eat outside and watch the sunset :) The next section of plots has amazing unobstructed mountain views and I think views of the Kinneret. We're thinking about the option of renting in Eshchar until those open up, but that would mean a few more years of renting, so I don't know...

Oh, and I forgot the best thing - there are FOUR homeschooling families in Eshchar AND more families in the neighboring towns! 4%!!!! And that's 15 kids, btw ;)

And there's a nearby town with an organic market and horse stables with lessons.

It's about 1.5 hours from Tel Aviv, which is further than we initially wanted to be, but this is the only town we've found that meets all of our other criteria (homeschoolers, mix of religious/non, safe (from theft), peaceful and good for daily walks, family-friendly, reasonable pricing), so I guess that's how it goes. We do have already have three families in the Galil that we're friends with, one we're very close with, so we'll start out with some friends and will make more...

So, I think we're good to go. Just have to figure out if we're going to buy and build or buy a house or rent...

Enki Weekly Schedule

I forgot to post last night:

Story: The Keeping Quilt - from the book by Patricia Polacoo, modified a little by my friend J for her Waldorf coop
Cooking: Date Yummies (keeping it simple!)
Craft: More gnome furniture

I actually forgot to post last week about our woodworking adventure. It was our first attempt at woodworking. We planned to make some simple gnome furniture, but all we managed was to saw through the wood in two place to get a tiny tree block. Yoav went with the flow, though, and called it a chair for the gnomes.

Raw Egg Success

I just made a raw egg / raw yogurt mix that Elie loved (and I liked).

1 cup raw goat's yogurt
1 raw egg yolk
a few strawberries cut into small bite-sized pieces

At first Elie saw the strawberries and picked them out, but then he noticed that the yogurt was yummy too and started eating big bites with yogurt and strawberry and then even when the strawberry was still gone, he slurped up the rest of the yogurt/egg until it was all gone and then asked for MORE! I can feel his teeth getting stronger already :)

Just a note - the strawberries are delicious! We get them from Bio-Center in Givat Chen and they are picked fresh from their farm in the mornings.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Centering Yoav

I've already gotten a few chances already to try out what I learned from my coaching session with Scott Noelle the other day.

We had a particularly amusing one this afternoon. Yoav went to the bathroom and somehow got some drops of water on his undies. They were his Hanna Anderson red ones and he has only one pair of red.

Anyway, so Yoav was yelling that he wanted his red undies AND he wanted them to be dry. (Yoav has a lot of issues about water, but he does like taking baths now likes the pool and puddles and creeks - he just doesn't like any drops of water on his clothes or the tablecloth.) I was holding him and said, "Let's get Centered first and then I know we'll be able to figure out a solution to the undies problem." He said, "I don't want to be Centered first! I just want dry red undies!" I eased the tension with some humor, saying that our brains were scattered since we weren't Centered, and wouldn't be able to come up with a good solution in this state - I said we might accidentally put the undies on our heads or put them on Elie instead of on Yoav. That helped him relax a little and he added a few such possibilities. Then Elie, not really understanding that we were having a dilemma about the water spots, went into the bathroom to get the undies and handed them to me (he's quite the helpful two-year-old!) I told Elie that Yoav said they'd gotten wet and he only wanted them if they were dry. So I asked Elie, "Are they dry now?" Nod yes. To clarify, I asked, "Are they wet or dry?" Elie felt them and nodded yes. Yoav looked to me to clarify and asked me if they were wet or dry - I repeated with a straight face, "They're wet or dry." Yoav had a good laugh over that asked Elie again and got the same confident nod from Elie that they were "wet or dry" and laughed some more and was now truly Centered and let me easily slip the undies and pants on and off we went...

Almond Butter Bliss

I made almond butter today!!!! I've tried several times over the past few months - first the NT recipe, then with tips from discussingNT Yahoo group and other things I found online. Never did it cross my mind that I could get smooth, creamy almond butter by leaving my food processor going for 25 minutes! I always gave up WAY before that.

Here's the post I used with instructions.

And so I have it all here in case that post ever disappears:
I used soaked, mostly dehydrated organic almonds, with the skin on. I put them in my food processor (Cuisinart Prep 11 Plus) and let it go for 25 minutes, stopping every five minutes or so to mix a little and scrape off whatever got stuck to the sides.

I actually cried to Jeremy recently about my almond butter woes. I thought I needed a Vitamix to get creamy almond butter, and, of course, it seems crazy to spend $500+ on a machine to get almond butter. But, at the same time, Yoav has a limited number of foods that he *can* eat, much less *does* eat and I was depressed that I couldn't figure out the homemade almond butter riddle.

Hmm, maybe I should go into the almond butter business - there's no organic almond butter available commercially in Israel, let alone from soaked almonds! ;)

My first raw egg

I just ate my first raw egg. It was a combination of the "Raw Egg Tooth Strengthening Formula" in Ramiel Nagel's "Cure Tooth Decay" and the "Raw Milk Tonic" in Nourishing Traditions. Nagel says that a raw milk / raw egg mix "regenerates intestinal mucosa and heals leaky gut syndrome."

The formula I used was:
3/4 cup raw goat yogurt
1/4 cup cream from pasteurized, non-homogenized cow's milk
1 egg
1 T molassas
1 t vanilla extract

All in all, quite foul, but somewhat drinkable. I drank half of it and Elie drank half of what I gave him, which was about a quarter of the total. I'll have to work on it a bit. Maybe honey would be better than the vanilla.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Coaching Session with Scott Noelle

Scott Noelle, of EnjoyParenting, is, IMHO, the greatest parenting coach in the world! I feel so lucky to be a part of his PATH program and to be getting his help. Rather than simply teach/instruct parents to "connect" or "be kind", he helps us learn *how* to actually stay connected through the tough times - when a child is screaming or hitting or throwing oatmeal on the ceiling (as mine has done LOL). I've been studying Connection Parenting since Yoav was born. The first book I read post-birth was Jan Liedloff's "The Continuum Concept". Maybe it's because of all the reading and practicing of the past five years that have led me to this point, but, for me, at this time, with Scott's help, I'm connecting with my kids on a different level than I was before and it feels so good. Tonight when we were going to sleep, I said to Yoav, "This was a fun day." And he said, "Yea, I loved today!" Then, a pause. Then, "What did we do today?" He felt in his heart that it was a fun, joyful day and then wondered what we "did" to make that happen. But we didn't "do" anything special. Except that we stayed totally connected all day. And THAT is pure joy.

So, thanks Scott! And, for everyone else, join PATH! :)

I had a coaching session with him last night and he gave me permission to post about it.

Subject: How to stay connected when my child loses his Center - example (which seems to be a recurring one for us): Water spills on the table and gets on Yoav's placemat or on the tablecloth and he SCREAMS to FIX IT RIGHT NOW. To GET THE WATER OFF! So, what I wanted to work on with Scott was to help me stay better connected through this (rather than just grit my teeth and replace the placemat, since our kids feel our energy just as clearly as they hear our words).

So what's going on when this happens? Yoav's need is deeper - he's not screaming about the spilled water. He's screaming because he has lost his emotional balance and needs help getting balanced. He's crying out for me to help him find his Center.

The first step is for me to realize that when I think it's "hard" when he's screaming, that's only a thought and the only reason it *is* hard for me is because I *believe* it's hard. So I can let go of that. I can realize that it's simply a loud noise indicating that he needs help finding his balance/Center.

There are two parts of the process
A) Help Yoav find his emotional balance during these times; and
B) Once he's re-centered, help him to learn to better communicate (to ask for help rather than scream).

This is broken down in detail:
1) Maintain your own Center. Choose not to react negatively to the screaming. Process the intensity of the vibration (the screaming). Remind self that this is not personal, that my child just doesn't know how to ask for help yet.
2) If you are not of the state of mind to actually help the child through the next steps, just take care of the problem (in this example, get a new placemat). The full process doesn't have to be done every time the child loses his Center, just as much as possible - when you have the time and emotional wherewithal.
3) Help child learn that he can find his Center unconditionally - ie, without actually getting what he thinks he "needs" (a new placemat). Approach him calmly. Get physically close, make eye contact. Find a way to connect - perhaps by touching his hand, holding him in your lap, massaging, etc. This is a NON-VERBAL step (since his brain is all scattered from the upset). In this step, you can imagine him to have a AAA Battery and you are a big car battery - he can physically connect to your Calm Presence to begin charging his battery pack. Another analogy that Scott gave that I liked was: Imagine he's a small mosquito - a drop of water would completely knock him out. That's how he's feeling by this wet placemat - he feels small and knocked down, even though it seems like a non-issue to me.
4) Reassure him that you will get through this: "We're going to solve this." Let him know that you are on his side and that, through partnership, you will solve the problem.
5) Train him to solve problems from the inside out. "LET'S take a deep breath. LET'S get Centered." Again, we are in this TOGETHER and will solve it TOGETHER. Note how different this feels than "You need to take a deep breath" or any similar dominator language.
6) Continue to breathe together. Repeat "We're going to solve the problem just as soon as we get Centered." if he keeps yelling about the water. Continue connecting physically and with eye contact.
7) Validate verbally if it feels right / helpful. Let him know that you understand what he's upset about.
8) You can add a story about how something similar happened to you as a kid and you got upset but solved it by doing xyz... This can help him feel that he's not alone with his intense reactions and can also see that, even if you used to get upset by such things, now you are strong and Centered and he will get there as well.
9) Once he is Centered, you can do whatever he wanted done. So I can put out a new placemat, but he now knows that he's not dependent on the dry placemat to find his Center.
10) The last step is to train him to ask rather than scream for help. Once he is calm, you can say, "You know, I'm really glad we were able to solve this problem. I would enjoy it more next time if you could ask in a calm voice." No judgment, just the honest comment.

We actually had this exact same issue today and we did Scott's "Child-Centering Formula" and it was hugely successful. The hardest part for me was making the physical connection with Yoav when he was still screaming and starting to take the tablecloth off the table. And later in the day when something else happened and I did this again, he actually ran away from me, but then that turned into a game (Yoav's lead) and he was able to get balanced with a bit of play.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Math Development - Powers (and more)

I just realized that this is my 500th post. Jeepers! Don't I have anything better to do with my time?!?!?!

Anyway ... Yoav just said "Eight is two of two of Elie's number." "Elie's number" is two, since Elie is two years old. So he did 8=2x2x2. Cool.

He can also count to 1000 now. He loves to count. Jer sometimes gets a bit of napping in by telling Yoav that he'll be ready to play in five minutes and then Yoav goes off counting to 300 (which takes more than 300 seconds) :) This is all giving him a peek into the world of time. He knows now that there are 60 seconds in a minute; 60 minutes in an hour and knows that half an hour is 30 minutes and that two 30s is 60.

He uses his daily pancake-making to learn the small numbers part of the times table. He'll make four pancakes per batch and watch to see how many he gets each round and he'll say to me, "Two fours is eight and three fours is 12." Today he made two sets of six.

Just wanted to post so I don't forget. I'm really curious to follow the math development. It's so interesting for me to watch. I want to be able to look back here to see how it progressed. I'll have to add a "Learning Math" tag... Eventually... I've been tired lately and have fallen asleep with the kids quite regularly. I think it's the cold weather (50s - not cold by NYC standards LOL! I'm already quite spoiled weather-wise!) So I cuddle in with the kids to go to sleep and don't want to get out from under the warm blankets.

Also I made buttermilk from the culturesforhealth.com starter. I used pasteurized, non-homogenized milk, since it didn't work with the raw milk and I wanted to see if I had better luck w pasteurized. It's doing the last 6 hour culture in the fridge now, so we have buttermilk pancakes scheduled for tomorrow!

I spent an hour last night trying to figure out how to get Rapadura unrefined sugar. Ugh. I brought a few bags from the States and just ran out and there's really no substitute. Jer thinks it's kooky to have it shipped here. I suppose it's not very environmentally-friendly, but I buy other products not made in Israel, so it's not like I'm shopping all local. Their website says you'll be able to order "soon" direct from them, so that would be a bit better. But I wonder if soon means a month, six months, a year or more?!??!?!

I found this website that's in line with Weston Price philosophy - it's called "Nourishing our Children" and has lots of information on what and why to feed our growing kids.

Oh and I'm completely off coffee. It's been exactly a week. I'm drinking Pionier instant "Organic Fruit and Cereal Coffee." It contains rye, chicory, barley, barley malt, figs and acorn. It tastes amazingly like coffee. I really want to find Rapadura so I can make some of the fermented beverages in Nourishing Traditions - ginger beer, apple cider, "orangina" - yum!

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Sauerkraut



I just got a batch of sauerkraut going from this recipe. I'm quite hopeful. I've tried before from the Nourishing Traditions recipe and also from the recipe in "Wild Fermentation", but this recipe is clearer and I got more juice out of my cabbage from this recipe. Of course it could just be that my cabbage was fresher, but I do really like the clarity of the recipe! I'm hoping for some yummy kraut in two weeks!



And here's a salad Yoav made while I was making the kraut - it has shredded cabbage, carrot, apple and salt - yum :)



Also here's a potholder I made a few days ago - it turned out ok except the part where I had to turn it right-side out. It would be better to leave a 4" gap - I had a really hard time turning it around and it was pretty wonky there. I used this tutorial.

I've actually decided to cut down on sewing, though. I'm going to mostly do knitting for a while to meet my need for sewing (is that an actual need??) I'm making a cute pair of booties for my coming nephew - should be done in a day or two to post. I want to spend the time cooking and reading instead to reduce my guilt :)

Enki Weekly Schedule

I forgot to post my schedule this week:

Story: The Red Pumpkin (from Asia) - it's somewhat like Red Riding Hood but not really LOL. Yoav really likes it.
Food: NT-style pizza. The crust was well liked, but the sauce I made ended up too salty I think so overall not a huge success, but I'm going to try again next week. I also didn't have any cheese since I'm trying to avoid any pasteurized cheese for Elie and don't know where to get raw mozzarella - hoping to learn eventually...
Craft: Tissue Paper Stained Glass Window - just white tissue paper glued to a construction paper frame, then we cut colored tissue paper, glued to the white one, put another white one on top and hung it on the window. Fun craft and Yoav made more of his own tissue paper things afterward - one he told me directions that went on and on for about half an hour - I felt like I was in school ;)

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Elie's Eating and Healthy Teeth

Today I made NT-style soaked pancakes for breakfast (as usual). We've been waking up earlier just so Jeremy can get them before he goes to his class - it's helped us to stay on an earlier schedule b/c he practically kicks me out of bed a little before 8 so I can get cooking. :)

Elie slept late because he was up for well over an hour during the night. When I brought him down, I was already starting on soup for lunch (the Carrot Ginger one I posted recently - link is in the Recipe tag). He ate half a pancake, saw that I was chopping carrots and ran over for a carrot. Then when he noticed squash in the oven, his eyes lit up! I took some out and cut it up for him and he ate most of what I gave him. I love having such a great eater. It's so much fun for me and makes all the effort so worth it.

I'm reading "Cure Tooth Decay" because Elie had a little decay on his front two teeth when he was 18 months. I went to a holistic dentist who did some ionic something on it - I think she just heated it a little with a laser to set it to halt that decay. In "Cure Tooth Decay" Ramiel Nagel explains that teeth are not destroyed by bacteria as the common theory states and that you can't just brush these bacteria away. He explains it this way - if bacteria is what causes tooth decay, then we would be best off eating only refined sugar and white flour, as those have been designed specifically to have a long shelf life and to be almost completely resistant to bacteria. He had me already with that point ;)

So far I've learned to avoid phytates (which we're already doing), eat lots of fat-soluble vitamins (A, D, E and K), lots of phosphorus and calcium, avoid sugars (and even eat fruit with fat to help reduce the effect on blood sugar), and eat Fermented Cod Liver oil (less processed than standard cod liver oil - he says it's ok to use regular for a period, but for long use, he (and Sally Fallon) highly recommend fermented), and, and, and, and....

Oy! I have so much to learn and do. I'm feeling quite overwhelmed with it all. It takes so long to learn. Especially since there's supplies I can only get in the States. I'm still waiting for Jer to go back to NY to bring me my dehydrator :) I'm trying to let go of any feelings of guilt for not doing more/better and trying to just do my best. Last night I stayed up late and made the NT roman lentil soup and lentil salad to try to get Elie more phosphorus The soup was a hit (with me, Elie and Jer) and the salad I've been eating regularly for a few weeks now and enjoy it very much - just soaked/cooked lentils, shredded carrot, scallions and parsley.

Here's another little recipe I tried today:
Sweet Potato Coins: Wash and pee long thin sweet potatoes. Cut into small round "coins". Toss in coconut oil and sea salt. Then roast in the oven until they caramelize and are tender all the way through.
Also a hit with Elie - Yoav tried it and said he "liked it but wasn't hungry for it" and only ate one bite. At least he tried it.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Daybook Entry

I'm participating in the Simple Woman's Daybook. I started last week and like the idea of saving these little memories.

The Simple Woman's Daybook~Februrary 1st Edition



FOR TODAY Feb 1, 2010...
Outside My Window... it is a clear day with a slight breeze blowing.
I am thinking... I should be getting the paint ready for watercoloring.
I am thankful for... my two beautiful children who have been playing more and more together lately.
From the kitchen... sourdough starter is bubbling away, sourdough bread is rising to bake tonight, chickpeas are simmering to make hummus, spelt is soaking for pancakes tomorrow and oatmeal is soaking for snack tonight.
I am wearing... a boob nursing shirt and Noname skirt and no socks/shoes because I just went outside to help the neighbor look for their runaway chicken.
I am creating... knit booties for my coming nephew - it's too cute for words and I can't wait to finish and share.
I am going... nowhere ;)
I am reading... "Healing Our Children" by Ramiel Nagel and "The Astonishing Power of Emotions" by Esther and Jerry Hicks
I am hoping... to find a meshek to buy...
I am hearing... Elie and Yoav outside calling for the lost chicken.
Around the house... all is clean and quiet and Jeremy is working.
One of my favorite things... is sitting in a cozy chair knitting.
A Few Plans For The Rest Of The Week: Jeremy has a meeting about a meshek we saw and want.
Here is picture thought I am sharing...
Would require taking a photo, which I never managed today...