update

an update on life. I’ve been up approximately ten minutes and am already on my second cup of coffee. I tried to sit down on miles play mat to sing some waldorf-style songs about snow and nature but ruth started screaming like I was trying to murder her (hey, my voice isn’t THAT bad) so we all dispersed. now ruth is on the ground near miles flipping through one of greg’s field and stream magazines, joel is playing cars quietly to himself on the couch and miles is sitting on the floor grabbing at anything within arms reach. lesson? even though I’ve been doing this a while, I’m constantly two steps behind in trying to read the kids moods, anticipate what they need/want and trying to find a balance between giving them my attention and going about life as normal (life? I have a life?). sometimes, my 100% attention is incredibly offensive to them and I do better if I am nearby, within eyesight, but doing something (like typing a blog post) that doesn’t involve them at all.

we’ve been talking about signing ruth up for solo gymnastics. yes, we’ve done a LOT of talking about this over the years and especially lately. she seems to be right on the cusp of finally wanting to branch out and join a group of peers to do something group-oriented. will gymnastics pan out? I really don’t know. I can say that we bought a new leotard that she picked out and seems happy with. I can also say that last weekend, we went to the gym and WATCHED the class that she would potentially join in just to scope out the kids/coach/class feel. and it was a pretty positive experience.

why am I so desperate for ruth to join a group of some sort (I honestly don’t care one bit if it’s gymnastics or what it is)? put short, I just NEED her to branch out a bit. needless to say, I’m pretty bogged down with taking care of miles, joel, the pets and the house, and I simply CAN’T play all day the way that she wants me to. I think it would really loosen up some of the tension around the homestead.

speaking of spending forever and a day cooking, the ancestral diet has been GREAT for my waistline. that is to say, it’s not because I’m consuming more protein and less carbs and almost no refined sugar. nope, it’s because half the time I’m AFRAID of eating the food I’m making and the other half the time, I’ve got intestinal cleansing going on due to the influx of foreign bacteria into my gut. it’s a cleansing process, I guess. (that’s polite-speak for diarrhea. just kidding. that almost never happens). for instance, the time I made red snapper for dinner and was so paralyzed by fear of swallowing a fish bone I could scarcely eat a single bite. there went tens of dollars worth of fish. don’t worry. greg ate it all and seems no worse for the wear and I’m sure he reaped all of the wonderful nutritional benefits therein. then there’s the chicken livers in the spaghetti sauce, which doesn’t bother the kids at all because they don’t know any better, but which turns my stomach just to think about, despite the fact that liver is incredibly high in all kinds of micronutrients. these are just a couple of examples of how the ancestral eating is helping to keep me slim and trim.

well, my coffee cup is empty and needs refilling. miles is shredding a magazine now and looks like he’s about to start trying to eat it. ruth and joel are getting restless, beginning to feud, and chomping at the bit for oatmeal, so I should probably go. enjoy your day and this rare (for this year) winter snow. it really is beautiful.

i don’t have anything brilliant to say

so, what else is new? I mean, not that I don’t have about a zillion and one thoughts moshing inside my headspace like 24/7. I do. I just don’t have anything chomping at the bit for me to put it down here in blog form. I have nothing prepared. I’m sure you know the feeling.

I could update you a bit on how the new “ancestral diet” is progressing. well, I can say I’ve made enough chicken stock over the past two months or so to drown an army. or feed one. I’m now very familiar with chicken anatomy. enough anyway that I’m pretty sure I can de-meat (that’s a word, right?) an entire carcass without flipping out that I missed a bone. I can also say that I had a set-up rigged in my kitchen all night extracting whey from some yogurt that was wrapped in a dish towel and suspended with kitchen twine above a bowl. I discarded the whey, simply because I don’t have room for it in the few storage containers I have left. I’m already at a loss as to what to do with the amount of whey I already have. the leftover super-condensed yogurt, or “homemade cream cheese” is what I was really lusting after anyway. now I finally have enough of the stuff to try and make the all raw cheese cake. fingers crossed the thing comes together after all of this waiting and prep. I can also say that on my dining room table right now, I’ve got some whole wheat flour soaking in yogurt at room temp that I am supposedly going to find time today to mix with some other stuff, roll out and bake in the oven in order to make homemade crackers. supposedly. next to that, I’ve got my next batch of “creme fraiche” which sounds really fancy but is actually just cream inoculated with buttermilk bacteria and left to its own devices at room temp for a while until the whole thing is just swarming with bacteria (that’s a good thing). homemade sour cream. soured cream, basically.

do I feel different? maybe. a little lighter in the change purse, i’ll tell you that much. these organic, free range, gmo free, grass fed, pastured animal by-products don’t come cheap. I’ve had to do a lot of personal psychotherapy regarding my grocery bill. the lady whose cookbook I’m using says to spend less on needless things and outings, and invest more in my family’s nutrition. makes sense. that’s how I try to think about it. mostly it seems to work except for those few agonizing minutes of watching everything ring up, handing over my card, and then for maybe ten or fifteen minutes there afterwards. then I usually shake it off or just get distracted by something else. usually something small and loud and demanding. kids are great at taking your mind off of…pretty much everything. (the things you WANT to be thinking of along with the things you don’t).

I think I feel different. I’ve noticed a dip in my cravings for sugar, for instance. I’ve read that is a sign of nutrient deficiency (craving sugar). so, maybe I’m getting nutrients that I’ve been lacking for…decades. I think I feel good. what’s more, I feel like I’m doing something worthwhile for my kids, really trying to give them a good start in life. Rudolf steiner (father of the philosophy that gave rise to waldorf schools) divides childhood up into 3-4 seven-year periods of development. each has its own focus. the first one (0-7) is the physical body.

so that would all be great if my kids actually ate the strange things that I am making. I swear, if they manage to finagle another meal of plain bread and cheese sticks after I’ve spent hours preparing something wholesome and nutritious…well, they eat some of it. and at least miles is reaping the benefits through my breast milk because I’m eating it.

I could write about how we’ve been sick around here for almost two months straight. that’s been fun. I’m sure you’d love to read about joel throwing up in bed all over the sheets and the kids spending DAYS watching the same dora video on our laptop over and over and over again. that’s good stuff. can I get a literary award for that?

or I could write about a recent day trip we took to some indoor botanical gardens. or I could write about the giant cardboard doll houses we’ve been working on for weeks that is the main focus of our play these days. or I could write about the fact that ruth drew a picture of strawberry shortcake for one of those terrible kids magazines and was all anxious when she asked me if I thought it was going to be published (so freakin’ cute), or how she made a card and wrapped some kind of present for miles upcoming seven-month birthday and then whispered in my ear about it because she didn’t want him to overhear and “get too excited” about it. I could write about how joel spends many hours (seems like) of the day in miles doorway jumper, bouncing to music on the radio. or how he plays with his toys cars pretty much any free moment and wears gymnastics leotards all day even though our house is freezing in my opinion and his arms and legs are coated in goosebumps. or I could write about how miles is a freakin’ buddha baby, he is the most calm, peaceful person I think I have ever met and what I would have imagined the dalai lama to be like as an infant. I could write about the fact that he almost never cries (compared with the other two as babies) and that he is super chunky with a glowing orange halo around his little cherubic head. i tell him he’s the last one so he has to remain a baby forever. I don’t think he’s listening.

I could write about the fact that neither joel nor miles will stay asleep for more than a few minutes usually if I get out of bed. it’s a freakin’ miracle that they are not both up right now. usually miles would be in his little rocker-thingy nearby while joel would more than likely be on my lap as I type, overtired, needing more sleep, thumb securely in mouth, messy hair askew.

well, I think I’ve pretty much covered everything. that’s life right now. the moshers have calmed themselves for a moment. thanks for tuning in.