Here on the frontier, There are falling leaves, Although my neighbors are all barbarions…And you? You are a thousand miles away. There are always two cups on my table.

Posts tagged ‘Raising children today’

Natural Childbirth: Hypnobirthing (Mom 2.0)

At the tail end of middle age,

here I am.

My eldest child, just now expecting her first child.

I am a grandmom twice.

This child having her own will complete a circle that I have waited for quite sometime.

My girl China, who made me into a mother.

Seeing her now take the place as mother to her own,

now that’s something special.

I will attend her at birth as I have with the other daugher and daughter-in-law,

and have done with hundreds of other babies over the past 18 years or so as a doula.

I have attended hypnobirths, Bradley births, c-sections, stillbirths and of course medicated births.

In hospital, at home and at birthing centers.

I have given birth 6 times myself plus one stillbaby born too soon.

All unmedicated births.

The last 3 using hypnotherapy.

I won’t claim to be an authority but I have a bit of experience under my belt,

so to speak.

China, invited me to her hypnobirth class.

I agreed.

A few couples sat in a semi darkened room with a candle lit.

The instructor sat cross-legged on a footstool with a pashmina across her shoulders like a prayer shawl,

and her hair hanging loose to her mid back,

a good look when you are 30.

Not so much at 55.

She proceeded to speak on birth without pain of any kind.

The contractions as “surges” and pushing as “so yesterday”.

Now as I mentioned I am all for Hypnobirthing.

I think it’s extremely helpful in attaining a natural childbirth if that’s the woman’s wish.

I held my tongue as she led the women through the “full dilation” (or pushing stage of labor) breathing.

“Ladies”, she quietly sang, “You gently breathe in, and breathe out,there is no drama of pushing ,or people coaching you to push your baby out, your baby comes out all on its own with no more effort than your gentle breath.”

Okay, I was done holding my tongue.

I can tolerate varying opinions and means to an end in getting babies born, but telling a group of first time expectant mothers that they won’t have to push their babies out, and that the experience will be pain-free is just plain horsepee.

It will be a sad day for these women when their babies descend low into their pelvis towards birth.

The time when the tendons stretch, and tissues, (it doesn’t matter if you massage in a gallon of evening primrose oil) stretch and often tear with the scope of the coming skull.

I’m not talking perineum here I mean the vaginal canal.

Never mind the “Ring of fire” (straight from a hypnobirth training manual to describe when the head emerges from mom’s body).

“Ring of Fire”

Hello!!!

It’s not called that for nothing!

Hypnobirthing can absolutely get a woman through labor and delivery with much “less pain” then just muscling through the contractions.

But pain-free it ain’t.

“Madam”, I said,”I have attended hundreds of births of all kinds and the disservice you are doing to this group of women appalls me.
Never in all my experience has even the most calm,the most ‘in control’ woman who has used hypnobirth didn’t say post-birth that it was the hardest thing she had ever done.”

I felt my daughter’s hand on my arm.

I was embarrassing her in front of her teacher and classmates.

“With all due respect”,I finished.

We left the class into the cold of the Silver Spring night.

I apologized to China who walked arm-in-arm with her husband.

“I couldn’t abide seeing you lied to,” I said,” Having a baby is going to be the greatest day of your life, a day you never forget, I won’t have someone build you up ridiculous expectations that may leave you feeling afterward like your body failed you.
That if you do end up choosing to take an epidural you will have failed at childbirth.
You are going to have 18 years to raise this child.
This is only one day in your life. Whether she comes natural, by epidural or section she is going to be the same baby. ”

“The truth is giving birth hurts.”

There I said it.

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The Wedding Dress

Sitting in the back,
of the cedar closet.

I can remember when we bought it.

We couldn’t afford it.

So much money,
for one dress,
for one wearing,
for one day.

But she wanted it.

And she looked like an angel.

Now the photographs of her,
wearing the dress,
are hidden.

The memories of that day,
never mentioned.

The man she had brought to me,
to love as a son…

I don’t even know,
where he is now.
But I still think of him.

And the dress,
now brings only,
sad feelings,
of dreams dashed.

We have such high hopes for all of them,
our children.

We try to be resilient,
in their ever changing lives,
I say to my friends,
“I get them married then take cover.”

Their daddy and I,
We love them,
and break for them,
our “usual suspects”.

What more can we do?
But sell the last unhappy remnant,
the last sad memory,
on Ebay,
or Craigslist,
to some unsuspecting people.
Who just want a bargain,
and whose hopes and dreams
are intact.

That’s life,
I guess,
in the fast lane.

Watch the curves!

And don’t forget,
to pray for those,
who get lost,
along the way.

Of Mice And Men, Women And Children

Don’t let this video scare you the mouse wins!

I have been trying to help Rose with one of her college courses.

Psycho-analytical BS I think it’s called.

She has to read this book, Geo-political Architechture.

Just reading it is a challenge.

Understanding it a puzzle.

Some pompous, ESL meshuganeh definitely wrote it.

Translating English to English pain in the …

So there we are.

Cuddled up in bed, me reading, her looking somewhat dazed,

doodling on a notesheet.

Then we heard it.

Skittering little rodent feet across the ceiling.

OMG, I hate mice.

Nervy fellow kept running back and forth.

Rose said, “Don’t worry Ma it’s just one, we’ll get ’em.”

But you know the old saying, “If you see one there are ten.”

I hope they are mice and not rats…

Next day I’m off to Home Depot and perusing the kill section of the warehouse…nice.

Do I want to go guillotine and snap they little brains out or glue their little mouse feet to a board and watch them slowly die of starvation.

The little houses with poison inside, reminiscent of some Grimm’s Fairytale looks interesting.

“I was trapped in the witch’s house with no escape and nought to eat but a bit of funky smelling peanut butter.

Oh God I hate mice.

I went with a dozen snap traps.

But mice are smart.
Smarter then we humans realize.

I set the traps in groups of 4 along the walls where the small fur devils have been hanging out and although there are new sh#t bits the traps are not sprung.

So you want to play rough huh?

I devise a home-made trap with a bucket of water laced with bait and a dowel for easy access up the side for them to climb and take the fatal dive into the bucket.

Hopefully this will fool the ones who have been around for a while and are well acquainted with aforementioned old-fashioned snap traps.

I can hear them in their homes telling their young, “..and never ever go near those dumb-ass wooden squares you see around… But there is a bucket with food in it that looks like fun kids!”

I hate mice.

So it’s day four of the mouse kill.

No catches yet.

I get up early to start breakfast for the troops.

Let Cujo out to do his business.

Drink a quiet cup of coffee listening to Hoo start to stir in his crib.

Perhaps we and the mice can co-exist peacefully.

They are just mice for goodness sake.

Just wanting a warm place for the winter and some spilled dog food to eat.

As a child I even had a few as pets.

As I sip my coffee before the day officially starts memories of Michael Jackson singing “Ben” come to mind.

“Flowers For Algernon.”

And I realize with a start,

I can’t kill these mice…

Then I hear 2 traps snap shut in quick succession behind the breakfront.

The last swallow of coffee goes down hard.

Yogurt Recipe!

When you feed a big family you cut corners where you can.

When you have a bunch that eats strictly organic it’s even more of a challenge to keep the food costs low.

Making your own yogurt is no more expensive than the milk it costs to make it.

It tastes great, can be mixed with honey or agave and fruit.

Hubby eats it everyday mixed with a drop of vanilla.

low-fat milk makes a firmer yogurt.

Higher fat milk makes a creamier yogurt.

The only kitchen tool you will need is a cooking thermometer.

Now eat like Hoo does and make yourself some healthy yogurt!

This is gmom and Hoo, and even Cujo coming to you from chilly B’more.

The leaves are fallin’ here.

It’s beautiful.

Be safe out there.

Heat up milk to 185 degree F. This is just to the point when milk starts to froth. You have to stir it constantly to make sure it doesn't scorch. Some people use a double boiler to avoid burning the milk but if you keep stirring you won't have a problem!

Heat milk to 185 F being careful not to burn it. Stir often and watch carefully.

Let milk cool down to 115 F before adding your starter yogurt.

Once the milk has cooled to 115 F stir in 2 tablespoons of plain yogurt containing active yogurt cultures.

Pour cooled milk now infused with active yogurt cultures into clean containers.

Hoo is helping to put the heating pad into the bottom of the cooler and covering that with a dishtowel. Hoo loves his organic homemade yogurt!

Put your covered yugurt into the cooler to set on top of a heating pad set on low. The yogurt must be kept warm at a temperature at about 110 F.

Once the yogurt containers are in the cooler turn the heating pad on low. It will take 7 hours for the yogurt to culture and set.

Leave the yogurt to set for at least 7 hours. It will be custard like. The longer you leave it beyond 7 hours the more tangy it becomes. You may notice a slightly greenish fluid on top. That's normal and safe. You can pour it off or stir it into your yogurt before eating.

You Don’t Have To Be A Pastry Chef To Make Linzer Cookies!(5 Ingredients!)

Linzer cookies are a classic holiday dessert cookie.

They are delicate, crisp, buttery cookies with a jelly filling.

Enjoy this simple version of a European treat and your family will be

wowed and thanking you.

It’s the bakery cookie you love to look at and can’t stop eating with it’s tempting not too sweet, melt in your mouth crumb, to the sticky chew of the filling.

This cookie begs for a cup of Earl Grey.

When our babes were little, Hubby and I would hide the Linzers until the kids were asleep and eat them slowly by ourselves. They were too good to be stuffed into little mouths.

When the kids got older they learned to help make them with me and earned the privilege of eating the fruits of their labor.

But old habits die hard.

Little Hoo gets a tea biscuit while I savor a Linzer.

Someday Hoo-bear….

The elegant and delicious Linzer cookie

Tayna’s Linzer Cookies
———————————

1 cup of butter or margarine

2 tablespoons vanilla extract

1 cup confectionary sugar

2 cups flour

Jam or jelly flavor of your choice

Directions:

Put room temperature butter, vanilla, sugar and flour in a food processor.

Pulse until all ingredients are combined.


Mixture will form a sticky ball in bowl of food processor.

Put this dough into the refrigerator for one hour or until you are ready to make the cookies.

Roll the dough out on a floured surface to 1/4 inch thickness.

You will need to flour the top of the dough as well as the rolling pin.

This is a delicate cookie dough and sticks easily so don’t hesitate to toss the flour at it to keep it from sticking and tearing.

Using a cookie cutter or shot glass cut out cookie shapes.

Make a small hole in half of the cookies.

Place cookies on an ungreased cookie sheet in a 350 F oven for 10 minutes.

Allow to cool completely before transferring to your work surface.

Put one scant teaspoon of jam or jelly on each of the whole cookie rounds.

(The ones without the center cutouts.)

Take a cookie with a center hole and put it on top of the jelly pressing gently.

You can finish your cookie with a dusting of confectionary sugar.

…and there you have it!

Your beautiful Linzer cookies ready for a holiday table or any occasion.

This is gmom and Cujo, and Hoo- dee- doo, wishing all the WPer’s out there
a happy Thanksgiving.

May God bless you all and keep you safe.

Easy Fried Chicken With Hooter’s Hot Wing Sauce

You can pour the sauce over your fried chicken or use it as a dipping sauce on the side.

Here’s my truth.

Almost every night before I fall asleep I get a little hungry,

and wish there was some fried chicken in the house.

Sometimes I even think about where my husband might be on his pickups around Maryland and D.C. pumping out waste oil from closed restaurants and wonder if calling him to pick up some fried chicken on his way home at 3 a.m. would be thoughtless.

Kinda.

I lie there hungry and wondering how the hell did Jay Leno get the Tonite Show back

and what is Conan doin’ now???

Hungry…hungry,hungry…

Just me and my chapstick and ROC age defying night cream.

Did I smear enough on?

I’m hungry..

Why didn’t The Chef bring anything over to eat!!!! (I whine to myself)

When he has leftovers from a catering job I am often the fortunate recipient and can be found snarfing over trays of picked over hor dourves.

Pigs in blankets.

Yummy!

This 6 foot tall Chef, whose first words were,”No you shut up.”

He turned out swell.

But tonite…oh yes tonite!!!

Let there be late night indigestion!!!!!

Fried chicken!!!!!

(Easy style it’s a work night.)


Ingredients:

2 pounds of chicken parts

2 cups of flour

1 teaspoon of baking powder

1 tablespoon of salt

1 teaspoon of pepper

1 teaspoon of garlic

1 teaspoon of paprika

1 teaspoon of cumin

2 tablespoons of sugar

—————————-
Directions:

In a large bowl mix all the dry ingredients and then toss the chicken pieces in the mix.

Let sit in the fridge for at least an hour so batter will stick to chicken.

floured chicken ready to sit in the fridge for 90 minutes or so. Time gets that thin crust to stick good.

Heat a pot of oil to 350 F.

Carefully lower in a few pieces of chicken at a time.

Do not crowd the chicken (or the pieces won’t crisp they will steam).

Fry the chicken until the pieces are golden brown and the juices run clear when pierced

with a fork.

It don’t get no easier than this!

Now here is a dipping sauce that will make your chicken taste just like

Hooter’s hot wings!

HOT WING SAUCE HOOTER’S STYLE
———————————–

1 stick of butter or margarine

1/2 cup of hot sauce

1 teaspoon pepper

1 teaspoon garlic

Put butter, hot sauce, pepper and garlic in a saucepan and heat through. Pour over fried chicken or use as a dipping sauce.

Mixing up the Hooter's style hot wing sauce.

As an alternative add 3 tablespoons brown sugar in to the sauce recipe.

Great flavor for those who like sweet and hot.

So there you go!

Your week night fast and easy fried chicken recipe with hot sauce.

Make some mashed potatoes and peas on the side and you are good to go!

This is gmom and Cujo wishing all the working WPer’s out there a safe week!

In The Morning My House Looks Like The Bar Scene From Star Wars. (Recipe For Breakfast Bars)

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It’s 3 a.m.

I hear the front door open and close.

Work boots pass over head.

Then a chair scrapes the floor.

Bart‘s home.

He stocking foots it to the laundry room where he strips off his oily work clothes.

I hear the shower go on….off.

He heads to bed for a few brief hours of sleep,  with the tv on.

I slip back into a semi-sleep until Hoo wakes at 6.

I hear Hoo’s bottle hit the floor around 6:30.

The signal he is up and ready for company.

This morning the kitchen looks like the bar scene from “Star Wars”.

It’s a busy day in the biofuel business.

Everyone is on deck.

The center of the constellation is the bossman.

My husband.

The most interesting, constantly evolving  person I know.

He drinks a coffee and nurses a morning headache but always keeps an upbeat attitude.

He sits in the dining room and reads the Wall Street Journal.

Bart rolls out of bed bare-chested in pajama pants and heads for the coffee.

He’s eats a big breakfast.

Eggs and steak or 3 grill cheeses.

Jonesy  knocks at the door ever polite, our fix it man, only 22 like Bart.

All smiles,

happy to make it for breakfast.

He eats whatever I put in front of him.

Genady, the Russian worker is smoking outside.

He never comes in the house.

I’ve stopped trying to get him to come in and instead let Bart take food out to him.

I wave and say “Morning” to him but all he says with his big smile is,

“Nice day,nice day”.

10 years in America and still no speakee English, yeah right!

Edward Norton‘s diatribe from “25th Hour” passes through my head when I see Genady and I wonder if he’s done time and that’s why he won’t come inside.

The last of the motley crew is Aldy, young and shy, and always stinking of trap grease.

I question Bart,

“Are you pouring oil over his head? How is he getting so filthy?”

“Aldy go change your clothes and take a shower man!”

He does and comes back with his thick hair slicked back.

Much better.

We are cornering the market on Tide and Oxyclean.

So another day begins as they all pile out to the trucks.

Genady and Bart lingering over coffee and a cigarette by their truck.

Waving to Hoo who stands by the screen door waving and calling to them.

I pick him up.

Come on big boy.

Time to get dressed.

These breakfast bars although not healthy enough to replace a well-balanced breakfast are good enough in a pinch or for those who won’t eat breakfast.

They make a great mid-morning snack too.

As you adjust the recipe to suit your own tastes just be aware that the recipe does not do well with flax or flax-seed or with drier cereals like chex.

Have a great week WP kids.

Be safe out there.

If you see an oil truck on the B’more streets be kind to them.

They are my boys!

Breakfast Bars

————————-

2 cups brown sugar  

1 cup peanut butter

1 cup butter

1/2 cup water

2 tablespoons vanilla extract

2 eggs

2 and 1/4 cups flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

1 and 1/2 cup rolled oats

1 and 1/2 cup raisins

1 cup chocolate chips

6 cups Honey Nut Cheerios

1.Preheat oven to 375 F

2. In a large bowl mix the sugar, peanut butter, water, vanilla, and eggs.

Combine the flour, baking soda and salt.

Mix into the batter.

Mix in oats, raisins, chocolate chips.

Bars unbaked by the 1/2 to 3/4 cupfuls on the bake sheet

Carefully stir in the cereal.

Drop 1/2 cupfuls of batter onto ungreased cookie sheet leaving space between bars.

3. Bake for 12-14 minutes until bars are browned at edges.

Let cool completely on cookie sheet before moving to storage bags.

Terrific Breakfast Bars with Coffee

This is gmom, Cujo and family,

Peace out.

 

Cujo not allowed in the kitchen with so many people underfoot

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