Friday, June 11, 2010

Naomi and Caleb, best friends already.
No seriously, Naomi just adores her little brother. It is more than I could have asked for. I fully expected this once only child-princess crazed three year old to be just a stab jealous of her ultra cuddly (and a bit more demanding) brother. Instead, she rubs his little head and talks to him in "baby talk" exclaiming "he's so precious' and "I love my brother!" My heart melts.

Latest news: because it is June and my last post was February:

We switched out the Michael Jackson Cd in our car to ABC Bible verses. When Naomi started requesting "Dirty Dianna" I realized there was perhaps something more wholesome I could use to influence her little sponge of a mind. Now instead of singing "I've got the stuff that you want, I am the thing that you need..." we bop to "be kind to one another". Go mom!

Our Third Studio (Yes! Health and Wholeness is expanding!) is taking FOREVER. Apparently, in property management speak, June means September.

I learned the key to roasting a perfect chicken is 400degrees and a stabbed-lemon stuffed in its cavity...350 was not cutting it.

Homemade popsicles are wonderful with coconut milk! My latest fav, Mocha pops!: 1 can coconut milk, 1/2 cup cocoa, 1/2 cup maple syrup, 1TBS honey and a splash of that mornings decaf coffee.

Coconut oil may work as a natural sunblock for dark skinned people in India who have been working in a field since they were 8years old, but not for my ultra pale-havn't seen the sun since last September-husband, who got extremely sunburnt because his wife insisted "honey! I read about this, in India, they..." Poor guy.

Oh, and I went to a natural dentist for a cleaning (amazing!) and a quote as to what it would cost to get all 9 amalgam fillings (yes, my childhood dentist retired at age 35 because of me) removed and replaced. It will be expensive, but not nearly as bad as I imagined. Will be well worth it. I do the procedure after I am done breast feeding Caleb. The mercury can be released into your system, and they require a major blood detox after the procedure. Go detox! THAT I will blog about for sure!

Camping trip coming up in July.

...and that is about it folks...I realize now why there has been no posts since February.


Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Caleb at two months

He is already getting so big! I am just savoring every minute of this infant stage, because I know it will be gone before I know it!
We Love you Caleb!

Sunday, February 28, 2010

and the not so delicious healthy meal:

Liver. That is , the liver of a cow.
This huge package of animal parts have been sitting in the back of my fridge since the month I found out I was pregnant with Caleb and decided I needed to integrate all the health building benefits of liver into my diet. ( A four-ounce serving of calf's liver provides an amazing 689.8% of the daily value for vitamin B12, 215.2% of the DV for folate, 129.4% of the DV for riboflavin, and 28.0% of the DV for B6, and 48.0% of the DV for niacin.)
a great that never was actually realized. The minor detail I forgot was that I
a.) had NO idea how to cook liver and
b.) that there is nothing I have ever tasted that repulses me more than the grainy texture and rich gagging aroma of this warm organ.
During the snow storm of 2010 here in Virginia we let our freezer supply get little low, and so I re-discovered this item and decided I either needed to cook it or throw it away. Throwing it away felt wrong (although cooking it did as well-sigh).
Busted out Mark Bittman and followed his recipe, which called for lots of butter, a flour dredge, some sauteed celery and a quick pan sauté. Sounded doable.

Not to be dramatic, but this was the worst thing I have eaten in my entire life. Even a gallon of butter and a cup of salt, and 5 squeezed lemons couldn't distract my tastebuds enough.

I hated the idea of my innocent daughter being tainted by my strong opionons about liver. I wanted her to try it before we had any, in order for her to decide that it was delicious (and this way, I could give her my serving!).
I got her reaction below.
I think I will stick to my multivitamin. The cow can keep its liver next time.

Goin Vegetarian...for just one meal anyway.

Last year I completed a 6 month nutrition certification program at the Tulsi Holistic Living Center in Georgetown. Among the many fascinating things I learned was that Americans eat entirely too much animal protein. When, I realize that only a very small percentage of people are actually eating meat from clean-grass fed sources, it is easy to understand how this is a problem. Conventional meats, raised on grain diets, are typically more sickly animals. They are fed antibiotics and given growth hormones which directly affect those who consume them. The ratio of omega 6 to omega 3 fats is way out of whack which leads to inflammation in our bodies. Also, animal proteins, once digested, leave behind what is referred to as an "acid ash" . As the body attempts to re-alkanalize the blood, it must leach minerals from our reserves (bones) in order to establish stable PH levels in the blood. In other words, That five dollar foot long isn't as healthy as one would hope.
So, when my main message is GO ORGANIC, support local farms and always consume meat that is naturally raised to organic standards, I also got to thinking about how I can implement more vegetarian sources of protein into our family meals.
Some ideas such as combining brown rice with soaked beans in our burittos instead of always using ground beef, making bean and grain salads inspired by those found at the Whole Foods salad bar stand to add to our salads and adding sliced almonds and sunflower seeds to my rice pilaf.
However, my favorite weekly stand by:

Stock boiled Garlic LentilsSauteed Rainbow Chard and sauteed Rainbow Chard Stems (great texture and because who doesn't like eating something pink for dinner?!)
Creamed Yams with Cardamon.
Things like legumes, grains, nuts and seeds contain fiber, which helps clean out the pipes, unsaturated fats (please note, I am not saying that saturated fats from clean animals is a bad thing), and minerals which actually alkalize the blood! Furthermore, when a pound of grass-fed ground beef is $6 compared to two cups of french lentils for $1.20, we could spend a little less per meal here and there!
So here you have it. Our weekly go to-nonmeat-meal. It just occurred to me that I can't call this vegetarian when I am cooking my lentils in bone broth, a topic so very cool, it belongs in a blog post of its own!

Monday, February 15, 2010

Welcome Caleb!: My Son's Birth Story

Life with two children has been quite the transition. Well, I suppose it wouldn't be so bad if I had no expectations to get anything done during the day, or if I didn't find arriving on time somewhere to be of any importance. Between all 8 of Caleb's outfit changes because of something wet spewing out of either end, and Naomi's need to be 'just like mommy' with her purse filled with all the important accessories, making it out the door is quite the accomplishment on the list, just ahead of cleaning my bathroom!

Caleb is now 7 weeks old, and just when I thought I couldn't fall more in love, the little man learned how to smile. Eyes locked, big grin, cooing sound, and I am a gonner. Naomi thinks he is "just sooooo cute!" and I couldn't agree more.

He is also quite the considerate child. Although he was 6 days over due, when he decided it was time, he didn't dilly-dally! From the moment my water broke on the floor of my living room, to the time he was wrapped in a purple blanket (sorry kid!) in my arms, only an hour and 43 minutes had passed. Just topping Naomi's birth by 15 minutes. What can I say? We don't mess around :)

But seriously. I am so grateful for the experience and with every birth story I hear that involves hours of painful labor, contractions on top of each other, pushy nurses, long needles and numbing drugs, I recognize that my experience is not typical. To be fair, if most women choose to give birth at a hospital from a place of fear, I choose a home birth for the exact same reason; The smell, the germs, the busyness, the rules and regulations, just a few reasons why hospitals freak me out. After Naomi's two hour labor, I recognized that she was not too far off from being delivered in the back of our new jeep in the center median on the GW Parkway, cutting out the commute was definitely part of our baby#2 strategy.

So here we are, it is the evening of the 23rd of December. The entire Elliot family was staying over at our house for our Christmas celebration. The last few bites of lasagna had been scrapped from the pan and we were in the middle of discussing what the nights entertainment should be. Half of the room voted for Scattagories, the other half a movie, and with one little pop and a gush of water I got to override both options and we all headed upstairs to have a baby!

My family was a great help. They all scurried around making sure things were in order. The midwife was called, the sheets were on the bed, Stephens camera was set, the baby's outfit was tucked into the heating pad and plugged into the wall...The energy in the room was light and fun (and at that point, contractions were not too terrible), and everyone was placing bets on what time the baby would be born.As this was my second time in labor, it allowed me to put fear completely aside and just be present in what was happening to my body. Not in a weird zen-hypnotic sort of way, rather it was like I could experience every moment with more clarity and awareness than I remember with my first. I recall Joey asking me (because the entire family had front row seats on the couch in our bedroom) what a contraction felt like. Before answering him, I allowed one to grip a hold of me so I could give a good answer. While breathing like a powerlifter, relaxing my forehead, uncontrollably digging my fingernails into the palms of my hands, I quieted myself to really feel what my body was doing. My answer was not all that extraordinary but that a contraction felt just the way one would expect! That in every 30 second climb up the mountain of pain and back down, my body was opening up just a little more, allowing something that weighed about 9 pounds to bear down into the newly created space. I just stood there, legs wide, by the side of the bed, gripping onto Christian during the most painful moments, and laughing and talking with my family during the calm. My body was in complete rhythm, and as the song played, the beat got a little faster and the base a little louder.
The midwife arrived after an hour and 20 minutes. I remember hearing her sauntering up the staircase, casually commenting about how many stairs we had, greeting the family and contemplating the best place to put her things when suddenly her tone changed as she realized how close she was to missing this birth altogether! (later she told us that in the 1500 births she has assisted, mine was one of the fastest).

I was dilated to an 8 already, my contractions were hard and very close together. About 10 minutes passed and we were to the point when it was time to push. She had me lie back on my side, a position that I later learned was intended to slow the birth down. This is when I started to realize how quickly it all was happening. After my first or second hard push I freaked out, suddenly feeling a wave of fear and self-consciousness grip hold of me, I demanded everyone to leave the room immediately. A dejected group of people rushed into the hallway. My birth assistant apparently knew exactly what I was going through. She quietly calmed me down, praised how I was doing, gave me some breathing techniques, then said in the tone of voice of a mother asking her toddler to hold her hand while crossing the street,
"the head is here, I know how important it was for you that your family see this, would you like to invite them back in?"
Oh yes, that is right! This is it! I am giving birth!
"this is the cool part!"
I remember exclaiming,
"guys, come on in!"
One by one, all 7 of them filed back into the room, and in one hard push I felt instant relief as the contractions halted and a perfect and slimy baby was placed on my chest. I remember Heidi being the first to notice "You have a boy!" The look on my husbands face was utter joy.
The next several minutes were spent getting situated. The midwife pulling my top down so the boy could have 'skin to skin' time, my husband kindly trying to protect my modesty with the family in view, the baby's imbelical chord getting snipped by dad, pillows propped up, blankets re-arranged, baby getting jostled so it could give out a good cry...and at last, I could relax, take a deep breath and meet my new baby boy.

I would say that the benefit of having a home birth really proved itself from here out. We were home, in the comfort of our own bed, surrounded by family, never separated from our baby and given time to truly savor what had just happened. My birth assistant (who finally arrived 10 minutes after he was born) went into my own kitchen to prepare me a platter of organic fruit, herbed turky, olives and raw cheese (good luck finding food that good in a hospital!) The lights in our room were dim as my husband and I snuggled with our newest little Elliot and prayed Gods abundance over our first son. There were no interruptions, no monitors, no twin sized bed, no 'strangers' popping in to check charts, no tubes in my arms or people behind a curtain, no explaining to 5 different people why were opting out of the antibiotic eye cream, and the synthetic vitamin K shot.
Overall, the entire experience was fantastic. At about 2am the house quieted down and we all drifted off to sleep, our new baby snuggled between us in our bed. The next day was Christmas eve and the start of our very special Christmas celebration when a Son was born, when a child was given.

Monday, December 14, 2009

baby is almost here!

...not that any one is out there, but I needed to do this, log onto this poor abandoned blog and just write SOMETHING!
To get myself in the groove, ready for a new year, a new baby and a a fantastic new blog coming your way: committed to bringing friends and family up to date with all the happenings at the Elliot house hold, as well as all the new wonderful things I am learning on my "holistic family living" journey.

SO much has been happening since I dropped my blog ball.
I will do my best to fill in the gaps in the months ahead.

For now, I mean, for this week, I plan on delivering baby number two in the comfort of my own bedroom, with my entire family (yes, we have a couch in our room for optimal sideline viewing) present. Pregnancy has gone incredibly well and I have nothing to complain about, other than I am ready to kiss this little baby on the cheeks rather than feel its heel in my ribcage :)

So, stay tuned. I've got a new computer, a renewed excitement to blog and a little more determination to stay with it :)

Much love,


Monday, July 6, 2009