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    The Most Fierce





    And though she be but little, she is fierce!

    ~William Shakespeare

     

    I don't recall ever reading A Midsummer Night’s Dream, so maybe that's why I didn't recognize this quote right away when I first read it. Yet, once I had, I couldn't shake it - as it brought my thespian daughter so clearly to mind. She exists with wild abandon; energy, enthusiasm, verve - she lives each moment to its very fullest potential. So, it is with her vivacity in mind, I decided to make this one Shakespearian line into a print, as an homage to her; my little girl, the actor, and the most fierce of all. 

     

     

    Posted: Oct 31 2012, 11:16 by kelly | Comments (0) RSS comment feed |
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    Bedtime Connection





    Today, I'm writing at Natural Parents Network about nighttime parenting in a post called Bedtime Connection. Here's an excerpt:

    "I know it can be challenging to lie down at the end of a long day with your kids — when you may be thinking of a million and one things you’d like to get done in the limited time you may have between their bedtime and yours. But, there’s nothing so important as connection with your children.

    This evening, try taking a bit of time to relax, cuddle, and just listen after you say goodnight, but before you leave the room. Be open to what your kids have to say in the dark — without judgment, without routines and schedules, without places to be or things to do. You may be pleasantly surprised at what you learn about them — and about yourself. Remember it’s fleeting, this time with our kids. Embrace it while you can."


    (photo credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/52193278@N00/) 

    To read the entire post, please visit the Natural Parents Network site... and have a look around. There are some really amazing mothers sharing their experiences with gentle, natural, intuitive parenting.

    For more things I've written on sleep, have a look here.

    Posted: Oct 29 2012, 11:06 by kelly | Comments (0) RSS comment feed |
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    Go to Your Baby





    Don't stand unmoving outside the door of a crying baby whose only desire is to touch you. Go to your baby.

    ~Peggy O'Mara

     

    The latest article from Time magazine on baby sleep has me upset. (Of course, it does seem that's what they're aiming for recently. Remember the skerfuffle they caused over the "scandalous" breastfeeding cover?) The thing with this particular article however, is that it goes a step further than just ruffling feathers, or causing a stir. I'm afraid it may take what many parents may be on the edge of doing, and give them that little push over. What am I talking about? 

    Crying it out.

    Crying it out, or controlled crying, is the practice of leaving your baby to cry herself to sleep - usually at gradually increasing timed intervals - in an effort to "train" her to sleep on her own. Forced independence. There are myriad books and websites and doctors and parents and websites that will help steel you against your babies cries, encourage you to "be tough", and "not give in", leading you to believe that overriding your natural, instinctual NEED to GO to your crying baby, is the right thing to do... in order to "prevent spoiling your baby".

    (photo source:http://www.flickr.com/photos/iskir/)

    Have you ever listened to your baby cry, when you couldn't get to her? Maybe you were in another room, helping an older sibling, or driving your car. It's uncomfortable, physically difficult, painful even. If you're breastfeeding, your breastmilk may letdown, you start breathing faster, your heartrate picks up, you sweat, feel nervous, uncomfortable, unable to focus or settle down. You have those responses because you NEED to go to your baby - it's biologically part of your make up, that connection with your infant. She needs to communicate, just like you need to listen. She's not manipulating you, and you're not giving in, you're both just doing what you're supposed to do to help this tiny human thrive and survive. Without that inadvertant response, our species might be in danger. So, why does this Time magazine article suggest that it's OKAY to leave your baby to cry?

    Because I believe as a society we've come to lose faith in ourselves as baby interpreters. We don't trust our baby's ability to communicate, nor our ability to respond. We don't believe that they'll learn how to sleep unless WE  "do something" to get them there. And yet… we don't actively TEACH our children to talk. We don't TRAIN our children to walk. We trust they'll come to do that on their own. I believe it is time to start trusting that our babies will learn to sleep just as they learn to walk and talk - with gentle encouragement, empathy, guidance, honor, and love.

    It comes down to trust. It's time to start trusting yourselves again, parents. Trust your baby. She knows how to communicate, and you know how to listen to her. You know deep down what FEELS right. Honor that feeling, don't ignore it! You WILL learn each others' language, and baby WILL sleep; it doesn't take training or timers or turning a deaf ear.

    (photo source:http://www.flickr.com/photos/dianabeato/)

    Believe me: this short time when she's not sleeping as much as you'd like…It WILL be gone in a flash. And you will feel SO GOOD to know you LISTENED to her when she cried for you, that you HONORED her feelings, that you TRUSTED yourself AND her. Don't let "studies" sway you.

    You want to go to your baby. So, go to her.

     

    Posted: Oct 23 2012, 23:39 by kelly | Comments (12) RSS comment feed |
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    Vegan Cinnamon French Toast





    French toast is something we LOVE on the weekends around here; easy, delicious, and a great way to use up stale bread. The trick, after becoming vegan, was to find a way to mimic the delicious crustiness that traditional egg-and-milk French toast has, without, of course, using egg and milk. After many tries, I think I've come up with a share-worth recipe.

     

    2 cups unsweetened coconut milk

    2 Tbs flour

    2 tsp maple syrup

    1/2 tsp vanilla extract

    1/2 tsp cinnamon

    1/4 tsp nutmeg

    12 - 16 thickly-sliced bread (stale sourdough is the BEST - the holes really soak up the flavors; in this picture I used whole wheat French - really, any stale bread works!)

     

    Heat your pan/griddle to medium low heat, and coat well with oil or margarine. Combine the first 5 ingredients in a shallow dish - whisk together well to break up the flour chunks. Dip a piece of bread in the mixture, then quickly flip to coat the second side, then right to the griddle. The trick here is not to SOAK your bread, but not undercoat either - a nice in-between. Flip when the edges start to bubble a bit; they're done when both sides are nicely browned. Top several slices with sliced bananas or strawberries, syrup, and cinnamon.

     

    Enjoy!

     

    For a few more vegan & vegetarian recipes... visit my recipe section.

     

    Posted: Oct 21 2012, 23:26 by kelly | Comments (3) RSS comment feed |
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    A Dream Within a Dream





    All that we see or seem
    Is but a dream within a dream.

    ~Edgar Allen Poe

     

    It's unnerving how your children have the ability to ask you questions that you haven't quite - at 37 years old - come to a determination about yourself yet. Astute questions. Meaning-of-life type questions.

    "Mom," my daughter asked offhandedly, "what if this is all a dream?"

    "Oh?" I say, with as much nonchalance as I could muster. Maybe... I was hoping, maybe she wouldn't continue this train of thought. Truth be told, I was disarmed.

    Have you seen Inception*?

    "I mean," she says, to clarify for her momentarily-yet-intentionally-obtuse Mother, "what if, when wake in the morning we're not really waking. What if we are still sleeping, and everything we're doing is a dream we're having?"

    "That would be something!" I said. Way to be articulate, Mom.

    "Yeah," she continued, undeterred by my decidedly inarticulate responses, "because then how would we know what's REAL, Mom?"

    "I don't know," hey, at least I can fall back on honesty, "that's an interesting thought. Maybe because we're all here? Or, am I dreaming too? Whose dream IS this?"

     

    "Maybe we're all dreaming Mom."

     

    Children, it seems, possess a deeper understanding of the universe.

    *If you haven't seen Inception, you should see Inception.

    Posted: Oct 20 2012, 00:45 by kelly | Comments (3) RSS comment feed |
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