Thursday, July 27, 2006

This Week...

What we ate this week...
Pork Chops with Gorgonzola and Pears (yummy and fast!!)--recipe below
Thai takeout
Turkey Chili Mac and Corn Muffins (the kids made this dinner)
Sweet and Sour Beef (crockpot meal)
Hot Ham and Cheese Sandwiches
Grilled Salmon
Pasta with Tomato Sauce
Whole Wheat French Toast
Lots of Salad and fresh veggies and fruit

What we read this week...
The baby...Hey! Wake Up! Winnie the Pooh Collection (ok, he ate these books)
The 2 -year-old...Monster Muffins, Elmo's Counting Game, What Bounces?
The 9-year-old...Babysitter's Club, Nickeloden Magazine
The Mom...A Simple Plan by Scott Smith (this was great!) and Parenting and People Magazines

Pork Chops with Gorgonzola and Pears
Source: Better Homes and Gardens, July 2006
Prep: 10 minutesCook: 20 minutes

4 pork rib chops, cut 3/4 to 1 inch thick
Sea salt, kosher salt, or salt
2 Tbsp. olive oil
2 medium ripe pears, peeled, cored; each pear cut into 8 wedges
2 Tbsp. butter
1/4 cup dry white wine or apple juice
1/4 cup whipping cream
8 oz. creamy Gorgonzola or blue cheese, cut up
Freshly ground black pepper
Additional Gorgonzola cheese, cut into chunks (optional)

1. Sprinkle pork chops with salt. In a 12-inch skillet cook pork chops in hot oil over medium heat for 5 minutes. Turn chops and cook 5 minutes more or until browned and juices run clear (160 degrees F). Transfer chops to a serving platter. Drain fat from skillet.
2. In same skillet cook pear wedges in butter over medium-high heat for 5 minutes or until browned, turning once. Add pears to platter.
3. For sauce, add wine and cream to skillet. Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Boil gently, uncovered, 1 to 2 minutes until slightly thickened. Add the 8 ounces Gorgonzola; whisk until cheese is almost melted. Remove from heat. Serve with pork and pears. Sprinkle with pepper; serve with additional cheese. Makes 4 servings.

Breast is Best


Ok, I didn't really think so but I am becoming a bit of a Breastfeeding Nazi. I was breastfed and I breastfeed my kids. Almost all the women in my family have breastfed their children as well. I didn't even debate it when I had my kids. I honestly don't think there is a debate...breastfeeding is the best choice.

We are mammals...because we feed our young with our own milk. Women are made it do this...this is the purpose of breasts (sorry, it is not to make sex more fun). Babies were made to eat it. And humans have been doing it since the creation of humans. Formula wasn't invented until 1867 (by Nestle)!

Now, I understand that their is a small, very small percentage of mothers that truly cannot breastfeed. And since their is an alternative to breastfeeding, it is a woman's choice. But I am amazed that only about 65% of mothers leave the hospital breastfeeding and by six months only about 30% and only 10% at one year*. Now, the American Academy of Pediatrics** recommends breastfeeding for 2 years and in most cultures where children are allowed to nurse as long as they want or need to, they usually self-wean between 3-4 years--yes, YEARS!

And breastfeeding in there's an issue. In most states, 41, women and children are protected by law to nurse in public. And if a public place denies a woman and nursling this will probably hear about in the news (recently Target and Victoria's Secret). Of course I nurse in public. I am as discret as possible and most of the time people don't even know it has happened. But if you look over and what. Baby's gotta eat. Or would you rather he scream in hunger.

Extended breastfeeding (typically nursing after 1 year)...ya, I do that too. My first baby...13 months. Second baby...20 months. Third baby..going on 11 months. Besides continued nutritional benefits, the emotional benefits are great.

Nursing while pregnant...did that too. Yes, it is safe (as long as you take care of yourself).

Breastfeeding and the the news, both sides of the debate are well-represented. In entertainment...very poor. This includes shows about babies (such as TLC's Bringing Home Baby). Where did my kids learn that babies eat from bottles? Not at home. If you can see women's breasts almost falling out of their shirts, you can show mothers nursing their babies (which doesn't show any of the breast, in most cases). The most recent media blitz has been the cover of the August issue of BabyTalk. (see

Overall, I think breastfeeding is great. It works fabulously for our family. I had great support, education, and resources. Sometimes, breastfeeding takes some real work and can be frustrating and painful. So, if you are going to breastfeed, go out there and find some support (most hospitals have a lacation consultant on-call (We love the Carle Hospital Breastfeeding Clinic!!), join La Leche League ( or just call the leader for advice, find some other breastfeeding moms (either in person or has a great set of breastfeeding message boards).

Why We Love Breastfeeding...
Its the best and most natural nutrition for my baby.
It is so easy and convienent.
Its free!
It guarantees me individual time with my nursling.
It makes me sit down for 10 minutes every two hours.
It keeps my breasts to a C-cup (ok, this is my husband's addition).

*Kelly Mom
A great breastfeeding website! Tons of information and support!

**American Academy of Pediatrics

Friday, July 21, 2006

Oh Poop!

You know that you are a true parent if you talk about poop on a regular basis.

And I am a parent so...

our two-year-old finally went poop on the potty! This is a big moment in life. He has been working on potty training for months. He has total control over his bladder and bowels. He runs around naked most of the time with no accidents but he resisted using the toilet for bowel movements. So much that has become chronically constipated--requiring daily doses of milk of magnesia. When he needs to poop, he would ask (or plead) for a diaper. But yesterday, we simply didn't have any diapers. We went and bought some Buzz Lightyear pull-ups but he refused to wear them. So he had no choice but the potty left. It took him several tries but he finally did it. He was so proud. We hope that is the turning point in potty training. He still won't wear underwear--he prefers to be nakey. But one step at time.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Summer Changes

This summer has been a challenge as a parent. Overall, I am exhausted but I have to find the energy and strength to continue on from day to day. What has changed the past six weeks?

Well, not much overall. But, school is out. My nine-year-old is home...all day...every day. I never realized how much she was gone at school and her other activities. Don't get me wrong, I love my daughter and overall she is a delightful person. But, I realized that having her home all the time changes the vibe and routine in the house. My usual quiet time while the boys are napping is gone. I have to divide my attention throughout the day in thirds. And the girl has got to eat! This has been a very unexpected change--not that she eats, I knew that, but the amount of food and expense was a surprise. During the school year, my daughter eats two of her three daily meals at school. And we only pay 70 cents a day for her to do so. Can you believe that?! I have tried to figure out how to do that at home, and it is thank you school district for finding a way to nutritionally and economically feed our children. So our grocery bill has gone up a bit and I find myself having to go to the grocery store weekly (I used to make a 'big' trip every other week, and a produce and milk run once a week).

Speaking of eating...the baby is eating more food now too. Don't worry...he still nurses ten times a day (that is not hyperbole). Having all three kids home and eating has been good for our schedule. It makes us all eat, together, three times a day. This has been especially good for our picky, snacky two-year-old. He sees his sibs eating and thinks maybe its a good idea.

Speaking of the two-year-old...this summer has been the summer of transition for him. Potty training, pacifier weaning, juice reduction. And he decided to cash in on his last few months of being two...temper tantrums! Lots of them!

And the baby is crawling and learning to walk....

My husband is trying to find a new job....

And I am trying to keep us all under control.

Ingredient of the month...

This month...I love GOAT CHEESE!

This is a great ingredient that is relatively affordable and makes you feel like you are eating adult food again! And everyone will think you are a fancy chef.

At our local farmer's market sells some great stuff! But it is available in most grocery stores.

Here is how we use it...
*Add to tomato soup!

*Top it on burgers! or steaks! with mushrooms and onions!

*Mix into salads!

*Make a turkey, apple, cranberry, goat cheese quesadilla!

*Top puff pastry with goat cheese and sliced apples, drizzle with olive oil and bake 10 mins!

*Mix with dried cranberries and a drizzle of honey and spread on crackers or bread!

*Mix in pasta with sundried tomatoes and garlic!

*Smear on portabello mushrooms, sprinkle with bread crumbs and broil 5 mins!

The possibilities are endless!!! Enjoy!

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

What I've been doing...

This is part of my new format...this will give you a quick idea of what our family has done each week. Additionally, I will write journal-type entries.

What we have been eating...
Many of these meal recipes are or will be posted on this site.
*Thai Chicken Pizza (so yummy!)
*BBQ Tofu/Tempeh in wheat tortilllas
*Pasta with artichokes, mushrooms, and spinach (yum!) and big salad
*Homemade macaroni and cheese, grilled hot dogs, and mixed veggies with spices
*BBQ chicken sandwiches, baked red potatoes, peas
*Turkey Meatball Sandwiches
*Peanut Stir Fry with Noodles and Chicken
*the Big Salad
*the famous 'Leftovers!'
What we have been reading...
the baby--Baby Sign books, Maisy's train, Goodnight Moon
the 2 year old--How I Became a Pirate, Tarzan, The Very Busy Spider, The Very Quiet Cricket, 10 Hungry Monsters
the 9 year old--Harry Potter 4:GOF, Ella Enchanted
the Mom--Blindness by Jose Saramago (this is a great book! and it would have been even better had I had all my brain cells back intact. it is a bit difficult at times but really thought-provoking (remember when you thought about something besides poop)); Double Whammy by Carl Hiaasan (great, fun read).
What have we been watching...
BabyFirst TV (
(we got a month-long preview on our service). It is really great. The 'shows' are about 3-5 minutes each and are developmentally-appropriate. Our baby didn't really care about it but our 2-year-old loved it. He was very interactive with the programs.
So You Think You Can Dance (Fox)
My daughter and I like to watch. We have never really watched American Idol or anything, so this is our first show that we are getting into it all. No, we haven't voted for our favorite yet (and probably won't). Its good summer fun.
Got it from the library, of course. I haven't seen the stage show (but I have seen La Boehme) but I really liked this movie. The music is great and the cast (mostly the originals from Broadway) are great.
Pirates of the Caribbean 2
Search for the lost is WAY too long. Its all pirate action and its all good. Johnny Depp is great and I could easily be persuaded to watch Orlando Bloom for two hours. My nine-year-old liked it too but was scared at certain parts. The plot confused her a bit as well. If you liked the first one...and plan on seeing the third...head on out.
This was a good one--of course Pixar can't miss. Of course my two-year-old son loved it (and told his toy Lightning McQueen that he was home when the movie started). I thought is was a bit long (2 hours) and slow at times and right now the least favorite of the Pixar collection (but I am sure it will grow on me once my sons have requested to watch the DVD a hundred times).

New Directions

So, I have been trying to become a master 'blogger', rather unsuccessfully. I intended to use this blog to express my feelings and experiences about early childhood and parenting, including how I get through my daily life of a mother of three kids (e.g. recipes and activities). But...because I am a mother of three kids, I have been having a difficult time finding the time and energy to blog.

But rest assure, I have not given up. I have decided to use a slightly different format (and fancy new layout). Additionally, one thing that has bothered me about blogging is the lack of interactions with my readers. So, please email me or comment on the blog. If you are reading this, let me know what you think...any questions...want a recipe for something...what to share a recipe....

Please keep coming back. I really am determined to update the site weekly...I least for now.