Monday, October 8, 2012

I'll Meet You Where You Are

It's getting hard to be open again. When I see other posts of mine I feel very vulnerable. I want to close up tight, and go hide in a closet. So that no one can see. Paul read parts of my blog, and although he liked it, he said it was more like a journal than just an informative site. He was surprised how open I was. Which in turn, shook me up a bit.

He says I am very passionate.

And I have these thoughts. Does being passionate come off as childish? Is it wrong to be passionate about life and the things I love? If so, maybe I should turn that part of me off. He says I should channel it, in the right direction. Maybe my blog is not enough of a channel. Maybe the posts cannot contain the "passion" that I have. Time for a long run on a treadmill, then. Or outside.

I am starting to wean Megan. She doesn't like it at all. She cries and cries and asks, "Muh?" Which means, "more?" or, "nurse?" Her little hands, balled up in fists, move back and forth to form the sign language word for, "more?" It is the sweetest plea.

I have never had a child breastfeed for this long. She is just over two years old. Yet she seems to love it, depend on it. I don't know how I am going to do it. Can I stick to it when she repeatedly asks? When she cries until she is utterly exhausted, and can't seem to fall asleep without it? Should I completely reverse course and allow her to breastfeed until she decides she is done? Will that be ever? I do not like having to make decisions like these. The other two kiddos just weaned themselves at one year old, and never really looked back.

Megan is different. She is like me. A very intense child with a lot of emotion that should not be able to come from such a little being. Passionate. I just feel like I can't take it anymore. Her nursing sessions have turned into half hour soothing therapies for her -- torture for me. I hate to see her grow up, but I can't keep pretending she is a baby.

Tomorrow is going to be crazy. I believe I am turning into a childcare. I will have nine children, including my own three, and Alana. Nine. They will all come during different times of the day, and I will probably not have all nine at once. While they are here I plan on being able to get absolutely nothing done. It means I will need to do all of my grocery shopping, cooking, laundry and cleaning today.

Essie and Samuel are so excited; they have been counting down the days. Essie has made a list of all the things she plans on doing with her friends. She will be my helper, as well as the other, older children.

I need to meal plan. Each of these children has specific likes and dislikes. I don't like labeling children, or anybody, as picky.

I simply don't like labels. ADHD. Vegan. Picky. It's a lazy way of making a fast judgement on someone, pigeon-holing them into one category so that we don't really have to get to know that person. Regard them as multi-faceted. A human being.

I like meeting a person where they are, nutritionally, and then encouraging them to take it up a notch. Just one notch. Some people I have met are ready for more and they want radical change. I can't pretend to hide my excitement when I work with these people. They are willing to throw out their entire fridge and pantry, and start over, which is how I started out on this journey.

With kids? I find out their favorite foods. Starting with starch. Do they love rice, potatoes, pasta, pizza, or sandwiches?

And then I find a way to incorporate some protein and fat. Beans? Olives? Tofu? Avocado? Meatless hot dogs?

And lastly, I discover their favorite fruits and vegetables. Pair them up with some dips, sauces, or spreads.

Kids usually start out loving one or two, and I encourage them to branch out and try something new. I have them pick out their own new fruit or veg, and they always surprise me with what they discover. Pomegranates. Snap peas. Pluots. Corn.

I have been guilty of labeling my father-in-law as picky. Last night I took my Vegetable Soup to his home, expecting that only Paul and I would eat it, and the kids would eat the creamy pasta with fried tofu and orange slices.

He surprised me. He ate at least three bowls, telling me it was "good garbage." Yes, this is a compliment! His parents were so glad to have some real, hearty, homemade food. Wow. Genuine gratitude for my hard work in the kitchen. Means a lot to me.

I'm rambling. What I am trying to say is, I like working with any person, exactly where they are at, and helping them discover just how much healthy food they love. Building on it. It's a challenge and an adventure all in one.

What has been a new favorite food that you or your children have discovered on your journey to better health?

Have you ever had to wean a child for your own sanity, even though they don't seem ready?


  1. Tommy self-weaned at 11mo, so we'll see what happens with Charlie!

    I see you are having a blog identity crisis. I have been going through a lot of thinking about what I want to do with my blog and the kind of information that I want to share. Just realize, you can have another blog for more personal information. I've noticed that I get better and more personal responses about my feelings and raising a family when the audience are people who love and know me. I enjoy a greater audience for bouncing around thoughts and stories with a public blog. You just have to find what you are comfortable with. You don't want to be so vulnerable that you can't write about what is important to you, so work on finding the appropriate outlets so that you can write anything to your hearts content!

  2. I don't think it is too personal. It makes it more interesting to read. Especially since I don't get to see or talk to you much anymore. Its nice for me to get to know you all over again, since we inevitable change and grow as we get older. While my family is not on a vegan diet, I get really good ideas from your blog. I have always tried cooking with wide varieties of fruits, vegetables,and grains. So it is nice to read a blog where someone cares about being healthy. I hate when people just throw in the towel and deep fry everything or everything is swimming in butter. I just want good, flavorful, satisfying food. which is what you are trying to achieve.

  3. We do change as we get older. It's a very interesting metamorphosis we go through in this life. A good one, I think, if we make the right choices. Thanks for your vote of confidence on whether or not to be open. I kinda' feel like that's what makes it interesting, too.

    I love what you said about wanting good, flavorful, satisfying food. Exactly! I totally agree! Families should be able to enjoy really good meals together, and have them be healthy, too. We shouldn't have to sacrifice either aspect.

    It's so nice to work with Moms who really care about their children, motherhood, and family life. I think you are kinda' like me in that you care very much, Sue. Maybe that's why we are good friends...hehe.

  4. I reread my comment and am worried I came off the wrong way. I am just taking it from my perspective as an all or nothing person. With my blog I felt like I could write nothing because I have been self-conscious. Lately I realized that has taken all the fun and authenticity out of my writing, and did not represent me. You don't want your blog to misrepresent you, be something you're not, etc. I'm just saying, it looks like you are figuring things out, like I am trying to do. I don't think anything posted has been too open in the least. I've been enjoying the process, and think your blog is great!

    1. First, I love all of your comments Katie. I talked to Paul about your idea of having two blogs, and he liked it. But everything I have read about "how to write your best on a blog" all say I should be open. Talk as if I am talking to my sister, share the same thoughts I would as if I were talking to her.

      It is hard to be open. I am an all or nothing, self conscious person, too. And I am still learning. I think writing every day has really helped me because it has forced me to dig deep and be real. Some days, I still catch myself falling back into the trap of just saying something pretty, and removing myself from my writing. Just like you said, it is a process.