Friday, January 29, 2010

Homemade Graham Crackers

The kiddos are huge graham cracker fans.  We eat them like they are going out of style.  Since I try to cut out on preservatives by making what I can at home, I thought I would give homemade graham crackers a try.  Would they notice?

The first time I made them, Logan helped me. We used the same cookies cutters we used for our Christmas cookies. I think he was expecting the finished product to taste like the cookies, so he wouldn't eat them.  The next time I made the graham crackers I cut the dough into rectangles so they looked more like the store bought ones, and he loved them. Kids are weird.

Graham Crackers


* 1/2 cup butter or shortening (I use butter)
* 3/4 cup packed brown sugar (I use light brown sugar, because that's what I have, but dark brown sugar     might make them darker)
* 1 teaspoon vanilla extract (sometimes I use a little more)
* 2 cups whole wheat flour (I use graham flour)
* 1 cup all-purpose flour
* 1 teaspoon baking powder
* 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
* 1/4 teaspoon salt
* 1 tablespoon cinnamon (we like cinnamon, can use less or omit)
* 1/2 cup milk

* cinnamon sugar to sprinkle on top


1. In a medium bowl, cream together the butter (or shortening) and brown sugar. Stir in the vanilla. Combine the whole wheat flour, all purpose flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and salt, stir into the creamed mixture alternately with the milk. Cover and chill dough until firm. It may seem really hard after chilled, but it softens when rolled.
2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease cookie sheets. On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough out to 1/8 inch thickness. Cut into rectangles, or use a cookie cutter for fun shapes. Place 1/2 inch apart onto the greased cookie sheets. Sprinkle with cinnamon sugar.
3. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes in the preheated oven, or until crisp. Edges will be golden brown. Remove from baking sheet to cool on wire racks.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Boob VS.... Bottle???

OK, I'll admit it. I subscribe to Parenting magazine. My school age neighbor was selling magazine subscriptions as a Drama Club fundraiser, and I couldn't say no. It was the cheapest of all the "parenting" magazines, and at the time came with a free subscription to Sesame Street Magazine, which is pretty sweet.  So, anyway, I am sitting at the bus stop waiting for Logan's bus, flipping through the latest edition of Parenting, and an article catches my eye. Well, not really an article, but one of those 1/2 page FYI type paragraph things, titled "Spotlight on Bottle-Feeding" by Patty Onderko.   The first two sentences really got my blood boiling! Here they are:
"Breastfeeding has become so politically correct that moms who bottle-feed are reporting that they receive very little information on how to do it right, according to the latest review of studies.  "Once a woman decides to bottle-feed, she should be supported," emphasizes British researcher Rajalakshmi Lakshman, M.D."

Where to start, where to start??!!!  Well, I guess first off, I don't think the issue is BREASTFEEDING VS BOTTLE FEEDING, as the article sets the sides.  I breastfeed. I use bottles, or I would if I worked or had a kid-not-included social life and actually needed to pump. Most women who breastfeed use a breast pump and store breast milk. How else is the child going to get this breast milk, but with a BOTTLE?!   This statement gives a false impression to perspective breastfeeders that if you breastfeed, you can't touch a bottle and that a breastfeeding mom must always have her boob ready for feeding time.  After all, the first point in this article is how to safely clean a bottle, something ALL moms should know. That's why I believe the issue is Breastfeeding vs FORMULA FEEDING, and it soooo drives me bonkers when formula feeding is called "bottle feeding"!

And as for calling breastfeeding "politically correct"???? UMMMM, how about calling it "what Pediatricians recommend"?? Calling breastfeeding "politically correct" makes it sound like a fad, and  that women who breastfeed are doing it to make some sort of statement, not because it is best for them and their baby. GRRRR.

Now, I'm not all anti-formula over here. I  only breastfed Logan up to 7 months, so he was formula fed for awhile. Did I once think I was doing it "wrong"? Uh, no. I read the container. Unlike boobs, formula containers come with DIRECTIONS!!!! Seriously, the only problem I had was not being able to find the little scoop! But maybe that's just me, because there must be some women out there having problems if there are actual "studies".

And as for being an "unsupported" bottle feeder?? Hello! Not once when I fed Logan a bottle in public did I get uncomfortable glances from passersby like I do when I breastfeed Sophie in public. Not once did people act surprised when Logan still had a bottle at 11 months, like they did when they heard Sophie was still being breastfed at that age.  Women don't give up "bottle feeding" because they have no one to turn to for help. Now really, are we going to be seeing fliers around town for "bottle-feeding" support groups?!

In defense of Parenting magazine, they also had a blurp on the same page that states that women are breastfeeding longer. And there is also a full page add for a car battery which I thought was pretty impressive.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Wordless Wednesday


Thursday, January 7, 2010

Random Thoughts on the Household Sickies

First post of the year! Happy New Year!!

The hubby and I have been fighting the cold that we got for Christmas (unfortunately, no returns accepted on that gift). Logan has already missed a day of school do to a case of the vomits, and now Sophie has her first ever cold. Despite the sickies, we are all in good spirits!

Well, except for Sophie, she is a tad bit miserable. Being her first head cold, she does not know what to do about the stuffed nose. Since she is just over one, she has not yet grasped the concept to "blow", and when she sees me coming at her with the rubber snot sucker, she makes a run for it.

And a 3 year old with the pukes is a challenge too. Logan keeps getting the vomit bug, which (luckily) only lasts for one day. He missed his 2nd day back to school after vacation with his first case of the year. Now, a 3 year old with the pukes is very messy. He has yet to make it to the bathroom, or in this case- the bucket, in time. I am very thankful for my carpet cleaner since 99% of my house is carpet!! ANY ONE WITH KIDS AND CARPETS MUST INVEST IN A GOOD CARPET CLEANER!!!!

And the hubby and I have been fighting a lovely head cold since Christmas. It hasn't gotten better, and it hasn't gotten worse. We seem to be in cold limbo. I can deal with the stuffiness, as I have bad seasonal allergies and am ALWAYS stuffy, but the night cough can take a hike. A remedy that the hubby found online a couple of months ago has been working surprisingly well:

To stop night coughs: Rub Vicks vapor rub on the soles of the feet.
Cover with socks.

Sounds to good to be true, but it has been working for us. Last night I tried it on Sophie and it worked for her too. I had to make sure that she was in the jammies with feet, so she wouldn't have access to the Vicks and eat it. There is no scientific back up to this remedy, and here is a link for anyone who is interested.

So it could be worse. We don't have H1N1. Not that I know of any way. I am thinking that if we get all of the sickies now, maybe we will be in the clear for the rest of the year. Yup, wishful thinking, I know. But, I am getting practice with working on some of my many resolutions- having more patience, accepting things I can't control, and focusing more on my family.