Precipitious birth, women’s baseball, groceries, invention, and balance in parenting

  • I came home from Texas very late last night, after being nearly two days with my precious sister and her new baby, Sage.  I was going to be her labor coach, but Sage arrived with… incredible rapidity.  “Precipitous birth,” it’s called medically.  More, perhaps, on that later.  I love my new niece, and it was so lovely to see my sister almost instantly become a tender, loving mother.  I did get 7.5 hours of sleep last night, which is normally my ideal.  However, since my head hit a pillow for a cumulative four hours or so in the previous 48 hours, I’m still feeling very groggy.
  • On the initial leg of my flight out, which went from Phoenix to Houston, I sat next to an amazing lady.  Other than a love for sports, our home state, and perhaps our ages, Sandra and I have very little in common.  Still, our shared two hours were spent in virtually non-stop conversation.  There was a logo on her top, which I recognized as belonging to the national baseball team;  I assumed she must be affiliated with the men’s team.  Nope!  She’s one of the four coaches for the women’s team.  I didn’t even know we had one!  She was on her way to Raleigh, for the final cuts to the U.S.A. National Women’s Baseball Team roster.  After those cuts are made, Sandra will be going with the team to Venezuela, for this year’s World Cup, which I will most certainly be keeping tabs on.
  • It’s crazy how fast a family of seven runs out of groceries.  ~sigh~  Looks like I will be staying home from Bible study tonight, instead, making a serious run to several stores.   I tend to shop at night, both so I can go sans five children, and so that — especially like now, in the middle of summer — it’s not so hot.
  • My 21-month old, Fiala, was asking for “bee-boo-bee jam”.  She is still on an extremely limited diet, and the only fruit that we know of that is safe for her is blueberries.  She eats one jam — Organic Reduced Sugar Blueberry Jam from Trader Joe’s.  It has no other ingredients of consequence besides blueberries, sugar, and pectin.  All other jams, even blueberry, have corn syrup, grape, or apple juice, none of which she can do.  Normally, when she has jam, she eats it on Farinata, an Italian flatbread made from garbanzo flour, sea salt, fresh rosemary, and water.  It is delicious.  I have made it every day — often twice — for the last year, and none of us are tired of it.  However, from start to finish, the bread takes about 35 minutes to complete, and it was clear that Fiala needed food now.  I looked in the fridge, and found a little head of Savoy cabbage.  I cut a square-ish portion of leaf, put a bit of jam inside of it, and rolled it up, with no idea how Fiala would receive it.  She ate five mini cabbage-blueberry rolls.  Ha!  Necessity is the mother of invention, right?
  • I read two blog posts today, one from Daja at In Other Words, and one from Chris at the Man-Nurse Diaries.  Daja gently mocks the trend of Urban Parenting, and Chris relates a short, overheard conversation between co-workers, which led to the brave title:  Why my kids aren’t going to school with your kids, a micro-treatise on the benefits of homeschooling.  Both posts, though mostly dissimilar, led me down a similar path of thought, on the balance I continually try to achieve, in trusting God with the children He has entrusted to me —  not being FEARFUL in my parenting — but not… leaving them, like my older brother said to me yesterday, in reference to our own upbringing, feeling like they were raised by wolves.
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About Karen Joy

I'm a partially-homeschooling mother of six -- 3 boys ages 19, 17 and 15 years old, and three girls: 11, 8, and 3. I like birding, reading, writing, organic gardening, singing, playing guitar, hiking, the outdoors, and books. I very casually lead a very large group of homeschooling families in the Phoenix area. I have a dear hubby who designs homes for a local home builder and who is the worship pastor of our church. I live in the desert, which I used to hate, but now appreciate.

Posted on August 3, 2010, in Allergies, Babies, Baseball, Blogging, Cooking/Baking/Food/Recipes, Family, Medical Stuff, Motherhood, Parenting, The Kids, Travelling. Bookmark the permalink. 8 Comments.

  1. I’m not sure how gently I mocked urban parents, but thanks for the linky love.

    It is a struggle to stay balanced, I feel it! I also feel the struggle of not second-guessing my every move because of what other people think/feel. I don’t think parenting in Los Angeles is easy at all…..especially when you always feel like you are on the fringe…..like I am. I tend the question myself a lot. Am I doing the right things? (The “right things”……so subjective!)

  2. btw, I LOVE your snack for Fiala! Cabbage Blueberry Rolls! Despite her allergies she is going to grow up with quite the sophisticated palette!

    • I can only imagine your situation, Daja! I feel like I’m on the fringe in Phoenix; the divide must feel even greater in LA. Add that to my list of reasons that it’s a struggle for me to really love the city: Every time I’m somewhere more rural, I think, “It would be so much easier to homeschool (or whatever) HERE.” I don’t know if that’s true, or if it’s that the grass appears greener…

      And, about the palate: I thought about this as I was preparing my (gluten-free cow-dairy-free) kids pizza a couple of days ago: the crust was farinata (our favorite, daily Italian flatbread from the Cinque Terre region) with homemade sauce and two kinds of sheep milk cheese — feta and Italian Rustico — on top. Hahahaha!! I wasn’t *trying* to make it sophisticated; I was *trying* to make it something they could eat safely. Still… I’ve definitely had that same thought, about the “accidental” sophisticated palate, as Fiala asks for lamb… 🙂

  3. I found a great solution for jam in our house (b/c like you we’re still very limited on our diet)

    blackberries work better for us than blueberries but either way it works.We make compote by taking frozen or fresh berries and cooking them down to the desired consistency and then add honey to sweeten. You can add almost any flour to thicken it to a nice compote. (we use white rice flour but I’ve also done almond, tapioca, arrowroot….) it can be used like jam but is LOTS less expensive, and easy to keep on hand. and in my opinion a LOT better tasting.

    I’m almost certain that you can avoid using the flour at all by just simmering it down til the water evaporates.

    • Laura!! You got me all excited — I thought your comment here might mean you’re back to blogging, too. I checked, and no dice. Oh, well. I’m still SO HAPPY to see you here!

      Even though I’ve made my own jam before (I made 30 half-pints of strawberry, last summer, to give as Christmas gifts), until you (and Heidi, below) mentioned it, I had never thought about doing that. DUH. Same thing with the pure oat oatcakes (they’re like rustic crackers) that I remembered from Scotland that I can’t find in the States. DUH. I could make them. Especially with the summer fruit season winding to a close… I really need to make some of my own jam, or compote.

  4. Hey, this may be a really stupid question, considering how busy you must be with all your children and homeschooling and the fact that your cooking is all highly specialized… BUT… Have you ever considered making your own jam? It’s very easy to do, especially if you make freezer jam that doesn’t require any cooking. (Freezer jam is higher in sugar than cooked jam, though). And you can make ALL kinds of jams that only contain berries, sugar, pectin, and sometimes lemon juice. Lemon juice can be dropped, though, if Fiala can’t have it. Here in Canada we use liquid pectin by a company called Certo… Not sure what you would have there.

    • Heidi, thanks for the suggestion. Like I was telling Laura (above), I had neglected to even consider that. DUH. We do have Certo here, but in the past, I have used a much less expensive store brand of powdered pectin. I have some in my cupboard right now, in fact!

      I will get right on that. 🙂

  5. Bonne Maman has a wild blueberry perserve that is just blueberries, sugar, and pectin. It’s super yummy. It’s the only one Gana ever wants me to buy.

    I buy them because I like the jar…the short jars with the red and white gigham lid. Cute! I use them for everything.

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