Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Baltic Amber Necklace Giveaway (Your choice)

Raw amber teething necklace #1

Adult necklace.  Polished.  (Far right.)

Amber teething necklace #2.  (Polished.)

Okay, so clearly I need to make a post about this.  lol


To enter:

1.  Read the posts on this blog.
2.  Decide which one is your favorite.
3.  Comment on WHICH ONE is your favorite, AND why.

~You can comment on the (Facebook) page wall.  (Link here.)  If you post it on the (Facebook) page wall, no matter where you post it, I'll see it.

~You can comment on the blog below the post that is your favorite.  (NOT under this blog post.)  Please REMEMBER that you have to post WHY it is your favorite.


It's all very simple.  Really.  The confusion is kind of funny, though.  I have entered some contests before on Facebook, and it was confusing as hell.  And I managed to win one.  (Even though I wasn't sure if I was even doing it right.)  I thought this was all very simple and that putting up a blog post about it would make things confusing, but apparently it couldn't be worse...so here's the blog post.  LOL

**If anyone has any suggestions on how to make this easier in the future, please let me know!

Monday, July 23, 2012

What You See Isn't Always What You Get.

I saw this posted on Facebook (HERE), and thought I'd share my 2 cents.  Since that's what you pay me to do.  
Oh.  No one pays me.  Right.  LOL  Whatever, here's my opinion anyway.

"MUST READ :) A 24 year old boy seeing out from the train's window shouted... "Dad, look the trees are going behind!" Dad smiled and a young couple sitting nearby, looked at the 24 year old's childish behavior with pity, suddenly he again exclaimed... "Dad, look the clouds are running with us!" The couple couldn't resist and said to the old man... "Why don't you take your son to a good doctor?" The old man smiled and said... "I did and we are just coming from the hospital, my son was blind from birth, he just got his eyes today." 
Every single person on the planet has a story. Don't judge people before you truly know them. The truth might surprise you."

I have come to the point in my life that I now actually assume that when I see children acting less than appropriately (and I mean a LOT less--you know the children I'm talking about--mine), that they have some type of developmental/neurological/medical issue I cannot see.  I never assume that it's just a child that has been given too much sugar, or who "needs a nap".  *Both things people have said to ME about my own children.*

My twins both have some sensory issues.  My daughter seems to be either growing into (as opposed to "growing out of") hers a little better than my son is.  She can manage to appear "normal" more often than my son can...but every day is a new day, and every new day presents new challenges.  Some days are easy and great.  Some just are not.

My son still has some problems figuring out how to handle his sensory issues.  His are very different than the ones his sister has to live with, and that presents some challenges in itself.  I don't even know if I can say that he's not "handling" his as well as his sister does.  I often wonder if it's because of the world we live in that his seem worse...the things that surround us on a day-to-day basis are things that can just become overwhelming for him.  And what looks like a hyper-active child acting out is nothing more than a little boy who lacks the developmental ability to control his anxiety.  He doesn't like it more than anyone else does...and he lives it.  So imagine how HE feels.

People cannot see the kids' "issues" just by looking at them.  On the outside, they appear pretty average.  To other people, sometimes I'm sure it just looks like my kids are acting up, and I'm ignoring their "bad" behavior.  But that's not the case at all.

The truth is that when one of the twins get to the point (with his behavior) that random strangers start giving their own ignorant opinions of them, the ONLY way to get them to come down a little bit is to hug them right up to my body, and talk sweetly to them.  Getting upset, (or irritated, or frustrated, or angry) just raises their (anxiety?) level even more.  They need calm to BECOME calm.  And when random jerks who are old enough to know better hurt their feelings, it makes things worse.  

My son seems to take the brunt of the ignorant comments, though.  He is a very sweet and very sensitive child.  Always has been.  And he takes things to heart, even when he really shouldn't.  But he's too young to understand that their opinion of him doesn't matter.  Even if I tell him.  He still just absorbs that negativity.

The whole thing hurts my heart.  My Boy is nothing less than a blessing and miracle.  We're lucky to have him, and this world is a better place for having him in it.  And when random people make him feel like less than that, I want to punch them right in the neck!

This post is being written because of the asshole at the mall yesterday that put his hands on my son and pushed him away from their stroller.  My son ran up to it because he LOVES babies.  LOVES them.  And as soon as he got an arm's length from it, the man (there was a man and a woman with this baby stroller) reached out and pushed him away and yelled, "HEY!  HEY!!"

My son JUST turned 4.  Does he look older?  Yep.  He's tall, and solid, and people assume he's at least a year older than he is.  But the fact remains that he's just 4.  JUST four.  

I understand that sometimes people panic, but seriously to raise your voice at a child and to push them...those are grounds for getting your ass whooped by Momma Bear.  The guy scared my son, and he came running back to me upset.  "That man pushed me!!" he said.  I told him I saw that, and that the man should have kept his hands to himself.  "I just wanted to look at that baby."
I know.  I know.  I told him that sometimes people don't want kids running up to their stroller, and that it wasn't nice of that man to yell at him or push him.  I told him that next time maybe he should ask if it's okay if he looks at their baby, instead of just running up to it like that.  (I hate that I have to talk to my son about this kind of thing at all.  I don't want him feeling like what he did was wrong, because 99% of people just stop and let him look.  But then there's that one dick who messes everything up, and requires me to tell my son that some people aren't going to react well to him.  It makes me so sad!)

Next time he WILL ask.  He's never had this situation happen before (where someone freaked out), so I don't wonder why he did what he did.  And the fact is that he's new here.  If he's never had anyone do that before, he didn't know that could even happen.  But I kind of expect (and rely on) adults to behave like adults, and not like bullies.  I do understand that the man was protecting his child.  But he was protecting him for no reason.  My son wasn't going to hurt that baby.  He just wanted to look.

It makes me sad that I feel like he needs to wear a shirt that says, "I'm going to act how I act.  Please have patience with me.  I'm not going to hurt anyone, I promise!"

He's a loving, amazing, sweet, caring, sensitive child.  And it sucks that to look at him, he just appears average...mostly.  But MOST people see him and don't assume that there's anything "wrong" with him.  They assume he's just "bad".  And he's SO NOT BAD.  He's lovely!!!

So for those out there who don't have a child with any kind of neurological "issue", please have patience and don't assume children are "acting up".  You can't always see what's going on...you don't always know.  And for those of us who DO have children with neurological issues...we NEED you to stand with us.  We need you to have enough patience to keep your hands off of our children.  We don't need to fix something YOU have done to make things 100x worse than they were.

Don't assume our child is bad.  Don't assume we just let them "run the show".  When we look tired, when we have more children than we have arms, and one of them is behaving in a way YOU don't care for, understand that we too wish that they were just being "normal".  Because this is our life; our every single day.  You have to "deal" with it for 30 seconds.  We live it.  So please, please, don't add to it.  Please, when you're out, assume that children have an un-seen "issue", and not that they're just "bad".  Because what's the harm in that??  Give us a smile, or a nod, or some indication that you are standing with us, not standing against us judging us as horrible parents.  Sometimes that little bit of acknowledgment is all we need to pull our socks up and keep moving.  Sometimes it's that one second you took to smile at us that kept us from just breaking down and bawling right there in the mall.  

**And even if a child is "average", and has no special needs, and is "acting up" somewhere...how does it help to give that mom "the look"...the "you need to DEAL with that kid" look?  

It doesn't.  

Smile, and understand there may be more to what you're seeing than it appears.  Or there might not be.  But either way...that mom doesn't need any more pressure than she has right at that moment.  Stand WITH her.  Not against her.

Dairy-Free Nut Cheese

Oh yes.  This is some fan-freaking-tastic stuff, I'm tellin ya.  I made almond "cheese", and cashew "cheese" yesterday, and it was super easy.  And super tasty.  What a great idea!!!

So, since it's what I do, I'll share with you exactly what I did so you can do it too.  (This passed the pro-meat/pro-dairy husband test, btw.)

Simple Almond Cheese.

This one has been in a dehydrator.
1 cup almonds, soaked, drained and skins removed
3/4 cup water
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 tablespoons lemon juice
1 clove garlic
pinch Himalayan Salt

1. Soak almonds overnight in water. Drain and pop off skins.
2. Place all ingredients in food processor. Process until smooth. This will take a bit of time, don’t rush.
3. Place nut mixture in nut-milk bad or colander lined with cheese cloth.
4. Give a light squeeze and place in refrigerator over-night to set up.
5. You can use the cheese at this point or if you want it more firm, place it in the dehydrator for 6+ hours (at 115 degrees) to form a rind.


~The idea for this is to use raw almonds.  If you use roasted almonds, use the un-salted.  (I didn't really think about this and used roasted un-salted, and it took me over an hour to peel the 1 cup of almonds.)

~If you hate grainy things, toss this in the blender after you've smashed it all up in the food processor.  I hate that texture, and the blender fixed it right up!  (Still a tiny bit grainy, but nothing like it was before.)

~Don't squeeze out too much of that liquid.  And if you like garlic, add a little extra because 1 clove doesn't make it taste much like garlic.

~You could probably also leave out the garlic, and add something else like honey (for those who eat it), or strawberries, or something to it to make it sweet.

~I don't have a dehydrator, so mine is like cream cheese.  Fine with me.  Yummy on bagels.

Cashew Cheese

1 1/2 cups raw, organic cashews
1-2 cloves organic garlic
1/4 cup pure water (if you make your own, or have access to it, I highly recommend using rejuvelac instead of water for nutrition, digestion and an even stronger “cheese” taste)
2 tbsp fresh, organic lemon juice
1/2 tsp Celtic or pink Himalayan sea salt

Let‘s get started.

Soak your cashews for 1-2 hours. You can skip this step if you are in a hurry.
Rinse cashews well. Place all ingredients in the blender until ultra creamy. That’s it! 

Adaptation suggestions:

Here are some fun ideas to change the flavor of this spread. Just add to the blender, to taste.

Chipotle pepper
Pink peppercorn, sumac and honey
Wild-harvested raw honey
Honey and chili pepper
Herbes de Provence
Fresh herbs like dill and/or parsley
Raw or roasted onion
Liquid smoke and maple syrup
Red pepper
Sundried tomato


~This is ready to eat immediately.  Pace yourself.  I ate way too much and felt like my belly was going to explode.  LOL  (It's that good that I'm putting a warning on it.) 

~If you can't find raw cashews, just buy the roasted un-salted.  Try not to eat them all before you make this, though.  LOL

~You don't need to use any kind of cheese cloth with this.  Just blend it and put it into a container.  Super simple, eh?!

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Children Do NOT NEED To Be Spanked!!!

Well, you know I'm going to snap, right??  This has been going around for a couple of days, and it's getting to me.  REALLY getting to me.  Not JUST the picture.  But the ignorant comments that come with it.

"I had my ass beat, and I turned out okay".  Well, no you really didn't.  You became someone that believes that hitting someone 1/4 of your size, and who trusts you fully to protect them, is perfectly fine and acceptable.  And not only that, you brag about it.  So no.  You're not "okay".  You were damaged, and you're continuing the cycle of abuse that was done to you.  

The fact is that children don't think much about what they say, at different times of their lives.  Sometimes their (developmental) inability to put the thoughts and feelings of other before their own does come across as "bullying".  Sometimes it comes across as being "disrespectful".

Sometimes kids act out, even when they KNOW that their behavior is inappropriate, and unacceptable.  But then...so do a lot of adults I've known in my life...so...apparently "taking away the rights" of parents to "beat" their children's asses did not work all that well for them after all...

Hitting a child who is upset, or acting out is never the answer.  Not ever.  As adults, we have the ability to control our emotions, and our actions.  Most children do not.  It's taught over time, and if children never grow up seeing it in action, how the hell are they going to learn it?!

And, my final comment (before I go all bat-shit crazy), is that children have rights too.  The right to feel safe, and to BE safe.  The right to say no.  The right to disagree with us.  Children have the right to ACT LIKE CHILDREN.  They have the right to live in a home where they're raised with love, not fear.  Because fear does not create respect.  It creates anger.  And these blessings you were given deserve better than that.

Love them like you wish you were loved.  Pretty simple.