Feeding Your Baby: Part 2

 

banana, yum!

banana, yum!  Boat life. 

When you finish eating your bowl makes a perfect hat.

When you finish eating your bowl makes a perfect hat. Jeremy  living on the boat in Cruz Bay Harbor, Virgin Islands, 1983

If your baby looks healthy, then I would not introduce anything except mothers milk till the baby makes a mouthing type chewing motion. This is usually around five to six months. If you feel like it might be time to try foods, put a tiny bit on the end of a baby spoon and see what your baby does, do they make a swallowing motion or do they just spit it all out.

How do you feel about this. If they spit it all out do you feel like your baby is ready for food. I would say follow your instincts but that brings up a whole other issue addressed in another post.

If they swallow the solids, does this tell you they are ready? Don’t go by what so and so said. What do you think?

Here’s what I think. I think the baby is not ready for food until you think he is and he shows signs of receiving the food.

Following your instincts. We have so many books out there and so much tv not to mention many of our parents and friends influencing us.

How do we even know how to listen to our natural instinct? Is there any normalcy left in them? Have we erased what nature intended? Have we cultured out what is best for our babies and our bodies? Who are these experts we have been listening to for all these years? What’s the motive for the advise they give? In the last 100 years the experts have made turns in everything they have recommended. It use to be good to give ground meat as first food at two weeks old, they use to grab us by the heals and swing us upside down–ask a chiropractor what he thinks of that. Like a broken pendulum, we are all over the place on advise. Just when I think we are getting close to how nature intended, we, as a society, swing away. In the 1980’s and 90’s we seemed to be so close to doing what was best for our babies, now 70% of the time, I cringe when I see mothers with their babies.

So when someone gives you advise, think about this turn away from what nature intended and think about how many generations there have been in the last 100 years. That is four to five generations. When that person talks to you, see the wisdom streaming down but also the fear accumulated and the mis-information passed down. So you can see how experience, fear and mis-informed crammed into one brain, mixed well and left to slowly steep creates an smorgasbord of good and bad advise.

I was happy when I saw a women with her wee one in a sling at Coconut point a couple of years back, but boy did she stand out. Strollers were common but no one was carrying their baby. Peoples eyes were following her.  I saw her sit down with the baby and discretely lift her shirt-you couldn’t see her breast because the baby’s head was on her breast and her shirt was slightly covering the babies head. I give this much detail to make sure you know what I am saying because people interpret things a million ways if left too vague. I walked up to her and told her how great it was to see her nurse and using a sling. She smiled and said thanks with a foreign accent.

1.) I was so happy to see something positive and what should be “normal” that I had to give her encouragement.

2.) You “normally” see babies being carried in their car seats or strollers instead of someones arms.

The Webster dictionary describes NORMAL two ways:

  • usual or ordinary : not strange
  • mentally and physically healthy

These definitions apply to the two sentences above. Can you match the definition to the sentence?

This is a powerful lesson in differentiating between parenting instinct and parenting conditioning. When you read something in a book or hear someone say something and it doesn’t feel right, odds are it is not right. Do a bit of research, check their sources, then decide where you really sit with this information you heard.

 Baby’s first finger food:

  • Pears cubed, pears are good because they almost melt in the mouth.
  •  Avocado is first food. It is not very sweet so it teaches the mouth to like vegetables and not just sugary fruits.
  • Banana, peas
  • If you do Cheerios then look for a sugar-free brand in the health food store. There is processed sugar in Cheerios but good news is they are now GMO free.
  • Not really first food but great finger food. Start around a year. Sprout balls and tofu cubed ~~Plain organic tofu-firm cubed.  Cut tofu in bite size squares and sprinkle with nutritional yeast and a tiny bit of spike for the older kids for flavor and B vitamins. Roll sprouts in half-inch loose balls and sprinkle in yeast.
Would love to hear your suggestions for babies first food. Please leave a comment below.

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Basket Play Time

Basket Time

Basket Time

Look at the dolly inside the basket peeking out with her head full of red curls so much like the brown colored curls this little baby girl will get some day not so far in the future.  The hand woven basket is from our trip to Jamaica, the New Zealand lambskin was a soft place to lay my little babies bodies. Look closely and you can see the dreads forming on the left side of Juma’s head which will stay there till he is almost five. For these two, playtime was an invention of anything that was laying around. No special toys needed or for that matter were around.

I was a working mom back then. Tiny Jewels, my children store, was a full time job that I did while my day being a mother was also happening. I just fit it in all the cracks and crannies of my day (and night).

Summer Time.

The summer family

The summer family

A picture a day in

hopes a reader never goes away.

My new addition to the blog will be a new picture each day from the past along with the story because we all know every picture tells a story and many of you have been asking for mine. I hope you enjoy.

This is my family at summers end. Raina looks to be a few months old and she was born in June of ’94.

Starbo’s boys would come every summer. The youngest, Denver, had not yet made his way to St John. Starbo thought he was too young so he waited a couple more years. Irvin was the oldest and close to eighteen. Jeremy is holding his baby sister. Yello has his arms wrapped around both my boys showing the love they all had for each other. Baba (Ivan) is on floor in front of Jeremy  and Juma is off to the side. I am not sure how I got all their attention one time; how I get them to stop moving long enough for this picture. We must of been getting ready to head into town  which was a sight to see. Raina in her car seat and everyone else pilled into the Toyota 4Runner filling every nook and cranny.

This was our living room in our  five room shack. Two tiny rooms for the four boys in the middle. They shared the same age and the same room. Jeremy and Yello were 12, Brian and Baba were 10. Irvin slept on the very futon that is in the picture. So the living room became his bedroom at night. Raina and Juma slept with their mama and papa. The only other room was the small kitchen. We had no running water, no kitchen table and no bathroom this year. I’ll explain that on another day.

The walls only went half way up and the rest was screen. There was a large roof overhang to stop most the rain from coming in. Books were very important and consumed an entire wall of this tiny home.

We lived in the bush so our living space was very large, acres and acres of land with no buildings surrounding us. Very little time was spent indoors.

Listen, Listen to this adorable baby book.

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Crick Crack

Listen Listen

Listen Listen

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Winter’s gone

Barefoot Books has done it again. They have taken Phillis Gershator’s rhythmic verse’s and Alison Jay’s bright playful images and turned hard cardboard into a book your child digs out of the toy bin every night.  Join your child to celebrate the sounds of the seasons, from summer to autumn, and winter to spring.

The second picture has a young boy laying on the grass watching the sky fly by. This provides an opportunity to reflect and share memories of how time fly’s by with your little one. Thoughts like, “I remember the day you came into the world.” “When you were a baby everyone loved your tiny fingers.”

And who doesn’t want to say, “Crick Crack, babies hatch. Peep Peep, Chickens scratch.” knowing these words tickle tiny ears.

Be sure to visit their Facebook page to see the updates on more fun books. https://www.facebook.com/barefootbooks

Cardboard Box Office photo’s

Recipe for Cardboard Box Office:

  • Two very bored fun loving parents.
  • One happy go lucky baby.
  • Massive amounts of Cardboard boxes.
  • Camera
  • Mad love for movies
  • A great sense of humor
  • Patients bordering on insanity.

 

Cardboard Box Office blog is a creation of Photo shoots of a family that has recently moved to a new country. I believe they went from New Zealand to Australia. Lilly, Leon, & (baby) Orson are having some mad fun and they are giving you a peek into there world thru photos.

I highly recommend you join them on their weekly postings.

Temple of Doom

Temple of Doom

 

Star Wars

Star Wars

Eyes of India

Women Artisans and their children

“But I am happy when I see the colors of the threads in my hands.  This is also a kind of recreational activity for me. When we sit together all of us and embroider the pieces we sing folk songs and our children play in the courtyard, we don’t need any other entertainment in our life.”

This is a quote I posted from Eyes of India’s blog.

They sell tapestry’s, bedspreads, pillows and more made by artisans and craftsmen from India. It is a good place to shop for presents for loved ones as it supports mothers and children in small villages. Check them out here http://www.eyesofindia.com/  I often find myself in large corporate shops buying everyday items, dish soap and storage bins come to mind, and I am trying to change this to support more individuals.

One of my favorite pieces I bought from them was two tapestry’s made from antique hand beaded wedding dresses. It was a collage of many dresses. I can stare at it for quite a while with my mind thinking about all the time and patience and love that went into each stitch and placing each bead and then the women wearing it on her wedding day.

Do you have a favorite place you shop to support mothers and their families?

Antique wedding dress tapestry

Antique wedding dress tapestry

Wedding dress tapestry

Wedding dress tapestry

Pillow case, I had to stuff

Pillow case, I had to stuff

 

 

Thanksgiving: Be thankful a donkey does not knock you to the ground.

  • Children are innocent
  • Children are non-judgmental
  • Children are resilient to change
  • Children are trusting
  • Children love unconditionally

 

Let’s explore Gratitude.

How many of you are lucky enough to have a child in your life?

For 30 years I woke up almost every day with a child physically present in my life.

My children are still in my life buy the closest lives three hours away.

Here is my life now:

After drumming and dancing for a few hours in my neighborhood park, I was walking back to my house with four various size hoola hoops slung around my neck and side. I’m happily taking each step, feeling content, but sometimes noticing the stares coming from passing cars. I suddenly flash on how much I would make sense to people if I had a string of children following me.

This was an easy task to accomplish over the years. I took it for granted that children would always follow me, always be around wondering what I was doing and eagerly wanting to come along.

I must confess that when I left the house I did not look around to see if anyone wanted to go with me. I am pretty independent and go when and where I want to go. I am also coherent enough to know there is no one in my house to ask anyway. I have not completely ‘lost it’ is what I am saying. But you would think that after 30 years it would feel a bit weird to go play in the park childless.

Most the time I do really well but at that moment, walking from a park with hoops slung on my body, moccasins on my feet, wearing my bright pink cut-up tee shirt, and people staring out their car windows looking for my lost kiddies, I felt the loss of children from my life.

My daughter brought back that shirt from her trip to Cambodia three years ago. It has a beautiful elephant on the front to remind me that she took care of an elephant for a week. She was so excited to give me the shirt but it was tiny and I was 20 pounds heavier. Determined to make the shirt work for me, I looked at tutorials on the computer and with scissors in hand, made my mark on the back, a heart. Still no bigger…so added side cuts…a little better so finished the sleeves with cute slits too.

I put this shirt on this morning cause I was missing her, now here it is, eight thirty at night, and my mind returns to her.

There was no baby donkey that day. Only a male.

There was no baby donkey that day. Only a male.

My mind takes me back in time about 15 years. My daughter and I are walking down our dirt road with a little girl Raina’s age, about five, and her mama who both live in our downstairs rental apartment. We are walking the mile long path that leads to a country store called ‘Love City Groceries’. Love City is the nickname of this Caribbean island called St John. Talking and walking in the hot summer sun, shaded occasionally with large Tamarind tress, we will soon reach the main dirt road. We see a donkey up ahead and think nothing of it. They are wild all over the island. The girls are ahead of us about twenty five feet. They pass the donkey but he starts to follow them. He seems to be showing strong interest in my daughter. She panics and starts to run, the donkey runs, I run, Raina’s little friends mama starts to run. Raina is screaming, I am screaming “Get”, Raina’s little friend’s mama is screaming “Get, Get out of here!” with her hands in punching mode. We are gaining on them, just like the donkey is gaining on my daughter. The donkey dips his head down and with his giant nostrils, he knocks my little girl onto the ground. I am ready to kill this donkey. I see that the other mama is ready to kill this donkey. In slow motion, this giant four legged hoofed monster takes another step toward my baby who is now helpless on the ground. Both mama’s are very close to this monster but not close enough. He walks over her…but does not touch her. No longer in slow motion, he runs away. I pick my little girl up who now has two holes in her polka dot stretch pants along with two dusty skinned knees. She is safe, we all are safe. I get her to laugh when I remind her what a story we have to tell her brothers when we get back home.

And when I get back home from my walk in the park, the only one I have to tell my story to is my computer. Thankfully, I have my computer.

So be grateful to walk with your children. When you just want a moment to finish telling your stories of the day to your friend who is walking with you and all your children combined, and you’re two minute story ends up being 15 minutes with all the “mom-look-at-this” or “mom-watch-me”s”, remember my story of how quickly it all disappears.

Remember that every moment for the rest of your life has a past, present and future to it. Be fully present to the moment at hand, don’t wish it away, no wishes are necessary, time is like a giant tidal wave and grabs everything in the present moment and quickly carries it to the past. Reminisce for a moment, dream for a moment and be grateful for this moment for it carries you to the next.

Be grateful for those children, for you brought them to this moment~~you carry them with you to the next.

 

 

Nutritional Benefits of Moringa Tree.

So why all this interest in Moringa?

 

Peppermint tea with Moringa pod laying nearby.

Peppermint tea with Moringa pod laying nearby.

Lemongrass at my house.

Lemongrass at my house.

I have been hearing about this Moringa for about two years now. A friend of mine grows it and makes lots of products from it. But until the last month or two I really didn’t pay it any mind.

I have been around natural herbs since I was 19 years old. I learned about them on my own, definitely not from any family member. Well I shouldn’t be so definite about that last sentence because my mother did teach me about toothpaste on bug bites and she swears by a bar of soap put near your feet in bed to take ailments out of your body. Can I just add too that my mother usually never swears.

In all those thirty-four years of actively studying herbs you would think I’d be an herb expert but the world is very large and the minute you think you know your stuff about twenty miracle cures pop up. Seriously. It happens so much that when someone says to me, “you need to try this, it will save your life”, my usual response is, “Really!, that’s nice.” As I look for another conversation to connect with. This sounds very rude as I am writing it. Very hoity toity.  But I can’t help it. I did the whole Nature Sunshine thing where lots of people that sold for them use a pendulum to see what herbs you need and how many. My girl that signed me up for NS, Nancy, got a percentage of everything I sold. A check would be issued from the company to her for all my sales. People would leave these sessions, lead by Nancy, needing 25 pills of different stuff and they would be told to do them two to three times a day. That, for some, was 75 pills a day. I was part of all that. I believed in all that…then.

Pau D’Arco, green algae, bottled aloe vera and much more were pushed at high prices. And while I do believe that these nature remedies are beneficial, it is the marketing of them that turns me off.

Now it’s turmeric, milk thistle, guyabano or sour sop (which I actually love).

I believe in eating whole food, food grown without harsh chemicals in nutrient rich soil. I will pay extra for that. Not supplements. I am not a whole foods only purist. I do keep a few things in my cabinet for rainy days, days when my body needs an extra boost. I take Kelp to hopefully pull some of the heavy metals from my body due to the toxic world we live in, and I like flax seed oil just to keep me oiled up, so to say, in my wise sage years. A little acidophilus to counter all the years I was on constant antibiotics as a kid, first for asthma and then for slight acne. Those are my little boost up, so to say.

So why am I writing my second post in a week about Moringa?

It was brought to my house by a friend on one of our juice Meetups I do monthly. She had been to FGCU (Florida Gulf Coast University) food forest weekly Friday tours and picked some of the leaves off one of their many Moringa Trees planted by the students and teachers for their permaculture food forest. She told us about all the goodness of this plant and left me a good amount of leaves. She had went to so much trouble to gather, clean and carry them to my home that I didn’t have heart to compost all the leaves that were left behind so I broke them free of the stems, set them in a large bowl on my kitchen table with lots of air flow and sunshine and they dried out very nicely, leaving lots of green color with them.

This led me to started making tea, lots of tea. Every time anyone comes over they have a pot of Moringa, homegrown lemongrass and peppermint tea combination that I think taste yummy. No need for sugar due to the mild flavor that is created.

The nutritional components found in this product are overwhelming. It contains high amounts of vitamins, minerals, fiber, and protein. Of course you don’t get fiber or protein with the tea but you do get the vitamins and minerals. The leaves can be added to your food the same way you add parsley or basil. Moringa Oleifera is used throughout the world as a food (leaves eaten whole) due to high nutrition content. It insures pregnant women and children will not be undernourished.

The Moringa tea is reported to be anti-inflamatory according to a study I read in GreenMedInfo. Look at this page for lots more scientific facts about moringa.

I will end this post with the quotes from a website I found by a Dr Julian Hakim, MD. It a supplement site and as previously said, I am always a bit leary on these but there are some good things to note.

The Moringa plant provides a rich and rare combination of zeatin, quercetin, β- sitosterol, caffeoylquinic acid and kaempferol. In addition to its compelling water purifying powers and high nutritional value, M. oleifera is very important for its medicinal value.

Various parts of this plant such as the leaves, roots, seed, bark, fruit, flowers and immature pods act as cardiac and circulatory stimulants, possess antitumor, antipyretic, anti epileptic, anti inflammatory  anti ulcer  antispasmodic, diuretic, antihypertensive, cholesterol lowering, antioxidant, antidiabetic, hepatoprotective, antibacterial and antifungal activities, and are being employed for the treatment of different ailments in the indigenous system of medicine, particularly in South Asia.

Moringa Oleifera is one of those products that has been used in many different ways to treat conditions such as anemia, arthritis, asthma, cancer, constipation, diabetes, epilepsy, heart conditions, hypertension, kidney stones, thyroid disorders, and infections.

  • Among its numerous medicinal uses are:

  • Antibacterial and antifungal activities

  • Antihypertensive, diuretic and cholesterol lowering activities

  • Antispasmodic, antiulcer and hepatoprotective activities

  • Antitumor and anticancer activities

It has water purifying properties.

He also notes this on his site.

According to an analysis of 100 grams of the edible portion of Moringa oleifera the various parts of this plant have been shown to contain as much of the following water-soluble vitamins: 2.6mg of vitamin B1 (thiamine), 20.5mg of vitamin B2 (riboflavin), 8.2mg of vitamin B3 (nicotinic acid), and 220mg of vitamin C (ascorbic acid). In addition, this same portion of edible product contains as much of the following fat-soluble vitamins: 16.3mg of vitamin A, 113mg of vitamin E (alpha-tocopherol acetate); as much as 423mg of the lipotropic element, Choline; 19.2 grams of fiber; and several key minerals: 2003mg of Calcium, 368mg of Magnesium, 204mg of Phosphorus, 1324mg of Potassium, 3.1mg of Copper, 28.2mg of Iron, and 870mg of Selenium.

In other words, it contains 3 times more iron than spinach, more calcium than 6 cups of milk, 4 times the potassium in a banana, 7 times the vitamin C in an orange and more protein than yogurt.

Where is your office?

Mother Earth Parenting's office

Mother Earth Parenting’s office

One of my many office’s.

Does anyone else do this? Set up an office in every inch of your living space?

Basic office needs: purse with credit cards to pay bills. Magnifying glasses to see. Bills, and Fresh smoothie made with organic froxen strawberries, bannanas, and sweet cheeries, coconut milk and almond milk. that’s it. Nothing else. Opps, I forgot…computor.

Power Tea with Moringa

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Ingredients 

Here is one of my favorite teas. Homegrown Lemongrass, Moringa from the food forest at Florida Gulf Coast University, and Peppermint tea from Celestial (I have some growing but not quite ready to pick from it) and non-chlorinated water.

Chlorine turns into a more harmful compound when boiled so very important to use filtered water.

The Moringa tea is reported to be anti-inflamatory according to a study I read in GreenMedInfo. It is used throughout the world as a food (leaves eaten whole) due to high nutrition content. More on this on a coming post.

Lemon Grass cam be used as a tea or the stem can be cut up and added for flavoring to many dishes.

Peppermint, well lets just say…Yum!

Steeping.

Bring water to boil, turn off and add tea~       Steep 20 minutes
Moringa pkg tea

Moringa pkg tea from Morinaspirit,com

This packaged tea is made by a dear friend and her husband, Daryl and Gene Salerno.

Go to their website and check it out.

ingredients and website

ingredients and website