Friday, July 22, 2011

My Latest Creation

Sometimes I wonder WHAT I was thinking when my daughter and my sister both convinced me I should have a table at the Delmarva Pagan Pride Festival this year, but I am definitely committed to it.

Having kids, a radio show geared towards Pagan children and just generally getting involved in my community (online and in-person) I really began to realize that our children can use spiritual guidance. I don't believe they are ever "too young" to be exposed to our faith & spirituality. I involve my children and they have just this incredible understanding.

In my home, we have a "family altar." Anyone is able to help by adding things to what is there. I also think personal altars are nice. With kids of varying ages, it became obvious to me that something simple should be used with younger children. So, I developed a children's learning altar cloth, complete with elemental goddesses and "markers," per se, for where candles would be placed.

The great thing about this is that the elementals can be moved and placed however needed. For example (in case I've lost anyone), if the place where you lay this cloth faces west, the elementals can be arranged so West is at the top, and all the others placed accordingly. Each elemental can also be picked up and held. This creates the perfect learning opportunity for children. Children can learn about each element with their parents and place anything they feel represents that element with it. By designing this learning cloth as such, I have also left plenty of room for personalization.

My younger children haven't seen this yet, but my oldest loves it. Everything was sewn by hand, so there is plenty of positive magickal intent in there! Now to make the other 17!

Well, I am off to continue working on my latest broadcast of Raven's Circle before heading to bed.

Have an Awesome Day!!!!

Saturday, July 16, 2011

My 14 Month Old Boy, the Vegetarian...Almost

Having 6 children of varying ages, taste preferences, etc. can be a bit challenging when it comes to family mealtime. One needs to make sure that all palates are satisfied, but not compromise on healthy. It's not impossible, but can be interesting.

Enter Anthony, our now 14 month old son. He loves eating right alongside all of us. He loves fruits and veggies, although he is allergic to bananas; poor boy. We bbq quite a bit and so the kids love their hot dogs and hamburgers. Anthony used to eat hot dogs. He used to eat macaroni & cheese made from the box (when mom needs a quick fix for dinner sides). He used to eat chicken. Then, one day he stopped. He won't even touch them unless the chicken is a breaded chicken dinosaur and the mac n cheese needs to be made from scratch. The only beef he will eat is teriyaki beef jerky; long enough to chew the taste out of it, then he gives it to the dog. My son also hates cow's milk. Anytime I have attempted to give it to him, he takes a sip then looks at me like I've poisoned him.

Luckily, I am still breast-feeding him. However, nursing alone is no-where close to enough to sustain this boy. What does a mom do when her youngest decides he doesn't like meat or cow's milk? Oh, did I mention he doesn't really care for the taste of eggs either and I'm allergic to fish so I don't cook it? Enter the conundrum that is my household mealtime. I really started to think. What do I do? This kid HAS to eat. I give him all sorts of fruits and veggies; he loves to eat green beans straight from the garden, sometimes as I'm picking them. For a short bit, I panicked. Then, seeing this as a great thing, though seemingly hard in a family of meat eaters, I texted my best friend. She had me email her brother, while also providing me with sage advice. I love my best friend, she's awesome. I also messaged another friend and started researching.

After text messages, emails and Facebook messages, I finally felt better, almost. The advice and research helped greatly. The one thing I forgot was that I should trust my instincts, as well as my knowledge. Since he won't drink cow's milk, I bought a small container of vanilla soy to try out on him. Remembering that my daughter Sophia used to not be able to stomach cow's milk during the hot summer but always could drink soy milk came to mind. I also bought chocolate soy as there are kids in my house that love it. I used to use it as a special treat. Success!! He loves it! Next up, I bought tofu; extra firm to try frying up in the pan. My former mother-in-law used to cook up slices of it in soy sauce. I always loved it like that. I didn't break out the soy sauce, but, rather, bbq sauce. Pairing that with a side of peas and we have a yummy dish that he loved.

Prior to us realizing his absolute distaste for meat (mostly), I had picked up a couple of the Plum Tots squeeze pouches to have on hand for trips to the pool and such. Boy, did Anthony fall in love with them. The only thing I have to watch is the ingredient list. I didn't realize that the blueberry one with quinoa also had bananas. My poor baby's bum! Apart from that, I highly recommend them for on-the-go. I had one Peter Rabbit Organics pouch, but I knew it had bananas, so my oldest (she's 15 on Monday) and I ate that one. No wonder Anthony loves those squeeze pouches! Yummy!!!! I'm sure my kids will find at least the ones from Peter Rabbit popping up in their lunches every now and then.

So, here I am now, in a much better spot about my son's intolerance to meat. And you know what? I am so okay with it. Both my husband and I know that there isn't anything wrong with what he's eating, so we work meals around it. On nights when I know the main dish involves meat, I make a substitute for him. Otherwise, he eats what we have. Anthony is happy, I'm happy and so is everyone else. I did make sure my larger family all understand that he won't eat meat. My dad, whom I expected to maybe catch some flack from, was very supportive. He and my stepmom totally get it. My mother just said she didn't understand that, and it seemed strange to her. Ok, so my parents had the opposite reactions I thought. Live and learn.

For me, this is a great thing, a positive step to better health for the whole family, as we will all get to try out new foods that no one in our family may have ever thought to cook. And the best part? I have a new buddy to eat eggplant parmigiana with! Yay! Ok, ok, MAYBE I'll share with the rest of the family.