Monday, June 29, 2009

Adventures in Raw Food

I am just that kind of insane that thinks things like.... food planning is just so HARD.... it seems like so much work.... HEY! I think I will try moving the family toward eating a raw food diet....cause that is just so freakin' hard and planning intensive that it will make just plain eating healthy look easy by comparison.... right? Ha. I take all the responsibility. Cause I am crazy. And because I want my finicky boyo to eat more variety. It all started weeks ago when I ordered Evie's Kitchen: Raising an Ecstatic Child. It looked awesome. And intimidating. But I was hopeful. Even cautiously ecstatic.

So today, after much trepidation, we tried out some raw food recipes. I can't say it was a rousing success. It is just SO different. Normally when I cook, it is a fluid experience. I take what the book says into account, but gods forbid I actually FOLLOW it. That would be boring. Recipes never have enough spices, for example. But with raw food, I was too scared to deviate at all. eep.

First I made Pablo "zebras," which is just slices of avocado covered in strips of nori to make stripes. Zebras. Get it? That was a raging success.

Then I started lunch, which was a cauliflower concoction meant to replace the rice for sushi. The recipe called for vast amounts of cauliflower, pine nuts, oils, and 1 TABLESPOON of salt. I thought... seriously?! But I did it. Cause I was scared to screw around with the recipe. Guess what. It was too salty. Are you surprised? Yeah, me neither. So I made ANOTHER batch with NO salt to mix with the first batch. It was yummy. BUT. Since Pablo had tried the salty batch and shrank up like a little slug, he acted like I was I was trying to kill him when I asked him to try the new, adjusted batch. sigh.

And did I mention that I had to make a deal with the kids that I would only use loud kitchen appliances in the BATHROOM with the door closed? My kiddos do not like loud noises. And did I mention this recipe called for a food processor? Yeah. So I prepped all the food, loaded up the food processor, hauled it to the bathroom, ran it at the bathroom counter, and brought it back to the kitchen chock full of mashed yumminess. When I think raw food, I will always think... bathroom.

And then there was dinner. I had planned to make a leek and sweet potato soup. In the bathroom. Blender this time. Yum, right? Well Pablo had his heart set on this parsnip cake something or other. Hey. He was excited about food. Who cares that dinner would be an hour or so late?! So I cooked. Or should I say PREPARED. And we waited. And waited. It became clear that parsnips were not to be. At least not for dinner.

So we dug into the soup. Have you ever taken a huge bite of raw leek? I wouldn't advise it. I tried adding another sweet potato. Suffice it to say that all the sweet potatoes in the world would not be able to conquer the bitterness of a RAW LEEK. (Go ahead and insert any lewd "leek" pun you like here. There were too many to choose from.)

We ate leftovers.

But, we are saving the soup for stock. And I am revamping that recipe, rawness be damned.

Tomorrow we will try the parsnip cake. And I believe we are making something called MONSTER SLIME. I am not kidding. Pray for us.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

I freakin' LOVE camp!

Yesterday I got to go to a parent seminar for GT kids at Pablo's camp. I cannot say how nice it was to be in the room with people who really understand giftedness. There was no judgment. There was no armchair diagnosis. Everyone in the room got it. They knew, from years of being with their own GT kids, that these kids aren't just smarter. They are DIFFERENT. I can't remember the last time I felt such a sense of community. I didn't have to fear the judgments and the looks and the... well, the everything that makes me reluctant to expose Pablo to people who just don't get him. Breaking out of isolation is a beautiful thing.

And today I got news that he is "a joy in the classroom," that "he participates so well" and various and sundry other compliments that I was terrified to the bottom of my heart that I would never, ever hear about my child. He fits in at camp. There, he is just a normal kid. He has FRIENDS who say hi to him in the hall. I am overjoyed.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009


Wow has life been crazy lately. Let me sum up.

My defunct job got it's funk back and I am working from home again. This is great news on the money side of life, but hard from a time management perspective. On days when I work too much I wish I didn't have to work at all, and on days when there is no work I get anxious that the lovely money will vanish again into the ether. sigh.... There is nothing like knowing you create your own anxiety.

My boyo is in day camp. He started last week and seems to really like it. We are thrilled. Of course, this has made me rethink homeschooling for kindergarten. Should he be in school where he can be around other kids all the time? Maybe yes, maybe no. Understand, when he is home he is getting progressively more cranky. Being away from home is clearly tiring him out. He is such an introvert, and he needs his space. School doesn't give him that. But I have absolutely failed at finding a social setting where he can join in and be part of the group. He is just too unlike most other kids. Unless he went to this one certain private school where he could be with peers. If he will take the test. Oy. What to do.

Of course, we can't even send him to the school we would want him to attend until he takes an IQ test. We aren't concerned with his IQ being high enough IF he cooperates, but we are not AT ALL confident that he will comply with the testing. Pablo is a guy who does what he wants with a passion and digs in his heels on anything he doesn't want to do. This includes pretending he doesn't know things just to get away from talking about it sooner. Like if he was being asked questions as part of an IQ test. Ahem.

I am pretty freaked out about homeschooling. I don't think I will be good at it at all. To me anything that has school in it needs structure. And with Pablo, structure means a fight. Friends promise me that I have been unschooling him all this time and that I have done so well, but him being old enough to go to school feels like I have some higher responsibility. To MAKE him learn. I know, I know, all this control nonsense will take all the fun out of it and we will end up in some HUGE power struggle and I will damage him for life. As if I haven't already.

So, what you have missed in the how ever long it has been since I last had time to blog, is that these days I feel incredibly anxious so much of the time about so many things. Things where it feels like there is one right way and I will only know it once it has come and gone and I see it from way over here on the wrong way. sigh....

Friday, June 12, 2009

For you STAR WARS lovers out there

Ok, so I stole this clip from one of my favorite blogs, cake wrecks, but still, it is TOTALLY worth it!!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Knitting with Toothpicks. You think I am kidding.

But I am not. I am just that crazy. You know how I gave Pablo a medicine bag to take to camp, and then wanted a matching one? Well I had just learned to knit an I-cord and I thought, what better than an I-cord for the necklace part? Then I thought, where the heck am I going to find needles small enough? Apparently in the kitchen. Hey, it worked. So without further ado, here are our crocheted medicine bags (I made Pablo a brand new one) with knitted I-cords, ready for camp a whole week early.

I love how his shines!

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Laying fears to rest... at least HIS fears!

Pablo is going to day camp this summer. In a couple of weeks. It will be the first time I leave him with anyone I don't know well. I am instead leaving him with people who don't know him at all. They don't know his quirks, his idiosyncrasies, his fears, his... well him! I am freaking out, but trying not to, because I don't want to freak him out. And I know he is kind of freaked out. He has told me he doesn't understand why the mamas aren't invited to camp. He is scared about being away from me and being with strangers. And I have tried to be compassionate and reassuring without ignoring his fears.

Today I told him that I had a special present for him to take to camp, that would help him know I was thinking of him the whole time I was away. I meant to build a little suspense, but I accidentally built A LOT. So I finally gave in and gave him his gift early. It is a small, handmade medicine bag that I have carried for years. I tied it around his neck and then got out my special stones, where I found another medicine bag. We decided I should wear that one to remind me of him. I brought out 2 painted arrow heads and some crystals. He picked an arrow head and a crystal for his bag, and I got the other arrowhead and a crystal he chose for my bag. He was over the top excited about it.

Also in the box with the stones was a pendulum. Now understand, we are meticulous about not lying to Pablo about Santa or the tooth fairy. We tell him what some people believe and let him make his own decision. But the pendulum was sheer magic. I explained how it worked and what some people believe about it, and asked if he had any questions for it. Oh boy, did he! We asked if he would have fun at camp... yes; if he would make friends... yes; if he would feel comfortable...yes. His eyes almost popped out of his head with every answer and between the medicine bag and the pendulum, I don't think he is worried about camp at all.

I wish I could have a little of that magic too. Tonight I am making myself a medicine bag to match his. Maybe that will make me feel better? I will go ask the pendulum....

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Try explaining this to YOUR child and let me know how it goes...

It is all my partner's fault. Completely. 100%.

Yesterday she told me about this commercial. I teared up, just from hearing about it. And today, she sent me the link. This time I didn't just tear up. I SOBBED. I completely lost it.

Of course Pablo wanted to know why. So I had to explain how some kids are really really sick and probably won't get better and there is an organization that makes their wishes come true because their lives are filled with so much hard stuff like hospitals and feeling sick all the time etc.... All the while I was crying, almost unable to speak. Pablo looked very somber. Especially when I grabbed him and gave him a big hug and told him how happy I was that he and his sister are healthy.

Then I decided to blog about it. As I was getting the embed code, Pablo looked at me and asked why that commercial was on my computer again. I explained I was going to blog about it. He paused and then asked, "So you like it?" I told him I did, and he stood there, dumbfounded. After another longer pause, he said, "The things I like make ME happy." Ah well. He has a point.

Watch at your own risk.