Friday, September 30, 2011

#26. This Moment: Friday Flashback

Squeaky D Flashback: Three Months Old

 {this moment}
A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savour, and remember.
If you're inspired to do the same
leave your link in the comments 
then go to Soule Mama and do the same.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

He was refusing to breastfeed. What was I to do?

My baby refused to breastfeed at four months old. Was he trying to wean? 

I love breastfeeding my baby. Now that we have been doing this dance for over ten months, I can look back on our steps and see the areas where we lost our footing. Where we had become off-beat. How I was steadfast and determined, I simply didn't see any other choice and so I dug my heels in, turned up the music, and kept dancing, even if I didn't know what the dance was supposed to look like.

There have been moments where I was exhausted, confused, raggedly looking into the eyes of my friends and desperately pleading for a moment of sanity thinking - "Am I doing this right? Is this really how it is supposed to go?" Not knowing that when it comes to breastfeeding - and babies in general - there really isn't a "supposed to" about it.

When Desmond was four months old he woke up. That is, he realized he could see the world and couldn't tear his eyes away from it for one moment, not one. He only wanted to be held high enough to see over our shoulders, or facing away so that he could look look look at everything.

q u i e t n e s s
This made breastfeeding very hard. Friends would come to visit us and he would squawk, hungry like a tiny bird. I would gently bring him to my breast and he would hungrily root and latch. And then immediately become angry and arch his back away. Partly? This was a learned behaviour from the reflux. But mostly he did not want to look away from the world. He did not understand that snuggling into my breast meant he would no longer be hungry.

This was more than just a baby bobbing his head into the breast. More than just a baby pushing and pinching the breast. Those actions are signs of hunger often misinterpreted.

This was a baby, my baby, full on refusing to take the breast and suck or feed. This was a nursing strike. At a very young age.

I didn't know at the time but we were going through was something many women go through. At my LLL meeting, mothers saw him squawk in hunger, mothers saw him angry and refusing to be turned into the breast, angry at the suggestion that... maybe he'd like to eat? They offered their sympathy, they offered to help any way they could. Their eyes told me - "It's going to get better." As I packed up a finally full, finally sleeping baby to drive home in wintery darkness, Leaders would put a hand on my shoulder and thank me for being determined, for coming to the meetings. "Keep coming," they'd say.

Obviously I was petrified to leave my house to go anywhere else. How could I go to the grocery store? How could I go to the bank or the mall? My baby would become hungry, but what it took to feed him was at least a 15 minute ordeal that involved a lot of crying, a lot of that very screamy baby screaming that we call Code Red around here. And I was unable to juggle the two of us in any discreet kind of way. I couldn't very well plop myself down in the pickle aisle with my breast out and struggle with my screaming baby for 15 minutes. I wish that I could have, but people today wouldn't understand. Because What would people say? They would say breastfeeding is only okay if it is discreet. Right? We tell mothers No!

Not if a she needs to sit down on the ground and pull down her v-neck and leave it that way and THEN somehow finagle the L O U D E S T infant into quietness just so that she can get some fucking groceries, god dammit. No, not the mothers who really need it, not the mothers who are struggling. They can't be discreet so they are NOT OKAY IN PUBLIC.

There were only two things that I knew for sure in those days:
  1. A four month old baby is not trying to wean. A four month old baby has no concept of those things. 
  2.  A baby can't be distracted if it is already sleeping. 
And so we became very good at putting the baby to sleep without the breast at all. We wore Baby D and walked until he slept. We held him in our arms and danced around the livingroom until he slept. We held him to our chests and bounced gently on the exercise ball, humming and shushing, humming and shushing. Until he slept. And he would cry. But then he would sleep.
He sleeps.
Once his lungs were quiet and his eyes were closed, I could bring him to my chest and he would latch and he would suck and he would eat and eat and eat. And he would sleep. And I would visualize and take deep breaths, anything anything to get that letdown to come as fast as I could. Rushing rivers, gates opening, waterfalls of milks. Breathing deeply, my hand on his tiny head, celebrating; my baby is q u i e t.

We had cracked the secret code. And so all day I would feed him after he fell asleep. If he would fuss during a nap, I would lay beside him and let him eat. I would feed him again as he woke up. He started eating more over the course of the night to make up for the days. I didn't mind. Babies need to eat, and I wanted to feed him. I would breastfeed him anyway that we could make it work.

Every day it became easier until at one point - it stopped. He started making the connection and the dance became so much smoother, we were more than comfortable taking time-outs from the world to nurse. And then it was just gone. I can still remember the first day that he was happy and excited to breastfeed every. time. And I'm so grateful that I powered through that rough patch, that nursing strike, to emerge on the other side.

Now? Six months later I am even happier. This dance couldn't be any easier.

Friday, September 23, 2011

#25. This Moment: Garden Harvest

 {this moment}
A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savour, and remember.
If you're inspired to do the same
leave your link in the comments 
then go to Soule Mama and do the same.

Friday, September 16, 2011

#24. This Moment: It's Autumn, Baby.

My Autumn Baby

 {this moment}
A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savour, and remember.
If you're inspired to do the same
leave your link in the comments 
then go to Soule Mama and do the same.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Home-made gluten-free Turkey Burgs! {Rookie Recipe}

Can we get it out of the way? Can we just say it?

Hamburgers are awesome. And apparently gluten free hamburgers are impossible to get right. In the last two years I have had very few truly amazing gluten free burgers. The problem is usually the bun.

Gluten free buns are bad, mmkay? They just are. They are hard when they should be soft or gooey when they should be fluffy. And they taste like wrong. Just wrong.

And even if the bun was even just alright, the patty is usually unseasoned. No barbecue sauce. Just a round puck of meat. Gross.

So obviously you could understand why a girl's gotta put her foot down and say Enough! I will make my own gosh darned gluten free burger and it will be INCREDIBLE YOU GUYS.

And? It was.
Most delicious burger of all time. OF ALL TIME!

What I used:

1 lb ground turkey
1 egg
1 package of Glutino Gluten Free crackers, pulverised.
1/2 an onion, finely chopped
4 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
1 tblspn of chopped dill
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp garlic powder
a dash of montreal steak spice

Romaine lettuce
hamburger fixins

What I did: 

Pulverising these crackers was harder than I thought it was going to be. I'm not a huge fan of Glutino Gluten Free Crackers for eating. They try to be Ritz crackers and fail. They are too crunchy and too sweet - perfect for cooking with. First I beat the crackers (inside their little "freshness" baggie) with my hands. But they would not be crushed. Then I beat them with a soup can. But, nope, they were still not interested in being crushed. So I got out my rolling pin and I let loose on those crackers like they done me wrong. For a good five minutes. And now I want a food processor very badly. But I crushed them real good.

I put two packages of ground turkey in a huge bowl, added the crackers, the egg, the onion, and the seasonings and mixed. Some people use their hands for this. I used a wooden spoon and a rubber spatula and probably looked like a fool but I did not have gooey raw meat on my hands so I feel like a winner and that is what counts

Amazing Tupperware Patty Press... things.
Once everything is really well mixed, I brought out my secret weapon: My mother's ancient Tupperware hamburger patty press set... thing. You take a spoonful of the ground meat, put it in the mold, and then use a press to flatten it and shape it into a patty. I'm sure it would be easy to do by hand, but baby - this patty press helps the burgs stick together on the grill so well. I'm glad I would not relent and give it up in the great Tupperware purge of ought-nine.

I stacked four patties on top of each other, separated by a small square of waxed paper. This is a great way to freeze them, in groups of four, so you can quickly defrost and grill some gluten free burgers on a whim - any time you like!

We decided to grill 6 burgers right away, topped them with pickles, red onion, mustard, and ketchup, and wrapped each burger in one or two romaine lettuce leaves. The lettuce wrap is actually AMAZING. Better than any gluten free bun you've ever tried, crisp, fresh, crunchy - and it doesn't fill you up so you can go ahead and have a second burger, guilt-free.

Can't wait to try turning this recipe into a meatloaf! I'll let you know how it goes.

Do you make your own burger patties? What are your favourite spices and ingredients?

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Who is Mandude?

Who is Mandude?

Well. He isn't my husband. And I'm not his Wife. I'm simply Ms. Square and he is just Mandude, and together we love each other the best way we know how, constantly striving to know how to love each other better and better.

When we first met neither of us gave the other very much of a second glance.

When we second met we could not stop laughing together.  I loved that his laugh revealed his Russian accent and when gushing about him to friends online (livejournal for life) I referred to him as The Russian. As we got to falling in love, moving in together, starting a family... we realized "boyfriend" and "girlfriend" just didn't cut it anymore. Those terms just didn't match our endearment.

So we tried out partner for a while. We still use it a lot to strangers, but it does seem to make people think we are a homosexual couple for some reason. We also tried out the word spouse, which is my favourite word when I'm dealing with the public.
We is serious about Om Noms

And of course there is the ever-popular "Baby Daddy," which is actually a personal favourite of mine but people don't seem to realize that - yeah, we're still together and in love. So darn.

One evening I was on twitter and everyone around me was tweeting about their spouses. Hubby, Wifey. DH, DP, SigOth... none of it seemed to fit us. I thought, who is he to me?

The dude who mans my heart. My Mandude.

So Mandude he became, and he wears the title well.

Friday, September 9, 2011

#23. This Moment: Sick little Snugglebug

My sick little Snugglebug

 {this moment}
A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savour, and remember.
If you're inspired to do the same
leave your link in the comments 
then go to Soule Mama and do the same.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

#22. This Moment: Dapper Baby D

Hey. I know it is Saturday. But if I want a full year's worth (fifty-two!) of these, I gotta play catch up now and then.
Dapper Baby D
 {this moment}
A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savour, and remember.
If you're inspired to do the same
leave your link in the comments 
then go to Soule Mama and do the same.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Tangy Potato Salad

I love potato salad. Even the really bad, too much mayo, not enough potatoes, are there any spices in this? super bad potato salad.

But I'm dairy free. And I was egg free for so long, mayo has kind of lost it's sheen. So when we decided to host a mini bonfire and barbeque to celebrate the end of the summer, I went on a search for a new and awesome mayo-free potato salad.

And I found it on Pinterest. I freaking love Pinterest. At first I didn't get it. The hippie in me sarcastically drew conclusions (can hippies be sarcastic?) about another website encouraging mindless consumerism. Shop. Shop! SHOP!

But there is a lot more to pinterest. There are a tonne of tutorials and DIY projects, and I am ALL OVER THAT STUFF. Like patchouli on a hippie. Only I don't like patchouli. I'm obviously not a very good hippie.

But life gets a little more difficult with a baby around. And I've had such a hard time etching out space and time to get to all these crafty projects and recipes I've been pinning. In steps the magnificent Sarah Bartlett who informs me about a Pinterest Challenge. AND I CAN JOIN.

So here was my Pinterest Challenge submission. I decided to make this amazing potato salad recipe.

It is a naturally gluten free and dairy free and mayo free AND! Freaking delicious. Here is the recipe, originally found on
Gratuitous use of my antique Pyrex nesting bowls.

What I used:
  • 1 package of organic baby potatoes, skin on.
  • 6 green onions from my garden
  • 6 tablespoons organic lemon juice
  • 12 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • a bunch of finely minced fresh basil
  • 3 tablespoons of capers
  • salt and pepper to taste
What I did: 

I left the skin on the baby potatoes, but since I wanted them all to be bite-sized, I did have to chop a few in half or into thirds. I cooked them and let them cool while I mixed the olive oil, lemon juice, capers, and minced basil. I chopped up the onions and mixed everything together in a large bowl, making sure to coat everything. I added salt and pepper bit by bit - though a few guests decided to add more salt to their own bowls. I can be pretty stringy when it comes to salt!

Though I did leave this potato salad to sit for about an hour before serving, it was even MORE AMAZING the next day. Like, oh my god, I'm so sad there aren't more leftovers this is INCREDIBLE STUFF MY FACE NOM NOM NOM amazing. So. Try to have leftovers. 

Yay! First Pinterest Challenge Complete!  And Squeaky D seems to approve, too.