Blissfully Informed Hippie Chick

Encouraging people to think critically about everything.

My First Guest Post

I’m so excited to announce not only my first guest post by Natasha Batsford over at http://www.maybediaries.com/, but I’ve also recently exceeded 50 followers here on my blog. Wow! Thank you to each and every one of you for proving my husband right when he told me I should start a blog, because people would want to read my ramblings 😉

And please, go check out the lovely post that Natasha put together, featuring a Q&A with yours truly:

http://www.maybediaries.com/2015/04/reflections-on-baltimore.html?m=1

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Another Trip Around the Sun

There is a video going around Facebook of a mother assaulting her son who was rioting in Baltimore. (http://abc7.com/news/video-angry-baltimore-mom-beats-son-suspected-of-rioting/684791/) My first thought was “violence begets violence”. When I saw the video posted by a friend who authors a Facebook page and blog here on WordPress (http://unschoolingmommaandpoppy.com/), I felt the urge to comment. I stated:

I would not beat my child to get them away. I understand fully the gravity of the situation. I would be crying, begging, pleading with them to come away with me. I would  know that I understand why they feel the need to be there. I would offer to help them voice their protest in a safer, more effective way. If they still would not come away with me, I would stand in front of them and say “I understand that I can’t make you leave, but I cannot leave you, my child, in a place where you may be harmed. So I will stand here and protect you, with my own body if I must. Because I love you more than life itself. And while I disagree with your actions, I cannot leave you here to potentially die. I will stay here and spend what may be your last moments on Earth with you.”

Which actions do you think would have more of an impact on that human life, and on the lives of any who witnessed the interaction?

Apparently, my comment has garnered much attention. A lot of it has been positive, some negative. I’ve even been called names and told I don’t know what I’m talking about because I’m not “black”. To which I reply:

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As a result of my comment, however, I’ve been invited to a Q&A on someone else’s blog. (Stay tuned!) I’m honored and humbled that my honesty and openness have touched so many. I used to aspire to do many things in my life; lately, I have adopted a “what will be, will be” attitude. When I started my blog 6 months ago, I never would have imagined that nearly 50 people would be “following” my posts. And now, it seems I may actually have a chance at being a “real” author. And on today,  of all days…my birthday! What an incredible gift! I’m excited to see where the next trip around the sun will take me. If I can inspire just one person, ignite a spark of doubt or interest or change in one person, then I will have not begun this journey in vain.

I write this blog as if I am talking to my children; if I happen to inspire someone else along the way, that will be but a happy side effect of my time spent documenting my thoughts and feelings. Thank you to all of you who have taken the time to read my posts!

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Not For the Faint of Heart

Being a parent, that is. Especially a parent of two little ones. After a week of very little sleep, of one baby being sick for 3 days and both teething terribly, this morning could have gone better. The universe could have cut me a break. But no…

So far, I’ve been awake about an hour and a half. I changed the littlest one’s diaper, and the toddler, Natalie, decided she wanted to go potty. Started taking her diaper off and it was poopy. Luckily, she stood there while I went and grabbed wipes to clean her up. After she was done, I went to the laundry room to hang up the cloth diapers to dry, since I was too tired to do so last night. Heard a crash, came running back to the kitchen, found Natalie with the step stool by the counter. She had knocked over a cup of water left there by my 8 year old, and a plate with leftover salsa from last night, also there thanks to my 8 year old. So I got to clean up water and salsa from the counter, floor, and both of them, while trying to keep the baby, Bobby, from eating said salsa off the floor.

Oh yes, did I mention the dog poop on the floor that I got to clean up, too?!?

I left their dirty clothes on, because I figured they’d just get dirty from breakfast anyway, so I could change them after that. I left them with banana pieces to eat while I rushed to hang up the rest of the diapers. They, of course, both began crying when I was gone too long for them to handle.

Came back, cleaned them up, then had to take the dogs out to pee, since they had been waiting not-so-patiently. Back inside, then Natalie decided she didn’t want her diaper on. So she took it off, and immediately flooded the floor with pee. I totally used her shirt to soak it up before cleaning the spot with a rag, because well, the shirt was dirty anyway! At least it wasn’t on the carpet, right?

Got both of them new clothes, spent several minutes wrangling Bobby to get him changed, because he didn’t think he should be bothered with clothes right now. Never mind that it’s 30 degrees outside, he would prefer to be naked, thank you!

Oh yes, I’m forgetting washing Natalie’s bottle to get her more milk, and wiping Bobby’s snotty nose to try and prevent him from wiping it on my shirt (didn’t work, I’ve decided I’ll have perpetually snotty clothes).

And I totally just set the bag of trash with the dog poop in it on the front porch. I’ll take it to the can later.

I woke up starving, but somehow have lost my appetite between the poop, pee, and snot (gee, I wonder how that happened?). And I have yet to drink any coffee. As I write this, the babies are climbing all over me and relatively happy, and I know that as soon as I get up to do anything else, they’ll start crying again. But coffee is calling my name. I don’t think I’d make it past 9am without it or a nap…and we all know I’m not getting one of those!

It’s a good thing kids are cute, huh?

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Cooking Up Some Yumminess!

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I cooked most of the morning today! Feeding these kids is difficult sometimes. I’m glad I enjoy cooking so much! I attempted to make granola bars for the first time ever. I made the mistake of doing so while my older girls were still asleep, though, and both little ones were vying for my attention and wanting to be held. The toddler wanted to help, and has figured out how to drag the chairs and step stool to wherever she wants in order to reach counters and such. So in between “helping” me, she also did things like dig through the dirty dishes that are perpetually in one side of the sink. In all that chaos, I failed to read the entire recipe before beginning to just dump things willy nilly into the bowl. As you can guess, the bars turned out to be yet another “pinterest fail”. No pictures, I didn’t feel like documenting that disaster! On the bright side, we now have some really yummy granola, with a few larger chunks.

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Later, I managed to get the big girls to play nicely with the little ones while I continued my cooking. I made a big pan of Spanish rice, heated up some refried beans, chopped up fruit and veggies for some fresh mango salsa, and fried up some tortilla chips! My plan was to make enough food in one morning to be able to avoid cooking for the rest of the day. It seems to have worked!

Here’s my recipe for mango salsa, in case you’re interested:
https://blissfullyinformedhippiechick.wordpress.com/2014/10/16/mango-salsa/
I made a bigger batch and added a green bell pepper this time =)

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The tortilla chips are very simple, and don’t really take too long to make. They are better than any store-bought chips by far, and much cheaper, too! All you do is cut corn tortillas into chip shapes, fry them in coconut oil (or whatever oil you like) until brown and crispy on one side, flip them over and salt them, then take them out and let them cool on a towel or paper towels. I grab a stack of about 4 tortillas at once, cut them in half with kitchen scissors, then cut each of those halves into thirds. Trust me, you’ll never want to buy chips again!

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Stigma killed Robin Williams and many others: A Stigma Story

“We will never change the problems of the world until we start embracing diversity and gifts.We have these intuitive, special people and they are invalidated and abused. We continue to abuse and punish them. We need to stop punishing them. I agree, yes , the behaviors are tough. But there is truth in their behavior.There is a truth that sometimes we do not want to deal with.
We have to simply change or reframe the way we see things. See beyond the mask. To do this, sometimes we have to forget all the knowledge we think we have.
What we don’t see, is we don’t see past her mask. We cannot see that her behaviors are telling us there is something wrong here. Maybe it’s time we stop drugging them up and start listening.”

takingthemaskoff

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Photo credit to brian Meyer, amazing work.

“The intuitive mind is a sacred gift and the rational mind is a faithful servant. We have created a society that honors the servant and has forgotten the gift. We will not solve the problems of the world from the same level of thinking we were at when we created them.” -Albert Einstein

Robin Williams didn’t kill himself, stigma killed him. It kills many people like him everyday. Here is how:

STIGMA, that is the reason people do not ask for help. STIGMA is the reason people do not go to the doctor and say I’m depressed, or I’m an addict, or I do not feel things like anyone else. Who wants to say that they feel all these intense emotions?

Especially when you know what the result is likely going to be. When you know likely what will happen is the doctor…

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My First Blog Award

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I was nominated for my very first blog award =) I’m so honored! I never would have guessed my blog would become so popular in only 6 months. Many thanks to eatpraylovemom for the nomination!

In turn,  I’m nominating the following bloggers for the Real Neat Blog Award:

Unschooling Momma and Poppy
A-B-3 & Me
kindcotton
Scribbles & Crumbs
Losing Weight To Gain A Baby
ukuleleandababy

Rules/Instructions:

Put the award logo on your blog.
Answer 7 questions asked by the person who nominated you.
Thank the people who nominated you, linking to their blogs.
Nominate any number of bloggers you like, linking to their blogs.
Let them know you nominated them (by commenting on their blog etc.)

Here’s the questions asked of me, and my answers:

1. If you could only eat one thing for the rest of your life, what would it be?
I’m going to say pasta, because I love it and there’s a million different ways to cook it!

2. If you could be President, what’s are the first three things you would do in office?
First three? Hmmm…first, ratify the United Nation’s treaty protecting children’s rights. (http://www.ohchr.org/en/professionalinterest/pages/crc.aspx) Second, legalize cannabis, completely, for all adults. Third, pledge to rid our country of nuclear bombs.

3. Speaking of Presidents, if you could meet President Obama, what one thing would you say?
You mean, if there were no ramifications? Haha OK, how about “do you even care about your fellow man?” (Same thing I’d ask all politicians.)

4. What type of music do you like?
An easier question might be “what music don’t you like?” I like a little bit of everything. Music is art, art is expression of thoughts and feelings. I appreciate all thoughts and feelings!

5. If you could change one thing about yourself, would you and why?
I would let go of all anger and resentment, because negative emotions are poisonous to the spirit.

6. If you got held up and the gunman said you have the choices, give me all your money, get naked right here (in public) or come rob a bank with be, which option would you choose?
Get naked. It’s just skin!


7. You and your kids are some in the house at night (if you don’t have kids, you and your best friend) and there is someone outside trying to get in, you think you know the man but it’s dark and you can’t be sure. What do you do?

Let my two big dogs bark wildly. If that doesn’t scare them off, they probably know me and will start to yell at me through the door!

OK, my 7 questions for the bloggers I’ve nominated are:

1) What is your earliest memory?
2) If you could change one thing about society in general, what would it be, and why?
3) What is your favorite animal?
4) What one piece of advice do you have for future generations?
5) Who is the biggest inspiration in your life?
6) What is your favorite book of all time?
7) If you could live anywhere you want, where would it be, and why?

I look forward to reading your answers!

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How I Know It Works…

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I admit, I had reservations about baby led weaning when I first heard about it.  It’s not what all the books say to do. It’s not what I did with my first two babies. But the more I read about it, the more it made sense. So I took a leap of faith and my 3rd baby had very little pureed food, and my 4th has had none.

Today, I sautéed some onions, garlic, orange bell pepper, and green cabbage in sesame seed oil. I scrambled a couple eggs in the side of the pan, then added some leftover rice, broccoli, and rainbow carrots that I had made a few nights ago. Mixed with some soy sauce and Worcestershire sauce, it made a delicious pan of fried rice!

Here’s the kicker…my 20 month old daughter ate all of it, even the broccoli stalk. She even wanted more! And that’s how I know baby led weaning works!  =)

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The Great Laundry Mountain

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You know what I’m talking about…

That ever-growing pile of laundry that you just can’t seem to finish. Maybe it’s dirty, maybe it’s clean…in my case, both.

I have 4 kids. One of them is a toddler. Enough said, really. But allow me to elaborate. She is curious about her world. She likes mud. She likes to eat peanut butter straight out of the jar…with her hands. She thinks toilet water is for playing in. And her shirt is a napkin. She’s messy, ok? On top of that, I have an 8 month old baby, who is learning to eat. Most of his food ends up in his lap, in his hair, and on his hands. He’s pretty messy, too.

It’s safe to say I do a lot of laundry. If I don’t wash one load a day, I get behind FAST, because one load a day isn’t really even enough. That’s just barely enough to keep us from drowning. So when something happens like my baby being very sick and clingy for 3 days, playing catch-up seems impossible!

But enough is enough! Today is rainy and cold, so I’m declaring a “laundry day.” I’ll be announcing shortly that we are going to have a party…a folding party! Haha My kids will get excited, then moan and groan. But I’ll put on some music, and possibly announce a contest to determine the fastest folder, neatest folder, best sock matcher, etc. That usually does the trick =)

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My Baby is 11

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Where has time gone? 11 short years ago, I gave birth to this beautiful girl, my first baby. I still remember the moment I found out I was pregnant with her. I had taken several tests, all negative. Finally, I had blood taken, which was really my first selfless act as a mother. I hate needles. My husband was in the army. If you don’t know army clinics, know one thing: they are impersonal. They kind-of make you feel like cattle. Anyway, everyone taking a pregnancy test is given a number. Then they had you call this phone number and listen for your number to be read. If your number was read, you had a positive test. (Yes, I’m serious. I couldn’t make this up if I tried!) So there I was, standing in my living room, calling the number at the designated time. I heard my number read and I grinned from ear to ear. This baby was my dream come true, I was a mom! Then I called my husband at work. He said “really?!?” Then “my boys can swim!” LOL He was so incredibly proud to be a daddy, and that has never changed.

There are some things you never forget. Touching my daughter’s head as she crowned; the first time I touched a child of mine. The agonizing minutes I waited to hold her as I was stitched up from tearing and was bleeding badly; I had never known a deeper longing. The joy I took in her every “first”. And now, the pride I feel in the person she has become. She’s intelligent, compassionate, patient, kind. She’s inventive, artistic, and wise beyond her years. Above all else, she’s happy. And in that one fact, I know that I’m succeeding as a mother. I know I have my faults. I know there are things I can do better. I struggle, I fail, I get up and try again the next day. I am human.  But my children are happy, and they know they are loved. And I try to be the best mother I can be. That’s what matters. That’s what they’ll remember when they grow up and leave home. And I hope they also know that the greatest thing I have ever done, and will ever do, is be their mother.

I love you, Elizabeth Marie! Happy birthday!

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Organic Vegetable Gardening (part 3)

Spring has sprung! We have lots of things growing around here. I’m excited to see our seedlings sprouting, and looking forward to planting some things in the ground soon! Here are a few things growing out in the shed:

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The turnips are doing the best!

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The bell peppers and tomatoes are doing well, also.

The vegetables I’m sprouting in my kitchen are coming along nicely:

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The onion and a few carrot tops have sprouted.

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The potatoes are almost ready to plant, and the celery is beginning to grow roots.

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Several cloves of garlic have sprouted.

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The green onions are re-growing fast!

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And I went ahead and bought a small basil plant, because they were on sale at my local grocery store, and fresh basil sounded good for the homemade pizza I happened to be making that day! Basil is an easy herb to grow and compliments tomato plants in the garden.

Thanks for taking the time to share in my joy of gardening =)

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