Kiss Kiss

“Brothers and sisters are as close as hands and feet.” — Vietnamese Proverb

This week has been such a whirlwind. Chris and the kids got hit pretty hard last week (so, like 13 days ago) with horrific colds. Just when I thought everyone was on the mend, Chris got taken out, hard, by some sort of what I like to affectionately refer to as the ‘Whatcom County Creeping Crud‘ or WCCC. It’s sort of all the pain of the flu without the actual real-deal flu-ness. He stayed home a few days from work but thankfully, he’s on the mend now but we are all looking forward to having a very low key weekend before Thanksgiving happens in just a couple weeks (yes, we’re hosting!).

In personal news, I’m planning super hard for Thanksgiving. I’ve been gluten and dairy free for a while (I just feel better! But yes, I miss my bread and cheese) so it’s been a fun challenge to try and think of recipes the entire family will enjoy without those ingredients. If you have any fun ideas, definitely pop ’em into a comment. I’m working off of these two books (It’s All Good and Eat to Live)  now – and have put fish and chicken into the options too. It should be super fun! Also, I’m working on our Christmas cards and this is the shot we’ll be putting on the front of them:

I’m thankful, as always, to Dawn Matthes Photography who manages to capture the best in our kids with just a few clicks. This family photo shoot took less than 15 minutes, about the perfect time for two little kiddos! Oh, and speaking of kiddos, we’ve got Jamisen learning to clear away dishes after meals – and he has also learned to sneak outside without us seeing him. The good habit (dishes) does not mitigate this new bad habit (sneaking). I swear, just when we have one phase under control (the ‘terrific twos!), the kiddo changes and we’re searching for new and exciting solutions and parenting strategies. And, as always, if you have any genius ideas for little boys that sneak out (last night, it was 8:30 p.m., dark outside, and raining … he got his shoes on and just headed out!), I am all ears.

Have a great weekend! And, happy soaping too! =)

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  1. Sharmon Sutin says

    Thank you everyone for sharing your “little Houdini” stories. My daughter is 31 with 2 children of her own. She was my little Houdini. She would watch us unlock the doors to the apartment, then when she wanted to go “visit” she knew how to get the door open. Our dining room was right near the door. We had a solid wood dining set that weighed a ton, even the chairs were very heavy. She learned to drag a chair over and unlock all the locks to get out.I stopped her by installing the lock upside down. All my locks in my house are now backwards to stop my grand kids from disappearing as well.

  2. says

    Last night I made a caramelized onion and Butternut squash puree for dinner. It was divine. Just onions, olive oil and a little salt to caramelize, took them out of the pan, in the same pan steamed the chunks of butternut squash. When that was done, put the onions back in the pan and hit with my stick blender (just no the one I use to make soap with 😉 and then adjusted the seasoning. I have also made it with curry powder, OR ginger and cinnamon.

  3. Patricia says

    Oh, wow! I missed that part! EAT TO LIVE – got it! I had tons of Fuhrman’s recipes through a minimum paid membership on his website on my old computer & backed up on an external hard drive, but I have yet to access that Ex-HD again. I especially liked the chocolate-spinach-date-frozen banana smoothie! Sounds so weird, but it’s really delicious!

    Much later, I saw a YT video called, “Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead.” Now there’s a website of the same name, but followed that video to the Reboot With Joe website. Just wondering…up on their site right now (under the recipe tab) are raw MACAROONS! Did you get your recipe from there? Joe Cross came from Australia to spend time with Fuhrman, lost weight and got healthy. The difference between the two websites is that rebootwithjoe has free recipes.

    • says

      I have the new Eat to Live cookbook. There are some good recipes in there. I had no idea that they had a paid membership option. Interesting. And that smoothie sounds delicious (not weird at all!).

      I watched that video too. That’s when I started juicing in earnest again (I have my beet kale juice in front of me right now!). I’ll have to go check out the RebootWithJoe website.

  4. Patricia says

    Hi, A-M! More great photos! Here’s a “wee” bit of advice!

    I read a book based on what’s been learned in neuroscience back around 2005 called, “What Could He Be Thinking?” by a Michael Gurian. Never heard of him, but it made a heck of a lot of sense. It’s not a parenting book, but a book about how males and females are wired very differently, not only by their chemical make-up, but the physical structure of the brain as well.

    For example, I learned… Why do males dominate in professional sports or are more sports-oriented? They are action-oriented. Same reason why men prefer action movies over emotional chick flicks. Same reason why men putter around the house fixing things as a way to care for their family – it’s an action. He’s more of a doer than a talker. You can read a man closer by watching his actions than listening to him since on top of being action-oriented, men are wired to use less words than females do. Men are more left-brained; women are more right-brained and the language center is in the right hemisphere. That’s why we females can talk up 90-miles an hour with gusts up to 140 (like this!!) – AND on a variety of topics – all in a matter of 10 minutes, while a man listening compartmentalizes his thoughts so he may still be stuck on the first thing you mentioned. This also is reflected in the way women multi-task more than men, which of course, you know is not always a good thing. And it also has to do with the fact that males have 25% less neurotransmitters than females between the two hemispheres, making it a bit harder for males to get what their thinking in their left brain over to the language center in the right and out onto the tongue.

    And along these lines, females have an easier time adapting to doing male things like going fishing with him (she REALLY wants to bond – that’s her constant high level of oxytocin,) while you won’t find too many guys joining the ladies scrapbooking club. I won’t get into HIS oxytocin levels, except to say that it fluctuates. It’s a bit “graphic,” for lack of a better word. :)

    So then one asks, who dominates in the fields of law enforcement, fire-fighting and other such high risk jobs? Who’s more likely to go off to war, or take interest in weaponry? Men, of course! Why? They are more risk-taking! Again, we see this in the action movies, and there are plenty of physical risks in sports, too. Now you know why men beat the tar out of each other in a boxing match and call it a sport!

    Ever notice that in virtually all of these types of movies, it’s “good guy vs. bad guy” often with a female somewhere in the middle, and often the victim, and the good guy always wins? In the heart of every normal man is the NEED to be a HERO…(think “SAVIOR” and you’ve got it.) His greatest need is to be looked up to and respected as a man.

    On the other hand, her greatest need is to be loved. As the child bearer, she is the natural born relationship builder; it’s at the very core of her being. (Emotion is a right brain thing, too! Who cries openly?!? Ya…)

    This is but the tip of the iceberg of that particular book, but just know that Jamison is a 100% risk-taking, action-oriented male, and heading out the door in the dark when it’s raining….no problem to him, Mama. It’s normal. They are simply the more aggressive and fearless of the two. It’s only when he starts harming something or someone – like picking the wings off flies or trying to attach himself to the ceiling fan so he can fly around the room backwards, (yes, it HAS reportedly been done!) and things like that you need to be worried. And Gurian worries, too.

    Then there’s the difference between which sex is more audio and which is more visual. That doesn’t even need an explanation…whisper sweet nothings in her ear…it goes a VERY long way, and who’s buying billions of $$$ in cosmetics and plastic surgery, trying to look beautiful…for whom? The same sex that spends billons of $$$ on “looking at the female form”, to put it lightly. Sad, but true. You’ll be dealing with that issue someday, too.

    I haven’t done a whole lot of reading on neuroscience, but I imagine there are plenty of books out there now since the field is exploding with new research. Another book I have is called, “Men Are Like Waffles, Women are Like Spaghetti,” by Bill & Pam Farrel – same premise of how men put their thoughts into little boxes while women’s thought are intertwined, among other things.

    There’s a lot to raising children – most important job in the world. “The hand that rocks the cradle rules the world” is really no mere axiom. Knowing a bit about brain chemistry offers avenues of clearer understanding into what makes people tick and how to channel that in a positive way.

    LOL…I just did a word search for “bringing up boys” because I remembered James Dobson wrote a very popular book on the subject. But what I was surprised to find on the search page was a book called, “Raising Boys by Design: What the Bible and Brain Science Reveal About What Your Son Needs to Thrive.” (The book cover says it all!) Gurian is one of the authors, which astounded me because I didn’t get the impression from his book that he was a Christian, (rather an evolutionist,) but interestingly enough, I found his book to fit the Biblical pattern for men and women. Action-oriented, risk-taking men have traditionally been the breadwinners, going out into the often hostile world to provide for their family, while relational, child-bearing females traditionally have kept the home fires burning. Perhaps I should say “instinctually.” If given the choice between you or your husband, (the LEFT-BRAINED-LOGICAL-MATHEMATICAL-ENGINEER-TYPE-GUY,) and one of you had to give up your career because a tragic turn of events left one of your children paralyzed for life, which of you would it be? I’m 99% certain that would be Y.O.U. (even though your TOTALLY AWESOME daddy gave you “a pair” – your hilarious article, “Yes, as a matter of fact, I DO have a pair!”)

    Just my 75 cents…I’ll stop YAPPING now. 😀

    Oh! Found this, too!


    • says

      Wow, your comment has so much information and genius in it. First of all, I can’t believe your remember that much from one book. You have an impressive memory.

      I love ALL of that feedback and I was reading it, I was also thinking of my husband (!!) and how that really fits him too. Just last night, he was out dealing with gutters for what seemed like hours. And of course that’s the way he shows love and expresses it. That makes complete sense.

      I went and checked out Michael Gurian’s site. Wow, there are some great looking books there. All of them look interesting actually. Thank you for that gem.

      And thank you for your awesome comment. It gives me a lot to think about and ack! worry about. Being a parent is like a giant science experiment but there is so much that can (and does!) go wrong….

  5. Leanna H. says

    I’m glad I’m not sensitive to many foods. I do have an all nut allergy though. But I found out from my doctor that 20% of nut allergy sufferers can “outgrow” it by the time they turn 30! 10 more years to go! But my poor mom and boyfriend are sensitive to stuff like crazy. My mom has sensitivity to tomatoes and citrus and really lactose intolerant. My boyfriend gets violently sick when he has whey protein and he’s also lactose intolerant. Hopefully we don’t have to give up anymore stuff! Italians (him) love to cook and Germans (me) like to bake!

    • says

      Oh wow, a nut allergy? That would not be great. Nuts are in so much stuff.

      I”m thankfully not intolerant to anything; just feel better when I cut that stuff out. Your poor boyfriend! Almost all the protein bars etc… have whey protein in them. I guess that’s just all the more reason to make them from scratch. =)

  6. Dawn Pollock says

    I have been gluten & dairy free for a while. Amazing results. I just want to be healthy. I am now very interested in essential oils and healing. My new quest. Have a great day and thank you Anne Marie for all that you do for all of us!!!! Loving your book by the way!

    • says

      I am with you – I just want to be healthy! I’m training for life =) and I want to live a long life and be able to do everything possible with my little ones.

      I’m so glad that you’re liking the book – yay! It was fun to work on it and finesse the soaps along the way.

  7. says

    I could not agree more, gluten and dairy free for weeks now and feel so much better.
    Try “Against all Grain” by Danielle Walker, this book is a revelation, dairy free icecream,
    Banana Bread, Waffles, all tried and tested and found to be awesome, proper tasty
    Food. I miss cheese too, but I just cannot tolerate it anymore. Much love to you
    And the family

    • says

      Oh wow, those sound great …. I love the idea of gluten free waffles. I’ve been buying the ‘Pamela’s Mix’ but it’s sort of expensive and I know I can probably figure out a much cheaper option from scratch.

      I did a bit of a cheat day this weekend and had some dairy (in the form of cheese) and it was delicious … but I sort of felt ‘blech’ afterwards so back on the wagon for me this week =)

  8. says

    Hey Anne-Marie! Great work on gluten/dairy free. That’s a toughie. My daughter discovered she was gluten sensitive, now dairy as well. Her husband is also gluten and fermented foods/yeast sensitive. Talk about interesting meal planning! My husband decided to go gluten free after reading the book, “Wheat Belly” and I have tried to support him by limiting it too. Not sure if you were aware of this resource. Wendy Polisi has great recipes and E-Books for gluten free. Her story of how she became gluten free is a good read as well. Here is my favorite energy bar recipe.

    • says

      I don’t know if I’m gluten sensitive so much as I just feel ridiculously better when I’m not eating gluten and dairy. I wonder if they’re empty “filler” calories and when I’m forced to eat more nutrient dense foods, I feel better? Either way, those quinoa energy bars look phenomenal and I am completely making a batch for Thanksgiving. I can’t believe it’s coming up so fast! Thank you for the suggestion – and ‘Wheat Belly’ has been on my “When I have a lot of time again” list to read for a while now.

  9. LuAnn says

    We have had the same issue, we have 3 biological children, ages 20, 17, and 11. NONE of them did stuff like that, so I decided we are just good parents! Then my darling nephew came along. We have pretty much always taken care of him, and got permanent guardianship when he was one and a half. And we are now almost through the adoption process. He will turn 3 the middle of January, and holy cow, he goes 90 miles an hour ALL THE TIME!! When he learned to sneak out, we put “hotel” locks on all of our doors, and they even make them for sliding glass doors. They are all about 6 feet high. It’s kind of a pain for the rest of us, but so worth the peace of mind knowing he cannot get out! I have also heard of people putting bells on their kids shoes and slippers! I hope that might help some! :)

    • says

      Little Jamisen has a lot of energy. It’s “normal” for us and I don’t realize it until other parents come over and they’re all like, “Whoah, he doesn’t really stop does he?” I usually barely have time to quit panting, look up on a lap around the house, and gasp “No, lots of energy, our boy!” And then, just keep continuing the races =)

  10. Leslie says

    Well, we never had a problem with our son trying to leave the house. BUT, we did have a HUGE problem with my late Mom trying to leave whenever she was here. She had stroke-related dementia and wanted to go for walks or look for her car (she no longer had a car!). It was very frustrating, being a caregiver to Mom and a Mom to our son!!

    Our son came up with the solution and we solved the “The Great Escape Artist” (aka Mom) in a very easy way.

    Buy one of those wedge-shaped door alarms. They wedge under the door and, if the door is opened, emit an incredibly LOUD trill. The device has a control on the underside, and it will trill if you try to pull it out (especially, little hands or old hands!). I can promise, the sound would scare the dumplings out of your little guy! I would bet he would only try it once to be convinced that this is not something to do!

    Then, after he’s startled by it and understands that it will trill whenever HE opens the door, you can turn it off. The wedge will still help keep the door closed, too.

    It stopped Mom from trying to get out (she hated the sound and we had warning that she was trying to open the front & back doors. We still have the wedges (Mom died in 2012) and we take them on trips (great for hotel safety!).

    The other idea (and it is quiet!), is to get one of those door knob covers. An adult can squeeze it tight enough to turn the knob, but little hands cannot. If you don’t have a regular doorknob, than it might not work for you.

    One other idea: Get a hotel-type, safety-chain lock for your door(s) and place it up high, beyond his reach. The door cannot open more than a couple of inches.

    Hope these ideas help!

    • says

      That was a genius thought. I saw it this weekend and hopefully have one of those wedge shaped devices winging their way towards my house right now!

      Our handles don’t do well with the door knob covers because of their shape.

      Chris was just saying we should get a safety-chain lock. I like that idea as well.

      I need to find one of those online since I’m pretty sure I won’t find one locally! =)

      Thank you for your suggestions.

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