Sloth Mom

natural living and parenting

Chicken Tenders in Apricot Ginger Sauce

This is a dish I created out of the necessity to clear out the fridge.  I used breast tenders, and originally thought they’d be crispy with the sauce over top.  Next time, I think I’ll definitely go that route because the sauce turned out pretty tangy (but delicious!).

Pairs well, from experience, with a vodka tonic.

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Cosleeping and Bed-Sharing, the toddler edition

Before this blog was hijacked by recipes and ramblings, I started Sloth Mom with a lot to say about attachment and bed-sharing.

This would be part 4, I believe, of my cosleeping experiences. And how is that going? You’re dying to know?

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I actually am asked quite frequently how our son likes his “own bed”, with an ever subtle air of doubtful suspicion.  Hmm, we’ll see how that turns out…

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Diplomacy and Taquitos

With spring in swing, I’m feeling the dusty weight of winter lifting from my brain.  Finally.

The flowers are blooming, waking up every bee and butterfly, filling my lungs with sweet breezes.  I’m not on drugs, it’s just how the awakening earth vivifies me. I want to make things, clean the clutter, spread the love.  Seasons are cool like that.

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So I made these miraculous taquitos one night in a last minute act of dinner desperation.   They turned out so stunningly and without fuss, I thought man, I should blog these beauties.

They were also terrific for sharing casually with unexpected guests.  Because what’s more refreshing after long winter months than an impromptu backyard soiree?

Too bad I was so busy stuffing my face that I didn’t take any photos.

What I’m learning, though, is to let go of being spot-on all the time (i.e. magazine quality photos of stellar ideas for my blog).  It isn’t just saying “oh well”, either; it’s about recognizing where my efforts are working and letting go of where they don’t matter, similar to my last post about Easter.

Midway through the second year of my son’s life, we’re becoming intimately familiar with behavior lessons… consequences, follow-through, and the limits of our sanity.  Typical stuff.

Despite the imperative to be consistent and firm as parents, I’m finding there’s as much to be gained from letting go as there is from diligence.  Continue reading

Simple Traditions

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Of the many parenting joys, my favorite part is seeing things through my son’s eyes. Reliving precious moments from my childhood and watching him experience that same excitement is one of those things that it’s all about.

Along with that sentiment, though, is the pressure to make it all perfect.  Holiday decorations take on a philosophical reason where slacking equals guilt.  There are birthday parties to plan, photos to frame, costumes to create, cakes to bake.  As if the day-to-day wasn’t busy enough.

Don’t get me wrong, either.  I freaking LOVE Christmas lights, a beautiful holiday meal, scrapbooks for days.  I’m all about traditions and sentimental stuff, but there comes a point at which all my efforts to make things special and memorable take away from me actually being there. Continue reading

A confession. I wasn’t happy about being pregnant.

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The other day I was reminded of a somewhat capricious memory.  The pregnancy test.  The one that turned out positive and turned into my son.

It makes me cringe a little to think about that pregnancy test, which is a clear indication to me that it is a subject worth poking.  So, let me share something a tiny bit rough with you, and we can all be better friends.

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All the “I Love You’s”

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Happy New Year! My main intention this year is about love and savoring life. I’ve learned so much from my son, and it’s only getting better.

It was my son’s 2nd birthday last month (and, incidentally, also SlothMom.com’s first birthday). As I look at the disaster I call a living room, strewn with honking, beeping, jingling things, I’m a little astounded that I have a two-year-old kid. When did that happen? The first birthday was the tail-end of a whirlwind; so much happened in that first year. But the #2 really snuck up on me (as #2’s are wont to do).

My son is very young still, but I don’t think I fall into the “new parent” category anymore. More and more frequently I’m shocked to realize that a version of me used to exist sans child. When I remember living in Alaska, I envision it with my son even though he wouldn’t be conceived for years still. I’m a “has-a-kid” person now, and it’s taken over even my memories.

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Parenting Made Easy

18 Hacks to Make Raising Your Kids a Breeze

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I wish I could remember every hack I read. As I avoid the life I love to peruse the internet, there are always lists of tips, signs of, reasons and steps for whoever the web crawler thinks I am. The common kid-related posts are things like what new moms should know or don’t want to hear, how to get your kid to do XYZ… you’ve seen them I’m sure.  I’ve written a couple.

To my dismay, I haven’t found the parenting hack list – Kids for Dummies.

Our world is so centered around quick convenience, I’m a little disappointed, fellow humans. We hold basically all technology short of a particle collider in our cellphones, yet we haven’t streamlined parenting?

Then again, kids.

So I decided to take the challenge upon myself, for the benefit of mankind, to hack parenting once and for all. Time to modernize this operation.

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Simple Meals with Toddlers

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It occurred to me one evening as I stared down a package of raw chicken thighs : some nights I just need a list of ideas, not some life changing recipe. Simple food is better anyway. A while back I posted about the cookbook, ‘Pure and Simple Cooking’, which is a really terrific book.  While I still highly recommend it, a lot of her simple (and delicious) ideas require semi-obscure ingredients (at least for our region). I want a Meal Idea List for the nights where I’m tired at 5:00PM and haven’t started dinner. There’s no way I’m going to the store.

The ideas should still be creative and go beyond the spaghetti and tacos routine. But at the same time, they should consist of ingredients that I usually have either stocked or leftover. The emphasis here is not so much “quick and easy” as it is simple.  These meals shouldn’t require a lot of planning, special ingredients or complex procedures, but be fresh, organic and gluten-free.

So here’s a few off the top of my head, along with some general tips for simple cooking. They are also cooked with a tiny human helper, so I’ll say a little about that too.

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End Mom Judging

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I was so pleased the other day when my son insisted on putting the toilet seat down. Win.  I must be doing something right.

The next day he blew something out his nose that he’d apparently stuck up there a day or two earlier.  Fail. Big phat phlemy phail.

Some days are a step forward, some feel like a step back. It’s a lot of pressure to be responsible for how another human turns out.

Some successes are hard to see.  My son figured out his pockets, but uses them for scrambled eggs. Near win.

It got me thinking about all the mom judging (shaming). Sometimes we judge others to feel better about our own mistakes. Sometimes it’s just easy to judge. I took my son with me to a doctor’s appointment dangerously close to lunchtime.  In hindsight, I can see that he clearly would have benefited from a meal before we went.  But, it was out-of-town so our schedule was a little funky and it just didn’t occur to me until we were there in the waiting room.  I could tell he was becoming…uh…tenuous, but here we were.  I got him a small cup of water, and he sat down and drank it adorably before pouring the rest on the floor and proceeding to cry shrillingly over its loss.  An elderly lady in the waiting room glanced up from her knitting long enough to subtly disapprove.   Because somewhere there exist magical children who never ever do shit like this.

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Being an Intuitive Parent

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I took the kiddo and our dog for a walk last month :

It’s dusk, and we’re meandering through a dry canyon near our house. The days are so hot, and getting out in the breeze and shade of a setting sun is one of my favorite things. The canyon runs two or three miles through town, mostly juniper, desert grass and sagebrush. We take the dirt trail so that pup and child can run, but there’s typically bikes, joggers and families on the paved trail. This evening it’s quiet and empty. Peaceful.

We take our time and start to loop around toward the paved trail to head home. I see someone ahead, so I initiate the deft maneuver of wrangling both 2-year-old and dog to the “shoulder” of the trail, lest an innocent passing stranger get attacked with a surprise appendage or handful of dirt. Seems he’s standing still, waiting for something.

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