Saturday, February 26

So Not Super

My children are driving me crazy. One more than the other, but both are contributing.

Today is a day I really wish we had normal weekend Saturdays like the majority of folks. I just want a lazy Saturday afternoon to go play in the snow at the park or something. Instead I'm "supervising" the kids while they're cleaning potato chips off the living room rug.

I put it in quotes because, clearly, as I'm writing a blog post right now, I'm not doing much in the way of supervising. Of course, they're not doing much in the way of cleaning either.

Rosi is flipping through a book of cross stitch samplers asking me, "What does X have to do with apples? Apples don't start with an X."

Ian is climbing into the toy box and sitting on top of the toys with his little feet sticking up in the air.

Deep breath.

Okay. I guess I can go be the grown up.

But later, I'm goofing off.

Monday, February 14

Way(s) to Celebrate

This post originally appeared February 14, 2009.

When I was in college, I had a friend who used to hate Valentine's Day, with all the attendant emphasis on being part of a couple. He referred to the occasion as "Single Awareness Day" or S.A.D. I have had a year or two (or twelve) in my life when S.A.D. was all I could manage, but for the most part, I'm much more interested in being a part of things, even if it's not in the conventional way.

So, today, I'd like to share with all my single, married, engaged, divorced, separated, and involved readers some ways to make this holiday that focuses on love meaningful for whomever is special in your life. Some of the ideas below may be more appropriate for a significant other. Others might be just right for a parent, child, sibling, or friend. Take your pick and make a fun day of it. Or, hey, choose several and celebrate all year!
  • Buy a package of note cards and write to your loved one (LO) every day or week until the cards run out
  • Do (or arrange for someone else to do) LO's least-liked chores for a few days or weeks
  • Get tickets to a series of LO's favorite movies, ballgames, symphonies, gallery openings, rodeos or whatever he or she is into and attend together
  • Write out a bunch of quotes and simple thoughts about love, marriage or encouragement on strips of paper, then roll up the strips inside empty capsule casings (like these) and put them in a recycled medicine bottle
  • Decorate LO's car, room, or office with a banner (I use index cards strung on twine) declaring your love
  • Print and frame a favorite or meaningful poem
  • Buy a book of short stories or poetry and set a time every day or every week to read aloud to each other
  • Arrange for a special, deluxe spa treatment, such as a massage, manicure or pedicure
  • Write short love stories, or just fun stories, starring you and your special someone
  • Have a good photo taken of yourself with LO and frame it or put it up as the wallpaper on his or her computer
  • Start a private (or public) blog and write about different ways LO is wonderful
Happy Valentine's Day!

Wednesday, February 9

Hip Hip Hooray for the House!

I'm sending out a great big THANK YOU to the members of the South Dakota State House of Representatives today.

For the first time since homebirth midwives were first prosecuted in this state (back in the 1990s), a bill which would regulate the practice of direct-entry midwifery has passed through a full chamber of the state legislature.

The passage of this bill would allow Certified Professional Midwives the ability to practice in South Dakota. That means no more mothers would be forced to have an unassisted home birth or cross state lines to seek care from a midwife trained in an out-of-hospital setting like I did. Midwives who left the state under threat of prosecution could return to practice legally once again.

I suppose it goes without saying that those of us who have followed midwifery legislation in South Dakota for months and years now are very excited!

Saturday, February 5

I Promised Cookies

We have a favorite new breakfast treat in the Gray household: COOKIES!! I feel like the Proverbs 31 woman; my children rise up and bless me, or at least they don't complain about breakfast and even want seconds.

And before you start thinking I've turned into a pale, not-so-funny Bill Cosby, let me assure you, these are cookies you can actually feel good about serving your children for breakfast, afternoon snack, or just about any time they ask!

Breakfast Cookies
½ c applesauce
1 banana, mashed
2 c oatmeal
¼ c raisins
¼ c sliced almonds
1 T butter
2 eggs
  1. Beat together all ingredients
  2. Scoop mixture into ⅓ c portions and shape into cookies
  3. Place cookies on a well-greased baking pan
  4. Bake in a preheated 350°F oven for 20-25 minutes or until edges are a deep golden brown
  5. Remove immediately to a wire rack and let cool briefly before serving
Makes 8 large cookies.

Breakfast Bars
My family actually prefers breakfast bars to individual cookies. Instead of scooping out portions in step 2, simply press the mixture into an 8" x 8" square or 9" round baking pan and bake at 325°F for 35-40 minutes. The recipe is easily doubled to fit a 9" x 13" pan.

You can also substitute just about any fruit sauces, dried fruits or nuts to suit your taste or what you may have on hand. I've found this to be a very versatile recipe.