Monday, June 27, 2016

Children Are Not Sexual

I was eleven, and I had a lollypop. We were at the post office, and I was with my mom and my sister. I remember it was cherry flavored, given to me by the nice bank teller lady, and I was happy my mom let me eat it right then, because usually I had to wait until after dinner.

As we were leaving I was skipping and holding my sister's hand, enjoying my treat.

A man looked at me. He pantomimed me eating the lollypop. He said he wished he was my lolly pop. He winked at me. His eyes followed me as I looked at him from my shy, eleven year old space.

At the time I didn't understand that the man was verbally assaulting me. I thought he was being nice. I smiled at him. My mom grabbed my hand and rushed us out of the store. She was upset. I thought I had done something wrong. I was confused. My mom told me I'd done nothing wrong but that the man was gross and lewd. I didn't understand until college what he had meant.

This is me around eleven.

Later, I was thirteen. Newly a teenager. Newly budding body (although not as budding as I wanted). I understood nothing but was excited about everything.

We were in Walmart. I was once again with my mom. A man followed us pantomiming oral sex and winking at me.He called me "hey girl". And asked me how old I was. I didn't respond. I didn't know what to do but I remember turning really red. I told my mom, who was in the same area as me but looking at the bananas instead of the tomatoes. My mom stared at him. He waited until she wasn't looking and did it again, but this time my mom did see him. She yelled at him. He followed us for a little while but gave up as my mom yelled at him again to leave me alone.  

My mom told me he was gross and that it wasn't my fault. But I remember feeling both pleased that he had payed attention to me and also disgusted like he'd undressed me without my permission or something. I'd never received this type of attention before--but it wasn't a positive attention. It was a wrong, perverted type of attention--verbal sexual assault.

In case you were wondering, this is me around thirteen. I wasn't even allowed to wear makeup at this time.

Children are not sexual. As a child, no man or woman should have looked at me and thought sexual thoughts. I should not have been catcalled as a child. (I shouldn't be catcalled at an adult, but that is a whole different post) There is something really wrong with our society when children are seen as sexual beings.

I don't write this for any particular purpose, just to tell my story. Protect your children. My mom tried her best to protect me. I will protect my girls and my boys as well from the preying eyes of adults. Children have a hard enough time discerning between positive and negative attention without being sexualized and verbally assaulted. Both the men who verbally assaulted me as a child were well into their 30s.
And I will never forget it. Even as an adult.

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Week 40

This week we had a water issue AND went to the park a lot. I also talk about the biggest issue in my marriage right now. It was a good week.

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Crochet Apple

This is a tutorial on how to crochet an apple! I plan on making a bunch of play fruit for Reuben as he gets older, and this is the first! You can download the written PDF pattern here, or check out the video here or below!

It's a nice size apple: fits easily in a medium adult hand, and made with worsted weight yarn. I used an old shirt for stuffing.

Friday, June 17, 2016

Why I don't feed my baby puffs, and other crunchy observations

I am a crunchy mom. I won't deny it. I didn't know I was this crunchy until I popped out a baby and had to start making so many decisions about what goes into (and on) another person's body.

If you are crunchy like me, you might relate to this post. If you are might be offended. Oh well. We all make decisions for our own offspring, and these are the ones I make for mine. Every mom gets to choose...but I will say that I honestly don't understand mainstream, silky parents. You probably feel the same way about me. (Also this post is full of sarcasm. I don't think I'm a better parent for being ultra-natural, but perhaps a more informed one?)

For one, I cringe whenever I see another mom feeding her infant child puffs. First of all, those things are full of sugar, soy, and artificial flavors. I wouldn't even eat them. I wouldn't even call them food. In the past few years we have thrown out anything artificial from our diets--and now, you know, we eat real food. Real food. And the last thing I am going to stuff into my child's virgin gut is a bunch of genetically modified "puffs" whose first ingredient is rice flour, a grain that holds exactly zero nutritional value. Instead, I've chosen to give my baby peas, that he smashes into his eyebrows and throws on the floor. Clearly a better option. If anyone knows how to get smashed pees out of the crevices of my son's plastic highchair, please leave a memo in the comment box. Also, feel free to leave me a hate comment about how I place my child in a plastic receptacle to nourish him, but turn up my nose at puffs.

I also don't understand people that pierce their infant child's ears. I can't fathom your thought process? Hey, lets put holes in my child's body that he or she might be stuck with for life before they can consent to such a process? No thank you. I mean, besides the unnecessary expense, I don't want any weird metals in contact with my growing child's skin for months. I'll pass.

Other things I don't understand: toothpaste with fluoride, petroleum in skincare products, taking your baby with one tooth to the dentist, slathering sunscreen all over a baby before setting foot outside, pureeing your babies food, dying your hair while pregnant, letting your child cry in another room and not holding them, trying to force your child to sleep through the night...

all that nutrition served on plastic...
Sometimes I feel like a walking advertisement for crunchy parenting. We cloth diaper, I am against routine circumcision, for natural remedies when sickness hits, love to breastfeed, pro attachment parenting, baby-wearing, baby led weaning, extended breastfeeding, bed-sharing...have I hit all the points? The thing is we just fell into it naturally. It made sense to me. I am sure every mom feels the same about their choices, so I really try not to judge.

I really am for every mom being free to make the choice they feel is best for their own children. I know this might have come across as pretty judgemental, but I am honestly tired of having to explain myself to mainstream parents. I know parenting is not a battle or a war, it should be a sea of different moms all making different choices and supporting others to choose as they see fit. I just see so many divisions in our culture, and I think many professionals only present one side of the story of parents, leading to so much misunderstanding. Not all pennies need to get their shine from the same oil, you know: other methods can be used. Same for kids: not all of them have to be raised by one standard.  

I don't think it's wrong to ask questions, but so many moms are out there thinking their lives and choices should be the guidelines for every other mom. Or that the choices one mom makes are meant to be critical of another mom, when honestly we are all just making choices, and not running on enough sleep to think of others, much less ourselves. So many moms also squish their inner voice and follow what their doctor or best friend tells them because they "have a degree" or "have been there before".

But they don't know your baby. Only you know your baby.

So I'm here to tell you, rather you are crunchy or silky or somewhere in-between, or maybe you don't even know what those terms mean--you've got this. Do you love your baby? Are you trying to shift thought all the noise and make right choices for your baby? That's awesome. I support you. Let's be friends.

But I might ask you why you feed your baby puffs.

Monday, June 13, 2016

2016 House Tour

It's that time again! Time for my annual house tour! I love seeing how my home has changed over the years. I started my annual house tour off with a picture walkthrough in 2013. In 2014 I upgraded to video; 2015 is also in video, and pre-birthed-baby glory. This is my 2016 house tour. Enjoy!

You can see all my house and apartment room tours here.

Monday, June 6, 2016

More Reasons to Homeschool

A subscriber on my Youtube asked me why I want to home school. I did write a blog post about one of my reasons, but decided to make a video about it as well. Thus, here are my top three reasons I wish to home school my children.

Do you think you will homeschool? Why or why not?

Sunday, June 5, 2016

Week 39

Reuben's cheeks were not doing well this week, despite me still being refined sugar, gluten, dairy, grain and soy free. I have no idea what he is reacting to and its driving me crazy. I pray for him and apply cream. His poor little face is itchy almost all the time! But he is a trooper and a ball of happiness, and I love him.

We did a lot this week, and I had fun. I can't wait to look  back on our vlogs in 20 years, if  I am still on this Earth. Reuben is wonderful, and I am blessed to be his mother and Brian's wife.

Friday, June 3, 2016

4 Months Paleo

Woah! Four months! Who would have thought? I feel at ease with the paleo diet finally. I'm also learning some things: like I need lots of spices to make things taste good. And also spices are amazing. What did I do before? I think I just added cheese to everything.

The number one spice I seem to use is cumin. I loveeeeeee it. I put it on raw cauliflower before roasting (just like french fries) and I've put it in nut cheese and also curry and many other dishes. It's delish.

I also bought two more paleo books: Well Fed 2, and AAG: Meals Made Simple. I've cooked several meals from these two books so far (about 2-3 a week) and all I can say is YUM! AAG has an amazing bread recipe that even the husband loved--AND a cheesy dish that husband did not know included no cheese (cashew cheese). I'm sold. Definitely worth the money if you are going paleo and don't want to figure out how to feed yourself delicious food on your own. I'm going to try her cake recipe next.

A photo posted by Carolynn M (@moonofsilver) on

Yum. I'm excited about food again, what can I say.

I also gave up corn this month. Before I was allowing myself both organic corn and peanut butter, but now I am just eating peanut butter when I feel like it. I don't think it bothers me, so it's okay. Giving up corn was a choice mainly of finances as we are still trying to get out food budget under control. Our hope is to not spend more than $2,000 USD a month--and right now half of that is going to food! That will change, this week I actually only spent $100 on food and (gasp) made my own ketchup, mayo and other sauces to help save money. Most of the inflation we've seen to our food budget has come from paleo sauces--and thus making these myself (even if it's more time consuming) is worth it to save money! We've also been going to the farmers market, and this has helped save money too. The produce isn't technically organic, but buying local and visiting the farms and eating in season has it's perks too!

Last but not least, I weighed myself and did a happy dance, as I am down to 165 (10 pounds from my pre-pregnancy weight of 155 and 15 from my goal of 150). I know weight can be a hard thing to talk about tactfully, and I struggle with it still. But I am having more good days than bad days and trying to look at overall health instead of numbers on the scale.

Here is to the next month of paleo delights! If you want to see what I eat daily, check out my daily vlogging channel, I show my food (and prep) most days.

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Why I have Mom Guilt

Since Reuben will be one soon, I thought I would detail how much Mom Guilt I've had lately.

  1. One day Reuben took a nap. I read a book for the whole 1.5 hours he slept. I've never felt more guilty over not cleaning anything in my entire life.
  2. When Reuben was a newborn, he would cry any time he was separated from me. I used to listen to him wail hopelessly while Daddy held him downstairs while I was in the shower. I desperately wanted him to stop crying, but I also wanted to be clean. And alone.
  3. Ice cream cravings are a total thing postpartum. Except my son is allergic to dairy and soy. But one day I caved had a bowl of soy ice cream because it was in the freezer and I really wanted some. I thought maybe just a little wouldn't hurt Reuben, but he was miserable for three days, and I still feel guilty about it. Two scoops of cold ice-cream was not worth it.  
  4. Giving my kid my phone to chew on so I can have 10 minutes of peace.
  5. Giving my kid the tv remote to chew on so I could have 10 more minutes of peace.
  6. The fact that I use disposable diapers sometimes. Crunchy mom guilt is the worst.
  7. How much I miss my friends that don't have kids. And how little time I actually have to spare thinking about them...because I spend more time wondering about when my son is going to poop.
  8. No matter what I choose (like picking between exercise/playtime with my kid or cooking dinner while he cries/letting my husband do it after a hard day at work) I still end up feeling guilty over it.
  9. Wanting no one touching me.
  10. Getting some alone time to do something fun and being so tired and worn out that I spend the whole half hour trying to figure out what to do and ending up not doing anything... so much guilt.
Well, there are 10 examples of mom guilt I've had recently...and those are just the ones off the top of my head. Being a mom sure is hard...even when I seem to be the most hard on myself.