Monday, February 28, 2011

Meat Eater Facts - Food Labels, Standards, Guidelines, etc

In our family, this month's theme has been pinching pennies.  We're trying very hard to save as much as possible.  Mari's grandma turns 80 this year, and a trip to Brazil for 4 people will be no less than $4000 just for the airfare.  The main problem:  I'm a food snob.  I just started eating meat when pregnant with Kaio.  Before that, I lived vegan for 7 years.   Now I only eat 'happy' cows.  For me, veganism was always out of mutual respect, not biblical or ethical.  I believed humans should eat meat; our eyes being in front of our head and not to the side make us predator/omnivore, not herbivore.  But I simply could not bare to contribute to the system of meat production in the US which keeps animals in small cages for the majority of their lives.  What really did it for me was a scene from the movie Baraka, inside a chicken factory, a close up of a baby chick having its beak burned off.  Once I learned that is real life for the food on the table, I stopped supporting the industry.
Now that I'm back on the meat eating bandwagon, and getting full speed into Nourishing Traditions and Weston A. Price Foundation’s dietary guidelines, our staples include unusual animal pieces.  What's good is that organ meats and strange parts of animals are usually cheaper.  What's bad is that they are difficult to find. 
We've been shopping lately at the Asian/International market.  Today we went and picked up cow feet, neck bones, whole quail, Halal goat with bones, salmon heads, and mussels.  Oh and there were lots of other oddities I considered: duck feet, cow knee, chicken hearts, and conch shells.
The dilemma: where do these meats come from and what might they have in them?  Are they pastured?  
 I had heard or read somewhere that lamb meat was always pastured.  So when eating out, I always order a dish with lamb.  I heard that Halal meat was more natural.  So we always choose Halal when available.  But are these rumors true?  After some research and finding a surprisingly comprehensive USDA site, here's the scoop on what's pastured, and what has hormones and antibiotics.  All the following information summarized from the various USDA farm to table fact sheets.

  • Hormones are not approved for growth promotion in goats. 
  • Antibiotics may be given to prevent or treat diseases in
    goats. A "withdrawal" period is required from the time most antibiotics are administered until it is legal to slaughter the animal. 
  • Kids (goats under a year of age) are often slaughtered when 3 to 5 months of age and weighing from 25 to 50 pounds. 
  • Many goats are older than a year and heavier when marketed, but most, except aged cull goats, are slaughtered when less than a year of age. The meat of older goats is darker and less tender, but more juicy and flavorful than kid. 
  • In the U.S., there are three distinct types of goats:
1.       Dairy goats, raised primarily for milk;
2.       Spanish or Mexican goats, produced for meat on a variety of open rangeland;
3.       South African Boer goats, a recently introduced breed that can adapt to various climates and can rebreed while still nursing; and
4.       Angora goats, raised primarily for their wool, used to make cloth.

  • During weaning, lambs gradually begin feeding on pasture or coarsely ground grain. They are raised on hay and feed consisting of corn, barley, milo (a type of sorghum), and/or wheat supplemented with vitamins and minerals. Lambs are usually "finished" (grown to maturity) in feedlots where they are fed specially formulated feed. 
  • Zeronal, a synthetic hormone, may be used to promote efficient growth in feedlot lambs. The hormone is implanted on the lamb's ear and is time released for about 30 days. A withholding period of 40 days is required before slaughter. 
  • Antibiotics may be given to prevent or treat disease in lambs. A recommended withholding period is required from the time antibiotics are administered until it is legal to slaughter the animal.
  • Lamb is meat from sheep less than 1 year old. 
  • Unlike the older, tougher animals the Native Americans ate, today's bison are custom-fed and slaughtered at about 18 months, so the meat is as tender as beef
  • Bison are allowed to roam freely most of their lives. They are raised on the open range and eat hay or grass. They are usually given grain during the last 90 to 120 days before slaughter.
  • Antibiotics and growth hormones are not given to bison. 
  • Almost all ducks are raised indoors to protect from predators and to manage their manure, which is collected and used elsewhere selectively as fertilizer.
  • Ducks are fed corn and soybeans fortified with vitamins and minerals. Most feed contains no animal by-products.
  • No hormones are allowed in U. S. duck or goose production. 
  • Very few drugs have been approved for ducks and geese so antibiotics are not routinely given and are not useful for feed efficiency. If a drug is given -- usually, through the feed -- to cure illness, for example, a "withdrawal" period of days is required from the time it is administered until it is legal to slaughter the bird. 
  • All cattle start out eating grass; three-fourths of them are "finished" (grown to maturity) in feedlots where they are fed specially formulated feed based on corn or other grains.
  • Antibiotics may be given to prevent or treat disease in cattle. A "withdrawal" period is required from the time antibiotics are administered until it is legal to slaughter the animal.
  • Not all antibiotics are approved for use in all classes of cattle. However, if there is a demonstrated therapeutic need, a veterinarian may prescribe an antibiotic that is approved in other classes for an animal in a non-approved class. 
  • Hormones may be used to promote efficient growth. Estradiol, progesterone, and testosterone (three natural hormones), and zeranol and trenbolone acetate (two synthetic hormones) may be used as an implant on the animal's ear. The hormone is time released, and is effective for 90 to 120 days. 
  • In addition, melengesterol acetate, which can be used to suppress estrus, or improve weight gain and feed efficiency, is approved for use as a feed additive.
  • Pork is the number one meat consumed in the world
  • Antibiotics may be given to prevent or treat disease in hogs. A "withdrawal" period is required from the time antibiotics are administered until it is legal to slaughter the animal. 
  • No hormones are used in the raising of hogs.
  • Turkeys are fed a diet of mainly corn and soybean meal along with a supplement of vitamins and minerals. They grow to full maturity in about 4 to 5 months, depending on the desired market weight. 
  • No hormones have been approved for use in turkeys. 
  • Antibiotics may be given to prevent disease and increase feed efficiency. 
  • Producers must demonstrate to the USDA's food safety agency (FSIS) that the poultry has been allowed access to the outside in order to be labeled "Free Range" or "Free Roaming." 

  • Grass and forage shall be the feed source consumed for the lifetime of the ruminant animal, with the exception of milk consumed prior to weaning.  more here.
  • Organic meat, poultry, eggs, and dairy products come from animals that are given no antibiotics or growth hormones. 
  • Organic food is produced without using most conventional pesticides; fertilizers made with synthetic ingredients or sewage sludge; or ionizing radiation. 
ANTIBIOTICS this content summarized from US Standards for Livestock and Meat marketing Claims 2002 
  • No antibiotics used, or Raised without antibiotics. -Livestock have never received antibiotics from birth to harvest.
  • No subtherapeutic antibiotics added, or Not fed antibiotics.  "Livestock are not fed subtherapeutic levels of antibiotics.  They may receive treatment for illness  provided the approved FDA withdrawal period is observed.
  • No detectable antibiotic residue (analyzed by "method x").  Requires additional information on the label that clearly informs the consumer/purchaser that the animal may have been treated with antibiotics. 
HORMONES this content summarized from US Standards for Livestock and Meat marketing Claims 2002 
  • No supplemental hormones*  used, Raised without supplemental hormones*, or No added hormones* .-The livestock have never received supplemental hormones from birth to harvest.
  • No hormones* administered during finishing .-The livestock have not received supplemental hormones during the feeding/finishing period.
*  The terms "hormone," "growth promotant," "growth stimulant," and "implant" are used interchangeably.

POULTRY this content summarized from the US Trade Descriptions for Poultry
  • Free-Range Production with Traditional Diet - Birds are raised in heated and air-cooled growing houses with access to the outdoors and fed a traditional high protein diet.
  • Pastured/Pasture-Raised Production with Traditional Diet - Birds are raised outdoors using movable enclosures located on grass and fed a traditional high-protein diet.
  • Traditional Production with Organic and/or Antibiotic-Free Systems – Birds are raised in heated and air-cooled growing houses and fed an organic diet (without hormones or non-organic additives) and/or raised without antibiotics.
  • Free-Range Production with Organic and/or Antibiotic-Free Systems - Birds are raised in heated and air-cooled growing houses with access to the outdoors and fed an organic diet (without hormones or non-organic additives) and/or raised without antibiotics
  • Pastured Production with Organic and/or Antibiotic-Free Systems - Birds are raised outdoors using movable enclosures located on grass and fed an organic diet (without hormones or non-organic additives) and/or raised without antibiotics.
HALAL this content summarized from the Washington Post Story
  • Animals must be well rested, fed wholesome foods and handled in a way that minimizes suffering during slaughter.
  • The butcher must use a sharp knife and prevent one animal from witnessing the slaughter of another.
  • Animal is bleed quickly
  • Blessing to Allah as the animal is killed
KOSHER this content summarized from the Kashrut
  • Slaughter is a quick, deep stroke across the throat with a perfectly sharp blade with no nicks or unevenness.
  • Rapid draining of most of the blood.  
The remaining blood must be removed, either by broiling or soaking and salting.
  • The sciatic nerve and its adjoining blood vessels may not be eaten. The process of removing this nerve is time consuming and not cost-effective, so most American kosher slaughterers simply sell the hind quarters to non-kosher butchers.

The facts about eggs were really confusing and I couldn’t quite get to the bottom of it. Did I miss anything else?
I’m glad that the information was available so transparently, just took a few hours of searching for guidelines, regulations, rules, and standards for meat production, slaughtering, marketing, and labeling...*exhale* .  

    Saturday, February 26, 2011

    My Confession Booth

    I'm such a bad mother.  I flipped out and hit my kid.  I smacked him after the second time he screeched at the top of his lungs, "No!!!"  Then I said I didn't care about what happened to him anymore and ran out of the room.
    I know I'm not supposed to do these things now-a-days.  We shouldn't use violence, use derogatory language, admit that we're vulnerable to emotions and can tip out of control.  This is my confession booth.
    I could blame it on this being the way I've been raised.  My dad used to react the same way though our power struggles, where I dared him to make it hurt more.
    But I know that's no excuse.    I need to be better than the past.  and as Mari points out, I'm modeling overreaction to Kaio.
    i just don't know what to do sometimes.  He doesn't listen.  He pushes and pushes and pulls me, literally and figuratively.  He's totally insane.  He gets frustrated very easily, cries and flails his legs.   He wont respect limits or directions, even those that regard his safety or the safety of those around him.  If I could, I'd give up.  That's how I feel right now.
    Any suggestions?  I'm all ears.

    Monday, February 21, 2011

    drum and bass or trance, or jungle, or something...

    getting older I don't feel driven to go out on the town as much.  For the last few weekends I've been completely content sleeping at 10:30 on Friday and Saturday nights.  We have the fortunate situation of a live in baby sitter most nights.  My mom lives downstairs, so if she is home for the night, then we can cut out after putting the kids to bed.  It's a pretty sweet deal that we try to take advantage of often.  It can be exhausting to be a party animal and then get woken up by kids at 7am.  We'll sleepily turn on a movie or cartoons for them and then go back to bed.  Being tired on the weekend after I'm tired all week sucks.  So we hadn't been out in a while.
    Friday night Mari wanted to go out dancing.  Quite a role reversal since I'm typically the one itching to experience the city.  I passed out in bed though, thinking about one of my friend's facebook post, 'lazy lazy weekend.  too lazy.  what a waste of my youth and beauty.'
    I drifted to sleep, conscious enough to realize I just hammered the final nail in the casket of youth and beauty.

    So then last night, after dinner at my brother's (frog legs, homemade wine, and a mouthful of politics) and then tucking the kids in bed, I made the effort to get dressed up and head out.  Mari was still down and we ventured to Georgetown for a change of pace.  Looking for a bar with dancing, we stumbled upon a new one.  You have to walk through a short dark alley way, the sound of bass pumping the walls above.  The dance floor was super small and intimate, right up in front of the DJ booth.  The music was drum and bass or trance, or jungle, or something... I'm so out of touch with modern music genres.  It was good though, I know that.
    Mari made friends with the male bar tender and our fist two rounds were on the house.  Sweet.  Right in line with our budget :).
    Mari and I usually dance latin so we were out of our element. While Mari chatted with the bar tender, I studied the foot work of the good dancers, and thought about enrolling in a zumba class.

    For hours Mari and I chatted and danced. I went to the bathroom and realized my shirt was buttoned a little too high for the scene and I could get away with loosening up a bit.  When I came back Mari didn't comment that he noticed, but he did begin talking about wanting to do me.  lol.

    Then next time I went to the bathroom I decided on another outfit adjustment - to put my hair in low pigtails.  This time when I came back Mari started to say, "you look just the same as when..." but then we kissed and he didn't finish telling me when.
    He looks the same to me too.

    The kids take up so much of my attention, and I realize Mari and I don't get much time to connect beyond sharing glances of adoration when the kids do something cute.  I have to say that it is so nice to get out of the house and focus solely on each other; to create a special memory that is just ours and not dependent on the little ones.

    He swept me onto the floor in front of the dj booth, packed with people.  I can't keep a beat and by this time - tipsy. He led me to the rhythm.  I was just smitten.  

    Friday, February 18, 2011

    Cuckoo Kido

    Man, sometimes I think my kid is completely nuts.  He acts totally irrationally and cries like a maniac at the drop of a hat.  Sometimes flailing his legs.  Like, he can't find his train and he starts wailing.  You'd think that he's a one and a half year old.  But no.  he's four.  Is this normal?

    Mari says it is, "Conflict seems to be an innate part of parenting.  Because we want to shape them into a form and they have their own concept and needs.  We chip and chip at the rock.  Roughing it up until it becomes the perfect ashlar.  Sometimes it may be good and sometimes it's ugly.  Nene may be good now and then when she gets older maybe things will get ugly."

    If this keeps up we may need to stick him in the army or in a preschool boarding school.  I even threatened to put him up for adoption today.  lol. I don't think he heard me.  not very nice I know.

    Little guy's got such a sweet heart.  But man he makes me wonder sometimes.

    Like today when I walked into the kids' bedroom and he had shaken a bottle of baby powder all over the room. First I'm pissed at him,  "Why, why Kaio?  You know that you're not supposed to make a mess with this."
    lately he's been saying he wants to go back in my belly
    Then I'm pissed at myself, "I trust you too much don't I?  My expectations are way to high.  How can I expect you to control yourself around the baby powder."

    Mari says I need to be tougher/stricter.  I need to bear down on him and pull him by the ear if he doesn't listen.  Mari does pretty well with him.  He's much better at keep his emotions at bay than I am.  Kaio pushes my buttons like a pro pinball wizard.

    My dad used to carry me around in his shirt like this
    Lately I have found some things that work though.  Like stating a clear consequence for his actions.  You may start feeling like a big cloud of party-pooping death, "If you touch that beaconing fragile porcelain tea cup and saucer, I will take away your Thomas train."   But it does seem to be much easier on all of us when he knows the punishment for something and can then make an educated decision on whether he wants to continue the undesirable behavior.  You can't always anticipate what trouble they are going to cause.  You have to wait for that mischievous look.

    Like tonight, Kaio threw all the books off of the bookshelf (which I let him do cause I thought it was a good physics lesson) and then was trying to climb inside (which I didn't want him to do cause I was worried it would fall on him).  After he knew it was off limits, he still tried to get in.  I went to pick him up and kick him out of the room.  He started to freak out and I realized that I didn't give him a clear consequence when I said not to climb there.  "Ok, Kaio if you get in there again I'm going to make you leave this room, you understand?"
    "I understand."
    I loved it.
    And then he never tried to go in there again.  like magic.

    I realized this after Tuesday night, when I took him to my usual monthly HMN meeting.  He ran off four times during the meeting to places beyond my line of sight.  I tried putting him in timeout, but he would cry or scream and we needed to be quiet.  I felt totally frustrated and hopeless.  Especially because all the other kids there were not causing trouble on purpose.  But I'm going to imagine that the other moms didn't bring their kids because they would have been causing trouble too.  I need to get smart enough to recognize when situations are not worth approaching and just not put myself out there if it is going to be too tough to handle.  That's what the smart mama's with outrageous kids do.

    being born
    On the way home I was thinking about how much more effective it would have been to give him clear consequences for running away instead of waiting until after he did it and then enforcing a punishment.  I could have told him that I would take his Thomas Train away.  Or that we would leave if he did not stay where I could see him.

    Hopefully I'll figure it out eventually.  In the mean time I'm glad that I get a few days a week where someone else can take care of him (surprised I just said that cause I'm not super excited about my job and I love being a mom).  But I'm realizing that it's good for us both to get a break from each other else our pitch gets intense.  He seems to really like his classroom and preschool.  When I picked him up today he was saying goodbye to all the kids.  He know them all by name now.  Made me think that he's probably better behaved around the teachers and peers than at home.
    Thomas covered in baby powder

    Tuesday, February 15, 2011

    Girl Sprout

    Last summer Nene got a pair of blue sandals with bands on the back that kept her feet from slipping out.  The sandals were too small, and after a day of wearing them, she developed some little red blisters in between her big toes and second toes.  She kept wearing them.  She insisted on wearing them.  Yup, at 18 months she already started making sacrifices for the sake of fashion.    I know I did that... as a teenager!
    She's such a girly girl.  It makes me a little peeved sometimes.  Especially about the Pink.  
    What is it with the pink?  

    I think it boxes girls into a mindset and category, and stifles their creativity.  I purposely tried to steer her away from it; forbade relatives from gifting pink outfits. 
    This is how she dressed to go to the farm!  There's a fake cell phone in her purse and a change of shoes!
    Of course it totally backfired and she's just as much of a pink nut as any other mainstream girl.  She started asking me for pink around 12 months.  Before she could really talk.  One day when I picked her up from daycare she handed me one of the other girl's pink jacket.  She pointed and moaned.  The daycare lady said, "She's trying to tell you that she wants a pink jacket."  As if I didn't know, it was obvious.  
    Now, if she sees something pink, be it a rag, a bag, a hat, a piece of plastic; she'll grab it and declare it hers.
    Now she's obsessed with princesses!  oh man, just like Kaio's obsession with trains.  

    So here's my wedding dress.  slightly adjusted to a strapless version.  I wanted a dress that I could continue to wear to events, not just to the wedding.
    I took it out to wear on New Years to a friend's pre-party.  When Nene saw me in it, she flipped out! "Mine, Mine! Nene's Princess Dress!"
    She started crying and crying tears inconsolably.  It was the most ridiculous reaction. But seriously honest and not manipulative.  She was so upset and I couldn't bear it.  Finally I said, "ok, you can wear it, but it is too big for you."
    I tried to put it on her.  She kept tripping over it, but made an effort.
    Then she said, "i need kiki.  kiki."
    Kiki is her word for milk.  Milk?  what was she talking about?
    She pleaded and pleaded.  Then it clicked.  She wanted a bra!
    I gave her one of mine.
    "No. it's too heavy.  Nene kiki."
    Omg.  Where could I find a bra for a two year old?
    I ran and got her little orange bikini top.
    yup. that's what she wanted.  No more tears.
    so simple.  yet so wild to think that she wants a bra!

     We're both on a ride that's going way to fast.

    Kids checking out Time Square and chasing pidgeons.

    Nene's got her own sense of style.  It's gotta be a dress.  She only wants to put it on if it's a dress.

     Me, a mom.  I still feel like a girl, myself.  The photo of the photo of me at 20, Sha-Krissee, braided extensions made of chenille yarn.  I used to be so cool.  I love that pick cause I was so wide eyed to the world, like an explorer charting new lands.  I'm pretty sure I was an explorer in a past life cause I love imagining that I'm the first one to discover a place, no matter how small.

    I love this photo.  She's runing through the house with heels on, a shopping cart, babystroller, backpack with cell phone.  She's got necklaces on and a tiara, that you can't see. Baby's falling out of the stroller, but she's on the hunt for some big sale.  Gotta get there before the other mom does!  
    Is she really my girl?  I'm not that materialistic, am I?

    October 2009, before she fell into the Pink Trap.

    She was so precious, so precious, but not a heavy sleeper like Kaio.

    I couldn't attend the famous inaguration cause it was 15 degrees outside and Nalini only a month old.  If it had been over 35, I totally would have taken her there.

    my boobs were so big.

    Moments after the little princess was born.  did I really just call her a princess?!
    Kaio's a big boy too.  Here he is on the way to catch the school bus to school.

    Thursday, February 10, 2011

    Jungle Yoga in the House

    Things have been crazy, crazy lately.  My work had a rif, laid off 70 people.  The two friends sitting next to me at the office were let go. Secretly I wish it had been me.

    I'm younger, have a husband, and would just adore to stay at home with the kids while collecting unemployment.  
     Shhhhhh.  don't tell anyone I said that.  
    The bank would also have to work with us to refinance our house at an affordable rate.....  wouldn't that be dreamy.

    Too bad they kept me.
    I'm younger, I probably make less money than my coworkers did.

    So now I've been picking up the work of two people.  This includes late night calls with counterparts in the Philippines and Australia.  Every night this week I've been up till midnight working and meeting with folks on the other side of the world.
    I asked Mariano to take over putting the kids to bed.
    That helps although he's not too excited about it since it cuts into prime-time History Channel programing.

     We've been having a grand time playing in the snow this year.  The latest challenge being the kids swiping toys from each other.  Sometimes they share so good, but other times, I feel so damn chiche, "Give the (insert object) back to (insert kid).  You have to wait your turn."

    Since when did I become a mom?  Like a repertoire of mom phrases paratroop into your vocabulary once the kids turn into kids.

    We found an ice rink that is reasonably priced and went last week for a skate.  Kaio picked up on it.  Nene loved the skating until she fell for the dozenth time and then started to cry.
    They both want to go back.

    I've been getting in the habit of soaking our grains since reading this post in Nourishing Practices.  To my surprise, I actually feel a notable difference after eating.  We eat tons of grains cause they're cheaper.  And Kaio likes them.  Typically I can only eat them one or two days a week and then my taste buds just totally turn off to them and I end up going out for lunch.  They feel heavy in my belly after eating.  I get lethargic and just generally don't want to eat anymore.
    But since we've been soaking with whey, I can eat tons of grains and enjoy them to the last bite.  They must be digesting easier.
    This is awesome cause it means I haven't been spending money going out to eat at lunch or dinner.
    This month is all about saving cash for something exciting.  Not sure what.  but something exciting.

    Nene's the sweetest little thing in the world.  She went outside, planted a stick, and watered it for half an hour. Repeating: "Nene's watering the plants, mamae."  When I asked her what kind of plant it was: "It's a cake plant."  Then she went off searching for presents to leave for the tree fairies.    
     That is the spot where our bee hive will go.  We started the first class last weekend.  I also ordered a dozen coturnex quail eggs!  We'll have our baby birds hatching in about a month!  yikes.  I'm imagining the pitter patter of baby quail feet.
     I missed my weekly yoga class and took a shot at doing the yoga at home.  I almost got through a vinyasa, when the kids turned me into their own jungle gym.  Introducing Jungle Yoga.
     Bad hair morning, but cute munchkins.

    Thursday, February 3, 2011

    Example Day WAHM

    Not all days are successful ones but today went well.  Life has been pretty off kilter for me especially since the craziness of the kids' birthdays right next to the holidays, right on top of Mari's sisters visiting for 40 days.  They left a little over a week ago and so I'm readjusting to life being back to normal.  Readjusting felt like a long hangover or speed withdrawal.  It was so nice having them around to laugh and explore with.  They helped with the kids and the cooking.  We went out way too much and spent way too much money.  yup, it was pretty wild.  Well the party is over sista and it's back to real life.

    Our beloved friend and cleaning lady moved to Bolivia right before Mari's sisters came.  They helped out keeping the house tidy while they were here.  Now it is really up to Mari and I to pick up our messes.  Not easy.  Neither of us like to clean or do the dishes.

    All these goodbyes, plus days of kids indoors, sick on snow days, sent me into despair last week; crushed with the weight of responsibility.  Suddenly realizing that I'm so much older than I feel or want to be.  That's just depressing.

    But today's itinerary got me back in the swing of things, ready for another month of the year.  I considered today a success.  I'm writing this down so when I'm old I can look back on it and be amazed with how much I needed to do in a day to maintain the kids.  Here was my Wednesday:

    • 7:30am - get up and start cleaning the kitchen, making coffee, checking facebook
    • 8:30am -10:30am - an early morning meeting taken from home.  During the first hour I was able call in and mute my phone, only chiming in periodically with valid suggestions and point.  I sat the kids down for breakfast, and made some progress cleaning the kitchen and doing dishes.  The rest of the call I needed to share my desktop and sit in front of the computer taking notes for the team.  Luckily my mom stayed home to help with the kids.  Kaio played with legos next to me while I worked.
    • 10:30 - 11:30 - Get dressed, get the kids dressed, and all go outside and play in the snow a bit.  We were planning on heading to a friend's birthday party but once the kids saw the snow they chose to stay and play.
    • 11:30 - 2:00 - met my mom and her friend at an ice skating rink.  We went skating!  Nene was so excited as first, but tired out after a bit.  The kids sat on the sidelines eating some snack while I skated.  Kaio came out for a bit after that and we did two laps together.  He's getting the hang of it.
    • 2:00 - 2:30 - drive home, the kids pass out in the back.  Stop by the farm pick up: our twice a month raw milk dealer.  Get home and I managed to put the kids in bed without them waking up.
    • 2:30 - 4:45 - Kids sleeping, I'm working.  Also make a batch of yogurt from the raw milk.  Make myself some yummy lunch, prep food for dinner.  Finish cleaning the kitchen and the stove.
    • 4:45 - 7:00 - Kids wake up.  Feed them snack.  set up art games to play.  bring some snow inside to play with.  clean the dinner table.  Mari comes home at 6:30 and cooks the meat that was marinating all day.  We eat dinner.
    • 7:00 - 9:30 - Mari has to go to a meeting.  I continue playing with the kids, give Nene a bath, set Kaio up for a computer game, play around on facebook.  Put on pajama's and go wind down in the kids room.
    • 9:30 - 12 - Mari comes home and puts the kids to bed.  I make myself some hot chocolate and do more work.  
    • 12 - 12:30 - update blog. then prep kids' food for daycare/preschool tomorrow.

    I think I can consider today a success.  Let's check the results against my success gauge.  Definition of success:

    Be a great mom/woman, and keep the house clean/organized, and get sleep/regeneration, and maintain productivity at work.

     Today I spent time with the kids, teaching, demonstrating, modeling, and playing.  I kept the house clean, cleaned the kitchen and dining table from nasty to shiny.  Played on Facebook and updated this blog (regeneration activities).  I put in hours at work and managed to get some substantial things accomplished.

    That looks like about 80%.  Notable deficiencies are not being a great woman and getting enough sleep. Looks like I didn't get much quality time with Mari today.  That's too bad.  Maybe he'll still be awake when I go to bed.


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