Our Mindful Life

Our Mindful Life: February 2013

Our Mindful Life

Our Mindful Life is about paying attention to what it is that we do on a day to day basis and how we impact each other and the planet. We will talk about all of the things that we do here at home to make ourselves and the world a better place.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Parenting 101: Remember How Young They Really Are

One common pitfall of parenting is when a child asks to use the potty for the first time, and is successful - and mom and dad decide that it is time for the child to use the potty ALL the time, because obviously, the child knows how.  But, just because a child can focus on something and do it one time, does not mean that he or she is ready to remember to do that thing ALL the time.

Now, take that and apply it to EVERYTHING about childhood.

Our children make giant leaps every day in their intelligence and abilities.  They ASTOUND us all the time!  I am awed multiple times a day by the new things my kids are doing.  But that doesn't mean that they are ready to be mature enough to do everything that they can, all of the time.  And our expectations of our children to be mature at all times, is one of our biggest failures as parents.

When our kids ask us to do things that we know they are or have been capable of, we need to remember that they are not little robots who can do what we have programmed them to do on command.  Even as adults, we cannot always do things that we are usually capable of.  Remembering that our children are still very young is a wonderful gift that we can give to them.

And on my third baby, I find myself looking back, comparing him to the other two children at the same age, and I realize how much pressure I put on them to be more mature than they were ready to be.  And I have found myself realizing that I STILL expect a lot out of them when they may not be capable of actually DOING those things all the time.  And relaxing my expectations has allowed us to connect more, be more loving, and have less stress in our days.

So when your child isn't living up to your expectations, no matter how old they are or how capable they are, take a deep breath and remember how young they really are.

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Friday, February 22, 2013

Foodie Friday: Gluten Free Pancake Mix

I posted a recipe last spring for waffles that are dairy, soy, gluten and egg free, and that we enjoy regularly.  Recently, we have modified the recipe, and are enjoying a dry pancake and waffle mix that we just add water to when we want to use it.  It has been lovely to wake up and make pancakes instead of waffles a lot of days!

Gluten, dairy, egg and sugar free dry pancake mix
2 1/4 C Rice or Millet Flour (or a mix, if you feel fancy)
1 1/2 C Tapioca Starch
2 Tbsp Baking Powder
1 1/2 Tsp Baking Soda
1 Tsp Salt
Dry Egg Replacer Equivalent of 6 Eggs
1/2 C Palm Oil or other shortening

Mix all ingredients thoroughly, using a pastry cutter or a mixer.  You want to fully incorporate the shortening into the dry ingredients.  Store in an airtight container.

To use, add water to mix until you have a thick liquid.  Practice will make this perfect.  You want it to be just thin enough to pour.  Also, you can add cinnamon, vanilla, chocolate chips, fruit, etc at this point, if desired.  Pour circles into a hot skillet and cook on one side until bubbly all over and edges look firm.  Flip and cook for another 45 seconds or so.  Enjoy!

Ready to be turned!

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Tuesday, February 12, 2013

For the Polar Bears

Sofi got a book, The Last Polar Bear (Laura Geringer Books), for Christmas.  It is about the effects of global warming on the environment of the polar bears, but written for the level of young children.  It is a really good book, and has opened up a lot of discussion at our house about what causes global warming, and how we can help the polar bears.

We've talked a lot about the three r's - reduce, reuse, recycle.  We talked about only using what we need, and being careful with our energy use.  We talked about lowering our gas usage and getting better mileage.  There have been many, many conversations following the reading of the book.  It has made the concept of global warming a really tangible thing for my kids.  Now they understand the WHY in our quest to be good to the Earth.

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