Friday, December 27, 2013

The Proof is In The (Christmas) Pudding

I had hunch that my hormonal acne was caused by the wheat and corn in my diet because it went away when I started eating primal/paleo. While I do try to watch what I eat, I did have some purposeful slip-ups over the month. I knew that I was going to be going off my primal diet over Christmas and I wanted to test my tolerance level.

It started off with a Pop-tart in the evening a couple weeks ago. It gave me diarrhea. The next night I had another Pop-tart and nothing happened. I was totally fine. So from there I progressed. I made homemade macaroni and cheese (with a real cream sauce) and penne with Alfredo sauce. Oh, so delicious! I really love pasta. There were no negative side effects right away.

As Christmas approached, I ate more popcorn, more baking, and just more junk food in general, along with more anti-primal food. And what do you know, my face completely broke out! I had three Christmas dinners to attend in a row and I did not hold back! Perogies, gravy, dainties, french toast, Pillsbury rolls, vegetable casserole with breadcrumbs baked on top, homemade nuts and bolts mix, and Christmas pudding! Oh, how I love Christmas pudding!

Also, I could really see the difference between how full eating primal makes me feel. When eating wheat, my stomach was this bottomless pit where it took so much more to fill me up.

Now my face is really irritated! I hope it doesn't take long to go back to normal. My sister got me some detox tea for Christmas, so I'm going on a raw fruit + veggie + tea fast today and for the weekend to try to help bring my body back into balance. Then it's back to good primal eating.

Because wheat and corn doesn't make me feel sick or make me have to go to the bathroom, the effect it has on my body is more subtle and lasts over time. In the past, I would have never connected eating wheat and corn with my complexion, but there is a very clear connection now. This is all the proof I need to stay far, far away from wheat and corn.

Plus, Tesla needs to detox too. For 3 days all she's eaten is starchy carbs, meat, and refined sugar. It's time for everyone to get back on track.

Friday, December 13, 2013

Genderless Dolls

This morning the kids pulled out the Barbie and Ken dolls to play with. The almost-two year old was frustrated because he found a dress he liked, but it wouldn't fit on his Ken doll he'd picked out. Trying to promote my feminist values, I wanted to choose my words carefully.

"That dress is too small for your doll. You'll have to find something bigger."

But after repeatedly picking out "girl clothes" for his Ken to wear, I found myself finally saying, "No, that dress only fits a girl doll. You need to find some boy clothes." As true as it was for the situation, I hated saying that. I hate saying something is only for a girl and something else is only for a boy. Specifically when talking about my daughter, I want her to believe that it doesn't matter what you wear or what you want to play with.

So, it got me thinking. Do sexually ambiguous dolls exist? Are there dolls out there that, depending on how a child styles them, they could be either a boy or a girl. I'm envisioning a young face with no make-up and no hair. The child can pick out a "wig" and there would be girlish clothes and boyish clothes to choose from to form an outfit that's feminine or masculine or somewhere in between.

Dolls are almost never given a penis or a vagina anyway. Why not let the kids decide who they're playing with? Why set so many limitations?

I didn't find anything on the internet, but if anyone sees anything, let me know. I would love to create a prototype, but I don't sew, I don't have any money, and I wouldn't know where to begin in creating something like this. But I do think it's a million dollar idea! Child-gender issues are only getting hotter!

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Someone Tried to Scam Me!

I posted an add on about a week ago, to advertise open spots at my daycare. People looked at the ad according the counter, but nobody emailed me or called me. In less than a week, it had already gotten bumped to page 7, so I was thinking about re-posting it, maybe changing around some of wording, when I got a hit!

Mr. Henry Johnson emails to say he's looking for childcare, he'll be excited to find the right match, and could I please email my resume.

It was a very short and sweet email and the request for a resume was reasonable, so I spent four hours modifying my resume to highlight my relevant experience, as well as get my reference list in order and type a cover letter. It would have taken less time, but I've got a business to run, so I had my hands full with that.

After sending it off, I was so excited and hopeful to potentially get a new kid. I worked really hard on my resume and cover letter, soliciting Bob to proofread for me. I wanted it to be perfect.

A few hours later, around 5pm, I get this reply:
Thanks for your email, We appreciate your response to the childcare service we urgently needed, as you know I'm  Mr Henry Johnson, I am 50 years old and my Wife name is Linda. We are relocating to the city of Winnipeg from United State with our daughter Sarah. We will be offering you $450 weekly ($45/hr) for 10hrs a week, we will be needing your services for five hours from 10am-3pm or 4pm-9pm for two days in a week, probably (Thursday and saturday) or  (Monday and Wednesday)

We would be needing the service of a childcare Nanny with positive personality to take good care of her for six months on a part time basis.Moreover, I will need someone who could be taking care of my child while I am off to work because we are expecting our second child soon ,I want to be certain you are fit for this position, you will need to prove yourself to be a reliable, honest, and hard working person.Our arrival date would be 6th of january 2014, you will start working on same day.

 It's okay if you prefer to be a live-out nanny as I can drop her at your home every time, I do not mind  a live-in nanny if you can take care of her in our home.

I will be spending about six months on an Oil spill research job While my wife would try to push to the market the book she just finished, and you will be rendering us your services for that duration, if you meet up to our expectation with your services. We have a financier that will be handling the payment and as well as our other expenses, so she will be the one that will be taking care of your payment, I will instruct her to pay for the first week before our arrival so as to secure your service.If you accept our offer, my financier would be needing the following for background check on you and your first week payment.

Full Name :
Home Address or Office Address(where payment should be mailed to.Pls no P.O Box) :
City ::
Postal Code :
Home & Cell Phone Number(Best time to call Day/Night)  :
You Age Please

 Most importantly,  I'll need your total honesty, organizational skill and ability to carry out the task with less or no supervision. I want to believe you will be committed to the work, you can be sure of a great time while watching over our child. I will be waiting to read from you.


Henry Johnson For The Family.
I read over the email a dozen times, making Bob read it too. Something seemed really off about it all and then it dawned on me! Someone is trying to scam me! I was so mad. Just to be sure though, I sent this email:
Hello Henry, 
It was good to hear back from you. Due to the nature of your proposal and your location, I feel as though I need to protect myself in the event that this is a fraud. If you don't mind, I'd like to know the name of the company you will be working for in Winnipeg as well as a number I can call to verify that you are who you say you are. Your response verges on being "too good to be true" so I am treading with caution.

Have a great weekend and I hope to hear from you soon!
Just as I suspected, I never heard back from him.

I looked back at the first email Henry sent me and saw that it was sent at midnight. I suppose he could live out west, (since he conveniently never mentions where he's from) maybe sending the email before bed. However, a seemingly educated man, one who does important research on oil spills and writes emails so formal he dresses them in tuxedos before hitting the send button, misspelled United States, the name of his country. Perhaps you also noticed his random capitalization of words and run on sentences too? His entire candor is sketchy.

Why is he asking for my full name and address when it's clearly stated on my resume I sent him? And doesn't he know it's illegal to ask me how old I am? Someone looking for child care fails to mention a single fact about his child, except her name, and doesn't even bother to ask me any questions about how I run my daycare. The day he gets into town, he's dropping his kid off? He doesn't want to check the place out first, maybe make sure I'm clean and friendly or even anywhere near where he lives or works in Winnipeg

Even the name of his family sounds phoney! They're such generic names, I couldn't get any hits on Google and I didn't expect to. I actually did find an American author by the name of Linda Johnson, but after reading her bio, it was clearly not the same woman.
The biggest and final red flag of all was the absurd amount of money he was willing to pay me. Nobody makes $45 an hour babysitting! If he's so rich that he has a financier and can pay me a ludicrous amount of money for 10 hours a week, why not go through an actual agency that would place him with a qualified nanny? What's he doing on page 7 of the internet classifieds at midnight?

He's trying to scam me, that's what! How does this scam work? I bet once I sent over the redundant information, he would start making excuses for why he can't mail me a payment and all the alternatives I suggest to him won't work, so he'll ask me for my bank account information in order to "give me the money" when in actuality he's draining my account.

Joke's on him though - I'm in overdraft! Good luck accessing my negative funds, bitch!

Thursday, December 5, 2013

A Forced Fast

Tesla is 15 months old. She's growing in all ways and watching her develop and learn brightens my day. She's got this sparkle in her eye all the time. But there's one problem - she's been refusing to eat vegetables for a couple of months now. Even the vegetables she used to eat before. I'm trying not to create a power struggle, but I don't want this type of eating habit to carry on throughout her years.

Now, I've read more than my fair share of parenting articles, especially ones related to food, and yet I'm at a loss for what to do. You see, it's not as straight-forward as all the mommy-blogs make it out to be.

My job is the serve healthy, balanced meals. The child's job is to decide what and how much to eat, if at all. Forcing, coercing, bribing, cutting deals, rewarding, and punishing are all big no-nos. Young children never intentionally starve themselves and they will eat when they are truly hungry.

Well, that's all great in theory, but in practice, I'm having a very hard time with that. You see, I did a little experiment just to gauge how far I could push things with Tesla. In the morning she had breakfast and ate until full. At 9 am, I serve a snack to the daycare kids and if Tesla is hungry, she gets a snack too. So, she had a snack at 9 am.

At 11 am I serve lunch. This is when my experiment began. I put 2 slices of cucumber, 2 cherry tomatoes, and 2 slices of red pepper on her plate. She freaked out. I knew she would, but these are foods she used to eat, so I wanted to see how long it would take for her to try them again. I excused her from the table because she was angry about her lunch options and 10-15 minutes later I put her back in the high chair and offered her plate again. She cried about it, but then she picked up a slice of red pepper, took a bite, chewed, and spit it out. She was done with lunch after that, so down she went.

She threw a fit, begged for different food, begged for milk, but all I would offer her was water or her veggies. She eventually went and played, but she was cranky and not much fun. She even took a nap for a bit, but it wasn't as long as she normally naps. She was probably too hungry to sleep.

At 3 pm I served the afternoon snack. I grabbed her plate of veggies from the fridge and offered them to her. She cried, but it was different sounding. Like she was defeated. She ate 1 cherry tomato and that was it. She sat there for 10 more minutes, pouting, while I hoped she would try another bite, but she didn't. She was miserable.

Except for that one cherry tomato, she hadn't eaten in 6 hours! I felt like that was too long to make her go without eating, and she did try the cherry tomato, so I gave her half a cup of fresh pineapple, which she devoured greedily. She wanted more food, something, anything but the vegetables, but I refused and made her wait until supper at 6 pm where she got a new, different meal. She was so hungry!

I felt evil. I can't imagine doing that to her every day. Won't she be malnourished? How is she supposed to grow and develop if she's skipping all her meals? A lot of kids refuse foods because they have small appetites. Not Tesla! She's always had a big appetite and during my experiment she was clearly hungry and asking for food, but by limiting her options so severely, isn't that just another way of trying to force her to eat it? (Something you're supposedly not supposed to do.) Making her choose between this or nothing isn't exactly giving her a choice. On the flip side, I run the risk of raising a super picky eater by catering to her all the time.

So, then what's a mom to do? Where do you draw the line? If she's hungry, she's unhappy, she can't sleep well, and she's miserable to be around, throwing fits like crazy. Does she even understand why I'm not feeding her? Probably not. This popular tactic doesn't work on children who can't comprehend what's happening.

And I ain't some softie parent either, oh no! I'm the tough one. I laugh in the face of tantrums. But seeing her face, so angry and confused when I wouldn't feed her, broke my heart and it just didn't feel right. She's too young to implement this sort of food rule. Even if she ate just enough to survive, (remember, they won't starve themselves to death) it's not enough for optimal growth and development. I will try again when she turns 2. She eats meat, she eats fruit, and she eats dairy. That's good enough for me for now. There are kids who eat less.

Breaking The Faith

I started watching a new show on TLC called Breaking The Faith. It's about some teens who are trying to escape the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (FLDS.) They live in a fenced compound as part of a polygamist colony. Warren Jeffs, their prophet, is currently serving time for seriously sexually assaulting 2 of his under-aged wives (12 and 15.) Despite being in jail, he still runs the show. I love cults, so I thought I would like this, but unfortunately, it's too much like the show Breaking Amish, or more appropriately titled Faking Amish in some circles.

It's a reality-style show where everything is scripted, but made to look like real life. There are 2 parts to the show; the scripted monologues made to look like interviews, and then the scripted reenactments made to look like it was shot live. It's annoying how TLC  tries to pull over viewer eyes with their crafty editing and choice of words, but nobody's fooled. One Google search and I can see that these teens have all been out in the real world for some time now. But, a past tense show just isn't as captivating I suppose.

The FLDS way of life is fascinating though. Almost everything is forbidden: Most foods, socializing with the opposite sex, many games, sports, and leisure activities, most books, newspapers, and magazines, even expressing love to your children or having sex with your wife is forbidden. There are very strict rules pertaining to dress codes, hair styles, getting married, getting pregnant, and how to deal with deserters and sinners. (They're shunned of course.)

Three wives is the perfect amount needed to get into heaven, but more is better. Families are broken up and wives are given to other men seemingly on a whim. Men lose their children and often women lose their children too. Young girls are married off to much older men or even cousins without any choice in the matter. Young men are excommunicated all the time too, supposedly to free up fresh, young girls to be married to the older men. It's very twisted.

Many young boys are forced to work a full day while girls are in charge of the domestic duties. There's a lot of physical and emotional abuse. Parents abusing their children, husband's abusing their wives... with so many rules to follow and dark clouds hanging over head all the time, the stress is often too much to handle. There's no one to tell and no where to go for help. It's no wonder so many try to escape.

But to try, fail, and get caught is another story. There's surveillance cameras all about the compound, a "God Squad" on patrol, and even people taking photographs and following you around to make sure you "keep sweet." Sounds intimidating. But not as intimidating as being told on a constant basis that if you don't obey you'll go to hell and burn for eternity. You need to be perfect at all times.

I hope the show gets better and I can learn more about their lives. I really do find it fascinating!