First steps into my Gluten free journey 

I don’t know about you but I love bread and all the things that has gluten in… Fresh bread from a bakery or a very nice pizza, and all those pastry delicious things [sigh].. but after Zoë was born I was diagnosed with Hashimoto’s disease and has been said that one of the biggest causes for this disease is the gluten intolerance… For me this was almost like a death sentence ‘how is possible a life without fresh bread or chocolate cookies?’ Fortunately, we now have access to all kinds of substitutions: from gluten-free flours and baking mixes.

But I found this recipe as my go-to when special requests are made, or even if I just want to get a batch of cookies into the oven and into my mouth!! Quick and with minimal fuss or mess. 

I mean dietary and allergy restrictions can pose a real challenge when it comes to baking. ‘How does one bake without butter, eggs, or even flour?’ And yet, throughout the years- for class functions, family gatherings, and holiday parties – requests are respectfully made for baked goods made without one or sometimes all of these ingredients… 

For this cookies I’m using items I always have in my kitchen and fridge and takes me about 30 minutes to make ready and..oh goodness my kitchens smells divine!

Makes 2 1/2 dozen cookies

Ingredients:

• 1 cup Buckwheat

• 1 cup sugar  (I used brown sugar)

• 2 eggs

• 1/2 cup pure chocolate powder 

• tea spoon vanilla extract 

• 150 grams butter or coconut oil

• 1/2 tea spoon salt

Directions:

1. Preheat the oven to 180°C 

2. Line one or two baking sheets with parchment paper.

3. Mix all ingredients in a bowl, either by hand or using a mixer. 

4. Drop better by tablespoon onto the prepared baking sheets. Bake for 10-15 minutes. 

Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely and  bon appétit! 

My child’s language 


Yesterday Estelle hugged my husband so tight and said ‘I love you’ just before going to sleep and my husband came to our room so emocional. This reminded me of my deepest love for children that were a challenge to deal with and that were my ‘favorite’. Now I have one of my own and I didn’t really know how to deal with. This love of mine for this ‘special’ children came from the fact that they are so much loving and not so easy to manipulate with some treat.

People say kids mirror what they see, the truth is, Estelle came to this world already screaming hard and laud. Her tantrums were a daily event and just got even worse when her little sister came along. This was driving me nuts! 

I used to be a  no-nonsense type of person that would just answer with short frases to a behaviour like this, and sometimes I still feel my limits coming up… it’s really hard to deal with a child who can explode at any second anywhere you are.

Sometimes people, even strangers,  do try to discipline her, telling her what to do and not to do, this used to really upset me. They even tried to diagnose her, as specialists saying that ‘she’s not a normal child’ or trying to bribe her with some kind of a treat (if you’re a good girl Santa will bring you lots of gifts this year), but most importantly is that this didn’t even help her or me in any way, even make the situation worse. Worse for the two of us. Her levels of anxiety would get sky-high and I wouldn’t be able to reach her for long long time. You probably think that this was people that never had children of their own or their own children never had behaviour issues, but that’s not the truth. The truth is that even people that went and are going through the same situation that I am, do have a problem understanding this behaviour.

Hasn’t been and easy journey and was not after many blaming myself and the world for all this and  many reading, searching and talking with her pediatric that I came to the conclusion that my little girl feels every thing very deeply and doesn’t know how to express this intensive fellings. 

Very true that every child needs discipline, but empathy has been the most effective way to reach her. If I take my time to look over the situation and her feelings more carefully she’s able to came a long way in my direction. Also when I’m able to keep myself calm, I noticed that she feels that, and she gets calm as well and shows her that I’m in control. Sometimes this might feel like I’m spoiling her, but in this  case I’m just dealing with her behaviour in the most effective way. 

As a mom I feel I still have a long way to go to help my child to deal with this deep feelings of her in a healthy way. What I believe has helped enormously is that when she is calm I go back to her and question her about the reasons why she was that upset or explain her why things have to be the way they are. I can see the progress, specially when she began to understand and articulate better with her communication skills. 

We work daily and we hope for better results each day. Some days can be frustrating and even defeating but the first step has been done and that is to understand my child. Nothing can be more rewarding to a parent then that.

Essential oils diffuser bracelet 

My little girl Estelle is not having her afternoon nap every day and little baby Zoë is having 20 minutes naps each time… but today on one of those 20 minutes naps I manage to finish this precious bracelet… so proud of myself at this point and with what I can accomplish even with very little sleep. 

For this bracelet I’ve used Gemstone beads: 11mm Brown wood Jasper Round and 12mm Lava stone round.

Finished in brass, and love.

You caa use as your own diffuser by placing 2-3 drops of your favorite essential oil on the lava beads.
You can combine oils on one bead or disperse throughout the Bracelet.
Scent will last 3-4 days. You can always replenish if needed.

Brown jasper gemstone being the perfect combination, not just for the colors, but also for those who believe on the amazing powers of the stones, has been said that jasper stone has the powers of physical and spiritual protection. Also wearing or carrying for long time, brown jasper helps to keep one “down to earth” and alleviate stress and induce tranquility.

For a perfect combination with the benefits from jasper stone I highly recommend Balance essential oil. You can find this essential oil on http://www.mydoterra.com/oleos or you are welcome to message me if you have any questions.

To obtain this beautiful bracelet or any of my other creations you can visit my shop on https://www.etsy.com/shop/MommyloveCreations?ref=s2-header-shopname


Thank you for supporting my Art work!

Leticia ❤️

Mommy new project 

Today after going to the park with my girls I made the decision to post one of my works.

As some of you might know, I love jewelry and I love to create, but being a mother of a toddler and a baby it’s not the easiest thing to be, specially being in a foreign country. But thanks to the amazing husband, his words of encouragement and love, I am able to do some of the things that I love the most as well as being a mom, and this is one of them. 

Each one of this items are one of a kind Unique Gemstone Bracelet, hand made with love and tenderness. 

Very soon available on Etsy shop for anyone interested.

Exhausting 

This a picture of some weeks ago when we went visiting Eltz Castle in Germany with our two years old toddler and our 4 months old baby.

I wake up today thinking in how am I gonna go through another day with this much energy.. I haven’t been sleeping that much with a baby and a toddler that need my attention through the whole day and night.. 

All this constant feeling of deep joy, deep sorrow, deep doubt about the world about my self and my children is exhausting.

To create a life in this fragile world, to listen to a child’s heart from the inside of our body. To go through bedtime rituals or potty training accidents or goldfish crackers all through the car after a temperamental tantrum it’s exhausting. 

All the joys and frustrations of glitter and monkey bars and nursery rhymes and make believe, singing silly songs to help my them with brushing their teeth or read a good night story when she’s over tired and hyper active it’s exhausting.

To experience life from this vantage point,to have these experiences, good or bad, to experience fullness of life in this exact way it’s exhausting! 

But.. 

I must not forget I haven’t been as happy as I am today and that is exhausting too! 

Here is one of my favourite poems.

Youth

by Samuel Ullman

Youth is not a time of life; it is a state of mind; it is not a matter of rosy cheeks, red lips and supple knees; it is a matter of the will, a quality of the imagination, a vigor of the emotions; it is the freshness of the deep springs of life.

Youth means a temperamental predominance of courage over timidity of the appetite, for adventure over the love of ease. This often exists in a man of sixty more than a boy of twenty. Nobody grows old merely by a number of years. We grow old by deserting our ideals.

Years may wrinkle the skin, but to give up enthusiasm wrinkles the soul. Worry, fear, self-distrust bows the heart and turns the spirit back to dust.

Whether sixty or sixteen, there is in every human being’s heart the lure of wonder, the unfailing child-like appetite of what’s next, and the joy of the game of living. In the center of your heart and my heart there is a wireless station; so long as it receives messages of beauty, hope, cheer, courage and power from men and from the Infinite, so long are you young.

When the aerials are down, and your spirit is covered with snows of cynicism and the ice of pessimism, then you are grown old, even at twenty, but as long as your aerials are up, to catch the waves of optimism, there is hope you may die young at eighty.

My breastfeeding experience 

I’ve been without posting anything here for long time.. not because I don’t have what to post but because this last week’s had been hectic. But before I start boring you with my busy and over schedule life I decided to share my experience in nursing for the second time. Being this week the world breastfeeding awareness week makes this subject  even more special for me.

Zoë is just 3 months and a week now, she like her sister of 2 years old, was born with a perfect sucking reflex, naturally interested in nursing from the beginning, so breastfeeding would had been so easy if as they say  this would be ‘the most natural thing in the world’. But things are not always like they are suppose to be.

When the midwife hand me Estelle for the first time, being aware that I wanted to nurse her, she  give me instructions to get Estelle on my breast straight away. Very quickly she got a grip on my breast and started sucking, but all I could feel was a pain as if she was biting me. I could see the surprise on my midwife’s face, but I silently hoped that this was just of the moment and choose not to pay too much  attention to it.

Came as a surprise to me, not being able to provide her some milk, and I was following all the advices that my midwife and nurse (that comes to help moms and the newborns in holland for the first week after birth), milk was just not coming and because I had a starving baby sucking on my breasts every 2 hours and using an electric pump to stimulate the production of milk, my niples just couldn’t take any more. I was having a  bleeding and tering apart niples. Was extremely painful, not to say that was so frustrating for me to see that my baby was in such need of her very first meal, but still there was no signs of any milk..

After three days, the first drops  finally arrived through the pump to the bottle. This made my nurse celebrate. She explained me that those drops were called ‘the golden drops’ and that was the best milk my baby could ever have. Looking at Estelle and seeing how hungry she was, those words mean nothing and those few drops were to me just the answer that I would never be able to nurse my baby ever. Gladly I was wrong, not long after this the milk started coming in such quantity that if she didn’t want drink more I would be with very hard breast and everything would be completely soak in wet around me,  at this point I wouldn’t even mind,  I was so happy that I could finally feed my baby and don’t see her hungry no more.

Long process until me and my baby had learned the mechanism of breastfeeding, and by doing it became easier with practice, patience and perseverance.

Because I had gone through all this with my first baby you would say that second time everything would happen just naturally.. but no. I had to go through everything over again. The only difference was that I already knew the steps I needed to take and this made the process quicker this time.
In the old days young women grew up seeing other women nurse. It was a very normal things to do. Today not many women had ever witness others nursing, due to the fact that we belong to a bottle feeding culture. And this got me into the other issue with nursing my baby.

When Estelle was born I felt very insecure and unconfortable nursing her with another person, other then my husband in the same room. I have even said that public nursing was not made for me. Later on, bit by bit I started doing that and also outside the house, words of support from my husband made this easier and possible to be done. Still I tried to cover with innumerable possible options but was really hard and almost impossible to cover myself in anyway, Estelle moved her arms and legs so much that every attempt I made to cover was useless. So then I grew to realise how natural in fact breastfeeding is.

Today nursing my second child I believe that if a woman needs or wants to nurse in public she should not be afraid or ashamed. If possible I still try and cover as much as possible, but for me there’s nothing more natural then to feed my baby when she needs it or she asks for it. This also give us mental and physical comfort. Nursing is an exhausting thing to do. Takes hours from your day and you don’t even realise it sometimes. Having Estelle as toddler, made me understand that I had to do much more then just sit and nurse my newborn baby. I had to get all my skills and multitasking into practice in order to be able to go through the day with this two girls. And maybe we don’t get that much done this days and errands take twice to get done as they used to, but nothing can take away the moments and complicity you have with your baby.

And after all we struggle in the begging I’m really proud of being able to nurse my first baby for 14 months and seeing Zoë growing strong from it now too.
We need to understand that the journey we take to nourish our babies might be different in method and in so many ways difficult at times, but yet the same in purpose and beauty. 

I feel beyond blessed and so thankful to God, for having this beautiful little baby and the amazing little girl, specially knowing that there’s so many woman that might not get to have children or be able to nourish them. 

Happy breastfeeding week to every mother and child in this world ♡

 

Multicultural family 

As we are a multicultural family, people often ask us what language do we speak to our girls.

I am from Portugal, my husband is from The Netherlands and we talk with each other in English. And before they were born we decided that the best thing we could do for them was to bring them up multilingual.

We read a lot about other children in similar situations and that showed to be helpful in life to everyone. Therefore my husband speaks Dutch, I speak Portuguese (as my parents and the rest of my family does) and English. Moreover, whenever our foreign friends are around, we ask them to speak their mother tongue, so that their little brains can get used to the intonation and sounds of various languages.

I don’t say that has been easy.. I sometimes have the feeling that they will only speak Dutch, but I will continue talking to them in Portuguese. I have the hope that even if they don’t speak Portuguese, they will be able to understand and also, I’m not teaching them any other language with a bad accent for them to talk in a bad way.

Estelle is already saying some words and they are all in Dutch. She had always had her own will in things and now it’s even more profound being a toddler. I try to respect that when she tries to teach me her own language telling me ‘Ne’ all the time and ‘hoor je dat?’ Means= do you hear that? That I found so funny specially with the face and body  expressions that accompanies this sentences. 

Dear mom

‘-Mom how did you manage, how did you manage to be such a good mother?’

‘-I don’t know if I manage. I just try all my best, loving as much as I could.’

  I remember this conversation with my mom in the same week Estelle was born.

I ask constantly to myself: am I doing my best? Is my love enough? 

This questions come while I think of my mother that can not be part of what I’m going through right now, because I move so far from her. But so many times, holding my heart I still tell her: Thank you mom. Sorry mom. Today I understand you.

My first birth story

I knew exactly how the birth of my first baby was going to go. I’d read all the natural birth books and I’d decided it- the contractions that started in the morning, the pain-studded dash to the hospital, the joyful pulling up of my baby.. I played this through my head so often,I could almost see it playing like a film. No pain killers, no epidural.. no nothing. But nature had other ideas.

My only and greatest fear was to violent-sounding interventions I heard from so many other friends that had babies before me… So I didn’t want to, by any instance loose conscience or loose control. For this I ask my husband to be firm and remind me of what I really wanted for myself.

Started by being overdue almost for two weeks and just one day before the midwife appointment for induction, my waters broke right in the middle of the night. But my labor won’t start on its own, so I had to be induced. They say it’s to decrease the risk of infections to our uterus and our baby. So they inject me with oxytocin through an IV pump to start the contractions. These are synthetic hormones that my body should be producing naturally during an spontaneous labour.. and they introduced and internal wire, called ‘electrode’ to Estelle’s scalp, to monitor her heart rate. I stayed the all night like this and in the morning the decision was that I had to have a higher dose of oxytocin to accelerate the dilatation.

I felt like everything was being decided by someone other me.

Very little I knew about all this process.. and the contractions started to be very intense and uncontrollable. They were checking on me every 10 minutes and the possibility came to have some morphine to ease the pain, at this point was undeniable, I was ready to beg if necessary.. then my husband, reminding me that I didn’t want any special intervention and as natural as possible.. I almost had to shout at him.. this time I was determined that pain killers was not an option anymore was a real necessity. 

They give me morphine as drip on my IV as well but they also gave me a device with some instructions to press if the pain was too much. The thought that I did, actually, have some power over the situation comforted me, and I even slept in between contractions. Little I knew that this device was just so I would have that feeling, there was no medication or anything else attached to this device (but it worked).

Having to be induced is a very strange experience, in that you go from feeling completely normal to being in very intensive labour within 30 minutes. There’s no slow build-up or gentle easing in – it’s kind of a truck going over you version labour. So at this point, what important was to have my dear, sweet husband by my side, reminding me to bread and to be calm. 

I had some moments that I could still find myself through the pain, accepted and understand, but most of the time was completely uncontrollable

Within 4 hours with contractions mode of active labour I felt the pain becoming bigger then I was. By then I was already completely exhausted but now was time to PUSH.. this was definitely transition time. I remember saying to my husband -“I think the final contractions are happening, but I’m not ready yet.” In the same second the midwife from the hospital came in and start shouting ‘push!’ at me, the way you see them do is the movies- and I hated this, remember asking my midwife, on my birth plan appointments, to please be gentle with me and ‘please no screaming’, but she was no where to be found  and at this point so none of my requests really matter anymore.

I couldn’t check the time and it’s very hard to remember how many times I had to really push, I know that the feeling of having my skin tering was like a real burn and I could feel all the progress of my baby coming down. 

My husband was so supportive, reminding me all the time the right way to breath and keeping me focus without losing my mind, then after some almighty pushes, the slightly surreal moment happened. I looked down and there she was. My baby girl was given to me. I finally could meet her, hug her, love her. 

So much respect I gain for mothers and specially for mine, after having my first born, Estelle.. 
Now  every  time I hold my girls  tight I remember her, I can even smell her as if she’s doing the same to me.

When I try to tech some honorable  principles to Estelle I remember her teaching me in how important is to have a family to have friends. She teaching me to accept, forgive and to ask forgiveness. She was and is my biggest example of strength and humbleness.

My best friend and  everlasting shelter. She always managed to keep me away from people that were not worthy and always confronted me ( still does) when I thought I own the truth. 

There was so many YES… and a lot of NOs. But now I see the time dedicated and sacrifices made always having the best interest in my happiness. 

I do regret a lot of things that has been said and done, for hurting her so much in so many ways. I do regret the days I got her desperate, sad or angry. I do regret the million of times I didn’t listen to her.. at the end of the day she was always right. 

When I look back in time the only thing I remember is the love she always had for me and is this love that even today, holds me back or takes me to every place I go.

So much I could still say about her and the example she passed on to me.. I learned with her mistakes and I move on with my own. 

I wonder if I ever can be as good mother as she is.

 This answer only my girls will be able to give me one day.. and I hope the answer will be yes. 

Moments..

​Looks like was yesterday that I was giving her her first bath on the tummy tub… Sometimes something as simple as looking at this old pictures from my baby having a bath, makes me stop to think that all we need is to be present. Slow down. Embrace the chaos and accept the reality of the moment. Whatever the circumstances are. Life is here and now. so it was and will be the best and the worst times. The death of my parents, the birth of my children, in the difficult days of work in the summer holidays, on nights when dinner is thrown on the floor, and Sunday lunches. No matter where we try to escape, the reality is what happens here, right under our eyes. It may not be what we would like to be living. And it’s likely that not everything as in a fairy tale. But part of our history, who we are and where we are going. 

In no time she will be walking out the door and starting her own adventure and all just hapens in a flash, and all is just gone. It’s past.

Remember

image

Talking today with a friend on the phone, she was telling me about her concerns with her marriage, in how after so many years and a child in between, she and her husband, everything was so different and in how they forgot about each other and their love was slowly vanishing.
Is this true? Can love simply vanish? Can we simply stop loving one another?

I remember on my wedding day, a lady that was married already for 40 years at that time, asked me.. ‘Why are you marring him?’ My response was so fast and full of conviction, ‘ I’m marring him, because I love him.’ What I didn’t expect was what she told me after, ‘Make sure you remember that. Always remember that. There will be times that you will have to remember that.’ She looked at me in the eyes kind of to make sure I was listening properly, she repeated, ‘make sure you remember that.’
I couldn’t understand why she was telling me that. What did she mean with “remember” so many times? Once you love someone, don’t you always love that person? Why she was telling me that? Didn’t she believe in my love for my future husband? Or maybe she didn’t love her husband anymore? Maybe she and her husband never loved each other, at least not as much as I loved my soon to be. I was so convinced of the endless love I had for him that I couldn’t understand the warning. Wasn’t this love enough to a long lasting relationship?
I must confess, this questions were part of my daily thoughts for as long as me and my husband were newly married and deeply in love.. and that was basically our first year of marriage. I always remember our first big fight then our second and third and so on.. suddenly we get so good in forgiving and forgetting, another great advice they make sure we have before we get married -forgive and forget.
But sometimes we start to have the feeling that we are the only person capable and/or forced to forgive and forget all the time the other person that we can not find the balance to do it again.. and that’s when you really have to ‘remember’.
Give up starts to be possible option and seams to be so much easier, and this can be with a legal divorce or continuing married but not dedicating ourselves no more to this relationship, to this other person. This sounds surreal, but surprisingly there’s so many couples living on this stage that I call ‘numbness stage’. They might still love one another but simply they given up on trying to be happy or making the other person happy.
My advice to my friend was to look back on the day they married and to think about what she felt that made her marry this men? If she still remember and what did she needed to do to feel the same way again?
We are so human. We do forget everything in life, specially what we need the most, to be remembered, so today’s post is about remembering to love before we forget.