Homeschooling: It's not what we do, it's how we live.

Swimming, Lacto-fermented Marmalade and a Nurse In at the Zoo

Happy Labor Day! Well… belated Labor Day, anyway. We spent the weekend chillaxin’ at home, mostly without kids and occasionally without power. We did have some much-needed rain though and a very much appreciated cool front come through, so even without power, I am not complaining much.

We did finally get our pool fixed, so half the weekend was spent enjoying the suddenly icy-cold water.

Tuesday is our homeschool group’s regularly scheduled field trip day. Each week, we get together fo an activity with the kids. This week, we hit the Houston Zoo. They have free admission on the first Tuesday of the month after 2PM, so we go out every few months. SFK (who promises me that she’s going to blog again one day…) and I usually ride out together (because car-pooling is both fun and eco-friendly) and since we were going to be in the Houston area anyway, we made plans with a friend of ours for lunch before our rendezvous at the zoo with the rest of our group.

This is our friend Nicole . She’s a doula, childbirth educator and massage therapist in the Houston area and SFK swears by her magic hands! If you’re pregnant or have pregnant friends in the Houston area, definitely give her a call. Her website is EarthBirthMom and her blog is here. She was making lacto-fermented goodness, marmalade and hummus in this case with plans to make lemonade and ginger carrots in the near future.

Lacto-fermentation happens when the starches and sugars in vegetables and fruit convert to lactic acid by a friendly lactic-acid producing bacteria. This produces not only a tangy, delicious product, but it also preserves it. There are tons of health benefits from eating fermented foods as well. The book Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon says,

“The proliferation of lactobacilli in fermented vegetables enhances their digestibility and increases vitamin levels. These beneficial organisms produce numerous helpful enzymes as well as antibiotic and anticarcinogenic substances. Their main by-product, lactic acid, not only keeps vegetables and fruits in a state of perfect preservation but also promotes the growth of healthy flora throughout the intestine.”

I haven’t tried fermenting foods yet, but it’s definitely on my radar of soon-to-be-realized projects!

We hit the zoo after lunch. Last time we were here, it was super crowded. Now that school’s back in session, it was really nice – lots of room, even in the more crowded areas of the park. PeaGreen hung out with me most of the day while LBB took off with SFK and her girls. He’s gotten camera-shy all of the sudden, so I didn’t get many snapshots of him – and none that were clear.

The zoo really turned into a group affair. Our local breastfeeding coalition caught wind of a recent breastfeeding related story in the news. After contacting the zoo, the BBC arranged a ‘thank you nurse in‘ to show their support for the way that the zoo’s management handled the situation and present them with a breastfeeding friendly certificate. Their photographer was supposed to snap a few shots of the group, but was uncomfortable photographing nursing mothers, so I snagged a shot and some of the other supporters did as well.

We had 11 moms with babes-in-arms, plus 4 more moms with kids there to support them. We also ran into another homeschooling group that we do stuff with later in the afternoon. It was a really good day at the zoo!

The Museum of Natural Science also has free admission to the main gallery on Tuesdays after 2PM and normally we try to go over there as well, but this time we had such an awesome day at the zoo that we stayed later than usual. We didn’t get a group shot, but we had such a good time that I think it’ll be a strong memory.

How’d you spend your Labor Day this year?



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