Tuesday, January 27, 2009

The accidental crunch

So I've been lurking around Mormon Mommy Bloggers (you can find them by clicking on the button to the right. I'm too lazy to just link to it. Even though it would be much faster than just typing this all out. Anywho.) and I found the list titled "crunchy moms."

"What the heck is a crunchy mom?" I asked myself. "Do they crackle when you hug them?"

I Wikipedia-ed it and got everything from "Cruncy Nut Cornflakes" to "Chocolate Crunchies" to "Captain Underpants and the Crunchy Book of Fun." (I had to click on that one - I think I'd actually buy it.)

But after thorough investigation of the self-proclaimed crunchy mommies, (I'm nothing if not a scientist) I get it now.

It means all-natural, down to earth, back to basics kind of mommies.

And it got me thinking. (Obviously, since that's why I'm blogging about it. It's not like I blog about ABSOLUTE NONSENSE, or anything.)

By their definition, I am the crunchiest of crunchies:

I wash plastic ziploc bags
I gave birth naturally three times - on purpose
I make my own baby food (and freeze it in ice cube trays - that's the only thing I use ziplocs for)
I make my own crackers and cheerios
I make brownies from scratch
I am my children's doctor most of the time
I made our own Family Home Evening chart
etc., etc.

But here's the thing: I DIDN'T DECIDE TO BE CRUNCHY.

The fact is, Brazil is a 'back to basics' kind of country. I wash our ziploc bags because I have to bring them from the States and I can only bring so many. I make my own baby food because I have to. I make my own crackers because they don't have healthy snacks for kids here. Every single one of our meals is made from scratch from beginning to end - because I don't have a choice. I made our own FHE chart because we're thousands of miles away from the nearest Deseret Book. I often take a very homeopathic approach to illness because the nearest (good) doctor is freakin' far away.

Etc., etc.

We arrived in this beloved country o' mine when Little Prince was a mere four months old. I have only ever raised my kids in a foreign country. I don't know any different. I've never had the luxury of convenience foods or products. I bring what I can from the States, but baggage and weight limits are very real problems.

So I wonder what I will do when I move back to the States. Will I stock up on Gerber baby food? Graham crackers? Brownie mixes? Probably.

But I think only to an extent. In some ways, I am forever changed.

I will probably always reach for Tupperware before I reach for a plastic bag.
I will only clean with rags - never paper towels.
I will make everything from scratch because it's cheaper, tastes better, and I feel good doing it.

And most of all, I will never take ANYTHING for granted.

28 comments:

Lara said...

I suppose it doesn't matter HOW you got crunchy, just that you are.

I'm like in between crunchy. I definitely have my babies naturally (on purpose) and try to stay away from medicine and do more natural remedies. But, I don't wash my Ziplocs. Or bake from scratch. Perhaps I will start.

Brooke said...

Even though you HAVE to do those things, I think it is a good lesson learned. Why not make your own brownies and baby food?

Annie Valentine said...

You are so much better than a crunchy mom, you're a pioneer woman. And we both know what a compliment that is.

Debbie said...

I'm fairly far along on the crunchy scale too.
And we have the Captain Underpants books!

Deb said...

I cannot say how much I admire your crunchiness. I wish I could be more crunchy. The best advice I ever got, after getting a job following years of poverty, was, "Keep living like you're poor and you'll get rich." Though I'm not rich yet, it was great advice. Your family is healthier and better off for all of your hard work, so even when you do come back to the states, I hope you decide to keep some of it up! Good for you!!

Katrina said...

I want to know how you make crackers and cherrios. Share! I've started the babyfood/icecube tray thing too. But I don't make brownies from scratch--costco has an amazing Ghiradelli chocolate brownie mix. It's so good!

janel said...

Crunchiest of the crunchy...that's awesome. I'm always excited to convert over to a new product like homemade yogurt, granola bars, baby wipes, and more.

Steph @ Diapers and Divinity said...

good for you! I'm afraid on this crunchy scale, I come out quite . . . soggy. sigh.

::Jan:: said...

I thought about the same things on the crunchy moms.

You are so funny.

Lady of Perpetual Chaos said...

How do you make your own cheerios and crackers??? I'm intrigued....

Real Mom, Real Life said...

Yeah-- I am not crunchy at all. But I admire those who are... even if they have to.

I love your blog!

Annette Lyon said...

That's what I was thinking at first--you can't even buy lemon juice where you are. You MUST be crunchy!

I came from an extremely crunchy family (before being so was cool--we were the neighborhood freaks) but married a very uncrunchy man. I'd like to be crunchier than I am, but we compromise.

Annette Lyon said...

(And oh, yes--Captain Underpants rocks! They were the first books my son read cover to cover. He loved them until they fell apart and we had to buy a new set.)

kiwibabee said...

I am not very crunchy myself, but being in New Zealand I have been forced to go that way. I make everything from scratch, hang my washing on the line. although we do have paper towels and ziploc bags they do cost the earth here. You really do realize how good things are in the states.

kristi said...

I am not very crunchy and I try not to have my babies naturally, I love the drugs. Although I have had 2 naturally not on purpose.

Becky said...

I, too, am intrigued about the homemade Cheerios. Please enlighten me.

Barbaloot said...

Props to you and being crunchy. And the 'on purpose' part of natural birth was too funny.

Now, about the baby food: you freeze it in ice trays? So, you have little ice shaped pieces of baby food? Am I understanding that right?

Rachel said...

Can I read your blog? I found it on wonderwoman's and couldn't stop reading. You inspire me. A woman makes her own cheerios deserves recognition!

Melissa Bastow said...

How do you make cheerios? Not that I would probably make any...since I do not crackle when I get hugged. And also I'm lazy. And also I didn't have my babies naturally, which was pretty much out of my control - except that I would have totally gone for the drugs anyway. See how horribly non-cracklish I am? I salute you, crunchy mom - - it's truly impressive!

trublubyu said...

so, now i want to know what brought you to brazil? or have you already posted on that and i am missing it?

way to be crunchy. i am saucy. what the heck does that mean?

Jen said...

Hmmm. I don't think I'm crunchy. But I'm not what-ever-the-opposite-would-be either. And even if I lived in Brazil, I don't think I'd ever make my own Cherrios, so you're definitely a better woman than me - although I do cook from scratch for all the above mentioned reasons.

And I love my epidurals. Somehow pitocin and pain meds just seem to go together...

Jody Blue said...

When our exchange student went home she took zip lock bags, cake mixes, and Crisco (butter flavor). She said she would miss the dishwasher and us! You and yours are gaining wisdom that will last a life time.

Vanessa said...

Thats a good reminder for all of us that use Ziploc bags for everything!

Anonymous said...

Captin Underpants rocks!!! I think I enjoy reading it almost as much as my boys! If you have a weird sense of potty humor, I highly recommend it!

Erin said...

What a great post. I am so impressed with what a fantastic mother you are!

charrette said...

This is just excellent.

I think I used to be crunchier than I am. (Utah tends to take the crunch right out of you!)

Heather of the EO said...

I'm sorta crunchy. I have all the lofty ideals in mind and find convenience keeps getting in my way . SO I'd have to say I'm 70% crunchy :) So in a strange way I'm kind of jealous. Sorry if that's annoying. I know I would miss LOTS of things if in your shoes. I do know.

Gina said...

I would love it if you could share your homemade cheerio recipe!