Thursday, July 21, 2011

We're Moving!

To Wordpress!

I'm sad to let go of my "HiMyNameIsJack" url, but seriously I have 2 kids. Henry needs love too!

So here we are:

I hope you'll follow me... and be patient during this time of transition! Who knows how long it will take!

If you have a wordpress blog, please share any helpful advice! I'd love to hear it!

Harry Potter

Was pure magic! Spoiler alert, but honestly- shame on you if you don't know how the saga ends. Have you been living under a rock?! Seriously?!

So Harry and I met back during the winter break of my freshman year of college (1999-2000). I was working at Barnes and Noble (which, in case you're reading this in 2015, was something called a bookstore... they used to sell books in actual brick and mortar stores, once upon a time.) Speaking of, Once upon a time... so it was a cold winter and I was working as a barista in the coffee shop of B&N and I noticed a book on a shelf of the New York Times best seller list (this was before they had to make the children's best seller list because Tom Clancy and Barbra Kingsolver got tired of being beaten out by some, scoff, children's author.

Harry Potter.

I had an employee discount. What could it hurt?

It took me about a week to read the first book. I just could not get into it. The writing was good but I preferred female heroines, and the only interesting female character, Hermione, was an insufferable know-it-all. Then the troll went into the 3rd floor bathroom on Halloween and I was hooked. I read the 3 books (that's all that was out) during breaks at work, walking around my parents house, sitting at traffic lights. I cannot accurately describe the devastation when I realised that the 4th book hadn't been released yet. Not only that but they didn't have a release date. Agony.

For books 4-7 I found myself at midnight release parties. By the release of the 7th I was married and had a mortgage. But like all the releases before that I grabbed my custom ordered wand and my Gryffindor tee and mussed my hair a bit to pay homage to the brainy and bitchin-cool Hermione and hung out with tweens, housewives and nerdy adults and waited in line so I could start reading 8 hours before everyone else.

I have since packed up the Harry Potter posters, and the figurines (except the snow globe) but my 3 copies of the series American publication, British publication and French publication all remain on the shelves. As soon as the first hint of fall pushes against the summer heat I find myself picking up The Philosophers Stone and starting a new. Each time I hear the sounds of the train whistle, smell the warm butterbeer and feel the whipping wind at a Quidditch match.

I love these books and these characters so deeply. The movies are good, but as with all movies there are subtle (and sometimes not so subtle ::cough:: House Elf Liberation Front ::cough::) changes made as screenwriters make their own artistic additions. The movies are visually magnificent and although things are not as I pictured them, how could they be? Art is always open to interpretation.

However. There are a few things that happened in the second movie that I'm not pleased about, I still loved it, and cried like a baby, but these oversights seem to me to be oversights, they detract from the story.

1. You do not see Fred die. The death of Fred Weasley is HUGE and to merely happen upon the Weasley family and look down to see a twin and hear someone say "Fred" between sobs does not do justice to the magnitude of that loss. He was fighting side-by-side with his brother Percy, who had just been welcomed back into the fold. He was cracking a joke, as the twins often did, when he died. A smile frozen forever on his face. The movie skips all that. Body. Floor. Crowd of Weasleys.

2. Voldemort/Tom Riddle dissolves when he dies, like Professor Xavier when Jean Grey goes all Dark Phoenix. Poof. Also, Harry curses him which causes him to go poof. Wrong and wrong. Tom Riddle's body lays pathetic and empty and proof positive to the Death Eaters that it is over at the end of the book. For how grand and bad-ass he was while he was torturing mudbloods and muggles he died the same death everyone else dies. Body there, you gone. Also, Harry Expelliarmused Tom while Tom simultaneously tried to Avada Kedavra Harry and the simple non-violent disarming spell caused Voldemort's spell to bounce back, thus causing him to basically kill himself. In the movie Harry looks like the aggressor, and it's not true to who Harry is.

3. No one is watching Harry and Lord VD fight. They walk alone. This makes not ONE lick of sense to me. First because in the book everyone is watching Harry and VD go at it, and second because as I said in #2 The Dark Lord goes poof when he dies. So what's Harry going to do, rush back into the castle and go "Hey guys, I did it! I killed him. It's over, come look..... See that that fleck of dust, that little pile of ash blowing away, that was Tom." He disappeared before. Does anyone remember what happened then? He. Came. Back.
I'm just saying.

So, I loved it. I will totally be asking for the boxed set on Blue Ray for Christmas, but I'm hoping for some extended cuts and some alternate scenes.

Thank you, J. K., for making life feel like magic. Thank you, Harry, for saving the world. And thank you, Hermione, for being a total rocking bad-ass chick! (Thanks Ron, for having a hot sister.)

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Sometimes I Love the Internet

Seriously, sometimes the Internet is awesome! (Sometimes it's like a heroin addiction, but that's another topic for another day).

So I posted and was all "Woe is me," which I do because it helps me process and let go of my own negative feelings. But I also share the bad stuff because I get e-mail messages from strangers, Facebook messages from friends and comments from readers all saying the same thing "I feel the same way, I'm thinking about getting help, thank you for sharing your story." More than hearing myself talk I like knowing that my words are reaching people and teaching them or supporting them, it's a pretty sweet deal.

Ahywho, so Melissa commented on my blog and was like "Sounds like Herx" it never in a million years would have occurred to me that the emotional symptoms could be caused by a system wide reaction like that. I love that sometimes I help people because of the interwebs and sometimes people help me. I also know that 21 days isn't always successful in treating Lyme so I'm watching out, and being careful, but if I have to go back on doxy I'd rather do it in the fall so I'm content to drag my feet for now. I digress, so I was feeling down and then the next morning I woke up and felt fine. Like totally, completely, I need to clean my house, and wear make up, and exercise, because I've really let it all go, fine! My friends have good things going on and I'm content in my own life so I can genuinely be all squee for them. Cancer still sucks a big one, but I haven't gone to Hogwarts, I'm just detoxing so I can't make that one go away.

My dining room table is still a mess right now, but that's because we just finished dinner homemade pizza, not frozen- another indicator that I have successfully removed my head from my ass. But as it turns out my head wasn't where I thought it was, I was detoxing. Epsom salt bath, twisting yoga poses, drink lots of water, here I come!!

All of a sudden I'm the pinnacle of productive living and sanity and my husband is lazy and coo-coo for cocoa puffs by comparison. It's not his fault, he's empathetic, I may have dragged him down a bit, but I can also lift him up. I'm cool like that.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

I feel like I'm beind stalked.

I came home from dropping Jack off at camp and I found this little a-hole hanging out at my front door. Great. Deer tick. Just great.

This photo was taken about 3 seconds before I grabbed a knife and cut it in half. I know yoga teaches non-violence (and I'm trying to be non-violent), but eff that! I make an exception for ticks, especially ones that carry Lyme.

Monday, July 18, 2011

The Worst Part

The worst part (for me) about being depressed is how it spreads into other areas of my life. Like weeds that you can't evict from your garden. They don't just stay where they are and choke out the positive and beautiful plants in one little area, they spread. They ruin the aesthetic everywhere.

I was pretty much not taking Zoloft while I was taking doxycycline.

The list of things you can't take when you're taking a Cipro drug is so long it's completely overwhelming. I was scared to take anything that would interact so I decided to taking nothing but the doxy. After basically 3 weeks without Zoloft I was feeling okay, a little low on the motivation-o-meter but otherwise a-okay. Now, nearly two weeks after finishing doxy my motivation level is so low it's hard to leave the couch. I can put on a good show for peeps and I'm not so far gone I don't love doing things with the family, obviously, but over all my inner monologue is pretty dark.

I have a hard time psyching myself up for even the most basic of tasks (like eating a real meal). I'm frustrated that I seem to need Zoloft, or at least that I'm not my normal self while not on a mood stabilizer. I'm frustrated that my dining room table is a wreck. I'm not sure if I'm depressed, or just lethargic (at least I'm not anxious). I don't really know what's going on, but it's like a weed, it's creeping in to everything.

My judgment is impaired. I'm not acting normally to even the simplest things. Example: I want to see the Harry Potter movie so bad I can taste it. I'm depressed that I haven't seen it yet. (Pathetic? Die-hard-fan?) It's just a movie.... I have the ability to get a sitter and go see the movie but I'm scared to call her. Why? Rejection? I'm paying her, not asking her out... I keep hearing friends good news, like really good news, and although I'm not so dark to be purely jealous, I'm happy first and jealous second. Why? Can't I just celebrate someone else's good news. (If you're reading this wondering if I've been dark and twisted about your good news, yes. Whether I know you IRL or just through the blogsphere, yes.)

I also keep hearing bad news. Cancer stuff (the running count is 3 wonderful people with a shitty shitty disease) and bad luck generally crappy things happening to good people. I don't deal well with bad news. I don't deal well at all with bad news. I basically shut down and pretend bad news isn't happening. So I obsess negatively about good news and ignore (or more like internally fester) bad news. I might not spend much time actively worrying about or being depressed over the sad things happening to good people but I'm not so naive to think its not sticking around. Bothering me. Weeds.

I mean it doesn't make sense, I feel totally emotionally all over the map, and yet things are not so bad I'm thinking about trying to stay off the Zoloft. I want to "make it on my own" as it were. But I'd like to function like a normal person again. I'd like to clean my dining room table and weed my metaphorical (and literal) garden. But its hard. It's especially hard because I have no trust in doctors (shrinks included).

Lost in the woods.
What to do? Oh, what to do....

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Sesame Place

Saturday we took a day trip to Sesame Place and we had a blast!

First I have some general park tips and then I have some family pics to share, so if you want the pics just skip ahead.

Here are some park tips I picked up:

  • No shoes, no ride. This seems obvious, but when I saw a man wearing a 4 month old in an Ergo get yelled at by a 16 year old ride operator for trying to bring the baby on the ride I realized they were taking that rule VERY literally. What 4 month old wears shoes?!

  • Height requirements- Most rides require you to be 36 inches tall (like the roller coaster and many of the water slides) Henry who is not nearly 3 feet tall had a blast too, and since he's not one for thrills he didn't mind. But if you have a daredevil who isn't 3 feet tall, I'd wait till they grow a bit before bringing them (because the park personnel take the rules very literally).

  • Bring a bag that is small enough to put in a locker (2ftx1ft) or bring a wet-bag so you can keep your valuables with you in the water park. I was so nervous every time we parked the stroller that it was hard for me to have fun. But worrying is what I do best...

  • Using that waterproof sling for Henry was great because he spent much of the water park time standing with his arms over his head begging to be held or actually in some one's arms. Using the sling saved my back and kept both hands free to take pics and occasionally help Jack.

  • When you enter the park to the left underneath the big Rubber Ducky raft slide there is a small shallow pool. There are benches and picnic tables and a little train hand car ride. It's shaded. It's the perfect place to make camp or take a little break. Also a great place to breastfeed, there were lots of moms that chose that spot, it was kinda funny that it was this unspoken rule.

That's enough tips, now it's time for the pics! Henry loved the Big Bird Balloon Race.
Splash park. Big hit for Jack!

Henry, not so much.

Despite some body language to the contrary, Jack LOVED this slide, and went again and again. He just barely met the height requirement (My fave part about this is I was able to go first, then tell the lifeguard at the bottom he needed to be caught and the lifeguard would fish him out. I saw another family, otherwise I wouldn't think he could have safely done this one at all!

Henry could give a hoot about Elmo. His loyalty lies with Cookie.

They loved it!

And that roller coaster? Jack rode it 3 times and then wanted to ride again and again but we bribed him with dinner at Macaroni Grill instead. I love that there were so many restaurants right outside the park because another chicken finger or cheese 'pizza' option would have made my head explode!

Friday, July 15, 2011

My entire lack of rose-colored glasses

First of all, anything in the pink family isn't really my color, so rose never really stood a chance. But even if I loved rose... I've never really been much for overlooking flaws. I love my kids, that isn't up for debate, but I see my kids for who they are perfection, imperfection and everything in between.

I read an article in a parenting magazine this morning giving advice to parents who are blind to their childrens' flaws. The parents who see their child in a squabble with another kid and ask "what did little so-and-so do to provoke my angel-face?" Really the advice was for the other parent in that situation, the one who's thinking "I think they're both to blame" but since angel-face's momma is unwilling to see it the realist is left alone to discipline their child while the equally-at-fault friend watches, wondering "what's this whole discipline thing."

Fault is really irrelevant. It has always seemed silly to point fingers. I point fingers, I'm human. But when I'm trying to model good behavior for my kids I always try to ride the line of You shouldn't have done X and I shouldn't have done Y so lets hug it out and move on. Anyway, back to the point...

The article was talking about kid/kid interactions, not kid/unraveled TP all over the bathroom floor interactions. Discipline is pretty crystal clear when there's only one possible perpetrator. When there are multiple children and multiple parenting styles involved that's when the water gets murky.

Reading the article made me flashback to a day that I picked Jack up from school/camp and the teacher told me "Jack was in an altercation with another boy today."
My first thought was craaaap. So I said "Oh, I'm sorry! What did he do?"
"Jack didn't do anything, the other boy was picking on him." Say what?!
I certainly don't believe Jack is nothing but trouble, but he and trouble are certainly... friendly. He's passionate and impulsive, traits I lovingly gave to him. Traits that sometimes allow me to be caring and fun-loving and other times allow be to find trouble like a moth drawn to a flame. So I get him, perhaps because I get myself.

It made me chuckle to remember that pick-up day and how my mind went immediately to wonder what my little angel face did. Turns out he might actually be a little bit of an angel face. Maybe every once in a while I should force myself to put on the rose colored glasses. Just to see how things look. (But just for a minute.)

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Normally I like antibiotics

My experience with antibiotics has always been a good one. But it's been a week since i finished the course of doxycycline and I feel really wiped. I've been having a reaction on my skin sometimes, a red itchy rash, but a cool compress makes it go away. I'm feeling kinda toxic, literally. (Don't worry, my dining room table is fine.) I'm trying to drink lots of water and eat detoxifying foods, but I fell all bleh. Fingers crossed that my system is back to homeostasis soon!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Summer and I have a deeply complex relationship

I was in school from age 2 to age 23. I enjoyed many many summers. They were a break from school and an opportunity to worship the sun at the beach and at the pool. I was also a swimmer so summer was... well everything. Now I'm a mom. Summer vacation isn't much of a vacation. Yes, it's great to be outside with the kids and enjoy summer vicariously but it's so not the same. Even on the beach or at the pool I'm parenting, not basking. Maybe it's because I'm not a kid or maybe it's because the summer still feels like work but I find I'm less tolerant of the heat. It's hard to keep the kids and myself hydrated and cool. We have a pool in the backyard but it holds about 15 gallons of water so, it's certainly not going to keep me cool.

We've started playing outside early in the morning. Like from 7-9am, which is no biggie because Henry is waking up at 4:30/5:00 most mornings (darn you, summertime!) so by 7am I've already knitted my clothes for the day by hand, baked our daily bread, milked the cow for our morning cereal, and had my coffee, so I'm good to go.

I can't wait for the days to get shorter so he sleeps later. I'm so sleep deprived I lost my train of thought. Where was I? Oh yes, so summer isn't what it used to be. But I'm coming up with creative ways to beat (or sometimes embrace) the heat.

For example, we have plans to go to Sesame Place this weekend. If you've never been and you live anywhere near Philly you really should take the kids! There's a whole splash park area, and I want to be able to bring Henry along but not worry about having both arms to carry him the whole time, in case Jack slips or because I need two hands for each of my beers... whatever. So I made this:

Its made of swimsuit material so it will maintain its integrity when wet and it will dry fast. And it cost me $9. Have you seen the one in One Step Ahead?! It's $50. Suckers!

But no matter how much I complain about the heat, and the sweat and the bugs the sun kissed faces and the fresh fruit and the blooming flowers and the sunsets more than make up the difference.

Just be sure and watch your back; they will throw sand at you.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Don't bother asking me how I'm feeling, it's written all over my dining room table

I don't know if you're like this, but I can gauge my mood by looking at the condition of my dining room table. If there is a bunch of crap piled on the table chances are good I'm cranky, depressed, anxious, or deathly ill.

There are mornings that I come down the stairs and look at the dining room table and realize I can't see the surface of the table at all (which makes me feel like I should be on Hoarders) and think to myself "Oh no, that won't do at all..." and immediately spend my pre-breakfast pre-coffee morning cleaning, and sometimes whistling a happy tune.

There are other mornings when I come downstairs, take one look at that table and think "Oh Phuket, Thailand." And proceed to ignore, if not add to, the mess all day long. I find myself throughout the day glancing over at the table and thinking how several of those items are clearly my husband's problem... or how they're all my problem but I can't bring myself to do a darn thing about it.

Really, my husband and kids shouldn't ask me how I'm feeling, even my mother could just ask me how's the dining room table. 'Cause even if the crap piled on the table is organized into neat little piles those piles are just one step away from absolute chaos.

Bad mood.
Good mood.

The table is my insect reflection... or something like that. It's practically a physical manifestation of my aura. But here's the coolest part- if it looks like crap, and I feel like crap (for one reason or another) and I'm somehow able to choke down enough caffeine (or Zoloft) so I can muster the motivation to clean the thing. It makes me feel better! Like cleaning the table somehow cleanses my aura.

Life with tiny humans is like controlled (or uncontrolled) chaos and that's generally hard for me because I prefer to control everything. When I regain control of my dining room table I'm able to let go in other ways, and that helps me be a better momma.

My little revelation isn't exactly breaking news. I've heard before that having a clean home is good for mental (and emotional health). And housework isn't fun. Not even a little bit. But it's satisfying when you've completed it.

I suppose the real question is: "Do I feel better because my dining room table is somehow connected to my emotional state? or Do I feel better because housework sucks and it feels good when it's done?"

How about you? Do you have a spot in your house that is your litmus test for crazy? (Or that drives you crazy?)

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Rip up your garden, or go to jail.

This is just crazy. Being thrifty and green is not a crime. I would be willing to bet if there was someone down the street who never bothered to weed the garden but they have gnarled azaleas growing instead of that offensive summer squash they wouldn't be in trouble with he city. If there was a foreclosure where the lawn never gets mowed because, let's be honest if there is a for sale sign in the yard and the grass is a foot tall chances are it's a foreclosure, the bank isn't being threatened with jail time. Lazy gardeners and foreclosures are everywhere in this country- they're certainly all over the place where we live. But someone who wants to feed their family fresh local veggies, gasp! How dare they damage the neighborhood aesthetic!

So how do we change the world? How do we get each other to realize that looks aren't everything? Living well is more important than what's on the surface, right?!

"Michelle Obama put an 1,100 sq foot garden on the south lawn of the White House. If it's good enough for the leader of the free world..." best comment on the original article.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Thank God for strangers with candy

Yesterday morning I had to get blood drawn.

When I was first screened for Lyme my liver function was a little low. The antibiotics are known to impact the liver so my doctor wanted me to go in for a blood-draw to check again and see if everything is fine now hat I'm done with the drugs Woo Hoo!!!

I got to the lab a little after 9 thinking that I would come in after the I-have-to-get-to-work crowd had come and gone. I was so wrong.

When I signed in the woman at the desk asked me if I would rather go to another location because there was more than an hour wait. While waiting in the crowded and otherwise quiet (not for long) waiting area didn't sound like fun neither did packing the kids back in the car and schlepping all over town to find another lab location.

I had some juice boxes and some snacks and Henry was happy enough to sit in the stroller for the first 45 minutes or so. Well eventually Jack got bored, the juice boxes were tapped and Henry wanted to get down and play. Kill me, kill me now.

Most of the other people in the waiting room ignored us completely (meaning they didn't throw judgmental or pity glances our way). A few people smiled and chatted with me or the boys for a minute. But then the sh*t hit the fan. Jack announced he wanted to leave and go to a playground and Henry feeling that was a brilliant idea indicated his agreement by screeching, over and over and over again. The woman next to me turned to Jack and presented him with a notebook and a pen and said "Would you like to color?"

I just about burst into tears. It really wasn't thar bad, the kids were surprisingly great through most of the grueling wait. Did I mention this was a fasting blood draw? So this woman came to my rescue at about 10:00. I've been up since 6 and I haven't eaten. Anything. My hero sat with Jack and was quickly joined by Henry who both colored and made requests for rockets and flowers, we are nothing if not eclectic. We talked about her kids (grown) but mostly we talked about Jack's favorite subject- himself.

I don't live in an area where people are notoriously friendly and helpful, especially not with complete strangers. So this woman, my waiting room friend, and her paper and pen was just a little extra special.

This is one good deed I will certainly pay forward!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

The City Homesteader, reviewed in the 'burbs

It's like this book was written for me!

Scott (the author) starts you out slow. If you're thinking to yourself "But it's the 21st century, I have a smart phone, I've sold out already." this book is still for you!

Who this book would appeal to:

  • Gardeners looking for a challenge.

  • Home cooks, who love fresh local ingredients.

  • Moms who home school or who love to teach their kids about things around the house.

  • Environmentally aware people who want organic food but don't want to pay out the nose at the grocery store.
My personal favorites:

  • "High Yield Crops" section talks about what to plant, when and where. I thought I was pretty savvy, but reading this section made me realize there are a few things I could easily change to have much greater success without any additional effort. (I even told my husband that I wished I had this book before we started planting this past spring!)

  • The whole Save It For Later chapter is really fantastic. If you've ever had a CSA and been frustrated that the food goes bad before you can eat it all or you've bought 10 lbs of peaches on impulse at Costco you can use the information in this chapter. I personally can't wait to try making fruit leather (fruit roll-up)!

  • The section about Pests Control is also a great one. But it only helps with the tiny 6-8 legged kind. It does nothing for the 2 legged "Mommy I need another snack" kind. But I hear there are people who can handle that...

The only thing this book doesn't do is break down the growing zones. Which I personally would love, because I think we're right on the line of 6a and 7b, or something like that. This book is not preachy about why you should grow, it doesn't tell you what to grow and what not to grow and what else you should make by hand. It just gives you information. Want to know about growing herbs? Fruits and veggies? Keeping chickens? Making soap? Using a clothes line? It's got that! But it's not one of those "I'm greener than you and you should feel like a crappy human being for killing the planet one plastic baggie at a time."

Speaking of- I have to make a run to Target tomorrow, on the way to my first follow up blood draw. Tomorrow is the last day of my Lyme Disease fighting medication!!! Which means I will be eating Brie and drinking wine while sitting in the sun for dinner on Friday. Maybe I'll even treat myself to an ice cream cake to celebrate!! Woo Hoo!!

My opinions of The City Homesteader are my own. I was given the book to review but my enthusiasm is entirely mine. I cannot be bought. I cost way way way too much, just ask my husband.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

A day at the beach

So, technically it wasn't a day at the beach so much as a late afternoon at the beach. But since I'm basically a vampire (a cool Buffy/Angel vampire, like Darla... not one of those lame Twilight vampires) and thus allergic to sunlight, that was just perfect! Jack splashed.

Henry watched.

And I did some yoga, which crosses off one of my 30 Things I want to do while I'm 30. Doing yoga in the sand requires an insane amount of muscle energy. Doing yoga in the surf... is a whole other ball game! Crazy stuff!

It turns out I did get burned this weekend, but the worst spot is on the knuckles of my right hand. Weird, right?!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011


We've been pretty busy lately, so I'm going to break our goings-on into categories. Since it's me we're talking about you knew there had to be an entire category dedicated to food... specifically dessert! Six months ago Jack saw this t-shirt in a store and insisted that I buy him the camping shirt. He now often requests it when getting dressed in the morning. So when I say I've been waiting for this photo opportunity I want you to understand my full meaning.

Jack was sold right away.

Like I said.... sold.

Henry found the sticky marshmallow goo to be amusing.

Daddy enjoyed it too.

I confess, we cheated and used the gas grill, we didn't work over an open flame.

Monday, July 4, 2011

A Debate Rages...

I have been informed by several sources recently that tankinis are for old ladies... (I call BS)
and in order to avoid being a complete lame-ass I must wear a one-piece instead. (Are you people happy?)

And I have stretch marks on my stomach which isn't a big deal to me, but I don't feel inclined to show them off at the pool or on the beach this summer.... so a real bikini is out. I suppose there is always the monokini... shudder.

Personally, I don't know how I feel about this 'rule' that tankinis are for old ladies... I have a self imposed rule against looking like a mom-trying-to-be-a-milf. So, what are your rules regarding summer swimwear? Should I wear the one-piece or the tank? And more importantly why has this been occupying my thoughts for the last 3 weeks?!

Friday, July 1, 2011

A New Addition to the Family

We have a new love seat! This means we can finally all sit comfortably as a family to enjoy a movie night or afternoon construction show. It's funny now a little thing can make such a huge difference.

So last weekend amidst all the yoga, and Kirtan (which you have to check out, BTW -please don't think I share this to try to convert anyone, I think having a system of beliefs is awesome and I respect that... but I had been hearing about this 'Kirtan' thing at my Yoga Studio for a while now and finally I decided to check it out. Cool stuff, it's kind of like group meditation with singing and chanting. No doctrine, no dogma. Imagine singing Kumbaya but replace the acoustic guitar with a harmonium... I digress, big time) So last weekend I was doing yoga and going to Kirtan and learning to knit, when our new addition arrived.

You see, my In-Laws are moving from the house my husband grew up in to their retirement home and they're purging. Like fire-sale-everything-must-go purging. And we're lucky enough to reap some of the benefits! The couch on the right was ours and the love seat on the left was theirs (but fits the color palate perfectly!)

I love hand-me downs because sometimes you get awesome stuff, and you're re-using and you're saving money. My 3 favorite things rolled into one little package: cool stuff, being green and being thrifty!

Our new addition to the living room inspired a re-org of the playroom.

Too bad when I went down there yesterday I found Henry standing in the play sink, and the day before that I found him standing behind the TV. We need a taller TV stand for safety (big time!) Hopefully we can get to that soon because lack of safety totally undermines the whole "autonomous play" thing.

But the space doesn't feel nearly so crowded anymore, thank goodness! It was getting all kinds of crowded up in here!

Now that I've completely reorganized my house I'm ready for the 4th of July. We're going to the beach and celebrating with family. What do you have planned for the long weekend??

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Everytime I pack

My preference for a certain color palate becomes quite obvious.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Getting to know you

my camera are getting to know eachother. These are just the art options (and manual) settings. There's a whole group of options that are scene options. Very interesting stuff!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Blast Off

This week Jack is in Space Camp from 9 to 12 everyday. I love our county and its programs (in 3 weeks we're studying dinosaurs.)

Monday, June 27, 2011

Just your typical manic weekend...

Jack challenged me to a duel. Or needed to see that mommies can do anything daddies can do... Please note my leveled perfection: Jack's new closet is finished and awesome and spacious. I am Mommy, hear me use power tools.

I taught myself to knit this week so this weekend I started making a woolie. (Which is a wool diaper cover and is waterproof. It's also fuzzy and precious.)

I celebrated International Handstand Day on Sunday, June 26th.

And I went to yoga class this weekend for 14 hours.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Like a Virgin

So this is kind of a big deal. It's really common in the world of mommy blogs to run into many product reviews and giveaways and what-not. We're moms. We're thrifty. I get it.

I've been contacted a few times by companies to review products or to accept a free gift if I'm willing to run a giveaway on my blog. I've always been really torn by these offers. I'm thrifty so some free cleaning products would be awesome, but in the end, I felt like if I was going to be willing to do this I wanted it to be something I really believed in. Not just because it was free.

When I was contacted by Scott Meyer's publicist I was truly interested in using my blog to tell you about something cool. Now I tell you about products or cool gadgets sometimes, but it's because I found it, I think it's cool and I want you to know. Normally I have no brand loyalty I'm not pushing an agenda and that's the way I like to keep it. So why this book? When I realized that what we were already doing was trying to create a homestead in suburbia I figured I would check to see if anyone had written about homesteading in small spaces. At that time everything was "If you have 12 acres of land...." or "Here's how to convert your car to bio-desel." And while these things are wicked cool, they aren't really practical for my life, young mom, small kids, trapped in suburbia.

I just got The City Homesteader in the mail and I'm really excited about reading it and telling you all about it!

Friday, June 24, 2011

A Vegetarian Turkey Reuben (a.k.a. Rachel)

I'm always looking for ways to adapt my favorite omnivore dishes to a vegetarian (pescetarian) diet. We decided to try a little experiment.

This Rachel sandwich DID NOT disappoint!

Here's what we did:
1 Loaf regular Whole Wheat bread (next time I'm going to try this on Rye).
1 package of Tofurkey divide evenly between each of 4 sandwiches.
1 Jar of Organic Sauerkraut pile as much as you like on each sandwich- go easy on the kids.
Homemade 1000 Island dressing: (mix 1T olive oil mayo, 1T organic ketchup, 1T organic relish, because the other stuff had HFCS.) Smear on one side of the sandwich.
1 package of Swiss Cheese 2 slices per sandwich.

Grill on both sides the same you would a grilled cheese.


For the record, Jack, Henry, the Husband and I all LOVED this!! I'm certain it will become a regular meal in our house.

This recipe was my brain-child and my husband's culinary creation.

The Best Place on Earth

100% Organic blueberries ripe for the pickin', a yoga studio with views of the blueberry fields, a massage and acupuncture... all in one place?! It kinda brings tears to my eyes.

All these blueberries for $25! The place is honor system based, so I don't know how many pounds of blueberries I got but I do know I had 14 cups of blueberries. I washed them all in a huge strainer. I tossed 5 cups into a freezer bag to be used for snacks for the tiny humans or 'ice cubes' in champagne or ice cream toppings or a smoothie add-in.

But the bulk of the berries went to Jam. I cannot wait to spread this stuff on my morning croissant. Speaking of, if you know a great croissant-from-scratch recipe or a biscuit-from-scratch recipe- link it up!

Have you been to a Pick Your Own yet this year? What goods have you scored?