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?

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Don't get mad, use power tools.

Today while running some soul-crushing errands my oldest son said something very disturbing. The conversation went like this.

"Jack, now that we're finished letting Target kill our souls (I may be ad-libbing a bit here) we need to go to the construction store."

"No, Mommy, construction stores are just for Daddies."

"No, Jack, Mommies can go to the construction store too."

With righteous indignation, "NO! They can't!"

Who replaced my mommy-loving son with a misogynist?!

"No, sweetie, girls can do anything boys can do, and that's a good thing. That means daddies can do what mommies do and mommies can do what daddies do.". Please don't ask me about where babies come from, not now, because that totally undermines what I'm going for here.

"Oh, yeah."

Whew! For now.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Yeah, I'm Jealous

So yesterday was the Summer Solstice. I did some extra sun salutations and they were delicious. But how cool would it have been to do yoga with a BUNCH of other yogis in Times Square on the Summer Solstice?! Check out this article from Huffington Post for photos and video. Yoga en mass like this is so cool to see!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

The allure of Pretty Things

During my weekend away my attempts at embracing aparigraha played second fiddle to my desire to shop for pretty things in an adult-like way.

If you have tiny humans of your own you know what it's like to take them shopping. No stores with breakable things. Attention constantly divided between what you're looking for and making sure they aren't running amok. I discovered The Coconut Bay. A new store in Historic Berlin, MD. They have the coolest Buddhist, Hindu and early Christian collection of items I've ever seen. Beautiful Celtic Crosses.

Statues of Buddha in every shape and size. Carvings of Hindu gods & goddesses. Wicked cool pagan stuff (I couldn't help myself).

Even Japanese shoes.

At the antique stores I scored some more plates for my wall art in the dining room.

I'm starting a collection of tea cups and saucers, I even got a cast iron tea pot, for less than 50% the going rate!

And a stool for the kids. Because when I cook I usually have an audience, and with only one stool there are many disagreements over who gets to stand on it.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Under Construction Marks

I'm making some changes to my blog because I was inspired by a button Shannon created for me (so if you use RSS or similar to read me- come to the site and check out my shiny new header!) Jack refers to construction sites as construction marks therefore: We're under construction marks. Hopefully, when it's all said and done, I'll have a new and mostly permanent look.

And sometime tomorrow I'll post about today's fun and/or this weekend's shopping.

A Weekend in Food

Upon arrival appetizers were presented.

The next morning we had tea (the balsamic vinegar dressing didn't kill me, despite vinegar's strictly verboten dietary status.)

Tiny sandwiches, scones and yummy chocolate treats. The white-haired owner of the store came over to tell us what was on each tier and then she leaned in to explain that the chocolate treat on top was like an "orgasm in your mouth." I just about died!

Sunday morning we went to 'the crepes place'. I did not order the Hot Fudge Sunday crepe, because I can't have calcium within two hours of my morning dose of antibiotics. Stab, stab, stab.

My garden omelet (no cheese) and crepe with jelly were yummy and filling.

As was the hash browns, which we split.

Next up, A Weekend in Shopping. Because when you go on vacation without your tiny humans in tow there are 3 things worth doing: eat out uninterrupted, go shopping uninterrupted, sleep uninterrupted. (But pictures of me sleeping would be kinda boring, no?)

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Happy Father's Day

To my goofball To their Daddy

To their friend

Friday, June 17, 2011

Daddy guest blog

While Mommy is away, the boys will play. And get injured, and be telerescued by Mommy, and decide they won't go to sleep.

5 hours in to this whole "Mommy is at the beach with her friend celebrating her belated 30th birthday for a girls weekend away from their boys to let lose and relax" and things are going swimmingly!

1) Had play date
2) Ate nutritious pizza for dinner w/ cookies and blueberries (points for something nominally healthy there)
3) Fell off the train table and wrenched an arm
4) Eventually got ahold of Mommy who suggested nursemaids elbow as the injury ("couldn't be! I wasn't in the room, but how could that of happened falling off a table!?!")
5) A quick look-up of the "repair" technique later and Jack's fixed (points for Daddy actually fixing it)
6) A couple of episodes of Jack's favorite TV shows immediately before bed because
A) I feel bad that he got hurt and wanted to give him a treat
B) Henry is upstairs refusing to go to sleep
C) I am having trouble summoning the energy to take Jack up just this second

So, so far great! :-D

Right now as I type this guest blog I am also busily googling for that audible of Samuel L. Jackson's reading of "Go the F&$% to Sleep!". I believe tonight might be the night that I put that on loop, open a beer and collapse on the couch once the last kiddo is tucked in (and has gone the F*$% to sleep).

Somehow watching them most of a weekend for Emily's Yoga weekends is never this stressful or difficult. The kids must have known it is father's day weekend and really wanted me to earn my keep.

Back to a snuggle on the couch with Jack and stories.

Happy Father's Day, from The Washington Post

So Father's Day is Sunday. I could say something silly like "Don't forget to get your husband a gift from the kiddos." But every momma I know had it delivered and wrapped weeks ago.

We're just that good.

Today (In The Washington Post, is there any other paper?) Petula Dvorak wrote a piece about fathers and how their roles in the family are changing.

I will not for a minute dispute that the change is tremendous. Fathers don't sit in the waiting room smoking cigars while doctors forcibly remove their offspring from their heavily sedated wives with forceps. Fathers hold a leg, cut the chord (hopefully after it stops pulsing) and sometimes catch the baby and act as labor coach. If he's really lucky he gets do do all these things from the comfort of his own living room. Okay, maybe that's just me...

Despite my Stay-At-Home status we have some non-traditional gender roles in this house. For example: I make 70% of the Home Depot runs. I too sing the praises of the book Go the F*ck to Sleep. Only a father deeply involved in the bedtime routine could write a book like this. Cigar smoking, waiting room sitting fathers need not apply. Dvorak's article sings the praises of men who leave their office job and take on the status of Stay-At-Home-Dad.

Fundamentally, I have two problems with this article: 1. It implies that women have arrived. We are equal to men in degrees received, pay earned and promotions given. But we aren't- it's getting close, but we're not there yet. We're often still seen as a liability in the workplace- we could get pregnant, we could be distracted by what's going on at home, we might cry... or act bitchy... or wilt like a delicate flower. In order to succeed in the same jobs that men do we have to walk this line of an impossible paradox; we have to be hard, decisive and judicious while still maintaining an air of softness. Anything else we can do while we're at it? Stand on our heads? Be sexy yet conservatively a-sexual?

I realize the article is about dads written in anticipation of father's day, but the references to women succeeding equally in the work place are disingenuous.

2. Conversely, It doesn't say enough about how awesome men are for advocating for insisting on paternal benefits at work. This is a big deal, and trying to make strides in this area is hugely important.

By insisting on family friendly schedules, flex time and paternity leave men are able to be, as Dvorak says, 'All-in'. This is awesome. It's awesome because two involved parents is better than one. But secretly, I see men pushing for better parent benefits at work including opening our eyes to benefits women still need in the workplace like a private and comfortable place to pump. As fathers become more and more deeply invested in the lives of their children the more aware they become of holes that still exist (like WIC benefits for breastfeeding mothers and better health care coverage all birth but especially of home birth.)

Like I said before, things have changed so much since the 1950s, but women are not completely equal to men in the work place and the work place is the same as the policy-writing-place. Now, I want that in a big way. But in the mean time, if men become more aware of the flaws in our systems, then women might not have to fight alone for rooms in their offices to pump in, or better medical coverage birth or breastfeeding accoutrements, or family leave after birth or adoption because 6 weeks paid is just pathetically inadequate. I firmly believe that women can change the world but I would much prefer that the world BE changed than that women earn exclusive bragging rights for making it happen.

Like any good Op-Ed piece, Dvorak's article generates lots of talking points and is worth the read.

And now I'm going to get back to packing for my girls weekend away at the beach. I love you, honey. Your Father's Day present is on the dining room table. Don't open it till Sunday, okay?

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Okay, just one more post about Lyme

I'm so pissed right now. Lyme and I are hardcore frenemies. I get it, I got myself bitten by a tick, I suppose I have to pay the consequences for the dirty little insect.

Yesterday afternoon the PA who I met with who was smart and awesome called me to give me the results of my blood test:
" Hi this is so-and-so from the doctors office I'm calling to tell you your lime disease test is very positive."
So faster than your can say drug runner I was on a shiny and new antibiotic called doxycycline (which is part of the Cipro family.) It's used to treat acne, so I guess that's a score, but it's this drugs only redeeming quality... that and treating the Lyme but when I tell you about the side effects you'll see things my way too.

I cannot go in the sun for the next 21 days because of extreme photo sensitivity. I have two boys and it's summer time, why not just take us to Disney world and force us to stand longingly at the gate day after day. I'm not allowed to have anything with calcium within 2 hours of taking the drug. So you know that cup of coffee in the morning, it's going to be black or else I will get none at all. Wtf@!gbrt&? Take the kids for ice cream after dinner? No can-doosville, baby. Yogurt for breakfast, orange juice with calcium? Wrong again. I can't have any vinegar, like, at all. There goes my 2 bottle a day vinegar habit. More like I can't have any yummy and probiotic kombucha, none at all for 21 days. Bummer. And the nail in the cofin? No booze, not even a little bit, none at all. So first we're going to take away my reasons for living and then we're going to take away a time-honored means of coping in desperate situations? That's just effed up.

This is clearly several problems all rolled into one big suck-fest. But all problems are solvable if you break them down. So far we've come up with non-dairy creamer. Any additional suggestions to maintain some normalcy during this PITA time will be mucho appreciated!

Medicinal marijuana? Not appropriate? Ah well, it was worth a shot. Then at least I can party on the 4th with everyone else....

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

This post is brought to you by the awesomeness of antibiotics.

I wanted to show a progression of the tick bite site, so here are the photos (taken each morning after breakfast... whether I was up to eating it or not).

Day 1: No Photo. It looked exactly like a mosquito bite. Who takes a pic of a mosquito bite? The bite was noticed in the morning. Fever started in the early afternoon 100/101. Day 2: Swollen and pinkish. Fever, all day, high 102.

Day 3: Black plague of death, run away! Run away! Fever all day, high 104. First doctor's appointment, a total fail.

Day 4: Diagnosed! Bulls eye shape, inner ring purple like a bruise, outer ring pink/red with a clear, meaning obvious, ring. Fever, low, 100 in the morning, none during the middle of the day, high 102 in the evening. (First day of antibiotics, 500mg Clarithromycin, taken morning and night.)

Day 5: Bigger in surface area but the swelling is starting to go down (as is the tenderness.) No fever morning or afternoon, fever spiked in early evening at 102. (Second day of antibiotics.)

Day 6: Distinct ring disappearing. No fever at all. (Third day of antibiotics.)

Day 7: Bruise spreading, tenderness almost gone. No fever, again! (Fourth day of antibiotics.)

Day 8: Today. Bruise and redness nearly gone! No fever (so far) but I'm thinking the rest of the day is going to be fine. To prove it I'm going to go to the mall, just for a quick trip. (Fifth day of antibiotics.)

Hopefully this will be my last post about Lyme Disease, other than the occasional anecdotal reference: "Hey, remember that one time I had Lyme Disease?"

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Couch Potatoes

The scene around these parts has been pretty similar the last few days. Usually Mommy is perched on the couch behind the boys and we're all watching Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs. (Which is not nearly as good as the book but is certainly very entertaining.) Today Henry got upgraded to First Class after he slammed his mouth (twice) into something and started spitting blood. Just a cut on his gums, but it seemed to warrant some special treatment, and he seemed to appreciate that.

Who knew that I was going to be all "TV is not that evil, in fact, it's a part of life; Lets move on" and then WHAM! I'm sick and stuck on the couch choosing show after show and movie after movie because I can't do much more than that.

But this isn't the way life is in this house, and it will change again, soon?

TV isn't all that bad, sometimes it's downright necessary.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Yoga and Lyme Disease

Since the onset of symptoms the hardest thing to do has been to get out of bed in the morning. Not because I'm sad or worried or unmotivated, but because no matter how slowly I start moving it seems I always feel dizzy, have a skull splitting headache, and the bite site (on my left leg) throbs so badly I have to limp until the blood starts to flow normally.

This morning I decided that enough was enough. I was going to do something to hopefully stop these symptoms. The first thing I did was to lay in bed for 5 minutes just taking physical inventory. Nothing was hurting more than usual, I didn't feel particularly disoriented, just tired and achy (oh, the achy joints!)

I took a few sips of water (which is always on my bedside table at night, right now.) Breathed deeply for a few slow breaths (like, maybe 5 or 10.)Modified Mountain Pose. I'm just activating the muscles in my arms and legs. Feet are flexed. Palms face the ceiling. Hold while taking 2-4 comfortable and deep breaths

Bridge Pose. Legs and arms are active. Butt is not clenched. Knees are hip distance apart (not touching and not splayed to the side.) Hold while taking 1-3 comfortable and deep breaths.

Knees-to Chest Pose. Gently hug knees towards the chest. Feet are flexed and active. Hold while taking 1-3 gentle deep breaths.

Reclining Big Toe Pose. Hands are gently pulling on the leg while the leg is gently pushing back into the hands. "Resting" leg is active, foot is flexed. Repeat on other side. Hold while taking 2-4 gentle deep breaths.

Shoulders on the Back (not officially a pose). Arms are stretched at shoulder height and muscles are active. Shoulders hug onto the back as arms slide deeper into the shoulder sockets. Repeat 3-5 times holding the pose while taking 1-2 deep comfortable breaths.

Modified Eagle Pose. Arms cross right over left (and then repeat placing left over right) hands are active, palms face away from one another. Legs and feet are active. Hold on each side while taking 1-3 deep comfortable breaths. Seated Staff Pose. Spine is straight, shoulders hug onto the back. Leg muscles are active, knees are not hyper extended, feet are flexed and active. Hold while taking 5-10 gentle deep breaths.

Easy Seated Pose. Normally a yoga practice starts with this pose, but when your joints ache and you are fatigued and your brain feels like it might burst from your skull this pose is challenging enough to be the final pose of the practice. I'm sitting in a crisscross applesauce like position. One foot is placed in front of the other so the ankles aren't stacked and feet are active. My sit bones are grounded into the.... mattress. (Normally, I would say Earth.) My spine is straight and perpendicular to the ground (allowing for a slight curve in the lumbar or lower back). Head is in line with the spine. Hold while gently taking 10 deep breaths.

Finally I put my feet on the floor for the first time this morning. I didn't feel the rush of blood to my bite site and the familiar throb. Pleasantly absent! I waited 30 seconds before standing. Still no debilitating headache. I stood, walked to the bathroom and brushed my teeth, feeling almost normal.

This means the antibiotics are working and perhaps the yoga is working as well.

Never underestimate the power of a yoga practice. No matter how strange looking and modified it is!

Sunday, June 12, 2011

My Survival Kit

Also, I'm taking some crazy antibiotics.

My weirdest symptom is a total lack of appetite. But that's probably because I can brush my teeth 100 times and my mouth still tastes awful! So food, tastes awful too. Which really sucks because I have a deep DEEP love for food.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

When life gives you Lyme disease... make limeade, of course! (I did have some limeade today, BTW.) Thursday.



More on that later. So, all you mommies out there be sure to check the kiddos for ticks. I never saw a tick, so if you see a welt and it grows and grows go to the doctor. Promise?

P.S. Today my fever is essentially gone and my aches are starting to go away, but the pain at the back of my knee and in my swollen lymph gland is increasing. But I'd take a bum leg over delerious with fever anyday.

So any home remedies, positive thinking or other help I can get will be much appreciated!