Thursday, October 20, 2011

Mama Conflicted

Deep in play.
Today was one of those interesting days that you don't quite see coming and leave you totally confused. Just when I had come accustomed to being a homeschooling Mom, just when I am amazed at how our rhythm is forming and our children settling in - I get a call to go back to work. But on my terms. Remotely. Left me totally confused. On the one side it would definitely interrupt our day and make homeschooling difficult but it might bring balance to our family overall and a boost in finances. Plus I wouldn't be starting over, I would working with my existing client base. Could I do this calmy and without stress? Can I gain control of my schedule? Tune in tomorrow...

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Oolala!

This Mam was about to loose it seriously. I have been nonstop with the little guys, add in a trip to a road trip to NY - me and them for a month, and normal (ok an extraordinary amount of stress) and I was destroyed. Heart flutters. A lot of saying, "yes, I am fine - oh just ignore my eye twitching uncontrollably!"
I was coming undone. But I decided to take charge and went to the Korean Spa. If you don't know about them, I will sum it up in 3 ( ok 7) words - Cheap, Awesome, You Can Take A Nap.
Every Mom's Fantasy.
There is a lot of guilt that came with the decision to go, however sometimes we need to take care of ourselves. That means you Mama!
You lucky NYC'ers have the ultra amazing Spa Castle.  But Jeju is just as good.
Run. Don't walk. Remember - we can nurture, if we don't nurture ourselves!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Trying to be everything to everyone.

Wow. Today I was ready for the day to come to a close and my children to go to sleep.
My older son is fighting sleep - so I actually gave up trying to get him to sleep and left him to his own devices (the next room.) Since he was an infant he has had sleep issues and if we don't parent him to sleep the more likely he is to wake up. But our little one is teething and I need some me time!

We just started homeschooling after our month long trip - 2 weeks in NYC, and two weeks in transit.

It was mainly just me and the kids! What a learning experience. I have been home with them for a year now - making work a much lower priority, and there we were back in the city, needing to put work first.
It felt completely out of sync. I enjoy a healthy work life, but where will my path take me next?

Since we are homeschooling there isn't a whole lot of time for anything else.

Waldorf kindergarten is focused on rhythm, and it is my utmost goal to get it together. It is definitely a big challenge for us. We do have a rhythm - but schedule is a whole other can of worms. Not to mention my husband's work schedule is complicated! And that throws a wrench in.

Looking forward to looking back two months from now!

Friday, September 16, 2011

Babies.

I just returned from an adventure with my two boys (more on that later.) But today my heart is thinking babies. A gentle heartstring tug. I feel pretty complete - but as I looked at Facebook, I saw a friend's page. And I thought of the intense pain ( I had a homebirth) and the intense beauty. For me the fear and memory is only just beginning to fade, but isn't it amazing how it does. And you hold on to just the beauty. It is truly a miracle. It is also ridiculous that there are places that are illegal to have a homebirth. Like Georgia. Really?
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HFLzxdZG30Q&feature=share

Thursday, September 8, 2011

I won! I won!

Lucky me! I actually won a ticket to the Holistic Moms Natural Living Conference. Now I just need to get there! I have until Saturday October 1st to make it to Irvine or maybe this ticket will be gifted along.
I am thrilled!

Friday, September 2, 2011

Washed Away...

Today I send my thoughts to friends - known and unknown, living in Vermont and elsewhere who as of now have lost everything. I hold space for you to rebuild. I send love and strength and I send support as you travel through this mourning process.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Wooden Toy Bonanza!

Okay - maybe not a bonanza, but how about big discounts? Magic Cabin is offering 20% off their wooden toys. Wooden toys are expensive but definitely worth it. They offer a lot of great stuff, but what I am most excited about is the set of Tegu Blocks. I had the pleasure of playing with them while visiting friends. They truly combine two of my favorite play items - magnets and wood. The sale also includes the extremely popular Skuut Bike  and Plan City toys (we love the crane!) And the list goes on. Check out the sight, you really you can't go wrong.  Enter code MCNAT2.

Tree Fort - Love it - Endless hours of play!

Monday, August 15, 2011

Thumbs Up - Ouch!

So on Thursday, I woke up with a toe the size of a golf ball. I definitely felt off, to say the least. I quickly went through my head of what natural remedy was my best option. After several minutes - I came to the conclusion that I needed to go to the doctor. What you say? Hey - that's what I said too! But this thing seemed super angry. Hmm doctor. Well where do I find one? Do I call the pediatrician who we rarely see? We are new to the state, but even in NY - did I have a doctor? Hmm. I had a chiropractor, acupuncturist/cranial sacral therapist, classical homeopath, reiki master, homebirth midwife, and gynecological physical therapist. I did have an anthroposophical extended medical doctor and technically he is a doctor, but he prescribes homeopathic remedies - there have definitely been no antibiotics in my system since 2001.
So I called the only integrative Doctor I have heard of in the area. Voicemail. Waiting list (3-4 years!) Well that isn't going to work! Meanwhile toe is getting large, which is of course an invitation for both my children to continuously step on it. So a friend of a friend recommended Highland Urgent Care - and it was great! Office is shared with an acupuncturist (open minded) and I was in and out within 45 minutes. They also thought my kids were cute, even though my little one poured water all over the floor as he made "ice cream" from the water cooler.
I left with not one but two prescription antibiotics (really???), and my toe is finally starting to shrink. However, my NY self is totally secretly judging my new Southern self for actually going to a doctor. This Thursday I go back to have part of the nail removed. This should be interesting! At least I will be too busy focusing on my kids climbing the walls to notice the pain!
Next week will also be our trip to the doctor for the kids. Here I am a super health radical, in NY I was so not. True many people here choose not toy vaccinate for religious reason, but the pressure is great. I wish I just had a doctor I could call and trust and wouldn't think I was crazy. If I was in CA, I would run to the Holistic Mom's Natural Living Conference on Octobe 1st, 2011 at the Irvine Marriott 18000 Von Karman Avenue Irvine, CA 92512 to hear Lauren Feder, the pediatrician AND homeopath speak about vaccinations and making an informed choice.With the close of Mothering magazine, our access to healthy and holistic parenting information is limited. The exhibit hall should be pretty great as well. So if you are I'm CA or plan to be take the time and go to the conference for me! Saturday, October 1st, 2011. You can find more information here. Bring on the online Auction! Woohoo!
 

Things I am thinking about today - buying Stockmar Watercolors for our Waldorf homeschool. Organizing! And woolies -ahh so warm. Is that a weird thought when it is blisteringly hot outside?

By the way...Aren't you glad I posted this cute picture of my kid, instead of an ugly picture of my toe!

Friday, July 29, 2011

Fire Ants - OH NO!

So I have come to the ultimate conclusion, that I have to eradicate the Fire Ant nest. I guess my pacifism can only go so far? My older son was bit earlier today, and my younger son has had a severe allergic reaction we suspect from an insect bite. The yard is large. I do not really want them just moving a few yards away. What to do?!
This much is true - they must go. I will take another trip over to Farmer D's and maybe try out Mosquito Barrier if I can find it.
Feeling good that I got my tomatoes transplanted into our new garden. Planted some cucumbers, beans, and rainbow chard. They are just peeking through the earth. Let's hope they thrive. This is my first foray into growing vegetables from seed. Woohoo! N, is so happy to see the rainbow chard turn pink :).

Friday, July 22, 2011

Yellow Jackets safely removed!

This week was exciting for many reasons, but the number one highlight for my family this week was a visit from a Georgia Tech professor, named Michael Goodisman. We have been doing our best not to kill insects in our home (mosquitos are still another story!) by keeping the house quite clean and taking all unwanted visitors outside. I am getting quite good at capturing flies. Even the baby is running around with a plastic container, saying "mama, fly!"This made the discovery of the yellow jacket nest in my garden heart wrenching. I knew they had to go, but my options were limited. All of them would result in the destruction of the nest. I spent one week trying to come up with the most green/ sustainable option, since they were in my garden but all of them still left me with a fear of being chased by angry yellow jackets.
I searched the internet  for  days hoping to find an answer and low behold - it showed up in the form of an article written in 2008 by a professor who studies the social behavior of yellow jackets. I unfortunately missed the excitement, but my husband and sons witnessed quite a show! They put the hive to sleep with ether and using a shovel removed the nest. They showed my family the queen and the grubs and the workers. And now my yellow jackets are living, in a lab, perhaps, but not eradicated and serving a purpose.
Here is a video about the Goodisman team and yellow jackets.
If you would like more information, go here.

It's not fair.

I am taking my Mom hat off for just a moment. Some days it is hard to remember the me that existed prior to my Waldorf media free existence. So the kids are finally asleep, and, yes I am listening to completely child inappropriate music. I am impressed at how many times people use the F word. Ah ha - but I used it more! Amazing how you can completely change your environment, and persona but still be true to yourself in such a short time. And even more how the concept of who you are, before you are there can be so different.
I don't even complain about things being unfair anymore, instead I am constantly weighing out fairness for my children...give yourself a chuckle...watch this.
I am going to throw on my jumpsuit and pretend I am 23 again.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Happiness is a tumbling composter.

I am trying to be green. Every day. But I can fully disclose that having moved as much as we have, there are have been many moments when there was not enough time to recycle, reuse and repurpose. But today is a red letter day. Today we officially started composting. I have tried before, but always just ended up with a freezer full of food scraps. The open outdoor bins were never my style, since I have often lived in areas near water and am afraid of rats. My indoor bins just smelled.  I thought about a worm factory and fantasized about the Nature Mill. I do have to admit that although I can be brave I can totally wimp out when it comes to "ickiness." But I have started my weeding out my garden and I cannot wait for three months to pass and actually have compost to add to my soil! While weeding I got stung by a yellow jacket, which led me to discover a large nest in ground at the edge of my garden. We have been taking great strides not to kill the insects in our house, and instead take them out. It caused me great stress to think that I might have to destroy the hive. But low and behold, after a little research I discovered that a Georgia Tech professor will come to my home and remove the hive so that they can study their social interaction. hen I went and killed some flies at my Mom's house. Felt bad, but we were totally outnumbered. Promise you flies, if you use restraint coming into the house I will use restraint with my Mom's flyswatter!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Rain, Rain...don't go away...

Oh the wonderful sound of rain as it pitter patters on our roof. When we lived in Piermont we had huge beautiful skylights under which we spent countless hours watching, birds and planes and the rain. Ahh. Why is it that we don't fully live in these happy moments? Why do we focus so often on the stressors, instead of letting go?This is my ultimate goal. To just let go and fully enjoy. Truly enjoy my children. I did have a lovely moment just now. My little one woke up and I nursed him back down, his small hand on my chest.
Tomorrow is a big day for us. I found a tumbling composter on craigslist. The person is really nice and is basically giving it to me. Which is lucky for us since we haven't really had the available finances to but a new one. But for me this means so many things. First we are reducing our footprint, but secondly I am officially gardening, which brings me directly to the idea that we may be here awhile. I am so tired of moving...

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

July is National Blueberry Month. WOOHOO!

Guess What? This picture reminds me of BLUEBERRIES!
 Yeah. This makes me really happy. I have a vivid memory of picking them at a family friend's house on Long Island, and then translated that experience into Blueberries for Sal, a scene from The Boxcar Children - blueberries and cream - yum! Of course, Violet Beauregard turning into a giant blueberry in Road Dahl's Charlie and The Chocolate Factory sealed the deal. But really what's not to love about blueberries?! So here are some quick ideas for Mamas on the move, who like me are looking for something EASY PEASIE, kid friendly and interactive. Blueberry Mint Lemonade - tahCha Tea House makes a really yummy version by the way. I have a hard time following recipes - so I suggest you too just go with the flow and experiment - you cannot mess this one up. Oh, unless you leave a metal spoon in the blender and turn it on. Then you are just out of luck :(. Don't do it!

Blueberry Mint Frozen Lemonade - what you need
A bag of Lemons (sometimes I get fancy and add limes!)
Agave to taste
A few sprigs of mint
Two handfuls of fresh blueberries
Ice

So here is what I do -
I juice about 6 lemons. My juicing secret - cut the lemon in half (obviously :)) then take a fork and as you are squeezing the lemon move the fork back and forth. Don't be afraid take some of that frustration  you have from two kids whining out on it - you will feel a hell of a lot better!!!
Make sure you get the seeds out. I usually pick them out first. If it looks a little spare I will do a few more. I like to juice the lemons and save any extra I have. I add filtered water at a 2:1 ratio. Sometimes a bit more depending on taste.
Then I add the Agave. Remember it is much sweeter than sugar, so add a little at a time and taste. But also keep in mind you will be blending it with ice, so you will be diluting it a bit.
Put the ice in the blender, add the blueberries and mint and pour your lemonade mixture over the ice.
Put the cover on the blender ;)!
I put the blender on the highest setting (usually liquefy) and let the kids push the pulse button. VoilĂ !
P.S. I tastes better through a straw.
Looking for a place to pick in the Atlanta Metro Area?
In Woodstock try - Berry Patch Farms - pesticide free! 786 Arnold Mill Road
Woodstock, GA 30188

In Canton try - The Berry Barn - an organic farm... Apparently you need an appointment to pick.
1310 North Lake Drive, Canton, GA. Phone: 770-343-9940.
I'm going NOW!!!!

Sunday, July 3, 2011

ooh! it's hot! and it has been a long time!

Okay. So no matter how hot that NYC pavement got, it can't compare to the scorching Southern heat. Last year this family was poo-poo'ing air conditioning. This year it is an entirely different story. In New York we lived outside in the summer, here we actually have to find a few more indoor activities. Or move to the beach. Move - that word just sent shivers down the spines of my family as they sleep. No worries guys! I am only talking about a vacation! A vacation that could be very unlikely!

In the news as well (Family News, that is!) I have started to work again. A HUGE deal!

Friday, May 27, 2011

Summer Starts to Bloom

Our lives have been very full as of late. Not leaving much time for writing. In two months we will hit our 1 year anniversary of the big move. So many changes. But then life is always changing, always evolving. I am thankful for having the opportunity to be with my boys. To be the primary caregiver. I longed for it with all my being and I can honestly say, that a year ago it did not seem like I would ever be here. I would cry when others talked about being home with their children, as I clocked in a 15 hour day. Now I am there when they wake, when they sleep. When they fall, when they succeed.
I have become a much better role model, by finding my boundaries and owning myself. Every day is a work in progress, but it is getting there.

Things that really solidified this week -
Daily Rhythm helps make my children more flexible.
I can forgive myself and my children if we fall off the rhythm band wagon.
Dinner on the table by 5:30pm works best.
If I do not explain proper behavior to my children, how can I expect them to behave properly.
The only way to really get your kids to listen, is to get down and look them in the eye.
20 minutes of joining in the fun can satisfy them for most of the day.
It doesn't matter what others think, what is most important is what we value as a familyand creating our own family container.
I can let go.
The best way for positive things to come into being quickly, is to let go.
What makes us complete is accepting all of our nature. As a mother we must also enjoy and be open to our sexuality. The two are not mutually exclusive.
Open and Receive.

May I continue to wake up every morning, striving to be better. Open and expanding like a flower.

Monday, May 9, 2011

The best you can do.

We all strive for perfection. Okay well at least most of the people I know. And the majority of us beat ourselves up for not achieving this so called perfection. I know. I have lived my life trying to be some kind of perfect I can't even describe. It is wonderful to want to be our best selves. But life is certainly a workout. Every day we wake up and have a chance to start again. Isn't that beautiful? No matter how hard your day may be, you have the chance to go to sleep and wake up and try again.
My life may be intense, but I don't wake up feeling like something is missing. Bedtime tends to be difficult. I want the boys in bed by 8pm, because at 8:30pm I turn into a pumpkin. Really. Or maybe just a really cranky Mommy. And each day I try again. It kills me that bedtime is not peaceful. But I am working on it. Last year my son's teacher gave me some wonderful advice, "you can only do the best you can do." Stop judging. Just do. All I can do is set the intention and do my best. Maybe the outcome does not fit into my picture or someone else's. There is always an opportunity to learn and we have the freedom to choose to work towards being better.  And even more importantly to let go of our illusion of perfection and just do the best you can.
I am learning how important it is to take risks, especially as a parent. I need to risk my children being angry with me. I need to speak my truth and set boundaries, so they will do the same.
In terms of taking risks, children really need room to explore. Waldorf Education teaches young children to use needles to sew and knives to carve. They light matches. Inuits give small children knives. As fearful as I may be I have tried to explore expanding our safety boundaries in order to teach my children responsibility.
I thought this talk by Gever Tulley from TED was really interesting...Playing with controlled fire, helping you do the best you can do!

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Calm amid the Chaos

This past week was especially challenging. Maybe it was Mercury Retrograde coming to an end. Maybe it is just the universe, but on any levels it was complex and at times frightening. Personally we had communication failure, and some health scares. Meanwhile tornadoes ripped across the earth. At the same time we (my family) had synchronises that were mind blowing. Which means that at the same time that things were whipping out of control they were safely circling in. With children, the best gift you can give them is a sense of safety. The same goes for ourselves. As much as we may not ant to admit it, there will be a time for pain, challenge, frustration, but if we can greet these difficulties with anticipation of learning they may be a bit easier for us to handle. For in the end our strength of character is in how we handle the most painful of circumstances.

Other things I am thinking about today...
My favorite astrology website - http://planetwaves.net/
My favorite bug repellent of the moment - Geranium Oil. Thanks to a friend's suggestion, I mix this oil with an unscented lotion and apply liberally. It works and smells good!

Monday, April 25, 2011

Are you there Universe? It's me, Mama.

Alternate titles for this post that made me chuckle...Are you there Universe? It's me God. AND All I ever needed to know about life I learned from Judy Blume.
Wouldn't that be simple?
Today ended as one of THOSE days. It was actually quite a lovely day until the end when my patience malfunctioned. I am not talking about the patience you have with children. I am talking on a grand scale - patience with the way life moves. I know in a very deep way that we are the masters of our destiny. That by holding on to our higher truths with compassion the beauty in our life is limitless. And lastly that what we put out is what comes back to us. So I do my best to always resonate out positive action.
I understand I need to be patient and it is all about divine timing in all. But really. Can we hurry the hell up?
Aah. I feel much better.
One other thing to get off my chest...
It really, really irks me when my son's name is pronounced incorrectly. I am not talking about a mispronunciation at the pharmacy. I am talking about people knowingly disregarding requests and just calling him a name that is not his.
Ahh. Even better :).
To whoever took/ found/ kept my cell phone, hope you are enjoying the 850 pictures of my kids. To AT&T - I have given you too much. Start living up to your end of the bargain.
Wow. I am totally refreshed!
Some food for thought. Tiny Houses.


It does feel so much better to speak your truth.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Home Sweet Cul-de-Sac


Let me share with you the joy of living on a cul-de-sac. This is the first one I have lived on, and I must admit - with my head hung low, that I secretly judged people who touted their amazing benefits. I certainly thought it was not in my future. But low and behold here I am - and it is GREAT! So sorry y'all (oh god - we will need to address this one later.)  Just goes to show - never say never. I am never going to win Powerball. Um, yeah, we might have to address that one too.
Anyway...
Having a relatively enclosed circle of cement to call your own, is really a heaven like no other. First of all; if your children are as gregarious as mine, and would talk to a wall, it is only a matter of minutes before others hear the call and want to join. This has resulted in a gaggle of "friends and relations."
Our driveway has become a hotbed of afternoon activity. I am proud to say that we are now the parents of a training wheel free bike rider. AND, there was no holding on to the back of bike trying to keep it balanced (while nursing a HUGE toddler.) I got to enjoy this fantastic feat while sitting in my driveway drinking a cocktail. Actually there wasn't a cocktail, but that is what living on a cul-de-sac feels like!
You see when 8 children are riding bikes, scooters, big wheels, skates, etc. they are completely entertaining themselves...and my toddler. For hours. And hours. Outdoors.
Do not get me wrong I have gained absolutely no computer, phone, work, or extreme leisure time. I can assure you that if I was to break out an electronic device this moment of heaven would disappear instantly. But for extended moments of the day I am not a soda fountain with free refills.
Here is something I was shocked to find out...some people have a severe aversion to finding children's chalk drawings in their driveway. Who knew? You would think they just wrote over their forehead with a sharpie. And no, I am not sending my kid to other people's driveways to draw.  In fact, in one instance it was a parent who did the drawing. One word folks - rain. And a whole sentence - try parking yourself in the driveway with a box a sidewalk chalk. You will find it extremely refreshing.
One last thing ... GO! CUL-DE-SAC! GO!

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Moving Forward with Purpose

It has been a year since the huge shift in my life began. The venue I worked for closed. I started various projects that got delayed. And I started working for my older son's school.
Since the birth of number 2 things had felt different. In the last month of pregnancy I bought a necklace from an amazing jeweler Olivia Olkowski. Her line is oh!olivia. I have owned several pieces. They always called to me from the case at the Meta Center where I had acupuncture with the amazing Pipper Armel. Each piece I found at the right time, and when I picked them up I was always surprised to find out that the stone corresponded exactly to the experiences I was having at that time.
This amazing piece has an oblong Chalcedony Drusy  stone and a chain of small rubies. It is stunning. There were several important things she told me about the stone, when I put it on - but the phrase that stuck was "life's purpose."
In my heart I knew with this new baby, I would need to make a big shift in my life, a big shift in my consciousness. I wore that necklace as my contractions began and didn't take it off for months. And sure enough during that time my path started to lead me on a new journey. I was yearning to be with my family, but I was loyal to work and kept pushing. My body did not agree and forced me to slow down. Then the venue closed. Then my new projects inched along. I replaced a woman who was going on maternity leave, she spoke constantly of the time she would spend with her new baby and inside I cried for the time I was not spending with my boys. it seemed everywhere I turned that sentiment played over and over, each time striking me a bit harder and a little lower. I needed to be with my children.
At first I had the excuse of my job and income to keep me away, but things had slowed down. I was faced with either diving back in or making a change. My mother visited, she gave her usual "move closer to us. My initial reaction was "no way!" Leave my friends? My life? My network? My opportunities? But I wanted to see my Mom more. She had health challenges in the past and it always really hurt that they were not so willing to come visit us in NY. It also made me so sad to see how much she yearned to have us closer.
My husband is brilliant. His words were "money comes and goes, but you never get the time back."
So that was it. We jumped off the cliff. There were tears in my eyes when I told my Mom our decision the next morning. I think those tears have been forever misinterpreted. We didn't make a decision because we had no other options. There were plenty. We made the conscious decision to work towards strengthening our family. Those tears were for what we would leave behind, most everything - our friends, our life. The excuse we gave everyone was financial, and things were hard but the real truth was that we needed to look at our family and strengthen our foundation.
Now we are here. We have learned so much. Maybe we will stay. Maybe we will return to NY. But regardless of what may come, I know with every inch of my being that I /we are truly moving forward with purpose.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Can I really have waited this long to post?!

I was afraid when I started this blog that I would fall of the writing wagon. And alas, I did. But I am picking myself right back up and trying again! A lot has happened since my last post. Quite a roller coaster in fact. Quite a bit of big life questions. What is it that we want? Where are we going? Where do we want to be? We have made new friends and really missed our old friends. We have learned an awful lot about what it means to be a family. We have learned a lot about boundaries. We have worked on creating a family culture and family rhythm. I have learned that even though I thought I was just being diplomatic, I had been basing my decisions for the last 38 years on pleasing someone else. And most importantly I am now learning how to identify who I am what I want and what we want as a family - working together. I feel more love for others than I have in a long time but I feel much more love and respect for myself! Where is this journey taking us next? City? Country? Right next door?
The bottom line to all of this is I was looking for a strong foundation for our family. It would be very nice to find our home and settle, relax have some peace. But I have learned that HOME really is where your family is. And no matter where you are, if you have a strong family foundation you will carry it, regardless of location.

Monday, February 28, 2011

Racing to the Finish Line

Quite often I feel like I am running a marathon, and somewhere around mile 22 I breakdown. I eventually make it to the finish line, but it takes me 100 times that of the first 22. Sometimes it just slowly fades away. I know I can finish. I had two natural births. One was even a homebirth and i know just when you think you cannot bear it anymore it is over. And you have done it.
I happen to be very sensitive and sometimes I find it just to hard to fight. I guess I don't like to fight. But I am learning that life is short and it should be filled with joy. Conviction in the choices you make. Taking Responsibility. Respecting yourself and not allowing others to collapse your foundation.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

The fate of organic?

A surrender to Monsanto? Really? Codex? Really? Former Monsanto head our food czar? Really?
Now I am certainly all about food safety. But I am also all about eating food grown the old fashion way.
Cross pollination happens. So where is the control? Am I going to have to buy a farm and surround myself, my friends and relations and the farm itself in a bubble?

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Diplomacy for Dummies

Hey. Let's Talk about it!
Wow that title sounds insulting. It doesn't mean to be - really! I hate confrontation, ruffling feathers arguments, negativity. They just fill up a useful part of my brain with useless feelings. I hold on to things, and it takes me years to process them out.
When I was much, much younger I would find myself thinking about comeback lines for an argument three days earlier. By that time the other person had generally forgot. But not me. Not only would it still be fresh in my mind, but I still would feel bad about it. Let Go, lady!
It took me years to turn the tables from being a victim to being in charge of my own life and own my actions. I have actually changed my complete way of being in this sense and own it. In my business life I was always having to solve difficult situations and it brought into balance many things.
I am honest. Extremely honest. At least when it comes to actions. If I get the wrong change in my favor, or the cashier misses something while checking me out, I must correct it immediately. Even if I am 40 minutes away when I realize it has happened.
I always give people the benefit of the doubt. It works to my favor often and I prefer it that way. But people can interpret it as my being of lesser intelligence - LOL! or weakness or naivete.  In actuality, I am often just actively listening with an open heart. I am very sensitive and it is easy for me to get carried away, which is also a reason I try to keep quiet at times.
Right now we are seeing turmoil unfold before our eyes. It feels like we are on the brink. Emotions are high. Emotions. Emotions can completely do away with diplomatic relations. Regardless of who/ what is wrong or right. Once emotions become involved our rational mind is no longer in charge.
I am on a mission to come up with ways both obvious and obscure to make myself a more compassionate and truly diplomatic communicator. It starts with one person, right?
So back to this blog post title...I would like to identify some simple steps that I can actively take in my relationships with family, friends and relations, colleagues, the bus driver, that clerk at DMV... so that I can step forward every day open and strong and ready to make the world a better place.
So for today, let's start with a few old stand by's -
Count to ten before answering. Do we really ever do this? I think I will turn it into breathe in and out deeply before responding. I was given a nice little mantra - "may I have clear thoughts, kind words, and a warm heart." Forgive me I do not know who it is from.
Picture yourself in the shoe's of others. Yes those well tread loafers with the tassels. You might never wear them. But what does it really feel like to be on the other side of your rant on the economic downturn. You always have the right to speak your truth, but we also must take responsibility for how our truth may impact others.
Honesty vs. Compassionate Honesty - We need to be honest without being judgemental. And when we make statements about others, we really need to be clear as to whether we are being honest or just projecting.
And lastly for today...drum roll please...never say "I told you so." We can thank George and Martha , James Marshall (and Gavin for reminding me) for teaching us this extremely invaluable lesson. Though Martha ignored George's suggestion to wear sunblock, he helped her care for her sunburn instead of telling her, "I told you so." That is love.
So maybe George and Martha is far from the world stage but maybe if we can make peace in our lives every day it can translate in a small way to the bigger picture. After all wouldn't we rather have smiles than frowns?

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Love at all cost.

I understand on a very deep level why peaceful negotiations are an extremely difficult task. Start with two people, their outlooks drastically different. Each one convinced that their path is the absolute and only. Now mix in personal history, what they ate for lunch, and a trip to the DMV and you have a terrific combination of raw emotion. It is always important for one to speak their own truth. What I hope for the world is that we speak with compassion. We imagine ourselves the receiver of our truth and we reexamine how our message comes across. For in the end it is not about who is truly right or wrong, but how we speak to each other in the face of adversity. The words we speak stick around for a long time.
Just like plastic...
I have a grandmother who is about to turn 97.  She is agile, and could outlive us all. Her stories are amazing. But one just sums her up. My grandfather passed away several years ago. He was failing for awhile mentally and it was a great strain on her. Some days she would feel really tired and down, but she never let herself get swallowed in. Instead she would get herself together and head to the supermarket. Not to buy things. Just to smile at people. Some would be taken aback, but they always smiled in return. And her spirit lifted again. That is love. And so is this picture.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Yeah. I made that.

So yeah. I made everything below. And it is all pretty awesome.

Knit Doll

Felt Bag

Lavender Baby in a pocket bed

Masterpiece

The Snot Sucker

Baby #2 thinking seriously about a winter full of snot sucking!
If you are a parent of a baby or toddler and do not own a Nosefrida. Go out and buy one NOW! I know it has been honored as the subject of many a Facebook update status, but I know there are many more parents out there who NEED to be evangelized. Doctors of America you are seriously missing out if you are not aware of this! And I know many of you are not. Like the doctor we saw last week! It works so well that my little one actually brings me the darn thing to clean his nose with. Bulb Aspirator - take that!
* Works best with a little Saline Solution first. Don't blow. into your baby's nose...And change the filter. 
This message has been brought to you by a mom who wants to sleep through the night!

Sunday, January 23, 2011

An ODE to the most beautiful place I have ever lived.

Sniff.
After posting my blog on Facebook, I was surprised that people actually read it. I don't know why I was surprised - I mean I posted on FACEBOOK after all. But alas I was. I received one FB message that immediately choked me up. It was not what was written, but who it was from and it immediately raised to the surface a year of living in the most beautiful place on earth - to me.
My husband and I came to the conclusion that after 17 years of living in NYC, it did not fit us in the same way. And like many others before us, started to explore a life where there was more than one tree and we weren't staring at cement factory.
Maybe it had something to do with living in a loft above a hipster who hated our small child and would bang on the floor (his ceiling) with a broomstick at 4am, in retribution.
Or maybe having to carry the stroller and baby and groceries up through the subway without stepping in a puddle of urine.
Or maybe the fact that my parents just really did not want to visit.
But - Ah yes we were incredibly hip in Bushwick with a baby...Parenting Pioneers really...
But once again I digress! You will notice, I like tangents.
Anyway, it is a really long story but we ended up moving to a place that is really like no other. A place that is unbelievably beautiful, with the world's best neighbors, a place I still can hardly believe we lived. Piermont, NY.
Even now, I get flooded with emotion. As I would take the bus home over the GW Bridge; as sunset lightly dropped it's veil over the Palisades, pinks and blues glinting off the water, I would be overcome with joy. I would step off the bus and cross past the fabulous old silk mill building, over a rushing stream, washing the last of the city off of me. I would gaze at the beautiful homes and lush gardens and think, "this is paradise - really." Every morning we would wake to a symphony of birds, every night we would watch the stars in sky. It was there, in this old house in Piermont as I stared at the changing Autumn leaves on Tallman Mountain that my second child was born. I could feel the love from our neighbors as they sent us warm wishes from their porch. The whole town was like a warm embrace. It is the type of community you dream about.
Somewhere before our move I had pictures (but no of our last few days as Piermont residents. My 5 year old and I took a walk to the marsh and watched the birds circling overhead, as they reflected off the water. We moved to the next town over (also idyllic) with a garden filled with a miraculous amount of fireflies - a light show every night. Did you know that fireflies can be green and red?
But it could not hold a candle to the beauty of Piermont. 

I said this would be an ODE so here it goes...ahem...I am not a poet...

Oh Piermont, gem along the Hudson fair and proud and true
You bring to each resident a life fully imbued
Of beauty truly mystical, a sense of place and time
Oh how you feel so far away from the city I left behind
I wouldn't, couldn't trade my heart, another I will never find.

...tear...

All time favorite things about Piermont (this could literally go on and on)
The doe and buck that camped out literally next to our bathroom window. *
The miraculous symphony of birds.
Kane Park and all our little friends (and their parents.)
The Piermont Farmer's market.
The Library with views of the Hudson - bestill my heart
The Post Office where they know you and your mail.
Our neighbors, especially Farre's
And my little Piermonter, born there September 20th, 2009
* A doe walks out of the forest and says, "that's the last time I do that for two bucks." - Thanks A Prairie Home Companion joke show! I am still chuckling.
Goodnight Piermont :).

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Two Posts in one day!

Whoa! Let's see how long this lasts. So today, my Mother took me on a little shopping excursion - my Christmas gift. It was plagued by guilt as there are so many things in life that need to be paid right now. And even though it is a small amount and the gift was actually taking me to shop, it was difficult. It was also extremely appreciated. There are many things we want and need that we simply haven't been able to afford.  Thanks Mom!
The shopping got me excitedly thinking about Consignment Shops.  The are a great avenue for responsible consumerism.
There seem to be a lot around here of all types, and although there were some great ones NY it was rare that I had time visit. Children's consignment shops are especially fantastic at the "end of season." When I buy children's clothes, I am generally looking to fill a pretty immediate need. Maybe a size or two up. Last week my little guy grew out of all his shoes. This gave me great pains, because I am EXTREMELY picky. And I tend to buy good things that last. Which of course might be a little more pricey. But that was when I lived in NY. And here we are starting over COMPLETELY. So I am generally looking at the change at the bottom of my purse - LOL!
Luckily I have the bargain gene. My mother has it, my grandmother gave birth to it and I am proud to claim it as my own. This magnetic power allows us to sift through the seas of clothing racks calmly and until we find that say $450 Diane Von Furstenberg dress jammed at the back of the rack and marked down to $15. Aah that was a proud day! Or the day Cadeau went out of business and I was 4 months pregnant. I walked in for the last 30 minutes of existence, everything was $4. This all may sound silly to some, but the way we dress and express ourselves through our surroundings directly affects/ reflects our mental health. Especially when you are a MOM!
Anyway, I digress...
I am probably late on the band wagon but consignment stores have these end of season sales where everything is really cheap - like $1 cheap. I was shocked to find three new pairs of incredibly hip little toddler shoes for a dollar each. I bought three pairs and stopped for the cutest little GAP sweaters for my soon to be niece. I spent $5. Really? Is this the way it works at all children's consignment stores?  I happily flashed back to a spontaneous lunch break trip  to Clementine in NYC. I wasn't even supposed to be in the neighborhood, but there I was. Staring at a big sign that said WINTER CLEARANCE. We gave away all of our older sons clothing and gear, having been New Yorkers - with a lack of space and skepticism about whether or not number 2 was part of the plan, we left number two ridiculously lacking. I looked at my watch, I looked at the sign, I looked at my watch...and the next thing I know I am under a huge basket of clothes on final final markdown, for you guessed it - a $1 each. Cacharel, Bonpont, Oilily, clothes I really only new existed because I once lived on the Upper Eastside and took the bus home. My little guy certainly looked dapper! If you are in NY - go there - really. It is a beautiful store and well worth.
Once Upon A Child is where I went last weekend, by the way...
I think I will embark on a consignment shop roundup. Can I find as high end a consignment shop as Clementine here?
By the way today's shopping did not involve consignment stores. But I did find a brand new Hamilton Beach juicer at a thrift store for $8. I been lusting after a Juiceman - but maybe I should try juicing first!
We also went on an expedition for Swedish Moccasins for the kids. At Waldorf Schools the children wear slippers in the classroom and these are the footwear of choice (they are like socks so they forget they are wearing them), and after getting desperately ill from a chill caused by not wearing slippers I know why. Sometimes you just have to learn the hard way. I want a pair.
The moral of this story is: "always have something on your feet."
Boy am I tired. We shall see which I choose tomorrow bed or blog?
PS
I you haven't had a chance to read it lately, revisit Winnie the Pooh by A.A. Milne (not the Disney version) "Chapter Eight, In which Christopher Robin Leads an Expotition to the North Pole." 
I have been chuckling to myself all day over Eeyore and I think I shall indoctrinate the term "friends and relations" into my everyday vocabulary...

Backbends and Pregnancy - Don't do it!!!!

See that picture up there? The one where I am feeling so wonderful in a deep bridge. My back felt open the baby felt lifted. Fast forward 19 months...Diastasis Recti! Were my back bends the cause? I think very probably. And even if they weren't should I have really been trying? With baby number one I was continuing my practice with very little change. Baby number 2? Bigger! Body not the same = all kinds of body issues. More later!
Don't know what Diastasis Recti is? Check it out here http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diastasis_recti. It is basically a separation of your abdominal muscles. Now I know why my back felt so open! Big oops!! Luckily there are things you can do. Number one Physical Therapists for Women's health can work miracles. Every woman should see one. You can retrain - but don't do it on your own! I did that too. Guess what it made it worse!!
Moral of the day - Sometimes you really just need a real expert! and You are worth taking care of!
A good place to start and learn is here http://www.maternalfitness.com/. The Tupler Techinque. She is located in Manhattan, but she is a great resource for women everywhere.