Wednesday, February 29, 2012

stay close to the stream

Two nights ago I became frustrated with myself.  Why am I tied to my kid as she falls asleep?  Am I the only Mom in America who can't just put her two year old to bed and leave the room to get on with the evening?  What an injustice I have created for myself!

Today I have gotten over that screed.  I somehow reconnected to myself and the innate knowingness of motherhood.  It's like a stream of truth that flows from somewhere unknown.  It just showed up, peaceful and patient at the same time my daughter's weight was finally rested into my arms.

The stream will never lead me astray.  If I stay near it, it will nourish me and therefore my daughter.  It leads me into simple and loving parenting choices.  Choices that are grounded.

Moving away from it gets tricky.  The forest around it is dense with everyone else's opinions and judgments.  Delving deeper into society's labels and pre-determined format for child rearing only makes me anxious.  I question myself and fret.  I feel lost and as if I actually need more input from the outside.

Best to stay near the stream.  It exists by virtue of being a mother.  It doesn't actually matter if my kid can't fall asleep on her own right now.  Looking outward I could get the message that I have somehow messed up.  I t think I'll stop looking outward for such answers.

Why I Rock

Number One:
I cleaned up poop-bath.
Me: "What are you doing?"
Ro: (from the tub) "Hiding"
Me: "Why?" (while simultaneously thinking, "Oh, dear God, no.")
And so it was.  She pooped while taking a bath.  Real classy kid.  And I, her awesome Mother, cleaned that sh*t up.  No belittling, no scolding.  Just a polite discussion on the proper place for the toilet.

Number Two:
In the span of three nights I have transitioned our kid from falling asleep with me sitting next to her, to falling asleep in her own.  One melt down on the first night that lasted approximately one minute and that was it.  I am mega-proud!

Number Three:
My kid sings an Adele song.  Without it playing.  Randomly in the kitchen.  She learned this from me- shamelessly singing the song in the car, loudly and with hearty abandon.

Number Four:
My kid rocks.  Therefore so do I.


Wordless Wednesday: My favorite child

Thursday, February 23, 2012

and it's time to do the birthday dance!

When I think of my infant I think, "where'd I leave her?".

She was so danged small.  Her face was a different shape and her hair was so, so dark.

Today, her second birthday, she is tall, lanky and not so squishy.  She hair is streaked with browns and blondes that any woman'd love for their hairdresser to master.  She is proficient in her emotions, telling me moment to moment what she is feeling and how it came to be that way.  Her comedic side is strong.  She uses different voices to convey different messages and raises her eyebrows to up her chances of understanding.

She's a freaking miracle.  I am biting my tongue to not lay out every over-done saying about kids and growing and time passing and, and,'s all so tragically true.  I want her to be 2 forever.  It's the most fun.  I also wanted her to be 2 weeks old forever, and 6 months old forever.  I guess that's a promising sign.  All of these times are outrageous.  Her toddler-ness challenges me and rewards me over and over again in the span of a single day.

I want more kids.  Like 4 more.  In a few minutes I'll be convinced that Ro should be an only child.  Then I'll want 2 more kids.  Then I'll kick myself for ever having one because I love her so much it physically drains me and I wait around in terror that something could happen to her.  I can't win and yet I've won so completely.

Happy 2nd birthday baby Ro (geez, I guess I have to drop the "baby" now, huh?).

Monday, February 13, 2012


I doubt she'll remember when she was two and her Momma made her pancakes, but I if I do it often enough then (hopefully) her happy receptors will fire when she smells pancakes cooking in her older years.
I've made these suckers twice and twice they've been a hit.  Plus, they're vegan *ding*ding*ding*ding*ding!!  Winner!  They are Ginger Cream Cheese-Glazed Banana Pancakes.  They are a special occasion breakfast, and this morning's special-ness was simply the fact that we were together and it was drizzling outside.  Instant inspiration.
Bonus?  They come together pretty quick.  The only vegan-y stuff (meaning the stuff that was in my fridge and likely isn't in yours) is the tofutti cream cheese and vegan butter.  If you wanna make this (and you do) then I don't see why you can't just make it in your own style.
I started E on one (he didn't remember how he loved them last time) and he promptly made the yummy sounds that mean, "I'll be wanting more".  Ro chowed.  I was a proud Momma.  
The recipe can be found here from The Family Kitchen.  My twist on their preparation would be: add another banana (they call for 2) and prep the glaze in increments in the microwave instead of having another pot on the stove top.  

Lastly, marvel at your beautiful creation and chow that grub down!

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Taking Deep, Calming Breaths


It's the only way to get through it.

The screeching.  The wailing.  The whining.  The "NO!", over and over and over again.

Repeat slowly to yourself: "you are not given anything you cannot handle", followed by, "this too shall pass".  Cliche?  Yup.  These lovely little isms are over used for good reason.  They provide a sense of relief in moments where I want to throw myself on the floor and throw an embarrassing-style fit to expel some of the frustrated energy that is threatening to blow my Mommy-cover.

The good times are good.  Like, really good.  I can light a Super Wal-Mart with my proud beaming.  The good times fill my cup and make a sloppy mess on the floor as it spills over and we slosh around in the glory of learning together, reading together and running wild through supermarket aisles together.  For my purposes today you can go ahead and equate the word 'good' with "not throwing a seemingly nothing-induced fit of epic proportions".

This fit has many faces and is rarely preceded by an event that one would say is fit-worthy.  It shows up with a hearty, "What the hell?" and as many longs breathes coupled with slow eye blinkings as it takes to get through the mess with out causing physical harm.  I've been successful 100% of the time.  I am mother, just try me.

Under my calm, composed exterior I am freaking out.  I wonder if this one is gonna last only a few minutes and just fizzle out into happiness again ("What the?") or if it'll be the one that breaks me.  The one where I cry too.

The new screechy sound that she has discovered doesn't help.  I imagine it was by accident, during a particularly intense roiling of emotions that she came upon this sound that made me wonder if she was seizing or possessed or some such frightfulness.  She wasn't (well, I suppose I don't know for a fact that she wan't possessed).  And since that day, oh happy day, she whips out that lovely tune whenever the fit strikes her.

Most recently these displays include falling to the ground, throwing things, flailing feet (hey, when you're strapped into a car seat, you do what you can) and loud, loud screaming.

My signature move is non-reaction.  Oh, man is it a challenge.  Part of my philosophy is to let her have her feelings instead of telling her she can't experience them (making her stop doing what she is doing- short of hurting someone/thing) by interacting with her non-reactively and inquiring as to what is going on for her.  It may not be everyone's cup of tea- but it works really well for us.  The way I see it, she gets acknowledged for her feelings and feels paid attention to and loved.  This gives the reason for the season (er...'fit') no more fuel, and off we go!

Reaction.  Therein lies the rainbow colored sloth in the room.  My internal reaction is everything I've already said and it ain't no picnic.

Whoever said parenting wasn't for sissy's was a gal-danged wordsmith.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Vegans are annoying

I hate labeling myself.  I don't want to fit into a category.  I cringe when someone says that I am this one thing or that.  As if simply the word associated to my person will now give you a context in which to communicate with me.  I'd really rather you just spoke to me the way you intended to, before I acquired all sorts of labels.

Some of my (least) favorites: stay-at-home-mom (SAHM).  This is one I wear with pride.  I adore staying at home with my truest love.  There is a stigma, however.  When someone I barely know finds this out about me, they look at me through SAHM glasses.  This goes one of two ways.

1-"oh, you are so lucky!"  Let's be clear here.  I am NOT lucky.  I did my homework.  I married a guy who thought the same thing I did: having a Momma at home with the babies is super important.  We make sacrifices to have it this way.  Scratch that.  We make choices to have it this way.  I don't feel like my life is lacking.  We bought a house when both of us had income.  Continuing to pay a mortgage, property taxes, credit card debt, utilities, gasoline, blah, blah, blah, wasn't an option on one income.  We filed for bankruptcy.  Our pride was kind of a whiny little b*tch during this time, but we got over it.  It's just "stuff".  Now we live in a place that is one third the size, we all sleep in one bedroom and our back yard is shared.  We got rid of so much "stuff" that I cannot really describe to you the volume.  We are goldfish.  We chose it this way.

2- "I could never do that". could.  You'd have to make the choice to.  Please let's not act like I have a super power here.  I think my job is super important and rewarding.  So much that I choose to do it instead of doing something I'd get paid for.  It sucks for me when Moms say they couldn't stay at home.  It usually boils down to either they think their family couldn't survive without her income or that they believe they couldn't be with their kids for so many hours.  They think they'd go crazy.  Or some such nonsense.  Then they have short lived, snippets of time on the cusps of waking and going back to sleep to spend time with their babies.  This is their complaint, not one I made up for them.

Are your toes stepped on?  Are you feeling defensive?  I love you anyways.

Another one: vegan.  EEK!  Maybe it's because I am so new at it that I feel like my ammo is lacking.  Notice I went with the word, "ammo".  That's right, I feel attacked pretty often.  I see that it's my interpretation, when people give me a "look" and I see, "you're kinda weird".  A month and a half ago I was no such weirdo.  Today the bartender at our lunch venue did the full eye roll, said: "oh god, I can't even talk to you" and walked away.  In an attempt to be.....funny?  Ugh.  I don't even wanna talk about it with anyone, because it becomes a thing.  I wanna eat my food and you can eat yours.  Why is the conversation always about how you (you are the other person in this imaginary conversation) could never give up **insert favorite animal-derived food here** and therefore could never be vegan?  GOOD FOR YOU.  Somehow, just by being a person who has made a food choice, I am now an outsider who is strange.  If you wanna give up junk food or wheat- you're noble.  But I'm a crazy person.
My conclusion here is that vegan people get really passionately into veganism.  I get it.  What's not to be passionate about?  It's so awesome that I want the world to choose it too.  But it seems that this passion comes off as annoying or pushy, so there is a preconceived annoyingness that the receiver of such conversation is armed for.  And thus, I am now annoying.

I want to have preferences and passions without carrying their labels.  I'm not a stay-at-home-mom.  I am a mother whose full time job it is to raise my child.  I am not a vegan.  I am a woman who eats only plant-based foods.  How does that land?  They are less weighty, right?  Less connotations associated with them? The media and who-ever hasn't spoiled their inherent loveliness.

It's my goal to be this non-judgmental person who enters into communication with another person and speaks to that person...not that person's labels.  Won't you join me?

February 10: Something you're proud of in the past few days

Being proud of myself isn't my default mode.  I'm pretty humble, I avoid acknowledging myself for a job well done.  So let me just stew on this idea for a moment, this idea of being proud of myself for something.  Toot my own horn, you could say.

Ok.  I got it.

In the past few days I had the courage to invite people over to our home and cook a vegan meal.  I debated cooking something "normal" for them, so as not be be filed under "people whose house we don't want to eat at".  I am proud to report that I let go of needing them to like it.  Of course, I hoped they did, but I decided to detach myself from frantically making sure...which would look like: apologizing, cooking up something new, making it "right" somehow.  My mantra was, "they are grown ups and my friends, if they want something new they can ask".  And then I exhaled.  Phew!  It was tough, and I did it.

Also, I am quite proud of our kid.  She knows all her ABC's, she can count to 20, she sings 5+ songs on her own.  She says, "please" and "thank you".  She speaks her wants and needs more than she whines about them. Her joyful little self spreads happiness like wildfire through a crowd.  Yesterday she was singing "You are my sunshine" and "Twinkle, Twinkle" unabashedly in the store.  Grins worked their way across all the patrons faces.  It was awesome.  I can't take all the credit, and I'll take a chunk.  We've been conscientious of how we speak to her, how we interact with her, we follow up with our requests of her.  It's WORK.  It's working out beautifully.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Hey Baby

Hey baby,

In a few weeks you'll be 2.  I can't even believe it.  This morning I woke up to go to work, and you woke up too.  You were laying in my arm pit, inches from my face, smiling your lovely smile.  Then you said to me, "Momma's here", grinning your sweet, sweet grin.  I love this time so much.  
You skin was sleepy warm, your face soft and covered in my loving kisses.

I couldn't love you more.  

Monday, February 6, 2012

Feb.6: a recent picture of you and 15 interesting facts about yourself

Here's the most recent picture of me, it was taken less than a week ago:

Here are my 15 (possibly) interesting fact about myself:
1. I used to think 5'11" wasn't tall enough and that I really needed to be 6' to be considered "tall".
2. I can't count paper money unless it's all facing the same direction.  My brain can't handle the madness!!!
3. Other people's kid's mucus grosses me out, but my kid's mucus doesn't seem gross at all.
4. No matter what hair cut I get, no matter what cute hair style I am blessed with, I will always revert back to the pony tail.
5. I took meds for acne when I was in high school.
6. I have the ability to be content where ever I am at.
7. I secretly love rainy days because I have a good excuse to cover my body in layers and hide what I am self conscious about
8. Doing the dishes and listening to my talk show on the radio after Ro is asleep and while E is at work is something I actually look forward to.  Weird.
9. I love grocery shopping.
10. I used to let Elmer's glue dry on my hand because I thought it felt cool to peel it off
11. My memories of being a kid are sparse and I wish I had more
12. Being a Mom insights such happiness at times that I cry
13. I miss my fur-family.  From 5 down to 1.
14. I like Juno.  I cry EVERY TIME at the end, after she has given birth and she is laying on the hospital bed with her boyfriend holding her, crying.  I have seen this movie 10+ times.
15. My aunt makes awesome beef stroganoff that I haven't eaten in 15 years but will always want to eat.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

You gotta make this sauce

Have I told you about "Mmmm sauce" before?  It's so yummy.

We have it at our house almost weekly.  It's a peanut sauce and it's good over oh-so many things!  If you haven't had peanut sauce, then just trust me on this, you're gonna love it.  If you already love it, you're gonna be so psyched to have this recipe in your back pocket!

It's got all the key attributes: Ro loves it, E loves it, it takes minutes to put together and I usually have everything on hand.  WINNER.

(adapted from peas and thank you)
makes a few cups!

1/4 c. coconut milk
1/4 c. fire roasted tomatoes in juice (I used canned)
1/4 c. natural peanut butter
1 T. reduced sodium soy sauce
1 T. lime juice
2 t. minced ginger
2 cloves roughly chopped garlic
1 T. agave syrup (or maple)
also add sriracha if you like-a the spiciness!

Throw it all in a blender and let'er ride for a minute or so.  Really.  That's it.

We use full fat coconut milk because the kiddo loves it and I try to get calories into her any way I can (any way that's not cookies).  We also use peanut butter whose ingredients are: dry roasted organic peanuts.  I'll admit, I'm not a measurer in the kitchen and this recipe turns out great no matter my impreciseness.

We pour it over roasted/sauteed veggies with a few noodles thrown in.  Or we replace the noodles with rice.  I've even dipped carrots in it, cold.

Please make this, you'll thank me later.

Friday, February 3, 2012

February 3rd: The Meaning Behind Your Blog Name

The name of my's right up there...see it?

When I started my blog, I put a lot of pressure on myself to come up with the perfect name.  Problem was, I really had no idea of my direction.  No clue what I was really gonna write about or if anyone would ever read it.

I decided that I would write about the things I knew.  I know about me.  I know about what happens in my day and I know how I feel.  It turns out if I write about the things I know, I get a pretty rad response.  If I write about anything else it's like pulling a slice of bread through a straw. I can't do it.

So I went with what I knew, that this is my most perfect life.  This is the best life I've lived.  It's kinda clever too right?  I've not lived any other life...get it?

There you go.

Thursday, February 2, 2012


Today's topic is words.  Here's my 'words' photo:

This sums up my parenting philosophy.  I'd add more, but it's all there in succinct perfection.  



I love this kid.  She's incredible and stupendous.  She blows me away.

The other day we went to the Flower Farm to get a bite and check out the offerings.  We dined on PB&J and threw bocce balls down the lonely bocce court.  It was the most fun.

We were told there were chickens.  So of course, we went to find them.  There was much excitement over the possibility of chickens.  

We found them, they were the especially fluffy and cooky looking variety and were not interested in being pet by a spunky 1 year old.  She really wanted to pet them, however, and went on a mission to track them down, no matter where they went.

It took some convincing, but I got her to let the chickens be for a bit and we wandered off toward the horses.  She didn't miss a beat, clicking to them and saying, "hi".  She gets face time with horses and chickens at her grandma's, so I shouldn't be surprised that she is oh-so comfortable with them.

I am just always so impressed with her openess and initiative.  She wants to go check things out, see them, investigate, socialize.  To be honest, she was perfectly willing to pick up a chicken where I'd be a bit nervous myself.  Chickens are a bit weird for me.  Not this girl, she's all about it.  Crawling through trees and running through fields to track them down.  And what about this giant horse?  Her hand was through the fence and petting his snout before I had any say in the matter.  "No biggie, Mom".  

While we were eating lunch, a woman and her two kids sat outside and a bit away from us.  Rosie watched them get settled and looked to me, pointing at them saying, "I go see them?".  She loves to go play with other kids.  Yesterday we were at the Exploratorium and it was swarming with kids.  She pushed her way into a crowd of older kids, got into the fray of the activity with out a second thought.  

These moments make me nervous.  More than that they make me proud.  The nervousness is about losing her.  Losing her physically and emotionally.  She needs me less and the void is left a bit achy.  It's a proud ache.  We've done our job if she can survive outside of us and be a vibrant person in the world.  She's accomplishing the latter with wild abandon.  Of course it'll be awhile (years, I know) before she survives on her own, but if today is any indicator of her ability, then she'll have no problem.  

I can't help but be in an everlasting state of awe.  

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

February 1st- Your View Today

I found a list of things to blog about.  One for everyday of February.  Aren't you excited??

Today's is: your view today.

Here's mine

And by this I mean I had a mildly chaotic day.  We drove ourselves into the big city and chased our toddler around the streets and basically ran ourselves ragged. 
To me this shot is busy and the child looks a bit tired and lost.  It's a perfect description for my day.  A tired, a bit lost but wonderfully fulfilling day.