Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Thanks Mom!

While cooking meat to freeze today...(I make it in bulk so I only have to do it once every few weeks or so since I can't stand touching it or the smell of raw meat) I was thinking of my mom. I used to cook ground meat in a skillet but she told me to cook it in a big pot so nothing splashes! Brilliant!!!! You should try this, just give it a stir every once in a while.

Proof That I am not Wholly Evil

I wanted to document our dessert on Sunday to prove that although well intentioned I am not only feeding my family scary things...sometimes healthy can be tasty in the form of a lemon berry tart!

Monday, April 27, 2009

Rain Dance

Tell me, what is it you plan to do
With your one wild and precious life?

~ Mary Oliver, The Summer Day

Sunday, April 26, 2009

What are Little Boys Made Of?

Near misses
sloppy kisses

loud and tough
fast and rough

tussled hair
running everywhere

building blocks
mismatched socks

bubbles and balls
spills and falls

jumping in puddles
mommy's cuddles

dirty face
ready to race

trucks and trains
cars and planes

Made with love
from God above

That's what my little boy is made of!

Season Tree

I do love a theme. I think this has a little, or likely a lot to do with growing up the daughter of a teacher. My mom always decorated and celebrated season, holidays and occasions like only teachers do. Jon's mom, who would have made an amazing teacher as well also did the same in her home. As Ben is getting older I am taking cues from these influences and finding ways to celebrate more in our home. This week I decided to decorate our "season tree". Ben is still a little young to make the decorations but that is the plan to celebrate the coming season as he gets a little bigger. This season I enjoyed welcoming the warmth with it on my own!

It Must be Spring

Bare feet
Screen door
Daisies on the window sill
Our bunny in the backyard...

Friday, April 24, 2009

Be Still My Heart

I looked out the back door today to find my baby gone.

Benny's Bike

Gramma and Grammpa got Ben his first trike for Easter. This is not your ordinary trike...this one has a push bar for me to control, foot rests for him and a sun shade. He loves this trike and as soon as Jon gets home from work he asks him to play with him on his "bik"

You can imagine how unpopular the stroller is now!


I have a VITAMIX -or more accurately my parents bought a $500.00 piece of kitchen equipment that sat in their basement for a year until I got it into my possession and fell in love with it. Now they will have to pry it out of my dead hands if they want it back. Anyhow regardless of how I came to have one, I do, and I love it! If the house was on fire I would take my baby and my VITAMIX (in that order). One may be initially put off by the price but this is not your ordinary blender/food pressor. I would sell your stove to buy one! Here are only a few things the VITAMIX 5000 Total Nutrition Center can do for you;

ice cream
baby food
juice (just dump in whole fruit with water)
any sauces
pesto (I made that the first time yesterday so it was nut free)
chicken salad
dice, chop or puree anything!

(see to be completely wowed- but not you mom and dad!)

I use my VITAMIX everyday for something...lately I have been making the most delicious smoothies- you could probably make this in a regular blender if you feel you aren't quite ready to part with your stove.

1 cup mixed frozen berried
1 cup vanilla rice milk
6 ice cubes
.5t cinnamon
half scoop of rice protein powder
1/4 t fish oil
1/4 pro biotic powder


Something to Try and Something to Not...

Last night for dinner I tried two new is sushi which I love (only with veggies though). I tried it myself and was thrilled with how the results time I will work on is aesthetic appeal. I would try this again. What I will not try again is quinoa (an ancient grain high in protein but not in flavor). I cooked it in vegetable broth and added chopped zucchini, eggplant and onion. It had potential definitely, except that it was gross.

Evidence of a Busy Boy

A Morning at the Park

I love to stay at home with Ben for a million reasons...a top one is that we can throw all our plans out the window on a whim and spend the morning at the park!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Oh Happy Day

Currently all of our winter coats, boots, hats, scarves and mittens are washed and tucked into their new home for the next five months...out of my site! The delightfully empty front closet is adorned with only light jackets and summer hats!

Start Your Day off Right

two unexpected things happened this morning. I woke up CRAVING my oatmeal that I have started eating each day (Ben loves it too!) I remembered the combination topping of my childhood (which also started off most days in the same way) which consisted of vanilla, rice milk, Cinnamon and maple syrup (unless my mom was feeling especially chipper and plunked the brown sugar on the table). It was delicious.

We topped off our breakfast of champions with a spelt flour (an ancient grain better tolerated then wheat by most people) applesauce and cinnamon raisin muffin.


The second is that I STOPPED craving junk! I often wondered while in was in denial why if spinich and berries and turkey and lemon water were sooooooo good for you, why was my body not so interested in them and pulling me towards boxed cookies and sugary cereal?

As it turns out, when I ate only whole foods (the definition of a whole food is that the only ingredient of the food is the can combine these foods though with other whole foods) I stopped craving anything else after only 3 days! It seems you only crave refined sugar when you eat refined sugar. It sounds crazy but the avacodo, beet and apple salad in my fridge is calling my name louder then the ice cream in my freezer.

The best part? I feel AMAZING!!!

Ben, Godmother...Godmother, Ben

Earlier this month Aunt Jenny came to visit her favorite God son. We are so happy she and Ben got to meet. Unfortunately she came the day before Ben got so sick so he was a little off. Aunt Jenny also brought gifts of balls and books. This propelled her immediately into the popularity status reserved for Godmothers.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

20 For 20

Benjamin turned 20 months old today...When someone asked me how old he was yesterday I said "almost 2". Then I immediately recanted and said "no- no- no"! He is ONE!

For old time sake lets do a facts for months, seeing as they are coming to an end. I don't believe you give months for ages after 24 months. When they turn 2...they are 2.

1- We still don't know what to call the colour of Ben's eyes. They are blue on the outside and green on the inside. I have never seen anything like them on anyone else ever.

2- Ben had his first haircut! Drew's girlfriend Amanda did it and it looks adorable.

3- Ben likes to dance and has his parents sense of rhythm.

4- Ben can say about 70-100 words.

5- He uses 2-3 word sentences.

6- He runs everywhere.

7- he is absolutely incapable of sitting still for even one minute.

8- He has two crocheted blankets that he sleeps with over his face- he calls them "blanky and binky".

9- Ben's favorite snacks are raisin rice toast with apple butter and grapes and roasted potato's dipped in pured avocado (it is actually REALLY yummy!)

10- He is using a lot of intonation when he speaks and makes really funny hand gestures and facial expressions.

11- He doesn't use a stroller anymore, when we go for walks he holds my hand or rides his trike.

12- The baby who never slept turned into the toddler who sleeps great! He goes to bed at 7:30pm and wakes up at 8am, then he naps from 1-4pm. He sleeps so much now sometimes I miss him and bang around outside his room until he wakes up.

13- He drinks A LOT. Regardless of how many times a day I change him he always seems to soak through his diaper.

14- He still loves books more then anything else and the 5 billion that have been read to him at this point likely explain number 4.

15- He loves his family, he doesn't react to anyone the way he does to his extended family.

16- He gives real pursed lip kisses now. You have to really earn them though. Gone are the days where he would kiss anyone on command. If you ask him now for one you will likely hear "No way!".

17- He is a very agreeable, easygoing, likable little boy.

18- Ben has great manners. He always says please and thank you and now has started to say "bless you" and "your welcome".

19- Ben is VERY friendly. He waves and chats to everyone we meet.

20- If I had placed an order for the exact child that I wanted it would have been correct, right down to the dimple in one cheek and the double crown cowlick that won't stay down despite buckets of mommy spit. He is my perfect boy.

Tonights Menu

I am happy to say that day three of whole food eating is complete. I have run three consecutive days now (2 more then I have in the past 3 years...) and dare I say am starting to crave the rainbow of vegetables and fruits that are covering our plates these days. Tonight we had-(I am happy to say I made up all these recipes myself)!

"rainbow salad"

1 bag of cole slaw
1 bag of prewashed spinach salad (just because I am being a health hero doesn't mean I get an extra hour to chop at dinner hour unfortunately...)
1 grated beet
1 grated apple
1/4 cup raisins
crumbled feta cheese
diced avocado

freshly squeezed OJ
cider vinegar
olive oil

Mediterranean pasta

sauteed frozen Mediterranean mix in lots of garlic
one bag of rice pasta fettuccine noodles
1 jar of organic pasta sauce

Roasted Sweet potato sprinkled with salt, pepper, Cinnamon and tiny dab of butter (NOT margarine...its 2 molecules away from plastic!)

Both Ben and Jon loved everything and cleaned their plates! (Jon didn't even notice it was vegatarian!)

Tuesday, April 21, 2009


Pitter patter feet
They don't ever skip a beat
running everywhere

Living in the Moment

Right now I am ...

Feeling- Inspired

Eating- a melting blueberry smoothie (the product of distraction)

listening to- A little voice singing a sweet song about me in his crib ("mommy, mommy, mommy, mommmmmy, mommy, mommy, mommy, mommmmmy...)

wishing for- Jon to come home

Midnight Dancing

You probably won't remember why you awoke so upset, for the first time in a long time last night. Maybe you were sad or lonely.

Or scared.

You probably don't know how I had just fallen asleep not long before I heard your cry, and how my head seemed stuck to the pillow.

You probably won't remember that you reached out to me before I even entered the room, because you knew that I would come.

I will always come.

You probably aren't aware that the space between my neck and my chin was made to cradle a tired little head just perfectly.

You probably don't know that the smell of the top of your little head tucked under my chin is my favorite.

You probably won't remember how we swayed back and forth under the stream of streetlight on your floor.

Just as we have done a million times before.

You probably don't realize that I continue to hold you long after your body goes limp against my chest and your breath slows.

You probably don't know that our midnight dancing is coming to an end.

Or maybe you do, so you continue to save a dance for me, even when it seems you are through.

There are Worst Things in Life Than Minivan's

The day you drive a brand spankin' new vehicle off the dealership lot is usually a good one! You breath in that sickly sweet new car chemical aroma and let your eyes glaze over until you open the window- playing with the buttons, opening the glove box (That NO ONE actually keeps gloves in), flipping through the owners manual for the first and last time. It is not something that one usually gets to do many times so when it's time for a new car...its exciting. When we picked up our 2007 Chrysler Caravan in silver with air and sports package however (you know the one that every forth person in the country has) it was not a good day. Jon and I were 25 years old and entering the minivan years prematurely on account of my new daycare. I needed to move kids...this is what vans do. The worst part was that we were trading in our year old Calliber which at the time was the hippest, trendiest new vehicle around. We were on the waiting list for months to get our sleek black model. We loved that vehicle. I miss it, and curse the cheerio covered dented (from backing into a snowbank or another car backing into me in the parking lot? Only me and God know that answer)! van in the driveway that has forced me out of my youthful twenty's too soon. I only started resenting it so much when I stoped doing daycare and lost it's purpose. Now I find myself in my mid twenties, with the desire to be current, ONE child and two years left on a very expensive lease! The mini van is not a valued member of our family, it is unoriginal, horrible on gas and has no trunk space. I feel 35 when I drive it- and the same wiper keeps breaking.

Last night I was going out and Jon took Ben to his parents house in the van. I took Jon's commuter car he drives to work and no where else. It is a ten year old grand prix. This was the third time I drove it. I must have previously been distracted with my dislike for my own vehicle becuase I got a whole different attitude last night. I opened the door to get in and as it creaked noticed the side panel missing from the side of the car. I sat on the cracked leather and had to wait while the automatic seat adjusters (which have like everything else inside, seen better days) took their time bringing up about a foot closer to the steering wheel. I couldn't get the heat to come on at all, but the seat heat was stuck on full so after driving for a few minutes I had to drive alternating bum sides in the air while my fingers froze. I yelped outloud twice going over small pot holes and sewer grates because the car bangs over them, feeling as though we are either going to be swallowed up or the car is going to come apart entirely. I was never so happy to get out of a car. I missed my minivan! I am so lucky to drive a new vehicle with, depending on my preference, cold or hot air in moments. It is clean, works great, is comfortable to drive, takes on even the largest potholes with no notice and has lots of room for all Ben's accesories and a full load of groceries. Jon has never complained with reason over his car, he lets me drive the new one, that doesn't run the risk of breaking down (or falling apart) and always keeps our hands warm, with my radio station on and the seat where I like it even though he is the one who is driving to work. So there are certainly worse things in life then a minivan...and a husband who puts the comfort of his family above his own and just smiles when his wife complains AGAIN about the over priced minivan she has to take to the grocery store.

Thursday, April 16, 2009


Ben is going through a picky phase at the moment. He will eat as it stands on Thursday morning (it will be different a day from now...even an hour from now) grapes, peaches, roasted potatoes, avocado, raisin toast and muffins. Muffins, of "muffy's" have been a standard hit and as long as they retain their muffin shape I seem to be able to put anything in them. The last batch were made from flax meal, blueberry's, applesauce, rice protein, honey and spelt flour. I also add a pro biotic powder and fish oil. He gobbled them up- amazing! I feel reasured then even though otherwise he has only eaten five foods in the last week... I hope his appetite picks up soon, but until then we still have our Muffy's with loads of possibilities.

Raison Eggs

Ben ALMOST "got" Easter this year. He didn't even almost understand the important part and he was happy with raisins in his plastic eggs. Next year when he is almost 3 (YIKES!) he will begin to grasp that we are celebrating the resurrection and he will undoubtedly demand chocolate in his eggs. It was a fun weekend though, full of family, chocolate and Ham. It was a weekend to feel loved as we (over the age of 2...) reflect on the loving sacrifice made for us. How blessed we are.
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