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Tuesday, June 28, 2011

turning 3

The day we brought Maya home from the hospital, my sister found out she was pregnant.

Nine months later, our family of almost all girls, got a boy!

And what a sweet, tender and adorable boy he is.

He looks up to his big sister in every way. Why wouldn't he? She can drive.
Now THIS is a sight that is frightening for anyone who knows Maya...

I think Ella and Michaela had similar reservations about Maya behind the wheel.

 Maya and Braeden love each other in every possible way. 

And I love my sister and her daughter in every possible way...

 Yes, he wanted a Boston Red Sox birthday cake.

Have I mentioned how utterly adorable I think my nephew is?

more sillies

Ella: "There is no 'n' in the alphabet song."
Me: "Yes there is.  All the letters are in the alphabet song.  L-M-N-O-P."
Ella: "Oh...I thought it was M-Linno-P." 

Maya, reaching her hand to my face, me flinching and pulling away, "Don't worry Momma.  I'm going to touch your face nicely. I am not going to poke your eye out."

Maya: "My hair is not available right now" when I try to brush it.

I suppose who can blame her. 

Ella:  "Momma, I have an idea!  Maya and I will save ALL our money in our piggybanks and then we can go back to Disney...someday.  I have a lot of money in my piggy bank.  I have BILLS.  And other EXPENSIVE money."

Maya: "I read Mochy a book.  I even showed her the pictures.  But I don't think she was listening."

Leaving after our first trip to Schoodic this year, Ella said:  "I love Schoodic all over again."

Maya's pants fall down constantly.  Even at 3 1/2 her 3T pants won't stay up.  The other day she was running and holding the waistband of her jeans, muttering:  "I'm getting really tired of this."

When Maya wants to be stern with us she uses our middle names.  Except she uses hers.  "Ella Annabel!"  or "Momma Annabel!" she yells to us.

Sandi told Maya that if she wanted Ella to stop tickling her she needed to just say "uncle." So through hiccups of laughter Maya yelled to her sister, "Uncle, stop it uncle! Stop it! Do you hear me, Uncle?!"

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Day 7, coming to a close...or not?

Day 7 was easy and uneventful and as I watched everyone try to wash the red dye frosting off their hands and faces at my nephew's birthday party, I felt...grateful.

It was nice to be putting watermelon and blackberries and baby carrots down the hatch instead.

After I mumbled something like, "If you're concerned with what it is doing to your hands, imagine what it's doing to your insides" my sister teased, "Last time I ever invite people on a cleanse to a party!"

In the true spirit of over achieving I have decided that I really want to keep the good feeling in my body.  Tomorrow I leave to go to Beals alone to work for the day and I choose to pack only clean food (plus bags of Chai tea!).  I am not doing it because I HAVE to, but because I WANT to.  And I plan to have a cup of coffee on the way home when I get tired. 

Perhaps I'm a brown noser or perhaps I really do like feeling good and having my body run on good fuel.  Either way, it's Lara Bars, granola, fruit, oatmeal and quinoa salad packed for tomorrow. And the Chai tea, of course...

gone on a boat ride

There are so many things to love about the Carvers.

Add to the list that they have a working lobster boat that can also second as a touring boat.  Are you feeling this?  This vessel can haul delicious lobster from the ocean floor AND provide a mobile, educational playground for our kids and breathtaking scenery and unlimited joy for the adults.

Meet "Mums Girls".

Our nephew Brevan's dad serves as Dwight's sternman (and son-in-law) and Brevan is all about fishing.  This is his post whenever he is on the boat.

This is his mom.  They are too cool for words.

Ella's grandfather let her have a turn at the helm.  Good thing she dressed for this.

Captain Dwight, fisherman, father, grandfather and father-in-love, telling us a story about the sea while Ella steers us off into oblivion.

Not surprisingly, Maya was able to find her audience, even on a moving lobster boat.  She would run toward the stern toward Tricia, Kristi and I and screech with delight as her hair blew in the wind.
It didn't hurt that with every approach, we did this:
She did it no fewer than 50 times.


all in a days work

We had our first day at Schoodic this past week and it was everything we had been dreaming about through the dark, cold, snow-blown winter.

The kids frolicked happily on the beach.  Since it was too chilly and a tad too windy to really swim, they set to much more important tasks such as clearing the water of the countless dead fish they found. 

(This was disturbing on lots of levels and we have no idea the species of fish or the reason for their demise.  But we do know that it kept this industrious foursome very busy.)

Some collected fish. Others collected water.  And Ella was responsible for packing sand around the bucket.  They were organized like bees in a hive, I tell you.

Kind of gross, but also rather impressive.  I lost count at 50.
And what are three moms to do but simply sit and tend their young?  It is tough, but somebody has to do it. Here is our perch:

Afternoons like this feel like a giant thank you for all the grueling moments of tantrums, solo bath/supper/bedtime shifts and trying to pull it all together day after day. It only takes some sand between my toes, happy squeals on the beach and the warm sun on my skin to make it all worthwhile.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

today I came out to my daughter

I told Ella that we were going to go to festival of sorts today, which was actually the Gay Pride festivities.

Ever eager for details and specifics, she gave me the third degree.  This is how that conversation went:

Ella:  "Is it for kids?"

Me: "Well, there will be some things for kids.  It is actually called Gay Pride and it is for everyone."

Ella: "What does gay mean?"

Me: "It means when girls love girls and boys love boys."

Ella: "Do some boys actually love other boys?"

Me: "Yes."

Ella: "I've never seen that."  Pause.  "Well, I like gay."

Me: "See, honey, gay people were not always treated so nicely.  Remember how Mommy and I were fighting for the right to marry and we lost the vote?  Mommy and Momma still aren't allowed to get married in our state.  But just yesterday the state of New York decided that gay people there could get married.  Some people in the world don't think that people should be gay.  But being gay isn't something you can change about yourself.  I love mommy and that is just the way I am made.  I can't change it just like I can't change that my skin is white."

Ella: "Or my hair is brown."

Me: "Exactly.  Well, since people haven't always been nice to gay people, they decided that they would have a  party and be proud of themselves.  Now they do it every year and we are going to go."

Ella, thoughtful:  "You know, I may be gay or I might not."'

And that was that.

Day 6, mixed feelings

Today was cold and rainy. I woke up with a heavy heart (for an unknown reason) to begin with and the weather weighed on me heavily.

Since we hiked Katahdin on Thursday, my body has been sore and tired. Today I literally felt like laying on the couch and watching movies in succession.

Someone call 911.

I also thought I might perish without coffee today. 

(Allow me to say that I made the decision to go off caffeine for a week.  Emilie and others chose to keep a single, daily cup of coffee. Believing that I did not consume much caffeine, I thought why not go all the way?  I am left wondering the degree to which I actually rely on caffeine to function.)

We moseyed on downtown for the Gay Pride Festival (which has come a long way baby!) and it was wet and chilly and my friend Mindy was carrying a chai in her hand and I was trying to find a loophole in the CFC that would allow me such a luxury.  It was made with soy! It has spices!  But in the end leaving the sugar out would have made it disgusting (and likely impossible) so I drank some water and reminded myself I get to eat nuts!

I also wanted to stop on the way home at every dining establishment and go on an all out bender.  Coconut naan bread from Taste of India! Sweet potato fries and veggie burger from Sea Dog!  A latte at Giacomo's!  A beer from Nocturnum! A bagel from Bagel Central! And why not a massive piece of chocolate cake from Governor's?!

And so you can see how I arrive at the mixed feelings.  No, I was not plagued only by culinary longing this afternoon. I was tailed by something much worse. 

Fear of being set free the day after tomorrow.

For lunch today (happily shared with Mindy and Charissa, willing vegetarians and super conscious eaters): tempeh stir-fry served over tangy basmati rice. 

First dinner with girls: fresh vegetable juice, 1/2 apple with almond butter and steamed edamame in the shell.

Second dinner, awaiting: vegetable soup with lentils, barley and brown rice.

Tomorrow is my nephew's 3rd birthday party and I can honestly say I am relieved to have another day on the CFC so I will not be found returning for a dip in the chip bowl or finishing the girl's pieces of cake.  I can rest assured that I will not come home tomorrow with that sick, regretful feeling that always accompanies overindulgence.

In short, I think I want to stay on the CFC forever (with the addition of coffee) but maybe I could settle on keeping the food that makes me feel less than vital to a minimum.  This week of cleansing has elevated my desire- I've always been aware of food and eating behaviors that make me feel badly, but I think I now have the true wanting to not engage in them. It is the presence I want, not the restriction. It is the pure and healthy feeling I have when I eat this way that I wish to keep, not the stress of rules and the inability to go out to eat.

It is my hope, then, that Monday will find me at ease, taking conscious bites of nourishing food, making choice after choice toward vitality in what and how I eat, rather than locked in the pantry shoving all the chocolate chips I can fit in my mouth and speed dialing Domino's Pizza.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Day 5

Day 5 left me wanting coffee.

Beginning and end of story.

I thought when push came to shove it would be chocolate that I would pick as the one item to take on the deserted island. (I would live long wouldn't I?) I even told Carole yesterday on the mountain that if she had chocolate in her trail mix I might wrestle her to the ground for it.

Turns out coffee is what I miss. Especially strange since I only became a coffee drinker a couple of years ago. (I believe it coincided exactly with the arrival of Maya. One needs to be on amphetamines to keep up with Maya. I have settled on coffee.)

I find myself more sleepy and with less stamina than usual this week.  My body does feel amazing and I feel very clean and pure, incredibly present and like I am taking REALLY good care of my body.  But I also want to sit down more and go easier.  The typical amount I would do in a day seems like too much work right now.

Sandi would call this a miracle.  My state of constant motion grates on her.

I call this a confusing annoyance.  A lot is going undone.

However, it does make me wonder how much of the time I cover up my body's natural inclinations with poor food choices and stimulants.  That is sort of scary to ponder.

Anyway, back to the delicious food...

I have been LOVING eating so much avocado this week!

For breakfast: oatmeal with banana and peanut butter. 

For lunch: Ange's veggie burgers with sliced avocado, quinoa stuffed peppers (here's the recipe , made for CFC without the cheese) and fresh veggie juice (made with carrots, oranges, apples, garlic and ginger). 

And here is the granola I made to eat mountain-side.  It is variation of a basic granola I've been making for years.  This is my wing-it recipe:

rolled oats
a variety of raw nuts (I prefer cashews, pecans, walnuts)
some salted nuts (sunflower, peanut or pumpkin)
chopped dates
coconut (big flakes preferable)
maple syrup

As you can see I didn't include amounts. I feel granola is a deeply personal matter.  I like my granola with as much nuts and fruit as oats.  You can make it whatever you want.  I find that some salted nuts are a good addition for flavor. 

Some tips:

Toss the oats and nuts in a bowl and drizzle with maple syrup and some oil.  I like just a hint of sweet to my granola and don't use much syrup. I've made granola without oil for years and I cannot believe how much better is comes out with some oil to coat the oats so they taste more like granola than muslei.  (I used peanut oil in this batch and it was a perfect compliment to the nuts.) Spread onto a lightly greased cookie sheet and bake at 350 for about 10 minutes or until oats start to look toasted.  Stir and add in the raisins, dates and coconut.  Cook about another 10 minutes or until the raisins begin to puff up which leaves them with a nice chewy texture.

Dinner tonight was shared with Emilie, CFC founder and dear friend.  We set the kids up with make-your-own pizza and while our broccoli with toasted sesame seeds, lentil nut loaf, tempeh soup and quinoa salad were waiting for us, we nearly needed to be restrained in order to not gobble the crusts off our kid's plates.  The three of us looked at each other with desperate eyes, knowing we couldn't eat it but wanting it just the same.  In the end, when we did sit down to our feast, we agreed it was that much better because we hadn't been picking around in our kid's discards.  

Her blog post (scroll to bottom) about our dinner is hilarious.

And speaking of Emilie,  look at this beautiful gift from the Manhart's for the privilege of taking care of Skyler this year before school!  It came accompanied with a card inviting us to a "majorly fancy" dinner on their patio!  As if any of this is necessary...but we will totally love it. 
Two more days left.  Is that possible?
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