Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Sunday, December 17, 2006

traditions old and new

I love the holidays. Especially now that I have children. Children bring back the magic of Christmas for me. I can now relive those magical moments through the excitement of my kids. Being far away from our families is hard on us though. We hold onto family traditions that JB and I had in our families and we are starting to create new ones. Here are a few I would like to share.

1. Both JB and I were given some of our childhood tree ornaments when we got married. We love pulling out our box of tree decorations each year. We open each one and hang it on the tree with stories to tell each other. It is nice to have little bits of our childhood to add to the magic of our tree. My mother always got us an new decoration with our names and the year on it. At the time it didn't mean much. Now it means the world to have these and I have started the same tradition with my kids.

2. Christmas morning we let the kids open their stockings and then we stop to make a big breakfast of eggs or pancakes before we sit down to open all the gifts. This tradition came from JB's family. With his family being so far away it is nice to do things that help him feel a bit closer to them.

3. Each year the company we work for (ok I know I don't work there anymore but I can't stop saying it) has a kids holiday party. It starts at the end of the work day and they have pizza, snacks, a craft room and of course santa comes for a visit. It is such a big event now. The company has grown so much so there are a ton of families who come to this. We don't take Enzo to the mall or anywhere else to see Santa so he now looks forward to this party each year as his time to give Santa his Christmas list. The one he made that I posted below made it into the hands of this Santa.

3. A tradition from my family is letting the kids open up one small gift on Christmas Eve.

4. For the second year in a row now we have gone to a holiday gathering at our neigbors house. They are wonderful neighbors and we feel lucky they have chosen to include us in their yearly tradition of getting together with friends to share a meal. They have been doing this since their children were small since so many of them have family out of town. Since we do too it is nice to be surrounded by others in our situation. Their children are grown now but they still get together each year.

5. This brings me to #5. This year will be the first that I do the above with some of my close friends. Two of our close sets of friends live just a few streets away from us. One has a 6 month old and the other couple is about to give birth to their first child in the next few weeks. We will be getting together this week for our first holiday potluck. Our hope is to make this a new tradition for all of us.

6. Baking. My children and I love baking together. I love nothing more than to bake bread and cookies to give to friends during the holiday season.

I hope you enjoy what ever traditions you have for your holiday season.

peace.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Must have children's music

Music is big in our house. I play the guitar. My kids both have guitars plus a large basket filled with various musical instruments. JB and I are both huge music fans and have a large collection of all kinds of artists. Although we play all kinds of music in our house there are times the kiddies require kid specific music. We have had few in our collection that we break out from time to time. Unfortunately they tend to be quite annoying. The ones we have at least.

Until now . . .
Justin Roberts writes songs that kids love and adults love to listen to. He has a soothing voice, lyrics that kids relate to but are not dumb and melodies that hook even a music fan like me. Justin knows how to write a catchy song and he has caught our family. We are fans for life now.

Start out with Great Big Sun. This was our first CD that we purchased about a year ago. This CD is highly addictive.

I am pushing this guy because I think he is a wonderful musician and a great alternative to the normal children's music. If you have any opportunity to see him play live in your area - go. I am trying like mad to get him to come to my town now.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Working Mama



I attended my first craft market this weekend. The Burlington Handmade Holiday Craft Market. The turn out was great. We had a steady flow of people from 10am-5pm. Lucky for us the article I posted below came out the morning of our market. It drew a lot of traffic our way.

It was wonderful to finally get out into the craft market scene. I loved it. I think after coming from working in sales and doing very large scale trade shows in Vegas and California while working for the big "B" I felt very much a home. It has been a year now since I left my job. Since deciding to stay home full time I have not for one second really become a SAHM (stay at home mom). Instead I really should call myself a WAHM (work at home mom) because that is what I have been doing. Leaving my other job has allowed me to focus more on my jewelry biz. I have a lot to be proud of. I got my jewelry into my first boutique this year, registered my biz name, signed up for tax license and helped organize the newly formed Burlington Craft Mafia (featured in the article below). I sometimes feel like my head spins more now than when I was working outside of the home full time.

It is different though. For me it was time to venture out on my own. Take all I have learned working in customer service, sales and project management over the past 9 years for the same company and apply it to my own business. I could not be doing what I am doing now if it wasn't for that experience. I loved what I did but my passions changed. Now I can still use the side of my brain that loves to create by designing jewelry and also use the side that lives and breaths sales and marketing.

It has been wonderful to see Enzo embrace my business as well. He actually helped me practice setting up my table for my craft market. He came up with what I used as my earring display. When I called midday to check in while I was working the market he made a point to shout out to JB and ask how many necklaces and bracelets I had sold.

I am tired and mentally beat after all the prep work involved in doing the market. Well worth it though. I look forward to taking some downtime now and enjoying the holidays.

In the News



From the Burlington Free Press
Published Dec. 1, 2006
“As the founding members of the newly formed Burlington Craft Mafia, the women are focused on supporting each other as crafters and promoting the do-it-yourself, handmade movement in the region.” Read full article

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Arrivederci



Saying goodbye is never easy for me. Last weekend I traveled alone to my family home to help pack it up and say goodbye. With my video camera in hand I walked through the house and yard telling stories of my childhood memories while fighting back without much success many tears. I also left a note on my old bedroom wall for the new owners. The new owners are in their mid thirties and have a young daughter. I also found out the mother will be starting a balloon business in my fathers old shop. The thought of this young family moving in and starting to create their own memories made me feel a tad bit better.

I made it through a very tough weekend. It was nice to come back home to my boys eagerly awaiting my arrival. We enjoyed a nice quite Thanksgiving together. I learned that my memories will always be with me regardless of where my parents are living.

Happy Thanksgiving to everyone. Despite having to let go of so much this week I have an awful lot to be thankful for - and I am.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Going Home

I will be heading to my parents house this weekend to help them pack. I will be bringing my camera and my video camera with me. I plan on walking through the house and yard documenting as much of it as I can. This will be the last time I have access to the house.

My emotions are a wreck. My levels of stress and anxiety have been high this week. The stress of the moving logistics, the anxiety of saying goodbye to my house and most of all the double anxiety of leaving my family here for the first time ever.

The only time I left Enzo was when I was hospitalized for a week while pregnant with Sal. Sal is 18 months now but I have not left him yet. I am so sad to leave them. I know JB will be fine (especially because his mother will be here) but I just don't like the thought of not hugging them each night. I know this trip will be good for me in so many ways. I will be staying with a friend of mine at night so I will have a chance to unwind a bit and have some girl time.

Wish me safe travels and strength so I can get through this weekend.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Woman kicked off Burlington Flight for Breastfeeding

Read the story here.

I hope Freedom Airlines (Delta) gets blasted for this one.

When will the American culture change? It is acceptable for the female body to be exposed as long as it is for the pleasure of a man. If a boob is seen as anything else the people suddenly feel offended as the stewardess of this airline said. Offended because someone won't cover up their babies head while nursing? Aren't there more offensive things to get in a tizzy about? Pornography, Hooters, strip clubs, excessive violence against women, global warming, the war in Iraq, President Bush, gun control - I mean come on now.

I have had enough.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Holding on




This is old picture of Elm Street. Back when Elm trees lined the street. Before pavment, before traffic. The house on the left is the house my mother grew up in. The house I grew up in in two house down from it. My grandparent owned all three houses on the left until my parents bought one from them. My grandfather (Salvatore) died when I was in highschool. When my grandmother died three years ago the other two houses were sold. My house was the last one. Two more weeks and it will be gone. Another family is waiting to move in and start their own memories. I don't know if they have children or not. I like to think they do. Perhaps 30 years from now their children will be looking at pictures of this old street - reliving their own memories, holding on to their past with a tear in their eye.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

goodbye sweet elm





Sorry I have been away so long. I left my job as a project manager one year ago and here I find myself managing the most stressful and emotional project of my life.

I have posted a few times over the past few months about how my parents have our family home up for sale. It is the house I grew up in and it is on a street called Elm street where for the past 60 years my family members have lived. Our house, this generation is the last to occupy this old street where Elm trees once lined the sidewalks on either side of the street.

After being on the market for almost a year they received an offer last week. This is good for many reasons. The house is now too big for them to take care of. My father is not working anymore so it is also a strain on them financially. The crazy part to all of this is they have to be out in three weeks. Now we are talking about two people who have lived in this house for I will guess close to 34 years. Even after my sister and I moved out our old rooms and closets are still filled with our stuff we chose not to take with us when we move out. Luckily I went down in May and cleaned out most of what I had left there.

So being the farthest away I have been given the job of project manager (fitting). It is good because it makes me feel like I am doing something to help since I can't be there physically every day. I am going down for one weekend to help empty the house out before the movers come. With all the craziness of phone calls and planning I have not really had time to digest that my house is selling. Next weekend when I go down it will be the last time I ever see it. I can't go down again for the closing.

In so many ways I know I am lucky. Most everyone I know lost their family home long ago or some never even knew one. I know I am lucky but it still makes it hard. I am a very sentimental person. I even debated buying it so many times. It came at the wrong time because I just bought my house a year ago. Also, I wonder if I would have been buying it for the wrong reasons. I always swore I would never move back to that town. It is amazing how things change. They will be moving in with my sister in another town for now, until we find them a place to go. There is a good chance they will not be moving back to Milford. This means saying goodbye to a whole lot more than just my house. Saying goodbye to a town my great great grandparents from Italy chose to come to at the ripe age of 18.

So I will bid a farewell to the three generations of my family living on Elm Street. Goodbye sweet house, goodbye backyard, goodbye to all the secret forts we built, fairies I played with, trees I climbed, hills I sledded on. It was more than shelter. It was a place filled with love and adventures, family gatherings, fights, celebrations and grief. A place of first loves, breakups and friendship.

farewell.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Monday, October 30, 2006

Lockdown

My kid had his first lockdown drill today. He is in freakin' preschool! If you don't know - lockdown is what schools now practice incase there is a potential school shooting or other act of violence against a school. On one hand I am happy they are doing this considering we just had a school shooting a few months ago. On the other hand reality hit me when we were told this morning they would be having their first drill. Has it really come to this?

The room is to remain locked and the children are brought to a "safe" part of the room, lights are turned off and the children are taught to stay calm and quite. I showed up at the time it was supposed to be over and the Halloween party was to begin. I walked right in the building and right in the preschool room - both of which should have been locked but I thought the drill was over. Well it wasn't. Apparently the person walking around the school to make sure everyone was doing the drill properly unlocked the preschool door to go in and left in unlocked when he left. Dumbass.

Wow I feel safe now.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

little pumpkins

We went pumpkin picking last weekend. To a spot we have been going to since Enzo was about three weeks old.




Sunday, October 22, 2006

Giving Thanks

Today I asked Enzo what he was thankful for this Thanksgiving season.

His response was

"I'm thankful I am still a kid."


I am so thankful for him.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Big News!

Big news today!

I am in the local newspaper called Seven Days. They did an article on Vermont fashion and interviewd the owner of the store Made Boutique & Gallery where I sell my jewelry.

Check it out.

Seven Days article

Thursday, October 12, 2006

New Etsy Shop Address



My etsy shop had my old business name so I just finished setting up my new shop.

If you used to visit purpleelm.etsy.com that store is now closed.

My new Etsy shop is subsixstudios.etsy.com

Stop by for a visit.

If you had my old shop bookmarked or listed on your blog please change it if you can.

Monday, October 09, 2006

1st day of preschool



Enzo started preschool today. It was such a big day for both of us. He grew up in daycare and preschool but he has been home with me full time for the past year so it was a big transition for both of us. We were both so nervous for such different reasons. I am glad I have had this past year home with him. I feel like I got a chance to know him a lot better. He just turned 5 and missed the cut off for Kindergarden so I was hoping I could find something for him this year. We were able to find a wonderful place that we could afford. Three days a week/ two hours a day. He desperately needs some social interaction. He went from all day daycare to being home with me full time. It has been wonderful but I don't know anyone with kids his age so I do feel like he has been missing out on that part of it.

I dropped him off rather quickly to make for a better transition but those old feelings of guilt hit me like a ton of bricks. This time the new fear of schools in general because of all the recent school violence left me with many new anxieties. We both made it through and he was so happy when I picked him up. They even celebrated his birthday today. He told me he thought the place was "really cool."

Friday, October 06, 2006

Birthday Boy



My sweet boy Enzo turns 5 years old today. He is an absolute angel in my life. He was born exactly two years to the day that I miscarried my first child. Life is a full circle I believe.

He has grown so much over the past five years. He has always been a very independent child. Smart beyond his years. He has the best of both sides of JB and I (and some of the worst). He is a good mixture of art and music with the love of science and math and learning about the world around him. He loves books. Most recently we have been reading him the Larua Ingalls Wilder series. The past month he decided he wanted to play chess so he had JB teach him. JB has been trying to get me to play chess for 6 years and it just hasn't happened yet. Chess has never sunk in for me. Take my five year old though, teach him the rules and he and JB now play every night before bed. They have routine down. They play chess for a certain amount of time and then read. He amazes me.

He is becoming everything I wish he could become and more. I wish the world for him. I wish for health and peace him. I wish for him knowledge and joy.

Happy Birthday my sweet boy. I love you so much.

Saturday, September 30, 2006

Exciting News!

The boutique where I have been selling my jewelry now has an online store.
Made Boutique & Gallery
Some of my jewelry plus other wonderful indie artists can now be purchased online.

she is offering FREE SHIPPING during the month of October!


Thanks Sara.

Friday, September 29, 2006

Identity crisis

I am going through an online identity crisis. There are just too many blogs, websites and myspace pages to update in one day. I currently have this blog, one specifically for my jewelry, my My Space page and a natural parenting/birthing website

I can't take it anymore. I need to combine some of these somehow to make life easier. I have been keeping my creative life and my parenting life seperate but do they have to be? They coexist together in my life at home so why not here.

So be on the look out for some changes. I am not sure what yet but one of these days two worlds might become one.

Monday, September 25, 2006

Harvest Moon



harvest moon is the full moon that occurs closest to the date of the autumn equinox in the Northern Hemisphere.

Harvest time is here. I love this time of the year. I love getting my yard ready for the upcoming winter months. I love fall vegetables, making chili and soup, drinking apple cider and crunching around in the leaves with my kids. Fall is a great time to get outside and into your community. It seems like the one time that most towns and cities offer a variety of community events. Harvest festivals, apple picking and Halloween events fill our newspaper. I wish I could do them all. This is the time of year for slowing down.

Being a vegetarian and whole foods advocate I tend to shop mostly at my local coop and farmers market. I am lucky to live in a state that has many wonderful local organic farms to buy from. Through our local farmers market all summer and fall and at our coop market in the winter months there is almost no reason to not get my produce there. Especially now. With the recent E Coli outbreak on the CA spinach I feel it is more of a reason to buy local and inseason produce as much as you can. Not only are locally grown vegetables healthier (they contain more vitamins and minerals because you are eating them at their freshest point) but they are also safer.

There is also something to be said for how people used to eat seasonal foods. People didn't have the option to eat lettuce in the winter months if they lived in a cold climate. Today however we are so used to going to the grocery store and buying what we want when we want it, but we don't stop to think at all how and where that food was grown.

This fall and winter I look forward to embracing the seasonal vegetables more, slowing down and enjoying this magical season.

For more info check out this wonderful new book Full Moon Feast:Food and Hunger Connection

Friday, September 22, 2006

Art Hop Necklace



This is the necklace I made for the Burlington Art Hop. It was displayed at Woodbury's of Vermont

The focal point is a dichroic glass tearshaped pendant. It is surrounded by vintage looking sea green/blue and smaller blue glass beads. Strung on nylon coated stainless steel wire and finished off with sterling silver crimp beads and a sterling silver toggle clasp. The necklace is named after my mother.

It is available for sale in my shop

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Enough is enough

One day - two gun incidents close to home.

1. In Montreal yesterday a gunman kils 1 and wounds 19 at a local college.

2. Same day right in my own neighborhood a 19 year old was shot in the leg in front of the local middle school which is only blocks from my home.

Enough is enough

I feel sad for this world.
I feel sad for our children.
I feel sad for the people who refuse to see that tougher gun laws are needed in this country.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

"No thank you"

This weekend we took the family down to the Art Hop. We stopped in a small cafe to get some waters. I bought Enzo a lemonade and as I was paying for it I noticed some yummy looking chocolate chip cookies so I asked for one. I then asked Enzo if he wanted one also and he said "No thank you." The girl behind the counter said "did he just say he didn't want a cookie?" Yes I told her. She seemed shocked. I felt proud. My almost 5 year old has been raised to appreciate sweets as special treats and because of that he sometime just doesn't feel like having them instead of hoarding them every chance he gets.

I chalk this up to how we have raised him. We limited sugar and sugary foods until he was almost three and now when we have them they are a special treat. Oh he loves icecream, cake and cookies - don't get me wrong but he doesn't go crazy when he has then because I think he values them more than is addicted to them. More than often he wont even finish the portion of icecream or cake given to him. If fact the last time we had cake at a recent celebration I gave him a second helping and he ended up not finishing it because he said "I think I am done. I can feel the cake in body and I need to stop."

On the flip side my son who once ate anything and everything I put in front of him has become a very picky eater. I used to feel so proud that he grew up eating plain yogurt and not flavored, gobbled up tofu and veggies, rice cakes, hummus and soymilk. My sister used to ask me how I was able to get my kid to eat whole wheat bread and tahini and jelly sandwiches. Because that is all he knows I would tell her. Feed them well from the beginning and they will eat well. Feed them junk and that is all they will crave.

I shouldn't complain because in general Enzo does still eat like a dream. He loves fruit, yogurt, nuts, rice cakes, salad, cheese, crackers, soymilk and tofu. He has however become a bit more picky. Things have to be plain. Where I used to make lots of casserole type dishes in-order to pack the most mix of veggies and protein he now will not touch. Meals have to be plain and the food has to be separate. Tonight he told me "Mommy I can't always like everything you like." This comment brought back memories of me sitting at my parents kitchen table saying "everyone has different taste bud you know."

Raising vegetarian children has it's challenges but what is most important to me is the fact that we are raising them on as much "whole" food as possible. Even though Enzo is going through a picky phase I feel proud that he still has no idea what a fast food restaurant is. He helps me cook meals in our kitchen, he picks herbs from our garden to add to our meals, he is excited to help me compost our food scraps each night and recycle our cans and bottles. He is learning the responsibility we have to recycle and reuse. He has learned that there are days when his body just doesn't feel like having that chocolate chop cookie I just offered him.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Biking Rocks

For some reason it has taken me all summer to get on my bike. JB rides to work every day and takes the boys in the bike trailer on the weekends sometimes. We live very close to an amazing bike path that runs the length of our city along the lake. I think was has kept me away all summer was my headache and allergy issues. I simply have not had the energy or feeling of health to exercise. It is the reason why after 16 months of giving birth I still find myself more comfortable in some of my early maternity clothing. But when one wakes up each morning with a headache and fog that lasts the entire day it is hard to want to go outside and be active when I can barely get through my days with two kids.

Today however I made the choice to get on the bike. JB and I only have one car and he needed it today for an appointment. On Thursdays in our neighborhood is our weekly farmers market which I cannot miss so I decided to ride there instead. So after breakfast I thought I should go on a test ride first since I have never pulled the bike trailer before. So I saddled up the boys and off we went. We rode down my street to the bike path. We rode a few blocks and stopped a friend's house to say hello, then did a loop back to our house. We rode for about 30 minutes.


I felt free, alive and young. It was wonderful. I wondered the entire time why I had not done this sooner. Enzo loves the ride. Sal is still a bit young. He slumps over and is not super comfy in it so the rides have to stay short at this point. So now I am excited to take our afternoon ride to the farmers market this afternoon. For physical, emotional and environmental reasons - biking rocks.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

More News

In other news I will be displaying a new necklace at our annual South End Art Hop this weekend.

Art Hop is a two-day festival featuring local artists, businesses, shopping, eating, and celebrating. Held Friday September 8 and Saturday, September 9, the South End Art Hop is now in its 14th season. Rated a Top Ten Fall Event for the fourth year in a row by the Vermont Chamber of Commerce, the unique south end opens its studio, gallery, and business doors to the public to feature over 350 local artists. Art Hop will include workshops, demonstrations, artist-designed mini-golf, food, a silent auction, a fashion show, a juried show, a community art project, and original art. There is something for everyone, including an outdoor party on Friday night with dancing, food and performance art, as well as lots of hands-on activities for the whole family on Saturday.

Check out the Art Hop website for more info
I have an artist bio under the Who and Where section.

Monday, September 04, 2006

Working Girl

I am refreshed and rejuvenated to start my week. I spent most of my weekend (Saturday and Sunday) working. My jewelry is being sold at at local boutique Made Boutique & Gallery. She had a Labor Day sale this weekend and asked me to set up a table outside of the store with all of my other inventory. It was a great opportunity to sell more stuff and attract people into the store. I was excited to do it but nervous how I would feel being away from the family two days in a row.

It ended up being an amazing experience for me. It felt so great to get out of the house and do something for me by myself. To talk to adults all day and get out of my routine of breakfast, sweeping, snack, sweeping, lunch, sweeping, snack, sweeping, prepare dinner and all the other stuff in between. JB was excited to be home alone with the kids too. They had a blast. Saturday night I came home, dinner was made and it was simply delightful. The sale went well and it rejuvenate my spirit. I am learning that I need breaks like that in order to be a better mom.

Thursday, August 31, 2006

Schools and Saftey

The first day of school in our area was yesterday. It was a day filled with anxiety for many in our area. Three days prior a man decided to go on a rampage. He killed two teachers and wounded another as well as wounding another individual. One teacher was shot in her home and the others at the Elementary school where they were getting ready for the new school year to start.

It bring up many emotions for me. One is I hate guns. Yes I hate them. I don't care that it is our right to own them and carry them. We simply have far far too many gun accidents and killings in this country. I know all the proponents will say "it is not the guns that kill people it is the people who kill people." No shit sherlock. The issue is too many of the wrong people have access to guns and are killing our children, our teachers, our friends.

It has to stop.

I don't allow toy guns in my home. I don't care that we all grew up with them and knew the difference. A gun is not and should never be a toy of any kind. A child does not yet have the understanding of reality vs fantasy. How can we expect them to understand that chasing your friends around and playing "bang bang" with this type of gun is ok but don't pick up this other type of gun because it could become a game of "kill kill" instead. It sends mixed messages.

The incident this week at the local school was not my first experience with gun violence. When I was in high school one of our students decided after school one day to go to the local ice cream shop where he shot his girlfriend, the store owner and himself dead. It was horrible. Simply horrible. For these two stories there are countless others across our violent country.

It has to stop.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Full Circle

Recently my mother came up for a visit and she brought me my old baseball glove and the one my father used to practice with me. My father had burned our names into the leather. Yesterday I had an amazing experience in my back yard as I wore the glove my father used to throw to me as a child while my son now was wearing mine. We played a simple game of catch and I had a huge smile on my face the entire time.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Vacation


I feel like I have been gone for months. Last week JB and I took the family on a mini vacation to NY state to visit with some of JB's relatives. It ended up being a fab vacation. First the drive through the adirondacks was simply beautiful. We ended up staying at a lake house that is in the family on JB's side. It was stunning. We were right on lake and it is just what I needed. Once the kiddies were in bed we just relaxed (with many other family members) on the deck and stared at the lake. It was wonderful. I need to make sure I get away like that more often. It is good for the soul.

Sunday, August 20, 2006

My rant of the day

First of all I want to start this post by saying I am not by any means saying that parenting is easy or that I have not had my bad days. Believe me I have them all the time. Having children is one of the hardest and most challenging things in the world. That being said I just have to bitch about something -

Why do people have babies and then freak out when they act like babies?

Here are some facts in case you don't know this yet:

1. Babies typically do not sleep well at night for at least (at least) the first year of life. It sucks and most of us have gone through it but they just simply do not. Why why why do we try to "train" a baby to sleep when all they are trying to do is have their basics needs met?

2. A young baby is not manipulating you by crying so you will come into their room. Do you really think they have the thought capacity to say to themselves "self, if I cry they will come." I'm sorry but they don't. You are not teaching them anything by letting them cry it out. You are not teaching them to go to sleep. All you are teaching them is that when they cry and need something you do not go to them. They stop crying at night not because you have taught them a wonderful lesson but because they have given up. You have not taught them how to sleep through the night you taught them that crying for you attention won't do anything.

3. You cannot spoil a baby. A baby who needs to be held more will not be ruined by you holding her.

ok I am done ranting for now.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Finding home

Awhile ago I wrote a post about how my family home is up for sale. I spent a week there in May with both of my boys while JB was at a work thing. It has been hard for me to digest the fact that the house I grew up on might sell. I lived in this house from the time I was born until I moved away to college. The house and the street it is on has a lot of family history for me. My mother grew up two houses down. My grandparents owned three houses next to each other and my parents eventually bought one of them from them which is where I grew up. My grandfather's parents immigrated from Italy to the town and my grandmother's parents immigrated from England. I was the first one in the family (including cousins) to move out of state.

Now that I have a family I find myself being drawn back to the town where I grew up. Where my grandparents grew up. Where my great grandparents moved to in their late teens early twenties to start a new life. Leaving family and loved ones in other countries. A town I couldn't wait to escape I now find myself craving.

The house is an old farm house built in 1910. The other two houses that were in the family sold after my grandparents had passed away. Leaving my parents house the last one left. How do I sort out these feelings? How do I know if I am just letting my emotions get the best of me? Or is it just finally time for me to go back?

I love the town I live in now. Both of my sons were born here. JB and I have it rough though. We have never known the luxury of having the support of family near by to help us at all. We have a few friends but most of my closest friends are still living in my old town. I feel like I have been trying for years to create a village here and it just isn't happening. Would I regret moving back? Would I regret leaving the town where I have been trying to grow roots for my family? I used to always live with the grass is always greener attitude. I hated it. I was never satisfied with my location. I have worked hard to overcome these feelings but here they are sneaking up on me again.

I want to feel settled.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Self Promotion News!

I have a few updates on my jewelry business. I have changed the name from Purple Elm back to what it originally was Subsixstudios.

Last week I decided to put 6 of my necklaces into a great new store in Burlington called Made Boutique & Gallery. I just found out that two of them have already sold since being in her store since last Friday.


My Etsy Shop has hit 1000 views!

Monday, August 07, 2006

A trip to the islands





We took a trip to the islands this weekend and stayed in a rustic cabin. Sounds fancy huh? Well in reality it was the Champlain Islands and the "rustic" cabin was in a RV park. The cabin was rustic in the sense that it was just one room with a double bed and a bunkbed, a small front porch with a swing (bonus) but other than that our view was of weekend trailers and seasonal RVs. I didn't care though. I decided last week I needed a quick getaway and that is just about all you can find around here in August at the last minute. They had a pool which was just lovely after getting a leach on my leg swimming in our lake a few weeks ago. The kids loved it. Enzo's highlights were staying up late to roast marshmallows and look at the stars and sleeping on the top bunk of the bunkbed.

The highlights for me were swimming in a pool and sitting by the fire with John having a few beers after the kids went to bed. It was nice to have no tv or computers around. Oh and best of all there were no bugs. Not one mosquito in site. The first night we ended up going out for pizza because we couldn't get our campstove to work. Yes we forgot to check it before we left. The second night I made a makeshift stove over the fire pit and cooked soydogs and baked beans.

I grew up camping with my family for two weeks every summer so I am picky about where I camp now. Nothing I find can compare the campground we went to each year. We were a tent family so being in this RV park was a bit of a shock to my system but I was able to get through it. I had to realize my ideals were not what mattered this weekend. It was watching Enzo stare up at the sky in amazement and watch his tired eyes try to focus on roasting just one last marshmallow.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Weather girl

Summer is not almost over. I am sick of people saying it is. Today is August 1st. We have an entire month left. Everyone lives so far in the future it makes me sick. With back to school supplies hitting the stores already it is hard not too. I feel like it just started getting warm - hot in fact so I am so not ready for fall clothing. Where are all the frickin' tank tops. Bring them back out people. Summer is far from over.

Plus have you heard? September is the new August. This is what I tell everyone anyway. Depending on where you live you may or may not relate to this but where I am living the seasons have changed. The weather patterns of the months have been changing ever so slightly the past few years. This year is has become crystal clear to me though. September is the new August. I am right. Just think about it. April felt like March, May felt like April, June felt like May and July started off feeling like June but it did start to get much warmer mid month. The warm weather will continue into August but it won't stop there. September is no longer the sweater weather month it used to be. Oh no I guarantee that your sweaters will still be in your closet and you will be thanking me that I told you this secret news.

Sunday, July 30, 2006

I'm a Lactivist

Lactivist= lactation activist

I can now officially call myself one. I was a part of a demonstration that was held in my town on Saturday in response to our City Council rejecting a resolution to become more involved in the support and education of breastfeeding in our city. We kicked off World Breastfeeding Week by gathering at the City Hall where there were information booths (I had a booth selling my goods), music and story time for the kids, speakers and a "breastfeeding cafe" where we sat around sharing stories and support. We ended the event by walking through town with banners and balloons. It was trilling. I feel so proud to get involved in such an important issue. We even made the lead story on the 6:00 news Saturday night.


You can read about it here

Breastfeeding Rally

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Bad mama poetry

I'm not at my best
the house is a mess
The floor needs mopping
but I feel like sobbing.
The leftovers are aging
my hormones are raging
These are the days I just want to run.

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Burlington Council kills breast-feeding initiative

I am disgusted with the fact that where I live recently voted 7 to 6 that the city should not encourage mothers to nurse their babies.

Some councilors said it is not a "core mission" of the city.

I have written a letter in response to the paper. I have also written to my local city council Rep. If you are local you have a voice. Speak out against this stone age decision.

here is the link.

Burlington Council Kills breast-feeding initiative

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Dyring up

My milk is drying up. My tears are not. Sal has been weaning himself naturally over the past few months. In May he stopped nursing during the day and was only nursing before bed and first thing in the morning. Next the night time nursing stopped and as of last week the early morning session has stopped as well. It has been a little over a week since I have nursed him now.

Some of you might remember my headache situation. My neurologist thought it was hormone related and once I stopped weaning and my hormones leveled out the headaches might improve. This happened with my first child which is why they came to this conclusion. My headaches have been getting progressively better which is a good thing. I can't help feeling like I am stopping earlier than I would have liked though. But I can't beat myself up about it. I nursed him for 14 months. With my first child it was 15 months and he was also self weaned. Sal has not been begging for it or anything so the guilt is not coming from that at all. I think my sadness is stemming from the fact that I am realizing this might be the last time I nurse a child. I am not sure if I will have any more children.

On one hand I am happy to be getting my body back. I love nursing but I have had a heck of a time this second time around with it. I suffered from a nasty yeast infection in my breast for about 5 months. It was very painful but I pushed through it and continued nursing. So in a way, selfishly I am a bit glad we are done. Glad for my headaches which are getting better, glad that JB can not put him to bed without me having to sure and glad to be getting my body back for myself.

The other part of me though feels such sadness. I miss that time with him. I miss the closeness. I miss him needing me like that. I wonder if I will experience the feeling of nourishing another child in that way again. It means Sal is growing up and moving on which is a wonderful but bittersweet moment.

Time goes by so quickly. Children grow so quickly. As much as I embrace his changes and growth I can't help by want to hold on to my little baby. Have him hold on to me just a little bit longer.

Monday, July 17, 2006

Being grown up

Being grown up is hard. Being a mom is hard. I hit a slump this week. I knew staying home full time with my kids was not going to be easy but I have hit a wall and I need a break. This week the thought of getting up and making three breakfasts, three lunches and four dinners plus sweeping and doing dishes three times a day just makes me want to puke.

I need a bitch session so here it goes:

I need a vacation to break up the monotony of my days right now.
I need friends to hang out with during the week.
I need my kids to stop pulling on my clothes and sucking every ounce of energy I have left.
I am tired and worn and frazzled.
I feel like a frumpy mom for the first time ever.
I have lost myself. I have lost my style.
I can't lose my baby weight even though my baby is over a year old.
I sometimes wear the same pants several days in a row because they are so comfy and are the only things that fit me right now.
I don't get carded anymore when I go to by beer.
I can't get up early in the morning the way I used to.
I feel old.
I hate my clothes.
I hate my hair,
I hate my changing skin.
I hate my stretch marks. I hate my scars.
I love my kids but fuck is this hard.

Saturday, July 15, 2006

Self Promotion - The Annemarie Necklace




The focal point of this summer sensation is a very large mother of pearl pendant measuring 70 X 90 mm. It is stunning. It is strung on silver plated stainless steel with lemon jade beads and two orange glass beads at the very end. I have finished it off with sterling silver crimp beads and a sterling silver toggle clasp.

Purple Elm Jewelry

Friday, July 07, 2006

"We don't eat chicken"

My friend Nuclear Mom inspired this post.

I have been a vegetarian for 14 years. JB is not one but since I do the majority of the cooking he eats that way at home. If we go out to eat or to a friend's house for dinner he will eat meat. I have no issues with him eating meat at all. We are raising both of our boys as veggies. I decided early on that when and if they decide to eat meat (I hope never) they can do so (maybe).

So up until this point Enzo knows we don't eat meat. He tells people we are vegetarians and will correct guests by telling them it is "soyroni" on our pizza not pepperoni. Up until this point though he hasn't realized that JB eats meat occasionally. We just don't usually call it out. Last weekend we were at a World Cup party and my friend was getting ready to start up the grill. She called out asking JB if he wanted a veggie burger or chicken. He replied chicken. Enzo's ears perked up and he said "We don't eat chicken". So we explained that sometimes Daddy does eat it. He was so intrigued he wanted to see what it looked like. It occurred to me at that moment that he had never seen meat before. His idea of a chicken exists in his books and he no idea what we meant when we said daddy was about to eat chicken.

When he actually say the cooked meat on the plate he looked less enthused. "That's chicken?" he said. That was that. He went on to get a plate of non meat food. Didn't even ask to try it (wiping brow).

I do want him to know where meat comes from. I don't want him to just see a package of meat at the supermarket and think it just comes from the store. Just as I believe it is important for children to be involved and understand gardening so they see where their veggies come from, I think it is also important for them to know that meat comes from an animal who is killed. Not that I am ready to tell him all of this now. I am just realizing that I need to dial my dialogue for when the big convo starts.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

gray day - nothing to say

I have nothing to say today so I thought I would just post two new pics of the boys. Enzo is being his sassy self and Sal is playing with his new wooden toys.


Tuesday, July 04, 2006

DIY Yard Project

This was my first DIY project since buying our house in December. We have rented it for the past 4 years so it was very exciting to finally get my hands dirty and make some changes. We had a walkway into our backyard that was grass with walking stones. The stones were nice but covered mostly by grass and dirt. The ants decided to move in and built so many homes that the walkway looked more like a dirt track. Needless to say I was looking forward to trying something new.

My neighbors helped me with the idea of laying down pea stone instead of grass but using the existing walking stones. Since they were going to get more pea stone for their yard they also offered to let me go in on it with them since they had a truck. Sunday we ripped up the grass. Monday morning my neighbors left early to get the pea stone and Enzo and I put down the landscaping cloth and placed the walking stones in place. We then shoveled the pea stones into place and we had an instant transformation. The whole project cost me $10 because my neighbors provided me with the landscaping cloth and the edging so all I had to pay for was the pea stone.

I love it. Here are some pictures of the process.





Thursday, June 29, 2006

Music moves the soul

I have always been a music junky. I played the clarinet in middle school. I went to my first concert when I was in the 8th grade. My father took me to see the Grateful Dead and Bob Dylan. That was the first of many concerts through high school and college and beyond. I worked at a record store all through high school. I started playing the guitar and sang in the select choir in high school. I attended more concerts than I can remember. Music has been a major part of my life.

then I had kids. I played my guitar after I had Enzo a lot. Even ventured out to an open mic night for the first time in many years. Since having Sal though my guitar has not seen the light of day. I took it out one day and started jamming out some kid songs. Enzo took his guitar out too and said "Mommy, I love jamming with you." That's my boy.

Even keeping up with new record releases and new bands has been tough these days. I am happy to say however I am making it a priority in my life again. I need nights of no jewelry making, no childbirth studying, just me and my guitar in the basement again. I have also been listening to an assortment of music lately. Here are my recent favs. There are probably so many more I could list here but this is what I have been playing for the past month.

My Morning Jacket - The Tennessee Fire
Neil Young - Living with War
The New Pornographers - Twin Cinema
Built to Spill - You in Reverse
Dashboard Confessional - I am anxiously awaiting their new album
Green Day - American Idiot
Jenny Lewis - Rabbit Fur Coat
The Heavenly States
The Pants
Neil Cleary

So what this means is I am going to try and work less and play more. Let music creep back into my soul where it belongs. I am heading to my second local show this month tomorrow night.

rock on.

Sweet words

Last night I had one of those melting mama moments.

JB was upstairs getting Sal dressed for bed. I came up and sat down on Enzo's bed while they were finishing. When Sal got up JB said "Sal look who is here now." Sal walked over to me and said "ma ma ma"

I swooped him up and hugged him tight and said "that's right. I am you mama."

It was his first time saying it to me. It was the sweetest thing.

Those are the moments that take away all the yucky ones from the day.

thank you Sal.

Monday, June 26, 2006

A letter to Enzo

The following post was originally written by my husband to our oldest son Enzo (age 4 1/2) on his blog
mentalpackrat

It is so beautiful and touching I just had to share it with everyone. I actually have a very hard time reading it and I cry every time.

So with JB's permission here it is:
-------

goodnight
June 24th, 2006

Dear Enzo:
Tonight I read you the last chapter of The House at Pooh Corner, and I am hoping that you didn’t notice me choking up a little as we read. I had a hard time finishing it without a tear, and I don’t think you noticed that it slipped out as we were having our nightly snuggle time upstairs before bed.
In the chapter, you see, Pooh, Piglet, Eyore, Kanga, Roo, Owl and Rabbit all say goodbye to Christopher Robin, because they know he is Going Away, even though they don’t know where he is going or why. Afterwards Pooh is the only one left, and he and Christopher Robin go for an aimless walk.

Christopher Robin asks Pooh what his favorite thing in the world to do is:

“‘Well,’ said Pooh, ‘what I like best–’ and then he had to stop and think. Because although Eating Honey was a very good thing to do, there was a moment just before you began to eat it which was better than when you were, but he didn’t know what that was called…”
‘I like that too,’ said Christopher Robin, ‘but what I like doing best is Nothing.’
‘How do you do Nothing?’ asked Pooh, after he had wondered for a long time.
‘Well, it’s when people call out at you just as you’re going off to do it, What are you going to do, Christopher Robin, and you say, Oh, nothing, and then you go and do it.’
‘Oh, I see,’ said Pooh.
‘This is a nothing sort of thingthat we’re doing now.’
‘Oh, I see,’ said Pooh again.
‘It means just going along, listening to all the things you can’t hear, and not bothering.’
‘Oh!’ said Pooh.”

Then later we come to the part that made me sad:

“Then, suddenly again, Christopher Robin, who was still looking at the world, with his chin in his hands, called out ‘Pooh!’
‘Yes?’ said Pooh.
‘When I’m — when — Pooh!’
‘Yes, Christopher Robin?’
‘I’m not going to do Nothing any more.’
‘Never again?’
‘Well, not so much. They don’t let you.’
Pooh waited for him to go on, but he was silent again.
‘Yes, Christopher Robin?’ said Pooh helpfully.
‘Pooh, when I’m — you know — when I’m not doing Nothing, will you come up here sometimes?’
‘Just Me?’
‘Yes, Pooh.’
‘Will you be here too?’
‘Yes, Pooh, I will be, really. I promise I will be, Pooh.’
‘That’s good,’ said Pooh.
‘Pooh, promise you won’t forget about me, ever. Not even when I’m a hundred.’
Pooh thought for a little.
‘How old shall I be then?’
‘Ninety-nine.’
Pooh nodded.
‘I promise,’ he said.
Still with his eyes on the world Christopher Robin put out a hand and felt for Pooh’s paw.
‘Pooh,’ said Christopher Robin earnestly, ‘if I — if I’m not quite –’ he stopped and tried again — ‘Pooh, whatever happens, you will understand, won’t you?’
‘Understand what?’
‘Oh, nothing.’ He laughed and jumped to his feet. ‘Come on!’
‘Where?’ said Pooh.
‘Anywhere,’ said Christopher Robin.
So they went off together. But wherever they go, and whatever happens to them along the way, in that enchanted place on the top of the Forest, a little boy and his Bear will always be playing.”

It wasn’t until I read this, Enzo, that I really, truly faced the fact that you will someday grow up. It hit me like a thunderclap, and I nearly wept with such joy and sadness. It is the best and the hardest thing about being your daddy. I am so proud that you have grown into such a big four year old. But as quickly as these years have gone, I know the rest will go, and like Christopher Robin, the time will come for you to put away toys.

When that comes, I will comfort myself with memories of sitting with you, reading a Pooh story before bed, with you listening to the story and “all the things you can’t hear”, and me trying not to shed a tear that another day with you has come and gone.

Goodnight, sweet boy.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Mama Match

I had a good experience in high school. Maybe that is why I am sucking at fitting in with the cliques that are around my life now. Mom cliques. I had a good friend who used to live here. Our kids were about the same age. We both worked at the big "B" in our early twenties. Both moved out to California and lived for a few years. Both fell in love, had some kiddos and ended back in VT. We hung out weekly. It was a very comfortable friendship. Then right when I finally decided to quit my job and stay home full time she moved.

I have been on my own since trying to fit into a world of play dates, sippy cups and exclusiveness. I go to the parks, I go to the music events, I go to the library. Where are all the hip mamas? Perhaps they are so hip they don't go to any of these places. I don't know. I can't seem to meet anyone. Everyone seems to already have their group of friends or whatever mom's club they belong too. I feel like I am on the dating scene again. When I go to the park I want to walk up to people I see and ask them if they have any room left in their social circle for another mom. It is desperate and sad. I just keep hoping as I did before I met JB that one of these days I will see someone across the park from me. Another mama who looks like maybe she doesn't fit in either. Maybe our eyes will meet and we will just know. We will know we have found our match.

Maybe I have found another company I can start. Mama Match - meet someone who won't crimp your style.

I will start.

Me:
age:33
hair: brown
kids: 2
Likes: Loud music, wooden toys, digging in the dirt with my kids and drinking beer
Dislikes: McDonalds, plastic parents, toy guns

wanna be my friend?

Monday, June 19, 2006

Big weekend

Anniversary

Friday was my 6 year wedding anniversary. JB and I had plans to go out for dinner. I was given a gift certificate to a local restaurant from a couple I taught a childbirth class to so we were very excited to be able to use it. Our plans fell through. The friend who was going to watch the boys was unable to do it. So we ended up making pizza with the kids and then after they went to bed we had a beer together on the deck and made brownie sundaes. We hope to be able to go out for dinner next week instead. I was a bit bummed we could not go on our actual anniversary. JB and I have not done anything to celebrate our anniversary out of the house since I was pregnant with Enzo. That was 5 years ago. Ok that is sad. We are only celebrating our 6 year anniversary now. Wow. That is what happens when you start having kids one year after getting married I guess. All in all we had a wonderful time and now we get to celebrate part 2 next week.

-----------
Father's Day

We had beautiful weather for father's day. Enzo and I made pancakes and coffee for JAB before he got up. He got to sleep in a little late. After Sal's nap we headed to the beach. Enzo is like a little fish in the water now and Sal loved sitting on the shore playing with beach toys. We packed a picnic lunch and ate at the park. I think JB had a good time. I feel blessed to have him. He is like super dad. Even though I might complain sometimes if he doesn't do something exactly as I might have done it - I feel very grateful because he is so involved and helps out everywhere. I think I could make a lot of money if I start cloning him. Just kidding JB.

I also need to say my thanks for my own father. I wish I could have seen him in person to give him a big hug.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Activist Alert

From time to time I will post info on here for what I consider to be an important issue. If you also find it important please feel free to partcipate.

Today's is about the organization CCFC - Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood

The following is info sent out from the CCFC
------------------
The issue:

Intensifying our efforts to stop false and deceptive marketing by the baby media industry, CCFC has filed a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) against BabyFirstTV, the first television station for infants and toddlers, for false and deceptive advertising.

In an amendment to our May 11, 2006 complaint against Baby Einstein and Brainy Baby, CCFC charged BabyFirstTV with violating Section 5 of the Federal Trade Commission Act by marketing their programming as educational for babies. CCFC is asking the FTC to prohibit BabyFirstTV from making unsubstantiated claims about the educational and developmental benefits of their programming and to require that promotional materials for the new channel prominently display the American Academy of Pediatrics' (AAP) recommendation of no screen time for children under two.


If you haven't already done so, please take a moment to urge the FTC to investigate our baby media complaint.



BabyFirstTV promotes its programming as "an educational tool that provides a positive learning environment" and as "specifically designed to enhance developmental skills in areas such as creative thinking, math, sensory skills, language, social skills and creative play." BabyFirstTV also touts its "Color-coded Programming Guide" claiming that it "helps inform parents about the educational value of each segment" of programming. For instance, according to the guide, the Thinking Journey series "engages children in identifying patterns of thinking and developing creative ways of viewing the world."

"There is no evidence that screen media is beneficial for children under two--and placing babies in front of screens takes them away from activities that really do promote healthy development," said Dr. Susan Linn, CCFC's co-founder and author of Consuming Kids. "BabyFirstTV shouldn't deceive parents by claiming that their programming is educational for babies. It's clever marketing, but it's just not true." According to a recent study by the Kaiser Family Foundation, parents' belief about the educational benefits of television affects the amount and frequency of children's viewing time.

Please urge the FTC to investigate CCFC's baby video complaint. If you have ever purchased a baby video for your child because you thought it was educational, please describe your experience in the "add a comment" section of the petition. And help us protect babies and children from commercial exploitation by spreading the word to friends and family.

Thank you.

The Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood is a national coalition of health care professionals, educators, advocacy groups and concerned parents who counter the harmful effects of marketing to children through action, advocacy, education, research, and collaboration among organizations and individuals who care about children. CCFC supports the rights of children to grow up - and the rights of parents to raise them - without being undermined by rampant commercialism. For more information, please visit: www.commercialfreechildhood.org.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Mother/Daughter necklace set


This was a custom order for a dear friend of mine. He and his wife were having their second child and he asked me to create a special mother/daughter matching necklace set to give to his wife and their toddler.

These are made from dyed purple fresh water pearls, Hill Tribe silver tiny beads and Hill Tribe silver heart pendants. Strung on wire with sterling silver toggle clasps.

It was an honor to make these for my friends.

They just had their baby (a boy) the other day - Welcome to the world Hugh!

Sunday, June 11, 2006

Sal communicates

Not sure if he is officially speaking yet but I understand what he is trying to say so I guess you can call these his first words.

1. Up - he will say up as he crawls up the stairs. If you say the word up he high tails it over to the stairs because he knows the gate is down and he can crawl upstairs.

2. Hi - he started saying this when I would walk into his room after he woke up from nap. Now he says it all day long. He will waddle into the room and just say "hi"

3. Besides speaking he is finally doing some baby signs. He will sign for eat, more right now. He understands what some others are but those are the two he is doing on his own.

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Wooden Wonders

Call me old fashioned, call me a hippie but I am just so sick of cheap plastic toys. When I was first pregnant with Enzo I had all these ideas of how life would be. I wanted to have as natural of a home as possible. I wanted as little plastic as possible. For the most part we made this happen. I think we provided a good balance between some good quality wooden toys and some plastic ones. As the years went on however the plastic has just overtaken our house. Between all the birthdays and Christmas holidays we have had the plastic has now outnumbered the wood. I had let it slide because Enzo was older and not putting everything in his mouth anymore. When Sal was born I dug out all my old wooden rattles and bought a few new wooden baby toys. The problem I am finding now is that he just wants to play with Enzo's toys. He always has some type of plastic person or car hanging out of his mouth. The amount of little "guys" as Enzo calls them and plastic pieces belonging to what I have no idea laying around my house is insane.

Perhaps it is my small house, perhaps I am turning into a minimalist. At any rate - the shit is going. Today I visited my favorite web site for wooden and natural toys Rosie Hippo and spent more than I should so I could throw out all the crap and replace it with some basics. They are a wonderful company based in WA state. I have ordered from them many times and have been very pleased with their products and service. Here is what I bought. Don't judge.

Zippy Cars

Big Rollie Car

Rainbow People Mover

Painted Bendy Dolls

and

Classic Telephone


Don't think I am becoming a total purist here . I am not getting rid of all of it. Just the excess junky toys. They don't play with that stuff anyway. Give my kids string and a box and they could play all day. The plastic flashy stuff ends up alone in the closet anyway.

Cover your ears - this is about girlie stuff

After two years my aunt flow decided to come back for a visit today. Yes it has been two years. The first year I was pregnant and this second year I have been nursing full time. I have felt her presence the past few months as Sal has begun self weaning but today she came back full force. I had forgotten the cramps, the bloating and the mood dips. I was sad in a way. Not only because now I have to deal with monthly bleeding and feeling like crap again but also because it marks the end of this chapter. My body is now moving on from it's postpartum state. Moving past the pregnancy and nursing hormones and getting back to normal.

I have been trying to live by the "be here now" mindset lately so given that I will embrace these changes and help my body through this crazy rollercoaster and hope once my hormones straighten out so will my headaches.

Sunday, June 04, 2006

Studio - in progress



Here are the before pictures of the jewelry studio I am building in my basement.

The house we bought last year came with a section of the basement that had a work bench. The basement is unfinished but the potential is there. As my jewelry business is growing I have realized how desperately I need a dedicated space to work. My process so far has been to pull all of my materials out at night after the kids go to sleep and set it up on my kitchen table. I then have to clean it all up before I go to bed. It is a pain especially if I have not finished a piece. So to make a long story short I started work this rainy weekend on cleaning up the basement and creating my studio space.

As you can see from the photos there is a lot of cleaning still to do. This weekend I focused on vacuuming up all the spiders and spider webs and cleaning out the work bench. It felt nice to replace all the old tools that never get used with my jewelry making tools. I found that cloth at a yard sale this weekend and covered up the icky top. Despite all the clutter and trash around the space still I was able to block it out and pretend it wasn't there. I ended up making two new necklaces in my new studio. It felt wonderful.

I show updates as the studio progresses.

Saturday, June 03, 2006

Self Promotion


It was a cold and rainy day today. I wanted to make something that made me feel warmer. So Molly was born. Doesn't it just make you think of summer?

It is made from carnelian pebble beads, yellow jade round beads and a yellow jade trapezoid pendant. Strung on wire with sterling silver crimp beads and a sterling silver toggle clasp. The necklace measures 17 "

Available at Purple Elm Jewelry

Friday, June 02, 2006

Home sweet home

My mama is home safe. It looks like she is going to be ok.

Wednesday, May 31, 2006

My Mother

My mother is in the hospital. She went in last Saturday because her blood pressure was very low. She was having some pain in her back so they ended up doing a CT scan and first thought they saw something on her thyroid. After performing an ultrasound yesterday they have determined there is indeed something there that should not be but it is not on her thyroid. It is behind her breast bone. At this point we are not sure it is on a lymph node or not. They are biopising it today and we will then have to wait several days or more before we get the results back.

I am scared. I am trying to stay in the moment but it is hard. My mother is my best friend. She is my rock. Nothing can happen to her. Nothing.

Monday, May 29, 2006

Finish The Sentence Survey

Finish the sentence...
FINISH THE SENTENCE SURVEY courtesy of Nuclear Mom.

1) My uncle once... Took me moose hunting.

2) Never in my life... Did I imagine I would have this beautiful family.

3) When I was five... I thought the world was safe.

4) High School... I wish I could go back

5) I will never forget... Having surgery while 7 months pregnant.

6) I once met... James Hetfield

7) There's this girl I know who... Secretly watches America’s Next Top Model.

8) Once, at a bar... I was refused access because my license said my eyes were hazel and the bouncer thought my eyes looked blue. I pitched a fit and went back the next day to confront the owner. I was 21 at the time and it forced me to change my license to now say my eyes color is DIC which I guess means I have not particular eyed color because it can change.

9) By noon I'm usually... Ready for a nap.

10) Last night... I found out my mother is in the hospital.

11) If I only had... More energy.

12) Next time I go to church... I will pray for my mom.

13) Nick Devlin... ? what? who?

14) What worries me most... My children. I worry about their safety.

15) When I turn my head left... I see my book case and couch.

16) When I turn my head right... I see JB sitting at his computer.

17) You know I'm lying when... I can’t lie. Just look into my eyes.

18) What I miss most about the eighties... Metal bands

19) If I was a character written by Shakespeare, I'd be... Juliet

21) A better name for me would be... Super dishwasher, sweeper, diaper changer, hip huggin' rock lovin', straight shooter, fietsty italian/irish yellin' mama.

22) I have a hard time understanding... Child pornographers.

23) If I ever go back to school I'll... Get a degree in Nutrition.

24) You know I like you if... I let you take a drink of my beer.

25) If I won an award, the first person/people I'd thank would be... My Parents.

26) I can't live without... my family.

27) Take my advice, never... Lie. You will always get caught.

28) My ideal breakfast is... Eggs and Soyrizzo from Bitterroot in San Francisco.

30) If you visit my hometown... Don’t blink too fast or you will miss it.

31) Tulips, character flaws, microchips & track stars... Purple tulips are my favorite, character flaws are special, microchips will save the world, track star - whatever.

32) Why won't anyone... Stop this crazy war.

33) If you spend the night at my house... Be ready for good food and good beer.

34) Your momma... is an amazing.

35) The world could do without... George Bush.

36) I'd rather lick the belly of a cockroach than... have surgery while pregnant again.

37) My favorite blonde is... Drew Barrymore.

38) Paper clips are more useful than... guns.

39) If I do anything well... being creative

40) And by the way... Live each day through the eyes of a child. They do not worry about tomorrow. They do not remember yesterday. They only know today. We could all learn a lot from children. And speak up for what you believe in.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Little boy growing

So the sun finally decided to make an appearance today. It was quite nice. I took the boys to the beach and Enzo had fun digging for treasures. I have mentioned in previous posts about his recent curiosity in babies and baby related issues. So far I have been comfortable answering his questions. Today he stumped me. We were having lunch and he said "So, how exactly does the baby get into the Mommies belly?" I said, "Well Enzo that is a complicated question. We might want to wait until you are a bit older to talk about that." He replied "Daddy talks to me about complicated things though."

Yeah good point Enzo. Shit - what do I say now? I somehow dodged it and he moved on. My little guy is growing up and asking lots of questions that I am not ready for. What is happening? He is 4 1/2 going on 14.

I am not ready for this.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Gray Days

"Gray day . . . Everything is gray. I watch. But nothing moves today."

from
My Many Colored Days by Dr Seuss


This sums up my day today - actually the past few months. I am so tired of seeing clouds sand rain. It is weighing down my head, my body and my mind. I live in the Northeast so I wait all winter long to see the sun. This spring has simply sucked. It is memorial weekend next weekend and I can't remember having my windows open once this spring. My plants are water logged, my grass is water logged, we are all water logged. I have a new patio set I got for my birthday that has never felt a person sit on it. It is just soppy and sad.

I am feeling rather blah. Sorry for the depressing post today.

Monday, May 22, 2006

Happy Birthday To Me!

Today is my birthday.

Yee-Hoo!

That is about all I have to say about that.

Sunday, May 21, 2006

My wild weekend

Wow what a weekend. One of my bestest friends from NH came up for the weekend. We had such an amazing time. The last time she came up our way was probably close to 10 years ago. We talk weekly, email several times a week and I see her usually when I visit my family. She left her family behind and braved the rain to be with me for a birthday weekend celebration. My birthday is on Monday the 22nd. We got a bit of an early start. Of course it rained ALL weekend until Sunday after she left. I have a great deck and yard with a brand new patio set I got for my mother's day/birthday present. I have just been waiting for someone to come up so we could spend hours at night sitting outside chatting and sipping a few cocktails. Well it rained the entire time she was here. We made the best of it though and had a great time.


Forest is a friend I met in high school. When she moved to my school she was sporting a shaved head, flight jacket, mini skirt and combat boots. It wasn't in school where we me though. We both answered an ad for a record store that would be opening up in our town. We were both hired to start working before the store even opened it's doors. We could not have been more opposite. I was a bit of a hippy back then (ok a total hippy)and she was a punk. There we were forced to work together in this record store that she eventually became the manager of. We became fast friends and it has never slowed down. I eventually left town for college and a stint in CA but we held tight to our friendship. We have not let distance separate us at all.

When I left for college she gave me her beloved flight jacket to take with me. I don't know if any of you are familiar with these jackets but they are very important to punks and I still to this day don't know how she passed it on. But she did and I kept that thing with me every move I made. It is funny but we have not spoken about the jacket since she gave it to me.

Saturday night we are sitting in my kitchen and for some reason I thought to bring it up. I told her I still had the jacket and she just about dropped to the floor. When I brought it out from my closet she started crying. It was a beautiful moment. It was now time for the jacket to return home.

We stayed up too late and consumed too many beers but what fun we had. It was worth the pain I felt the next day. I did not want to let her leave on Sunday morning. So Forrest - thank you again. Thank you for buying me my ornamental grass for my garden, thanks for the Sierras and as always - thanks for listening, sharing and for that wonderful caring heart you have.

Friday, May 19, 2006

Update on head issue

Quick update:

Neurologist thinks my headaches are hormone related. Argh - that was my assumption. I should get paid a lot of money too. Anyway - the thought is that because I am in the process of weaning the baby my hormones are trying to get back to their pre pregnancy state. The Neurologist wants me to finish weaning, let me hormones get back on track and then see where I am at. I am glad we are on the same page at least. I wasn't expecting a magic pill nor did I really want to take one but it does suck that I have to suffer until the hormones calm down a bit.

On a brighter note - I am taking the advice of someone who posted a comment (thanks by the way) and I am going to see a Chiropractor on Monday (which is also my birthday - hooray to me). This Chiropractor also talks about nutrition exercise and the whole package. Funny that my regular Dr. has not asked me one singe time about my diet or exercise. I am not trying to diss mainstream MDs - I just have not had much luck with mine lately and feel like they could sometimes spend a bit more time looking at the person as a whole.

ok I am done ranting for today. One of my best friends from NH is coming up for a weekend visit. I am so excited! We are going to have early birthday celebrations for me. I love this girl. I will tell you about her later but we met working at record store high school. Off to finish cleaning my house before she comes.

Have a great weekend.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

This old house








Recently my children and I spent a week at my parents house while JB attended a class for work. This is the house I grew up in. It is an old New England home built in 1910. It is up for sale. I am quite sad. I never thought I would be so attached to this house until the time came when I realized it might not be there anymore. I guess I always expected it to be around. This was my first home. The only one I knew until I left home for college. Even then I returned a few times after college while I figured out what I wanted to do next.

Returning there with both of my children allowed me to view the house in a different light. I was able to see the house and yard with my youthful eyes for the first time in a long time. Watching Enzo explore the backyard which was once my stomping grounds was amazing. I wondered if he thought of it as big as I did back then. I wondered if he viewed the trees as an enormous forest that witnessed so many of our adventures. I showed him a section of the yard I called my secret space. We used to pretend it was our house. Really it was the underside of some large overhanging bushes with some granite slabs we called our kitchen table. He instantly became intrigued and crawled inside. The imagination began. "I am the father bear and you can be the mother bear" he tells me. "This will be our house and we can eat the berries off the trees as our food." he said. We sat out there while Sal napped upstairs in my old room.

I wanted to take it all back with me. We collected rocks and small pieces of granite to bring back and add to our garden. This would have to do for now.

This old house is more than a place I grew up. It represents many generations of my family. For my mother grew up just two house down. At one time all three houses next to each other were owned by my Mother's parents. My Uncle and Aunt also lived in my house at one time and eventually my parents bought it from my grandparents. My father's mother eventually moved into one of the family houses right next door before she passed away. My Nana and Papa (Salvatore’s namesake) who owned the other two houses next to mine have also died so those two houses were sold years ago. That transaction was tough to watch but when this one goes through it will be the end. The end of a family across two generations who raised children and lived lives. A place I call home and will always call home.

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Happy Birthday Sal!



My little boy is 1 year old today.

Salvatore aka:

Salvie
little guy
Ooba
Ooba booba
bubs
bubba
shabaubba

Yes our little boy is now 1 year old. We had a wonderful weekend. Because today is also Mother's Day we decided to have a small celebration yesterday. My parents came up for the event and a few close friends joined us as well. We had a great time. Enzo helped me bake the cake. We made a butterfly cake made from a wonderful apple spice cake recipe and homemade cream cheese frosting.

It is amazing to me how fast this year has gone. Enzo's first year went by fast but this one was even faster. Everyone had warned me how different the first year with the second child would be. It was spent juggling the needs of a 4 year old and a baby. No time for private googling time, ingesting each small moment. Instead they have gone by like a flash of lightning. I barely recorded his milestones. I pieced them together today on various scraps of paper that just happened to be laying around at the time. Baby book? Are you kidding? I have one but it has not been opened yet. So to make myself feel better I will record them here. Here are the highlights.

Rolled over - almost 3 months
Army crawl - 5 months
Blow raspberries - 5 months
Smiled - sometime in here
First solid food - Bananas and he loved them. Still does
First steps 10 1/2 months. Was walking full time at 11 months
Claps - 11 months
Waves - 11 months
First sounds he just started making: baba (for ball), dada, uh oh (as he holds his hands up and out) and he just started making ma ma sounds but not all the way yet.

ok I feel much better those are recorded somewhere. I will start working on his book I swear.

I look at him and I am so thankful each day. I lost my first child when I was 9 weeks pregnant. It was a very rough experience for JB and I. We called her "little". "Little" died on October 6th 1999. Enzo was born exactly two years to the day on October 6th 2001. Salvatore's original due date was May 6th which was a day or two off from "little's" due date. These are not coincidences. This is the cycle of life in action. I look at Enzo and Sal everyday and I am thankful. I can't help to think of what "little" would look like today but I know that Enzo and Sal each represent her in their own way.

Salvatore and I have been through a lot together. While I was 7 months pregnant I ended up having an emergency appendectomy. I have had 3 other surgeries in my life but his was by far the scariest. I never imagined being wheeled into the operating room with a baby in my belly. I didn't know what was going to happen. We both pulled through strong and I think it has effected out bond to this day. I was so afraid of losing him. It was a scary time.

So one year later Sal is walking, playing and learning new things each day. He is such a wonderful child. Watching him grow and play with Enzo has been such an experience.

So Salvatore this is for you:

Small angel of mine
by the light of the moon
I think of you.

I think of you growing
inside of my belly
I think of when tragedy struck
and we stuck together
like two peas in a pod.
You helped me stay strong and healthy
for both of us.

Your tiny hands and feet
amazed me when you were born.
Soft skin / like satin
Body snuggled warm.

You just wanted to be held
and I just wanted to hold you.

My little guy
with the large brown eyes
I love you more and more each day.

Happy Birthday Salvie and Happy Mothers Day to me and all you other Mama's out there.


Sal's original birth story