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

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:

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?’
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.

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


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:

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


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.