Sunday, December 30, 2007

Tea for me, tea for you

My husband and I are huge tea drinkers. I used to be a coffee drinker before kids. Something happened to my body after having children and it cannot handle caffeine the way it used to. There is something about the simple act of making tea that I love so much. It is slow process that makes your body and mind slow down as well. The process of brewing the tea, then letting it steep, and lastly sitting and enjoying a cup or two. I find that even in the middle of a busy day it is what I can make for myself and enjoy a few times a day as a way to quiet my mind. My ritual so far is to have a cup of chamomile or orange tea in the morning with honey, some type of sweet & spicy variety like Good Earth or Celestial Seasonings Belgian Spice. Then at night I have a lemon ginger type. I have always wanted to get into using bulk loose teas. There is a wonderful company in Vermont called Love & Tea that makes awesome loose teas. We tried using tea balls but we were never really happy with them. I had been eyeing some wonderful ceramic tea pots that have a built in tea infuser that sits in the pot. The concept is you boil the water for your tea in a different pot and then pour the water into this ceramic pot that contains the loose tea, let it steep and then you have a nice little pot to put on the table and serve tea from.

So when trying to decide what to get my husband for Christmas this year I came across one at a local store and thought it would be a perfect gift. I chose to get one made by Bee House that looked like this

I was very excited about my gift. I would him some orange tea from Love & Tea to go with it and wrapped it all up.

Chrismas morning came and he gave me my present. I was suprised beyond belief when I opened it and found that he had also thought of the same idea and bought me a tea pot. It was a different version. He chose one made by For Life. Same color though. I actually almost got this same one for him This is the one he got me.

We laughed so hard over this. How funny. We were not sure if we should keep them both at first but we have since decided to do so. The one I got him is a bit smaller. It holds about 2 mugs where the one he got me holds about 4 so we thought they would both be useful. So now here we sit, sick as dogs, sipping lovely tea and trying to heal.

happy health to all. drink more tea.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Close enough

pure joy

Ok I stayed away as long as I could. So much has happened and so much is about to happen that I thought I better start doing some updating now. I can't wait any longer.

First off here - Happy Holidays! It has been a rough month for us. As I mentioned earlier I developed pneumonia earlier in the month. It put me on bed rest and forced me to slow down. The good thing was that I learned to crochet while in bed that week. See my projects here.

The week I was finally feeling recovered my oldest son E swallowed a magnetic ball from the popular toy set Magnetix Magnetic Building Set. I was in the kitchen cooking dinner and he came in and said "Mom I just swallowed one of the magnets." I freaked out (shouldn't have) and actually yelled at him at first. I was scared and pissed. He has never put stuff in his mouth before. Anyways then I got scared. I called the Dr. and they told me to take him to the ER. Of course this was the day JB went snowboarding so I was without car. The Dr said we could wait for him to get home (he was about 40 minutes away) because it was clear that the magnet ball was not obstructing his breathing or anything. I started freaking out even more when I googled these things and saw there was a recall on the. Read about that HERE. To make a long story short we had an extra and it confirmed the ball made it into his stomach and was not stuck in his chest anywhere. We had to wait the weekend to see if it came out. By the following Monday it hadn't so we had to go back in for another X-ray. At this point they were giving us a week. If it was not out by Christmas Eve we would need to go back in and have them take it out. Not what we wanted to hear. Luckily it ended coming out on that week and we danced a happy dance of joy.

This is a dangerous toy. If more than one magnet is swallowed it can cause serious internal damage and possible death to a child. I threw my set away. I will not take that risk again.

Ok so 2nd ordeal of the month over. Next JB came down with a cold and bam I got it the Sunday before Christmas so we were both sick as dogs over the holiday. Thank goodness we were not traveling or entertaining anyone. It just really sucks because I feel like I have been sick now (because I have) since before Thanksgiving. This is a different virus and really just a head cold but still. It really sucks.

So that is my quick update in a nutshell. It feels good to be back. The break was much needed. I am excited to unveil a new project I am now involved in. I will be sharing the news in the next few days. Probably after the New Year all the ducks will be lined up and ready to go. Good things to come. Keep your eyes peeled.

Thanks for waiting.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Neck Warmer

My second crotchet project was a scarf for my oldest son E. I will post a picture of it tomorrow. My youngest son wanted one too so
I decided to make
him a shortened version and made a neck warmer instead.
Here it is. My third crochet project. Pattern free.
Thanks Erinn for the idea to stitch a different color around the edges.

Saturday, December 08, 2007

My new obsession

Being on bed rest this past week with pneumonia drove me crazy. So I decided to finally learn how to crotchet. With a big plastic crotchet hook from my son's weaving kit, some nasty old acrylic yarn I found in my studio, my laptop and a video from Expert Village I taught myself how to crotchet. After making a few pieces that came out a triangles I called my dear friend, the master at Urban-Farmgirl and she set me straight again. Since getting her advice I have been able to keep my stitches straight. Well sort of. Here is the scarf I have been working on. I am officially addicted. Thanks Erinn for the help!

Friday, December 07, 2007

See you in January

I have decided to extend my blog break until after the holidays. I am finally starting to feel a bit better but I still have a long way to go. Because of this and because of the upcoming holidays I will be taking a much needed break from everything. Getting pneumonia has taught be that I have recently taken on too many things. Between blogging, my crafting business, taking on a 20hr/wk job at home and raising two kids full time I have over done it. I recently got to a point that I remember too well. Two years ago when I decided to quit my job to stay home I had come to a similar point. It was too much for me. I realized then, and I have been reminded now, that I am the type of person who cannot take on too much. My body reacts badly to stress. I get sick, I breakdown, and I lose myself.

It is unfortunate that I let myself get off track and ended up getting this sick. I will learn from it though and move on. Being on bed rest has already done a lot for me. In the past two weeks I have:
1. Read The Road
2. Read Middlesex3. Started teaching myself to crotchet
4. In an attempt to stay away from the computer I picked up my journal and have attempted to begin handwriting again. What a concept. I think my hands actually forget how to use a pen.
5. Just started reading You Must Remember This

As I head into a new year I look forward to taking on the following resolutions:

1. Say no more
2. Finish crocheting a scarf
3. Read Eat, Pray, Love
4. Use my yoga punch card from last Christmas
5. Finish my written work for my Childbirth education course by this summer
6. Say no more.

I wish you all happy holidays and a wonderful new year. See you 2008

Slow down, reflect, buy less, love more


Thursday, December 06, 2007

The Queen City Craft Bazaar on Saturday was a smashing success! Thanks to everyone who came out for the event. Here is a picture of my table.

Here is the lovely Sara from Made Boutique & Gallery. She is also my partner in crime. We co-organize the Queen City Craft Bazaar together. She is amazing to work with. We handpick all of the artists and the result is a wonderful mix of the best of the best indie crafters in Vermont.

Zoe from Birdie Handmade is a dear friend of mine and a genius crafter. She makes the most amazing things from recycled wool sweaters. She is a selling machine too. Those stuffed creatures were almost sold out by the end of the show.

Sara also had a table at the event selling off many wonderful handmade goods from her store. If you haven't heard yet she has decided to close her shop (boo-hoo) at the end of December. We will miss her terribly. We love you Sara!

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

blog break

I won't be around much this week. I just found out I have walking pneumonia. I haven't been this sick in a very long time. I pushed myself way too far. I don't know what happened to me. I was the poster child for slowing down and taking care of yourself when sick. My life changed two months ago when I took on this 20 hr a week job while staying home with my kids, plus running my jewelry business and getting ready for three holiday craft shows. I just kept going thinking I was getting better and now here I am on bed rest. I am not good at just laying back while my JB does everything. He has been amazing. Taking care of the kids, the house and trying to get his work done at night. I have had to zip my lips when dinner is late and bedtime is later. I am too sick to care and it feels awesome. I think he actually likes being able to just do things his way for once. So i got some drugs today and my orders to stay in bed. JB got me a pile of magazines and I watched a movie on the laptop while laying in bed today. It was nice today but I know I will be going stir crazy by tomorrow. At this point I just want to feel normal again. I am pissed at myself for letting this happen. I took on way too much and my body bit back to say no more.

I am taking a much needed rest and won't be blogging this week.

talk soon


Monday, November 26, 2007

I feel like I have been gone month. I didn't really go anywhere but the computer was the last place I have been in the past several days. I felt a cold coming on a week ago. My youngest son was getting over a nasty chest cold and I felt mine starting to brew. My husband felt his coming on about the same time. I managed to run around last weekend and finish up picking up my kids Christmas gifts. By Wed I began feeling worse. Perfect timing I thought. Right before Thanksgiving. Thankfully we didn't have any plans to travel and were were not expecting any guests so when I woke up on Thursday with a full blown chest cold, feeling like crap, at least I knew I could stay home. We managed to have a nice Thanksgiving despite the fact that I felt horrible. By 4pm we were feasting on Tofurkey, stuffing, potatoes (thanks Dustbunny for the crock pot potato recipe), mixed veggies, rice bake, mushroom gravy (homemade by DH), and for desert pecan pie (also homemade by DH).

Friday I relaxed and tried to get well. DH had the day off so I was able to let up on my Mama duties. I started a new book. Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides. I ended up reading it in 4 days. I highly recommend it. I actually shouted out two times while reading this book. It caught me by surprise a few times. It has been a long time since I have been able to read a book in less than a week with the kiddos and all. Anyways, I was dreading the weekend because I had paid a space in a two day craft show. The biggest in our area. By Friday I was not feeling like I could pull it off. DH and I came up with a plan. I would get up Saturday morning and go set up my booth (7am) and work it as long as I could. If i could' hack it I would drive home and switch with him. I would stay with the kids and he would go work my table for me. JB selling my jewelry at an all Women's craft show. Now that would have been a sight to see. But he was willing and I was grateful. I ended up being able to pull off both days myself. It was very hard but I did it. Unfortunately the show was very slow, I didn't make that much (no one did) and by the time I got home Sunday night I realize I had over done it. I felt horrible. DH had made chili and dealt with the kids. He even unpacked my car from the show for me. I got my but in bed early and prayed for a quick recovery. The next day was Monday after all. Back to work for DH, back to school for DS#1, and back to race around, Mama duties and work part time on the side for me.

Here we are now. It is 1:05AM on Monday morning. I woke up having a huge coughing fit thinking it was almost 5am or something. Nope it was 12:30 am. Shit. If I wake up this early coughing I know I won't get back to sleep without taking some cough medicine. I don't like taking it normally but if my cough wakes me up in the middle of the night I know I have to. So here I am waiting for it to kick in before I head back to bed. Wishing I had rested a bit more. Wishing I hadn't signed up for a two day craft show on Thanksgiving weekend. Wishing I had done it all just a bit differently, but thankful too. I am thankful I was able to have a nice quiet holiday at home with my family. I am thankful to my DH who stepped up and took such good care of me and the kids while I was down. I am thankful for the new friends I met at the craft show this weekend. Sometimes it isn't always about making money.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Friday, November 16, 2007

Talking to children about death

Last night at dinner all of a sudden my 6 year old started crying. He finally was able to get out in words what was upsetting him. He said he is afraid to die because he doesn’t want to not be able to live anymore. My heart sank. Tears came to my eyes. I wondered to myself how do I talk to my child about something that is also my greatest fear? The only death we have talked to our children about so far is of pets. Our neighbors lost a cat that we used to take care of. Next was our fish. My oldest son took these loses very hard. We discussed it with him but never gave more than what he asked for information. We never even brought up the fact that people die. We figured at one point the switch would go off in his head and he would put two and two together. Well he has.

It was a very difficult discussion to have with him. I myself went though years of therapy after I had babies because I suddenly suffered from health anxiety. After I had my first child I found myself terrified that something would happen to me. I didn’t want to leave my children. I didn’t want to die. I think everyone has these thoughts and feelings but for me the hormones raging through my body after having a baby made it worse. I guess it was a form of postpartum depression. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy helped me through those times. Becoming a parent thoughts changed me forever and I will always teeter on the edge of letting those thoughts consume me. Everyday I have to choose to look at life instead of death. Everyday I try to not be afraid.

So you can imagine how difficult it was for me to talk to my son last night. I held him, cried with him, and told him I am afraid too. Without promising eternal life to him I tried to comfort by saying he has a very long life to live and that it is very important to focus on living and being the best person you can be now.

It was hard on me but good in a way too. Facing the dreaded topic and being forced to look it in the eye is a great way to deal with it.

I found this great article about talking to children about death. It gives a helpful breakdown to ages of children and where they typically are with their thoughts on death. I am sure there are many many wonderful resources out there.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Slow Cookin' Italian Lentil Stew

Here is the recipe for the Italian Lentil Stew I talked about in my slow cookin' post below.

Italian Lentil Stew
serves 6

1 3/4 cups of dried lentils, washed (You can actually use any kind of bean here. Lentils are great but tonight I didn't have any so I used white beans. Garbanzo would work well here too. I also used canned beans and it worked well).
1 small butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cut into 1 inch chunks
1 25 oz jar of pasta sauce
2 cups green beans cut in half
1 small green pepper, diced
1 large russet potato, peeled and diced
1 medium onion, chopped
2 cloves of garlic, chopped
3 cups of water
1 tablespoon olive oil

In a slow cooker, mix all ingredients EXCEPT olive oil. Add 3 cups of water to ingredients.

Cover and cook on low heat setting for 6-8 hours, or till the vegetables and lentils are tender. Add olive oil just before serving.

Serving suggestion: a big salad and warm, crusty garlic bread.

***A few notes: You could alter this to use any veggies you have on hand. To speed up the cooking process use canned instead of dried beans. I put mine on around 11:30 and it was done by 5:00ish easily. Both of my kids loved this. It is very flavorful.

Sunday, November 11, 2007


I feel time moving faster and faster
I see my children growing / stronger
I find myself crying more.

I wonder why we live for tomorrow
I try to stay in the moment / longer
I need to start saying no.

If I could freeze each moment
and bottle it up forever
I would study the little things / harder
and try to find the magic cure.

Slow cookin' Sunday

It has taken me a long time to like Sundays. It is hard to really enjoy the day because I never can get out of my head that the next day is Monday. I have started a new ritual that I call Slow cookin' Sunday. Around mid morning before I start lunch I begin a crock pot meal. Today it was chili. Last week I made Italian bean soup. It means more time in the kitchen earlier in the day but I find the time it saves me later on is priceless. For some reason I feel like my day is longer because I don't have to interrupt my Sunday afternoon to start dinner.

p.s. Happy Birthday Mom!

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Holy shit my kid ate meat!

Ever since my oldest son started kindergarten this year (which is public in our elementary schools) I have felt like I have lost control. First he started drinking milk for the first time in his life because that is all they serve there and now to top it off my vegetarian child has had meat for the first time. I have been allowing him to have hot lunch a few times a week when they have vegetarian options. One of the days they offer a hamburger, cheeseburger or veggie burger. He has been getting the veggie burger so far. I picked him up from school on Friday to find out he had eaten a cheeseburger. When he asked for it he thought he was getting a veggie burger with cheese on it. He doesn't know. He has never eaten meat before. Come to find out he has eaten this the past few weeks thinking he was eating a veggie burger. I felt crushed. I just felt it like was one more thing I have lost control over. Like all of my values no longer matter because once he walks in those doors he is in a different world.

I have always said when he was old enough to make his own choice of whether or not to eat meat I would let him. Although I will never cook meat in my house. I have asked him over the years and so far he has not wanted to. I also make sure I tell him what meat really is. I think it is important for children (of a certain age) to understand that meat is not just a package of food you buy at the grocery store. I have told him that animals are killed to get the meat.

I am not sure what is going to happen. At this point he seems to be looking at me to still make the choice for him so I have told him that we will have a deal. For now he will continue to not eat meat at school lunch but if he ever wants to try it again to tell myself or my husband (who does eat meat) and we will allow him to do so. He seemed to like this deal. I think it was too much for him to choose on his own right now.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Happy Halloween

Here is an update in pictures of what we have been up to.


Apple picking
Enzo went to his first concert. Justin Roberts.
Pumpkin carving

Happy Halloween!

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Working Girl

I have been a bad blogger. My life went from what I thought was crazy to absolute insanity. I took on a 2 month contract job that I am doing from home 20 hours a week while still having my youngest kid home with me. Within the first three days I had regrets. Many old feelings of stress and anxiety came back to me (it was a job I previously had) and I found myself unable to juggle my life. All the reasons for why I quit working in the first place hit me like a ton of bricks and I realized I got myself in over my head. I have since hired someone to help me out in the mornings with my little guy so that has helped a lot. It will enable me to get through this 2 month deal but after that I am done. Even though I only have to do 4 hours each day, because I have to spread that out between school drop off, lunch, naps, school pick up, dinner, and managing my family I end up feeling like I am working all day because it takes from morning to night to get the full 4 hours in. I am stretched beyond belief. I feel like my head cannot be where it needs to be which is on my family. So all in all I guess I learned a good lesson. I am just not ready. I am not ready to go back to the rat race. The extra money is nice right now of course but it is so not worth the strain on my family, myself and my sanity. We have managed without it and we can do it again.

Friday, October 05, 2007

Now you are six

Tomorrow is my oldest son's 6th birthday. Today at his school they had a birthday ceremony for him. Parents can bring in a special birthday snack for the class. At circle time the child circles the center of the floor holding a globe, each revolution representing a year in the child's life. Parents are invited to attend the ceremony and share stories, pictures or artifacts to illustrate each year. The ceremony is concluded with songs.

I baked banana muffins to bring in. I wrote a poem for him and brought in a few pictures. The children were so wonderful. They loved the poem and asked a ton of questions when I was finished. They are learning about rhyming words right now so I thought it would be fun to discuss with them what a poem is. They especially liked seeing the pictures of my DS when he was a baby.

I wrote it in a very simple voice so it could be easily understood by the children. I thought I would share it with you.

Now You Are Six

Once a baby oh so small
So quickly it seemed
you learned to crawl.

You learned to walk when you were one.
Watching you change was so much fun.

At age two you loved to dance and sing
You loved books, art,
and learning about most everything.

Age three and four you were out the door
digging, building, and exploring more.

Age five was the year you sprouted tall.
Biking, swimming, and soccer
You loved to do it all.

Now you are six and in school at last
Meeting new friends -
learning and growing fast.

Happy Birthday my sweet child.

Job Interview

Yesterday I went on my first job interview in 11 years. It was horrible. In the end I was told I was a strong candidate but when I got into my car I burst into tears. I am left torn and confused and quiet honestly I hope it is not offered to me. Before becoming a SAHM two years ago I had worked for the same company for 9 years. My experience at this other company was wonderful. I got a ton of experience and learned so much about myself and business. It groomed me to be independent and a self starter. It paved my way to becoming a self employed entrepreneur that I now am. Being thrown back into an environment of strict schedules and corporate life was shocking to my system. I started to doubt why I was there. My intent was to get a part time job through the holidays to bring in some extra cash. The reality would be that I work 4 nights a week from about 6-11pm plus one weekend day. I thought perhaps it could be a little less than that but it doesn't look that way. I feel like I am struggling enough as it is keeping my family organized and my small business afloat. I honestly do not think I could burn both ends of stick by working until 11pm, getting to bed at midnight, and then up at 6am for my other full time job - my family.

My DH and I talked long and hard about it last night and I don't think he wants me to do it. He knows me too well and thinks it will be too much on me and the family. Talking to my mother did not help. She was a nurse and worked 3-11pm until I was in College. When I asked her how she did it she simply said "I had to. It was sink or swim." Although the money would help us a ton it isn't as dire for us. We have gotten by this far and we can continue to do it. But yes the money would help.

I am so torn. If I go with my gut (which I am a huge believer in) it would be to say no if the job is offered to me. I feel lost and confused.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Public School NOT Government School

So I pick my 6 year old up at school yesterday and he tells me he has been wearing his jacket all day. When I asked him why he told me that he kept forgetting to take it off. That he meant to after recess but they had to go into another classroom, then he meant to but it was time for lunch and so on. He said he was hot but he just felt like there was never time to take it off. I know the kids are supposed to be learning independence at school and the teachers cannot fuss over them like in preschool but I just thought perhaps the teacher could have asked him if he wanted to take off his jacket?

I ended up speaking to the teacher about it because I felt like it was just one of many things I have noticed since he started. There have been many things like this where he seems to be having a hard time remembering all that needs to come home each day, his super late lunch (1pm like I posted about earlier) and in general just getting used to a more rigid schedule.

The teacher was very receptive and felt bad that he was hot all day and felt like he didn't have time to stop and take off his jacket. What was very disheartening however was how she said that she even feels their schedules are so full this year and she even thinks they just go from one thing to another without having much breathing space. She explained how there is just so much they are supposed to fit into one day.

I left with a sad heart. There just seems to be no hope. These teachers don't want to teach like this. This time of schedule is not good for children. Yet our hands are tied. The teachers have to do what they are told. There is no flexibility. There is no hope to even work the the schools because parents, teachers do not run the schools now. The federal government does. And if they don't do what the federal government says they lose their funding. This is bull crap.

I want the schools to be state run again. If we are paying tax money to these schools I think the parents, teachers and state officials should be the ones who decide what is best for their local schools. There has go to be a better way. There has got to be a way to influence government officials to not renew the No Child Left Behind Act or at least alter it greatly. I urge you to read all you can about his act. I was floored when I actually read through all the actual text of it. There is a lot in there that might surprise you. Educate yourselves and get in touch with your local government officials. I contacted mine yesterday.

These are public schools we are talking about. Public schools that we all pay for. They are not and should not be run by the federal government.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Rockin' out

Last night I went out to Higher Ground to see my friend Neil Cleary play. Neil is a local legend around here. Former member of the Pants and now a well established singer/songwriter. He left Burlington (again) for Boston but he was back last night for his CD release party. I am so glad I went. He is simply amazing. This new album is very different for him but oh so good. You can read my original review of the album here.

I had a blast. Hung out with some friends I hadn't seen in a while, got to chat with Neil, and listened to some great music.

Seven Days wrote a great article about him. You can read it here.

have a great weekend. I plan on doing some apple picking, going on a hike, cleaning my yard and practicing my guitar. Thanks for the inspiration on the last one Neil.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

R.I.P Long Fin

A few weeks ago we got our kids their first pet. Enzo named him Long Fin because "he has long fins" my son said. They loved him so much. Tonight he died. It was horrible actually. We were getting ready for bed and the kids were watching the fish when all of a sudden he shot straight up to the top of the tank and then just kind of hung there for a moment before just sinking to the bottom. Enzo got very upset. The fish moved a little bit at first and then it became clear he had died. My son kept asking if he was going to get better. We had to finally tell him that Long Fin had died and was not going to come back. This was his first experience with death. He cried very hard as I held him. He asked my husband to take the fish bowl into the other room. He kept saying how unfair it was, that he wanted to still have him as a pet, and that we have not had him long enough. I agreed, cried with him and held him tight.

New! Nursing reminder bracelets

I am cross posting this from my studio blog (sorry if you read both) because it pertains to mama issues.

I will be delivering these new nursing reminder bracelets to Bebop Baby Shop in Essex Jct. Vermont this week.

Nursing reminder bracelets are worn on the mothers writs and easily slipped to the side she needs to nurse on next. Believe me (I nursed two babies) when you are in the fog of a new baby it is very easy to forget which side you need to nurse on at the next feeding. These small bracelets offer a stylish and easy to use reminder.

When I had my first child 6 years ago I needed a reminder. At first I just used one of my hair elastic bands on my wrist. Not only are they not very attractive, but they also tended to be on the tight side. I have always made stretch bracelets so I decided to just wear one of my own instead. I found that the beads I used on my regular bracelets were too large and would dig into my wrist while the baby was resting on my arm nursing.

By the time I had my second child I started to get it right. I started making specific bracelets with smaller, smoother beads for myself and friends specifically as a nursing reminder bracelet I decided to finally make a batch and offer them to the public. I also designed these with more neutral colors. I wanted it to be a bracelet a mom could wear with anything.

Now available at Bebop Baby Shop located online and at 167 Pearl Street, Essex Jct Vermont. Or call 802-316-3069

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Saturday, September 15, 2007

I am sick this weekend and staying low in doors. I finished up some nursing reminder bracelets I am making for a new local baby shop (details soon) and I just finished up making this homemade Sicilian pizza sauce. I made it from a large amount of local organic tomatoes I get from my CSA farmshare. The first pizza is cooking in the oven right now. Yum. I know the cheese won't be good for my cold but it sure will taste good.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Meet LongFin

The boys have been wanting to get a pet. Since I am allergic to cats and not quite ready for a dog we decided on a fish. Enzo named him Long Fin because according to Enzo "he has long fins".

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

I'm trying. I'm really trying to get into the whole public school system thing. I am so used to causal preschool where you go into the building, talk to the teacher, take your time leaving, have a say in what goes on etc. Now we stand outside, see the teacher for a second if we are lucky, and just have to trust the system. Trust the system. This is what everyone keeps telling me I have to do. I was horrified to find out my child who does not drink milk (not because of allergies) now drinks it twice a day because milk is all the school serves at snack and lunch. What? No water? I was told there is a water fountain in the hallway if the children want water. I am not saying milk is like soda or anything here, but I do think water should be served right along side of milk. My DS drinks soy milk with his cereal in the morning and has a cup at dinner time but he has never had a glass of cow milk in his life and now he has to drink it twice a day at school because that is all they offer.

Trust the system? You are talking to a girl who never trusted the system since the day she was born. I was the girl in school who fought the system from as early as I can remember. I remember fighting hall passes, and bells, protesting one year because state did not acknowledge Martin Luther King Day (the next year the school started holding assemblies), it seems I was always rocking the boat in school. I pined over all the kids who went to the nearby Waldorf school system. I never felt like I belonged where I was. I sucked at testing, math and science. I did well in English, Social Studies, music and the arts. I didn't learn the way others learned and because of that I suffered. My point here is that I did not trust the system as a child and I am now finding myself surrounded by those same thoughts and feelings again.

Of course I am much older and wiser now but my core has not changed. This time around instead of total rebellion I will choose to become an active member in the school. Yes Rockergirrl will join the PTO. I firmly believe parents have an important role in public education. There is a place for our opinions and ideas.

Watch out PTO - here I come.

Monday, September 03, 2007

1st Bento Box lunch

I have been on a search to find a lead free lunch box for my child. I have pimped the site already here but I wanted to share with you the one I ended up getting. It is called laptop lunches and it is based on the concept of the Japanese bento box.

I love the idea of a product that supports offering children a healthy lunch consisting of a variety of choices rather than prepackaged foods.

I survived my first week of Enzo going to Kindergarten but they were just half days. Tomorrow he starts on his full day schedule is which is 8:10am-2:30pm. I still believe Kindergarten should only be half day but this is the way it is and I guess I will just have to see how it goes. So I packed his first lunch tonight in his new Bento box. The picture is bad but it consists of a bean, cheese and salsa burrito, grapes, corn chip and salsa and two little whole grain cookies. It goes into a super cute laptop style bag. He has been practicing with the bag all weekend and is excited to use it tomorrow. I on the other hand am terrified of him in the big lunch room. Now I know why they don't let the parents in the school each day. I would never leave.

Get Ready to STRUT

Live fashion show featuring local, independent artists and fashion designers plus a live DJ.
Awesome clothing and accessories will be for sale before and after each fashion show.
(so bring CASH $$)

Subsixstudios will be participating in the Saturday show only. I will have three new pieces from my new collection in the fashion show and I will also have a table set up selling jewelry before and after the show. See you then!

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

First Day of School

Today was Enzo's first day of school at Kindergarten. He was very excited to go. Yesterday we had open house and we ran into a family who had been in his daycare center when he was a baby. Their son was in the same infant room as Enzo and now they are in the same Kindergarten class. It was really neat seeing them again. Enzo and Lennon became instant buds. It really helped him today knowing he would see Lennon in line for school. It was over before I knew it and I found myself a weeping mess when I got home. The house seemed so quiet with just Sal and I in it. It felt so weird not having Enzo around but I looking forward to spending one on one time with Sal for the first time ever. He only goes half days this week. Next week they go a full day from 8:10-2:30. Despite how hard the morning was for us, Enzo had a wonderful time. When we picked him up he was full of stories and praise.

I have been a bit nervous because we ended up not sending him to our neighborhood school and instead choice an alternative program held at one of the other public schools in town. It is a non graded, multi age classrooms. They mix the Kinderkids and the 1st graders in one class and have the same teacher for those two years. It used to also mix the 2nd graders but because of the No Child Left Behind testing (bullshit) the 2nd graders had to be separated out to start tes prepping. We thought this would be a good program for Enzo because he is entering kindergarten at age 6 instead of 5 I really liked the idea of a multi age room. I have also read wonderful things about multi age classrooms for primary education and talked with many teachers who also believe in it for that level. The non graded aspect also appealed to me for that age group. The program is offered to everyone in the city. They open up slots from all the schools so there ends up being a mix of kids from all over. The downside is we have to drive everyday and since the school is downtown there is no parking so it is a bit of a pain for drop offs and pick ups. All and all we are very excited about this new phase in our lives. I might even become a member of the PTO (gasp).

Friday, August 17, 2007

rockergirrl out

1. I am going on vacation next week
2. My oldest son starts school for the first time the week after
3. I have a fashion show coming up quickly I have to finish getting ready for.
4. I have two craft events to help organize
5. I have a house to clean
6. I have a jewelry business to run
7. I have two websites to maintain
8. I have 4 blogs to contribute to
and most importantly
9. I have two kids to raise.

I am taking a much needed break from #s 1-8 so I can focus more on #9

see you later alligators.

Sprout Natural Parenting is opening a store on Church Street in October. They currently have a store in Brattleboro VT.

Here is a blurb from their brochure:

Sprout is a retail storefront and online store dedicated to natural parenting. New England's most comprehensive and holistic natuarl parenting store. Everything you need for the pregnant mom, baby and young child: slings and carriers, cloth diapers, organic and ecofriendly children's clothing and shoes, breastfeeding support & supplies, gear, furniture, books & resources, natural health, nursing & maternity wear, wooden, waldorf & montessori toys

They also have a changing station, play cubbies, nursing chair, gift registry, shipping & phone orders.

Sprout was voted "Best of Vermont Eco-conscious Baby Shop" by Boston Magazine in 2007

they will be located at 110 Church street in October. For those local folks they are talking over the space where Discover Channel store used to be.

The brattleboro location is 57 elliot street, brattleboro 802-254-2600

online store coming soon

Yeah I am pretty much going to camp out the night before they open and probably just end up living in their store. It is about time we got a store like this. I have been dreaming of doing something like this one day but at least someone is doing it and doing it very well it seems.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Mama Says

Rockergirrl has joined Mama Says as a new contributor.

Mama Says is a collobrative blog. A vehicle for the voice of the mother.

Linda began Mama Says in 2004. It has evolved from a print newsletter to a blog/list-serv + political/social action circle.

Linda is also the owner of Vermont Diaper Company
She has many other ventures up her sleeve. I have a feeling we will be colloborating quite a bit in the near future.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Recent Toy recalls

Everyone is in a tizzy over the latest recall. Everyone agrees something needs to be done. My solution? Stop spending money on these companies who choose to continue to use factories which are not abiding by our laws. We can blame China as a whole all we want but the reality is the company who chooses where their manufacturing will be done. It is up to the company to make sure the factories are producing products which pass our countries laws and standards. It is up the the company to do better testing etc. China is not all to blame. Fisher Price, Mattel and so on are also to blame. So stop supporting them. Choose to spend your money on better quality products. Choose to spend your money on a company who isn't shoving characters and kid advertising down our throats.

so that is my two cents. Don't ban just the country of China. Look also at the offending businesses that continue to choose factories that they fail to oversee properly.

Here are some alternatives
Rosie Hippo
Nova Natural
And for a plastic alternative Playmobil - Playmobil is a European company who makes high quality plastic toy figures and settings. Most of their products are for older children but they do now have a line called 1*2*3 for the little ones. The pieces are bigger etc. I love their products and my kids love their products. It is the only plastic stuff we own. They engage a child's imagination. They don't just just spin around making stupid noises.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Enzo lost his first tooth today. He actually started crying when it fell out. He was extremely upset because he said he didn't want it to be over. He didn't want it to fall out. It took us a while to calm him down. Enzo has always been an emotional kid. He is very sensitive to things that most kids his age would not even pick up on. He reminds me a lot of myself when I was little. Although he said he was upset because he wanted to keep wiggling the tooth I could tell there was much more going on inside of him that perhaps even he could no verbalize. The phase where a child loses there teeth means they are leaving an part of their childhood behind as they enter a new phase. He of course does not know about this but I am sure there is something inside of him that feels it. I can vividly remember having a hard time with every phase of growing up. Inside I would be very upset at the thought and signs that I was growing up. Perhaps it was because I was the youngest and I felt bad that my parents were losing their baby. Perhaps I was just scared to lose my childhood. I had a small pang in my heart when I watched Enzo cry today. A small part of me wanted to cry with him and for him. A part of me could remember and relate to the mixed emotions one feels when phased with the obstacles, excitement and worry of growing up.

Strut Fashion Show

Mark your calendars now. The South End Art Hop is quickly approaching. This year I am proud to announce I will unveiling a few pieces from my new collection at the Strut Fashion show put on by the Art hop. There are two dates for the fashion show this year. The main clothing categories will show on Friday Sept7th at 9pm. The show I will be in is on Saturday Sept8th at 3pm for jewelry, accessories and kids.

I am very excited about my new collection. I have been busy preparing for it. Birthing a new collection is exciting. I love all aspects of it. Right now I am finishing up the three pieces I will be presenting at the fashion show. This collection is something completely new for me. It is very different from everything I have done up to this point. I hope you will join me on Saturday Sept 8th for the big unveiling.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

What a weekend. On Saturday we headed down to our CSA farm to pick our weekly share of flowers and beans. We do our veggie pick up on Thursdays but they allow you to do the pick you own portions anytime during the week. It allows us to wait until the weekend when JB can come with us. The kids loving going there and it such a lovely place to be. Saturday night JB and I had our second date all year. My lovely neighbors offered to babysit the kids again. They are the best neighbors I could ever ask for. I feel so lucky to live next to them. We decided to go to an early movie and ended up seeing Stardust. I liked it. Some my think it was cheesy but we both actually enjoyed it. It was a cross between The Princess Bride and The Holy Grail. After the movie we sat outside of a local watering hole and had a beer.

It was so nice to be out with JB. It was amazing to be downtown on a Saturday night too.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Kid Rock

My absolute favorite children's musician Justin Roberts is coming to Higher Ground Music in South Burlington on October 13th for a special Noontime show.

If you have kids you cannot miss this show. I am super picky about what kind of children's music gets played in this house. No Barney crap here. This guy is enjoyable for both kids and adults. I actually like putting his CD on to listen to with the kids. If you are looking to buy one to get to know his music a bit better I recommend Great Big Sun as your first choice. It is by far the BEST.

Friday, August 03, 2007


My mom is out of the hospital Things are still unknown right now and I will post more as I know more but for now I would rather not. Life changes and family changes and we will get through whatever obstacles are ahead because that is what families do.

Enzo has his first loose tooth. I can't believe it. The dentist noticed it a few months ago at his cleaning but it wasn't until recently that it became all wobbly. He seems too young to me (he will be 6 in October) but the dentist said it happens between ages 6 and 7. I is yet another milestone. A big one for me though. the change of teeth. I am not a Waldorf purist by any means. My children do not even attend Waldorf schools. I have however been reading Waldorf inspired parenting books since I was pregnant and have incorporated many aspects of it into our home life. In Waldorf world the change of the teeth is a significant time for children. It demonstrates physical changes as well as an awakening to the world which eventually leads to the child exiting the early childhood behind.

I already see many changes in him both physically and mentally. I am so proud to watch this growth but at the same time I cannot deny a slight sadness I feel as well.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

For Mom

Summer at Stricker's Pond
Originally uploaded by Mingfong
My mom is in the hospital. These flowers are for you mom.


Friday, July 27, 2007

Isn't it ironic?

Ok this is insane. I wrote the post yesterday about getting all my replacement music from when my basement flooded a few months ago and you will never believe what happened yesterday. My freakin' basement flooded AGAIN. I thought I was going to lose my mind. The exact same thing happened as before. I put in a load of laundry, came upstairs to hang towels on the clothes line and then started dinner. About an hour later I went to wash a few dishes and noticed there was no hot water. I could hear the wash downstairs still going and all of a sudden I got a sick feeling in my stomach. I opened the basement door, walked downstairs and proceeded to scream "Oh no not again" at the top of my lungs. The entire basement was once again flooded with water. This time it wasn't as bad. We had almost 6 inches last time. This looked more like 2 inches but still it covered corner to corner of the basement. I started freaking out and the kids started freaking out. I felt so bad that I could not stay in control.

This really came at a bad time. I just had contractors here the same day telling me how much I was going to have to spend to fix extensive window rot I have going with three windows in our house. Now I have a deductible to pay and a new washer to buy. Also JB has been working 7 days a week until midnight and now all of a sudden we have to both be available somehow to clean up the basement. That won't go over very well at his work. So Serve Pro came out once again and installed a pump last night. All the water is now gone but we now must have their industrial sized dehumidifiers and fans going down there for several days until it is all dried out.

So I am pretty much a stress case. I feel overwhelmed. I really didn't need to add going to the Laundromat three times a week to my already hectic life. I don't need another thing I can't afford to pay for go wrong with this house. I need things to calm down. I need my husband to not have to work so much so we can share the load more. I need a vacation.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Music to my ears

A few months ago my basement flooded. The bad news is we lost many boxes of books and cassette tapes. The good news is we got insurance money to replace them. Since cassettes are no longer being produced we were able to spend money on CDs. I haven't bought much new music in the past few years. One of the luxury items I had to give up when I chose to quit my job. So you can image how exciting it was for me to be given a dollar figure and told to go shopping on Amazon. It was extremely hard. There was so much pressure. How do you choose what to get? Well I just got my shipment in. You might be surprised by the selection but here we go.

Pearl Jam - the latest one
Wilco - Sky blue sky
Son Volt - The Search
Modest Mouse - Good news for people who love bad news
Neko Case - Ffox Confessor brings the flood
Death Cab for Cutie - Transatlanticism
Sarah McLachlan - Surfacig
Neil Young - Prairie Wind
The Donnas - Gold metal
Evanescence - Fallen
R.E.M. - The best of the IRS years
The Postal Service - Give it up
Tori Amos - Bee keeper
Built to Spill - There's nothing wrong with love
Death Cab for Cutie - Plans
Norah Jones - Come away with me
Bob Marley - Legend
Belle and Sebastian - if you're feeling sinister
Brightblack Morning light
Pink - I'm not dead
My Morning Jacket - Okonokos
Tori Amos - American doll posse
Modest Mouse - We were dead before
Ryan Adams - Rock n roll
Cat Power - The Greatest
Bright Eyes - Cassadaga
Bright Eyes - I'm wide awake it's morning
Ryan Adams - Easy Tiger
Kelly Clarkson - My December (ok shut up)
Heavenly States - Black Comet
Joss Stone - Mind, body soul

Now I just need to find time during the day when I can safly listen to some of these without my kids picking up some new bad words.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Strap it on

I bought myself a new guitar this weekend. I am quite thrilled. When I moved to CA in 1998 I had to sell my cherry red Fender strat because I had decided to only take my acoustic with me. I have been without an electric since then. This weekend E an I headed to our local music store for a big sale they were having. Our mission was to get him some drum sticks because he started taking lessons. Well we came home with a bit more than drum sticks. I also found a great deal on a Fender Squire that came with a mini amp and I just could not pass it up. I am in love. It is actually the inspiration I needed to practice more and practice differently.

Saturday, July 21, 2007


I dug up my hastas last fall and since then the side of my house has been bare. I thought with the cart load of flowers I bought the other day I should use some to fill in the space.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Flower score

This was my cart at the end of my trip. It barely fit in my car with two kids and a dog.

Claussen's is having a All-U-Can Carry sale starting today.
All you can carry for $20.00 or a cart load for $40.00

I chose the cart and ended up with probably hundreds of dollars worth of flowers.

It felt like Christmas today.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

This I believe

On October 7, 2006 Michelle Gardner-Quinn was brutally murdered. She was a UVM student. She was taken from our downtown streets and forever taken away from us. I did not know her personally but the crime shook up our entire community.

Two days before she was murdered she submitted an essay to her environmental studies class. This video made for Live Earth contains experts of that essay. The essay is read by Tipper Gore, Sarah Ferguson the Duchess of York, Goldie Hawn, Kate Hudson, Sheryl Crow, Meg Ryan, Emily Proctor and Michelle's Mother Diane Gardner Quinn.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

World Breastfeeding Week is Coming!

Burlington's Celebration, sponsored by the Chittenden County Breastfeeding Promotion Coalition and La Leche League of Burlington, will be held on August 4th, 10:00 am - 2:00 pm, at Contois Auditorium in City Hall, on Church Street, downtown Burlington.

Read more info on the event here.

I attended the event last year and it was wonderful and empowering. I will attend this year for sure.

Please pass this info on. Spread the word. Get involved.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

In support of all the strong women out there I know I give you this.

My friend over at Vinceland wrote this amazing post called

Girls are the New Guys

I think it is fantastic and so is he.

He gives a shout out to me in it too so I thought I would return the favor.

Give it a read.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007


So I wanted to apologize for getting all crafty on this blog lately. I have been toying with getting rid of my studio blog and combining it into this one and then changing the name. I have decided however to keep them separate. I will continue on here with my opinionated rants and raves regarding parenting, products and sometimes politics. My studio blog will continue on its own as my creative space.

see you back on the dark side soon.

Monday, July 09, 2007

Exciting News

Starting Wednesday I will be selling earrings at Studio STK's Art to Go store in Burlington VT.

These 5 will be the first pairs I deliver on Wednesday. If you are not local do not worry. They will be launching an ecommerce site soon. So stay tuned.

Stop in if you are local or check back on the site for the launch of their new online shop.

Monday, July 02, 2007

I am

I am an artist. It has taken me almost 20 years to be able to finally use that label. Since school I have dabbled in so many different things only half doing them well that I never felt worthy of that title. I have been writing poetry since elementary school, taught myself guitar, took up photography, pottery, singing and jewelry making in high school. Through college and beyond I still did many of these hobbies in my spare time but I was always jealous of friends of mine who had one direct interest.

Becoming a parent has changed me. It has given me the confidence I needed to pursue my dreams and finally see myself as a creative soul. Many people believe that having children will hurt their creative edge. For me it sharpened mine. I now have more drive to embrace my hobbies and own them as my own. I now find creativity in areas I never imagined. Cooking, gardening and home improvements are other areas of home inspired creativity I immerse myself in on a daily basis. Whether it is making homemade pesto from our garden grown basil or painting my front door purple I choose to make my home a place of inspiration through color, design and lots of flowers. All of this feeds my current passion for designing jewelry and also keeps me writing and playing guitar as well.

I am an artist. I choose wear this title with pride. I choose to be whoever I want to be. I choose to never back down from my dreams. I choose to show my children the importance of finding their passion.

I am creative, strong, weak and driven. I want to dream and weep, write and scream, play lost songs to searching souls. I want to raise my sons to be anything but the ordinary. I am a seeker, a dreamer , a dancer in the darkness.

Saturday, June 30, 2007

Magic cottage gets a facelift

I have always wanted a purple front door. Today I picked out the most glorious shade of purple and made my dream come true. Now my magic cottage looks even more magical.

Before the purple paint
After the purple paint
After the purple paint