What is wilson silverleaf? We're organitarians; it's best for our bodies and the planet. We cloth diapered Nina for the same reason. We drive a hybrid car & wish we could afford solar panels on our house. I'm a strong advocate for homebirth, full-time mom, & also a movie junkie. We don't have a tv though; we watch dvds on our computer. We love contradancing. I garden & knit; Larry's a puzzle lover & plays fantasy football.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

csa still life

I love beautiful food.

why unmedicated, uninterventive birth is important

and any intervention should be rare

I am totally buying this video (the movie by the same people, Birth Into Being, is already on my wishlist).

Friday, June 27, 2008

you can dance!

Check out this site. It's the most awesome website I've seen in a while. Click on one of the round letters, which will launch a song. Then mouse over the letters on the keyboard to make the pipecleaner dance.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

now what?

So...my computer was shutting itself off, then not able to complete a restart. So the suggestion it gave me was to do a system restore. And it assured me that no data would be lost. Hmm. Then where are all of my pictures from the last year? That did cause it to boot up but only stayed on for about an hour. Then gone again*. Which figures, it's about 3 months out of the extended warranty and it is an HP, after all.

So, I'm gratefully accepting any and all suggestions except:
Never buy HP again (already all over that one)
Back up photos more often (yep, I know to do it, I just sometimes don't get around to it)
Crumple up in a heap on the floor and cry (if I do this I may not get up and there's a lot to do around here)

*I'm writing this on Larry's laptop.

green moving

A moving company that uses plastic boxes made from trash. You fill them and they pick them up and move them for you. The story starts at about the 2 minute mark.

What a great idea!

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

it's not fair

That phrase came out of Nina's mouth for the first time ever yesterday. I'm sure I'll be hearing it a lot more over the years, but the first time was pretty cute. I made it into a tickle contest so maybe she hasn't locked onto it as a catchphrase yet. Here's hoping...
Some random Nina-isms:
off the hook=Auntie Awie
The other morning Nina and I had a conversation in the bath. It went like this:
Me: who's funny?
Nina: you and me are funny
Me: who else?
Nina: you and me
Me: what about Auntie Awie?
Nina: Auntie Awie is funny; she's off the hook

Sunday, June 22, 2008

the princess carpenter

Nina was very "helpful"

I insisted that she use her own hammer, not ours

Nina's new floor!

Our friend Mark was kind enough to come over yesterday to teach us how to install our flooring. When he got here we had the carpet out of the room but there were still linoleum tiles on the floor; we decided that we should just take it out since there were a few tiles missing and it was coming up very easily (I think they were original in the house). So we spent longer than we should have cleaning up the floor but Mark was very patient about it. And now we know how the floor should look before we start any of the other rooms. This first pic is the moisture barrier (to prevent moisture from coming up out of the ground and the concrete slab and destroying the flooring--I never even thought of something like that). I peeled it back a little to show the slab underneath.

Here are the first two courses. The blue tape on the walls is just holding the moisture barrier in place.

Mark is teaching Larry how to use the miter saw he was kind enough to bring over and leave here for us to use on the other rooms.

Almost done, just doing some figuring about how to do the doorway. All that's left to do is that little strip of blue.

All done! We still need to buy and put on the baseboards but it's really nice. It has a little of that hollow feeling of floating floor but so far I'm super happy with it.

gluten free pancake mix

Pancakes on Sunday are a tradition that I have carried over from my childhood into my own adult family. And since going gluten free that has been more difficult. I had been using the Arrowhead Mills mix but it's made with rice flour and rice flour is always a little gritty, I think. So I decided to try making my own and I think they came out really well (the real test will be waffles).

I used:
1 cup amaranth flour*
1 cup coconut flour*
1 cup tapioca flour
1 cup sorghum flour
3 tbsp baking powder
Mix together well, store in a glass jar. When you're ready to make pancakes, mix 1 cup of mix with 2 eggs, 1 tbsp oil, and enough milk (whatever kind your family uses except rice) to make it pancake batter-ey.


*organic--if I could find the other flours organic that's what I would use.

awesome bike

I just found this child carrying bicycle; click here for more info (hint--you can use it as a stroller or a stand alone bicycle too). It has room for two kids or one and some groceries. It seems like the biggest learning curve would be remembering that the front of your bike is longer than usual.

It's not a bakfiets, but seems like a good option. Maybe better?

I don't love the idea of a trailer (I know I would be looking back all the time) and the add on seats on the front and back seem like they wouldn't be comfy for very long (though my child slept in one). Now I need someone in SoCal to start carrying them (they are being sold in Aug 08) so I can try one out.

Friday, June 20, 2008

first underwater pic

It was a hot day today. So after playgroup we headed over to my mom's house and hung out by the pool. Very nice. I decided to "take the plunge" and try out the camera underwater. Considering that I didn't frame the pic (I wasn't underwater) and the pool is a bit cloudy because it needs to be refinished, I think it came out pretty well.

pedal mamas

Some of my friends have put together a blog about cycling with kids. Check it out here.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

so glad we have insurance

We got the bill for Nina's hospital stay the other day. Wow. There were two nebulizer treatments that I couldn't have done myself (don't have the equipment) and the regular monitoring of her blood oxygen saturation (though I could buy a machine to do that on Amazon for less than 100$). The rest of it I totally could have done from home for a lot less. But I'm happy Nina is healthy and so far hasn't relapsed.

smooth operator

Not sure why the sound goes in and out.

She's got some good moves.

drive carefully

I don't know when I started saying it obsessively. I know it's a nice sentiment but lately I've been getting a little crazy with it, like if I don't say it and Larry or my mom has Nina in the car and god forbid something happens, it would be my fault for not saying it. So yeah.

I said it tonight right before my mom took Nina off for a little impromptu sleepover. And it turns out that my mom does drive carefully. I know this because right before I buckled Nina into the car seat and gave her one more kiss I set the stuff I had in my hands on top of my mom's car. Said stuff being my brand new camera and an envelope containing about 1500$ worth of checks to be deposited by mail. Upon realizing this I frantically called my mom and she pulled over (I used the Earth equivalent of frack many times before I called). The camera was right where I had left it. And my husband went looking for the envelope and it was a few blocks away, with tire tread marks to let us know the ordeal it had been through.

Wow, am I relieved. And so so lucky to have gotten both back unscathed. Best of all, my lovely husband could have been (rightly so) super bummed at me. He laughed.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

oh the flowers...

I am always amazed at how gorgeous fuschias are. The sepals one color, then the Chinese lantern opens and it's a whole other color.

The purple is so velvety and then the stamen and pistil are pink. Breathtaking. They tend to be cool weather plants (shrubs, actually) so I may bring it in soon. Right now it is sitting in the shade of my dwarf navel orange tree, which may turn out to be an ok place for it.

And foxgloves. They're so amazing to me, I don't know why; this is the first time I've ever tried to grow them, though. So far, so good, and they're supposed to be perennial.

The pink! And the deep red spots with white margins. And there are so many of them on one stalk. Swoon.

nope, can't grow blueberries in San Diego

Umm, then what are these, mean Home Depot garden dept lady? Cause I'm pretty sure I just picked them off of the plant I am growing in my back yard. Sure, I had to put a cage around them so the birds didn't get them first, but once I did that, we started getting a few each day, with today's being the biggest crop so far. They're pretty tasty too.

And oh my goodness, it's going to be time to cage the strawberries soon, it looks like!

They've really grown a lot.

I'll have to remember to take a pic of our crookneck squash plants (seem to be having some blossom end rot, but very nice looking plants) and cantaloupe and watermelon. So exciting!

And my volunteer tomato patch is also coming along nicely too.

the rule of for(ward)...again

Remember when I talked about how much I HATE email forwards? Well, Weekend Edition Sunday addressed it today. It was nice to know that others feel the same way. You can listen to the story here or read it here. I was actually talking to a friend the other day about it and I think her feelings got really hurt when I told her that I almost always delete the messages without even reading them. And I'm truly sorry about that, I never meant to hurt her (I hadn't said anything for years, so why did I open my big mouth?). So sorry, S, if you're reading (I don't think she does read me, but just in case). It's not just you, I delete almost all forwards.

But I would love to get a personal email, even better a snail mail. Let's bring that one back!

morgan spurlock (of supersize fame) is back

And he's now doing a show called "30 Days" where he lives like someone else for 30 days. Here he is with his (then, they're married now) girlfriend Alex living on minimum wage for 30 days.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

cosy feet

My mom was in Maine a few weeks ago (she used to live in Freeport and still has a place there). She called me from L.L.Bean and asked me if there was anything I wanted. Without hesitation, I said "Wicked Good Clogs." And they are wicked good. I LOVE them.

And they're wicked comfortable too. Thanks, Mom and Rochelle.

wentworth puzzles

Our anniversary isn't for a couple of weeks now but Larry thought ahead and ordered my present early (wow!). And it came sooner than he expected so he insisted that I open it right away.

Ever since a friend gave us one as a hostess gift about 5 years ago I have been enchanted with Wentworth puzzles. I have 5 or 6 of them now, most bought by Larry. They are devilishly hard, with edges sometimes masquerading as insides and vice versa. And corners are almost never straightforward. But the best thing of all is that they have "whimsies" which were a feature of Victorian puzzles but hadn't really been used since then until this company brought them back. You can see that I've removed an umbrella whimsy from the middle top of this puzzle to show you. Pretty cool, huh?

a balanced look at c-sections and vbac

In the media, wow!!!

Delaware's C-section rate in 1995 statewide was 21.48%; in 2005, it was 29.94%. Sussex County's C-section rate in 1995 was 21.58%; in 2005, it was 33%. VBACs statewide in 1995 were 3.52%; no statistics were available for 2005. (source: CDC)

As rates for C-sections continue to rise both nationally and regionally, options for women in subsequent pregnancies — in particular for a trial of labor with the goal of vaginal birth after Cesarean, or VBAC (pronounced vee-back) — are dwindling.

C-Sections rise at record pace

What was once a decision to be made between a women and her healthcare provider is many times now being decided by a hospital, or more specifically, lawyers and insurance companies, putting women in this area at increased risk for losing control over their own health care and at more risk for future surgical births.

In the past 10 years, as VBACs have decreased and C-sections have increased; infant mortality — the traditional concern that led to Caesarian delivery — has stayed nearly the same, decreasing only slightly, from 7.57 (per 1,000 births) to 6.78 (per 1,000 births).

According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the national C-section rate rose to more than 30 percent in 2005, a full 4 percent higher than 2004 and a new United States record. The same report stated that the Cesarean rate had fallen dramatically between 1989 and 1996 — a period when VBAC was more widely accepted and encouraged — but has risen 46 percent since.

Click here for the rest of the article.

Friday, June 13, 2008

my id is my business, thank you very much

I've been saying for years that it's bogus for companies to require their sales clerks to ask for ID. One of the reasons is that I have been that sales clerk and for whatever measly hourly wage I was making I was not going to challenge someone who may have done who knows what to get a credit card that's not theirs. Simply not worth it. And minimum charges to use a credit card, don't even get me started, it violates the merchant's agreements with both Mastercard and Visa. Well, now Mastercard wants to know if either of those and two more violations have happened to you.

In order to make a MasterCard purchase, the merchant/retailer required a minimum or maximum amount.
The merchant/retailer is adding a charge for using your MasterCard card.
The merchant/retailer required identification.
A merchant/retailer displaying the MasterCard decal in their window refused to accept my MasterCard card.
I'm going to be filling out a lot of these.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

my favorite shoes redux

Arwyn came to visit and brought a new pair of See Kai Runs.

Now Nina sings the favorite shoe song about them. Her favorite color is purple.

And while we're at it, aren't those the cutest pants ever? Nina's grandpa picks out some really cute clothes for her.

new flooring in the house

Because of Nina's respiratory problems we decided to replace the carpets in our house. After much deliberation, we decided on cork. On the advice of the helpful people at Green Fusion (where Arwyn used to work), we chose Natural Cork Eco Cork, color cuero (dark will not look dirty easily, I am hoping) from Fast Floors, they matched a quote I got from another company. We bought enough to do all the rooms in the house that are currently carpeted (about 600 square feet).

It's click lock plank, whatever that means, and it's really pretty. And smooth.

Because Larry has no interest in DIY and I am not confident in my skills, we will wait until my mom can help us, then do one room at a time starting with Nina's room.

beautiful hbac video

She could have been induced for her "huge post dates" baby. He ended up being 11 lb 8 oz, 23 inches.

Absolutely wonderful. And hey, that's the pool I used, isn't it cute?

duck eggs!

I have been buying my eggs at the farmer's market from Gama Farms, but honestly the lady who sells them is not very nice. And nice is, well, nice. I even mentioned her lack of customer service savvy to the people selling the same eggs at another market and they didn't seem surprised to hear about it. So when someone posted on an email group I belong to about her neighbor who has chickens and ducks and wants to sell the eggs, I jumped right on it. When I am down to just a few eggs I will email her and she will bring more to her workplace, which is a few miles from my house. Yay!

We got duck eggs at often at the farmer's market in Bristol and quite like them. They tend to be bigger and eggier.

lighthouse shaped gummi bears

Obviously it seemed like a good idea at the time.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

remember yesterday when I was dragging ass?

Well, it wasn't much fun for Nina, we didn't go out and do anything, nor did I feel like doing much with her. By the time I started making dinner it was clear that she had too much energy so I told her to go outside and run around screaming.

it's like magic

I have known for a while that I can make deposits online with my bank but didn't try it until the other day when I had checks waiting for deposit and a negative balance in my account. It was so amazingly easy, just endorse the check "for deposit only to..." scan it (front and back), and then (and this is the super magic part) the money appears in the account immediately. As in instantly, right now, from the comfort of my home. I'm completely sold.


Tuesday, June 10, 2008

uncertainty about the new camera

Well, I do have 90 days to return it. When I took this picture I was really happy with it on the LCD readout on the camera. I mean, the subject is pretty awesome but even the cutest babies take bad pictures sometimes. This just happens to be a great pic of this particular cute baby. But if you click on the pic so it's maximized, you can see the the lines are blurry and not very clearly defined. Not sure why. Did I need to fiddle with the settings more and not just take pics on auto?

But then again, while the below is not a great pic, the edges are nice and crisp.

As are they on the below pic, taken in the same 5 minutes as the first one.

Of course, when I let Elaine play with the camera she took a brilliant pic. Maybe I'm just a dodo and shouldn't be allowed to use a camera at all.

Posted by Picasa

a favorite spring/summer meal

I made one of my favorite spring/summer meals tonight for dinner, stuffed patty pan squash. To make it gluten free, I used some cooked brown rice I had in the fridge. And since I was out of lemons, I thought it would be a nice time to try the preserved lemons* I have had sitting around on the counter for about a month and a half. I used the rind of half a lemon and it imparted a little hint of lemony flavor; I think next time I would use two halves (you don't use the pith and fruit).

*Here are a couple of recipes for making preserved lemons:
Simply recipes
and one more for good measure:
The Perfect Pantry

I believe I used the one from RecipeSource loosely

dragging ass doesn't even begin to cover it

So today I am doing the ASI test, and one of the stipulations is that you cannot have coffee on the day you do it. At all. None. It's totally inhuman and my addiction is such that I was considering having some after the last sample is collected also known as midnight. Before you start telling me how you kicked coffee and feel so much better now and don't drag ass at all now, you should know that I love coffee and am not all that interested in switching to decaf. I'm ok with it, really. And I wouldn't need to do the test if I wasn't dragging ass without the coffee. Before my adrenal fatigue really manifested itself I could go days without coffee and I am hopeful that I will again someday.

As I learned today, though, I do not function well in any of my job capacities (especially "mom") without coffee right now and will gratefully have some tomorrow morning (but not at midnight tonight). I'll be surprised if by that time Nina isn't making me a latte and pouring it down my throat in an act of self preservation.

Sunday, June 08, 2008

new family member!

Larry's sister Gina gave birth to Wilson on Friday, isn't he gorgeous? And cute and adorable?

Thursday, June 05, 2008

spoof article on NY hospital's ban on vaginal birth

A little late, but...
What strikes me as sad is how plausible this is. Though no hospital today has a vaginal birth ban, many effectively do because of interventions being standard rather than the exception (the first being induction of labor, which doubles a woman's likelihood to have a c-section). The rest of the interventions tend to follow neatly.

New York City’s St. Sister Mercy General Regional Hospital, which is the nation’s largest hospital and presides over more births than any other facility, announced today* that it would no longer offer vaginal deliveries. Hospital spokesperson John Smith stated, “We were on track to reach a 75% c-section rate within the year, and believe that women unnecessarily suffer when they attempt labor with a very small chance of being successful in our facility. Because most of our patients will eventually need repeat cesareans anyway, we believe that we are getting them off to the best possible start. We are encouraging other hospitals to adopt the same policy.” The hospital is also letting go its team of certified nurse midwives, banning doulas, and banishing fathers back to the waiting room. According to Smith, “Given our new policy of cesarean birth for all women, we feel that support personnel are not needed for our patients, and simply get in the way of the physicians’ work.”
Click here to read the rest...

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

now this is a conference I want to attend

You can read more about it here (but turn down your speakers, for some reason the site has super annoying techno running on default).

more camera testing

I took these in the rain. Not a driving rain, mind you, but water was coming from the sky and I was clicking away.

These lilies of the nile were here when we moved into the house and I'm so glad; I never would have planted them but they are really beautiful and the hummingbirds go nuts over them.

I definitely want feedback on the quality of the pics taken with this camera; I have 90 days to return it.

The camera had some trouble focusing on this one, it wanted to focus on something in the background, even though I had it on the super macro setting. I got one blurry one and this one.

amber necklaces

A couple of months ago the co-op I started bought a whole bunch of amber necklaces (they're supposed to be good for teething but I just like amber a lot). Anyway, Nina's is super cute and I really like mine too, but a couple of weeks ago the clasp broke. I was bummed and finally got around to emailing the seller. She sent out a new one right away (I still have to send her the broken one, will do it soon). So a shout out for Inspired By Finn, good customer care.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

innocuous seeming drinks

I haven't had any of these (though the Baskin & Robbins one I might still try, even knowing the "skinny" about it). And if you know me at all you will know that fat from coconuts doesn't scare me at all (pina colada is just too sweet for me though).

This is lifted from Yahoo Health.

Worst "Healthy" Drink
Glaceau VitaminWater (any flavor; 20 oz bottle)
130 calories
33 grams sugar

Vitamins and water might sound like the ultimate nutritional tag team, but what the label doesn’t say is that a bottle of this stuff carries nearly as much sugar and calories as a can of Coke. Makes sense, though, since this so-called functional beverage is produced by our often-sugar-crazy friends at The Coca-Cola Company.

Worst Juice Imposter
Arizona Kiwi Strawberry (23.5 oz can)
360 calories
84 g of sugar

These hulking calorie cannons (5 percent juice, 95 percent sugar water) are sold at gas stations and convenience stores across America for the low, low price of 99 cents, making this quite possibly the cheapest source of empty calories in the country.

Worst Smoothie
Jamba Juice Peanut Butter Moo’d Power Smoothie (30 oz)
1,170 calories
169 g sugars
30 g fat

Jamba Juice calls it a smoothie; we call it a milkshake, with more sugar than an entire bag of chocolate chips. (Note: We're pretty sure this is the drink Hollywood actors rely on when looking to put on 20 pounds for the role as a heavy!)

Worst Summer Cocktail
Pina Colada
625 calories
75 g sugars

Made from a blend of sickly-sweet pineapple juice and fat-riddled coconut milk, pina coladas may be this summer's biggest beach-body saboteurs. In fact, the only redeeming part of this drink is the garnish — that lonely chunk of pineapple hanging from the rim. Try a lime daiquiri or a mojito instead and save up to 400 calories a drink.

The Unhealthiest Drink in America
Baskin Robbin’s Large Heath Bar Shake (32 oz)
2,310 calories
266 g sugar
108 g fat (64 g saturated)

Let's look at America's Worst Drink in numbers:

73: The number of ingredients that go into this milkshake.
66: The number of teaspoons of sugar this drink contains.
11: The number of Heath Bars you would have to eat to equal the number of calories found in one Baskin Robbins Large Heath Bar Shake.
8-12: The average number of minutes it takes to consume this drink.
240: The number of minutes you’d need to spend on a treadmill burning it off, running at a moderate pace.

for the love of blogroll

Hey, I think I'm missing some people over there on the sidebar blogroll. If you read me but aren't there, give me a shout and I'll add you on.

and speaking of cool presents

When we were visiting my sister last month she gave Nina this super cool toy:

It's like the old felt type scenes I had when I was young, only it's vinyl. You can totally pimp out these two little girls and their room. Nina really loves playing with it.

my favorite shoes

They are really cute shoes, Arwyn bought them for her a couple of months ago.