Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Operation Orcas Take 2

(Above is a picture that Gary took on Orcas a few weeks ago.  Little Ms. Serafin is playing in her first snow!  Wish I could have been there, but here's hoping to many many more days like this!)

I'm happy to report that Gary has found a few potential homes on Orcas Island!  Finger's crossed!  It's good he went up first, he's definitely the more practical of the two of us.  I'm better with energy and flow--go figure.  Now I get to go up and really just sit and "feel" the homes.  I'm heading off on Monday to be coming home on Friday.  

It's going to be a whirlwind trip, to be honest, I'm not too excited about it.  I'm looking forward to seeing the houses, but I will be traveling with the little one and I'm a bit nervous about it.  I never travelled with Serafin when she was this young and especially never travelled with her alone.  A couple of weeks ago I would have said I was excited, but Silas has been thrown off since he had the stomach flu and now he is teething hard--we're talking up every 1-2 hours.  Not fun.  That said, at least I won't have to think about dirty dishes, getting dinner on the table, feeding cats and dogs and doing dirty laundry, blah blah blah.  It will be an adventure with me and the boy!

How long does it take to get to Orcas?  Well, here's the plan.  I leave for the airport around 8:00 in the morning for a 10:00 flight.  I arrive in Seattle around noon, get a car, drive to Anacortez (where the ferry leaves from) which is 2-3 hours depending on traffic.  There is a 3:30 ferry or a 6:55 ferry.  I'm assuming I will make the late one as I will be needing to stop for food and also to feed the little butterball.  Plus, I rather not push myself and simply take my time.  It is a long trip, but it's also very enjoyable.  Who knows, maybe I'll do a little shopping, I'm thinking I might need a pair of warmer pants!  

Once on the ferry it's about an hour to Orcas.  The ferry is the most enjoyable part for me.  Even Orcas Islanders say that the ferry is kind of like built in social time.  Granted, I have a feeling that planning for ferry rides around off island Dr.s appointments or grocery runs will likely be a pain in the you know what!  However, there is a price to pay for beautiful land, fresh air and a quiet life.  Have I ever mentioned that there are no traffic lights on Orcas?  Wow!

Anyway, wish me luck.  I'll need it!

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Tasty Teas # 4: Goddess Tea

This is one of my favorite FAVORITE teas.  Wait, did I mention this is one of my favorite teas? I probably drink this one more often than any other tea in my arsenal.  I call it Goddess Tea because it is particularly good for women, especially for those that are pregnant and breast-feeding.  The combination of herbs was first given to me by my herbalist during my pregnancy with Silas and I even remember drinking a rendition of it years ago while pregnant with Serafin.  I loved it so much that I continue to drink it in large quart size jars at least 3-4 times a week.  In my opinion, it's WAY better that the "Pregnancy Tea" you get in the super market, plus if you buy the herbs in bulk, it's much cheaper too.  

This tea is good for pregnant mamas, breast-feeding mamas, mamas in general, women in general, PEOPLE in general!  One of the reasons why this tea is probably more geared towards pregnant women is because of the red raspberry leaf, which is known to aid in reproductive health and tonify the uterus.  The tea also has Oat Straw, rich in calcium and great for building bones (it has a reputation for being great for those with osteoporosis) and Nettles an herb that helps strengthen blood vessels, is full of iron and keeps swelling down in the body.

For pregnant women, I recommend drinking this tea throughout gestation, but particularly in the third trimester, at least 3-4 cups a day (please be sure to check with your care provider to cover all bases).  Here's what I did, and still do (!).

I buy the herbs in bulk and mix them together in a large jar for fresh keeping.

Goddess Tea:
2 parts Raspberry Leaf
2 Parts Nettles
1 Part Oat Straw

Make the tea in the morning in a large quart size jar, use about 1 tablespoon per cup,  let it steep for a few hours, the longer it sits, the richer it gets.  Sip through out the day and enjoy!  When I drink it I feel the goodness seeping into my cells.  It really is one of my favorites!

Monday, March 26, 2012

Where to Buy Your Herbs, . . .

Mmmmmm, just went to the "herb store" today.  I was low on a lot of goodies that I was in need of, especially after this last bought of stomach flu.  When I got home I re-stocked and admired the beautiful colors in my full herb closet.  Drinking tea is that much more enjoyable when everything is easy to get at and looks pretty.

Some of you have asked where I get my herbs.  Before mom died, I used to go and scour her garden to see what yummy things I could find there.  Aside from being an amazing herbalist, she also had a very green thumb. In her garden, you could find anything that would be in a standard herb garden such as peppermint, oregano, lavender, and rosemary, to other wonderful herbs like lemon-balm, cat nip, St. John's wort, calendula, echinacea, mullen and so much more.  In the spring, her garden blossomed to its fullest potential, we would walk together and she would tell me "what was what" and "what it was good for".  After she passed, my beginner herbalist knowledge only recognized about 35% of it, I should have taken notes!

Now I learn as I go.  I have some wonderful resources for natural healing and my knowledge grows slowly and as needed.  When I can't get my herbs fresh from a garden, I usually go to a local herb store.  I like to look and smell inside the jars when I ask for something.  I also like speaking with a person directly incase I might have any questions.  For those of you in the east bay area, you can find herbs at the Lhasa Karnak Herb Company, they have two locations, but I recommend the Telegraph store as it is larger and has more to offer.  I always enjoy my trips there, they are knowledgeable and friendly.

For those that don't have the time or desire to make a trip out just for herbs, an herbalist friend of mine, very trustworthy, has suggested two places to shop online.  Mountain Rose Herbs and Pacific Botanicals.  I haven't tried them yet, but I'm sure if (and when) we move, I won't have the luxury to shoot down to the local herb shop.  These two places will be my starting point.  

Anyway, that's all for now!  Hope you find your herbs!  

Saturday, March 24, 2012

"The Crows of Pearblossom" Art Project Part I: The Nest

One of Serafin's favorite books is The Crows of Pearblossom by Aldous Huxley.  In this book, a rattlesnake sneakily eats the eggs from the nest of a female crow, Mrs. Crow, while she is out for the day.  When she catches him in the act and tells her husband about it, him and a friend figure a way to outsmart the snake.

I can't tell you how many times we've read this book, it's one of my favorites too!  Since it's been so rainy and we are always looking for new activities, I thought it would be fun to create some of our own story props, that way we can play with them and read the book at the same time!  I first started with the nest, . . .

It took me two rounds to figure out how to get the nest to work out.  I think if I did it a third it would turn out even better.  I, however, am going to stick with what we've got for now,  it will do for our purposes!  

To make up the nest, Serafin first picked some pieces of construction paper that she liked the colors of, I then stuck them in the shredder.  I used about five large sheets and was surprised that I actually ended up using all of it.  
Next I covered a small bowl in plastic wrap and got the glue ready.  In a tall container I put in about 1/3 cup of glue an 1/3 cup of water, I used Mod Podge because I knew it would dry clear.

We then added the shredded paper to the gluey mixture.

Then pushed it all down and made what we called construction paper soup.  

We then molded the nest to the plastic covered bowl.  

Admittedly, I did most of the work.  Serafin kind poked around adding scraps of paper and making the  usual amusing commentary that she does while we do projects together.

When your finished molding, you will have goopy mess, don't try lifting it off the cardboard, just pick the entire thing up and place it in front of a space heater.  It will be wet and need help drying.  Rotate it about every 40 minutes.  The first time around I tried to dry it by sticking it next to the heating vent and that just wasn't enough heat power.    The outside dried but the inside stayed wet and when I went to pick it up, the entire thing fell apart.  

When it becomes really hard on the outside, slide a knife under the nest to detach it from the cardboard, hold the nest in one hand like you would a bowl and carefully lift the cardboard.  Remove bowl and plastic wrap and put in front of the heater to thoroughly dry the inside.  In a couple of days it will be super hard and you will have your nest!

Soon we are going to work on Mrs. Crow's eggs, they are green with black spots.  I'm thinking paper mache.  It will be just in time to start decorating our Easter Eggs too!  Afterall, it's always good to kill two birds with one stone!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Who Needs Pedialyte?

Electrolyte Water (yes, this is Dr. approved):

1 cup of warm water
1 Tsp of Baking Soda
Pinch of sea salt
(for a little sweetness, you can add a Tsp of honey for kids over 1 year old)

Whew!  Being a parent is one of the most amazing experiences, . . . as well as being one of the most amazingly difficult experiences too.  Remember "The Salt Pack" that I wrote about a few days ago?  The one where I talked about our house being Barf Central?  I can officially say I have been knee deep in barf these days.  Soooo not fun and the worst part of it is seeing those that you love suffer.  I HOPE HOPE HOPE I don't get this one.

After seeing the hubby and daughter go through it, poor little Silas caught the bug.  I have never seen my little smiling boy so upset and unhappy.  He hasn't been eating hardly anything and what he does, keeps coming up. The past few hours have been a marathon of trying to get him to drink a Tablespoon of electrolyte water, I then pumped and let him suck on my nipple till he fell asleep so he wouldn't barf from getting too much breastmilk.  Poor little babe.  If he doesn't keep this down, we are off to the Dr soon.  

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Lettuce and Celery Prints

I've seen these done so many times before, they always turn out so pretty.  Once again nature gets five stars for its ornate beauty.  I do have to say though, after Serafin got through with playing with the paint, we had a purple mess everywhere (what's new?).  Oh, I did I learn a new trick for keeping the back of your chairs clean, use a pillowcase!  Unfortunately I wasn't thinking ahead and it was a little late before the "aha" moment.  Good thing I'm re-upholstering them.

Fortunately I got her smock on her before this began!  Look at that devilish look!

"Forget stamping, I want to finger paint!!"

The masterpiece!


Saturday, March 17, 2012

The Salt Pack

We've been having a series of stomach bugs going through this house.  It's been brutal.  I've been calling it Barf Central the last couple of days.  I read recently about salt packs and how they bring circulation and energy areas in need.  Salt is said to relax muscles and reduce spasms.  Perfect for tummy trouble.  

Determined to find some comfort for my sweeties (the hubby had it too) I heated up two cups of sea salt in a pan for about 5 minutes on medium heat.  I kept feeling for the temperature with my hand, once it got to hot to touch, I left it another 30 seconds and then pulled it off.  I poured the salt into two small pillow cases, one for each sicky.  On Serafin's, I tied a ribbon at each end to make it toddler proof, we don't want salt all over the bed (plus, it added a little flare).

The amount of heat was amazing!  It got very hot, very fast and retained the hot temperature for quite some time, I'd say about 30 minutes.  Both my sweeties held the packs on their bellies.  Don't know if that's what helped, but they seem to be feeling a little better today.  Can't wait for this one to be OVER!  Yack!

Friday, March 16, 2012

Tasty Teas #3: Elderberry

Elderberries are wonderful.  So rich in vitamin C.  We drink this "tasty tea" to ward off a cold or flu.  You can drink it when you start to feel a bug coming on, or when you're in the thick of it .  It helps build immunity and repair your health.  Instead of steeping these little berries, you want to make a decoction.  

Put a tablespoon of berries in a medium size pot , cover with two inches of water, bring to a boil and simmer for 15 minutes.  

The result is this beautiful magenta colored tea. 

Add a spoonful of honey and you are on the mend!  The kiddos will love it too!

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Play Dough Fun!

Serafin and I had fun with play dough today.  I found a great recipe from this blogging mama, it's super easy.   After making it, we had an afternoon of experimenting! 

. . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Serafin loves to help me in the kitchen, today was especially fun because of the "pretty colors"!  Seriously, what would I do without food coloring?

We started with Aqua (above) and then moved to pink.

And of course, . . . it wouldn't be me if we didn't add orange!

After the dough cooled, I set up the table for some fun.

First, she made me "a cup of tea" (she's definitely my daughter!).

Then she practiced kneading.

"Let's try some other colors!"

And how about some "spaghetti"!

Pretty soon Silas wanted in on the fun, he wasn't so sure about it.

More experimentation and "color blending".

"Here ya go Mommy!  All done!"

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

For Serafin's Room, . . .

Remember those hearts I cast and molded a few weeks ago?  Well, I finally got around to putting this cute little piece together to hang up in my sweet Serafin's room.  She does love hearts and this way we can keep learning about a few new colors too!  

I have to admit, I miss the hubby and daughter, but since they've been gone I've managed to catch up on the laundry, throw in a few extra blog pieces, get a little more sleep, clean out my craft room and put this little art project together.  So nice!  Despite the fact that i'm still waking up three times a night to feed the babe, it has been like a mini-vacation!  Goes to show you how our perspective changes once we have kids!  I'm picking them up at the airport this evening, can't wait to wrap my arms around my sweeties!  Then, . . . it's back to the chaos!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

When Mom Died, . . .

I've been thinking so much about my Mom lately. On April 6th it will be two years since she passed. I can't believe it's been that long already and at the same time it feels like just yesterday. As the year mark comes around once again, I'm feeling the need to talk about my experience. In previous blog posts I have written about my mom's passing in brief, but I never really wrote about what happened and how I experienced it.

 The shock of losing somebody so special to me all of the sudden really changed my perspective on life. In so many ways my mom's passing was a catalyst for me to grow in a way that I needed. I have finally learned to not take advantage of this precious life. I treasure each and every second, even the ones that are painful. Life is beautiful in all its aches and pains.

Losing my Mom was the hardest thing I have ever experienced.  Feeling my grief and coming through it has also showed me how strong and resilient I am. I still miss my Mom every day, several times a day. I talk to her in my head, she answers. She is always with me and will always be. She was right there when Silas was born, she will be holding my hand when I die. I can feel her rolling her eyes when I do something she thinks is silly.  She tells me what to do when I need help. Her voice is inside me and if I am quiet enough I can hear her.

I've written birth stories on this blog, but now it's time to write another story. In my perspective birth and death are very similar. The moment we are born, we begin to die and the moment we die, we are reborn. The story of Mom's passing has had extreme significance in my life, how could it not?  I lost a mother, friend, role model, teacher, and soulmate.  

Since I was not with her at the actual moment of her death, I do not know what really happened with her. I often wonder if she knew it was happening. Did she struggle or did she let go and let nature take her? All I can say is that she looked very peaceful and died the way she wanted to, quickly. Only now, two years later have I been able to write it down, it hurt too much to even think about it before. My grief is still here and I remember the day like it was yesterday, but at the same time, I have also healed a lot and continued to live my beautiful life. I am grateful to have had such a wonderful Mom for 31 years.

When Mom Died, . . .

I came back home from a busy morning. First I had gone to my osteopath and then I was off to a meeting with some friends. I was in a great mood and excited to get home to my husband and daughter. It was a Tuesday afternoon. I entered the house around 1:15. Gary came to greet me in the hallway, he was holding Serafin in his arms. Immediately I could tell something was wrong. He was pacing back and forth and seemed nervous to talk to me. "Something has happened to your mom" he said, "I'm not sure exactly what, but it's serious." He instructed me to listen to the message on the answering machine. I turned it on. It was my Dad. I could barely understand what he was saying through his tears. All I got was, "Jess, where are you?" "Jess, I can't find you." My cell phone had been turned off. I picked up the phone and called him immediately.

I felt my body starting to tingle. I sat down in the living room. My Dad picked up the phone and started bawling. "She's gone!" he was saying. "Mom's gone!" What? I thought. Where did she go? What happened? I was so confused.

"What do you mean?" I asked him.

"She died." He said. He was crying so hard I could barely understand him.

"What? She died? How did she die? What happened?" I felt the hair on my arms stand straight up, my whole body buzzing.

"She just left." He said.

"Where is she?" I asked.

"She's here." My Dad sobbed. Somehow through all the tears, I managed to put some pieces together. He was at the house, the police had arrived and were there with him. Apparently he had spoken to my brother who had gotten him to call 911. It was too late anyway. My mom had passed long before they got there and even before my Dad had found her.

Later he told me that he had come down the stairs and there she was. He thought she was asleep. She looked so peaceful. She had an appointment to get a massage that afternoon and we found out later that she had apparently called and cancelled last minute because she wasn't feeling well and had a fever. We found the thermometer out on the table in the kitchen. My guess is that she went to sit down in her favorite spot to read her book, to rest, and that's when it happened.

I remember that terrible phone call crystal clearly. "I'll be right over" I told him. When I hung up my body felt heavy but my head felt light. I was dizzy and confused. My body was going into shock. I remember thinking I needed to breast-feed Serafin because it was going to be a while before I would be back home again. I sat down with her and nothing came. My milk dried up for a day and a half. I would try to feed her and my milk would just not let down.  I would cry and cry.  

I got in the car and drove to my Dad's house, "that's what it was called now, just Dad's house," I remember thinking. I didn't know what to expect. I arrived and walked up the steps wondering what I was going to see. I didn't know where she was in the house or in what position. Had they moved her or done anything to her? I opened the door and I noticed her immediatley. She was sitting on the couch in her favorite reading spot. Her legs were limp and her head hung to the side. Her eyes were closed. She really did look like she was sleeping. The book that she was reading was still on the floor, I'm guessing she dropped it.

I sat next to her body and sobbed. "My mommy!" I remember saying over and over again while crying into my hands. I went from kneeling over and sobbing to sitting quietly and just looking at her. It was unbelievable for me to be sitting with my mother's dead body. At times I would hold her hand or caress her face. Never before had I been so unafraid of death. My Dad came in. He had been sitting in the kitchen with the police officers. He told me that they had said not to touch her until her Dr. called and determined the cause of death. We didn't care what they said. I remember my Dad fixing her shirt and taking off her wedding ring. I remember taking the comb from her hair and kissing her cheek. What a  surreal experience.

The Dr. finally called and said that he suspected my Mom had had a heart attack given her health. Since she was over a certain age, 61, they didn't feel the need to do an autopsy. The police officers gave us instructions to call the morgue and have them come and get her after they left. We showed them to the door and closed it behind them. A cloud hung in the air. My Dad and I hugged and cried. We called my brother who had already spoken with my father and had plans to fly in that evening. He wanted to see mom before they took her away, so when we called the morgue, we asked them to come at 10:00 PM. By then it was probably around 4.

The next 6 hours were a blurr. I remember it in segments. I remember burning sage. I remember calling friends and family. I remember continually going and holding her hand. A few people came to the house during those hours, sweet Gary arrived (Serafin stayed home with my best friend) my parent's neighbors, my Aunt and Cousin and our dear friend Dave. We sat in the living room around my mom, talking about her, remembering her, telling stories, laughing and crying. I remember thinking Mom would have hated the thought of us sitting around and talking about her, she hated being the center of attention! My Dad opened some wine and we toasted to her.

It was such a strange but beautiful thing to have the experience of being with my mom's body one last time. It helped solidify the fact that she was really gone. She was. I had experienced death close up before, in pets, in the cadaver I dissected in college; but never for such a prolonged period and never with the death of somebody I held so close to my heart.  How was I going to go on without her?  Who would I ask mama advice to?  Who would be my role model throughout womanhood?  I looked at her body.  I knew she just wasn't in there. It was her body, she was somewhere else. There was an emptiness there.  It's amazing how the energy just simply goes.

My brother and his family arrived around 7. I remember seeing the sadness on his face.  He was also suffering.  At least we were all together now. It felt good to have him there. Somehow his presence and love brought me strength. We hugged and cried.

The morgue people came knocking on our door at 10 on the dot. There were two men dressed in suits. They sat us down at the dining room table asking my Dad questions and filling out paperwork. They explained what was going to happen so that we would be aware. My Mom was a big woman and it was not going to be easy to lift her up and out. When they finished talking we all went into the living room where my mom's body was.   I held my Aunt and sister inlaw's hand. The two men, attempted to try and lift her onto the gurney. My Dad asked if there was anything he could do and they instructed him to lift on one side. Both my Dad and brother helped lift.  Another surreal experience.  Her arms were stiff, riggermortis had begun to set in.  Another moment of, my mom is not there, her body is just a shell.  Once she was on the gurney, they pulled a plastic sheet over her, zipped it up and wheeled her out the front door. The house was quiet.

I don't know how, but somehow that night I got home and got into bed. I was exhausted, but I couldn't sleep hardly at all. I would wake up and sob throughout the night.  I would sob in my sleep. Finally, after my system crashed for a couple of hours, I remember waking up and my entire body was aching. My legs, my arms, my neck. Everything hurt, inside and out.

Afterwards, . . .

The first few days after mom passed I was in a dreamland. I remember being in the grocery store and thinking to myself, "how do I go on just buying my groceries when my life has changed so much?" I couldn't get the picture of mom's dead face out of my head.  Ugh.  I was afraid that was the only way I would remember her.  It wasn't of course, but the image in my mind was so vivid.  Those days I felt isolated and alone even though I was surrounded by friends and family who supported me and gave me their love.  The truth is, I was alone.  Nobody could feel what I was feeling, I had to face my grief myself and come through it.

My mom wanted to be cremated. We all went to her cremation. The crematorium was staged and it was all a bit too dramatic for my taste. I remember them opening the casket and showing us her face briefly. I was grateful that they hadn't put make up on her or done anything to her hair. She still looked like Mom. They pushed the casket onto a moving belt which took mom into the fire.  I could see the flames behind the wooden box that my Dad and brother had chose for her.  I felt so much grief.

It was only after mom's cremation that I began to feel a shift in the haze.  I suppose it was something to do with the fact that her body was now forever gone.  I knew instinctually that somehow I had to move forward.  The saying, "Life goes on" is so true.  We feel our pain, we suffer, but the night still comes and then the sun after that.  The flowers bloom.  The leaves fall from the trees.  Children are born and we all die one day.

My grief is still here. It comes in different ways at different moments. I believe it probably will come like that for the rest of my life.  Losing my mom forced me to see life through a different lens.  When I was a child, I was always afraid of pain and hurt.  I did my best to avoid any type of suffering.  Now I realize that pain is a part of life, it is one of the things that shapes us, just like love and happiness.  What would life be like without pain?  It is the pain that makes the enjoyable parts of life that much more enjoyable.  In fact, ignoring my pain only serves to numb me and live more superficially.  Even though it hurts, my pain is my pain, and it's there to teach me something.

I am grateful to have had that time with my mom's body after her death.  It helped me process her transition better.  It also has helped me with my own fear of death.  My mom continues to touch me in many aspects of my life.  She continues to deliver me gifts of insight and love either in my thoughts or dreams.  How lucky I am.  Love you mama.

Tasty Teas # 2: Tea for Teething

Guaranteed to knock both you and your child out!

Many of you have asked about the tea that I use for my teething children. I can not imagine not having these herbs on hand in my home.  I have found the stuff to work incredibly well to calm and sooth an unhappy child; whether they are teething, have a headache, over stimulated, whatever. It works like a charm on us adults too!  I've been drinking a cup every night these days, I kind of consider it my "night cap". It helps to wind me down and sleep better.  Silas gets it through my breast milk as well. 

I got the list of ingredients from Aviva Jill Romm's book, which I have plugged here.  The combination of herbs is simple; here's what I do: in a large jar, combine equal parts chamomile flowers, lavender flowers, catnip and lemon balm.  The longer you steep, the stronger it gets!  We keep this tea by the quart size jar in our house, it goes fast!

 When Serafin started teething at 5 months, I used to give it to her by the spoonful. When she got older I would put it in a bottle or a sippy cup and have her drink it herself, she still drinks it sometimes.   I'm sure I will do the same with Mr. Silas.  I have to give it to Mother Nature, she really does offer us some wonderful gifts!

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Operation Orcas!

(Ferry landing at Orcas)

Orcas Island that is!  Many of you know that we have been trying to move for a little while.  Orcas Island, in Washington, has been the target for a while now.  Last summer we tried for two homes and didn't get either of them.  The hubby and daughter just left today for some house hunting up there, I'm having high hopes.  As the year has passed my  desire to move to this little island in the sound has only grown stronger. It's beautiful, safe, it has a great community with a good school, people are friendly and you can see the stars when you look up at the sky at night.  What more can you ask for?

Granted, with every change in life, comes the positives and the negatives.  When we leave here, we will be leaving friends and family, a collective of resources and information, as well as the simple awesomeness of the Bay Area.  I've grown up here and, aside from college,  it has been my home ever since I can remember.  I will be sad to leave.

(The view from one of the  homes we are considering, incredible isn't it?)

That said, our family is ready for a new adventure and what a better place to start that than amidst the land's green and the water's blue.  Orcas Island has a lot of both those colors.  So friends, we will keep you updated as to what we find!  Please keep your fingers crossed for us!

Friday, March 9, 2012

30 Days Hath September, . . .

Serafin is in growth spurt (when are they not?). Her memory and speech seem to be skyrocketing these days. It's amazing to watch. Lately, we've been to a bunch of children's birthday parties and now all she can do is talk about when her birthday party will be. Well, "It's March!" I keep telling her, "Your birthday is in June." She doesn't seem to quite get it and when we go out, she keeps asking if we are going to her birthday party. I figured this would be a good way to start explaining about the yearly cycles.
After digging through pinterest (I'm a total addict now), I got some good ideas and came up with a calendar that I though suited our needs. I'm looking forward to seeing her progress with learning about the days and months. If anything, to start, I'm sure she will have fun pulling the labels off and putting them in the correct place with my help.

On the flip side of my calendar I threw on a piece of felt. I had some extra velcro and adhered Serafin's felt letters which I had bought for her a while back. Now we can really begin to learn our ABCs and eventually start spelling things out. Only problem is, I can't find the J or I. Serves me right for leaving them in a box and letting her play with them while I ran around trying to get some chores done. I suppose I will start with the calendar until they turn up. Gack!

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Tasty Tea # 1: Moon Tea

After waking up my usual time to feed Silas I noticed the moon was shining strong through the windows. I thought of my Mom and "moon tea". She loved making moon tea. I got my jug out, filled it with water and a hand-full of chamomile tea. Then I set it out to steep in the light of the moon. Yum. If you do make some moon tea, don't forget to cover it up so that bugs don't fly in, they sure do love chamomile. You can do it with any tea that steeps well in cold water, I just happen to love chamomile.

The picture above was the outcome I woke up to the next morning. Imagine it's dark out and the moon is reflecting off of this jug of water. It was actually quite beautiful, but I had problems catching it on my camera because it was friggin freezing out there and I was in my pjs, plus, I'm not that hardcore to insist on a good blog picture at one in the morning! Hope you make some and enjoy it!

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

"Orange Cupcakes!"

After being inspired by this blogger, I thought I would dig into my pantry and give Serafin a go.
I put a bunch of different goodies into a cupcake pan and let her go crazy. She wasn't too sure about it at first, but ended up having a lot of fun! Originally, the plan was to give her a jar and she would be able to pile everything in. The colors here were so pretty that I thought we might be able to put it on the table to admire her "sculpture" for the next few days. Boy was I wrong! It was my own fault though, I couldn't resist giving her water and orange food coloring, then all hell broke loose!




Let's experiment with our feet.

Now let's try different cooking instruments!


But not for long!

Still pretty, if you like orange.

Uh Oh.


It's all over now.

Finishing touches.



When I asked Serafin what she made she said, "Orange cupcakes!