Wednesday, February 19, 2014

A Post Valentines Day Reflection

For two years in a row I have posted rather dismal posts for Valentines Day. This year is a little different because something amazing happened. No I did not meet someone, and I am definitely not in a chocolate, champagne and roses mood. Instead I received my first Valentines Day card from the Bumper, and this mother's heavy heart became a little lighter.

As adults we tend to make a big deal about whether or not we are with that special someone on Valentines Day. The Bumper reminded me that loves is not just romantic, it is also for friends and family. I am glad for the reminder.

I am truly happy for all of my friends who are in happy, loving, and committed relationships. I will admit, however that was very difficult this year for me to share in the happiness, and lovey dovey-ness . The popular images of the day includes, candlelit dinners, hearts and couples staring adoringly into each others eyes. For someone who was in the middle of a separation and who is now in mourning, these images can be hard to bear.  Those images were particularly heart wrenching when I thought about what  I wanted for my marriage and want I actually had. The posts of the last two years reflected that.

This year I did not think of what might have been, instead  I allowed myself to be sad. I listened to some of our favorite love songs. I wept, then I smiled knowing the Bumper's dad is in no more pain.
When I went to pick up the Bumper from school my maudlin thoughts were dispelled by the sight of paper cut out hearts filled not with romantic sentiments, but childish innocence. The children's love was not limited but encompassed everything from Mommies and Daddies, pets, little brothers and sisters to grilled cheese sandwiches. I couldn't help grin. The Bumper's card for me hung underneath her name. On the outside it was covered in a mishmash of hearts on the inside in her teacher's handwriting it read: I love my mommy because she makes me hot dogs! I laughed right out loud. Such simplicity and generosity of spirit.

Later on the Bumper and I made a construction paper card for Nana. The Bumper's enthusiastic "Happy Valentines Day Nana!" could not have been more warmly received. I was reminded that love comes in many forms and is not limited to one day a year. Each and every day I get to spend with my family and friends IS Valentine's and and reason enough to celebrate no matter the date on the calender. It is time I remembered that God loves me and so does the Bumper.



For all of you who have someone to love:

Mother, Father, Sister, Brother, Son , Daughter, Grandparents, Aunts, Uncles, Cousins, Friends Sweethearts, Husbands, and Wives. Cherish them each and every day. God Loves You.

For all of you who think you are alone: God Loves You Too.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Smoothie Magic

I was feeling sickly yesterday. My nose was so stuffed up I couldn't smell or taste much of anything.
I knew I needed to eat, but cooking was not appealing. So I decided to make a smoothie, the Bumper had already had one for her lunch, and I figured it would be something I couldn't mess up.
I was right. The Blueberry-I-can't-be-sick- because-I-have -a toddler-smoothie was born. I took some blue-berries, frozen mango chunks, banana, and almond butter into the blender and whirred away. After the mixture looked to be of suitable thickness, I gave it a taste. "Pretty, good" I thought, but somehow it needed more; and that is when I got a little crazy with it. I added ground flax-seed for some Omega - 3's, and mandarin orange for vitamin. I blended again and tasted.
 "More," I thought, "but what?" I danced around my kitchen and found some green tea snipped open the tea bag and poured it in, blended and tasted. The mixture still tasted like it was missing something. Then it came to me: ginger! Of course, like chicken soup, ginger is good for whatever ails you, so in went a dollop of ginger powder (if I had had fresh I would have used that, but I had to make do). I blended and tasted- ahh! Now I had it right: Soothing, with a bit of zing and spice. I whirred again to smooth out any leftover orange pith and that is when my poor little blender decided it had had enough. The exhausted thing gave up on me and refused to blend for a second longer; so the result contained more pulp than I like, but it did the trick. The smoothie perked me and drained my sinuses more effectively than the cold medicine I had been taking.

It looks like a glass of sunshine!
This morning even though I felt considerably better, I didn't feel as well as I wanted so I made another smoothie. I had to use the big blender because I well and truly broke the small one. This time it was the Golden Wellness Smoothie from Happy Healthy Life ( ). I added some fresh ginger for some heat and split it with Marie.
While I don't feel 100% back to normal I do feel much more spry and healthy than I did this morning. Smoothie's can't cure everything, but for me they went a long way towards putting me on the road to recovery.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Paying Attention

Okay so last week I was all excited because I got to volunteer at the Bumper's, and this week both she and I have colds. Oh joy. Of course that does explain my feeling blah yesterday. Last night the Bumper coughed through most of it and kept me awake. Not that I was sleeping, I was too busy training for the alternate nostril breathing event-- I won gold.
Sigh . Urgh.
Well it is not completely unexpected, after all was in a room full of three year old's last week-- and with all due respect little kids are germ magnets. How could they not be? The touch everything and put whatever they think might taste interesting in their mouths. The upshot of all this I know I would be feeling so yucky if I had just taken care of myself. Yes washed my hands, and sneezed into my arm and all of that. What I mean is I fell off the health wagon and hit the pavement hard.
I took a vegan pledge for two weeks, and took it one step further and cut out coffee and sweets. After the first couple of days, which basically sucked, I started to feel pretty good. I drank plenty of water, got plenty of sleep, had more energy, more creativity and generally felt good about myself.  Life was good. I even, at first, managed to quash a cheese craving.

Then I hit the wall, I wanted something sweet and chocolaty. So I made avocado chocolate mousse. It sounds harmless enough, but it was like the creamy deliciousness opened the floodgates of the wantsies, because then I made blue-berry banana cake, and then the Bumper offered to share her string cheese with me. How do I say no to those baby blue? I didn't. KABOOM.

It was all over. I let my self be persuaded, and cajoled and ahem "sweet-talked" into the fallacy that the weekend doesn't really count when you are trying to get healthy or lose weight. Nana brought home french fries and ice-cream and then we went out to dinner: for pizza. (Please insert face palm here ).  Gentle readers I simply did not have the strength. I ate and drank all those unhealthy things. The milkshakes, the pizza, and the leftovers; because wasting food is bad. I even resumed drinking my morning coffee --laced with creamer.  To make matters worse I did not stop on the weekend. I started out with a healthy breakfast, but those leftovers just kept calling my name. Sometime yesterday afternoon, my body started letting me know it was not happy with me. I got queasy, I felt sticky inside and out, my energy left me.  I tried to drink more coffee, but that only made me want to throw up. Then I knew I had to face the reality. The only way I was going to feel better was eat better. I had a function to go to yesterday evening and they served brownies. I turned them down. It was a start.

So here I sit this morning, drinking water and getting ready to make ginger tea. I still feel gross, what with the cold and all, but I know I will get  better faster if I eat properly. This means a vegetarian diet rich in well, VEGETABLES, whole grains, fruits and legumes and fewer of the treats. When my body rebels it is time to listen.

Monday, February 10, 2014

Spring Seems Far Away


I  am having a kind of a blah day.  It is cold and gray. There is no snow in which to play. Still, I am warm. The fire blazes on my hearth and my larder in full. I have no fear for my child tonight. Who knows whether the same can be said for tomorrow. I have learned that much can change in a day, or even less.
I have never been an eat drink and be merry sort of person, but there is some merit in living each day to its fullest. For me this does not mean constant stimulation and excitement, rather it means accepting what the day may bring. I am content to sit inside, drinking hot, while the Bumper lies snug under her blankets getting over her latest cold.
I wanted to spend the day working uninterrupted on my novel, but the Bumper has craved my attention for most of  the day, so it was not to be. I am okay with that. Does that mean I did not get annoyed with her for pulling on me and whining? Of course not. I am human and I get annoyed, I am okay with that too. Once I accepted that I wasn't going to get to write without distraction, my day went much more smoothly. When the Bumper is asleep I will have an hour to myself, before I too surrender to Morpheus' embrace. Until then I snatch a word here and a sentence there and the story grows.
Evening is gently creeping and my street is growing dark, soon I will head into the kitchen to begin rattling pots and pans, knowing all the while the most the Bumper will have is some cheese and a bit of orange. Just for today that is okay too.

Friday, February 7, 2014

School Days

The hardest part of being snowed in is that the Bumper cannot go to school. I love having the Bumper at home with me, but she loves going to school. The Bumper enjoys school because she gets to learn new things and she gets to play with other children. One of the things that I like about the Bumper's school is they require parents o volunteer, now I realize that this my be hard when both parents are working; but since I am staying home I am able to do so.

The last couple of times my turn came around we were snowed out, so last Wednesday I finally got the chance to be in school with Marie. It was not my first time volunteering, and this time I knew more of what to expect; or so I thought. Marie's regular teacher had an appointment  and she had left her assistant teacher in charge. There must be some unspoken rule of childhood that says when there is a substitute that is the time to test ALL the boundaries, because that is exactly what those ten little three year old's did. It seemed like if the teacher said "sit" they stood, if she said "walk" they ran. They have all also reached the tattling stage. Yikes! Every time I thought things would settle down, someone spit, or hit, or wouldn't share.

In spite of all the drama and chaos, the kids actually managed to complete their unit on  penguins and polar bears and go to music class without any mishaps. I think their favorite part of the day was circle time when they got to name the days of the week and check what the weather was like outside. Story time came in at a close second, although I don't think the assistant teacher appreciated all ten kids trying to sit on her lap at once! For me snack time was the highlight of the day; I got to witness a classroom full of kids, whom the media would have a person believe can not eat anything other than chicken nuggets and pizza happily munching on raw carrots! The Bumper very proudly said the grace and told her classmates that carrots were yummy food.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

The After Party

Snow Angel

 The Superbowl (U.S. Football) and Groundhog Day are long since over. For weeks we in States have been eargly looking forward to these bright spots in the winter blah's -- and in the case of Groundhog day the hope that Spring would arrive early. Well the party snacks have all been consumed and the mess cleaned up. The teams played, one won and one lost. The groundhog saw his shadow so apparentlywe have six more weeks of winter. Oh joy. So now what? Do I give into my natural inclination to hibernate until spring? As much as I would love to do that, I don't think the Bumper would apprieciate her mama sleeping for the next couple of months. So I have decided to rekindle my interest in baking, and to redouble my efforts to meet my goals for the new year.


On the baking front I have been experimenting with more vegan recipes including a lentil casserole, applesauce cake and banana-carrot-blueberry cake. While those three turned out wonderfully, the almond butter bars went on the walk of shame and into the compost! Blech!

I have been working on my next novel and I am quite excited about it, as I am finally starting to get a feel for the characters.
Slowly but surely

My crochet is coming along quite slowly. The Bumper wants me to make a blanket for her doll cradle and I am more than happy to oblige, but I would be making a lot more progress if she would stop unraveling it every chance she gets.
Such cheerful cloth!

One of my goals for this year is to learn how to sew, so last weekend I bought a mother daughter apron pattern and the Bumper's Nana proceeded to show me how to iron cloth and cut out a pattern, hopefully next weekend I will get to use the machine! I am excited and so is the Bumper. She can hardly wait to have an apron of her very own.

All of these activites help to keep me busy and not to dwell too much on the might have beens and grief. I am present in each of these projects and they keep me present for the Bumper.