domingo, 19 de diciembre de 2010


You know you are sick when the bed is an ocean. When you hear the house downstairs-Kids high voices, Aaron's lower and then you just fall back asleep and wake up two hours later and you still haven't said good morning to the kids.

Me and the bed have been close buddies for 2 days. I lay in bed so much I got sore lying in bed. Yesterday I was freezing cold under all the blankets. Today I had the brilliant thought I should go to the doctor tommorow. I was too sick yesterday to think about that.

Food is gorgeous when you have been sick and haven't eaten. It is also shocking. I have a painful sore throat. So yesterday I had hot tea. In the middle of the night I had some water and it tasted like ice my throat was so hot. And today I had an apple and I put ALL my attention to that apple.

It tasted so sweet. And I could feel it popping in my throat, and covering it with juice. I only ate half and was done. I'm still not hungry.  Far far out of it. Sick is a different kind of life.

viernes, 10 de diciembre de 2010

Diving into the depths of your soul

Some of my passwords are the name of my childhood white donkey that died last year.
Threads of your soul wind around you. Ocean metaphors are apt, depths can release unexpected items that may retain qualities of treasure or be nearly destroyed by the forces of time.

Your soul talks to you. It is hard to listen, and if you do- you realize how often you want to do things that you don't do. Once I had a dream that I was in a huge sunlit room, that was dark like a room made of real oak. Like a picture from old times of rooms that are no longer built.  The light shifted down in huge  beams, illuminated by the dust. Like how you see sunlight in woods when there is smoke. 

On my kitchen window I have a small metal buddha that I bought when I was 10 from an Indian shop keeper in Wooster, Ohio who rubbed his hands together when he sold things.  Once I burned wax on my fingers and dripped it on the buddha. Then the buddha lived in a special corner of the barn at the old house we lived in near killbuck, Ohio.

Right now I am not sure if I live in the best place for me to breathe.  But I like it here.

so... fat with complacency, or do it- changes.

Red curtains. December. Supposedly there will be a blizzard tommorow.

Another way to say that is 12- 20 inches of snow and heavy winds.  A blizzard sounds better.
Humans are special because we can really love so many things. we can really love in so many ways. But, we don't do it enough.  And waste our greatest gift.  Net it. Put it out. If it were a fire. Other things take precedence.

Verbs for love are burning, falling. Not treeing. Growing.  Being. The roots that uphold everything. The self that stretches so long it can topple.  Uproot.

down root.  grow like a carrot.

sábado, 4 de diciembre de 2010

Yam is cheese

The love:   A shout out. To my 5 or so readers add yr comments to this one!!!  I seek more of your own personal food substitutions that made you go " ah... equal. or   "better'  or  " ah, new and just right".   I wish I could get 50 replies to this post!

The explanation: Since I became vegetarian again and am allergic to milk I like to substitute non-dairy things for the "milk element" in recipes, and like to find vegetable combos that are very succulent or hearty or give a meaty satisfying feeling in some recipes.  I am a big lover of simple veggies.  Olive oil, salt, pepper, garlic are one set of veggie friends. Miso, soy sauce, mirin,  and vinegar and oil are another veggie friend set for instant sauces etc.   But.. and...! so..! in this  post I want yr more hearty veggie dishes or substitutions that delight you.  Being satisfied without milk is probably the hardest for me.  The list is just a few meal staples that are just as good with their new ingredients.

The list: (underneath context will come, but of course!!)

Yam is cheese
Coconut oil is ham.
Coconut oil is butter.
Yam is brown sugar.
Lentil loaf is lasagna.
Pancakes are vegetables.
Avacado is cheese.

Yam is cheese.... on pizza.  Grating yam on home made veggie pizza one day just because it was orange  ;) After baking I discovered that it is an awesome succulent replacement. And there was no real yam flavour, just a faintly sweet mellowness.  I do not think it would be as satisfying if you did not baby it a bit. so spread yr dough, sprinkle with olive oil, put on yam, drizzle more olive oil. Put on toppings. one swirl of olive oil and fave spices. (for me oregano / pepper flakes on top).  Also, for the kids I put a little cheese along with yam.  So they still get a cheese pizza but much less cheese.  ANd, grated/ fine cut olives mixed with yam as yr non cheese topping is very good too.

Coconut oil is ham.... in split pea soup. Very good.  It is not the salty rich lumps, but a more kid friendly sweet oil/ fat flavour.  Just a slight add on to the boring split pea flavor.  I made it with salt and pepper and added cut up baked or steamed carrot. so you get brilliant orange rectangles in yr yummy green soup.

Yam is brown sugar ... grated on curries like thai curries that call for curry paste coconut milk and brown sugar.  Make the curry as per yr style. Letting the spices or paste release flavor a bit then adding veggies.  and when simmer time comes grate yam over top and let it steam on top and in the end stir it in.  I am sure dried minced yam,  or a million other ways just as a garnish would also add that sweetness.

Lentil loaf is lasagna.  My mom made lasagna like this : 1 layer meat, 1 layer spinach and cheese, one layer ricotta, top  layer cheese and sauce and spices parmesan on top. So naturally that is how my lasagna template is layed out..  So instead of the meat layer I put in left over french lentil lentil loaf ( from a recipe with just mainly 6 eggs, spices and lentils very rich and good.  Not a very veggie or oatmeal full lentil loaf).  so it looks like meat in appearance and is kind of dense, and goes well with tomato sauce..  and I use cheese in this recipe for the rest of the fam. and w/ mine use goat cheese with the spinach to stick it together on that layer. 

Pancakes are vegetables.  I have become so into making these pancakes, the batter has a a good  amount of garbonzo flour added, extra eggs. Then they get green onions, summer squash,  corn, carrots or yam, cabbage, zuchinni basically any vegetable that is not too strong  or any vegetable that is sweet. About 3 kinds of vegetables  is about the max.  The goal of course is not just chucking in vegetables in dishes,  it is in making delicious food.  so, the mix has to work and the family has to like it. Sometimes the kids get honey on top, or vanilla sugar sprinkled on. But in general these are just eaten as is, or with yogurt  and applesauce.

Avacado is cheese.  Hummus is good on sandwiches as a cheese substitute, but I found I get bored some. Which I hate, since I love hummus and do not ever want to just ho hum eat it !  But avacado always just keeps on with its goodness, I used to just really "need" cheese ( mozzarella type goat cheese is expensive!)  on burritoes and wanted it on beans often too but avacodo and green onion, or hot sauce or lemon  or all of those make it just as good as cheese for me.

my wee list is done. Even tho I know more combos that work super well, these are less Asian-y and more just kind of kid friendly.      Give me yours!!

domingo, 28 de noviembre de 2010

A changing Marie

Today we had a playdate and 3 girls came over.  We have a bouncy teeter totter that goes around and around as well as up and down. There was a lot of teetor totter action. 5 kids five years old and under in one living room is noisy.  Marie stayed there most of the whole time playing,  I did notice she took some breaks going out to the porch and started painting.  But, when she did one of her friends followed and they painted quietly together.

I remember last year at busy playdates she would just vanish,  and if it was at someone else's house I would go find her upstairs in the kid's room or over in the kitchen looking at fridge art or somewhere like that.

As she gets better at handling noise and lots of kids I've noticed she has become a noisier kid herself.  The super sweet quiet blondy is gone.  No more. But I like the new, often rude, always silly and very often loud Marie because I know its how she should be acting.

Tonight she was announcing she was a princess witch.  In their game Junie was an innocent bystander who would see the bad witch and go EEK and jump in surprise then Marie would squirt yucky stuff at her from her witch's wand.

This merging of princess and witch is new..  the persona tonight was supposed to be beautiful, fast and bad. !

  She was racing through the house with a balloon tied to the end of a ribbon tied to her wand.  Something about Marie even when she is naughty or pretending to be bad there is such a sweet core. When she does bad things she usually breaks down with emotion over the results and reasons why she was doing the wrong thing surface.

poem from yesterday dinner:

Mint song
minty minty I love some minty
cook it right inside my special pot

Dollhouse Dollhouse
"hi" said a big doll in the dollhouse moving all about

I love you
I know you
You are my friend Tuba.
Numa, Numa how do you dooba.

miércoles, 10 de noviembre de 2010

thanks to a friend who posted this on her blog

I think I have read this poem before. I admire the friend who posted it who is going through great personal pain and journeying.  I, who am not, was inspired also by this poem. The truth of it. the childish wisdom and old wisdom of it. and it made me thing of my mom as well. As in she would like this poem. (so to my dear darling main reader ;)  Let's read, shall we?)

There’s a thread you follow. It goes among
things that change. But it doesn’t change.
People wonder about what you are pursuing.
You have to explain about the thread.
But it is hard for others to see.
While you hold it you can’t get lost.
Tragedies happen; people get hurt
or die; and you suffer and get old.
Nothing you do can stop time’s unfolding.
You don’t ever let go of the thread.
—William Stafford

lunes, 8 de noviembre de 2010


more on the same topic. I think this will be the thread that ties up this year for me.  I think it needs to be a daily practice and integral part of my life.  I have been a whiner way too long. You know internally... and in funny ways just to gripe and vent.  But I want to just not even feel frustration.  I want to have a whole different head guiding me.  Working harder, feeling thankfulness for what I have, for that work itself even feels like the earth shifting underneath me and rock rising up that I need.

I have a lot going on, and I need to be doing a lot but I also need grace to ease my busyness and stress and fears as I keep on trying to keep up my classes and preparation for teaching- all the tests I have to register for and the stuff I have to get ready for adviser interviews before student teaching.  All these things should be simple, but they are not.  I have lack of good calendar skills and lack of memory once things are filed leading to clutter.  So I kind of flit around wasting my time but always busy. My family just way takes over, I used to balance the two but I just joyfully chuck work now to go be with the kids and do little random things.

So, I need to remind myself. Hey, its a blessing I am at this point. It's great that I have this mass of paperwork and different interviews and requirements that need to get met in December and November.  These are important steps. I am not special, there is no way I can duck them. So shoulder it with grace.

I am seriously going to try to look at everything I can in the light of thankfullness.  I want a massive change. I like who I am but its like I'm running windows 97....

domingo, 7 de noviembre de 2010

children of the table

Of the many toys we have ...The big cardboard blocks and their table won.  Marie built a precarious throne behind the table.  I let her ascend her throne. ( the table was dragged over for foot support).  June wanted to be as high as her sister and by herself created a second throne. Once ensconced a willing mom brought them toys. An afternoon of gobbling plastic food and making ornate queenly demands commenced. However, just like many a cautionary tale for children begins- after a while their height bored them and they desired to be higher and then even higher.  Close to the ceiling they perched. Clinging to one of my hands each.  No pictures taken because I dared not move.  After while as my hands grew tired I tried to cajole them down.  But it was just too great to be on a homemade narrow tippy chair where you could touch the ceiling.  And, I totally understood.  

All good things must end, I scarily pulled them down ( toppling their throne on purpose as I took them down so they would think twice before doing it without me again. just a little precautionary sneakiness....)

In awe they stared the blocks scattered all over.  Then Marie rushed over to rebuild it.   she built it tall over her head ( but not as tall since I didn't help) and then carefully placed her doll Angelina on the throne. Where she stayed for  a day or so. Queen of the living room.

domingo, 31 de octubre de 2010

Halloweeeeeeen !!!!!!

  These two will not trick you, nor will they eat all the treats they come to your door just  excited to see you.  And they know you are so excited too because they are  a***princess!!!!!*****  and a ****cat***.  How silly !
With fancy fingernail polish! and a tail...!

Happy Halloween!  My new favorite holiday. Sayonara New years you've been displaced.

Costume making . wearing. pumpkin carving, and eating, fall leaf playing and many many happy kid grins.  Here's to the once a year goofy, beautiful, weird, in drag, animal rific, glitter friendly, fluffy fantastic, zombie, spiked, fabulous, duct tape happy costume life.  Cheers!!

domingo, 24 de octubre de 2010


If I were of an orthodox religion and living by an old testament I would spend much of my time being thankful. I would be thankful every day about food, water, friends, abilities I possess.  Recently I heard an interview with A.J Jacobs,  author of  The year of living biblically , about his life experiences while writing the book.   The book is written tongue in cheek. Cheekyness is normally the joyful meter in which I live my life.  But that is not what attracted me to this book right now.

This fall is more somber. A friend lost her child, and the weight of that, which rests very lightly on me still presses.  I feel it is a hand on my shoulder telling me that I need to gather wisdom this year to store up for my own times of trouble.

So, out of listening to the author's talk about this cheeky/serious book (which I am going to read )the message I get right now is the interior of my head is light years away from a devout person who believes their "thank you's" to the world resonate and create the world. them power... (powerful feelings at any rate).  Looking at my daily positive/ spiritual practices - I don't thank daily, but I do laugh at something daily.

But humour and death- not compatible. 

Serenity, contentment, depth of love perceived-- perhaps can be on the positive side of the scale when measuring the weight of death. What does that give me ? Back to religion, not so humorous. It's behavorism- rewards and punishments dependent on behavior. A construct-  through which intrinsic human reactions and nature gleams. The rich, soft fabric on the alter holding the sword and drinking cup.

It's also true that the bible is all about death.  The elephant in the biblical room is death- avoiding what our eyes see as death. disintegration. nothingness. loss of love. loss of irreplaceable, non-replicable things.  Well, its not the elephant.  It's very concrete, but I think in modern times, in the US death is not the gateway to religious thinking as much.  It's the sideroom occasionally stepping in... or the exit.  Another gift of power/release from suffering given to believers by religion.  No loss..reunion possibilities.

I don't get that.  I can't be religious.  I can yearn to avoid my own disintegration and to be blessed by seeing old gone faces again.  But I don't get those wishes. I get something different. I get the knowledge that I need to love everyone I love right now.  

As a mother, I am the creator of two of these irreplaceable things. I made them. I remember making them. My body knit them, my brain dreamed about them. Part of me is out in the world walking around, part of my flesh and blood originally and now part of my soul. I hover over them, I delight in their thoughts and push my thoughts on them.

I am not religious.  I do not miss it, nor feel the weight of it. New things are shiny. Old things are cozy but cannot speak as freshly sometimes.  I imagine religion can become so personal- you have said that phrase so many times, you only attune with what resonates to you- that it does lose meaning for some.   On the other side, as a non- religious person religion can be a vast bulky inaccessible object.  Read a passage of the bible and it might clonk- no other thoughts to string it up and let it be seen in a certain light.  My ideas about religion right now are I still do not need a belief system to replace mine. But I need to dwell a while in the land of the thinkers about life and death. Not forever, but I have avoided thinking about it all my life and was afraid.

Of course these thinkers are everywhere,  not only in churches.  Goya painting his house with devouring monsters...

I think now before my body becomes a trap, which is one way we often end life  -I want to think about life and death.  Right now. And... as I think about it -for me - death is nothing. It's all about life.  I take deep satisfaction in realizing how strongly I believe that.  I can fear or not fear death but I know what I want to live for.  So, no need to think about death so much after all, but much need to think about life. I used to be afraid of death.  I do not wish for it now, but I am not as afraid. why? because now I have more fear for my children and their suffering than of death ?  I think maybe...What is that all about?  What are we?

Today, I am joyful to have gotten a gleam of gold from religion. Much as bits of religion distress and annoy me I want to wrap myself in the gold of what is life refined by people thinking about what makes life worth the suffering.  Thankfulness is that velvet for me today.

A day of thankfullness:  I am thankful for  many things; but I do not say "thank you" for the clean glass of water. And "thank you" again as I open my door onto sunny weather and tomatoes ready for picking. And I do not say "thank you" as my daughter's clear face turns to me as dear to me as anything I own. I think of yesterday from morning to night...

You know, I would spend the whole day saying " thank you".  Isn't that a realization?  When I know that yesterday I grumbled quite a bit- when I stubbed my toe, when I had to take the dog out, when my daughter's small face -as dear to me as anything I own- turned toward me in the middle of the night and said " mommy, it's morning time". and I said " no, It's still night. Let's go back to bed".

Rain on the window pane. A bus goes by. Red and yellow lights seen through rain.

I am thankful... I married my good friend Aaron. I gave birth to Marie. I am thankful my daughters are healthy. I am thankful my parents are alive. I am thankful I am doing this list right now. I am thankful for all the books I have read.  I am thankful for the luck of my birth not putting obstacles upon me that crushed me as part of my life.  I am thankful I have friends. I am thankful I am not angry and have learned to understand myself better. I am thankful to be in this moment open as a cup.

**I could end here, but nope, when something is pretty it is not necesarily done. Not if it is a thought.  This writing here is not an art. This has no intention of accomplishing anything but looping around and around until it stops all by itself because new thoughts are finished.

Thankfulness, what is it? It allows suffering.  What if I were my mom?  Stuck in bed with a broken back that will not mend. Knives poised at my heart and liver- for real not Shakespearian metaphors for danger and words that sound nice poised at different points of the body.

I would still be thankful I think.  Thankful for the trees outside, for my dear husband who takes care of me everyday. Every day.  For my 4 daughters walking calmly in the world and having children of their own.

sábado, 23 de octubre de 2010

parental yoga

 * "real yoga" 

watching child twist-
As one child races ahead on the sidewalk and the other lingers to pick berries.....Turn to look at lingering child while leaving feet facing forward.  Feel the twist gently along the spine and in the oblique muscles.  Walk a few steps forward as first child continues her joyful run, turn the other way and pause feeling the twist as you look at lingering child.  End watching child by telling leading child to go play on the rock at the end of the path and run no further- enjoy a gentle trot to go scoop up dallying berry picking child.  This exercise also can end by having a few moments of calm meditation looking at leaves whilst waiting for the berry child to finish filling pockets and join waiting sister and mom.

Forward fold *-
while picking up myriad small toys take each bend down slowly and linger in forward fold.

tadpole *- Lying on yr back bring feet together, knees v out. touch soles of feet together. Same with hands above head. Gently twist right and left. This exercise was actually from a book on yoga safe to do while pregnant and felt awesome throughout pregnancy. If you are not a pregnant citizen you can still engage in this relaxing pose and enjoy teaching it to children.  They have fun pretending to be tadpoles and can graduate to frog status at their own rate while you enjoy a nice relaxing wiggle. This exercise has the benefit of you will not be urged to hop around if you do not desire to do so because you can explain you are still a tadpole.

modified tree-  Get yr roots firmly planted. pick up child raise yr giggling fruit up high.  Feel balanced and strong. Hold child as long as you feel balanced and "just right".  This exercise works better with compact children.

Post inspired by our morning walk to the Y this Friday. Marie ran ahead, June picked berries behind.  As I turned to watch June then back to watch Marie I felt a very nice twisty stretch in my back and side.  It felt good to walk a few steps and then thoughtfully do a nice long twist stretching in different minute ways by moving feet or arms to pull more to opposite side.

lunes, 11 de octubre de 2010

a boring post

I feel overwhelmed. I would not read this post. It would be boring, but writing it feels good.

I need to organize:
sign up for my praxis II test ( a teaching test). I needed to do this last year and didn't.
finish the 2 needed classes for student teaching next fall.
Organize my body of work for presentation to my student advisor prior to student teaching.
Study for the Praxis II
our office- is a pile of my old papers. not school papers neccessarily- just dates written down, interesting things- festivals- bills- school papers- info from SH.

My ideal filing system would be clear plastic cubes all over the wall. when I put things away in filing cabinets ( or in a file on the computer- same thing) I lose track of it. I "need" things to be kind of out in the open (desktop on the computer) real desktop on home.

This worries me.

and then there's me. I have been eating tons of food that is bad for me. (cow milk products and salty junkfood). I just learned that salt hardens arteries within half an hour of eating salty things. I read the article thinking of my mom and dad initially- then for myself, it was interesting. salt and no exercise hardens them up nicely. and there is a difference between level of exercise for men and women. sadly.. older women need to really get their heart rate up to start softening arteries- older men can lower just by adding daily walks.

I feel like maybe having kids kind of organized me for a few years and now that they are older I lost my other focuses. They don't need the real work of babies and toddlers anymore so I have more free energy and time. But I'm not really sure who I am where I am focused..

I think today my emotions are ruling everything else because part of me can see its just like cleaning a messy room. Pick up one thing at a time. Like start walking a few miles every morning and my bad sleeping and eating habits will get better. SO, I just convinced myself. I think I will do an AM walk everyday for a month. That will be only goal. Because I know it will clear my head and help me organize at the same time as calming and organizing my body.

I feel vast frustration. Humans feel it. I remember with the little babies thinking " why are they crying? what's wrong, even that young?"

I need to read Paul Farmer's bio again. Actually make that read some better books- cut off the brain candy, feed it more. Bike more. And do more of the right choices. Just like I tell Marie. I have right and wrong choices to make throughout the day as well.

A dream I have never had asleep. Inside yr brain it's a huge organized cathedral with light filtering down from high windows. The floor is big blocks of stone. You can find delight in that place. You just walk in slowly and its very satisfying. That is the dream/memory.

Another dream I had in the Arizona desert walking one day 2nd college summer. A huge wooden desk with the sun hitting it and a paperweight was a white marbled desert stone. like a movie scene.

Aesthetics part of my dilemna?? Is there more beauty in my imagination than around me? Do I need more beauty now? I never did before. I revel in mess a bit. cozy. What is happening to me.
besides the aesthetic I seem to like involves vastness and perpetual sunlight.  I don't think my house even with all surfaces clean can reach that giant sigh of contentment and stopping point.

Too much time. I can say all the answers but not feel them. right now I wish I had a quote. the one on my blog main page sums up naval gazing. To paraphrase " musing on the positive ( beloved ones/ beautiful things is like a telescope magnifying delight tenfold , dwelling on the negative does the same thing in equal parts sadness, misery and uglyness). But, like death makes life richer by letting you see how beautiful the day is-  you can't have one without the other. ANd the bad things and dying and suffering --don't produce happiness just give you a better idea of what happiness is.

Paul Farmer. I mean it. I have never had a hero before in my life. And everything I read about him is agreeable. his nerdy wordyness, his methods of getting things done, his non-cynicism. His growing up harum scarum in rural areas and not fitting in. The brain to to do it.

I want to be me. But I relax in seeing my ideal of a person being real. If I were different it might be a different person who would do it for me.

Time to do class work when I want to just walk for a few hours or rake the leaves.  I feel like not thinking being outside a lot is what I need.  OK. this was really a personal post that I do not mind being on my blog.  I like that.

viernes, 8 de octubre de 2010

beautiful day. beautiful marie and Junie. a few photos

smiling sisters share similar fashion aesthetic holding hands at seven thirty in the morning

proud and pretty

eking out the tomato harvest

                      Grabbed the camera this morning.  The following photos are all today. (Friday 10-08-10).
Junie watches dancers at the Walker sculpture garden

and minneapolis continues to rock it

roaming the ivied hall

small child in dwelling

looking like a future metal bottle model

light and water on the spoon create spray (rainbow on the other side). morning delight

peekaboo in the giant lincon log-esque house

Junie is not ready to go. and stages a sit in

cuteness wins over mom.

later in our day at the OT's, one fringe benefit of Marie's therapy- Junie gets her jump out

Light all over us. I was driving unsafely because I was taking pictures of the trees while I drove down Mississippi river boulevard.  I love being with Junie these long rich fall days.  We have gotten closer these last few weeks since Marie started school full day.  Today though, I missed hanging out with Marie.  We are definately less connected than in summer.  She can be so exasperating it scared me a bit that I might not love her with the fullest intensity.  Note to self have those special moments of giggle and light in the back of the eyes with Marie on weekends.  !

This weekend we have a full plate.  Friday serenity has crept all over the house. It's 9:00 and me and Aaron are having dinner #2 before doing "something" together.

Saturday is an eco arts festival in Mears park which we might or might not make.  It sounds lovely just in case any of my mom friends read this blog.  Tons of dancers and music groups.  ( 12:30- 5:00).  At 3:00 we are babysitting round faced Shiya - a Marie and June friend.  And..  I have a date with some other future teachers sat to see "Waiting for Superman" and have drinks afterward.  Free... lucky me.  (I won a wee contest).

Sunday we have to clean because our house is geological.  and...........  the big day has finally arrived. We will test the water in Marie's new fish tank and add fish.  Good times.

hi mom! love you :)

martes, 28 de septiembre de 2010

Taking the plunge

We have been waffling on doing very expensive vision therapy for Marie. She has "lazy eye" one eye turns in when she focuses on near objects. It's pretty common we've been dealing with it with glasses and a patch since she was a baby. 

But, the science behind it is not ho hum. The eye turns inward because the brain shuts off the eye. The muscles relax the eye turns in.  She is not seeing out of it.  The brain's visual system does this because it can't see unless it turns down the level of conflicting data and so it compromises by switching to one eye.

The results are loss of binocular vision.  Shut one eye playing darts or aligning something and you'll see some of the visual information that is lost when you only have info from one eye to work with.  It effects her gross motor skills, balance skills, fine motor abilities and other areas of her brain and body.  The dilemmna is there are 2 camps in how to treat lazy eye and a brain that hasn't learned/ developed its visual system.  One is patching the strong eye ( losing binocularity) and wearing strong glasses.  This is the accepted- insurance paid treatment.  The other is not patching the eye- encouraging binocularity, wearing weaker glasses so the eyes work harder and doing vision specific exercises with a developmental vision therapist.

Marie does occupational therapy with a therapist because she has sensory integration issues.  Her brain does not organize and use sensory information as well as other kids her age.  Her main issues are auditory discrimination, tactile discrimination, gross and fine motor abilities, and vestibular issues (balance, motor planning, arousal level- basically actions dealing with movement and gravity).  The vestibular organ is a part of the inner ear that detects vibration and damage to the vestibular organ highly corrolates to deafness and hearing problems. The vestibular system is a brain system at the base of the brain that works primarily to control eye movements and keep us upright. 

It is all connected.  Yet insurance will not pay for vision therapy.  We had an appointment with our old optomotrist who will not continue treating Marie if we stop patching and use the glasses prescribed by the developmental vision therapist.  Both sides feel very passionately that their stance is correct. 

We have seen amazing changes in Marie due to her occupational therapy that stimulated her vestibular system, tactile senses and auditory system.  So, we knew in our gut and by watching our child that she is changing- responding! to this sesnsory focused treatment.

But, it is pricey. Life without insurance is a scary place.

Today we decided we really need to do those weekly visits.  It boiled down to - if you take the money part out of the equation what would we do- and we knew the answer. 

It is frightening to really think about how we are going to be spending. It's really going to change our lifestyle, but it is so relaxing to just do the right thing. And, I feel the power of cliches burning in me like when you have to do something you can.  and that makes all the difference in life. 

We love you kid.

martes, 21 de septiembre de 2010

a child's view

I learn a lot being the mum mom in the front seat.  At a playdate today June who is 2 and a half made  an apple tree by sticking stickers on it. She chose: lots of red apples, 2 bees, 2 cardinals then flipped it over and covered it with squirrels.

On the way home from the park June and Marie got into a discussion about her tree.  First June generously fed Marie many apples. But then Marie wanted meat.

She said," Now we're going to eat the bees and the cardinals."  "
"no, " protested a June just starting to get teary eyed, " you don't eat bees and cardinals".
"Yes you do" suavely assured Marie.  " you just kill them first, then they are meat".   June protested.
"It's ok. " said persuasive Marie," they were killed a long time ago. Now its ok to eat them".
June disagrees and raised her tree high out of Marie's reach protectively.

Marie quietly and firmly said " kill." and made a poking motion at the cardinal and bees.  June got very upset.
"no Huree! if you kill the squirrel it makes it cry!"
"Squirrels don't cry" said Marie, " they just run away",

In my defense of sad Junie I interrupted this discussion to say there was a protective wall around the tree and Marie couldn't kill them, plus offered to hold the tree in a safe place in the front seat -but those options weren't viable to June.  Wrapped up in her argument. And,  though she was slightly crying at one point, by the time we got home( 10 minutes?) somehow the conversation had shifted to the point where Junie had pulled off a bee sticker and broken the wing and was saying "It's dead the wing came off" and said " cook, cook cook" and they were happily killing all the bees and cardinals on the tree.  ( but not the squirrels...).

(I think talking about how good hot dogs taste might have been the transitioning point. Oh yes! - I just remembered - when denied her bees and cardinals Marie noted that there was a dead mommy pig on the sidewalk (right by the bus stop) and lets make it into hotdogs. Then they were debating how it died.  ( "That car killed it" june said as a minivan pulled away.  ) Marie agreed.

Happy Tuesday Mom and Eve!! the kids are about 20 min. in bed and I am knackered!!

martes, 14 de septiembre de 2010

Suck up the Fall

These past few days we have had fun sticking close to home. Yesterday we had a beautiful light filled fall day spent 2 blocks South of our little house.  I so often feel like I am hurrying the kids here and there all throughout the day "  5 more minutes !"...,  so I love it when we have the time to just roam and ramble.  An unplanned day can be very special. It might be the magic of kidness, or we are lucky - but there is something to do a few blocks out all directions from our house.  ( and very different in all directions!  South a creek, E a bookstore and kid coffee shop, N a park  and W a big hill to go up, an overpass to look down at the highway and a dollar store if you persevere long enough.  ;)  ( not to mention NE a statue of Joan of Arc (at a church) and a strange all blue house that always has shy kittens in the yard and a hole in the fence to peek through).   Yesterday we went South 2 blocks to Minnehaha creek and the Minnehaha bike path.

soft soccer ball comes along

1st stop feed the mermaid. behind the bushes is minnehaha creek.  the mermaid eats berries that grow conveniently near...
Destination. one of my favorite beautiful/ scruffy places. Under the bridge.  soft sand underneath. places to climb.
gnarled roots exposed by erosion of the steep grade by the bridge

Go kid go. 

Marie ran the whole way up. It was such a fun fall feeling.

miércoles, 8 de septiembre de 2010

First day of school

Marie has problems sometimes.  She wants to do things she can't do but other kids can. She tries super hard, she gets tired sometimes from trying so hard.  For the last 2 years of school she didn't talk much to the other kids.  She watched a lot-  people worried about her.  Now, I just heard from her teacher " I see so much improvement. She has really changed, she is really interacting with everybody" and I said " I waited 2 years to hear that". 

This picture really makes me smile. We have spent 2 years struggling to get her dressed and out the door on time. and yesterday she just seamlessly zoomed through everything.  Clothes herself, food everything without getting enticed into playing or deliberating on clothes choices.  I don't know if I will still look at this picture 10 years from now and still instantly smile. But I think I might.

deepest thoughts fully steeped

There's a mystery flag flying at the mystery business near our house. "Lachman's Eterprises" and it flies the US flag and a green not Brazil flag. And we never see anybody there, and nothing ever comes in or out. and no noises emit.  But, the grass is always mowed and late at night from time to time, a light.

Every now and then me and aaron say that's not brazil's flag is i? and have the same conversation, - no definately not. isn't there a yellow triangle on brazil?-  Today a guy was painting the building. Guyana the flag is from Guyana and they have the best rum and sugar anywhere.  Luckily I read a long book about rum and sugar in Cuba so we had a good chat about rum and sugar.  And Guyana is in s. America not Africa. I love being a non-educated educated person.  It also made so happy for the rest of my dog walk because......  I speak Spanish and read on google news a few weeks ago that spanish is the 3rd most spoken language in the world and there is no point learning Spanish.  And learning about exactly where Guyana is - south America - reminded me of 15 good reasons.

sweet is the world and large and me in it.

domingo, 5 de septiembre de 2010

changes. changes

For the first time in 5 years and 2 children we have a babysitter.  We are bartering. I will take her wee, darling doggie home during the days or at very least drop by and give him a walk in exchange for 3 nights a month of babysitting. Date night here we come!

How nice !.  Just on the heels of reading in New York magazine ( not new yorker! yech, keep it away) about all the barter coops springing  up. And then voila,  moi auissi!

The list was long. good.   ... free interior design swaps, paintings, babysitting, teaching knitting work shops, book swap, work clothes swap, free time in studios and pottery wheels etc.  an enticing list.

on that note, intriguing/ culture in the twin cities I just read that the Jeune leune closed and I hadn't even known it was closing. It reminded me how much of what I like about minneapolis st. paul but yet somehow never actually work it into my life.

We went to a Hamlet there 5 years ago??

viernes, 3 de septiembre de 2010

Jessamin gets skinny

First order of business is starting a diet.  I have been annoyed with my body since HS.  I have decided that I am going to use this blog as a place to be honest.  Anyone who will read it already knows me well enough to not mind knowing a little more.

For me it will be a challenge because I like to keep things hidden.  My sluggy ways inspired me to start a diet ( started last week) and once stirred- I decided to peel back another layer.  The new goal is try to do a new thing every week.  It can be small, cook a meal I never cooked ... ( and if so dear bloggy readers you will get the recipe) or big I am thinking of doing a special thing for our anniversary ( which I cannot post because aaron might read this). shhhh!

I think many of us 36 yr old humans on the planet start to chafe at this point. We've got some of "it" but not enough and our comfort sticks us to the jobs and routines we so proudly aquired 5 or so years ago.  So, I can dream of my electric cargo bike

Yes, I can not afford this bike, or this motor

but one can dream.