Saturday, April 11, 2009

The Tooth Fairy and the Easter Bunny

Tonight both the Tooth Fairy and the Easter Bunny will visit our home. I stayed up late last night stuffing plastic eggs (recycled - these are the original eggs from Tessa's first Easters) with stickers and chocolates, and today Tessa proudly showed me her SECOND lost tooth, with an extra wide gap in the middle of her bottom teeth.

It was a great day. We went to the community egg hunt and saw friends and hung out and had a great time. Tessa, Anna, Beth & I went to see Hotel for Dogs at the Admiral, and the girls got a good giggle out of it, which made me enjoy it, too. (I love to hear Tessa laugh.) And then tonight, bliss of all bliss, we went out to Pegasus Pizza with Anna, Beth & Artie, and we even ran into Kari and her family.

A wonderful day. Of course, I'm completely worn out....but hoping for a good night's rest and another equally wonderful day tomorrow.

PS Last night I couldn't sleep - not sure what was up, but I was awake at 3am and never got back to sleep. :-( I decided to do mending at 5:30 in the morning - probably not my wisest plan, because while mending Tessa's jacket, the needle slipped off the thimble, and and poked it into my thumb right to the bone. OUCHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH. My thumb feels as big as a hammer, and it is truly unpleasant. :-(

Friday, April 10, 2009

Lost tooth and Easter Eggs

It was a very exciting day in six-year-old-land.

Tessa ran up to me after school with the proud pronouncement that she lost her first tooth today, at lunch, in the cafeteria, while eating an apple. The school apparently has a policy around lost teeth (clever, if you ask me) and Tessa was sent to the nurse, who mopped up the couple of drops of blood and admired said tooth as appropriate. Best of all? Tessa was given a tooth necklace, where the tooth was taped inside a small tooth-shaped "locket" that Tessa could wear all day.

The kid is walking on air. It cracks me up, and I just love it. She is just filled with the joy of being six, and of losing her first tooth, and feeling so grown up from it all.

(Mama is recovering. My baby is gone! She's been replaced by this lovely young girl! I love this girl....but my baby is gone!)

And as if that wasn't enough...

Today we dyed Easter eggs, as planned. We chose a glitter-style for some, and stripes for others. We'll be eating deviled eggs for a couple of days....but not until the eggs have been admired for a bit longer.

"Mama, this was the best day ever."

PS Best day ever included ordering Pagliacci. Bad news for WW fans - I ordered the salad, and ate it, feeling virtuous. I looked up points AFTER eating it. Ummm, I ate 16 points worth of salad. SO not worth it. I blew all of my points for the week and I'm hacked off about it....sigh. I'll go for a run tomorrow to try to recover a bit. :-(

Hip Hop Princess

Here is Tessa's video from her performance yesterday. How does this hip hop dancer dress? In black velvet and pink satin, of course, with her fancy Easter shoes and her green Christmas sweater. The pictures are of the kids waiting for their performance, with a close-up of Tessa with beloved-Anna, and Tessa with her PE teacher, Ms. McChesney. (Tessa ADORES Ms. McChesney.)

Thursday, April 09, 2009

Slow down!

Tessa just proudly showed me not one, but two, wiggly teeth.

It made my stomach all flip-floppy. My baby girl is growing up so fast. Just yesterday I heard Ryan whisper the words, "It's Tessa!" as she was born....and now she's proud of her wiggly teeth, her ability to read, the books she writes....


Wednesday, April 08, 2009


I am officially back on Weight Watchers, in every way. I've been tracking my food for 9 days using the online programs, and today I went to my first meeting and got all the booklets and learned about the new Momentum program.

It feels good. It feels great, actually, despite my miniscule, awfully-small loss last week. I know that if I stick it out it will work, and I have a proven track record with this program.

I am going to feel good. I can't wait to feel good. I'm tired of my aches and pains, and I'm absolutely certain that some of them are from weighing a bit more than I ought to.

Fitting back into the 7 Jeans (the brand, not the size) that Jenny gave me. I love those jeans.

Wearing a bathing suit at Alki beach this summer.

Running in the half marathon wearing my new running skort.

Getting dressed without that frumpy feeling that I have currently.

Moving without creaking so much.

Giving away the pair of jeans that I am forced to wear EVERY SINGLE DAY right now because they are the only pair of pants that fits me at the moment.

This is gonna be great!

Quote from Leigh Hunt

I am working on the Hunt section of the Hunts Point book, and came across this quote attributable to Hunt:

Thrift begets self respect.

I like that. I like that a lot.

(Liking that is better than whining because I want to buy every clothing item in the Athleta and Title Nine catalogs that persist at showing up here.)


Well, yesterday's prediction of my day was way, way off.

My mom called because she wasn't feeling well, so we canceled our dinner with my parents. And then I decided that it was too far to drive to pony lessons for just a 45 minute lesson,s o I canceled that.

Instead, I went running! I managed close to four miles without killing myself, and with short walk breaks (The Galloway Method) thrown in. It is amazing to me how one minute of walking changes my entire body - it completely renews me and preps me for more running.

And then I locked my good keys in my car, and the "running key" that I'd tied to my shoelace didn't work. Ackkkkk! I think we must have held on to an old van key (keep in mind that we became a one car family about two years ago) and that's what I brought. Fortunately, my friend Audrey (who came with me) was able to call her husband to come and pick us - and Shep! - up, or I'd have had to walk a couple of miles home again.

Anyway. Not the day I had planned, but not a bad day. I'm proud of my running success, and hope to do it again tomorrow. (Tomorrow I'll volunteer in the classroom, then run home - Ryan will have the car. Enforced running! :-) )

Today I've got dinner cooking in the crock pot - beef stew. I got the beef at the Farmer's Market this weekend, so it's pasture raised, and I feel good about that. Still, I'm trying to cut back on beef so I cut the beef in half and raised the quantity of vegetables in the recipe, and we'll see what my family has to say about that! (I won't tell them - will they notice?) This will make it a lighter dish, too.

....Which is good, because I am sticking out WW and trying not to be too sad about my nearly-nothing weight loss last week. I'm hoping for a GREAT weight-loss week this week, but whatever will be will be. I go to my first meeting tonight, and I'm kind of excited about it, because it's a sign of my commitment. I am committed to this.

Yesterday Tessa and I joined some Alki friends and played on the beach after school - it was lovely.

So that's my life in a nutshell at the moment. Tessa's at school, I'm going to do some chores and then work on the book, and here we are.

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Gearing up

I'm still drinking my first cup of coffee, but I'm also gearing up for a busy day. Once I get Tessa to school, it's time to work on the Hunts Point book. It's also Tessa's riding lesson day, so when I pick her up from school we'll head to Woodinville, and after her lesson we'll have dinner with Grammy & Grandpa.

The weather prediction is for another day like yesterday, so I think I'll work outside today. I need as much sun as I can get, and I know that the forecast is for rain later this week.

Last night we had our first Simplicity Circle meeting, which took place at our house. (What was I thinking making a chocolate bundt cake when I'm on WW? The first piece was fine. It's the second piece that'll get me!!!) I committed to sitting quietly with my journal and thinking about time simplicity....

I'm longing for summer. I'm longing for days spent on Alki, evening picnics, and camping. Yesterday Shep and I went for a walk at Alki, and it looked like summer - girls in bikinis and guys with no shirts playing volleyball - and then when we picked up Tessa we went to Whale Tail Park with friends and the moms sat on a blanket while the girls played. It was delicious - the sun, the friends, and all. The more days like that the better, because this Seattleite feels like she's been patient enough. Bring on that sunshine!

Monday, April 06, 2009

Beautiful child with lovely friends

Garden pictures

The rosebush under Tessa's bedroom window....with a carrot patch beneath it. (That carrot patch looks like dirt right now, but there are seeds...)
Pots with flowers and herbs....the chives and sage and thyme came back, and the primroses, and some other flowers....but it's time to replant most of them.

Raspberries, over by the swingset. (Look closely. Three sticks poking up = raspberries.)

The beginnings of the new beds - about 1/4 of the lawn has been dug up so far (thanks, Ryan). The patch here is where the tomatoes will go - the best sun up front.
Last year's garden bed, all planted and ready to go this spring. Strawberries, fava beans, garlic, sugar snap peas, lettuce, chard, onions, spinach. Plus four parsley plants.

Part of the raised bed out back - the problematic raised bed because of the way it gets sun throughout the day (very bright, then not at all). The reddish plant is a peony, and this pic shows a big rosemary bush, and then there's dug up dirt with potatoes under it, and there are irises and lady slipper and bleeding hearts....

Sunday, April 05, 2009

One choice at a time

It's hard work, losing weight, because it's not about one choice (to lose weight), it's about a million little choices. Not just what to have for breakfast, but how much to have, and some of this, but not that, and these but not those, and this treat, but not that one.

I did okay today. I was craving hamburgers fresh from the grill today - 70 degrees out! - but made some decent choices about them. I made my own hamburger buns using 100% whole wheat. I measured out the meat into 1/4 pound patties (4 ounces). I chose lean meat. Everyone else had cheese, but I did not. I made a potato salad recipe that had a vinegrette dressing instead of mayo (and delicious - lots of fresh herbs, reduced wine, whole grain mustard...). I made salad and had extra portions.

A million little choices. Only a tiny bit of mayo on the burger, no second helping of potato salad, go for an extra green salad instead....

I'm going to lose weight by a million little choices at a time,a dn this is what I need to keep reminding myself. I've now been on WW for a week, and so tomorrow morning I will weigh myself, fingers crossed for good results. I will attend my first meeting on Wednesday night,a nd they'll log my weight there, too.

Bit by bit, inch by inch....


I think that one of the things that I love best about gardening ....

Wait a minute. I said that last sentence without thinking, but I'm realizing that it's wholeheartedly true. I'm learning to love gardening! Me, who two years ago could barely be bothered to stick a tomato in a pot (I rarely got a harvest because I'd kill the tomatoes first) is suddenly A Gardener. Well, whaddayaknow.


One of the things that I love best about gardening is that I feel the care of it. Nurture, care, guardianship. I'm caring for our home - the whole home, not just the indoors. I'm caring for our family. I'm caring for my body (gardening isn't all picking flowers). I'm caring for the neighborhood. I'm tending to the earth in my own small way. I'm caring for Tessa's connection to earth. I'm even caring for our pocketbooks - food grown at home is a LOT cheaper than store-bought food.

Care. I think that care is highly underrated in our society. It seems to me that society all about rushing and accumulation and multitasking, not stopping to nurture.

Gardening has its own schedule. I just put potatoes in the ground, and if they grow the way they're supposed to, I"ll get to harvest them in "late summer." The carrot bed that I planted (under a rosebush - do you suppose that carrots and roses can co-exist peacefully?) doesn't look like a bed of carrots, it looks like dirt. (Fresh black dirt, I might add. I added rich vermicompost to it.) But I have visions of Tessa's friends coming over to pull a carrot for a snack, just like they did last year, only this year I won't have to say "just one please because there aren't that many" (or at least I hope not). Last year we got perhaps a dozen total blueberries - we knew that we wouldn't get much of a crop for a few years. Looking at our yard now, with only small buds on the trees, and bare patches in teh grass, and gardens that look like sticks and dirt, it's hard to imagine any sort of bounty coming from it....but if to everything there is a season, today is the time to plant.

I am tucking vegetables all over the place, trying to care for this planet. Every vegetable that I grow is that much less packaging, that much less travel - even Farmer's Market produce arrives to me in a truck (though a couple of hundred of miles is much better than a couple of thousand). It tastes better, too, but it's better for the planet. (Especially now that I'm making my own compost; I'm not buying anything chemical to put on the beds. I'm still using a little organic fertilizer, but I'm trying to buy as little of that kind of thing as possible and make it all myself. All those kitchen scraps and raked up leaves are going to good use....and one of the benefits of pony lessons is free manure.) So, I feel like I'm caring for the earth.

And I'm caring for my family. Today we're out back, Tessa flying on the swings, then jumping down to examine a worm, and asking me questions about things in the garden, and occassionally doing a bit of her own gardening. Ryan hasn't been feeling well so he's doing comfort stuff - tending to his bike, of course. (This was a compromise; he wanted to ride all day but definitely wasn't up to it.) Tessa has her own ideas about the garden, and what she likes best, and what she wants to do.

And out in front, other neighbors are busy in their gardens, too, planting and tending and planning. We chat with one another, care for one another, connect with one another.

I feel more connected to the earth than ever before. I've always been a nature girl, but nature was often something that I visited to admire. This isn't wilderness, but it is just as much a part of nature. Humankind has been participating in agriculture for about eleven thousand years, and I feel that connection when I get my hands dirty. Tessa and I have picked up "Farmer Boy," the Laura Ingalls Wilder book that is third in her series, and Tessa and I understand so much more of what they're talking about now. It makes me think that, while I'm grateful for computers and blogging and iPods and bread machines and washing machines and indoor plumbing and medicine and all kinds of other modern inventions, humankind was meant to get down in the dirt. I find it shocking that I'm nearly forty years old and I can't really picture what a potato plant looks like, even though I've eaten potatoes my whole life. When I think about it, I can't picture many things that I eat unless I'm picturing them in a plastic sack or in a bin at the grocery store. Well, no more....I'm learning, and I feel the connection of that learning.

It's a quiet way to live, but it feels very full and boisterous, too. "Care" isn't a sexy life philosophy, really, but I don't find it dull.

And I'm hoping that all of these delicious vegetables and fruits that I'm growing will nourish me, and that the work that I do in the garden will tone me, and perhaps THAT will make me feel a little sexier.

Right now, I don't see much of a down side. My aching body even feels good, because my aches are not surgically induced in this case, but brought about by good, hard work.


Refusing to rush

We stayed home from church this morning. We just weren't up to the rush; Ryan is all stuffed up, and we haven't been home together in a week really Ryan was gone for six days) and we just feel the need to move slowly this morning.

I've been reading "Mother Earth News," and Ryan is finishing the last few pages of his book. Tessa is reading some Easter stories to herself - we keep them up in the attic and just brought them down, along with the 'egg tree' that is now on our dining room table - and we're drinking coffee by the gallon. Sarah McLachlan's "Ordinary Miracle" is our church music this morning, and I'll read from Mark Nero's affirmations for Ryan and I. We will walk to the Farmer's Market, we will work on the garden.

Next week we will go to church. But today, we needed this quiet family time.