the kids table at the play date today.

Bon Bons

I am sitting here eating a bowl of ice cream, and playing around on the computer, in the middle of the day. Alex is working in the blazing sun building a deck a few houses away. ~~Guilt~guilt~guilt...~(what is that saying about eating bon-bons? "It's not like I'm here eating bon-bons all day"? or something like that- Well... it is the kind of day where I might say I've been eating bon-bons all day. or the equivalent...)
It is so hot my eyelids feel sweaty. It is so hot that when I went to put Lili down in her crib for her nap her neck stuck to my arm. Ideally, the transition from arms to crib should be smooth so she doesn't wake up, but, when our skin sticks together and won't detach- Well, that's not smooth. Luckily, she was so pooped from our fun play-date earlier today she stayed limp while I botched up the entry to the crib. Wednesdays are my favorite day of my week with Lili.
~This day starts with me not having to go to work.
~Lili and I played and slowly cleaned the house in the morning.
~Then we went to our neighbor Meredith's to have a play date with Meredith and Micheles' little ones for a couple of hours.
~Lili and I came home and ate some lunch with Alex who was on his lunch break.
~Then I made some pizza dough while Lili created havoc with the Tupperware bin.
~Then she went down for a long summer nap by the fan, and I hung some laundry, started a new load, and then came inside to make a business phone call, eat some ice cream, drink some cold water, and change my blog title like I have been thinking to do for a long time.
~I made a mistake and had the fan running while I scooped out flour for the dough, and now our kitchen is coated in a fine flour dust... I think I will end my bon-bon break to go clean that up for another hard play session with Lili...



A Jaunt through a Confused Mother's Mind

  • Most doctors (Every one I have ever talked to in person) will say vaccines are important and children should get them without a doubt.
  • It is definitely in the country's best interest for everyone to be immunized without a doubt. The people most at risk are very small babies, (and non-breastfeed babies) and people with a weakened immune system. If the "Herd" is vaccinated, there is less of a chance that those who are more susceptible will be effected, and epidemics will not happen.
  • Some of the ingredients in the varying vaccines worry me as a mother. Things like the aluminum, mercury, formaldehyde, animal proteins, and preservatives. Thankfully, mercury is almost gone from most vaccines in the last few years and the ones that do (one of the DTaP brands, and some flu shots) have 1/100th of what used to be in them.
  • The most alarming thing to me is the amount of aluminum that will be injected into a small body when many shots are given at once. The effects of the quantity has only been studied in the quantity for 1 vaccine, not 3 to 5 at once.
  • There are all these questions floating around about links to different illnesses such as autism and vaccines. So far, research has found no correlation, but then again, I have read some personal stories about before and immediately after vaccine that are chilling. Who and how do you trust anything???
  • There are so many of the diseases that they vaccinate for such as diphtheria, that if you are not leaving the country, your chance of contracting it is almost 0. However, the reason we can live with ease that it is 0 is because we vaccinate against it. If I didn't vaccinate Lili against Diphtheria I am relying on thousands of other babies to get the shot to keep diphtheria out of our country. That doesn't feel right to me...
  • But then again, do I make the decision on what is best for all, or for what I believe is best for Lili in my heart? What I came to is that there were many places this overlapped. It is in the world's best interest that Lili be vaccinated for polio, It is in Lili's best interest to be vaccinated for polio. (Polio is not considered a very risky vaccine comparitivly and contracting Polio can be devestating) I got her vaccinated for Polio.
  • I did not get her vaccinated for chicken pox or Hep B. Maybe when she is older, closer to being sexually active, and her immune system is older I will do the Hep B. If she doesn't contract Chicken Pox by age 10 or so I will get the vaccine then (Because the older you are when you contract that one, the worse it is.)
  • Technically, I shouldn't be allowed to just pick and choose which I want and what I don't. I have to claim a religious exemption, and really, if you were religiously against vaccines, you wouldn't get some vaccines. But the Doctor just said "Well, I am here to inform you that I think vaccines are safe, and you should get them, but I respect your decision. (In the beginning when I decided to delay them)
  • The country is dealing with an ever rising group of people who are choosing not to vaccinate their children. The laws in each state vary, and in all of them, it is a sticky subject. Can you lawfully force vaccines? Is it child abuse to not vaccinate? What if you think that the research done on vaccines is incomplete and in some cases funded by the vaccine makers themselves? Where is the balance, and how can we keep everyone healthy?
I read five books about vaccinations all in all. One was way over my head, one was so Pro-vaccine that it terrified me to even question vaccinating. The third was so Anti-vaccine that it terrified me to question vaccinating. (both the anti and the pro books made me feel nauseous with worry when I read them) But luckily (just like Goldilocks) I found two great books that fit me just right. They are written by Aviva Jill Romm, and Dr. Sears. I found the Dr. Sears most helpful of all, and it was what swayed me to choose to vaccinate Lili for many of the recommended vaccines. I anticipate this blog entry will upset some people. Especially if you feel that the vaccine question is not a question. I am sorry. This has been weighing very heavy on me since before Lili was born. My little list that I just spun off the top of my head is just a small sampling of the chaos roaming in my head about vaccines. I have much empathy for both sides of the debate, and can not point my finger to a right and a wrong. For me it came down to a balancing act. Weighing in what I feel is right for my child, and weighing that against what I think is best for the good of all. Trying to listen and respect my doctor, and yet at the same time trying to be a good mother and and find the path that is most healthy for Lili.


hmmm... i just love her....

Lilikoi went to the doctors last Wednesday for a "Well child check up". Our doctors name is Dr. Uhren, pronounced like Urine- NO JOKE!
(Every time I say his name I feel a grade-school giggle catch in my throat.)
Lili now weighs 18lbs, and she is 29", and her head is growing just as it should be. All good news. I also after much researching, soul-searching, and indecision gave her her first round of vaccinations. DTaP, HIB, and Polio. (Typically these start at 2 months) I will write more on this later, as it is too much to think-explain-rationalize at 11:30 pm. The three shots went into her left thigh, and she seemed oblivious to the first jab, there was realization at #2, and by #3 she was letting of a curdling scream. I was able to just sit down and nurse her, and she settled right down though. What would I do if she didn't nurse in a situation like that??? What a blessing my pacifying breasts are!


dasiedays has tagged me, here are the rules;

1. Link to the person who “tagged” you.

2. Post the rules on your blog.

3. Write six random things about yourself.

4. Tag six people at the end of your post.

5. Let each person know that they have been tagged by leaving a comment on their blog.

6. Let the tagger know your entry is up.

Six random facts about me;

1. I love sweet potatoes.

2. I played Ice Hockey and soccer in high school.

3. I am a worry-wart, AND a nervous-nelly.

4. I stand in the grocery line and get sucked into reading gossip magazines while Alex checks and pays for the food often.

5. I didn't have tv growing up.

6. If Lili had been a boy we would have named her Kincaid.

I will tag and am interested to hear what Ema, Erin, and Adam have to say! (I know i am supposed to pick six people i am sorry...)


It's a Girl!

Went to the giant pay-per-pound goodwill the other day and picked up some treasures. Among them: a classic plastic popping vaccum toy, a new-looking patagonia fleece for myself, a pair of pants for Alex, A large swatch of shimmery starred fabric for who knows what (Alex's just loves my "who knows what" collection), and what was most satisfying of all: a pink grass skirt to go in Lili's future dress up chest, and a doll. I will be the first to say that boys can, and most certainly will, play with dolls and hula skirts, but, there was this little part of me that opened up inside when I saw the doll. It was like the floodgates of gushy-ness for things like tea parties, and dress-up, and mother-daughter talks, hit me for the first time...

It's a


Thanks Caren for letting us know about picnik! It is so much fun!


hung by clothespins, on a ribbon, stretched from one wall to another..

Since my heartsick-for-a-studio episode last week I have been getting more creative with the limited space I do have to make and store my art and my ton of supplies. This is one simple way to dry wet paper so the cats don't sleep on it and the baby doesn't tear it into pieces. It is a little strange in our living room, but, it is kind of fun too.


two abnormal events tonight

It was hot (maybe 95?) and muggy when Alex, Lili, and I sat down to eat a delicious and artfully prepared dinner by my darling husband tonight. (It involved black beans and Swiss chard that was from our garden) Thunder had been rumbling in the distance for a bit, and just as we were sitting down it started to downpour. ..THEN~ it started to hail. At first one little hail bouncing by the fig tree, then a flash of white mixed in with the rain over by the rocks, then the heavens let loose and they came pelting down. I don't think I have ever seen hail like this~ and on a day that is SO hot. There is a good reason why I know a couple of people addicted to the weather channel. because weather is just fascinating.
So after all the hoopla about the hail we settle in to eat when out of the corner of my eye I see a movement above Alex's head. What on earth??? It is a snake wiggling in our window.
Yes indeed. probably to get away from the hail, our resident black snake crawled up our window. If anyone had any doubts about us living in the boonies- this probably crushed that.
The good news is A: the snake was not IN my house. and B: Black snakes are not poisonous, and they in fact deter the poisonous Copperhead snake from coming around.



= Grill.

or at least that's what the guys said when they persuaded me that we needed a grill. We have a long term vision of having an outdoor kitchen with a hand-built brick oven, a sink/counter area, and a grill. So... "We are only bringing that dream one step closer..."
It was a joyful evening breaking in the grill. And I will admit, since we didn't turn our stove on, it was much cooler in our house.


A Glimpse

NeNe taught Lili how to shake her head yesterday... I am enjoying it now before it means NO.


so many hip grandparents... here are two of them...

Go to The Five Carmonas blog for a fun description of my mother-in-law's (NeNe to Lili) and step-father-in-law's (Papa Randy to Lili) visit to the Blue Ridge Mountains this week.


all good things in all good time...

i keep telling myself patience.
i keep telling myself all good things in all good time.
and yet...
i find myself longing for a space to call my own to create art in. i hesitate to even think all this, let alone blog about it, lest i seem ungrateful for all that i have, and or make my dear husband feel guilty that he hasn't build me a studio yet. (as if he sits around doing nothing!) so today after a little painting at the kitchen table i thought maybe if i looked at some other people's studios maybe i would be inspired in some way. i went to good ol' google and typed in "artist studios" and spent the better half of Lili's nap day-dreaming. oh... the yearning...
but as i said, all good things in all good time.
back when we were living in a school bus, i said this to myself about a home to live in, and look where we are.
here is a sampling of some studios that caught my eye...



I wanted to shower a little extra attention on the clambake that occurred at the beach.

See, the clambake is a family tradition of my grandmother's family. Her grandparents and parents were from Illinois, and had clams shipped in from the coast in order to do this special and festive meal. Needless to say, it was a big event for them...There was a little confusion as to the proper and best way to do the clambake as we didn't have all of the traditional materials such as seaweed or the exact type of clams. We were however using my great grandparents giant copper pot to cook in. (It is my understanding that traditionally clambakes were cooked directly in a pit dug in the sand.) What should we use instead of seaweed? Should the clams go on top or bottom? If they go on top will the broth be infused with the clam taste? Here is what we decided to layer in the copper pot:
  • gallon of seawater
  • corn-on-the-cob in tinfoil
  • whole potatoes also in tinfoil
  • whole chicken legs and thighs
  • clams
  • and corn husks in between the layers
We got the charcoal grill extremely hot and carefully placed the full pot atop the bed of coals. We secured the lid and waited for the whole operation to turn into a steaming heap of infused and intermingled flavors.
Mostly it was my Dad, Papa, my Uncle Glenn, and Amy making this whole thing happen. Being a nervous-nelly, I stopped by to help here and there, but all the steam and hot metal and the whole thing precariously on a grill with skinny legs- well- the baby and I just helped keep the rest of the guests entertained.
Despite several doubts (mine included) the clambake was SO good. I wasn't sure I even liked clams honestly, but they were delicious. The clams open up when cooked. You pull out the clam, and wag it in the infused seawater broth(the pink bowl shown), then dip it in melted butter- Pop it in your mouth... Yum.


This past week we have been at the seaside, enjoying the vast horizon, the seafood, the comfortable beach-house my dad and my Aunt Bonny graciously let us stay at, the after dinner card game "oh shucks", and lots of quality time with my paternal family. This year was special however, because we celebrated my grandparents' (Mayme and Papa as we affectionately call them) 60th wedding anniversary. To celebrate we had a very special brunch, an afternoon ride down the inter-coastal waterway in a pontoon boat, and an adventurous dinner in which we made a clam-bake! I am so blessed to have grandparents who have been married for 60 years and still love each other more every day.
Here are a few shots of our time:Lilikoi's first dabble in the Atlantic Ocean...Mayme's mother's plate set that Bonny brought for the guests of honor.The anniversary brunch.Mayme and Lili relaxing on the porch.Mayme, Aunt Bonny, and Cousin Dane , making mimosas in the beach house kitchen.Dad and Amy...
Lemon cake (with lemon cream cheese frosting) that Alex made for Mayme and Papa
Mayme and Papa cutting the cake... finishing off a wonderful day.