Thursday, June 30, 2011

Enjoy Life

Tomorrow the babe and I are going for another "food challenge" at the allergist's office.  This will involve sitting in a small room with my daughter for about 6 hours as she is slowly fed muffins made with real cows milk.  Apparently when you bake milk it breaks down the protein which can cause allergic reactions.  And apparently the doctors think she is ready to take on the "baked milk challenge."

I haven't spent too much time thinking about it, until today.  My Mother-in-Law and I were having lunch and she started asking questions about the appointment and how long we'd be gone.  As I explained to her how the appointments go (I've done 3 challenges with my kids already), I realized I had not thought about the fact that all the challenges we've done so far have been successful.  My kids had out grown their "challenge" allergies and did not have any reactions whatsoever.

What I haven't spent time thinking about is the fact that not all food challenges are successful and that sometimes kids have severe reactions.  That said, I am not going to stress about it now.  The only way we can really know if the babe is ready for baked milk is to give her small amounts in a safe environment and monitor her along the way.

All this reminds me that I want to say a big thank you....not to my husband, not to my Mom, but to a food company.  I am not being paid to give this endorsement, I just feel so grateful that Enjoy Life Foods exists and are creating foods that help my daughter feel "normal."  Enjoy Life Foods makes amazing chocolate chips which I have been using in the babe's treats for some time.  Last week I discovered that they now make chocolate bars she can have (imagine eating your first ever chocolate bar!).  And yesterday, I was beyond thrilled to discover 3 varieties of granola bars that will be safe for the babe and her lunch box.  It has been hard living without the easy to grab granola bar, and while I like the ones I make, I don't exactly always have them on hand.  While the babe is now only allergic to dairy, peanuts and tree nuts, it is rare to find a company that is making tasty treats that are dairy, gluten, peanut, tree nut, soy, egg and casein free!  I just want to thank Enjoy Life Foods for helping my daughter enjoy her own.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011


For a budget massage in Northwest DC, check out the Potomac Massage Training Institute.

And for an amazing Italian meal in a cozy restaurant in Northwest DC, check out DeCarlo's Restaurant.

These two activities brought joy to my life last week!  Enjoy.

Thanks, Mom!

My last post was thanking my husband.  This one is to thank my Mom.

When I heard my husband would be leaving town for work for 10 to 14 days I had a bit of a panic attack.  That is really beyond the amount of time I feel comfortable being a single parent.  So I called my Mom and subtly let her know that she would be more than welcome to come down for a visit.

She immediately went online, found a good flight on points, and after calling back to check, went ahead and booked an 8 day stay.  And what a joy it was to have her with us for the past week.  As she said this morning over our last shared coffee of the visit, the days were long but the week flew by.  I told her I think that's what it's like when you hang out with little people so much.

In the time she was here we managed to go swimming, to numerous parks, and to a puppet show.  I also managed to have a massage (at the budget training school near my home), to go clothes shopping, and to go grocery shopping all by myself.  Not only that, but we also booked a babysitter on Saturday night and went for a fabulous Italian meal at DeCarlo's Restaurant in DC.

I was exhausted and overwhelmed when she arrived, and I am blessed to have a Mom who swooped in and helped with all the details of life with my kids.  The cooking, the cleaning, the playing and the general tickidy boom of the house hold went so much smoother because she was here.

I am lucky to have such a great Mom.  And I am grateful we enjoy each others company so much.

She flew back to Canada today and we will miss her.  But guess who arrives from Canada tomorrow?  My Mother in Law!  We have back to back coverage and the kids and I are blessed.  As my husband said the morning he flew home from his most recent business trip, "I love my family."

Sunday, June 19, 2011

A Big Thank You

I want to send my husband a huge (virtual) hug and gigantic kiss.  I want to document how much I love him and how grateful I am that he is the Father of my children (who are not easy), and a Husband to me (who is also not easy).  Our family seems to be securely strapped into the perpetual roller coaster of life, and while there are many highs and lows, I know that the kids and I have a man who is always going to be strapped in right next to us. 

While we both continue to have our good days and our bad, we are committed to finding ways to make our family work.  We are always striving towards that "union" of parenting styles that will make for a smoother path into the future.

I know what it's like to get lost in the hassles of daily life.  And I know that I don't say thank you enough.  But today, June 19, 2011, I want it on the record that I am a grateful Wife and Mother.  I am blessed enough to have built a family and a home with my closest friend; and I want to wish him a Happy Father's Day.  Thank you for everything you do (like getting on multiple planes to fly to work-related committments on Father's Day).  All our love, C xoxo 

Saturday, June 18, 2011

The Office View

I have been working on unpacking our office.  It has been a total mess since we moved in last October.  I didn't want to hit the one year mark without having it set up.  Why buy a house with an office if you're going to avoid it because the mess stresses you out?

So I have made it a bit of a "project" this week.  Nap times have been spent moving stuff around, unpacking boxes, and generally trying to create some sense of order.  I have been making progress and it feels good.

One benefit of being in the office is that I can see outside the front of our house.  The other day I was at the desk when I saw a group of about 7 sketchy looking teenagers (I'm 35, so I can say that now) walking slowly down the street and staring into peoples homes and looking in car windows.  It was broad daylight and they were obviously looking for trouble.  I immediately went to shut my shade as I didn't want them coming up to ring the doorbell and waking the kids up (the babe has been home from school since Wednesday until the "camp" version begins on Monday).

A few of them proceeded to casually walk onto my neighbors lawn.  She is a  Stay-at-Home Mama like me and tends to keep her front door open.  My heart started racing as I watched one of them pick up a scooter sitting on the lawn and walk off to the street with it.  The gang kept moving and the scooter stealer scooted away with them. 

I had a zillion thoughts racing through my mind.  Before I could think too much about it I ran out to the street and started yelling at them, "Hey, that's not your scooter!  Bring that back here!"   I knew that if I didn't try and get the scooter back, I would beat myself up about it for weeks to come.  To my surprise, the little thief stopped and headed back. 

I glared at him and took the scooter.  "That belongs to a 7 year old kid.  How do you think he's going to feel when he realizes someone stole it?"  I was so pumped up at this point I don't even remember what he said, or if he said anything at all.

There has been an "uptick" in crime in my neighborhood lately and we have been asked to report suspicious activity.  There was recently an armed car jacking at a nearby intersection, there have been a lot of cars being broken into, and some assaults at near by bus stops.  After staring at the "gang" in disbelief, I ran inside the house and called 911.  I have never reported suspicious activity in my life, but I knew I had to make the call.  I gave the operator the info and she told me they would send someone out. 

When I later went to tell my neighbor what had happened, she mentioned she had seen a police cruiser driving by quickly and had wondered what was up.  I have never seen a police car on our street, so was bummed I missed seeing the one police car I had been been involved in arranging for.

Anyway, I think I did the right thing, although when my husband returned from his business trip later that night, he asked if perhaps I should have let them go and just called 911.  This thought had never occurred to me.  I am a Mom and now I am a home owner and I don't want people to think they can come into our neighborhood and take things that don't belong to them.  Needless to say I was glad we had an alarm system installed when we moved in.  I don't know what retribution I could expect for interfering with an attempted scooter robbery, and I don't want to find out (I say that in jest, sort of).

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Who is God?

On Sunday I took the babe to the baptism of my friend's son.  It was held in an Episcopal Church and included a full religious service.

I don't usually get into religion here, but I just had to share a few things.

I was raised Catholic and attended Mass pretty much every Sunday of my life for 17 years.

My husband was raised Hindu.

We now have 2 children who have not been baptized and who do not attend any regular religious services.  When we visit our families in Canada, we go to Mass and we go to the Temple.  We are in a wonderful position where we can educate our kids about love, respect and the fact that there is not one "right" and "wrong" when it comes to different religious beliefs.  We are going for the open approach and plan on helping our kids explore and supporting them if they choose to follow.

An Episcopal service is rather long, similar to the Catholic ones I grew up with.  The babe doesn't have a lot of experience sitting on hard wooden pews and remaining quiet, so it was a bit challenging for her.  I held her up when we stood so she could see what was going on, and tried to support her when she got exasperated by the length of the service.

As cooperative as she was, she occasionally asked questions in a not so quiet voice.  The one I wanted to share with you was, "Mama, who is God"?  Whoa.  That is a REALLY big question and I wasn't exactly in a position to get into it with her.  I whispered to her that we could talk about it in the car.

For the rest of the service I formulated my answer so I would be prepared.  The obvious answer to me was that "God is love."  After things wrapped up at the church we had a 10 minute drive to talk about God, all the different religions in the world, and about how Grandpa and Dadima (my Husband's Mother) both believe in God but attend different places of worship.  I didn't get too deep into it, but I think I covered the basics in as open a fashion as possible.

I know that our open approach to religious education may seem a bit odd to some, but I am hoping that the kids learn that there isn't one answer and that we can support them in their journey, wherever it may lead them.  Luckily the babe seemed satisfied with our discussion; although I'm sure we'll have many opportunities to expand upon it in the future.

Friday, June 10, 2011

My Feet


When you have kids, no one warns you how many times a day your feet are going to get trampled, run over, or stepped on in warmer weather.  This morning my son dropped something on my friend's foot and I told her I had been meaning to write a small post about the constant foot damage Mothers experience at the hands of their youngsters.  She wisely pointed out that the thing that makes it so hard to deal with, is that it always takes you by surprise.  You can try and protect yourself, but they are still going to get you.

That pretty manicure you managed to arrange? It may not even last an hour once you've returned home.  There's just nothing we can do about it other than wear full coverage foot wear all day long.  And when it's 102 degrees outside, that ain't happening.

I will give the kids a bit of a break and admit that it's not always their fault.  Yesterday I managed to knock a fork off our kitchen counter and have it land, spokes down, on my foot.  One spoke actually managed to break the skin and leave me with a red and bruised dot.

Anyway, just had to get that out of my system.  Happy weekend to everyone!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Vegas and Other Stories

There's been a lot going down around here lately.  Just wanted to share a few updates to keep everyone in the loop.

I don't usually advertise on the Internet when my husband is out of town, but last Thursday he took off for Las Vegas.  It was not a business trip, so it was a unique situation.  In the 4.5 years since the babe was born, my husband has rarely left our side, unless it was required for work.  To celebrate turning 40, my husband (who I should give a blogging nickname to) and a group of his best friends from high school decided to live it up in Vegas for 4 days.  He had my blessings and I really wanted him to have an awesome time.

That all said, I had forgotten what it can be like to be on my own with 2 kids for that long, especially when there is no school on the weekend to provide a bit of relief.  There were many highs and lows, and we survived the experience, including yet another power outage at an inconvenient time (is it ever convenient to lose your power?).  Needless to say, I was pretty psyched when he came back safe and sound.  The pressure of being solely responsible for 2 little lives was a tad much for me....combined with the standard lack of sleep.  But all in all, I am glad he went, because that man deserved a break from the madness. 

On Tuesday the babe turned 4.5 which is slightly mind boggling.  I used to celebrate every month of my kids lives and take a picture of them with a sign indicating how old they were.  I did take a lot of pictures of her on Tuesday, but she was holding a chocolate cupcake with a candle and a big grin on her face instead of a sign.  It is amazing how a cupcake and a candle can make everything seem so special.

Earlier in the day I had attended my last preschoolers parenting class.  I was extremely sad to see it end and will miss the 2 hours a week I used to spend learning about how to be a more patient and positive parent.  While I am still trying to put all I know in theory into practice, I am sure that all the time invested in these classes will somehow pay off in little ways I can't even see.  A few of us were weepy eyed at the end and it was really hard to say good bye to my amazing teachers and the lovely woman who watched the little guy while I was in class.  In fact he loves her so much that instead of calling her "Miss.Mary," he calls her "Aunt Mary."  I am not sure how long it will take him to realize that his regular Tuesday mornings with Aunt Mary have come to a close (they have been together every week since I started classes in February).  Anyway, if anyone reading this in the DC area wants to learn more about this amazing parenting program (Parent Encouragement Program), you can check them out online at

I also hosted my book club on our deck on Tuesday evening.  It was an awesome way to wrap up such a intense day.  We discussed Secret Daughter by Shilpi Somaya Gowda.  If you're looking for a good story that has a lot of motherhood and biracial family themes, this would be a solid pick.  You may recall I blathered on about loving my home a few months back, and I have to say it felt so good to have all the ladies form my old Street come over to my new home and hang out as the sun set and the sky turned pink.  The company and conversation were lovely. 

Anyway, apologies for being all over the place.  As much as this is a blog, I sometimes treat it like a journal.  In the end, it will be a great document of our life, so some blather along the way is OK by me.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

The Kind of Mom I Am

We woke this morning to a full on power outage.  The little guy was standing at my door crying and I quickly realized it was going to be a long day. Saturdays are always long days, but this had an extra special "long day" feeling.

Realizing there was not going to be any snuggling in bed watching cartoons and dozing, we all headed downstairs for some cereal and fruit. The power was still not back by the time we finished breakfast.  What next?  We decided it would be fun to go to the park.  So we all got dressed, packed our drinks and snacks, went to the front door to get our shoes, and BAM; the power came back on. 

I immediately told everyone to take off their shoes and go sit in front of the TV.  I got the kids set up with some quality programming, made a pot of coffee, cleaned the kitchen, started the dishwasher and stripped our bed to get the laundry going (I had found children's snot caked onto my duvet cover earlier in the morning).

So yes, it is super lame that I parked the kids in front of the TV just as we were about to go play, but I did redeem myself.  After the show ended and I was up to speed on all my basic chores, we put those shoes back on and went to the park for an hour.  And that was how we got through our Saturday morning.  Let's see how the afternoon goes.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Crazy Heat

Today we got a break from the insane onslaught of excessive heat and humidity we've been experiencing here in DC.  It was record breaking and suffocating and I am thrilled to report that it now seems to have moved on. 

I think things tend to get a little crazy when it's severely hot outside.  People just can't keep it together and all the basics are no longer so basic.

In the past 48 hours, I have seen a few of my newly planted flowers die (yes--from lack of water), brought both kids to the ER to have the little guy's eye area examined after a funky bug bite, and been hit by a car at a stop sign on the way to pick the babe up at yoga.  All this, and the little guy got up at 5:30 am today.  Needless to say I'd like to run off to the Bahamas now, alone.

Luckily I have a few other flowers which have survived, the car's bumper got a bit more banged up but no one was hurt, and the little guy was not diagnosed with cellulitis or any other funky infection thing.

The heat wave has subsided and hopefully our temporary state of chaos has come to an end.

Has anyone else out there been having a weird week?