Cheat Day?!

In our house, it is certainly the Den Mother who carries the Primal Torch.  You know, the flame of all things inspirational for our family’s healthier life?  The raison d’être.

Apparently, I am the only one interested in the Primal Torch at all.  After today, I expect the occasional resentful eye roll in my direction as I try to balance said torch above my head.  But I’m betting nobody is going to catch it if it falls.

For the first time in a year, after months of nose-wiping and late nights with coughing kids, I have a head cold.  Head pounding and eyes watering, I smiled weakly and made a list when Den Dad offered to get groceries for the coming week.  He even took all three girls with him.  My hero!

So, I face the work week with everything essential in my fridge.  But there were a few things that came home from the grocery store this morning that were not on the list…

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SPRING!

In the last month I have been so thoroughly embracing spring and the outdoors that I haven’t had time to sit down and gush about it.

In April we started a wall because it was hard to see that spring was on its way.  I needed a concrete and inspiring reminder when the slushy snow was falling in gobs from the grey sky.

But now…IT IS HERE! Continue reading

About my job…

I haven’t left home to “work” full-time since 2005. What part-time work I have done in the last six years has been minimal, and I squeezed in (out?) another two babies along the way. We also did a massive, over-budget, over-timeline home renovation ourselves (with two little ones), navigated three of Den Dad’s career changes, sank to the depths of hopelessness with his back injuries, waded through some postpartum depression and some good old-fashioned depression, morphed with financial pressure caused by all the above, and tried to be partners and parents.

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Almond Butter Makes It Better

Almond butter is tasty stuff, especially when combined with the sweet tang of fruit.  Though it is a less than perfect protein source (higher in Omega 6, for example), almond butter is far superior to peanut butter in that it is less toxic, allergenic and promotes a lower insulin response when eaten.  In moderate doses, I send it down tiny gullets with a clear conscience.

There are three super-simple ways I vary this item on our day home menu:

  • Apple slices with a small cup of almond butter for dipping.
  • Strawberry slices or blueberries atop a rice cracker spread with a generous smoosh of almond butter.  (The cracker is a bit of a nasty, but the wee ladies especially like these with a tea party.)
  • A half banana, sliced lengthwise, then filled with a layer of almond butter or cinnamon and chopped nuts.

Not exactly rocket science, but all three are always incredibly popular and fairly quick and easy to prep!

If you are looking for more pack-and-go, check out over 70 lunchbox ideas for preschoolers over at Primal Kitchen.  Good stuff!

To Heaven and Hell in a Breadbasket

March seems to be the month when the wall has been thrown up. I hear the dull thud of mother-bodies crashing into it with regularity.  In spite of longer days and melting afternoons, there is a fatigued look in everyone’s eyes – like winter has taken its toll and spring is yet too far away to inspire optimism. Continue reading

Episode P: a Mom story

Our sweet and pensive five year-old has peed every 20 min for two days.  Fearing a UTI, we have been pumping cranberry juice into her steadily for 24 hours, with little effect.  Time to go to the doctor.  Easily done – Friday is my day off!

In our infinite wisdom, we have decided that one vehicle is plenty for our family.  Money saved can go toward the occasional cab and bus fare to offset inconvenience.  We have done very well with this new arrangement.

Den Dad willingly rose at 5:00 yesterday morning to take the bus to work so that I would have the van to get to our 9:30 appointment.  I was going to be a bit late, but I was eagerly looking forward to a coffee date with a good friend I haven’t seen in a while.  I also planned to run a list of errands as long as my arm in the afternoon and clean at home before I rushed off to my 7:00 – 10:00 rehearsal.  I LOVE a busy and productive day… Continue reading

Music Month Activities

Our recent music month included some good crafting time and more play with rhythm and tone.  Even if you are not very musical, a little bravery is probably all you need.  Our music time was expanded by the “play” we incorporated with our new instruments. Continue reading

Ham Roll-ups

In the spirit of more ideas and less verbiage, I begin a short and sweet series of snacks that work:  Ham Roll-ups!

Roll slices of deli ham around a thin spread of avocado, red pepper strips and (optional) cheese.

You can soft-cook the red pepper for babies, or leave it out.  My toddlers can handle raw peeled cucumber quite well, so sometimes I substitute that or just make theirs with plain avocado.  These are popular with me because little participants like to help make them, they are healthy-ish and hand-held.

It occurred to me the other day that chicken, tuna or egg salad would include itself in these handy rolls quite nicely, as well.

Butterfly Cake

Long ago, when I only had one little girl, my friend Naomi and I made a birthday cake.  It was a pink and white choo-choo train with a smiling face, smokestack and different cars topped with flowers and sprinkles.  It took us about 400 man-hours.

The next year we did a pink castle with a moat, bridge and chocolate wrought-iron gates.  It had vines and turrets.  That one took about 4000 man-hours.

I now have three girls who have grand expectations about their hand-crafted super-mom cake.   Continue reading