Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Somewhere Over the Rainbow

Seeing the Ukuleles at the Earth Day celebration on Monday had me thinking back to my wedding day.

I was SUPPOSED to come down the aisle to Somewhere Over the Rainbow by Israel "IZ" Kamakawiwoʻole. However... our DJ's were how can a say..... a big piece of shit not very good. They played the wrong Hawaiian song as I stepped up to walk down with a dad on each arm. What's the big deal you say?? Well... every bride about to get married has a vision of themselves walking down to their hubby and the music playing. So almost every day a month leading up to my wedding I was listening to the song and imagining what was to come. Its such a beautiful song.

So with it being a beautifully sung song and the emotions of not having played right in the moment when it was supposed to... I tear up every time I hear that specific rendition of the song. I'm actually a freakin mess if it comes on and I'm not expecting it. Like at the end of Fred Claus or 50 First Dates. Enjoy. I had a hard time getting fully load before playing. Maybe you'll have better luck.

Side Note: Just watched this allllll the way through and just realized they are spreading his ashes at the end. Kinda morbid... but...... yeah... its my fav song.

Earth Day!

Uhhhh... Happy Earth Day... a day late....

Earth day was pretty busy for us so I'm just now blogging about it. Connor really didn't have a concept of what Earth was up until a few weeks ago. I picked up a book from the library about Earth day.

Connor: "What's Earth"
Me: "Its where we live. We live on earth"
Connor: "No, we live in Pasadena."

Damn kid... you're smarter than I thought.

So yesterday when we woke up I told him it was Earth Day and after daycare and dinner we would go to the library for some Earth Day celebrations.

On the way to daycare we talked about what was on earth. Clouds, trees, people, animals, water, and Lightening McQueen (I'm sure you can guess who thought that one up).

We ventured over to the Riviera Beach Library Branch and had a great show put on the by Ukulele Ensemble from George Fox Middle School. Connor couldn't read the words to the music provided but he swayed to the music with me and mumbled through the chorus parts of the songs. In between songs the library read stories. Of course Connor's favorite book, The Lorax by Dr. Seuss was read.

At the end of it all they had little pots of dirt and you could pick out which seeds you wanted to plant. Due to the reading of The Lorax, Connor thought we were planting Truffula Trees..... I kept telling him it was squash.

When we got home from work/daycare today he ran over to his pot of dirt to look for a seedling, looked at me and said, "There's a Lorax in here, I just know it."

Hope everyone takes the time this week to get back in gear with respecting the planet and what keeps us alive and well from day to day. Take care of Mother Earth and she'll take care of you! Because........"Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing going to get better. It will not."

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Waffle Maker Fun

Before leaving on my AZ trip I was doing research on (aka googling) processed food and weaning them out of our diet as Connor was having major stomach issues. Then I was reading articles on food dyes and how they are banned in some countries and yet the good old U.S.A. allows them.

That got me thinking about food stuff I've never really paid attention too. I looked at the waffles that Connor eats almost every morning for breakfast with fruit. BOOM... red dye and blue dye. I looked at french toast sticks I had bought him for a while and BOOM.... yellow dye. I kept looking and and looking at everything in the freezer aisle. Package after package had food dye and other random stuff in it. Now... I grew up on Eggos and Toaster Strudels and turned out just fine. I also grew up on Apple Jacks and Fruit Loops... yep... that's me... just fine. Well mostly... I do have funky stomach issues to deal with off and on.

The only waffles I could find that were "all natural" were the waffles that stated natural/gluten free. That's great... but there's only 6 in a box and cost just as much if not more than the other brand of waffles I had been buying.

So.... I go out to AZ with all this turning around and around in my head. When Connor was a baby and starting on solids I made all his baby food. Jarred food did not come into our house. Why? Well it grossed me out and if I could just take the time in making it why spend money on jarred food? I also made batches of pancakes and french toast to freeze and grab for his breakfast. At some point... Connor got hooked on waffles and it was easier for me to just buy them then make up batches of the other stuff.

I talked these thoughts out with my mom during my trip and before I left she actually gave me money for half of a really nice waffle maker. As soon as I got home I ordered it and it was in our house in no time. So here I had this awesome, shiny, brand spanking new waffle maker... what do I do with it??? I've never made waffles before!!!!!

I tracked down a quick recipe online (god I love the internet) and swapped flour for gluten-free flour, added flax meal, used coconut milk rather then regular milk and then tossed some strawberries in the food processor and added them to the mix. WOWWOWOWOWOWOWOW were they good.

So as the next couple of weeks went by I got to thinking.... French toast on a waffle maker? Why not? Grilled cheese on a waffle maker? Why not? And yes everyone reading... you can make french toast waffles and grilled cheese waffles!!!

I just whipped up my standard french toast egg mixture, dipped the bread and tossed it on the waffle maker. YUM! Connor tore those up. For the grilled cheese I just made the them like I would for the griddle but put them on the waffle maker instead. Connor tore those up too.

What didn't Connor like? He isn't a fan of the waffles! I've tried all sorts of different things since my first batch but I think he's partial to the red dots from old strawberry waffles and told my aunt at one point he wanted her to take the brown off of his waffles... I guess he's used to the yellow coloring? UGH. At least its a start.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Conquering the Ice

Kev and I had the great experience of watching our little man grow up a little this weekend. I'm pretty sure it was our first time just letting him go and watching him figure it out.

This weekend Connor started ice skating lessons. Being a the big hockey fan that Kev is..... we decided to put Connor in some ice skating classes to see how he did and that way it could open up to playing hockey if he wants too later.

Kev helped Connor with getting his skates on. The first thing Connor asked for was his hockey stick. It was comical watching him trying to walk around with the skates on his feet. The class started and as soon as Connor got out on the ice he froze stiff with his walker. He wouldn't move. The teacher was trying to get all the kids to march their feet and push the walker. Connor would not and did not want to. You could see he was uncomfortable and wasn't sure of what was going on.

He fell.

The teacher helped him up and tried getting him to move some but he was insistent on standing still.

He fell again. Tears.

The teacher helped him off the ice to us. I gave him a little pep talk about how brave he was for getting out there on the ice and wiped away his tears. He went back to his walker. Then slowly with the help of his teacher she got his little legs marching. As she moved on to working another kid, we watched him slowly and then faster and faster moving his walker around the ice. The teacher turned around and was surprised to see how far he had gone. By the end of the class he was falling without fear and pulling himself back up without any help.

At the end of the class he was on the other side of the rink and the teacher held his hands and had him skate back to get off the ice. He was so excited with himself he wanted to go back out.

Connor has always had a sense of hesitation when it comes to doing something that could be dangerous or hurt him. He's never been one to climb on counter tops or jump off of stuff really high. He's just content at what he's got going on. Going out on the ice and slipping and sliding all over the place as a huge step for him. Watching him out there and afterward Kev and I were so happy for him. I can't put it into an exact word to describe what my heart filled up with emotion wise. It was different than anything thing I've felt before. It was a combination of pride, love, excitement, happiness and awe. It was just filled to the brim of awesomeness for him watching him conquer the ice.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

The Greatest Show on Earth

The circus came in town and at the last minute Kev and I decided to take Connor. I'm NOT a HUGE circus fan but felt I couldn't deny my son the experience just because I'm not a fan.... well maybe... not gonna lie... I thought about it.

Connor loved it. At one point when the lights went low and the music got quiet he yelled, "The circus is awesome!" Sometimes I thought he was more interested in the light up spinning toy we bought him but his favorite was the motorcycles in the big round cage. At that point he had moved to my lap due to sleepiness setting in but as soon as those motorcycles hit the ring... boy oh boy did he light up.

All in all it was a good trip. With Connor being 3 years old there were some tears and tantrums but all minor. I think next year he'll understand more of what to expect so the nervous tantrums won't even show. But this year, he was enthralled with the whole experience.

For the last week Connor has now been asking us over and over about what was our favorite parts and then we have to ask him his favorite parts. He's also been telling me that I sat in seat one, he sat in seat two and daddy sat in seat three. He remembers the Moon Bounce down in the ring I wouldn't let him in (it was crazy crowded with kids and my wallet was up with Kevin). He remembers the clowns, the elephants and MOTORCYCLES. We might have started him on something.....


Tuesday, April 9, 2013

New Routine

Saturday morning I woke up at an ungodly hour to get my parents to the airport. This was a good thing though. It got me out of bed, dressed and out the door with no other option to drive myself to the farmer's market once I was done at the airport. Usually, on Saturdays I don't sleep in anyway because its my morning to get up with Connor. BUT even then its hard to get rolling on a new routine with a toddler under your feet... its soooooooooo much easier to just stay in your pj's after spending the week packing us up and running out the door each morning.

So here I was pulling into the Anne Arundel County Farmer's Market at 7am. Apparently, I was ahead of the game. Everyone was still setting up and I'm pretty sure I missed out on venders that hadn't shown up by the time I left. This really wasn't a bad thing per say. I really didn't know what to expect and now I know that I don't really have to show up until 8am if I want to get there early and knock out the trip at the beginning of the day.

So here I was... wandering around, not really knowing what to expect. I had cash on me (I NEVER carry cash on me) and my little tote bag to put veggies in. I got me some greens and green onions from one place, cheese made from raw milk at another place, fresh eggs (never had them before... why not try it out) from another, radishes from someone else (embarrassingly had to ask them to make sure it was a radish like I thought), and summer squash from another farmer. I was surprised about the summer squash but he said they have been taking off in his green house.

Not that I expected anything different, but everyone was super nice and thankful. What a great way to start off your weekend morning! Really though, I spend all week trekking back and forth from home to work with toddler in toe. We get stuck in traffic, or the toddler is cranky, or I'm cranky, or we're all just so busy that I feel some days would be better spent if they sped by fast to get them over with. Slowing down and appreciating those providing to you in your community and having them appreciate you helps calm that irritation building up as you're stuck in traffic later in the week.

I got home and looked in our fridge. It was a mess. I mean a total hot mess. Tupperware growing experiments with our left overs, questionable veggies and fruit in the bins, spills that didn't get cleaned up right away and you just couldn't tell what all we had. No wonder everything seems to get thrown out! No wonder I don't want to pack my lunch in the morning! No wonder I have zero desire to cook when I get home from work! Long story short... I made that fridge my B-I-T-C-H and its is clean and organized.

The whole experience and starting this new routine has me excited for this coming up Saturday as I see our produce get eaten up (and not thrown out!). Of course I supplemented at the grocery store with other veggies we needed/wanted that I didn't get at the market but its still Spring and we're only just now getting warm weather. I can't wait till our options grow and grow!

Monday, April 8, 2013

New Mode of Thinking

For the last year I've become more and more disappointed in the quality of the produce at one of our local grocery stores. I used to specifically go there for groceries as they always had a wide selection of produce and it was always a good quality. I didn't care it might cost a few cents or a dollar more than the store right next to our house because I new I was getting good produce.

However, in the last year I've been finding molded berries (all kinds), end of life almost rotten onions, sad looking squash and just the other day a molded orange. I used to point out to customer service when I found bad produce thinking it would help... but it hasn't... and I've stopped.

This winter I started thinking about checking out the Farmer's Markets in the area so I knew I was getting fresh produce not "going to rot the next day" produce. Of course, ideas like this tend to sit with me a for a while until I do them. For one thing, it was winter when I started this thought process and secondly.... I'd have to get my ass up and out the door to the market rather than to the store right around the corner when I felt like it. I'm lazy like that when it comes to grocery shopping.

Last month I read Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver. I had it saved on my "to read" list from when I wanted to read 30 biographies, autobiographies or memoirs before turning 30 (that NEVER happened). I kept putting it off because who wants to read about growing food??? Well, at least that's what I thought.

As soon as I started reading the book I thought, "OMG why didn't I read this sooner!?!" She spoke about the amount of money/oil/time that it takes to get produce shipped from places where its in season on one side of our country (or out of country) to the other side where its not in season or can't be grown period. She touched on how local farmers work hard to provide produce to communities when grocery stores are shipping it in from far away. She touched on many other topics such as dairy products, free range animals and getting to know your farmers in your area and what they provide to the community.

In her story, her family lived a year on only locally grown food. The food came from their garden or the local farms around them. While that sounded super for them, for me.... if I want an avocado or banana... then gosh darn-it I'm gonna have it! I also don't see myself out in my back yard digging up dirt to plant a garden. I don't like getting dirty, sweaty or have the attention span (at this point) to keep up with a garden.... I can barely keep my blog alive. But I guess I never thought of the fact that my produce was being shipped from California/Mexico to Maryland. Um.... no wonder its on its last leg before it gets to my house! I've never spent so much time looking at where my food is coming from since reading this book.

The book did reinforce my desire to get to the farmers market when they opened this spring. I'll buy it from the market before I buy it from the store if it is in season and I can get it local. I started looking up our county's farmer's market and TA DA it opened up in just two weeks. I was excited. Really.... like really excited. Nerdy maybe? Who knows. What I did know was I'd be looking forward to freshness in the fridge.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

And Then... It Was Gone

So I started running again in AZ. Then when I came home I was no longer stress eating so I started eating better. I felt great. I could feel my pants fitting better. I had energy. Little did I know my fingers were getting thinner too.

Then it happened.... some time between walking from my office to picking up Connor from daycare and putting him in the car.... my wedding rings fell off. BOTH! My engagement ring and my wedding ring are sodded together. We've looked all over this week. I had myself a good cry and let myself be sad and grumpy over it too.

I know its just a ring.... but its MY ring. My perfect rings. When Kev and I got engaged we were in our early 20's. We didn't make a lot of money and so my ring was modest, perfect and not a huge flashy rock on my finger. I loved my rings and what they represented to us as a couple. Sigh.

We're doing a through cleaning of my car this weekend. Beyond that... they're gone.

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Spring Break

So how did I recover from all the stress of winter? I ran away. Well not really. The vacation was already planned before our crazy winter started. BUT.... I don't think I ever looked forward to getting away and just being gone before. I got on that airplane with zero mom guilt for leaving my kid. I was ready to fly away. Far away.

I flew to the one place where I would be taken care of and lifted up by a person who loves me dearly..... I flew to AZ and saw my momma (will Bill too!). If there is one person that can bring me back down to earth its my mom (Kev too but he needed to watch Connor so I could run away).

I spent five wonderful days in warm Arizona. I slept a lot, I read a lot, and I laughed a lot. We made bracelets, got facials, dyed scarves, went for walks, started running again, cooked wonderful food, ate wonderful food out and about, and went to the zoo. Not once did I have to worry about a diaper, a runny nose or what was for dinner. Kev was home handling all that so I could clear my mind.

The last two days of my trip I skyped so I could see Connor and he could get a mommy fix. I came home missing my boys and feeling back to myself. I'm a better mommy, wife, employee, friend and me for "running away". A big thanks to my Mom and Bill for taking me in and spoiling me rotten.

Friday, April 5, 2013

Goodbye Winter

I cannot tell you how happy I am to say goodbye to winter. I know most of us are but man oh man did the Sachs house have a rough long winter. This winter left me down, out of the count, burnt out, stressed out and with all sorts of not being able to sleep. What was the cause? Cold weather? Lots of snow? Change of weather depression??? No. A stomach bug. A ridiculous stomach that would not leave our little boy alone!

From the last week of January to the first week of March, Connor was having digestive issues at least once a week. There is nothing more awful than guessing if your kid is actually better and waiting for shit (or throw up for that matter) to hit the fan. Toward the end I was loosing my mind. I was missing a lot of work and falling behind, not sleeping because every time Connor sighed, whined or rolled over in his sleep I'd jolt awake thinking he was going to be sick. This was new territory for our family. As the 4 to 6 day mark of being sick free crept closer and closer I worried more and more waiting for the impending doom. It sucked. Bad.

Thankfully I can say that with the Spring that is slowly starting to show its face and bring us hope the stomach issues have left my son (***KNOCK ON WOOD***).

So here we are. I haven't blogged in over a month. I really lost sight of myself as we dealt with what was being thrown at us this winter. I'm back, rested, and have found the part of myself that isn't just mommy.