Thursday, March 29, 2012

A Glimpse

Molly makes her own dinner, Oliver is off on his bike to pick beets for the salad to serve at grandparents day tomorrow and I am just out of a nice hot bath. Aaahhhh, so happy. The little girls in the neighborhood have come to the door, there's going to be a plant sale! Red tulips, dog and frisbee, muddy children and lemons. The kids go to grandma and grandpa's for the week, I will join them on my birthday. 38, so unreal. Yes, I am having a cocktail tonight. I get it Mrs. Robinson. :)

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Screen Time

One of the worst things for an anxious child is to stare at a screen. Sure they sit still and oh so quiet but have you ever noticed how they behave when they're not plugged in? We are not a screen free family and I absolutely notice a difference if they've had too much. When Oliver was younger, he would be rapid fire, unable to entertain himself, more high strung and prone to tantrums. Here's ONE BIG TIP to helping your anxious child, TURN OFF THE SCREENS! Let them be bored and find themselves. Yes, they will bug you for a while to watch a movie or play a video game but they WILL stop. Be strong, patient and sure that this is absolutely one of the healthiest decisions, besides diet, that you will make for them. Last night I was working on the computer while he played nearby and I commented that I had a headache. Oliver looked up and said, "too much screen time". I have just been called out, I thought. Now that he's older, with guidance, he can now identify triggers for his emotional behavior, one of them being too much time plugged into a screen. This will also reduce their need to become voracious consumers wanting every piece of plastic junk that just ends up in a landfill. Now you're helping the environment as well!

Monday, March 26, 2012

Your Child as a Beach, Integrating the Senses

I use to do this daily for both my children. It got to the point, very quickly, that Oliver knew when he needed to be wrapped up securely in a blanket and be a beach. This is very calming for everyone involved and so good for integrating the senses for these overly or not so sensitive children. I would have them lie with their arms at their sides and role them up snugly in a blanket that covered them down past their toes. Laying on their stomach, with their heads resting to the side, they would become a warm beach. Using your hands, alternate firm and soft touches making sure to get all the way to the toes and top of the head. These areas are so sensitive and often takes time for the children to be able to handle it without giggling or pulling away. Don't push it. Make up your own gentle story of the waves washing over the beach and little crabs walking along. Hot sun pressing down on the warm sand, cool waves washing away the seashells. This was our favorite!

Friday, March 23, 2012

Tip for a Nervous Child

A hat, it's that simple. When Oliver was in kindergarten, he hated circle time. In the waldorf schools, everyday starts with this exercise of movement and song. It was like running his nails down a chalkboard to do the movements along with his peers and he would act up horribly. One morning he wore a warm hat and the teacher insisted he remove it. Oliver sobbed and sobbed, at this point it was a battle of the wills between the two. She later spoke to another teacher who told her that the hat was a buffer for him and she should allow him to keep it on. Just that extra layer over his sensitive little head made such a difference for him. I recommended this to my neighbor last night to help get her anxious boy to sleep. I said to sprinkle it with some lavender, maybe give it a special name. She called this morning well rested. It worked within minutes. Capping off that frenetic energy giving a feeling of protection in a comfortable, warm hat equals peace.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

My Other Job

This was such an amazing project! We worked day and night on this album and my husband even did the artwork. Getting ready to move on to the next step and start producing some source music for films! Vatrena has already had some of her music used for the film "All About Us". Another exciting adventure for our family and friendship!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Spring Pasta

This was delicious and good for keeping the colds at bay!
Boil your pasta in salted water, strain reserving some of the boiling liquid. Toss in chopped flat leaf parsley, minced garlic, dried red pepper that has a little kick and juice of half a lemon. Sprinkle with good parm! We served this with fresh beet greens from the garden that had been sauteed in a little olive oil and sprinkled with sea salt.

How to Simplify Your Child's Bedroom

Every few months I have to repeat the process of de-cluttering my children's bedroom. Now that they are older, I can do it with them present and they're actually helpful! When they were younger I had to wait until they visited grandma to "clean". Here are a few tips to simplify and bring calm and beauty to your space.
1) Get rid of anything broken! Unless you're that rare parent that is actually going to fix it. If it's just another plastic toy, let it go!
2) Select only a few to keep in the room and box up the rest to cycle them through later. Put the box in the garage and out of sight.
3) Bring nature inside! Children love building with real materials. Have a variety of baskets filled with rocks, nuts, acorns, seashells, pine cones, sticks etc.
4) Have a cozy corner draped in material to create a little reading or resting spot. I loved building tents in my bedroom when I was little. It's so nice for them to have a special spot to just be.
5) Make it smell good! Lavender oil creates a warm, relaxing atmosphere in the home. A few drops on their pillow is just perfect.
You'll love how soothing the space feels when you're done and so will your child.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Comfort Food Chocolate Cake

For when mama needs to indulge, this is the best chocolate cake I've ever made. Moist, chocolaty layers drenched in ganache! Sometimes a little chocolate just needs to happen.

4 oz unsweetened chocolate finely chopped
1 stick unsalted butter cut into 1" chunks
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1 c sour cream
2 c unbleached all purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
2 c superfine sugar
2 lg eggs
1 tsp vanilla
combined chocolate, butter and water in small saucepan whisking until it simmers and melts. Transfer to clean bowl and cool to room temp. In small bowl combine baking soda and sour cream and set aside for about 15-20 min. Position rack to center of oven and preheat to 350. butter and flour 2 9x2"round cake pans and line bottoms with parchment. In large bowl, combine flour, salt, and sugar with whisk. Add cooled chocolate and beat with electric mixer on low for about 1 min. Add eggs one at a time then add vanilla and sour cream mixture and beat until smooth. Pour runny mix into pans and bake 35-40 min. Cool in pans then turn out and slather with ganache! Ganache is sooooo easy to make and requires only chocolate and heavy cream. Google it, you'll see!

Friday, March 16, 2012

The Failing Mother and The Tooth Fairy

Four nights in a row now we've forgotten the tooth fairy. "It's raining, her wings will get wet,"only works so many times. While my son took his shower this morning, my husband fished around in the bottom of my purse for change and scuttled up the ladder to Oliver's loft to shove it under his pillow. Things like this send us off into the abyss of "The Bad Mother". Just another thing I'm falling short on. I'm forgetting the tooth fairy, I can't pay for more violin practice or a Spanish tutor, I'm not doing enough on the school auction projects, not putting my heart into the committee or volunteer work that I've added to my life, I'm not exercising enough and feeling fat and, ironically, I'm not showing up enough in my business supporting MOMS! Good grief, if we only payed attention to how much we are trying to accomplish we would see how frickn' ridiculous it is! Practice saying no to more things and give yourself some credit. Moms are amazing and we just don't acknowledge that enough. Drop a ball once in a while and tell a little story about wet fairy wings. It not only gets you off the hook, but inspires creativity...right?

Saturday, March 10, 2012


I love this magazine. I picked up one in the office at school the other day and it just happened to have some articles about homeschooling to the child's interests. Perfect! "There are many ways to educate a child." "Trying to determine the best way to educate our children in these times is a task we all share, and the health of society is paramount." We plan to rejoin the Davis Waldorf School, but it's so enriching to read these articles, feel the support that's out there. We aren't the only ones who want to take a step back and find what makes our children shine. There's an article about homeschooling teens "coming to selfhood through work and interests." Again, perfect! "The teen who knows his or her interests provide fulfillment is already aware that self-worth doesn't come from popularity or possessions." We are entering the age when they are looking around at what others have and needing to have it. Whatever "it" is! To take this time and let them find some individuality, something they really love and excel at feels right to me. "The adults in their lives believed time invested in interests was time well spent. Due to their interests, these individuals developed a strong achievement ethic and a drive to learn for mastery." Ah, finally I have permission to focus on what they are not only good at, but happy doing! Yay! And for those who are worried we won't teach them math, writing etc....2 1/2 hours of homeschooling is = 6 hours of school. One on one, just like homework.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

What Inspires

What inspires your child? Sometimes, and I think often, the stuff that inspires isn't taught at a school. Freedom to just be and explore the world around you. Oliver was so excited to go to the snow with family for the weekend after a long hard week at school. In a bad mood all week, he wrapped it up with a great day on Friday knowing he would soon be taking his first snowboarding lesson! The kid loves speed, being in control of his body and spirit. Like me, he has a hard time with conformity which I think will serve him well. He knows why he's here and I just have to trust and listen to what is needed to support him. Decimals and fractions...not so much his thing and honestly I've forgotten most of what he is currently learning in math but, he can memorize lines for a play like a mad man with all the charisma of a seasoned actor. His ability to move his body has always been incredible. Yoga, bike riding, climbing etc. He has an amazing sense of humor and can articulate better than most adults. I'm going to focus on his strengths for a while. They make him happy. Happy=success