A new perspective.

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Ugh, I just get so tired of some of the repetition in my life sometimes. Especially when it comes to household chores. So I’m trying to flip things around in my mind a bit.

A sink full of dishes? Yes! We had lots of food to eat!

Endless loads of laundry? Great! We have our own tiny washer to wash our lovely clothes!

Scrubbing the toilet again? Yay! My kid uses the toilet now!

Early wake up time every day for the rest of my life? AWESOME! I have a kid who I love and who loves me and we can’t wait to catch up after a long night of sleep!

Trouble getting out the door? We are so lucky to have great things to get to every day!

Crumbs on the floor? Yay! The mice can eat! Just kidding.

Good stuff: links to look at

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Sending negative energy back to people. I don’t know if it truly works but I find it so satisfying.

Some awesome audio yoga classes with an amazing instructor.

Wise words of Mr. Rogers via Teacher Tom’s blog.

Popping the “parenting bubble.”

A dad travels alone with his toddler and learns a few things. I like what he calls his feeling of being a “full parent.” Made me feel kind of proud of myself and other solo parents for being a “full parents” every minute of the year.

Summer of Me

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I couldn’t resist picking up Summer of Me. It’s a story of a single mom of twins who works hard and lives for her kids every single day. Until one summer when the twins travel to spend their vacation with their father. Hmmmm, just what does a mom do with an entire summer to herself?! Sounded like an interesting enough premise to me!

I really wanted to like it. At first, I just didn’t really get lost in it. The writing was okay enough, but the characters…so many of them just rubbed me the wrong way. I was bummed at the way the single mom main character is portrayed overall. I was bummed that she puts up with disrespectful friends. I was bummed she is not allowed to be perfectly happy without a man/partner. I was bummed that she uses her looks and sexuality to manipulate men and women. But who knows?! Maybe all the things I didn’t like about it would actually make it a really great escape for someone else.

It kind of reminds me of how I felt about moms groups when my baby was first born. I totally thought a bunch of moms would get together and we’d all get along great and be friends happily ever after. It isn’t that simple, is it? There are some moms you get along great with and there are others that just can’t seem to sit with each other. After three years of trying I’m still bummed about that. But pretty happy to have found the true gem moms that I have.

How about you? Do you know of any novels that fit the bill of portraying a single mom in a good light and that have a positive story to tell?  And how has your experience of mom “matchmaking” been? Hoping you have all the right books and the right people in your life!

Secret family recipes.

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I was lamenting with a friend about how we each know people who have some truly amazing recipes…that they refuse to share. (Kind of adds to the flavor I think!) In the spirit of recipes that are almost too good to share with another living soul, I wanted to share several recipes that friends of mine have raved about and requested over the years… (They all happen to be easy and vegan).

Addictive sweet potato burritos

Sweet potato bites with chipotle black bean spread

Warm butternut squash chickpea salad

Sunflower seed brittle

Spicy pumpkin miso soup

And these cookies, which I’m really glad I wrote down because I  can no longer find the recipe online!
Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookies

  • 3 cups of unbleached white flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 2 T baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 3/4 cup Earth Balance margarine
  • 1 cup brown sugar (pack lightly only)
  • 1/2 cup fine turbinado sugar
  • 1 T vanilla
  • 6 T soy milk, regular or vanilla
  • 1/4 cup brown rice syrup (you could also use organic corn syrup)
  • 1 to 1 1/2 cup non-dairy chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans

Preheat oven to 350F.

Sift (or fluff with a fork) the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and cinnamon into a bowl. Put aside.

In a large bowl, cream Earth Balance margarine. Gradually add the sugars and beat with whisk until you obtain a nice fluffy texture. Add vanilla, soy milk and brown rice syrup and beat again. When this mixture is light and creamy, slowly add the flour mixture, then the chocolate chips and the pecans.

Form balls of dough (approx, 1inch in diameter, depending on size you want) and place them on a cookie sheet covered with parchment paper – about 9 to 12 per cookie sheet- and make sure they are far enough apart. Lightly flatten each cookie with your fingers.

Bake 8 to 12 minutes or until the cookies are a light golden color. You should check at 8 minutes and if they are too pale, check again every minute after that until you reach the light golden stage). Leave the cookies on the hot cookie sheet for one or two minutes and then transfer them on wire racks to cool.

How about your family? Do you keep your favorite recipes a secret? Any you want to share?!

 

Oh the internet: links to look at.

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Can you enjoy a good farmer Instagram account as much as I can?: one, two, three

Omg. The Narc Decoder. Got to read this!

I’m Not Sorry for Yelling.

Have you seen this cute little book? It has totally smashed my performance anxiety about meditation.

And have you seen “LOVE” on Netflix? I’ve watched a whole season in two long marathons with a friend and it’s so funny.

If you live in San Francisco check out Mealmade. <— And click that link right there and you can get a free meal + free delivery with no strings attached, no subscription, nada. A very cool new service.

 

Like a river…

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May my life flow from me like a river, not forcing and not holding back, the way it is with children. – Rilke

Getting over the shock of it.

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Am I the only one who buckles her kid in the car for the morning drive to preschool, walks around the car and by the time I get to the driver side door I’m thinking…Wait. I’m a mom?! Doing mom things?! Taking my kid to preschool? Whaaaa?! How did this happen?

I feel like I’m playing grown-up sometimes.

I’m not sure if this is normal or if it is part and parcel of the unusual circumstances my baby and I have both made our way through to be standing here right now. It has not been easy. There have been times with not a single extra drop of air to breathe. It has been unrelentingly fast and furious. The joyous moments are so very there but they often get pushed to the side almost immediately by our particular brand of trials and tribulations in our lives in this single parent family.

As I made my way around the car today, got in, sat down and jabbed the key into the ignition all purely on muscle memory – I decided I didn’t want to feel so shocked anymore. I don’t want to be shocked by the messy house and by how hard it is to get a toddler full on breakfast and out the door on time. I don’t want to be shocked that I seem like a seasoned mom to the new moms I work for/with. I don’t want to be shocked that there seems to be so little extra time. Or that I’m tired upon waking in the morning. Or hanging my head in defeat at the end of some days. My life has all led up to this. I want to revel in it. I’m doing this. It’s my life. And it’s a good one.

A mumble jumble: links to look at

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Miranda July on motherhood.

A preschool/farm?! Yes please.

Three moves for stronger triceps.

Try the 5 whys to reach harmony in your household.

Lentil, mustard, tomato salad. Double the recipe and bring half of it to a friend!

On our spring break trip to Seattle I grabbed the book The Gay Uncle’s Guide to Parenting off my friend’s shelf. It is a good one. I want to write more about it later but in the meantime here is a short interview with the author – worth a listen!

Sweetest teething necklaces ever.

 

 

5 things I love about being a single parent of a 3 year old.

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  1. Conversations. I’ve got a big talker here. We talk about everything under the sun. As he has grown so has the depth of how we talk about things. Plants, animals, race, change, death, nutcrackers, all the things we can do with our lives, the highly specific rules of baseball. You name it, we talk about it, I love it.
  2. Appetite. It’s so satisfying to see a toddler eating with gusto. Those cheeks! That belly! Something so satisfying about cooking for someone and seeing them enjoy it.
  3. Imagination. In the past few months his little imagination has just completely taken off. Imaginary friends. Hilarious songs and whispered conversations to himself. Just a full-on imaginary world. I love when he invites me into it. It’s the sweetest.
  4. Travel. I found it so easy to travel with an infant. Then there was a gap between about ages 1.5 and 2.5 that was more difficult. It’s an easier patch now since he can “get on board” with having an itinerary and a common goal (and make a mad dash to the airport gate with me!) Such fun times.
  5. Making a home. It’s fun to plaster the walls with toddler artwork, light a candle together at dinner, have dance parties, tidy up together. Fun to snuggle on our velvet couch and give each other back-rubs with one finger (he taught me this one and I die of joy when he does it. Sooooooooooo adorable). We have definitely made this house a home since moving in two years ago. It has surprised me that this has been work I’ve come to really love since I was never much of a “nester” before.

Intentions / April Version

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Eating / Chia jam.

Drinking / Cinnamon rose tulsi tea.

Practicing / This move.

Mastering / The art of packing a lunch. It’s all about this container.

Learning / Every thing and every being has a life-cycle – feel more free to let anything go in its time.

Trying / To bring back my strong core muscles.

Playing / Homemaker. Spring cleaning!

Finishing / A wildly busy month. Phew! Goodbye March, I wish you went a little slower.

Reading, me / How To Talk So Kids Will Listen & Listen So Kids Will Talk

Reading, toddler / Sonya’s Chickens.

Remembering / All the single moms I knew growing up. And how at the time I didn’t even realize they were single moms because it was…No. Big. Deal.

Wearing / All the clothes I’ve been happy recipient of due to friends “konmari-ing” their closets.

Cooking / Curry udon.

Working / With my hands. Slowly moving away from my computer based work.

Traveling / Spring break! To Seattle and beyond!

Wanting / So many books. My Amazon cart has 124 books in it. I’d settle for pretty much anything Jonah Winter though.