Friday, March 16, 2012

Deep in the bowels

Day three of potty training. 

My gosh, this is the hardest damn thing I have done as a parent. And the truth is, I have no idea what I am doing.

I did, however, just make up and sing a song about a pee pee penis pizza party. 

I know in hindsight (or is it hiney sight?) this will all be hilarious. 

But for now, I am very serious when I say I would give my right arm just to see some shit in the toilet. Because it's all down hill after the first shit, right?

No, really, am I right? Tell me your best potty training tips. Stand on my head? Sure, I'll give that a try. Promise to buy him a pony? Why the hell not. 

And, for the record, I did just run into the bathroom with Noah, who was yelling STINKY, while holding Amelia... nursing her. I don't need hiney sight to know that is hilarious. 

Monday, March 12, 2012

The earthquake, one year after

Yesterday was the one year anniversary of the magnitude 9.0 earthquake that struck Japan. I spoke briefly  about our experience at the time, but have not revisited the topic in great detail on my blog. 

Truth be told, not a day passes where I do not think about March 11. 

I will be sitting in my favorite chair, watching the children play. All of the sudden I feel like I am shaking; my heart starts to race, palms sweaty. I look over at the lamp: the chain is not moving. Another 'phantom quake'. Panic attack.  

When I notice an actual earthquake I brace myself for the intensity to increase. I search online to find where the epicenter was, if there is a tsunami, if it was close to the still fragile Fukushima power plant. 

Always waiting for the other shoe to drop/be shaken off. 

I feel guilty indulging in such worry. Really, we were lucky. The thousands of lives that were lost around Japan. The thousand still that are unaccounted for. These tragedies did not touch us. And while we live here, this is not our 'home' or our Country. 

News reports, articles, videos... with the anniversary people have been posting tributes and facts about the day. I stoically listened and watched them all yesterday. Then today, the day after, I listed to a piece on the radio while driving to the Base. And I wept. 

One year has passed. And Japan has picked herself up, shaken off the dust, and the process of rebuilding is in full swing. 

And, for the most part, so have I.

But that day has left scars. Fear and anxiety. 

I look forward to the day where we are not only celebrating the calendar passing of the date, but the fear and anxiety passing as well. 

But one thing is certain; we can all learn a thing or two from beautiful Japan. 

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Friday Farm Muffins

When I was preparing for and recovering from my open heart surgery in August of 2010 I was lucky enough to spend time with my Aunt Donna and Uncle Roy at their lovely home in Ohio. The Friday Farm. 

Donna is my Dad's sister. When she heard that I was in need of medical attention that I could not find in North Carolina, she called and offered to help me get an appointment at the Cleveland Clinic. She and Roy opened their home to me and Noah during one of the hardest times of my life. Donna accompanied me to appointments. We talked about the results. She offered support and encouragement. 

Beyond the scope of medical issues, we also became quiet close. We would talk about all manners of things; relationships, politics, religion, friendships, children...

And food.

Donna is an amazing cook. She has what is (truth be told) my dream kitchen. The window over her sink in that perfect kitchen looks out onto a fantastic garden. Because, on top of everything else Donna does well, she has a green thumb... made of gold. 

Donne would come inside with a basket full of the daily harvest. We would have fresh salads or soups and talk about the importance of fueling your body with proper nutrition. 

I have been looking for the perfect blueberry muffin recipe for a while now. After searching hi and lo on the old internet I decided to make one of my own. As I brainstormed ingredients it dawned on my how much my Aunt would enjoy these muffins. 

So, in honor of my loving Aunt and Uncle in Ohio...

Friday Farm Muffins

- 1 cup plain yogurt 
- 1 egg, slightly beaten 
- 1/3 cup agave nectar 
- 1/4 cup butter, melted and cooled slightly 
- 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract 
- 1 cup whole wheat flour 
- 1 cup almond meal 
- 1 teaspoon baking powder 
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda 
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup blueberries (I used frozen)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Lightly grease 12 muffin tins.

In a large bowl, mix together the yogurt, egg, agave nectar, butter and vanilla.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, almond meal, baking powder, baking soda and the salt. If using frozen blueberries, reserve a 1/4 cup of the flour mixture before adding the rest of it to the wet ingredients. Stir just until the wet ingredients are combined with the dry, about 5-6 stirs. Add the frozen  blueberries to the remaining flour mixture and toss to coat. Fold the blueberries into the batter.

Fill the muffin tins about 2/3 of the way full, bake for 18-20 minutes. Let them cool slightly in the tin before running a knife around the edge, then transfer to a wire rack.

I have it on good authority that Donna and Roy would enjoy these muffins with a cup of Dunkin Donuts coffee. Well... maybe not Roy, he's more of a bagel man. 

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Here's to starting a new decade!

The best part of my birthday so far... yes, the birthday in which I turn 30 years of age... 

It wasn't the pie (although it was delicious).

It wasn't all the love via the Worlds Wide Interwebs (although these have made me laugh, smile, cry...).

No, the best part of my birthday has been listening to Noah sing the Happy Birthday song. 

And if I am lucky, he occasionally swaps out birthday for bacon. 

Yes, happy bacon to me!