Monday, June 27, 2011

3 going on 14

Today I told Flora to clean her room. She grunted, stormed off in a huff and then threw herself on her bed in protest. After a few minutes of moping on her bed she began to clean. She picked up maybe 3 toys before coming out to the living room huffing and puffing to declare that she was "too exhausted to clean." Is my three-year-old supposed to act like a teenager?

Tuesday, June 14, 2011


I hate vaccines.  Really I do.  Every time Flora gets shots something goes wrong. When she was little they would keep her from sleeping and having a decent poop for weeks.  And she would cry, oh would she cry. As she's getting older they still affect her sleep and bowel movements but a new, even less desirable side effect has surfaced.  She gets really irritable and agressive. What do I mean?  I mean she has melt downs over nothing and hits and kicks for no reason.  Nothing makes her happy and she takes it out in very inappropriate ways.  This is not normal for my sweet little girl who may be strong willed but usually manages to maintain her composure.

I don't mean this behavior exists the day she gets the shots or even just the day after.  I mean she got vaccines on June 6th and today I was still dealing with these behavior issues.  (Yes Flora is still getting vaccines at 3. I got her almost all of her shots but never more than 2 at a time.  I don't believe giving a small child 6 vaccines at a time could possibly be OK.)  Sometimes I wonder why I continue to get her shots.   Plenty of people are forgoing vaccines for lesser reasons.  

The only reason I continue to get her vaccines is craniosacral therapy.  A friend recommend it after a particularly bad round of shots sometime before Flora's first birthday.  I didn't understand how it worked and I was skeptical but decided to give it a try anyway.  I am here to tell you that I still don't understand how it works but it does.  It's like magic.  Flora had a session today, took a nap and woke up her normal, pleasant, self.  

She didn't collapse into tears when I reminded her that we don't stand on the couch. She took a huge poop, her first decent bowel movement since shots over a week ago. She ate dinner, vegetables and all, without screaming, spitting out food or any other inappropriate table antics.  

If you are experiencing any behavior issues with your child, whether related to vaccines or not, I highly recommend you look into craniosacral therapy.  It's my understanding that it helps not only in situations like mine but also with ongoing emotional issues, learning disabilities and sensory issues. 

Have you ever had problems with vaccines? Have you ever tried craniosacral therapy? 

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Wednesday, June 1, 2011

June First

We just returned from a short trip to California.  It was great. Flora ran around in shorts and a t-shirt and I got a sunburn.   Today is June first and when Flora woke from her nap she said: "Brrrrr. It's freezing. Turn the heat on. It's cold in Oregon." That about sums it up.

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Thursday, May 19, 2011

Friday, May 6, 2011

Bridge to the Past

Yesterday I took I5 and crossed the river into Washington.  There has been a lot of talk about replacing this bridge.  It's too narrow to support traffic and does not allow for light rail to cross into Vancouver.  I understand that the project is necessary but I for one will miss the Interstate Bridge.


My dear friend samimi-extremie has been doing these lovely posts on longing.  She and I have been good friends for about 10 years now and I think we share that constant sense of longing.

Driving over the Interstate Bridge is an experience that, for me, brings that sense of longing to the forefront.  Portland has many bridges and they all conjure different feelings but this bridge is different.  It's special.  It's the bridge I crossed countless times to return to college after coming down to Portland to visit family.  It's the bridge I crossed to visit my college boyfriend when he spent the summer on Bainbridge Island and I in Portland.  Most importantly, it's the bridge I crossed in labor on my way to the hospital before my daughter was born.

Now when the occasion for me to visit Washington arrises the emotions associated with all of those memories come flooding back as I cross the river.  It's a feeling of deep melancholy and love.   A longing for times past, though I am quite happy with my life as it is now. I fear that when the bridge is replaced the longing will go with it.

To make things worse, for financial reasons they are talking about replacing it with a simple bridge similar to the I205 bridge crossing the Columbia only a few miles away.  There is no beauty to the new proposed bridge.  It is not the kind of place where memories are formed.

 Can you relate to the sense of longing I experience when crossing the Columbia? 

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Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Rhododendron Garden

It's a good thing we finally had a nice day here because I was running out of things to keep both Flora and myself entertained indoors.  Today we enjoyed the sun at the Crystal Springs Rhododendron Garden in Southeast.  It's a great place to go with kids.  It's relatively flat so the little ones can run and there are beautiful flowers, bridges, ponds, fountains and ducks to keep them interested and asking questions.  The best part is that it's free on Tuesday and Wednesday.  Just don't plan on having a picnic in the field.  It's covered in goose poop.  There are plenty of benches if you want to sit down and have a snack.

We went to the garden with my friend Angie and her son Nico, who is a little younger than Flora.  They are  good buddies and very cute together.

Nico was tired today and slept through the first part of our visit so Flora checked out the waterfall by herself.

Then she watched the ducks.  There were lots of ducklings today and that was exciting but you could tell that Flora wanted her friend to wakeup.

Nico did eventually wake up but he remained drowsy for a while.  Flora on the other hand, had plenty of energy.  She decided to run some laps.

Being spring, there were plenty of babies.  The goslings were fun to watch but we were careful to keep our distance for fear of making mama goose mad!

Did I mention the geese aren't the only one's having babies?  Nico is going to have a baby brother soon!

Flora was too busy having fun to hang out with me but I did snag her for one picture.

Flora and Nico have an interesting dynamic.  Nico constantly wants Flora to chase him and trow balls.  Flora on the other hand, wants to hold Nico's hand, put her arm around him and exchange small gifts.  It's really funny to watch.  I guess that's the difference between boys and girls.  Despite their differences they are crazy about one another.  Flora talks about Nico when he's not around and Nico's face lights up every time he sees her.  Here is Flora attempting to put her arm around Nico.  He is not interested.  My favorite part is right after Nico makes his escape and, Flora crosses her little arms and makes her mad face.  So funny!  The anger didn't last long, they chased each other a little right after this. 

Do you think the differences in how Flora and Nico want to play should be attributed to gender or individual personality?  

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Thursday, April 28, 2011

Stir Crazy

Like most other people I know who live in Portland I've been going a little stir crazy lately.  We're still getting a lot of rain and the temperatures are below normal for this time of year. I'm sick of being cold so I don't want to go outside in this weather, neither does Flora.  On Tuesday I just couldn't stand it any longer. I needed a change of scenery so we jumped in the car and drove out to Multnomah Falls.

We stopped at the Vista House on our way out. 

Flora wanted to give self portraits a try. 

When we got out to the falls I really wanted to go for a little hike but it started raining and Flora was cold.  She refused to walk and I didn't want to carry her so we just took a few pictures, marveled at the falls, ate some food and came home. 

I attempted to get a photo of us in front of the falls. 

But then a kindly man offered to help.

It wasn't exactly the trip out into the woods I was hoping for but even a beautiful drive out scenic Hwy 30 and a few minutes at the falls helped lighten my mood a little.  Hopefully the weather will improve soon and Flora will go on a little hike and have a picnic with me.  

How do you keep entertained during the long winter?

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Sunday, April 24, 2011


We're not religious, I never went to church and David stopped going when he was young, so for us Easter is really more about tradition that religion.  The Easter Bunny and Brunch are the traditions we choose to follow. This was the first year that the Easter Bunny visited our house. Flora was too young to care previous years so we didn't bother.

To prepare for Easter we've been reading "The Country Bunny and the Little Gold Shoes."  I think the story stuck because last night Flora stayed awake, lying in her bed, until 10.  Every time we asked her to go  to sleep she said "I'm waiting for the Easter Bunny to come."  We tried to explain that the bunny wouldn't come until she was asleep but she was convinced she could see that bunny.  See how it always comes back to not sleeping with this girl?


She did finally fall asleep and then she did something she almost never does. Sleep in.  Until almost 7.  In our house 7 is late. When she woke the first thing she did was yell from her bed, "Is the Easter Bunny still here?"  After breaking the news that the Bunny had come and gone we went to go see what she left. Since Flora doesn't eat sugar the bunny left eggs filled with playdough and stickers and a basket full of outdoor toys like sidewalk chalk.  She was thrilled!

A new gardening hat.

More loot.

Excited about the eggs hiding around the house.

She got a little sassy as the morning progressed.

After the excitement of the morning died down we all got dressed up to go have brunch at Red Star with my aunt, uncle and cousins. Flora was excited about brunch but not about David taking her picture.  Based on her outfit, you might think we are trying to turn our daughter into a little princess but we're not.  Trust me we're not.  She just REALLY likes pink and I have no idea why.

Did I mention we don't have any dress shoes that fit so she wore her high-tops?

Her sassy attitude had me a little worried about brunch but she settled once we got there and colored like a big girl.

Then, to ensure she would remain happy, we seated her next to Maggie, my 7-year-old cousin. They love each other.

Because I'm in the middle of my cleanse I had a big green salad at brunch.  It made me a little sad not to eat a big plate of eggs and bacon but most everyone seemed underwhelmed by their food. I'm glad I didn't cheat for less than stellar food! Red Star may not have a great brunch but if I remember correctly, their happy hour is pretty good.

We spent the rest of the day taking it easy and trying to run a couple of errands that will have to be dealt with later since stores close early on Easter.  Oh, and we watched the new Doctor Who episode. Judge all you'd like but I love me some Doctor.

How was your Easter?

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Last week I put Flora down for a nap.  I could hear her in her room talking for about 20 minutes but then there was silence so I assumed she had fallen asleep.  About 30 minutes latter I heard more noise so I went back to check on her.  Knowing that she was supposed to sleep she had closed her door so that she could play quietly without me hearing.  I opened the door to tell her to get in bed and found that she'd completely destroyed her room.  Very quietly I might add.

Toy box area.

Her bed.

More toys.

She even took her rug off the floor and draped it over her dresser for a completely new look.

You may wonder how she did all this without me hearing and all I have to say is that the kid is sneaky.  She knows I would be upset and make her get back in bed if I heard anything so she was quiet.  Very quiet.

On a completely unrelated note, last month when we were in Austin we saw this guy riding his horse to the bars downtown.  Austin is not a small town.  He's an urban cowboy.  He even earned himself the nickname "6th Street Cowboy" after he was arrested riding his horse down the popular bar lined street drunk on a Friday night. His horse and mule (which we saw his friend riding) were confiscated but he got them back because this photo was taken after the arrest.  You can read more about his 15 minutes of fame here or like him on facebook here.  I would also like to add that the horse and mule were extremely mellow and not spooked in the slightest by rowdy drunken hipsters passing by.  I was impressed.

Maybe the two posts aren't completely unrelated.  I'm pretty sure the girl who tears her room apart and the urban cowboy could be great friends if introduced.  The both like to challenge the limits of social norms.

Have you ever met an urban cowboy?

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Sunday, April 17, 2011

Spring Cleaning

Yesterday, under the supervision of my naturopath, I began the Standard Process 21 Day Cleanse.  I can eat as many fruits and vegetables as I want, I just have to keep a 2 to 1 vegetable to fruit ratio.  I also get to eat some lentils everyday and I take supplements and drink a ton of water.  Technically I only have to drink 64oz but I've been extremely thirsty since starting the cleanse so I've probably been drinking twice that.   After 10 days I get to add meat to my diet.

I decided to do this because I hope it will help with some skin issues I've had for a while and I'd like to lose a couple of pounds that I gained after I stopped breastfeeding and before I adjusted to eating less.  I haven't progressively gained weight but I did gain a few pounds right after I stopped and I haven't been able to lose them.  I'll keep you updated on my progress.

So far the cleanse has been pretty painless.  I'm hungry but for the most part it's just my mind that is hungry, not my stomach.  I have a problem with eating when I'm bored or stressed.  Eating spinach or carrots for comfort just isn't that appealing so maybe I'll be able to break that habit as a part of this cleanse.  I've also been a little irritable but Dr. Blake told me I could expect the first few days to be difficult.   So far it is not as difficult as I feared it might be.

I'm not the only one working on a deep clean.  Today my wonderful husband moved the appliances in our kitchen to sweep and mop underneath.  I may do most of the daily cleaning but I like to pass off the heavy lifting to someone stronger.

Have you ever done a cleanse?  Did you get good results?

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Thursday, April 14, 2011

I Try Not to Judge

As parents we are constantly being judged harshly for our parenting choices so I try my best not to criticize  other parents, or when I do I usually only share my judgements with my husband.  Then there are actions that aren't really bad parenting choices so much as they just show a complete lack of regard for others. Today I witnessed one of those.

I took Flora to the children's museum and we had a great time.  At one point during our visit I saw a mom talk to her 2 maybe 3 year old daughter who was playing next to Flora.  The girl must have told her mom she went potty because I then saw the mom pull down her daughter's pants, remove her diaper, set the diaper on the floor, wipe her butt, and put put a new diaper on.  In the middle of the museum.  Then the mom threw the diaper away in a trashcan in the middle of the exhibit.  I was appalled, I didn't say anything but maybe I should have.  It's the children's museum, there are no shortage of changing tables and I'm hardly a germaphobe but that action shows a lack of common decency.  Not only for the germ factor, which I'm surprised the mother didn't consider since she repeatedly told her daughter not to put the museum toys in her mouth because "those things are covered in germs," but also because it seems to show a complete lack of respect for the daughter.  Give the girl the privacy she deserves.

Flora looked confused and I was upset so we moved on and enjoyed the rest of our time at the Museum.  Please excuse the grainy photos, they were taken on my ipod.

The Curious George exhibit, or Monkey George as she calls him.

Very excited to play with clay.

Working the light board.

And finally, painting her face.

What would you have done if you'd seen a mom changing her diaper in the middle of the museum? Am I alone in thinking this is totally inappropriate?

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Monday, April 11, 2011

Yankee Doodle

The following scene played out yesterday afternoon.  Last night David and I lay in bed cracking up over what a goof our kid is. 


DADDY and FLORA sit in the car waiting for MOMMY to return with avocados. Daddy
rolls the windows down with the controls to his left. Flora does not see him do it.

Hey, who rolled those windows down?

I don't know, Flora. I think it was that guy.

Daddy points to a DUDE with a FEDORA walking by with a few OTHER PEOPLE. The dude's
got a feather in his hat.

What guy?

That guy.

That guy with the black hat?

Yeah, him. He did it. I think he's

He rolled the windows down?

Yup. He's got a feather in his hat. That
means he's shifty.

A feather?

Uh huh. Flora, when you get older you're not
allowed to date dudes with feathers in their hats.

Like Yankee Doodle?

Yeah. Especially him. That Yankee Doodle is real shifty.

Thanks to David for writing that out for me since I didn't actually witness the hilarity. 

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Thursday, April 7, 2011

I'm Back

Lack of sleep and a spring that is breaking records as the coldest and wettest spring EVER has left me feeling uninspired.  We went to Austin for a week which was great but it only made returning to the cold and wet more difficult.  Despite that life is still good. Flora has been sleeping a little more.  I stress little, but even when she sleeps she has trouble staying in bed.

She got to spend some quality time with David's family while we were in Texas.  

Watering the lawn with grandpa.

She was having a good time and did not want to be disturbed. 

Playing with her Grandma and cousin Jake.

It's hard to be too down when you spend all day with this girl.

And are married to this guy.  Seriously.  I love this guy.

How's your spring so far?

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