Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Wedding Song

I've been thinking about how much fun it will be for Jake to have this blog to look back on and read as he is older. So I think occassionally I will share a story for fun.

This first story is about the first song that Mike and I danced to as husband and wife. You know, the one where you are on the dance floor, alone, with 140 pairs of eyes on you. That one.
After finding out that we were expecting a baby to join us, we decided it was time to get married (something we had been planning to do, anyway). My mother and I planned the wedding in 3 months. About a month before the wedding was to take place, I was reminded that I needed to pick a song for that first dance as husband and wife, and also for the one where I would dance with my father. Luckily, the latter was easy -- I chose "What a Wonderful World" which is a song that my dad and have danced to on numerous occassions, and it is very special to us. It was even more amazing to dance to that song knowing a baby was on the way to join us!

Anyway, Mike and I needed a song. Both of us being pretty clueless about music, I turned to my musically intelligent sister for help. She sent me an email listing 4 different potential songs. (Incidently, before this, my family had been sitting around the dining room table discussing this topic. Instead of coming up with potential songs for the wedding, we greatly amused ourselves by coming up with songs that should NOT be sung as a first wedding song. "Love the One You're With" was one example. Heh.) Anyway, I can't remember the other 3 songs Amy suggested, but the one I picked was Frank Sinatra's "Fly Me to the Moon". We really liked the lyrics and felt that it suited us the best. So that was settled.

As the wedding date drew closer, I started asking people if they had a recording of this song, because, well, we'd never heard it before. Nobody had a recording. Not a problem, I thought, I'd find it somehow. Well, somehow, it was suddenly the day of our wedding. There was so much going on and I was so excited. We had a beautiful ceremony, greeted everyone afterwards, and then, suddenly, we were on the dance floor, alone. With 140 pairs of eyes on us. About to dance to a song that we had never listened to before. I tried really hard not to start giggling hysterically and instead focused on my brand new husband's face. The song was surprisingly upbeat, I expected it to be more slow. But then again, what did I know? We did our best, got through it, and went on to have a fantastic wedding party. I have no idea if we did pretty well or if we were completely out of sync with the song and truthfully, I don't want to know :)

Fly me to the moon
And let me play among the stars
Let me see what spring is like
On Jupiter and Mars
In other words hold my hand
In other words darling kiss me

Fill my life with song
And let me sing forevermore
You are all I hope for
All I worship and adore
In other words please be true
In other words I love you

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Zola Goods

I am very excited to announce a new endeavor of mine -- that as an Independent Coordinator for Zola Goods!

Those of you who know me, know that I am a big fan of eco-friendly products and am always working to lessen my individual impact on the enviroment. Sometimes that can seem overwhelming, so much so that we may not know where to start. I was really pleased to discover this company which offers a great line of products to help make your home and life more eco-friendly. Many of the products I already use myself.

Now, as an Independent Coordinator, I can help showcase lots of products that help make your home more eco-friendly. It reminds me that small steps, taken together, can have a big impact. One example is with CFL light bulbs -- one statistic states “If everyone just changed one light bulb to a CFL, it would be the equivalent of taking a million cars off the road.”

Zola provides us with easy, affordable solutions, such as CFL light bulbs, cool cloth canvas bags for grocery shopping, and other products, so that together we can help create a healthier environment for ourselves and our children.

I hope you will enjoy looking at Zola's website. If you are interested in any of the products on Zola's website and have questions, I can help! Or if you think it would be fun to host a party where you and your friends can look at some eco-friendly products and talk about ways to help make your home greener, give me a shout.

Friday, April 25, 2008

One Year of Blogging

Wow, has it already been a year? I've had so much fun with this blog.

To celebrate, here is Jake dancing for you...

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Thursday Thirteen #10

13 Books that I Love

1. Amy's Eyes, Richard Kennedy. This is a children's book that I read in elementary school. After reading it the first time I begged my mom to buy a copy for me, which she eventually did. And then I read it again. The story is told through the eyes of a doll, and I just found it magical. It is one of the earliest books that I really remember having a love affair with.

2. Chronicles of Narnia, Clive Staples Lewis. I still hold such a fondness for these 7 books in my heart. I loved seeing the movie, The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, and it took me right back to this story. I cannot wait to re-read these through Jake :)

3. Dune, Frank Herbert. Okay, I love the mystical and science fiction realm in books. This one was powerful -- just the totally other-worldliness of this book blew me away.

4. Shogun, James Clavell. After reading this book, I went on to read other books by James Clavell, and loved them, all, but Shogun remains my favorite.

5. Mists of Avalon, Marion Zimmer Bradley. So nice to read a 'historical' book about feminine power. This was one of my early introductions to the concept of goddesses and female power, which I sorely needed after a childhood immersed in patriarchal religion via church and 12 years of Catholic school (no regrets, though!).

6. The Hobbit and the Lord of the Rings Trilogy, J.R.R. Tolkien. Just truly great writing and wonderful magical fantasy. I've read all 4 books a total of 3 times in my life so far.

7. A Prayer for Owen Meany, John Irving. Like with Shogun, after reading this I went on to read his other books -- The World According to Garp, The Cider House Rules, etc. Amazing storytelling with incredibly rich characters.

8. The Power of One, Bryce Courtnenay. My introduction to the concept of racial segregation and a look into the society behind this one. A real eye-opener for me.

9. Spiritual Midwifery, Ina May Gaskin. One of the very first books I read in relation to babies and birth. Introduced the idea to me that birth is not just a physical event, but a very spiritual one as well. And well? Hospitals are not the best facilitators of the spiritual side of this amazing event. My wonderful homebirth with Jake is directly attributable to picking up and reading this book 6 years prior.

10. A Woman's Book of Life, Joan Borysenko. Another book that introduced the concept of woman's bodies and the cycles of life as being more than just objective physical events. This book ties in the emotional, mental, and spiritual issues related to all the cycles of a woman's life. Helped me to get to know myself better in a holistic sense.

11. Fierce Invalids Home from Hot Climates, Tom Robbins. This book is extremely well-written and just had me laughing the whole way through.

12. Silent Spring, Rachel Carson. My first poignant introduction to the concept of environmalism and the fact that humans could actually cause known and unknown damage.

13. This one is a tie between Barbara Kingsolver and Isabel Allende and their books. I love Kingsolver's Prodigal Summer, Bean Trees, Small Wonders, and most recent, Animal, Vegetable, Miracle. She has a wonderful style for both fiction that addresses very human issues, and more recently for environmetal issues. Allende's books, including The House of the Spirits, Eva Luna, and Portrait in Sepia are wonderful for looking at Latin American perspectives and mysticism.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Yoga Baby

This is Jake's new favorite book, which we are starting to read every night before settling down to sleep (but we also read it during the day, sometimes, too!).
Here Jake demonstrates two of the poses from the book -- bear cub...

and sleepy bee humming.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Happy Earth Day

To our beloved planet earth, Gaia: we love you and we're working to better harmonize ourselves with you and all of nature. Don't give up on us.

'In our every deliberation, we must consider the impact of our decisions on the next seven generations.' From The Great Law of The Iroquois Confederacy (and also printed on all Seventh Generation products).

Monday, April 21, 2008

22 Months (1 day late)

With all the dryer drama yesterday, I forgot that Jake was officially 22 months old!

I have no idea what he was doing here, but he looks like some sort of Arabian king giving a speech.
My darling little boy is all of a sudden so not a baby anymore. He is a boy. And oh boy, what a boy!! He can run super fast now, and climb so many things. He completely surprised me tonight by climbing into the bathtub by himself. I was just grateful that he still wanted mama to take a bath with him. He's a voracious reader of books and loves to listen to music, still. He's really into trains right now, playing with the ones that he has and building his own from the big lego set that he has. When we're going to leave the house, he signs and says the word "GO!" and loves going out and seeing what we're doing. Best of all, he loves to be outside, no matter the weather. He has started climbing into his stroller and asking to go for walks. He's a great eater, most days willing to try whatever we put on his plate. He naps once a day now and has finally started to have a more or less regular bedtime, and Mike and I are finally getting time to ourselves in the evenings, which is so nice. I am glad we waited until he was ready for that, though. Jake loves to help us out around the house, putting away laundry, wanting to sweep the floor, and helping us to carry groceries into the kitchen. He's a sweetie who will give hugs and kisses when asked, and his favorite thing is to have both his mama and daddy with him.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

I WILL laugh about this someday... right?

Today has been such a nice Sunday. Went for a fabulous run this morning, had a yummy breakfast, did all sorts of chores and chatted with a friend online. Had a yummy lunch, then did some reading and had a nap!

When I woke up from my nap I opened the dryer to take out the load I had started earlier. I noticed pink spots on the clothes. What?!? This was not a load of whites with a pair of red socks in it. None of the clothes were new and had all been laundered many times before. Once I had taken all of the clothes out, all of them with pink spots, I discovered the culprit...

Yup, that is a red Crayola crayon. Oy!! $*#Q(*! I have NO idea how that got in there. There were no pants in that load of clothes that the crayon could have been hiding inside. I don't know if Jake threw the crayon in there right before I closed the door. I will never know.

And here is my sadly pink dryer. That I spent the next 30 minutes scrubbing.

I put the clothes back in the washer for a soak and another washing, and am keeping my fingers crossed that the clothes come out without pink spots.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Cleaning and Earth Day

It isn't often you see this happening... those of you who know my house know that my loft half wall is a good 16 feet above the first floor...
Mike got our big, tall ladder out in order to clean the tops of our bookshelves which were covered in dust and dead leaves. Feels so much better now that that is clean!
In the meantime Jake was playing with these, enjoying an over-sized necklace.
Today we went to Portland's annual Earth Day festival. It was sunny but COLD, in the 40's! We really enjoyed listening to the band Luminous Fog, and we actually know one of the band members. Jake was dancing to the music along with everyone else.
Later Jake and Daddy were running around for fun (and for warmth?).
Cute Jake running.
Hat and gloves in April. So weird for Portland.

Friday, April 18, 2008


Jake has been on a sticker kick lately. I brought lots of stickers with us to Brazil for him to play with, and he also now remembers to ask for a sticker every time we are at the grocery store.

See what a good daddy puts up with?

Thursday, April 17, 2008


Right now blogger is refusing to let me upload pictures. I'm pretty sure the problem is on blogger's end, not mine. At least I hope it isn't related to our recent Mac upgrade to the Leopard system!

I started running again right after I returned from Brazil. I ran cross-country in high school, and did a fair amount of running during college, for exercise, but since then, haven't really run at all. Every once in a while I thought about it, and even made a non-serious attempt to get back into it occasionally, and I'd run one, two, or even three times before something would come up and I'd stop again. Anyway, for me, the 4th run is the magic number. If I can get past my 4th run, then I'm good to go. For some reason the 3rd and 4th runs are physically and mentally SO hard for me. Today was my 5th run (in 8 days), and it was an awesome run! I could feel that my lungs were finally expanding, I was getting back into the grove, and finally got that runner's high at the end.

Mike started running as well, which is great. We got a jogging stroller from a friend (thank you, Rebekah!!!) and we will clean it and take it in to be tuned up. Once that's done, we plan to go to the Portland waterfront and run together, the 3 of us. (Actually, more likely, Mike will run ahead (he's a speed demon) and then turn around and meet up with me again and then we'll run back together.)

Anyway, I'm really glad for this and also I must give a shout-out to my cousins in California for also being my inspiration to get back into running! :)

Monday, April 14, 2008

Oh Say, Can You See?

So today I went to the eye doctor. It was my first visit to the eye doctor in about 3 years or so. I honestly can't remember exactly how long. And I didn't go because I was having pain or wasn't seeing well, but because I was running out of contact lenses. See, at my job before this one, which was more than 2.5 years ago, I had put a huge amount of money into my medical flex spending account that I ended up not needing. So I spent it all. On contact lenses. Thank the goddess my prescription didn't change while working my way through the approximately 523,298 billion boxes of contacts I had. And these were one-daily contacts, meaning I was to wear them all day and then throw them away. However, that is not what I did (have done) -- I found it much more economic to wear them for no less than THREE days, soaking them in saline overnight, before finally disposing of them. So they lasted me three years.

Anyway, I was finally on my last box of contact lenses, so it was time to go to an eye doctor and get a new prescription. In the past I've simply gone to JCPenney, why, I'm not sure. However, the past year Mike has been seeing a wonderful eye doctor right in our village, within walking distance of our house. And Mike REALLY liked this dude -- he is straightforward, knowledgeable, and easy to understand (yes, that's important. It's surprising how many eye doctors are of Asian origin with a tendency to have their lips in a straight line, even when talking). Given Mike's less than perfect eyes, I have been happy and impressed with the care he's received from this doctor. Plus, I already knew my (our) insurance covered him.

This doctor was great. I got the full treatment, read the line 'H G N Z T P' forwards and backwards about 20 times, got my eyes dilated, and told him that lens 2 was definitely clearer than lens 1. The great news is that my eyes are healthy and my prescription has not even changed!! So he wrote me a prescription for the exact same contact lenses I've been wearing for the past 3 years. Sweet.

Now why am I blogging about this? Because this doctor told me something that I still can't believe. Due to a certain, benign condition I have that is related to my nearsightedness and slight tendency to cross my eyes when focusing, if I should ever start doing small, detail-oriented tasks like needlepoint or going back to school and staring at textbooks for hours at a time, I should wear reading glasses along with my contacts. Yup, you read that right. Reading glasses. For 31 year old me. How bizarre is that? I didn't think I'd be picking out reading glasses until I was at least 45. And fortunately, I have a very active, almost 2 year old boy who makes it virtually impossible for me to visually focus on anything for more than 30 seconds at a time unless he is napping. But reading glasses. I would need the weakest strength they make -- 1.00. Actually, they make some pretty funky, fun lenses for reading glasses nowadays, so if I do need some, I think it would actually be fun to go shopping for some. You know, like ones with red and orange flames or purple flowers. Yeah. Me with reading glasses. Cool.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Brazil Part 4

Here are the last of the pictures from Brazil...

Looking at the bungalows towards the inner part of the island. Our bungalow is on the right.

Mike and "family Peter". There were 2 Peters at this workshop, both from Arizona. So to differentiate between the 2, we named this one family Peter. Here family Peter is teaching Mike and Jake a blessing to the 4 directions.
Family Peter is holding a mother of pearl shell with burning sage in it.
Just before the final, nighttime ceremony. Mike and Jake with shaman Warinei.
We always had a fire going during the ceremonies.
Myself and Jake with Ralph and Peter, the workshop founders. This was their 7th year hosting the workshop, with multiple workshops during each year.
The next day Jake played soccer with Noah.
Too cute -- 2 shirtless little boys.
The final night we had a big dinner gala to celebrate our week. Mike and a sleeping Jake with Sara and Warinei.
Mike and Jake with family Peter.
The three of us, dressed up for the festivities.
Zoe, Jake, and Noah (family Peter's kids). That's a sticker on Jake's shirt.
Rodrigo and Mike. Rodrigo was one of the workshop staff members and his playfulness and sense of humor was so wonderful.
Ralph and Mike.
Zoe, Lucy, and Lee.
Peter, Lee, and Jake.
We had to leave the next day at 6am for our boat ride for the start of our journey home. We were so sad to leave!! We had a 2 hour boat ride, then a 2 hour bus ride to Ilheus. Then a 2 hour plane ride to Sao Paulo. Flew from Sao Paulo to Chicago which was 10.5 hours. Then our flight to Portland was 3.5 hours. That doesn't include all the layover time! It was a very long time traveling, and hard on all of us, and we were glad when we made it home.

Jake is holding some balloons that he grabbed from the party the night before.
Mike, leaving, with the beach and rising sun in the background.
Dominic and Lee waiting at the dock for the boat.
We saw a rainbow before getting on the boat. A promise of return?
Jake, the very experienced boat traveler.
Just us.
Mike taking a bit of a nap on the boat. After all, we did wake up at 5:15am!
Approaching the city where our bus was waiting.
I wish I knew the name of the city.
At the Ilheus airport, saying goodbye to David who was returning to England.
Again, the experienced traveler, waiting at the Sao Paulo airport.
On the train going between terminals at the Chicago airport. Of note -- Brazil is SUCH a child-friendly country!! Once we arrived at Sao Paulo in the beginning, we were NOT allowed to wait in any lines. Once airport staff saw that we had a child, we were immediately ushered to the head of whatever line we were in (customs, security, baggage, etc.). The flight attendents of our flights to and from Sao Paulo made sure we had good seats (3 seats in the bulkhead, even though Jake was a 'lap child'). It was the same way returning home. So nice!! However, once we got back to the USA, all bets were off. It was a rather rude awakening. We had an aisle seat and window seat for our flight from Chicago to Portland, and they put someone in the middle seat despite there being other middle seats available elsewhere on the plane!! Grrrr...

We had such a wonderful time. I won't go into details about the ceremonies, but I can say that they were incredibly healing and loving and amazing. The people who attended the workshop were all so wonderful, and from different parts of the world. We had quite a few from the USA and England, but also from Croatia, South Africa, and Brazil. It was the best honeymoon for us and we are so glad we went.