An award to brighten my day

Look what I found in my inbox this morning from

What a lovely bright spot to add to the sunshine just coming over the roof tops and peeking through my window. Bodhisattva, filled with wisdom as the name implies, mentions the many paths that the blogging world seems to create. I am happy to be one of those wayside places along the path just waiting for other bloggers to stop and rest for awhile.Thanks B!

In accepting this award one must:

1. Copy the Beautiful Blogger Award logo and place it in your post. 2.  Thank the person who nominated you and link back to their blog. 3. Nominate 7 other bloggers for their own Beautiful Blogger Award, and comment on their blogs to let them know.

Here are my 7 blog nominees in no particular order. They are just some of the many wonderful wayside places I stop on my journeys each day.





Now I’ve gone and done it

Yep, I have committed to a series. On television. On Sunday evening. From 9-10:30.

I work on Monday. I get up at 4:30.

Do you see where I’m going with this?

This new-found delight is not even a new series. Background: I watch very little television. I have a few shows on Monday nights and Thursday nights that I like. When those aren’t on my husband has free rein on the TV. Oh, we do have another television set but why turn on a second electronic device when my preferred shows are on in the other room anyway.

Have you all heard of the PBS series, now out on DVD and probably other digital media, called Downton Abbey? Well, of course you have as this series is already past its second season. I know. I am way behind when it comes to jumping on the Downton bandwagon, and the biggest reason for this is the time this series airs in my locale. (See notation above)

I like to sleep. I need to sleep, especially on Sunday nights when 4:30, and my cat beckon just around the corner. I don’t live in a cave really. I knew full well of this series and its following. Time was the only deterrent for me over the last few years.

But Downton  knew how to get to me. How to dig in its magic charms of royalty, England, grandeur, history, suspense, romance. Downton also knew when to strategically reappear in my PBS lineup. She showed up quietly, by accident on a Sunday evening when coincidentally I had a week’s vacation and had no need to arise at 4:30 on Monday.

I am now hooked, line and sinker as they say.

Monday mornings are not easy. Maybe the answer is to stop working on Monday, especially since I have Tuesday off anyway.

Four day weekend anyone? It gets my vote.

Baby musings: expiration dates

Were you aware that baby items, such as car seats and such can “expire”? I was not aware of details such as this.

My husband and future grandpa works with a wonderful lady who very thoughtfully passed on a car seat/stroller system to us for either C & C to use or for us to keep around the house and use. They both are in relatively great shape. No stains, mars, nicks, dents and nicely clean meaning no visible baby puke anywhere.

When I mentioned this wonderful gift to C, the first thing she asked was,” What is the expiration on the car seat?”

“Expiration?” I said. “How can a car seat expire?”

She instructed me on where to find the date, which I did, and which by the way is found by flipping the entire seat over and looking on the plastic underneath.Something sort of like this:

Fortunately we have over a year before our system hits the magic expiration number.

Interesting to speculate what happens on that date though. Do the screws and rivets simply fall out of their proper places? Does the seat implode? Would the seat belt refuse to hold the system in place even one minute past midnight on that special date?

Possibly the bigger question is this: Am I just that out of touch with all things baby these days?

If I am going to be honest, and I will, it has been roughly 16 or 17 years since any of my children have been strapped into a car seat and a few more since the last one graduated from the booster seat and into sitting directly butt to upholstery. I now have to wonder if car seats had expiration dates way back then and I just never knew about this important piece of information.

That then makes me wonder about buying car seats at places like garage sales and consignment shops? Are young parents endangering their children by not buying new or is this expiration idea nothing more than a gimmick which forces parents to spend money unnecessarily? How long is one car seat good for? Can you use the seat for more than one child if you have a second child say two years after the first or must you go out and buy another new car seat?

The answer to those questions might be found here:

Many parents unaware of car seat safety expiration dates

Did you know that you can recycle parts of the car seat system:

And if car seat systems expire, what else expires that I don’t know about? What else has changed and how do I learn all of this important information?

I’m starting to think it’s going to be harder to be a grandma than I originally thought.

Old is new again

I spent the last two days with my girls doing both baby/maternity shopping and vintage/consignment clothes shopping.

Yesterday it was the shopping mall for a few light weight maternity tops. Unless moms to be are shopping in stores designed for maternity wear, have you noticed where most retail shops place their maternity clothing?

Yep, near the large and typically older ladies clothing. Why is this? I concede that some pregnant moms may begin their journey to motherhood overweight but what I don’t understand is the correlation for the average size mom to be with the large, 1x-2x-3x section. Have we not come to realize in our society that being pregnant does not equate with being overweight? Mind you, not every retail establishment places the mommy clothing near this larger ladies section but more often than not that’s were you find them.

Today we struck out for vintage/consignment clothing for my youngest daughter. She had a list of stores all fairly close together in a small neighborhood near one of the local colleges. Little did we know that the majority of these shops did not open until late morning  and that a number were no longer in existence. We had the opportunity to see quite a bit of the neighborhoods in roughly a one square mile area as she drove back and forth in our vain attempts to locate some of these shops.

The ones we did get to though were all eclectic and really catered to the vintage more than the consignment crowd. We’re talking 1940’s to 1960’s era clothing with a few more modern things thrown in here and there. At our first stop, Nine Lives,  A almost had to leave the store with a shirt she had tried on and then couldn’t get off.  Her sister had to go into the dressing room and help her pull it off backwards. It appears the arms went on, but then would not come back off.

I found some fantastic candles there. They are soy based and made by Echo Valley Candles, and we had a nice chat with the owners father who was babysitting the store.

Two doors down was a fun little shop with lots of Indian related items called the Laughing Lotus. They had Buddhas, prayer flags, incense and tons of essential oils that they will mix specifically for their patrons into massage oils, lotions, etc. It was too bad that C had just purchased some lavender lotions the day before. We did find this great little statuette by accident there also. It is made of carved wood, a female figure with what can best be described as a spiral design, probably signifying Mother Goddess/circle of life/cosmic unity/? placed over her abdomen. If you know art history, think the Venus of Willendorf  just not as robust and full and ancient. C is going to use this for labor as a visualization, focal point sort of thing. She was already tuned into its power after we bought it. The little spiral area is perfect to rub with your thumb and you can visualize massaging the baby during contractions.

We did stop for lunch in the midst of all this shopping. I caved into my growing desire for some bacon (my one weakness as a vegetarian/flexitarian) with a salad called Phil’s Creation.

Fresh greens, oven roasted chicken breast, pineapple,
caramelized onions, hand crushed cashews and hot bacon
tossed in a sweet honey mustard dressing and sprinkled with
cheddar cheese.

We were eating at Farrelli’s Pizza and their lunch special included soup. The girls decided to go with that and had some wonderful Tomato Gorgonzola with bread sticks. I rather regret not having the soup.

After re-energizing and stopping to go pee (which is essential when you are 1. 29 weeks pregnant and 2. over 50) we hit a few more stores, ran into some construction, parked in a zone where we were supposed to pay but didn’t, got some flavored popcorn (Huckleberry and S’mores) and decided to call it a day.

Spending time with my girls was a great way to end my week of vacation.

A day in the life of Debbie the Doula

Before jumping into this post I have to say a big Thank You readers of I am, therefore I write. My little notification tab was astoundingly filled with “likes” today. Some associated with my early morning post on the Miami face chewer and others focused on random posts within the blog. I appreciate the like-itude you sent my way 🙂

More to the point, Debbie the Doula conducted her second childbirth class with the expecting daughter and son-in-law this afternoon. We have set a meeting schedule for every 2 weeks to fit with Ca’s free from work weekends. Last time we got together was on Mother’s Day for our first class–pretty apropos I think. My two clients learned lots of relaxation techniques which I was told today they have been dutifully practicing. Great job guys!

Today was all labor, all the time. More precisely, we covered all of the first stage of labor and the accompanying breathing techniques associated with each phase: early, active and transition.

I had assigned Ch some homework, just to see what his preexisting level of knowledge was regarding labor and birth. I know that Ca has a huge working knowledge of labor as a nurse but I wanted to make sure Ch was up to speed on basic terms, etc. He did great in our little quiz.

It is such a joy teaching a couple that really wants to know what labor and birth is all about and to work with a mom, even though she is my daughter, who feels that these techniques for coping can and will work for her in labor. Medicines have their place at times, but during the time years ago when I was teaching full-time, mom’s were moving back into anticipation and acceptance of managed births, rather than seeing the power they possess as women to birth their babies with love and support and little intervention. At that same time, myself and fellow instructors and doulas began to see a reversal of the open policies toward labor. Coupling client philosophy with increased medical procedures, it became very disheartening to attempt to circumvent these patterns as a provider.

My current clients work so well together. They are a joy for me to watch as a doula. Ca takes the techniques seriously and Ch strives to be loving, supportive and present in all aspects for Ca, even though this is only practice for another 3 months. Their work together is all the more special when I am privileged to witness the love passing between these two family members. I have no doubts that Ch will be a constant for Ca during labor.

We have two classes left together and will most likely be finished at the end of June, leaving them a good solid month to practice as much as possible. Of course, no one knows for sure how her labor will progress, nor how she will react during this life changing event but my philosophy is that the more prepared the couple is the better they will be able to draw from their knowledge when the hard work really begins.

I look on her belly in awe each time I see them together. This was my first baby and now she is going to be a mother herself. How can the time have gone so quickly? She was my baby, my little girl, my young adult and now she will experience a life event unlike anything one could ever imagine and Ch will be by her side.

I hope they know how proud I am of both of them. I don’t say it enough I’m sure, but I hope they realize. As I said to Ch today, try to praise mom after each and every contraction. Never let her feel like she has failed in any way. Keep her positive and support her no matter what. Simple words like, “I love you, great job, you are awesome, you can do this” go such along way to reassure mom. So to both of them I say:

“Great job, you are both awesome, you both can do this and I love you both.”

Oh hell…

In the words of be-speckled Ralphie from “A Christmas Story” I have to say: Ohhhhh fuuuddddgggge!

I am not the greatest person in the world when it comes to being frugal with food. I toss stuff that I shouldn’t have bought in the first place and have been known to chuck stuff that was probably still useable but for me, not so much.

I don’t set out to destroy perfectly good food and thus dump money down the drain though.

Today, for the second time in the last few months I have accomplished destruction of food, although not on purpose mind you.

On a regular basis I hard boil eggs to eat for breakfast, lunch, an occasional protein snack. Just a few hours ago, while allowing myself to be completely preoccupied with homework, creative writing homework no less, I have burned the hell out of half-dozen or more eggs.

The first time, my husband caught the chaos just as they started popping in the pan. Today I missed quite a few pops. It wasn’t until the burning smell of calcium rich egg shells wafted toward my office door that I remembered I had placed 8 eggs into my pan, filled it with water, turned my stove onto high and walked away.

Walked away for an obviously long period of time. I will be damned if I will succumb to this disaster however.

After allowing the crispy, browned shells to cool, I peeled each and every one of those eggs, tried to remove as much of the chocolate-brown burn marks from the normally snow-white congealed albumin and put them in a baggie and into my refrigerator.  I will eat those eggs. I will not throw out almost 1 dozen highly overcooked eggs due to my own stupidity.

A positive from this destruction is creeping into my brain though.

The homework I was obviously engrossed in when I allowed my eggs to burn was a literary non-fiction piece for Creative Writing. It started out as a piece on my kids but I wasn’t liking where it was headed.

Non-fiction. Literary. Humor. Sadness. Idiocy. Burned eggs. I see a storyline here.