Thursday, September 29, 2011

An apple a day....

Part of the reason I took on doing the garden project was to show Walter food doesn't just 'appear' on the shelves and stands at the market but it needs to be grown, cultivated and harvested. That there are seasons for growing and then for enjoying. His love affair with the snap peas come to mind--he still goes out to the back yard and asks for them. Couple that with my love affair of going to my neighborhood's farmer's market is to build a relationship with the actual people who grow the food we consume.  I have become pretty food savvy--or so I thought.....

There is the little nugget  of information I learned yesterday that singlehandedly re-ignited my zeal for buying food from the source. Here's why; my friend was asking about Braeburn apples and why she hadn't seen them in the stores. The man replied "because they haven't been harvested this year yet". But apple season has just started and those Braeburns had just been in the market in July, somewhere they must have been harvested. And then it came out, the truth, most apples are frozen at harvest and thawed out when they are ready to be sold. Apple season only really lasts from August-October, ergo apples should only be available then. And then I think of all the apples I have eaten between October and July.

Now I realize that harvesting and freezing is not the same as injecting meet full of hormones or genetically modifying a food. But I do feel a bit bamboozled by this information. It also makes me leery of buying apples from a grocery store from now on. Or perhaps maybe I should buy a year's worth of  apples from my apple friend at the farmer's market and then freeze them myself. I just can't get over the fact that I've paid money for a very old apple thinking it was fresh.

What are your thoughts?

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Aren't you embarrassed?

A few months back I posted about "the mess" the all consuming "mess" that comes with raising a child. Here is an update in my ongoing relationship with "the mess".

"Aren't you embarrased?" Jose asked rather pointedly when he was feverishly picking up at 330pm waiting for our nanny to come watch Walter while we enjoyed a much needed night out together.

"No." I replied back at him.

It stunned me. Usually I just reply to questions like that defensively like it was somehow an attack on my ability to keep the house clean. But this time I meant it. To my core. I think I've become at one with "the mess", could that be? To quote the great author Sark from Living Juicy, "you do enough, you are enough, you have enough." I think that is singlehandedly the best piece of advice and the hardest piece of advice to follow.

Something has got to give, working 20-30 hours (I have NO IDEA how moms who work full time do it), being the sole night time parent (ie the parent that wakes up if the child wakes up), playing with and educating Walter, nursing Walter (that is a whole other post in itself), feeding the family, household chores, family calendar planner, wow, the list keeps going but I finally get it, in the words of Sark: I do enough. If there are crumbs on the floor when the nanny comes, oh well.

I think it also comes down to my priorities. And yes, I would rather go to the park on a nice day and play with Walter, than mop. I would rather teach Walter jazz hands as I teach him his ABC's, than the laundry, I would rather give my family tasty meals than vacuum. So in all honesty no, I am not embarrassed, because those things will be there in five years, Walter, however will be in first grade and then, hopefully, just hopefully there will be time to tidy. But for now, I am at piece with the mess--at least for now.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Peas in a pod

One of the best things about working in retail is you get to be a dutiful observer of other parents and THEIR children; their interactions, their tantrums, their sleeping habits. It is great!

I once listened to a child scream on and off in our lobby for 45 min, and that is after I started timing it, so I am sure it was more like an hour.  I have witnessed a mess of gargantuan proportions and a dad on his hands and knees trying to clean it up. A mom bringing her daughter still in her pajamas into the store at 530am so the rest of the house could still sleep. A dad comes in orders a coffee puts it at a table, leaves the store and only after walking his son around the block lulling him to sleep first in the stroller does he come back to enjoy his cup of coffee as his son sleeps peacefully in the stroller next to him. I have seen more 2 and 3 year-olds decide they want to crawl on the floor for a bit--more power to you all! These are all things that Walter has either done or will do at some point. My personal guilty pleasure is going through the Starbucks drive through in both our PJs when he wakes up so early.

So what do I take away from this? Kids are kids. This is what they do. And there are a whole lot of parents going through it. I have no idea why this point is driven home to me so much better when I witness these things for myself instead of the intimate settings of play-dates and family get-togethers. But it does. It also gives me the strength for the next time we are out and Walter starts screaming at the top of his lungs for seemingly no good reason. 

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Summer Vacation

Some say when you are a stay-at-home mom and part-time barista at the local coffee shop you don't really get to experience the phenomena known as summer vacation....or do you?

I chose to. I chose to be lazy. I chose to bask in the sun. Swim in the lake. Go on hikes. Enjoy the days that seem to never end. Grill with friends. Work in the garden (results varied click here for an account) Yes all of that was my summer. And of course the blog went by the wayside. I still journaled, and thought up posts that to me were funny and witty, it just somehow seemed I couldn't bring my ideas to coherent electronic entries, so around the end of June I decided to "go on vacation".

The best and most anticipated part of the summer was Walter's second birthday. I am an official mom of a two year-old. Walter is now a two year-old?! You mean "the baby" is now a "little boy".  Really? Because when I signed up to be a mom I thought the baby phase would last longer. Walter now tells me what he wants to do, this morning it was water coloring (he is going to give Picasso a run for his money I am sure of it). Walter now tries to express himself as best he can, a rather big work in progress. Walter jumps on the bed and laughs at jokes. When did all this happen? Why didn't anyone tell me it would happen so quickly?  I have also spent my summer awestruck at the fact Walter is becoming himself, and trying to walk to tight rope of letting him be himself and setting boundaries (no playing trains on the stairs, please). A walk that sometimes ends in disaster and sometimes, shockingly well.

Sunday it was supposed to get up into the low 90's so we went to Golden Gardens trying to escape the heat. Walter played in the surf for what seemed hours, until the sun was low on the horizon, his lips purple and his teeth chattering. A first for him, squealing and laughing the whole time. Loving every moment of it. Monday we woke up and the sun had been replaced with clouds and the 80 degree weather replaced with 60 degree weather. Summer vacation is over. Time to fall back into life.