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    Attachment Parenting - New York City Edition

    Last Thursday, I received an email from my fellow blogger, author, and friend, Dionna Ford at Code Name: Mama. Turns out it was a good thing I checked my email before heading to work that morning. As, less than an hour later, instead of driving to work, I found myself driving to New York City where I had the opportunity to meet the lovely and eloquent Dionna (and her sweet, nom-able baby daughter) in person, fellow natural parenting blogger Rachael at The Variegated Life (whose children *may* have the coolest names ever), the exuberant attachment parenting guru, Dr. Jay Gordon, and even got to shake hands with attachment parenting advocate Mayim Bialik!

    (Me, Ailia, and Dionna)

    After a three hour drive (yes, you read that correctly. My usual 1hr 20min drive to the big apple took THREE HOURS. I hear the President was in town for the day; so I'd like to thank POTUS - I've never seen the Lincoln Tunnel in such great, and drawn-out detail.), I was more than relieved to take my wrinkly-pants self out of my car, and into the busy studio of Anderson Cooper’s daytime show. The topic of the show segment being recorded that day was Attachment Parenting and breastfeeding; as prompted by the now-infamous Time Magazine cover. While waiting for Dionna to go to “hair and makeup” and then to on stage (squeee!),

    (Dionna, getting pretty)

    we both had the opportunity to speak with Dr. Jay for a good long while. He’s an amiable, straight-talker with a true passion for normalizing breastfeeding and attachment parenting. He also happens to be the pediatrician to several Hollywood stars’ children – which as a complete non sequitur, did make for even more interesting conversation. I highly recommend checking out his site – which I referenced several times myself when my kids were babies.

    (Me, Ailia, and Dr. Jay)

    (backstage view - that's Mayim in the light)

    I was able to watch - with one eye - much of the filming from backstage with babe-on-hip (note to self: everyone wants to talk to you when you are holding a baby). However, I've yet to see the episode in its entirety. Once a full video can be found online, I'll be sure to post a link here! I've been told that, unfortunately, much of Dionna’s articulate responses to Anderson’s and audience member’s questions about breastfeeding and attachment parenting were left on the editing-room floor. I can attest in person, she did a fabulous job of representing the very normal side of extended nursing and natural parenting, and she did so with an air of confidence - in front of a large audience; including some celebrities (speaking of celebrities… while we were waiting backstage, Ailia and I took this photo):

    (Billy Bob Thornton)

    After the show, I was able to talk with Rachael a bit, took a few photographs of the city, then headed back home (a far shorter experience on the way back!). It was an excellent trip, all around. It felt so good to be able to talk attachment parenting in depth with real people - who really got it. I'm hoping, in spite of the shock-value nature of the Time cover, the subject of attachment parenting and breastfeeding will become more a part of the landscape and conversations of parenting in general; less a fringe "extreme" style, and more understood for what it truly IS: a natural and easy way of relating to our children. I'm grateful for mothers who stand up and speak out for what they believe in; together we can change the "norm" of parenting!  

    (Rachel & Dionna - city gals!)

    Posted: May 22 2012, 17:55 by kelly | Comments (6) RSS comment feed |
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    Reaching for Love (Guest Post by Wendy Irene)

    The following was written by my friend and fellow blogger, Wendy Irene. I find myself so often inspired by her writing on peaceful parenting and living, and am so excited to share her gentle and loving spirit with you, my readers. Please visit her site… and I hope you’ll add her to your reading list, too! Peace.

    When you’ve reached the most loving part of yourself, you know. Your actions feel good. They may even make you smile. You are floating in harmony with your soul’s desires. Deep down underneath all the layers we are incredibly loving, kind human beings. When that true authentic part of me is shining through I feel joy. Joy in my heart. Joy in my being. Beauty surrounds me, and the world is soft and glowing.

    At all times it is possible for us to reach for the most loving part of ourselves, even in difficult situations. Possible doesn’t mean it’s always easy though. Currently in my life, I am practicing reaching for the love within me in times of frustration, anger, or impatience. Circumstances happen that trigger parts of our personality that should not be in control. The more I consciously practice not reacting negatively, the easier it becomes.

    Reacting negatively often brings me pain or the feeling of guilt. The energy I put out is being returned to me. It is easy to react, especially when I feel upset, but the pain I cause is never worth it.

    My goal is to go within to search for my place of peace, the eternal spring of love, and stay there until I am ready to act with love, instead of reacting in a way that is harmful to my spirit. I believe that everything returns to us, and I want to be showered with love, therefore that is what I must always choose to give.

    To giving love, especially when it takes every ounce of strength we have. Who we really are... is love.


    Wendy Irene is the Founder & Editor-in-Chief at GiveLoveCreateHappiness.com. Mother of two beautiful souls, she strives to live a life of wellness, to create happiness at every turn, and most of all, give love. Follow her on twitter @Wendy_Irene to help spread love, support, and happiness.

    Posted: Apr 30 2012, 00:15 by kelly | Comments (2) RSS comment feed |
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    Are You Free to Take Some Tea?

    May I inquire discreetly: When are you free to take some tea with me?

    ~The Beatles 


    I’ve always loved a good cup of tea. That’s why, when my friend, Amber, at Strocel.com suggested that we all “show her our stash” of tea, I positively jumped at the chance!

    Show me Your Tea Stash at Strocel.com


    I am an avid tea drinker. Okay, truthfully, I don’t really discriminate; at least not in genre, I drink coffee, tea, cocoa… it’s all good. Additionally, as my hands are always cold; a hot cuppa fits the bill quite well. I do, however, have my favorites; and some which I just can’t stand (so they linger, like, forever, in my cabinet). I’d say I’m a 8-cup-a-day drinker; though, it’s not always caffeinated (lest you have a picture in your head of me zooming around like a moth on a porchlight with a cup of something gripped firmly in my jittering hands).  Not always. Ahem. 


    For quite some years, my penchant(s) for tea drinking – and collecting – have collided in a most haphazard way in my kitchen cabinets (always just right out of reach; honestly, I don’t know WHY I’ve never, ever, moved my tea to a more convenient location!), 'til 'round about 10 years ago, when drinking and collecting merged in a more seamless way, and Adam and I opened an online tea shop – selling one of our favorite hot beverages: chai (though, truth be told, much of my tea at home & at work is bought from the tea shop at our grocery store, and I don’t drink as much chai as I once did; preferring the simplicity of a nice, plain, green as I've gotten older. Ahem, again.). [ps: Amber has assured me that owning a tea shop does not disqualify me from participating in the Big Tea Show-Off. But, in all fairness, I felt I did need to disclose that little fact.].   


    And now... on to stats. And PICTURES!  


    In my office stash, you can find:
    10 boxes of tea
    1 can of tea
    Many random tea bags & tea k-cups



    In my stash at home, you can find:
    19 boxes of tea
    2 cans of tea
    A nonsensical number of random individual tea bags

    This pic can perhaps best be described with: O_o



    In our warehouse stash… maybe just a pic will suffice:


    So... I love tea. And I love people who love tea. I could drink it all day & night; and often do. My kids love tea, too. And, I’m convinced tea keeps you young. And keeps you happy. Or, at least, it keeps you warm. And that counts for something.  


    Here’s to a Happy New Year, and happy tea drinking!

    Posted: Jan 14 2012, 15:56 by kelly | Comments (10) RSS comment feed |
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    Filed under: Healthy Eating

    Sunday Spark: This Week's Awesomeness

    I love asparagus! It’s a winner in nutrition. Per cup: Vitamin K (55.7mcg / 70% DV!), Vitamin A (1013 IU / 20% DV), Folate (68.7mcg / 17% DV), Vitamin C (7.5mg / 13%), Iron (2.9mg / 16% DV), Fiber (2.8g / 11% DV), Protein (2.9g / 6% DV)... I could continue. The thing about asparagus is that it can be tricky to prepare, serve, and make appealing to children with its tendency towards stringiness or bitterness. I’ve tried several different preparations of asparagus to make it more child-palatable. Small pieces, added to stir fry seem the most likely to be eaten. But I love eating it by the stalk, and want my kids to enjoy this as well! So, last night, I went simple & just tried tossing it into a pan with olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and about a tablespoonful of dark brown sugar & water. Covered, and sauteed for ~10 minutes until tender. The kids loved it, and Adam & I did as well. It was sweet with just a bit of sour to balance it out, and super tender! So if your children are shy about asparagus, you might want to give this simple “recipe” a try!

    (Okay, I'm not a food photographer, but trust me, this was yummy.)
    Scala & Kolancy Brothers!
    This week I discovered Scala. If you saw the movie Social Network, you may remember the girls’ choir version of Radiohead’s Creep in the trailer… that’s Scala. I’ve been surfing YouTube & iTunes like a maniac looking for more by them this week. I’m hooked. It’s a mix of chorale voices (awesome) with 90’s alternative rock (also awesome); sometimes a cappella, sometimes with piano. Think: Sinead O'Connor, Depeche Mode, The Cure, Nirvana, Bjork... pared down to its essentials, hauntingly performed, how can you beat this?
    The Value of Being Not-Awesome!
    Amber at Srocel.com posted this more than a week ago, but it’s still on my mind (and I subscribed to email updates, so I’m still getting the inspired comments to her post). Amber talks eloquently and honestly about her feelings on blogging frequently, even if you’re not sure that what you’re posting is “awesome”. She says, “The other big thing I’ve learned through blogging, and really through everything that I’ve tried, is that the way to get better at something is to show up.”

    (Amber, who is, awesome)
    I commented at the time, that I usually only manage about one post a week, because I’d read somewhere that you only ever want to give your readers MORE, not less – you know, basically an aim-low approach, as not to disappoint. I do find that I often wait and wait until my post is “just right” before posting; and sometimes, in that wait, I end up not posting at all. Maybe the moment has passed, the thing I was blogging about didn’t seem so important. Sometimes, it’s because I’ve lost interest, or I’m just not sure that it’s awesome enough. Through repeated visits back to Amber’s post (because her readers leave such thoughtful comments!), I am coming around to the point of view that maybe more is better. Even if the more is less. There are several bloggers whom I read every day where I’m just so glad she posted SOMETHING, even if it’s not something I’m that interested in, or agree with, because the act of reading content in a voice I enjoy is… enjoyable. Inspiring. Relaxing. Not sure I am ready to make a commitment to daily blogging yet, but her post certainly was thought provoking. If you find yourself often with your finger hovering over the publish button, you might want to
    give her post a read.
    Roller Skating!
    Adam & I took the kids roller skating this Saturday.

    (First time standing in skates... note the death-grip)
    It was the kids’ first time, and our first visit to the skating rink in… (wait for it…) ~23 years. Yeah. The fact that we’re old folks aside, this was the most fun I’ve had in a long time!

    (Yes, I'm skating backwards, photographing myself. Yes, I'm a hazard to the roller skating population at large.)
    Perhaps what was best about the whole adventure was the fact that it had a distinct air of timelessness about it. The place was the SAME place we’d been to as kids, it still looked the same, the rental skates were the same brown & orange, they even played (some) of the same music (okay, they didn’t play In the Air Tonight, but they DID play Michael Jackson. I was satisfied). There were still a handful of people who were amazing skaters, some teenagers who hung out in groups in the middle of the rink, newbies clinging to the sides, and loners hanging back on the edge when the DJ switched to the “slow songs”. They even hosted a round of Hokey Pokey. And yes, I remembered how to spin & jump on my skates. I also fell (once). Overall, I highly recommended this as an afternoon family outing!

    (Our 3yo skating by himself!)
    The kids both started off without ever having been on skates in their lives, to within about two hours skating independently – and loving it!

    (Skating with Dad - no hands!)
    Also? Skating is a FUN way to exercise (and I'm not one who typically uses those two words in the same sentence). Now, I just need to buy my own roller skates. Seriously.
    So... What was awesome about your week?
    Posted: Apr 03 2011, 15:29 by kelly | Comments (0) RSS comment feed |
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    The Question of Time

    A stitch in time saves nine.

    Time flies when you’re having fun.

    Time & tide wait for no man.

    Time after time.

    It’s a question of time.


    How many songs, sayings, stories, idioms are about time? How often do we recognize the existence of, and lament the amount of, time in our lives? I will find myself nostalgic about times past, and hopeful at times to come.  I look at my ever-growing children and almost daily am faced with the reality (and fear) that time is fleeting.  And, there is the always-present weighty feeling of never having enough time to do what I want to do.   Like write. I just finished having a twitter conversation with a writer-mommy (@inkgypsy), about having such a strong desire to write, and this far-off feeling that I really want to be a writer, yet feeling that I didn't have the time to do it.  She suggested setting a goal for what I want, make the time for that goal, and the rest will follow.


    I like this idea. Certainly, taking some action, however small, towards my goals is better than mourning the lack of time, fretting over how overbooked I am, how many directions in which I am being pulled, complaining about how late I go to bed, how often my children wake, or how early I’m awakened, or how my to-do list keeps growing, and my would-like-to-do list as well, and how the latter never sees the light of day because I struggle to find the time to get everything done on the former. Pining over times past, when I felt I had so much more time (yet, did I really manage it any better back then?) and worrying over how will I ever be able to find the time to do the things I want to do, when I have all this stuff I have to do. And on an on.  In my fretting over trying to find time, I’m losing time. It is certainly better to take a step towards productivity, and a step away from self-pity.


    Oh, big self-perpetuating sigh. 


    It's really true, isn't it? Getting the things done that we want to; it’s not about finding the time.  It’s about deciding what it is that’s really important, and then choosing to rearrange your schedule to accommodate those things.  Making time for those things.


    So I have decided that  instead of mourning the passage of time, I will seize the day.  Or, more succinctly, when I feel that spark of something I want to do or get done, I’m going to do it. If I can’t do it that moment, I’m going to make a specific plan to get it done, and then… find a way to put that plan into action. and here I am, at 1:30am on my laptop. Writing because I needed to, and I’m so tired of listening to myself complain about not having enough time to do the things I want to do... so I made the time.





    You know, even if I keep the complaints only to myself. My inner monologue matters! What I think, I become. What I want to do, I will get done.


    So no more yearning for missing time.  What’s the point of yearning for time, when it’s right here? The act of troubling over losing time takes time itself.  I’m tired of it.  I’m going to take each moment as it comes, and make the best out of it.


     There’s no time like the present. Right?

    Posted: Jul 12 2010, 01:36 by kelly | Comments (2) RSS comment feed |
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