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Tuesday, September 24, 2013

"So, What Do You Do?"

This is the first question strangers often ask me. This is the first question I often ask strangers. It's how we peg people, how we wrap our minds around them. Is it wrong? I don't think so. Is it sensitive? Maybe. Is it cultural? Definitely. In some cultures, the first question to ask is, "Who are your parents?" Perhaps this gives them an idea of what type of family they come from. In a tribe in Mexico, to ask where someone is from, the question is literally: "Where is your placenta buried?" Kind of weird, but hey. Here, we peg people by what their profession is.

Over the past year when I have met new people, the first thing I usually tell them is that I run a small business selling granola at farmers markets. Then I tell them that my ultimate goal is to open a bakery cafe and employ people transitioning out of homelessness. Then I tell them I have an infant daughter and she takes up the rest of my time. It was never, "I'm a mom, and I run a small business." It was always, "Oh yeah, and I have a little one."

Monday, September 16, 2013

Sometimes, You Just Eat Cold Pasta

Sleep is at a premium around here. I thought once we got past the newborn stage, out of flu season, and into the golden months approaching toddler-hood, we'd be sleeping all night long, never having tantrums, eating only veggies and organic fruits and whole grains (never processed), and sleeping all night long. Did I say that already?

Evelyn slept through the night maybe twenty times, ever. The latest was ten nights in a row with only one hiccup. Then came double ear infections and a nasty cold. So can I get mad at her? No, of course not. Even when I do, it melts away pretty quickly. But we are tired. Just plain tired.

Last week, after tucking Evelyn into bed at 7:30 pm, I wailed to Justin "Let's just eat cold pasta and raw carrots for dinner and go bed." He replied, "Sounds good to me!" So that's what we did, until she was up crying again, and trying to eat our cold pasta with us. Then a few nights ago, it was 8:30 pm. "Want to have ice cream and go to bed?" I asked Justin. Enthusiastic yes was the reply. We had our peanut butter ice cream with chocolate sauce and climbed into bed as soon as possible.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Don't Be Late, You're Gonna Be Eight!

I recently read that many authors say to use exclamation points very, very sparingly, or not even at all. If you can't find a way to eloquently express emotion without resorting to exclamation points, then you shouldn't be writing. With Facebook, emails, text messages, etc., exclamation points are everywhere. Individuals are worried they will come across as not enthusiastic or mad if they don't use exclamation points in every! single! sentence! I am also guilty of this sometimes (ok, often), especially if I'm communicating with someone I don't know that well and want to seem lighthearted and upbeat.

Over Labor Day weekend my dear sister Megan and her eldest, Lyndley, came for a much anticipated visit. I realized that there is a time in life when one should be free to to use exclamation points with abandon, and that is at the age of seven-going-on-eight. Oh, the exclamations! Oh, the amazing excitement! Some examples to illustrate:

"You have chickens!! Can I collect the eggs? Oh I love farm fresh eggs!" (Me: "Actually, they're more like backyard fresh eggs.") "Backyard fresh eggs! Yay!"

"What's that? Figs? A fig tree? Can I help collect the figs?!"

"I've never made ice cream before! Can I help!? I love ice cream!"

"Little Cat! Want to play? Come on, Little Cat!!"

We had such fun. Lyndley made me earrings out of paper she colored with a light blue sparkly pen. Later, she asked, "Aunt Becky, do you still have the magic coin earrings?" She gathered eggs and begged to hard boil one. One morning we had eggs over easy, which she calls "egg juice eggs." It's interesting peeking into the food mind of a 7 year old. Any food she helped prepare, she was excited about. Any food that was prepared and served to her, she did her duty and ate some but was not excited about it. Note to self: Involve Evelyn in all the food prep.