Monday, February 27, 2012

Bath Colors

I found a great use for those markers that get left in the easel tray with their lids off, destined to be tossed in the trash the next time their dried-out tips take a turn on the paper... give them a bath!  The pens turned instantly into fun water color pens and kept Elliot entertained for his whole bath (without dumping any water out onto the floor--a miracle!).  And since they were washable markers to begin with, the ink just washed right off the tub.  They did make the water a little murky, and I did have to give Ellie one last clean rinse before the bath time was officially over, but that's a small price to pay for a fun night in the tub.  And we got last hurrah out of that batch of markers!

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Slowly Letting Go... Of Love Day

The Valentine mantel decorations have come down.  I'm no longer stamping everything we eat with a heart-shaped cookie cutter.  And I'm this close to finishing off the bag of pink foiled hershey kisses that's in the cupboard.  But this, my favorite holiday of the year, still lingers.  

This has been (another) good lesson in letting go.

On the monday night before Valentine's Day we ended up taking Elliot to the ER.  In the course of two hours he went from having a coughing fit brought on by being outside in the cold air, to laying limp and rosy-cheeked and breathing faster and more shallowly than any parent ever wants to see their small child breath.  Thankfully it turned into an uneventful night.  Turns out I overdosed him on albuterol... which made him a wild little monkey bouncing off the walls at eleven o'clock at night, but which also helped his lungs recover from his acute attack.  We left the ER, filled a prescription for antibiotics, and all snuggled down into our big bed at home at midnight.  Needless to say, Elliot stayed home the next day.  And so did his hand-made Valentines.  And the day after that, even though he went back to school, we were still too wiped out to take them.  And the night after that he puked all over everyone and everything.  Home again the next day.  Then back to school again after that.  And so it continues.  Four months after starting group childcare and Elliot is still getting bombarded with germs.  He is sick more than he is healthy.  And here his Valentine's sit.  

A lesson in staying present in the process, not the product. 
It happened at Christmas, too.  I had all of these hand-made ideas in mind for my sister-in-law (whose name I drew for gift-giving), but Elliot was hospitalized on December 19th for breathing treatments and we skipped the big family Christmas-eve party and before I knew it, Christmas was here and I hadn't made any of my gift ideas.  I've tried to make it up to her.  To myself.  Over time I've given a little of this.  Tried to make a little of that.  Nothing all too successful.  Nothing like I had imagined.  
Nothing like learning, again, to let go. 

Andrea's Valentine's present sits unfinished, too.  I don't know.  Maybe I've always been an un-finisher.  Someone with big ideas who doesn't complete any of them.  Or maybe I'm just tired.  This parenting stuff is seriously hard work.  And I feel like I am seriously tired. 

And so, as the sweet things on the mantel make way for new treasures.  And as the bag of Elliot's little love notes for his friends gets buried deeper and deeper below back packs and scarves and hats.  I say goodbye to my favorite holiday for this year.  And I take this as, yet another, lesson in learning to let go.   

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

He Wears His Heart On His Sleeve

He always has. 
His emotions are strong, wide and obvious.  And he's as interested in expressing his own emotions (I'm frust-erated!) as he is in figuring your's out ("Mumma, what's she feelin'?").  Sometimes he experiments with new feelings, like when he's suddenly "fraid" of the heater vent in his room.  And sometimes his feelings become so intense that he clearly gets overwhelmed, like when he gets so mad that he strikes out and hits one of us with a fierce look in his eye, then switches immediately into a heartbreaking wail.  He will cry and cry and want to snuggle into one of us, as closely and tightly as possible, until his crying stops.  Then he'll sit back, cock his head, and ask in his high-pitched little boy voice, "Mumma, why did I get so mad that I hit you?" 
Because, really, he doesn't know quite yet.  He is a feeling child.  It's lovely and tender and I wouldn't change it for the world, but it's hard.  His range of emotions are strong.  And wide.  And...
As always, I can't wait to see how this part of Elliot grows over the years.  What kind of feeling-teenager he will be?  What kind of feeling-man?  Will his emotions be difficult for him to regulate or will he always be able to take a deep breath and reflect on how he's feeling?  
On this Valentine's Day, I wish for him a lifetime of deep, wide emotions brought on by all of the pleasures our world has to offer.  Elliot, may you travel far, feel life deeply, and always love with every ounce of your being.  

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Mr. Mustachio

This little cutie patutie cracks me up.  

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Zoo Train

Some of the fun, imaginative play that happened on New Year's day included the zoo I made for Elliot for Christmas last year and some new train tracks he got for Christmas this year.  We're not a huge train family.  We lived happily on just a single circle track for the last few years.  But adding a few more pieces, plus some new plain train cars, and Elliot's favorite toys of all times--his plastic animals--and we had one amazing Zoo Train.  The train could drive right through the zoo and see all of the animals.  Just a few simple toys, plus a playful and engaged Mumma (this is often key to getting good play time out of Elliot), and we had one happy little guy.  
PS... I'd love to take him on the real Zoo Train at the Portland Zoo.  So far he only knows of it as a game we play with his toys in our living room.  It would blow his mind to be on an actual Zoo Train!

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Welcome 2012!

Phew, I am so glad December is over. Although we had wonderful christmas and birthday celebrations and loved with lots of family from near and far, we also experienced a whole lot of sickness. Between the three of us there was strep throat, conjunctivitis, bronchiolitis, a nasal infection, four rounds of antibiotics, an inhaler, and even an overnight hospital stay for Elliot. Yeah, when I said a whole lot of sickness I meant a WHOLE lot of sickness. And while Elliot seems to be onto another bit of congestion, I hope so deeply that nothing ends up as bad as December. And, except for that bit of congestion, I am thankful to say that we are starting our New Year as a healthy family.  Well, at least the three of us are... a sad shout out to my mom who came for an innocent Christmas visit and ended up with ALL of our germs: strep, conjunctivitis, and bronchitis. She's not over it all yet, but I know she will be soon. Wish I could be there to make you tea, mom. I hope we didn't scare you off for good.

In addition to starting the year off healthy, we also spent our first day of 2012 doing all of the things that I hope to have in abundance as the year unfolds...
- lots and lots of fun, imaginative play
- baking
- messy art projects
- trying new delicious dinner recipes
- long naps
- Elliot putting himself to sleep for his nap! 
- time with family
- a hike under the trees and along the water (must get more nature into my days! it feels so good)
- mimosas for breakfast and wine for dinner (okay, maybe this one might be better in moderation than in abundance, but it's still a good one to have on the list :)
- and, finally, blogging

Oh, what a lucky lady I would be to have a year filled with such healthy, happy, and whole experiences as we've packed into this one wonderful day.  And while Andrea rolls her eyes at me when I tell her I was thinking about having this be "the year of no mayonnaise" (which was already shot by mid-morning when she came out with bacon for BLTs.  Who can eat a BLT with no mayo?!), I think maybe what would be best for me is to focus on just that.  A healthy, happy, and whole year.

So I raise my glass (filled only with water because, you know, enough's enough for one day) and set my sights on a New Year.  A 2012 that is healthy, happy, and whole.  Wishing you the same.  xoxo

Friday, December 9, 2011

Our Christmas Tree

Much to my delight, Elliot is soooo "into" all things Christmas... Santa, stockings, twinkly lights, and OUR TREE!  We didn't have one last year because he was a crazy toddler and too much into things in a not-so-good way, but this year is perfect.  We went to the nursery up the street and picked one out, he helped me hang our ornaments (I hung the glass ones on top and he hung all of the nonbreakable ones on the bottom), and he loves waking up in the morning and seeing the lights go on.  It melts a Mumma's heart.

Photo credit for tree pic goes to Elliot!
And for a walk down memory lane... two years ago... click here.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011


Disregard the dirty, snotty face... Elliot's had his fair share of colds since starting school.  It's the concentration on his face that caught my attention in these pictures.  It's this level of concentration and focus that is a double edged sword for us right now.  It's amazing that Elliot has such strong interests and focus on things in his world.  He's really stinking smart because of it!  But having such an intense level of concentration on everything also makes it really difficult for him to just relax.  

School is still  difficult, though we think his separation anxiety is easing up a bit.  He still asks ALL OF THE TIME where his Mamas are (whether we are sitting right there with him or not), or where we are going, or if it's a school day or not.  And he still asks his teachers ALL DAY LONG where his Mamas are.  Did I mention he has an intense level of concentration??  Yeah.  But we know he's not crying during the day at school.  And we are also getting some reports of his interactions with the other children.  But it's basically that he just doesn't relax into his day.  He's hyper-focused on things in his world, both in a good way... and in a challenging way.

It's so interesting to still be learning new things about this little guy two and a half years later, not to mention thinking about him for a lifetime!  We didn't at all expect this school anxiety situation, nor do we know how it will play out in the long run.  But, whether it's in a good way or a challenging way, I am so grateful to be along for the ride!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Night Terrors and Waffles

School transitions have continued to be H.A.R.D.  Elliot just does not like to separate.  Mornings are full of great big sobs, loud heartbreaking screams, and lots of begging for me to either stay with him or take him home.  He really, really likes it better when he is home with both of his mummas.  And he is so smart and thoughtful that even when we are at home he talks mostly about either going away to school or mummas going away to work.  He talks about and thinks about separation almost all of the time.  It breaks my heart to think that he is so stressed out.  It does help a lot that we love his teachers and that we know he settles into his days at school pretty well, but clearly he is a changed child now that we have introduced this concept of separation from his familiar world.  
And then he had another night terror.  It has been a year or so since his last one.  And it is absolutely terrifying, not to mention exhausting.  He woke up in the middle of the night in a freaked out rage, with eyes that looked more goat-like than human-like, and he yelled and screamed and hit and kicked and demanded waffles.  Yes, waffles.  The last time he demanded food in the middle of his night terror, too.  But this time we had just been talking about waffles in the evening before bed, so that idea was still on the tip of his consciousness.  It all made perfect sense and no sense at the same time.  
Luckily, the next day was a stay-at-home day.  One that was very, very clingy.  And very slow and sleepy.  One that involved going to the store first thing in the morning for a waffle maker and making big platefuls of fluffy homemade whole wheat waffles.  With lots of maple syrup.  We spent the morning filling our bellies and calming our minds.  We spent a long day just being together.  This mumma tried to take a big, deep breath and wrap her little one up with as much love and strength as I could.  Knowing all along that the next day was another school day, but that on this day we got to stay home together and eat waffles.  

Sunday, November 6, 2011

'Cool Days

A few weeks ago Elliot transitioned from home-care with Kelly to group-care in the childcare center at my work.  To help ease this transition (maybe more for me, than for him), I made Elliot a new nap blanket (he picked out the robot fleece and the matching blue backing himself!) and a little backpack to carry his things in each day.  It felt really good to sew these mumma-made things to help us talk about school in the few days leading up to his first day, and it felt even better to say goodbye to him each morning knowing that he would literally be wrapped up in my love during his day.  Even with these extra things, the transition was/is still very hard.  The tears have lessened (both his and mine), and he's more willing to separate from me and go to the comfort of his teachers each morning.  But it is so very, very clear that Elliot loves his "stay at home days" way more than he likes his " 'cool days."  And, quite honestly, so do I.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Hoppy Halloween

With a wriggly nose, one quick hop, and couple of sweet bunny bites, this Chocolate Bunny is here to wish you a wonderful HOPPPY halloween!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

A Very Splendid September

Somehow, someway, September is gone.  I know most of you are probably stuck on the idea that it's the month of October that is nearing its end, but I'm still back on September.  

See, September is my birthday month.  The month when I am showered with love and feel the most thrilled to be me.  The month when I was lucky enough to get a visit from my dad (Elliot loves his baseball-playing Papa), a weekend trip to Portland (oh, PDX... how you've got a hold on our hearts), a deepening appreciation of the Boise landscape (the color contrasts here are really awesome), and the gift of a trip to Indiana to visit some of my favorites (lots of love was given and received).  Holy moly, that's a lot of awesomeness in one month!

September also marks the first month since November of 2009 that I haven't posted to Mixed Baby Greens.  This blog started as such a lifesaver for me, at a time when I thought my very bumpy entrance into motherhood was going to get the best of me.  Blogging, and reading other crafty mom blogs, gave me an incredible gift... the ability to feel grateful for and connected to every minute that I was lucky enough to spend with Elliot.  Seriously, every minute is so amazing.  There is a photo op around every corner, a learning moment constantly at my finger tips, and an opportunity to be grateful for how lucky I am day after day after day.  Don't get me wrong... it's really, really stinkin' hard!  But, as hard as it is, I feel so lucky to be a mother.  And I love that this blog has helped me focus on all of that love and chronicle Elliot's early childhood.  

So, although most of you are getting ready to say goodbye to October, I'm working really hard to say goodbye to a very splendid September.  Sniff, sniff.  September, I loved you.  Too cheesy?  Ok, maybe  a little.  How about this.... I'll leave you with a recommitment to blogging, a quote that speaks deeply to my soul (thanks, Emily!), and a handful of pics that show just how splendid September really was.  

"The moment a child is born, the mother is also born.  She never existed before.  The woman existed, but the mother, never.  A mother is something absolutely new."  -Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh

Thursday, August 25, 2011

A Trip To The Fair

Ask Elliot what he got to do at the fair this year and he'll tell you, "A maaaan give you a baaalll, and you throwwww it in a waaater!" And, sure enough, it's true.  A carny gave Elliot a little ping pong ball for free to try throwing into his slowly spinning pool of water.  A ploy to get a child hooked so that the parents feel compelled to pay.  But, alas, Elliot is only two, he does not have very good aim (though he did make it into the water!), and we were able to distract him with something else once the ball was out of his hand.  But while the carny might not have made any money off of us, clearly the memory was worth a million for Elliot. 

Keep asking and he might also tell you that he got to pet "a baaaaby goaaaat."  (He has a way of drawing out his words for emphasis.)  And, that, he did.
As for other fair highlights that he's not so quick to recall... he flipped when he saw the big ice cream cones in the sky, he ate his way through one heck of a cob of corn, and he rode his first ride--twice.  Yep.  It was a good year at the fair.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Amazing Alazar

Hi there!  Popping in with a different kind of post this time.  I'm going to take a minute to introduce you to a very special person in my life.... Amazing Alazar!

Alazar is this super smart, super aware, super kind, super funny, super awesome kid who I know from Portland.  He's a really good friend of mine and he and Elliot absolutely love each other!  While I could go on and on about all of the things that make Alazar so awesome, what I really want to focus on is his dedication to helping stop HIV.  That's right.  He's a kid who isn't afraid to talk about HIV, isn't afraid to teach people (of all ages!) things about HIV, and isn't afraid to work his tail off in all sorts of ways to help stop HIV.  One of the things he's doing is raising a lot of money for the AIDS Walk Portland fundraiser that helps to support people living with HIV and provides HIV prevention programs.  I asked him if I could interview him on my blog so that he could spread the word about his frundraising and message raising compaign.  I want to let as many people as possible know about his efforts so that they can support him in any way possible (read his blog, donate money, talk about HIV with the children and adults in their lives, etc).  So, here it goes...

First of all, Alazar, tell me 3 things about yourself so that readers get to know a little about you.
1. I like people.  I get along with most everyone no matter their age, race, religion, sex, orientation, etc.
2. I like to have fun, from playing with my iPhone to going outside and playing with a ball!
3. I like art, from sculptures to painting to stamping.  It's all fun!  

Now, tell me about AIDS Walk and why it's so important.
The AIDS walk is so important because me and my Dad both have relationships with Cascade AIDS Project [who puts on the walk and is one of the major HIV service organizations in Portland].  It's important to raise money to help people in our community.  It's fun being a leader and leading a team.  This year I'm trying to get "famous" people to walk with us.  I don't know if that's going to work, but I am trying.  HIV isn't going away anytime soon and it's growing 7 times faster in the black community than the white.  It is totally preventable if people would just be more aware of their behaviors. 

What does CAP do with the money that is raised by AIDS Walk?
CAP takes the money that is raised and gives it back to the community through the many programs they have, including housing, teaching about HIV, emergency care, family support, etc.   CAP's mission is:   "To prevent HIV infections, support and empower people affected and infected by HIV/AIDS, and eliminate HIV/AIDS-related stigma."

I heard that this year you are working really hard on fund-raising, but you're working even harder on message-raising. What's the main message you hope people learn from you?
The main message I want to send is that by doing the right things, you won't get HIV.  It's totally preventable.  What I've learned is that most people don't want to talk about HIV, especially with an 11 year old.  My Dad says adults don't talk about it with themselves, and they feel uncomfortable talking with a kid like me.  HIV is growing 7 times faster in the black community than the white.  I want people to get help, to get tested sooner, to have safe behaviors and to talk about HIV.  

How can people get more information about HIV, learn more about you, and donate to your AIDS Walk team?
1.  People can learn more about HIV from our primary source, which is Cascade AIDS Project at:
2.  People can also learn about HIV at the bottom of my blog at:
They can also read and learn about me on this page!  From my page, you can click on "Sign up to help the A-Team this year"   and the click on "Donate at the official AIDS Walk Team Page"  and it takes you right to the A-Teams donation page.  I hope people will sign up to walk with me, as well as donate to my campaign!
3.  Another place to look for information about HIV is:

See what I mean?  Amazing, right?! Yep, that Alazar.  He never ceases to amaze me.  So, readers.  You heard him...  take a look at his blog, sign up to walk with him (if you're in Portland), donate to AIDS walk, and talk about HIV.  Get it? Got it?  Good!

PS--Alazar, you did a really good job on this interview.  xo
PPS--Update:  apparently Alazar got Angela Bassett to donate to the walk and comment on his blog.  Um, ALAZAR! You are sooooo amazing!!!