Mani-Pedis

>> Saturday, February 16, 2013

Cady got some Piggy Paint for Christmas, and really enjoys getting dolled up. Before today, we had only done toes, but this morning she really wanted, "fingers too, Mama! Pretty like Mama!" (I rarely have fingernail polish on, for the record.)

So, we did piggies AND fingers. The result? A little girl in awe of her painted pointers, and two moms who feel like she's looking a little bit too grown up for our liking.





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Humble Hearts and Bated Breath

Note: I wrote this piece for lesbianfamily.com, where it was published, yesterday. Please do check out the other pieces and and information. It's a fabulous resource for lesbian/queer families!

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I approach parenting with intention and gratitude. I soak in the minutiae, with an acute awareness that I might never have another shot at this. Might never again feel my body grow vibrant and full with the promise of new life. Might never again hear the sweet mews and snuffles of my newborn, nor laugh over my infant’s face and fists full of avocado, nor watch my toddler bravely leap from the bottom step for the first time. Perhaps other parents enter into their unique adventures with similar mentalities. Maybe they, too, realize what a gift the blessing of a child is. But there is something that feels especially weighty when one can say so literally, “my child is nothing short of a living, breathing gift, and I strive not to take a moment of this child’s incredible presence in my life for granted.”

As lesbian women with dreams of a family but lacking necessary genetic material, my wife and I had several options to consider as we mapped out our future together. I’d like for us to be able to take full credit for the identification of the other half of our daughter’s biology, but the truth is this: The Answer came to us, not the other way around. It came to us, arms and heart open in love and selflessness and in the purest spirit of generosity. As if to say, “you deserve everything in life. I want to help you find the joy you seek. Here I am, unconditionally.”

Many couples in similar situations pursue different paths to parenthood, but if there’s one thing I’ve learned in three decades of embracing this wild and precious life, it’s this: when the Universe speaks to you, listen. When The Answer falls into your lap, hold tight. I’ll freely admit there have been moments in life that have left me wondering, “have I been led astray by my intuition? Are these boots hiking in the right direction?” It is in these pivotal and often confusing moments that the nearly infallible words of Max Ehrmann’s Desiderata remind me, “whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the Universe is unfolding as it should.”

What followed was a mutual (and eternally grateful) opening of our own hearts to the multi-layered experience that is carefully calculated progeny. While we understood that there were some complex logistics to be considered, and a most awesome trust to be placed in everyone involved, we also realized with near clairvoyance that accepting The Answer was the right way for our family to expand. Nothing could have confirmed this “right” feeling more than taking a leap of faith and experiencing it for ourselves: understanding and flexibility during what sometimes seemed like a never-ending conception process; honesty and patience during the period following our daughter’s birth and leading up to her second-parent adoption by my wife; and the awe and amazement we feel when we see this miraculous person staring back at us, intelligent and kind, wide-eyed and wondering.


The Universe got this one right, Dear Readers. So very, impossibly right.

And so, I hold tight to each first as though it’s the last, for The Answer is sometimes different the second time around. This is – if we are honest with ourselves – understandable. The Question, after all, is ever-changing and complicated by Life. Until The Answer presents itself again, I continue to gobble up the oft-forgettable details; such seemingly insignificant moments that can be forgotten in an instant, with barely enough time to file them away before the next whizzes past. I appreciate with gratitude that will never be great enough, and hope with ferocity tempered by quiet patience.

I trust the Universe.



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Photo Friday

>> Friday, February 15, 2013

This Photo was from my 52-week lifestyle photo project: Week 5, Finding the Light.

I wonder when the new couch will finally loose its charge...


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Tree Cupcakes! (a.k.a. Sweet Green Muffins)

>> Sunday, January 27, 2013

The other day, I posted to Facebook:

"Ever since we had a couple leftover cupcakes from the weekend, Cady wants one for a treat after going potty. I'm going to pull a fast one on the reward-monger and make green mini-muffins w/ spinach, bananas, and yogurt. Think I can get away with such steath veggie bribery goodness? Stay tuned."

The idea has been stuck in my head ever since, especially after Cady started asking - rather persistently - for cupcakes (and we had none) as a "reward." We are not typically reward-for-behavior parents, but it's actually been working pretty well with regard to potty learning, and a green muffin would be way better than chocolate or cupcakes, right?

Here's what I came up with after some searching on the Internet and Frankensteining of recipes (including some additions of my own):

Ingredients

1 c. packed baby spinach leaves
1 c. packed kale leaves
1 c. plus one Tbs. all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 egg
1/3 c. brown sugar
2 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 c. vanilla Greek yogurt
1 medium-sized (very ripe) banana, mashed

Preheat oven to 350°. Grease muffin tin (I used a mini bunt pan). Juice spinach and kale to yield about 3-4 oz., and set aside. In one bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. In another, beat the sugar and egg until creamy. Add oil, yogurt, mashed banana, and spinach/kale juice and beat until fairly smooth (there will be some banana bits). Slowly add dry ingredients and mix until all ingredients are well-incorporated. Fill batter into prepared tin, about 3/4 full . Bake for about 25 minutes or until toothpick inserted  comes out clean.

You could also garnish with chopped nuts before baking, but since I was making these for a picky toddler, I wanted them to be simple. :-)

Cady really liked them (though it took a couple minutes of coming up with a fun name for them before she finally took a bite and then devoured it). They turned out so very moist and I like them plain, but Cady insists they're best with a smear of butter. You can't taste a bit of the green, and they are very similar to the fluffiest banana bread I've ever tasted. This little project also made me realize that adding some juiced spinach or kale would be a great way to color a birthday cake without the use of dyes. I may try beets, next!





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Glimpse

>> Friday, January 4, 2013

Cady's been really into anything with pockets, lately.

Also, I think this photo captures a glimpse into some future teenage Cady attitude. :-P


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Evening Rituals

I am going to try to keep up with a 52 week photo challenge again in 2013. I've missed blogging and our side business has caused me to not focus as much on capturing moments of our own family's precious moments. This photo challenge will revolve around lifestyle photography featuring our little trio, one photo per week. Sometimes, I'll follow inspiration/prompts given by the challenge organizer, Paint the Moon Photography and Actions. Other times, I'll just go with the flow. At the end of the year,  I'll have collected 52 slices of life, frozen time.

And... here we go!  The first prompt was "Evening Rituals."  Although I snapped this one in the early morning, jammies and an episode of Dora are both pretty standard fare at our house right before bed. :-)


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