Green

Jan. 24th, 2014 08:36 am
dancerjodi: (Geek)
Over the years I've tried to take steps to be more 'green', less wasteful, more conscious of chemicals and how I consume things. Having a kid and being responsible for all of the 'stuff' she is exposed to makes it yet more important.

I struggle with the cost, convenience and 'green' issues related to things related to Mina. For the most part we gave her organic baby food, and the cleaner of those options. If you actually read the ingredients on the Gerber organics, you'll see a lot of crap in it that isn't food (or added sugar). This came at great expense, but we had the luxury of doing it. We made our own sometimes (as much as cooking and mashing a potato is making your own). But we are both working, and have things to do. There is the formula of time/money/talent to consider.

Convenience and cost really are the big factors. The $10 cotton PJs at Old Navy that come in lots of cute styles and fit her perfectly are such a sticking point. Fit her well. Soft/good for her skin. Cheap. Easily accessible. But Old Navy = Gap companies = questionable labor practices. I can't bring myself to spend $30 on organic PJs online, that take a while to arrive at our front steps, that may or may not fit her, and if they do, she'll only wear for a short time. On one level I'm OK with this - you make an educated decision and do what works for you. But Old Navy! We have tried to find good-quality stuff in hand me downs from friends or at thrift stores, and have succeeded for the most part with the exception of the PJs. That counts for something, right?

I've had similar struggles with her bed. I'd like her to have the schmancy, 'green' mattress like Brian and I do. But she is a kid, that is going to do lots of gross things to that mattress reliably for years. There are covers and all, but really? We ended up getting one cheap at a local shop that sells a good traditional product. We'll splurge on the natural latex when she's older. Convenience, cost, practicality. It is a mattress on the floor, and we've been playing around with options for a simple frame. Low to the ground, something we can put a rail on. There is the convenient/cheap/easy route (Ikea) which is quite disposeable and made with questionable materials. The next level is more work/time (Craigslist). A local wood furniture store has a simple wood-platform style one which isn't crazy costly, so we may go with that. Her mattress is sliding all over on the floor so she ends up between the bed and the wall OR rolls out and across the floor.

We are learning that parenting is all about the balance. Sometimes having some kind of fruit is more important than having local/organic/fresh fruit. Sometimes, you gotta buy the processed pears in water in a plastic-sealed cup so that you have something in the morning when life has dictated that you can't get to the grocery store for something perishable. Sometimes you just gotta order a pizza.

We all experienced this kind of stuff and 'we all came out fine'. Only time will tell what health/societal impacts have come from our quick/easy/instant lifestyles. Folks didn't know 50 years ago what cigarettes would do to them. I wonder, what did I do to my kid now that will be something seen as just terrible years from now? I think the most important thing I've gained as a parent in myself, is the ability to just chill a bit and let those kinds of thoughts go, just to get through the day sometimes. There is always an argument on one side or the other. You could make yourself crazy trying to be "perfect".

Anyway, this rambling brought to you by a cold, quiet Friday morning at work. Have a wonderful weekend, peeps.

Odd

Sep. 11th, 2013 09:00 am
dancerjodi: (Geek)
I remember the first 9/11 like it was yesterday, sitting at a window-facing cube at Tufts Health Plan. Company closed early for the day and then I headed home to the Shaghaus, or old apartment near Brandeis.

Today is the Bossman's last day. An end of an era. We had a nice dinner with him last night at http://www.seasons52.com/ - it opened recently in the Wayside Commons in Burlington (at the old Border's Books site). Really, really good food. Good conversation.

Such an odd week. I will relish my weekend.

April

Apr. 17th, 2013 02:52 pm
dancerjodi: (Geek)
I cannot belive we are nearing the end of this month. Our trip to San Francisco is next week.

Before that is Boston Comicon at the Hines. The convention will go on this weekend despite the marathon bombing, with the added stipulation that no prop/replica weapons can be brought in.

I was with Mina on Marathon Monday, busy doing baby things. We went to Cobblestones for her "Little Explorer's" group where she played with the big kids, ate lots of dry rice and threw it around making a huge mess (it was fine motor coordination day). We went out to Burlington so I could hit up Joanne's for some trim for my Endor Ewok Leia braid and had a great lunch at The Chateau (she was a riot and totally amused our waitress who was working there on her first day). We headed home and played around the house, her fighting taking a nap despite being a tired, busy girl.

Around 3:30 or so I took her out with the stroller for a walk down to The Island https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Island-Waltham-MA/119848781366?ref=ts&fref=ts , and once I got her out of the house, into the stroller and started walking, Brian texted me about the explosions in the city. We walked in (mostly) silence, as she soon fell asleep. Once I got down to the Woerd Ave Boat launch, I took the Riverwalk path back behind the Watch Factory and meandered home. Cranky girl was cranky being woken up around 5:00 (I needed to make dinner and wanted her to sleep at a reasonable hour that night). She was so distraught that she wouldn't let go of me, and I sat and held her until Brian came home (with the take out sandwiches I asked him to bring for us).

Such a horrible, horrible tragedy. I know like NYC, Boston will rise up again above it. It has served to remind us of the wonder of the human spirit. Of the helpers. Of how precious our lives are. And how sometimes, being out of the loop (away from your computer or smart phone) really does help you get through the day much better. Particularly with this kind of tragedy. After dinner we tried Mina's Ewok costume on her (it fit!) and spent time with neighborhood friends. She went to bed late, we went to bed late. Tired. Numb. Wanting to look at the internet on my phone and wanting to throw it out the window.

I like having my LJ to look back at what I have done. I like living my life away from the computer (or phone). There's this push and pull of wanting to be connected in the way that most folks do it nowadays, and not wanting to sit staring at a screen. The wonders of technology will help solve this marathon bombing case and will allow people to connect with missing loved ones. It will also serve to make us all crazier and sadder and angrier than we would have been otherwise.

I guess I'm not sure where I'm going with this, as much as the situation has made me even more thoughtful about the tools at our disposal. And the fragility of our time and loved ones.

Time

Mar. 7th, 2013 01:03 pm
dancerjodi: (Geek)
I'm not sure why this week in particular I have been thinking more about how time just rushes by. It takes most of what we've got to get through a day and then another week is gone. I feel like generally we do a good job of time management and really enjoying and living our lives. Still, 'the grind' pushes it along quickly. I think I need to focus more on reducing the grind and really appreciating the little, more mundane things. Making the best out of my commute. Listening to great music while I'm running queries. That kind of thing.

Also, I need more exercise! The dance classes are a part of my regular schedule, but I need to fit other things in there too. The warmer weather will help with this a bit, but I need to stop using a New England winter as my excuse. I've been feeling more creaky and almost arthritic lately! WTF! I'm blaming my lack of regular exercise for it (when I do jump in to work out I think I may be pushing it too much, and putting strain in my knees). I have ballet class tonight assuming we don't get barraged with a ton of snow and it gets cancelled.

We watched the Happiest Toddler on the Block DVD http://www.amazon.com/Happiest-Toddler-Block-Cooperative-Four-Year-Old/dp/0553384422 last night (borrowed from the library). It was good to see that his suggested techniques are things that we are already doing for the most part; we just hadn't thought much about how or why they work, and we probably aren't doing them so mindfully, and thus we aren't being consistant about it. He suggests that toddlers are really little cavemen/neanderthals in their actions, emotions, movements and ability to communicate. What is most important to them is that they are heard and respected. The caregiver's job is to speak their language to them (toddlerease) when they are having a tantrum or things are escalating, using little words, repetition, and emotions/movements/facial cues that mimic them. This way, they can see that you understand what they are feeling, and you are acknowledging it. And THEN, move on to distract, redirect, remove or whatever. It was not as mind-blowing of an experience as much as the Happiest Baby Book and DVD was. I'm not sure if that's because Toddlers are less complicated or because we (for now) appear to have a good handle on ours.

I'm reading the Dr. Sears Discipline book also http://www.amazon.com/Discipline-Book-Better-Behaved-Child-Birth/dp/0316779032/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1362679228&sr=1-1&keywords=dr.+sears+discipline+book. Thus far, it is interesting to get their perspective and tips, and similar to Happiest Toddler, nice to see that for the most part we have been going down this road without knowing the label for it. The jury is out as to whether or not I'll buy this book to keep as a reference for down the line. I'm not too far into it.

Soon http://www.amazon.com/MINIMALIST-PARENTING-Enjoy-Modern-Family/dp/1937134342/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1362679245&sr=1-1&keywords=minimalist+parenting will show up on my Kindle, and I am excited to get into that one.

I seem to go through phases of all non-fiction all the time and all fiction all the time. I think the weather, the darkness is making me feel antsy, and that making some minor changes may go a long way with our ease and satisfaction in life.
dancerjodi: (Geek)
The thing that I think that has been the hardest for me as a parent, is dealing with trial and error when it comes to issues of Mina's health or comfort.

I know that the body isn't always so much of a predictable science.  I know from my own experience, that it takes paying attention, trying things out, observation and time sometimes to get an answer.  I still don't have answers to some of the strange ailments I've had in life.  You heal and move on.

But doing this with my child while she is crying in pain (or sleep deprived, or starving) - it is something I hate more than anything I've ever hated before.  Her current issue is a common one, rashy bum.  Why it happened, we can only guess (or try and remove the possible irritants and wait and see).  How to heal it, we can only try different methods and ointments and wait and see.  In the meantime, our muffin is a sad baby.  It kills me.  I work with doctors, and I know that a diaper rash is a common ailment that most often just needs time and at-home remedies.  I don't want to be that guy, calling the doctor every hour, asking them to fix my kid for something that is so common (and relatively, simple). At the same time I just want to scream at the world to fix it for her, and make it better already!

I cannot fathom how parents deal with these feelings in their children that have much more serious battles to face.  My heart goes out to them.  I know that we gotta keep our cool for the kid's sake.  As Brian and I tried to change and console a rashy, oozing, screaming child last night I could hear the tears in his voice.  It is so hard to try and be tough when you are just dying inside, seeing them in so much discomfort.  And this was just for a stupid diaper rash.

In this holiday season I am thankful for our health and comfort, for our friends and family, for a good job and the means to help provide for all of this.  I am excited to be a part of this club - the doing the best you can, figuring it out as you go along, so much in love it hurts parenting club.  It is so overwhelming sometimes.

Much love to you and yours this season, and wishing you peace from whatever ails you.

FNX

May. 18th, 2012 01:02 pm
dancerjodi: (Default)

"There's a light but it never goes out". Thank you Julie Kramer for WFNX Leftover Lunch. I will miss you! :(

Posted via LiveJournal app for iPhone.

dancerjodi: (Default)
The subject is what Brian said, as he installed our car seat base (Graco Snugride 30) into my back seat. Andrew and Heather so graciously passed their's to us (not expired and never in a car accident). The hospital bag is being packed and just needs a couple more items until I put it in the trunk until whenever we'll need it. I can't believe that we are at this stage of the journey.

Putting my feet up has helped a good deal with my swelling. I just need to keep the momentum of this. Work days are the hardest, since I go a huge chunk of time with my feet under my desk. Having a couple of long holiday weekends in a row has been very helpful in this way. I only have 2 more work weeks to go anyway. Nuts.

We had a nice New Year's weekend, with some productivity, some friends and some relaxation. I'm hoping to get out and see family next weekend if things still haven't started up with labor (since they are all an hour away now). It is definitely odd that we're in Waltham and that they are all within a 15 minute drive of each other in Southern, NH. We're the city folks and they are the country folks. There have been such changes in our lives over the last few years.

I took some of the holiday decorations down today and they are on the dining room table, waiting to make their way to the attic. The tree, our front hallway banister and front porch are all that's left to disassemble, but I like enjoying the lights so for now I'm content to be lazy. I just want them all put away before we have our baby.

We went to Trader Joe's today to pick up groceries and some frozen/easy things to stockpile for post delivery. We had bulk-cooked a lot already (turkey soup, chili, a couple of shephard's pies, beef stew) and have added to that pile lasagna, veggie burgers, burritos, pizzas and some things I'm forgetting. Having Sharma's convenience store right across the street could not be more helpful (he even delivers now), and then there is always Pea Pod and take out. It isn't like we will never leave the house again, but I like setting things up so that we don't need to in those first few weeks unless we want to.

Folks have asked us about future plans: when will we troop next, what is Brian's next prop project, when will I go back to the dance studio, will we take the baby to Star Wars Celebration, etc. We're both content to just figure it out later as we adapt to our new life. It's funny to see people's insistence that we plan things now now now. This pregnancy has made me less of a control freak about my own life (which was necessary). It is interesting to see our relaxed method make *other people* somewhat uncomfortable. :)

Considering the edema in my legs, weird autoimmune reaction rash on my extremities, recent return of sinus craziness (rhinitis of pregnancy) and increasing difficulty to get my big belly and butt off of the loveseat (where I hang out to keep my feet up and sleep) I am feeling a lot better than I expected to at this point. I'm ready to be through with this experience, but also not ready enough to have my acupuncturist start moving things along for me (as of 38 weeks aka this coming Wednesday, she said it would be appropriate to do that so I desired). I'm trying to just relish the quiet time before things are turned upside down. So apropos that we are doing this right as the new year begins!
dancerjodi: (Default)
I enjoy playing with spreadsheets. This is one of the reasons I was able to keep track of our finances easily when we were trying to pay down debt (with some help from a friend with setting up a good budget).

From time to time I get lax with this, but then I always come back. I read a blog post today from a woman who found an old relative's cash log up in an attic somewhere, documenting their spending habits in the 1940s. It was a neat look at what things cost in days of old, how simple a normal family's consumer habits were, and a bit at the lifestyle that this family had in the purchases they were making.

I constantly think when tracking our own finances that they are quite complicated, and not as frugal as I'd like. I wonder what someone 50 years from now would think about my life, looking at it.

Having interests in history and sociology and ancestry research, I think sometimes of what I should perhaps purposefully leave behind for generations later to learn from, and it is this kind of thing that I consider when tracking things. Paper is a nice medium for this, but digital is so much portable, and shareable in other ways. Things to ponder.

Either way, now that we're back from our second spring trip, I'm excited about getting back to "normal" life and getting a handle again on where we are spending our cash.
dancerjodi: (Default)
I love (and resemble to a degree) this article:
http://readysetwife.com/2011/01/12/fish-sticks-are-dead/

In the attempt to 'be greener' I struggle with the message/results and the balance it has with real life. It's comforting to see someone else doing the same.
dancerjodi: (Default)
Let us, then, be up and doing
With a heart for any fate;
Still achieving, still pursuing,
Learn to labor and to wait.

-Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Read more )
dancerjodi: (Default)
This http://childrenshospitalblog.org/do-our-youth-really-have-more-mental-health-issues/ is one of the questions I ponder sometimes as I look around at people.

In days gone by, were these issues there and just not mentioned?
Have our lives gotten harder?
Have we become softer?
Is our environment taking its toll on our minds through our bodies?

I'm sure the answer lies in a combination of all of the above, which is why I find psychology and sociology so fascinating. :)

Nostalgia

Feb. 8th, 2010 02:47 pm
dancerjodi: (Default)
The timing of this http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/magazine/8491338.stm article is appropriate, after revisiting my high school dance years last weekend at the DT 25th anniversary.

As a very nostalgic person this article definitely provides me with some food for thought. I don't feel like I live in the past, and I find that revisiting it from time to time helps you to see how far you have come. It also serves to remind you of who you are deep inside, versus the you that gets through the mundane of the day to day.

Goodies

Dec. 26th, 2009 10:05 am
dancerjodi: (Default)
I tried to make this year's Christmas season more meaningful and less about stuff, and stress and wasted energy. I am happy to see when it's over that I enjoyed all parts of it - the decorating, the baking, the gift-giving and the visits with family and friends.

I struggled this year with the balance between obligations and being true to myself and my values. This is the first time I haven't sent out a ton of mailed cards (usually about 90 of them are mailed the weekend after Thanksgiving). I tried to think of each person and what they may appreciate, and also what I may appreciate given my relationship with them. We did mail or hand deliver some, but the great majority were sent out electronically. I would like to think that the money I sent to an animal shelter/rehabilitation organization would do more good than slapped on an envelope. This little change made such a difference to me this year, and I'm still trying to grasp the significance in my mind.

People always ask, what did you get for Christmas. I did indeed receive some very special gifts from loved ones, but I don't have the inclination to talk about it. I like receiving things from people, particularly when they were so thoughtful in their giving. I guess I'm enjoying going through my things one by one and enjoying them personally rather than telling you all in list format "I GOT THIS, AND THIS AND THIS AND THIS . . . ". I don't have the need. Thinking through it and putting it out there is too much effort. And really, some of you wouldn't understand how special these gifts are, because you aren't me, so what's the point?

Brian will be in bed for a while because he slept through a good part of the day yesterday and stayed up late. I'll enjoy running some errands while he sleeps and spending some of the gift cards that folks gave me today. RHPS reunion of sorts tonight. And Brian and I are both off of work on Monday. My heart and my life are quite full.

Relativity

Dec. 11th, 2009 03:24 pm
dancerjodi: (Default)
I've read this blog for a while, but I'm not sure if I've posted it here or not. If you're big on positive thinking or artistic/crafty blogs or are an Oprah fan, you probably already know about http://nieniedialogues.blogspot.com/.

Enjoy the people and the things that you have around you, for in an instant your life could drastically change. I know this in my core, but sometimes it's nice to have a reminder when you start to get into a funk or the craziness of schedules or "stuff" tries to take you away.

Have a wonderful weekend friends!

Good Things

Sep. 1st, 2009 08:34 am
dancerjodi: (fall)
Crock pot ribs with homemade bbq sauce, leftover wheat cornbread with butter and farmer's market veggies.

Anxiously and excitedly sitting down with Brian to watch True Blood. Only two more episodes this season!

Our new mattress.

Fleece PJ pants, hoodies, hot cocoa and slippers in the cool night air on the front porch.

Seeing personal development in action by my reactions to a very caustic book that I am reading right now. The old me would have been all caught up in the drama/negativity that the author is putting forth, but the new me doesn't really have interest in it or time for it and is trying to skim quickly, to separate the ideas from the vitrol. How did I get here? :)

This morning's cool fall air on the first day of September. When I stepped out the front door I was caught off guard and wondered if I should put on a jacket. I think tonight I will dig my favorite fall wreath out of the attic for the front door.
dancerjodi: (Default)
I finished http://www.velveteenprinciples.com/ last night, which I was able to get from the library. I've always loved this story, and Brian and I have our own little history about it. He bought me a velveteen rabbit stuffed animal in Harvard Square on a whim years back, and even illustrated a little story for me related to that for Valentine's Day one year. The bunny has taken quite a bit of abuse, and the insides have degraded over time, making all of the bead filling sit on one side of his butt and leaving him quite lopsided. I scanned the story and took pictures of the bun last night http://www.flickr.com/photos/dancerjodi/3747416675/in/set-72157621785260470/

I enjoyed the Velveteen Principles book quite a bit - it was a light and easy read and very cute, and not too much of a beat you over the head self help thing. Here's the notes I jotted down while reading Read more )
dancerjodi: (Default)
"You may want to smash a painful emotion to bits, but you can't blow it up with a nuclear bomb," wrote Tsoknyi Rinpoche in his book Fearless Simplicity. What makes the situation even more poignant is that the painful emotion may be based on a wrong interpretation of experience. It may also be caused by some faulty conditioning that got imprinted on your sensitive psyche when you were a toddler. Having said that, Cancerian, I'm pleased to inform you that you currently have the power to significantly dissipate the intensity of a certain painful emotion you thought you'd never shake. To initiate the process, invoke forgiveness in every way you can imagine -- toward those who hurt you, those who ignored you, those who misled you, and you yourself.

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