Saturday, September 29, 2007

Ayurveda, Part I

When we visited my grandparents in Iowa in May, Z discovered he could play Peek-a-Boo by shutting and opening a door. It's still a favorite. Another favorite game is pretending to be asleep, then surprising everyone by waking up! He even tries to pretend snore. It sounds more like heavy breathing, but still very cute! We're having so much fun with him these days. His little personality is such a hoot! I'm still constantly getting zerberts (aka raspberries), and everyone is getting more kisses than ever. Yes, big juicy ones.

It took me a while to get to posting this week. I spent a lot of extra time on the Mommy Group this week. We had to make some decisions this week on how we're going to do things. For now, we've decided to keep things the way they are. MOPS is not an option for us as we have no one to lead the Moppets part of that or anywhere separate to do it. Instead, we're planning to keep addressing Mommy issues and start reading a Christian marriage book together called, "Sheet Music," by Dr. Lehman. We've made plans for our first Mommy's Night Out, and a Harvest party for our kiddos in October. I have so much fun with these girls, I'm so thankful for our weekly get-togethers.

Let me catch you up! Last weekend I spent the whole weekend with my new friend, Melissa. Hi Melissa! She has a little one who is two months younger than Z, named Dominic. On Saturday, we worked very hard (we were exhausted by 3pm) making top secret Christmas presents. You can e-mail me if you want to know what we made. If you're a grandparent to Z, don't bother asking! Sunday, we went to her house for dinner and played bean bag toss. She calls it 'corn hole', but I like 'bean bag toss' better. She and her hubby must practice a lot, they creamed us. That must be why they call it 'corn hole'. Who ever heard of creamed beans?

On Thursday night we went to family night at church and I got to play 'Apples to Apples' for the first time! It was so much fun! My parents have been telling me about it for years. It's too big to bring over from England or Germany so I just keep hearing about it. Now I know for myself, it is indeed a hoot and a half.

My sweetie heart had a birthday this week! I was thinking that day that I had a few people to thank for making his birthday meals possible. We started out with Aunt Val's chocolate chunk cookies for breakfast. I actually made the cookies for him to take to work. Then for dinner, I made Grandma Jennings' Chicken Madras recipe, which I'll have to post below, since it's Ben's favorite meal currently. For dessert, at his request, I made brownies. I used the Ghiradelli box mix, and I'm trying to remember who recommended these to me. Leave me a comment if it was you! They were divine! Just because I had a good excuse to buy sweets, before his birthday I looked in the frozen section for something that made me think of Ben (this was before I had the cookies inspiration). I found cookies'n'cream Klondike bars which very much sounded like him. Since I would save a little money if I bought two, I HAD to pick another, and am I ever glad I did! I grabbed the caramel pretzel Klondike bars ....let me just say, Becca has a new favorite dessert! Such yummy goodness should be illegal! So, somehow, I benefited greatly from it being Ben's birthday this week. What would you do for a Klondike bar? I got him a watch that looked great on, but in real life looked more like a small wall clock. I knew it would be too big as soon as I opened it, but kept it to show him, so we could laugh at it together. We sent it back already and hopefully we can find another one he likes as well that is made for a wrist, not a wall.

Finally, I'm ready to share with you all my love for Ayurveda. It's an ancient Indian medical science. The word is translated, "Life Science." It took me a while to gather up all my resources on my computer and find my favorite ones online, but I think I'm ready. Ayurveda is really really really huge. There is no possible way for me to explain it all in one post, especially since I've barely scratched the surface myself after reading several (about 5) books on it and attending several (about 5) conferences on it. I love to study Ayurveda because it broadens my view of God in that every time I learn something new, I say, "Whoa, God is so cool that He thought of that!" I had reservations at first because most of the people who know about Ayurveda are either Hindu or really into New Age stuff, both of which contradict my belief in Christianity. Ayurveda by itself though is neither Hindu or New Agey. It is a valid and recognized medical science in India and people are slowly beginning to see it's worth in America. Much of what Dr. Oz and other doctors say who are open to holistic models of health and not just medical models is supportive of Ayurvedic principals.

The first piece I'd like you to understand it what "constitution" you are. This link will lead you to a short questionnaire to help you figure it out, then you can read more about recommendations to finding balance in your constitution (or "prakriti"). There are three primary "doshas" that make up one's constitution: vata, pitta and kapha ("kuffa"). They represent respectively: wind/air; fire; and earth/water. I plan to give you much more on each of these in the future, but for now, you should know that everyone has all of the elements, but most have a tendency toward one or two doshas. For instance, I am primarily Vata (air and space), then secondarily Pitta (fire). Air and space sounds pretty ditsy, huh? Well, when I'm out of balance, guess what? Quick to learn, quick to forget are the Vatas. They also have a tendency toward dry skin (think of the air chaffing one's skin) and anxiety. When in balance they are the most creative. Here's part of a grid I made for a presentation I did on Ayurveda a couple of years ago:


Emotional ailments excess can cause

Strengths when in balance


Fear, depression, nervousness


adaptability, quick to learn


Anger, hate, jealousy

Understanding, discernment, courage, motivated


Possessiveness, greed, attachment

Loving, content, high endurance, melodious voice and soft wrinkle-free skin

These are just the emotional aspects, there's lots of other directions this can go that makes me awe-filled of our amazing God. I'll be sure to share how time has changing constitutions and affects our sleep next time. Have fun, ask questions!

In efforts to make this the world's longest post, I will add the promised, aforementioned recipe, which is not Ayurvedic or even authentically Indian (note the ketchup and marmalade), but is nonetheless very very yummy and a bit easier than my traditional Indian recipes, thanks Grandma!:
Chicken Madras
1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breast, cubed
salt and pepper
3 T. butter

Blend the following:
1 1/2-2 T Cornstarch
1 1/2-2T curry powder
1 1/2 c. chicken broth
1/4 c. ketchup
1/4 c. orange marmalade
2 T. lemon juice (lime doesn't taste as good, tried it.)

1 large green pepper, cubed
1 large sweet onion, sliced
1 c. celery cubed

Season chicken with salt and pepper. Brown chicken (I do this in a big pot). In another bowl blend the list of ingredients to be blended. Pour over chicken. Cook while chopping the last three ingredients. Mix all together then cook on medium heat for 45 minutes then as long as you like on simmer. Stir occasionally. Serve over rice (may I recommend basmati or jasmin?). I like to serve with naan, Indian flat bread. Let me know if you want that too!

Tuesday, September 18, 2007


Hello World! So glad you visited! While you're here, check out our new list of WigFriends on the sidebar! If you're not on there, either I need your URL or you need a blog! It's nothing personal. I avoided the list for eons so as to not offend people I left off, but my mom said she'd like to visit our relatives and our mutual friends more easily, so I did it for her. As a side note, I just got distracted by this neato blogger thing called "Blogger Play", it plays a slide show of all the pictures recently uploaded to people's websites. It was mesmerizing! Someday maybe I'll list my favorite websites I like to visit. I like lists, really I do!

Well, I have a long update on the piano lessons. Friday I had decided I would, in fact, take lessons. Saturday morning at 3:30am we were in the ER with Z. In a nutshell, his temperature went from 103.9 degrees to 96.2 in twelve hours (both rectal temps taken by docs). He was freezing for over 8 hours and sleeping super deep, I could hardly wake him up (not normal for Z). At one point I couldn't find his pulse. I almost peed my pants! It was truly the scariest thing I've ever been through. ER doc said he had a double ear infection and that it's normal for their temps to run the gamut and for kids to sleep super hard. He's on antibiotics and feeling fine now, a little congested at night is all. So, after all that, we left for Toledo as we had planned (see pics below), and talked a lot in the car. I decided on the way that when things like this come up, we need to have enough cash to cover it (if even in payments) without dipping into savings. So, no piano lessons yet...but I did buy the books (for "older beginners" tee hee) and have already started my independent study. Thankfully, my hubby plays and can answer questions as they arise! So, our kid is OK and I'm learning piano.

Ben finished installing electricity into his sister's garage in Toledo over the weekend. His other sisters, Bekah and Debbie came and we had fun hanging out while the boys (Ben and Jeremy, Biz's hubby) worked outside. Oh, we also visited Dad W's fiance's lake house on Lake Erie. It was fancy! While I was there my topaz fell out of my ring setting, the one Ben gave me for our tenth anniversary! Argh! I knew I liked that ring too much! It has yet to be found.
Biz and me

Helping clean Aunt Bizzy's house (notice the bear butt)

Z and Aunt Debbie

I love Biz's taste in decorating and took a picture of her totally awesome chandelier to share with you! Hope she doesn't mind!
We had "Lapsit" today at the library, tomorrow is Mommy Group and Thursday we're representing our alma mater at a college fair, while Bekah and Debbie babysit. Thanks ahead of time, guys!!! Well, that's all the news from little New Philadelphia! Hope your week is full of happy memories and thankful thoughts.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

The Love Journey

I've been praying that God would teach me how to love others. Oh, and to rip my awful pride out too. I'm so darn selfish and proud. Anyways, it didn't dawn on me until last night that it's probably related to that prayer that I felt God drawing me to memorize 1 Corinthians 13, yup the whole love chapter. I've got the first seven verses down. I'm chunking it (psycho-babble term for dividing it into chunks) then writing out the chunk several times every night until I think I have it down. I also try to quote it to Ezra while I'm putting him to sleep for his naps and at bedtimes. Our church decided to start memorizing scripture too starting with 1 Corinthians 9:24-25. Maybe I'll end up memorizing the whole book! That would definitely be worthy of a "Super" sticker. I'll keep you posted on that one!

So, I feel I'm on some sort of learning to love journey. On a somewhat related topic, I've been thinking a lot about how us moms like to pick each other a part. I didn't realize how brutal it could get until I became a mom. It's cut throat, I'm telling you! "You do what?!" "You're still nursing?" "You're co-sleeping?" and so on and so on. I was [ahem] priding myself in how accepting I was of other moms and not judging different parenting styles, when I got some feedback from some people about my parenting style. Without a thought [that's probably key here] I defended myself, if only in my head, then found myself being critical of them!
Ack! I've figured out two places criticism can come from: ego-centrism (thinking you're the top tomato) or from insecurity (or jealousy which is rooted in insecurity). The latter happens because we want others to think we're a good mom, and we're somewhat dependent on others to reassure us of this. So, ideally I would be OK with my abilities as a Mom all by myself, and recognize that my ways aren't always going to work for others and vice versa. Easier said than done especially when we all can agree that being 'Mom' is the most important job we've ever had and most would admit we don't always know what to do as each child and circumstance is different. So, as I write this I'm realizing how humbling God must have meant motherhood to be. Funny that [say with English accent], when Moms often have a reputation for being prideful. I guess my two prayers were very related as I think about it now. Maybe by being humble and not being defensive or criticizing, I am loving others. It's a step anyways. Here's part of my memory chapter with an ambitious twist:

Moms are patient, moms are kind to their kids and to each other. They do not envy even when other moms dress their kids better; they do not boast even when their kid really is amazing, they are not proud or defensive, but humble and non judgemental. Moms are not rude to anyone, they are not self-seeking, they are not easily angered, they keep no record of their children's, husband's or their own wrongs. Moms do not delight in evil, but rejoice with the truth. They always protect and teach their children right from wrong, always trust others, always hope and expect the best in people, and always persevere in their hard work.

Happy September!

Is it me or is time flying by these days? I barely realize it's September and it's nearly half over. We went out to the grass runway at the airport today and played. We got to pretend what it would be like to have a yard bigger than our little strip of poopy grass behind our house. I took toys, let the dogs run, Z didn't know what to do with all the open space. He just stayed confined to a small area until I started making a game out of running back and forth down the runway. Then he started briskly walking (he doesn't run yet) and kept going and going! Daddy took a break from his busy day to join us. Mommy group was today too, so somebody was extremely tired tonight! Also, I'm thinking about taking piano lessons (a lifelong dream) and had an interview with a piano teacher tonight. I have to decide if I'm ready to commit to the daily practice and growing pains one undergoes when learning something new. I think I'm ready.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

My New Do

I couldn't wait to share my new haircut with you! I had so much fun! Ben babysat while I got a fancy consultation at this fancy salon in Dover called "Renaissance". I love my friend Molly's hair and went to her guy. I just want to clarify that my hair will NEVER again look as it does tonight. Not only do I not have a flat iron like he used, but I opted not to buy the uber-expensive hair products that he used in my hair. So, I doubt I can get it to look like this again. It should look OK curly too. O vanity of vanities!!!

Fifth trip this year!

Yet another weekend in West Virginia! Oh what joy it is to be in the wilderness with your little wild child and naked dogs! We decided it was time to give Z's hair a trim, as his mullet was getting into his eyes. Some Twizzlers and Nutter Butters got him through the act, Mommy could have used something stiffer. Once I got cutting, it wasn't so bad, it was just getting over the thought of cutting off his baby hair forevermore.
Before his first haircut...


... and after!

Daddy and Z in the lake getting splashed by Jenna!

Bekah and Ally being silly together

Jenna, Ally, Mary and I painted rocks together on Sunday.
It's fun, you should try it!

Home again, washing the car with Daddy.

Z's favorite thing in the world: drinking out of the hose.
Next time, I should have some haircut pictures of my own to share! Not sure what I'm getting done yet, but soon I'll have to make my mind up! Next month, Z and I will be visiting my grandparents in Tennessee (flying one way, then driving back up with them). I am so excited I found a ticket for $89 for a direct one way flight! I'm pleased with my bargain! Ben already has plans to get some pipes fixed while we're gone. Aren't husbands normally unmotivated to do stuff around the house? Not mine! I'm very blessed! Z likes to have a job to do too, we're finding it's very important to give him some sort of responsibility when possible. For instance, he "cleans" his high chair tray after every meal. He's very verbal these days, here's some of what he's saying:

"Deggie" (Veggie as in Veggie Tales)
"Titty" (for Kitty!)
"Get you"
"See it"
"Do it"
"I do it!"
"Where Da?"

If he keeps this up, he'll be sitting next to the teacher like his Daddy did for talking too much!