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Preview: Milk and Ink: From the Lap of Mama Nomad...

Milk and Ink: From the Lap of Mama Nomad...

Updated: 2017-08-16T05:43:37.486-07:00


SEATTLE MARCH 6 & 7, 2011


dashboard buddies! created by mayan...enjoyed by mamamust visit alert: gas works park. rusty industrial curiousity, shiny green park with dr. seuss-like hill for kite flying and the most amazing view of the city over a glittering lake.B, a sailboat, and the space needle. love this shot. don't let go of that stroller!only took three tries to get the needle behind me!more awesome picture opportunitiesnext up Sushi...another excellent review from our family to yours at Chiso on fremont. we made it there with five minute of happy hour left and ordered our hungry-'cause-we-just-walked-5-miles little hearts outthis was supposed to be a shot of me having my first bite of unagi in over four years. the photographer had other ideas. good thing he bought me dinner.after sound sleep in our little rental apartment, we got ready for a day jammed packed with seattle-y goodness!getting into zoo mode, blake said this is a picture of "the mama in her natural habitat"...the mama nomad is never seen without her coffee and iPhone within will often hear her call out "almost ready, just let me look this one thing up!"....notice the messy bun, sign that she has gotten her three offspring ready but has neglected her own hair.... woodland park zoo rules.just say "Roar!"scoping the savannahwhen is the last time YOU saw a giraffe eat breakfast?blake was impressed with my safari chic look. i swear i didn't plan it. really!!jungle-rifici can tell this is the african elephant and not the asain because of the larger ears, used for fanning in hot climates. this fact was brought to you by my smartypants husband.i must smooch those lips!my boys!how many shots like this do we have?? mayan on a lionissy...on a lion. doesn't rhyme but sure is cute!i guess asking him to be a lion didn't make for a flattering shot.komoto dragons are cool....but these kids are cooler!can't resist a carousel ride. high five to me for not barfing!this was our first road trip without the suburban. its was crowded but got the job done thanks to the third row favorite place to visit: Theo chocolate factory. look how happy we all are! we are high on chocolate. wheeeeeeee!taking our chocolate high to the docks.i had an unexpected emotional experience looking at the boats. i miss our boat!! fell in love with this Dana 24....the flicka's bigger cousin.the fun don't stop, no siree! The Experience Music Project and Science Fiction Museum. this took three times, too. we had a little picnic in under the needle before heading inside.cute shot!this building blows my mind every time!!its hard not to be artsy in a city like by blakeso many guitars!we were here specifically to see the battlestar galatica exhibit...check out this model!cylons are check this: on the music side, they had this thing called sound lab. you could have a soundproof room to yourself for ten minutes, and all the instruments are ready to go. just close the door, press the button, and start rocking out! we busted a three piece band. george was our lyricist and named the song "poop diarrhea lollipop." isadore was our photographer/ blake on drums.back for more BSGno, like, REALLY?? how did they pull this off? it's incredible.time to take these trekkies home....until next long and prosper![...]

George ramblings as dictated to Mayan


I left Mayan in the car to keep an eye on George while I ran into a store. I handed her a piece of paper and pen and asked her to write down everything Geroge said while I was gone, to keep her busy. This is what she wrote:

*My, Myn=Mayan
*Fairy school=this is what Geo calls his daycare
*Moog=what I call MG, pronounced Moo-j

My*, say what to make. My, make a picture of Gaga. Can I see Lady Gaga? Huh? Build a Alejandro Miss Meatball! I eat a muffin. Huh? Myn, I want to eat a muffin.........(silence for a few minutes).....I like I Dada make it here in time to make the muffins. Gaaaaaaaaaagoooooooo. Helmet to fairy school*. (in song) Grey squirrel, shake your bushy tail....Myn? Are Hot Wheels poopoo doodie?...........(more pause)....Myn, what's that sound? Myn, can you get my muffin out Mom's purse? I WANT A MUFFIN, Moog*, I want Mama. Get please a juice box out box?

I wish I could scan this, Mayan did an amazing job transcribing and it sounds exactly like Geo would talk! We laughed SO HARD when she read it back to me!

i highly recommend dating your spouse.


for many people, when you have kids the most pressing role you play is "mama" and "papa." there is a tendency to forget that once-upon-a-time you might have been "girlfriend" or "boyfriend," then "newlywed" or what-have-you. sometimes you forget what its like to be a couple, as opposed to a couple of parents. for a sustainable marriage, this spells one point early this year, blake and i hit the hard realization that we don't really know how to just be "the two of us." we used to date? really?? that was soooooo long ago. its not like we NEVER go on dates, its just that it is so infrequently that every time we are out it feels....weird. so we made a pact to get to know each other all over again, outside of the role of mom/dad. and let me tell you, it is NICE. more than nice, it's downright HOT.i highly recommend dating your spouse. we realized that we DO have things in common, which was a surprise because parenting can be so difficult at times that all you see is where you disagree. this can lead to "we are SO different...." which can lead to "who the crap is this person??" and that is, as i said, disaster.sure, we ARE very different people, with very different personalities. but when we come together over something casually-mutual like good food, or a favorite band we can see how we actually compliment each other--in a more relaxed way, outside of our normal home environment. at a restaurant, we choose different plates and sample each others food, and talk about what we like and don't like. at a concert, i like to dance and drink while we watch a band, Blake likes to hold my coat, and keep me safe from drunk dudes, and drive me home while we talk over the play list on the drive. we laugh together and come up with little "had to be there" inside jokes to share later....we make memories. when we are on our date we are "blake and leah", or "that cute couple" who might be newlyweds or together for a decade, or who may or may not have three flooping children at home.this weekend was the ultimate date: overnight in Seattle to see the man that binds us, Mr. Nick Cave. our first time away overnight since having George. i was worried i'd put too much expectation into this adventure, that because i wanted it to be so relaxing and so magical and so fun that i'd jinx it and we'd fight or i'd somehow be disappointed. apparently though, in my 20's, what was once my ability to "jinx" things, has now become an ability to manifest...hooray for my 30's!relaxing, magical, and fun: it was all of those things. our hotel was classy and quiet with a vintage feel (for cheap), we were 4 blocks from a fantastic restaurant that we got into on a Saturday with no reservation or wait, sat at the counter and watched the chefs work their craft, and opened our eyes together to the glory of the charcuterie plate; plus our show was only 2 blocks away and the band, Grinderman, KILLED--we had so much fun there and then stayed up late in our hotel room talking about it....among other things....:) in the morning we walked toward Pike Place Market (only 6 blocks) and found a great, quiet breakfast place serving fresh crab and avocado eggs benedict while we read the newspaper. after we checked out, we explored the (free!) Olympic Sculpture Park on the waterfront and finally, when we felt satisfied in our exploration of the city, we headed home, with hot coffee and happy souls.i am already looking forward to our next date.....ready for our big night out...look how excited we are!i had to be tourist on the way to our's my honey and the space needle!post-dinner and ready to rock!here be the said "rockin'"we both agreed it was the best we've seen Nick...having this new, straight-up rock-and-roll project has given him new life...and the venue (King Cat) was small so we really got to enjoy the band up closeokay, i'll be honest i only vaguely remember this photo being taken....the morning after: enjoying a stroll in downtown before the crowdswe s[...]

how weaning happens


...or at least how it happens with us. even more specifically, with george and me.i cried last night. a good, hard, had-to-take-off-my-glasses cry. without complete intention, i have just weaned my last baby from the breast. (and i am 99% sure i am done having babies.) only another nursing mother can fully understand what it feels like to nurse your baby for the last time. plus, in this case i didn't know the last time was "the last time." so, now i have this little grief dancing inside my heart, that i know will settle but hurts all the same. i thought this post might help.i did the math: i have been suckling babies for 6 of the past 8 years, with one period of rest in between. it will feel weird to not have that connection. i've said it a hundred times: nursing, if anything, is a relationship, not just a food source.mayan nursed like a champ from the minutes she was born, and nursing her into toddlerhood not only seemed like the way SHE was going to have it, but it was important to me, as well, since she had so many food allergies and it took her a while to establish a food-diet that could nourish her. with her, nursing was a valuable tool. to calm her down when she was freaking out, and also to shush her when i needed to talk on the phone. :)i decided not to cut this relationship short when i became pregnant with isadore. while the milk supply dwindled, she was not deterred. life was going to change dramatically for her when her new sibling arrived, and i didn't need to give her another reason to resent the new baby, by taking away her precious "boobah."this turned out to be a good decision, when at 35 weeks isadore was induced early. while she was in the NICU and not able to nurse at the breast for her first 10 days, mayan became my "portable breast pump." i'd saved up more milk than isadore would ever be able to drink, but to keep up supply i was instructed to pump every three hours ("just like if you had a nursing newborn..." they said.) mayan went from being able to have a casual conversation with me at the breast to watering eyes and choking trying to keep up with the new flow.once isadore was able to nurse she latched on like a pro as well, and was so efficient at getting milk from me even as a tiny 4 1/2 pound baby, that she would suck a few times, establish the flow and then lay back a let it ease down her throat with little to no effort. this completely unvalidated the formula the nurses had laid out for me: "about one cc per one minute of sucking." we had to weigh her to verify that in fact, just 10 minutes of weak, sleepy sucking she ingested 45 cc's of milk--a full feeding. we were released for home the next day.after a few months, just as i had hoped, mayan got the picture that nursing was for "little babies", and gracefully bowed out, at age 2 1/2.isadore was a mellow child, and a great sleeper so the nursing relationship was not as intense as it was for me and mayan. she had already lost interest at 2 years--slowly tapering off from day feeding so that the go-to-sleep sessions were the last to go--so that's when i had my first break. it was a bitter sweet transition, but deep inside i knew i'd get to have that experience one more time.enter george-ephraim, 2 years later. his birth was everything i'd dreamed, and was healing and empowering in so many ways. i was a nursing professional now and it took no effort to establish that bond. eat, burp, sleep, eat burp, sleep...constant cycle that i practically did with one hand while i took care of everyone else with the a whole new meaning to the word 'buffet'!on vacation in seattle 2008previous blog readers and other nursing mothers may know, this is called "NAKing"--nursing at keyboardgeorge "gettin' some" in the backseat of the car--milk that isthe difference with george, is that i didn't want to use nursing as a calming or quieting tool, but instead just for eating and just for sleeping. so once he grew into a walking, pointing, babbling, food-snacking toddler, i j[...]

a peek into summer 2010


as far as i see it, even though summer really just got started, its already halfway over. here, family and friends, is what we've been doing with our time.bikes (or scooters) on the street-- a daily affairissy made him a bed in the hall, and he really used it!my garden. really only going at 50% capacity this year. better than nothing, right?our first time riding bikes with the public! sunday parkways is awesome!! google it if you don't know about this pdx event...a visit from auntie naomi and uncle noah. short but sweet!! this is us at the farmer's market at OHSUwhen you buy a bunch of live shrimp to cook on the bbq, the least you can do is save one and dress it up in a paper towel and electrical tape tuxedo, right??the birthday girl requested swimming for her day so that is what she got.making the world's best gluten-free, corn-free chocolate cake for sister EVAH!!!karaoke at voicebox lounge was awesome!!!could be singing george michael...or lady gaga...or no doubt...or the beatles...we love auntie na-na!!never under estimate an afternoon chillin' in the backyard.a sigg bottle to reflect all personalties:downtown adventure: waiting for the street cardowntown adventure: on the streetcar after a trip to finnegan's. these kids know the importance of staying hydrated on a 90 degree day!downtown adventure: jamison fountains....ah, smell the chemically-treated water in the air!what could August bring?? i'll try my best to blog it for you:)[...]

a craft to do TODAY!



mayan likes to go thrift shopping with her grandma, and the other day she came home with a cute book on easy recipes and crafts for kids. this one in particular was SO easy and cute (and useful...i only like useful crafts) i had to share:

take a pair of old jeans (stained and worn our knees is great!) either the size your child wears or a little bigger, then simply cut across so you remove the legs and crotch, about three inches below the back pocket. then cut up the sides to the waistband and remove the front parts of the jeans including the zipper, making sure the waistband and button stays intact. what you are left with is a craft apron or tool belt....looks like this:

(image) (image)

its FREE, it takes two minutes, and your kids can decorate them to their hearts content....

mayan's big recital!


i was so nervous for her! this is mayan's third recital and she has been playing piano now for over a year. this particular piece is called Colorful Sonatina, a three part piece : Sunshine Yellow, Dreamy Sky Blue, and Happy Red. she's has been working on it for months, and at first i was surprised at the complexity of the piece, but now i see that her teacher knew that she could pull it off by recital time. she seems to really connect with the mood of each piece, and her teacher commented that she mayan also really connect with playing the large concert piano. you go, sweet girl!

now that we have family here, we took full advantage. grandma, grandpa, chemynne, avia, and even our friends zack and emily (who blake plays music with and mayan crafts with regularly) all came to see her perform. i noticed something too, at this recital, which was mayan has a really fantastic attitude about it all. she was so pumped this morning, aware of her nervousness but more excited than anything. she has the biggest smile on her face before and after the performance, and was on a high from it all for the rest of the day.

so for those who could not be there, without further ado:

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(image) (while the other kids were over it, Mayan was still proudly beaming at the front of the stage)

(image) (the Mayan fan club)

(image) The family (sans the hard-working Papa--at least he got to be there to hear her play though)

George-Ephraim Turns Two


George-Ephraim, or Geo, or Georgie Boy, or Vubbie, or The Vubs as he is usually called.....was born in the wee hours of the morning on April 27th two years ago today,directly above my head where I type this,a smooshie-lipped, curly-headed boya boy who brings joyso much joy and love,more than I could ever imagine one little boy bringing to a family,yet his joy spreads much farther,as he offers this joy to everyone he passes,rosy-red cheeks glowing with delight,smiles spread like ripples on the mouths of those in his presence...oh, little boy, thank you for your joy!Things to know about George, The Two Year Old:Favorite food: hummus, just straight up with a spoon. the more garlic the better.Favorite song: Changes by David BowieSTILL likes to be swaddled to fall asleep. He has a special blanket for this--his "Mi-Mi" blanket which is a fleece Nightmare Before Christmas blanket.A day is not a day without walking to the mailbox with Papa.He never fails to say sorry ("Waaah-reee") or thank you (Day Do!") when the occasion arises. In fact he gets irritated if he thanks me for dinner and I don't say "You're welcome."He loves shoes. Prefers them to bare feet. Walks on his toes if his feet are bare so they won't touch the floor.If I were to use one word to describe George it would be: delight (he is both delighted at everything around him and delightful to be around.)HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO MY GEORGIE BOY!!!!!![...]

still (kind-of) feeling the clean...


the spring cleaning "party" is meant to be done over two weeks, monday through friday each week, so you have the weekend off to do what you normally do. i am busy fridays but not saturdays, so i decluttered the first four days (mon-thurs), took friday off, did the second part of the kitchen on saturday (with my moms help), and took sunday off. monday, i happened to be out-of-town, which was "bathroom day" anyway, and had i already decluttered them: the downstairs was recently cleaned because we got a new shelving unit, the children's bathroom (barely used, they like ours of course!) was swept through the first day of decluttering, and our master bathroom a week ago, because george is now agile enough to open doors and get up on the tub and riffle through all of our stuff, including a box of hair dye. my first time calling poison control! he had been upstairs in the early evening and i had called him down at dinner, so three hours after he'd been up there i discovered a bottle of color developer half gone. did he drink it?? there seemed to be a cloudy substance in the toilet so i figured he squeezed it in there...but i called to be safe. the nice lady at 1-800-222-1222 said he would have gotten sick already...i sighed relief and promptly threw out tons of old bathroom crap and blake rehung the cabinet higher.after that on-and-off schedule, tuesday i had to get back into it. i decided to move up the master bedroom in line and leave the kids' room for later. i'd cleaned a house that morning and was tired--i like to keep my bedroom tidy so i knew it would not be a difficult task. i love our bedroom, we spent a lot of time making it to our liking during my pregnancy with George, and it is decidedly a "grown-up" space, sexy and modern. i sorted through my clothes which was kind of depressing, as apparently i wear too much black, and anything that i have that doesn't fit and at one time cost a lot of money, is so worn-out its barely worth donating. my wardrobe is lacking desperately but even if i had the money to buy new stuff, i would hate to buy it at this size since i would like NOT to be this size anymore (that's another post!)today, brought the first wave of the kids' rooms and it was highly successful, even though, to be honest, i am petering out. either i lost my momentum during the choppy weekend or it just gets hard after the first week to stay motivated. but there was a lot to trash and that always feels good. ended up with two bags of trash, one bag of recycling, and two boxes for donation. there are even some empty toy bins now!! i was hoping to transfer all of the kids' dress-up clothes to bigger more accommodating tubs, so took a break to go to target where i'd bought them before, but they are not in season yet. while i didn't think to take before picture i do have a nice shot of the finished toy shelves and the pile that came from it:george's birthday is next week, and i am excited about making his room more for a little boy--we are going to change his big mattress to a toddler bed, i took some toy storage boxes from the girls rooms and put them in his, and decluttered his closet. a friend gave me a wooden castle this week and i would like to find a train table for him to set it up on.tomorrow is day two of the kids rooms but really i just need to sweep and mop and wipe down the shelves, which is good considering i work in the morning as well. one thing i never did get too, if i can fit it in, is the drawers and spice cabinet in the kitchen. i think saturday will be my day to wrap up any loose ends--the schedule says the last day is for the entry and hallway but i did those already last week. if i can get blake to hang our new curtains on sunday, our house will look like a million bucks!sure, its a lot of work, but i can see how having less and being more organized is helping me save time in my li[...]

feel the clean


the past six months, i've been on a steady incline to.....something. its hard to put into words, but its a combination of personal revelation, a feeling of balance, a clarification of purpose, and a real increase in the feeling of peace and an invitation to more joy in my life. lots of things have led me here: my part-time work, my women's workshop, establishing a yoga practice again, and the exciting realization that I will be 30 this year which makes me feel ripe for change. i think i've made a real effort to make room for growth as in the spirit of this, i decided to jump on the spring cleaning party bandwagon, led by the simple mom blog. i'd heard about it last year, but didn't feel like i could pull it off, and secretly promised myself that i would do it next year. next year is here...and it seems like the perfect time to take on this project which involves decluttering, cleaning, and organizing your ENTIRE HOME. no wonder its freaked me out so much last year, right? i've had time to warm up to the idea this time around, and as i waded in realized that having less STUFF, means more time to spent doing other things like playing with my kids. i realized that i spend way more time keeping our large home tidy than i'd like. its constant work that is usually undone as soon as it is finished, even with the whole family doing their part--time spent keeping all those piles of stuff in their tidy little piles, and then digging through those piles to find what you need and re-tidying again.....ridiculous! not to mention our home is very large (over 3000 sqft), with three full bathrooms and ...gulp....6 bedrooms. let me be the first to say that bigger is not always better! when i'd declutter in the past, really all i was doing was taking the clutter from one area and hiding it somewhere else (like my sewing room--eek!!) so taking the time to just tackle each room one-by-one using the declutter, cleaning, and organize process once a year in one concentrated blow makes so much sense!here's the plan of action:The Plan Day 1: A Clean SweepDay 2: The Living Room, part 1Day 3: The Living Room, part 2Day 4: The Kitchen, part 1Day 5: The Kitchen, part 2Day 6: The BathroomsDay 7: The Kids’ Rooms, part 1Day 8: The Kids’ Rooms, part 2Day 9: The Master BedroomDay 10: The Front Entry & Hallway...and here is the mantra:“Have nothing in your home that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful.”On day one, I went through our house and looked at all the surfaces like our bookshelf, dresser, sideboard, desk, and countertops with a garbage bag and empty box in hand. they both filled up fast...and some items I immediately returned to a better lots of photos and books that were floating around for some reason or another--and later i went through the box and quickly decided what was donation and what needed to find a proper place in our home. it happened to be housecleaning day anyway, so after i was done the house already looked incredible! and the best part is that it has STAYED that way, because there is less to pick up. and the whole family seems to be in awe of the state of things so THEY are being more careful too. i have heard blake say more than once to the kids,"let's clean up so we don't ruin all of Mama's hard work..."Day two was living room: part one, and this was easy because we don't spend a ton of time in that room like most families do. since a-frames have slanted walls, you can't fill it with traditional furniture, only low pieces, and since we have a toddler who gets into stuff if its low, the room is not a clutter-magnet. but we do have one very special two-sided art deco book shelf which houses books, puzzles, cd's, the phone on one side, and mayan's special "fort" on the other (mayan's middle name is "clutter-bug" ;) some plants on to[...]

sweet and sour awesome


hello, lonely blog, would you feel better if i put a recipe in your tummy?

by request, and by my own excitement, i give you a sweet and sour chicken dish that is allergy-friendly (well, depending on your allergy because some of you all are super-freaks.) chinese takeout, once filled a hole in my soul, right up there with tator tot cassarole on the comfort food scale, but when soy became my nemesis, obviously EVERYTHING on that menu was OUT. so i spent some time, learning to make fried rice and beef with broccoli at home since it was something we could all eat. recently, mayan added eggs back into her diet with great success, and now more windows are opening up for us. i decided that a true crispy, sticky sweet and sour chcken was in order, since the nourishing traditions recipe didn't not possess that take-out quality that i so desire. this may not qualify as health food, but i made it as healthy as possible.

so it is gluten-free, soy-free, corn-free, dairy-free, and nightshade-free. check it:

2-4 chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch chunks
1-2 eggs
1/2 cup rice flour (i used brown but whilte might be finer, if gluten is not an issue just use wheat!)
1/2 tapioca flour
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspooon garlic powder
black pepper

-add the flours, salt, garlic powder, and pepper to a large ziploc bag, and mix--set aside. beat the egg or eggs in a pie dish, then add the chicken chunks to coat. pick out the chicken pieces and throw into the flour mixture. seal up bag with a little air, and shake, baby, shake! make sure all of the pieces are well coated with flour.

-heat 1/2 inch of oil for frying (whatever you like: peanut, canola are my faves) and fry until the pieces are golden brown and cooked through, turning if you need to. (if the heat is med-high, the chicken will absorb less oil.) remove from oil and place on paper towels. keep warm until ready to serve.

while the pieces are frying, take a small saucepan and add:

(this should make enough for 2-3 chicken breasts, but double it if you are using 4)
3 TB apple cider or white wine vinegar
1 teaspoon sea salt
6 TB Rapadura (whole cane sugar--Rapunzel brand makes this) or mixture of brown and white sugar
1 TB tapioca flour
1/2 cup of water
1 1/2 TB oil of choice

-bring to a boil and stir until thick, about 5 minutes. the Rapadura gives it a nice dark color.

finally transfer your golden crispy chicken pieces to a platter and pour the sweet and sour sauce over, toss if you'd like or don't leaving some areas more saucy than others, so family members can choose how much they want. you can also keep a little extra sauce on the table for those that like it really saucy.

optional: sprinkle chopped green onions over the dish for a little crunch and presentation. serve over steamed or fried rice. also a GREAT time to make LUMPIAS, since you have the hot oil and dipping sauce already done:D

all done!


second and final session for my right arm is done. i am so happy with it!it was very cool being able to post from the chair with my beloved iPhoneEveryone say hi to James ("hi, James!") he was nice enough to play me videos again on his iPod (the Asylum Street Spankers this time) and a really cute kids album that i wills soon purchase and burn for everyone i know. thought is was amusing that some one who doesn't have little kids knew every line, not to mention the whole shop was rocking to the kids tunes...its called 'Mom Says No!'anyway, notice the FUN position i had my arm in...eek.ah, so fresh!next day, all washed up. the flower is, of course, fully healed.loving the Isis wings...and her jewelry and gown. all of the shading will soften when healed.the detail on the wings turned out beautifully!Hooray!!!!!! I can honestly say that at this moment in time I do not have any ideas or plans for more ink....but it would be nice to have something for George eventually. For now I am satisfied...;)[...]

goodies from the days in bend


recently, michael took all of my old pictures and videos from my laptop hard drive and put them on the new computer....basically our lives from 2005 to 2007--pre-blogging days for me--flashed before my eyes, many memories i had thanksgiving sister with my sistermy favorite picture of blake ever, taken on our 5th anniversaryadorable family picture in vancouver BC, october 2006memorable sail on waldo lake on the catalina 22this might be my fondest memory i have of the time before we decided to move: an epically beautiful fall day i drove out to DD Ranch in Terrebonne with my girls, drinking a delicious chai on the way, to spend the afternoon picnicing, wandering through the pumpkin patch, and taking a hayride. (this was taken by myself on the ride)at one point my sister had imported all of her videos and pictures from our visits onto my computer, and some went back before we even owned a digital camera. having these little snipettes of little mayan and isadore are priceless!!mayan is about three here and isadore one-ish. allowFullScreen='true' webkitallowfullscreen='true' mozallowfullscreen='true' width='320' height='266' src='' class='b-hbp-video b-uploaded' FRAMEBORDER='0' />four and two i think...mayan is pretending to be blake! hilarious... allowFullScreen='true' webkitallowfullscreen='true' mozallowfullscreen='true' width='320' height='266' src='' class='b-hbp-video b-uploaded' FRAMEBORDER='0' />[...]

georgie gets a haircut


i have no clue how to handle curls. george's tight blond ringlets are turning into ratty, messy dreads, and it takes a lot of work to condition and brush them out every few days. i decided to take him to our regular stylist (rebecca at DO! rad cuts and color on SE 39th) and try my best to keep him still while she did her thing. honestly i didn't have to do anything, he gripped a teething biscuit and was so fascinated by the salon happenings around him that he sat still for 1/2 hour giving rebecca time to obsess on each lock. she told me how she never gets to spend much time on kids hair b/c they are wiggly, but georgie sat like a little man. and the best part is that the hair doesn't look much shorter, its still bouncy ringlets but there is less length so that means less tangles. i love my baby boy!

(ps all photos taken on my super awesome iPhone!!)




(name that song!)we've been grabbing the reigns of more than one holiday for a few years, and i think we have it down now: we love the food and beauty of Chanukkah, the meaning and reverence of Winter Solstice, and the tradition and excitement of Christmas. it has made for a wonderful last few weeks, strengthening our family ties, given us room to create together, and maybe added a few pounds as well:) here is our 2009 holiday in pictures:1st night of Hanukkah, b lights the first candlesusing family recipes, we ate both potato and sweet potato latkes (with applesauce and sour cream of course), stuffed cabbage, and israeli-style orange chicken.a little dreidel actionfirst time wearing a yarmulke..and he ate about 10 sweet potato latkesloving the beauty of candle lightSolstice night came and after our sweet, private family ritual (you can read more about it here) we opened some gifts for mind and body, to get us through the rest of the cold winter days: clothing and books. here the kids pour over their new books sent by uncle payson and aunt kamla and other thrift store finds:calendars from grand-p and cookie!a family photo (george must be a cat b/c i could not fix his eyes on iPhoto!)christmas eve baking: my cinnamon rolls rose!!ooey-gooey goodness!making snowflakes and stars to hang upand while the girls and i craft.....papa makes dinner!our new christmas eve tradition: blake's ramen. soooooo good, and we used one of the chickens we slaughtered for the broth and meat--we felt very connected to this hot bowl of yumminess.before bed, a little dancing and twirlinga fully-stuffed stocking, complete with cat butt stickers (i bet you can guess who that's for...)i was afraid they'd fall, they were packed so tight!a lovely sight heading up to bed that discovers the joys of chocolate in your stockingeven papa got some treats in his stocking that he's had since he was a child (his mom handmade it)drinking tea and handing out giftspuzzles from grandma!haha, we found this board book at powell's: Nietzsche 4 Babies.more goodies from did this girl not have a jean jacket already?blocks ruleand firetrucks;)a shoe made from pipecleaners...that is SO mayan!time to eat: egg-and-bacon pie, cinnamon rolls, cranberry oatmeal muffins, lox-and-bagels with homemade cream cheese, chicken apple sausage, and mimosas.isadore and athena snuggle up together and watch Wall-Ethe wind was blowing but it was beautiful and sunny in the backyard...nothing like last year!C ventures up to see the loftAthena and Michael feed the chickenschristmas day barn fun!its so nice to have this little family close to celebrate the holidays with!dreamy looks from mama and papa nomad...looking over the past, looking toward the future?don't leave me out, guys!mayan scopes her viewmaster newly filled with shrek slidesi love my sister-in-lawAthena and a chickenthe egg collectorbeing silly in papa's glasseswhat holiday is complete without a rousing game of scrabble? for the record chemynne, the newbie, kicked our butts.finally, a delicious christmas dinner of duck legs in braised red cabbage with wine and prunes, and carrots with shallots and herbs. was a great way to close out 2009....what was your favorite part of this holiday season?[...]

georgie's bedroom


so the other night george falling asleep in his playroom, it seems was not a fluke. the past few nights i've nursed him in my room, then layed him down in the playroom on top of a cushy sleeping bag and he's fallen asleep on his own within ten minutes. no swaddling (this boy must have set record for the oldest swaddled-at-night baby), no screaming....just a milky kiss and a good night, and i don't hear from him again until 8 in the morning, when he wanders into the bedroom saying "Mah? Mah?" or today blake went in to his room and he was just waking up and he sat up and pointed to his sleepy spot and said "night-night"its weird. blake and i check on him a few times during the night--we've never had a baby out of the bed this soon! and while part of me is a little sad since i know this will be our last baby, it also feels good to have it happen so naturally. through all three kids i've had YEARS of night nursing and snuggling...and toddler kicks to the face, to feel satisfied in the face of this we picked up a mattress that daena and oliver donated to us and we set it up so now the playroom is officially a bedroom, and it was a pretty sweet moment. everyone brought in something to make it homey, like a dolly and a stuffed tiger, then georgie pretended to be sleeping. it was hilarious. i love my little boy!*********thank you for the mattress D and O, its perfect![...]



well, its not like i just forgot. what happened was this: tuesday night i came down to find that the computer area reaked of beer. i lifted the keyboard to find a huge puddle of what can only guess was the last third of my mirror pond pale ale. it was all over the floor, too. george is the likely culprit. i cleaned things up but the keyboard was kaput...only the mouse still worked so i could check emails and bookmarked tabs like facebook but i could not type text. wednesday i considered doing a title-less photo blog with me holding up hand-written messages that said "keyboard broken" "smells suspiciously like beer" "happy thanksgiving"...but something in me said let it go. so i did. then thursday passed and friday...then the whole weekend. i hardly touched the computer at all, even though michael brought us a new keyboard on thanksgiving. so my blog posting month ended with a leave of absence but i'm not sorry. i think the quality of my content was dwindling anyway...better for me to leave it at three weeks of solid wholesome blogness, than to subject you to one last week of blather. but trust me, milk and ink has been revived and i will be a more attentive. keep me in your readers, Readers!

putting the ink in 'mik and ink': the new ink


.....continued from yesterday:2009:as a "symmetrical" person i always knew i'd like a tattoo on my right forearm as well--in the same shape and similar composition as the left arm, only this time a tribute to isadore. we had found the name isadore in a book of names from around the world, arranged by origin--and we thought that "gift of isis", the goddess of fertility, was a fitting name for a girl who was concieved earlier than expected on a day i should not have been fertile. (TMI alert: isadore is how i found out i ovulate more than once a month like most women, possibly on demand!) isis is in both greek and egyptian mythology. the name to me has always had a vintage sound, maybe because of isadora duncan, an american dancer in the early 1900's. also linked to this is the popular artistic style of the time, art nouveau which has greek and egyptian mythological elements. perhaps the most well-known artist of this style is alphonse mucha, who draws these dreamy, strong yet feminine figures. (nate was the first to introduce me to Mucha, wanting to incorporate some vines of that style into the left arm piece.)so i had all of these elements i wanted to fit into the frame on my right arm: a mucha-goddess, with the wings of Isis, with the features of Isadore. her birthflower--a water lily--would round it out, to juxtapose the chrysanthemum on the left. blake and i both thought the man to pull this all off was our favorite artist in portland: james kern at no hope no fear. james worked at optic nerve arts, when nate had passed away and we had seen his amazing work (like large pieces of alex grey's art) first there. now he has his own shop down the street from nomad and is normally booked out for months. sunday, it was finally all realized, bless his heart for pulling all of my ideas together. it needs one more session for color and shading but its everything i wanted and possibly more.the view i seeleft and righti can't say i have anymore tattoos in mind, but i also know well enough to say that i am sure that will change. i feel very lucky to have had access to so many amazing artists--spoiled really, as my mom observed--and forever wear their interpretations of my ideas on my body, for my own enjoyment.[...]

putting the "ink" in 'milk and ink': history


1998:my first tattoo was definitely an exercise in asserting my independence--it was almost immediately after my 18th birthday and was simple cursive "L" (for my name) done at Uncle Bill's Tattoo Parlor in Bend, OR. i had no further plans at that time for tattoos so putting a tiny tattoo on the large surface area of my lower back seemed fine to me. (later i discoverd it best to save the large areas for larger tattoos, and the smaller ones for small spaces.)2000: next just before marrying blake, i had the word "Grace" in traditional letttering applied the space just above the elbow on the back of the arm, a spot that i still find to be a very sexy place to have a tattoo--i had that idea when i spied a girl in the library at OSU with a word tattooed there (it said "vegan.") the concept of grace means a lot to me--not in terms of elegance, but in decency, generosity, and gratitude, and later it was given to mayan for her middle name. a well-known artist did it for me, really for blake as a favor since its probably the smallest and simplest piece he'd done in ages but i'll never forget the look the two of them exchanged when he (the artist) asked me if i planned on having any other tattoos done in the future and i said "no, i don't think so." it was like a "yeah right. you're young. just wait." exchange of glances.2003:then when mayan was a year and a half, i knew i wanted to honor our romantic beginnings and mayan's conception story with a tattoo of the ruins where we were wed. at the time, our good friend tracy, a piercer, had begun a new studio with her partner nate, a gifted artist and tattooist, called optic nerve arts. i had met nate at their home 6 weeks after they had their baby, isabella, and he was a kind and soft-spoken man that had pulled himself out of a troubled past and was beginning a new life. i knew immediately that i wanted him to do the work. i brought him photos of our trip to mexico and specifically the temple of kukulkan, the tree under which we were married and the view of the yucutan jungle taken from atop the pyramid. i also brought an example of a chrysanthemum, my parents wedding flower and our wedding flower to incorporate into the piece which was designed to be on my left forearm. we drove to portland to have the outline and shading done which was stunning on its own. nate and i discussed whether or not to keep the piece black and gray, or to make it full color, and decided to wait--we'd schedule another session soon for completion and decide then. a few months later i found out i was pregnant with isadore so everything was on hold--i didn't think i'd be ready to be tattooed again until she was at least a year old. but when she was 7 months old, tracy called to tell us the awful news: she'd found nate that morning in the bathtub--he'd had a heart attack. he was only 31 and apparently had had an undetected heart defect. i could not imagine her devastation, and listening to nate's friends and family share their favorite stories at his memorial it was clear what a giant hole his passing left in thier lives. and like others there i felt honored to have a piece of his work on me, even if it was unfinished.2006: i struggled with that fact, since i knew that tattoo needed some closure but i didn't want anyone else to touch it--also i still hadn't made the decision to go color or black and gray. but a year later, as the anniversary to nate's passing approached, something fell into place that felt right. a tattooist friend, hawk (and his dear family) had relocated to bend from san francisco, with our encouragement who [...]

i'm such a tease


i'm cold, and hungry, and tired...and i didn't take any pictures during my tattoo. its still wrapped up so you will all have to wait to see it. it's awesome!!!!! not completely done, but the outline and the flower. just wait 'til you see it! now i need cake and wine and a movie and sleep, in that order.


the big recital



it is so awesome to see your kids work so hard at something new (not to mention my own effort put in, encouraging and sitting through nearly every practice, five days a week!) and reach a goal, like today's piano recital.

i love hearing mayan play--she's grown so much over the last 9 months since her lessons began, and her pieces have been getting progressively more complex, plus she's written her own compositions. she now self-guides herself through the daily practice and has a natural confidence that i admire.

this is isadore's first recital and has only been playing for a few months--the progress is much slower so i've had to really be patient, but it always pays off! just when she feels like giving in, something clicks, and she beams with accomplishment. she must have played "mary had a little lamb" 10 times a day for the past few weeks! amazing since at one point she was like "forget it! i'll never get it right, i'm quitting piano!" she just needed to do it on her own time. she was very nervous but faced the recital (and she was the first to play) with bravery and grace. they were both so beautiful! aw, shucks....we were proud parents today!

isadore's 'mary had a little lamb' (duet with teacher)
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mayan's 'trumpet song' (duet) and 'rainbow colors'
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blake's mom was able to make it, which was nice since she bought us our piano and has such fond memories of her own childhood piano lessons

and my 20's come to a close....


better things to do today than sit on the computer, so i am "phoning this one in." blake and i dug up this song a few weeks ago, neither of us knew the other one loved it. seemed appropriate for a birthday blog post. i noticed that it came out three years before i was born.

enjoy....and don't you DARE make fun of their hair!!

(PS: MOM, make sure dad sees this!)

29 by 29 update


i did it. workout #29 complete, and tomorrow is my 29th birthday. too wiped out to be excited. lost one pound after complaining about gaining 7. wish i had done more on the calorie-intake front while i did this. all regrets and bitterness i am sure will be swept away in the shower--i'll give myself that long to be disappointed. then i will step out renewed, toned, glowing with accomplishment, and grateful for my health. because that's how i roll.


on the menu: 11-18-09


i just figured out a new regular feature i can do when inspiration (or time) is lacking--tell you what i'm eating for dinner! thrilling for some, mind-numbing for others.tonight i will be out knitting so i need to have something warm and ready when blake gets home to feed three kids solo. sounds like a split pea soup situation with some tasty kids-will-love-it protein on the side.simple split pea soup:(there are never any leftover of this in our house, the kids go nuts for it) Ingredients 5 1/2 cups water 4 cups organic chicken broth 2 cups green split peas 3/4 cup finely chopped yellow onion 6 ounces diced ham, or cooked bacon, crumbled 1 cup finely chopped carrot 1 cup thinly sliced celery 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper 1/8 teaspoon salt 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice Preparation Combine first 5 ingredients in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat; bring to a simmer. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 1 hour, stirring occasionally.Stir in carrot, celery, pepper, and salt. Simmer, uncovered, 45 minutes or until peas are tender and soup thickens, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat; stir in juice. Serve immediately. maple and pepper pork chops (or in my case chicken thighs):(this is swiped from the blog Eggs on Sunday and more detail including step-by-step pictures can be found here-- the best part other than how delicious it tastes is that the ingredients are pretty on-hand)Ingredients4 pork chops, bone-in or boneless (I like ones that are about 1 inch thick, and as always, if you can find a local purveyor of humanely-raised meat, please do choose that.)2 tablespoons olive oil1 1/2 teaspoon whole black peppercorns, crushed in a mortar and pestle or a spice grinder2 teaspoons coarse kosher salt1 large shallot, minced2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme leaves1/3 cup cider vinegar1/2 cup pure maple syrup (I prefer Grade B or Dark Amber) Directions 1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. 2. Pat the pork chops dry and season them well with the 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt. Rub the salt into the surface of the meat. 3. Preheat an ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat. When it’s hot, add the 2 tablespoons of oil (it should shimmer. 4. Place the chops into the pan, presentation side down. Leave them to brown on this side for a few minutes. You can tell they’re ready to flip when the meat releases from the bottom of the pan when you gently lift up an edge. 5. Flip the chops over, insert a meat thermometer into the thickest part of one of the chops, and put the whole pan into the oven to finish cooking. 6. When the chops reach 145 degrees F, take the pan out of the oven and place the chops on a plate. Cover with foil and set aside. 7. Return the pan to the stove. You should have about 1-2 tablespoon of fat remaining in the pan; if there’s a lot more, pour it off before putting it back on the stove. Add the shallot, thyme, and another 1/2 teaspoon of kosher salt. Cook over medium-high heat until the shallot is softening and beginning to brown, about 2 minutes. 8. Add the v[...]

welcome back, nomad 2


we've been making do with one car for a few months now--and while doable, its annoying. come on, now: three kids, a business that is open 6 days a week, and no easily accessible public transportation near our home. not to mention our one car (the beloved suburban) is a giant white beast and diesel hog (although not as bad as you think) that is not fun to park downtown. its really best suited for towing boats, road trips, home depot outings, or adventures with all five of us on board. we missed our sturdy, diesel, daily driver to cover all those other times. blake had purchased this cutie off of craigslist in june and we got two months out of it before the tranny went kaput. thanks to the fine folks at MBI motors inc, our little beauty is back in action as of today!

welcome back, Noamd 2!