Thursday, May 31, 2012

don't be afraid to be a man

Masculinity......what a loaded word.. It evokes images that I am not sure I really want my boys to possess. Why is that? For sure, we all possess masculine and feminine aspects, but boys are relocated in this society to just the masculine. And whats worse, boys seem to have to fight for it to hold on to it as if it is so fragile that at any moment they might loose it. As a Mom of two boys, I am determined to show my boys a very different picture of what being a man really is. Something less temporary, and something that can never be taken away. Unlike girls, who become women simply by hitting puberty, boys seem to have to constantly prove that they have become men. We condition this idea by teaching them things like, boys don't wear pink, boys aren't afraid, boys are strong, boys play sports not ballet, boys take risks, boys fight, boys don't sit down to pee like a girl, boys don't cry, boys don't ask for help. With so many societal rules segregating boys, spoken and unspoken, it is no wonder our boys and our men are so worried  about loosing their masculinity. As if walking around in a pink t-shirt would somehow throw a wrench in the biology thing. From the the day I knew that I was pregnant with a boy, I have strived to raise my sons the same way I raised my daughter. Showing them that the world is full of joy and love and that all that joy and love is within them too. That is what they are made of and all the world is for them to explore. Not just the things colored in blue. I happen to be lucky that my sons have a father to emulate that, in my opinion, exemplifies what a real man is. A loving human being who finds joy in his family and who is open and caring and not afraid to be who he is and has no need to prove that he is masculine enough for anyone else. He is not afraid to wear a sling or bring his son to ballet. When we tell our little boys, "that's not for you", or "wouldn't you rather a boy color?", or "boys don't do it that way", we teach them that they are walking a thin line that at any moment might just snap when least expected. We are teaching them that their choices are limited and that they need to choose very carefully or who they are could be taken away. I want to change that. I want to teach my boys and all boys that it is their god given right to become a man. That being a man is something that develops just like womanhood. Through time, experience, wisdom and is nothing to fear loosing. That men come in many diffident colors, shapes and sizes, but  what really makes a man is his heart. And that is something that is filled with infinite possibilities and you can never loose.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

news from the garden

lots of harvesting and eating going on......

 breaking ground on our chicken coop.......

hanging out near the blackberry and raspberry patch enjoying each others company......
only a week or so before our chicks hatch........time to get ready for the new babies. I really do feel like a new Mom all over again.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

52 weeks happiness: week 5

Last week was full of so much excitement, relaxation, fun, friends, family and even a little stress.....but most of all it was chocked full of happiness.

photo by Jessica Earle

 photo by Jessica Earle
 photo by Jessica Earle
 photo by Jessica Earle
photo by Jessica Earle

Happiness and gratitude for.........................

:: impromptu musical moments shared with family and friends.
:: family gatherings, good food, and bones to gnaw on.
:: so many days at the beach with friends: realizing and appreciating the fact that I live less then 10 minutes from sand between my toes.
:: ocean side naps, splashes, fish and big sand holes.
:: days where we had no plans and others that were full of excitement and plans....balance.
:: seeing my own children and all my students light up the stage and my heart.
:: singing a duet on the stage with my daughter for the first time. Holding her hand and knowing this is a moment I will never forget.
:: sitting backstage before the show and taking a much needed deep breath while nursing. Grateful that he needed me at that moment, because I needed him too.
:: my husband and best friend John, and my life with him. I can't think of anyone I would rather be sharing all this with.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

the life of a 5 year old

John was driving home the other day and this is the scene he stumbled upon. The boys had found a mulberry tree in a neighbor's yard  and you can figure out the rest. When I saw these pictures, my heart just flooded with joy. There is nothing that bring me more happiness as a mother than to see my children fully engaged in the world around them. When they are out in nature completely saturated with purpose of their own making everything is as it should be. There is no medal or award given out and there is no one standing watch to tell me that they are above average, gifted, or smart. There is no honor roll or star that they get to pin to their chest for being the best at playing. No, the beauty is that they are engaged and focused at the task at hand without anyone there to tell them how to do it or how not to do it. They are in the continuum and the award they get comes from within. And instead of a metal, that Mulberry tree gave them the best prize of all. Sweet juicy Mulberries! 

Part of the Monday Blog Hop 

Saturday, May 19, 2012

our carolina wren family

A sweet little Carolina Wren set up house in a flower pot under our back deck. There was a tarp covering the empty pot with just a small opening which happened to be the perfect size for the petite wren to fit in to. We have been watching her with her eggs and now new babies each day as she works steadily to find bugs for them to eat. She seems to have gotten used to us being around, although we try and not disturb her too much. That isn't easy with curious kids and adults around. What a lesson in nature. We have been reading all about Carolina wrens since finding the nest. They are simply fascinating birds. One of the funniest facts we learned about them is that the males seek out the nesting locations and build around 10 nests for the female to choose from. After choosing her favorite location, she rebuilds the nest from scratch. I am just so glad that she choose our flower pot this time so we can enjoy watching her babies grow each day and hopefully stay around to have their own babies for us to share the joy of too. I think we are planning to build some suitable bird houses around the property to encourage more of these sweet little birds to stick around for a long time to come. 

Friday, May 18, 2012

this moment: her

This is a special moment from the past week that I want to stop, savor and enjoy.  If you are so inspired, please leave a comment for me with your own special moment and check out other moments this morning at soulemama. 

Thursday, May 17, 2012

grain-free wild mora lasagna

After being diagnosed with ciliac over 10 years ago, I have lived without gluten, but still never felt that my gut was is good shape. I don't been my waist line, but my digestive system. After years of eating a SAD diet my gut was in sad shape. Although my acute symptoms were gone, my digestion was still never great  and I was always left with a bloated feeling by the end of the day. I  always soak  and ferment all my grains, which does make a big difference, but still I had this dreaded bloat and gas.  I have gone on and off of no grain diets over the years, but it isn't until now that I truly believe that my whole family does better without grains and starchy veggies. My sons eczema, that he has had since birth, has finally cleared up and I feel better then ever. We have recently incorporated 1/2 a serving of grains in the form of a quinoa granola that I make (recipe in process) with no ill effects. All in all, I haven't missed the grains too much. I have become quite good at making all our favorite meals with a no-grain twist and I am not hearing much complaining from the peanut gallery. A dear friend of  mine from El Salvador told me about this wonderful wild edible called mora that they eat all the time in El Salvador and it grows here in Maryland too. The other night I made a wild mora  lasagna with layers of egg instead of noodles. I got all the cheesy gooey goodness without the bloat.  The added bonus to all this is that I have an excuse to be creative in the kitchen! 

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

starting our chicks off right

Yes, we are embarking on a new family journey into the land of chickens. Thanks to a good friend of mine who worked so hard to get us the rights to raise our own chickens int the city, we have decided to jump right in. Another good friend of mine,  Denny from Mama Farmer, has been so wonderful in getting us all set up with incubators, eggs, lamps, and so much encouragement. I have been anticipating this day for so long and it is finally here. She brought over the eggs today and we put them in the incubator to let nature do it's magic with a little help and a few watchful eyes. I can't believe that in just 21 days we are going to be the proud parents of baby chicks! I will keep you posted with weekly updates as we prepare ourselves for their arrival and keep them safe and at just the right temperature to be healthy and happy chickens. Here we go!

Monday, May 14, 2012

happy mommy and daddy day

We celebrated Mother's Day and John's Birthday yesterday on the water. It was just the peace and relaxation I needed, minus the fussy tired baby. We did manage some quiet time and some water fun while the baby fell asleep nursing in my arms.. But that is just par for the course being a parent. We spent the afternoon  giving our Mothers a little house concert while trying out our new sound equipment John got me for Mother's day. We ended the day out in the garden for a little garden meditation time.  Quite a fun day it was. Filled with uninterrupted family time. Just what I think we all needed. I hope you all had a wonderful Mother's Day.

Linking up with {into nature}