photo-5There is so much green stuff in our refrigerator.  So Much.  It’s overwhelming.   Having a farm share is both exhilarating and exhausting.  Having a farm share means that once a week you will pick up a giant box of delicious veggies that you were so excited about having in February, and now in July, you are planning work outs that include eating salad for time.  I feel really lucky to have all that shit in my fridge, but to say it doesn’t cause me a high level of anxiety looking at all that food knowing I’ve got to find ways of using it before it goes bad, would be a lie.

Today is day four.  Today is the day that the potato chip craving starts.  I’m pretty sure that this must happen to everyone.  Today is the day that I’d rather eat nothing in that full refrigerator, because the only thing my tastebuds will tolerate (I’m pretty sure) is a potato chip.  It’s genetic though, totally not my fault.  My grandmother’s nickname was “Chipper” because she was addicted to potato chips.  I’m not kidding.

I’m going to eat salad.

Here is my go to salad: Greens, cucumbers, tomatoes, kalamata olives.  And a super easy Whole 30 friendly dressing?  Equal parts (1/4 C) evoo and red wine vinegar, 1 tsp minced garlic, and whole bunch of minced kalamata olives and a good pinch of salt.  Mix and toss!

Salad is what I thought we’d be having for dinner.  I was wrong.  We have other veggies that are in far more desperate need of being eaten.  Namely, Chinese cabbage (seriously, I think there should be a limit to the amount of this that one family is required to eat, for cripes sake) parsnips, and zucchini.  Oh good, those three things go together so well… Also…Haddock that I purchased and really have to use today.  So, what does one do with flavorless haddock that God only intended to be eaten by covering with breadcrumbs and fried?  Bacon of course!   photo-7

So…Bacon covered haddock, roasted cabbage, roasted parsnips, and grilled zucchini.   And it’s Thunder storming something nice, so I am a horrible wife, making my husband grill.



Except the joke’s on me, because he made me hold the umbrella while he worked, and made me run in and out to grab this and that.   pschhh.

I missed yesterday’s rundown:  but for breakfast I had a hardboiled egg and an apple.  Lunch was leftover pulled pork and cabbage.  Another peach somewhere in there.  A handful of almonds.  Dinner was steak, roasted sweet potatoes and kohlrabi, and SALAD.

Today’s rundown:  breakfast was an egg over pulled pork (best breakfast, srsly).  A snack of carrots.  Lunch was egg salad with easy mayo over a bed of LETTUCE, with chopped tomatoes, and pickles.  A handful of almonds.  Dinner was the bacon wrapped grilled haddock, which is obviously delicious.  The cabbage, parsnips, and zucchini….also delicious.

photo-8 See you after the 4th!!

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Thank you kind stranger


Look at that sweet child.  She’s adorable, right?  Yup.  She is.   Believe me though, there are a few moments, when that adorable little sweet, turns into something totally different, and awful.   Now look, I’ll be the first person to say that she’s mostly always totally agreeable, and amazing, and smart…but today, her plan was different.   But the story isn’t about her, even though it is…it’s about someone else.  

Let’s start here:  



The plan:  make a return and pick up a few things at the target in Vestal, while en route to picking up the dog who lived with my mom last week while we were away.  

What actually happens:  We successfully get in the door, make our return with such flawless ease that I’m actually feeling a little wary about it.  On to the stuff we need to get…  I pick up exactly one of the four things I need, and the girls want a snack.   Well, okay, it makes shopping easier so let’s go grab something you want to eat, and we’ll move along. 

At this point, some kind of switch flipped in Charlotte’s brain, she goes non verbal, and is just grunting about something she wants to eat, can’t figure it out…  Annie and I both look at each other with bewilderment on our faces.  I’m at the point that I’m actually offering her ENTIRE BAGS of potato chips, to settle her down.  Finally, a bag of sour cream and onion seem to make her happy, and we continue on.  Until Annie wanted a chip.  Shit.  Now we’ve awoken the demon again, and I race back to the chip aisle so that Annie, who up until now was being cooperative, is about to pitch her own fit about not getting a chip.  So I pick up ANOTHER entire bag of chips, for the quiet I need to get some things purchased…things I really do need.  Really. (seriously) 

While in the chip aisle…Charlotte decides she needs a different goddamn flavor of chips.  SHIT!!  No, this is where I’m drawing the line (uh, yeah…I know)  No I am not buying another bag of chips, nuh uh.   

Well, Charlotte drew her line there too….so she starts throwing the ETT, or the  “Epic Target Tantrum”  You know the one….you’ve seen it, right?  Yeah, you know you have…and very likely you stood and stared and wondered what the hell is wrong with this mother and child, and said mother is turning red in the face and feeling very embarrassed.  At this point we are so far back in the store that I’m just doing everything I can to get us to the front where I can PAY for the chips we’ve already busted into.   Screaming, crying, running away…I haul Charlotte over my shoulder, whist being kicked in the stomach and trying to push the cart with a calm little Annie in it, to the front to pay.   

Finally I get to the front, and put Charlotte down, who runs away.   Not too far, and I catch up with her, put her in the cart, and somehow manage to get out my wallet.  The clerk looks at Charlotte and says “I think she looks like she needs to pee”   

Yes.  Charlotte now pees on the floor through the cart.   The clerk, and everyone else just stares at me.  Awesome.   Fan flipping tastic.   Of course, if you’re a mom, and you’ve done this before, you know that I’m about to cry, I just want to pay and leave and also want to scream at everyone looking at me to STOP LOOKING AT ME!!!!!!!!!!!  

So I go to the parking lot, strip Charlotte of her pants, and put her in her seat.  I, like a frigging idiot, didn’t pack additional clothing for my basically pee trained child.  Yes.  I am a frigging idiot.  

I shut her door, rest my head against the outside of my car, and just put my head down in defeat.  I get a tap on the shoulder.  It’s a random woman, with a diaper and some wipes in her hand…she says “It’s okay, we’ve all been there, here’s a pamper and some wipes for you, and you just go ahead and keep the wipes, you’ll be okay”   

I thanked her, put the diaper on Charlotte, got in my car…and sobbed.   Thanked the universe for that woman, who saved my sanity in that moment.   

So…I don’t know who you are.  I’ll never see you again, probably…but you helped me so much in that moment.  Not just the diaper and wipes…but the fact that you saw that I needed something in that moment and you came to my rescue.  So simple, so beautiful.  I hope the universe will repay you a million fold.  

Thank you.  


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1,760 Days

One thousand, seven hundred and sixty is the exact number of days (including the leap year), that I breastfed for.    The last almost five years of my life have been pretty crazy, busy, fun, amazing, and honestly, enlightening.   The one absolute constant has been breastfeeding.   I wrote a piece about two years ago, when I finished nursing Annie, and now that Charlotte has reached the end, I write again.

This time, I want to share what I have learned about breastfeeding.

1.  It is fucking hard – no one really explains this when you’re pregnant.  Everything is all, crepe paper and whipped cream frosting, and then you have this alien looking baby with a mouth that probably doesn’t really  know what it’s doing and a mom who probably doesn’t know what she’s doing, and no sleep, and “wait, is that a perfect latch?” and “how do I know she’s getting enough?” and holy shit, I just had a baby.  It’s hard.

2.  It’s okay that it’s hard –  It’s hard for a lot of people.  Some people it actually DOES come naturally to.  And to some, it’s just painful, and bloody and hard.

3.  If it’s hard there are a gagillion people waiting to help you – ASK for help.  WE WANT TO HELP.  (I didn’t ask, I didn’t know I could,  I suffered, it was dumb)

4.  Side lying will save your life.

5.  Breastmilk cures everything – I have used it on: pinkeye, cuts, scrapes, burns, tattoos.  It heals things faster than any triple antibiotic cream ever could.   I’m bummed that I’m not going to have direct access to it anymore.

6.  Easiest way to keep a baby quiet: Boob.

7.  Most OB’s, don’t know jack doodle about breastfeeding, but Lactation Consultants do.   Probably part of why there isn’t much explanation about how hard breastfeeding is while one is pregnant.

8.  Formula is not the devil – This might sound strange, in a breastfeeding post, but really, it was something that I learned while breastfeeding, and  I think it’s important that breastfeeding moms remember this.  Feeding your baby is feeding your baby, and in a perfect world, we’ll all put our baby to the breast and sing kumbaya or something, but in the current world we live in, please remember that we are just working on getting these little people to be big people.  (Unrelated, but also, don’t fucking tell people how to parent while grocery shopping, or in Target.  It’s just rude).

9.  Donor milk is awesome – If you don’t already know, you can donate breast milk.  Momma’s who don’t produce enough, or any at all (Or perhaps adoptive parents) and want their baby to have breast milk, can get donated breast milk.  Locally, breast milk can be donated just casually if everyone is on board, but there’s also a registry, and people can give away all their pumped milk to people in need.

10.  That even in the Ithaca Wal Mart, people will look at you funny for breastfeeding in public.

11.  That nursing in public ain’t no thing. – The first few weeks that I was nursing Annie, I was nervous about pulling out the nip (surprising, I KNOW), but once we got the hang of it all…I became a public nursing pro!

12.  That there are still states that don’t protect the mother nursing in public.  For shame.

13.  Breast pumps suck.

14.  You can breastfeed from only one breast.

15.  That when you’re done, you’re done.  You know it, and it’s cool.

Be and do good.


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I’m just saving the pickles baby

The history goes as such. I, admittedly am not the absolute world’s greatest house keeper. I am world’s better than I was when Danny and I first met, and I’m also a better cook, and I spend a great deal of time in the kitchen now. Danny is kind of a fusser. He will kind of follow behind, and pick things up, or do the dishes or whatever. Now I’m not crazy, I do appreciate the help around the house, as I know it’s rare to have a husband so willing, but it can be a little annoying. I will have a rhythm all going in the kitchen, and here comes Danny the fusser putting things away that I wasn’t done with, or most recently throwing away and washing out measuring cup that had melted butter in it, because to him it just looked dirty. I was literally seconds away from mixing it with bread crumbs. Oy! All I can do is laugh and throw up my hands!

So Danny tells me this little story about a time he and his family went out west to visit his Uncle Dan.

Danny is about 7 years old, and they’ve gone on an all day camping trip near a cool stream. It’s a very popular place, and so there are a lot of other hikers there. At some point, Danny’s family stops for lunch, and someone put a jar of pickles into the stream….Danny, the watchful eye that he is, notices that the pickles have begun to float downstream, and he leapt up, grabbed the pickles and pulled them to safety. This was such a victory for young Danny, and he was cheered by his family!!! Imagine, 7 years old and saving the pickles, basically saving the day. Further on down the stream, and Danny started noticing that people had left their beer in the stream! At 7, Danny was already well aware of the importance of a drink, so he would, like he had with the pickles, jump right down and save that beer! Only to be told by the adults that people had it there on purpose, wanted their beer to be cold, and most importantly, that it wasn’t their beer.

I laughed and laughed when he told me the story.  Danny said “So, if I’m trying to be helpful and I’m totally not being helpful, just remember I’m just saving the pickles, baby”  And now, if Danny moves or messes with my stuff…I’ll just remember the pickles, and what was probably a very helpful, very proud Danny Doyle.

Pictured below, Danny’s family from…???  Some year between 84 and 86 I’d imagine

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The start of another new year!  Good.  I think it’s mildly unfair, that so much of what I have learned over the years, to help me start to round out my life, be happier from within and such, comes at a time that I have started to develop gray hair, saggy boobs and wrinkles.  But that’s not my point.

I am thankful, that’s the point.  I have so much to be thankful for on my birthday,  and I want to go forward from today with more purpose than I had yesterday.  I saw such a great quote yesterday from the Dalai Lama

“If you can, help others; if you cannot do that, at least do not harm them.”

I love that, and want that to be top of mind in my family.

I saw a quote from  Amelia Earhart that inspires me as well

“No kind action ever stops with itself. One kind action leads to another. Good example is followed. A single act of kindness throws out roots in all directions, and the roots spring up and make new trees. The greatest work that kindness does to others is that it makes them kind themselves.”

We all know this to be true and so we need to do it more.  Just be kind.  Let people be who they are, encourage them, and love them.

Finally also from Amelia Earhart

“The most difficult thing is the decision to act, the rest is merely tenacity.  The fears are paper tigers.  You can do anything you decide to do.  You can act to change and control your life; and the procedure, the process is its own reward.”

So, my aging self, is hoping that what inspires me, and guides me into my 34th year, will inspire you as well.  Be kind today, do something nice, and do the things you are afraid of.


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“Standard Issue Spirograph”

Annie has recently become very interested in games, of which we have a bunch in a closet in her playroom.  Games that we’ve just stashed until a later day when the kids are old enough to play them.   Annie has taken note of said stash.

So, the other day when Danny was with the girls, he became the best dad ever, and introduced them to the Spirograph.   Or as Annie calls it the “Spider Crap”  (okay, that’s not what she calls it, but when she says is, I swear to god that’s what it sounds like)

Annie: “Danny, all those drawings are yours and mommy’s?”

Danny:  “No Annie, just mine.  Mommy had her own Spirograph growing up.  They were standard issue for the suburbs.  Welcome to the suburbs, here’s your Spirograph”

This is Danny’s original spirograph.  Circa 1980.  

Keeps them busy for a little while at least, and they’re working out how to make their circles turn out like the picture on the box.

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I’m ready to move out of the country

Not the country like the US of A, but like…2 miles away from the center of town.  You know, the country.  There are more bugs up here, I’m convinced.  There’s more snow too, but that’s a topic I’ll save for the winter (or if you see weather notes from last winter, I would be corrected, in that there wasn’t any snow at all)  I digress….I’m over the bugs that probably only live on East Hill.

That said, we are in the thick of summer and I have no idea how we got here…it goes fast.   So this is a highlights reel

ImageWe opened June with some serious strawberry picking.  I would have liked to pick about a thousand more pounds than we did, but early June was surprisingly hot (climatechange) and the kids were a little worked after picking for more than an hour…so we ended up with less than a thousand pounds, and I think we’ve gone through them all already!

We also have the great fortune of having a close friend that has a pool, who likes to have us over to swim quite often.  She opened said pool in June and Annie is a total water bug.  She was a tad hesitant at first, to do anything not involving holding onto an adult for dear life, but she got her water legs quickly and now will swim with just a noodle.  She’s soon to swim on her own I’m sure.

Annie was also a part of some swimming lessons, that really got her going in the water.  I doubt there’s any turning back.



Whoa, I can’t believe I almost forgot to mention Annie’s Fourth Birthday!  Well, pseudo birthday really.  Since she falls in the summer, her teacher had

her birthday party during June instead.  For about a week, Annie was convinced she had turned four.  Probably I should have just gone with it and skipped having to throw a party myself… okay, that’s a little bit of the lazy mom talking, but really…would she have known?

The kids spent a little time painting outdoors for father’s day.  It was a near miracle that my whole deck and each of their bodies didn’t end up covered in paint, but I had recently bought a couple copies of the Ithaca Journal for the coupons, and it makes for an excellent drop cloth.  (It’s definitely worth more to me as a paint catcher than an information bearer)  Projects like this show me how very different my girls are.  The goal was to paint a canvas, then have each girl put some handprints on.  After painting the canvas that awful shade of “all colors mixed together” Annie wanted to put HER handprints all over the thing…whereas Charlotte was satisfied putting her handprints where I asked her to.  Either way, Danny loved it and it was a fun project to do.

One of the most important things that happened in June…Charlotte’s actual birthday!!  The baby turned two.  Now, it turns out that, for me, with the second child also comes the “oh, you’re two, you’ll never know if I gave you a big present or not” attitude…and it’s totally true (except for the fact that I’m writing this blog, and now she’ll know…sorry Charlie, didn’t mean to gip you) HOWEVER…she did get a very special birthday surprise.  On the morning of her birthday, I made the decision that I would allow my kids to get all sugared up, and I would just deal with the fallout…and for her birthday Charlie got a new water bottle filled to the brim with M&M’s.  Seriously, happiest.child.ever.  She opened up this box, looked inside, saw the water bottle, was happy about the water bottle, and then realized what was inside, and said, with fervor “Opeh, mommy, Opeh…opeh.opeh.opeh!!!”

It’s fun, this whole thing.

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