How about that moon…

unnamed-3Did you see it tonight? The full moon was out in all its splendor this evening.  Maybe you were one of the chosen that was able to see the “blood moon” dancing in the sky?  This past year, I have had a new fascination with the moon.  I remember my co-teachers commenting on how the moon affected our students behavior and thinking they were a little crazy way back when.  I didn’t think that these moon moods were compatible with what I believed about God. I thought they were mutually exclusive.  You could either believe in the moon or God. Okay, you could believe in the moon, but don’t even think about believing that it effected anything but the tides.  That would be blasphemy, right?

Wrong.  I have come to understand that you can believe in a Creator AND believe that said Creator uses his creation in ways that are not fully understood by humans.  The moon, its cycles and how it effects other parts of creation (including us) is a perfect example of this.  I won’t pretend to be some kind of moon expert, but I will say, that I I believe it has power–both scientifically provable and spiritual powers over all living beings.

Before realizing that tonight was the full moon, a total lunar eclipse no less, I noticed Sochi was behaving VERY strangely.  She seemed extremely anxious and almost ravenous.  Although she often tries (successfully) to steal food from Leif, tonight she was at it with some serious commitment.  She would not listen to me and it felt as though it was getting a little out of hand.  I decided I would try putting her in her crate while we ate to cool her off and allow us to eat without her jumping on the table.  I sat back down at the table and then heard Sochi screaming.  It was horrible. At first I thought she was anxious about me putting her in the crate but when I turned around I could see that part of the lock on crate was seriously lodged in her mouth.  Son and I both ran to her rescue and it took the both of us to dislodge her.  She has never done anything like this.  After dinner, we had an errand to run for Son and I thought it would be best to take Sochi in the car.  Instead of laying in the back like normal, she climbed over the seat and panted like a mad lady the entire time.

When we returned home, she seemed to calm down until I went upstairs to make the guest bed.  She started this huffy bark and her ears perked up as she stood in the hallway.  It left me uneasy.  The bed was left unmade as I just felt like she was calling me downstairs.  This is after Leif acted like a wild man until 10:30 PM.

The full moon usually gives me a since of peace.  I enjoy it.  I marvel in it.  I love when Leif points it out–its science and spiritualism all in one gorgeous glowing orb in the sky.  Its the same exact moon that our brothers and sisters across the globe gaze at.  Its the same moon that our ancestors studied. Its the same moon that will glow in the sky long after I’m gone. It brings me so much comfort to know this.

Tonight, I will spend much of the evening cuddled with Sochi on the couch–as I’m worried about her full moon behavior and the thought of putting her in the crate (who new sleeping quarters to reduce the amount of bodily fluids I have to clean up each morning).  How does the full moon effect you?


Chocolate Zucchini Protein Power Muffins

unnamed-1Yesterday we pulled out the last of our summer veggies.  The garden beds look bare but I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t feeling a little relieved that the of processing massive zucchinis has finally come to an end.  I must have shredded 100 cups of zucchini this summer.  Much of which is frozen in 2 cup servings in the basement.  The rest was turned into bread/muffins and frozen or eaten or was prepared for dinner.  This past week, I decided to change my muffin recipe up a bit for some added spunk (and protein and goodness).  I had some leftover chocolate hemp protein in the fridge my friend had given me last spring as she wasn’t a huge fan.  However, it was dynamite in a muffin!

Chocolate Zucchini Power Muffins

Oil Free, low sugar, vegan

Ingredients:

  • 6 TBLS ground flaxseed
  • 1/2 cup warm water
  • 1 cup coconut palm sugar
  • 1- 1 1/2 cup apple sauce (I used homemade with chunks)
  • 2 1/2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1 cup chocolate hemp protein
  • 1 TBLS baking soda
  • 1 TBLS baking powder
  • A few dashes of cinnamon and nutmeg
  • 3/4 cup vegan chocolate chips or chunks
  • 3 cups shredded zucchini

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 350 and prepare muffin tin (I have been using parchment paper muffin cups and I love them)
  • Wisk flaxseed and water and then stir in sugar and applesauce
  • In a separate bowl, mix all dry ingredeints
  • Combine dry and wet ingredients well and then stir in chocolate chips and zuchini
  • Spoon into muffin tin and bake for 30-35 minutes.
  • Store half the batch in the freezer for some yummy breakfast treats this winter!
  • Enjoy!

Happy Eating!


Spiders and Mice

Garden spider hanging above our front door

Garden spider hanging above our front door

“There’s a mouse in the kitchen”, Josh proclaimed one evening last week.  I turned to see a tiny gray rodent scamper under my beloved oven.  I shrieked, curses and jumped up (on my good leg).  In a frenzy, I headed for the car, forgetting my crutches, to go purchase some mouse traps.  Upon returning,  I set the mouse traps in various places around the kitchen and went to bed with the creeps.

I pondered, while I was laying there jumping every time one of Leif’s limbs brushed me, why it is that a tiny little mouse in my kitchen freaks me out so much.  I went through the same self talk I’ve gone through many times before when I have discovered critters in my home (cockroaches in South Africa, spiders and rats in Asia/India, and of course mice in Tacoma)–“Many people live with critters in their home and are just fine…The likely hood of it biting you or Leif is very slim…It is more afraid of you that you are of it…and on and on.  I checked the traps several times a day for the next couple of days–empty each time.

On Friday, Leif, Sochi, and I headed to the beach house with my parents.  It was a very relaxing and rodent free weekend. We returned Sunday to find a dead mouse in one of the traps.  I yelped, “I’ve murdered a mouse!!!” I truly felt horrible.  I imagined the tiny little mouse sniffing out the delicious peanut butter I had placed on the trap and thinking it was in for a wonderful treat…and then SNAP!  Broken spine. I realize I set the trap and that a dead mouse was the outcome I was seeking with such a trap.  But I still felt wretched.  I do not want mice in my home–mainly because I do not want them to destroy our home, cause an electrical fire, or poop in our food.  I think I would never sleep again if I ever found one in our bed.  But I also do not feel okay with killing them.  Do I expect everyone to feel the same?  No.  But for me, it seems hypocritical (for myself) to pick and choose which animals I’m okay with killing.  Yes, it is true that mice can cause damage and present some health risks, but I want to give this catch and release thing a try before I go about breaking any more spines.

This is the same for spiders.  I admit, I have smashed some spiders in my day.  In India, Josh and I spent a good amount of time battling a spider that might as well have been a small child.  Just a couple weeks ago, I smashed a spider in our basement that looked particularly menacing and I was in a pretty dark mood–and yet I cried after because I knew that I had killed the spider mostly out of my own grumpy spirit.

It is the time of year in the Pacific Northwest that the weather begins to cool and small rodents and bugs come into the house seeking warmth.  Last week I found a rather large dead spider on the mat that is intended for Leif to sleep on next to our bed (notice I said ‘intended’ because he is usually doing acrobatics in his sleep on our bed).  This evening I removed two spiders from our kitchen floor and let another remain in its web above our kitchen window.  There are two large webs on our front porch with juicy garden spiders devouring a midnight snack as we speak.  Its October.  Its spider time.

My catch and release trap is set in the kitchen and I’m doing my best to let go of my fear of these little critters while still remaining vigilant about keeping our home rodent free.  I will take each mouse to the forest and let it live out its days there (if I even catch any).  I will continue to allow a few spiders to make their home in the corners of our house (they remind me of my kitchen spider, Charlotte in South Africa) and to catch and release their friends that I find crawling across my kitchen floor.

I’m not some super brave girl.  I just don’t feel comfortable with killing.  I remember walking through the Grand Canyon several years ago and being overwhelmed with the amount of life around me–frogs, crickets, beetles, spiders, deer, goats, fish, squirrels… and that was just what I could see or hear.  Our world is full of living things–big and small.  I get that there is a natural order of things–lions must kill to live and sometimes humans must too. But is it necessary for me to kill a spider that will do me no harm just because it was unfortunate enough to end up in my home?   What makes the life of a creature I consider “creepy” less valuable than mine? And where do we draw the line of what is appropriate or inappropriate to kill?  Its something I’m still working out.  How do you deal with critters in the home?


Strengthen and Stretching Routine has Begun!

I officially started my strengthening and stretching routine yesterday.  It felt so good to make my body work a little!  Here’s what my routine looks like this week:

Sunday:  10 Sun Salutations with a gentle lunge held for 10 long breaths on each side with 10 pushups incorporated into each flow.

Monday:

  • 10 lunges held for 10 long breaths on each side
  • 5 seated pigeons on each side held for 10 long breaths
  • plank (front, side, side) 2 min each side
  • 5 pull ups

Tuesday:

  • hip stretches (listed above)
  • plank (front, side, side) 2 min each

Wednesday:

  • hip stretches
  • 10 sun salutations with 10 pushups in each flow
  • 10 pull ups

Thursday:

  • hip stretches
  • 50 ab rollers with wheel
  • 5 pull ups

Friday:

  • hip stretches
  • 100 triceps dips

Saturday:

  • hip stretches
  • 10 sun salutations

Sunday:

  • hip stretches

Also–

  • my incision wounds are clearing up and scabbing over!  Yahoo!  Go honey! Looks like I will avoid the antibiotics this time!  Isn’t nature cool?
  • looking for a doctor that believes food is medicine?  I just discovered Dr. Krause does consultations over the web for those of you who don’t live near Tacoma!  Check out her website (she didn’t tell me about it–I just happened to discover it).

Two Weeks Post-op

Yes, Doctor.  I rested a ton.  Aside from jumping up to rescue my toddler from every high surface he could find and saving my dog from getting her nostrils torn by said toddler.

Yes, Doctor. I rested a ton. Aside from jumping up to rescue my toddler from every high surface he could find and saving my dog from getting her nostrils torn by said toddler.

Woo! We survived two weeks of recovery! Lots of good stuff is happening! I had my first post-op visit with my surgeon’s assistant yesterday. For some reason I thought I was going to get to start my cycling program but apparently I was jumping the gun and have to wait another 3 weeks before I get on the bike.

While I didn’t get to start my cycling program, I do get to lose the crutches and just use them if I’m feeling overly tired or sore. He also gave me a couple stretches. I’m starting with a very very short lunge to stretch out my hipflexor. I will gradually work up to a full lunge. Next week, I’ll start incorporating a seated pigeon to work the other side. Yay! Bring on the stretching.

Immediately after the stitches were taken out.

Immediately after the stitches were taken out.

The nurse also removed my stitches. This was actually pretty unpleasant since my skin had healed over the stitches. I also have a little gu and redness that the PA said may or may not be infected. We agreed that I would wait until Monday to fill the prescription and see if my incisions clear up. In the mean time, I’m putting raw honey on my battle wounds as prescribed by Dr. Krause (my naturopath).

Speaking of Dr. Krause, I also started acupuncture yesterday. Love me some acupuncture. Dr. Krause is wonderful in so many ways. It is the first time in my adult life that I’ve had a doctor that listened to me. While she is not a vegan, she supports me in my diet and when we’re discussing diet for particular outcomes (healing, reproductive health, etc), she adapts my plan to my diet. The goal of the acupuncture is to stimulate circulation and white blood cell production to promote healing. She also gave me a mini-massage with some healing oils. My left leg was pretty tight since it has been in charge of holding my weight the last two weeks. Recovering is going to mean taking care of my whole self! If you live in Tacoma and are looking for a primary care giver, naturopath or acupuncturist—you should give her a call.

How I’m feeling 2 weeks post op:

moments like these.

moments like these

  • Pain level is still pretty low. I’m returning to some normal activities such as house work and grocery shopping.
  •  I am maintaining my high plant protein, high anti-inflammatory diet with a few cheats. Food is an amazing healer!
  •  My anxiety level is still pretty low but has raised a little since taking on more responsibility. What if, instead of returning to my lightning fast pace, I go slower and do less?

1 week post-op!

unnamed-4I survived the first week.  My parents left Thursday night for the beach house and things have been a little wild ever since.  By that I mean, it is nearly impossible to rest.  While I’m letting a lot of stuff slide, there are some things that must be taken care of.  And when Leif grabs my leg mid-crutch hobble, it is quite impossible to move without picking him up.  I had my first full on melt down with tears and all this morning.  Jam was spread across our sheets, fruit flies were swarming our kitchen, and there was a huge pile of laundry (along with jam covered sheets) that needed to be washed.  And a little job dumping water and dog food across the kitchen floor while he smeared peanut butter on the cupboards.

I finally locked myself in the bedroom with Sochi and an ice pack–Leif is naked somewhere in the house or yard with Josh and I’m sure there will be poop to clean up later.  But I don’t even care.  Right now, I am resting and counting the hours until my parents return from the beach tomorrow.

Challenges/Updates:

Incision site is very sore.  And red and swollen.  Only one of them is like this though so I guess I can be grateful that its not both of them!  The stitches are almost completely gone there is just a little bit of drainage from the one that is pretty swollen.  I’m hoping icing and resting will bring the swelling down.

My low back pain is gone for now...this is the most painful part...and even this isn't that bad.

My low back pain is gone for now…this is the most painful part…and even this isn’t that bad.

Yeast Infection.  Symptoms are completely gone!  whoohoo!  Garlic and Yeast Arrest did the trick!  I’ll continue with the Yeast Arrest until the end of the weekend.

Emotional Exhaustion.  The physical stress on my body has led to emotional exhaustion as well.  As mentioned, I had a good cry on the phone with my mom today.  I’m seriously considering having a cleaning company come in the next couple weeks to do a good scrub down of the things that have gotten a bit out of hand–peanut butter on the baseboards for instance.  I want to wait until I’m closer to being able to keep up with the house work so that it won’t all just go to hell the moment they leave.  I know having a sparkling clean house in not the most important thing in the world but it is pretty important to my mental health.  I am able to be more present when my space is beautiful.

Awesomeness:

Leif has taken some epic afternoon naps with me.  I’m so so grateful for those calm lazy moments of closeness.

Be still my mama heart.

Be still my mama heart.

Leif has been able to spend a significant amount of bonding time with my parents.  Sleep overs, trips to the zoo and park.  He’s been getting lots of love.  I already knew my parents were amazing but now that they are gone for the weekend, I am even more aware of just how wonderful they are and how much we need them in our lives!  Thanks, Mom and Dad!

Fun visits from friends that continue to bring delicious food!

I continue to focus on nutrition.  I’ve been eating really well (with a few small treats).

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green apple, cucumber, kale, carrot, ginger, lemon, kombucha, dash of turmeric

Josh took yesterday off and Leif got to go help out with a fun project… and do his first solo ride in the bucket!

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We had a little surprise birthday breakfast for David, our house mate, this morning.  Leif loved sitting at the table like the big boys and licking the pb and jam off his zucchini bread.  I’m so thankful for our sweet little home and all the adopted family members that live in it!

Oh guys, you're so funny!

Oh guys, you’re so funny!

Ready. Set. Heal!


Pain Block Wearing Off…

Yesterday, I became acutely aware that the pain block Dr. Brukner injected into my hip is wearing off.  The la-la feeling I had in my hip, low back, pelvis area is now fading (BUMMER). Replacing it is in ache in my low back and some stiffness in my hip.  The incision pain is also becoming a little more intense (especially when Leif or Sochi sit, kick, or jump on it).

Leif spent Tuesday night at Grandma and Papa’s again and I slept well, other than my anxious mama dreams about not being able to feel/hear Leif next to me in the night. I got to lounge on the couch all morning and then get my hair done by my lovely friend and hair dresser, Carina (seriously, if you live in Tacoma–she’s your gal).

Yep. Mindy Project, My pup, tea, and a good book.

Yep. Mindy Project, My pup, tea, and a good book.

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Carina’s handy work and my pretty new earrings made by a local Tacoma gal.

Leif spent the day with Papa John, Auntie Megan, and Lily at the zoo before coming home to spend the night with us.  Sort of exhausting but so so sweet to have my little within reach at night.

He's so great!  Love my dad!

He’s so great! Love my dad!

Challenges/Updates:

Low back pain.  As mentioned, this is not so great.  I decided to take an oxycodene to help me sleep.  It took the edge off.  I hope to not need it tonight.

Yeast Infection.  Symptoms continue to get better with the garlic treatment and Yeast Arrest.  I think I’m on almost in the clear!  Going to continue the treatment for a few more days.  Maybe keep up with the garlic for a full week.

Awesomeness:

People have been bringing us all sorts of yummy meals and snacks!  I love getting to try other people’s cooking!

Yesterday morning and afternoon were so relaxing!

In between the toddler chaos– I get the world’s greatest snuggles.

This was after dog food was dumped all over the kitchen, crumbs spread on couch, shoe basket emptied, and a wrestling match in which I obviously won.

This was after dog food was dumped all over the kitchen, crumbs spread on couch, shoe basket emptied, and a wrestling match in which I obviously won.

Everyone wants some mama love.

Everyone needs some mama love.