Saturday, December 31, 2011

Red Cup Season: "Let's Rediscover Why We're Best Friends"

Friends are so important. Not just during the holidays, but all the time. Here's my end of the year take on it. Simple and sweet.

Red cup season is now over. Sniff, sniff. I am an admitted coffee addict, and I love a good cup of Starbucks. Judge me (or not), but it’s what I like. I especially like the simple change of seasons displayed in their stores. It’s not grandiose, it’s not in your face, it’s not religious. It’s just nice. 

Red cup season means the return of pumpkin spice drinks (so tasty!) as well as other delectable beverages to suit various taste buds. I personally am not a fan of peppermint, but the options for uber fattening (unless you choose the ‘skinny’ option) but oh so enjoyable drinks are lengthy. 

This year, the cups featured skaters. ICE skaters. Two of my favorite things, in once place all season. Sigh. In a crazy, stressful world, how could this uncomplicated symbol go unappreciated? I am not one to acquiesce to a lot of marketing gimmicks. We don’t watch or listen to commercials and heaven forbid we look down at the grocery store and see the visual assault that is floor advertising. But as it turns out, the right marketing even works on me.

There was no escaping it. I wasn’t enjoying the cup now simply because it signaled the seasonal change. I was looking at the skaters, and then I even looked at the words on the cup. And the coffee bags. And the door stickers. Let’s Merry. When we’re together, every day is a snow day.  When we’re together, snowmen come to life.  When we’re together, I know I’ll never fall. Ok, that last one, can’t buy that. I’ve been throwing my body at the ice for far too many decades to believe that anyone or anything can keep me from falling. 

Sadly, gravity will always work. As 2011 draws to a close, I have recounted the speed bumps my family has encountered and reflected on what to do with what we’ve learned and are still learning. What I know for sure is that I have a healthy, beautiful family, and an amazing group of women friends around me. Each one of those people feels like a red cup to me. Providing snow, magically bringing something to life, catching me when I fall. Making merry whether or not they feel like it. offering opportunities at every turn to continually rediscover why we’re best friends. And oh how I appreciate those red cups and the warmth they carry. 

Originally published at MomsLA: "Let's Rediscover Why We're Best Friends"

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Just Like That.

The day after my children went on holiday break, one of their teachers died. It was certainly a shock to hear that a beautiful, 32 year-old would suddenly be gone from us, just like that. As I thought about how we would never again see her sunshiny face as we arrived at school in the mornings, I realized that my three year olds were going to need to know she would no longer be there. Initially I was not concerned, thinking that they are too young to handle death just yet. But as the weight of her death settled on me, I realized that they had seen her nearly five days a week for most of a year, more than they had seen most of our family members. As sad as the circumstances are, I was now feeling more weighted down by the news as it churned in my heart. How do you explain death to a small child?

Will they understand? Will they be affected or not? Our family is not religious, but I also realized they would overhear things at school. Words like ‘soul’, ‘heaven’, ‘angel’, ‘die, ‘death’ and more. I am not opposed to using any of those, but as with so many of life’s uncertainties, I had expected these would be used at a later time in their little lives. And maybe not all at once.

At first I told them simply that she would not be there when they got back to school. I figured telling them as soon as possible would give them time to digest it. Then I reflected that they had had therapists who stopped working with them, babysitters who were suddenly no longer there and grandparents who live far away that they don’t see often. So maybe this wouldn’t be a shock to them. I told them she had to go somewhere else, and that she loved them and was so very happy to be their teacher. I asked them to draw pictures and ‘bye bye’ cards for her family, and they did. Then they asked if they could resume playing. Just like that.

The school has given us guidance information about what they will be sharing with the kids. Brief, truthful statements, and a ‘we don’t have an answer for that’ if something gets questioned beyond what the school wants to say. They are being very respectful of different people’s personal beliefs and I am grateful for that. In About Dying, An Open Family Book for Parents and Children Together, Sara Bonnett Stein offers some good advice: “It is the job of parents to support and explain reality, to guide a child toward the truth even if it is painful . . . it is only straightforwardness that gives children the internal strength to deal with things not as they imagine them to be, but as they are.” One of my favorite quotes from Ana├»s Nin is, "We don't see things as they are, we see them as we are”. Would that we lived in a bubble that protected our children from the big bad world forever. Somewhere in between these two quotes lies dealing with life.

Tomorrow is Kelly’s funeral. Although I am sad she is gone, I’m not sure it has truly hit me. When school begins again next week, my children will be exposed to others’ grief, and my instinct is to shield them from it as long as possible. But I know kids are very resilient, and learning to deal with life’s eventualities, some harsher than others, will help them be strong as they grow. So tonight we sat down with them and said the words, “Miss Kelly died”. They stared at us. “Miss Kelly’s body stopped working.” More stares. Then, “Miss Kelly’s body stopped working so she had to go somewhere else Mommy?” I swallowed hard. “Yes, baby.” They repeated this question a few times. Then, “Mommy, can I play with my toys now?”

I will follow their lead, and be there to help them. We will honor her memory, and we will go on.

Just like that.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

I Don’t Cook

I don’t cook a lot. Ok, I don’t cook at all. The only thing I cook well is the most amazing fudge you ever tasted that I only make in December. So when I was invited to dinner by the lovely and enjoyable Kim Tracy Prince, I was looking forward to meeting some other blogger ladies, trying some new food and not having to cook or clean up. It was a nice departure from my usual ‘hang out at my computer until I can’t stay awake any longer’ routine after the kids are in bed.

My stomach wasn’t as agreeable that night as I had hoped it would be, so I had to forego the fabulous looking cocktails in favor of Perrier. A little lemon spiced that right up.

We all ordered different items and shared, and it was as delectable as it was beautiful. I had to laugh at the restaurant name, Buddha’s Belly, because the image conjured up immediately smacks of a full tummy. I’m ok with that. I like food. Especially when someone else is cooking. But I hoped I wouldn’t come away looking like I had a Buddha belly. Not to worry! The food was filling but light, and I left feeling just right. Makes me wonder if I did cook, would my family feel this way? Probably not. I’ve been not cooking for, well, a long time. Why ruin a good thing?

I ordered the Mint Chicken, and not being a fan of mint, I thought that was daring of me. I was pleasantly surprised at the mild flavor of the mint, and loving the cilantro in it. It had a cooling taste that didn’t overwhelm, and the chicken was moist. I tried the Shao Bing as well, which at first glance looked like a paninni.
Again, light flavor but satisfying. My only regret is not following it up with a swish of the Zen Garden (see above). Don’t talk to my scale, but even the rice didn’t weigh me down. Dessert was another story. Have you ever tried Green Tea Tiramisu? If not, you MUST.
Yes, that’s an order. Between that and sampling the chocolate fondue with Margaret Andrews, I pretty much left thinking that I would be eating at Buddha’s Belly from now on.

You can see my arm in the background of several pictures posted by the talented and charming bloggers from dinner that night: Jessica Bern, Florinda Vasquez and Suebob Davis. However, as life with triplets would dictate, eating at restaurants is a treat, not a way of life. The ambience in the restaurant was at a comfortable level.
But let’s face it, most places are quieter than my house. As to not create a disturbance in the fusion cuisine force field, I could not in good conscience bring my brood there. I do plan on returning for a date night, girls night out, or just to try the beverages I missed out on. Oh, and to not have to cook.

Monday, October 17, 2011

I Won!!

I won!! I recently had the chance to be in a vintage/Mad Men style fashion show at the Anaheim Convention Center. What a blast!

(Photo courtesy of OC Blogger Bash)

As one of three bloggers in the OC Blogger Bash fashion show, I had a fitting with Queen of Heartz designer, Letty Tennant, and a vintage hair/make up session for the show.

My dear friend Gina came along for the ride and dubbed herself my ‘personal paparazzi’. She snapped picture after picture of the hired models, myself and the other bloggers, as we practiced riding the convention center's long escalator into the lobby where the party was held.

I met the fabulous and wonderful Romy Schorr of Romy Raves, and Heather Petrey of LAFashionSnob, and the three of us had so much fun. Was I nervous? No way. I have three-year old triplets. Nothing scares me. Ok, only partially true. Falling off my three-inch heels? That scares me. Definitely not the trip I wanted. I have a not-so-secret love affair with drugstore flip-flops. I never wear heels let alone socks or stockings. And although my smile may have belied the perch off of which I was afraid to topple, I managed to stay vertical. My real concern was holding my stomach in after I enjoyed a delicious peanut butter and jelly shake whipped up at the party’s ‘classic car hop.’ WOW was that good! But bad move to have it before the fashion show.
Show time! Romy, accompanied by two of the ‘Daily Hot Guys’ on her descent into stardom, blew kisses to the crowd. Heather, sporting one of her custom made vintage hats, looked every inch a true model. Then it was my turn. I couldn’t see anything with the spotlight in my eyes, so I smiled, hoping my stomach didn’t stick out more than my kids have already stretched it, and did a little twirl on the floor. Whew, gravity didn’t have its way with me, and back up the escalator we went. Camera flashes blinked, we posed, turned, posed some more, and then, it was over. It was oh so amazing and fun! I wanted to go again.

The party was in progress as we headed down to join the fun after the show, where the stunning Kim Tracy Prince won a best dressed award, the MomsLA founders, Yvonne, Elise and Sarah, looked gorgeous, along with Caryn, Adrienne, Alexandra and many more stylish ladies!

The Anaheim CVB and MomsLA outdid themselves with the giveaways and atmosphere. Everyone got tickets to Knott’s and I won tickets to Disneyland and a bowling package. Seems our next OC trip will involve strollers, wipes, juice boxes and chasing down Buzz Lightyear and Mickey Mouse. I don’t get out to many events, but this step back in time was very enjoyable. Orange County knows how to put on a good time! Plus, I got to spend a day with a friend I rarely see. Though the party was 'in the past', that was the real present.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Cheating is Cheating

I did it. I admit. I have been so good for so long. I stayed on the straight and narrow, but then . . . I just couldn’t hold back any longer. Oh geez did it feel so good too. I melted as I reveled in the forbidden. Afterwards I felt shame, regret and I was just plain disappointed in myself. It seemed like a good idea at the time. But it doesn’t count on vacation, does it? It was just the one time. It didn’t mean anything. I wont do it again.

Or will I?

Read more here at Moms L.A.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Come Together

I only just met her. The other ladies I know have been helping her for awhile. Although Kim has cancer, this was bigger. It was about people, women, moms, families, coming together. Do we always need a reason? Maybe. If we have one does it make it easier to donate time, effort and items for a cause? Maybe. I am rarely tempted to donate money to organizations or individuals. I tend to be more local than global. Some may not agree with that, but I know for sure that I can do only what I can do. My first priority has to be my family. Anything I can do beyond that I’ll do. In this case, I not only wanted to help, I was compelled. That is much stronger word, and one I listen to when it comes from my gut.

What I saw was an amazing collective of talents. A fashion show, bake sales, a petting zoo, food trucks, an auction and more. All under the hot sun on a beautiful California summer day. The birthday party before the park event was a great success as well, with live Star Wars characters there to help her four-year old boy celebrate in style. Light sabers for the kids, a very artistic cake and lots of yummy snacks and treats. A woman who was told she would not live to see this birthday was there with her trademark shining smile. The goose bumps rose on my arm as I watched her happiness burst out of every pore. Funds raised that day will help her medical expenses as she fights the ugly creature trying to stop her from seeing her son’s next birthday. Star Wars seemed a fitting theme, plastic light sabers for the kids to battle the bogeyman, as we made a community light saber with our donations and time, and prepare to take collective aim at Kim’s cancer.


“There is a crack in everything. That’s how the light gets in.”
~ Leonard Cohen

Most days I feel pretty good. I’m on top of things. I’m organized. Everyone said things would be easier once the kids got a bit older. Mostly I have a vague recollection of these being people who did not have triplets. There was a brief lull in time where I did believe that was true, and we seemed to be coasting along on a nice wave. It got tough again, then it calmed. Lots of amazing therapists helped, so did the occasional glass of wine. We rely on humor, and that gets us through quite a bit. The not so good days seemed to be drifting farther behind us. But lately it feels like the bad days are creeping back in, and time for recovery from the down side is getting squelched. Today it felt like they were taking over.

We are in the process of obtaining behavioral services for our son, and our daughter, who had intensive behavioral therapy last year, has started having more sensory and processing issues again. Last time I wrote about the noise. I missed the signs of her ramping up to this. Between then and now it has started to feel like no amount of wine or chocolate could possibly take the edge off days with multiple meltdowns, grunting and shrieking instead of talking, and endless spinning in circles to feed her vestibular system. I actually cried tonight. I felt like I was going to crack. And it takes a lot for me to get there. But here I am. Banking on humor, I allowed the corner of my mouth to lift slightly as I told my husband I am planning to willfully become an alcoholic. I am not an addictive person, and I know that isn’t funny to many people. But in that moment I was willing to trade how I felt for how the latter might feel because I was overwhelmed and wanted an escape.

I am so very grateful for my husband. We bail each other out when it gets rough, and he bailed me out. I feel like the world’s worst mother if I can’t manage a conflict between my own three year olds. But this isn't just a conflict. I try to remember that the issues are neurological and not always situational. I try to take my own deep breaths and count to 10. But when I lose it, or yell, or have to walk away, I am left with a feeling of regret that I cannot enjoy my children. It breaks my heart when I can’t find a way to reach them in the midst of their anxiety. It breaks my soul when I realize my limitations, and I feel selfish for being limited. I know it will pass, like a teacup that has broken and been repaired. But I will be tea-worthy again, ready to have more poured in. You’ll only see the crack if you look closely.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Clean Up, Clean Up, Everybody Everywhere!

I used to get chided when I was in the corporate world for not having a messy desk. I had 10 in-boxes, one for each department I managed. I turned paperwork sideways so it stuck out if it was urgent. Everything else got prioritized below that. Then I could just grab what I needed without digging through a pile of junk, old coffee cups and my phone cord (as if my desk would ever look like that). I was often accused of having nothing to do. That wasn’t the case, I just got things done fast. I was often bored.

So when Storitz, the leader in Los Angeles Self Storage, asked me to record my take on cleaning for them, I took a deep breath (coughed a little from some dust and fuzz bunnies), and thought about that. Things aren’t as ‘tidy’ as back in the day when I wore suits and heels. Not sure what to lead with. We have a 14 year-old stepson, three-year old triplets. And I’m a type A who loves things in order. Is that even possible?

I tend to move from room to room over a few days, grouping things together then I move back in the same circle and go through the groups, first sorting, then divesting our lives of unnecessary junk. Did I really think I needed that sunflower salt and pepper shaker set I bought when - geez, I can’t even remember when I bought it. Sigh. I am most motivated when I can no longer stand the clutter. I start tossing toys into bins and magazines into the trash. In the beginning, I did my kids’ share. Then I realized I didn’t have to. I am pretty darn fast at putting things away, and I am extremely efficient. I do a bunch of things well, but I am exceptional at keeping things organized. Apple, meet tree. They could learn to do this too.

My life is crazy busy, and quite full. There is always something to clean, straighten and organize. And I am never bored! Tired, but never bored. And I don’t have to ever wear nylons again.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Bake Me a Cake As Fast As You Can . . .

Click here to read a recent post I wrote on Yahoo. Enjoy!

Kids Like This

What does that mean? My son’s occupational therapist said that the other day in passing, and I know she meant it as a general catch-all about disabled children. But it got me to thinking. Ok, first my defensiveness rose up and I thought, “What do you mean KIDS LIKE THIS??” Then I took a deep breath, which is what I often have my kids do to help them navigate out of a meltdown (which sometimes works). Isn’t it easier to have an opinion about someone or something when it doesn’t affect you directly? So I wondered, what IS my kid like?
I guess I don’t think of my child as a ‘kid like this’. If I am to value his uniqueness, I won’t define him by his Cerebral Palsy, or any of his other diagnoses. Sure, it’s a fact of his life, but so are his blue eyes. I also don’t think of my children as triplets. They are my three children. Who happened to be born at the same time. However, this IS the way it is. Therapy, doctors, insurance, babysitters and planning are part of what we do, just like another kid’s parents plan soccer classes, ballet, skating or homework time. So what does ‘this’ mean? Is he the same as other kids with CP? Is he the same as other three year olds? Triplets? Boys? First born?
He’s funny, charming, sweet, annoying at times, tiring when he wants to walk and my back hurts but I have to help him anyway, smart when I hear him sing the ABCs in French, and three years old when he is screaming in therapy that he wants to stop working and go home and refuses to unfurl his affected hand or walk. Seems normal to me.
‘This’ is what my kid is ‘like’.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Paris . . . ahhhhh

My very favorite city!

What If . . .

I am a realist with a Pollyanna streak. But I ‘what if’d’ myself silly the first year of my kids’ life.
What if . . .
- I’d only had one baby?
- There had been no complications at birth?
- I didn’t have to drag to therapy every day now?
- What if my son never walks?
- What if my daughter always has behavior issues?
- What if I had the time and energy to just make it through a Zumba class?
The list goes on.
Expectations can really mess you up. At some point I realized the only thing I should have been expecting was the babies. We gave ourselves the first year to grieve what our vision of parenthood had been. Then we resolved not to talk about it near the kids so they would not pick up any negativity. Then it was sort of a grieving process again, trying to bite my tongue, find other ways to say things in front of the kids and manage myself.
What if . . . the possibilities are endless. Mostly not good things. But . . . what if . . . the good thing(s) happened? Indeed, what if . . .

Monday, May 2, 2011

Hopeful Parents

Please join me today at Hopeful Parents. Click here to read "For Sport"

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Mommies Can't Get Sick

Mommies can’t get sick. That’s about all I can say. For someone who talks a lot, I feel like I don’t have a whole lot more to say right now. Maybe because I’m so tired. The past month has seen two of my triplets in the hospital for pneumonia, and the third with two ear infections. When the first one got out of the hospital, I was back in with the next one 36 hours later. Same room, same bed, same nurses. I felt like putting our name on the door. If you don’t already know it, a hospital is the least restful place there is. Between the vital sign checks every four hours, the 0-dark-thirty blood draws so labs can be processed and ready before the doctors make rounds, the janitorial staff tidying up at 7am to ‘get your day started’, and the early doctor visit to discuss said labs, I felt like I was studying for finals in college all over again. Without the junk food and the loud music. And that was just me. Sleep was not on the orders for anyone.
My CP daughter has sensory issues, and I was all geared up for her to resist the IV, the blood draw, breathing treatments and just about anything else they might throw in. She didn’t. She was an angel. She spoke in a quiet, gentle little voice and asked me to hold her and for help when she needed it. What a relief. She was out in a little under four days. Her NDA brother on the other hand, became feral after breathing treatments, kicking me, screaming at the top of his lungs, throwing things and generally not inhabiting his own body. Not sure who was in there but it wasn’t “Mommy’s Little Snowflake”. Six days later . . .
 . . . everyone is on antibiotics, doctor follow ups completed and fevers down . . . my daughter gets another chest x-ray to find out part of her lung has collapsed. More breathing treatments and a new medication. My husband has come down with bronchitis and our teenager has a cold. Everyone has kindly offered to help, and oh how I wish there was something anyone else could do. But they can’t. Just have to ride it out. We are all incredulous that I have not gotten sick. Especially after spending two weeks in a hospital room. So I guess I said a bit more than I thought I would, but I’ll say this again because apparently it's true: Mommies can’t get sick.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Buckle Up

Our son had eye surgery last summer. It seemed like nothing to worry about. I mean, he’s had 12 brain surgeries, so what’s an eye surgery? No, I’m not going to a bad story here. It was actually a GREAT thing. I just didn’t know it at the time. I of course expected it would help him. But I was unprepared for just how much. For a kid who could have been taken off life support, (they asked if we wanted to do that after he had a stroke), he has become a pretty remarkable little guy. Despite not being able to predict his outcome, we elected not to remove life support, and it seems that each and every thing he does is incredible to us. Perhaps because we had no expectations after that initial blow.
The afternoon after his eye surgery, he commented that he was seeing ‘two daddies’. Our hearts sank as we started to panic, thinking that maybe he had double vision and would need further surgical intervention. We swallowed hard and went to the follow up appointment the next day. The doctor practically did a happy dance while explaining that this meant both eyes were working together with the brain for his vision. Say what? I had butterflies in my stomach. Of all the things this child has been through, this is the one thing that has been able to be somewhat corrected. I could hardly breathe I was so excited.
Since then, our son has made great strides, literally, in his walking, standing, and fine motor skills. Given that Cerebral Palsy does not worsen, anything he can learn and do early gives him that much more of a chance to succeed physically. But what it’s truly done is give him, well, attitude. Confident, I can do it myself, attitude. Last week as we placed him in his height chair, he insisted he could buckle the straps. It took over six minutes, but we bit our collective lips and let everyone’s stomach growl and let him do it. Today he is down to less than two minutes, and after the first ‘click’, he asks, “Should we do the next one?” I ask him if he wants help and the answer is always, “I do it!” While I want to help him, I know in my heart that both allowing him and making him do it himself is the right thing. I’ll bite a hole in my lip if I have to, to get him the confidence and independence necessary for life. His siblings wait anxiously with us as we watch him struggle each morning. Their clapping and ‘hurrays’ for him put a glow on everyone’s face. A great way to start the day for us, a great way to start life for him. 
* * *
Originally posted at Hopeful

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

All Geeked Out

My husband calls himself a geek. I guess that makes me Mrs. Geek. He is a computer programmer, and I am a self taught computer and gadget junkie. Together we ride the wave of electronics, internet and social media samplings, each more enticing than the next. In our spare time we instant message each other from across the room. On date night we go to the book store. With our computers. Romantic, no? He gets up to browse the programming section while I, glued to Facebook or a blog writing project, cozy up to my wireless mouse. We understand each other.

Why then, were we shocked to see our toddlers, all three of them, figuring out how to access YouTube, Angry Birds, Pandora and more – on the phone, the iPad and the computer.
At first we were so proud.
“Look at that!” we exclaimed, as our two year old easily navigated the on/off button of the iPad.
“Ohhh, how cute is she!” we remarked, as our other two year old found her way into YouTube and shrieked with excitement at a ladybug video.
It seemed harmless. We were amazed and choked up when our third two year old, who has Cerebral Palsy and motor development issues, was confidently able to navigate through several layers of an educational flash card program. We were overjoyed at his physical ability, and immediately proclaimed the iPad as a turning point for therapeutic use. My husband got to work writing applications to support our son’s needs and we were very excited.
Then we came back to Earth and realized, if a child who had a major stroke and has motor delays and perhaps other delays can so easily access this and other devices, what dangers lie in wait? It’s thrilling to see that our children can so easily learn how to use things that will, we believe, enhance their learning and life experiences. The untapped potential is overwhelming to think about. But so are the commensurate dangers that lurk. Our 14 year old is joined at the fingertips to his phone and friends. We require his public use of the phone and computer, and routinely ask him specific questions about with whom and what he discusses. He knows we can and will step in at any time. We didn’t have cell phones or computers when we were 14. Kindergartners now have computer lessons. What will the digital age be like when our toddlers are in high school? As with any other parenting approach, we believe that being too harsh can backfire, but being too soft is and saying ‘do as I say and not as I do’, is not an effective strategy. So as easily as we allow them to learn and explore, we also monitor and guide their access. Kids model what they see. If they see us on the computer a lot, they need to also see us behaving appropriately. Our teenager is on the hunt for life. More curiosity will follow with the little ones. Despite encryption and other ‘safeguards’, the digital world has a great deal of uncertainty with how information is handled and will be handled in the future. Learning how to manage this at home FIRST is the most powerful tool a child can have in their arsenal as they enter any world beyond their front door.

Originally posted on the Yahoo! Motherboard/Shine!

Poppin’ the Cherry

I have never been a fan of cherries. Maraschino, sweet, sour, pie, or any other kind, never held any appeal. So when a friend asked if I wanted a tart cherry margarita, I hesitated. Then she told me that cherries have anti-inflammatory properties. What?? I can have a tasty libation that is healthy? This required more research. I watched her pour measured amounts of tequila and, ok, I don’t actually know how to make a margarita, so I don’t know what she poured. But as I watched, I became more curious. Would I like the taste? Would I feel relaxed? Well, probably relaxed, but that would be the tequila speaking. It turned out to be a lovely beverage, though it looked murky and foreboding. For someone who doesn’t drink much, I was pleasantly surprised that I experienced no aftereffects the next day. As a lifelong athlete, I am no stranger to inflamed knees, hips, etc. So my research extended beyond the rim of the glass and I discovered that they are quite beneficial to your health.
In 2008 surveys conducted by IRI Data and The Hartman Group, cherries were identified on a trend as a homegrown ‘super fruit’. The studies claimed that tart cherries in a variety of forms have among the highest levels of disease-fighting antioxidants, when compared to other fruits, and 19 times more beta carotene than blueberries or strawberries.
Tart cherries contain:
• Anthocyanins - provides natural pain relief and neutralizes inflammation
• Flavanols - improves blood flow and lowers blood pressure
• Phenolic Acids - powerful antioxidants
• Phytochemicals - reduces risk of major chronic diseases
• Terpenes - essential oils from plant elements
• Melatonin - helps regulate natural sleep patterns
Consuming just a few tart cherries daily can make a difference. Can you imagine not having to take aspirin or pain relievers any longer? Seems pretty easy! I’m off to go look up how to make a margarita.
Originally posted at Technorati Women

Monday, January 31, 2011

Falling. In Love.

The first time I fell in love, I was 11. The white glow emanating from my suitor drew me in, despite the contrasting cold, frigid atmosphere. I drifted forward in a cult-like manner, knowing I would be forever changed. The dizzying way I walked with this new love, slipping, sliding, groping for upright forward movement. There was nothing that could have kept me from falling. Well, except gravity. After three decades of throwing my body at the ice, I still curse the inability to repeal that law, but I am still in love. 
It didn’t matter that I wasn’t a very good skater, or that my family didn’t understand the skating world. It didn’t matter to me that I had to work at the rink to pay for ice time. I begged and negotiated my way into private lessons, rode my bike to the rink and got up at 4:30 in the morning to practice. That’s what the good skaters did. I needed to do it too. Much later in life I realized I really wasn’t so bad at skating, I had just been extremely low in self-confidence.
My daughter first stepped on the ice at 18 months and just skated in her first holiday show. My son tried it a few times. They now ask me to watch it on TV, pointing out the skaters’ jumps and identifying spins – correctly. They just turned three. I want them to like skating, but I’m also afraid they will. I can’t make up my mind. Sports are healthy, and I want them to be confident. I love that they practice jumping up and down and spinning in the living room. They stretch out their arms yelling “Ta da!” at the top of their lungs, curtseying and bowing.  
My iPod is inscribed with ‘Fall down seven times, get up eight’. Falling is a part of life. Skating has given me so much, and whatever sport they take up I just want them to have determination for something inside of themselves. I clap when they tumble down and tell them it was a good fall. I encourage them to get back up quickly. They watch the skaters on TV fall and look at me. I clap and tell them all skaters fall and point out that the skaters got up again. I have also competed as an adult for 15 years and skate weekly. Last year after 12 years out of competition, I entered four events. Not sure what I was thinking, only that I had promised myself after having kids I would give it another go. I even won one. But what made it incredible was watching them watching me through the glass, knowing this was for them too.  
They often ask to watch my competition DVDs, clapping and squealing, “Yay Mommy!” Even when I fall. That’s my favorite part. This is when I know in my heart that they can love skating. That they should love something the way I love skating.