Archive for The Naked Life
The last few weekends have been filled with to do lists. Cleaning out the garage, planting our vegetable garden, training for our half marathon in June and working on our upcoming cookbook. This weekend we tossed aside the to do lists and planned a fun adventure to Point Loma in San Diego. The tidepools in Point Loma are amazing and if you time your trip just right and arrive during low tide you can find all sorts of wonderful things lurking in the pools.
There was a pretty thick marine layer that stuck around for most of the day so it was mostly cloudy and it kept away most of the tourist. The waves coming in off the ocean created some beautiful splashes and it was so peaceful listening to them hit the cliffs just below us.
When visiting the tidepools it’s important to wear non slip shoes. The rocks are very slippery and large areas are covered in green algae. You can also plan on getting somewhat wet. If you’re not a 5 year old who likes to splash in puddles then you can stay pretty dry but the tide rushes in very quickly and you’re likely to find yourself with water up to your ankles in only a few seconds.
The tidepools are filled with hermit crabs like this little guy, sea anemones, crabs, octopi, starfish, sea urchins and mussels. We had a great day and the kids loved every second of it. If you’re ever in the San Diego area I highly recommend a visit to the tidepools. You can get more info on them here - http://www.nps.gov/cabr/naturescience/tidepools.htm
I can’t believe it’s been almost a year that we’ve been living in Southern California. One of the places I’ve been most looking forward to visiting is The Flower Fields in Carlsbad, CA. By the time we moved here last year we had missed their viewing season which ended in May. This year however, we were one of the first in line. The kids are currently studying about plants so we brought them along for a little homeschool adventure. What a beautiful place the fields are. Here’s a photo highlight of the beautiful sites we saw.
This past weekend my family and I took a little mini vacation up to Big Basin Redwood State Park. This was the first time I had ever seen some of the giant redwoods. Words can not adequately describe the wonder and beauty of these amazing trees. It’s impossible to capture the sheer size in photos alone but here are some highlights from our trip.
This weekend was filled with exploring, whale watching and some serious cleaning up!
Friday was such a beautiful day and the kids decided we should do some exploring outside! One of the many benefits of homeschooling means we get to enjoy the outdoors as much as we want. We got our magnifying glasses and decided to see what fun things we could find in the great outdoors.
We ended up walking about 4 miles and spent the entire morning and part of the afternoon outside. It was awesome! We spotted a beautiful iridescent hummingbird, lots of snails and a couple of ground squirrels. The weather couldn’t have been more perfect with clear blue skies and tons of flowers in bloom.
It’s whale watching season here in Southern California so on Saturday we decided to take our boat out and see what we could find. We headed out of Oceanside Harbor and went north towards the super cute little town of San Clemente.
There were some pretty decent swells that we hit and of course Caleb, our natural born boater, loves riding the waves. The bigger the better. Keegan tends to get sea sick so she stayed home with Gram.
We didn’t actually end up seeing any whales but we did see a school of dolphins. There were about 5 or 6 of them and they came up real close to our boat. Caleb was super excited to see dolphins for the first time ever.
The rest of weekend I spent cleaning out my kitchen pantry. It’s been on my to do list for weeks now and I finally got around to it this weekend. I had bought a bunch of plastic containers and labels so that I could put all the different flours, rices, beans, pastas, etc. in their own separate contains to better organizer my pantry. I think I’ve watched one too many Hoarders episodes cause I went on a major purge and got rid of a bunch of crap and didn’t stop at my panty. I’m halfway through my entire kitchen and it’s feeling so good I might just call this an early spring cleaning. I love getting organized! Now it’s time for bed. It’s been a fun filled yet exhausting weekend! Night all!
Today my husband and I headed out to Escondido, CA to hike Boden Canyon. It was a perfect day for a hike – 62 degrees and mostly sunny. There are 2 trails at Boden Canyon, the north and the south trailhead. We decided to hike the north trail as it has beautiful views of the Santa Ysabel Creek.
The trail itself is only 2 miles but it’s mostly switchbacks and there is a lot of straight up climbs. We stopped every so often to catch our breathe and take in the gorgeous scenery. When we reached the halfway point we had a fantastic view of the valley below.
We stopped at the top of the mountain and had a picnic lunch. It was amazing being so high up and taking in the views. Plus it was nice to rest! It was definitely a workout hiking it up the mountain. After our lunch we headed back down and couldn’t believe how far up we had hiked!
We had an awesome time on our hike today and we’re looking forward to doing the south trailhead in the future. We also plan on coming back to the canyon in the spring when the plant life is bloom. I’m sure my hamstrings will be feeling it tomorrow but I had a fantastic time and it was a great way to start the weekend.
It’s Friday! Hello weekend. Here are the things I’m digging this Friday.
1. I totally want one of these t-shirts.
2. Do you have inner princess that is begging to come out? I do and these are so on my wish list.
3. It’s been almost 10 months that we’ve been living in Southern California and I am still amazed every single day by the weather here. This ‘winter’ the average temperature have been about 70 degrees with bright blue sunny skies almost every single day. It’s truly amazing living here. The last few days the intoxicating smell of jasmine has been floating through our windows. It’s in bloom right now and we are fortunate to have several bushes in our yard. When I win the lottery I plan on having a backyard filled with jasmine.
4. Next week is Valentine’s Day. Anyone doing anything special? I have a new burger recipe that I’m going to try out along with a caesar salad. I’m crossing my fingers that the caesar salad dressing turns out.
5. Speaking of V-Day I think this is a such a cute gift for the ladies out there.
Happy Friday Everyone! Have a healthy and fun weekend.
It’s been almost 10 months that we’ve been living in Southern California and I still can’t get over the amazing weather. It’s freaking FEBRUARY and today was 75 and sunny. What’s even freakier is that it’s like this EVERYDAY! It’s WINTER!!!!
The kids have been asking to go on a picnic so we figured today was a perfect day for it. Before we left on our picnic adventure we decided to take the kids on a bike ride. Keegan has shown zero interest in learning to ride without trainings until this week. For some reason she all of a sudden decided now was the time to learn. So off the training wheels went and away she rode! One push from us and she was on her way.
Caleb got in some additional practice too! Even though he’s been able to ride without training wheels for awhile now he doesn’t ride his bike enough to get a lot of practice. He loves riding his razor scooter and usually picks that over his bike each day.
After spending an hour or so riding around we decided to head over to the local pack for our picnic. Of course the bikes had to come with so we rode around a bit before the lure of the playground got to be too much for the kids. They had an awesome time playing on the monkey bars, the swings and the climbing ropes. They must have been starving because they actually asked to stop playing and eat! We found a perfect spot in the shade under a tree and had lunch.
I don’t know why we don’t go on picnics more often – we had a blast! It was so much fun sitting on the blanket together, watching the kids be goofy and enjoying the outdoors.
After lunch we let the kids ride around the park a few more times and after watching Caleb hit his knees on his bike while pedaling we decided he might need a bigger bike. We packed up and headed over to Toys R Us and picked him up a new bike. We knew it was only a matter of months before Keegan outgrew hers too so she got a new bike as well. Luckily they came assembled and we were able to take them home and give them a try. Much better fit for both the kids! Cliff even gave Caleb’s bike a whirl!
While I’m completely exhausted, it was a fabulous day! I probably got in a good 2 miles of running from chasing after the kids on their bikes today but it was worth it. I couldn’t be more proud of my baby girl learning to ride without training wheels and I had one of the best lunch dates ever with my family. I can’t wait until next weekend! We’ve got a taste of picnicking and we’re craving some more!
Life is pretty much back to normal. I like it that way. I’m still a little bruised and pretty numb but I’m back to doing all the stuff I always do everyday.
Last night was hard. Really hard. The reality of what tomorrow was going to bring FINALLY sunk in. Of course I would wait til the very last minute to deal with something. I always said I’m just one day away from figuring out how to postpone tomorrow until tomorrow.
It was actually a really nice night. I went out on the trampoline with the kids and bounced with them knowing that it would be a quite a while before I could do that again. Then Cliff got in and really gave them some good bouncing. Sitting there, watching my beautiful family, I realized just how scared I was of having surgery tomorrow. The floodgates opened and I was a sobbing mess.
While my decision didn’t change at all I mourned over the loss of what was permanently being taken away from me. I’ve never been that attached to my breasts. I developed VERY early and they consistently cause me pain and ridicule as a child. But as I’ve gotten older I’ve become much more accepting of my body and the fact that my breasts shrunk from a size 36D to a 34B helped a lot too. Would I have ever made the decision to chop them off – NO! I cried knowing that I would never again feel them again or have my husband touch them. A part of my body, one that fed my little baby boy would be taken from me tomorrow. Later that night in bed I sat there watching my children and wondered what they would think of mommy. What would Keegan think when she got older and she had breasts and mommy didn’t? What would they think of me?
Luckily all the crying made me exhausted and I was able to fall asleep pretty quickly. I awoke this morning at 4am to Keegan’s sweet little face. She wanted to crawl into bed and snuggle with me. I laid there with her and held her at tight as I could. My baby girl. From the moment I had her she’s clung to me with abnormal strength. I remember the first night in the hospital with her and the nurse tried to put her into the crib in the room. Keegan screamed until the nurse couldn’t stand it and gave her back to me. Things haven’t changed much in 5 years. There is no where she’s rather be than with me. I feel the same.
Later, I crawled out of bed and checked on Caleb. My little angel. So sweet and good. So worried about everyone else and making sure they are happy. I kissed the top of his head and breathed in this scent. He never ceases to make my heart happy. I can’t help but smile when I see him. His goodness fills me with joy. I remember the moment I saw him for the first time and couldn’t believe that something so perfect and so beautiful was actually mine. Each day he continues amazed me…
Kissing them both goodbye this morning was one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do. This was it. We were on the way to hospital. I went into auto pilot. Answering everyone’s questions, getting undress and into the hospital gown and having the IV put in. Then I broke down again. I couldn’t stop the tears. The reality of losing a part of me was slapping me in the face.
I said goodbye and gave Cliff a kiss as they wheeled me to the operating room. I couldn’t stop crying. I heard one of the OR nurses behind me say that they should give me something right away to calm me down. Apparently they took that advise because a few seconds later I could feel my whole body relax and I was out cold.
Less than 2 hours later it was done and I was in the recovery room. I wasn’t in much pain. I didn’t look down at all.
I was still pretty out of it when we got home and immediately fell asleep for a couple of hours. When I woke up most of the drugs were pretty much gone and I felt a lot more alert. I slowly got up, walked to the mirror and lifted my shirt. I knew it wasn’t going to be pretty and it wasn’t. I had a scar almost the entire way across my chest. I had drainage tubes coming out of me that looked almost alien. I cried. This was not my body, the one I’ve had for 30 some years. Cliff came in and told me I was still the most beautiful thing he’s ever seen. Gosh I love that man!
The pain itself hasn’t been bad at all. I’ve only taken Ibuprofen and hopefully won’t have to take any additional drugs.
I’m sure I’ll have more days ahead of me that will be filled with tears but for now I’m happy to be alive and celebrate my little guys 6th birthday tomorrow. It situations like this that help you realize the real important things in life. Giving up apart of myself is nothing when compared to spending my life with a man who completes me and children who I live and breathe for.
I recently got an email from a friend (let’s call her Lucy) who had serious concerns about me and my family being vegans. Here’s my rant.
Lucy was concerned that we will be lacking B12, protein, iron, zinc and calcium. First of all, eating meat and dairy doesn’t not mean that all your nutritional needs will be meet. In fact I’m pretty sure that most of the overweight and obese population are lacking in WAY more areas than most vegetarians and vegans. Why is it that so many people worry whether or not vegans get enough protein and calcium but no one seems that least bit worried about “carnivores” and if they are getting enough fiber and water soluble vitamins, among other things. Let’s not even talk about the fact that nuts, seeds and legumes provide just as much protein as animal meats or that there are dozens of other sources for calcium that contain MORE calcium per serving with less calories than milk or dairy products. I also think it’s outrageous that people who eat a diet of fruit and vegetables receive criticism yet those who eat french fries as a vegetable source and drink OJ as their only fruit don’t have judgement passed on them as long as they eat a steak and drink some milk.
On top of receiving the email on that same day I had an encounter at a ‘kitchen gadget’ store that practically sent me over the edge. My kids have been asking me to make some vegan doughnuts for them so this weekend the hubby and I headed out to a local Williams Sonoma to pick up a doughnut pan. Upon entering the store we were asked by the sales associate if the kids would like to try a sample of the sausage in pasta sauce that they had just made. Knowing that WS doesn’t carry any organic products or clean ones that I know of we kindly said no thanks and explained that we were vegans who eat a strictly plant based diet without added sugars and preservatives. The sales associate looked at our kids as though they were deprived orphans who had never had a decent meal and said “Oh a little meat won’t hurt them”. WTF?
Is this what we need to teach our kids? A little meat won’t hurt you. A tiny bit of sugar won’t kill you. A little white lie is ok. One puff of the cigarette is fine.
You’re right, a little meat won’t hurt them. But it won’t make them strong and healthy either. I’d rather teach my children about the foods that will benefit their bodies and show them that making good food choices are easy and fun. Instead of popping them down in front of the TV where they are shown over and over again that ‘Milk does a body good’ and ‘Fruity Pebbles is part of a nutritional breakfast’, I’ll spend time with them and show them how their bodies work, what foods make it strong and healthy and what steps we can take to grow up knowing that we eat to live, not live to eat.
Ok, my rant is over. BTW, I got the doughnut pan. My first attempt at doughnuts produced an AWESOME tasting doughnut but the texture wasn’t right. Tomorrow I will try again and I’m crossing my fingers that the adjustments I have in mind with reward me with the perfect vegan doughnut!