It was my first day of summer break, and I had come down with an awful upper respiratory infection. It was the hubbub of end-of-the-year academic stress, much of the thankless parts of our jobs as teachers. I was also grieving the death of a recently lost beloved colleague that had created the perfect storm of pathogens. I had let my anxiety and depression get the best of me again as it sometimes does, and I was drained physically and emotionally. At least today I had managed to brush my teeth.
“Multi-Tasking with an Infant: The Joys of Babywearing and Sh*t”
I’ve been on maternity leave for a couple of months now. I send my oldest son (an almost three-year-old egotistical, articulate, wildly narcissistic comedian) to daycare most days and don’t even feel guilty about it anymore. This allows me to be a better mama because I get to devote all of my time and loving energy to my newborn daughter while my son gets to thrive, learn, and be challenged without my constant nagging. This also leaves me with an infant who adores being held…all the time.
As humans we have a propensity to want to influence the outside world, to leave a mark, some sort of legacy. We have a natural instinct to want to communicate and share our lived experiences by way of storytelling. As social beings, we also have an innate need to want to belong, connect and to share knowledge with others who will listen. We all do the best we can with what we have as we try to navigate this odyssey called life.
After an 11 year hiatus, I’ve chosen to resume laser treatments and surgeries to treat my Port-Wine Stain birthmark and hemangioma, making this my twenty-ninth laser treatment and third facial surgery. This narrative is about sharing my most recent experience about this winding odyssey on which my birthmark has taken me. It’s been a humbling journey full of downward and upward spirals. There have been many experiences up to this point, some of which I finally feel ready to share, and there will be many more. I wrote this as a sort of catharsis for me and for others like me. Thank you for reading and sharing.
“Frustration in a Cup: Why I’ll Never Buy a Small DD Coffee Again”
There’s an age old rivalry between coffee vs. tea drinkers. It’s like you’re either a hardcore coffee drinker who wakes up to drink a good cup o’ joe (not drink coffee to wake up), or you’re a devoted tea drinker who’s self-reflective and ever-so pensive. And hot cocoa drinkers are just eccentric peons… It’s a polarized topic for certain. Although I consider myself to be somewhat of a tea connoisseur, I’d have to lean toward the coffee camp on this one. There are many days when I need this, literally, to survive, and people around me will notice if I don’t have my morning cup o’ joe…
Crunchy Tiger Mama’s
Healing Bone Broth Soup
Bone broth soup made from grassfed beef bones or whole organic chicken is always my go-to whenever my kids, husband, or myself are coming down with a cold, sore throat, or worse–achy flu-like symptoms. Most recently, I felt myself coming down with something that had the potential to be something wicked nasty, so I made my homemade cough syrup and bone broth soup.
Crunchy Tiger Mama’s Homemade Cough Syrup
This past week I overdid it and felt symptoms worse than a cold coming on. Too much emotional stress, letting my hair down a little too much this past weekend, as well as too much cold wind (in TCM, wind enters the body through the back of the neck/upper back and feet) will do that to me. As a result, I got the wicked sore throat, head cold, and muscle aches…I knew I needed to make my homemade cough syrup, stat pronto.
Before I made my own toothpaste, it was habit to simply buy toothpaste at the grocery store because that’s what I had always done. I used to look for fancy, flashy packaging and “great benefits” claimed on those gleaming boxes: Teeth whitening, long-lasting fresh breath, cavity and enamel protection, help with tooth sensitivity, and other shining guarantees.
I just bought and used it because that’s what everybody else does. But to be honest, I didn’t know what was in that shit…
“Post-Partum Placenta Encapsulation: You’re Going to Do WHAT?! Why!?”
Human placentophagy–Consuming or ingesting placenta or afterbirth. In less fancy terms, placenta encapsulation. Turning your placenta into capsules …to consume, to ingest like by your mouth. For real? Yes, I’m serious. Initially, it sounds like the most repulsive, disgusting thing ever imaginable. But it is actually quite natural and is universally practiced among mammals and cultures. I had heard of it but was far too scared to try it with the birth of my son.
Growing up in the tiny suburbs of little ole Vermont, I never saw people that looked like me. Ever. There were like three Asians in the whole school until high school, and I was friends with all of them…no joke. And there was that one and only time I saw someone else, a stranger, with a facial birthmark in public.
“Oh My, Diapers! Cloth Diapering 101 for Busy Parents Who Don’t Have Time for (Bull)sh*t”
So, you’re on the fence about cloth diapering? One of my husband’s reservations about cloth diapering when I was pregnant with my first-born was, let’s face it, the P word: Poop. Baby shit. I mean, whether you end up using disposables or not, it’s going to get everywhere–on your hands, their clothes, every horizontal surface within a 10 foot radius, no matter what you do! So, with that out of the equation, you might as well cloth diaper. Not only is it more cost effective for your family, but it’s better for your baby and the environment.