Category Archives: kids

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Happy Birthday to Me

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We celebrated my birthday two days ago with a beautiful array of activities and interactions with friends and family.

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The day began with a beautiful 3 a.m. text  message greeting that made my heart sing, accompanied by a funny, musical phone message so garbled that I could barely hear it, because of the bad connection, but it still made me smile.   Things just kept getting better and better throughout the day. Phone calls….gifts….beautiful gestures made by various people.  I truly felt loved.

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John had arranged a beautiful brunch cruise along the Willamette River aboard a yacht.  The weather was cold and overcast, but the sun broke out from time to time, making the trip absolutely perfect.  The yacht was three stories tall, and we periodically strolled from deck to deck, enjoying live jazz and beautiful scenery.

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Here is a little video of the cruise:

Ingrid , shown below with her glass of sparkling apply juice, was the star of the show when she sang happy birthday to me.

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I cried from the sweetness of this gesture, which was something that she cooked up herself.  As you can see, the crowd was also touched by this.    I love how she bends that note at the beginning of the song.  So cute!

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John enjoyed the gorgeous scenery as much as I did.

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The food was exquisite, and we had delicious, fresh mimosas to go with.

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The whole trip lasted around 2.5 hours.  It was peaceful, beautiful, and much appreciated by this birthday girl….and by a little piggy (shown below).

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Afterward, we attended an awesome art show, which I found wholly inspiring.  Then, we went to my daughter’s house for a traditional dinner.  She baked the most delicious coconut cake for me, which Ingrid decorated with pretty gold candles.

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I felt truly blessed this year….truly loved and deeply happy, knowing that those who took the time out of their lives to acknowledge my birth really love me.  Sometimes, I feel like the luckiest woman alive.   This was one of those perfect birthdays that I will never forget.  Many thanks to my family and to my friends who made it all possible.

On Being Politically Correct

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It’s Official! 

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There is no greater feeling in life than accomplishing a goal that one has worked hard to achieve….well, maybe seeing my daughter receive HER masters degree was a greater feeling, but this is a significant personal milestone and I’m feeling pretty good about it today.  Congratulations, me. 😀  

Day #28 – Looking In

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Lavender for Migranes

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Lavender has been studied recently for several purposes including treatment of mood and anxiety disorders, as well as a number of other things. Its analgesic effect, however, its painkiller effect, is one of the widely studied properties. Surprising, then, that there hasn’t apparently been a single documented clinical trial to study lavender for the treatment of migraine headaches that affects tens of millions of Americans every year. Until now: “Lavender Essential Oil in the Treatment of Migraine Headache: A Placebo-Controlled Clinical Trial.”

Migraine sufferers were asked to—at the early signs of headache—rub 2–3 drops of the lavender essential oil onto their upper lip and inhale its vapor for a 15-min period of time and score the severity of their headache for the next two hours. In the control group they did the same thing except they used drops of basically unscented liquid wax. Neither group was allowed to use any painkillers. In the lavender group 74% of patients had an improvement in their symptoms, significantly better than placebo. Though in the study lavender wasn’t directly compared to more conventional treatments, lavender appears to stack up pretty well compared to typical drugs. Lavender helped about three quarters of the time, high dose Tylenol only works about half the time, and Ibuprofen 57% of the time. The #1 prescription drug, generic imitrex, is effective 59% of the time, and then the hardcore treatment they use in emergency rooms where they inject you under the skin, 70%. All of these work better than the original migraine therapy, known as trepanning, where doctors drilled a hole in your head to let the evil spirits escape.

Conclusion: The present study suggests that inhalation of lavender essential oil may be an effective and safe treatment modality in acute management of migraine headaches.

You can buy pharmaceutical grade lavender for $21 HERE.

Day #21-Wet

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A New Adventure for Ingrid

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Our Ingrid has always loved clothes.   She is one of the most innovative, free spirited and creative dressers that I know. We have always let her choose her own outfits, ( for as long as she has expressed an interest in doing so) and she is just one of those kids who has an eye for what looks good.

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It is not unusual to see her decked out in formal attire, strolling through the isles of Whole Foods with her own shopping cart…

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…..  or walking the dog….or to find her strolling about town in designer clothes and shoes of some kind.  She has a fanciful imagination and playing dress up is one of her favorite activities.  We feel that it feeds her creative spirit.

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In a couple of months, she will begin her first year of school and must wear uniforms every day.  Her mother attended private school and one of the main worries at that time was that she hated wearing uniforms.  It didn’t take long for her to customize them in ways that were within the dress code, but that also highlighted her unique personality.  I have no doubt that Ingrid will do this as well…but for now, she is excited about the uniform.  They do offer several options…khaki pants, different sleeve lengths and so forth.  We will see how she does.  The excited part is rather nice.  I wonder how she will feel about it by the end of the school year?

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Down Memory Lane

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John and I hosted a baby shower for this beautiful young woman within days after she had arrived in America for the first time from China as a wee little girl.  She has grown up and has just graduated from high school.  Soon, she will be headed toward her professional career as a ballet dancer.

Time flies.   Congratulations, sweet Ahven!  We are all so proud of you!

Day #1-Many

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Day #28-Pink

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Day 23 – Good Times

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Ok….This is CUTE!

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Apart from the fact that this is a tiny little girl singing a song from a controversial video (that she has never seen, by the way), the cutest thing about Ingrid’s version of “Wrecking Ball” is the fact that she made up her own lyrics.   They are lyrics that make no sense at all.  One of my musician friends, Steve Grandinetti, said that if I took Ingrid to one of his shows, he would just let her take over.  He posted her video on his Facebook for his fans to see.  She will be thrilled when she finds out. 🙂

Day #20 – Equal

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Ballet and Flowers

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Yesterday, little Ingrid participated in her first real ballet since we put her in the Portland Classical Ballet Academy.  It was a modified presentation of Swan Lake, and was utterly adorable.  It is not uncommon for me to cry during live ballet or opera anyway, but big salty tears *really* slid down my cheeks  during this performance as my heart swelled with pride. All of these precious little children working so hard to do their amazing performances really touched me.  They were all so cute.

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Ingrid had been very nervous and anxious about the performance, but you’d never have known.  She exuded confidence and looked so secure and happy up on that stage.  I honestly believe she had a good time, which, for me, was the most important thing.  She worked toward and achieved an important goal, and I think that made her feel great.  She seemed proud of herself afterward, and I know *we* were very proud of her.

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This is Ingrid after the performance, coming out to take her bows with her classmates.  She is the little one second in line from the teacher.

During final bows, each child was presented with a rose.  Of course, we also bought her a gigantic bouquet of them, but these single stemmed yellow roses were really sweet for them to get on stage.  And the thing that touched my heart most was when her parents drove me back home.  As I was walking up to the house from the car, she rolled down her window and called to me, so I returned to see what she wanted.  She told me I was the sweetest Gams in the world and said that she wanted me to have her yellow rose.  Lump in throat.  More tears….but happy ones.  Ingrid is such an articulate little girl…so sweet.

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I smile every time I think of it.  I am lucky.  I am blessed.

And I know it.

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Life is really, really sweet.  Ya know?

Sending kisses to your heart, little Ingrid.

I love you.

Day #17 – Home

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