No rest for the wicked

I woke up this morning with a migraine and proceeded to throw up. Poor Ava was so sweet. She was very concerned about me hugging the toilet and making the barfy noises I was. :( So I managed to blurt out, “Mommy’s very sick.” She kept saying, “very sick.” Then I told her that “Mommy had to throw up.” And she kept saying, “Ava throw up too.” She’s such an empathic little girl.

I did start feeling better later in the day, only to come down with the cold Ava’s had the last few days. Ugh.

Why don’t mommies get “sick days?” :(

Where’d the Easter bunny come from, after all?

Today is widely celebrated as Easter Sunday, the day that Christians believe Jesus Christ rose from the dead – on the third day after being crucified.
But if the holiday is supposed to focus on Christ and his resurrection from the dead, have you ever wondered what’s up with all the bunnies and eggs?

I’ve done a bit of research lately about the origins of Easter (more here) and came across the following About.com article on how the Easter bunny and eggs tie into all of it. I thought it was an interesting read and worth sharing, especially since we saw someone dressed up as an Easter bunny and kids having an egg hunt at a local park this morning and then we had our own egg hunt in the yard for Ava this afternoon. (She LOVED it by the way. Pics will follow at a later time, of course.) :)

Ostara’s Hare
From Jennifer Emick
The Pagan origins of the Easter Bunny

Have you ever wondered where the celebration of the Christian holiday celebrating the resurrection of Christ acquired its unusual name and odd symbols of colored eggs and rabbits?

The answer lies in the ingenious way that the Christian church absorbed Pagan practices. After discovering that people were more reluctant to give up their holidays and festivals than their gods, they simply incorporated Pagan practices into Christian festivals. As recounted by the Venerable Bede, an early Christian writer, clever clerics copied Pagan practices and by doing so, made Christianity more palatable to pagan folk reluctant to give up their festivals for somber Christian practices.

In second century Europe, the predominate spring festival was a raucous Saxon fertility celebration in honor of the Saxon Goddess Eastre (Ostara), whose sacred animal was a hare.

The colored eggs associated with the bunny are of another, even more ancient origin. The eggs associated with this and other Vernal festivals have been symbols of rebirth and fertility for so long the precise roots of the tradition are unknown, and may date to the beginning of human civilization. Ancient Romans and Greeks used eggs as symbols of fertility, rebirth, and abundance- eggs were solar symbols, and figured in the festivals of numerous resurrected gods.

Pagan fertility festivals at the time of the Spring equinox were common- it was believed that at this time, when day and night were of equal length, male and female energies were also in balance. The hare is often associated with moon goddesses; the egg and the hare together represent the god and the goddess, respectively.

Moving forward fifteen hundred years, we find ourselves in Germany, where children await the arrival of Oschter Haws, a rabbit who will lay colored eggs in nests to the delight of children who discover them Easter morning. It was this German tradition that popularized the ‘Easter bunny’ in America, when introduced into the American cultural fabric by German settlers in Pennsylvania.

Many modern practitioners of Neo-pagan and earth-based religions have embraced these symbols as part of their religious practice, identifying with the life-affirming aspects of the spring holiday. (The Neopagan holiday of Ostara is descended from the Saxon festival.) Ironically, some Christian groups have used the presence of these symbols to denounce the celebration of the Easter holiday, and many churches have recently abandoned the Pagan moniker with more Christian oriented titles like ‘Resurrection Sunday.’

Note: This post is not meant to criticize anyone’s beliefs or say they are wrong. To each, his/her own. :) I just wanted to share the information I found for those who might be curious to learn about the bunny and egg origins, as I was. Of course, if you have information to the contrary, you are welcome to share it too.

Hope everyone is having a lovely day! :) It’s sunny and in the 70s here and couldn’t be a more perfect spring day.

Ugh – taxes!

Here it is April 15 and we still haven’t filed our 2005 income taxes. Maybe I shouldn’t be admitting it on my very public blog, but the good thing is that since “tax day” falls on a Saturday this year, we have until Monday to file. So we aren’t late – yet. What a relief!

Generally we would’ve filed by now, because let’s face it, everybody wants their tax return. But…this year we aren’t getting any money back. In fact, we owe. (Not a lot, but still.) Jody adjusted his withholdings this past year so that we’d get the maximum amount of money in each paycheck so we could afford to actually pay our bills. (Novel concept, I know.) But because of this, the gov’t didn’t get quite enough and we owe a couple hundred bucks.

Anyway, I am thankful for Turbo Tax and the fact that we pretty much have our taxes already done, we just need to give it the old once-over and submit it and send off our hard-earned moolah. Should be pretty easy, so why do we keep putting it off?

Off to the dentist (and other stuff)

I’m embarrassed to say it, but I haven’t been to the dentist for a cleaning in over 2 years *gasp* – since before Ava was born.

I grew up going to the dentist for cleanings every 6 months without fail. Mom was very good about that. It was something I kept up for the most part after I left home. I prided myself on not having a single cavity until I was in my late 20s and was shocked when it finally happened.

Anyway, my regular dental appointments were easy to keep up, that is, until I had Ava. It seems once you become a mommy, you don’t always take the time for necessary upkeep for yourself that you need to. I know I should have gone, but then there was a change in our insurance and we didn’t have coverage at *that* dentist anymore, and I just let it go from there.

Well, as a result of my lackadaisical attitude, I think I now have more than a few cavities. :(

It’s not that I haven’t taken care of my teeth since then – I still brush and floss regularly – but I really think the professional cleanings make a good deal of difference.

I bring all of this up because I finally made myself an appointment and am going for a cleaning tomorrow (Tues.) morning. I’ve never been afraid of the dentist or had any worries about going there, but I admit I’m a bit afraid of what they may find tomorrow. However, I know it’s better to get in there sooner than later, before any problems I may have worsen.

I’ll keep ya posted. ;)

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In other news, had a nice weekend here. Went back to the dairy farm on Saturday and saw the goats again. Then had a yummy lunch of Chinese food and hung out at Jody’s work (the place was empty) and played a round of pool. Jody won. :oP On Sunday I had a maternity photoshoot for a friend, which went pretty well. Didn’t do much for the rest of the day, other than spend some time outside because it was gorgeous out, but that was cool with me. Oh, and I made my own marinara sauce (yum!) using fresh tomatoes and we had pasta (that Barilla Plus brand which is really good) for dinner.

Today, after a trip to Vitamin Cottage for some groceries, I tried out a recipe for Black Bean and Sweet Potato (with Kale) Enchiladas from my “Vegetarian Mother” cookbook. Got to use up some of the veggies we got from our Door to Door organics delivery this morning. :) I even made my own enchilada sauce! I took some pics, but I have to admit it wasn’t as delicious as I hoped it would be. It was good, but just not *WOW* good. I may post the pics and recipe another day.

That’s all for now.

Fun on the farm

We met a group of friends at a goat dairy today for a free self-guided tour. We saw lots of baby goats – some who were less than a week old, pregnant goats, milking goats and the bucks.

Ava enjoyed petting and feeding all of the goats and had a grand old time. :) I think all of the kids enjoyed themselves and it was a fun way for us to spend the afternoon. Plus the weather was perfect. Who could’ve asked for more?

After we finished making the rounds, we sampled some cheeses and bought some chevre marinated in olive olive with garlic and spices. OMG. It’s soooo yummy.

Here are some pics from the day. (Click the pic to see it larger.)

Checking out the older baby goats.





Ava and a couple of her friends (the boys, not the goats). ;)

Feeding the pregnant mama goats.


Ava and her buddy Creed.

He’s baaaaaack and other random stuff

I didn’t write about it earlier (for safety, etc.), but Jody was back out in California for work for much of this past week. It was hard having him gone two weeks in a row (much props to all the single parents out there), but this looks like it will be a rare occurence.

He spent most of his time at the Googleplex this week and keeps raving about the gourmet meals he ate while there. (For those of you who missed it, Jody’s company was recently acquired by Google.) They actually have gourmet chefs that work in the cafeterias on the Google campus. He was proud to say that he can’t recall being hungry the whole time he was there because there was always food to eat. I guess they joke that when you first start working there many employees gain the “Google 15” just like the “Freshman 15” in college. I can see how that would be very easy to do after all the yummy things Jody has said he ate. The thing he keeps bringing up though is some cheesecake topped with mango marmelade and damnit it all if that doesn’t get my jonesin’ for some myself. Mmmmmmm.

Now onto other random stuff…

Anyway, now that he’s back, he will be tackling the delightful necessary task of rounding up the deceased mice in the garage tomorrow. Not a fun job, but one that I gladly saved for him (and I’m so grateful that he will be doing it and not me). ;)

I had a great photoshoot today with a 6-month-old little girl. I’m excited to start proofing it, but since Jody has been gone so much lately, I’m not spending much time on the computer this weekend so we can have some family time. :)

This coming week should be a fun one. We are planning on going on a tour with some friends of a local dairy to see the new baby goats on Tuesday. Then Tuesday night Jody’s work is having a big party to celebrate the Google acquisition. Families are invited and I think it will be a fun time for all of us. On Wednesday we are going to try to go to a play group (if we can get our butts out of bed early enough).

Oh, Ava’s started singing song with the actual words lately. She can sing the “Happy Birthday” song. It’s not in key, but it’s so cute. :) She also loves to sing “Itssshh spider” (Itsy bitsy spider) and “Tinkle tinkle” (Twinkle twinkle little star) though can’t do the words to those as well as “Happy birthday.”

This time change thing is going to be a beotch to get used to, I can already tell. We’re already late to bed, late to rise kind of people and this will make us even later (which we really don’t need). Anyway, hopefully we can do some adjusting this week.

On that note, I should probably get myself to bed.