Sunday, November 22, 2009


Since I have nothing to report on the yoga front, I'll write about one of my other favorite subjects: FOOD! On Saturday, Tom and I went to a pre-Thanksgiving potluck. I spent all morning making two batches of cupcakes.

The first batch was a chocolate chip cookie dough recipe. I found a recipe for this at the cake mix doctor's website, but my new motto is "why buy it if I can make it." I didn't want to use a cake mix, so I used a Martha Stewart recipe for the cupcake batter. I also didn't want to use the store bought cookie dough the cake mix doctor recommended so I used a Cook's Illustrated recipe for thick and chewy chocolate chop cookies for the cookie dough. I made 1 inch balls with the dough and froze them overnight. After cooking the cupcakes with the frozen dough I wouldn't say that the cookie dough tasted raw, but half-baked and still nicely gooey.

For the frosting, I used Martha Stewart's recipe for Swiss Meringue Buttercream. I splurged on a real vanilla bean so the frosting had a great vanilla flavor and beautiful little black vanilla seeds throughout. (Click on the picture to see them)

For my second recipe, I wanted to tackle the bacon cupcake. I'd read a lot about the bacon cupcake meme on the cupcake blogs, and while I don't eat meat, my husband LOVES bacon. Some of the bacon cupcake recipes combined chocolate and bacon for a Mo's Bacon Bar inspired experience. Other's preferred breakfasty flavors like french toast or maple.  I thought that a maple bacon cupcake would be most accessible; like eating waffles with maple syrup and a side of bacon. For these I used Martha Stewart's maple cupcake with maple buttercream recipe. I fried thick cut maple bacon until it was extra crispy. I portioned the cupcake batter into the liners, crumbled a piece of bacon into each cupcake and swirled it into the batter.

I'd already read that most people either love bacon cupcakes or hate them. No one told me that they hated the cupcakes. In fact the only negative feedback I got was from a friend who said she didn't like maple syrup. But the people who loved them seemed to REALLY love them.

I wish I'd taken a picture of these on Saturday. This is one that sat out all night and the icing didn't stand up quite as well as the icing for the cupcake above. You can still see the bacon-y goodness inside.

If I make these again, I'll probably try a brown sugar cupcake instead of the maple. Between the cake and the buttercream, Martha Stewart's recipes called for 32 ounces of Maple Syrup so this wasn't an economical recipe. I left the bacon out of a couple so that I could try the cupcake and it was very, very tasty. It might just be a special occasion cupcake.

I volunteered to bring cupcakes to a my friend Lissa's baby shower. The shower was supposed to happen already, but her baby boy just didn't want to wait any longer and was born the day before Lissa's scheduled shower. I did the same thing to my mom, only I was born the day of my mother's shower. My aunt and mother's friends had the shower without her and even opened all of her gifts. We didn't do this, ahem, for Lissa.  When she and baby are feeling up to attending, we'll have her shower. This gives me some time to think about what I'm going to make and experiment with tinting icing. I'd really like to make chocolate cupcakes with blue icing because I love that color combination, but of course I'll make whatever she wants me to make!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Prana (hack hack) yama

OK, allergies are kicking my ass. Is it just me or is practicing when you're coughing and sneezing the worst? I managed to get both girls to nap at the same time today and made it all the way through primary, sounding like I was coughing up a lung. I coughed so hard I gagged.

No progress on the jumping back to report. Typical for me. I tend to have rapid improvement followed by weeks or months of no improvement at all. I'll write if anything changes.

Almost Thanksgiving week. Tom will be home from work. He'll be able to watch the girls. I'm anticipating a week of consistent practicing.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009


I've been having a hard time getting onto the mat for a real practice lately. I lost my rhythm when I was sick and haven't found it again. I think I am having some PPD issues. I feel like my energy has been drained. Maybe it has been - through my boobs. My little vampire baby. I love her with all my heart, but I swear the kid lives entirely on my vital life force. My prana in liquid form. All my qi in my breasts. She doesn't sleep much and refuses most solid food, but she will nurse. I thought second babies were supposed to be easier.

I feel like I'm moving through wet sand. Every movement is met with resistance. Everything I do requires ten times more effort than usual.

I've been working on this blog entry for three days now. Every time I write a sentence or two I get interrupted.


I've been continuing to work on picking up and jumping back in a seated vinyasa. I'm already seeing some improvement. I can now lift high enough to swing my legs until my toes are directly under my body. This improvement was enough to motivate me through my practice yesterday. I made it all the way through primary for the first time in awhile. I wasn't able to lift up in all the vinyasas yet, but probably about a third of them.

I'm noticing that there is a lot going on in the body when I try to lift up and jump back. The first time I learned how to jump back,  I was relatively stronger (in relation to my current state of overall weakness). I didn't notice how much work was happening in my back, in my shoulders, in my arms. Even in my hips. There's a lot going on. Now that I'm having to work so much harder for it than I did in my twenties, I have a much greater appreciation for how difficult this is.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Lessons from the Baby

Liz asked me yesterday if I was working on jumping back yet. I scoffed. Ha! I can't even engage my abdominal muscles. Please.

But, as I watched Eevory working so hard to walk, I was inspired. She doesn't set out an hour a day to work on walking. She works on it all the time. Even when she's sleeping. Hilarious, btw.

So, as I was playing with the kids today, I'd just periodically try to lift my but off the floor. One thing I noticed is that it isn't just my abs that are weak. My shoulders are weak as well. So, I can't blame pregnancy completely.

Upper body strength is important for any yogini taking care of little ones. You never know when you'll need to throw a fit-tastic toddler over your shoulder. So, that's some incentive to get my shoulders strong. That and my desire to look cool when I'm doing a vinyasa. I'm not above wanting to look cool.

Here's Aunt Kristina demonstrating the importance of a strong asana practice. She was carrying Mia out to the car when Sadie asked Aunt Kristina to pick her up as well. "Freeze! I need to get my iPhone out," I said.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Yoga-ed and Showered

On my facebook this morning I posted, "I just want to take a shower and practice some yoga. Please, children, take a nap for mommy today."

Thanks to Daddy, who came home for lunch for the second day in a row, I was able to practice. I only made it through the seated postures before Mia woke up so I let her hang out with me while I finished. She thinks that my headstands are hilarious. 

I'm starting to think about joining the YMCA. I gave up on the idea after Eevory had a meltdown the last time I went, but I have two more free visits so I think I'll try it again. I could drop the kids off at childcare then use the yoga room for my practice. Eevory has been waking up at 5 lately, so that's why I haven't been doing an early morning practice. 

Ah, crap. Eevory just woke up. Again. Why won't this baby sleep? 

Liz, thanks for hanging out yesterday. I was pysched about my practice today as a result. 

Monday, November 9, 2009

Intuitive Practice

I kept losing my count. I gave up and just held each posture until I felt right. It felt very intuitive. I won't do this often, but it was a nice change of pace. It was just so atypical for me. I count everything to the point of being borderline obsessive about it - steps, bites of food, blinks, breaths as I'm falling asleep...

My breath was good. It was smooth. Fluid. It was the lullaby keeping my baby asleep. Here was my view from chaturanga today.

I'm doing this for my girls. I want them to grow up around a daily yoga practice. I want their version of a normal family life to include a Sadhana. I don't want to tell them that a spiritual practice is important. I want them to see it.

My teacher, Mehtab, told us, and I'm paraphrasing, don't proselytize. Lead a good life and let people ask you what your secret is.

I don't want to tell my kids that in order to master something you must practice it every day. I want them to see the magic that happens with commitment and dedication. Maybe they won't be into yoga, but hopefully they will apply those lessons to something. Sports, music, art...I want them to have a passion for something. The only way I know to teach that is to let them see my love and commitment to my practice.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

No practice

No practice, but it has been an action packed day. Park this morning. Bluegrass brunch with friends. Shopping. Naps. Then a good friend called and asked if we could take her son for the afternoon. We adore her son, so it was a joy to take him. We invited Mia's friend Alice to join us and the three of them, with Eevory trailing behind, had a mini rave all afternoon. Hopefully they will all sleep well tonight. Hopefully Mia and Eevory will sleep well enough for me to practice in the morning.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Day 1 Again

Super short nap time practice. Mia woke up at 5, so my early practice didn't happen. I made it through about half of the fundamental asanas until Eevory woke up from her nap. I could tell right away that I'd lost some strength, but flexibility seems about the same. Hamstrings a little tight at first, but back to normal after a few sun salutations. Chaturanga seemed difficult throughout. We'll see how it feels on Sunday. I usually find the second practice after a break to be harder than the first.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Quick Update

OK, no yoga to report, but here's a health update.

A few days after my trip to the ER, I think it was Wednesday, I started to feel sick. My fever slowly climbed from 99 in the morning to 102 later that night. Eevory had a 99 degree fever that same evening and 45 minutes later it was 102. I called the hospital nurse line and was told that I could wait until the morning to take her to the pediatrician. When she tested positive for influenza it seemed redundant for me to make a separate trip to my doctor to get tested, so I just assumed I had it too. Several days of fever, coughing, snot, force fed TAMIFLU and tylenol later we were on the mend.

Then it was my Lady's Holiday again which seems to be much, much more horrific since having baby #2.

Tomorrow I plan on getting up early enough to practice. I'm over the flu and lady's holiday so I have no excuse.

Tonight for dinner I'm making a quickie a vegetarian sausage lasagna with gluten free rice noodles. I love comfort food. It's an easy recipe you can make in about 30 minutes. In an 8x8 glass baking dish, layer jarred tomato sauce, no-boil lasagna noodles, ricotta and parmesan cheese, browned veggie sausage (three layers). Top with another layer of noodles and more tomato sauce. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and microwave until the noodles are tender when poked with a fork (10 to 15 minutes). Remove plastic wrap, top with shredded mozzarella and broil until browned. No one would know that you didn't bake it in the oven for an hour. If anyone wants to try this recipe, let me know and I'll provide exact amounts.