Thursday, June 28, 2012

Cutting a Toddler's Hair

I am NOT a trained hairstylist...I do not have formal training in cutting hair.  I have watched a lot of hair cuts and I have asked about the techniques here and there. 

I have had some success in cutting people's hair, not people who want to have tremendous haircuts but just want it trimmed up or whatever.

I do cut my 2.5 year-old's hair.  He has this sweet straight down to the eyes cut with some fringe in the back below his ears.

Today I learned a great technique...he put on his sun glasses and I thought..."Protection from the sharp scissors," because I have to cut his bangs right across his forehead. So I grabbed him and my scissors and went outside to cut cut cut. 

I was far less nervous and it came out wonderful this time... he looks adorable.

Monday, June 25, 2012


I just have to say that I am very proud of Wayne's show.  He is the whole show.  He talks for an hour and a half playing 40 different characters, talking into two phones, a hotline to the chef and an intercom to the restaurant serving area.  Through these communication lines we hear from a myriad of different nationalities, tax brackets, walks of life, professions, states in the US, and members of Sam, the main character's life.

Wayne Pyle is flawless at transitions with the rapid fire dialog Sam has with each character and the story unfolds and resolves in  a delightfully unexpected way.  The direction, By Brendan Burke is great.  The set looks just like the place I was a waitress on the Upper West Side in the 90's.

This delight, FULLY COMMITTED, is at the Shadowland Theater Thursday- Saturday at 8pm and Sunday at 2pm from NOW until the 15th of July.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Farm Share! And Growing YOUR OWN!

I haven't had a chance to talk about the farm share yet.  I am doing a half share that I pick up every other week and pic your own every week.  I can't tell you how much better I feel knowing that my food is local and organic and affordable.

 We have had two pick ups now and there are so many fresh greens.  We have had lettuce, spring mix, bock choy, beets, turnips, fennel, strawberries...YUM, broccoli, spinach, and they had some corn they made into popping corn I guess from last season. We got to pull it off the ear. It was delicious!

We love going to the farm and filling our giant old fashioned basket with good green things right from our local soil.  Our little one loves picking food and eating it right there.  The strawberries were amazing this year.  We have already met some nice people and W makes friends with a new kid his age each time we go.

Soon we will get to do our work for our share and we will have our whole family working and learning how farming works.

This harvest is from The CSA at the Poughkeepsie Farm Project.  They have a waiting list, so if you are interested in joining anytime soon, you need to get on the waiting list.

Our own garden is bigger this year and we are doing away with our lawn and providing more growing space.  This week I mulched the gardens to protect them during this hot weather.  Everything looks so great.  We are looking forward to a great mid to late summer harvest from our own yard.

 YUMMY YUMM  and it doesn't get any better than having your own food right in your own soil at your home.  Good for the body, good for the mind, good for the soul.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Not Asthma: Misdiagnosis and Over Medicated

So... the diagnosis of Asthma was NOT correct.  How long do people suffer with illnesses and take medications they really don't need?

I have said it before and I will say it again... a doctor's knowledge is limited. They are human and they are trained a particular way. Western doctors are great for diagnosis and prescribing. They can be wrong.  They are working within a very limited system and we need to question their findings when we visit them.  Many times our ailments can be prevented by dietary changes.

I can count 5 people who had asthma, sinusitis, constant congestion and allergies that got 90% better when they stopped consuming dairy products.    One of those people is a medical doctor.  One of the others had asthma and allergies all his life and had a lot of related illnesses... he made some serious dietary changes and now is one of the healthiest people I know and he is rarely ill. And yet another is myself.  I had such congestion I thought my head would explode. I also sneezed a hundred times per day... on paper I was highly allergic to the caseins in dairy products.  I removed it and I am 90 percent cured. There are times of the year, in particular, the fall, that I still have the uncontrollable sneezes, bet they are far less than they used to be.

My son was diagnosed with asthma.  He was on three meds.  When he took them he had ferocious night terrors and the meds barely helped him.  I knew something was wrong and so did my husband.  We kept questioning and observing our son through different meds and different dietary changes.  Nothing seemed to be doing the trick.  My husband suggested reflux since he had been through it and also diagnosed with asthma.

Turns out my son has reflux and all the congestion and coughing comes from that.  After talking with a new acquaintance with her experience with Laryngopharyngeal Reflux, I thought...for sure this is what is happening to my son.  The scope today confirmed it. We luckily convinced our pediatrician a week ago that we should try a reflux treatment and she agreed.  I notice a change already even though it is supposed to take longer.  Medicine is a wonderful thing when it is used for the right ailment.

The ENT specialist also wanted us to continue no dairy for our son and so does the pediatrician.  There had been wheezing during the winter which lead them to the asthma diagnosis.  The cessation of the consumption of diary eliminated the wheezing.

I also would like to add that the meds for asthma are great for people with asthma.  Taking meds for no reason is very dangerous and that is why I am glad we figured this out.  Also  Reflux can permanently damage the esophagus and vocal cords and lead to cancer in extreme cases.  Good thing we are healing it now.

So if you are having problems and taking medication for something... look at what you are eating, question those medications, and do research.   Change your life!  It is up to you.

*******I just want to reiterate that I am NOT a physician.  I am just a Mom who believes there is much more to health than what western medicine has to offer.  This is my opinion and the information here is not to be taken as fact or absolute truth.  This is my experience and these are the choices I made. Everyone must make their own decisions and do what they think is right for them and their families.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Fathers Day

My two stepsons, my son and I made our journey to see Papa/ Daddy Sunday morning.  We meandered our way stopping at yard sales along the way.  One place of note was Carol's Closet in Highland. I will supply specific location when I remember it.

Carol was very organized and put love into everything she had in her place.  It was excellent.  We found just about everything on our lists...a frame for Alex...a fun head lamp sun glasses thing for Stephen...a thomas wooden coal car for Willo and a set of nesting glass bowls with lids for Mommy.  We got Papa/ Daddy a basket for magazines in the bathroom.

The Boyz were very happy to see Wayne and so was I.  We grabbed him away and took him to a diner for lunch.  We had hom open his presents there.

One gift I loved was a the frame was a note that said "This is a frame for the photo we are about to take. Happy Father's Day 2012." We all signed it.

The rest of the day was filled with love and fun.  I hope all th Dads out there had a nice a day as we did.

Saturday, June 16, 2012


Today I got my stepsons and we went yard sale-ing.  We had a great time and were very busy.  We found a few items for the little guy and Stephen found a transformer that he liked.

We had our favorite family meal: turkey burger, peas and rice; had a treat, and played a little after dinner. The oldest got to play a game he wanted to on his iphone un-desturbed for a while by his energetic brothers.

Then we went for a long walk which put my little one to sleep and early too.  It was so nice outside, cool and refreshing  When we got back we got all cleaned up and ready for bed, we made popped corn and watched a couple of  Dr. Who episodes.   We love Dr. Who. :)

We are very excited to spend time with Daddy tomorrow to celebrate Father's Day.  We got him some great stuff we know he will like and little W made him something special from school.

I am very blessed to have such wonderful people in my life.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Rechargeable Batteries

I challenge you to keep a jar in your kitchen and see how many dead batteries you collect over time.
One thing we have begun in our house is a collection of rechargable batteries.  AA and AAA.  I keep them all organized in a box.  I have a charging station with two chargers and I keep a screwdriver right there to get the batteries out of the item (generally a toy) that needs a recharge.
Yes they care costly to buy but so are regular batteries and they really aren't that much more.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Yardwork, Mommying and Voiceover All in One Day

I had a very busy day today.  I worked, took care of my son, did yard work and voiceover.
While he was napping, I mowed the lawn, reorganized the shed, reorganized the back of our van, watered the garden, took the compost down to the compost area, put up the new slide and swing our friends gave us, and I did a very fun audition to make sounds of getting hit, sounds of dying, and sounds of a huge attack for a video game character.  THIS WAS FUN.

Here is my audition:

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Getting into Voiceover

I have a lot of people ask me if they can have their friend contact me to find out how to get into voiceover work.  

Here is one reply I gave to a friend:

If you have this young man send me a bunch of questions, I can read them over and then give him a call.  He can also learn sooo very much by going to and checking out all of their resources.  I am on there as talent and pay $300 per year to be able to audition on there right from  my home.  I joined for 9.95 for a month, booked a job that paid for the yearly membership and kept booking jobs after that.    The expensive part is the home studio and microphone, preamp and computer, sound proofing, etc.    He will probably need some training or coaching at the very least.  He will need to be tech savvy and get good at doing his own editing, which takes practice.  All of the demos you hear on  my site  are self-produced.

So, The thing is that really, in order to begin this process, you have to invest, either in training, having a demo produced,  or in equipment and just practice or all of the above. Honestly,  you have to really know what you are doing with the computer and the sound to book jobs.  You can be the best voice for the job but if your sound isn't good, they won't want to use you.  

You can get an agent, sure, but to even be heard by them you must have a good demo and be really trained and up to date with the styles of vo acting today. You really need to know someone to get in to an agency.

I would say, the best thing to start would be to do a little reading on or and then find a class you can take.  It would be good to listen to other artists too.  From there you can see if you want to have a demo made and pursue the work.  Then you might want to look into a home studio.

Here is how I busted in:

My partner went to see his agency, where he was already a talent for theater.  He met with the VO agent there, got sent out on one job, and he booked it right away.

He got coaching and a demo from Peter Raufe  (which cost a small fortune)

He got into the sound production side of things on his own and signed up for a website.  He booked jobs and got better and better and kept upgrading our equipment.

Then I started auditioning and I did a trial membership to  I started booking stuff.  Before you know it I had a demo, then a character demo, etc.  Then I booked a long term gig with L'Oreal (doing their eLearning) and then another doing medical podcasts  and on and on...etc.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

The One Minute Muffin Phenomenon

Now I did NOT invent this idea.  If you Google it there are many many variations on the theme.

But I take this idea and run with it!

Here are the basics:

1/4 cup of some kind of flour or meal
2 tablespoons of flax meal
1/2 tablespoon of oil or butter
1 egg
1/4 teaspoon of baking soda
1/4 teaspoon of starch

 The last two items make baking powder... I use potato starch to be gluten free.

Mix it all together in a coffee mug and toss it in the microwave for one minute. There is your muffin... YUM.

Things I like to mess with-

use honey or molasses or xylitol to make it sweet
put baking cocoa in there
make it completely savory and use garlic and onion powder...or finely dice some onions
put some nuts in
or craisins
or raisins
or almond bits
apple sauce
or sneak some spinach and cheese in there... OH MY
or PUMPKINNNNNN... with nutmeg and clove and ginger and cinnamon'

You really can't mess this up... seriously.

If you want to avoid the microwave... then put your stuff in a bake proof pan and put it in the oven on 350 until a metal stick pulls out clean.

If you want to make a whole tin full you will have to use your math skills to increase the recipe... you can do it!

Would love to hear your variations...

Happy muffin-ing!


Monday, June 11, 2012

LPR and a Picnic on the Deck

So,  we are trying out some reflux medication for our little one. His cough has not gone away for many months now and the asthma meds don't seem to be doing anything (I have never agreed that he had asthma.)  There is nothing in his lungs and they don't constrict.

His cough lives in his throat and it is a doozy.  Not Croup. Not Whooping. But a gagging cough that makes my heart ache.

I met a woman recently and she told me about LPR Laryngopharyngeal Reflux

I think this may be my son's trouble.  So we are on an adventure to find out how best to eat to help regulate this dis-ease in his body.  We have to balance the acid so there is just enough and find out how to keep in down in the belly.

Tonight we had a picnic on the deck with a homemade one minute muffin.  It had honey, rice flour, flax, ginger, apple sauce, and an egg. We put honey on it.  We also had apple sauce with prevacid on top, and some bread. (I didn't have the bread or prevacid  since I am gluten free. But I did share the muffin.) We also had some dried papaya.  He loved that!

W loved eating on the deck at his little tykes picnic table and it was his idea to have a muffin.  We sat there together in the warm summer breeze enjoying our treats and loving life.

The coughing never gets him down.  He is just as happy as can be.  The coughing worries his parents though.  And neither of his parents will stop until we find out how to heal it.

Tomorrow I will share the one minute muffin basics I follow to make an instant muffin. I will also share some of my favorite variations on the theme... stay tuned!

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Dropping Daddy off for his Big SHOW!

The other day my son and I dropped Daddy off in Ellenville so he could rehearse the one man show, "Fully Committed," he is going to be performing shortly at the Shadowland Theater

I am very proud of Wayne for being brave enough to do this.  I think it would be terrifying to do a one person show with no one but yourself up there in front of an entire audience of theater goers. (reminds me of can't call on anyone but yourself when you are in trouble)

 I suddenly became terrified for myself having to care for a 2-year-old for several weeks all by myself and work full-time and keep auditioning for voiceovers and keep the house clean and shop and keep working on feeding my crazy allergic body and take my son to six doctor appointments during the month of June, etc. and on and on and so forth like that.  I also need to find work while I am away from the college for the summer.

We are now into the fourth day of it and we are doing alright.  I managed to fill the car yesterday with baby stuff and take it to a friends to store it for another friend who is trying to conceive.

Tonight I picked up some play tunnels for my son from Freecycle, brought a few items to a consignment shop, a did a voiceover audition, cleaned the kitchen, did some laundry, wrote this blog, wrapped a giant gift, and I think I am going to hang something up on the ceiling and then shower too.

I am managing all of it, somehow and Wayne on his adventure is managing it all too...40 different characters all played by him in one hour and fifteen minutes...

We can do whatever we set our minds to.  It is so true!  Commit and take each thing as it comes toward you.  You will be amazed at what you can do.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Words of a 2 year old

My sons first word was 'stinky' and he was one.  He was born three months early so he was actually only 9 months when he started with those few words.

Now he is 28 months and the developmental doctor says he is communicating like a three-year-old.
Some of his more fun expressions:

I haven't been feeling well today and he asked  what was wrong with me.  I said that I had a belly ache.  He said, "My ache hurts too in my belly."

It missappeared.
It fell a piece (instead of it fell apart)
My all done (I'm all done)
Mommy, My Lonely
 My scared, Mommy Misappeared.
Daddy Misappeared.
What's Wrong, Mommy?
A row row (Yoyo)
foon (spoon)
poke (fork)  this one he now says correctly but at one point  he called it a poke
Yes Pwease
Fank youuuu
I want to get up.
He calls pajamas P- Jams

When we are going to our friends house he knows the house and names it when we get there.  He also expresses that he knows when we are close to home and arriving home. "There's my house."  He says.

He knows all the different kind of diggers and trucks and totally blows my mind when he knows it.
A ment truck
A flat bend
a digger
a frontend loader
a grater

 He calls his Uncle Scott- Uncle Sock

Because of the Thomas song  Their two, their four, their six, their eight... His counting was kind of like
two, four, five, etc.  Now it is getting to the correct order.

He is saying his pleases and thank yous.

Right around the age of two he started conjugating;  Daddy farted.  (fart happens) Daddy's farting.

If you ask him his name he will tell you the whole thing last too.
If you ask him how old he is, he will say that he is four.

He knows all the Thomas the tank Engine trains.

His lawn mower is a "clean up."  So is a vacuum a "clean up"
His pliers are cutters.

Each day it seems as though he can carry on more and more of a conversation.  We are so grateful and very proud of him.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

How much can we do in one day?

Just a few days ago, I caught up on all of my laundry.  I had bags and bags of it all over the house that needed to be folded.  I finally set out to get it managed and put away.

I played with my son.
I fed my son.
I snuck in invoicing two clients while I was hanging outside with my son.
While he was asleep, I did some laundry, and put some gluten, dairy and yeast free bread in the oven, I recorded and edited a voiceover, I wrote a proposal for a voiceover and sent it out.
Then I paid some bills and all the while I kept an eye on Freecycle to see if there is anything we needed on there.  I actually got to take a nice long shower and shave and then he woke up.

I also helped a friend with her grant proposal, by editing and giving her some tips.  This I did twice during the day.
I played with my son some more and fed him some more.
All throughout the day I worked with my son on Potty Training and changed soiled diapers.
I also cleaned dishes, took care of the garden and cleaned up toys.  I also entered sweepstakes and tried to catch up with friends on facebook.

By the evening I was exhausted.  How much can we do in one day?

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Water Pressure

Sometime in mid April, we had a sink clogged in our kitchen.  Wayne worked his tail off fixing it. We finally rented a drain auger and got it unplugged.  The next day it seemed as though our water pressure had been cut in half.  The shower wouldn't turn on if the toilet had just flushed.  We could barely wash our hands inside the house if we were watering the garden outside, and we had to put everything on a schedule for water use.

When I chose my house one of the main things was water pressure.  It must have good water pressure.  This house has always had good water pressure.   I could run the dishwasher and the washer at the same time and still flush the toilet and when I rented a pressure washer, it was just fine when doing the deck and driveway.

So for an entire month we suffered this low pressure.  Wayne called the town to see if it was something with them that might be causing it.  Nothing with the town. Wayne looked it up online to see if we could figure something out.  We just kept on with our measly drip.

One morning recently, the shower wouldn't turn on and I got cranky. I said, "I want my water pressure back."  So Wayne set out trying to figure it out again. Low and behold, in our utility room was a valve that had been bumped during our clean up with the sink.  The valve that was bumped was how the water entered the house.  Wayne opened it up and out came the deluge I had looked for when I was house shopping.

I am so grateful to have it back. It really is the little things that make life better.