March Full Worm Moon

Don’t forget to spring forward tonight!
I know that the weather is horrible in certain parts of the country, but I’m sorry/not sorry to report that here in SoCal, it’s like SUMMER! Windows are open, the sky is blue, and birds are singing.
The final full moon of winter 2017 will reach its crest at 10:54 a.m. EST tomorrow, March 12. This lunar event arrives a week before the spring equinox and represents nature’s inevitable rebirth after the dark winter months.
The Native American name for this full moon, the Worm Moon, alludes to the earthworms that emerge from the softening ground at this time of year.
Many sects of Paganism refer to this moon as the Storm Moon, which may have contributed to the old wives’ tale that March “comes in like a lion and out like a lamb.”
What comes in for me tonight is my son, DIL, and THE LOVE OF MY LIFE, Theo, AKA Angel Boy 2.0
I had no idea that I was going to fall head over heels in love with this jumbled up mass of DNA and genetic codes. The old me used to smirk at my friends who couldn’t stop extolling the virtues of their grandchildren–UNTIL IT HAPPENED TO ME.
Now I’m the pack leader with my Iphone, shoving it in everyone’s face to oooh and ahhh at the latest accomplishment of 2.0, his newest tooth, his gummy smile, his attempt to stand and walk…
Theo FEBHowever, my son (the original Angel Boy) and DIL won’t let me post pictures of Theo on my blog or social media so you’ll just have to take my word for it. But you can see by this pic that the curly apple hasn’t fallen far from the tree haha!
With this special moon, it’s a wonderful opportunity to manifest positive intentions for the future. I’m working on joy and happiness, abundance, and gratitude for myself, my family, and the world.
What are YOU manifesting?
(Once again, WP is screwing up the format, not allowing me to break between paragraphs–I’ve attempted to redo this five times and now I’m done. It is what it is!! The draft looks entirely different than the final published result. )
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One Year on This Earth

1 year, 12 months, 365 days, 8760 hours, 525,600 minutes, 31,536,00 seconds, not counting the nine months before he took his first breath on March 8.

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That would be Theo–Theo-dorable–Angel Boy 2.0

The most amazing grandson in this or any other universe.

I never really thought I’d succumb to the stereotype and become THAT sort of obnoxious grandma, but I did!

I am THAT grandma.

Hee hee.

I don’t have a REAL name yet; Grandma is how I refer to myself when I talk with Theo–my son likes to call me Granny cos he’s snarky–and I figured I’d let Theo make the decision. I’m pretty cool with just about anything.

Angel Boy 1.0 (the original) was born on March 23, so we have two special days to celebrate this month.

And lucky me, they’ll all be here (DIL included) for a couple of weeks so I can be a part of this momentous event!

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Getting party ready at Casa de Enchanted Seashells!

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Some outdoor furniture.

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A vintage toy, a favorite of AB 1.0

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You can’t start them too early to think about animal rescue, am I right?

Oh, and happy birthday to my first and foremost Angel Boy, without whom there would be no AB 2.0, honestly and truly my very first love. There was never a more amazing child.

I wrote this poem for him a couple years ago in this post (click on the title):

The Boy Who Is My Heart.
So Much Depends On A Yellow Steamroller.

The Yellow Steamroller

So much depends
upon

a yellow
steamroller

buried
in the dirt
 
behind the shed

 

I’m BAAAAACCCKKKKK!

Happy Monday, everyone!

Today it rained nonstop in SoCal and you probably saw the record breaking weather on your local news; I’d say our drought is pretty much over. Heavy rain on the deck!

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It was a perfect day for a DIY matcha green tea mask. It’s so easy; just a teaspoon of powdered matcha mixed with a bit of water and a few drops of rosehip oil. Leave it on for about twenty minutes, rinse off, and moisturize.

Did I scare you?

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What else is new with me?

Angel Boy 2.0, my adorable grandson, is going to celebrate his first birthday in a couple weeks. I can’t believe a whole year has gone by.

This is a view from their living room. The Salish Sea (Puget Sound) with the Olympic Mountains seem so close it’s as if you could almost touch them. Spectacular!

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No whales, but lots of boats. This is a busy waterway.

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And during a recent visit, a perfectly positioned squirrel watching us at Golden Gardens, an amazing park near the Chittenden Locks in Ballard, near Seattle.

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So what’s new with all of you?

 

A Mom Knows These Things

This was originally posted May 2013, but I’m reposting it today ‘cos if she were still alive, my mom would be 102 years old today.

Happy Birthday, Mommy, I miss you every day!

A Generation Fabulous Blog Hop: The Best Thing I Learned From My Mother and posted on Huffington Post http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/05/08/best-lessons-from-mom_n_3225877.html?slideshow=true#gallery/295835/0

Me: “Hey, Mom, guess what?”

Mom: “You’re pregnant.”

Me: “How did you know that’s what I was gonna say?”

Mom: “A mom knows these things.”

MommyThat’s my mom. She was born in 1915 and died in 1989 from pancreatic cancer. She lived with us until the end. I cared for her with the help of a wonderful hospice team.

I was a mid-life baby –born in 1954. She was afraid that I was going to be affected with Downs Syndrome, although they didn’t call it that. At that time, it was  referred to as Mongoloidism, which is no longer in technical use as its considered offensive. They didn’t have genetic testing back then and it scared her that  I was such a good baby, always happy and never cried.

The doctor told her I would make up for it by causing her heartache when I was a teenager, and I did — but that story is for another time…

My mom became a registered nurse at a time when abortions were illegal. She often told me that the horrible things that she saw in the hospital — the aftereffects of a botched backroom abortion — were the reasons she was one thousand percent pro-choice right from the beginning.

“A woman has the right to choose whether or not she wants to have a child.”

That’s something I learned from my mom.

“No man has the right to tell a woman what to do with her body.”

I learned that from my mom, too.

These forward thinking ideas were even more remarkable when you consider that her father — my grandfather — was a Rabbi. My mom was one of seven children. They moved from town to town as my grandfather moved from synagogue to synagogue  — a nomadic life.  Although she was born in Minnesota, my mom spoke with a slight southern drawl because the family spent many years in the south.

They eventually ended up in Detroit. I loved hearing my mom tell the story of climbing onto a city bus and walking to the back along with an African-American girl who had been told to “get to the back of the bus”. The bus driver kicked my mom off for being a troublemaker.

meandmommyObviously, that’s where I got my big mouth. I learned to speak up for those less fortunate — to fight for those that have no voice. I learned to speak up when I see child abuse or animal cruelty. As proud as I was of her, I know she’d be equally as proud of me.

My mom taught me what it meant to be a mother. She abhorred daycare and nannies and was disdainful of mothers who worked. She told me that people shouldn’t have children if they don’t want them and if they can’t take proper care of them.

No stranger would raise HER grandchild.

“A child deserves to have a mom who will selflessly dedicate her life to her child with unconditional love.”

I always knew I would be a stay-at-home-mom — my mom showed me how.

And also thanks to my mom, I wear perfume every day — Chance by Chanel. It’s my signature, even if I’m just going to the gym. I learned that from my mom, too.

“Don’t save perfume for special occasions.” Fragrance can turn rancid and sour smelling. This is what she said when she presented me with my very first bottle of real parfum — Joy by Jean Patou.

“Wear it every day. Wear it for yourself.”

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Along with a love for cleaning the house with bleach, collecting seashells and blue glass, my mom passed on the shopping gene.

My passion for the finer things in life are directly related to that first mother-daughter dress, my first pink satin ballet shoes, my first silk blouse, and my first treasured cashmere sweater.

When we enjoyed a bit of retail therapy, Mommy (yes, I called her Mommy) liked to buy me things because she said it made her happy.

Her favorite saying was, “It’s only money.”

Thank you, Mommy. I miss you so very much.

 

What do videos, Fergie, Chrissy Teigen, Kim Kardashian, and nursing moms have in common? Image. Message. Intention. Neon.

Huh? What did I say? Have I gone completely BONKERS? The jury is still out on THAT, but hopefully, it’ll all make sense very soon. 

If you use videos in your blogs as much as I love to do, you’ll definitely want to read this post! 

It’s TOTALLY cutting edge…and totally COOL.

And FREE. Yup, FREE!! Read on…

Marshall McLuhan had a lot more to say than his ubiquitous “The medium is the message.” 
How about…
“We shape our tools and thereafter our tools shape us.”
“The new electronic interdependence recreates the world in the image of a global village.”

“Advertising is the greatest art form of the 20th century.”

And this is one of my faves: “Diaper backward spells repaid”. (Think about it.)

Which leads me into this message of MY medium.

I’ve shared a bit about my son we all refer to as Angel Boy, esteemed professor in the Pacific Northwest with a Ph.D. from Yale, and I’ve shared a few stories about Angel Boy 2.0, my one and only amazing and brilliant grandson — but I’ve not talked much about my DIL, other than to tell you that she’s also brilliant and even more spectacular is the fact that she successfully gestated the world’s most beautiful manchild (lol).
After doing something like that, there’s not really anything else she’d need to do to become my favorite daughter-in-law in the whole world, but there’s more to tell
 
I am so VERY proud of her!  
More than 1.8 billion pictures are uploaded to the Internet every day—and she knows exactly which ones you’ll choose to look at.

With a Ph.D. in Neuroscience from Brown University, my DIL is co-founder of Neon–a company that uses human neuroscience and machine learning to automatically select images for some of the world’s largest publishers and platforms.

Neon is supported by leading Silicon Valley venture capitalists, the National Science Foundation, and has been recognized by the World Economic Forum, The White House, Fast Company and others.

Get to know a bit more about Sophie HERE where she was chosen one of Fast Company’s most creative people of 2015.

DIL has been working hard juggling start up life, delivering a beautiful baby, AND A BEAUTIFUL APP.

Here’s the cool part for us bloggers and anyone who loves videos– the app is user-friendly for those of us who are less than brainy techies–YAY!!

Neon Pro is FREE and available at https://app.neon-lab.com.

I know you’ll do me a HUGE favor and re-post and share and post on your walls and tweet all about this amazing FREE app

Since the title of this post should contain content that makes SENSE, here’s my breastfeeding connection. Thirty-five years ago, I did it night and day with my Angel Boy. Now DIL feeds precious AB 2.0 the same way. Mothers have been feeding their babies this way FOREVER. Animals do it; whales and dolphins, too. It’s beautiful and natural. Although I was a stay-at-home-mom,  I am in awe of working moms who manage to do it all like my DIL, Fergie, Chrissy Teigen, and even Kim Kardashian.
Have you seen Fergie’s new video?
I processed Fergie’s M.I.L.F.$ video (with her celebrity momfriends) through the Neon app. MILF, anyone?

Here’s another video I processed of the paddleboarder in Half Moon Bay who had an encounter with a whale.
http://neon.li/2aleepl

Now YOU try it! Neon Pro is FREE and available at https://app.neon-lab.com.

 


BREAKING NEWS…San Francisco – July 28, 2016 – Neon Labs (https://neon-lab.com/), the video and image performance company, today announced the availability of Neon Pro, a free web app that makes the company’s deep learning technology, and NeonScoreTM, available to individual content creators. Previously, the technology—which identifies and serves high performing video thumbnails and images—was only available to global image, video, eCommerce and content platforms operating at massive scale, through Neon EnterpriseTM.

Founded on a decade of neurocognitive research at Brown University, Carnegie Mellon University, and Harvard Medical School, Neon technology combines the science of human perception, deep learning, and the world’s largest and most comprehensive dataset of emotional responses to images. Using deep neural nets trained on human visual perception data, rather than just clickstream data, Neon predicts how people will emotionally respond to an image, and how effective the image will be in driving engagement.

Neon’s predictive image technology helps businesses drive significantly higher clicks, likes and shares for videos and images, resulting in increased revenue. The company guarantees that Neon Enterprise customers will increase their overall engagement rate. Depending on the content and context, increases in engagement of 30% and higher are common.

Neon Pro, a free and slimmed-down version of the company’s enterprise offering, now available as a web app, allows individuals and content producers to get NeonScores for their videos and images. Neon Pro identifies the thumbnails and images that are guaranteed to increase engagement over human-selected images and thumbnails.

Neon Pro is free and available at https://app.neon-lab.com.

How NeonScore Works:
The NeonScore is a number from 0 to 99, common to Neon Pro and Neon Enterprise, that measures the predicted emotional impact of an image for a given audience, device or platform. The higher the number, the higher the predicted engagement. NeonScore uses the company’s patent pending methods to analyze every image or video frame for over 1,000 unique and interrelated “valence” features that drive human interest, such as eye gaze, instability, brightness, and incompleteness.

“Unlike the traditional deep neural networks that are trained to identify objects in a scene, Neon uses deep learning in a creative way to predict the emotional response to images at massive scale. This novel approach has helped us identify the features of an image that drive engagement, allowing us to predict the images that will go viral, even before they are published” said Sophie Lebrecht, Neon Chief Science Officer.

#NeonScore #NeonPro #WomeninTech #DeepLearning #AI

Corgi Heaven in San Francisco

Son, daughter-in-law, and Theo are in San Fran for the summer, so I flew up to spend a week basking in the joy of a three-month-old baby boy.

Today we took Theo on his first beach outing at Ocean Beach to attend the Nor Cal Corgi Con 2016 Summer Event. DIL is from the UK and her love for corgis is to be expected since Queen Elizabeth is a Corgi mum.

Personally,  I’m more of a Border Collie girl, but all dogs are wonderful, so I knew it would be fun.

It was untypically hot and sunny; the sand was a BIT too hot for the poor dogs’ paws I thought, but all in all, it was a fun outing!

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Disabled Corgi with a dedicated mom!

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GoPro Corgi!

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I can’t really believe they bred a Border Collie with a Corgi but here’s the proof…a Borgi??

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Rescue Corgi

 

Hey, Moms! Postnatal Vinyasa Yoga DVD

This is SO cool! My own very first grandchild (Angel Boy 2.0) will greet the world in a few short weeks and I can’t wait; I’m so excited!

Talk about perfect timing; I was sent a Postnatal Vinyasa Yoga DVD to review and I’m putting it in the mail now to my DIL so she’ll have it as soon after the birth as her doctor says she can start working out.

I love yoga and I know my DIL has been practicing yoga all during her pregnancy.

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What a great way to resume yoga practice after the birth of your baby, starting with just five minutes of yoga a day! Just pop in the dvd, no need to even get dressed (haha), drive anywhere, and best of all, you’re in the comfort of your own home and close to that sweet angel baby.

Postnatal Vinyasa Yoga DVD features:

  • 5 Minute getting back on your mat practice
  • 15 Minute Postnatal Vinyasa Yoga practice with cesarean modifications
  • 30 Minute Postnatal Vinyasa Yoga practice with cesarean modifications
  • Diastasis Recti Self-Assessment
  • Pelvic Floor Overview
  • Guided Relaxation following each practice

Postnatal Vinyasa Yoga has been carefully crafted to allow a new mom the opportunity to resume her yoga practice slowly, starting with the 5 minute, getting back on your mat practice.

This practice is designed to get her back in touch with her body so she can safely resume her yoga practice while sending healing energy to the space where her baby lived for all those months.

Finding 15 minutes a day to do yoga is easy and mom will notice the huge difference it will make.

Just 15 minutes a day of making time for herself and the healing of her body will contribute to more positive moods, more and energy during the day, becoming a stepping stone to reclaim her health and fitness.

PostnatalVinyasaYogaDVDcaseAfter making the 15 minute practice part of her routine, new moms will be able to integrate the 30 minute practice, this is where they will really start to see the benefits in body, energy levels, strength and stamina.

Benefits of practicing Postnatal Vinyasa Yoga can include:

  • Feeling more awake and energized throughout the day
  • Balanced mood swings
  • Re-defined and re-toned body
  • Easing of neck pain often associated with breastfeeding
  • Easing of back and shoulder stress from carrying baby
  • Feeling healthy and more vital

Please consult your physician before attempting any postnatal exercise. These postnatal exercise sequences are designed for those who are in good physical condition. Prior yoga experience is preferred, however Postnatal Vinyasa Yoga is accessible to everyone if they listen to their bodies and follow Jennifer’s suggested modifications.

Check it out!
https://www.dolphinmethod.com

(I received no compensation, just product for review. All opinions are my own.)

Don’t Be Sarah This Thanksgiving…

Saw this last night on Funny or Die and had to share.

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I’ve been so busy working on the campaign to #savecarlsbad #nolagoonmall #notincarlsbad that I haven’t been paying enough attention to blogging. All the info is at http://www.citizensfornorthcounty.org if you’re interested in how a group of concerned neighbors are fighting to save our lagoon from bad city leaders and their outside billionaire developer friend.

Angel Boy and preggy DIL are here and I prepared a delicious Vegan Veggie Pot Pie for dinner last night; took pics and was gonna share the recipe, but it’ll have to wait until there’s a lull in the action around here.

A quote about the real meaning of Thanksgiving from my secret crush…Jon Stewart

“I celebrated Thanksgiving in an old-fashioned way. I invited everyone in my neighborhood to my house, we had an enormous feast, and then I killed them and took their land.”

Now I have to go, cos my famous Kugel noodle/fruit dish has been requested and it’s time to roll my sleeves up and get to work.
Not Kegel, But a KUGEL-icuos  Recipe for Thanksgiving
Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

Ten Fingers, Ten Toes, and a Congenital Defect. (Part One)

Ten Fingers, Ten Toes, and a Congenital Defect. (Part One)

Ten little fingers1 in every 33 babies is born with a birth defect.

Every 4 1/2 minutes, a baby is born with a birth defect.

From March of Dimes…

“If your baby is born with a birth defect or other health condition, he may need special care at birth and later in life.

You may be worried and have lots of questions. It’s OK to feel this way.

Birth defects are health conditions that are present at birth. They change the shape or function of one or more parts of the body. Birth defects can cause problems in overall health, how the body develops or how the body works”

DEFECT is such an ugly word: a shortcoming, an imperfection, a deficiency.

A congenital disorder.

In other words, NOT perfect.

I failed as a mom, even before my baby was born.

Or at least that’s how I felt when I discovered that my son suffered from a Meckel’s diverticulum.

I didn’t learn this when I was pregnant during a regular office visit or ultrasound; he was thirty-three years-old and being rolled into emergency surgery all the way across the country when the surgeon revealed the reason why my son was writhing in such horrific pain that morphine couldn’t dull and why his belly was distended.

At first they thought it was appendicitis, but it wasn’t.

It was far worse and if we had not had such an amazing surgeon; there’s a strong possibility that he would not be here now, having his own baby boy.

Apparently he had been born with Meckel’s diverticulum, a true congenital diverticulum, which is a slight bulge in the small intestine present at birth and a vestigial remnant of the omphalomesenteric duct (also called the vitelline duct or yolk stalk).

Meckel’s diverticulum is the most common congenital abnormality of the small intestine; it is caused by an incomplete obliteration of the vitelline duct (ie, omphalomesenteric duct). Although originally described by Fabricius Hildanus in 1598, it is named after Johann Friedrich Meckel, who established its embryonic origin in 1809.

In 1981, there was nothing like the sort of sophisticated diagnostic tools we have today. I think I had a doppler to hear the heartbeat and that’s it. There was no need to subject me or my baby to amniocentesis and I was all about natural and organic, so the less invasive, the better.

Even now, despite being one of the most common congenital anomalies of the gastrointestinal tract, Meckel diverticulum has rarely been diagnosed in utero, although there is the potential to see it if it exists at the end of the third trimester.

What I learned from the doctors is that it either causes no problem at all or it causes a problem when the child is about two years old, or it causes the kind of complications my son endured as an adult, which can be life threatening.

Which it was.

If this condition is left untreated, it leads to strangulation and ischemic necrosis of the wall of the bowel loop.

  • Most patients with intestinal obstruction present with abdominal pain, bilious vomiting, abdominal tenderness, distention, and hyperactive bowel sounds upon examination.
  • Patients may develop a palpable abdominal mass.

From the moment my DIL brought my son to the emergency room and called us at 3 a.m.,  the whirlwind that brought me and tugboat man rushing from SoCal to the east coast — his intestines were dying and had become so necrotic that two feet (24 inches!) of small intestine would be resected, along with the removal of the inflamed and burst Meckel’s diverticulum, his appendix, eight inches of ascending colon, and various other bits and pieces that were also affected and infected.

I can’t even describe the fear and guilt that washed over me in waves while I didn’t leave his side for the two weeks he was in the hospital.

Why didn’t I know?

What could I have done to have prevented it?

How could I be such a horrible mother?

How come my baby wasn’t perfect?

What if…he didn’t survive?

I know those are the kind of irrational thoughts that have no basis in reality, but a mother’s heart is so fierce, I would have died for him.

And with him.

I’m so grateful to the surgeon and the great nursing care at Rhode Island Hospital; because of them, my Angel Boy is here today.

Here’s the complete story of that almost tragedy on my other blog, Enchanted Seashells, Confessions of a Tugboat Captain’s Wife:

POSTS ABOUT THE SURGERY:

1. That Dreaded Call at 3:00 A.M.

https://enchantedseashells.com/2014/05/01/that-dreaded-call-at-300-a-m/

2. Time To Exhale
https://enchantedseashells.com/2014/05/06/time-to-exhale-hospital-update/

3. Full Circle From Hell to Happiness
https://enchantedseashells.com/2014/05/10/full-circle-from-hell-to-happiness/

4. What Does a Cosmo, the Trauma, Unit, and Mother’s Day Have in Common
https://enchantedseashells.com/2014/05/11/what-does-a-cosmo-the-trauma-unit-and-mothers-day-have-in-common/

Golden Gate Park and Botanical Gardens

Spent the last few days with my preggy DIL and the original Angel Boy.

Today we went to Golden Gate Park and the Botanical Gardens.

It was a glorious blue sky day!

These might not be the best photos; I was rushed and didn’t have time to focus!
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