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Category Archives: moms

Believe in Magic: Whose Saree Now

Yes! It exists! Here’s the true story.

Earlier today I got a babysitter for the girls so I could do some work and take a walk. In the back of my mind and quickly scooting to the front of my mind, was the event I have tonight… my girls’ school auction with an Indian/Bollywood theme. I had planned on putting on a pretty dress and boots to attend and then got word that some moms were renting saris and really going all out.

On my walk I thought, “Hmm. I could go to the thrift store and see if they have anything – but that will take time and I just don’t know if I want to spend my time searching for a needle in a haystack”. As I continued my walk I saw a garage sale sign. I then said to myself, “Deb. Don’t go. You don’t need anymore stuff… you are challenged as it is, getting your stuff organized. There is nothing you need… except… a sari. What are the chances?'” I continued walking toward the sale, now picking up the pace a little bit, wondering about the magic that might be waiting for me.

DidiPop in a saree that's not actually a saree but a three piece Indian pant-suit that she called a saree. Electric blue!

DidiPop in a saree that’s not actually a saree but a three piece Indian pant-suit that she called a saree. Electric blue!

I walked up the driveway to a beautiful two-story mc-Mansion and peeked a the clothes. instead of searching, I asked the woman( and mom) there if she had anything Indian. She thought for a minute and then said, “Well, I do have a sari, upstairs”. I looked at her – about 2 inches shorter than me and about a size smaller. “Really?” I said. And she replied, “Yes, but it’s more expensive. I could go try and find it for you?”. I said, “How much do you think you want for it? I have a school event and I thought I’d try and dress for the occasion”. She said, “How’s $10?”. My eyes popped in excitement on the inside (on the outside I played it cool) “That would be alright”, I said as she went in the house to fetch it. She came back 3 minutes later with a white box. She unwrapped it and pulled out a 3 piece, beaded, electric blue pant-suit saree. I mean this thing is GORGEOUS.

I went inside to her bathroom and tried it on. A teeny bit tight n the waist- a teensy bit short in the the legs. But it all pretty much fit, and with the pants, the beaded tunic and the matching beaded scarf around my neck ~ I was completely transformed.

I picked up these shoes on sale at Nordstroms. They are silver beaded and actually comfy! Bangles on my wrists and dangling earrings

I picked up these shoes on sale at Nordstroms. They are silver beaded and actually comfy! Bangles on my wrists and dangling earrings

My husband really liked my new look as did my daughters. I felt regal and refined - like an Indian Rani.

My husband really liked my new look as did my daughters. I felt regal and refined – like an Indian Rani.

Wait ’til my husband sees me as a regal Indian woman! Next I will dash off to our local Indian restaurant to buy a bindi for my forehead. Later I’ll pull back my hair and study this Indian eye make-up video on youtube. How FUN! Any Dream Is Possible. DP

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Mother Yourself Up!

I am a busy mom (2 girls, 6 and 8), an artist and a teacher. My never-ending goal is to live life in a rich, thoughtful, loving and creative way. I overflow with love for my girls … and I need to make art (sing, write, play music, create smart videos…). My hope for my new two-fold site is to provide you with ideas to help you be a happier, more content mom (and woman) and also share thoughts that might inspire you in the parenting arena. And to provide fun, smart music for kids and families

I work at balance everyday… to balance the energy I give to my husband, family, friends, and to MYSELF…not to mention the house, the cooking, the bills, the pets and our school. I want to share what I learn, as I learn, about being happy and feeing that I am doing my dharma: living my life inline with that which I am actually destined to be doing.

I am  only child and realize that the connection between the child and the mother is magical, powerful, intense, scary, gigantic and mind-bending. My girls pick up on my moods and feelings – they are little psychic sponges. I felt my mom’s feelings DIRECTLY and still do. I believe that to be conscious of these connections as we are mothering will help us be better parents and help us to raise children who can individuate and thrive. The beauty of this philosophy is that, the better we take care of OURSELVES, the more connected and aware mothers we become to our CHILDREN.  Just like on the airplane, fasten your grown-up oxygen masks first, so that you can more effectively help your child.

I know I can live the rich, full life I have always dreamt of…. being an artist, a mother and a teacher. I know you can do it too! Really being who I want to be will support my kids in a positive way. By sharing my journey, I hope to inspire you and your kids. Living in tune with ourselves sets an example by showing, by doing. Actively honoring dreams, the inner world, the delicate balance of love, art and family AND sharing it here is the plan. Oh yeah! Mother yourself up baby!!

 

Coffee Cycles, Java Jive and Guarding my Romance with the Bean

I love coffee
And sometimes I hate it 
Sometimes it scares me
And sometimes I crave it


It’s a complicated relationship and in the end, my love for those little organic brown beans, home-ground in my grinder, poured into my french press to steep for 4 minutes, then mixed with agave and soy milk, wins. The love you take, is equal to the coffee you make.

As a mom who is health conscious about her own health and the health of her family, I am always questioning, redefining and rediscovering new ideas about whether things are good for us. And things change. Soy, dairy, butter, wine. My Chinese acupuncturist just told me that butter can help lower your cholesterol? Theories on health and food seem to change everyday so sometimes you’ve got to trust your instincts and come up with unique and individualized methods for living your life.


Coffee Memories


1. Surprising my dad when I was 5 or 6 by making him Folgers Instant coffee in a cup. It seemed like magical astronaut food, the way it sparkled then dissolved,  and when I tasted it, I thought it was totally disgusting. He drank it black, and like, 10 cups a day. Pisces.


2. Coffee hard candy –  when I was a kid, there were a few random instances where I ate wrapped candies that were filed with a chocolaty inside – a kind of fudgy center that I thought was DIVINE. That was my first magical experience with the flavor of coffee, and perhaps caffeine, though I didn’t know about the effects of caffeine back then.


3. Cutting class in high school (Pali High) and hanging out at Mort’s with my girl friends, getting refills and adding non-fat milk and sweet ‘n low, which sounds absolutely dreadful to me now. Independence.


4. Cafe Roma. It was THE place to have coffee when I was going to U.C. Berkeley. It was near the music department (Morrison) and I would go to Roma, order a cappuccino while classical music played and I read Machiavelli and Virginia Wolfe. Oh how cosmopolitan I felt, so smart, so free and cultured. And here, for the first time, the coffee was GOOD.


5. Europe – The Cafe Culture Continues. To sit on a Greek island, drinking a frappe, having a handsome Greek man whip it up for me. To sketch in my book and sip an espresso in Central Italy, having an attractive Italian lawyer approach and offer me a cigarette. To devour the Prado in Madrid and then to fervently discuss Picasso’s work over a Café con leche. Coffee is art, romance, intellectualism language, travel, the world.


6. Waiting tables. Ugh – delivering coffee is the cardio of any breakfast joint restaurant waitperson. So many re-fills. When I was waiting tables at First National in the Palisades, oh how the customers kept me on my toes with their never-ending demands for refills. I even wrote a song about it… one of my earliest which I will have to record sometime soon. From “Waitress”:


I don’t want to me your waitress
You may think that I am rather bold
Don’t you know I couldn’t really careless
If your cups of coffee’s gettin’ cold*
  
7. And then there is that kind of horrid coffee you get at the auto body shop, the kind that’s been sitting in a put 1/4 full for 7 hours. People come in and add some powdered white mixture and a few sugar packets. This is almost a non-coffee coffee. It’s like some kind of anti-matter that keeps people in motion with none of the ceremony and glamour of the cafe culture.


And here I am about to turn 48 and evaluating my life and my health on a daily basis. So many conflicting reports. Coffee (and caffeine) does it cause cancer? Save you from cancer? It’s dehydrating AND has anti-oxidants. It’s good for the brain, yet can wire you too. According to Slate:

Caffeine at doses of 65 mg or more can help relieve headaches, but habitual caffeine use can spur chronic headaches, too. Coffee makes you more alert, but it can also provoke insomnia, anxiety, and even tremors at high doses. Regular drinkers seem to have a decreased risk of developing diabetes, but for anyone who already has the disease, a hefty cup of coffee can make things worse. Up to three cups of coffee per day may slightly lower the risk of heart attack, but drinking a large dose might also trigger a heart attack if you’re already at risk.”




 My 3 Part Coffee System

I have come up with a system that keeps the allure and romance in my coffee. I notice that I have three kinds of coffee in my life. “Recreational Coffee” is the coffee I have on a rainy sunday morning with the New York Times Crossword. It’s the coffee I drink while taking a break from ice skating in San Fransisco’s Union Square or the coffee my friend Tom and I drink at Maxwell’s in Venice when we are catching up and enjoying some intense coffee talk.

Then there is “Working Coffee”. That the coffee I press when I am setting out to pay bills, animate a video or mix a song. It’s a thinking helper, a friend while I am working and a tool to keep me focused and alert.

And finally there’s “Rocket Fuel” coffee. That’s the extra cup I really don’t need, the one that wires, that propels me too far, the one that dries me out and the one I drink instead of eating some string cheese and an apple when I need some energy.

The trick is to learn just how far I want to propell myself and to identify which kind of coffee I am having. Labeling things and being present with what I am ingesting, feeling and/or doing is the key for me to stay healthy and grounded.

Like other things in life  (for me… chocolate and ice cream) coffee is great and yummy when I start, and the trick is knowing when to stop. There’s the rub. For me, drinking too much coffee strips away the magic qualities of coffee and then it’s a downhill crash.

So here’s my plan. I take breaks from coffee! I use it in cycles, monitor it, appreciate it and acknowledge when the “Recreational Coffee” has become “Working Coffee” and when the “Working Coffee” has turned into “Rocket Fuel”.

And perhaps coffee is different for women than for men. Women roll in cycles, cycles of the moon, hormonal cycles. Maybe that’s the best way for us to use and enjoy coffee in a lovely and healthy way. As a mom, I can over-extend like crazy and coffee can seem to me like a bad drug, pushing me beyond my limits. So, herb tea, green tea, hot apple cider, hot water with lemon and honey, coconut water, WATER…I drink them all and by drinking them all, I save a special place in my heart and protect my very romantic and magical relationship with COFFEE.


“In order to grow old, you have to experience everything, but in moderation.”
Cuban Musician –  Compay Segundo (lived to 97 years old)

*Poppinksongs ©1986

 

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Work, life, parenthood and dreams bubble up in a blog

Hello out there. Here, I finally launch my blog. I used to write in my journal every morning. I have many, many, many black sketch books filled with ideas, poems, sketches, dreams and rants. Since my children were born, I haven’t had a place (or the time) to get my thoughts out on to paper. Now that paper is scarce and I have gone green, a blog seems the perfect place for me to share.

Also, becoming a mother has been the biggest love, challenge, adventure of my life. I have been lost and found so many times. Luckily I have a wonderful support system and ways of getting over and through the hurdles of raising children and balancing that with being true to myself as an artist. It is part of my make-up to work through obstacles, find tools to help me get over humps and then to teach others how I did it. I hope this will be a place where I can have fun letting my mind be free to bubble up and where others (moms perhaps) will learn something and find truth in what I might be saying. I hope so!

 

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The Cool Alphabet Song Lyrics

hooray! now you can sing along…

AA play today      BBB beside me with      CC celebrate      DD do you like me

EE eat an egg     FF flip and fry it      GG gee that’s great      HH Honey I like it

I spy blue    Jays above you       K come kiss me     LL let me love you

MM your my best friend your    NN never naughty    OO oh let’s go

PP in the potty – potty   Come now    Oh how

Q cute cute you are you    R so really right my    SS Spinning star for all

T-I-M-E tic-toc time   UUU you   VV very good with that vacuum

W know what to do with that wooden broom – you got   X-tra energy

Y anyone can see – I gotta catch some    Z’s (cuz you’re busy busy)

You’re busy as a bee I’m getting dizzy dizzy – I gotta catch some Z’s Cuz you’re a busy busy busy busy  busy bee

 

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Lyrics to "Potatoes and Cabbage" by DidiPop

I love, just LOVE, knowing that children all over the world are learning from DidiPop. I am driven to teach (and always have been) and since I can’t swing a teaching trip to Brazil this week, this will have to do.

I got this email from a tracher in Brazil this morning:

On Mar 11, 2011, at 10:29 AM, Júlia wrote:
Hello,
My name is Julia and I am an English teacher in Brazil. I got to know your work during a search for material to use in my St. Patrick’s day class, and simply adored your music! I’m going to show it to my 5 year old cousin and use it in my classes as well.
I was wondering if you could send me the lyrics for “Potatoes and Cabbage” so that the students can sing along to it!
Thank you very much, and congratulations!
Julia 

Thanks Julia! Here they are:

Potatoes and Cabbage (lyrics) ©Poppinksongs 2011

St. Patrick’s Day is so much fun
Coloring shamrocks in the sun
So do a dance and bang a drum
And eat potatoes and cabbage

St Paddy’s got a history
He was kind and good you see
He followed all his magic dreams
And ate potatoes and cabbage

He was kidnapped at 16
By Irish raiders cruel and mean but
He got away and studied and prayed
And ate potatoes and cabbage

He brought the Irish people faith
He built a church, became a saint
Some people say he scared the snakes
And ate potatoes and cabbage

We celebrate March 17
So don’t get pinched and wear some green
Welcome in the sunny spring and
Eat potatoes and cabbage

Let’s be Irish, sing a song and
Look for clovers on the lawn
A leprechaun may come a long he’ll be
Eating potatoes and cabbage
Eating potatoes and cabbage
Eating potatoes and cabbage

Happy Paddy’s Day to you!

 

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St. Paddy’s Day Pancakes!

Dia dhuit ar maidin! (Good morning!)
Shamrock Pancakes
How fun, funny and easy it is to make your March mornings festive with these shamrock pancakes! Simply dye your favorite pancake batter green and pour out 3 or 4 (if you want to be lucky) circles (leaves) and a stem. For the truly talented pourers out there, try a top hat or even a leprechaun!
Our favorite pancake mix comes from Sears Fine Foods. We order it thru their website when we can’t get up there to pick it up ourselves.
 

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