Monday, April 27, 2015

A Bye-Bye Baby Moment

It's birthday season at my house. Suddenly my baby is 3 years old and my oldest will be 7 tomorrow! I have friends who mourn this passage of time. They miss having a baby in the house. At this particular moment, I can't say I agree.

It was a celebration moment when we hauled off the changing table and high chair. While there was a time when I looked forward to the girls' naps, it's nice to be in a phase where nap times don't wrinkle the schedule and the girls are more independent and playing on their own.

There are remnants of babyhood that remain, however. Anne Marie still pads into our room at 5 a.m. most mornings and crawls into bed to snuggle. I swore that when she turned 3 I'd put an end to it, but the truth is that I love it.

And the sippy cup. It's simply a matter of routine, at this point. The girls wake up early and consume a sippy cup full of Ovaltine (that's better than chocolate milk, right?) while I get ready for the day. Sippy cups reduce spillage on couches or beds, depending on where they choose to watch their morning cartoon. I feel like we're running 18 sippy cups and lids through the dishwasher every day, but it's worth not having to clean up spilled milk.

I'm enjoying the growing up process in many ways. Last week, I had to get up before 5 a.m. to catch an early flight. I would be gone for 3 days and 2 nights.  As I did my hair and make-up, Edie perched on the edge of my bath tub and chatted about this and that. I loved that she woke up earlier than usual (even for her!) just to spend some time with me.

As we talked, I was sipping on one of my old standby's: Irish Breakfast from California Tea and Coffee Brewery. Diane, the owner, hand blends this tea, and the love that is infused as a result is palpable. She and I had just had a conversation about how close she and her late mother were, and I thought of them as I watched my own daughter talk animatedly about school and softball and her fast-approaching birthday.

As I flew home, I was very much looking forward to seeing my husband and girls. And the only thought I had was, "If you need us over the weekend, we'll be sipping tea (or Ovaltine), snuggling and planning birthdays." Nothing could be more perfect.

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Several Moments with Amoda Tea

There are days when there is nothing you can do but wait. No amount of checking email, scanning missed calls or looking up websites will make the answer arrive any sooner.

I remember as a child when I had to wait, I'd be impatient and I couldn't think of anything to pass the time and I'd tell my mom I was bored.

"Find something to do," she'd tell me. When I told her there wasn't anything to do, she's name 2 or 3 activities that I was almost always doing: read a book, go play outside, find your paper dolls.

My oldest daughter runs me through the same routine these days.

"I'm SO bored!" she'll say.

"Find something to do."

And history repeats itself.

Find something to do.

It is for this reason I'm happy to have a gift from Amoda Tea standing by. A monthly tea box. Just the thing to keep me company throughout what will inevitably be a long day.

I start with the Keemun by Swan Sisters. This classic Chinese black tea is more earthy than many of the black teas you'll typically find in my cup. It bold, deep tones and rich red color match my mood, yet the subtle plum finish shifts me into a more contemplative frame of mind rather than brooding. This is good.

As the morning progresses and the sunlight increases, I shift gears to the Hazelnut Pear by Petali Teas. As it steeps, I breathe in the pear cider scent, and am warmed body and spirit. The brightness of gunpowder green tea is tempered with the rich cinnamon, apple, pear, hazelnut and cardamom threads.

After lunch, I feel indulgent and steep a cup of Lavendar Cream Earl Grey by Aromatica. The lavender and hibiscus petals create a feast for the eyes even before the steeped brew can feed the soul. The aroma is heavenly, and the tea (which I have dressed with milk and sugar) is the treat I want it to be.

The day is winding down and I must quiet this mind of mine. I reach for Serene Tea by The Honest Leaf. The chamomile provides the perfect calming backdrop for the bouquet of  lemon, jasmine, peppermint, lavender and hibiscus that is contained in this cup. While many herbal tisanes can feel watery and thin, this brew is full bodied and well rounded, with no one note drawing too much attention. I sit, I sip, I wait.

As the answer is finally revealed, I can now begin my journey forward. I think I'll be bringing these teas with me...