Run and Hide, the Clowns are Here!!!

We were quietly watching the neighbourhood folks work and play along the street, some painting the compass rose in the middle of the intersection, while others sat on lawns snacking and catching up on gossip. Then the clowns showed up.

I had finished face painting some designs on a couple children and was just started to pack up, so had Marin watching Elita for me. When she saw the clowns, she turned to sit facing away from them, begging me to go home. I refused. When the paints were safely packed away, I sat beside her, holding Elita and comforting Marin, refusing to take the girls home until we had at least seen some of the performance. For the first 5+ minutes Marin would barely look at me, and wouldn’t even venture to sneak a peak at the clowns.

Seth met our SE PDX clowns, Olive and Dingo about a year ago with Marin, who (at the age of 1 1/2 years) did not take to many people in general let alone someone with face paint and crazy hats! The whole summer Marin and Seth had casual encounters with them, but never once did they crack a smile out of her.

This year though? It’s gonna be different! Marin is now 2 1/2, and after those first 5 minutes of her not even looking at them, she slowly turned just so she could keep an eye on them. Then her curiosity got the better of her and she sat, facing the “stage”, watching intensely and keeping one hand over her mouth as she always does when she is nervous. By the very end though, she was brave enough to talk to Olive, giving her a smile even! And when Dingo came over with a cupcake to get his picture taken with her and her half eaten one, she actually stood beside him and mimicked him, holding her cupcake out. I think it helped that they gave her a pink balloon dog.

These amazing people, Olive Rootbeer and Dingo Dizmal, ride around town on tall bikes, performing for the comunity almost every day, making kids (both big and small) smile and laugh, being what clowns everywhere should be. Good, honest, cheerful people who are lucky to make so many others happy.

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Marin’s #1 B-Day

One year ago Marin was jus t a wee little thing! Now she is starting to walk by herself, has 7 pearly white teath, and loves playing peek-a-boo. She has developed a wonderfully calm but fun-loving personality, becoming quite an adorable little twirp!

For her first birthday (even though she will not remember it or see any difference from any other day) we tried out a new for us restaurant up on Belmont. The walk was nice, being the perfect temperature. The food was tasty and there were plastic dinosaurs for her to play with.

Our little birthday girl chillin' at the table
Our little birthday girl chillin’ at the table

Calcium Lactate for Children

At first I thought it was just a mild case of heat stroke, but it hit again the next day as well and that time it was worse.

The day started normal with Marin laughing and playing the way she always does. Morning nap went well, then she went down in the afternoon and everything changed. She woke up burning hot, cranky, thirsty and tired. She would fall asleep nursing, only to wake up fussy and uncomfortable, hot as a fire to the touch.

Night was restless for her, wanting cuddles but too hot to lay next to me. She woke up fine in the morning though, so I thought maybe she was over it, until she woke up from her afternoon nap again. It was the same thing all over again, burning hot, tired and just plain not feeling good. There were no emergency signs though, so I kept her as hydrated and cool as possible until we could go to the health store in Cortez the next morning.

As I figured she was suffering somehow due to the heat that is hard to get away from while camping outside in Colorado, it made sense that electrolytes, hydration and maybe some vitamin C would help her recover. But I wanted to talk to D. at the health food supplement store, and see what she might suggest.

It didn’t take a second glance for D. to see that Marin was under the weather, and after a few questions and a simple muscle strength test she had narrowed the cause down to a mineral deficit. A few more tests and she had found not only the mineral Marin needed, but also the dose, which was a little higher than she originally thought it would be for such a wee little girl. I teared up and nearly cried when the right “medicine” (calcium lactate) was found for my little girl. I could have tried all sorts of pharmaceuticals and known that it was only covering up the symptoms but not mending the cause. This mineral on the other hand gets down to the root and fixes the cause, thus then relieving the symptoms. Best part, these calcium lactate tablets do not have random chemical fillers with unpronounceable names or paint products to make them look pretty like pharmaceuticals do.

Upon arriving back at camp with my precious little girl and bottle of minerals, I crushed two tablets into a powder and mixed it with water to make a paste then finger fed it to Marin who really didn’t like the taste of it at all! I think at least one quarter ended up all over she and I instead of in her mouth as she fought the taste. Within an hour though she was perking up and visibly recovering. Her eyes looked brighter, she smiled more, (before it took all her energy to try cracking a smile) and she started toddling around holding onto her aunt’s and uncle’s hands again. She still slept most of the day away, but her fever receded and her colour paled from it’s fiery blaze. She slept well that night and seemed normal the next morning. Through the day she obviously still didn’t feel 100% as she cuddled lots, was crankier than normal and took more naps, but it was a vast improvement from the previous day and her skin was comfortably cool to the touch instead of hot like a well stoked furnace.

Marin still doesn’t like taking her crushed minerals, but it is worth it to me to fight with her for a few minutes each morning, to see my happy smiling girl the rest of the day. Today in particular I found that it was easier if I snuck it in with a green smoothie, which Marin especially enjoys sharing with me each morning. This is not something that she will have to take for long periods of time. As long as she is suffering then she will have it, then as soon as she is better and back to her normal self then I can stop, as she then obviously has enough of the mineral for her body.

Live and learn! I had no idea that calcium could be something that breast feeding children could be lacking in. I also found that not only is muscle testing more specific and un-invasive than going to the doctor, it results in precise tailoring of prescriptions and doses for each individual according to their specific needs, instead of “this is the norm so this is what you have to do”.

Cooling Off In The Dolores River

Some days it gets so stinkin’ hot and there’s so much dust floating around in the air, that we feel all grimy, dirty,  hot and stinky. We can then either go into town and use the showers and the swimming pool at the Rec. Center, or scrub down with a wet cloth at home in the heat, or….. we can go up to the Dolores River and swim for as long as we want, enjoying the heat of the sun from the depths of the cool water. Then when we get out and stand full in the sunshine again, it is welcoming and enjoyable, drying us off and warming us up again.

This is such a classic way to freshen up while out camping, but reminds me most of the summer when our well dried up and we had to walk down to the swimming hole every evening to clean up from our grimy day of playing.

This particular trip to the river was with only my parents and two of my siblings, so there are not pictures of everybody.

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Typical Day In Camp

Mornings start off nice and cool. Warm enough to leave Marin in her diaper without putting any clothes on her, but still cool enough to enjoy being outside. Later, (1/2 hour later) it has warmed up enough that a cold fruit smoothie is welcome for breakfast.

Grandpa is really good at sharing his breakfast smoothie with Marin
Grandpa is really good at sharing his breakfast smoothie with Marin

A couple hours after breakfast comes the first of 2 or 3 naps for the little girl. She just goes, and goes, and goes, playing with all her aunts and uncles so it’s no wonder she needs more nap time down here than she does up in Portland where she only has Seth and I to play with through the day.

Napping in the hammock is a win-win for Rinny and I
Napping in the hammock is a win-win for Rinny and I

In the evening we are all so dusty and dirty, that often times the family will drive into town for showers. When we don’t go in, or when I opt to stay at camp instead of going for the drive, we pull out Ann’s (Tim and Ann are the couple who’s land we are staying on) big blue tote bucket, fill it up with a bit of sun-warmed water, plunk Marin in it as her sophisticated evening bath, and scrub her down. After getting her all clean, she stays in the tub and plays while I get a quick outer-appendage scrub-down. It’s not as clean feeling as getting a shower and washing your hair, but it’s wonderfully refreshing after a hot sticky dusty day.

Kitchen spoons make wonderful bath toys!
Kitchen spoons make wonderful bath toys!

Later in the evening as the sun sets and the air starts to slowly cool down from the high 90’s or low 100’s, Grandma gets a little snuggle and play time with her little girl before I scoop her off to our tent for some more quiet wind-down playtime with whatever she can find to amuse herself with in my tent, which usually ends up as……. my tooth brush. Then it’s bedtime and the end of the day.

Kisses, hugs and fun playtime with Grandma before going to bed.
Kisses, hugs and fun playtime with Grandma before going to bed.
Favorite toy in the tent is my toothbrush. I just bought a new one today so I wouldn't have to keep digging dirt out when I want to use it!
Favorite toy in the tent is my toothbrush. I just bought a new one today so I wouldn’t have to keep digging dirt out when I want to use it!

Good night!

Raindrops And Roses

Marin Pettal tasting a rose petal.
Marin Pettal tasting a rose petal.

An overnight shower brought cool fresh morning air, perfect for taking a slow stroll through and checking out the neighbour’s flowers.

Dewdrops on petals, mini showers in trees.

New tastes and smells for my little and me.

Okay okay, so I’m not a poet! But it was a very poetic morning in a refreshing and fun sort of way.

Seth has taken the carseat out of the Bob stroller and attached a bicycle handle bar to the frame, from which comes the Yepp baby seat for Marin to sit on. She has a much better view as she is now up higher, and can twist and turn to look at whatever jolly-well catches her fancy, which is usually dogs or bright coloured flowers.

Handful of petals