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    Chiropractor Mama Dr. Dolly and professional photographer Elisa B. share about adventures in intentional and natural parenting while living in Virginia's beautiful Blue Ridge.
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Weekend Update

We got a last-minute visit from my mom who traveled down from New York.  Calvin was so excited to have someone play tag and hide-and-go-seek with him…or, at least the toddler version of that game.  We kept him up way past his bedtime on Friday to enjoy the Downtown Mall sights, tastes, and sounds.  We haven’t been there on a Friday night since July of last year when we first moved to Charlottesville.

Calvin dancing to the band at Charlottesville Pavilion and garnering some of his own fans

Calvin dancing to the band at Charlottesville Pavilion and garnering some of his own fans

Calvin started dancing to the live music at the Pavilion, and he was totally in LOVE with the shiny red corvette that was up for a fundraiser auction.

Love of red cars

Love of red cars

We also enjoyed the banner photographs of wild animals stretched between the trees.  Calvin identified all of them by their distinctive animal sounds.

Bears on the Downtown Mall

Bears on the Downtown Mall


On Saturday, we took my mom to the City Market.  We had to pick up the fresh chevre made from raw goat’s milk (donation only since it legally cannot be sold in Virginia) and a few other items of fresh produce and grass-fed beef.

We also had fun listening to the Casa de Chipmunks band.  Bassist played a tub with a string, and percussion was made from a suitcase.  Their instruments kinda reminded me of the character played by Dick van Dyke in Mary Poppins.

Casa de Chipmunks at City Market

Casa de Chipmunks at City Market

My mom had to drive home Saturday afternoon, so we bid her farewell on her very short visit.  However, I think she’ll be back next month.  Calvin will enjoy seeing her again soon.


After church this morning, we all took naps at different times.  It’s hard to sleep when a toddler is crawling on your belly and saying “Mama” over and over and over again.  But, I did like it when he snuggled for a few seconds every so often before terrorizing his cars.

I whipped up some ground lamb and a yogurt sauce so we could fill our own schwarmas at the park picnic.

hydrophilic boy

hydrophilic boy

Calvin was much too enthralled with the sprinklers to stay and eat.  We should have learned by now that he doesn’t eat well at all when we try to do a picnic.  However we enjoyed the company of our friends, and we had fun watching Calvin splash and get soaked.

sprinklers at belmont park

sprinklers at belmont park

Before she left on Saturday, my mom instructed me on the proper way to cut up a pineapple.  I guess I must have been living under a rock and wasting more than I should on the outer edges.  I also cut up a pineapple on Sunday afternoon…and I used the core (the nutrient-dense and fiber and vitamin-rich center) for smoothies.  Ah, it was a delightful and refreshing treat.

Pineapple Selection and Pineapple

Choose a pineapple that’s yellow to golden brown skin (not green), and with a stalk that’s got green leaves (not brown and wilted leaves).  Pick one that’s got a bigger pinapple body to stalk ratio…less stalk, more meat.  Also, you want want that’s ripe and fragrant with a delicious pineapple smell–that means it’s ready to eat!

I used to cut up a pineapple like this—old school and wasteful.

My mom showed me a better way to cut it up.  After the fact, I found this great picture tutorial on about.com about cutting up a pineapple.

The only thing I do differently is once the pineapple is skinned, I slice the fruit off around the core, so that the core is all one big column in the middle.  I cut up the pineapple flesh in long strips and dice them.

I reserve the core for smoothies….it may be too tough to eat, but in a high-powered blender it makes a rich and fibrous smoothie when coupled with orange juice, coconut milk, a banana, and a few whole strawberries (with the green tops still on!).  Yummalicious!

Fresh pineapples are high in vitamin C, beta-carotenes, Vitamin A, and potassium.  According to Philappine Herbal Medicine, pineapples are good for killing intestinal worms, breaking up blood clots, and help heart health.  Pineapples help the kidneys and work as a great detoxification agent.  Pineapples are also high in bromelain which is a group of enzymes that fight inflammation–these are wonderful for people with muscle aches and pains, rashes, or heartburn.

–By Dr. Dolly

Weekend Update: City Market

I love me some Saturday morning sights, sounds, and smells at Cville’s bustling City Market.  Sue, the world’s greatest Chiropractic Technician, and I set up our table by 7:30AM to provide complimentary blood pressure and body mass index (BMI) screenings for Spinal Health & Wellness.

Blood Pressure Screenings at Charlottesville's City Market

Blood Pressure Screenings at Charlottesville's City Market

Several folks stopped by for their free screening.  Unfortunately, almost everyone had coffee (City Market staple) before getting their blood pressure checked.  In case you didn’t know, caffeine acts as a vasoconstrictor and can drive up blood pressure a few points.

After Calvin and his Daddy walked around the market grabbing a few essential produce items, they stopped by our table for support and hugs.

Family Reunion 055

I just love the way my husband is adoringly looking at our sweet son. The blood pressure screenings were such a huge hit, that we’ll do it again next month, and maybe even through the rest of the market season.

Sunday is our typical relaxation day.  After spending the morning at church, we head home to quickly get Calvin fed before he collapses in a tired heap on his crib.  While he naps, Steve and I sometimes watch a Netflix movie or take our own naps.  Church-lunch-nap takes up the majority of the day.  If the weather’s nice (read: NOT blazing hot), and we’re feeling up to it, we ‘ll embark on a family walk or hike.

Craft Inspiration Attack

I’m going to start a new craft project.  By new, I mean something other than photographs and photo books.

I LOVED crafting as a kid, but that creative spark kinda got shoved under the rug when I hit the academically intensive track in high school.

Last week, I found this farm friends quiet book page on Homemade by Jill.  Suddenly, I grew nostalgic and remembered my treasured quiet book when I was a kid.

I absolutely needed to make one for Calvin.

I kept searching online and found patterns and more inspiration from a seasonal-inspired felt quiet book at Martha Stewart to several creative quiet book projects by creative and talented moms (A Lasting Love Fest, Making Ends Meet).

I love the free pattern at Modest Maven.  I’ll use the basics on this book to create the canvas for the pages and the quilted cover.  However, I’m going to go about this book in the economic-friendly way and use fabric scraps to inspire the pages similar to Homemade by Jill.

I can work with a sewing machine to do some basic things.  Forget embroidery.  I never had the patience or skill to pull that off without many, many mistakes.  I’ll stick to fabric markers instead.  Also, instead of creating ALL the pages, I’ve begun to delegate the task to some family members (starting with grandmas, but I’d love to ask his aunts, too).

I think this loving project will be cherished by Calvin and his future siblings for many years with the combined creativity from several family members.

As I being this project, I’ll blog about it and keep you posted.  I like to finish projects that I start.  Crafting projects have a tendency to get shoved by the wayside if they’re too difficult to complete (note: don’t get me any project that involves embroidery.  It just won’t happen).

I fully intend to finish this Quiet Book.  Goal completion date is Calvin’s 2nd birthday at the end of October.  I should have plenty of time, right?

I purchased muslin and interface (on sale at JoAnn’s fabrics), and I’m beginning to collect fabric scraps from friends.  I’m committed!

If you haven’t already, check out Part II of this week’s Weekend Update.

Your turn:

How was your weekend?  What’s your favorite way to relax with your family?

Have you started a crafting project lately?

–By Dr. Dolly
Twitter me: drdolly