Archive for September, 2009

make me happy monday II

last week i decided i wanted to try a little something new on monday’s. here we go with round two.

11. this weekend i spent an hour doing some yoga with my mom. it was called “no sweat yoga” but i am desperately sore. the point, taking time to to stretch in breathe in the company of my mother was nice.

12. when we were done with yoga we drank some tea and i took a few minutes for my knitting.

13. and then, we all had a nice family brunch at a local place that is fairly new but people there are starting to recognize us. i like going to local places that recognize you. it just feels good and makes me happy i live in a small town.

14. so clearly sunday made me happy.

15. have i mentioned scones? they are still going strong around here and i have found that using heavy cream solved the whole “too wet to knead” problem i was having. go figure. (it was flash who bought the heavy cream where i had been trying to go the lower calorie route.)

16. honey crisp apples. honey = sweet. crisp = self evident. what’s not to like?

17. the wool i am using to knit up chickpea a hat. it is so fun. i promise to get a picture up soon.

18. watching the bean sit in a booth next to his friend today and not minding when she kept entering his personal space. huge. huge stuff.

19. tonight when the bean told me his favorite part of the day was “cuddling with chickpea.”

20. snuggling under the blankets as the cool fall nights descend on my neck of the woods.

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sunday silence

this morning i did some yoga with my mom.
then i listened to her horse for a few seconds.
i was knitting the chick pea’s hat while we drank some tea.
i have a lot of things on my list for this afternoon but i hope to be able to hold my intention.
my intention of calm.
my intention of balance.
my intention of tea and knitting and silence.
warm, and ok silence.

maybe that is what sunday’s should be for after all.

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baby wearing week


i don’t write about babywearing much but i don’t write about breathing much either and i am doing them both pretty much all the time. today we walked to the center of town for a little festival that is going on there and chickpea rode there and back on my back, and she slept for the ride home. if you look in the back of my car you’ll probably find a soft structured carrier, a woven wrap, and my reusable grocery bags. you usually won’t find a stroller. and it is not because i have any problem with strollers or anything. but, the bean sure did, he hated them, and it is like he trained my brain. i just don’t ever grab for a stroller. i grab for a piece of fabric that will hold my baby up snug to my body. where i can feel her breathing and she is pulling at my clothes and we are both seeing the same things.

it is not that i take issue with other people doing it any other way. i own two lovely strollers. and you can find them, gathering dust, in my garage. i am just a baby wearer. i am. i wear my baby. and god bless the loving universe for that one day when i was pregnant with the bean and my google search led me to some didymos retailer who helped me chose my first wrap. i had NO idea what i was doing. what a wrap was. maybe i should be blessing the horse that fractured my vertebrae when i was nineteen because it was that old injury that had me thinking i better find something easy on my back.

i remember bringing the bean home from the hospital and opening up the didymos instruction booklet and trying to figure out what the heck to do with the ten million miles of fabric. i taught myself two carries in those first weeks and once i was capable of tying him on my body without breaking into a sweaty freakout i was hooked. he loved it. i felt – i felt, safe. my baby was right there in my arms, my cloth arms. sometimes i felt like a little bit of a freak because the baby bjorn is really the only carrier you saw used occasionally in these parts back then. but mostly i just felt like i had found something that really worked for my little bean who thrived on mama’s touch.

we have come a long way from those first two carries and our beloved iris (i would love to share a picture with you but you know they are on my broken hard drive). the bean actually sat in a stroller today that flash pushed to town. but still, i am a baby wearer. and the pea was on my back for the walk there, the strolling around the fair, and the walk home.

and she is on me now. wrapped to my front snoozing away while i type. i am a baby wearer. this is my last baby. and you can bet that as long as she is happy with it i am going to savor it.

a piece of cloth, my child, and me.

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life work

it is so hard to just be here, in this moment, the present, here and now.

i like a plan. i am gathering information. i am predicting things.

none of that serves me in this moment in my life. the only time that serves me is the present moment and learning the art of how to sit in it.

i want to whine about it. but that is hardly the point.

today i will spend some time living in the present and i will enjoy my self.

phew. no one ever said being a mystic was easy.

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a mystic

bob marley is singing me a lullaby and the pea is sleeping in my favorite and often mentioned black cherry pfau.  i am thinking about our ability to shape our lives with our thoughts and intentions.  yesterday i was in a foul mood for so many reasons i think its best to put them in a box and seal the lid shut.

i spent the early evening at a semi-chaotic dinner birthday party playdate which lifted my mood enough for me to do some knitting after the kids fell asleep and then open my journal.  i remembered reading this post over at creative kismet a little while ago. the post had me thinking again about the power of stating intention, or of positive self talk, or of creating my experience of my self and my life.

when i was in high school i had a few friends who were a little older then me and they were really into being nice, kind, and supportive. they would leave a note up on the note board for one another that was just a nice drawing and a reminder to “smile.” or that said “you are fantastic have a great day.” i was kind of lucky to fall into their favor and their positivity was much needed. i tried to spread the love and i remember at least one of my friends in my own class being the type to leave me similar sweet encouraging notes (hey jenny if you are reading). this was a kind of unstudied attempt at simple joy. smile. be happy. you are great.

later on in life i came to be in possession of the book becoming a practical mystic which encouraged you to start each day by telling yourself two things you would be that day. for example, wake up and state “today i will be calm and centered.” or, “today i will feel happy and full of peace.” i did follow this practice for quite some time and i was fairly hugely surprised by how much of a difference one minute of focused intention stating could change my day to day life.

as i twirled around in the dark waters yesterday i wondered if it might be time to work a little harder on me. i am sure it is no small sign that i am deeply annoyed that carrie over at the parenting passageway for spending twenty days on becoming a more mindful mother (read self improvement and introspection). if something that would usually appeal to me sounds like too much work it tends to be great big waving in the storm red flag.

last night i took out my beloved oil pastels, and my blank page journal, and i started off big (trying to be accepting of the fact that i do not have the skills of ms. creative kismet) and filled a page with “i am seeking joy, peace, love, happiness.”

that was all good and true but in a moment of clarity i realized that i had to make the shift more — concrete? real? true? powerful?

i turned the page and stated “i already have and will continue to be blessed with a life filled with joy, peace, love and happiness.” it filled the page. it felt a little bit like a lie but i squashed that talk and i remembered that i am NOT my thinking self. and it is that darn thinker who is in there shrieking “we are not peaceful and happy why are you saying that!” i checked in with my true self and she felt like pure white light and that is pretty darn peaceful and joyous. you know? so be quiet all you thinkers.

i put away the pastels and spent one more page making statements about what today was going to be like. that i was going to be calm and patient and loving with my children. that i was going to be aware of my true self and able to quiet my inner thinkers. that i was going to create and be creative and write and feel loving and loved. i can’t remember what else i wrote but i filled that page right up.

it is not like today has been perfect but i dare even those thinker selves in to me to deny the improvement. we are all happier. nothing bad about that.

in the words of today’s lullaby:
emancipate yourself from mental slavery
none but ourselves can free our minds.

maybe when he wrote this he wasn’t thinking it would help some white girl in america to quiet her inner demons. but, i wouldn’t put it past him. the man is a genius.

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steph over at adventures in babywearing is hosting a really awesome contest…the sakura bloom triathlon. i had to enter cause i think the pea and i could totally rock the sakura slings — but even if we are not chosen i have to give mad props to steph for hosting a really sweet contest.

i was thinking i’d be all cool and grab her button and put it up here but guess what…i have no idea how. and i call myself a blogger!

actually, truth be told, i was thinking about that this morning. do i think or myself as a blogger? as a writer? this is kind of a part of an existential crisis type line of questioning but it is interesting to think about. i have been spending some time (read playdates) with a mom whose daughter goes to preschool with the bean lately so she is sort of a new friend. and i was sitting there thinking – am i a blogger? do i tell someone i meet, “oh yes, i am a blogger.” as in, when i am getting to know this new friend is my blogging a part of what i share as who i am and what i do?

honestly, it is not something i’d ever do. which begs the question “why not?!”

i better answer that tomorrow when there is potential for a better mood. today is one of those days. best to just shout out one more time…
steph is hosting a really cool sakura bloom triathlon contest! and call it a day.


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makes me happy monday

i decided that i want to list a few things i am grateful for today. maybe it will become a monday regular.

cowgirl of my heart

cowgirl of my heart

1. this baby girl make me happy in my take my breath away manner – but that is nothing new.

2. this weekend was our annual polo event in the big field across the street from my parents house and it is, i do believe, my favorite event of the year. i love it. this weekend it was sunny and in the 70’s and i got to wear my cowgirl boots and not feel strange and the pea loved joining in the yeehaw fun.

3. the fall in new england. sun, leaves just starting to turn, cool nights and warm days, 70 degree weather, jeans and a tshirt. happiness.

4. speaking of jeans, i got myself one new pair on jeans at a local store that was having a sale and i am loving them. it is nice to get dressed and feel mildly better about my lower half just because i like my jeans.

5. buying from a local store always makes me feel good. (they really need me to come in and fold for them though. i’ll leave it at that.)

6. i’ve been on a major scone baking spree. the simple and healthy(er) scones from alice waters the art of simple food are my jumping off point and i’ve been experimenting with using part almond meal in place of the flour and so on. fun, quick, the bean loves helping, we all love eating. they do not last long around here!

7. the gym has been making me really happy. i just need the pea to come around to being left in the child care and it could be a good thing. anyone want to help me out on this one?

8. my mom telling me she was proud of me for going to the gym. and then the way we did this funny little jumpy dance around my house. good stuff.

9. doing some woowoo work. on friday wotw and redbird were both here and a dog client of wotw’s came over and we all did some work with him and his person to help figure out why the chiropractic work wotw has been doing is not holding. it was so nice to be working. dear universe please send me more work.

10. later on friday, after both kids were asleep, i went out for a bit and met some girl friends for a drink. i didn’t even know everyone there and i had a blast. it lifted my spirits right up and i swear when i climbed into bed that night i was smiling as i fell asleep.

thank you universe for all the blessings.

she adores her gran gran (for which i am thankful)

she adores her gran gran (for which i am thankful)

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bold for life

she is not afraid. no she is not. she is, bold and she explores and she moves away from me to seek out far corners of our space all the time. and she climbs too.

the other day i got a sub at the greek pizza place down the street. the man at the register was friendly and smitten with her and her eager little smile.
“what is her name?” he asked me. and when i told him he said, “that is a greek name.”
“it is russian,” i said.
“greek,” he assured me laughingly “goggle it it or whatever, you find greek.”
“well, in this case it is russian – she is named after my great aunt who was born and bred in russia.”
“it is greek,” he insisted, “you know what it means?”
“life,” i answered him, “life.” and for a moment we were both silent. looking at her with matching adoration.
“this one,” he said gesturing her way, i can see she will grab life by the horns when she is older. this world better watch out.”

i am her mama, my eyes got teary. i hugged her with all my might. i nodded and took my lunch to go.

truth is, this baby girl doesn’t bother to wait until she gets older. she has been a life grabber since the moment my midwife caught her on the bathroom floor. open heart, bright smile, big aura soaking up the world and never even considering holding her self back.

and she climbs too

and she climbs too

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i confess

i have been using disposable diapers. i got sick. then i got sick again. and then again. and the laundry got totally out of my control. so i bought a bunch of disposable diapers and decided i’d go on a “sposie vacation” and catch up on laundry and all the other things i needed to do.

sometimes i have loved it. less laundry. more time to get other things done. not caring how muddy, dirty, insanely filthy the pea gets as she plays outside.

other times i have hated it. the smell of sposies makes me cringe, the way they feel all fat and goopy when they get full, the way her poop explodes out of them sometimes, the way i have to put them in the trash.

i’ve still be using cloth wipes. a girl can’t go completely over to the other side. and i think, as i watch the sposie pile dwindle, we will have our baby girl back in her cloth within the next day or so.

but it seemed like i should tell the world. cloth diaper addict, purist, worshipper, me — in sposieville.

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the gym

the voices come trickling back into my life.  when i was younger and my world was so much darker the voices were always there filling up my mind and my days.  as i grew up, and found my self, and my path, i learned that the voices were just insecurities and not me.  that i am so much more then self doubt.

but as my life is little strained now, i find the pitter patter of those voices dropping back into my silent moments.  slippery little voices, sliding into the space that was filled with quiet warmth or love.  ah, hello voices.  i said one night when they were keeping me awake.  i am tired please be quiet so i can sleep.

now i have to remind myself.  i am not my thinking self.  i am not my thinking self.  i am not my thinking self.  oh yeah, so what am i?  you are this right here.  (heart focus.)  yes, there i am.

i decided that if i can try to get some exercise it would be good for me.  mental health, i think, mental health.  my plan is to try to join the gym and go to the exercise classes while the bean is at preschool.  on monday i drove there with both my kids and asked if i could have a trial period.  i need the trial to see if i really have the will power to make myself go.  if chickpea can hang tough in the child care center there.  if i enjoy the classes at all.

on tuesday i tried it all out.  all the voices were trying to convince me not to go.  that i would feel stupid in the class since i am so out of shape.  that i look to fat in my workout clothes.  that i am just not a gym kind of person and everyone there will know that and i will be an outsider and no one will like me and i will fail.  fail at what?  doesn’t matter.  slippery voices.

i went.  i stood in the back.  i followed the instructor and i looked at the women all around me moving and kicking and punching the air and raising their knees and their heart rate.  not a single one was judging me.  no one pointed or laughed.  some smiled.  i was tired but i stuck with it.  i felt the voices trying to one up me when i glanced in the mirror and saw my red hot face, when fatigue started kicking in, but i said, shush up now voices.  i am not my thinking self.  i am this here.  this heart.  this thudding pounding breaking beating working over-time strong proud beautiful heart.  me.

i settled in to my true self and set my awareness the way i did when i was shredding with intention and i let the sweat pull all the toxins out of me.

and then, there was the woman from the childcare waving at me.  so i grabbed my water bottle and strode out of the class fifteen minutes early.  i walked to the room and grabbed my baby who was missing her mama.  i thanked the woman for getting me right away as i had requested.  i hugged my baby girl tight and i sniffed in her sweet sweet baby girl smell and i loved on her perfect heft and weight and the way she lays her head on my shoulder and hugs me back.

i considered feeling guilty that i had left her there at all.  but i decided to check in with my real self.  she said, baby pea is fine.  she needed you and you went to her.  so i let the guilt go and the strangest thing happened.  i felt good.  tired, thirsty, smelly, good.  maybe i am a gym kind of person after all.  maybe i can sweat those slippery voices right out of business.  maybe my heart likes hard work.

the trial lasts a week.  i’ll let you know if i join.

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