Archive for June, 2009

family rocks

a moment with my dad

a moment with my dad (in 2005)

i have spent the last 24 hours feeling crazed and stressed and overwhelmed…all as i get my little family of four ready for a cross country flight and an eight day vacation with my mom, dad, brother, sister in law and two nieces.  i haven’t exactly kept my cool and i am nowhere near done.  picking up on my tension chickpea didn’t nap well today and the bean isn’t eating.  gotta love it.  but it is all going to be worth it.  not only for the vacation, for the beach, the ocean, the days of help with the kids, the promised date for flash’s big birthday, the views from our rented house – all that is going to be wonderful but the thing i am most excited about is the company.  the company of my little family and my birth family and my brothers family all cozied up together for long enough to find a rhythm and some time for cooking, storytelling, joking, and eating.

i anticipate feeling much refreshed when i return.  and i have to tell you, after the way the last few days have gone (and the things i have been reading on the internet) i can’t wait to surround myself with a handful of nice people who love me just because of my blood.

family.  god bless ’em.

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several times in the last week or so i have found myself talking about the idea of nonattachment.  or, in my words, the idea of putting stuff out there without being hung up on exactly what is done with it.  i was introduced to this idea when i began working as an animal communicator.  the question became, what if i share information and it is not acted upon?  or ignored?  am i somehow failing the animal then?  do i need to follow up?  and the answer, clear as day from the woman who was guiding me at the time, was simple.  you are simply the vessel the universe is using to share the information and what is done with it is not yours to control.  let it go.  do you work and do not be attached to outcomes.

i have been talking about this recently with a few friend in regards to sharing information, about birth, about pregnancy, about breast feeding.  i have been giving counsel on the idea of being a vessel of information (with love in your heart) and then knowing that your work is done and the outcome of it is not yours to manage.  as i was talking about this in depth with wotw the other day i suddenly realized “this has been a reoccuring theme for me recently.”  and then i further decided “the universe must have a serious test of non-attachment coming my way.”

i first learned about this non-attachment when i was learning a bit about buddhism when i was much younger.  life is suffering and suffering comes from desire and desire arises out of attachment.  enlightenment is reached when we no longer feel attached to things (including love and hunger) and we are able to cease desiring that which we are attached to.  once we stop desiring and we simple are we no longer suffer.  we are not attached and so there is nothing to suffer over.

not exactly a direct line to sharing information without worrying about the outcome but you can see the similarities.  i am all for the sharing of ideas and information and stories and i hope that some of what i share might inspire people or help them feel less alone or make them think or just help them laugh at life.  and so i blog.  or, maybe that isn’t why i blog.  i haven’t figured out why i blog and that is a whole differnt post.  but my point is that i do put something out there almost every day.  and i was right, the universe was gearing me up for a little reminder course in not getting too attached to my words, my thoughts, my ideas, my blog, and how i am received by anyone who happens to read it.

today i got home from a long afternoon out running errands with the kids and saw a comment on a recent post of mine saying i was being debated over at a forum.  i followed the link provided in the comment and i was treated to five or six pages of women ripping apart my personhood and my blog entry just for the fun of it (from what i can tell).  first i was hot with shame and thinking everything they said was right.  then i felt angry for being called into question out of the context of my happy little blog space.  i wanted to hide, i wanted to cry, i wanted to find a way to post on the linked forum and make them realize how unnecessary their picking apart was.  i wanted someone to affirm that really i am ok and people like me.

i wanted to comment.  i so wanted to comment on the thread.  but ding ding ding – here is my chance to practice non-attachment.  i wrote that post, i published it on my blog, and now i have to let go of it.  i can’t be attached to the post.  the post is not me.  even if it is me caring so much will only lead to suffering.  i will not be attached.

did i succeed?  not entirely, i did tweet about it.  i did allow myself to be soothed by some friendly followers who said nice things to me and calmed my panicked ego.  so i was not truly unattached.  but i did close the forum on my computer, deign to comment on their thread, and chose to let the insults slide instead like water off my back.  their hatred is not mine to resolve.  my blog is not something i need to defend.  it is just a bunch of thoughts i put out in the world and then i have to let them go.  run free little thoughts.  roam where you will.

spreading good energy is usually my intention.  in retrospect that post didn’t spread good energy to begin with and now there it is creating more havoc.  but really, here is a nice chance for a little life work.  i will not attach.  i will not attach.  i will not attach.

peace i say.  peace, love, joy.   and some woowoo too.

i will be attached to my pea

i will be attached to my pea

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trying a theme

my partner in bugdom

my partner in bugdom

we do have a rhythm to our days around here – kind of – a loosey goosey kinda sorta rhythmish thingy.  but, it is not the kind of rhythm i feel super about.  it is more like the kind of rhythm i told myself was ok while i got used to having more than one child in the house and then just never broke out of.  truth be told, i am kind of tired of feeling ashamed of my daily parenting instead of good about it.  it is what i do and it is what i am and it kinda sucks feeling crappy about it.  i think the time has come to stop imagining all the cool things i will do with my kids in the future and instead try to change the shape of our days now.

with that in my mind i have been toying around (in my head only, once it hits paper i’ll feel like i have to do it) with what a new rhythm might include.  more time outside, more time experimenting with crafting and exploring nature and the natural world, more time set aside for daily tasks so that i can encourage the bean to be more involved instead of trying to set him up doing something else so i can do things faster.  also, perhaps, if i can force myself, less time obsessing over making sure the pea get x number of hours napping each day.

side notes important to be aware of:  i have been obsessed with sleep since the bean was very young because he had a hard time sleeping and the way i met his sleep needs (holding him for naps until he was past 2 years old) were not common amongst people i knew.  he also didn’t sleep well at night and so we coslept forever and thought he might never in his life sleep through.  with him i got myself into a sleep obsession (since supposedly sleep begets sleep and we were not begetting any sleep at all) and i find i fell into it again with the pea.  even though she sleeps slightly more easily than the bean did i still am always slightly neurotic about doing anything i can to help her sleep for “at least ninety minutes” which is said to be the minimum time a nap should be by the sleep begets sleep people.  anyway, i got issues.  i know i do.  just sharing.

one other side note: i do plan to get the new rhythm sketched out on paper when i return from our big trip.

which leads to a third side note:  we are leaving for our trip in a few days and gone until the ninth so there is a good chance you won’t hear much from me during that time.  except perhaps an occasional iphone post.  but don’t expect my usual wordiness.  maybe you will all enjoy the vacation from ms. wordy.

ok now, back to the blog post.  where was i?  ah yes, i want to try to change things a little bit.  i feel like i should point out that my inspiration to shift has come from a few different places.  it started when i became a devoted fan of green mamma and was deeply impressed by all the amazing things she does with her daughter. further talks with my as of yet unnamed mama friend (we really must fix that issue) made me think more and more about what i wanted to do. as noted in my post on my vocational development i started thinking about what might inspire me to focus on and connect with parenting children that were no longer nursing, cosleeping, etc. reading over at the parenting passageway has also got me thinking more about how i want to direct and fill our days.

so there is a fair amount percolating in my brain and i am just looking for the opening, space or sudden inspiration to implement it. one day there was a lull in our day which allowed the bean to turn to me and say “will you play with me?” and i could honestly say “yes!” so he countered “what do you want to do?” and i was instantly stumped. in the words of a three year old he has basically just asked me to come up with a good activity and i had nothing to offer. i think it was one of my lamest parenting moments ever. we ended up playing with building blocks but shortly there after i had an ah ha moment. it would be helpful for me to have a “theme” in my mind to help me to steer our time, activities, talk, games, play. i am not saying that i am suddenly trying to teach him things or anything like that. we are still going to be the same laid back folk. but in the moment when we have a lull and i get to think of something fun to do it would help me to have a theme in mind. something simple, and broad, and connected to nature.

i talked this over with my the nameless mama and she agreed that it might be helpful. she happened to mention some recent bug sightings and just like that we had a theme to test out. bugs. for the last week or so i have just sat with what it means to have a bugs theme in our lives. when we saw ants on our floor instead of just dismissing them we got down low to look at them. i asked the bean to tell me if there was anything he liked about them. we talked about what they were doing in our home. when i was cleaning up the kitchen and putting aluminum foil on top of something and he asked me for a piece i made it into a bug shape and gave it to him to play with. (he has proceeded to ask me to do this almost everyday since.) when we had a quiet moment in which he asked me to play i asked him if he felt like gluing and got an excited yes. so i cut out some colored paper and we made bug art. in fact, he had so much fun we decided to take down some professional artwork in the playroom and hang up our bugs (and last weeks glitter glue art fun).

i certainly don’t have things all figured out. and given my recent impressions of the internet i am guessing there are people out there who could argue that having a theme is bad, or that bugs are not the right theme, or that my weird sleep obsession is sick, and so on and so forth. but so what? here i am, in my life, with our bug theme. we are rockin’ it woowoo style. we are liking it. bugs are suddenly cool.

i am totally open to other ideas and resources for daily rhythms and projects, crafts, play for preschoolers. if you have good stuff share the love.

our glued bugs on display

our glued bugs on display

beanie bugs

beanie bugs

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it takes a headmaster

i was lucky enough to go to a lovely highschool with an interesting and inspiring headmaster in my time there.  when the gulf war began the entire school assembled “for as long as we needed” to share facts, information, and feeling about what was going on.  the assmebly ended up going on for two days.  imagine, an educator who understood the importance of not having classes and instead being a community.

one day two of the young men attending my school got into a fist fight in a common area.  several of us were witness to the outbreak and, putting it mildly, fist fights were not something i saw everyday at my school.  again, the headmaster chose to call the community together to talk about what had happened.  in other institutions i have been a part of similar issues have been swept under the carpet or kept quiet, but my headmaster was all for working through things that affected the community as a community.

the things is, he was also mad.  i didn’t fully understand it at the time in the ways i do now.  here was a man who dedicated himself to helping to develop the knowledge, learning, life skills of a few hundred children at a time.  he cared very deeply and he wanted to do a good job.  and he believed that a core tenant of life – the core tenant of life – was kindness.

on the day of the fist fight he was angry because we had not listened to him as he taught this again and again and again.  so he had a moment where he needed us to understand the importance of the message.  he stood in front of all of us and he shared the details of what had happened.  he told us exactly what the disciplinary actions taken were.  he gave each involved student a moment to apologize to the school if they wanted.  and then he spoke, quite eloquently (he was an english professor as well and it always shone through in his speaking) about the importance of kindness in life.  the ability to be kind to all living things, to other human beings, to fellow students.  he went on for a bit and we listened quietly.  then towards the end of this beautifully crafted speech he got quiet.  he was quiet for a few moments.  then he said something akin to this:

“if you learn anything in your years here, while i am the headmaster, i want it to be the importance of what i am telling you right now.  the importance of kindness.  sometimes i find it to be a very difficult lesson to teach and then i get fired up.  (long pause.)  just, just, damnit don’t be mean!

he spoke his final words with such hearfelt passion i doubt that anyone in the audience will ever forget them.  aside from the shock of hearing our headmaster say the word “damnit” in assembly was the conviction with which he spoke.  part pleading part commanding part just being certain.  certain that being kind is always, always, without fail, the way to proceed in any given situation.

a lot of us scroll the internets these days.  and we read a lot of differing opinions and stories and strategies on life and parenting and gardening and everything you can ever imagine.  it can be easy to think you know better than others how or why things should be done.  and perhaps you do.  it might mean a lot to share how you feel.  that can be a good thing to do.  but for the love of all things woowoo, and for the sake of all our fellow bloggers and gardeners, writers, parents, cooks, teachers just remember “damnit don’t be mean!

if you pause for a moment to think you can usually find a nice way to say things.  a kind way.  a way to disagree with kindness in your heart.

that’s all for now folks.  peace and blessings to all of you who read.

(for the record this post was “inspired” by the comments on phd in parenting’s most recent post.)

walk in beauty.

woo woo mama to the max.

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on the one hand i want to be:
well groomed
likable at a glance

on the other hand i want to:
love myself as i am
care more about inner beauty than outer
not worry so much about what other people think

on the one hand i want:
to simplify
to donate
to serve my community
to be unattached to things
to live life in tune with my higher self

on the other hand i like:
woven wraps
cloth diapers
wool to go over said diapers
a nice new dress
things that sparkle

sometimes i am such a seesaw and i wonder if the goal might just be to figure out how to balance and stop bopping up and down. it is a bit exhausting.

sbish wool is so worth loving

sbish wool is so worth loving

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this moment in time feels so familiar to me.  i have idea’s and plans and so much to do and instead of moving into the work i am on the couch in my pajama’s and i haven’t washed my face in days.  ok, not entirely true, today i washed my face and brushed my teeth and got dressed by 8 am but i did have an appointment.  in general, this week i have been gray and a little sullen and in that zone of too much to do and doing nothing.  i want to be doing but instead i am not and the longer i am not doing the more i feel behind in my doing the more overwhelmed i am and the more stuck i get.  hello my good friend rabbit.  so nice to see you again.  here we are, frozen in our fear together.

what do i want and need to be doing:

work for my class (reading and papers)

laundry (we got behind while i was in class)

creating rhythm and activity in my days at home with the kids (for bean especially)

reading to get ideas on how to start the rhythm/activity stuff

making a plan of what the days could look like

implementing the plan

going through the toys (again) and getting rid of the plastic stuff i hate hate hate (some can stay but not the triple hate stuff)

organizing my desk area (ikea would really help if we could swing the funds)

writing about non-attachement on this blog

SHREDDING (for the love of all things holy i know i’d feel better if i got back to it but i am so tired i don’t and so on and so on)

geting my eye brows waxed (this is shallow but pleasing)

getting my hair cut (see above)

shipping books out to green mamma

shipping out sold dipes

learning to knit well enough to make things

learning to sew too

being generally amazingly crafty like soulemama

adopting a dog into our family

getting involved in the local food pantry

painting the bedrooms

making the kids rooms nicer to be in

finishing the second front garden

canning some things (learning to can) for the winter

learning to make my own cheese!

having more fun parenting

going on a nice date with flash

sleeping, sleeping, and sleeping some more.

oh yes, a little sleep might go a long way.  with flash away the timing for the pea’s recent sleep strike isn’t great.  she is keeping me up most of the night and there is no one to take her when she is up for the day so i get a little break.  she is nursing a ton, biting, tossing and turning and whining.  i am guessing maybe a tooth is coming but from 1 am until i give up hope at 5:45 i am not really as compassionate as i could be.  i am tired!  right now i am drinking coffee (albeit half caf) in the afternoon which is basically me asking to be up until 1 am which is around the time she stops sleeping so i am caught in a cycle here.  and, isn’t it funny that i want more babies!

so how are all of you on this long gray week?  anyone else want to share their to do list?  or their sleep deprivation stories?  or a late afternoon mini half caf?

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sleeping in

wordless wednesday…sleeping in:


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