Wednesday, March 28, 2012

40 months---er weeks pregnant

40 weeks pregnant. today.

to mark the occasion I am posting the few things that I can still find enjoyment in being pregnant. These apply to today not pregnancy in general.

1. and at the top of everyone's list, feeling the baby move. I love it when they are this big and they stick their feet out so your belly has a point on one side. I love to feel their exact position (head, back, legs) and pretend I have x-ray vision to match up what I feel.

2. I love prenatal yoga. Maybe because I enjoy the lack of pressure, knowing I don't have to push myself to exhaustion, like I do when I take a regular class.

3. I like walking among strangers and receiving smiles, doors held open... you know special attention. The kind you only get one you are pregnant.

4. my bed! crashing is so much more blissful when you are tired.

5. feeling a bond and deep love for a face you have never seen, and a hand you have never held

Maybe I will think of 5 more... or at least one more for tomorrow, and each consecutive day until Birth Day!

Friday, February 3, 2012

My Mantras

2010 was one of the most challenging years in our family. Adjusting to life with two children, my sister getting diagnosed with cancer (which still feels weird to say), and trying to get her husband to come over to the states and then the cultural clashes that ensued. That was the first year I ever felt really angry. I mean reallllly angry. The kind that just builds up so high that you have to release it with more than just hissing and horse lips. It needs a good f bomb or punch in the wall. And I promise that is not like me at all! Then there is the other side of that roller coaster and you come crashing down into sobs. It was during that year that I came up with the mantra "All is as it should be" and "All will be well" ... these two phrases seem to pretty well cover peace with the present and peace with the future.
They would ring through my head like a bell that cannot be stopped in times of being utterly overwelmed. Even when I didn't want to believe them, they rang.... all is as it should be... all will be well.

It may sound overly optimistic, especially to anyone who doesn't believe in a Greater Being with a plan for your life. But in times of difficulty you have to have something to grab hold of. Something that feels solid and hopeful, even though saying the words "solid" and "hopeful" in the same sentence sounds like a paradox.
You know when you are in a stressful situation but you are trying to teach yourself not to BE stressed? Well how can you? How is it even possible? In most cases you can't eliminate the stressing factors.... so you basically have to tell yourself that they are not stressful. All is as it should be. Even if it's awful, if you believe something good will come of it, somehow that can give the will to push through it. All will be well. Things won't always be so difficult. Maybe not tomorrow or this year, maybe it will be several years before a particular issue is long passed. The hope of a brighter day is the only we can get through the cloudy ones.

I have only recently had these mantras find a place in my mind again. 2011 was wonderful in it's own way, and though I have high hopes for 2012 I have had my share of stressful situations that I have had to mentally give away. Things I wish I could go back and change. Things that are to come that I don't know exactly how I will deal with.

... and yet I still hear it. All is as it should be. All will be well.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Surrender yourself

"Surrender has 3 enemies; fear, denial, and control....
What you fear, approach. What you deny, say. What you control, release."
Peggy O Mara (mothering magazine)

My single piece of advice for new parents? Just give in.
Seriously, the more you give in the easier it is.
Giving in, give up, surrender... however you want to look at it.

I have come to my own conclusion that all sin is rooted in selfishness. Put yourself first and short change someone else. If you can think of a wrongdoing not connected to selfishness please tell me. I'd be interested to hear it.
Now on the opposite swing of that, the more you offer yourself up in sacrifice the happier you will be.

How can a marriage not succeed if both spouses are selfless? If you think of your love before yourself in everything. Same with children. Change your priorities. Care less about taking showers (of course take a couple a week for sanity's sake), forget about those days when you slept without waking up for nine hours. Yeah it's hard. Shoot. It's REALLY hard. Hopefully you aren't the only one pouring yourself out as an offering, that way you can recieve what others pour back into you.

I love what O'Mara said about surrender. I see so many parents that feel like they are supposed to control everything about the child, believing that is in their best interest. Does it really matter if your 3 year old wears 4 pairs of shorts? yes even in public. Why can't your one year old play outside naked? Sometimes even just the choice of language sounds so domineering. "Stop That" "I said No!" "GET OVER HERE!" I don't want to dominate my kids. We ask them to say please why can't we?
It is hard to surrender to the constant needs of children. But you have to trust they have those needs for a reason. Trust that they know what they need and don't try to control it, deny it or fear it.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

the SAHM/ WAHM/ WM Wars

In case you aren't in with the lingo here is your decoder :

SAHM- stay at home mom (which we all know doesn't mean sit on the couch all day mom)

WAHM- work at (or from) home mom

WM- Working mom

I find it interesting that women as homemakers were taken for granted since that's the way it was for hundreds of years. In the 50's it was assumed the house would be clean and everyone fed and the wife looking perfect. I often look on the decade as the time I should have been living. You know dusting in high heels, looking perfect when the Father gets home from work with dinner on the table. Wearing an apron over my dress, with my hair in curlers, running next door for a cup of sugar. The more I think about the more I realize that I would have been even more a misfit than I already am in my own generation.
Children from that time were not to bother their parents. Relationships took second to keeping up appearances and reputation. Attachment parenting wasn't even heard of then, let alone practiced. Don't even get me started on the deception of healthy eating back then. We think of the mother as making everything from scratch, but this was when tv commercials were thriving.
Buy a box pancake mix instead of going to the trouble of making it yourself!

How does that even sound helpful? Even the betty crocker box for cornbread that keeps popping up in my cabinet (eh hem) isn't any easier than my favorite recipe for Corn & Oat muffins. Those quick mixes eliminate the need to add baking powder and salt... whew a load off my mind!

So let's fast forward through the next 20-30 years, and society swing to the opposite side. If you were a SAHM you were not "doing anything" with your life, or living up to your potential.
Women's liberation means we can have any job we want and you can't make us be mothers.

At this point in my life I have stopped seeing a separation between mothers who are paid to work and those who aren't. I have seen working mothers who attachment parent and stay at home mothers who don't. I have come full circle, and still I have been able to remain true to my parenting philosophies, ever-changing as they inevitably may be.

Point is... Invest first in your family (not just children but spouses too), and enjoy whatever it is you do. I couldn't work away from my family (unless financial situations absolutely required) if I was wishing to be back home the whole time. It isn't wrong to be happy doing something you love, just be aware that no one gets short changed because of it.
We have to consciously be present with our family. Even if it means doing nothing. Just be... but be in togetherness. Lay around on the floor with a pile of books. Make some iced tea and go sit outside in the grass. Roll around tickling, giggling, and eating up each other on a big mattress. Talk in your silly voice. Here's a big one for me: stop multi-tasking!

The health of a home effects all of society.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011


I have many muses that have been hovering over me this year.
They want me to dance and to choreograph.
They beg of me to sing and write songs.
...And here they are pushing me to write. I am finally at a time in my life where I can type with both hands (you nursing mothers totally get me here!) Finally, at 19 months postpartum, my brain is functioning again and thoughts flow rythmically. My writing here is for my thoughts, brain farts, favorite recipes, and deep philosophical ideas. How to remain sane as a mother, giving as a wife, and a messy house peaceful. How to be a part of community and live a life of gratitude and blessing.