Saturday, March 9th, 2013
I miss writing daily, and I feel a more than a bit bad that I don’t keep at my writing like I want to. I also know that I have an awful lot on my plate right now, and I need to be more gentle with myself. I am a full-time Mom, and I am also working full-time. And there are really only tiny glimpses of a work/life balance for me after 9+ months into my parenting journey.
Because I am so easily sucked into the exhaustion void, I have very left in me at the end of the day to write. To even think, really. Let’s be honest… by 7:00 p.m. my mind is basically mush.
But I feel this urgency to stop everything and really pause and take in the moment. My kid is 9 months old. Well, 9 and a half months, really. And there are a million little new wonders and discoveries in her world every day, and it’s pretty much the most amazing thing I have every experienced in my 35 years watching her navigate LIFE as a curious, fearless, funny, and bold 9-month old girl.
Every day she is learning new things, taking in new experiences, comprehending more and more. This month alone she is crawling on her hands and knees more and more, especially for short distances. Long distances she resorts to the army crawl because she is faster that way still. She is clapping her hands together in delight. She is banging toys together. She wants to know and understand how everything moves, and once she figures it out, she wants to move it all by herself — like her glider, swing, dining room chairs, bathroom door, etc. She figured out how to whistle through her bottom teeth. She pulls up on anything and everything — the coffee table, couch, end table, her basket of books, her crib railing, her bouncy seat… you name it. And she’s figuring out how to grab onto two different surfaces to get the best purchase to pull herself up (hard wood floors present some slippery difficulties). One hand on her fabric storage bin of toys with the other hand on the side of the couch. She is suddenly very fond of electronics and wants my phone if I’m talking on it. She knows how to turn on the iPod and the PlayStation and the music on her bouncy seat. Electrical cords and outlets and really anything dangerous brings her so much joy. She keeps us on our toes.
She waves hello and goodbye. She cocks her head to the side when she’s thinking about something. She throws her head back with her mouth wide open when she is particularly pleased with something she’s just done. She makes all sorts of jabbering noises that sound like real conversations in her very own language. There’s lots of dadadadada along with baa, gaa, yaa, paa, blaa, yay. Just no mamamamama yet. Soon enough.
My gal is also teething hardcore right now. Just waiting for those top two front teeth to make their appearance. It’s been a long and steady teething progression over the past several months, but it really came to the forefront (heh heh) this week. It looks like those teeth are right there, about to erupt (hate that word). She has definitely been a trooper through all this, dealing with a bit of fever yesterday and a runny nose with congestion today. I could tell she was experiencing some discomfort tonight when I was nursing her before bed because she stopped nursing suddenly and grabbed my finger and jammed it her mouth. And smiled when she chomped down. Oh, she is a clever one. She then told me all about her teething woes and I opened my mouth and showed her my teeth and told her what was coming. And she really listened and took it all in and then jabbered back to me while taking her hand and feeling my teeth with all of her drooly wet fingers. And when she was thoroughly satisfied with the scope of her investigation, she took her hand away. And stopped and just stared at me for a good 10 seconds. Then she sighed, threw her head back, and let out a long baby dragon call.
And then she leaned forward and got very close to my face and exhaled her wonderful 9-month old baby breath all over me. And then let out the loudest belch I’ve ever heard from anyone that close to my face. It was ferocious.
That’s my girl.
Sunday, April 3rd, 2011
So April is here. And with it came more snow. Friday, April 1st, was April Fools’ Day. And fools we all were indeed, waking up to 6″ of fresh snow here in southern New Hampshire.
In haste and desperation, I made my April banner. Snow covering the lillies in our front flower garden. Proclaiming how silly all this snow will seem in 30 days.
Because here it is, 2 days later, and the snow is gone! Melted! Ba-bye! This weekend it has been really windy again, but the temps reached 50°F both yesterday and today. And with the melting and warm temps, Spring triumphs once again.
It’s funny how a flower so delicate can be so hardy, being the first to emerge after a long, long, long Winter.
Ha! It’s the little things that can make your whole outlook improve in an instant. All it took was seeing that wonderful, tiny surprise, and I felt victorious.
So a new April banner is up. Redo! And, yes, you can teach an old garden new tricks.
Saturday, March 19th, 2011
Hello! I know my posts have been infrequent lately. I have been consumed with spending time sleeping and running and devoting myself to wellness over the past month.
Winter just seemed like the right time to make wellness a priority in my life. I am a work in progress, as we all are. I have written rather extensively about my propensity for working a lot and getting caught up in a vicious cycle of working late and staying up late and focusing outwardly. I have come to realize that I am very good at avoiding being present in my body. Avoiding uncomfortable feelings. Running away from anxiety.
But where is it getting me? Nowhere, really. It’s a cycle that just goes and goes and doesn’t lend itself to progress or nurturing.
And what I have come to understand is that nurturing is tough work. But good work—the real work. We need to nurture ourselves. And I need to nurture me, foster goodness and love in ME. Especially if I plan to become a parent.
This discovery seems so simple, and yet it has taken me a long while to really wrap my head around it. Every day is a new opportunity to be good to myself. Every day I owe it to myself to commit to being gentle to my body and mind. Nourishing. Forgiving. Urgent. Loving. Progressive. Patient. Nudging.
It’s a dance. A delicate balance.
And not every day goes smoothly. But I am doing the work. My hope is that it gets easier with practice, and that my good habits become second nature.
I can so easily be thrown off course by a bad work day, a conversation, a wayward feeling, a wave of anxiety or doubt. But I am learning to embrace these sometimes uncomfortable, ambivalent feelings. To exist in total, utter shades of gray. It’s been difficult, and yet, transformative.
It’s not this gigantic epiphany, more of a building. A resonance of how the next chapters of my life are meant to unfold. And while this learning has been ongoing over the last several months, the clarity really came during Winter. Winter allowed me to slow down and focus. And process. And heal. And dream.
So, goodbye Winter. You have been so good to me this year. I am ever so grateful for all that you have given me and what I am learning because of this time.
If you are ever in need of renewal or affirmation, hang out with a toddler. It helps. My nephew is simply delightful. Happy, inquisitive, peaceful… such a healthy reminder of what we are all capable of and striving for.
Monday, March 7th, 2011
I am a huge fan of aloe plants. I have 8 of them, and most have grown from parent/baby aloe plants.
Aloe is very easy to grow because it requires very little water. Give aloe some generous sun, and be sure to root the plants deep in soil (they are top-heavy and will vomit themselves right out of their pots if not buried deep enough in soil).
We use aloe for all things skin-ailing. Got dry skin? Use the “gel” from aloe. Got a blemish or scrape or sore? Aloe to the rescue. Aloe works wonders.
And because it is such a forgiving, easy-to-grow plant, it’s very convenient to keep aloe on hand. And given the right conditions, it will grow babies. Like mad.
Aloe LOVES to reproduce.
My oldest aloe plant, however, was a stalwart. I had had this particular aloe plant for 8 years and it was doing its own slow growth thing. But then I started feeding it leftover coffee. Mostly for fun, but also because I had read that feeding plants leftover coffee was good for their soil ecosystems.
And watch out.
Last January I posted that my very old aloe finally had babies.
It took me a long while to realize the connection between coffee feedings and reproductive growth. And since January 2010, I have dumped many an extra cup of coffee on my grandma aloe plant.
The aloe are multiplying.
Wednesday, January 26th, 2011
Helllloooo from cold and snowy New England! There really is not much to report, sadly. Or, I suppose, not really sadly? It’s pretty much a winter homeostasis here. The work week is pretty much the usual work week. I get up and go to work and do my thing. I come home and I go for a hearty run on the treadmill. I eat dinner and hang out for a bit. And then I obediently head off to bed, even if what I really want to do is stay up late poking around on the computer.
I am trying very hard to establish and keep healthier, more holistic habits for myself in 2011. And that means lots of exercise, eating well, and making a conscious effort to get more sleep.
So far, so good. I am officially on Week 6 of my little renewal plan. Yeah, I started this re-commitment back in December for good measure. It’s pretty boring, I won’t lie. It’s a whole lotta routine. But I have to say, I forgot how much I like this routine. I used to be so good at it, but I had fallen out of practice. But, much like riding a bike, I picked it all right back up!
And I am feeling so much BETTER. I am sleeping pretty well. I wake up fairly easily. I have increasing amounts of energy each day.
And, get this… I am having these wonderful moments of pure, unabashed joy. Yeah. In the middle of winter. Hibernation time. Sometimes it’s when I am in the car driving to work. Sometimes it’s when I am huddled in my cube. Sometimes it’s right after I get off the treadmill and I’m stretching in the shower. Make no mistake, I get these momentary bubbles of real joy. Quite near bliss.
I have to think it has everything to do with exercising and sleeping more. My body craves these two things. More and more. Even if I am super tired and cranky after work and I don’t want to run. I do. I throw on my running clothes and I go.
And I feel so much better after.
In other news, it’s snowing outside right now. Another 4–8″ of snow due to fall overnight. I have to get myself off to bed so that I can wake up and shovel out before work.
And so it goes…