Saturday, August 27, 2011

Friday, August 26, 2011

This Moment

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. Inspired by SouleMama.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Walking in Circles

Sometimes I walk in circles feeling like I should be doing "something else". I feel guilty sometimes for not doing enough. Or being enough. I wish during these times I could turn off my thinking brain. Then I realize it's a good thing that I can recognize it. Because it allows me to stop and evaluate my walking in circles.

All at once I can be flooded with...
I've got a to-do list
Laundry needs to be done
I want my desk organized
I want the table cleared
There are dishes
Z probably needs a snack
Bodhi is about to wake up
Did I play with Z enough or clean the playroom too much?
What am I making for dinner?

Then I realize I thought all that in a matter of a few minutes.

Man, my brain can be busy.

I have the power to stop that.

I have the power to realize that it doesn't all need to be done right then and slow down. Sometimes it is just all in my head and I don't have to act. I just think I do.

I have the power to take a deep breath, fix Z a snack, sit with him, play and wait for Bodhi to wake up. And fully pay attention to each thing as I do it. If I get a moment to do the rest then I do. You'll always know when it's time.

It's as simple as that.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Friday, August 19, 2011

This Moment

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. Inspired by SouleMama.

My Little Mirrors

Today I lost my patience. I was angry at someone outside of this household. I found myself saying things with a sharper tongue than normal in tones and levels I don't like to hear coming from myself. To everyone in sight. I didn't hold true to "if you have nothing nice to say (or can't say it nice) then don't say anything at all". And I wasn't paying attention to anything.

I eventually caught myself and said sorry. To everyone. For some reason I was expecting everyone to deal with it. The attitude was "I'm pissy so let me be pissy. Yeah, you. You have your moments too.". After a while I realized that wasn't a healthy attitude for anyone. It came from was Z and Bodhi's reaction. My little mirrors snapped me to attention...

At first, Z was being as sweet as he could be. Like trying to hug me or be silly. I'd accept it, with a half smile then rush off. Then he picked up on my vibe and started acting up. Getting in my way, trying to stop me. I wasn't paying attention to him and ignoring my anger and huffing and puffing around. He started knocking things down and doing things he knew I wouldn't be happy with. Bodhi woke up, I changed him, nursed him and tried to put him down. No way. He was feeling me. I started to get more frustrated. "Geez, don't you know I need time to sulk and be angry." Then I realized they had put up with me long enough and they were fed up too. They were trying to get my attention in the best way possible -mirroring my attitude, begging me to take a peek. Adults to this just as well. This is something that can stop me dead in my tracks when I finally realize it. I wished it had happened sooner.

I just sat there and thought about why the heck was I so mad. Did I really need to react that way? Life's 10% what happens and 90% how you react to it, yada yada yada. I hadn't reacted good at all. Thank goodness children are most forgiving. We sat together and hugged for a while after apologies. Then I sat and watched Z play and Bodhi sleep and composed myself more while realizing that my problem wasn't even a problem at all. It was a really bad reaction to a slamming of my ego. I didn't get my way. So I took it out on those I love. And that sucks. All in all, I'm glad I have my mirrors and I'm glad when I look into them. And all around, everything is forgiven.

Thank you, tiny mirrors. I love you.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Taking Notice: In the Moment

We're all happiest when we're in the moment instead of trying to make the moment.

The other afternoon, Bodhi fell asleep and I could see that Z was getting tired. But he wouldn't go down for a nap. I tried and tried. Cuddle, read a book, cartoon for chill time, low lights? Nope. Nothing was working. I wanted him to nap. I wanted a little time. I wasn't recognizing that that was a precious moment for us to hang out while Bodhi was asleep, even if Bodhi sleeps a lot. He started to get frustrated and cranky with me. I wasn't taking notice that he just wanted to be with his Mama. I released my grip and we went downstairs to play. Immediately, we were both happy. It turned out to be a nice fun chunk of playtime for me and Z.

Sometimes, I don't take notice. I fight and fight. Then we're both frustrated. It's not about winning. It's about noticing and being and learning to let go. If I simply notice my frustration, feel it's hot grip on me, realize what the situation needs and let go everyone's a little happier. And that's what life's about.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Noticing Differences

Newborns & toddlers bring things into the light.
They redefine important and urgent for you.
Above all they help you become more aware of and all you witness and do.
This becomes a good thing when I let it slow me down,
let things be and pay better attention.

Thank you, children of mine. I'm listening to and appreciating...

The differences between
quiet & silent
messy & dirty
one or two at at time & all at once
organization & preparation
being the moment & making the moment
one load & three loads
bed at 11 & bed at 12
awake at 7 & awake at 8
three mouths & four
one kid & two kids
two years & one month

I love you.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Always New

"For things to reveal themselves to us,

we need to be ready to abandon our views about them."

Thich Nhat Hahn

I told our pediatrician today, "I'm a new mama all over again." She smiled and kindly said, "You know more than you think you do." Simultaneously, both are true.

I can't pretend that I know all the answers, but I know I have instincts. The more I think I know about something the less I really understand it. Keeping my beginner's mind open is the only way for me. Especially with a toddler and newborn.

The longer I am a parent, the more I trust my instincts and feel more confident, but I take every moment and day as new. There is no such thing as "always" with children. There is no "today will be like yesterday" or "this baby will be like the other". I've got to follow their lead and give into the flow of how things are, not how I want them to be. Of course, I have expectations and ideas but they have to go out the window if the moment calls for it. I'm consistent but flexible because I'd rather bend than break.

Z trusts that he can talk to me and tell me how he feels and what he wants. Bodhi is realizing that if he cries I will comfort him. No two feelings or cries are the same or require exactly the same response. Sometimes I have to read between the lines but I can when I pay attention.

I've got a newborn and a toddler and they grow and change every day. But we grow and change together. I promise to them that I will honor every request and cry as new and show them the love and respect they need. I'm their mama and they know they can trust me.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Born to Love

We're born to love!
Bodhi has the birthmark to prove it.

I love this tiny foot with the little heart.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Mama's Toolbox

Major meltdown for Z this afternoon. He wanted to go with Daddy to get Uncle B because they're going to pick up a motorcycle. Sounds like a fun boys afternoon, right? He went back and forth between "I wanna go!" and "I don't wanna go!". We were lost. He wanted both. He wanted us all to go. We didn't get mad but of course we were frustrated. We knew he was confused and felt lost too so we didn't want to compound his frustration with ours, mixed in with anger. We made time for the meltdown. We sat and gave him a choice to go or not. He got in the car-seat and out several times. Walked back to the truck then the house a few times. Through tears and sadness we did all we could. "You wanna buckle yourself in/get a drink/take a different toy?..." He finally walked in the house. He started crying again then Bodhi woke up and started wailing.

I could feel my patience begin to wane but I had a choice. React with anger in a way that makes it worse for all of us or sit through the perfect tantrum storm. It's hard. I'm not always able to do it with grace, but today I did and it made all the difference. I picked up Bodhi to nurse and held Z crying. I didn't know what else to do. He settled down and I told him I understood his feelings. He told me about being sad and mad and he wanted to go. I told him it was OK and I understood. He wasn't wrong or bad. He's two. He knew I understood and cared and eventually stopped crying. The storm was over and we were back to where we were before it all began. Home and playing.

I never know that what I'm doing is "right" but that all depends on the moment. I have no method. There is no formula. There are no repeats. There is only now. Sometimes it's a quick fix, sometimes it's full meltdown. I wonder if I'm responding right. But no matter what I do I have to sit through it and be in it. Do I end it or do I let it go? How long? End it how? Is this a healthy response? Am I over-reacting? Under-reacting? All I can do is my best. I can't rely on "well it worked last time." Last time is gone. There is only the moment in front of me.

The only things that work for me are in my Mama's toolbox. Yes, I forget them. Yes, I get angry. Yes, I can lose my temper and meltdown myself but I always fall back on them. Even if I have to say I'm sorry and move forward with them. We're all human and as a parent I admit my mistakes too. And yes, especially to a two year old.

The only things I really need in my toolbox are:

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Mama Been's Kitchen -Fettucine Alfredo

I also love to share my own favorite recipes here at Mama Been's Kitchen.
Today I posted a delicious recipe for fettucine alfredo.

Wondering if I should merge my recipes with this blog...

It's OK

It's OK that
things are on hold...
the laundry is piling up...
the dishes aren't always done...
the carpet isn't vacuumed right now...
the house is messier than usual...
I do things little by little...
I don't have enough sleep...
I don't have time for "my" creative things...
our day has no goals but making meals and having fun...
and I sit and be instead of have to do...

I've got the cutest excuses ever.