Saturday, December 31, 2011


Goodbye 2011.

I will not miss you.

I will not mourn you.

I will not review you.

I will not complain about you, although I easily could.

You are not ever completely gone.

But you are over.

I have released you.

Nothing magic will change at midnight.

Yet everything will happen at midnight.

It's just another moment in time.

Another blank calendar.

Another event. 

Bring it 2012.

I'm ready.




Friday, December 30, 2011

This Moment

{this moment} - Holiday edition!
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.
If you're inspired to do the same, leave a link to your 'moment' in the comments for all to find and see.

Thursday, December 22, 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.
If you're inspired to do the same, leave a link to your 'moment' in the comments for all to find and see.

Winter Solstice

Keep moving forward
Let the shadow fall behind
Let all the light in

The Winter Solstice is a time of renewal.  It's celebration of light emerging from darkness.  

I created a releasing bundle to symbolically let go of all that I do not want to welcome into the new year.  

To welcome the Solstice, I sat fireside beneath the clouded sky with tiny sprinkles tapping my shoulder.  I allowed my fears, problems and pains to burn slowly to ashes.  They don't have to take priority in my life.  While they will not go away, they do not have to be problems for me.  I don't have to dwell.  

It felt good.

Fears, problems and pains do not magically disappear but they can be given permission to burn to ashes and become fertile compost for my soul.  Sometimes it takes a symbolic gesture to open your heart a little more.  

When they return, I will sit with them and welcome them.  I will not shut the door.  I will sit on my cushion time after time.  I will cry time after time.  I will burn them to ashes time after time.

Let it burn.  Let it go.  Now go.  Let in the light.

If you feel inspired to, I invite you to do the same tonight.

Tell me how you celebrated the Solstice.  I'd love to hear.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Joy Pockets

This week we were all getting over a bit of a cold.  Tiny people with stuffy noses are sad.  But all in all we made the best of it, slowed down and spent plenty of time smiling and playing around.  Plenty of joy pockets to go around.

Celebrating the 12th anniversary of my and Zach's first date.
Watching Bodhi wiggle forward more and more. 
He's like a little inchworm and it's so cute it makes me squeal with delight.
Watching Z cheer on Bodhi.
"Yay, Bodhi!  Good job, Bodhi!!"
Decorating sugar cookies with tons of colored icing.

The garden is blossoming beautifully.
Peas are flowering!
Building with tiny LEGOs.
Grandma brought more tiny LEGO people too!!
Surprise visits & presents from Papa.
Visit from Papaw & Nana who live miles away.

joy pockets

 Joy Pockets.
Thank you, Holistic Mama.

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.
If you're inspired to do the same, leave a link to your 'moment' in the comments for all to find and see.

Thursday, December 15, 2011


"Attention is the most concrete expression of love.
What you pay attention to thrives.
What you do not pay attention to withers and dies."

I read this every day.  
Sometimes I need the reminder.  
Even if this truth right in front of my face.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

I Try to Remember

I love and adore my kids but I can get frustrated.  Babies, especially require a lot of attention and most moments and days I am willing to give it all.

Staying at home with them means that I have 24 hours and 7 days a week with the boys.  And to top that off, not that it's bad, but I haven't spent time away from Bodhi since he's been born.

I wouldn't trade being with them for anything but I get very little time to do just what I want worry free.

There are times when I think, "Geez, just give me ten minutes...!"  Ten minutes without being 100% aware of tiny beings, holding a tiny being, being jumped on, followed, worrying about what Z's doing, or being asked to do something.  At least sometimes Z gets absorbed in playing when Bodhi's asleep or (gasp) they both nap.

Sometimes it makes me antsy.  Can you dig?

So there are a few things I try to remind myself of when I don't want to slow down and give the attention that Bodhi needs.

When I get frustrated that Bodhi doesn't want to be set down,
I try to remember there will come a time when he won't want to just sit still with me.

When I get frustrated that Bodhi won't just sit and swing when I'm cooking,
I try to remember that one day all he'll want to do is run off.

When I get frustrated that Bodhi doesn't want to sit in one spot with me,
I try to remember that sometimes I don't either and he's just asking for a little help to see the world.

When I get frustrated that I want to do something and Bodhi begins to fuss for my attention,
I try to remember that one day he won't ask for my help.

When I get frustrated that Bodhi does anything I'm not in the mood for,
I try and consider that it's me that's the problem, not him!

Now, Z?  Well, that's a whole other story, as well as the inspiration for my reminders.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

I Don't Want to Rush

"If we do not have a moment to stop and listen to one of the best musicians in the world, playing some of the finest music ever written, with one of the most beautiful instruments ever made… How many other things are we missing as we rush through life?"

How often do you actually "stop to smell the roses"?  

We do often.  

Having kids reminds me to do this more often than ever before.  

I think it's important to take time to see what's in front of us and pay attention to simple joys and things. I hope to teach my children that they can and should stop, linger, see, hear, smell, taste, feel what's in front of them.  

Don't rush past it.  

Don't always be in a hurry.  

Make the time.

There is enough time.  

There's always time.  

I don't want them to miss what's in front of them, like the people in this video.  They couldn't take five minutes to listen to the beautiful music?  I wonder why.  It makes me sad.

Children notice the most simple and beautiful things and they will bring you into their world.  

I am grateful for my children who remind me to stop. 

Look and pick up that beautiful leaf.  Talk about it.

Stop and watch the lights twinkle.  

Smell the dinner on the stove.  Observe how it sizzles and pops.  Let your mouth water.  Taste it.

See how they rearranged the magnets.  There's a whole world right in front of you. 

Play with your shadow.

Just watch their face.

"Be here now."

Last week I wrote a note above my kitchen sink, where I spend plenty of time.  

It says "STOP.  Say yes."

Yes, I think I will.  

Monday, December 12, 2011

Held Accountable

I’ve come to the conclusion that the biggest problems I have as a parent and with Z are problems with me. When I find myself making excuses to myself I know something is wrong. I’ve got to pay attention to what is being required of me as a parent, especially when it comes to setting boundaries and sticking to it.  

It’s hard to admit when I think I’ve done something wrong as a parent.

To me it’s about teaching him respect and kindness, direction, re-direction and discipline, not about control.  Discipline doesn't have to be a dirty word; it is a good thing.

He depends on me to show him what is and isn’t acceptable.  He depends on me for right and wrong. He depends on me to show him how to respect others so they will also respect him.  He depends on me for consistency and discipline.  He trusts me to guide him.  It’s a big job but I’ve got to step up to the plate and be consistent or it’s him that’ll suffer in the end.

I believe that every moment is a chance to start over and there’s no time like the present to do so. 

I can’t expect Z to just learn self control through my “monkey see, monkey do” method.  I have to be better at enforcing boundaries.  

In the last few days since I posted about the photo shoot (one of the worst moments I've ever experienced), I’ve been really aware about how I respond to his behavior and I’ve surprised myself.  When I stick to my guns and I’m firm, it works.  He does respond well.  I’m worst about it when there’s a lot going on, but that’s when he needs me the most.

He is very strong willed and active so I have to get down to his level.  I've noticed his behavior changing in the last few months especially.  I obviously can’t just say something and expect him to follow it without holding him to it.  For example, “Z, please stop throwing that.”  And two throws later say it again.  I need to stop him and stick with time-out on the second throw or remove him from the situation, instead of say it again.  When I get down to his level and stop he responds. 

He’s not a bad kid, he just needs to be held accountable and re-directed more often. 

Sometimes, I need to be held accountable for not paying attention to the situation.  I can’t set him up for failure either.  

Also, he is now getting old enough to understand when he is doing something that’s not cool.  He is also getting good at telling me, “Mama, I have a feeling!”  Then we can talk about it.  It melts my heart every time.  Sometimes I need to just stop what I am doing.  Sometimes I need to ask him what’s up or what I can do, maybe just a hug or acknowledgment, instead of rely on him to come to me or figure it out.  He is three.

I’ll admit –I’ve never read a book about toddler discipline or behavior.  I rather shy away from parenting method books, but I actually would like to know if anyone recommends a child development book for parents (one that helps me to understand his little brain).  Or any book that you've read and why you recommend it.

I am grateful for my friends I’ve talked to, the ones that made a comment and the ones that messaged me.  Thank you.

(Deep sigh)  Wish me good luck and strength!

Friday, December 9, 2011

You Made Me Cry

I was so excited all week.  In the three years that Z has been on this planet I never asked anyone to do family portraits until a few weeks ago.  Today was the day my friend was coming over to do a little photo-shoot for us.

I didn't expect too much but I anticipated awesomeness and sillyness.  Just for fun, I imagined us being goofy outside, tickling, hugging, kissing each other and being, well, like we usually are.  I pictured in my head Z holding Bodhi and taking the cutest brother shots in front of the Christmas tree.  This was going to be fun and I'd end up with oodles of rad photos.

I bought a little Santa outfit for Bodhi and decided Z's new green plaid shirt would be cute with a pair of little dude jeans.  He decided to wear his little cowboy boots.  Perfect!  Hey, even I got to dress up for once!  I pulled out one of my favorite black skirts with a sheer layer embroidered with gold and sequins and a cute little black top.  I felt good.  I vacuumed the carpet slapped on a thin layer of lipstick with gold shimmer-the only make-up I own.  Then busted out some of my Grandmother's old fabric for a makeshift tree skirt.  Yay!

We were in the middle of playing when the doorbell rang.  We were in good spirits and had been all morning.  Z did have a little runny nose but nothing else.  Kids always have little runny noses.

She began setting up her stuff and Z was a little antsy.  I thought, oh, he'll calm down and get into it.  He loves being silly.  Nothing struck me as particularly odd.

We sit down in front of the tree and he just doesn't want to.  "Hey, you want to hold an ornament?"  No.  "You want to sit like this?"  No.  "Can you do this?!"  No.  "Look at this funny face!!  Can you make one!?"  No.  Hmmm.  He seemed to just want to be in control and do what he wanted.  Not too untypical but usually something gets him to play along eventually.  Try after try yielded nothing but a little frustration.  So she suggested we go sit outside since it was nice and cool.

We head outside and she plops down a cute little chair and shoots away as Z sits down.  Awesome!  This will work.  This will be fun.

Then she suggests he sits with Bodhi.  He doesn't want to.  I sit down and she gets a few shots and then I stood up.  For some reason Z got angry and threw her little chair and yelled something about not wanting to sit with Bodhi.  He broke the chair!!  I was so sad and obviously embarrassed.  I told him that was rude and it made me mad and sad.  If he didn't want to take pictures he could go sit on the porch.  I figured in a few minutes he'd want to come have fun.  I apologized.  As far as I'm concerned, whatever she says, I owe her a little chair!

We head to another spot in the yard and Z heads there with us.  Same problem.  He's not interested and starting to get rude.  She even tried to help pose him.  I got a car to play with thinking he'd like to hold it.  I had no perfect picture in mind, just us!  Car or not.

He runs off.  He screams that he doesn't want to.  No no no no no.  Nothing works.  He's just being rude, not silly at all.  Maybe I should have asked him to go sit on the porch again.

We take pictures of me and Bodhi.  He comes back.  Then leaves again.  Then repeats this a few times.  He doesn't want her little boy, D playing on his tractor.  D walks off like "fine, whatever."  Z refuses to have fun with us.

She decides to take some pictures of Bodhi on an awesome old sheepskin my Aunt gave me while I talked with Z.  I just wanted him to have fun with us.  I was confused.  I didn't want to over-think it, but I couldn't figure it out or what was going on in his little head.  I really didn't want him to be so rude or mad.  And I wanted pictures.  But I wanted them to be fun pictures.  Not coerced and like he had to.

I bribed him with a surprise, hot chocolate and finally opening a present to get him into take a picture in front of the tree.

We get in and he wants to open the present immediately.  Yeah, I bet!  He finally understands that that is the prize for the picture.  Geez, I just did that?  Yes, I did.  We got the pictures but he wasn't as happy as I had hoped about the whole thing.

Just before she left, we planned on getting together another time to hang out again.  All was good between us.

We walked inside and I teared up.  Z just didn't care about how I felt and that made me more sad and I started to get angry.  "I want my hot cocoa!!!  You said I could have hot cocoa!!"  I told him I did say that so please take off his boots and sit down and I'd get it ready.  I told him I was sad he broke her chair and he was rude.  I told him I was mad about the way he acted.  The only reason he was getting hot cocoa was because I said he could but I didn't think he deserved it.  I refuse to be a liar.

He sat down to have a snack and hot cocoa and Bodhi fell asleep.  I laid him down and came back to Z.  I was still pretty pissed off but he said he was cold and wanted me to hold him.  It seemed to be his way of making nice.  So we cuddled and he fell asleep.  He was tired.  He had over-stressed himself out for some reason.

Maybe it was the runny nose.  Maybe it was being three.  Maybe it was asking him to do so many things.  Maybe it was being a new brother.  Maybe it was me.  Who really knows.  I wish I did though.

Today was just different.  It really bothers me when he gets rude.  And by rude I don't mean doesn't cooperate and do what I say.  I mean showing a total lack of respect towards me and being mean.  I mean throwing things out of anger.  I mean saying rude things.

It's not about me controlling him.  It's about finding a happy medium.  Today I couldn't do it and I felt like a total failure.  He made me feel like an asshole because I was so mad at him.  I wanted to yell.  But if I overreact and yell it makes it worse.

I feel lost when it comes to discipline.  Maybe that's a lot of the problem.  I wasn't disciplined a lot as a kid.  I just want to for him to learn more self control.  (Yes, I realize he's three but not all kids seem to get as rude as he can, or am I imagining that?)  The only way he will is through me, really us and the adults in his life too.  I firmly believe in do as I do is the only way to teach.  Not do as I say.

All in all, I figure that not over-reacting is best.  I suppose by being a role model and showing him how to handle stress peacefully and speaking to him kindly and patiently is all I can do for now.  Every now and then time-outs are in order too.  But I wonder every day if I'm doing enough and hope that he can grow out of this pissy little phase.

I'd love to hear from you.
What are your experiences with three year olds?
What do you expect of a three year old?
What do you do differently?

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Through His Eyes

As a parent it's easy to get caught up in what we think we need to be doing.  It's easy to get frustrated at the "mess" that surrounds us every minute.  Of course thoughts pop into my head then I try and see it through his eyes and really needs to be done -play together and give him my attention.  I am eternally grateful for being taught to slow down, be in the moment and let things go.

I see the carpet needs vacuuming.
He sees confetti, sparkles, and color everywhere.

I see toys thrown off the table and they need to be picked up.
He sees the earthquake.  It's there on purpose.

I see twenty books on the floor.
He sees choices to sort through.

I see five ornaments clumped together.
He sees "friends".

I see a deathtrap on the stairs.
He sees a mountain racetrack.

I see marker all over him.
He sees Mad Tiger.

I see filthy tub water.
He sees an ocean of possibility.

This is why I let it be and clean when they go to sleep.  Yes, we pick up little by little together too and I get some stuff done bit by bit.  But making the mess is way more fun than demanding a perfect house from minute to minute.  We're all the happier for it.

And like magic we start all over again the next day.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Joy Pockets

This has been a really peaceful week for us.  We've done well to pay deep attention to our rhythm.  We've had our fair share of rain and cold weather which makes me really respect Nature and her Seasons.  This is a time of year to slow down a little, not speed up.  That's just what I intend to do along with enjoying Holiday celebrations and traditions.

Making space for us and not over-doing it everyday.
I rarely do that.  I don't believe in over-scheduling. 
Creating an activity advent calendar for a little holiday celebration each day.
Roasted root vegetables.
The Elf on the Shelf.

Toy shopping at my favorite Austin toy store -Terra Toys.
I've played there since I was a wee kid.
Painting ornaments together.
With lots and lots of glitter!
Hanging out with some Mama friends.
That always warms my heart.

Having special, thoughtful and meaningful gifts for Christmas.
Not just buying something because it's the season to do so.
Making time to sleep this week.

joy pockets

 Joy Pockets.
Thank you, Holistic Mama.

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.
If you're inspired to do the same, leave a link to your 'moment' in the comments for all to find and see.