Friday, December 28, 2012

New Year Joys

Happy new year!

The last Full Moon and a brand New Year is looming, and Solstice, and the Holidays right behind me.  It's time to reflect a bit.

We had a pretty slow December, as far as meet-ups go, so we are ending with a bang -we had a full house of Mamas and Babes today, with three brand new babies, and ten kiddos running wild, ooh, what a treat.  I just love it!  I just love my circle of beautiful loving mamas and their precious super fun babes.

It's one thing I'd like to continue to build -a tribe and circle of women and mamas to grow, learn and expand with.

I am excited about the prospect of a whole brand new year ahead of me full of love and chances, growth and wisdom, sitting and running, peace and chaos.

I feel a shift in our world, full of love, and hope, where we're all thinking about what's best for us all, not just ourselves.  I believe that by taking care of our homes, we are taking care of the world.  Light your candle right here, and illuminate the whole world with love.

Last year it seems that the word of the year was discovery.  Discovery of myself, what I am capable of, and how to mother two boys, take care of everyone and myself at the same time.  I made it out alive and wits fairly intact.  Whew.

This year, 2013 it seems like the words that come to mind are trust and courage.

...that things happen with time.
...that things are as they are meant to be.
...that I am enough.
...that they are enough. myself. others. love.
...that I have strength and capability.
...that I can't push the river.
...that with or without a plan, it's okay.
...that my heart will guide my hands and actions.
...that what I need is right here.
...that the seasons will guide me.

COURAGE be. act when it's time. leap. fall, even without a parachute. take chances. learn new things. step outside of the box, or at least lift up the lid. get back up. be still. be vulnerable. be who we need to be without worrying about what anyone else is doing.

I'm excited to receive my word(s) of the year necklace, hand stamped by the lovely Stacy De La Rosa of Bella Wish.

I have stepped into a circle at home with beautiful women and mothers.  I feel surrounded by love, support, and family.  I am supported by amazing women, who unconditionally love one another without judgement, who can listen, love and get it.  Women who only want the best for everyone, and themselves.

I am a part of the SouLodge community, with Pixie Campbell, and numerous other incredibly inspiring, loving women, where I can grow further as a woman, mother, artist, wild woman, and naturalist and walker of the medicine wheel.  You have four days to join me!  Come join us under the flap.

I am also in the midst of the Apothecary Circle with Laura Emily.  I am excited to learn more about holistic learning, herbs, and healing.  I will have the opportunity to become accredited in many different areas.  I'll follow my heart and see where this leads me.  Please come in, you have until the end of the year to join us.

I'm excited to also release a bit of my grip and let Z explore some more, without Mama.  I am always by his side, and of course I always will be here, but he's ready to step into a few more things, and explore himself without me always watching.  It's not easy for me, but I sense that he needs to do more away from home, and still stay at home with me.  I'm working on it.

I'm ready to jump in.

I feel the pull of the new year, and the release of the last one, and it feels good.

How about you?

Do you have a special word for 2012 and 2013?

Do you have any special plans for the next year?  I'd love to hear it.

Love, peace and light to you.


Friday, December 21, 2012

Winter Solstice

Winter sun shining
 light a fire, burn your fears
darkness dissipates 

How will you celebrate the Winter Solstice?

Here's a few more beautiful ideas from the ever lovely Pixie Campbell.

Monday, December 17, 2012

The Monarchs

It's no secret that I love butterflies and fairies, so of course I've shared that love with the boys.

Last Spring we were at my mom's friend's house and she had a lovely Mexican Milkweed plant with monarch caterpillars munching away.  In the background along her wall and fence were gorgeous green chrysalises adorned with gold specks.  I fell in love, while Z peeked around and fell in love with her cats, Butterball and Loki.

My mom called a local garden center, The Great Outdoors, and waited until they had some Mexican Milkweed in their nursery.  We were stoked and headed down there with the boys.  They only had a handful left so I got one yellow and one orange.

We headed home to plant them after wondering around the gorgeous plants, discovering friends from the park while meandering, playing near and feeding koi in their awe inspiring pond, and admiring the wind chimes that are as big as a small car.

I put one in the boys' garden and one on the side of the house.

We lovingly tended to it all summer long, and awaited the return of the Monarchs as they migrate from up North through Texas on the way down to Mexico for the winter.  It's an amazing sight to behold during October as thousands upon thousands of monarchs flutter through town and stop to chow, pollinate our lands (thank you Monarchs!), and lay their eggs.

Since the Mexican milkweed is their host plant, and they loved all our other flowery plants, several came by and hung out in our garden.

This was the day after Z's fourth birthday, October 22

I was careful not to water the leaves as the eggs were delicately placed under them.  We kept vigil, eagerly anticipating the caterpillars and soon enough, the plant was crawling with them.

We watched them grow and grow, getting fatter and fatter, until one day most of them had disappeared from view and had built their chrysalises.  A few died, and we lovingly buried them in the garden.

Instead of looking the cycle up, I thought we'd just observe like the scientists and existentialists that we are.  Every day we headed out to see if anything had changed.  

Then two Sundays ago our first big freeze was expected.  

I figured that Nature knew what she was doing.  She always does.  We usually have really cold weather by now, so rest assured, I headed out to soak the gardens and my plants so that I could cover them later, as usual.  

I noticed a monarch struggling on the ground.  

My first thought was, "Aaaw.  He looks hurt or sick."

Then, "Why is there a monarch here in December?"

I got down closer and saw his wrinkled wings and immediately knew what just happened.

This precious being had just birthed out of the cocoon.

All I could do was pause in awe.  And remember what an amazing journey had just taken place right in our yard.  There are miracles everywhere, but this one seemed so special, since we had watched and waited for over half a year, patiently expecting it.  I love Jena Strong's words about the metamorphosis process.

After a few moments I called for Z to come witness our blessing.

He ran outside and I asked him to gently put his hand out, and let it crawl on if it wanted to.  He was so eager, but so patient, and he did as I asked him to, and lo and behold, it did.  He was just giddy with excitement.

I explained that our first huge cold front was already on it's way, and the butterfly is ready to fly south, but it has to grow first.  I pointed out it's still crumpled wings, and then decided to witness the miracle, instead of talk about it.  There's always time for that.  It fluttered to the ground where I asked him to help me place it back on the Milkweed and it could finish the expansion process from there.

Before we knew, it had fluttered off, to continue it's journey.

I stood in awe the whole rest of the day.

Every day, we are born and reborn, so many times, in so many ways, in constant flux.

We grow, transform, expand, and spread our wings and fly when it's time.

We are the cycles of nature.

When we pay attention to nature, we are paying attention to ourselves and what we need.

I am so grateful that we witnessed it all.  Every single step of the way.

Gorgeous wrinkled wings, expanding and growing every moment

Z loving the Monarch

"Look, Mama, he loves me!!!"


Tuesday, December 11, 2012

The Hot Cocoa Incident of 2012

A friend passed down this camo outfit.  It finally fits!

Last night, Z wanted to go outside as the sun was setting, right as dinnertime was approaching, and Daddy was about to be home.  I suggested that we eat dinner, and go have a special hot cocoa night outside.  We could run around and play during the super cold dark night.  Sounds awesome, right?

He was stoked!

Dad came home, "Dad!!  It's Daddy-dude night and we're going to have hot cocoa outside!!!!"

These are the things we remember as children, the special things we do together as a family.

We ate dinner then I got our clothes ready.  Of course, even though he wanted to go out, didn't want to get dressed.  I reminded him a few times as I warmed the milk, and finally he was dressed.  Yes!

He asked which cup was his.  I asked which one he wanted.  I smiled and pointed, "That's your cup."

Our special Christmas hot cocoa mugs

The curious four-year old that he is, of course he grabbed it to look at it.  I wasn't looking, and hot cocoa went everywhere.  I guess I forgot to tell him his cup was full of cocoa.  Oops.  It splashed from his face, to his toes, into a puddle at his feet, down the counter, on the counter, and hit every dish on the way down.  Thankfully, it wasn't super hot.

He was devastated.  He was covered in cocoa, and of course thought he had lost all his cocoa to top that off.  Immediately, tears welled in his eyes, and I just saw the sadness.  I could feel my heart ache for him.  "My cocoa!!!  Now I don't have any more cocoa!!!  And it's all over me.  Aaaaaahhhhhhh!!!!"

I got down to him, "It's okay.  It's just an accident."  (A really sucky, super messy accident, but an accident)  "Take your shirt off.  Go get a new one.  I'll clean this up.  It's okay."  I smiled.  Tears continued to well up, and it just broke my heart.  He took a deep breath.

Daddy came in and witnessed the mess.  I could see the frustration.  I explained that it was an accident. He didn't want to go outside, "He doesn't even seem to want to go out.  Why are you pushing this?"

I knew he was tired and wanted to chill.  Deep breath.

"Because, he does want to go outside.  He just waiting on me to get the cocoa made, and get us ready, and then we'll go out."

He walked off to help Z find his coat, shaking his head and mumbling.  I just took a deep breath, and cleaned the mess, and it was a mess.

But that's what I do.  Mama Been: mess cleaner.

It was dang near Bodhi's bedtime by now, but he was feeling the energy and excited.

Finally, the cocoa was finished!

I snagged my coat, got Bodhi's on and we headed out.

They dashed out the door, ready to play under the stars on the wintery night.  I thought, "Bodhi doesn't even remember cold like this.  Damn, it's cold."

Bodhi was excited and ran for the bikes.  Z, my little dude with a sweet tooth, sat down for cocoa.

Itty bitty marshmallows.

Pretty tasty!

They were adorable, so bundled up, and so excited.  I took a few pictures.  I said to Daddy, "Keep an eye on Bodhi."  I went to snap a picture and BAM, Bodhi grabbed the hot cocoa and spilled it.

Both boys cried.

The crying stopped when Z realized it wasn't his cocoa, and Bodhi realized it wasn't really that scary.  Whew!  Thankfully only his hand and a small spot on his pants was wet.

It was my cocoa, of course.  That's fine.

Dad was done.  "I'm going inside."

We chalked it up to just a crazy night, and ran to swing under the stars.

We drank cocoa in the tiny house, climbed the playscape, slid a few times, went to swing on the big swing together, all cuddled and bundled up, and by then sweet Bodhi was super tired, and hands and face were so cold.

It's a funny thing about little people.  They strip their gloves, and hat, and feel the cold.  It's so new to them, even if it's a little uncomfortable, they appreciate the novelty of it.  I love seeing the world through their eyes, with their great appreciation for such small things.

We called it a night, and with the promise of heading out again in the morning, dawdled all the way to the door.

I could see the tired smile on the boys faces, and it brought a smile to my face.  We peeled off the layers, and headed up to get ready for bed.  Bodhi fell asleep first, then I headed in to read with Z.

He fell asleep a happy boy.

I've never been a fan of cold, but when there are two small boys reveling in it's joy and mystery, it makes me love it.  There are so many things I didn't appreciate, and overlooked, and made up opinions about, without ever feeling it, before I had children.

I love these boys.

They open my heart, and open my eyes, and see everything as special and something to appreciate, especially the simple stuff, and even when everything is covered in sticky hot cocoa.

Helping brother with his hat

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Love = Attention

Mama and Z riding the ferris wheel together at the Christmas Fair

In the last several months, and especially the last several weeks, Z has said "I love you" with increasing frequency.  So much that the last few days I really paused to reflect on it.

The other afternoon, I noticed that he does it especially when he knows that he has my full attention.  He feels my presence, and we are doing things together, not just side by side.

It's also his way of expressing gratitude.  He's saying, "Hey, I'm glad for this, right here.  I love you.  Thank you for being here."

He says it when I am listening to him, taking into account his point of view, and not forcing feelings or my point of view on him.

It comes out when I respect him, and his space, and allowing him to make his own choices, and learn through mistakes and trial and error.

He utters it when he knows that I see him as his own person.  Not just a son, a brother, but Z.

He says it out of the blue.  Out of pure love.

This shows that love really is attention.

I love this boy more than the universe.  He has my heart in his hands.