Monday, February 10, 2014

Snowed in.

People often ask us, after driving up our lumpy bumpy hill, "What do you do when it snows?" Until this weekend, we didn't know.  Now we do.  We stay put and have a whole lot of fun. As the snow day turned into snow days, I started to remember what it was like when we were all home, all the time.  It's a bit of lovely and a lot of circus. It is also, a lot of SOUND! In and around the many cups of hot cocoa, the piles of soggy wet outside clothes (Just toss 'em in the dryer!), the wonderings of "How will we survive?"--Mostly made by my beloved, who isn't sure 'what all that stuff is' in the pantry.  Luckily, I know how to make that stuff (aka ingredients) into food--we have fallen into somewhat of a rhythm... that includes a lot of what we haven't had for a long time:  Down Time.  I had almost forgotten what staying at home feels like.  I haven't done it much since Forest was tiny, and even then, that was short lived.  No ballet, no robotics, no piano recital, no horseriding lessons, no grocery store runs, no classes, no school pick-up or drop off.  Am I bored yet?  Are you kidding?  If we had a never ending supply of TP and fresh veg, I'd be just fine.  But alas, I do not have rows and rows of canned veggies, or a deep freeze stocked with the fruits of the summer (okay, there are still some blueberries in there).  There was time to finish sewing projects, time to make homemade valentines, time to make cookies and bread, pear custard tart and pumpkin pasties.  There was time to learn how to dot-to-dot, time to play with Christmas gifts that got put away in the excitement of all of it.  I cleaned out a desk drawer!  The big kids cleaned their rooms!  I did yoga, and made a snow angel, and we all sledded on our awesome toboggan, which rarely leaves the garage. We made molasses candy on snow, a snow man, and new friends of the new neighbors next door.  There was time to build a castle in the living room, to play more than one board game every day, to get bored and then get out of it.  There was time to build a little of something we have been missing much:  cozy homey family memories.
So, while I'm looking forward to some fresh vegetables, I believe we have benefited from this snow-day mentality, and I hope we can keep it around for longer than the snow stays!

Friday, June 07, 2013


Today, instead of doing a bunch of errands, Forest and I went for a walk.  We parked in a neighborhood.  He rode his scooter and I walked.  It was a shady walk through the greenspace between two suburban developments.  Much of it was boardwalk.  Because I'm taking doxycyclene for a tick bite I received, I wanted to stay out of the sun, and this was perfect.  At one point, we were standing in the sun and I said, "We can't lollygag in the sun, because I will get a sunburn!"  Forest, a lover of words said, "Oooh, what's lollygagging?"  I told him I would show him once we got back to the shady part.  So when we did, he said, "Now you can lollygag, Mama!  Lollygag!  Lollygag!  Do it!  I want to see it!"  What a funny kid.  I had to think about what active lollygagging really looked like.  I slowed down, looked up at the trees, smiled, danced around a bit, and waved my arms.  He giggled.  So, today, my wellness included lollygagging.  It also included listening to the middle school band with Eleanor and doing my workout when I couldn't sleep.  Now I'm sleepy.  I'm going to go lollygag in bed. 

Wednesday, June 05, 2013

Wellness colored glasses.

So, I decided to do this wellness thing, and then I started thinking about how I'm usually giving myself a bunch of crap for eating X or not doing Y or whatever.  I am starting back into doula work, and just thinking about working with new mamas again, has reminded me of all the lovely people that helped me when I was a new mama.  One of these people was my postpartum doula.  She had a grand suggestion:  Rather than make a to-do list, in the weeks following the birth of baby #3 in 3 years, at the end of the day, make a list of all the things you did.  Mine would look like this:  Nurse baby, stare at baby, change diapers, read stories to toddlers, make breakfast, nurse baby, unload dishwasher, do a load of laundry, nurse baby, eat a snack, change diapers, go for a walk down the driveway and notice all the new daffodils, nurse baby, make lunch, change diapers, change clothes of toddler who didn't make it to the bathroom, dance around the living room, take baby in the shower with me.... you get the idea.  It was a long list, and it only took about one day for me to see that I was really getting a ton of stuff done, even though I only felt like I was nursing the baby, which, of course, I was doing a lot.  So, right now, instead of focusing on all the crap that I do that may NOT be wellness, I am going to focus on all the wellness things.  Like yesterday:  I did some doula-related research outside in the sunshine while my toddler played--that falls into wellness.  I drank tea and water all day long.  I walked the dog.  I took my supplements.  I practiced gratitude. 
Today was one of the last Nia days for the term.  It was fabulous as usual.  Dancing with those women truly feeds me.  We were focusing on body, mind, spirit and emotion, whichever one needed the most focus.  I realized that my emotions are all over the place.  I'm like Pigpen, except instead of mud or dust or whatever, I am a spazzy ball of emotions, all. the. time.  What?  That must be fun to live with.  Oh, yeah, it's not.  What helps?  What contributes to wellness?  Dancing, breathing, yoga, working out, meditation, drinking water, eating well, enough sleep.  Quieting my brain that wants to knowknowknow nownownow.  Trees and ferns and moss. 
I have also been reading a book by Gay Hendricks called The Big Leap, as suggested by my friend and Nia instructor.  Awesome book.  One of the things he suggests is moving toward Einstein time, taking responsibility for time in our lives.  Never saying, "I don't have enough time, " or other time related excuses or complaints.  So, I'm just going to add that in to what I am doing in June and see how it works.

Sunday, June 02, 2013

June: A Month of Wellness

In the interest of inspiring myself to be well in the month of June, and beyond, I am going to attempt posting about my wellness activities here on the blog.  I invite any followers I may have to do the same.
Here's what I did today:

Thursday, March 14, 2013

In other Birthday news....

Gus turned 13--on Monday, and I am, thus far, enjoying being a mother of a teenager!
Several times a day, Big Guy says 'Happy Birthday Mama!'  It's everyone's birthday, isn't it?  I usually respond with 'A very merry unbirthday to you!' He sort of gets it.  All the birthday and unbirthday wishes make for a rather festive air around here.
Right at this moment, four big boys are sleeping out in a tent they set up by themselves.  I have a walkie-talkie just in case they need me.  I'm not sure any of them would ever admit to needing me.
I successfully baked and frosted a hobbit-hole gluten and egg free cake.  It actually tasted good, too.
I managed to lock my keys in the car which is not a good thing, but it meant that I had time to actually make the cake instead of taking Eleanor to her piano lesson--which wasn't great for her, either, but she just took it calmly and practiced for that time instead.  What a trooper.
I danced like a crazy mama in Nia today.  It rocked.
Daffodils are blooming!
We facetimed with our friend Jenny yesterday and it was so fun.  We got to show her all of the little things we were doing, many of which were directly inspired by her--Eleanor was playing the piano that Jenny scored for us.  Lucy's daffodil bunting (something Jenny would totally do) was drying on the counter.  I had just made 2 loaves of bread in prep for the influx of hungry boys.  Lucy and forest were reading together on the couch.  Gus and Forest had just finished lining up all the matchbox cars.  Jenny's influence is everywhere in our home, and it's so fun to use technology to share!  Yay