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Just when you think you’ve got it all down…

February 25, 2010
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…something happens to throw you off completely! Now that Evangeline is completely mobile, I feel like I’m becoming a parent for the first time all over again! This is unchartered territory for me! Lost are the days when you can put the baby down and she stays in one place. Now, I spend about half my time cleaning things up off the floor/low reaching areas and the other half of the time having a little munchkin follow me around the house (I keep thinking…wait a minute, you’re way too small for this!).

Just as I’m writing this, Evangeline was playing happily on the floor and then started half-choking on something! I rushed to her to see what it was…a tiny piece of wood that must have been dropped when we had a fire last night! I even cleaned the floor today! This place is a death trap!

It’s also quite frustrating that everything and anything within a baby’s reach gets ripped to shreds or eaten. I had just purchased these adorable flag banners from Etsy for the new baby’s room (which is coming along swimmingly, can’t wait to show final pictures!). I stupidly had them in the box on the floor of the room and went to change into my clothes this morning when I hear a ripping and tearing and crinkling…oh damn. There went the antique love poem book banner. It’s probably partially salvageable, but mostly ruined. This wouldn’t have happened two months ago. It would have stayed there in its little box, untouched until I hung it. My own fault though.

In my mommy group this morning, we were talking about creating the kind of family you want through intentionality. We also talked about the importance of being flexible and not guilting yourself about everything. This is proving especially true with my new little mobile person around. I can’t have a perfectly clean house 100% of the time so I can’t feel too guilty about it. And when my stuff gets ruined…books, decor, etc, etc….I need to remind myself that it’s just stuff and not anywhere remotely close to the importance of exploration and fun that Evangeline is having.

Tonight I sat on the floor and watched her crawl around in her diaper for about a half hour. How did I create this little thing? This little thing that moves and thinks and feels and…ahh, ok I feel like an ok parent again.


Make Valentine’s Day Last and Last…

February 15, 2010

Kyle and I are not very big on Valentine’s Day. Really it seems to be yet another holiday to buy an expensive card, eat lots of candy and either feel pressured to tell your loved one how MUCH you love them or be depressed that you don’t have someone to love. We’ve put our own personal boycott on the big hoopla. 

We DO, however, enjoy telling we love each other and showing each other love throughout the year. With Kathi Lipp’s latest “project” book, it has never been easier! We recently went through The Marriage Project , by Lipp, and were incredibly pleased with the process as well as the result!

A follow up to the acclaimed The Husband Project, which I wrote about earlier here, this books focuses on both partners equally participating in the project and working together towards more laughter, fun and love. The whole project is nicely packaged in an easy to follow 21 day plan with instructions, places to make your plan, and plenty of inspirational ideas. 

The thing I really like about both these books as that the projects are pracitcal. Some only take 15 minutes a day, while others make every day activities (such as cooking dinner) into a project itself, making the idea of 21 consecutive projects seem much less overwhelming. There are also bonus projects (umm, yes, sex…you do have to have sex in the project) which are actually really fun and may even stem naturally from a week long of having fun with your partner. 

Our favorite projects were the date nights, something we rarely do on our own without a little prompting. We went the whole nine yards, got a sitter, dressed up, planned fun things to do, and HAD A BLAST! Thankfully we enjoy our daughter so much, but we sometimes forget the importance of being with just the two of us. 

Ok, this is my little confession for the book: Kyle and I took 35 days to do it, not 21! There are days when we are two ships passing in the night and we literally do not see each other except at 4am when we get up to go to the bathroom. So, we made the project work for us and stretched it out a bit. Some days we doubled up on the shorter projects, others we didn’t do anything at all. The end result was the same and we finished feeling closer, more connected and with lots of fun memories. 

I highly recommend this book to any married couple, regardless of whether or not your marriage is “in trouble”. This project is a fun way to reconnect, enojoy each other and get to know one another, no matter what stage your marriage is in. Like The Husband Project, we plan to make The Marriage Project something we will repeat again and again, because really…what marriage doesn’t need a little pick me up now and then?

We got a little crawler!

January 31, 2010

Well, it’s happened! Evangeline is crawling around the joint! It’s amazing how fast this progression has happened. She was rocking on her hands and knees for a long while without trying to initiate the cross crawl pattern. Then she did the army crawl thing for about two days, and then she just started crawling! Within two days of crawling, she has definitely quickened and speed and accuracy!

It’s a whole new world now. I feel like I just became a parent all over again. I find myself newly worried about things I haven’t worried about for the last eight months, like if there is a bobby pin on the ground that she might get to and choke on. We’ve already rearranged everything in the house to make it more baby friendly. I feel the need to clean the floors every day now.

I’m sorry to say that I conceded in the days leading up to her crawling and used the highly motivational tools of the remote control and cell phone to get her moving. We placed the remotes and our cell phones around the living room and watched as she took off on hands and knees towards these highly coveted objects. Of course then we were really mean and took them away as soon as she got them. But hey, it worked! We got her to crawl.

I also find myself pushing her into the next “milestone” a little quicker than I might have before I got pregnant. With the impending belly growth around the corner and then a new little attention suck coming in July, I’m realizing my life might be a little easier if Evangeline can crawl, walk and move a bit more without my help.

With this newfound freedom has also come a sleep strike! My poor sleep deprived baby is much to busy and active now to say goodnight or take a nap longer than 45 minutes. This too shall pass. I’m just glad she’s at least having fun exploring the heating vents and kitchen tile.

Lodi Local Spotlight: The Yoga Center of Lodi

January 25, 2010

I have been going to the Yoga Center of Lodi for a little over a year now and cannot rave enough about it. This might have something to do with the fact that I’m a new teacher there, but that’s really besides the point. 🙂

The Yoga Center of Lodi is located on Kettleman in a gracious and beautiful studio that makes one feel zen just upon entering. The lovely owner and instructor Carol Stewart is usually at the desk upon entering, welcoming you with her calming grace and friendly smile. Enter then into a wide and expansive room and spread your yoga mat on the floor facing the wall length mirror. Enjoy the peaceful sounds of the flute or water rushing as you wait for the class to begin.

Carol and the other instructors teach wonderful classes of all levels and styles. Reminding students to honor their bodies, Carol leads the class through a relaxing and vigorous workout that leaves you feeling loose, energized and centered.While personal instuction within the class is present, I love that Carol isn’t a teacher that fills up the space with words, but rather by demonstration and gentle leading.

A few unique aspects of The Yoga Center are Thursday night’s class, Dancersize yoga. Carol combines her knowledge of dance aerobics and combines it with yoga to create a really fun and special workout, all set to upbeat and groovy tunes. Kid’s Yoga is also offered for ages 5-12. Kids can learn in a fun and non-competitive environment the basics of breathing, poses and yoga flow. Games, visualization and animal-likeness are all used to get kids into the spirit of yogic practice.

If you live in the area, no matter your age, flexibility range or experience, come try out the Yoga Center! Especially, come try out my new class on Tuesday nights at 6:30! Check out the complete schedule here!

The Great Biting Nurser Caper

January 25, 2010

Help! For all your nursing mommies out there, I have a great blunder I need to solve! Evangeline has taken to biting me while she nurses. That’s not the blunder. That’s normal from what I understand. The mystery is how to react to this biting in such a way as to make her stop!

Let me break it down for you. Lately when these incidences occur it goes something like this:

(quietly nursing and doing fine)

Evangline: slurp slurp BITE

Me: OOOOOOWWWWWWW!!!! NOOOOO!!!!!! DO NOT BITE ME! (in a stern voice that is definitely out of the norm while looking her in the eye so she knows I am talking to her)

Evangline: Hahahahahaha!! (all the while thinking, my mom just yelled like a crazy person and it’s the funniest thing ever!) hahahahahahaha!!!

Me: Great. My parental authority is being undermined by an infant. Awesome.

So yeah, the whole scare tactic thing is NOT working! I’ve also tried gently reassuring her that biting while nursing is not appropriate. Same response. The more harsh I get in the yelling, the more response I ellicit from her. Oh geez. Luckily, this doesn’t happen all that often. I don’t think she’s doing it on purpose, but more out of “I don’t know how to fully control my body yet”. But once is enough to never want that to happen again!

Anyone have any brilliant ideas?

January so far

January 25, 2010

Now that I am safely out of my first trimester, I’m breathing a deep sigh of relief. Not only am I out of “the danger zone” of pregnancy (continue to keep me in your prayers and thoughts though!!), but my energy is starting to return! I have been able to pull myself out of my daily two-hour naps, my 8pm bedtime and my general lackadaisical attitude to actually clean my house, go to work, catch up with friends, have some one on one time with the hubs, return to yoga, and write a freaking blog post.

Also new in the New Year has been Evangeline getting her mobility on! She has decided to adventure into the world of crawling. It happened a few nights ago. Of course, the remote control and cell phones were the main motivator, but hey….She’s not milling around the house yet, still keeping her crawling to a minimum. But I already feel like she’s growing up so quickly. Whenever I feel that way, I comfort myself with knowing that another one is on the way!

Moments ago, before I started writing, I crept out of Evangeline’s room. She was asleep for a nap, but I picked her up and just rocked her for a while. I wanted to feel her little body resting on my shoulder in peace. So sweet. I’m living for those stolen moments.

Ahhh, Holidays are Over

January 7, 2010

I know, I’m a scrooge. But really, I’m always a little bit glad when the holidays are over. I do love Christmas, and Thanksgiving, and New Year’s. But really, they are so close together! And that’s a lot of sleep deprivation, fatty foods, weird schedules, traveling, juggling diaper bags and pack and plays and much more! In the end, it’s always worth the extra effort to spend time with family and enjoy the spirit of generosity and family togetherness.

munchin' on wrapping paper

Now, as the New Year rapidly approaches, we are looking forward to new beginnings and adventures! I’m not much on New Year’s Resolution, but I love to think about what I’m looking forward to as well as what I’m thankful for the past year.

Here’s a list of what I’m looking forward to in 2010! Wow, that seems so futuristic -2010!!

  1. A new baby!
  2. Summer vacation at Bodega Bay in a fabulous beach house!
  3. Visiting my sister in Orange County in February!
  4. More veggie gardening adventures!
  5. The Marriage Project blog tour with Kathi Lipp! (This is coming soon, look for it in January/February!)
  6. Final Season of Lost (I’m a HUGE fan!)
  7. Evangeline’s One Year Birthday…we’re thinking of having a book themed birthday party!

In 2009, things that happened that I’m most thankful for:

  1. My daughter being born…a truly amazing thing, I highly recommend it!
  2. Becoming home owners!
  3. Celebrating one year of being married.
  4. My wonderful community, Sojourn and my small group.
  5. A couple of fabulous vacations to Santa Barbara and Dallas, Tx.
  6. Being inspired to start a blog:)
  7. Getting pregnant again!

Of course, the best part of each year is the wonderful surprises you never expected. Definitely looking forward to those too. Can’t wait for 2010….