Thursday, October 23, 2014

in good health

wellness: pretty much priority number one around here, always at the top of the proverbial list. especially this time of year.

i prefer to not keep up on the scary statistics about outbreaks and epidemics because it does nothing but send me into a downward spiral of worry and anxiety – which i'm already wired for in the germ-department as i've mentioned before. i like to find the balance between knowing just enough so that i'm not living under a rock but not so much that i'm freaked out. and, for me, that balance tends to hover much closer to knowing less rather than more.

so i focus on what i can control and try not to get wrapped up in what i can't. which is much easier said than done sometimes.

health and nutrition have always been my jam. i'm endlessly interested in learning more, doing better and feeling more confident when it comes to battling what ails us naturally. it's nice to meet the challenge prepared and armed with trust, conviction and knowledge instead of uncertainty and worry. so that's what i can control.

i bookmarked an online course a while back because its title and description was so spot on. it's from an australian health and wellness center called red tent that supports pregnancy, birth, moms, babies and kids with nutrition, acupuncture and chinese medicine – the course is called "from anxiety to security – the A-Z of home remedies for children's health" so clearly it was made just for me. i read the course description and nodded along the whole time. hello, perfection.

well imagine the squeal my entire neighborhood heard when the sweet mamas from red tent generously gifted me the course! excitement overload. i'm embarking on the study-from-home course and it's amazing. it's filled with so much wisdom and wonderful, intuitive information. and it's presented from mamas for mamas which makes all the difference in the world. i can't wait to share more with you as i learn more and dive deeper into the materials.

there's nothing that makes me feel better – especially as we wade into the season of sicknesses – than to feel prepared. there's a confidence that comes with being a mama for over five years, and there's a confidence that comes from knowledge. so it feels rad to keep learning. i can't think of a better investment: my sanity and my family's health.

and something tells me that all this might just be right up your alley too.

my friends at red tent, rebecca and naomi, are doing a free online talk coming up soon. it's called "fevers and toddlers – how to successfully manage them at home". it's live on australian time (november 11 at noon) but if you can't listen in live, you can access it afterwards and have a listen when it's convenient for you. and if you sign up for the talk, you'll get a free gift from red tent: quick start food guide and meal planner for your toddler to improve their immunity. so as if the (free!) talk weren't great enough, you'll also get rad (free!) info about boosting your child's immunity with food. double score.

{side note: fevers. i can't even tell you how much more relaxed i am about them now than i was when bonz got his first. and it's not because i've been through them so many times, it's because i've learned so much more about them. i cannot remember the last time i reached for the tylenol. knowledge like this and trust in the process is so comforting and reassuring in the middle of the night with a hot baby, let me tell you. and yes, i will still listen in on the talk because: always learning.}

so yeah, the talk and its free gift promise to have you well on your way to a confident season. i can't recommend either highly enough. (also, if i were you, i'd sign up for the talk no matter what. free gift aside, you'll get the heads up on specials from red tent. like – ahem – maybe even a discount on the A-Z course which is an investment worth making. for real.)

let me know what you think. you know i'm always up to talk about this stuff so email me anytime if you want to chat.

and a little vintage bonz and mush for your viewing pleasure:
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full disclosure: as i mentioned above, the sweet girls from red tent have generously gifted me the course. the very course that was on my wish list long before i ever connected with them. all opinions are my very own. i'm just super passionate about health and think what red tent is doing pretty much rules.



Monday, October 6, 2014

a walk in the park

give kids some fresh air, swings and space to run free and you're guaranteed a good time. the simplest things make for the biggest smiles.
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Thursday, October 2, 2014

the post process

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we've been in the kindergarten swing-of-things for one full month. those first few days – and the few leading up to them – felt like such a radical shift. lots of unknown, lots of newness. i tried to prepare for it on the front end as best i could, to help ease the adjustment where possible – all in practical ways: the breakfast prep, setting clothes out the night before, that whole bit. and it's been a huge help. it's become my routine, cycling through my checklist in the evenings to set myself up for the day ahead. and our mornings are smoother for it – so, win.

but where the real work has been is the post-school portion of the day. the thing is, i'm realizing more and more, is that i'm processing so much – like i said, so much newness. new schedule, new kids, new parents, new day-to-day happenings, just new. it's been amazing and i could not be happier with his school but it's all been a big shift in my life.

and it gives me great perspective because bonz is processing just as much – and more. new schedule, new kids, new social interactions, new social dynamics. a huge shift in his life.

he's thriving and loving it – he looks forward to school everyday, has fun with the kids, adores his teachers and his confidence is soaring. i couldn't ask for more, really.

but with all that processing of all that newness comes some pretty massive feelings, not surprisingly. he takes in so much from 8:30 to 12:30 – he's absorbing new words, new actions, new ideas and trying on new words, actions and ideas for size everyday after school.

and i have to mentally prepare myself for it everyday. i want to pick him up from school and scoop him up, hear every last detail of his morning and squeeze him tight to make up for the few hours we missed being together. and he wants that, too but it comes out in a different way, on a different – if not slightly erratic – schedule.

on one hand he wants to jump into my arms and be smothered with kisses and love (bring it, bonz!) but on the other, he's needing to work through the stuff he's taking in. he's needing to try those different words, actions and ideas on for size and, while i'm sure he experiments with it all at school, he's saving most of it for me – where he's free and safe to have at it.

sometimes his process looks silly and goofy and we can joke and play and have fun with it. sometimes it's just a casual conversation about this-that-and-the-other from his day and then onto the next thing. but others? less pleasant. more discord.

and sometimes i'd just love a pleasant afternoon where we can just sail on by without issue. (and i get many of those so i'm in no place to complain. further, i know the discord is productive in its own right so i'm not complaining either way.) so that's what i mean by work. and mentally preparing for it. because dude. we're not always sailing.

and it's not about what he's saying or doing or what he's processing or regurgitating. that's the minutiae that's probably only interesting to us. it's about how i deal with what's coming at me. finding that balance between letting him process what he needs to process, in the security of home, and holding limits in place for him so he can still feel that security and rail against them as necessary. and sometimes it's necessary. and sometimes it's exhausting, i'll be honest. but it's been so constructive, giving him the freedom to work through his feelings but the boundaries he needs to be able to feel that freedom. such an interesting relationship between boundaries and freedom – they really do need each other. boundaries don't extinguish freedom, they actually let it flourish.

so not every afternoon is baking and cuddling – though there have been plenty of those. some afternoons feel like an endless stream of complaints, and less-than-fun behavior on repeat. but i'm trying (with a less than picture perfect track record, i might add) to recognize that it's his process and it's a productive one at that.

what's revealed after an afternoon of raggy, naggy bonz is a clear-headed, bright-eyed and full-hearted guy who's ready to pick up where we left off – because he's left all that heavy stuff behind him.

so yeah. this kindergarten stuff is a process. but i'm grateful for it. things feel so much less foreign and unfamiliar to me now than they did just a few weeks ago, and ditto for bonz. i love that quiet, slow progression where things go from new to routine without even noticing when or how it happened.




























Tuesday, September 30, 2014

then and now

since my vintage – scratch that: childhood – books have made it into our daily rotation, i've had a couple laughs about the differences between the 1978 printing of richard scarry's best word book ever and the 1991 printing that i bought for bonzo when he was wee.

as long as one of the copies is being devoured, i have happy kids. in fact, it's just gravy having an extra copy so there's always one on the shelf, ready for action, and one to tote about willy nilly.

no matter which way you slice it, richard scarry rules.
but i guess the powers that be must have just felt like they needed to dial up the gender equality and dial down the stereotypes to make it more... well... modern maybe?

my vote's totally for the old school version. obviously.
but life moves on. daddy bunnies help in the kitchen and girl bears pave roads. it's just how it goes.
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old on the left, new on the right:
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they nixed the notion of being a cowboy when one grows up. along with being a commuter or train conductor in favor of being a reporter or photographer:
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a quick bow and we've got a she at the helm.
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this spread – one of my childhood faves – doesn't even exist in the new school edition:
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there's that bow again. sigh.
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now we've got ma out there earning her keep:
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this page fell by the wayside, too:
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the last words of the day didn't make the cut? tough crowd.

happy reading!



Monday, September 29, 2014

findings and happenings

oh hi. it's been a little while, hasn't it? i feel like my feet are slowly getting back underneath me after a seriously busy few weeks. this kindergarten stuff has been an adjustment for all of us, clearly. the days just seem to go by a little faster (sigh) and the to-do list just seems to be at a perpetual stall.

a nice little round-up is always my favorite way to return to this space – so with that said, here are a few of the latest findings and happenings from around here:

it's getting darker earlier. i used to dread that change but it suits life with kids so well that now i welcome it with open arms. it ain't easy to sell a 7:30 bedtime when it's broad daylight in july – but when it's dark (or at least nearing dark) we've got buyers lined up around the block. glorious. mushy goes down closer to 7 o'clock so lately we've been playing a board game, just bonzo, chooch and me some evenings before bonzo turns in. i scored us a near-mint vintage chutes and ladders off ebay a christmas or two ago because the new-school rendition (or worse yet, the super hero edition) of that adorable classic is so ugly it hurts my eyes. some things were just better in the 80's. we've also been playing another game called sunny day pond which is cute and i like it because it's totally non-competitive (not that chutes and ladders is real cut-throat) and simple but sweet and fun.
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i get knitting – and crafting – fever like crazy as fall nears. every single year, without fail. i've pinned a few things that i want to get busy making. you know, in all my spare time. hedgehogs! penguins! leg warmers!

speaking of spare time, i don't watch much tv anymore – we cut our cable months ago and didn't even flinch. i thought i might miss it but i rarely even think about it. but fall means season premieres so thank goodness for technology so i can still watch a few favorites. parenthood (don't even talk to me about how it's the last season!) and nashville, i'm talking to you.

you know how you sometimes don't realize the silly little things you say until your kids say them too? well, when something's truly delicious, i've been known to exclaim that i want to bury my face in it because it's so good. i know for a fact i don't say it that often but i'm certain it comes up every now and again. case in point: the other night as bonz was falling asleep he sleepily said, "mommy i don't like it when you say you want to bury your face in your food because then i wouldn't get to see your beautiful angel face. so let's just say 'this is really good' from now on, okay?" then my heart exploded into five million pieces. man, i love that kid.
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there's much more to say, but this is available now and i couldn't recommend it more – plus: baby bonz!

i simmered a huge batch of one of our favorites on the stove-top all day yesterday and i'm already excited for leftovers at lunchtime this week.

so, it took me about five minutes to realize that twitter is not my jam. but i'm getting more in the swing of facebook – join me over there if you're so inclined.