Friday, February 26, 2010

five times

Eliana had five accidents yesterday. Not one. Not even two. Five. Three at home, two with her babysitter. This is not at all normal. And I remember, I can't really control much.

Last Sunday I kinda hit a weird rock. Not rock bottom, but close. I felt overwhelmed with things to do to prepare for this baby, but completely incapable of getting anything done. I resent working when it zaps me of the energy I rely on over the weekends to get things accomplished. But I am beginning to see this pattern in myself. After a busy week, all I want to do over the weekend is a whole lot of nothing. I wanna be with Els and Jeff. Wanna toodle doo around town and walk in the hills. But the rest of it -- the linen closet organization, etc -- well, it just doesn't seem to be right.

I think Eliana shared that same exhausted sentiment yesterday. She was done being schlepped, done being her best self, being accommodating. We had a longer morning together than usual and got caught up playing dress up while I attempted to go through a big ol' tub of winter accessories. I suddenly realized that I had no idea what time it was. We raced up from the basement and I declared, that, quick, we had to get dressed, had to get moving, had to go to babysitter and work now! While I raced into my clothes, Eliana took another tactic. She slammed her bedroom door, pissed all over herself and declared, Mom, I peed!

Way to take control of the situation, girlfriend! Cuz now instead of racing out the door, I'm grabbing rags and cleaner, wiping the floor, cleaning your little legs, finding another pair of pants. This would happen four more times throughout the day. And each time she would go into a room by herself, close the door, and promptly pee (and once, yikes, poop).

By the fifth time last night, Jeff and I were pretty damn frustrated. We exchanged many a look of exasperation, and then the reminder, she's only two.

Jeff hit the toddler books last night. This little kiddo is under some stress. Her mama's getting bigger by the day and her world is about to be rocked when baby brother hits the scene. Last weekend she was with a babysitter when Jeff and I had to go to a fundraiser for school. Apparently she was crying herself to sleep (something she never does). When Dessa went in and asked her how she was, she replied, I'm great! I'm happy, just fine. Through her damn tears.

This anecdote just makes my stomach turn. I am so that girl. A big pleaser. Never one to rock the boat, never one to inflict pain. And the torch is passed.

But this morning was a new day. Eliana awoke to both of her parents and realized, today's Saturday! Family day! She had both of us under her spell the entire day. We embraced our games of doctor, re-enacted Jack and the Beanstalk (daddy makes an awesome giant), sang songs into the three way mirrors at Macy's and drew kites and balloons on the paper table cloth at Scotty's over a lovely, we just got paid lunch. No rushing, no cajoling, no stress, no accidents.

Every day is a new day. Every day I love her more. And this baby boy inside me? Every day I love him more too, feel more and more ready to meet him, to watch his little limbs move, smell his sweet little baby breath.

I've got a powerful family. Smart. Tuned-in. Full of passion and expression. I think we're going to be just fine.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

letter to myself

August 16, 2009

Dear Sweet Self,

How are you? I imagine that you are well, thought in a wholly different space. It's winter and the days are short. But here, now, in this fairy and gnome spot, the clearest jade water, rippulous rings, singing waterfalls, sultry, lean fish and towering green trees that bask in the sunlight, all is well. It's been two days of best self land. I feel so peaceful and grounded, ready to accept and receive the unknown. Embrace new people with an open heart and mind, show them my flaws and fabulousness, my grace and grit. I take with me a sense of true balance, days spent eating pure, delicious food, moving my strong body, asanas in the sunshine, hearing my voice ring with wisdom and knowledge and understanding as I unfold and hold others. I've let my pen dance and remembered the wild abandon with which I love to write. I've eaten and laughed, washed and peeled. Simple, true acts of pleasure. Complete surrender to the moment.

What do I need to remember? What should I tell myself?

  • the world is a wonder
  • people too
  • give your whole self
  • love and embrace all you do
  • encourage creativity in those around you
  • encourage acceptance
  • do not become complacent
  • look closely
  • sit still
  • take time and focus
  • never underestimate the importance of doing things for yourself
  • spread it around, let it radiate and ripple
  • make joy and acceptance contagious
  • know how much you have to offer
So there you go, self, you wacky old friend you! Hope winter finds you filled up and content. Hope the journeys been gentle and without too much upset -- six months does feel terribly far from now,
these cool cascades,
rippulous dances,
huddled ferns,
these nursing logs,
glassy surfaces,
hues of green and yellow and silver
and us
such a tiny piece of it all!

This letter reminds me of waking up this Saturday morning. I slept seven hours straight. Everything about the guest bed in my mama's house is perfect and reminds me that I need to invest in a new mattress, mattress pad, high thread count sheets, perfect pillows. My mom hears me up and comes in to say hello. She then leaves to make me my favorite egg breakfast.

But none of that compares to when I open the shutters. Outside the sky is a crystal clear blue. The sun is bright. The flowers sing out in every, happy shade, "Good morning! Today you don't have to be a mama. Today you don't have to work! Today you will be taken care of. Follow our smiley lead! Embrace!"

After eating every last bite of my mama's delicious breakfast (and then not clearing the table or doing the dishes), I head out on foot to my favorite coffee place for my favorite vanilla latte. My girlfriend finds me at the curb, drinks in hand. We take our prego selves down to the reflexology place where for a mere $25 dollars a piece we received insane foot/neck/head/face rub love. And the day just gets more exciting and indulgent from there.

How does this Saturday connect to the letter I wrote in August? They both seem so far removed from my current daily life. And while I know that I'm not going to be able to stare into a crystal clear pool of water in February in Montana, while I know that I am in my last trimester of pregnancy and my body can't lead a yoga retreat as it did in August, while I know that the indulgence of waking up and being pampered in my mother's house in sunny Southern California is not a luxury I can often afford, there is substance to be grasped from my little connection.

Somehow I've gotten into the thick of it. Winter is long here. The sun does not shine the way it should. I can't get the fresh air I need. There are no flowers singing to me. Actually it's ice. And she sings some warbling, messy, muddy blues. The tune gets on my nerves. I can't take the time for long walks, meditative, indulgent steps examining the wonders of nature.

But I can try to modify.

Just like my yoga practice. Just like how Happy Sad chose to stand tonight while I read books, rather than shimmy around on my protruding, no longer comfy lap. I have got to not let life get so all or nothing. I look at that beautiful bulleted list from my letter to myself. Am I doing any of those things? Perhaps at work I encourage creativity and acceptance. Perhaps when Jeff and I table a challenging conversation to take a trip to the "beach" (aka, her bedroom), with our daughter, we're taking time to focus. It might not be as inward. It might not be as profound. In fact, the challenge seems to be staying focused just on that moment. On Eliana putting a sun hat on Lucy or writing her name in the sand before the waves wash it away. The way she loves having her parents, both of them, captive attention. The way her imagination is running, running, fast and free these days. It's a different kind of moment to be in.

The sun is not shining on our faces. The grass is not green. The "beach" is a small little bedroom with way too many things out of place for me to attend to at any given time. But why does it matter? The beach is alive for my daughter. She is thrilled to be there. With me. With her daddy. With her dog and Baby. She even put a special hat on my belly for her brother.

It's so cliche, but our children do teach us so much. My goal for this next little time, this next trimester, this last phase, is to try to stay as present as possible. Not let the huge picture freak me out. The will I have time to clean out the closets and will we actually be able to all fit in this little space? Will I ever learn how to keep up on the mail? Because I know it is all such a teeny tiny piece of this picture. That said, it's certainly hard to be calm when you feel surrounded by moment to moment chaos. And now I feel trapped thinking that I'll actually be able to be zen when there is so much to do and never enough energy do take care of it all.

I do know that it was excellent for me to allow myself that time away over the weekend. That I love where I come from and I cherish time with the family and friends who have known me the longest. That traveling alone has become extremely novel, especially as I come into another phase of extreme attachment to another little being. That my husband and my daughter were the two most beautiful things I've seen in a long time standing there waiting for me at the airport. That there will be other adventures in the wilderness, pen and yoga mat in hand. That I am made up of many beautiful pieces that are continually learning from each other, growing apart, and then discovering themselves again.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

When mommy is away......

Eliana rocks Snowbowl!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Elie's fourth day on skis was an astounding success. She took many runs in the warm sunshine and wanted to do everything all by herself (including the rope tow!). Elie also loved playing in rocking chairs with Nana and Pop Pop, eating pizza, drinking hot chocolate and serenading the bar with Baby Beluga. After lunch, we lapped the rope tow a few more times, with a final long run down to the parking lot.

Monday, February 8, 2010

another performance

Jeff and I live for Happy Sad's shows. And it's an even more exciting moment when we actually capture one on film. Tonight we just kept exchanging exciting glances while he filmed and she moved from one song to the next. There's even a hot prego shot of my massive face! Love the simple pleasures of a Monday evening at home.