impromptus and asides

We had a great weekend, relaxing and fun. Saturday was nothing but chores, movies, and trips to the store. Sunday we headed to Ro and Pat's, where Ro and I took the girls swimming, and the boys hung out at home. It was nice.

I have lots of random things on my mind today, so I hope you'll bear with my as I throw them all out haphazardly. I'll mix in some cute pictures of Gwen to sweeten the pot.

- We've been look around a bit lately at houses. We've been thinking about moving forever, but have kicked it up a notch lately. We'll be registering Gwen for kindergarten in the spring (what the what?!), so I'd love to be moved by then. I'm finding the whole thing exciting and overwhelming. We've always known we'd want to move into a single house (vs. our twin), in a better school district (the schools in this district only score between a 2 and 4... out of 10!), with another bathroom (we currently have one)... but its hard to think about leaving our currently place. Our neighbors are amazing and we love them, and our mortgage payments are lovely. But that's not enough of a reason to stay. The areas we are looking in have schools rated at 9s or 10s, they are closer to Trav's work, closer to Ro and Pat, and close to a lot of other things we love (including my yoga studio!).

Loving her new superman doll!
A gift from our fabulous neighbors!

- Why do most places in the area not offer full-day kindergarten? This is annoying me to no end. Seriously, my kid has been in full-day programs since she was 12 weeks old, she can handle full-day kindergarten. We are absolutely not the only parents working full-time, so its rather frustrating. Thankfully the place does bus to a local daycare, but that means she'll be going to two new schools... and I'll also be paying for half-day daycare, plus probably aftercare still. Lame.

- Gwen is fun and sweet and sociable, but I'm still a little terrified of my little girl going off to a big school with all new people and making all new friends. I'm a rational person, I know she will be fine. I also know that in this life she will suffer heartache and encounter rude people. But look at that face! It kills me to think of her being hurt, encountering bullies, or feeling lonely without the kids she grown with for the past 4+ years. I'm assuming/hoping that I'm blowing this all up in my head to more then it needs to be, and to Gwen when it comes time to discuss such things I will be nothing but excited and positive, but frankly I'm finding it to be a bit overwhelming, and even scary. Tell me I'm not the only one to feel this way.

- My baby is growing up too fast.

- Hey, apparently so far I am following actual, logical trains of thought...

- I finally sat down and looked at how many weeks were left in my class vs. how much work I still have to do, and was happy to discover that I was a little ahead of the game! Woo-hoo. If I play my cards right, and keep the pace up, I might be able to get away with only working on homework while in Cape Cod at the end of the month and not having to do any classes. Yay!

- Thanks to my random day off with Gwen this Friday, taking a day for my birthday, and then our Cape Cod days, I'm only working one Friday this month! I could get used to this schedule. I think the month is going to fly by!

Okay, I guess that's all I have for now. Thanks for humoring my brain dump, and I welcome your thoughts. Off to eat some lunch!


yoga motifications for pregnancy

One of the first concerns I had when getting pregnant was being as careful as I could to safeguard a pregnancy. I wanted to be sure nothing I did would compromise that little life growing inside me. But I also didn't want to give up the yoga studios I love to find a prenatal class (which neither of my two studios currently offer). I worried that prenatal would feel way too slow to me, since I was used to faster, intermediate flow classes. I also love inverting, and didn't want to give that up.

I did a lot of searching because I wanted to find the best modifications for an experienced yogi to be able to continue her practice while expecting. I wanted to be active and keep up my level of fitness throughout my pregnancy. Most of the information I was finding seemed geared towards brand new or beginner practitioners, but I managed to find two great articles that I trusted, and who's information rang true for me. Plus I made sure to talk with a few of my yoga teachers. I thought I would share the advice here, in case others find themselves in the same position.

Here are the main points:

1st Tri: Not too many adjustments needed at this point. Avoid taking your twists and back bends too deep, and avoid jump backs or jump switches (unless you have already mastered "floating" down) which could be too jarring. It is also recommended that you avoid inversions from 9 - 13 weeks, when the placenta is attaching, as inverting could promote placenta previa.

2nd Tri: As your uterus gets bigger, you will have to modify floor work. At first you might be able to lay down blankets for extra padding, or use bolsters to keep the weight off your uterus. Certain poses, like dhanurasana (bow), can be done on your side; others, like locust are better avoided (maybe switching to balancing tabletop instead). You'll also need to adjust your stance a little wider for certain poses like forward folds to accommodate your growing belly, and the changes in balance. Inversions may need to be moved to a wall. Towards the end savasana will probably need to be done on the side, adding bolsters under top knee as needed.

3rd Tri: The same as 2nd tri, but a step further as your balance changes even more. Stop inverting in the last few weeks, since the baby moving down at that point is encouraged. And really be careful not to push too far, as ligaments really start loosening up and injury becomes more likely.

Most important... listen to your body! Trust your gut. If something doesn't seem accessible or safe, trust that instinct and let go of that pose for the time being. As your body changes, things that were easy will get hard, things that felt good no longer will. Listen to your body, accept your limitations, don't let your ego end up causing you pain. 

Yoga Modifications for Pregnant Mamas with a Strong Vinyasa Flow Practice
Pregnancy Modifications for Experienced Students
And my yoga teachers!  :-)


the memory of her smell

Scent memory is such a powerful thing. Its actually one of the strongest senses tied to memories, more then sound or sight or touch. I've talked about scent memories before, specifically how the smell of clove cigarettes takes me right back to college.

Today I smelled my Gram.

Did I ever tell you how soft my Gram's skin was? Probably not, but it was the softest skin I've ever felt. I guess I always associated her smell with her soft skin. Maybe the smell was her lotion, I think there were hints of baby powder in there, and something else, something just her. But I smelled that smell this morning, just for a moment or two, as I was walking into work.

And in that moment I could practically feel the softness of her cheeks as she kissed and hugged me.

She was the last of my grandparents. The one I got to spend the most time with as an adult. The only one who got to know Gwen. When my mom's parents were alive I was closer to them then to my Dad's, but I was a child then, and they were both gone before I graduated high school. I got to know my Gram in a way that I didn't get to know them. I got to see her with Gwen.

It's been just over two years since we said goodbye, and I miss her so so much.