9.30.2013

kilts and cabers and beaches and brides

September went out with a bang (uh, can you believe it's over?!). It's like everyone decided that this past weekend was the perfect time to celebrate something. It was a gorgeous weekend, so I guess they were right.

[Oh, little tangent here, because I can't not share... I was profiled over at Attached Moms today. How fun! :-)  I was really excited to play a bit of Q&A with Amanda.]

First off was the Celtic Classic, one of my favorite days of the year!! We got all dolled kilted up and headed out to meet my parents.



We didn't have as long as normal, so I actually missed the caber toss (booooo), but we did catch lots of music, ate some great food, and checked out all the fun merchandise.

Best seat in the house!

This guy's drumming called Gwen like a siren song.


She spent about 10 minutes running up to him, occasionally patting the drum he pushed towards her, then running back to us being shy.



He was the sweetest though. So nice to her. I found out that he has a daughter Gwen's age, so it was no wonder he was a natural with her.



After that, my parents took Gwen and headed down to our place while Trav and I headed to New Jersey for the wedding. It was a beautiful beach ceremony. Very sweet.



The groom was Travis's roommate in college, so we've been good friends for a long time. It was wonderful to celebrate with him.




I have to say, I think Trav looked pretty dashing!


You know, this was one of the best weddings I've been to in a while. It was the perfect combination of friends, two amazing families joining together, lots of great food, lots of silliness, and so much love.

We had a great time.



Sunday was much more low-key (for me at least!), which was nice. Especially since we didn't get home until 1:30am! Trav, Gwen, and Daisy headed out early, since Trav was participating with his company in the March for Babies (for the March for Dimes). He had fun, though he was a tired boy when he got home. I sleep for most of the time they were gone, but at least got some laundry going and some dishes washed before they got back. I gave him a break by taking Gwen out with me to some stores. Then he took her out so I could get some more things done. It was definitely a tired, divide and conquer kind of day!

It was a great weekend, though I can tell you that Monday morning came way too early for any of us!!

Were your weekends busy or low-key?

9.26.2013

expected niceties

Family dinners are big in our house. We all sit to eat together, and use that time to talk about our days. There has been plenty of talk of the benefits to eating as a family (here, here, here for example), and while I do hope that this encourages Gwen to be more open with us and gives her a solid base which will help her thrive in school and avoid drug use (etc), really we just enjoy the time together. Those dinners are the biggest things I miss on yoga nights.

While not a replacement, I've started giving Gwen a call on yoga nights while her and Trav are driving home. They always have a great time on those nights, but I think she loves that Mommy calls just to talk to her. She tells me about her day, what she did and what she ate. Its a good thing she can't see me because some of her adultisms make me shake with unvoiced laughter. I love the, "Hold on one second, Mommy. I have to think about this." And the, "Hmm, after that... well, I just don't know what I did."

Listening to her brightens my day, and it makes me feel good knowing that a simple phone call can make her so happy too. She knows that I'm thinking of her, that I miss her, and that I love her.

9.25.2013

9.24.2013

not in my glory

I'm not going to lie, I'm struggling a bit right now. I hit on it some last week, but I'll repeat, I'm having trouble feeling like enough right now. This is my favorite time of year, the autumn equinox just passed and normally I am in my glory in these crisp, golden light, pumpkin and apple and spice scented moments. But at this moment in my life I'm struggling a little.

Its always a fine line of how much to share here and how much to keep to myself. This has always been my journal and memory keeper, and such I wish that I could be completely honest and share everything. I want to portray myself authentically and honestly, but obviously 100% isn't possible. There are things that are private, there are things that wouldn't be productive to put out there, and there are things I can't share because they are too much someone else's. I struggle with sharing things like this because I don't want people to worry. I hate writing something like this then having someone I know in real life call me in a panic because they think I'm laying depressed on the floor somewhere. I'm not. I'm just not in my glory right now.

Everything is a season. Life, like the year, is comprised of them. This season with Gwen, 3.5 years old and in preschool, loud, funny, sweet, demanding; it is hard and lovely and it will pass so quickly. I don't wish it away. This season of my 30s, I'm sure will go even quicker then my 20s seemed too. I'm liking it more, and I don't wish that away either.

But yet, this bit of struggle, the moments when I wonder what true happiness and contentment is, I wish those away. I want to glory in every moment of loveliness that I have in my life. I have so many of those moments, and I know (intellectually) that I am so lucky for that. Its hard not to feel like I should just snap out of it, like everyone else is happy and I'm the only one who doesn't have it figured out. I know that's not true, but its hard not to feel that way.

I know this will pass, it always does. This is a season, like any other. In the meantime, I hug my daughter closer and close my eyes while counting to ten in those moments when she drives me crazy. I do yoga and revel in the deep breathing, the moments of quiet, and the feeling of my body completely engaging. I curl up with Trav on our overstuffed chair and watch X-files. And I know that I'll have glorious moments soon.

9.23.2013

a little bit of refreshing

Its funny how on the calendar this weekend was the only empty one in sight, but when we actually got to it, it ended up so full. It was good though, and we got a variety of activities to feed our bellies, minds, and souls. A great start to the autumn.

After some running around and jumping through hoops, it looks like Willy's place is finally under contract (knock on wood!), so it was time to move out some furniture. We have until the end of October, but here was a nice free weekend, so it seemed silly to waste it. We were lucky to be taking home his bedroom set, and a few other odds and ends. We've had our current bedroom set since we moved into our house, thanks to Trav's parents. It was so sweet of them to gift us a very nice set that they didn't need anymore... but to be honest, while lovely, it was never really my style. Willy's set is actually much more my speed. Here is the old dresser (not pictured, matching end table which we also switched out, and bed frame which is staying for the moment):


We're keeping the old one, in the basement for now, so that if/when we move to a new place we can use it for a guest bedroom.

But here is the new setup:


Comparison:


I LOVE them. Not only because they are more my style, I have some more drawer room, but also because moving them in gave me the opportunity to rearrange my drawer contents and pull out a large stack of items to give away. Plus I was able to get rid of a lot of stuff that had been cluttering the top of my dresser. It feels good to par down. I was also jazzed up about it enough to sort through all my bags and pull out a handful of those to give away too. Next step, my closet!

Sunday we headed to Linvilla Orchards with Ro, Pat, and the girls for some play time, yummy food, pumpkins, and then apple picking!




We got tons of apples. And what better to do with that then turn it into a crumble?


A slightly non-traditional followup to our yellow curry dinner (found a great authentic yellow curry paste at our natural food store - how could I tell it was authentic? well the directions were in Thai with a sticker of the translated directions underneath... plus my tongue was burning!!), but damn good.

And now I have a happy porch with some pumpkins and a mum.


After dinner we really wanted to get Gwen to bed early. She's finally getting over a cold, but she's been complaining about being tired, or saying that she didn't get any sleep the night before (after 11 hours), so we really wanted to get her down early. Well she found a temporary tattoo that she really wanted to apply, so she was given a choice between that and her normal video (she loves to watch a clip from old mickey mouse cartoons before bed, just 5 or so minutes long). She chose the temporary tattoo, so Mama sweetened the deal with some Sangha Space yoga tattoos!


Despite the look on her face in the picture, she was ecstatic when I showed them to her.

So that was our weekend. Now its back to work, and all the stress and struggle that comes with... but at least I have some good food, and fun decorations to help me keep the happy.

Happy Fall, all! 

9.19.2013

moving away from treading

I've been having trouble writing this, writing at all for the past few days. Work has been very busy as we move into our most hectic time of year, but it is more then that. I feel like I'm treading water lately, like I'm working very hard to keep myself afloat, and its getting exhausting. I want to move past this. I want to be swimming again, moving forward!

The go go go feel that I have all day at work is combine with a dispassion that make motivation hard to come by. Its hard to shake that all off when I head home, to a house that needs a good shake down/decluttering/deep clean, with a preschooler that is up and down, back and forth, so fast it makes my head spin. She loves school, but I think the cold she has (first of the season, yippee) combine with the changing weather and the lack of sun in the morning is throwing her off. Patience, as always, will get us through that; but it is just adding to my currently feelings of not enough. Not enough time, not enough energy, not enough of me to go around. I'm tired, I'm frustrated, and I'm feeling like somethings have to change.

This weekend is thankfully an "empty" one, with our only plans being a trip for apple picking then baking a pie. I'm hoping the time will help me get on top of some things and regain a sense of control in this hectic life. Clean out some closets, cut down on clutter, vacuum, dust, wash. I also hope to get a little more sleep, and lots of snuggles with my girl.

What do you do when you are just feeling overwhelmed by it all?

9.17.2013

a million little things

Some weeks there all sorts of great little things that go right, that uplift you and help you power through. Other weeks there are a million little things that go wrong, that individually wouldn't be too bad, but all together make you just want to give up on the week and hide in bed. Last week was unfortunately the latter for me. I burned myself, cut my thumb, scrapped open my burn on a rusty fence (::sigh::); work was overwhelming, I felt pulled in a hundred directions, and I made a honest, but embarrassing mistake on a work project. Then I dropped my apple all down my shirt and pants. Completely forgettable any other week... the straw that broke the camels back last week and sent me from this stinks to I AM DONE WITH THIS WEEK!

Ahem.

Thankfully, it is a new week now, and one that is so far, uneventful. (Fingers crossed, knocks on wood, “pooh, pooh, pooh.”) The weekend was nice. A trip to my parents, some gardening, and a special yoga class for me. My wounds are all finally healing. Now I just need work to settle its roll a little and maybe I can relax.

Woo-saah.

9.13.2013

natural home remedies for minor burns {aka I fought the grease, and the grease won}

Welcome to this addition of Learn from My Mistakes!

The next day.
Feeling a lot better, looking a little gross.
Frying up some potatoes in bacon fat Wednesday night, I had a moment of distraction where I dropped some potatoes into the pan instead of sliding them in. Yowch! My forearm got a good 2" splatter. I ran it under cold water, and iced it consistently for about 3 hours, but was still in pain the moment I removed the ice. 

So, I took advantage of my crunchy friends on facebook and asked for suggestions. Here are my favorites, what I tried, and what worked:

Natural, At Home Burn Remedies *

1. Aloe: The most suggested, the first most people think of, and unfortunately also one I didn't have in the house at the moment! From previous experience I do know aloe to be soothing, but I also know that if you have anything more then very minor burns it won't stop the burning on its own.

2. Lavender oil: I have this and I tried it. It doesn't help the burning, but will supposedly help it heal faster. I'll have to wait and see on this one.

3. Cool water bath/compress: Burns can keep "cooking" for hours, so keeping it cool will offer tons of relief and minimize the damage.

4. Ching Wan Hung ointment: Haven't tried it yet, but a friend swears by it so I ordered some for the hopefully non-existent next time!

5. Raw Onion: We only had frozen chopped onions in the house last night, but apparently a slice of raw onion will help take the sting from a minor burn.

6. Honey: A natural antiseptic, putting some honey on a gauze pad and applying to the burn can help speed healing. A little messy though!

7. Baking Soda Paste: Mix baking soda with a little bit of water, apply to burn, and let it dry. This one worked like a charm! Blowing on the wet paste felt amazingly cool and soothing, and by the time it dried the burning was almost gone. I did one more application, then loosely wrapped it in gauze before heading to bed. It kept me comfortable all night.

(My favorite suggestion of the night) 8. Wine: To be taken orally.  ;-)  Doesn't do anything for the burn itself, but it makes the burnee feel better. LOL.



* Please note: I am not a doctor. Please be careful before using any home remedies and always check with a doctor if you are unsure of the severity of your burn. This remedies are intended for mild burns only.

9.12.2013

CM: transitioning from crib to bed

My most recent post for Connected Mom, all about Gwen's transition from crib to toddler bed! 


We had a bit of excitement in our house last Friday, when we finally decided to take the front off of Gwen's crib and turn it into a toddler bed. ::gulp:: 

She was so content in her crib that we always figured, why mess with what worked?! But she is really getting so big, and the whole previous week she has been asking about sleeping in a real bed, since she slept in a single bed at my Aunt and Uncle's, and fell asleep in a single bed every night at Cape Cod (I then transferred her to a pack'n'play before I went to sleep since it was my single bed she was falling asleep in!). I'm feeling a little "Mahhh Bayy-Beee" about the whole thing, but she is so ready. I had high hopes for a easy transition.

So, Friday night, post dinner, we headed upstairs with the Allen wrench and removed the front of her crib, then added the little guard. The guard went on the opposite side of where she has always slept, but we didn't even worry about turning her around, since she hadn't fallen out once during all the single bed sleeping the previous week. We actually said, well she won't even need that... famous last words! She fell out the first night (though she didn't even fully wake herself when she did), and I ended up moving all of her blankets/pillows/stuffed animals and turning her while she slept!

A little excited, huh?!
Thankfully, otherwise the transition has been pretty easy. Other then a bit of fussiness around 10pm, she's been sleeping just like normal. And since we turned her, she hasn't fallen out again! She loves the novelty of hopping into bed all on her own, and reading her books in her "big girl bed." She loves climbing out by herself in the morning too, but so far (::knocks on wood::) still waits for us to come into her room to "get her up."

Next project will be turning that toddler bed into a real bed (should be easy with the conversion rails which we already have). But that will need a full weekend, as it will involve buying a new mattress, some new sheets, and rearranging her room. I am pretty excited for the project though! It will be fun to change Gwen's room from her nursery into her big girl room, and new sheets of her own choosing will go a long way.



9.10.2013

sometimes

Sometimes you are exuberant, my love. With joy and fire and passion and sass erupting from you like so many waves of pure energy.

You are the only pick me up I need. Better then any caffeine.

That exuberance can be overwhelming sometimes, exhausting, but I hope you retain it.

Sometimes though, my love, you are reflective. You are calm, quiet, absorbing the very essence of what is around you.

Last night you lay in bed and asked me to stroke your hair. You were quiet, so quiet, just enjoying the moment, the feeling.

Thank you for giving me that balance. 
just write

9.09.2013

bright skies, bright flowers

Another fun weekend behind us. I was so happy to leave work on Friday. It was a long week back to work, and I was ready to relax, plus get some things done around the house.

That night I checked the first thing off my list... converting Gwen's crib to a toddler bed. And how did the transition go? Well, you'll have to check here to see: Connected Mom.  ;-)

Saturday we ran out to the Pop Shop to use my free birthday meal. On our way out we checked out a store I'd never noticed before called Blue Moon... full of vinegars and olive oils! We got two yummy ones.

I can't wait to make some yummy dressings and do some cooking with both of them.

A quick stop at the grocery store (yay for finally having food in the house again!!) and we were back home. Gwen got some playtime in at the neighbor's, and Trav and I took advantage to get some stuff done around the house. Vacuuming, unpacking the last of the suitcases, straightening, and sorting through Gwen's closet to pack away everything that's too small, and add in the winter stuff that's been in a box waiting for cooler weather. It was so fast to get all of that done with Gwen occupied!

That evening, I headed out to Philly for the biggest yoga class I've ever attended! 


It was pretty awesome! I'm dying to attend a Wanderlust weekend retreat/festival, so doing the Block Party was a nice start.


There is something really rejuvenating about yoga under a bright, blue sky!

Sunday we met Ro, Pat, and the girls at Longwood Gardens. It was gorgeous as always, and we managed to wander into some areas we hadn't explored much before.



One walkway in particular had the most amazing colors!!






And ended with a little "secret garden."






It was a very fun (and very tiring!) day out. When we got home, I enjoyed some quiet time cooking (chicken pot pie!), while Trav took Gwen to a nearby playground... then the two of them collapsed into a chair together to zone out to some football.


It was pretty cute.

All-in-all, a great, full weekend.