3.28.2014

pulling myself up

I'll tell you the truth. I'm struggling. A lot. I feel like I'm having a (hopefully very early) mid-life crisis. I have a stable job that pays the bills, a loving husband who treats me well, a beautiful daughter that loves me and who I adore, and there are things finally happening in my life which I've been working towards for a while now. I feel like I should be happy. But I'm not.

Don't get me wrong, I have fun. I have many happy moments. I appreciate life and don't want to end it. But overall I've been spending a lot of time feeling sad, frustrated, unsure, and like I am not where I should be. I wonder if I am capable of just being satisfied with life, or if I am doomed to spend forever feeling like something is missing.

I know that something has to change. I can't live the rest of my life this way. But I don't know what. And I don't know how.

I wrote that towards the end of 2013, but never published. It was too raw to share. Even with my own family and friends, but especially with the world at large. Looking back I was clearly suffering from some mild depression. I'd had a big disappointment at the beginning of the month, I was feeling desperate about a few things that are still too personal to share, and I felt like I'd lost myself. Looking back at mid-March, I had a bit of a much softer version "relapse" in there too. Not nearly so bad, but still. Tired, physically exhausted, mentally scattered. I'm so glad I'm not there anymore. Where I was in December. I'm glad I'm not even where I was a few weeks ago.

Little things have helped so much. The commitment to authenticity in 2014... I don't even know what that looks like sometimes, but just trying to find the meaning of what it means to be authentically me, it helps. Giving myself permission to listen to my inner voice and decided when something isn't working for me. And really, my state of mind in December was what pushed me to make that decision and that commitment.

Other things are helping: decluttering, and finding ways to consume less. Example: I'm silly excited about the 2 foaming soap bottles I picked up because 1) it is going to make our refill bottle of soap last FOREVER, and 2) it means it will be a lot easier for me to start using Dr. Bronner's to wash my hair, which will also last a lot longer then a normal bottle of shampoo. Its these silly little things.

I'm addressing minor health things that had been put on the back burner and being more proactive about my eating, and taking vitamins. 

The job stuff helps too. Now that my office is 100% unpacked, put away, decorated, and just MINE again... I feel a million times better. I was able to shake off my discombobulation and disenchantment to get. $hit. done. I was finally able to wipe out the to do list that's been hanging over my head for weeks now. I'm feeling more centered, and Monday morning will sit down to make a plan to help keep myself that way.

Also, just the reminder that March is hard for a lot of people. That helps a lot too.

Anyway. I wanted to share because more people need to share things like this. Because people need to know that it happens. Because its not something to be ashamed of. Because there is someone out there who needed to read this the way I needed to read similar posts. So this is for you.

3.27.2014

CM: midnight snuggles

My newest piece from Connected Mom


Gwen hasn't bedshared full time since she was still a baby. It just didn't work for us past infancy. But I love our morning snuggles when she comes to bed with us on the weekends. And sometimes I love the calls in the dark night.

Recently there was such a night. She was having trouble settling, so I squeezed in her little bed with her. She lay her face against my chest and we had warm snuggled under her soft fleece blanket. In that moment, I could see how people do it full time. In that moment there was no where else I could be but snuggled with my girl, warm and sweet. There was no where else I wanted to be, it just felt right, comforting, contented. She fell asleep quickly and deeply; and I lingered for a bit.

We've always done our best to respect her sleep needs, while making sure our needs are getting met as well. For people who NEVER thought they would bedshare, the bit that we did was a lovely surprise, and I don't begrudge its ending. But sometimes, in those moments, I wish it had lasted.

3.25.2014

3.25

Does anyone else feel like they lost March to a blur of activity? I'm behind on emails, I'm behind on phone calls, I'm behind on taking time for me, and taking care of some tasks I've been meaning to do for a while. 

Mondays have been hard lately (or harder, when are they not a little rough?!). The warm weather has been mostly coming on the weekends, and they've been relaxed and fun. Monday its back to work, back to hectic days and cold temps and...

But this weekend was really nice. Friday night I went to a "soiree" at my yoga place. Lots of stimulating conversation (about love and society), yummy food and drink. Saturday and Sunday we went for another long walk, did a Frozen sing along at a local library, and had a breakfast and a dinner out.

This week got off to a hectic start, but at least my office is complete, so I can start putting it back together. So hopefully I am one step closer to feeling a little more settled. And today is my work from home day, so at least I got to spend some time on some of those me projects (like sorting through my dresser and closet and cutting the clutter!).

For once I am looking forward to summer with its more relaxed pace and atmosphere. Though I'm sure I'll still be complaining about the heat when it really comes. Remind me how cold I was, won't you?

For now though, back to work. 

3.20.2014

vernal equinox


Source.
Happy Spring all.

I'm rejoicing at the idea of warmer times to come. And hoping that we don't pop straight from miserable winter to hellish summer with very little lovely spring between.

I am hoping for lots of beautiful time to watch things start to grow (I would love to grow some of those beautiful carrots!), and for colors to emerge again.

With the office renovation moving along nicely, and finally some solid/final answers about my position, today marks a movement away from my funk and towards a more settled Meegs.

Time to get back to the authentication process. And since spring feels like an awakening, this is the perfect time!

Onward and upward friends.

3.18.2014

a million miles away

This past weekend Gwen and I headed up to my parent's place. My mom and I went to get our hair done, Gwen hung out with Papa, then we all spent some time together.

Life stresses always seem a million miles away when I'm up there. Its that comfort of home feeling, combine with the fact that we're always there to relax, or at most to have a hair appointment. Not taxing stuff. I love that. Its a lovely break from work stress, from life commitments, and from chores.

And its super lovely watching my parents and Gwen together.  :-)  This past weekend Nonnie and Gwen snuggled up on a chair and read together. And I know she had fun eating pizza with Papa.

Plus, I got some purple hair out of it too. What's not to love about all that.


Sunday was lazy too. We took a walk to the (closed, oops) library, then picked up a milkshake to take home and enjoy while watching a movie. Trav took Gwen over to the tennis courts to ride her tric while I did some chores. It was a relaxing day.

Now we're back to the grind, and I'll admit, I'm a little stuck lately, a broken record. I don't want to just keep coming in here to tell you how busy I am. How crazy things are. How it snowed again and I hate it, oh please just let spring come already!

But I don't want radio silence either.

The blog window has been sitting open all day just waiting for a chance to update and the words to come. Then I remembered how nice my weekend felt. Its amazing how far away that seems on only a Tuesday. Ah well, we just keep trucking on, right?

It will calm down soon. It will.

3.14.2014

end of the week exhale

I can't get the smell of paint out of my nose, and I can't quite shake the the discombobulation I'm feeling from the second I step into our office until the time I turn off Gwen's light at night to rub her back for a few minutes. Its weird having everything boxed and stacked and just not set up. I'm taking on a bunch of new responsibilities at work, a promotion I suppose, and I think the timing of it all is getting to me. More things to do, half the stuff I need is boxed. I feel rushed and distracted and I can't tell you how grateful I am for the schedule feature on blogger. Its what brought you 3 of the posts this week, and gave me a little peace of mind since I didn't have to feel like I was "abandoning" my little corner of the internet.

Sorry, I didn't come here to complain, really! So lets talk about good things!

Yoga: I got back to class on Tuesday for the first time since Disney, and it felt so good. I missed the people, I missed the teacher, I missed the community feel of the class. I definitely felt my absence (shaky legs), but I felt really good too. Thankfully I had been doing some at home, though I need to pick up my home practice again. I've fallen off there too.

New HP hoodies... also a happy maker!
Weather: Did you know spring is less then a week away (the 20th)! I so grateful that the weather is starting to reflect that. While yesterday was heinously cold again (the wind chill in the morning was 2*), the warmth has been starting to ease in. We had a day in the high 60s earlier this week, and the general trend seems to be a bigger upward swing for every downward one. It is so welcome after this hellish winter!

Yumminess: I discovered the vanilla honey steamer at a place nearby and my life is changed. So so so good. Lets pretend that the sugar content isn't through the roof. But if I limit it to twice a week, then I'm okay, right?

Weekend happiness: Gwen and I are headed up to my parent's this weekend for a hair appointment and some quality time together. We always look forward to these days. Its a nice relaxing time together for all of us.


As I mentioned above, my work frazzledness has been hanging out after I leave. I try to relax, but its hard to just let go when I am often rushing to the train, then rushing to get dinner ready so we can get Gwen to bed at a decent hour. But after all that is done, when Gwen is in bed, covered, and I'm turning off the lights to rub her back for a little, maybe tell her a story, maybe just sit together or have a snuggle... well then I can finally breathe. I can exhale it all out. After that, the rest of the evening is relaxed and peaceful. Thankfully since today is Friday, that exhale can last for a few days!

Hope you have happy things to keep you smiling this weekend!

3.13.2014

CM: the end of babywearing? another AP milestone.

My most recent  piece from Connected Mom
Did/do you babywear? What was it like when it ended? And what did you do with your carriers? I'm so loath to part with mine!! I did lend out two, so maybe I'll just keep and lend them as needed? 

~ ~ ~ ~

Napping in the wrap; 10 months.
My daughter is four years old now. It's been just about a year since she started to wean from nursing (almost 10 months since she fully weaned), six months since she switched from her crib to a toddler bed. Both were such milestones for us (though weaning especially!), and a huge line in the sand for me. My little girl was shedding the last of her ties to babyhood. It seems that another of those milestones is upon us. Our babywearing days are nearing their end.

Its such an old feeling to realize that. In so many ways it is so much easier then weaning. We never wore her daily, we just didn't have that kind of need; and we haven't been at a stage of wearing her regularly for a while now. So to say it will end gradually is an understatement! But at the same time, when she weaned I still had babywearing and bedsharing to hold on to. Now there are only our weekend snugglefests to tie us to the main things that helped me first feel and feed the physical and emotional bond with my baby. While I've talked before about how my AP-ness is about so much more then these well-known things associated with Attachment Parenting, it still makes me take pause. I have remind myself that AP is about more then the boobies, beds, and babywearing... its a mindset, a whole parenting approach, and I am still VERY much AP.

Hiking in the Mei Tai; 3 years.
There are other emotions there too. As I picked out a carrier for a pregnant friend's babyshower I imagined her wearing her newborn... that soft head brushing her chest, that sweet baby smell tight against her. I'm so happy for her. And I'm jealous.  But I'm also excited for all the new things we have in store, the things she'll be able to do as she gets bigger.

I don't think we've had our last time yet. I'm sure they'll be another long walk we pull it out for, another hike, a time she just needs some help and a little rest. I'll happily tie up the MT and have the satisfying weight of my ever growing girl on my back. But when I do, it will be with the knowledge that anyone of these times could be the last.



 In the ring sling after a fall during a walk this past weekend (her suggestion to bring it!). 
Tearful four year old... but moments later a happy girl thanks to some snuggles.  :-)



What was the end of babywearing like for you? And the big question... what did you do with your beloved carriers?! 



3.12.2014

wordless wednesday {the why the heck not edition}

Just Gwen riding her Rody while wearing a Batman mask, in a laundry basket. 
Because why not?

3.11.2014

Not a Bang, but a Whisper {Carnival of Natural Parenting}

Welcome to the March 2014 Carnival of Natural Parenting: Everyday Superheroes
This post was written for inclusion in the monthly Carnival of Natural Parenting hosted by Hobo Mama and Code Name: Mama. This month our participants have talked about the remarkable people and characteristics that have touched their lives. Please read to the end to find a list of links to the other carnival participants.

***

If you talk to my daughter, Gwen, about superheros, then you will hear about good guys who fight bad guys and keep them from hurting people. There will be fighting, and muscles. And there will definitely be costumes.

I think that's what pops into a lot of people's minds when they hear superhero.

Lately though, my talks with my daughter have started to try to mold that image into something broader, something bigger, something much more realistic. I want her to keep those superhero fantasies. I want her to believe in magic for as long as possible. But I want her to know about other kinds of heroes as well.

For me, heroes come in many sizes. It is the soldier, the policeman, the fireman putting their life on the line for us every day. These guys seem big. They are easy to spot. There are others though, that are even "smaller," less conspicuous. I want my daughter to know that bravery is standing up for what you believe in, for what's right, even when others don't like it. Its working hard to live a good life and provide a good life for your family. Its defending or befriending those who need it, even if its just offering them a seat at the lunch table.

We all want to make a difference. Its something that I've been working on/towards, something that motivates me as I work to share my life. The key is remembering that it doesn't have to look like giant acts of heroism that end up on the 10 o'clock news. Often its the little acts of bravery that add up to have big results.

Gwen is already brave. She rides rollercoasters with her hands thrown in the air, and takes medicine she doesn't like, and lets the doctor give her a shot. By talking to her about the different ways there are to be a hero, I hope she'll continue to be brave, if that means speaking up for someone being picked on or not letting anyone pressure her into doing something she knows is wrong. I hope that she'll have the same respect for the single mom working two jobs to care for her family as she does for the superheros we see in movies.

Heroism is often times about whispers instead of bangs, but if enough of us whisper, together we can fill the indifferent silence.


***
Carnival of Natural Parenting -- Hobo Mama and Code Name: Mama
Visit Hobo Mama and Code Name: Mama to find out how you can participate in the next Carnival of Natural Parenting!

Please take time to read the submissions by the other carnival participants:
  • I Am A Super Hero — Jennifer at Hybrid Rasta Mama shares how she learned the hard way exactly what it means to be a real super hero and not a burned out shell of a human simply pretending to be one.
  • Quiet Heroics — Heroism doesn't have to be big and bold. Read how Jorje of Momma Jorje is a quiet hero…and how you probably are, too.
  • Not a Bang, but a Whisper {Carnival of Natural Parenting} — Meegs at A New Day talks about the different types of "superheroes," ones that come in with a bang and ones that come in with a whisper.
  • Silent courage of motherhood in rural Cambodia — Nathalie at Kampuchea Crossings marvels at how rural Khmer women defy the odds in childbirth.
  • Super PappyMother Goutte's little boy met a superhero in checked slippers and Volkswagen Polo, his grand dad: Super Pappy!
  • An Open Letter to Batman — Kati at The Best Things challenges Batman to hold up his end of the deal, in the name of social justice, civic duty, and a little boy named Babe-O!
  • My Village — Kellie at Our Mindful Life reflects on the people who helped her to become her best self.
  • 5 Lessons My Kids Taught Me — Children are amazing teachers, when we only stop to listen. They remind us to choose happiness, to delight in the small things, to let go and forgive. There is so much we can learn from our children. Justine at The Lone Home Ranger shares a few of the lessons she's learned.
  • Could you use some superpowers? — Tat at Mum in search shares a fun activity to help you connect with your own superpowers.
  • Like Fire Engines — Tam at tinsenpup tells the story of the day she saw a surprising superhero lurking in the guise of her not entirely mild-mannered four-year-old daughter.
  • Everyday Superheroes — Erica at ChildOrganics shares her list of Walker Warburg Syndrome Superheroes that have touched her life forever.
  • My Superhero of the Week: Nancy GallagherTribal Mama muses about the transcendent things her superhero mom has done.
  • My choice in natural birth does not make me a super hero — Bianca, The Pierogie Mama, discusses her thoughts on her experience with the perception of natural birth and putting those mamas on a different level. Does giving birth naturally give cause for an extra pat on the back? No! All mamas, no matter how they birth, are superheroes.
  • Someone's Hero — Sometimes being a parent means pretending to be a grown-up, but it always means you are someone's hero. Read Mandy's lament at Living Peacefully with Children.
  • Growing into a Super Hero — Casey at Joyful Courage shares how owning our behavior and choosing to be a better parent, a better person, is an act of courage.
  • A Math Superhero — Kerry at City Kids Homeschooling writes that her 7-year-old daughter's superhero is an MIT-trained mathematician.
  • It Starts With Truffula Trees And Tulips — Luschka of Diary of a First Child takes a hard look at the realities of her relationship with her mother, and through this post goes on a journey of discovery that ends in a surprise realisation for her.
  • We Don't Need an Excuse — Maria Kang (aka "Hot Mom") asks women #WhatsYourExcuse for not being in shape? Dionna at Code Name: Mama asks Hot Mom what her excuse is for not devoting her life to charity work, or fostering dozens of stray dogs each year, or advocating for the needs of others. Better yet, Code Name: Mama says, how about we realize that every woman has her own priorities. Focus on your own, and stop judging others for theirs.
  • It's not heroic when you're living it — Lauren at Hobo Mama knows from the inside that homeschooling does not take a hero, and that much of what we choose as parents is simply what works best for us.
  • Superheroes, princesses and preschoolers — Garry at Postilius discusses why his preschool-age son is not ready for comic book superheroes.
  • The Loving Parents of Children with Special Needs – Everyday Superheroes — Deb Chitwood at Living Montessori Now shares posts with resources for parents of children with special needs along with posts to help others know how to support parents of children with special needs.
  • Everyday Empathy — Mommy Giraffe of Little Green Giraffe shares why her secret superpower is everyday empathy.
  • The Simplicity of Being a Superhero — Ana at Panda & Ananaso explains what superheroes mean to her wise three-year-old.
  • My Father, The Hero — Fathers are pretty amazing; find out why Christine at The Erudite Mom thinks hers is the bees knees.

3.08.2014

bruises and yoga poses and walks in the sun

I'm so glad this past week is over. I'm extra glad its the weekend now, and a quiet one at that. The 50* sunny weather, a beautiful added bonus.

The build on the office started Thursday, and they are starting the painting over the weekend. I sorted, packed, trashed, lifted, collected, and boxed more items then I can count. Dozens of boxes, a dozen filing cabinets worth; most covered with a coating of dust, some of it literally a 1/2" thick. Many days up to 6 of the 8 hours spent at the task... a far cry from my normal 6+ hours in front of a computer. It was exhausting and tiring and I amassed a collection of bruises (only a few of which are shown here)...


But honestly, when it was finally all said and done on Friday, it was so immensely satisfying, and I have to say, a nice break from the norm. I cannot wait to see our hard work paid off.

Today (Saturday), I slept in a lot while Trav and Gwen went grocery shopping, then we hung out at home, did so many loads of laundry, relaxed, and did some yoga (Gwen busied herself by climbing on me and taking a series of "artistically laid out" pictures of me I'll call, "Yoga: Poses in Abstract Blurriness."



We also had to get outside and enjoy the beautiful weather. The four of us took a walk, Gwen getting a ride for half of it after a fall and a scraped knee.


I didn't mind.  :-)

Tomorrow we are heading to Ro and Pat's so the girls can run around outside to wear each other out, and we can get in some time with our besties. Then its back to the grind!

More posting this week, promise!

3.05.2014

mighty life list

With the dawning of March, another 101 in 1001 is "complete."  Nope, I didn't actually complete everything on my list. I'm okay with that. I like the goals that 101 helped me complete. I'm ready for a new format though. Enter the Might Life List. I started a Life To Do list a long time ago, when I was newly graduated from college, so a lot of this list, is that list. I'm happy that I can start with some things already checked off. 

This is not an exhaustive list of what I want to do in and with my life. In fact, right now it is rather brief! But it is a list of epic things that I want to cross off at some point (and since there is no "end date," I can add more as I desire!). It contains concrete, easily measurable items... so while I want to laugh with Gwen every day, teach her the true value of her being, and make a lasting difference in this world by helping people (which are infinitely more important life goals then anything here), they aren't being added to the list because they aren't a do/done type item. These are check mark ready items, and I can't wait to see what I can get check off!!


♪  See the Grand Canyon  
♪  Go dog sledding  
♪  Visit the Wizarding World of Harry Potter! Again!!
♪  Paint a picture  
♪  Learn another language (Chinese, Welsh, Spanish?) 
♪  Visit Yellowstone and Yosemite.  
♪  Travel to: China (with Travis) – walk on Great Wall, Japan– see a geisha, Ireland – Kiss the Blarney Stone, Scotland, Wales, Italy, Tanzania, Egypt– see the Pyramids, France - explore the catacombs 
♪  Drive cross country
♪  Go Llama trekking in Hoover Wilderness Area (CA) – Aug. 
♪  Obtain a good job which satisfies me.   
♪  Learn yoga   
♪  Buy our “forever” home.    
♪  Be completely debt free (no mortgage, car or student loans)   
♪  Be a surrogate.
♪  Sit at the 50 yard line for an Eagles game. And/or Go to a Super Bowl.    
♪  Visit all fifty states:  
Alabama                      Alaska                         Arizona 
Arkansas                     California                   Colorado *
Connecticut                 Delaware                   District of Columbia 
Florida                        Georgia                       Hawaii
Idaho                           Illinois                         Indiana
Iowa                            Kansas                         Kentucky
Louisiana                     Maine                          Maryland
Massachusetts             Michigan                     Minnesota
Mississippi                   Missouri                      Montana
Nebraska                     Nevada                      New Hampshire
New Jersey                New Mexico               New York 
North Carolina            North Dakota              Ohio
Oklahoma                    Oregon                       Pennsylvania *
Rhode Island              South Carolina            South Dakota
Tennessee                   Texas                           Utah
Vermont                      Virginia                       Washington
West Virginia              Wisconsin                    Wyoming

♪  Swim with dolphins, and sting rays! 


What mighty things do you want to do?

3.03.2014

sore and tired and satisfied

Nicer things... like outdoor
time this past weekend.
Its been quiet here, huh? The same excuses as always, but so particularly true right now. We are repainting and recarpeting everything at work starting next week, and changing a weird dead space between two offices into an office of its own. My door will be moving from that space to the hallway, leaving my office with the same amount of room, but a different configuration. We are also rearranging about half the people to better utilize the space we have. To prepare, we have to box everything, clear all the walls, and are MAJORLY decluttering.

It is great, and when it is done it will be like working in a new office!

In the meantime, it is also exhausting. My coworker and I took 7 cartloads of old files, books, boxes, and other junk to the building basement today. That means lifting all those things onto the cart, dragging it down, then unloading everything and going back up to do it again. This isn't counting the countless boxes that we have lifted and shifted but are keeping. We have at least another half dozen trips to make, I imagine. I have cleared a half dozen filing cabinets, shifted an arsenal of old electronics to be e-cycled tomorrow (3 computers, 3 TVs, 4 printers, and 2 boxes full of speakers, keyboards, mice, channel changers, etc!), and boxed up all of my books and pictures. I still have so much to do, not only in my office, but in the 3 other offices I'm working on.

I am physically tired, and oh so sore. A combination of paper cuts, scrapes, and cuts from the above makes me look like I arm wrestled a particularly grumpy cap. But its a satisfying sense of exhaustion, I must say.

We also have two events this week, including one I get to work late for on Thursday. I think I'm going to sleep all day this coming Saturday!

Not to say its been all work and no play. We did have a nice weekend! Saturday was spent in the woods, and Sunday we went to see the Curling National Championship! Definitely something different, and a lot of fun.


Today Gwen had a well-timed snow day, since she woke with a cold, so it was a good day for sleeping in a relaxing. Back to school for her tomorrow though.

And that, my friends, is about it! Lots of work, some play, good things to come! I'll pop in as much as I can this week!