10.31.2013

two steps forward, one step back - lessons from yoga

Last night I went to yoga; a really great, challenging class. We did a few new poses, one of which pushed me, but I was able to find a good place with it and it made me feel strong. We also did plenty of familiar poses, one of which I just could not find my balance in. I felt shaky and it was extra frustrating since I know this pose, and in my head I find myself sternly saying to just get it together already.

Every day is different though, and for that class, that particular pose was not going to come easily. Once I accepted that, I was able to get more from what I was able to do, and go back to enjoying the practice itself. It is so easy when you are doing something you love, that you consider yourself to be pretty good at, to expect a linear path up. To get frustrated and caught up in setbacks. But we all know that isn't what progress or success look like. We've all seen the picture:



Life is so much like my yoga practice.

I was just talking about how great things take time... but they also take steps backwards and the drive to push forward again. Last night's class was a great chance to stop and reflect on that in a very concrete way. Life is about having goals, having dreams, having expectations... then finding the balance between working to bridge the gap between where you are and where you want to be, while having patience with the journey and respect for the process.

There are times I find myself wishing that I'd found yoga earlier. That I'd listened to that voice in my head telling me to try it years ago. But I am here now, and I have to respect the journey that will get me from where I am, to where I want to be. No matter how long it takes. No matter how many straight legged lunge twists or deep lunge on forearms (with a twist) I do strongly, or how many tree poses I wobble my way through. Just as I tell Gwen, everyday I am growing, even if it is so slowly that I can't see it, I can still feel it.


Happy Halloween All. 

10.29.2013

great things take time


Change has been brewing in my life for a while. Nothing I can really share yet (thought hopefully soon! I really want to share!), but big things that have been taking up a lot of my time, energy, thoughts for the past few months; but even moreso for the last few weeks. They are ramping up and it is exciting. Also a little scary! Lol. Change, even for good, can be scary.

There are also a few other things that are less big in the grand scheme of things, but still big to me, that I'm trying to get the ball rolling on. Its hard, and things haven't been going quite as planned so far, but we will see what happens. Either way, expect some changes and announcements here early in the new year.

A New Day

I'm finding this time equal parts exhilarating and draining. Since I turned 30, I feel like my desire to find what makes me happiest, what makes me feel complete, and what makes me feel like I'm doing big things has grown exponentially. 30 feels better then my 20s in some ways: I care so much less about what people think of me, and so much more about the kind of person I am in my daughter's eyes and the legacy I will be leaving for her. I feel more settled in some ways, and less in others. I'm not exactly where I thought I would be at 30, but at the same time, parts of my life are so much better then I thought they could be.

Humans in general, I think, are all just trying to do great things in our life. What those great things are, look different for everyone, but we want those great things nonetheless. I'm no exception, and lately my drive to do something spectacular has only grown. I have to remind myself over and over that great things take time. They don't happen in a day. In the same vein, sometimes great things aren't big. I don't have to change the world to make a difference, and sometimes the smallest things can have just as big an impact in the life of someone I love.

I'm looking at the end of 2013 as a chance to try to formulate and embrace some of these pursuits. To make things happen, I need to find a way to put to words what is currently just a confluence of emotions, ideas, and gut feelings dancing through my head as I try to fall asleep at night. These month can be my chance to set the stage, to help me shape 2014 into the year of growth, of realization, of coming into myself.

There will be some growing pains, I'm sure. But I'm excited. I hope you'll stick with me. I hope you'll be honest with me, and remind me that Rome wasn't built in a day. I hope you'll enjoy the journey.

Here's to great and exciting things.

10.28.2013

confession is good for the soul

So, I have a confession to make. Our cute card wall from last Christmas... well it was so cute, and Gwen loved looking at it so much, that we left it up for a little while after Christmas. Then I wasn't ready to end the Christmas spirit and say goodbye to all those cute babies, so we left it up for a little bit more. Then frankly, I just stopped even noticing it was there and when I did, well it made me smile and I'm lazy... So long story short, we just took down our Christmas card wall.

This past weekend.

Oops.

Gwen gave a plaintive wailed when she saw the wall, but was comforted by the fact that we would get new cards to put up on that wall soon enough! She did spend the rest of the day talking about how the wall was naked.

***

The rest of our weekend was pretty nice, and plenty low-key. My brother and his fiance came to visit, and we headed to my parent's for a bit.

A hair cut for my brother and I, some playing with Nonnie and Papa, then it was back home for grilled steaks, mashed potatoes, and roasted cauliflower (with garlic chips, lemon zest, and shaved parmesan... yum!).

Sunday E and E had to take the 10:30 train to make their bus back to Boston, so we had the whole day ahead of us. Gwen and I went to a few stores, then Trav and Gwen went to another store while I did some cleaning and showering.

Unfortunately at some point in there I developed a raging headache. After dinner we got Gwen ready for bed and I climbed in with her for some great snuggles, before heading to my own bed for 1.5 hours of napping/resting before the Walking Dead (the only show that would have gotten me out of bed!!), then straight back to bed when it was done. Thankfully I feel much better today.

That was basically our weekend. I also got some Daisy snuggling in there, which is worth noting. 


Best heat blanket.


After a summer of everyone being too hot to snuggle, this is one of my favorite parts of this time of year.  :-)

And now, another week begins!

How was your weekend?


***

Don't forget only 3 days left to enter to win a hand stamped bracelet set

10.25.2013

Friday Mish-Mash

Besides today's post, I had pre-scheduled every post this week last Sunday. I had the time, energy, and material to do it then, so I figured why not, busy week ahead. I'm so glad I did. I love blogging, but having one less thing on my plate was a relief this week for sure. I'm back today, and that's a relief too, seeing as a little break mid-work day was needed. 

Another little break I took? Christmas shopping. 2 months until Christmas. What the what? The weather lately makes me believe it though. For the first time, this morning I had to drive to the train station using my jacket sleeves to hold the steering wheel... it was so cold. Time to break out the gloves.
Despite the busyness though, the week really did go well. My foot has thankfully healed nicely. The trip to DC, while a long day, was a good one. The event went well and I got home just in time to find a little girl all ready for bed. I threw on my PJs, then climbed into bed next to her to read a book and steal lots of snuggles. It was the perfect way to end a long day. The rest of our week's events went well, and since I wasn't able to work from home this week, I was happy to go in late on Tuesday and sneak into a morning yoga class... something I don't normally get to do. It was nice to fit it in.

Now, I'm ready for a relaxing weekend. My brother and his fiance are coming down from Boston. I'm excited to see them, as is Gwenie. She loves her Uncle Epie.

Anyone have weekend plans? 

10.24.2013

CM: one day I'll poop in private

My newest piece from Connected Mom... a little embarrassing!! 

Don't forget to enter for your chance to win some beautiful hand stamped bracelets HERE! One week left.

~~~~

Gwen is going through a want to be with one of us at all times phase right now. While just a few weeks ago she would happily wander throughout our downstairs, grabbing a toy from her play kitchen (in our real kitchen) before grabbing a coloring book from the living room, then flopping down on the floor in the dining room to color, now she seems to be developing some fears of being alone* and consequently wants us to go with her anytime she needs something from another room. It also means that she wants to follow us when we go to other rooms, including the bathroom.

We are pretty open in our household when it comes to nudity, and bodily functions. Gwen will take showers with me on the weekends, we change in front of each other, and we often leave the door open when we go to the bathroom. Its just not a big deal. But suddenly my normally quiet "nature calls" times, have become together times with a chatty girl standing by my knee. Its been interesting. I'm all about attachment, but this isn't exactly what I pictured.

The thing is, I don't want to force her out of the room. While I don't quite understand her newly developed fears of our safe home during the light of day, they are still very real to her, and I want to respect that. While I miss her independence, I know it will return and even more so then before. We've had some talks about how she is safe here, how Mama is always nearby and can hear if she needs help, and that she can go from room to room without us, but I know this will take time.

For now we're going day-by-day, and finding the balance of making Gwen feel secure and safe, while still enforcing some personal space during more private moments (we picked a floor tile in the bathroom a safe distance away, and she stands there!). And I know that soon enough I'll get to poop in private again.


Did any of your kids go through a scared phase? What did you find that helped?





* though thankfully not in the comfort of her own bed at night  ::knocks on wood::

10.23.2013

wordless wednesday {red frames}


Gwen asked to try on my glasses, which I don't let her do much, since I don't want her to strain her eyes, but I had to snap this pic because boy is she cute in those things. 

Good thing too, since the poor girl is doomed to have to wear them herself one day!!

10.22.2013

pretty, shiny things {review}

I'm not a giveaway blog, but I love entering a good giveaway periodically, and so I love hosting the occasional giveaway too. I'm very excited to work with Shai for my current Treat Yourself giveaway! The Vagabond Studios makes gorgeous, eco-friendly wedding bouquets. I'm obviously not in the market for one of those right now, but thankfully for me, she also makes some gorgeous hand stamped bracelets. I was the recipient of a set of them... one in my size, and one for Gwen!



They are just as gorgeous as her bouquets, and I'm wearing mine with pride. If you are curious about the quotes (outside: the universe is in us, inside: we are of the stars), it was inspired by this video (which is one of the most beautiful and inspiring things I've ever heard):

(Science, bitches... LOL.)


I love my new bracelet so! It makes me happy every time I see it there nestled against my mala beads. And happier still when I see Gwen wearing hers. This is definitely something I will treasure for a long time to come.


For a chance to win your own set of hand stamped bracelets, head to my giveaway post!
If you can't wait, visit Shai's shop to purchase your own: here.




In the meantime, leave a comment to earn yourself an extra entry.


Disclaimer: I was provided with a set of bracelets free of charge in exchange for my honest review. No other compensation was provided, and the options stated here at 100% my own. I just really like Shai's work, and wanted to share it with you! 

10.21.2013

football games and broken feet

Things that might have happened this weekend: 
Gwen might have dropped a brand new, rather heavy bottle of body wash on my foot. I might have cried right there in the grocery store. I feel like I might have broken my foot. Ugh.

I'm taking it easy for a few days and am monitoring how much it hurts. If it gets better, then its probably just a bad bruise. If it still hurts this bad on Tuesday, or starts getting weird bruising, then off to the doctor I go. 


Things that definitely happened this weekend:

A Lehigh football game!! 



Gwen got quite cozy on our blanket for the first quarter, then proceeded to play football with us for the next quarter... throwing us a mini ball and tackling us after we caught it. She has a pretty good arm, though we have to work on the whole make sure someone is looking before you throw the ball at their face thing!!




Lehigh ended up winning, which was a nice finish to the day. Go Lehigh!!


Other things:
My baby, babywearing. With twins no less.   ;-)


<3 nbsp="" p="">

Despite the foot trauma, this was a pretty good weekend. We're having some problems with Gwen listening lately, but she's working on it. Overall, I'm feeling refreshed for the week ahead... which is good since its a busy one with a late night tonight, and a day trip down to DC on Wednesday. Plus prep for our next big weekend long event which is only 2 weeks away, and our biggest event of the year which is in 4 weeks. At least the days will certainly go by fast!!

Hope your weekend was a good one!!

10.18.2013

In defense of Yoga

Source

I started practicing yoga a year ago. In that time it has become a big part of my life. It brings me joy, it makes me feel strong and capable. Its given me a noticeable measure of progress in what can otherwise be a humdrum day-to-day.

So then this:

Anonymous said...
Expect a lot of hate mail about this one. Yoga people act like they are full of peace but I think the opposite is true. Whenever anyone says anytihng negative about yoga they lose their shit.


This wasn't the first time I'd seen a comment like that, so when I read it, I'm not going to lie... that comment, from a humorous post by Stephanie Snowe about her "yoga failings," really bothered me. This world is made up of good, kind people; and vindictive, nasty people. Both demographics cover every particular race, creed, color, gender, sexual orientation, job, degree, and yes, sport.

So here, is my defense of yoga, and what I find to be its most common criticisms. 

Yoga is both a physical practices and a exercise in focus, breathing, and mental fitness. While yoga tends to be more focused on finding your inner calm then many sports, the end goal for most practitioners is just trying to do something we love while using our bodies and minds in a way to keep them healthy. There is a joy in that, but it isn't unique to yoga. Runner's high, the endorphin rush after a great game/match, most people experience something like it or else they wouldn't go back! Yoga simply chooses to help you focus that inner exultation in an attempt to carry it through your everyday life. You do not have to be Buddhist to practice yoga, you do not have to be a drug hazed hippie walking around "namaste-ing" everyone*. You just need to want to move, stretch, and get in touch with the workings of you body in an amazing way.

Which brings me to the fact that there are jerks in yoga. Yup, there are. I've seen that guy with the Namaste bumper sticker flipping you off as he peels away. But there are jerks in every sport. Are there some who would jump all over you for not liking yoga? Sure. But they are the (unfortunately loud) minority. 

The honest truth of yoga is this: Most of us are just normal people. We're not all Lu.Lu.Mon wearing goddesses with perfect tresses, tiny thighs, and impeccable balance (dear god, take one look at any of my pictures and you'll see that!). Sometimes we fall, we sweat, and sometimes we even fart. In class. No lie.

I went into yoga wanting to try it, wishing I'd love it, fearful that it would be just one more thing that wasn't for me. I'm so grateful I tried it. It is one of the first exercises that calls me in and makes me want to do more. I don't do it because I should. I do it because I want to, because I need to, because I LOVE to. And if someone like me wants to share that with you, well take it as a sign that we want you to find something you love too.




*FYI: Namaste is a Hindi greeting meaning roughly: salutations to you.

10.17.2013

treat yourself {giveaway}

The countdown to Halloween starts today... 2 weeks to go until the first of my three favorite holidays (Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas). I love the decorations, I love getting to dress up as someone or something else, and man do I love the treats.

I'm joining up with So Easy Being Green and Viva Veltoro to offer you a treat, though not of the sugar-laden variety! In this Hop, you’ll find lots of special treats to keep you entering giveaways until it’s time to go don your costume!

Be sure to hop around to all the giveaways in the Hop Linky below, and don’t forget the ultimate treat… the Treat Yourself Grand Prize!

Seriously, everyone needs to treat themselves sometimes. Whether it be a drink from Star.bucks, a new shirt, or a pretty piece of jewelry, you can't be "good" all the time. For me, a new yoga mat was a HUGE treat, one that made me feel renewed and excited (head on over to Jade Yoga's Facebook page for a chance to win your own yoga mat!).

One lucky reader will get their own treat here, thanks to the Vagabond Studio! The winner will recieve a beautiful hand stamped bracelet set, with their choice of wording!!

I've been lucky to work with some amazing people and companies before. This is no exception. Shai from Vagabond Studio is such a talent, and just an amazing person. A full-time student, mom, and peace forger, she also happens to be an exceedingly talented artist. [As an aside: If the name sounds familiar, its because you've heard it here before since she did a great guest post on babywearing for me! I also had a recipe post on her blog.]

You don't want to miss out on these beauties.



a Rafflecopter giveaway




Thanks for entering a chance to treat yourself to my giveaway, now it’s time to hop around to all the others, including the delicious Grand Prize.

‚ÄĚTreatOne lucky Winner will be treating themselves to a Year’s Supply of YumEarth Organic Candy, a Roku 3 Streaming Media Player, and 4 yummy bags of Lovely Candy Co. Superfruit Chews, Fruit Chews, Chocolate Swirl Caramels, and Chewy Original Caramels!

ENTER THE GRAND PRIZE



Viva Veltoro, So Easy Being Green, the Blogging Mamas Network, and the Treat Yourself participating bloggers are not responsible for sponsors who do not fulfill prize obligations.

10.16.2013

snuggles can be the best medicine

I have about 10 post drafts saved in blogger, but no chance to finish any of them the way I want to finish them. "Busy season" at work really is the worst. That said, I know it is still so easy compared to plenty of people's busy seasons (my friend the accountant working until 9 pm for weeks on end, or my friend the lawyer who just does that all the time), but for me this time of year when I'm stuck working late almost weekly, and some weeks with multiple days (and out of state trips) and the days are so full... well, its tiring. It apparently makes me write in paragraph long sentences.

I'm working from home today, but have an appt this afternoon which cuts my day short, so yet again a quick post before I run.

Last night Gwen was having a hard time. She said she had fun at school, and there didn't seem to be anything specifically wrong, but she was touchy and cranky. The littlest thing would make her break down. At one point, she got so upset over not wanting to eat something I had put out for her that she could not stop crying. My patience was a little thin at that point, but I took her hand and led her to the living room where I sat her on the  chair, helped her blow her nose, then snuggled up next to her. I said a few silly things to try to get her to smile, but mostly we just sat and took some breaths together. It was just what she needed to calm herself, and get back on track to get through dinner; but it was just what I needed also, to let go of my frustrations with work and with her, and just enjoy being with my little girl.

So that is what I'm holding on to these busy days.

10.14.2013

this and that; the popcorn version

I don't know why popcorn, but when I started writing bullet points, my brain just immediately when to popcorn. So there you go. I'm a little tired today, and its another busy day, so little blurbs it is.
  • Gwen had a way belated 3 year appt on Friday (she went in at 3 for a sick visit, and then we all just forgot that she needed a well visit, whoops!). At 3.5 (44 months) Gwen weighs 28 lbs (25%), and is 38 1/8" (55%).
  • I really dislike this time of year at work. It makes me tired and cranky. Especially since this time of year always has a lot of stuff going on anyway. Thank goodness for iPhone reminders, or I would be forgetting everything.
  • Chocolatey treats help a little.  ;-)



  • Gwen had a birthday party this weekend for a friend from school. Since Trav does 99% of the drop offs and pick ups (since he works right there), I hardly ever get to see her interaction with her little friends. It was so cute to see them run around together.





    It was nice too to see the other parents, so they finally know Gwen's mom really does exist!!
  • Also this weekend... a MUFON info meeting at a local library. That was... interesting for sure.

  • Sunday we had no real plans, even though it was our anniversary (7 years married, 13 years together!!) since we celebrated last weekend. We did all go out to dinner, but otherwise it was pretty lazy, so we decided to head out for a walk to enjoy the gorgeous weather.


    Gwen was apparently feeling a "little tired Mommy," so she asked if I could wear her in "one of those things you like to carry me in." Lol.


    Back carry on our way out, but we stopped at Rita's for a little treat (last one of the season!), then up into a front carry on the way home.


    I was happy to oblige. Love getting to hold that girl close.
  • In ways that Gwen continues to blow me away: Saturday morning we got into a disagreement in the car on the way home from the grocery store, and I was feeling a bit down about it. Trav and I had to drive separately to Gwen's friend's party, so I asked Gwen if she wanted to ride with me to the party, then she would ride home with Daddy. She happily agreed saying yes, "Mommy, lets try again." Oh my Mama heart.
  • Its halfway through October already. As much as I dislike this time of year at work, I love it otherwise. I'm not ready for November yet!!

How was your weekend? 

10.10.2013

CM: parenting the child you have

My most recent post on Connected Mom. What did it look like to parent YOUR baby? 


When Gwen was a baby, I remember wishing that she came with some warning lights and maybe an LCD panel that told you exactly what combo of things would work today. Warning: tired baby. Use sleep sack plus fan plus white noise and hold an extra 5 minutes. Warning: just fussing in sleep. Leave her be! It was an interesting juggling act, trying to figure out what would make my girl happy.

Babies don't come with warning lights though. Nor do they have owners manuals. But you do figure it out. Eventually I realize that if I trusted my intuition and really listened to her, I could start to "read" her cries. I could tell the difference between a cry that meant she needed something, and one that was just a sleep whimper (aka. leave her alone or you'll wake her more!).

Every mother has to learn to use her intuition. We all seek advice at some point, and commiseration often. That's why blogs such as this one exist: a place for like mined Mamas to come together and share some collective knowledge, to share their experiences so that they, and other mamas, can know they not alone. I love these places for that purpose.

This is why I will always ofter advice if someone asks for it: I'm happy to tell you more then you ever wanted to know about breastfeeding, babywearing, baby lead weaning, safe bedsharing, and gentle parenting; not to mention offer copious amounts of commiseration on sleepless nights and strong-willed toddlers. But every baby is different.Which is why I completely understand if you ask for my advice, listen to my advice, digest my advice, then ultimately throw that advice right out the window!

The biggest lesson most mothers go through, no matter what parenting style you use, is learning to parent the child you have. We all form an image in our minds, pre-baby, of what kind of mother we will be. These unique little people though, they have their own ideas. What worked perfectly for others would not have worked for Gwen, and what works perfectly for Gwen would not work for others. That is okay. It says nothing about me as a person and everything about my child as an individual.

For us that looked like full-term breastfeeding and BLW, continuing to babywear, bedsharing for a few months then transferring to a crib where she stayed until 3.5. It means always trying to use our gentle words and gentle voice, giving my child lots of whys, but using time outs if needed when everything is just too much and she can't listen anymore. To others it looks VERY different. That's okay. 

Too often mothers pit themselves against one another for the "right way" to do things. Even within communities, even within the Attachment Parent community, there are debates about what makes you AP enough, who's doing it the right way. But my ultimate advice for the most AP thing you can do when parenting? Listen to your baby, listen to your heart, and not to anyone else. Parent YOUR baby.



10.09.2013

tired days and mornings of misunderstandings


This week has been a bit tiring so far. Even though we left work early on Monday to hop the train to DC, it felt like we had worked a full day already, so the extra train hours were long.

Thankfully I had a great dinner with two of my girlfriends who live in DC. It was so fun to see them and catch up. We met at 5:30 and didn't part until 8! So a nice leisurely dinner. It was off to the hotel at that point, which was nice and had a pretty view of the Capital Bldg. I relaxed in bed for a little before turning off the light at 10.

I have to say, I was asleep in about 10 minutes, but I was still so tired when my alarm went off the next morning at 6:30. We were at our conference location by 7:45a.m., and going for the rest of the day. We caught the 4:05 train back to Philadelphia, but man did it feel later then that. The ride went quickly, and Trav and Gwen were picking me up at the station by our house at 6:20.

Unfortunately after that I had to make a run out of the house to bring the company ipad to a coworker who needed it for an early morning meeting today. So the evening was a bit more rushed then I intended.

This morning started off nicely enough, but Gwen almost ran onto the road (no cars in sight, thankfully, but scary nonetheless) when we were heading to Trav's car, and I have to say I overreacted a bit. It was one of those moments when I knew she and I were both irrational at that point, but I couldn't figure out how to shut it down.  :-(  Thankfully Trav had a good talk with her on the way into daycare, explaining to her why I reacted the way that I did (I was scared), and she seemed to really understand. I still can't wait to just get home and hug her to pieces.

Now, here we are at work again.  ::sigh::

Only 5 more hours...

10.08.2013

Finding our Technological Balance {Carnival of Natural Parenting}

Welcome to the October 2013 Carnival of Natural Parenting: Kids and Technology
This post was written for inclusion in the monthly Carnival of Natural Parenting hosted by Code Name: Mama and Hobo Mama. This month our participants have written about their families' policies on screen time.

***

I knew from the beginning that I didn't want Gwen watching TV until she was older. Numerous studies have show that waiting until after a child turns 2 before introducing television is better for their imagination, concentration, etc. From personal experience, I know that television can be a little... addicting seems too strong a word, but you do get so used to turning on that picture box and zoning out to your favorite characters.

However, on the flip side, I also knew that Gwen was growing up in a technological world, one with gadgets I didn't even dream of as a child. More then ever, you have to be tech savvy, and I wanted her to enjoy that too.

We did hold out until she was 2 before allowing TV time, though we ended up having some computer time before that. Specifically, she loved watching us check our email or do other things online, and she wanted to try the mouse herself. So, I pulled open paint for her. 

1/2012

Before she was even born, I knew what show I wanted to be Gwen's first. I can't even remember at this point what made us decide she "was ready" or we were ready, but at some point we turned on Sesame Street. She loved it, still does. Since then we've added more shows, but not much more time allowed. Sometimes a 30 hour show in the morning if she is ready early, and a video clip (5 or so minutes) before bed, if there is time. On the weekend she gets a little more, but our goal is always for TV to be a temporary break (a relaxing, snuggly time while waking up in the morning!), and active play to be the vast majority.

Other then television and occasional computer time, Gwen loves taking and looking at pictures on my iPhone. She has picked up on how to use that thing so much quicker then I did! She will occasionally play a game on there, but mostly its all about the pictures and home videos. However, my phone has a password on it, and she will not know it. 

I know that the older she gets, the more Gwen will need and want to use technology. Luckily for her, it seems to come to her naturally, after all she is growing up with it in a way that I didn't. This is also a reason I'm not in a rush to give her too much access to it now. I want to use this time to give her a love of books, the outdoors, and the ability to use her imagination to take her farther then TV or the internet ever could.

Technology can be a powerful tool, helping us accomplish things we never thought possible, and learn about anything our heart desires. But it is also exposing us in ways that we weren't exposed before. A childhood mistake, instead of being lost to playground gossip, can now be etched online, permanently. As Gwen gets older and asks for more access, we will be having a lot of talks about what is or is not appropriate, and there will be plenty of restrictions in place.

As she grows and her capacity to handle such responsibilities grows, so will we let her access to grow. I will be happy, as long as her imagination gets put to more use then her internet connection, and she spends as much time on her feet (preferably outside) instead of in a computer chair. In the meantime, I'm happy to tell her (politely), No more Gwenie.


How do you handle technology in your household?

***

Carnival of Natural Parenting -- Hobo Mama and Code Name: MamaVisit Code Name: Mama and Hobo 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 (list will be updated throughout the day on October 8):
  • Has Technology Taken Away Childhood? — Jennifer at Hybrid Rasta Mama worries that technology is intruding on the basic premise of childhood - active play in all forms! Join her as she takes a brief look at how play has changed as technology becomes more integrated into the daily lives of our children.
  • Fostering a Healthy Relationship with Technology — Jenn at Adventures Down Under describes her children's love of screen time and how her family implements their philosophy and policies on technology.
  • Kids Chores for Tech PrivilegesCrunchy Con Mommy shares how tying chore completion to iPad privileges worked in her house to limit screen time and inspire voluntary room cleaning!
  • Screens — Without the benefit of her own experience, sustainablemum explains her family's use of technology in their home.
  • Screen Time - The Battle of Ideologies — Laura from Laura's Blog explains why she is a mom who prioritizes outdoor natural play for her kids but also lets them have ample screen time.
  • The Day My iPhone Died — Revolution Momma at Raising a Revolution questions the role technology plays in her life when she is devastated after losing her phone's picture collection from her daughter's first year.
  • Finding our Technological Balance — Meegs at A New Day talks about how she finds balance between wanting her daughter to enjoy all the amazing technology available to her, without it overwhelming the natural parenting she's striving for.
  • Raising kids who love TV — Lauren at Hobo Mama sometimes fears what children who love screentime will grow up to be … until she realizes they'll be just like her.
  • No Limits on Screen Time? Is that Natural? — Susan at Together Walking shares misconceptions and benefits of having no limits on technology and screen time in their home.
  • Screen Time — Jorje of Momma Jorje shares what is currently working (and what hasn't) regarding screen time in her household.
  • Positive Use of Technology with Kids — Deb Chitwood at Living Montessori Now tells about her family's experiences with early technology, shares helpful resources from around the blogosphere, and speculates on what she'd do as a parent with young children today.
  • why i will never quit you, TV — How Emma of Your Fonder Heart came to terms with the fact that screen time is happening, and what balance looks like between real and virtual life for both her toddler AND herself.
  • Technology Speaks — Janet at Our Little Acorn finds many uses for technology - including giving her child a voice.
  • 5 Ways to Extend Children's Screen Time into Creative Learning Opportunities — Looking for a way to balance screen time with other fun learning experiences? Dionna at Code Name: Mama shares 5 fun ways to take your child's love of favorite shows or video games and turn them into creative educational activities.
  • What parents can learn about technology from teachers — Douglas Blane at Friendly Encounters discusses how technology in schools enhances children's learning, and where to find out more.
  • 5 Tips for a Peaceful Home — Megan of the Boho Mama and author at Natural Parents Network shares her favorite 5 tips for creating a peaceful home environment.
  • Technology and Natural Learning — Kerry at City Kids Homeschooling writes about the importance of technology as a tool for natural, self-directed learning.
  • Babies and TechnologyJana Falls shares how her family has coped, changed their use of, relied on, and stopped using various forms of technology since their little man arrived on the scene
  • Kids and Technology — Rosemary at Rosmarinus Officinalis talks about the benefits of using technology with her preschooler, and includes a few of their favorite resources.
  • Using Technology to Your Advantage: Helping Children Find Balance — At Living Peacefully with Children, Mandy discusses how technology can be used or abused and gives a few tips to help children learn balance.

10.07.2013

yoga in a winery, and chocolate, oh my!

What a really wonderful weekend we had. A great start to October.

Saturday was the first of the month, so Ridley Creek State Park  clean-up time. It was the first time I was able to attend in a few months, thanks to travels, so it was really nice to be there and see everyone. The activity was great too... we got to plant trees!



You know that made me happy.

The rest of Saturday was pretty lazy. We went to a playground, but otherwise did a lot of hanging out and lounging.

Sunday started off with Gwen randomly sleeping in until almost 8! That was a nice surprise. Then it was time to get up and ready for an early anniversary celebration for Trav and I. We take turns planning, and this year was Trav's turn. I had no idea what to expect, but he knocked it out of the park!

After dropping Gwen off at Ro and Pat's place, we headed to a local winery for a yoga class in the vineyard, followed by a wine tasting with chocolate pairings!! The whole day was outstanding. 

View of the vineyards from the tasting porch.

This was Trav's first yoga class (he did very well!), and I'd say it was an amazing venue for an introduction! The sun broke through the clouds and it was a beautiful, blue skied day, with a perfect breeze cooling us down.

The chocolate pairings.

The wine and chocolate was such a fun treat afterwards. Everything was so yummy! 

May have gone a little crazy in the gift shop.

On our way home, we stopped at Whole Foods to grab some meat, cheese, and bread (to go with the olive oil we bought at the winery) and headed back to Ro and Pat's for some hanging out.

Gwen had a great time while we were gone!

Frosting cupcakes.

Hanging out in GG's room.

After that, we headed home and it was an early dinner and bedtime for all.

How was your weekend?

10.04.2013

the one in which I call my kid a monster

This week has flown by in a flurry of days spent stuck on the computer, with no time outside minus what I get walking between the train and my office. Work is so busy right now, which is good for fast days, but not so good for not having your head spin. I have to work late pretty much weekly this month, including an overnight in DC, which I'm not a fan of. I guess I just wish the busyness came in shorter waves instead of whole months of it following a quiet summer.

One good thing (and I'm sure Trav agrees with this!) is that Gwen has been handling my nights away like a champ. I'm so grateful she's become a pretty adaptable kid.

Can I go on a little tangent here. I don't think I mentioned this before, but I had to call Gwen's doctor the other week because she was getting sick and out need her inhaler soon, and we had to get her a new one. Not a refill, but a whole new one because OMG the Flo.vent turned my kid into a rage induced monster. Seriously, those were the words I used with the doctor because I had to make her understand. Fists clenched so hard she would shake, primal scream forcing itself from her throat, "I don't like you, I don't like you, I don't like you" rage emanating from this little body that had no idea what to do with such levels of emotion. It was frustrating to take, hard to witness, and impossible for my mama heart to bear anymore.

And of course, there was no need too. Our doc heard me utter those words and saying that it, "simply wouldn't do" (she talks like that and I love it), immediately switched her to a new inhaler (Q.var). And while she's not exactly the same Gwen on the new inhaler, there is no more rage and it is so so so very wonderful. I can treat my child's breathing issues without turning her into something she's not!

Still feel a little guilty about how the monster word just slipped out though.

Anyway, Friday y'all. Here's too it.

10.03.2013

getting a better Om {review and early giveaway entries}

I've talked before about how yoga is my retreat. Its my rejuvenation time and it makes my body feel strong and capable. What I haven't talked about are the "tools of the trade," because before now my yoga gear was NOTHING to talk about. Years ago, when I first started talking about wanting to try yoga, Trav sweetly bought me a $30 yoga set which came with a block, a strap, a DVD, and a cheap mat. It was probably a good thing he didn't invest more at the time since learning yoga from a DVD is clearly not my speed! I tried it once or twice, then got so frustrated that I rolled up my mat and put it away for years.

Fast forward to a year ago, and my first real yoga class. I was hooked. What I wasn't hooked on? My cheap mat. But a new, better mat wasn't in the budget at the moment. I had a mat that worked well enough, so that was that.

A girl can research though...  ;-)  I looked around at tons of different companies and I just keep coming back to Jade Yoga. Developers of the first green yoga mat, this company (located right in my back yard!) uses only all natural rubber, with no PVCs, make all their products in the USA, and plants a tree for every yoga mat sold! They also have a whole page full of amazing charities and organizations that they support, from around the world. They truly are a green company that gives back.

I was in love.
Happy Meegs!
Fast forward to a month ago and I was over the moon to be given the opportunity to review one of these amazing mats (the Harmony professional mat)! To say I was excited would be an understatement.

Now I already loved the company itself, with its amazing practices. But how do they work. When it comes down to it, the company can be as amazing as possible, if the mat isn't good, then its a fail. Everything I'd read though told me that these were some of the best mats around. I'm so happy to say that they lived up to my expectations, and then some!

Jade mats have amazing grip, something my cheap mat was lacking in. Good grip gives you a stable base for your poses and helps to to feel steadier. They also have enough cush to be comfortable, the rubber being nice and thick. And unlike other mats, there is no chemicals to breath in, just all natural rubber.

I will note that the first few times I used it, the mat had a little slip to it (which I was warned about), but it was still better then my old mat. Plus, the more I used it the more grippy it got. 

I think its pretty safe to say that I am in love with my new Jade mat. I really wish I had made the transition sooner. A good mat can mean the difference between a unstable pose and a strong one! I highly recommend Jade Yoga mat's to any yogi, regardless of level. I will definitely be using my Jade mat for years to come, and when it does wear out, I can take advantage of their recycling program before buying a new one!


Visit Jade Yoga at their website, and on Facebook, and see all they have to offer! 







Check back here in 2 weeks for a chance to win a special treat of your own.

Leave a comment on this post to earn extra giveaway entries.




* Note: I was provided with a Jade yoga mat free of charge to review. However I was not compensated in any other way, and the views here are my own, and are completely honest. 

To deviate from the standard message for a moment, giveaways and reviews aren't my big thing. This blog is mostly about my life and my family, though I have been lucky enough to work with some really great companies. Because of that, I've made it a priority to only work with companies who's business ethic I appreciate, who give back, and companies who I would classify as environmentally friendly. If I don't like the company, I'm not going to accept the product. If I don't like the product, I would never say otherwise.