Rabu, 15 Februari 2017

When Life Bitch Slaps You, What do you Do?

I truly believe everything happens for a reason. Even the horrible stuff. When life throws its worst at me I often find myself asking why? What am I to learn from this? Or in this case....what is the cosmos trying to tell me? Why is it yelling at me, and why didn't I listen sooner? Today is my birthday, I am 32 years young, yet I am stuck on my couch because my body is falling apart one me. AGAIN. The past 4-6 months has been an up and down cycle of pain and illness. 

Every time I get sick or hurt my back/neck I say to myself that is it! This time I will change.  All You Need is LoveI start out with noble intentions of doing yoga, walking more, going vegetarian, and drinking lots of green smoothies while reading books on health, spirituality and inspiration. Then a few days later I find myself sitting on the couch, glass of wine in hand, watching the food network.

I know I am not alone, we all do this. BUT WHY? Why do we not give ourselves what we deserve? Why do we not honor the temple that is our body? This life, this body is a gift we have been given? Why don't we honor that? 

And so today, on my birthday, as I sit here in pain on the couch unable to move I make a vow: ENOUGH. It is time to truly start living, it's time for this blog to live up to it's name as I begin my search...I hope you will all follow along, encourage me, and maybe join in.

Peace, love and pickles

Watch Out Martha I am Getting Organized!

SO the other day I was reading one of my new favorite blogs, The Mommy Dialogues, and I found this great post on creating a chore list. Now I don't know about you but I like lists. If I can right it down, check it off, and see the progress of that to-do list getting smaller it somehow makes it easier to do. A reward system! Those red lines through a task, oh they make my heart skip a beat! I take being a SAHM very seriously, yes admittedly in the beginning I did have hired help. I have no shame in admitting that, I needed it! My PPD was so bad I could barely function, or stop crying, let alone scrub my toilet bowl! It was all I could do to breastfeed Claire, change her diaper, and maybe if I had the energy have a shower....eating was a chore for crying out loud. Those early months were made that much more bearable by having someone come in, only bi-weekly, to lend a hand.

However that was a short lived treat, once I got my PPD under control it was time to start being an organized, efficient, crafty, and clean SAHM....yet I still found it so overwhelming. Not because I couldn't do it, I could, there was just SO MUCH! I felt I had to do it all in one day. My husband works SO HARD to provide for us and I would feel such guilt about dirty dishes, or messy floors. It drove me crazy. I tried to do it all every day, and take care of Claire, and run a home based business at night. That my dear friends, is a recipe for disaster. My husband, for the record, never once pushed me to feel like this. He could care less, as long as I am happy. In fact he helps TOO MUCH. I have to tell him to stop, seriously.

At any rate back to the above mentioned blog post. I saw that chore chart and a light bulb went off in my head! If I have a list of small goals spread out through the week maybe I would feel less overwhelmed? Maybe more would get done? Maybe I would have more time for Claire? And you know what? I DO! I went out to Wallmart and bought a $9 whiteboard and wrote out my chore schedule on it in permanent marker, that way it is a permanent schedule but I can cross task off with a dry eraser and start fresh each week. I spread out chores across the week so that the days are fairly even, with Saturday and Sunday being "free time". Ryan's main responsibility is to bring home the bacon, but he also does all of the cooking (yes I am a lucky girl). I created a small section for him of "manly" chores, or as I like to call it a "honeydo list" of things that I can't manage.

My job is a SAHM, I work Mon-Fri, and have weekends off :D It works really well. Our house is already feeling much more clean and organized. If I see that something needs to be done, and I have already tackled my to-do list I don't feel bad because that chore is, say, a Tuesday chore not a Monday one. While Claire naps I cross off my to-do list for that day, and when she wakes up we HAVE FUN! Go to the park, sing, dance, play, and I don't feel guilty for a minute because my chores for that day are done. It is a silly simple little thing but for us it really works!

Dreadlock Dreamin'

I have always wanted long dreadlocks, with beads, and feathers, that I can tie up in a funky messy bun on top of my head. Yet I never had the guts to do them. I was thinking about all the things in life that I have wanted to do, but never let myself. That I have held back on....for fear of what others would think, and for fear of too much change. As I mentioned in yesterday's blog post, we often hold ourselves back from the very things that make us MOST happy. We find that joy, we go full throttle, and then suddenly we stop.

We sabotage ourselves? WHY? As I was daydreaming of growing my hair into long luscious locks I asked myself why wait? Why am I day deaming when I can do? So I did some research, because as most of you know my hair isn't that long. I have a slanted bob (short in the back angled towards my chin). What's a girl to do? 

Well back in the day (aka Toronto) I had synthetic dreads braided into my hair so that I could grow it out after a heat wave induced head shaving episode (long story). I wore those dread for a few months but had to take them out eventually as they arent permanent. Well, I kept them. So I did some research on how to dread short hair and discovered that many people will dread their short hair and add "lock extensions" with real OR synthetic hair. HOLLA! 

So of course I spent most of last night researching how to dread hair: twist and rip, backcomb, au natural, how to add the extensions to the real dread etc. I also asked the lovely Ms Katelyn of Peace Love and Leener for some advice as she has embarked on her own "Dreadlock Journey" and I LOVE the results. 

This was the my morning:
Yup doesnt get much crunchier then this...breastfeeding my toddler while I dreadlock my hair. AWESOME

I would like to introduce you to my little friend. His name is Bob, I kinda like him and think I will make a friend for him on the other side. Her name will be Suzie. Bob and Suzie may have babies, but for now I thin I will sport some dreadlock maiden braids and see how I like them. 

The Post-Partum Blues: My Story

4 Days Old Versus 4 Months Old

I never blogged much about the Baby Blues, and I feel that this was a mistake. More moms need to talk about it, blog about it, share it, so that those of us that suffer it don't feel so alone. I went through it, maybe you did to? Or you know someone who did? At any rate it is very common and totally NORMAL. But in the moment it feels AWFUL. 

In the beginning I had what is commonly referred to as the baby blues. I felt numb. Inside and out, just numb. It would hit me about twice a day, once in the afternoon and always the strongest around 8pm every night. I would go from feeling like I was on top of the world holding my baby girl, to completely and utterly overwhelmed. I felt shocked, numb, RAW! Everything was too much, sounds were too loud, lights were to bright, flavors were to strong...and the demands of my precious baby girl felt like a impossible task. There were times where I would look at Claire and just cry. Cry because I just felt like I wasn't enough, would never be enough, didn't love her enough, and therefore didn't deserve her. 

I didn't waste anytime getting myself to my psychologist (yup I have a head shrink on file) who assured me that what I was experiencing was "just the baby blues" and was purely related to a normal massive drop in hormones. It would pass after a few weeks and I was told to rest lots, hydrate often, and try to enjoy the moments in between "episodes" as best I could.

You know what, it was the SMARTEST thing I did. Hearing what I knew was true, but feared all the same, from a professional made me feel SO much better. Sure enough each week that went by the cloud lifted. My vision cleared. I learned how to read Claire, how to anticipate her needs, I realized I WAS enough. She did love me and need me, and that it was OK to feel overwhelmed. I learned to ask for help, to take naps, and to breathe.

Fast forward a few months down the road and I started to get that feeling again. It creeped up on me ever so slowly, with my husband noticing signs before I even did. One day out of the blue I started getting panic attacks and became afraid of being left alone with Claire. I was so overwhelmed and I COULD NOT stop crying. I am not exaggerating, I couldn't stop. It was like there was an ocean of tears inside of me. Once again I found myself in an unexpected place except this time it was far worse, it was a much more powerful feeling and it left me exhausted. I feared that this was something more then just the baby blues and got in to see my Dr right away, and it is a good thing I did. I am a firm believer of body wisdom, listen to your gut! Your body will tell you when something just isn't right. I knew from my previous experience with the baby blues that I needed help in order to get through this. I was diagnosed as having postpartum depression and given the help I needed to get me through the days. And thank God that help exists!  The Best 10 Methods for Acne Treatment 2017

I simply want to share this because I wish I had read more on it while I was pregnant. I thought I wouldn't have to worry about any of this, that I would be too happy. But I was wrong. SO WRONG! The baby blues/postpartum depression is not fun, but many of us do go through this. You will feel so raw and numb, and it will scare you. BUT IT WILL PASS. Talk to a professional, a nurse, a counselor, or just talk to a loved one. Do not bottle it up inside, and as it was said to me....enjoy those moments in between 'episodes'. Do not despair, love yourself and know that you now possess something that will love you for life unconditionally. Your child. This is such a taboo subject in society, like you are a failure as a mother if this happens to you...BUT YOU ARE NOT! I am not! It happens to many women and when those of us who suffer keep silent all we do is justify the taboo and alienate ourselves from the help of our peers.

I also learned a lot from this experience. It is really easy as a new mom to get caught up in perfection. To want to maintain everything the way it was before in your home and your life....but nothing will ever be the same again. And the sooner you realize that and except it the sooner you can heal. On that note I simply cannot blog and craft to the extent that I once was now with Claire. Well, I could but I would go mad. And it is just not worth it. So you may not see me as often anymore, but what you will see is more meaningful heartfelt posts, when I want to post!

Selasa, 14 Februari 2017

Being Thankful: An Enlightening Dinner

Admittedly this is a re post from a previous blog I had...but I wanted to share this with you all. It was a favorite post of mine from my trip to Bali nearly three years ago. A memory of an enlightening dinner that I am so grateful for...

The  gardener at the villa invited us over for dinner tonight. His wife cooked us a feast full of traditional Balinese food and every single bite was to die for! Their house is a very traditional in that there is a separate building for each aspect of their lives: sleeping, eating, cooking and praying. Madei is an amazing gardener and his open air courtyard was full of water lilies, orchids, frangipani trees and elk horn ferns. Beautiful stone mosaic patterns adorn the walkways and there are intricate wood carvings around all the doors.

Even better then the food and beautiful home was the conversation. Balinese people care very deeply and conversations can be much more intimate then what we are used to in the West. It is common to be asked within the first ten minutes where are you from, where do you live, who are your parents, are you married, do you have babies, why don't you have babies????? We discussed war, terrorism, politics and religion that evening and Madei wowed us all with his simple yet highly profound statements such as:
On racism:
"I do not know why racism? We all different color skin yes, but all of us have same color on our palms. All creamy white no matter if African or Chinese or Balinese. So if we all have same hands, we aren't so different you and I."

On God and race:
"God made all the flowers different colors just like us, so that we are beautiful to look at. Just like fish in an aquarium, the world would be boring is all sama sama (same same)"

On the peace of Bali compared to other parts of Indonesia:
"Indonesia has war because they put religion on top of politics. Here in Bali we have peace because we put religion on top of art and beauty"
All I wanted to do was hold out a tape recorder and forever capture his thoughts as they came out of his head....such a humble happy soul.

also read : Guru Elektronik

Family is so important here and is the basis of a persons identity. In the mornings all the mommies in the neighborhood proudly bring their babies over to the villa to say hello to Patti and girl children are as loved as boys.

Bali is pure MAGIC! 

All You Need is Love

Today I would like to introduce you to the hubz...the love of my life, my best friend, and my baby-daddy! Ryan and I have been together for 13 years (10 years of dating and now three years of married bliss). We were even each others dates for PROM!

He was this really cool artistic skater boy that I stared at, but was to shy to ever ask out on a date or anything. This is us on a break between classes, he is oblivious to how excited I am to be in this photo with him LOL!

Eventually though we did start dating and we were a perfect pair right from the start!

Clearly we both like to act like idiots:

We got engaged when we had barely two pennies to rub together, living in a dingy basement apartment in downtown Toronto. This was my deadlock phase, and Ryans massive hair phase....glad both are over!This picture was taken in 2004....geesh I feel old! LOL

Eventually though, 4 years later,  we did get married, in our own backyard surrounded by those we love (minus the dreadlocks and massive hair thank god)

We have since then gone on many adventures, including traveling to Indonesia together

He has always been the string that ties me to the ground, as I run off chasing imaginary rainbows only I can see...

But by far our greatest adventure yet has been that of parenthood

He is an amazing husband, father, lover, best friend, and soul mate. He completes me

Rabu, 02 Mei 2012

Photoshoot Fun: Babywearing on the Beach

The hubz took these photos on our family vacation to sunny California a few weeks ago. This is one of my Premium Kamika Water Wraps that I am wearing Claire in. It is UPF 50, anti-bacterial, anti-static, lightweight and SUPER fast drying. Claire was actually scared of the ocean, but VERY curious about it. Babywearing was the only way she felt confident enough to check out the surf. Mommy didn't mind the extra snuggles...