Monday, October 31, 2011

Baby Max and his Pumpkin Patch Adventures

You could say Max has been to his fair share of pumpkin patches. He's practically a pumpkin patch pro. It's the thing to do ya' know....

Apparently on halloween, babies spend a lot of time at the pumpkin patch. Why not? It's fun. It's free. And it's halloweenie time to pull the wagon through the orange maze....

But don't let the scarecrow scare you, because he's not really scary.

And the petting zoo is always a big hit with my little man. He can chase a goat in circles for 15 minutes straight and has an infinite amount of kissies for the bunnies.

Can you imagine how dirty we are when we get home? I find hay in every crease and crevice and my son smells like a farm animal. The pretty pumpkin patch is a perfect spot for a boy to be a boy!

Happy Halloween to my little 20 month old pumpkin!

Friday, October 21, 2011

Tribute to Dhyana & Kai

Max has a best friend that he has played with religiously this year. Sweet Kai is only two weeks younger than Max and they are perfect playmates. It was destiny when we met at Douglas Park at the beginning of the year and became fast friends.

We instantly connected with charismatic Kai and his goddess mama, Dhyana. She is an amazing mommy and someone I have the utmost respect for. She's eternally kind, generous, and full of love for life's little blessings. I truly think the way moms become friends in the beginning is by matched up parenting styles. I'm admittedly more likely to become friends with a mom that is breast feeding her baby at the park than with the mom yelling at her kid to "stop it" from afar. And I think timing was everything for us because we had set out with the intention to find more support in the neighborhood.

Dhyana and I have enjoyed each other's company, and have continued to discover that we have more and more in common. We both love traveling and have been to many countries around the world. We have both taught yoga. We have both worked as reporters. And we are both from the state where we do things bigger and supposedly better...Texas!

In case you haven't hung out with a super active toddler lately, I will inform you that the rate by which you get to know people is rather slow in mommy land. It's on rare occasions we get the opportunity to squeeze in some good conversation between explanations, kissies, nursing sessions, and diaper changes. But the icing on the cake for us is when we discovered we lived only two blocks away from one another. Score! We had new best friends to play with on a regular basis. Woohoo!!

That explains why it is extra sad for Max and me to announce that Dhyana and Kai have moved back to Texas for a few months. They are staying with family and enjoying San Antonio for a while. This move may only be temporary, but we will still miss them very, very much. Since their departure, I have taken a little walk down memory lane.

Max and Kai have had so many awesome adventures together this year. They have had a ridiculous amount of fun tearing up the parks around Los Angeles. They have been to the Noah's Ark exhibit at the skirball. They've enjoyed the low tide together on Santa Monica beach. They've been to potluck parties together. And when we were two tired mamas, we have been back and forth between each others' houses to give us a little "break" while the boys played together.

Kai and Max have been two peas in a pod during their second year of life. They adore being together and we are so grateful to call them friends. We love and miss you Dhyana and Kai!

Beautiful October Summer

Dear October,

Can you please stay with us until spring? Your weather is filled with lots of sunshine and just a little bit of rain, and we think it is perfect. October....Thank you for being a beautiful summer month.


Elizabeth & Max

Thursday, September 29, 2011

A new kind of love

At 19 months old, there is a new kind of love in our lives. It is a love for every single little thing once deemed mundane, boring, or old hat. It is the simplistic love for life that we learn from our children.

Have you ever stopped to think about how delicious mint flavored dental floss tastes in your mouth. It is not only refreshing, but quite entertaining to run the flavored string through your lips. Over and over and over. My son is my teacher and I am his all star student.

Cleaning is the best thing in the world. Max cries to be a part of the janitorial crew. I expected it to be a disaster when I let him hold the broom, but he sweeps with control and pride. He aches to assist me and I happily oblige even though it takes me about three times longer to do chores at home and at the yoga studio.

This month Max has figured out how to put on his shoes all by himself. I never even 'sort of' taught him. One day I told him we were going to the park and it was time to put on his shoes. A little while later I was looking for his baby crocs and couldn't find them because he had put them on his feet all by himself. I was more than a little surprised and tickled to see that they were not only on, but they were on the correct feet.

Every day is proof that children are sponges for learning. When we are walking into our house he knows which key gets us in the front door and insists on holding out the black key. He jams the key in the door for me--even if it means I have to wait an extra hour to get in the house. How chivalrous....He is quite a lady's man!

My son loves helping me make breakfast in the mornings. He knows which ingredients go into our fruit smoothies and takes an enormous amount of joy in dropping the strawberries, bananas, almonds, kale and ice into the blender. Sometimes if I get tired of holding him up to the counter I will bring the blender to the floor so he can really be in charge of which ingredients accidentally end up in his mouth.

First of all, how many babies get fresh kale in their breakfast! But really, how many babies get to make their own breakfast....hahaha!!! I include him on the majority of the production other than stirring the hot oatmeal. Running around the house with a wooden spoon is the next best option. And he generally seems pretty happy with that.

Max interestingly decided he was "done" with his pacifier this month. After he got his last tooth, he didn't seem to need it anymore. I always thought he was chewing on it a lot for teething, and maybe I was right after all. You hear about moms figuring out the most creative ways to wean their children off the paci, and luckily it looks like I don't have to worry about that!

Since Max never has a pacifier in his mouth anymore, he is becoming a lot more verbal. He is constantly pointing at things to learn the name of it. He will poke at me just to hear me say, "elbow, cheek, knee, foot, toe....Yes, you have an owie on your toe. Yes, mommy will kiss your toe. (Then he kisses his own toe.) hair, eye, hair, yes, that is my hair. gentle with my hair please. Ow! Stop pulling my hair. Thank you. (He points to my nose.) Nose. Ok Max, don't stick your finger so far up your nose. I don't want you to hurt yourself. Yes, I have two ears. One, two. So do you. Ear. Ear."

And then he mimics me the best he can. He pokes at my eye and says, "ah. ah. (He pronounces the I sound like a west texan...he knows his roots!) nose. chee. chee." And his default for every body part he does not know is nose. He will call it nose if he doesn't know the name of it or has a hard time saying it. And we could go on like that for hours and hours....

Last week Max got to visit with a turtle for the first time. He was fascinated with Stanley and pointed at him for a very long time before he decided to softly pet him the way we touch the kitty. This lady had brought her turtle to the park for the kids to enjoy and I thanked her tremendously because it was such a hit amongst the little ones, including Max.

There are so many activities that we enjoy on a regular basis. Max loves music so we frequently go to children's concerts live at the grove on thursdays and he will dance and dance with his crew. He loves swimming and I take him to splash and squeal in the water whenever I can. He goes on hikes with me and insists on hiking the first mile before he will let me carry him. He opens my car door for me. When I spill something he grabs a rag and helps me clean. When he sees me getting in the shower, he rips off his diaper and runs in to pee. And he eventually gets cleaned.... Life with an active toddler and his sweet friends is awesome!

This morning, he pointed to the door and said "Da-Da". I explained to him that daddy was working and we would see him later. Then he pointed to a picture of all of us on the wall and said, "Da-Da, Ma-Ma, Ki-Ki, and Mahsch (Max)". And while we were driving to the concert today he saw the back of a man with dark hair and said "Dah-Dah!" Of course I explained to him that the man he saw looked like daddy, but we would see daddy later. Somehow he seemed to understand. They are growing so close!

Just when you think your love for a person couldn't grow any stronger, it does. Sometimes I feel like we hug and kiss all day, and that is quite all right with me. My son is constantly introducing me to a new kind of love.... For him. Myself. And life.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Looking at Life from a more important point of view.....

Ummm, I just sort of freaked out over the realization that I have a one and a half year old. Really? I guess it makes sense considering how far we've come in the past 18 months, but it is truly unbelievable that time is flying as fast as it is.

I'm especially astonished by how much I've learned since becoming a mother. My son teaches me the most important lessons life has to offer on a daily basis. As I help him grow and learn, he is helping me grow and learn. It's completely enlightening that when we have a baby, it teaches us about ourselves as a baby. It's amazing how tight we hold on to specific memories and how deeply they affect us. It's also fascinating the way parenthood helps us redefine the word compassion.

I find this to be a good and bad thing. It's obviously good because it makes you more aware and more emotionally supportive towards others, but it can also be difficult. I think back on the sad times I used to spend with my cat, and I want to reach out and give the little girl version of myself a big squeeze.

This month we went to three weddings and a baptism. We have discovered that Max loves attending parties and spiritual ceremonies with delicious food and rockin' beats. The highlights of the weddings we went to this month were the photo booth at temescal canyon, the ocean views at the 'ol hansen beach club, and the turtles at the greystone mansion. If you're ever thinking of hiring a babysitter while you attend a wedding, think again. Weddings are perfect family events and a great time to dance and party together.

Last week we had a baby gang potluck dinner at our house. Max has so many comrades with cool parents and we love getting together with them. We are so fortunate to have found this amazing group of supportive friends. Of course I still love all my single friends without kids, but there is something refreshing about being able to discuss teething and the ever so calming chamomilla, breast feeding and baby led weaning, and of course poop and which kind of diapers we use. At naseum. Yep, that's interesting stuff!

For instance, last month we had our west coast Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders Alumni Luncheon where of course I brought Max along to dine with the gals. Upon leaving, one of the single blondes goes, "Oh my gaaawd, Elizabeth there is avocado aaaallll over you!" I glanced down at my dress and saw a tiny green handprint on my butt and chuckled as I gave it a little swipe. She had no idea, but I had given quite a bit of thought to which simple dress I could wear that would allow for demolition while dining.

My best friend in Dallas always talks about how she feels soooo bad about her "pre-kid behavior". Sherrie used to offer her twin sister shout wipes by the box because of her stain-filled wardrobe. Michelle had three kids and could care less about the mess on her shirt as long as the bunchkins were happy. And now we all compleeeetely understand that a little vomit on your sleeve won't hurt a thing. Who needs those portable stain treater towlettes anyway?....hahaha!!!

Last week I walked into the yoga studio and someone pointed out to me that I had a piece of bright yellow something stuck to my lululemon wonder under pants. I swear I didn't even flinch as I grabbed the piece of dried mango off my thigh and dropped it in the trashcan. Or maybe I put it in my mouth. Was saving it for later? Hmmmm....I can't remember what happened exactly.

Another figment of my imagination is talking on the telephone. I absolutely don't do this anymore. Except for when I have to. Yes, it may sound like a contradiction, but it's really not. Once people hear that the baby will not stop screaming into the phone, they really do not try to have a conversation with me on the telephone anymore. People have become very understanding since I am willing to reply with an elaborate email at midnight thirty or whatever time the baby is sleeping.

It is lovely to have a home centered around a baby. Wait, let me re-phrase that. Is is lovely to have a LIFE centered around a baby. My heart is so full and I wouldn't have it any other way.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

My Love

Do you know what my son did tonight? He helped me unload the dishwasher. For real! Bowl breaking and glass thrashing wasn't even a little part of the task. He actually picked every piece of tupperware and the lids off the cleaning rack and slammed them in the correct drawer. When he was finished, I clapped and cheered for him the way I do when I'm surprise there. I'm his biggest fan!

Normally, I praise him to encourage him, but this time I was really blown away. He surely knew how genuine my applause was, because he emptied out the drawer of tupperware and refilled it several times to get my wild reaction over and over again. And each time he completed the task, he was equally as happy as the first time. That's my boy!

I've been to the yoga studio a LOT these past couple weeks either to teach a class or take a class. When my parents were in town last week, I think I was there every single day for one reason or another. They even came with Max and me to family yoga! Now that they're gone, we're back to the ho-hum regular, after a busy week with the grandparents.

I literally squeezed in every single thing I needed to do while my parents were here. Their visit began with an abrupt visit to the dentist for me. I don't think we even went home after I picked them up from LAX and I got some chipped teeth repaired. Yes, that was the kind of week it was. They did a lot of babysitting and I did a lot of everything else under the sun that needed and wanted to be done. Thanks mom and dad!

More random news on the home front:

Max has a big toe nail that is about to fall off. It is grossing me out and making me cringe. I don't think I've ever lost a toe nail before and I feel so bad for him. He constantly picks and pulls at it if his shoes aren't on, so he's basically living in his pedipeds these days. Yowzers!

Today a mom said to me, "Isn't it nice to go to work and get a break from him!" And I just didn't relate to that comment very well. Yes, I loooove teaching yoga. It is a perfect job for me in many ways, but I always miss Max when I leave him. It's funny because even though I have two part time jobs, I still sort of consider myself a stay at home mom. Maybe if I made enough money to pay my bills I would consider myself employed....hahaha! Well, I'm actually getting closer and closer to that every month!

Max is still obsessed with his lovey. Today someone said, "Is that his boom boom?" And I smiled and said "Yes!" Because whether you call it his puppy, blankie, or as we call it, his lovey, it has been his favorite comfort item since he was born. We always put it with him in the bassinet when he was sleeping without me and now he drags it around everywhere he goes like Linus on Charlie Brown. I've tried to replace it with a bunny, a teddy bear, and even a ridiculously soft hippo, but no other object compares.

This peaceful sight is what you see when you look up lovey in the dictionary. Goodnight with love....xoxo

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Decompression, Carmageddon, and Paris

What do all three of these things have in common....las vegas. That's what we had going on last weekend.

I was eager to decompress and that's the first thing I did. When we got to vegas on the first evening, the Newhaus family went to dinner and I stayed behind in the hotel room and did.... Gee, what did I do? I don't think I did anything. Oh wait, I actually squealed with excitement over the phone call I made. It was a quiet, intelligent conversation with my brother without Max trying to rip the phone out of my hand. That was cool.....(ALONE TIME OMFG I never ever ever get that anymore YYYAAAAYYYYY!!!!!!)

Paris was the hotel we stayed in and it was really nice. We had time at the pool, some delicious dinners, and I got extra crazy and hit up a few yoga studios. Yeah, I went to three fantastic yoga classes while Marc played poker. Marc and I even went on a date while grandma and grandpa took the baby. Now that's just wild!

We finished up the debauchery with the quickest drive back to LA. I guess everyone was terrified of the roads and freeways because of the 405 closure and it was a breeze getting home. Carmageddon turned out to be less than the anticipated auto apocolypse. What a relief for us not to be stuck in a traffic jam all day with the baby!

Now we're back home and it isn't easy adjusting. Reality doesn't suck, but I prefer being spoiled on vacation. Now instead of looking for les toilettes, I'm just going to the bathroom. Dinner is no longer at the eiffel tower, but on the basic couch. And instead of merci, I hear "hurry up, the baby ripped his diaper off and I told you not to use velcro anymore!"...... Yaaaay reality!

But here's the reality. After a few hours away from Max, I really miss him. And I look forward to seeing him again. It's amazing that I could spend so much time with someone and never ever ever get sick of it. Don't get me wrong--I enjoy some breaks and definitely need more of them. But I'm always ready to get back to being mama.

I'm posting three photos on this blog because my hair is done in all three of them. That's a big deal in case you didn't realize what it was like to have an active toddler pulling out clumps of your "do". Honestly, I think it's a miracle that I had (mostly) matching outfits and accessories for three days in a row.

It's worth noting that my "wig hair" is returning. My postpartum hair regrowth is several inches long and it sure has become easier to style my mane! There is evidence that I still know how to work the hot rollers....ahahaha!

Paris was a great place to chill out during carmageddon. I highly recommend it. But even more I recommend Blue Sky Yoga. Yeah, I'd definitely go back that nitty gritty donation based studio in the art district. Or the Yoga Sanctuary. (Except the prices are higher for out of towners....BOO!) I really enjoyed the power yoga classes at both of these vegas studios. I can't think of a better way to decompress in sin city than with a floating pidgeon.....the new pose I'm semi-mastering. Viva las vegas!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

What is going on here?

I should post an addendum to my last blog. Remember the shopping spree I went on? Well, let's go over the items purchased.

1. Potty training seat: I even spent the extra $10 for the high back bjorn seat that I was told to get. Let's see what baby Max does with his new toilet. He uses is as a bowl for his ice. He's figured out that as the ice melts he can drink cold water out of the area that is supposed to hold urine. Oh, and when he is finished eating his dinner, he will take it and put it in the potty. That's probably why I found potatoes in there this morning.

2. Swimming pool: I bought a little pool for our rooftop deck because the weather is beautiful and Max loves the water. However, after bringing the pool in the house, Max filled it with all his toys. So his swimming pool is actually a glorified blue and green toy box. And truthfully, the toys are all stored in there so perfectly that I don't mind leaving it just the way it is.

3. Extra large gardening tools: It's not like he can ever play with them outside anyway. He might knock a little kid over at the park with that arm of his. So he walks back and forth over the carpet with the rake and I kind of feel bad that he hasn't gotten to use his hoe, rake, and shovel in an actual garden.

Ooooohhhhh welllllll...... He's happy and who cares if everything we get him is noticeably less interesting than the box that it came in. I'm just grateful to have such a happy baby boy.

This week he taught me about motherhood in the millenium. No texting while diaper changing was the #1 lesson learned. Yes, I learned the hard way and no, I will not be repeating that mistake! I THOUGHT I've been doing great because I basically gave up talking on the phone months ago, but texting while parenting is a major distraction to watch out for!

I also learned that after about age 16 months, it is not wise to cloth diaper with velcro diaper covers. He can take those off by himself and snaps are the way to go. My favorite diaper covers are called the "flip" for this age. Another lesson learned....

Today Max got his 15th tooth. All he needs, is one more bottom tooth at this point for a complete set of chompers. He's been nursing soooo much for comfort lately and I wouldn't be surprised if after these last two teeth come through if he goes back to only breast feeding a few times a day again. We have been enjoying oodles of snuggles.

Tonight when my little angel fell asleep I couldn't help but stare at him for a while before I laid him down in his bed. I breathed in his breath and held his little hand and told him how special he is to me. He is such a peaceful little boy and our attachment is the most beautiful bond I have ever experienced in my whole entire life.

I love that I have such a healthy baby boy, such supportive mommy friends, and the ability to go to bed late at night without feeling like a truck ran over me. I have not forgotten how sleep deprived I was this time last year and it is such a blessing to feel rested--even with a teething baby!

Good times on runyon canyon with our sweet friends Jolynn and Zaiah made for a fun beginning to the week! We're getting ready to leave town tomorrow in time to beat carmageddon in LA this weekend. We're packing for vegas and rocking out to some tunes...Let the good times roll!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Happy Birthday America!

Today, July 4th, was the most spectacular day of the year. No, seriously. It was perfect.

It suddenly occurred to me that Independence Day is one of the best days of the year every single year. Not just because there isn't a single cloud in the sky... Not because I get my first tan of the year... Not because we got to see a fantastic firework show (or three)... Not because we got to eat yummy guacamole and gooey chocolate cake... And definitely not even because I get to enjoy the beautiful beach with my baby after a full night's sleep (double score)....

Oh, nevermind. It is because of all these reasons....And more. As far as I'm concerned July 4th marks the beginning of summer. And that's why I think everyone in Los Angeles is crazy for this holiday. It's as if we all start palpitating over how fantastic the next four or five months will be. We looooove summer time!!!!!

So good bye June gloom and heeelllllooooo summer!

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Happy Monday Super Mommy!

June gloom has passed and summer is in full swing. Seems appropriate that I took Max on a shopping spree today. A few hot ticket items on his "fun in the sun" list were a kiddie pool, extra large gardening tools, and a bjorn potty seat.

That list pretty well sums up what's going on around here. It's gorgeous outside and Max is ecstatic about being in the water, so we are putting a little pool on the rooftop deck. I can't think of a better way for Max and his friends to spend some time together.

The gardening tools are all the rage because they are as big as his body. I've had to take all heavy toys away from him because this kid has an arm. "Ow!" He'll knock you out with a wooden spoon or a pepper shaker, and the new toys I just got him are light and won't damage me OR the house. Since Max banged a dent into the bamboo wood floor, I'm on toy patrol.

And then the potty chair is something I'm convinced he's ready for. I've heard that babies who wear cloth diapers are easier to potty train because they can feel the wetness when they tinkle. Also, Max jumps in the shower with me and laughs and laughs as he pees. It makes me think he might know what he's doing. I can't wait to see his reaction when I sit him on his new potty chair the next time I catch him making his number-two-potty-face.

Usually I'm bragging about how proud I am of my baby, but today I feel like giving myself a big pat on the back.

First of all, Max slept TERRIBLY last week. He cut his top two fang teeth and was up all the time at all hours of night like clockwork. Poor baby....I hate teeth! And lucky us, he cuts them two and three at a time.

At one point, I got out of bed to pat him on the back or rub his belly, and I was just too darn tired to stand there leaning over the side of his bed rail. So I repeated something that I had only done once before, and I crawled into the crib to snuggle with him.

Now, I know that most moms would have just brought their baby in the bed with them. But I was too tired to think of something so clever or intelligent.

At some point between midnight and the middle of the night, we fell asleep spooning in his miniature manger. Who knows how long I was passed out in there for, because when I woke up in the morning, there was a beautiful baby in my arms and a gnarly crick in my neck. We'll see if I can stick with my big girl bed this week....ahahaaa!

Last Monday, I took Max to a friend's house to babysit her 19-month-old son, Jackson for about 6 hours. We had so much fun and I think that's what really made me feel like supermom. Those boys were running around going crazy, and I whisked them off to the park in the nick of time before they destroyed the house. It was absolutely delightful to see the way they were feeding off each other's endless energy. It was also an enormous challenge to keep up with the both of them!

Of course I adored every minute of it. Now that I'm a mom, it's my mission in life to give love to babies, toddlers, children, adult children, and anyone that was ever a baby once in their life. Since I'm oozing all this love and compassion for kids, it is perfect for me to be able to share that with another munchkin. Babysitting is the perfect opportunity for me to gush all over the babies and help out some other mommies.

The only thing that I find to be extremely difficult about being out in public with two kids, is how the heck you are supposed to go to the bathroom while "taking care" of the bunchkins??? It always amazes me that moms are able to go to relieve themselves in the toilet when they need to. I mean, forget privacy. Those days are long gone, but to use the restroom is an obstacle that confuses me to pieces.

See, I didn't want to bring the boys into the bathroom because it was just gross in there. Nasty park potty. Ugh, I don't even want their cute little shoes to touch a public bathroom. Maybe I'll get over this at some point, but what if they decide to touch something, or for goodness' sake sit down in there. Gross! And you can't really ask a stranger to watch them for a minute when you're babysitting for someone else. Maybe if it's a park you go to on a regular basis, but I was in a different park in Studio City where I didn't know anyone.

And then there's me (remember her?) and the fact that I don't have a minute to spare or I will pee in my pants. So you wanna' know what I do?... (Normal? I think not.) I sprint into the bathroom. I prop the door open (you know, the main entrance to the bathroom so that you can see everyone and they can all see you), run into the stall, and pop a squat over the toilet with that door open. That method worked brilliantly and I can't imagine anything better. (Maybe? That's not public indecency is it?) Hey, when you gotta go, you gotta go!

Every Wednesday I teach my family yoga class. I loooove my new job. It is EXACTLY what I want to do with my time on hump day. It is my pleasure and an honor to work with parents and children together. Max and the other kiddos wear themselves out playing with the yoga blocks while the parents are literally "in" happy baby. This is my idea of a win, win situation!

The past two weeks, Max has blessed me with the sweetest gifts a mother could possibly receive. When I'm teaching and demonstrating poses in the middle of yoga class, he will come over and randomly give me kisses. He'll be on the other side of the room playing, and run over to give me a reassuring smooch while I'm in updog. It's as if he's saying, "Mom, you're doing a great job. Keep up the good work!"

This is the most challenging and draining job I've ever had...In a good way! Multitasking as a mommy and a yoga teacher is a blast! My main concern is making sure Max is finished napping before we leave the house at 3pm, which means we can't run behind in the mornings. We have to be en pointe with waking up, breakfast, lunch, and nap, so we have a happy and upbeat toddler at 4pm. It is a huge blessing to be able to take my baby to work with me, and so far the feedback has been fabulous.

At this point, I think we have a nice, solid schedule down that works for all of us. He is only napping once a day, and as long as he goes down for that nap by 1pm, we are set. Fortunately, I am always able to get him down for a nap, even if he is not rubbing his eyes and yawning by 1pm. All I have to do is breast feed him in a dark, silent room until he falls asleep. Things like that may sound easy, but it does take honest effort....especially after a bout of teething that knocks you off your schedule.

And then on the weekends I have been working for Kitchenaid. I feel so resourceful, because I have found a way to make the amount I pay the babysitter a little cheaper. I just have her meet us at the mall instead of meeting at my house. That way she can play with Max at the indoor playground next to Macy's, and I don't have to pay her for my travel time driving to/from work. And then if Max gets sleepy and needs milk I can easily step out and tend to him.

We've also made time to do tons of other social activities. We had a great time at Giselle's princess birthday party on Saturday! It was Max's first time to play in a bounce house and he thought it was the greatest thing that had ever happened in the whole entire world.

I don't know how moms do it. Life becomes a perfectly synchronized orchestra of sorts. And it works! I'm taking a moment to pat myself on the back for making mommy magic happen every single day of my life! Woohoo!

Selflessness and strengh are only a couple qualities of the life of a mother.....Tapping into those now!

Happy Monday you Super Mommy You!!!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Saving the World...One Baby at a Time!

Max and his best friend Kai both have cars and cell phones. They are the exact same age and play together beautifully.... For the most part!

They are happy except for when Kai stops pushing the car in order to take a call. Yes, Kai did stop propelling his friend forward to jabber into the dead cell for a moment.

From the looks of these pictures, Max appears to be the alpha of the two. Oh boy....

For the first year of Max's life, I found it difficult to identify myself in any other way than being a mom. Maybe I didn't even want to identify myself differently. Breast feeding, interrupted sleep, and sh*t storms have been my favorite topics for the past 15 1/2 months.

Now I feel like more than a mom. I feel like a yogi, an artist, a dancer, an employee, a student, a teacher, a writer, a friend, an explorer, a martyr.....I feel like I am so many wonderful expressions. And I understand them in a different way than before baby Max entered my life.

But one thing I can't seem to quit reeling over, are babies. I think about babies across the world, in other countries, in neighboring towns, and in nearby buildings. I think of babies and mommies being together like they were destined to be. And then I think of babies helplessly crying by themselves without a mommy to respond. And it completely, utterly, and totally breaks my heart.

I think there are many reasons why a mother would neglect her precious crying baby. It's possible that she didn't know better. Maybe she thought it was good for the baby to cry. Maybe she listened to some bad advice. Maybe she was too tired to respond. Maybe she didn't feel connected with her child. Maybe she was a selfish bitch. But it's most likely that she was simply misinformed and lacking support.

When I was crazy sleep deprived, my lactation consultant said that if anyone asks you if your baby is sleeping all night, to just lie and say yes. At the time I didn't completely understand why, but looking back it makes perfect sense. Some detached parents are unsupportive and judgemental.

I haven't really been one to make up stories. Maybe the foggy look all over my face said it all anyway. When people would ask me how many times baby Max woke me up in the middle of the night, the honest answer was usually, "I can't remember".

One of my crunchy parent facebook friends wrote a status update that said a lady at the farmers market was asking about her baby and if she was letting her sleep. My friend replied, "of course not" with a smile and the lady went on to tell her about how she "Ferberized" all her kids because she needed to sleep. Here are all the comments below:

ugh, that makes me sick. I was up late last night and bored and was browsing some lady's babywise page... there was a mom on there asking for advice because she has been letting her SIX WEEK old cry it out for several days and it "still wasn't working." And another one trying to force feed her 4 mo. old because he would "only" take 4 oz at a time and wake up an hour later hungry. It honestly makes me nauseous to read things like that!

Ferberized? What does that mean?

ferber made the "cry it out" method popular, and depending on how you interpret it, it can be pretty extreme such as letting baby cry themselves to sleep in their crib alone until essentially they are "trained".


Ugh. I am reading babywise so I can say I did. All the rumors are true.

I read BW too, just so I knew what was in it, and it literally made me physically ill. Ferber is almost as bad, although I think it's Weissbluth that says to put them in bed, close the door, and not come back until morning. Sadly enough, at our Target W's boom is next to "Happiest Baby"

It's in with the swaddle blankets and baby monitors. :-(

Whatever happened to Maternal instinct??

I couldn't get past the first chapter in Babywise!!!! It was such BS.

grrrrr. I am utterly sick of ppl telling me that...

‎that is Horrible! Ug- God forbid something like a child gets in the way of someone's schedule... Ick!


So yes, it took well over a year for my son to sleep through the night. And some nights he still doesn't "sleep through the night". But it wasn't an inconvenience for me that limited me on what I wanted to do when I wanted to do it. He is my son and I never want him to be afraid of asking me for something that he needs. I refused to begin our relationship ignoring his call for help.

It is worth noting that Baby Wise is the only parenting book that the American Association of Pediatrics has stated is dangerous to babies. It's also interesting that the children and grandchildren of the authors of Baby Wise want nothing to do with them either. It bewilders me that a book that is harmful to babies is legal. I'd like to start a revolution and get this trash off bookshelves.

Realistically, the difference I can make is at home. I vow to never treat my baby like an inconvenience. I promise to do my best to listen to his needs with a compassionate, open heart. That's the here and the now that I know is possible.

Attachment parenting is a lifestyle. I have a girlfriend that calls her parents in the middle of the night any time she needs help or advice. She's in her 30's and they have a super cool relationship. So maybe it's a better idea to be there for your kids whenever they need you. Even if it requires being a zombie mommy for a little while. :)

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Calm Amidst Chaos

Today was a huge success! I got to teach family power yoga at Earth's Power Yoga this afternoon. It was the first yoga class I've taught in a studio....a nice upgrade from the park or the living room. Woohoo!

It was a huge honor for the owner of the studio to ask me if I would be interested in teaching this cutting edge class on a trial basis. Unlike a typical baby and me class, this is a regular power yoga class where parents can bring their children of all ages. And who better to teach a vigorous vinyasa flow class of mommies, than a super active yogi mommy!

This was one of the best play dates for all the little ones. It was so cute to see the older ones turning cartwheels around their parents' yoga mats while the younger ones stared in awe. The unpredictable nature of a child is what makes it so exciting and a little scary for me as a teacher. But as I looked around at the kids in today's class, it reminded me to approach life with more curiosity and less fear.

At one point I looked up and saw every single toddler and older child (including Max) lined up in the window sill looking outside at the cars on Melrose. It was a beautiful sight to see the little ones exerting their independence while the adults flowed through a series of warriors. I love it that baby Max doesn't realize he's any younger or smaller than the big kids and runs around with them like they've been friends forever.

Having the ability to multitask taking care of my assimilating toddler while directing the flow of a yoga class is definitely a challenge. But I started thinking about it, and isn't that what parenting is all about. Day and night we are flowing through situations with breaks for hugs, diaper changes, shenanigans, and feedings. So why should a yoga class be any different. As I took on that attitude, I gained an abundance of confidence.

At the beginning of every class I teach, I always tell my students to set an intention for their practice. And today my intention for myself was to breathe and do a good job. Well gosh darnit, I may have forgotten to breathe a few times, but I still did a good job. I may have even superceded expectations and done a great job. Yeah, there are a few kinks to work out and some improvements to be made, but aren't there always with something new. I'm really happy with the experience I had today.

Every single parent in class left me with a positive remark. One young mommy was so glad we offered the class because she had not exercised in 3 months. Another mom told me she was delighted to have practiced her handstand with me. She had not done an inversion in 2 years since she had become pregnant with her little girl. And another mom told me she wished this class had begun years ago when her daughter was a baby because she missed going to yoga classes. That makes me happy to be a part of such positive change.

As a mother, it is so easy for me to see what these and all mothers need. Mommies spend so much time nurturing their little ones, but we also need to be nurtured. We spend so much time holding our babies, but we also need to be held. We spend so much time loving our most blessed creations, but we also need to be loved. Yoga is an opportunity to receive these important gifts while getting some good old fashioned exercise. What a lovely way to spend an afternooon!

I hope I can continue to spread love and light on my new journey as a yoga teacher. I am so grateful for the opportunities I have and will continue to have. Together we will find the calm amidst the chaos on our family yoga journey.


Sunday, June 5, 2011


Last week took our family bonding to a new level. While getting stuck in the bathroom in the middle of the night, I groaned to Marc that I couldn't stop throwing up.

His response: "Oh.....Why is the cat meowing." (That alone was enough to make me barf.)

I was going to ask him to help me by checking on baby Max because I could hear that he was awake through the baby monitor. But I didn't even bother. Marc needed his beauty sleep and I didn't feel well enough to give a class in compassion 101.

Off I went to do some more throwing up before I was able to muster just enough energy to trudge upstairs to check on the little boy.

I got upstairs to his room and was greeted with the most horrific smell and pitiful sight I have ever seen in my whole entire life. Poor Max was covered in vomit from head to toe. Chunks of this and that were stuck to his hair and his pj's and his crib. He was officially sick and my heart was officially broken.

The pukathon continued as I rushed Max downstairs to clean him in the sink. I was fully handling the situation on my own until my stomach started to regurgitate and climb its way back up my esophagus. I think it was about that time I screamed, "Maaaaaaaaaaarrrrrrrrrrrrcccccc!!!!!!!!"

That began his long overdue initiation into nighttime parenting. "You clean the baby while I go barf."

Twenty-four hours, six showers and five sheet changes later, we seemed to be resting a little easier despite the fact that we couldn't eat. The stomach flu had plagued us and about 10 of our friends that were at the same bbq as us on Memorial Day.

We were nautious, feverish, shivering, and totally lethargic. The doctor said that whether we had the stomach flu or food poisoning, we should stick with the "brat diet" when it came time to reintroduce food. Banana, rice, applesauce, and dry toast were safe bets for our fragile intestines. And of course breast milk....the cure for any illness in its all nutritious beauty.

I guess Marc thought the R in "brat" stood for rack of ribs because that was the food he brought home for Max to eat. When I fell asleep, I think he fed Max an extra spicy gyro plate that made Max even sicker. Because when I woke up a few hours later, the next round of vomit clean-up took gnarly to the next level. What was he thinking?

There was no need to say "I told you so". Because it was at that point, the big, hairy, ugly faced contagious virus attacked again....with a vengeance.

For the next 24 hours, the only words I heard come out of Marc's mouth was, "I'm gonna' die."

Marc was so weak that he could barely walk. Imagine if guys had to have babies and breastfeed on the toilet with the big D while barfing. They definitely couldn't handle it and we could call them hypochondriacs. Except that we are way too nurturing and would never send that type of negative energy to someone that genuinely needed love and support.

Now that we're all feeling better, I'm so grateful the family barfathon is over. We're all feeling strong and healthy again, and maybe even a few pounds lighter.

We were co-sleeping through the whole stomach flu extravaganza and kind of got off our regular routine of sleep. I'm so proud of myself because I was able to easily transition him to sleeping in his crib again with no problem. All I did was climb in his crib with him until he fell asleep so he knew that it was a safe place and he would not be alone. It worked like a charm and all I had to do was snuggle with my best boy!

Here's a picture of Max and me on a happier day at Frankie's first birthday party. He cut his 13th tooth today and he is such a good boy.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Joshua Tree 2011

You would think camping is our favorite thing in the world. Not so much, but why not. At least we were hiking in costume. That's what happens when your friends bring their burning man suitcases rather than firewood. Yes, it was that kind of weekend.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

You know you're a mother when....

You know you're a mother when....

It's mothers day and you do absolutely nothing for yourself.

You use lansinoh (for dry, cracked nipples) as your lip balm.

You are explaining your baby's nap schedule to the clerk at Whole if they friggin' care!

After peeing in your pants, you immediately clean the baby. And then sit down on a cloth diaper to eat lunch. And then you finally take a shower. (Yes, this has really happened to me. Twice.)

You know you're a mother when....You continue rocking your baby an hour after he has fallen asleep because you want to hang on to those special moments for as long as physically possible.

Before I was a mom, I didn't know how naturally all of this would come. Yes, I've been a mommy for years to Boogars Bellpepper Perry, but now that I have a footballer baby, I have a new respect for all the mamas and babies.

Happy mothers day to all the mommies who are not mommies yet and desperately hope to be one day. Your nurturing, loving disposition rubs off on the mothers who have the opportunity to hold their babies today. It makes us realize that what we have is sacred and never to be taken for granted. As the message in "Under the Tuscan Sun" conveys, family comes in many forms, so don't give up hope!

I could adopt a baby (or five) tomorrow. I have loved nothing more than baby Max in my life, but my heart aches for all the babies in the world that need mommies. Now that Max has all his one year molars, eats everything, and sleeps like a champ (most of the time), I would like to adopt a pack of boys and breast feed each one of them. I understand why siblings are generally spaced two years apart. It's about this time that mama is recovering and ready for another! (Not happening ANY TIME SOON, but just sayin'....)

Ok, so some random updates: (These are my favorite....eeeeek!)

Max eats sliced oranges now and hands the peel back to me. He does not like it if I cut the orange out for him. He wants to do it himself.

In 30 seconds flat while I was using the bathroom, he pulled out a chair and climbed on it in order to climb on to the kitchen table. This boy is FAST. No doubt.

He has NEVER been sick. (Yay mommy....I must be doing something right!) However, we are looking for the vaccine against skinned knees because that is a common occurrence around here. While going into the doctor's office with me the other day, he bumped his head so hard that he cut himself before I headed into minor surgery. Thank goodness the nurses were right there to clean his wound and take care of him because that was not a good moment!

He's obsessed with footballs, soccer balls, basketballs, yoga balls, and any ball he can get his hands on. And yes, of course he is dying to play with the volleyballs with his father at the beach.

He LOVES music and we jam out with our clams out. He tap dances with me every single time we get into the elevator and I swear he's already doing traveling time steps.

He softly hugs his friends with such loving kindness. Unfortunately he proceeds to steal their toys out of their hands and run circles around them.

He thinks the cat is a drum set. Kind-hearted kitty doesn't even care....

Forrest Gump thinks baby Max is super cute. Yes, he is already hanging out with Tom Hanks at many babies get that opportunity? Thanks Aunt Nori!

As for us, it took Paisley and I over two hours to hike temescal with Max the other day. Either we are getting more and more out of shape, or he's getting heavier.

Max slept through all of his scheduled Easter egg hunts in Coppell, so we improvised with a hunt in the backyard. There's a video of that floating around somewhere. I look like a brunette version of Anna Nicole playing outside with Max so it's probably better that no one views it. Those bath toys made for some sweet eggs!

I find it interesting that my mom had three kids and said none of us were ever into everything the way Max is. She said they are going to have to baby proof all the cabinets in the kitchen before the next time we visit. I'm used to the high level of activity so that is just our norm. But she stressed the importance of being in a good school district because he is a smart cookie and will be easily bored. We're either all really biased or Max is really amazing. Or both. :)

While Max was with grandmom and granddad, I went to a DCC banquet and had a night out with my sistas at Cowboys Stadium. That made for a fun hall pass, but by the time I got home after midnight, I was exhausted. Upon returning from a long, lovely evening, I was stunned to find Max boo-hoo-ing crying and you could say that evening didn't go too smoothly! My parents got steam rolled while I got treated to some first class fun on the field!

For mother's day I took Max to the Gentle Barn where we were able to save a hamburger and hug a cow. He was so sweet with the rescue animals and made the kissy sound to every animal he sees. He enjoyed petting the roosters, horses, and the pot belly pigs...(Except he screamed maniacally when the rooster took his corn on the cob away.) Gentle Barn in Santa Clarita is a fantastic place to teach children how to cherish and respect animals and would be a wonderful place to have a vegetarian picnic with a group of impressionable kiddos. I highly recommend this place!

Compassionate activities like this teach unconditional love and make for the best time together.

Gotta' get back to my yoga book challenge now. I hate it that there's no real time in my schedule for blogging. I have eight books to read in eight weeks time, and quite frankly I have no idea how I'm going to accomplish it. I just know that I can!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Splish Splash Max was takin' a bath....

Baby Max had the best day ever with his girlfriend Natalie. She is only a little older than him and they play together so well. We were two tired mommies today, but with our bouncing babies and some mommy mojo we made it happen. Kelly is such a wonderful mother and I love being with them!

Blessed days like these are what dreams are made of. And it is my dream for Max to have a clean baby bootie all the time. Sounds like a win, win to have happy, clean babies, huh! Love that.....Heck, I just loved this day!

Sweet little Maximilian's updates include:

He slides down the baby slide at the park all by himself. He dives face first like superman....yikes!

He knows how to put the lid back on a water bottle. I was very surprised to see him turn the lid around to screw it on correctly.

He gives french kisses to boys and girls with his mouth open. He also helps himself to food out of his friends' mouths....even if they were planning on swallowing and keeping it for themselves.

He sits in his own little chair that has his name monogrammed on it. It's a fun game him and Marc play. "Go get in your chair!" And Max runs back and forth from his chair to his toys.

He says a lot more words. A few that I heard this week include up, blueberries, i love you, and kitchen.

If your cocktail needs a little stir, he does that with his entire fist. Then he will proceed to feed you ice cubes--even if you are wearing a beautiful dry clean only suit and you don't want your cranberry drink to spill on your front.

He climbs three flights of steps in less than a minute. This has become a daily ritual because he loves it so much and it wears him out.

He has 11 or 12 teeth, 3 of which are molars.

When he wants milk he rips off my shirt--regardless of where we are.

He cleans his air jordan basketball shoes in the toilet.

He falls about 3000 times a day and manages to get away with only about ten bruises on his knees and shins.

He growls when I take his pacifier away.

He gives lots of hugs and wraps his arms tight around my neck. He is the center of our world......xoxo