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.