Sunday, December 27, 2009

Spanish!

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More video of the LFM, this time in Spanish!

Counting

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He can count to 10 in both English and Spanish but he doesn't like to perform for the camera so this was the best I could get.

Techno Fancypants Family

So I've figured out how to post from my awesome new fancypants DROID phone (verizon's version of the iphone but with better cell phone service), which means I will probably start posting more frequently again, and my aunt in France will not have to abandon all hope of seeing current LFM photos (I'm a horrible neice, I know...). It also means the posts will be ostensibly shorter, so you will all be spared the excessive rambling I may have indulged in in the past. Then again...I am getting the hang of typing with my thumbs rather quickly on this miniscule keyboard. Rambling or not, I'm glad to be back. I missed you, you cute little blog, you.

Well rested Mama

So we've started night weaning, which essentially means that for now, WB does all of the night time parenting and I, for the first time in over 2 years, get to sleep. Holy cow, batman! I never knew sleep could be so fantabulous! I feel like a completely different person! I'm actually nice! And sometimes funny! And can complete a full thought or maybe even two!

I had no idea I was in such dire sleep straights. Thank you, WB, you have saved us all. Your superhero status is now official. Also, I love you.

The LFM, luckily, does not seem to be showing any daytime stress or behavioral effects from this major change, and its been 3 nights now. We'll break open the champagne once I stop hiding in the guest bedroom and all still goes well.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Summer Loving and Loving Summer










Whoever invented the camping tent, I love you. No, seriously, I LOVE YOU. You and Shenandoah National Park have saved my sanity and my relationship and probably my suddenly tantrum-prone toddler's life. This has been the summer of the mini-vacay, and we've been running away as many weekends as we possibly can. Somehow, even with all the work of setting up camp, cooking, cleaning, making sure the LFM doesn't attract bears when he throws his food all over the ground, etc, its still ultimately so incredibly peaceful at the end of the night sitting by the campfire with the man I love that its worth the rough car ride and the challenge of putting up a tent with a toddler strapped to my back. We get to speak to eachother in complete sentences! With no housework, no working from home, no to-do list looming over our heads! We are allowed to simply be. In a place where I feel the most whole, the most myself, the most connected and grounded and at peace. And of course the LFM loves getting to run around and see all the wildlife. Now whenever we see woods, he asks excitedly "bunny? bunny? bunny?". I am so passionately in love with these stolen weekends, with this us time. I feel like our little family is pure love in these moments.

The LFM and I have also been taken full advantage of the beautiful mild summer we've been having and trying our best to spend every possible second outside. Between playdates at various parks, the botanical gardens (where they have an awesome little water park for kids to play in), and mooching off of everyone else's pool memberships (the joining fees alone for most outdoor pools are astronomical!) we spend far more time away from home than we do at home. I think that's the way summer should be, don't you?

Monday, June 22, 2009

Once Upon a Time I Could Write Complete Sentences. Soon the LFM Will Be Speaking in Them.






Once Upon a Time I used to write. In complete sentences. I had a blog that I updated religiously, not one that I neglected and only popped in on from time to time. And I can't really blame the LFM, because there are no less than 5 million other mommy bloggers out there who manage to write in complete coherent sentences...and many are even witty. Maybe its the pressure of the whole blog-as-baby-book thing...feeling like I must record everything, and so I just end up recording nothing.

Maybe I'm lazy.

I'm certainly exhausted.

Jonah is teething again...he's a very slow teether, so we get like 3 weeks of fussiness and then voila! Here's one measly little tooth. It seems so unfair. Its definitely unfair to my boobs and my sleep, but hey I'm sure its much rougher on him, so I shouldn't complain.

Here's the 10 second recap since I last wrote:

At age 15 months Jonah started walking. As with every development thus far, the lines are blurry and I can't pinpoint the precise moment he really began walking. So in the absence of the definitive, I like to say that its the weekend we went to visit his godmother, Chanteuse, in Maryland. I picked that weekend because he was walking a bit that weekend, and I like to think that Chanteuse is somehow tied to his destiny. When she was down for Mimi's funeral she said "wouldn't it be cool if he was born now while I'm here?" and of course, he was. So when we saw her in Maryland and she said "wouldn't it be cool if he started walking while I'm here?", well, we stretched things a bit to say he did. It makes for a cute story, at least.

WB's parents came for a visit from Puerto Rico. Jonah was in love with them, they were in love with Jonah, and I discovered that I can speak more Spanish than I thought. I also discovered that strep throat and family visits do not mix well.

Jonah is a super verbal child...sometimes I catch him just blabbering away in his car seat while we're driving, and its just the cutest thing I've ever heard. he has this sweet tiny little voice...almost too thin and tiny for his often boisterous ways. He's a bulldozer with his body as he crashes about, but he's a nightingale with his sweet little sing songy voice. Here is a partial list of the words he says now on a regular basis (partial list because its almost 1:30am and I'm exhausted and sure to forget half of them):
Mama
Papa
Na-na (night night- this is how he asks 5 million times a day to nurse)
Ca-ca (this is both cracker and canard, the french word for duck)
Pwa (poisson- the french word for fish)
Mono (the spanish word for monkey)
Hi
Bye bye
no (he currently LOVES this one)
Ah-Duh (all done)
Moo-ah (more)
Shah (this is both chien, the french word for dog, and chat, the french word for cat...the intonation is slightly different for each one)
Ha-bmm (Abu- short for abuelo and abuela, grandfather and grandmother in Spanish)
Shhhss (shoes or chaussures, the french word for shoes)
Pah (potty...american slang for toilet)
Pah-pee (Papy, what he calls my father)
Too-too (Choo-choo, what he calls a train)
Brum-brum (vroom vroom, what he calls a car)
Buh (bird)
Ah-buh (Arbol, tree in Spanish, or Arbre, tree in French)
Our genius boy can also correctly identify all facial features in French and most in Spanish and a few in English, and is learning more body parts in French as we speak.

Our genuis boy is also waking up and in dire need of a breast, so I'd better go oblige.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Moving Images are Far Better Than Incoherent Ramblings

I'm way overdue for a new post, but its 1am, I just finished working from home at my office job, and I'm beyond pooped. I'd love to be able to sleep a teensy bit before the LFM begins waking up every 10 minutes to use my breasts as a pacifier. So I'll leave you with this...its much better anyway, right? Who wants to read about the LFM when you can see him? Mica, the awesome, gave us a flip (did I mention how awesome she is?) so hopefully you'll be seeing a lot more video in the future. Mica, my aunt in France (my only reader) now loves you forever and ever.

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Thursday, March 12, 2009

Self Love

This morning's breakfast consisted of the LFM screeching like a banshee and flinging oatmeal and waffle pieces all over the room.
Ah, toddlerhood.

As I write this he is systematically emptying the kitchen cabinets and placing everything he can pick up and move into different cabinets, so that Mama can then blame Papa for putting everything away in the wrong place. But hey, if its not dangerous and he's having fun and it gives Mama just a few seconds of peace...right? Anything is worth a few seconds of peace.

In a totally unrelated vein, lately I've been feeling so very uncomfortable in my own skin. I'm much bigger than I've ever been in my entire life and I feel old, fat, ugly, boring, and definitely as far from centered as you can get. So rather than continually beat myself up about these things (and believe me, I can be quite cruel to myself) I've decided to do something about it. Here's my plan of self love:

1. I started a wonderful yoga class this past Tuesday..not Hatha yoga (the physical practice that most people think of when they think about yoga), but Raja yoga, which is more the spiritual side of things. This class specifically deals with the Yamas and Niyamas of the Yoga Sutras. This was a path I began while we were in New York, and something I've greatly missed since moving here. Tuesday was like a huge warm hug from the universe. I'm really excited about reembarking on this journey for myself.

2. I'm meeting with a good friend of mine tonight to start doing weight watchers, because I do need a regimented program and accountability in order to stick to this. Also, they're really good about nutrition and they give extra points to nursing Moms (which I most definitely still am). I think I'll really feel better about myself just to know I am doing something...I am actively trying to change my weight. Just writing that feels like a relief already. I'm getting out of the mindset that its impossible and too big to tackle.

3. I have an appointment for a haircut next Wed. Since I'm not ac4. ting at the moment, I'm going to take advantage of the fact that I can do any crazy thing I want to with my hair. I might cut it short and funky or I might get a purple streak put in. Who knows? But I always feel much prettier after getting a haircut, so I'm really looking forward to this.

4. I bought a dress. I haven't worn a dress since Jonah was born, because of the whole nursing thing. This is not only a dress I can nurse in, it also shows off the parts of my body that look good right now (boobs), and hides the parts that don't (everything else). While we definitely don't have an extra money lying around (we don't have enough room in the budget to get a pizza, much less a $25 dress), I think it is so very worth it. I already feel prettier. Something tells me I'm going to live in that dress the entire spring and summer!

So yay for self love...a little bit goes a long way, and it most definitely spills over to my family who reap the rewards of a new spring in my step and lightness of heart.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

My Hodge Podge Post

When you haven't written in such a long time, the pressure of writing a catch-up post becomes monumental...so much so that you end up procrastinating the catch-up post and the cycle keeps self perpetuating. So I'm just going to throw a bunch of stuff out there, in a completely random and uneloquent fashion just to get something on this blog and loosen the self-imposed pressure a little bit.

It snowed buckets and buckets in our little southern city, which means it snowed a completely reasonable amount for any northern city but we were completely paralyzed as the entire city shut down here. I think it was less than a foot, actually, but since there just isn't enough equipment to clear it, we were a bit stranded. Thankfully we live in the city, 2.5 blocks from the grocery store, so we made a trek through the "blizzard" to buy some essentials (and by essentials I mean hot sake) and I must say the LFM was completely nonplussed by the fact that everything in the vicinity was covered in white and the sky was suddenly full of falling white polka dots. You would have thought this was completely normal to him. He was all "Yeah yeah, falling white shit...how boring. But are there any dogs around? Now those are exciting!"

Which brings me to my next little tidbit...the LFM is now talking! He says about 4 words: Mama, Papa, chat (French for cat), and chien (French for dog). Chat and chien sound pretty much almost exactly alike, though he seems to know the specific animals they relate to. However every other animal he sees at all, be it in person or in pictures, is officially a chien. We pretty much pass each day with him pointing to every person he sees and saying "Papa!" and pointing to every animal and/or window and joyously calling out "chien? chien? chien?". The neighbors in the house behind us have a dog that often stands on the deck railing, so the LFM is constantly asking (and by asking I mean pointing and whining or shrieking) to be lifted up to look out of the window or have me open the back door so that he can perhaps catch a glimpse of this godly creature. He has serious chien worship. And Papa worship. Mama, however, she's just chopped liver.

Our sweet little baby is becoming quite the headstrong toddler. Meaning we love him dearly, but we don't always like him very much. Particularly when he's flinging his body on the floor and shrieking like a pterodactyl. I'm trying really hard to remember to let it go once each episode is over and not hold any residual frustration towards him, which in some instances can be a challenge. But toddlers exist in the moment and so our interactions with them need to be the same. I also try to always be sure I parent from the child's perspective and not the parent's perspective. This means I look at the fact that maybe the LFM is really frustrated by his limited ability to communicate instead of merely seeing that he keeps pointing at things and screaming maniacally.

I don't mean to sound like he's only a challenge, because that's not at all the way it is. In fact, I'd still say that he is an incredibly sweet and mild mannered child, and he's an absolute joy most of the time. I'm only being honest about the other times and admitting that parenting has become more challenging and complex. I'm sure this is just the tip of the iceberg, and I'm definitely sure that I'm not the first Mama to go through this...I know its all part of the glorious package of parenthood.

And now my sweet boy has just woken up from his nap, so this will have to suffice for now. At least I wrote something.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

One Year Ago Today








My sweet monkey,

One year ago today I woke up at 5:30am and knew that your journey from the dark ethereal comfort of the womb had begun.
One year ago today I began my own journey to say goodbye to my mother, your Mimi.
One year ago today I called the midwife, worried that I would have to miss my mother's funeral and wept as she assured me that Mimi was holding you in her arms and wouldn't let you go until the time was right.
One year ago today your father stood behind me in support and love and held my hand as I spoke at Mimi's funeral.
One year ago today the contractions were stronger in the car, and weaker during the hardest parts of the day. Thank you for that.
One year ago today my mother's sister, Tati Jo, stood in for my mother, anxiously holding my hand and simply asking every once in a while how I was doing, knowing in the way that only another mother that has traveled this path knows.
One year ago today in completely synchronicity my mother's body began its journey down into the arms of mother earth at the very same time you were making your journey into the arms of your mother.
One year ago today I drank wine and did polar bear exercises to slow the labor as friends and family gathered around in a protective loving circle, oblivious to the work you and I were doing.
One year ago tonight I celebrated my mother's life, knowing yours was about to begin in earnest.
One year ago tonight your father and I drove home with Maren Julia to our sweet little apartment, still decorated for the holidays with soft lights and a lovely coziness.
One year ago tonight I took a bath and tried to sleep in preparation for the hard work of your arrival, but that's when the contractions took off at warp speed and we were on the ride, you and I, whether we liked it or not.
One year ago tonight your father made a sweet safe cocoon of us, filled with yogic chants and shared breath, and so much love the room seemed the vibrate with it.
One year ago tonight I slow danced with your father, spiraling my hips to the ebb and flow of each seemingly endless contraction.
One year ago tonight in an endless night I was "working hard!".
One year ago tonight the midwife entered the room in a perceptible energy shift and a calm ocean descended over the room.
One year ago tonight I was 7 centimeters when the midwife checked me, and I was so proud that we had worked so hard and accomplished so much together, you and I!
One year ago tonight I stepped into the heavenly warm waters of the birthing tub and thought "there's no way any one's getting me out of here!"
One year ago tonight I had to have silence and journey so deep within my self in order to do the work I needed to do to birth you.
One year ago tonight I was so utterly focused, and all that existed in the world was the grand triumvirate of you, your father, and I, working together in common purpose.
One year ago tonight Maren Julia boiled water, Tati Jun Jun massaged my back (well, tried to at least...sorry Jun Jun.), and Doula Sara took pictures as Nancy the midwife guided us with love and such gentle nurturing, saying exactly the right thing at just the right moment.
One year ago tonight, whenever I opened my eyes and looked up, I saw a circle of women holding me up with their supportive energy. Whenever I looked within I saw such love and light, as it was only the three of us, so intertwined, so connected, moving and working together in complete wholeness.
One year ago tonight I fell even more impossibly deeply in love with your father.
One year ago tonight we protected each other as a family, even before we knew your huge brown eyes with their sweeping lashes.
One year ago tonight the waters broke and I cried out in great surprise (and maybe a little relief) "I'm pushing!"
One year ago tonight I withstood the ring of fire 4 times.
One year ago tonight in the wee early hours of the morning, with calm breath and while being held by the strong arms of your father, I pushed you out into the warm water, first your head and then the great slippery surprise of your body.
One year ago tonight you floated up out of the water and into my waiting arms as the midwife uttered the most beautiful phrase I've ever heard: "Reach down and pick up your baby!"
One year ago tonight I held you to my breast and cried tears of pure joy.
One year ago tonight, the greatest love story every written was begun, between you, your father, and I.

We love you, sweet Jonah Niquen. You are such light, such blessing in our lives.

Love,
Maman and Papa