Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Sshhh... Don't tell my dear husband...

... but the littlest wee one just took his first step!!! Okay, so maybe it was really just a half of step, but that counts for something doesn't it?!? And he did it just for me. Poor Dh... the other two waited until daddy was home, but I'm thinking Sweet Pea is tired of being lost in the shuffle... he wanted to wow his mama... and wow me he did.

It is a beautiful day here. The weather has decided to skip spring and run straight towards summer. The breeze is blowing and kiddos are full of joy. Sweet pea did something new. I made it to the gym, and I'm actually caught up on Laundry.. ish. Life is good!

I love the region in which we live! Now, if only I can move out of the same zip code where my high school alma mater is! Now that would just be glorious.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

The thing about letting emotion have air

You notice how you feel even when you don't want to take the time to feel it.

I am much more sensitive to my response to the world right now. The effect this is having on me is different from what I anticipated. As expected I am feeling sadness and loneliness more than before, but stopping to let it be expressed, makes me feel empowered, rather than overwhelmed. I am having more time and energy to devote to matters other than just myself and my own survival.

I've wanted to grow out of my egocentrism for quite some time... never really knowing how to look past myself and my own condition. I had no idea that this process would help me see others better, as I learned to accept myself and my emotions. I guess it takes less energy and self absorption, to feel than to repress!

Monday, February 25, 2008

Baby J has moved out...

... and in her place is Madeleine. Can you guess what her favorite book is these days???

Repression on Emotions

I am very mindful of making sure that our home is an environment where my kids can express the full range of human emotion. I did not have that experience in my childhood... and it still plagues me today. I am having to learn appropriate expressions of negative emotion in my adulthood, because I was not given the space to learn that as a child. It is a huge consequence that everyone in a family system has to bear, when abuse resides within a home life.

But now I am letting myself feel the full range of my emotion... because I deserve that experience... even if I have needed to wait until my adulthood.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Mama's gonna craft too...

For my mother's morning out today, I spent my time at the local fabric store, picking out fabric, felt, and rope for Sweet Pea's birthday banner. And while I was there, I picked up supplies for banners for Baby J and Boo too. I also saw cute fabric for St. Patty's day and Easter as well... so I picked up supplies for holiday banners as well. I think there just might be a seasonal banner up in our home all year round!

I have been trying to figure out a design for a home made banner ever since Boo was in my tummy... 5 1/2 years ago and it wasn't until I was at Pottery Barn this weekend that I found just the perfect thing. So I am stealing the idea from them... which seems fitting, because as I was walking through the store looking at the spring collection, everything looked alarming familiar to me. They (Pottery Barn) have stolen all of their ideas from the wonderful crafting, sewing, creating women out on the blogosphere. Their stealing seems so bad though, because they stole the idea, mass produced that idea, and they jacked up the prices for that wonderful item. I am merely taking their idea and making it my own... for a fraction of the price.

I'm taking it back... for the handmade community. I can't wait to share my finished project!!!

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Family Goals for 2008

Our family goals for 2008 are:

1. Resting mind and soul.

Taking a sabbath every week

2. More five of us time.

Family dinners, family field trips, family relaxation. We have a wonderful extended family that all lives locally and while that is such a tremendous blessing, we are always going somewhere for someone. We need to calendar time for just our nuclear family.

3. Owning our "stuff" and not allowing our "stuff" to own us.

That stuff refers both our emotional issues, as well as, the possessions we bring into our home. We need to decide what is our to own and what we need to release from our possession. As we model that to the kids we are able to teach them to do the same thing.

Personal Goals

So the speaker at my MOPS this morning shared a bit about having dinner as a family and as she was sharing her journey to getting there without going crazy, she mentioned something that has really been on my heart and mind ever since. She talked about making a decision to have three goals in mind at all times while mothering. She has them down to three concise sentences and she measures everything she is doing based on those three principles.

I know in my mind and heart the type people I would like to raise. I know what I'd like to see in them as far as behavior and discipline. But I am afraid I have not thought it out and carried it to such an concise form where it is in the front of my mind's eye on a daily basis. I'm going to do some heart searching and set my principles down. I think it will help dh and navigate the family ship with more direction. We formed our 3 family goals for 2008 just a couple of weeks ago, and I'm gonna take it to the next level now.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

The Getty


Getty, originally uploaded by poetic mama.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

An antique mall and the Goodwill

My dear friend and I went on a momma's day out today and had so much fun relaxing. We tried to have crepes for brunch, though the shop was closed... then we decided to have sandwiches and that place was also closed. Luckily, we found another little cafe and had some yummy eats. Then we strolled around one of the best little antique niches in the area. After a good deal of time, we were over loaded and needed a break. The hunt is so fascinating and fun. I was especially drawn to the handmade linens today, and each time I picked something up, I could not help but think about the woman who made that for her family and home. It also inspired me to make my own linens... a task I hope to begin in a couple of months.

Then we went to the local thrift store and I totally scored. I found great red slip on shoes for a dollar and change. Two yummy sweaters. A creamer and sugar set. A replacement Ikea water glass. A measuring cup for the husband's neti pot addiction. And a teapot, that unfortunately won't work for us, even as cool as it looks! So the teapot will go back, bringing our total to $23. I love the goodwill!

While chatting on our trip between the antiques and the thrifts, I realized something really important about the hunt for me. When there is something that I need I want it cheap. There were so many beautiful things at the antique shop, but they seem so, well, finished product. When I find something at the a thrift shop I think... Project. I love to find it and make it my own. Hopefully I get some pics of my new finds soon!

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Things that I miss

When we moved into our home, we chose to put all of our less sturdy possession in our garage until our baby was more steady on his feet and could have enough impulse to leave the stuff alone. It was great in theory... but that was 4.5 years ago, and my grandmother's furniture and special tea cup collection is still in our garage, because our baby boy has been joined by a baby sister and then a baby brother. And I miss having vintage around me. Seriously. I also miss the hunt. So I am hoping to get back into the thrift store, antique shopping mode. I don't need a ton of stuff, but I would like to find the right solutions for our home that make it just that much more homey.

Plus, I am done with plastic stuff. I have plastic table cloths, plastic place mats, plastic toys, etc... I want that which is organic around me. In our plastic and disposable world, I have become de-synthesized to the way things actually are. Life is finite, work is hard, things of the heart (home, family, creation) take constant care...

... And that is the point. Life has an amazing cycle to it, and I was missing it, complaining about it, or denying it. I just want to learn how to embrace it once more. The ironic thing is that my children don't need to be taught to notice the natural rhythms of life... but I have been teaching them to forget what they came into this world knowing, and to conform to a convenient, and manageable living.

It stops here, at the point of awareness.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Update on family food budget...

A friend reminded me yesterday that my numbers were off, because I forgot to add in my produce budget. So the grand total for a family of five actually is $360.91 still not bad. That is around $3.00 a day per person or $12 total for each day of the month.

Now I am wondering...is this a good budget? If you're out there reading, please feel free to comment on what your family's grocery budget is.

Noontime

A soft breeze travels through the quiet space
Hint of childhood play in the distance
The bustle has calmed for a noontime nap
Momma sighs with rest

This is the life, there is no missing it
Simple joy, in abundance
Laughter, pitter patter, creation
It’s all a part of a good days work

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Valentine's Mailbox



Valentine's Mailbox, originally uploaded by poetic mama.
So yesterday's plans shifted a bit, as it was a beautiful day outside. Add to that, the kids had so much fun decorating their boxes, there was no time for any other crafts in the morning.

So here are the finished products...Baby J's is on top and Boo's is the bottom. We had a wonderful holiday yesterday... thank you for that dear President Lincoln!

Trip to TJ's

So this morning was my trip to Trader Joe's and I spent a whooping $183.66. But with that came all of our meat, dairy, eggs, kids snacks, bread, and cereal... and so the total family of five bill for the month came to $260.91. And for Cali, that ain't bad!

Monday, February 11, 2008

Loving the Coupons...

So normally I am a Trader Joe's kind of gal. We do 80% of our shopping there and the prices are amazing for organic, no hormone, cage free foods... not to mention the wonderful liquor and dessert selection. For the other 20% I have left the ranks of the Whole Foods shoppers, because of the cumbersome prices. Just a couple of months ago, I started shopping at Ralph's for the coupons. What prompted the change was purchasing the Entertainment book from my MOPS fundraiser and there was something like $50 of coupons from Ralph's. So I figured, why not give it a shot and see how much I can really save, buying the same sorts of things I would normally buy for my family.

Tonight was Ralph's shopping night... and I spent $77.25, but the fun part was that with all my coupons, and the sale items, I saved $58.79!!! That is just so exhilarating, I gotta say! I am so sold on double couponing! Tomorrow is TJ's shopping day and I'll give you a re-cap of that spending, to give a total for the month for my family of five living in Cali. Stay tuned!

Day Dreaming



Day Dreaming, originally uploaded by poetic mama.

Me These Days



Self Image, originally uploaded by poetic mama.

Pictures of the Craft Closet


Craft Closet 2, originally uploaded by poetic mama.

As promised last week, here are some shots of the now famous crafting spot in our home!



Craft Closet 3, originally uploaded by poetic mama.

Craft Closet 1, originally uploaded by poetic mama.

Today is Holiday

School's out, so on the agenda today is... Pajama morning, valentine card making, heart shaped cake making day!!! I love a home with preschoolers in it!

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Being online changes how we relate...

I recently got a very concise yet curt email reply from someone whom I've had little contact with in years. The speed at which the response came communicated a desire to engage, yet the tone was very much the opposite of that. I also had some interesting interactions within an online community I've been a *part of* for almost four years (the outer part as I read often and post occasionally) And the two interactions happening during the same week, really brought my eye to something really important.

Email and message boards change the way we relate to others. Had I taken the time to track down the acquaintance's number, called them and had the same interaction with them with the same question posed, they might have been inclined to be relational. Because it was on email, it didn't occur to them to use common pleasantries, and though it's been a while, I can at least wish you luck and good health in your endeavor.

And I am not calling that person out, because I have done that same thing countless times. I'm busy, so very busy ands o I must not stop and connect with anyone, I have missed so many opportunities to see someone and their place in the world as a result.

The online message board phenomenon is really tricky... and I don't even have the brain power to delve into that right now.

I cannot end this post without at least acknowledging how bizarre it is that I even chose to type this out on my public online blog. Yes I do realize how incongruent it is in some ways, and yet if the interaction happened via electronic communication... is it really so strange to process my human response electronically? I don't know... I just don't know.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

On a lighter note

So I recently upgraded my phone, while down grading my phone service and I could not be happier. I have been a loyal yet suckered Verizon wireless customer for several years. I have enjoyed constant coverage where I went in the country with few dropped calls. But then the iPhone came out and I had serious phone envy. Last month I upgraded and I just love my new little machine. I don't even mind the inferior network, because the phone totally compensates for it.

I just love the new phone!!!

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

I've taken some things off the table

When I get worn down and feel vulnerable, I often throw my empowerment on the table, which leaves those things that are naturally within my scope of control, up for debate. When people then cross those boundaries I feel hurt and overwhelmed...and then I act out. This relational cycle has been going on my whole adult life, but it wasn't until I saw it acted out in my relationship with my children, that I really felt a strong urge to challenge the phenomenon in my life.

Here is what I need to take off the table:
I am the mother of my children.

I am one of two people that decides and sets the tone of relationship, communication, and discipline in our family. (the other being my dear husband)

I am the owner of my own home and am one of two people that decide what it looks and feels like. I also get to decide how it gets cared for.

I decide who I share intimacy with. I don't have to be transparent with everyone. Being real and still guarded is more authentic.

I can put space between me and anyone who does not respect me and my God given birth rghts... it's my life, my body, my responsibility, my future.

So there it is... am I the only one who struggles with this?

Monday, February 4, 2008

Being mindful of unconscious rhythms of relationship

If you have ever heard the Album Strange Little Girls by Tori Amos, this will make sense to you, but if not let me try and give some background info so what I am gonna say makes sense. Several years ago Tori picked several popular songs and covered them with a very different tone. She was making a point that these songs had very strong messages that were not being consciously evaluated. The song that was the most memorable to me was a song written by Eminim, and her style set chills down my spine. All she did was transfer the words of someone else and change the tone so that the words were heard in a new way.

I found myself in a similar situation recently and it was quite interesting indeed. And it got me thinking about how much of relating really goes on way underneath the surface. I want to be a woman who is tuning into that which is being communicated both overtly, as well as, what is happening more subtly. I want to have a deep awareness of how I am being in the world... and that takes practice. I do think it will be worth it for me to devote more energy to the practice of observation.

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Intimacy

I have had a couple of experiences this weekend that are really drawing my introspection towards the issue of intimacy. One of my deepest desires is to know my husband and children and to be known by them. And that takes time... quality and quantity. Dh and I actually structure our relationship and family life in such a way, that allows for the organic growth of intimacy... or at least we used to, not so long ago.

In recent months we have not been as diligent at protecting the time and space for the five of us to be together... just our own family unit. In this same time the tone of our family life has been rushed and hurried and flat. And these two realities are completely interconnected. Now that we are slowing down the train, our older kids are responding in seemingly negative ways, but at closer look I am realizing that is a good sign. Things are changing, and the are responding to change that they cannot control. We are the parents and we are setting a new tone and they shouldn't need to hide the fact that they don't like the shift.

Watching Boo's defiance was difficult for me... until I re-discovered this truth...

Intimacy is not a neat little package. It does not even always feel good. Deep intimacy happens organically, when two or more people bring all of who they are into relationship. The good, the not so good and the flat out ugly parts just make us uniquely human.

I hope that as intimacy increase, peace and tranquility will also grow in our midst.

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Personal Responsibility

...It's a bitch! Sorry, but, it's been a long time coming for me. I have many well oiled defense processes to never have to truly own my own autonomy.

It is work that needs doing if I ever want to live a simple life.

Friday, February 1, 2008

Here's the issue with Self Excavation

What I am finding is my own humanity, which is both ugly and strangely beautiful at the very same time. I am facing myself and that is humbling.