Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Love at all cost.

I understand on a very deep level why peaceful negotiations are an extremely difficult task. Start with two people, their outlooks drastically different. Each one convinced that their path is the absolute and only. Now mix in personal history, what they ate for lunch, and a trip to the DMV and you have a terrific combination of raw emotion. It is always important for one to speak their own truth. What I hope for the world is that we speak with compassion. We imagine ourselves the receiver of our truth and we reexamine how our message comes across. For in the end it is not about who is truly right or wrong, but how we speak to each other in the face of adversity. The words we speak stick around for a long time.
Just like plastic...
I have a grandmother who is about to turn 97.  She is agile, and could outlive us all. Her stories are amazing. But one just sums her up. My grandfather passed away several years ago. He was failing for awhile mentally and it was a great strain on her. Some days she would feel really tired and down, but she never let herself get swallowed in. Instead she would get herself together and head to the supermarket. Not to buy things. Just to smile at people. Some would be taken aback, but they always smiled in return. And her spirit lifted again. That is love. And so is this picture.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Yeah. I made that.

So yeah. I made everything below. And it is all pretty awesome.

Knit Doll

Felt Bag

Lavender Baby in a pocket bed


The Snot Sucker

Baby #2 thinking seriously about a winter full of snot sucking!
If you are a parent of a baby or toddler and do not own a Nosefrida. Go out and buy one NOW! I know it has been honored as the subject of many a Facebook update status, but I know there are many more parents out there who NEED to be evangelized. Doctors of America you are seriously missing out if you are not aware of this! And I know many of you are not. Like the doctor we saw last week! It works so well that my little one actually brings me the darn thing to clean his nose with. Bulb Aspirator - take that!
* Works best with a little Saline Solution first. Don't blow. into your baby's nose...And change the filter. 
This message has been brought to you by a mom who wants to sleep through the night!

Sunday, January 23, 2011

An ODE to the most beautiful place I have ever lived.

After posting my blog on Facebook, I was surprised that people actually read it. I don't know why I was surprised - I mean I posted on FACEBOOK after all. But alas I was. I received one FB message that immediately choked me up. It was not what was written, but who it was from and it immediately raised to the surface a year of living in the most beautiful place on earth - to me.
My husband and I came to the conclusion that after 17 years of living in NYC, it did not fit us in the same way. And like many others before us, started to explore a life where there was more than one tree and we weren't staring at cement factory.
Maybe it had something to do with living in a loft above a hipster who hated our small child and would bang on the floor (his ceiling) with a broomstick at 4am, in retribution.
Or maybe having to carry the stroller and baby and groceries up through the subway without stepping in a puddle of urine.
Or maybe the fact that my parents just really did not want to visit.
But - Ah yes we were incredibly hip in Bushwick with a baby...Parenting Pioneers really...
But once again I digress! You will notice, I like tangents.
Anyway, it is a really long story but we ended up moving to a place that is really like no other. A place that is unbelievably beautiful, with the world's best neighbors, a place I still can hardly believe we lived. Piermont, NY.
Even now, I get flooded with emotion. As I would take the bus home over the GW Bridge; as sunset lightly dropped it's veil over the Palisades, pinks and blues glinting off the water, I would be overcome with joy. I would step off the bus and cross past the fabulous old silk mill building, over a rushing stream, washing the last of the city off of me. I would gaze at the beautiful homes and lush gardens and think, "this is paradise - really." Every morning we would wake to a symphony of birds, every night we would watch the stars in sky. It was there, in this old house in Piermont as I stared at the changing Autumn leaves on Tallman Mountain that my second child was born. I could feel the love from our neighbors as they sent us warm wishes from their porch. The whole town was like a warm embrace. It is the type of community you dream about.
Somewhere before our move I had pictures (but no of our last few days as Piermont residents. My 5 year old and I took a walk to the marsh and watched the birds circling overhead, as they reflected off the water. We moved to the next town over (also idyllic) with a garden filled with a miraculous amount of fireflies - a light show every night. Did you know that fireflies can be green and red?
But it could not hold a candle to the beauty of Piermont. 

I said this would be an ODE so here it goes...ahem...I am not a poet...

Oh Piermont, gem along the Hudson fair and proud and true
You bring to each resident a life fully imbued
Of beauty truly mystical, a sense of place and time
Oh how you feel so far away from the city I left behind
I wouldn't, couldn't trade my heart, another I will never find.


All time favorite things about Piermont (this could literally go on and on)
The doe and buck that camped out literally next to our bathroom window. *
The miraculous symphony of birds.
Kane Park and all our little friends (and their parents.)
The Piermont Farmer's market.
The Library with views of the Hudson - bestill my heart
The Post Office where they know you and your mail.
Our neighbors, especially Farre's
And my little Piermonter, born there September 20th, 2009
* A doe walks out of the forest and says, "that's the last time I do that for two bucks." - Thanks A Prairie Home Companion joke show! I am still chuckling.
Goodnight Piermont :).

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Two Posts in one day!

Whoa! Let's see how long this lasts. So today, my Mother took me on a little shopping excursion - my Christmas gift. It was plagued by guilt as there are so many things in life that need to be paid right now. And even though it is a small amount and the gift was actually taking me to shop, it was difficult. It was also extremely appreciated. There are many things we want and need that we simply haven't been able to afford.  Thanks Mom!
The shopping got me excitedly thinking about Consignment Shops.  The are a great avenue for responsible consumerism.
There seem to be a lot around here of all types, and although there were some great ones NY it was rare that I had time visit. Children's consignment shops are especially fantastic at the "end of season." When I buy children's clothes, I am generally looking to fill a pretty immediate need. Maybe a size or two up. Last week my little guy grew out of all his shoes. This gave me great pains, because I am EXTREMELY picky. And I tend to buy good things that last. Which of course might be a little more pricey. But that was when I lived in NY. And here we are starting over COMPLETELY. So I am generally looking at the change at the bottom of my purse - LOL!
Luckily I have the bargain gene. My mother has it, my grandmother gave birth to it and I am proud to claim it as my own. This magnetic power allows us to sift through the seas of clothing racks calmly and until we find that say $450 Diane Von Furstenberg dress jammed at the back of the rack and marked down to $15. Aah that was a proud day! Or the day Cadeau went out of business and I was 4 months pregnant. I walked in for the last 30 minutes of existence, everything was $4. This all may sound silly to some, but the way we dress and express ourselves through our surroundings directly affects/ reflects our mental health. Especially when you are a MOM!
Anyway, I digress...
I am probably late on the band wagon but consignment stores have these end of season sales where everything is really cheap - like $1 cheap. I was shocked to find three new pairs of incredibly hip little toddler shoes for a dollar each. I bought three pairs and stopped for the cutest little GAP sweaters for my soon to be niece. I spent $5. Really? Is this the way it works at all children's consignment stores?  I happily flashed back to a spontaneous lunch break trip  to Clementine in NYC. I wasn't even supposed to be in the neighborhood, but there I was. Staring at a big sign that said WINTER CLEARANCE. We gave away all of our older sons clothing and gear, having been New Yorkers - with a lack of space and skepticism about whether or not number 2 was part of the plan, we left number two ridiculously lacking. I looked at my watch, I looked at the sign, I looked at my watch...and the next thing I know I am under a huge basket of clothes on final final markdown, for you guessed it - a $1 each. Cacharel, Bonpont, Oilily, clothes I really only new existed because I once lived on the Upper Eastside and took the bus home. My little guy certainly looked dapper! If you are in NY - go there - really. It is a beautiful store and well worth.
Once Upon A Child is where I went last weekend, by the way...
I think I will embark on a consignment shop roundup. Can I find as high end a consignment shop as Clementine here?
By the way today's shopping did not involve consignment stores. But I did find a brand new Hamilton Beach juicer at a thrift store for $8. I been lusting after a Juiceman - but maybe I should try juicing first!
We also went on an expedition for Swedish Moccasins for the kids. At Waldorf Schools the children wear slippers in the classroom and these are the footwear of choice (they are like socks so they forget they are wearing them), and after getting desperately ill from a chill caused by not wearing slippers I know why. Sometimes you just have to learn the hard way. I want a pair.
The moral of this story is: "always have something on your feet."
Boy am I tired. We shall see which I choose tomorrow bed or blog?
I you haven't had a chance to read it lately, revisit Winnie the Pooh by A.A. Milne (not the Disney version) "Chapter Eight, In which Christopher Robin Leads an Expotition to the North Pole." 
I have been chuckling to myself all day over Eeyore and I think I shall indoctrinate the term "friends and relations" into my everyday vocabulary...

Backbends and Pregnancy - Don't do it!!!!

See that picture up there? The one where I am feeling so wonderful in a deep bridge. My back felt open the baby felt lifted. Fast forward 19 months...Diastasis Recti! Were my back bends the cause? I think very probably. And even if they weren't should I have really been trying? With baby number one I was continuing my practice with very little change. Baby number 2? Bigger! Body not the same = all kinds of body issues. More later!
Don't know what Diastasis Recti is? Check it out here http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diastasis_recti. It is basically a separation of your abdominal muscles. Now I know why my back felt so open! Big oops!! Luckily there are things you can do. Number one Physical Therapists for Women's health can work miracles. Every woman should see one. You can retrain - but don't do it on your own! I did that too. Guess what it made it worse!!
Moral of the day - Sometimes you really just need a real expert! and You are worth taking care of!
A good place to start and learn is here http://www.maternalfitness.com/. The Tupler Techinque. She is located in Manhattan, but she is a great resource for women everywhere.