Sharing Joy

This is my happy place…

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Over the weekend I brought my daughter out to experience it with me. She was in heaven, and I couldn’t have felt more joy at her happiness. What I call “my mountain” is really the farthest out-cropping of a sprawling mountain ridge. It’s still pretty fun to climb and can be an intense workout, but it’s not impossible for anyone to do it. If my two-year old can do it, what’s your excuse? We had so much fun, she refused to stick to any trails, and her favorite part was climbing the rocks and running downhill. She makes me so proud.

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When we got to the mountain and started up the trail she decided she wanted to go a totally different way. We asked her to follow us and stay on the trail, she looked up at us, waved and said “Bye Mom, bye Dad!” and continued on her own. In the middle of the desert, where she has never been before. No fear, no worries, just a wave and she was on her way. That kid…

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Sunday morning I woke up with a burning throat and throbbing ears so the Hub got up early with Little Miss and they had some Daddy/Daughter bonding time while I rested. We spent most of the day laughing, snuggling, and splashing in Emi’s new pool. We ended the day in the backyard, doing tire flips (with Emi’s help, of course!) and running around. Emi loves to do what we do and I hope fitness just becomes an organic part of her life. Active will just be something she’s always been.

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All in all, it was quite a refreshing weekend. After everything, peace radiates through our house and I am soaking it deep into my bones.

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Sharing Joy

Your Mountain Is Waiting

I adore Dr. Suess. His imagination, his outlook on life, how as an adult his words are more profound to me than ever — he’s eternal. My favorite Dr. Suess quote of all time is:

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This may be because my favorite thing to do is climb the mountain ranges surrounding my town and running down them. There’s a point when I’ve picked up so much speed and my toes are barely touching the ground that I feel like I am flying. It’s the most exillerating feeling. The mountains have become my happy place.

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Lately I have been thinking about happiness, about the things that matter to me and how I want to spend my time. I’ve realized that I am not doing the things I am passionate about. I want to work with women and babies, I want to teach people about health and fitness, I want to spend more time with my daughter, and I want the time I spend away from her doing things that fill up my soul. So with the Hub’s encouragement and support, I’ve decided to pursue becoming a Bradley Method™ instructor, doula and a personal trainer. I’m still deciding when I want to take the personal training certification, but I know I will be attending the Bradley workshop in December. I am excited and scared and so super nervous, but you’ve got to take risks to make things happen. I want to live my life in a way that will inspire Emi someday. I want her to follow her heart and work hard to obtain her dreams and I need to be the person I want her to be.

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Your Mountain Is Waiting

Sleep and Other Drugs

Lately, Emi has been going two or three days sleeping only about nine hours, then she’ll crash for 12+ for a day or two. On her worst nights she cries all night while I hold her, all I can do is sleepily comfort her, let her know I am there. Some times she sleeps through the night (in fact more and more she does) and sometimes she wakes up and drags her pillow to our bed if she isn’t already in it. Getting her to sleep is the real trick, sometimes it takes two minutes sometimes it takes two hours. But all of that being said, it gets better every month and we’re making it through, we’ve survived inspite of it.

After two years of parenting a very bright, independant, happy, secure child, (who was also a very unhappy, high strung, overstimulated, attached infant) I’ve learned a lot of things. One of those lessons is that some kids don’t sleep well. Period. It doesn’t matter what you try, whether you cry it out or co-sleep; floor beds, routines, cribs, lavender, melatonin, fans, white noise, blankets, no blankets — IT DOES NOT MATTER. It’s not your fault, it’s doesn’t make you a bad parent. It’s just the way your child is. That’s not something anyone has ever told me. In fact, I’ve only heard the opposite. That I needed to figure out the secret to my child’s perfect night of sleep. So I’m saying it to you, whoever you are reading this through burning eyes, half derranged and barely holding it together, it’s not your fault. Survive this night the best you can, fill up on caffeine if you need to, and keep your chin up. Tommorrow may suck too, and tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow, but eventually things will change and it’s not going to be something you can do all that much about.

Sometimes I lose sight of the progress she’s made when it’s 11 pm for the third day in a row and she’s yelling “Emi go fast!” while running circles around my bedroom. Then she lays on my chest while I play with her hair and tells me she loves me over and over while I coax her gently and lovingly into sleep and I find a little redemption, for her and for me. I do the best I can and I love her through all of it, and that’s all that matters.

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Sleep and Other Drugs

As It Is

My baby turns 2 in a few weeks. T-W-O. Sometimes it seems that time has passed so quickly this must be a dream. I remember her tiny baby finger nails, how LOUD her cries could be, the vernix lingering in the creases of her skin. That was just last week, I swear. How is she pushing her balance bike down the sidewalk, yelling “See you later!” and blowing me kisses like she’s a big girl? When did all of those moments turn into years?

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Last year I drove myself crazy throwing her a fancy, themed birthday party. It was stressful and I was a ball of anxiety. I was STILL rushing around setting things up as guests arrived, I even had a panic attack about making cupcakes then felt guilty for buying them from the store. I was trying to live up to the ideal of the perfect mom I have in my head. I wanted to prove that I had everything together. That I could do it. I barely held it together, but damnit I was going to make it work even if it killed me.

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Yet, even after all of that, I started planning her second birthday party months ago. The theme was adorable, the food and games tied in perfectly. It was going to be perfect. I started planning months in advance, I made my lists and budgets and even designed the invitiations. As I filled them in I felt that anxiety creeping back in. I didn’t want to do this again. So I wont.

I called it all off and the Hub and I planned a family vacation instead. We’re going to get away, let someone else make the beds and clean the toilets. All of the events we have planned are centered around my fierce little one’s mental and physical abilities. I’ve deliberately decided to forgo the typical vacation activities, jamming our days full and overstimulating all of us in favor of quieter, more intimate experience. We’re going to play in the water at a splash park, visit a small aquarium, and spend her birthday romping through one of the largest, most beautiful parks on the West coast. We’re going to center as a family and enjoy each other without the normal interruptions of every day life. I can’t wait.

After all we’ve been through in the last month this is exactly what we need. Let the salty air refresh our souls and take the time to refocus on our family as it is, not as it could have been.

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As It Is

Between Big and Little

My blog name is now outdated. That pacifier? She gave it up weeks ago. Barely batted an eye. We said, “You don’t need this,” and she believed it. Like we knew what we were talking about, like we know anything.

She used to ask me to kiss her hurts, lately she just kisses them herself.

“Ouch. Aw better.”

So this is parenthood. This shift, this push, this pull, this constant changing. Ready or not…

“I love you, Baby.”

“Lo’ ‘ou, Mommy.”

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Between Big and Little