New Year Resolutions?

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For the past few weeks I have been struggling with my motivation for yoga. I initially attributed it to the end of the 30 day challenge, that had taken a lot out of me emotionally, but as I processed with Mari yesterday, I think I’ve come up with some interesting reasons why it’s been hard lately. I mean, really there are probably a million factors, like I’ve been doing it consistently for a year, I’m not seeing any more weightloss or health benefits, some of the initial newbie growth has slowed down, and the premature dark weather has left me wanting to just sit around eating bon bons. But in processing, there were a couple more things that trickled do the surface and seem a little more substantial. Namely, the idea of fitting in to a community, and that reasons/motivations for doing things change.

Fitting in is exhausting.

I’m not sure people think about fitting in as exhausting, but for me it is. I typically self-identify as┬áother in a lot of ways, sorta dancing on the edge of the campfire, rather than really getting in to the fray. I figure there’s a bit of adoption trauma and some personality traits at play here, because this idea of fitting, of being ‘home,’ or comfortable with people puts me on edge. Because if I’m ‘in’ then I could be ‘out’ and it’s easier to be ‘out’ when it’s by choice rather than fucking up and getting kicked out, ya know? It’s easier to be seemingly ‘less predictable,’ because when I do things a certain way for a certain amount of time the routine starts to stick to me in a way that makes deviating from it difficult. Like being the ‘funny one,’ in a group of friends. I am funny (despite what Boof things), but I’m also a really deep thinker. I like playing the fool as an archetype, but I don’t want to live there permanently. So part of my hesitation for even starting a yoga studio was because I knew it would fit me. I knew I would like it. And then what? What do you do when you find your place? Settle in? Get into a rut? That rebel part of me wants to bail before I get too comfortable. I love my yoga studio. I love feeling a part of something. And yet, feeling a part of something is also exhausting.

My other thought was about how much I’ve grown and changed in the past year. I think if I’m to do new year resolutions, or old year reflections, I should honor myself and the rhythm I feel in the academic calendar year. Fall feels like newness. Fall feels like the time to look back and see, who was I this same time last year? And the answer surprised me. Because last year I strongly advocated for myself to have 2-3 nights off for ME time. I went to therapy on Mondays, and Tuesday/Thursday was about yoga. Boof had worked a crazy busy season as an accountant AND THEN worked a second job all summer at the Mariners, and with long home game stretches left me alone with an 18 month old toddler and little sanity. I forcefully took back time for myself and treated my yoga as a body and spouse empowerment exercise. I got sexy in the weightloss department, finally shedding those baby pounds. I felt like an adult and like I mattered in my relationship because I wasn’t just being a doormat martyr whiny wife. It rocked.

But this year? This year feels different. Rather than wanting time away to feel empowered, I crave those connecting quiet moments with Boof and Potamus. And yet the consistent routine getting me out of the house twice a week is actually a good thing for my mental health. Otherwise I’ll want to go to sleep at 5pm when I get home. So I realized that my perspective had to shift in order to enjoy yoga again. That I was clinging too tightly to the old reasons and not allowing it to change to embrace my new reasons. Like introvert time after a long day of teaching. That rather than driven empowerment competition with myself, it was more about relaxation and fun and simply being present in the moment.

The instructor, halfway through the class, as we were lying in our first round of savasana, read a quote about happiness. That happiness needs to be allowed to come in many forms. That it needs to be allowed to grow and change like a child would grow and change. And that seemed to fit and make everything click inside me. It felt right to be in the studio even though it felt different than last year at this time.

So that’s my new academic year resolution. To simply allow happiness, or my yoga practice, to be different and change and grow to meet the present moment. It feels right that way.

Happy 2nd Birthday!

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Today my baby is 2 years old! I want to write more, about all the delightful changes and stages he’s going through right now, but I’m hosting a small pizza party in an hour and need to get the house prepped for his birthday guests. In the meantime, enjoy the picture progression…time sure does fly by!

 

To-Do=Ta Da!

You too could wear these beauts!

You too could wear these beauts!

Just when I thought I was going to turn into the world’s slackeriest professor, I got my buns in gear and made a few to-do lists. And, to put things in perspective, I made a few to-done lists of things that I have already been doing, which just shows that I haven’t been on Pinterest as much as I thought (though too much for work hours, perhaps?). Working hard actually feels good, and I want to contribute to the general well-being of my students. I’m floating on cloud 9, today, after getting the opportunity to help one student get signed up for GED classes and for another student to begin processing some life experiences hindering their school performance. Being in the presence of such strong, motivated, beautiful people really is why I do this job! And much better than pushing paperwork around on my desk!

While I’m flying high in some respects, though, I am feeling a major caffeine/life-crash, which is probably due to Potamus’ new daycare germs in my mouth and hands and face from all his love-pats through the evening and night. His arms are getting longer and longer and it’s harder for me to squirm away (on our twin size mattress on the floor) when he wants to comfort himself by sticking his grubby little mitts in my mouth. My immune system is lagging, which I blame on daycare and the horrible Seattle January weather. Could it be any darker and rainier this week? I think not. The radio announcers said “sunrise will be at 7:55 this morning” on my commute and I almost groaned. 7:55? I will have been up for 3 hours+ by then, and when they say “sun up” they mean in California, because I’ve looked outside all day today and there has been no sun in sight. And if you respond to this with “yeah, but you live in Seattle,” you’ve clearly not visited us in the summer, when the birds are singing and the tourists are sweating through cheese-making tutorials at Pike’s Market.

Despite feeling less than 100%, which I’m scared to admit might become my new 100% as weariness begins settling into my bones, I have managed to keep at my Couch-5k running plan. I haven’t yet blogged about my running adventures because I’m always afraid to jinx things like this. But I am proud to say that I am halfway week 3 of the plan and so far it seems to be working at getting me in shape AND keeping me motivated to run. Because my go-to in the past went something like this: a) get the bright idea to run a 5k race, b) put on my running shoes, c) attempt to run a 5k TODAY, d) get to my mailbox, get winded, OR run for about 60 seconds down the road, get winded, walk home, e) feel like a tool for failing at something so “easy” as running a 5k (or even 1/4 of a mile), f) wake up the next morning sore and totally unmotivated to try again. Sound familiar? I’ve done silly things like that all the time, but this time it’s different. This time I’m motivated to run, but am only allowed to do it for 60 seconds, and then walk for 90. What?! The little carrot in front of me is getting closer and closer, and now I am up to 3 minutes in a row. WOO! I look ahead at week 5 or 6 and start to crap my pants (run for 28 minutes, wha?!!!), but know that it will happen in time. And the worst case is walking the 5k. It’s about DOING it, not running it faster than those Olympic runners.

In other news, Potamus is settling in to the daycare routine pretty nicely. He hasn’t been 100% himself, and it’s taking a little to adjust, though the adjustment AT daycare is going pretty well, it’s the adjustment to also going back to grandma’s that’s a little harder (more on her, than on him actually!). I’ve had Boof call and check on him at daycare, which helps me focus on work (because if I hear him crying in the background, I can’t focus and just want to run to him and snuggle him). I was expecting him to be more tired at night after a long day at daycare, but so far he’s been energetic when we get home (which is somewhat tiring for this mama!), and he’s been napping okay there, too (which I was worried that he’d nap TOO long out of overwhelm or not enough). His new favorite thing is dancing to the opening and closing credits of the Mickey Mouse Clubhouse. Yes, I’m a terrible mom who lets my kiddo watch some TV. He LOVES the music. He dances and waves his hands in the air bollywood style and it is so stinking cute that I don’t care if it causes ADHD. He is just so happy, even when he’s been sick he still half-heartedly raises his hand and does this little shimmy when he hears his song.

Which has also led to his first word being hotdog. Because they do the “hotdog dance” and when we said hot dog, he said something like “hawtdg,” which wasn’t quite full-fledged hotdog, but so damn close we’re gonna have to count it as first real word (beside mama and dada). My baby is clearly a genius.

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mother? mistress?

The sleeping arrangements in our house is becoming an issue, though I’m trying to not give up so quickly on it, as the past has shown, just as I hit my almost breaking point, a shift happens and Potamus makes a leap in abilities and maturity. But the past few weeks have been spent with me dividing my time between our king sized memory foam bed with a down comforter and Potamus’ twin size old bunk-bed mattress with blankets on the floor. On average I’m getting 2-3 in our bed and the rest of the night is spent with Potamus, though he has refused to come back to co-sleeping with us in our bed. I guess he wants me all to himself.

There are nights when I wake up and seriously have no idea where I am. I imagine this might be like celebrities who hotel-hop, and at any moment I’m going to shout “Hello Nebraska!” but haven’t left my humble abode in bedroom Seattle. When I sleep in my bedroom I sleep like a king. When I sleep in Potamus’ room, I sleep like Cinderella, on the floor, though the sleep is deep from exhaustion.

I know it’s a phase. I am committed to not having Potamus simply cry it out in his room alone. I love that he’s going down better for naps, and is even waking up during the day and not screaming for Boof or me, instead, motoring around his room reading books and playing with his toys. This is what I want, the independence and freedom and for him to associate his bedroom with sleep and calm and comfort. But I am tired, and would like to only have to go into his room 1 time a night…and not just 1 time at night and then stay there for 7 hours. ­čÖé

Forrest Friends

12 month stats.

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The Potamus weighs in at a whopping 21lbs, putting him in something like the 25th percentile for weight. Doc said its cause our stubborn little champ refuses any liquids (which is also contributing to being backed up). He has grown 4 inches since last time, which puts him at 30 inches tall, which seems long, but is only the 55th percentile. No medical worries and the little guy took his shots like a champ. Fingers crossed we won’t have to see our doc again until the 18 month check!

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First Birthday

Birth & One Year Later

Happy Birthday Potamus! Today you turn┬á 1, and I couldn’t be happier that you are my sweet little boy.The moment you were laid on my chest I said, “I love you, and have waited so long to meet you!” It was an early morning, 6:29 am, but I felt so much love and energy that I couldn’t stop smiling and snuggling you. After about an hour, your daddy had to ask if me if he could have a turn! This year has been filled with so many adventures, from family reunions all over the state, to a wedding in Oregon, to local fun events like KidsQuest Museum and a concert for your favorite musician, Caspar Babypants. You are my little adventurer, happy unless hungry (or tired or poopy or sick), and social. You love spending time with your grandparents and aunties (both biological, and non) and especially love 4 legged creatures like our pup Scrummy. You are also always on the move! You started crawling at 8 months and haven’t looked back, since. You currently enjoy throwing the ball down grammy’s stairs and going to chase after it! And you love to eat, tortellini with marinara sauce is your current favorite, which makes me happy because I love it, too!

I wish so many more wonderful things for year 2! I am excited for you to begin walking unassisted, and for you to sleep longer stretches at night in your big-boy bed! I am excited to take trips to the zoo and the aquarium and for all the friends you’re going to make at “school” when you start in January. I miss some of your babyness, but am loving the little boy you are turning out to be! I hope your birthday was a happy and special day! Know that your mama and daddy love you very much. We are so happy that your are in our life!

Potamus One year later

More Teeth

Yes, I can see them now…Potamus definitely has two white teeth buds trying to pop through his bottom gums. Come on babies, let’s do this!

And if having those creeptastic teeth dreams weren’t enough, here’s what a skull looks like with the baby teeth/adult teeth in it:

What someone looks like before they lose their baby teeth. Whoa, super creepy.

Now if THAT’s not enough to give you nightmares, I don’t know what is.

KidsQuest: A Museum Review

If you’re looking for something FREE to do on a rainy Seattle day, then I definitely suggest KidsQuest Museum in the Factoria Mall. Granted, in order for it to be free, you’ll need a friend with a membership who is willing to sacrifice a guest pass to take you! HA! BUT, if you are looking for something relatively CHEAP to do in the area, then, at eight bucks for adults (and kiddos under 1 are free), this is definitely your place! In fact, the yearly membership is something whopping like $80, so it might even be worth it for our family to shell out that kind of dough, cause even if we went 1 time a month, it would pay for itself in less than a year!

I’m dubbing it a “Little Science Center,” as an ode to THE Seattle Science Center that I grew up loving. What makes KidsQuest amazing, though, is that there is a section that is specifically designed for the under 3 crowd, While this doesn’t limit your access to the rest of the area (with supervision of course!) it does allow for our little pumpkins to explore the world around them (ie crawling, toddling unsteadily) without fear of being bulldozed by some 17 year old on a cell phone or even a pack of 7 year olds squirrelling around. I felt great about sitting back for a few moments, catching up with my college pal (who was there with her daughter who’s 1 month older than Potamus), and keeping an eye on the Potamus as he explored. Today’s adventure included shaking several rattles, rolling a blow-up beach ball all around the room (up the stairs and down the wheelchair ramp), staring at the fishtank, and trying to share his toys with other young fellas.

After the tots (okay, the mamas) were thoroughly worn out, we walked around the other parts of the museum that have a more sciency feel to them. There were sensory stations with sand, water stations where you could watch ping pong balls flow down a river (that you could change by adding different logs to the river flow), and various other stations that were occupied by interested kiddos. I loved it, and will DEFINITELY be bringing Potamus back…even if I have to pay for myself this time!

Melancholy Monday

When I was in my younger twenties, I had less of an understanding of my issues of anxiety/OCD/depression and how it related to my career. Initially the anxiety pushed me to excel, be early all the time, but then there was a certain crash, where I felt unable to control myself. My early-to-work anxiety left me sitting in my car, weeping, writing in my journal, and listening to music, all in an effort to muster the strength to actually go to work. This pattern of thoughts/feelings ruling my actions actually became debilitating for awhile. I remember calling in sick from anxiety one day, and then sick again and again and again for four whole days because all I could muster was to putz around the house. It’s led to passive-aggressive sneaking around behavior at work, lying to my supervisor and generally acting like how I would imagine a young child would act when they are trying to get around their parents’ rules.

But I’ve come a long way since then. When I’m on medication, that has helped. I’ve done more introspection and understanding of myself and emotions and on days, like today, where melancholy rules, I still force myself to get out of bed, drive across the I-90 bridge in the not-quite-yet-sunrise, and walk into work. That’s where I am today, beginning my workday, with my emotions feeling raw and tender for no discernable reason (though leaving Potamus snuggled up with daddy certainly feels like that could be a starting point.)

I know that once I get in the swing of things this morning I will be okay, but for the moment, I cannot seem to shake the blues.

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In other news, Potamus is a healthy 20lbs and 27 inches long…which initially concerned me because he hasn’t gained weight since his last apt (well, it has actually felt like he gained weight, and then lost it), but the pediatrician said it was totally normal and he is height/weight proportionate and that all his moving around has caused the slimming down. When asked about his reverse cycling, the pediatrician laughed and said that he was “sorry” for me, but that the baby is getting what he needs and is totally healthy. He was also very proud of my husband’s efforts to get breastmilk into Potamus in creative methods, like mixing with yogurt or using a clean Coke can, etc. What I found to be most fun, though, was that he is a dad of 4 and was totally pro co-sleeping. It was actually his suggestion for us, since Potamus doesn’t sleep longer than 2 hours at night, even telling Boof that he and his wife co-slept/bed-shared with┬átheir 4 kids. Awesome! Not many pediatricians would be so honest, especially since it is discouraged by the APA!