Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Wordless (at least, fewer words) Wednesday

Hey, Bellybean! Want some rootbeer**?
Who me, have rootbeer**? Of course not, Mom!

**note: no babies actually drank any root beer in the making of this Wordless Wednesday! Can you tell these three are going to get into some trouble together down the road?

Monday, June 20, 2011

Harry's Now Part of the Family

Bean (BB's Nickname: Bella + looked like a jelly bean on her Dad's chest when a newborn --> Bella Bean --> Bean) is currently sleeping, hands thrown above her head in her very favorite sleeping position (that does not include being sprawled on Dad's chest or curled up tummy to tummy with Mom) and I am sitting next to her with a moment to write.

 We have started something new.  Since we are sleeping in the pig-pile-o-beds (Metro Mattress folks have STILL not rescheduled their check-out-our-rotten-bed appointment (see earlier post The Perfect Moment)) I figured reading time ought to be a family affair.  Handsome Husband and I have suggested to Blue-Eyed Boy that he give Harry Potter a try, but he resisted every time, saying, "I'm more of a Percy Jackson kind of guy..." but we KNEW he would absolutely love the books once he started.  Anyway, last Wednesday night, I grabbed my copy and started reading without telling the boys WHAT I was reading.  BEB kept reading the book he had with him, and never even looked up once.  Legoboy seemed mildly interested, but it was late, so I only read for a little bit, and felt a little defeated.  The next night, determined to try at least one more time, I summarized what we had read before and all of a sudden BEB took over for me, explaining everything I had read, with details and names that I would have never even included. He was listening!

Well, since that first night, we have read Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone each and every night before bed.  LB and BEB on their bed, Bellabean on HH's lap or mine, and the puppies snuggled in to whoever will scruffle their tummies.  It has been a blast! Every time HH or I hint at closing up shop for the night, the boys beg for more! Just one more page! Music to our ears.  The boys are now at their Mom's house for a few nights and HH and I agree that we will really miss reading the story!

A few things about the experience:
  • I haven't read the first book in years, although I have seen the movie myriad times.  (Like the movie The Replacements, HP1 is always on TV. You know how it's five o'clock somewhere? Well, Harry Potter and Keanu Reeves are on a movie channel somewhere.)  There are so many details in the book that are not in the movie, and it is such a pleasure to revisit them.   
  • Hagrid's voice and language? Easy to read in your head but TOUGH to read out loud!!! 
  • We have taken to hiding the book after we read, otherwise Josh will haul off with it and finish on his own.  The boys are back here on Friday and then we have them for over a week for vacation! We can't wait to get back to reading. 
  • It is really nice to be read to.  HH and I have been taking turns and it is awesome to snuggle back with Bellabean and listen to the story.  
I am so glad the boys are readers, and it is so exciting to share HP with them.  Do you have suggestions for books for the boys?  Did you/do you read as a family?

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Music for Bellabean

Right after Bellabean was born, a friend of mine, Karen, posted a question on her facebook page: "What music should my son be listening to? What music should he know?"  I have pulled the EMERGENCY STATION SWITCH over and over with the boys in recent months, because something raunchy but completely attractive (great rhythm/drums/beat & catchy) came on the radio.  Of course, the boys protest loudly... Blue-Eyed Boy came home singing Ke$ha the other day, and it nearly made my head explode.  Bellabean and the boys will know current music because that's what's on their friends' iPods (who am I kidding: iTouch and iPhones) but they must know great music too.  I was so lucky to grow up with a Dad with a badass collection of great music who had it playing constantly.  The minute CDs came onto the scene he had a CD player and replaced all of his records with CDs. The minute he bought a car with a tape player, he spent hours copying all of those CDs onto Maxell tapes to play in the car, and that is how I learned about CSN(&Y), The Beatles, Buffalo Springfield, Bob Marley, Melanie, Shuggie Otis, Janis, Grace Slick, CCR, The Who, Jefferson Airplane, Blood, Sweat, and Tears, The Byrds, Rush, Jethro Tull, Joni, Van Halen, Led Zeppelin, all sorts of Psychedelic Rockers, Hendrix, The Moody Blues, Neil Young, Santana, Clapton... the list could go on for ages.

I am grateful for the exposure to Great music.  While Bellabean and were I getting to know each other and learning to nurse together, Karen's facebook question inspired me to make a playlist of my own.  Rather than it taking days (months!) to copy tapes, it took about a three days of post-nursing-sleeping-on-mama's-tummy-time to click and drag songs from my 12,000+ iTunes songlist into a playlist called "Feeding Bella".  The playlist "Feeding Bella" has served to accompany her nursings, of course, but also hopefully start to feed her musical soul as my Dad did for me.

So... here's the list! Eclectic, for sure, but truly a joy for me to put together and share with Bellabean, BEB, and LB.  Many of the songs have stories or memories for me, which I can't wait to bore them with in time.  Some are guilty pleasures (that I am a bit embarrassed to post!).  Some are musical necessity. There is a classical playlist in the works, but you will notice this one is absent of any strictly-classical music.  We always play this list on shuffle whether on walks, nursings, snugglings, or in the car, though I do usually select the song to start.  Enjoy! 

ADELE    Rolling In the Deep
Anna Nalick    Breathe
Backstreet Boys    The Call
Bear Naked Ladies and Sarah McLaughlin    God Rest Ye Merry Gentleman
The Beatles    Norwegian Wood
The Beatles    Penny Lane
Beatles    The Inner Light
Beatles    Lady Madonna
Beatles    Hey Jude
The Beatles    Got To Get You Into My Life
The Beatles    Beatles - Yellow Submarine
Béla Fleck & The Flecktones    Hurricane Camille
Béla Fleck & The Flecktones    The Sinister Minister
Béla Fleck & The Flecktones    Stomping Grounds
Béla Fleck & The Flecktones    Sojourn Of Arjuna
Béla Fleck & The Flecktones    Trane To Conamarra
Beyonce    Crazy In Love
Beyonce    Naughty Girl
Beyonce    Baby Boy
Beyoncé    Single Ladies (Put a Ring On It)
Big & Rich    Save a Horse, Ride a Cowboy
Bill Chase    Get It On
Billy Joel    Piano Man
Blackstreet    No Diggity
Blood, Sweat & Tears    Spinning Wheel
Brazilian Music     Magalehna
Britney Spears    Toxic
Buddy Rich    Mercy, Mercy, Mercy
Buddy Rich    Birdland
Buddy Rich Big Band     Dancing Men
Buffalo Springfield    For What It's Worth
Chanticleer    Dúlamán
Chanticleer    Wondrous Love
Charlie Daniel's Band    The Devil Went Down To Georgia
Chicago    Make Me Smile
Chicago    Does Anybody Really Know What Time It Is?
Chicago    Saturday In the Park (Remastered Version)
Crosby, Stills & Nash    Suite: Judy Blue Eyes
Crosby, Stills & Nash    Marrakesh Express
Crosby, Stills & Nash    Blackbird
Crosby, Stills & Nash    Teach Your Children Well
Dave Matthews Band    The Dreaming Tree
Dave Matthews Band    Shake Me Like a Monkey
Dave Matthews Band    Seven
Dave Matthews Band    You and Me
Dave Matthews Band    Grey Street
Dave Matthews Band    Grace Is Gone
Dave Matthews Band    Bartender
Dave Matthews Band    Two Step
Dave Matthews Band    Crash Into Me
Dave Matthews Band    Drive In Drive Out
Dave Matthews Band    Lie in Our Graves
Dave Matthews Band    Sister
Dave Matthews Band    Eh Hee
Dave Matthews Band    When The World Ends
Dave Matthews Band    Grey Street
Dave Matthews Band    Grace Is Gone
Dave Matthews Band    Bartender
Dave Matthews Band    Granny (Live)
Dave Matthews Band    I'll Back You Up
Dave Matthews Band    Gravedigger
Dave Matthews Band    Gravedigger (acoustic)
Dave Matthews Band    Joyride
Dave Matthews Band    Satellite
Dave Matthews Band    Dancing Nancies
Dave Matthews Band    Ants Marching
Dave Matthews Band    Jimi Thing
Divinyls    I Touch Myself
Earth Wind & Fire    Serpentine Fire
Elton John    Funeral For A Friend/Love Lies Bleeing
Emerson, Lake & Palmer    Karn Evil 9 (1st Impression Part 2)
Eric Clapton    Layla
Eric Clapton    Swing Low Sweet Chariot
Footloose    Holding Out For A Hero
Frank Sinatra    Fly Me to the Moon
Frank Sinatra    The Way You Look Tonight
Fugees    Killing Me Softly With His Song
Garth Brooks    Friends in Low Places
Goldfinger    Superman
Guster    Demons
Guster    Barrel of a Gun
Imogen Heap    Hide and Seek
India Arie    Video
Indigo Girls    Joking
Indigo Girls    Least Complicated
Indigo Girls    Ghost
Indigo Girls    Galileo
Indigo Girls    Land Of Canaan
Indigo Girls    Closer To Fine
Jack Johnson    Upside Down
James Taylor    Something in the Way She Moves
James Taylor    Sweet Baby James
James Taylor    Fire and Rain
Jason Mraz    Geek In the Pink
Jason Mraz    Lucky (feat. Colbie Caillat)
Jefferson Airplane    Somebody to Love
Jethro Tull    Bourée
Jethro Tull    Thick As A Brick
Jimmy Eat World    Pain
John Mayer    Daughters
Jordin Sparks & Chris Brown    No Air
Journey    Lights
Journey    Don't Stop Believin'
Justin Timberlake    LoveStoned/I Think She Knows Interlude
Justin Timberlake    Senorita
Justin Timberlake Feat. T.I. & Timbaland    My Love
KT Tunstall    Black Horse & The Cherry Tree (Radio Version)
Lauryn Hill    To Zion
Les McCann and Eddie Harris    Compared to What
Maroon 5    Harder To Breathe
Maynard Ferguson    Caravan
Melanie    Lay Down
The Mighty Mighty Bosstones    The Impression That I Get
Mr. Big    To Be With You
No Doubt    Sunday Morning
Paul Simon    You Can Call Me Al
Pearl Jam    Who You Are
Peter Gabriel    Solsbury Hill
Peter Gabriel    In Your Eyes
Phish    Bouncing Around The Room
Queen    Bohemian Rhapsody
Queen    Fat Bottomed Girls
Queen    Bicycle Race
Queen    Somebody to Love
R.E.M.     Shiny Happy People
Rascal Flatts    This Everyday Love
Red Hot Chili Peppers    Otherside
Reel Big Fish    Take On Me
Reel Big Fish    Sellout
Reel Big Fish    Beer
Reel Big Fish    241
 Rent Movie Soundtrack    Seasons of Love
 Rent Movie Soundtrack    Santa Fe
 Rent Movie Soundtrack    I'll Cover You
Rush    Roll The Bones
Rusted Root    Send Me on My Way
Rusted Root    Drum Trip
Rusted Root    Ecstasy
Sara Bareilles    Love Song
Sean Johnson and The Wild Lotus Band    Calling Ganesha (Invocation)
Sean Johnson and The Wild Lotus Band    Jai Hanuman (Faith)
Shania Twain    Man! I Feel Like A Woman
Shania Twain    Any Man of Mine
Shuggie Otis    Strawberry Letter 23
Simon & Garfunkel    A Hazy Shade Of Winter
Simon & Garfunkel    Mrs. Robinson
Simon & Garfunkel    Cecilia
Spring Heeled Jack    Rufus Shakeedoo
Stevie Wonder    Superstition
Stevie Wonder    Part-Time Lover
Tonic    If You Could Only See
Tori Amos    Winter
Tower Of Power    What Is Hip?
Travis Tritt    It's a Great Day to Be Alive
U2    Gloria
U2    MLK
Van Morrison    Moondance
Vanessa Mae    Happy Valley
Wicked    Defying Gravity
4 Non Blondes    What's Up?

So, what's on your list?

Saturday, June 11, 2011

The Perfect Moment

I'm learning to be/finding out that I am an Attachment Parent and I am admittedly a Crunchy Mama and there is so much importance placed on night/sleeptime and Night/sleeptime Parenting and what that means.   Last night, I lived a perfect nighttime family moment.  

We have been in a battle with Metro Mattress (the Sleep Superstore! Sol Sol Mi Re Do!) since 2008 (ok, since late 2008, and then again over the past few months.).  Long, boring story short: bought AWESOME bed.  6 months later bed had canyon-like indents and made Handsome Husband's legs fall asleep.  Long paperwork struggle.  New Bed! Promises of eternal sleep happiness! Awesome bed! Now? LAME.  Canyons.  HH's legs AND arms asleep.  Too much $ invested to feel good about just heading to Raymour and Flanigan.  "Bed Inspector" was supposed to be here last week to see our busted bed, but arrived an hour early and we weren't home, so the busted mattress and box spring are on the floor, and we put my old queen sized bed on our bedframe so HH's arms and legs could stop going numb while he sleeps. Mattress Lady will be here sometime in the next eon or so, hopefully before the bed is out of warranty, likely she'll be here the day after.  So, we have two beds, a Pack-n-Play, and a puppy pouf in our bedroom.  It is truly a room of beds.  When Blue-Eyed Boy and Legoboy saw our room of beds, their eyes lit up (as we knew they would).  There was NO way they would be sleeping in their own room.  ominspiredstepmama and Dad bedroom campout!!!

The moment:
Last night at 2:30 or so, I woke up to nurse Bellabean and realized I was in a perfect moment.  My husband was snuggled close to my right, Bean was nursing tummy-to-tummy on my left, BEB and LB were sleeping on the king bed on the box spring on the floor with BEB's leg hooked over LB.  Both puppies had sneaked onto the king bed with the boys;  Sadie was sleeping on her back with front legs straight up in the air and back legs splayed and Lucie was curled up on LB's feet.   Rain was pouring down and a gentle breeze floated in through the windows.  It was an absolutely perfect moment.

Monday, June 6, 2011

My Perfect Practice

I do not look like a Yogini.  No one will ever describe me as lithe, feather-light, willowy, dancer-esque (Fergie would describe me as having lovely-lady-lumps) or exclaim out of nowhere "haven't I seen you modeling for Lululemon?" or even "you must do yoga!" but nonetheless, I am a yogini.  I live yoga every day, both on and off the mat.  Sometimes, thoughts are of asana or movement, or how I really want to stand on my head, or balance on my arms, or just rest in a blissed-out downdog.  At school, I will close my office door and stretch, bend, move, and breathe.  Sometimes my 'yogic thoughts' and actions are about living my life more honestly, or being better to this earth, or being a better version of me. 

My daughter, Bellabean, is sleeping right now in the perfect savasana.  A little smile flickers across her face intermittently, but everything else is limp.  During my pregnancy, I practiced yoga, including throughout my labor.  I attended the same classes as always and added prenatal yoga.  I went to class the morning after I found out I was pregnant and started telling my teachers that I would love suggestions for modifications as the pregnancy progressed and that I would make changes myself when needed - they really let me on my own as I just did what felt right. I tried to think about the purpose of the poses and find a way to honor that purpose and honor my body at the same time.  I had a bad fall from a headstand last year, so I swore those off for pregnancy.  At ten weeks, a simple twist would make me so nauseous I thought there was no way I would make it through a class so I skipped the twists until they felt better, and then still avoided deep twists.  By week twelve, it already felt wrong to do poses on my tummy, so I did them on my knees or back.  By week 30, lying flat on my back, even for a minute, was not the right thing, so I moved to my side or lifted my hips in legs up the wall.  By week 37, I was exhausted and focused on resting and preparing, so we stopped attending "regular" classes and stuck with prenatal and practice at home. By week 39, I was ready, listening, and open to labor.

I always heard my teachers say "listen to your body", but I never actually heard it speak to me (or was unwilling to listen) until I was pregnant.  I have strained my neck or hamstrings a number of times in my practice over the past few years (at least once a year.)  This time, however, my body was her body and you better believe I was going to listen to her.  It felt amazing to truly respect my edges and never push too far, but find out what my perfect practice and edge was each and every day.  The nine months of listening intently to my body in yoga prepared me for the days of labor (in its various stages) and the signals that my body provided.  Bellabean's birth was a life-alteringly powerful and empowering experience and it was a continuation of my practice, but it wasn't practice.  It was the real deal. I am so happy that I learned to listen to this body.