Monday, May 31, 2010

Finley Mae - The 13th Month

Here is our 13 month old. She's busy, funny, feisty and curious.
She has been running all around and has now mastered the stairs both up and down (yikes!) and has a great grasp of words. This week she began speaking a whole bunch of "B" words which include: book, bird, ball, bath and her all time favorite "bye-bye!" She also says: Hi there, mommy, daddy, ceesus (for Cecil) , meow, woof - woof, horse, up, down, oh there are MORE I'm "weeeee" is her word for a swing! She also has sound FX for other things. She sees the car key, the car, the vacuum and the coffee grinder and says bruuuum.

She is signing like a mad woman too which is so awesome. She really works hard to tell us things and ask for things using her signs. Of course her two favorite signs are 1) Cookie and 2) MORE closely followed by signing cookie again. Her signs include: potty, dog, cat, bird, fish, play, more, cookie, food, drink, all done, night- night, brush teeth, bath, sit, shoes, socks, and we are working on please and banana. Although I'm finding the please and thank you hard to translate as you cannot assign an object to it like most of the other words so I'll keep using them and she'll catch on. It's amazing to watch her figure language out. I say the words and sign as I speak and sometime 3 weeks later she just uses the sign in proper context and it then becomes habit. I'm just waiting for her to drop the f-bomb.

She is also insane over music. She asks for us to put the radio on and she dances better than I do. I am SO going to be teaching her the ROBOT very very soon!

As for me - I'm absolutely loving her at this age. What age have I not said that at? But seriously, I have a little playmate now. She entertains me and herself. She is helpful and likes to sort laundry and unload the dishwasher and throw things in the garbage can. I have to check the garbage cans around the house. Lately they are filled with her cups, plates, cars and my hair brush and a pair of my false eyelashes in their plastic case. Yeah - nice! Note to self: push things deep onto the counter top as she is reaching and stealing anything within her grasp!

Finley has been sleeping through the night ever since we weaned her. WHICH ROCKS! It gives me an evening to do stuff I can't do during the day, like prep meals (ha-ha Steve is on nights - I make salads), vacuum, read a book, sit with my feet up! When she's awake I am full on watching her. She is really into hiding and climbing. (I'll save that for another post) So I have to have an eyeball on her at all times.

She loves to read books and we have read Clifford's Big Red Easter and Carl the Dog EVERY NIGHT for the last two months (I wish I was kidding). She is dog obsessed. I take her to see the dogs the Humane Society bring to Pet Smart on Adoption day and you would think I gave a random stranger a million dollars - she gets SO excited. Sometimes we stop into watch the dogs being groomed. She loves it! After our visit there today she began telling her dad all about it when she saw him. Her little arms were waving and she was talking jibberish intertwined with the car sound and the dogs sounds. SO cute!

Sometimes I just watch her play independently, she gives her doll a kiss or tells a whole story to her self. In the following photo she is playing with a great big Gerbera Daisy. She's looking back at the dog who is always near by.

Also, she had just gotten into the FOLDED laundry basket and skattered my clean under wear all over the dining room. I had to carefully crop them out of this photo. Cuz, NO-ONE needs to see my gitch.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Broom Ponies and Afternoon Delights

Steve is a shift worker. He has been on afternoons and then nights for the last few weeks. It's a tough shift for him and it's pretty tough on Fin too. She misses her Daddy. Late in the day when it is time for Steve to wake up and ready for work I like to send Finley into wake her Daddy. She says Dada over and over as we climb the stairs and when she sees him she squeals with delight and says "Hi Daddy!" It's pretty amazing to hear.

Here are some stolen moments with Daddy on his day off work yesterday.

We make the best of each day we have together.
Our family life and time on earth are too important not to.

Finley calls the swing a "Weeeeeeee!!!!"

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Music and My MunchFIN

Finley has LOVED music since she was in my body. When I was five months pregnant I went to see the NC Symphony perform Handel's The Messiah, she twirled and wriggled each time the symphony played she settled when the choir sang.

Since birth Finley has enjoyed music. She is a little dancing and music requesting fiend. While out on the boat last week she looked at her dad held her middle finger to her thumb and waved her arm overhead which is her made up sign for music. Steve cranked up AC/DC and she head bobbed happily in her life jacket while we cruised over the waves.

Today when we were in the car, for the first time, I caught a glimpse of her sitting in her car seat waving her arm overhead, nodding to the music. This is not uncommon, she's always clapping, head nodding and waving her arms to music....but today, today she was singing along (making noises sounding like words) to Train's "Hey Soul Sister." She blows my mind. I just love her.

Finley this one's for you:

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Yoga & journaling Retreat

Well it's been a couple of months since my friend Rachel and I hosted the Yoga & Journaling Retreat in Duck North Carolina, but, the first time I tried to post this it failed. One of those heartbreaking I've got the baby to nap, written, uploaded and now where the BLEEEEP did it all go kinda fails! Of course I got through it all with my yoga breath and now I'm just getting around to putting another post up!

We had an excellent turn out of 10 ladies, most from Washington & Chocowinity North Carolina. We were joined by my dear friends; Sharon, who flew in from Toronto Canada and by my Yogi bud Heather who lives in the Outer Banks. She graciously rented us one of her amazing beach houses to host our retreat. Of course Finley was along for this girl's weekend as I was still nursing her! This made for a little less Zen for moi, but, everyone else just loved having her precious little energy around.

Here Fin & I are about to lead morning practice.
She does go to sleep in the Ergo while I teach.

Finley is zonked out for morning nap while I make an adjustment to Jan.
The ladies are in Triangle pose.

Finley at the centre of all enjoying the attention of 10 ladies!
We are in the midst of a writing exercise here.

Voila Dinner! It's a delicious vegetarian Dal with jasmine rice.
Orange Salad
Asparagus Salad

An evening book making class offered by the very talented Rachel Mills.

Ahhh, some AM Yoga twists.

Plow Posture

Cheers Ya'll here's to an excellent weekend!

Seafood Medley. SOOOO Yumm- O!

Rachel did all the shopping and cooking. The meals were above and beyond fantastic. I have learned pretty darn quickly never to refuse an invite to dinner at Rachel's house! She is a master in the kitchen and she makes it all look so effortless! Each of the ladies brought baked goods and appetizers too. We ate like ROYALTY!

The yoga was outstanding and was supplemented by walking the beach and watching a storm blow through from the crow's nest, afternoon naps, books shared, interesting journaling workshops and of course the shared company of an amazing, talented, beautiful group of women.

We can't wait to do it again next spring!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010


Between Steve and his two sisters there are six kids. That's right, all under the age of four! The last time we were all together was Christmas when not a single adult in the room could wrangle all the kids together to have a group photo taken. There was always one child crying (usually mine) or down for a nap or off with one or another of the relatives to give moms a break.

This week we were all together again out at Steve's sister's farm. By the way, acres and acres, is an advisable size area for six kids under the age of four to hang out! You can't image how LOUD that many kids are unless you are trapped in a house of any size with them all!

Kaylee age 4 and her sister Zoey 11 months

Gavin 3 years old

Finley & Noah are 13 months old
Bastian is 2.5 years old

I almost caught them all in one frame!
Five of them...

Here's Zoey, she makes 6!

Here are some other random shots from the day at the farm.. Finley was never so dirty or tired! What a great day the kids all had playing together. It makes me wish we all lived nearer... maybe one day.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Laundry Meets Yoga = Zen

With a string of days in the high 80's I figured it was a perfect time to take the yoga mats from my home studio to the laundry mat so I could wash them up and then hang them out to dry. My students have been working hard on those mats and my dog has also been giving them a work out. He seems to think my mat is for eating his crunchy food over. Like it's perhaps a giant place mat. Then last week just as class was beginning he arrived to class to let me know what he thought of me by taking a dump on my yoga mat. Yeah, real nice. What a total jerk move. So NOT ZEN Cecil!

The truth is you CAN wash your yoga mat. They do get stinky and dusty and whatever else. You have to do them in a washer that does not have a ringer. I have washed one at a time in a ringer washer along with a cotton bath towel but they can get stuck and friction burned. Trust me, this I know from experience. A little soap and a warm cycle then hang the mat to dry. It comes out brand new!

Finley and I loaded the car with all the mats and headed to the local 24 hour laundry mat on Friday morning. It was quiet at the early hour of the day. We shared the space with only two other women who were having a rather animated discussion about the way to raise children and keep them in line. It could have been a conversation on corporal punishment the differences were so slim. I did make note of some of their advice. Get an education, treat people fairly, mind your business and don't be buying no 80 thousand dollar cars and other fancy stuff. It's just stuff.

I split my twenty plus mats into two oversize washers, put my bills into the machine to make change and then Finley and I set the washing . She stood in front of the washers completely mesmerized by the water filling the washer. She pointed and babbled to herself and me as the wash began spinning. Who knew such an ordinary thing as washing would be such a great entertainment for a 13 month old! I just love how ordinary things like doing the laundry becomes an adventure when I see it through Fin's eyes.

Fins watching the washers fill up with water.

Passing time ...

It was a 23 minute wash. We had time for a snack.
Here she is fixated on the spin cycle. All the colours blending to black.

When we arrived home Hubs strung a rope between the trees and I hung the mats to dry.
It looks kinda festive, eh?

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Mother's Day

Mother's Day Photo
From the Vault: Circa 1985
Granny Dodie, Seester Sue (10), Mum (38), Me (12).
First of note. My mother is one year older than I am right now in this photo. It astonishes me.

This is me looking at Fin the way Mum is looking at Sue (Above).

My Grandma Dodie is my dad's mom. Her birthday is May 14th which usually coincided with Mother's Day. This ticked Gran off to no end. She really did not like to have to share her birthday. She felt ripped off and made no bones about letting us know it in her wonderful sarcastic way! She was usually a good sport and enjoyed all of our outing except the time Dad took us all to the symphony. The pianist stopped playing to tell us audience to; "STOP MOVING IN YOUR CREAKY CHAIRS! I CANNOT PLAY WITH ALL YOUR NOISE!" Gran waited the perfect comedic beat and as the pianist began playing again she leaned heavily into her cane and readjusted her body in the chair. She looked at me winked and then did it again. She then gave one of her closed horse lipped laughs that she was famous for. Dad gave us the evil eye or as he calls it the hairy eyeball. We settled down. I spent the rest of the symphony wishing for Gran to wiggle in her seat again. You're not still wondering where I get my piss and vinegar from are you?

Mom also hated when Mother' day landed on Gran's birthday because then she, also, had to share it. The BIRTHday detracting from the MOTHER's day. It's kind of chicken and egg don't you think? I personally don't want to make a great big deal over Mother's Day. I'll be happy if Fin wants to draw a picture for me, make a macaroni necklace which I will wear so proudly or make me toast in bed. But, none of those things are nearly as important to me as the privilege I have of being her mother. She is a wonder and I love spending every day with her. For me everyday is mother's day.

The best part of being a mom is waking up every morning to this kind of joy:
Fin 12 months old.

Happy Mother's Day ...

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Wordless Wednesday - Strawberry Love

This was ONE strawberry.
It actually was hollow.

I ate it.

Six Words

Mom 101 is one of the first blogs I began following when I found out I was prego. I get a kick out of her. Today she posted this link to a contest:

Six-Word MOMoirs! • CONTEST: Six words on being a mother or your relationship with your mom.

So having just completed a MEMOIR writing class through UCLA, this mention of writing about your mother or mothering experience in 6 words has presented a good challenge. I think I might take a stab at it. But how the hell do you sum up your relationship with your mom in 6 words?

I'm not a "Mother's Day" fan. I think everyday is mother's day and since it was the mother who chose to become a mother they just need to suck it up, do the work and enjoy the ride. The good the bad and the ugly of it. No kid truly appreciates the work of parenting until they become a parent themselves and then if their mom is around to hear it, the apologies for every horrible thing ever done between birth and the age of 30 start flowing. I think it's a gift to parent some one.... see 6 words will be very hard for me.

I'll submit your favorite. Oh and you try it too it's FUN!

1. My mother cursed me a daughter. (just like me - I was a sh*t)

2. Beer, nookie, a daughter born. Looky!

3. Our daughter. Me and hubby combined.

4. Love, Marriage, baby carriage, life complete.

5. My greatest joy is with Finley.

6. Nothing prepares us for motherhood, nothing.

7. Nothing prepares or compares to motherhood.

8. Speaking mum's words to my daughter.

9. Car featured on Hoarders, since kids.

10. Three minutes of push ups, baby.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Two Bad Words.

I'm Tired.

There I said it. Two words in a new mom's vocabulary and with Finley on the cusp of her 13th month and finally sleeping through the night I should not be saying these words at all. I should be playing catch up on sleep. Instead I'm enjoying my new nighttime freedom, pushing off sleep and staying up to an ungodly hour like 11 pm or midnight. By the time I get to bed I'm over tired and it takes me another two hours to go to sleep. "What the hell dude? Why are you doing this if you know it's making you tired?" I ask myself. Myself has no answers. I close my eyes for a coupe of hours and that's when Fin decides she is going to change her sleeping pattern too by beginning to wake up at 6:30AM instead of her, since birth, waking hour of 8:30AM. She's peppy and I'm soooooo tired.

I'm bored, tired, restless and I need a project I can sink my teeth into. This is what I lie in bed thinking about. I want to work on a gig, I want to host dinner parties with my friends, gawd I miss my friends, I want a giant chunk of my old life back and I want to be a good mom to Finley.

A balance may never be achieved but a new normal should occur. That's my resolve. Proximity to our friends is the only issue and a failed American economy has us locked into our home for a while longer. I appreciate we have a home and we have a good life here. It's just lacking in a work place for me and our friends are too far away.

This gypsy is itchy to move again onto the next chapter.

With all of this swirling in my brain is it no wonder I can't sleep?

Sunday, May 2, 2010

My Girl Wants To Potty All The Time

Potty all the time potty allllll the tiiiimmmmme.....

Well actually, that's not true, as she has been on the potty strike since February 13th 2010. She was just 10 months old and had discovered walking and other exciting things and so she temporarily gave up pooping on the potty.

While she won't do her business on the potty - the potty has been left out so she remains familiar with it, so she engages it in other ways like toting it around the house and she also really, really, really, enjoys going into the bathroom to pull all of the toilet paper off the roll and place it in the potty. The mere mention of the potty sends her racing to perform this super awesomely fun activity. If I catch her in the act she stops and pretends to blow her nose then offers me some of the toilet paper. How thoughtful.

While I'm not quite sure what is so exciting and liberating-ly fun about hiding to poo in your diaper. Or toddling around unsteadily then falling down hard on the squishy poo diaper, Fin digs it, and that's been her M.O around here until this past week.

This week things changed up a bit. When I ask if she needs the potty she smiles broadly at me and runs toward me for a change - like I just caught her sneaking candy. At least she knows she doesn't like to wear dung anymore and wants a change. She will even go get the diaper and lay down on her change pad for me without a fight. Aha! She's back in the know of her eliminations! Eureka!

This morning we had a small breakthrough. She signed potty and then went to her potty pulled it out into the middle of the bathroom floor and asked to sit on it! So I helped her and she sat there for a few minutes. I was so proud of her!

She is almost 13 months old. She has not use the sign for potty in almost three months. This was very encouraging.

Twwly counselled me to keep the EC dialogue open and that was practicing EC. It's about the communication not just the poop.

We've been talking about the potty and singing the potty song all along:

"My girl wants to potty all the time potty allll the time."

A total rip off of the Eddie Murphy and Rick James song. It's catchy and we like it and now she is revisiting the concept of the potty. So it works.

Just thought ya'll would want an update on our EC practice! (insert eyeball roll here)