Thursday, February 25, 2016

2016 One Little Word: Rhythm

“Dance with your sacred rhythm.”
-Lailah Gifty Akita, Pearls of Wisdom: Great mind

I've said it before, but I'll say it again... Ali Edwards's One Little Word workshop is the single most important self-care splurge I make each year. (And, at $31, it's hardly a splurge!) 

The choosing of a word that will guide my year is one of my favorite traditions, and the monthly prompts remind me to check in with my word throughout the year as well as give me the excuse to play with my craft supplies for an hour or so each month. This is my sixth year to align myself with a word [2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015], and this year I am looking at life through the lens of the word "rhythm."

The word rhythm came to me in a conversation with Callie over Christmas break. Then as I wrapped up my 2015 album, I was struck by how many times I used the word last year to describe the weeks and months that felt good. The times when things seemed to fall into place.

In 2016 I'm striving to find rhythm in my days. A little bit predictable, but not necessarily repetitive and boring. A foundation to fall back on when things out of my control try to wreak havoc. 

I want to live into the rhythms of our daily life. I want to celebrate the smallness of our everyday. I want to find comfort in our routines. I want to stay focused on the needs of my family.  I want to cultivate good, healthy habits. I want to practice my values until they become second nature. 

I already see rhythm at work in my life in the routines that I've created both intentionally and serendipitously. As we waded through the newborn phase last year, I relied on these rituals for strength, connection, and to get keep the damn floor clean.

I often remind myself that there are seasons to life. And that I don't have to find the perfect solution for all time, just the right solution for right now

I'm excited to see what happens this year as I lean into routines and habits... when I silence the noise and focus on my guiding values. I hope to find an internal peace and harmony that will infuse throughout our family. I can't wait to watch Silas learn and grow and to hold his hand along the way. I'm also eager to see the impact that the he{art} and soul collective (the creator's group that Callie and I are hosting) makes in my life as well as the other contributors.

On the other hand...
As excited as I am about watching Silas grow as an individual, I also feel the weight of my responsibility to guide him. I fear that I will not be able to give him the strong foundation that he needs. I fear that things out of my control will disrupt our days and leave me feeling stressed and frustrated. I fear that I will not be able to savor the moments of Silas being little. That I will forget what these wonderful moments feel like. I fear that I might find drudgery and resentment in the routines and find myself wishing for more spontaneity, freedom, and excitement.

Follow my progress and be inspired!

Let the rhythm move you!


Friday, February 05, 2016

12 months with Silas...

"He falls asleep and I feel I could die of love when I watch him, and I think to myself that he is what angels look like. Then I doze off, too, and it's like heaven, but sometimes only 20 minutes later he wakes up and begins to make his gritchy rodent noises, scanning the room wildly. I look blearily over at him in the bassinet, and think, with great hostility, Oh God, he's raising his loathsome reptilian head again."
-Anne Lamott

Wow! What a year! As I've said before, it seems like such a long time, and yet it just flew by.

What's Silas up to?
Silas is learning that he has a lot of independence at dinner time. His list of favorite foods has changed several times this month... one night he loves grapes, the next night he throws them all on the ground. Repeat with sweet potatoes, pears, chicken, etc. Some nights he refuses to eat unless spoon fed, some nights he won't let a spoon grace his lips. And sometimes he begs for a baby carrot off of our plate until we give it to him to gnaw on. It's enough to make this mama crazy!

No door or drawer is safe from Silas these days, and neither is the stuff inside... although occasionally he seems to follow the commands "leave it alone" and "put it back." After finding the DVD remote in the recycling can, we took action to move the trash cans to the other side of the baby gate at the dining room door... we'll see how long it takes for Silas to learn to go around.

It took Silas a day and a half to figure out how a straw works, although he still hasn't figured out that you don't have to tip the cup. Now he can also stack rings back on a spindle and will spend a long time trying to put the cap or lid back on a container. The best is... when he finds a sock on the floor, he stops and tries to wrap it around his foot even if he already has a sock or shoe on.

He started taking a few unassisted steps around the middle of the month, almost as if he didn't even know he had let go. As soon as he realized he was on his own, he would plop down on his knees. However, he surprised us on his birthday by walking the length of the living room (several times!)

Silas has been sick a couple of times this month: once with a scary bout of croup that ended up with an ER visit and a quick hospital stay, and then just recently another ear infection. Also, did you know that shedding fingernails/toenails can be a lingering symptom of a bad case of hand, foot, and mouth? Or so I learned from Dr. Google after Silas lost a thumbnail, a big hunk of a fingernail, and is about to lose a toenail. Luckily though, it seems to be only a temporary issue.

From mama's perspective...
I'm the mama to a one-year-old... how is that possible? All of a sudden Silas seems so big, his legs dangling from my lap as he nurses. More mobile every day, with plenty to say, if only we could understand. With independence comes tantrums, and this feels like whole new territory. While I know we've only just begun down this road, I find myself running to parenting blogs and books, and debating which philosophies and scripts I think will work best for us.

This month we put our deposit in at one of the Montessori nursery schools, in hopes of Silas starting in March. He has to be walking and drinking from a cup. We've been holding our breath on the walking part, but it seems that he is going to make the deadline.

Our freezer stash of milk is on its last days, so just days before Silas's birthday, we began to introduce whole milk into his daily bottles for school. I have fretted about the best way to make this transition, knowing all along that Silas would probably adapt just fine. I am hoping that he'll still want to nurse when I am with him, but I will trust his lead.

We woke Silas up with a crib full of balloons on his birthday, with hopes of creating a new family tradition. I've also been planning a "big" bash for Silas's birthday... both Rob's and my families are planning to be in town to celebrate the weekend afterwards. All of my brainspace has been devoted to party planning lately. After that is over, I know I'll be itching for a new project...

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