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Toddler Time: Staying Happy, Staying Sane

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Once upon a summer afternoon, it was the month of June in the happening town of New Paltz, New York…


 
What to our wondering eyes did appear…?
 
Naked babies of all colors, shapes and sizes playing happily together in a cool pool of shallow water. Is there a more simple pleasure than cooling oneself off on a hot day in a local swimming hole, lake or river?

I think not! Small children seem to get it right off the bat! They gravitate toward water: even the nearest puddle will suffice for a wet romp! These days my daughter’s favorite toy is a spray bottle and I couldn’t be happier!
 
As our daughter grows older and simultaneously bolder, it is better to plan activities that will please her, rather than me and her dad. We love to take her everywhere with us, but these days some engagements and activities match her activity level and energy much better than others. We spend our days working to keep the balance between what we the parents enjoy doing and what our toddler enjoys doing!

The happy medium is activities that keep us all happy, engaged (and sane!). I have so many ideas that could occupy my time, I must often remind myself that my daughter is only a baby once and she is well on her way to three years old in August!
 
I do a mental time check and realize that in two years we will be sending her off to school. I have a small panic attack, take a deep breath, look over at her right by my side and smile.

If it means that most days I spend my morning reading her the same favorite books, instead of in the garden and my afternoons singing her to sleep instead of furthering my career, so be it! I will make the best of every moment we share together and remind myself how lucky I am to spend my days with this unbelievable little person.
 
From my home to yours, enjoy the sunshine! Your body craves it, as does your child's little body! Enjoy all the special activities the summer season has to offer babies and small children here in New Paltz: sun-ripened berries picked fresh from the bush, plentiful woodland swim holes, hiking trails, and friendly community story times, parks and pools, just to name a few!
 
Pop hats on your head, fill a bottle of water, put your baby in a carrier or wagon and go out exploring! Who knows where your baby will lead you today!

Mother's of the World, Unite!

This week is Mother’s Day! I wanted to discuss us Mamas!

We come in all different shapes, colors and sizes, yet our emotions all follow the flow of the same river, the timeless flow of motherhood. As women, we come equipped in our mother’s womb with all of our living, giving powers. Just a few months after conception, the female fetus’s eggs develop, meaning that mothers not only carry their children but also their unborn future grandchildren as well!
 
We are born of this world, yet this world is born of us at the same time, and the winding spiral of universal life dances on within each of us!

For each woman, the call to motherhood comes at a different time. Some of us know from the first moments we remember that we are meant to be mothers! Others, like me, hear a silent call as we move through the adult years. A yearning for the unborn. We see a little baby on the street and our hearts skip two beats. We recognize the time has come to embark on the journey of the childbearing. Still others, find themselves pregnant without knowing exactly how it happened.
 
Each minute approximately 251 babies are born worldwide: I suspect that for each of those babies born there is also a unique style of mothering born! It is time for us as mothers to unite; join hearts and minds together for the next generation: our children’s generation!
 
For too long now, mothers have been separated, divided and underestimated! Stay at home moms versus working moms, vaccine friendly versus no vaccine, natural birth versus medicated birth, disposables versus cloth diapers, home schooler's versus public schooler's, the list goes on and on.

For every mother that loves her child, there is a unique way for her to care for her child. There is no one method that will work for all of us nor, is there anyway of knowing what will work until you try it!

Let’s work together as mothers to embrace the many different styles of parenting out there, whether they are aligned with our personal style or not.
 
Brown Mamas, Short Mamas, Big Boob Mamas, Tall Mamas, Skinny Mamas, Rainbow Mamas, UNITE! 

This Mother’s Day, open your heart to the world of universal possibility! Hug your mothers, and hug your daughters: the future mothers of the world!

Always remember, the vital life force that flows from within you out into the universe, feel the life cord which connects you to everything else. Give thanks for your life giving powers. Give thanks to earth, the mother of us all. Give yourself a hand, kick up your feet, (sip a mimosa perhaps) and enjoy your special day, you deserve it!

The river of Motherhood runs deep, May it quench your thirst!
 
Happy Mother’s Day, Mamas, from my heart to yours! 

Till Next Time, Be Well!

Jasmine

Happy Mother's Day! #20

Today marks my 20th Mother's Day! I can't believe it!

Actually, I can believe that. Its been a very full and wonderful 20 years of mothering.

What I really can't believe, is how much I don't like Mother's Day.  Part of it is embedded in my mom's experience. I don't remember a Mother's Day where she didn't end up in tears. Maybe she was unrealistic or naive? She was an only child and we were three!

Another part is that for me EVERY day is Mother's Day. I have spent a lot of time with my children and I still do a lot for them. They are first in my decisions of what to do. I breastfed for years with them. I opted to try for a homebirth for them. I stayed out of work and I went into debt to be home with them.

Most of it has to do with being with a man who criticized and made fun of me and my mothering.

Of all 20 Mother's Day's, not one came with a card from my kid's Father. No card. No breakfast in bed. No flowers. No appreciation. My Mother and Mother-in-Law showed their love on Mother's Day and I am grateful for them.

I am finally free of him. In hindsight, I don't know what took so long. I compare myself to others who have left the father of their children, others who are starting over in new loving relationships and still others who have only known respect and encouragement from their partners. Sometimes I cry when I think about what happened or wonder what I could have done differently.

What if I left when my kids were preschoolers? What if I paid the divorce lawyer with my credit card and did take my ex to court? What if I understood how Family Court works and how much power I did have at that time? But I didn't. I was married "til death do us part." Divorce was unimaginable and with that belief came abuse.

That's where I get stuck.

How would I have known? I work with lots of families in transition now. They use Google and Facebook to find things. That works really well if you know the search terms. I didn't know the search terms. i didn't even know I had a problem. I thought what I was going through was NORMAL. And, it is NORMAL, for a certain cross section of our society. It's even common... but it's not healthy. And, one can choose not to live that way.

What I needed was for someone to see the red flags and volunteer the information.

The biggest difference between who I am now and who I was 20 years ago is that now, I ask for help. Usually. Old habits die hard.


Happy Mother’s Day, Mamas, from my heart to yours! 

Cheers, Mama! Mother's Day Edition

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Hello Mamas!

As this Sunday is Mother’s Day I wanted to take the time out to discuss us Mamas!

We come in all different shapes, colors and sizes; yet are emotions all follow the flow of the same river, the timeless flow of motherhood. As woman we come equipped in our mother’s womb with all of our living giving powers.

From just a few months after conception the female fetus’s eggs develop, meaning that mothers not only carry their children but also their unborn future grandchildren as well! We are born of this world, yet this world is born of us at the same time, and the winding spiral of universal life dances on within each of us!

For every woman the ancient call to motherhood comes at a different time. Some of us know from the first moments we remember we were simply meant to be mothers! Others, like me, hear a silent call as we move through the adult years, a long lost yearning for the unborn.

We see a little baby on the street and our hearts skip two beats, we recognize the time has come to embark on the journey of the childbearing years… Each minute approximately 251 babies are born worldwide: I suspect that for each of those babies born there is also a unique style of mothering born!

It is time for us as mothers to unite; join hearts and minds together for the next generation: our children’s generation! For far too long now mothers have been separated, divided and underestimated! Stay at home moms versus working moms, vaccine friendly versus no vaccine, natural birth versus medicated birth, disposables versus cloth diaperers, home schoolers versus public schoolers, the list goes on and on.

For every mother that loves her child, there is a unique way for her to care for her child. There is no one method that will work for all of us nor, is there anyway of knowing what will work until you try it! Let’s work together as mothers to embrace the many different styles of parenting, whether they are aligned with our personal style or not.

Brown Mamas, Short Mamas, Big Boob Mamas, Tall Mamas, Skinny Mamas, Rainbow Mamas too, UNITE! This mother’s day open your heart to the world of universal possibility! Hug your mothers, and hug your daughters: the future mothers of the world!

Always remember, the vital life force that flows from within you out into the universe, feel the life cord which connects you to everything else. Give thanks for your life giving powers. Give thanks to earth, the mother of us all.

Give yourself a hand, kick up your feet, (sip a mimosa perhaps) and enjoy your special day, you deserve it!

Happy Mother’s Day Mamas, from my heart to yours! The river of motherhood runs deep, May it quench your thirst!

Till Next Time, Be Well!

Jasmine

Finding Calm Amidst the Chaos

flower mama new baby new paltz

Hello Mamas!  It has been a whirlwind of a week in my part of town!

With gardening season in full swing, my daughter’s seemingly exponential pace and zest for life, my husband in Manhattan for work, dog sitting, and my GMO education outreach here in town, my head has just slowed to a stationary position (from full on spinning for the last couple days).

Silly me... I triple-booked myself again!

Since I have become a mom, I have developed the unfortunate habit of triple-booking myself. Planning to be in two places doing three jobs at once! Three jobs because if I am working my daughter is by my side.  This past week I had scheduled myself to the point of no return…
 
I had volunteered to dog sit my mother’s lovable pup and to staff an outreach table at Farm Fest on campus on Thursday, all while my husband was out of town for business! After Day One (of  three days total) of dog sitting, outreach at Farmfest, and hubby out of town; I felt rusty. Rusty in my bones; when I put Rita and the dog down to bed for the night I was done. I was still done when Rita awoke at 5:30 the next morning to begin our next fun filled day of adventure!

But, this is more than a rant about how hectic my last couple of days were; this is the story of achievement on the cosmic level!

This past Saturday, (Day 3 of dog sit/ no hubby fest) I managed to meditate for the first time since Rita has been born. Seriously, for almost three years now my mind has been so hyperactive that I have not successfully meditated, or truly quieted my mind in that space of time, until today!

Blissful is the quiet mind!

After harvesting some greens around the yard to throw into a recipe I found myself with the space to sit in my yard and meditate. A space just for me, but, at the same time for the whole universe. I fell into the void: out of myself and became one with everything else again! I was content. I  had achieved some kind of nirvana amidst chaos. Yes!

Finding calm within the chaos…

I am so surprised to report that the first time I have truly meditated in years coincided with one of the most hectic weeks of my adult life! If you would have told me to “keep calm and meditate” when I ranted about my busy, over loaded week, I probably would of "Gone Lioness" and ripped some heads off! But, seriously I think there is a lot to be said about finding calm in the storm. When we are able to maintain inner calm, emotions like happiness and joy just seem to flow toward us and emanate from us!
 
I think part of my ability to find this place of inner calm within myself was because I felt accomplished: Super Mama! I had handled all of my life’s tasks by myself, plus some extra work, including outreach, gardening and dog sitting! I also managed to succeed at most of these things! (As anyone of you who work with your young children around know, for every one task accomplished three more projects are created! Ask me about how Farmfest outreach went with toddler in tow for a good laugh)

Meditate on this: How amazing is our ability to thrive?

I truly believe in the power of positive thinking. I can think back now to the time wasted worrying about what a hard time I was going to have while my husband was out of town. In retrospect, it was all for null because my daughter, dog for the weekend, and I were a great trio! Within us all lays great strength and the ability to do more than merely to survive, but to flourish. Let us all work to live in a space where we recognize our true potential at that of those around us!

Hubby returned last night and the dog was picked up this morning, hence my ability to write cohesive thoughts to share with you.
 
Till next time, in the wise words of Willy Wonka:
 
We are the Music Makers, We are the Dreamers of the Dream…
 
Be Well!

Jasmine

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