Well, I am still in the process of moving it...
It is funny how you forget things that happen in your parenting life. Big things, sometimes. Transitions happen, the kids grow, your life as a family changes and moves on to other things, maybe you (all) get busier. I often have "Oh yeah, I remember that, now that you (fellow mom or dad) are telling that story" moments. A new mom will be talking about the iPhone playlist they always listen to before baby's bedtime and suddenly I will be transported back 5 years to when Ben and Lily were babies. Jeff and I would put on a CD at 5pm EVERY NIGHT without fail that was a gift from my sister. She had made the CD for her daughter's 1st birthday, with lovely lullabies (Shawn Colvin's The Night Will Never Stay) and some fun stuff too (Bare Naked Ladies La-La-La-La-Lemon).
As I was reading The Possibility of Everything by Hope Edelman, a memoir about a mother who takes her child to Mayan healers in Belize to banish her daughter's imaginary friend, Dodo, I recalled that Ben and Lily had an imaginary friend. His name was "Christian." And I even wrote about him on this blog a few years ago... you can read about him here. I had actually completely forgotten about Christian until I was about halfway through the book. For me, this was just a phase that passed. It WAS strange that twins seemed to need an imaginary friend. I mean, isn't it enough that they have each other?
I'm not sure I would have gone to the lengths that Hope did to banish her daughter's imaginary friend, but then again, I am not an overly worrying type of parent. I do figure that most things, they will grow out of. "This too shall pass" is a phrase that comes to mind. And, as a parent of six-year-old twins now and a three-year-old, maybe I have forgotten (like so many other things!) how much I worried as a somewhat new parent.
I certainly identify with Hope's love for her child....she describes it beautifully. "Mi vida" indeed. What wouldn't a mother do, when she is worried for her child?
This post is inspired by the SV Moms Group Book Club. I received a copy of the book from the publisher for review in connection with the book club, but was not obligated to post about the book.
One day last week I walked into a Vinyasa yoga class and had my world rocked. It was a class that I had heard about for a couple of years now from my hair stylist. She would say "if you EVER get a chance to go to Mark's Wednesday night class, you HAVE to go." It is a little longer than most of the classes - 105 minutes as opposed to 90. 90 minutes somehow doesn't seem so long, even though...it is. But 105 minutes? That is an hour and 45 minutes. Almost 2 whole hours.
But I was ready, so I went.
Here is what rocked my world the second I walked through the door:
All of the yoga mats were turned the other direction.
As in, the mats were not vertically aligned so that you would face the mirror, but were instead lined up horizontal to the mirror, so that we faced the Buddah wall.
Oh. My. God.
I really don't know why this made such a big difference for me in this class, but it really did. It was not the extra 15 minutes. It was the change in perspective. A simple little thing. Completely changed my view and my practice on that day.
Today, I rocked my husband's and my kids' world. I rearranged all the stuff on my kitchen counters while I was cleaning up this afternoon. I switched the microwave with the toaster and bread basket. I moved the fruit bowl around (to my clutter catching spot- I am hoping to prevent the clutter from accumulating there from now on).
Lily and Ava squealed. Ben came in and switched the paper towel holder with the soap dish and said "Haha!" Jeff shook his head to clear out the cobwebs.
Funny how satisfying a little change in perspective can be.
Top photo by Carla Duharte-Razura, babyjidesign. All others by Linsey Krolik.
My recent travel buddies (Jill and Beth, two of my partners from SV Moms Group, and our photographer and friend Carla), and I jetted to Orange Country in Southern California last weekend to host an event with SV Moms Group, BitDefender and 20 or so other sponsors at the fabulous Ritz Carlton, Laguna Niguel. Really, fabulous is a bit of an understatement.
The place is gorgeous -- the beach, the surfers, the lavender flowers EVERYWHERE (I think they actually pump a nice, clean floral scent throughout the whole hotel). The ceilings filled with intricate silver flowery lights. The rustic, beachy touches, like the log slab of a coffee table by the fireplace in the cafe. The beds - super comfy. The food - perfect. And the service, impeccable. If you ever get a chance to go to this place, even just for lunch at Restaurant 162 or to The Bar or to a wine, cheese and chocolate tasting at ENO, GO!
On Saturday evening, we curled up by the fire at The Bar, along with Ciaran, and talked for, wow, I guess it was hours? It was one of those times that even though we were all so tired, we couldn't seem to wrap it up. Ciaran was telling us about her experiences at the Mom 2.0 summit conference and we just kept saying to each other "Ok, we should really go to bed....but what did you think about that?" Champagne and yummy crume brule helped too.
Even though I could have slept in a bit, being on a weekend without the kids, I got up early on Sunday morning and went for a walk on the beach. I breathed in the ocean air and sky. It was nice to be alone for a bit. At 9am, I met up with Jill and Carla and we headed to a yoga class on the cliff above the beach. Um, wow. Amazing to do yoga outside with such a great view. I really must find a way to do that more often!
The event went beautifully - the staff were so attentive to our needs and everything was just...easy. The next morning, it was all we could do to leave. We all REALLY wanted to stay another day! I would love to return someday soon with my family -- I hear they have a spa and a great kids club in the summer....
Disclosure: The hotel did not pay for my stay and I was not obligated to write a post about the Ritz-Carlton, Laguna Niguel, but they were a sponsor and partner of the SV Moms Group event that we held there for the LA Moms Blog and Orange Country Moms Blog bloggers. I am a partner at SV Moms Group.
My sister, Robin, has been doing daily yoga for the last 45 days or so. Every few days she would call me, blissed out and reporting her new inch of stretch she can get in Eagle or some other such pose. I would retort "I am officially letting myself go." It actually made me a little bit mad to hear how well she was doing. Jealous much? Me? Well, twin sisters can motivate each other in a great way, but it can also be quite a lot of pressure to keep up. Yes, I know when I am doing the wrong thing. And sometimes that makes me want to do the wrong thing even more. I would snap "I don't have TIME to do that. Must be nice!" Until...I wanted to do the right thing. Maybe saying those nasty words out loud struck something. Maybe it was my parents leaving for their year long RV trip (miss you!) that jogged something in me to DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT ALREADY. After all, no matter what, you have to make your own time.
I gave into inspiration a couple of weeks ago and started going to yoga again. As in DAILY YOGA. Sometimes a live class, sometimes at yogatoday.com, sometimes in my bedroom for15 minutes of sun salutations. I just have to fit it in when I can. But I am making it a priority. It began with a Bikrum class, which I haven't been to in about 7 years - it was my post chemo and radiation recovery, I have to say. And it was strange doing Bikrum with hair...last time I stared at my third eye for 90 minutes in a Bikrum class, I was still fairly bald. It was great for lung expansion and healing. It was a HOT class. Well, it is supposed to be hot, but still. I am not used to that heat anymore, that's for sure.
During the first couple of days, coincidentally, I went to see OVO by Cirque du Soleil in San Jose with a bunch of my fellow bloggers from Silicon Valley Moms Blog. Watching them and feeling my sore muscles from yoga felt great. It was a good connection. Nice to feel my body again and to feel like I am doing something good for myself.
The OVO show was amazing (you can watch the trailer here). I am a big Cirque du Soleil fan (I have seen O and Mystere in Vegas and a few shows here in San Jose) and they never disappoint. My favorites from this show were the gorgeous butterfly coming out of her cocoon, the feet juggling with kiwi fruit, the giant slinky bug (so cool! I have never seen anything like it), and the fun trampoline wall. The next morning, we watched some YouTube with the kids - it was especially fun to see some of the behind the scenes documentary-like videos of the performers practicing without their costumes on. There is something about seeing them in their street clothes that makes them human. Even though they are doing super-human feats.
This last Saturday I went to a Power Flow class at Yoga Source in Los Gatos. I am seeing some different in my strength in just a week or so. The daily routine is having some good effects. I am also...happier. Less stressed. I know, it is not rocket science that I would feel happier and less stressed after doing yoga. But it is markedly different. During this particular class, my friend Akemi and I swore that there was a Cirque du Soleil performer in the studio with us. She did a version of Crow that included some sort of whizzing sound and a dismount. Of course, we couldn't see exactly what she was doing, as we were focusing and breathing and sweating through our own versions of Crow... Inspiration continues to abound.
Today, I won't be getting to a live yoga class. But I will do Yoga Today... and every day.
FULL DISCLOSURE: I was not paid for this post, although I did receive two free tickets to the show OVO from Cirque du Soleil as part of a local bloggers night and Silicon Valley Moms Blog gathering (I am a partner at SV Moms Group). I was not obligated to post about my experience, but I loved the show and wanted to share!
At the end of the last year/start of the new year, I wrote a #best09 series of posts, inspired by Gwen Bell. It was refreshing to look back over 2009 with a positive view, remembering things like the best restaurant moment, best social web moment, best trip, best person, best book, etc., instead of looking back on all the things that were wrong with my life...like I normally do at the start of a new year. The last entry was a resolution, very traditional new year's stuff and fitting for the new year, especially after having done an exercise on the positives.
MY RESOLUTION 1 MONTH AGO:
This is what I wrote...
I just went back and reread a post I wrote on Simplicity Sake (a blog my sister and I started last year, but haven't kept up...hmm...this does not bode well, eh?) about New Year's Resolutions from 2009. My resolution last year was to be more PRESENT in my life.
While I feel like I made progress on this last year, I think this is always something I have to keep in mind. And I need to remind myself of it. It is easy to get sucked into this, that and the other thing. Especially as I take on new challenges with work and step up my travel schedule (which is definitely on the books for 2010).
The first thing that comes to my mind is being present with my kids and my family. Especially as the kids get older, it is easy to think they are ok, they are fine, they don't need me as much. True, not as intensely and maybe not as much time, but still...they need my presence. I feel like this year I may need to build some things INTO the schedule. Things like:
Another resolution for 2010: Jeff and I have made a goal to run a half marathon in 2010 - we estimate that it is about 13.1 miles from our house to the Los Gatos Dam (and then there is the #tiarathon and #shredheads of course...). Yoga once a week should round things out. Hold me to it?
THE UPDATE AFTER 1 MONTH:
I am making....progress. There are pushes and pulls and unexpected events - like our Christmas puppy breaking her elbow and requiring surgery (grrr.....$3600 later and going on 2.5 weeks of caring for an ill/recovering puppy). But that's life, right?
What I have done is:
It is time to head to yoga...I haven't been to a Bikrum class for many years, but I will be there in 30 minutes. My sister will be in a class in Newfoundland at the same time, 4.5 hours time difference.
This post is part inspired by the Yahoo Motherboard, of which I am a proud part of.
Discussions in the car lately....
Lily: "Oh my gosh! What is that old man doing standing in the middle of the street?!"
Me: "Actually, he's sitting."
Ben: "He's going to be smashed like a bug!"
Me: "Actually, he's on the divider in between where the cars drive. So he's safe."
Ava: "He's holding a paper."
Ben: "It says (sounding out words)...P-L-E-A-S-E....H-E-L-P... Me. I know that word: Me. It says Please Help Me."
Me: "He doesn't have any money and sometimes when people don't have any money they stand on the street and ask for help from people who do have money."
(Driving past....he was not on our side of the street)
Lily: "Let's go give him all our money. Turn, Mommy, turn around. I want to give him my Whole Piggy Bank!"
Me: "Do you remember that Nana and Papa help cook dinner sometimes at the shelter? Do you know what a shelter is?"
Me: "Well, it is a place where people who don't have any money or food can go. And they can get help. And have a place to sleep. And get something to eat. And, hopefully, get a job so they can make money to buy food and pay for a place to live."
Lily: "He doesn't have a place to LIVE?! He has NO HOUSE?!"
Me: "He might not. I don't know. But that is a way for us to help. To give money or to help at the shelter. How about if we start a jar that any of us can put money into and then we can take it to the shelter."
(Walking in the house....)
I got a jar that we used to use for the marble economy (that we didn't keep up....I am so not good at reward programs, I just can't keep track, sticker charts, marble collections, not for me it turns out. Call it laziness or disorganization. Call it avoiding the praise game. Anyway, not for me.).
Lily got her piggy bank, pried it open and poured the contents in. She got a permanent marker and asked me how to spell "Old Man." An "I (heart) you, Lily" was added at the bottom. Ava grabbed my wallet and put my change in the jar too. An hour later, Ben sidled up to the jar, looked from right to left, and dropped a quarter in from his pocket. I didn't see it. No, not I.
I am part of an local Silicon Valley effort to send 10 doctors and nurses and medical staff to Haiti with a clinic in a container (The Container Clinics). It is an amazing effort, one that Gemini Crickets also participated in, to raise almost $7,000 along with PAMP at a bake sale last weekend. Yes, $7,000 at a bake sale. In one day. These people can mobilize!
Enoch Choi, a local ER physicial, is heading this up, along with many local community leaders.
Visit the Enoch Choi Foundation Facebook fan page and become a fan to receive updates.
Mission of the Enoch Choi Foundation: Silicon Valley physicians and nurses fly to Haiti to provide short-term outpatient week-long opportunities to serve while demonstrating local health IT and green tech solutions to improve disaster medical aid. 100% of donations will go to Haitians.
The effort was featured in SFGate yesterday. Amazing people, amazing contributions.
The kids helped me bake brownies for the bake sale and have been asking about earthquakes. Yes, we have had earthquakes here lately too, so I want to assure them they are safe. There are earthquake drills at school and coin collections for Haiti in their classrooms. There is something everyone can do to help the people of Haiti.
Women entreprenuers and businesswomen can be seen in a different light than their male counterparts. The urge to go for it can be diminished by the struggle to create a balance with the other pieces of their lives. Home and work conflict much?
When women don't have families, is it easier for them to immerse themselves in work? A couple of months ago I was invited to participate as a guest on a conference call with my sister's company's women's book club. The subject was one of my favorite reads from 2009 (#best09), The Shriver Report. It was such an engaging discussion - we talked about what it is like to try to balance work and home life, the struggles we all face as working moms, the desire to be both successful in our work lives and a successful parent. Then, towards the end of the call, a participant joined us late. She was in her 40s and didn't have kids. Her point was that people thought that she didn't need time off because she didn't have the pull of family life. In other words, no kids = no time off. In reality, she needs balance and time off. She does have a life, although it does not involve kids of her own. It struck me that we are all so busy being busy that we often don't realize that we are punishing ourselves by not giving ourselves the time for a personal life.
Coco Chanel, as much as she talked about independence, still strove for a personal life. We all need that.
This post was inspired by the book Coco Chanel & Igor Stravinsky by Chris Creenhalgh, SV Moms Group's book club pick for January. I received a complimentary copy for the book for this post. You can read more book club posts here.
Last month, I had the opportunity to be a part of a conversation with other SV Moms Group bloggers, Michelle Whitlock, and ABC News Medical Contributor Dr. Marie Savard ("Dr. Marie"). It was a frank and open call...and I learned a lot.
As a cancer survivor, I am hyper-interested in learning anything about how any cancer can be PREVENTED. And the amazing news is, cervical cancer is a cancer that can be prevented. Some statistics: Cervical cancer used to be the #1 cause of death and it still remains the #2 cause of cancer (2nd only to breast cancer). There is no other cancer we know so much about and we even have a vaccine which can prevent up to 70%! We could reduce the cases to 0 if we used the science we know about.
There are many similarities between my story and Michelle's Michelle was 26 when she was diagnosed. I was 28. We were both newly married. We both wanted to have kids. We both searched for ways to keep our fertility. I ended up with three kids, after searching for a chemo treatment that would have less impact on my fertility. Michelle and her husband just had a baby girl born via surrogate (yay!).
Today, no one has to die from cervical cancer. That is why I am taking part in this effort to educate about early detection. Dr. Marie worries that If women don't go into their annual visit to talk about their health, we will lose a lot of women. Here is what you can do...
Here is what every woman should know about cervical cancer prevention:* Girls and young women: Ask your healthcare provider about the HPV vaccine, which protects against the two types of HPV that cause the majority of cervical cancers. The vaccines are recommended for girls 11 and 12 years old, and are approved for girls and young women up to age 26. Even women who’ve been vaccinated will still need to be screened.
* Women age 21 or older: Get the Pap test, which detects abnormal cells that can lead to cervical cancer.
* Women age 30 or older: Get the Pap test and the HPV test together as part of routine cervical cancer screening. The HPV test detects the virus that causes cervical cancer, identifying those women at increased risk who will need to be monitored more closely.
Cervical cancer is nearly 100% preventable when we take action for our women's health. The HPV test and HPV vaccine are the tools. This is the first time in history that we have a test for, we have the tools to prevent and we have a vaccine. Truly amazing!
Join me and take the Pearl Pledge today - the pledge is commit to schedule your annual exam, tell 5 friends about the pledge and to ask them to take the pledge too. Wear whatever pearls you have or buy a Pearls of Wisdom pin (all profits go to US fund for CC prevention activity).Additional information:
I don't know about you, but whenever I think about the Harlem Globetrotters, that song just invades my head. I have always wanted to see them live, having seen them on TV as a pretty young kid. So fun! I just heard that they are coming to town, to San Jose, in a couple of weeks and I have been offered tickets to go. And...I also have four tickets to giveaway to a lucky reader! Hooray - we can whistle the song together. (Yes, if you win, you MUST hang out with me and whistle the song. Just kidding. Not really.)
So...if you are so inclined, please enter the giveaway below. To enter, please leave a comment below, telling me why you want to go see this crazy basketball team. Tickets will be at Will Call for the Saturday, January 17th at 2pm. The winner will be chosen randomly by random.org. Contest ends on Friday, January 8th at 12pm PST. Good luck!
About the Harlem Globetrotters: The
World Famous Harlem Globetrotters are embarking on
their 84th season of fun-filled family entertainment, and their U.S.
“Magical Memories” tour begins on December 26th and will run through
May 2nd. The team will make its way to 216 cities, taking on
their arch-rivals the Washington Generals at each stop.
Coupon Code: I have also been given a code that you can use to get a $7 discount for each ticket purchased*. Ticket prices do vary slightly at the various arenas, but they typically average $25 each, thus allowing a family of four to save $28 in total. Simply visit www.harlemglobetrotters.com locate a game in your area and purchase tickets using the promotional code: HGMOM to redeem the coupon.
-Not valid on VIP or courtside seats
-Available online only
-Valid until the day before the show
I received free product,
information and tickets through Coyne Public Relations. Thanks!