Finding the New Normal

It has been over a month since Oakley was born, my third baby, that makes 3 under 5 years old.  I gotta tell you, this isn’t parenting thing isn’t for the faint of heart.  It is taking everything I have got…and I am getting a huge amount of help from my family and have been feed almost every day by friends, bless them all!!  Sometimes I do lay awake in bed sweating and think “what am I going to do when the meal train stops, Joel goes back to work and mom goes home!!”  …..But I will cross that bridge when I come to it.  For now it is time for me and the family to find the new normal.  What is the flow of our days when mommy has to tend to baby’s need before breakfast? IMG_2295How do we navigate one small lap when all three kids MUST be held at the same moment, or worse need a diaper change at the same moment?  I admit it, sometimes one, or two does cry a bit while they learn to wait for mommies free hand and I must learn to spread my heart so wide to hold them all with it when my hands can’t reach.  It is stressful and I am tired, it is true, but I am finding new tricks, like singing more, as they can all hear my song equally.  I am holding them more and being even less ambitious than ever though that does kill me cause often all I want to do is get SOMETHING, ANYTHING done from start to finish without interuption…But it is getting easier everyday and we are all finding our way together.  I am getting many moments witnessing the beauty of my children while sitting breastfeeding and watching them play, something I honestly rarely do ( sit that is!)

Life is slow, but steadying and summer is the perfect time to let things unfurl and find their own equilibrium.  So I guess all this to say, no news is good news here from the nest.

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Baby #3

A month before schedule, our brave baby #3 has joined our clan!  It took us by surprise, but the little guy made it to the other side beautifully and in perfect petite form.  IMG_2001

Oakley Isaac Glanzberg , our third baby blessing, welcome to this beautiful world.IMG_1984

We are all still in the dreamy postpartum haze

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But never a dull moment, that I can surely say!

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Humbled and grateful for this great mysterious life, greeting to all from babyland!!

Introducing Storymama

On this quiet, calm winter’s day I am feeling so full from the holiday cheer and so grateful to be able to just rest and soak it all in.

It is the perfect day for a little story telling around the fire, don’t you think?

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To inspire, I would like to introduce you to my friend Brenna and her new Blog Storymama.  She has been a beckon of light to me on this journey of motherhood with her intentional ways and beautiful stories.  We have been collaborating on filming her beautiful puppet shows and here is the first of hopefully many.  She really has a gift for softly sharing magical tales that touch both young and old.  I am sure you will enjoy her gifts as much as I do.  

Stoking the Home Fires

I lit a fire the night before Halloween.  The cold air blew into these high desert foothills, just in time to chill all those tricky treating children out there…(we were cozy inside, as Jaengus at 2.5 years old is not quite hip to Halloween yet and as far as I am concerned that is just fine:)  Image

That very fire, it is still going, rising and falling, as the sun warms us through our big southerns windows it wanes and right before bedtime it rages.  Now that the clocks have been set back, tonights winds and rains blowing the last leaves off the trees, it feels official, winter is here and it is time to keep that fire going all winter long.

Now we have been heating with wood for years, growing food for even more, buying as little and caring as much as we can, for, well ever I guess…but creating a family and staying at home to tend them has deepened my understanding what stoking these home fires really means to me.Image

Tending these very symbolic embers has been my main focus and main teacher for the past two years.  My friend Kyce often calls this stage of life, the Mommystery, and rightly so.  In the mist of millions of things to do, I have lots of time and space in my mind to Chop wood, Carry water, churn the problems of the the world inside and out and ruminate over what I am going to do ablaut them as I hang my laundry out to dry. Slowing, steadying myself  and my wild mind is the only way to be a solid parent, partner and friend and let me tell you, it is taking a lot of conscious inner work and I still have a lot more laundry to dry.

One of the first big blows of this journey was how isolating life could be.  Luckily, I had learned to grow my food, gather my herbs, chop my wood, and carry water earlier on, deeply dedicated to self sufficieny as a life path….but all the sudden I was all alone, well me and my boys, chopping all the wood and carrying all the water.  Which I love, truly, yet as a community oriented gal, I had no idea this romantic idea of tending my own hearth would leave me feeling so isolated.  I wasn’t working, which normally takes place in schools and community gathering spaces, so without that contact, I had a hard time imagining how the fires I was tending at home would warm the whole world and how I, though warm from within, won’t die of isolation much less self judgement, oh that wild mind!

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Well, luckily that storm has passed.  My son and I go out on the town; to work, to volunteer and to connect lots these days, but one of the sweetest gifts I received in those early days in the Mommystery was the gift of Motherkin.  Like minded mamas who were willing to drive out of town and wander the lane with our babies on our backs.  Mamas who were willing guinea pigs for my tea cake recipes while we deconstructed homemaking in a post feminist time.  Mamas who were educated, conciencious, active citizens who were choosing to make change by opting out of consumer culture and attempting to create new culture from their own homes.

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Sarah, Kyce & Arina, I am feeling the love and want to say your names for the world to hear, you are my Radical beacons and without our almost weekly conspiring, I would not be as solid, centered and committed to where I am and the work I am doing inside and outside and always feeling at home.  So graciously, I thank you for being such Radicals, reclaiming homemaking as a conscious prayer for a new world.

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So the story goes on to say, I am not alone in these choices or in my daily practice anymore.  In fact I am feeling VERY connected these days.  We are building up the fires with a few folks so that our community can grow and hopefully spread out like seeds into a world that desperately needs us right now.  So this weekend, come stoke the home fires with us at our first humble Home Fire Retreat.  I am so looking forward to us meeting each other where we are at, building our community, sharing ourselves and supporting each other whereever we are on this journey of renouncing, reclaiming and rebuilding a new world together.

PS Today is the last day for Early Bird Registration Fee!!

Blessing for one about to be born

I am so pleased, tickled, teary really, to announce the debut of a video project my photography was just featured in, ‘Blessing for one about to be Born’.  Image

You see I have amazing and talented friends, and one special someone hooked me up with another friend who is an exceptionally wise and eloquent poet.  You see Kyce has been at many, many of our birth blessings here in Santa Fe and being a poet herself she always shares the perfect prose on any given occasion.  Jennifer Ferraro’s ‘Blessing for one about to be bornhas had us all tearing up time after time and when Kyce had the brilliant idea of pairing my pregnancy photography and Jennifer’s poem, it was and instant match.  Not only did the essence of our work align perfectly, but we clicked right away, only to discover we grew up within 100 miles of each other so we will forever be bonded by a certain understanding of the world.

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Ladies and Gentlemen, I present you with the work of Jennifer Ferraro, poet, author, wise woman & shining light of our times.  This poem is only the tip of the iceberg of her genius and the video the perfect birth to our future collaborations.  I am honored to work with her and delighted to share her with you.

So many thanks to the beautiful mamas who have allowed me to witness their grace, strength, wisdom and beauty and allowed me to capture their truest essence in my pictures.  Your are all my teachers, my muses, & my friends.

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Here is the poem for all to share, as I think every soul who braves to venture to this blessed Earth should be so welcomed!

Blessing for one About to be Born by Jennifer Ferraro

What shall we call you,

one who comes across a vast distance

bearing secrets of the future,

your mother’s hidden wishing,

and the remembrance of beauty that hung diffusely in the air

all those long years without you?

 

We call you the awaited one,

the dreamt of one, the sung one,

for we sing to you now a symphony of welcomes,

and a wish for your smooth passage to this world.

 

As if you were sweet basil, as if you were mountain rosemary,

as if you were the golden sweetness of the apple and the pear

at harvest time—

You sweeten your mother’s innermost heart

and ripen her for ever greater mystery—

For she has kissed the hem of the most Beloved

in calling you forth, sheltering a wild faith in life

in the darkness of her belly.

 

Like a rose folded inward, hiding great fragrance,

like a host watching over the sleep of the most cherished guest,

You are so tenderly awaited.

 

Little one, we sing to you now,

calling you joy, calling you promise fulfilled,

calling you sheer vastness and little drop of honey—

 

Join us here,

and your earthly journey

will be cloaked with songs and praises evermore.

 

Your mother’s vast heart, deepening as she awaits you;

Every tear she’s ever shed for joy gathering and intensifying–

For you, little drop of honey,

coming across great distances

just to see her face at last,

just to gaze upon the face of Love at last.

— Jennifer Ferraro

Transitions

I have heard before that during the solstices’ & the equinoxes’ is when the universal energies are at their most extremes, and thus can be intense times for us humans.  Though this may be true for many, tracking myself and my own rhythms, especially in these self-aware times of staying at home & mothering a baby, I have noticed that it is actually the in-between-times that seem to be the trickiest for me.  Usually the transitions out of one season and into the next usually fall between the heighten times of Equinox and Solstice and it is these transitions that take me a while to adjust to, especially this one right here– Autumn to winter.

The first fallen leaf

I have a hard time letting go of the garden, the long days of fresh air and sunshine, harvesting, weighing, and eating fresh picked produce and of course those delicious baby bare feet.  Don’t get me wrong, I love our nights by the fire, cozy flannel sheets, sweaters and soups and slippers as much as the next girl, but something about the cold sneaking in and the harvest being down truly gets me down.  All the ghouls and goblins come out, the veil between the living and the gone are thin…I don’t know I guess the darkness just makes me feel, well dark.

Even the garden has gone under cover for the winter

A dear friend reminded me this fall, ‘as the leaves fall they are just reminding us to let it all go’.  Ah what a sigh of relief, but clearly that was hard for me to let go somehow this season.  I thrive in summer, my garden being my time-keeper, my guide, my boss really.  Staying at home this year was a wonderful thing for me and my little family, but I will be the first to admit, I was an intense transition from being a woman of the world, to a woman of the home.  My life changed so much and there was a lot of internal rearranging that was in order, and frankly still is.  I am learning to let the rhythms of nature guide me completely and let go of all the 9 to 5, which is truly a beautiful liberation, but an adjustment none the less. Some how though, in the summer things seemed to flow more naturally.   I did not worry myself too much with who I was,  I was too busy being who I am, a grower of life in all forms.  Yes, I know, dormancy is a part of the life cycle, the wise old mother earth knows this well; in winter she rests, restores, renews….and this I will indeed, it is just settling into that without recoiling is my challenge.

Winter- by Alphonse Mucha

My mother reminds me every year since I was a child, ‘you always get sick in the fall’, and yes mom, I do.   She is right, though I may have not ever really noticed or wanted to admit it, I do get sick every year when the leaves all fall and chilly nights come in, I get ill of body & heart.  When I can no longer play outside and must be indoors more than I would like, the sniffles find me and take me down, sometimes kicking, sometimes happy to be put to rest.  Now that I have a family of my own, the same pattern continues, but now with the three of us sniffling it is no fun at all… but we are learning, taking turns in hot baths and making tea time a mandatory time of day.

Another transition that we are settling into is the baby to toddler transition; delighting in the walking, talking, laughing, playing, kissing hugging and feeling a little less enthused about the hitting, throwing, refusing and temper tantruming, yep all the glory of the 18 month mark.

I realize that all these shifts would of course contribute to a rough patch.  I hope knowing this time of year transitions are hard for me (us) will help me receive them a bit more gracefully in the future.  Maybe prepare better, boosting the immune systems and inner sunshine, or maybe just softening to it, allowing myself to be more graceful, receptive and forgiving of the inner darkness that takes it’s turn to shine.  Either way, I can finally feel an acceptance, an internal surrender finally to the season of sleep, solitude, darkness, quiet, reflection, inward journeying as well as great creativity.

Ah, the sweet sound of clicking knitting needles, music to my ears

I see why we now sit at this time of year and align our darkness with our deepest gratitude, shedding light on what gives us life and joy helps us re-orient our habits and minds.  It is now the season to praise the light in us as it slips from the sky.  A time to remember, rekindle and recreate that sunshine that has blessed us so generously throughout the year and now shed it from the inside out.  So this is just my way of saying hello winter, Hello darkness, hello shadows and sweaters and soup.  Welcome, I accept your teachings, I am grateful  and I will stop moping and step up and shine my inner light just for you.

Let the light shine from inside

Still at the Center

“For to be a woman is to have interests and duties, raying out in all directions from the central mother- core, like spokes from the hub of a wheel.  The pattern of our lives is essentially circular.  We must be open to all points of the compass: husband, children, friends, home, community; stretched out, exposed, sensitive, like a spider’s web to each breeze that blows, to each call that comes.” Anne Morrow Lindbergh- from Gift from the Sea

A spider's web on my mom's porch

 

I did something really important this Sunday, something I realize I rarely do and probably desperately need to do more of.  I sat down and did nothing!!  My baby played happily at my feet, and I soaked in the sunshine and watched him.  We were on day 9 of my husband being away on business and I had made my fence & a kid size wigwam with the willow left over, I had made some jewelry and posted it on Etsy, cooked food to freeze, gone to see friends, heck I even worked for pay a few times with babe in tow and of course the daily ins and outs of life with baby.  We had done well, accomplished a lot and bonded over our solo time….But we were both a little sick, sleep deprived from being out of our family night rhythm and heck, we were both a bit run down.  It was the feeling of accomplishment along with sheer exhaustion that finally made me sit, and thank god!!  I know that I need it, I know that I want it, but sometimes I have a hard time doing it.

The empty rocker awaits, don't mind the 20lbs of Chard that needs processing!!

Luckily I had planted a few books by the outside rocker just in case I found myself there with the leisure and inkling to read, and low and behold on a Sunday afternoon, I did just that.  Simple, I know, almost silly I realize, but it was a huge gift and what a treasure I came upon.  Gift from the Sea by Anne Morrow Lindbergh was what I delved into.  It had been a gift from my mother probably 20 years ago.  She knew I would need it someday and that day had finally come.  It is a small book, easy to throw in the book as one moves around in life.  So it always made the cut, from one book shelf to the next, but had gone unread until this Sunday.

A note from my mom when she gifted me this book, though no date, I know it was a long long time ago.

 

I truly believe you get what you need when you need it, and I knew I needed this book now, as I had pulled it off the shelf weeks ago and planted it next to my rocker….but my what a treasure!!  I am only half way through but I think I underlined half of the book already!  It’s prose- so eloquent, so simple, so true and all written over 50 years ago It amazed me how it speaks so directly to what I am rolling over in my mind, at the close of this first year of motherhood… Life Purpose, Replenishment, Feeding ones spirit, one’s soul as well as one’s family, community and world.  I have been facing questions all mothers face.  These are timeless questions, imperative questions, challenging questions and truly transformative questions.  And so I have begun writing, conversing and digesting what my new life has brought me, who I am now and what I will do with this wild and precious gift of my own becoming and feeling so greatful for the birth of all these things.

In reflecting upon this year I humbly realize, both my child, my husband and I were all born together one year ago, but as our baby grows we too are growing into ourselves as awkwardly and incredibly as our son.  I realize now, with wise women around and timeless words to console these growing pains, I am just now beginning to become the mother I will be continuing to become for the rest of my life.  So I take refugee in my rocker, pick up my gift from my mother, and remind myself to get better at being still as the road ahead is long and winding and my steadiness, my stillness will times be the most valuable and precious tool I have.

“Woman must be still as the axis of a wheel in the midst of her activities; that she must be the pioneer in achieving this stillness, not only for her own salvation, but for the salvation of family life, of society, perhaps even of our civilization.”Anne Morrow Lindbergh- from Gift from the Sea

 

RePost- Thoughful prose on parenting

This evening I came across this mother’s words about her journey of homeschooling parenting and becoming her whole self.  She says it so well in her own words I will simply leave them with you to ponder on this fine spring eve

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“By following my children’s lead I have rekindled my own curiosity, dug it out from under twenty years of textbooks and teacher expectations. I’ve rediscovered that glowing, burning treasure that came into this world with me as a birthright. My natural curiosity, reawakened, has set me on the path of true parenting. My children educate me as I help guide them in their learning. It is a bright, beautiful circle.”

Click here Rhythm of the Home for the whole article.