The holidays were fun, but I’m glad they’re over. I think we all feel that way come January. We just want our normal lives back. Please, no more fun parties. No more sugar. No more love and lights and laughter. No more wonderful people. We just want to drink turmeric tonics and sit in a quiet room for a few weeks.
Although I don’t think kids feels that way. I know Soleil doesn’t. Just yesterday she told Tree and me that she really wanted a regalo (present). Por favor, un poquito regalo? Solamente un poquito. (Just a little bit of present, please, just a little).
She was still a little too young to fully appreciate the concept of Santa, but I think by Christmas morning it was catching on. Next year we’ll be in full swing.
Far more impressive to Soleil than a jolly old man with a long white beard were these two cousins, Theo and Nica.
All she wanted for Christmas was to be with them every second of every day. And, for the most part, she was. She even slept in Nica’s bed the whole week.
In fact that first night, I went into Nica’s room to give Sol teta before bed, and she told me no. “Fuera, mama.” (Out, mom). That’s right, she kicked me and my boobies out. I was in shock.
That night I could barely sleep. I kept expecting (hoping?) her to wake up screaming for me. But, no. When she woke up in the middle of the night, like I knew she would, Nica put her right back to sleep. Again, I was in shock.
“Did you have to sing Hush Baby twenty times followed by Estrellita and the ABCs? Did you have to make hot cocoa and take her to pee? Did you read her a story? How did you do it?” I asked the next morning.
I said, “Go to sleep, Soleil.”
And thus spoke The Baby Whisperer. It was amazing. One week with her big cousins and Soleil stopped breastfeeding and started sleeping through the night until 7am. (Two pieces of advice I felt were helpful–and most wasn’t–that I will pass on to all nursing moms who want to wean: 1) From Cyndi: It will be easier when she/he is ready, follow baby’s lead; 2) From Simko: Don’t stress. It will all happen. Your child will not be ten years old still sucking on your tits and sleeping in your bed. She will grow up whether you want her to or not so enjoy every stage).
$$ If anyone would like to hire Nica the Baby Whisperer to wean and sleep train their child, please contact Sprinter Life for hourly rates $$
We had a great time in Seattle. Great family time, doing family Christmassy stuff. Drinking wine, decorating trees, eating big delicious dinners.
At one point during the tree decorating process, Sol leaned over Nica’s shoulder to hang an ornament, and she fell right into the tree. As we were clambering to see if she was okay, she stood up and said, “Ta-da!,”as if she meant to do it. Well played, young Jedi. Survive you will first foreign pub crawl with style and grace.
Tree and his beautiful sister, Indra. Thank you Indra for opening your beautiful home and heart to us every Christmas.
The classic “Get Daddy!” game. Go lilliputians, go!
Christmas Eve dinner.
As a family, we managed to keep gift giving to a minimal. We only got presents for the kids, and even then, we didn’t go overboard. Honestly, Christmas was so much less stressful without the rabid consumption, not to mention the perk of not accumulating more stuff. In the years to come, I think I’ll do Christmas projects (painted pet rocks, shadow boxes, candle making, marmalade, etc) with Soleil so that she can enjoy gift-giving without having to experience holiday madness.
Instead, all of us adults went to Jazz Alley together to see a show, an outing that’s becoming a family tradition. This year The Senate played. If you’ve never heard them, you should. They’re a super smart, talented, sexy in band camp, indie rocker kind of way. Download the song “Here I am” or “Make me wanna.” Meow.
Me and The Senate boys
While on his way driving the RV to Yuma with his dad, Tree got the flu and was totally laid up for New Year’s Eve. I had a glass of wine, and without fanfare we all went to bed by 9pm. It’s funny, for being such an extreme ex-party girl, I could give a crap about staying up late and partying anymore. I’m so incredibly fulfilled by my little family that I’d much rather stay home and take care of them, even on New Year’s Eve.
To ring in the new year, while Tree and Cheryll watched the Oregon Ducks slaughter Florida State at the Rose Bowl, I went to a vinyasa yoga class where we inwardly declared our sankalpa, a Sanskrit word that means “will, purpose, or determination.”
I’ve never liked New Year’s resolutions, and I don’t think I’ve ever kept one–at least not one I remember. Still, this year I thought about setting goals like, I’ll lead climb my first 11b sport route! Or, I’ll get 5k email subscribers on the blog! As much as I’d like those things to happen, I don’t think making them resolutions will help me achieve them. Not to say that I’ve never consciously quit harmful habits or accomplished any goals; I’m just not motivated to make an effort under the pretext of a New Year’s resolution. That’s just too easy and predictable for this rebel rouser.
But setting a sankalpa is different, or so I told myself. It’s less about achievement and more about intention and purpose. “It’s the soul’s desire, not the ego’s” said my yoga teacher. Whatever, it worked.
I’ve decided my intention for 2016 is to enjoy life more. All of it. The mundane and the exciting, the frustrating and the pleasurable, the sleeping baby and the baby that won’t go to sleep; the funny, loving husband and the husband that bosses me around all day, the farm fresh eggs and cleaning the coop–the whole $h!t and shebang. I want to appreciate the moment without allowing my desire for things to be different to get in the way.
Sure, I thought about trying to be kinder and more patient; to be a better mom wife sister friend, a more disciplined writer, a funny popular deep and philosophical blogger–but then I realized I just want to have more fun. Cyndi Lauper had it right all along.
I know my resolution doesn’t sound hard–and it’s not hard when everything is hunky dory and going as planned–but it is hard to enjoy my kid getting up for yet another sip of water at ten thirty at night because she’s a vampire or Argentinian or an Argentinian vampire who is impossible to sleep train. It’s hard to enjoy filling the chickens’ feeders when it’s below freezing outside, my face hurts, and my fingers have curled up to die, refusing to participate in the nonsense anymore. (Actually, to be fair to the chickens, it’s hard to enjoy anything when it’s 20 degrees). And how are we supposed to enjoy making huge life decisions that impact our family, finances and future and not stress the F’ out? I mean, really, sometimes just deciding what to cook for dinner can be a subtle form of torture.
To have the equanimity to truly enjoy life even when it’s sucking, you need to:
1) want what you have, and not what you don’t have
2) trust that you’re enough and not let [insert negative feeling] eat away at your ability to let go and shine
3) stay true to what’s true to you–vigilantly–no little betrayals
Or, you could just get Hot Wheels for Christmas.
Or a dustpan and broom (ATTENTION ALL HUSBANDS, that was a joke. Only two-year olds love to sweep.)
I really love kids, and I didn’t used to. Who says people don’t change? I think the truth is that we’re always evolving, at least the smart ones of us are. What’s more true is that we can’t change other people, but that’s okay. I like my people just the way they are, living their thousand butterfly lives, always morphing from caterpillar to chrysalis to butterfly, and repeating the process all on their own. What a gift to behold.
“There are as many worlds as there are kinds of days, and as an opal changes its colors and its fire to match the nature of a day, so do I.” –John Steinbeck
“We all want to break our orbits, float like a satellite gone wild in space, run the risk of disintegration. We all want to take our lives in our own hands and hurl them out among the stars.” –David Bottoms
Happy New Year’s friends. I’m stoked to share it with you. – Stevie