Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Kind, not defensive.

Sometimes I post stuff that I've been thinking for so long that I'm like, surely I said this on here 2 weeks ago. But I haven't posted in a while and I need some blog-therapy.

I woke up this morning (actually I planned last night) hoping to get Leon to sleep on the mattress on the floor so I could come downstairs and enjoy one uninterrupted cup of coffee and a little silence while Tyler read. I would have sat in my chair in the corner of the living room and just listened to the heater, maybe planned my day or read/prayed the morning prayer.

Leon just really loves to sleep either in the crook of my arm or just knowing that I'm right next to him. 98% of the time, I love that. So he woke and I was immediately moody and just the sound of Tyler opening the fridge pissed me off. I'm so much quieter than him, but I think it's because I work hard all day for maybe an hour to myself while Leon naps, so I won't risk waking him by being not totally quiet. It wasn't Tyler's fault that Leon woke. I just wanted to sigh and for someone to say "I'm sorry it went this way."

I hate to complain about stuff like this because it's just my life, and the normal response is for someone to tell me how to get him on a schedule or how to sleep through the night or how to eat food. And then I have to accept that I've made this choice, I just want someone to go "ah, bummer." And I have to remind myself that everyone has different goals. That's hard for me. Lately I have felt defensive, like I need to defend my parenting style or my diet. And I just have to take deeps breaths and tell myself that people aren't seeking my demise when they tell me what my child needs or what I need. They are telling me what they think. And I know far too well that I share what I think with others, not without great thought though, because I'm afraid of offending people. But it comes back down to the fact that we all have different goals and are in different life stages.

Last night I gave my ring fingertip a good chopping whilst cutting onions. It's kind of deep. So deep it didn't bleed much, but now it's just gross and I keep reopening it. I hate having cuts.

Leon fake laughs, fake coughs, and is starting to dance/jump. Like, both feet off the ground jump. It's crazy. He walks backward and sideways in a little crouch and it's freaking hilarious. He loves facetime, and he is starting to try to eat a little more. He likes Ezekiel bread, cheese, boiled carrots, grapefruit... pretty much anything I give him he will chew on and lick, and occasionally ingest.

But this morning was perfect, because after all my frustration Leon fell asleep at 8:30 (when he usually wakes up from the night), and I got on here to read my sister Amanda's blog... which was all about enjoying those little moments with your kids and I cried a whole lot, enough to make my nose hurt like I had inhaled water.

I got to enjoy 1/2 a cup of uninterrupted coffee before Leon woke from his nap, and now he's playing with a book by himself. I love watching his brain work. I'm going to watch this little boy grow up into a man. Life is so weird and beautiful.

I'm working on taking deep breaths and being kind, not defensive. Wooooooo, it's hard.

Being silly with Mimi

All he wants to do is press the button at the bottom of the phone

Just after his bday cupcake

post cupcake bath time
Sneak peek at our fall family photos
The end. 

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

It's been some time since I've felt like sharing. The latest in the Wheeler house:

I pick up raw milk every Saturday, and from that raw milk I've made raw butter and raw buttermilk. I suppose I don't have to say raw butter/raw buttermilk since I told you it comes from raw milk... but I did. Tyler said, "You know we can just buy that at the store, right?" And I said, "No we can't! because stores don't carry raw butter or raw milk or raw buttermilk because it's illegal." It has made my toast so exciting. I added buttermilk to some cookies and they are amazing.

Well, Leon... We are in a fight. We are in a fight between 9pm-3am when he wakes up hourly wailing. I discovered a tooth next to his top/front/big tooth this morning. It's poked through, so I expect normal sleep patterns from here on out, and I'll be ordering some Lavender because four nights of very interrupted sleep makes me grumpy pants. But man I love this little monster boy.

He is a champ at walking now, and stands up in the middle of the room. Bends over to pick things up. It's a miracle, really. I watched him stand up from sitting on the floor and it was as miraculous as a person floating their legs up into handstand. Imagine if we put as much work into something as a little baby does into walking, or picking up things with their fingers. We'd be exhausted. We'd probably sleep really well, unless we were also getting teeth while exerting that type of effort.

We had the house painted. Tyler and I got into a fight about light fixtures. Actually light fixtures was just the veil over our fight about how we make decisions. Tyler says it's up to me, and then I make a decision that he hates and he says no. Then he says "Let's just do nothing," and I yell at him. Shortly after an extended silence and mad faces, he said, "Well. Wanna stay married?"

A friend recommended a book called Let Your Life Speak by Parker J. Palmer and it's been very good. He talks about being true to your nature, and how if you choose to not be authentic, you're actually not loving those around you, including yourself. I need to hear that every once in a while. God made us beautifully.

A quote from the book... of a quote from Florida Scott Maxwell - "You need only claim the events of your life to make yourself yours. When you truly possess all you have been and done... you are fierce with reality." It was very humbling to read that.

Well, I'm off to clean the humidifiers. Oh, here are some pictures.

I got my hair done. She darkened it, trimmed it, and wanded it. 

The toy box/pantry. 

Leon loves Tyler so much. 

Sometime we take a break midway between diaper changes. 

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Well, hello. Feeling the need to puke thoughts all over you this morning. I started The Conscious Cleanse, the book and the actual cleanse. Feeling quite nice.

The conscious cleanse is a two week cleanse, but its full of grace. If you slip up, that's ok, just keep going. I used to mess up and then throw in the towel. Starting Monday, I gave up dairy, gluten, caffeine, alcohol, sugar, and meat. The first day my belly was sticking out because my body was like "AH, all the raw food!" but it leveled off. I've been drinking lots of tea and warm water. Yesterday I felt like I wasn't making much milk for Leon, so I drank a beer last night, and I savored every sip. This morning I decided to have a cup of coffee. Not out of dire need, but I just chose to. I haven't had coffee in three days. I make my own rules, and man, do I obey them and change them if need be. :)

I truly eat all day long. Fruits and vegetables.

Anyway, I was thinking yesterday as I sat on the floor with Leon, unshowered and unbrushed, about how I utilize my time. Sometimes I think to myself, "I should be a master of everything because I'm a stay at home mom! I should be the best yogi and I should be able to do a pull-up and I should be able to sew dresses and bake pies." And then I started to feel guilty. And then I got mad, at myself, and at society a little bit. Mostly myself though. I'm raising a thick little guy to be a sharp, good person.When I say good person, I mean someone who has empathy for others and realizes his actions impact other people. That's my hope at least. Then I realize I'm living my dream. This is what I've always wanted. I'm living other people's dream too. People who want babies, people who wish they could stay home with their babies. So I'm gonna keep living it and continue to tell myself that raising a good person is enough, and that I don't necessarily have to be a DIYer or a professional blogger in order to be deemed a useful individual worthy of living.

I also just started the book All is Grace by Brennan Manning. It's his memoir.

I think I'm going to dye my hair a little bit. I did it five years ago, but I went to a professional and it didn't look great. Faded quickly, looked greenish gray brown. I'm going to get the henna dye from Lush and have a friend help me do it. I'm just bored.

I started this post this morning, but now it's 2:50 and, let me tell you, I got super moody ths afternoon. Tyler had the stroller and the ergo in his car, which left me in a shit spot when I wanted to get out of the house after it rained all morning. Things didn't go my way and I wanted a chicken sandwich in a bad way. That's a rule I won't break though. I'm okay now. I'm a little more determined to really do this cleanse, even though I have cheated a couple of times. I'm four days in. Probably the best I've done yet.

This is memory making weather.

Friday, August 15, 2014

Stories and Reasons for things

Here's a story. Leon loves trash can pedals. He plays with them for quite some time. No need to hover over him and make sure of his safety. Pedals are safe, right?! Ok, well, he is fast and I didn't see him crawl to the stairs. I was in the other room in a place where I could see him... distracted by, none other than, Facebook himself.

Several minutes go by, I still hear, what I think is, banging on the trash can. Then I hear tumble, tumble, tumble. Yeah, probably three tumbles, maybe just one, or possibly two. I don't know. I sprinted into the kitchen to see no baby by the trash can and for that split second I'm thinking all kinds of thoughts. Aliens, magic. Where is my baby. On the floor at the base of the stairs is where he was. The horror. I scoop him up, he's crying. And like a horrified, panicked mother who can hardly cry out words I cry, o'er and o'er, "I DIDN'T KNOW YOU WERE ON THE STAIRS! I DIDN'T KNOW YOU WERE ON THE STAIRS! I DIDN'T KNOW YOU WERE ON THE STAIRS! I DIDN'T KNOW YOU WERE ON THE STAIRS!" And that went on for some time, as I rocked my sad baby the way an insane woman would rock in the corner of an asylum. He was fine. Very quickly he was fine. Not a mark on him, and I said lots of thankful prayers. I nursed him back to health and he napped.

Here are some reasons for deactivating my facebook. It had, ultimately, nothing to do with anyone else besides myself. But to be so sucked into coming up with a response to someones comment that you don't see your 8 month old crawl to the stairs. Well. I don't need to continue that thought process. I had a million excuses, such as, Facebook is how I follow all the blogs/websites/see what my family is doing. That's where I communicate with my community, my church, my mom friends that I hang out with during the day (I NEED THAT), that's where I chat daily with my friend Allison. Not having Facebook would cause me to miss out on invites, on big news. People won't see Leon! This happened last time I deactivated. I made so many excuses until in one minute I just decided and did it. So that's what I did. I know people will so miss my posts about shit that's in your food, or why you should do this or that. How will they live? Will they be okay? Will they miss me? And to answer those questions, people won't know I'm gone.

Facebook starts out great. It does. I made friends there I wouldn't know otherwise. But it's not real. I wrote a post while back about this, but couldn't bring myself to post it for fear it would suggest that all facebookers are in the wrong. I'm not suggesting that. For me, I'm just bothered by how easily you can unfriend or hide and just not deal with things (that you normally wouldn't have to deal with in real life, or if you did you would deal with them differently). Or that people who don't speak to me in public will want to get into a debate about something via my wall. That's interesting. There are a lot of ways to look at it, and I'm certainly guilty of doing all the bad things on my Facebook List of Bad Things. But it occurred to me that the more social media and less true interaction with people, with nature, with Real Life, the less empathy I have. The more judgy I am. The less time I spend watching my boy do the most miraculous things, like rub his eyes and chew on a book.

So I did it, and let me tell you that it's liberating. It is. If you've thought about it, I can't choose the right moment for you, but let me encourage you to just do it. And actually, Facebook asked me why I was deactivating. I wrote, "You are ruining the world." I hope that gave an employee of Facebook a good laugh. I laughed when I typed it.

Now when I hop on the computer, I'm off in about five minutes, as opposed to perhaps an entire nap time of waste. When your husband comes home from work and asks about your day and your response is mostly Facebook news... it's time.

Alright. I'll be done now.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

but then there's grace

This morning Leon and I went outside as soon as Tyler left for work. It's so glorious. I brought a basket of toys, my coffee, a sketch book, and my jar of sharpies that I just invested in. And Charlotte.

I had about four minutes and 37 seconds to make a list while Leon chewed on Sharpies. I think I'll just glue them shut and let him have them. As if I'm going to draw anyway. However, it is on my List.

My other list. Not the list I made today. The one I made today had to do with blogging, because on my other list of Things I Would Like To Do, I wrote "blog purposefully." What better way to do that than to make another list specifically about blogging purposefully.

I usually get on here and haphazardly (I love using that word - it makes me feel likeI have actually experienced enough life to throw it out there and people will be like, "Oh, wow, she's experienced life. She can use the word haphazardly) spew my emotional stuff and work through things as I type. Sometimes I leave it open where my brain hasn't finished processing and it leaves everyone on a very ugly note, but that just happens to be where my heart is at the moment (most moments).

The fact is that if everything doesn't end with "but then there's grace," then yuck. Wretch. So here is my apology to you, my Sisters with a big s, and my actual brother (the only man that reads this blog). I am sorry if I have hurt you with my black and white tips for "living fully" and left you out or made you feel badly. All I ever want is to share stuff I love that's working for me, but then I share as if it will save all of mankind because I think it will save me sometimes. Yes, in fact, Oil Pulling will save you. Cure your ails, make you skin tags fall of and make your baby stop crying and give you a good poop (this is a lie).

Tyler and I have some money left over from his car accident because we bought a cheap honda. We were discussing some things we'd like to get/do (go on a Costco splurge and buy ALL THE NUTS) and I mentioned a few "health" items I'd like to look into (water filter, glass containers). Wherever you stand, it doesn't matter. I was in the wrong because my heart wants to eco-friendlify, clean, purify, every part of our life, because hopefully THEN, then we will live to be 120 and never get ear infections and people will see us and say "How do you do it?!" and I'll say "Oh, we use glass containers instead of plastic to store our food," and BAM. We made it (our friends use glass containers and they are pretty and I wanna be like my friends).

I acknowledge to you that I am a psychopath and I find my worth in, and I idolize, being healthy, and I think everyone should have the same convictions as me. I also judge people harshly, at least in my mind, if not outright for all the world to see, for making choices that I don't agree with. And then, as I watch my addiction to being healthy spiral in the horror film of my mind, I see myself at the point of living off the grid to get away from all the bad stuff, including people, sleeping in a faraday bed, and I'm healthy but I am lonely because I have alienated every person. I'll never forget reading Into The Wild, and at the end of the book he carved into the table "happiness only real when shared." Maybe he wrote it. I don't remember. Maybe it's cheesy to hold onto that quote, but I did.

So there's that.

But then there's grace. Don't forget it, and I'll try to remember too. And we can remind each other.

Also on my list of Things I Would Like To Do:
Learn to weave
Plant a garden
Put a Free Little Library in my yard

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Today is hard. Leon is refusing to nap, yet he is so tired and is all over me but cries whether I'm holding him or letting him play. It's not crying though, it's yelling. He has an excited yell and he has a I-want-something-I-don't-have yell.

We tried laying down. I got him to sleep for 15 minutes, which was plenty for him. Again, by the time he woke up and was yelling, snot was dripping out of my nose. So I let him get up and he's happy (and will be for about 20 minutes). He just crawled, layed down for 30 seconds, got up and now he's singing and bouncing while holding onto his highchair.

I was changing his diaper, which is nearly impossible because he arches his back and flips over, and one of the snaps came off of my diapers. At this point, I was so frustrated that I just yelled "AAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!" like out of anger, totally, and then he cried. And I felt like shit.

I just gave him a handout from a yoga training, because paper is so soft and yummy when it gets wet.

And I need to confess something. My post from yesterday about eating meat/not eating meat... well if you feel judged, then I don't blame you. Health isn't your savior. Well, it could be your earthly one, but you get what I'm saying. Sorry I'm kind of a jerk.

Leon needs me.

Monday, August 4, 2014

Having a wild kid. Eating vegetarian(ish). Being judgy.

Leon was the wildest boy in the nursery yesterday, and I'm not saying it like it was a competition and we won. If it were, I'd say we lost. It was embarassing. Tyler and I were working in the nursery and all the other kids were literally sitting on their butts chewing on something. They were quiet and cute. It was so weird and awesome. And Leon is like a tornado crawling back and forth between Tyler and I, yell-crying, standing at the gate and yelling. I said, "Tyler, he's 'that kid' and we're 'those parents.'"

The hard part is that he should be taking a nap during the 9am service, which is when we normally serve, and when he's home it's fine... but when other babies or lots of people are around, he's kind of a wreck. I felt bad. Maybe he's trying to tell me he's an introvert.

But when the sun hits the floor in the dining room in the morning, he crawls too it and sits in it and says "bwa bwa bwa bwa. Mamamama." It's so cute.

I have been watching documentaries, mostly to do with food, and they are convicting. I watched Vegucated, which is of course cheesy, but still good. One guy said it well - that if we knew how the animals we ate were treated, we would have to deny our own empathy in order to continue eating those animals/supporting that company. Aside from how they're treated, they are disgusting. Pumped full of medicine to kill their diseases since they are eating food that they aren't meant to eat. Crammed into places they shouldn't be crammed, getting infections that are soaked out with ammonia later. My point is, sure, enjoy meat on occasion. But you don't need it every meal, or even every day. And if you do eat it, if you are a person who is in pursuit of restoration, you should know where your food came from and how it was grown/treated. Animals and plants.... Is that extreme? Too black and white? This is a sincere sorry, but I'm also just telling you my reason for doing something. That's just what I think. You can eat meat. I guess I just encourage thoughtfulness. Not about people's feelings! About what you eat :)

I told my friend, when we were talking about yoga once, that I don't approach yoga with an oblivious mindset or one of fear that I will convert to Hinduism, but with purpose. I think we should know why we do what we do, which includes ALL THINGS. Food, parenting, our daily activities, our routine. And then thank God for grace because sometimes Five Guys sounds good, or whatever.

So anyway, I've been attempting to eat vegetarian at least through breakfast and lunch, if not dinner as well... which means feeling lighter, eating bigger servings of fruits veggies nuts and greens, and pooping more. I've realized that pooping=happiness.

This wacky weather is killing my allergies. So much snot and sneezes. I asked about ear candles on the Natural Mama's facebook page, because I was curious about them for relieving pressure in my ears/head. A lady responded, answering none of my questions about ear candles, giving me all of her advice about oils and which ones to use (as if, of course, I have the DoTerra home kit and diffuser because every Natural Mom does), which is one of the reasons why oily people have a bad name. They do. I'm sorry. I love oils. I love my friends and family who use oils. I USE THEM. But they are not the answer to every question. I also know that oils can help with allergies, but I wasn't asking about oils. At all. I wanted to know about ear candles. It's like asking what kind of stroller you should buy and someone telling you to read the Babywise book.

Anyway, sometimes you just have to get your baby to sleep and he's ALMOST THERE and maybe there is snot dripping down your face because you were out of lavender oil and the toilet paper roll is just out of reach. That just happened to me.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Woman Problems

Sometimes I read things and I get all amped like "Yeah! Nurse your baby in public!" or "No! I won't apologize for my crying child!" or "I'm a woman and I want to share my opinion!"

And then real life happens. All the things I feel strongly about... well, they shrink, and I'm just a little girl again, and who cares about little girls? Not men (this is my mind talking).

I was in a coffee shop the other day and Leon was quite boyish and wild. Then I put him in the car seat to leave and he was crying. What did I do? I apologized to a table of three blue-collar looking men that I assumed I was bothering. They seemed kind of gruff. It went against everything in me! Why did I do it? It's a crying baby. Get over it. I'm leaving. But, I did it. And they all, loudly and interrupting each other, told me not to apologize and that they all had kids and they were just glad I was getting out. What?! Thank you, men, for being different than I thought you'd be. Sorry I'm a jerk and assume that you're jerks.

I sprint back and forth between being a chest-beating woman (in my mind), and a quiet, apologizing, doormat, child-thing (in real life).

Why? I don't know. How can a person think so little of themselves and then so much of themselves in a split moment?

We had a guest speaker at church on Sunday. He was really good, and I got to stay in for the whole service. It was the first full service I've been in since Leon was born. He read/preached from the passage about Zacheus the wee little man. It was good and it was the gospel and I needed to hear it. I sang that morning, so between services (I was in the band bother services) I was with the band and the pastor and a few others. I wanted to tell him that his sermon was the first I'd heard since before my 7.5 month old baby was born, and how meaningful it was to me, and how badly I needed to hear it. But I was too scared. Cuz I'm a girl. I didn't even meet the guy. Just sat five feet from him while all the men talked.

And I over exaggerate. I did talk. But I had all these feelings.

Which just proves to me that I need to tell myself the truth more often. I am loved so much more than I can imagine, even when my heart is hard and dark and thinks that the male gender is awful. I have a sweet husband who disproves that belief all the time. We are all broken and we all need grace.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Last night we threw a blanket on the lawn, opened a bottle of $2 chuck, let Leon crawl all over us, and talked about pesticides.

I'm serious. I started the conversation with "I want to talk to you about something." Doesn't that make your stomach drop? Whoops, but at least it got his attention. Usually he just makes fun of me and I feel defeated when he grabs the cheaper, non-organic produce... and we continue to eat grapes that come in a plastic container with Flavor EXPLOSION!!! written on it and I'm thinking, yeah, my intestines are exploding as we speak.

Hear me. I wouldn't turn down food from anyone or miss up on an opportunity to love people or accept kindness from them because their food isn't organic. I've eaten pesticide ridden GMOs since I could chew.

As I have mentioned on here before, I like things the way God made them... which makes me question a whole lot about our culture. For me, it boils down to this - when people choose money over the good of others, I'm not okay with it. Business. OK, I get it. Businesses are in business to make money. I know. But what about doctors? What about the people we get our food from? Hey, I know you eat veggies to be healthy, but in order for me to grow my business and meet demand, I'm gonna throw some agent orange on there and... oh, it's just trace amounts, you'll be fine for...

Why is my gut so against trusting people that we are told we can trust? That's a real question. Feel free to inform me. I think a lot of people start out with good intentions, but eventually it's just money.

Anyway, we discussed for an hour. Several times I laughed because, how weird. A neighbor even brought a vase of black eyed susans over, so it looked like a legitimate date - wine, flowers, and a beautiful evening. OK, let's DISCUSS organic produce!

He agreed to watch Food Matters and we are both going to read Naked Economics. My request was to just buy the dirty dozen organic. His point was that even organic food is a racket. Normal greens, 7oz for $2.49. Organic greens, 5oz for $3.99. I guess our issue is where to draw the line. Do I just give up because everyone is money hungry? I told him I wanted to live in a big field with a group of people and we'd garden, I'd teach yoga, he could teach the kids math. He said we'd all starve to death.

The end.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

I've talked about the book "Lying" by Sam Harris on here before. The book is great. Zach was the one who recommended it to me. Anyway, I need to read it again.

I do exaggerate, or "quote" people. Change wording. I would never let myself outright lie, and even white lies (like trying to get out of hanging out... saying you don't feel well when you actually double-booked) bother me. I'd rather just be honest, because I hold fast to certain rules. I'm a legalist, turned grace "abuser," and now flailing, rule maker/breaker, inconsistent, preaching, hypocrite. 

A little adjustment to a story to make it cooler... well, that just flows right out of me. 

Yesterday I said I wanted my breast milk to be magical (for my kid to be impressive to my Pediatrician). Her wording to me was (in a thick Indian accent) "You have very good breast milk. You have perfect baby." Now, that is not a misquote. But I told my friend that she said I had magic breast milk, which she totally did not. Maybe I wanted her to say that, maybe I mixed my blog and her up. I wasn't thinking "I'm going to tell Allison that my Ped said this, and then she will think I'm awesome." Because if your Ped uses the word magic instead of good, well, that just means you're better than everyone else, and that your ped is a loony. 

I don't think doctors use the word magic, except Dr. Oz. 

It's one thing to say you've had a million cups of coffee today. Obviously, that just means you had 4 cups. Over exaggerating is something I have to keep tabs on for myself. It comes from deep within me, the desire to be perfect, to be special, seemingly without trying.

Here is a true story. Yesterday at the Pediatrician's office, an elderly woman was across the large room, waving and smiling at me/Leon. So I walked over to her and said "I thought we would just come say hi," because old people love babies a lot. She replied, "Oh, you're lovely. You're beautiful. You're wonderful. Wonderful." and she continued on. That's all she would say. Most people just gawk at Leon and ignore me, so it really did seem as though she was talking to him. Then it was like she seemed surprised to see I was holding a baby and she said, "OH! He's cute too!" I laughed, and then my eyes watered, because the woman was very sweet and very nuts. Sadly, her husband came back over and didn't speak very kindly to her. But even if she was nuts, she was sweet. 

Then I was sitting on the floor with Leon, because sitting in the chair or standing up was absolutely freaking unacceptable, said the teething baby. An old lady walked in, she was dressed very nicely, looked down at us and her eyes bulged. She was sending a message. At that moment, I wished Leon was only wearing a diaper. Because that would have doubled our trashiness in her eyes. And I just want to be the best at everything.

It didn't phase me much, because she was my typical customer at New Balance. But I said a little prayer that God would let me get old with grace, even if it means I'm insane and waving at strangers and saying wild things and making their day. 

Ok, we're going to go outside, because it's so nice I could scream. 
PS. Leon is 71st percentile for weight (19lbs 9oz), 79th for height (28 inches), and 80th for head circumference. Healthy boy. 

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

So, I mentioned I'm doing that book study on Jude at the coffee shop I don't like. I told Tyler I was going to stop at Donut King and get my fave donut and take it to the coffee shop. He said I wasn't allowed. Anyway...

This morning someone was paying for their coffee and signed their name on the iPad for the credit card. When they finished they accidentally flopped the iPad screen down on the counter. The owner said, "Careful now. Nice things don't come easy to everyone." I about died laughing, and then I realized that, yes, this man is kind of an ass hole, but you get that way when you deal with all kinds of people. I am not justifying his rudeness, but maybe my heart got a little softer to this weird business owner.

Last week the question I was left with (after the bible study) was what does it look like to contend for the Gospel. Now, my initial answer, honestly, was that I don't really have to. I'm a stay at home mom. No one is threatening my right to believe whatever I want. Obviously that isn't the best answer, but it's truly how I felt. I thought about it all week and realized that not only is my view of the bible and God quite small at times, but my view of myself is so shitty. Don't get me wrong. I LOVE myself. I think I'm so funny, I think I'm right about everything, and that I'm all around pretty awesome. However, I also see myself as kind of worthless... not just as a stay at home mom, but as a woman. As a person. It's so strange how I can feel all these things about myself.

This morning someone asked what kind of coffee I was getting and I said, "I don't know, probably something girly." All things about that sentence bother me. Like that my view of myself reflects my view of women in general. That's not fair. I pretend I'm being ironic sometimes, but it's deep rooted in my insecurity and self-loathing.

This morning I was afraid to read in front of the group. Yeah, I'm still that home schooled little girl who is afraid that people will think she's dumb. Anyway, so I made myself read. And I talk. I share what I'm thinking, and usually it's just honesty about my misconception of the bible or God, or how dark my heart is, or how I don't believe I'm worth using in this Story.

I'm not sad, it's just hitting me how I hear things and say them about myself in my head and actually believe them. A lot of it is men/women things. I think reading Jesus Feminist is bringing it out of me a little more. Ah. Anyway.

Leon was a terror this morning. He's pretty good at throwing a fit when his teeth hurt. We have a pediatrician appt this morning. I'm having to fight off this odd nervousness about it. Like, I want my kid to be above average, I want my breast milk to be magical and have the healthiest kid in the world, I want her to be impressed. Jesus, help me not scar my babies. Goodness. It's not really about Leon, but my abilities as a mom to be the best. I'm praying for God to help me with that. It's ugly.

Well. I was thinking about the dumbs things I say, or the things that maybe seem too honest, or just share to much. I just say a prayer afterward that people will have grace with me. I do that every time I blog too. Wooo, it's scary.

Friday, July 11, 2014


I'm drinking coffee blended with a little honey and coconut oil, and I made us a smoothie and somecinnamon raisin ezekiel bread. It's a good Friday morning.

Tyler was in a car accident last night. He's fine, a little stiff this morning. He was driving home from work on the highway and he noticed a car darting through traffic. He thinks she overcorrected, hit the guardrail, and flipped. He said "I responded so calmly. It didn't make any sense... I hit my breaks, but not so hard that I'd get hit from behind. The airbags didn't deploy." And I was thinking, so.. you're a superhero. But really. Isn't it just like Tyler to be calm. Thankfully, lots of people were there to help the girl get out of her flipped car. She crawled out of the window screaming, and he saw blood. He said he couldn't have handled it, so he was thankful other people were there.

I had just been thinking, "Hm, Tyler is 6 minutes late. I wonder what he did differently today than he does every other day." I pictured him chatting it up like a 9 year old boy with one of his work friends. And then my mind went to chain reactions, and traffic. Traffic baffles me. And then my phone rang. I heard loud highway and my first thought was, "roll your damn windows up. rude," when Tyler said in a shaky, loud voice that he'd been in an accident and he was ok. He got emotional a couple of times. Woooo, I've been there. Adrenaline.

He got home later and was standing at the sink. I'm rude and I process things strangely. I had already texted him before he got home and told him I felt like we should go to dinner. I offered him a beer, but I forget when traumatic things happen they can be quite sobering already. He drank water. His voice had been calm the whole time, but then he said the paramedic told him if he hadn't been there to call so quickly, the girl probably would have died. At that moment he broke. I love my tender husband. God knew I needed someone with just the right amount of tenderness. Ah.

They were heading to the tow yard and the police stopped them to search her car. All they told him was that they had reason to search it.

I told Tyler this morning that when things like this happen but no one I know gets hurt, I'm like (very matter of fact) "OK. It happened. No one got hurt. It couldn't have happened any other way. No reason to get upset about it." But had he broken a bone or got a concussion, that would be a little different. Sometimes I glaze over situations and don't take a minute to say thanks to Jesus for sparing my husband, my baby's daddy. Thanks for making our life good. Thanks for making it fairly easy. We have good things, we don't sweat too much or get too cold, our bellies stay full, we have joy. And I know God would still be good if we did get hungry or chilly. I am spoiled, and I always have been. But I try to remember why things are so good. Not because I worked hard through college (I didn't, really), not because I married a perfect man (I didn't), or read all the self help books (I do), but because God is so good. And even the bad things, the broken marriages, hurricanes, death, loneliness... all of those things point to the fact that God is making all things new, and that we need him to. And all the good things, the mornings in July that feel like Autumn, a great cup of coffee, a chubby baby right after they wake up, peace that passes all understanding, these things are God's way of showing himself. And I don't say it out loud enough. I think it. I think, "thanks, God." But mostly I keep it inside my weird head. But those little bits of peace that shine through the shit... He is showing himself, because he is so Good. Thank you, Jesus, for showing yourself by letting my man walk away with not even a scratch.

Ah. Anyway. I have some reading to do. Currently, finishing Notes from a Blue Bike, just started A Practical Guide to Children's Health, and I'm reading Jesus Feminist (which is really good).

So, if you've forgotten... find a way to remind yourself that life is sweet. And if you believe in God, remind yourself that he is good.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

When it's been so long since I've blogged, I can't remember anything to tell you. So I just tell you what's in my head currently.

Tyler encouraged me to go to a morning study on the book of Jude, so I just came from that. It's weird/nice to get away in the morning for an hour. I drank some extremely hot coffee and ate a 3 day old scone, which likely attributed to the fiery diarrhea I had when I got home, or it could have been the sea salt flush I did yesterday. Either way, my poochy meat-filled tummy from this weekend is gone. WOW. I don't even care anymore, obviously. I think I talked to at least five people about pooping yesterday. I can't even stop myself.

Also, as much as I want to support a local coffee shop... I get it when people are like "Well, if you don't like it, don't come here." I have thought that about extreme jerks who came into New Balance. But I'm really nice. Even if you suck at your job, I'm nice. How about this: be friendly to your customers, let your baked goods be fresh, clean your kitchen and bathroom often, and BE NICE TO TO ME. I guess when people buy your crap regardless of the level of crappiness, you don't have to be nice. So I'll go support the coffee shop that is nice to me.

Oh, I asked the owner if he had any smaller pastries because the only thing I saw sitting out were giant cinnamon rolls. He raised his eyebrows and says, "Well, I don't know what you want.. but.. I mean, you can look at these.." and seemed perturbed, like I was wasting his time. OH, Thank you for pointing me to the hidden pastry compartment, you jackass. I apologize for not noticing your old scones in the far window.

Anyway. Good thing I studied the bible this morning (that's a joke pointing out that my heart is still ugly). I'll calm down now.

My baby is very passionate and energetic. It makes me a little nervous, but it's kind of awesome.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Travel and stuff

I'm (still) reading Notes from a Blue Bike. She's a blogger, a writer, mom, traveler.

We went to Springfield this weekend for Lacy's baby shower. The shower was what you'd pin on Pinterest, or see on a blog. It was insanely perfect, outdoor... I won't even describe it, just click this link. And be amazed, not only at the decorating but also the photography.

After the shower, a couple of us girls just chilled out, went to dinner, and had a sleep over... oh, plus Leon. Tyler was camping with Dustin. It was his first time away from Leon, and he missed him a lot. I missed Tyler a lot because my arms were tired. And because I like him.

Anyway, I've been reading that book and she's talking about her travels. Her and her husband both work from home and they make their life so that at any moment they can up and fly/drive away with their three kids. I follow her on Instagram, and she's currently in Italy with her husband and no kids on a writing thing.

I'm just thinking some thoughts, okay. I have always known that if you want something, go get it. Work for it. I see people knit, and I know that if I don't practice, I won't knit. Truly, I don't care that much. Maybe I'll learn how if I break my foot or something. But traveling. It would be cool to travel... to somewhere I've never been. There is a lady from church with four kids and her and her husband go on road trips across the US. With four young kids. I get car sick. And I kinda hate planes.

As I read this book I get all pumped and I'm like I WANT TO EXPERIENCE CULTURE!!! Tougher with a six month old, but doable... anyway, I can dream. Right now, maybe plan a little.

For now, I'm going to plan some meals and go to the veggie stand when Leon wakes up. And I just read this article, which I really, really liked.

We are tired. We were in bed a little before 8 last night. Today is full of laundry, yoga sequencing, eating light, and coffee sprinkled throughout the day. Oh and I just started shooting Apple Cider Vinegar in the morning and at night. It's good for you.


Thursday, June 19, 2014

I made a list of things to do. Not a normal list, but like a list to remind me of what I can do every single day so I don't feel bored or worthless as I have the last few weeks. I shouldn't need a list for that, but there is something wrong with my brain. It's like I can only work on something when Leon is crying for me, but if he's napping and I have all the time in the world I find myself sitting on the couch or just zoning out.

Yesterday we went for a walk, where Leon took a 45 minute nap and that's all he thought he needed. So that was kind of a bust, but it felt good to be out early in the morning and sweat. I'm teaching him to say "hi" and wave right now... which pretty much means I'm saying "Hi!" and waving to him a lot. He just smiles like I'm magic. He knows what "jump" means, which is super cute.

This morning we sat in our front yard on a blanket and watched my neighbor hoop. She is like a wild gypsy with that hoop. She is several houses down, but maybe one morning I'll have her teach me. Haha. It's enjoyable to watch.

Things I will wash my hair with before I go and buy normal shampoo from the grocery store: water, bentonite clay, baking soda, vingear, apple cider vinegar. None of them really work. Baking soda and clay make my hair feel like it's full of grease and dirt. Just need to get to Lush, but that involves driving and going into a mall, and then getting upselled for shit I don't need. It happens every time! Lip tint. Come on, Shannon.

The new Arcade Fire cd is good. I wonder when we will stop calling them CDs. I love this guy named Ben Moats. Turns out he lives in St. Louis and is friends with one of my yoga teacher friends. I had several of his songs on my playlist in yoga... next thing I know, I have a signed CD from the guy. And my friend said he goes, "So, they're, like, my fans?!" Haha. Weird.

I taught yoga to a group of ladies at my church Tuesday night. Seventeen ladies showed up! It was awesome. I really enjoyed it, and it was laid back and chill. I told them not to make mean faces at me if something I said was confusing. We had a good time.

I took Leon to his Grandma's house to swim in the kiddie pool with his cousin Landon. They were both naked and it was adorable. Leon loves water.

Welp. Later.

EDIT: The list helped. I deep-ish cleaned my kitchen, swept and mopped the downstairs, cleaned up the baby room to prepare for some rearranging, baked cookies, hung out with two friends, and Leon has napped and been so happy today. Ah. Now I am tired.

Friday, June 13, 2014

This week has been an interesting one. I met a friend for lunch yesterday, but about 20 minutes in I had yelling baby. I tried everything. I've never felt like I couldn't console my own child. We went straight to the store to get an amber teething necklace, which Tyler hates. Duh. But... we had the best night of sleep. I love it. And of course, Tyler thinks it had nothing to do with the necklace. I haven't slept this well in 6 months... actually, 14 months. Believe what you want. I love hippy shit. I also got some clove oil, mixed it with coconut oil and rubbed it on his gums. The first time was fine. Second time I made it a drop stronger... he was so mad. He was making a horrible face and wouldn't eat. I always make things too strong.

Yesterday I prayed for God to help me be more disciplined. Then I panicked, and prayed that he wouldn't do it by taking my legs away. But this morning I woke up twenty minutes before Tyler got home from the gym. It gave me time to swish some coconut oil to get all the night rot out of my mouth, dry skin brush (do it!), shower, dry my bangs... wow. I feel good. Worth it. Especially after a night of pretty great sleep. We're going to do yoga at 8 by the river, then Alisha is coming over!! Tonight we're going to Tyler's parent's house for Father's Day.

I wanted to celebrate early. I bought Tyler some fun beer from Trader Joe's, a dark chocolate bar, and I a card. I made a yummy dinner. He had a book study, I had music practice. Also, I sing so much better after I've had a beer. I'm so up tight.

I am walking away from Facebook. If you don't have the messenger app on your phone, it's super handy if anyone needs to reach you. It pops up on your phone just like a text message so you don't have to go into Facebook to use it. I love that. But I deleted the Facebook app off my phone and my iPad. I checked it one last time this morning because I had asked some questions on a natural mama's facebook page. Anyway, I already feel lighter. I give up super easy. If I have a bad day, then screw it, I'll just sit on Facebook until an hour before Tyler gets home, then I'll run around frantic making the house look clean. Lame.

I find myself reading tons of "articles" (I think they're usually blog posts...) about things, and then all I can say is "I read this thing about..." but never actually experience it. I get inspired, and then I go take a nap. No way to live.

So. I'll probably blog a little more. I'll still be using Instagram. Perhaps I'll teach my kid some sign language, or feed him.

Alright. Peace.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

This morning I reached out to five different people to hang out. None of them could, and that is totally okay. I can't be upset that people can't go for a walk with me with 15 minutes notice. I drove to Picasso's with the stroller in the car. I wore Leon in to get coffee... and I got a scone, because I was lonely? I talked to the Barista about her lactos intolerence. I held my tongue from telling her how bad milk is for her anyway, and most cheese, and just said "ah, bummer." It is a bummer, but part of me wishes I was forced to make healthy choices. Then I'd just accept it, instead of slowly eating an entire bag of chocolate chips, handful by handful, afternoon after afternoon.

I texted someone and said, "can I come over? Don't feel bad for giving me a flat out no :)" No response, but I know she was busy and loves me. The thought of walking by the river by myself just sounded lonelier.

Grabbed my coffee and scone, put fussy teething Leon in his seat. I was texting in my car when three guys walked by, they all made eye contact, so friendly-me smiled. Then they kind of gawked, and I thought if only they knew I had a baby in the back seat, they'd be like Ew. So I drove to the river, sat in my car and texted some more.

Started walking into the park. There was, what looked like, a homeless guy with plastic bags. He seemed nice though, and clean ish. I wanted to know his story. He smiled. I smiled, but then he walked away. I walked the path by the river, looked up ahead and saw some people slack lining. I didn't realize until I got closer that it was the three guys from main street. Now, I wish all slack liners were peace loving hippies, but these guys were immature dummies. I walked past them, not realizing they were yelling at me. I thought they were just yelling because... they were on a slack line. Whatever. I sit down on a bench a ways away. I heard them yelling again, so I looked over. They waved. I waved back, because I'm a mature human being. Then, as I chewed my raspberry scone, I hear "Why can't you sit on this bench by us?!" and "Hey!... HEY!!!" Laughter. They didn't stop. I thought sure they'd just walk right over to me rather than yell, but they never did. I was ready to have a full blown conversation abou treating people like humans. I got up and kept walking because they wouldn't stop yelling at me, Ange called. We chatted. All the while, "Come over here!" and so on.

What do you say or do to people like that? Flipping them off doesn't work. Normally treating them like a human works. And what's wrong with me, to think that young dumb guys would say Ew if they knew I'd had a baby?! That's rude to every mom out there, and I'm sorry. It's the way I see myself, I suppose, and then to have some dumb asses yelling at me. Makes for an all around weird day.

I texted my friend and said "It's one of those days where I need to have an adult conversation, face to face, but no one can hang out." So she face timed me. So thoughtful and sweet.

And Ange said, "Shannon, you have five people you could possibly hang out with. That's more than most people have." I laughed. It's all about perspective.

Maybe I should have slack lined. Last time I did it I was pregnant.

The end.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014


I'm listening to First Aid Kit's Stay Gold and it's nice. Sisters, you will like it. They are girls. Tyler hates girl singers, besides me. HA.

Oh, parenting. Yeah, I don't know anything. I read an article about parenting a toddler. It blew my mind a little. Also, all my life I thought it was "spankin," not realizing that actual word is "spanking," and some people actually call it "a spanking." I thought they were really proper if they called it a spanking.

Someone, very nicely and not intending to correct me or be forceful with their opinion at all (truly. I'm not being sarcastic), said "well, kids should be sleeping through the night by 6 months." I find myself being more careful with the word "should." Leon and I were fine, minus that we wake up sweaty sometimes. Then I went to bed thinking "MY CHILD IS BEHIND!" since he eats during the night and sleeps by me/on me. Tyler said that I needed better sleep. It's true, I wake up and feel like a fat fly bumping into things. A quick cold brew and I'm good. I don't have a job other than raising our baby (I don't count yoga, because... it's too fun to be a job), so I'm just considering it a part of my job to wake up sometimes with my hair drenched in sweat or with a voracious little piglet chomping at my boob.

I read this article, and my confidence was back. I just, very quickly, lose myself. People are so confident! "Things should be this way." Kellymom is my go-to website when I'm not sure about something.

People keep asking "when are you gonna feed him solids?" And it's just a question. That's all. But of course I'm like, "uh... soon? Is that the answer you were looking for?" I'm a weirdo.

Anyway, someone I hardly know had a baby and was having a tough time breast feeding. Her friend called me and asked questions, I tried to help as much as I could... but I could hear the baby crying in the background and I just had a rush of memories from five months ago and after I hung up, I cried. It's hard. Everything is hard, but so rewarding too. Goodness.

So... I guess I'm trying to be more gentle with myself, but also confident in my decisions. And gentle with others. What's that over-used quote - be kind to everyone you meet, because we're all fighting a hard battle. Something like that. Some respond differently, like by being mean, because they've been hurt a lot. I guess I'd rather be hurt and tender than angry and hard. God, keep my heart soft.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Ok, so the other day I was in a group of women. I had been spending time with my dad so perhaps this weird side of me was energized... I don't know. Let me go back for a second.

My dad is funny and weird, and people just either laugh at him or they totally don't get him. You can tell if a waiter is going to like him after he introduces all twelve people at the table to them, and if they laugh we're in. If they are like "... Ok, here are the specials..." then it's going to be an awkward dinner.

Here is a made up example of an interaction between my dad and I... or maybe it really happened. It probably did. Say my coffee is cold, so I go to reheat it in the microwave, and he says "Wait! Don't do that!" in a panic voice. I ask why. He replies, "Cuz. Microwaves.... they'll kill ya." So I either laugh and microwave my coffee, or if I didn't know him I'd be like "this guy is a weirdo."

Back to the group of women. Two girls were talking about putting their cell phones inside their jean jacket pocket (by their boob) and I said, "Oh! Don't do that! That's bad for your boobs... Wi-fi............... It'll give you breast cancer." There was more awkward silence, one girl replied that she wasn't worried about it. More silence. That's when having a baby comes in handy. And this was the point when I went upstairs and stared at napping Leon for a minute and thought about whether I had the energy to cry or not.

I asked my friend Lauren about it. I said, "did you think there was a moment?" and she said "OH! There was definitely a moment." So I didn't make this up in my head. Anyway, I've explained before on here that when I make jokes or comments, I'm normally mocking myself. Like, of course I believe wi-fi from your phone gives you breast/brain cancer. Mostly because I've read articles about it... so it must be true. It makes sense though, right? Anyway. Anyway. Anyway.

I texted one of the girls who wore the jean jacket who nicely commented "I'm not too worried about that" to break up the awkward silence to say "Hey, next time I give you a health tidbit, just same my name in a weird voice. I'll get it." She laughed and said she appreciated my opinion-sharing, even if we didn't agree. She said I had a good heart.

I fear that if I seriously share my opinions on anything health related, and so on... people will be like "Whoa, lay off the heavy conversation." But if I make jokes? Is that better? Not if people don't get my joke that I actually mean seriously but don't expect anyone to take seriously, I guess. So then I think about all this stuff and decide mostly to just be quiet forever and ever. Amen.

Lastly, I did a 30 minute pilates video yesterday and my RIBS hurt.

Monday, May 19, 2014

I made an email address for Leon. I've been emailing him, and it's super fun. Easier than a baby book, can't burn in a fire, and can't get lost. I'm more likely to type a bunch than write a small paragraph.

I'm so tired. My parents were here this weekend. We went to a cards game, which was pretty awesome but a little tough with a 5 month old. We were in the BOA Club seats, so we had access to a buffet and open bar. It was cold. Leon was pretty much in shock the whole time with all of the cheering. We left in the 6th inning. I just reread this paragraph, and it's very factual! I forgot the part where I said we had fun :) At one point, dad got up to take our picture and yelled, "Everyone say, 'YADIER MO-LINAAAAA!!!!!!!'" we were laughing hard. Also, once I looked away from the game for.. a while? And when I looked back I didn't realize who was on the field. I said "Get him! Get him! Get him! WOOOOHOOOO!" when they got the guy out at first... but, wrong team. I was embarassed.

We went to The Royale for lunch on Saturday. They have the best fish tacos. Then mom and I shopped my favorite soap store called Herbaria. I love that place. I want to eat all the smells there. I want to be the smells.

Leon was dedicated Sunday morning. He jumped on my lap the whole time, and when our Elder prayed over him, he straightened his whole body and stared at Jeremy with wondering eyes and a mouth open smile. So funny. My arms were burning. He is always moving.

We had a Gospel Community cookout Sunday for lunch. There were probably around 30 people over. My tiredness and introversion hit. When you're in a kitchen full of women and you have all these things you could contribute to the conversation, but it's too exhausting to try... I don't know. I just went upstairs and watched Leon nap for a minute. I wanted to stay up there.

This morning I just wanted to stay home and snuggle my boy, but I had to teach yoga. I dropped Leon off at Whitney's. I talked to Ange all the way to my class... then no one showed up. The girl who organizes it came to meet me and said several people forgot their clothes or had meetings. I said fine. I mean, as long as I still get paid, we're good. So I went back to Whitney's, we ate lunch, went for a walk by the river, and got ice cream! It was so good.

A good Monday to follow up and good weekend.

Edit: I need to add. I love teaching yoga. The fact is that I have to leave my house 45 minutes early, drop Leon off, and drive 40 minutes round trip. It really isn't about money. I enjoy teaching. But when I put a lot of work into getting there and having a kick ass sequence, and people show up late or don't come, I feel like I've done my part and should be compensated. As I reread that earlier paragraph, it just sounded icky. 

Friday, May 2, 2014

How quickly God answers you walk-home prayers, your blog prayers, your prayers you never actually say... perhaps he even hears your wishes, the ones that feel to small to bother Him with.

I think he loves answering those wishes. He's like, hey, I want your husband to let you buy some essentials oils too.

Or, HEY. I'll give you a friend to keep you from getting lonely during the day.

This morning I went to Cotton Babies for some baby stuff, and my friend joined me. We ended up grocery shopping at Whole Foods. I never go there, because it's far away and expensive. But people probably enjoyed watching two baby-wearing moms oggle over natural deodorant and organic somethings. We ate salad from the salad bar, and I bought a can of tea. Who drinks canned tea? A mom, on a special trip to whole foods who wants to treat herself.

Let me just say, Cotton Babies is awesome. They have a little play area for tots, and a sitting area to nurse your baby. They even have a scale. Leon was a little over 17 lbs.

Anyway, then my friend and I laid two quilts in her back yard and did a workout I found on Pinterest. We went until we felt like puking. Oh, and I did it in jeans and a nursing bra. I would have never done that before. NEVER. That's like, ridiculous. But when you're a mom and you're covered in drool and you find yellow poop on your knuckle as you're licking chocolate off of your finger, you just work out in jeans. It just happens.

Leon was a trooper. He's now zombie crawling in his crib. Poor guy is so tired. Also, I bought special beer from Whole Foods. It was $10 for a six pack, and if you're unfamiliar with purchasing beer... that's expensive. Well, I opened the car door and three of them hit the ground. Lesson learned. Drink cans of PBR.

My friend Lacy is coming into town. It's for a wedding, and to close on their house, but we are their hotel and we get to hang out and yesterday was her birthday and she's having a baby in august so we're just gonna party. I know if she was here, we'd practically live together during the day with our babies. But sometimes things get taken away or people move or things change so you can have new opportunities. I'm still pissed they live in Springfield, but we love each other just the same.

That's all I got.

Wednesday, April 30, 2014


Sometimes it happens. Especially on days when you reach out to several people with no response, or their response is too late and you're already home from whatever it was you were hoping to have their company for. It's not their fault either. I am guilty of responding to a call or a text late. However, it is important to me to get a fast response and I try to do the same for others. So I pouted a bit.

Also, I ran into someone that I have tried to be friends with but not had much of a response. That's hard for me. Perhaps because I want everyone to like me, or because I genuinely like this person and am worried I have offended them. Either way, the conversation was cut short because they just said hi and kept walking. It also seemed like they tried to get away with not saying hi. But I force people to do things that are uncomfortable, I guess.

I mean, the other day I called across the sidewalk to a man I thought I saw at my church and we talked for twenty minutes. So, if I am under the impression that we're okay friends, we text, you come to my house even, and we talk at church, then you will not likely cross my path without me yelling your name and trying to get you to go to coffee with me. Ha. Ok, yes, I'm scary.

So I went home and watched frozen and cut up old shirts into cloth wipes, which I love. Tyler told Leon I was a dirty hippy, but, if I was a baby, I'd much rather have my behind wiped with a soft, well-loved tshirt and water than some chemicals that turn my b-hole red. Also, some wipes give babies a reaction that makes their mouth and lips break out in a scab. GROSS. Listen, people in charge of everything, I don't trust you one bit. Keep your poison wipes off my childs behind. And your fingers out of my Dave Ramsey wallet. I'll kill ya.

I was so tired last night. We had a members meeting at church and they served ice cream after. I never eat ice cream... so when I do, I eat enough to make myself sick. And then I never eat it again, until the next time I do.

I am going on a date with Tyler tonight. His work, or someone he purchases from at work, people, someone, is throwing a gathering at the Art Museum. Open bar, free appetizers, and I'm wearing a long black dress that my mom bought me from H&M and a necklace to fancify it. I am so excited. My friend Kate is taking care of Leon. He loves her. He just snuggles right up to her. And she loves him, so it works out. It really means a lot having people love your baby, like actually love him, and love me.

I made my second cup of coffee. Oh, and I need to add something about social media. People say it's bad because you only post the good stuff and then people get jealous or whatever, or I guess it's like porn, where you get this unrealistic view of how the way things are and think life is like that. And that yours should be too, all the time. Well, yesterday I even typed out a funny, saddish status. It said this: I'm very thankful that I get to stay home with Leon. And then it's 12:30 and the only words I've said are "small coffee, please," and "did you poop your pants?!" and I pray fervently on our windy walk home that God will send me a friend that can throw on shoes and go for a walk with us.

But then the terror sinks in. People will think I'm pointless, because all I do is go on walks with a baby and drink coffee. People will think I'm ungrateful, because they would love to stay home with their kids. People will think I'm simple-minded. People will think I'm desperate. Oh, but I am! Well, I felt it yesterday. It's not that I don't have friends. I have so many people who love me, and they all have jobs. Which is great. Or there are moms but they have lots of kids and it's harder to get out of the house.

Anyway. I am okay with people thinking I'm desperate. But I don't want pity. I want honesty. Like, "Shannon, you can be a bitch, that's why no one wants to walk with you."

I'm doing this thing on Instagram where you #100happydays something that makes you happy. Yesterday I posted a picture of my coffee at the bike stop, where I was alone, and grieving my loneliness. And I didn't lie, because coffee does make me happy. Walks make me happy. Alone time sometimes makes me happy, and often it's good for me. But I was sad. So yeah, I lied a little. The curse of social media!

Leon tries to crawl when I lay him down. So he walks his legs forward, his butt is up in the air, and then his butt falls off to the side. He does this over and over for a few minutes, and every time his butt falls the crib bumps the wall, so I always know when he's crawling. Also, we're going to teach him that his crib is called a cage just to freak other people out.

I think that's all. I'm not lonely today. I'm going to lunch with Tyler's sister. I talk to Allison every day on facebook chat. I text people. I call a few people. It's not this dramatic loneliness, but sometimes you just want a human to stand in front of you.

My house is cold.

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Hello. I find my self wanting to blog less and less these days. I have been quite busy lately. Leon is growing and napping and eating and sticking his tongue out and spitting. Today during communion I was standing at the back of church and it was the point right after Trey said "come as you're ready," where it's quiet for 5 seconds and the music hasn't started... And Leon filled his diaper LOUD. The whole back row turned around. It was so loud that it caught me off guard and my face was drop jawed and eyes big, but I got a bunch of smiles. 

He also napped belly down, butt up during church in the row of chairs. It was so freaking cute. I didn't think to take a picture. 

What's happened lately... We moved upstairs, got a king size bed. It's wonderful. Windows open, attic fan running. You could break in and I wouldn't even know it. Seriously. Just stay downstairs. You can have the microwave. And the tv. If you come upstairs I will murder you. Trust me, I've thought it all through. 

My mom came to visit. We had a relaxing time of walking and sipping coffee and napping and shopping and drinking wine and snuggling Leon. She babysat while Tyler and I went on a date and while I went to yoga and while Tyler was in class and I was with friends. It was great. I can't wait to come home next month. 

I have a new friend. She asks me questions I never think of like "what are your spiritual gifts?" And "what do you feel like your life calling is?" And I'm like, "coffee is good, and I'm learning how to knit...?"  There is certainly something to be said for the disciplines I was brought up with, which I have not been accustomed to for a long, long time. Growing up, I prayed constantly, out of fear, confessing every little thing because when I needed God's help, a little white lie had better not be blocking him from hearing me! Please note: exclamation points usually mean facetiousness or admittance of foolishness. Prayer is just one weird thing. I'm scared to pray sometimes, but damn it, I am constantly praying for God to give babies to people who want them. Or to give a mate to people who are lonely. Or to make broken things whole again. 

And all the other ones. Reading the bible, meditating, etc. sometimes I don't brush my teeth until 3 pm. You think I meditate? 

I purpose to. I make lists, and those lists feel good and almost replace the actual acting out of those lists. 

We picked out a verse for Leon's dedication. It's Zephaniah 3:17 The Lord your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save. He will rejoice over you with gladness, he will quiet you with his love, he will exult over you with loud singing. 

I think if I read that every morning, I would be a different person. But do I? I want my baby to remember that when he feels worthless, when he feels hopeless, when he is so sad that and crying so hard he can hardly breathe, when he feels lonely. But he won't know it unless I do. And there have been a few times where I've cried so hard I can't breathe. And I'm not talking about being tired of the exersaucer crying. I'm talking, my world is over, I am alone, I am worthless, uncontrollable, hopeless sobbing. He is in our midst. He quiets us with his love. He is making us New. 

My sweet Leon. When people ask his name, I tell them, and it's usually silence after, or "oh." Makes me laugh every time. Maybe next time I'll be like "it's French." 

Tyler's sister Olivia took some pictures of us on Easter. Opted for jorts instead if a dress

My new sandals from in the background. Oh, and Leon in his Easter outfit. 

He loves this thing. 

Our new bedroom and Charlotte loving her rug. When I vacuum it she paces around it like I'm hurting one of her friends. 

Mimi and Leon practicing life skills

It seems as though my heart is in a constant struggle. I think it might be a little, but a lot if it is in my mind, because I envision this perfect way things should be and I'm a world away from it. But that's life. 

I have to make spaghetti for our community group tonight. Ill be done now. 

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

This morning I got to blow dry my hair. I put on a cardigan instead of a hoodie. It's been nice. I'm sipping a coconut La Croix. I think I like the smell more than the flavor, but it makes me feel special. I already had plenty of coffee this morning at a DoTerra Essential Oils class. I'm a Young Living person, currently, because my mom was nice enough to get me started with them. I think both brands have good oils, but I really do care about the brand. If I pursue oils, I'm going to look into the brands more. Let me just say, I don't support cults... So. We shall see. Other brands exist besides those two. Perhaps I will look into a less mainstream brand.

My friend Lisa gave me a bumbo seat and a huge stack of Mothering magazines. She is so sweet. Tyler and I were talking about being meek, because that's what Sunday's sermon touched on. I have a weird understanding of the word meek, because in the dictionary it's basically "weak, mouse-like." I told Tyler that all of the "meek" people I had known were un-relatable, had it all together, gave me a bible verse for all of my problems. We agreed that my understanding was wrong. Meek doesn't mean I can't have an opinion or that I'm not allowed to question anything. One of the synonyms for meek is "tame," and I kind of like that. Women who spew their opinions and make things out to be wars that are not wars tend to bother me. But women who hide bother me too... I want to say, "Fight for yourself!" Whatever that looks like. I find myself in both of those extremes - it's hard to hang in the middle. All that to say, my friend Lisa is meek. The true meek. She just lives out her beliefs, doesn't throw them at you, is supportive, honest. I don't even know how she got to me. I think I just noticed her, wearing her baby, quietly feeding him in church, and then I sought her out - "Please, tell me how you do things!" Maybe I'll be meek someday. 

I had a bury-myself type of Monday. I wanted to hide, sit and meditate on all of my mistakes. Ugh, it's toxic. You have to be full of love to be my friend. You have to be patient. You have to filter my sentences through a cheese cloth made of grace and just smile at me. "Poor child. She has a lot to learn." You can say that after I walk away. I don't mind. I wrote a blog post, but it was too icky to actually post it. Good to get the words out though. 

I always used to want a pet monkey. Having a baby is cooler, and chances are you won't get your face ripped off. I love Leon's warm, fat skin. His drool, his dimples. The toe jam that magially appears every five minutes. The way he looks at me like, "What are you?! I love you!" Babies are miracles. Giving birth to one is a miracle. A terrifying miracle. I'm thankful to have muscles again and to be able to sit on a toilet and walk around my house. To wear shirts. About a year ago is when speculated that I was pregnant. I don't miss dry-heaving, and I'm okay with just having gas bubbles right now instead of having a tiny fist jam into my cervix. I'm thankful for my life right now. At times I feel like I have no purpose, and then I remember the fat, warm lump napping on my bed. Yesterday I texted Tyler and said, "The only thing good about today is Leon, and that's ok." But I mean, this morning I went to an oils class, drank Keurig coffee, talked to my mom on the phone, laid my baby down, ate a cabbage roll that I made last night. And here I sit. I live a charmed life. I won't deny it. I have guilt over it, and then that sense of worthlessness comes in. 

So, I will go finish washing my cloth diapers and consider making dinner. Recycle the mail. Do a load of dishes. I did do a bit of yoga this morning in the living room and that was nice. I tried to read the psalms, but I felt like I was reading about a man I couldn't relate to. If I have enemies, I don't know who they are, and my bones feel fine. I love God, but I don't feel close to Him right now. I do on Sundays while we sing, but that's it. He feels like one of those distant relatives that you percieve only cares about you because you're related, so at Christmas when there are 47 people around, you don't bother even saying hi. I have felt like this maybe forever. Off and on. 

It sounds dramatic, but neutrality is my tone right now. Anyway...

I'll end with a funny story. At the class this morning, Leon was a little (a very little) fussy, because he was tired but too distracted by talking to sleep. So an odd woman who had been knitting and talking over the presenter asked if she could hold him. She probably saw my 1.5 seconds of reluctance, but I smiled and said sure. So shes bouncing him and he was fine. Duh. I know how to make my kid stop fussing, but he was hardly making a few noises and I didn't feel like standing up the whole time. Anyway, she says, loudly, "See! Babies like to stand up and be bounced!" and then she asked if he was my first baby. Oddly, I felt calm towards her. She enjoyed him for about five minutes until she started sweating then handed him back. She also kept saying "DO YOU HAVE MOUNTAINS ON YOUR SHIRT?!" when, in fact, he had wales on his shirt. Oh well. 

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

I went on a walk today with Leon. I used to be terrified of running or walking around town by myself because standing at intersections made me feel really insecure. I don't care anymore, plus it's easier to distract myself with a stroller instead of like, "Ah! Where do I look? What do I do with my hands?" I walked to Picasso's, Leon slept, I maneuvered my stroller into the shop (up stairs, through a swinging door) which I'm sure they hate, but we don't live in Finland where you can leave your babies in strollers outside. I got my coffee and sat down outside. By myself. I didn't even sweat or turn red.

This, my friends, is a breakthrough. Come with me, back to the time when I was 15 and had the social skills of a shy 4-year-old. I used to turn so red when people talked to me, sweat, and in college I still would get my tongue caught in my throat if I was talking and nervous. It came out as a random stutter. Anyway.

The weather was perfect, and then it hailed tiny pea sized hail for a bit, and then it was perfect again. And I felt like I could tackle anything. It is amazing what being outside can do to you.

While I was at Picasso's there was a late-forties guy who was at church on Sunday. At church I had told Tyler I knew the guy from somewhere, but he didn't recognize him. So the guy is walking toward the door and I said, "excuse me, sir" because I'm a weirdo. I asked him if he was at Refuge on Sunday. He was. We chatted a bit until we both realized at the same time that I had sold him shoes at New Balance. I remember when I met him I thought "that guy is a little wacky, but I like him." And before we discovered how we knew each other today I thought, "this guy is a little wacky, but I like him."

And then I remembered the customer I helped who visited every year from Colorado. She was INSANE. We hit it off just great. She invited me to come stay with her in CO. And another lady who is a children's book author and wears Harry Potter glasses and would ask me, "Shannon... how are you doing?" I'd say fine. Then she'd say, "no, I mean... how are you doing." Oh, she's like, asking about my soul.

I just love crazy people. I'm serious.

Tyler's sweet Granny left us some money when she passed away, so we used it to purchase a king size bed, a dresser with a mirror, and a nightstand. Oh and a mattress. It will arrive in the middle of April and I am so excited!!!!!!!!!!! We're going to move it upstairs into the pine room, and leave our current bedroom as the guest bedroom. When/... if... Leon ever stops sleeping in our bed, he will have the other upstairs room. Change is so exciting! I love it. Though, attics freak me out. I told Tyler we need to stay up their one night to make sure it isn't haunted. I'm only half kidding when I say that if there are ghosts in our house, they have been nice ones so far.

I am almost done reading Girl at the End of the World. It's a true story about a girl who grew up in a religious cult, and I won't tell you anymore... I haven't read the end yet. Emotionally, it's hard to read. But she does a fantastic job of telling her story. My heart hurts a little when I think about it. I mean, picture little kids from Westboro Baptist holding a sign that says "God Hates Fags." How manipulated and brainwashed and abused they are, and the people doing it truly believe they're doing what's right. Man. The world is dark, but there is hope.

Anyway. This week feels busy. But I like it. And I like storms. Leon has started to cease crying when I sing to him, and he smiles and laughs, and then sometimes when I stop singing he starts crying again. Also, sometimes he will look at me and just smile and talk, and then his eyes water. Today he was smiling at me and a full blown tear fell down his cheek. Either his eyes are just watery or both of his parents are very emotional and he got it. I think it's the latter.

I'll be done now.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

A few years ago I read the book Naturally Thin. I don't remember the author's name, but I do remember her typos... however, I agreed with a lot of what she said. She talked about food pairing, only eating meat at night if at all, eating the light things first and heavy things second so that your digestive system can work more efficiently. I did this for a while, until it wore off. And it totally worked. 

Anyway, yesterday I was reading an article about the elimination diet. Basically you eliminate soy, dairy, eggs, gluten, and alcohol for 23 days. I don't eat soy (on purpose), I rarely eat cheese, eggs gross me out, gluten is in beer and pizza, and alcohol is in.. beer. My diet is just wacky all over the place. Sometimes I do well, and then randomly I want Five Guys and I'm sick for a week. I think I have a leaky gut, which is the nastiest sounding problem. 

So this is what I've decided... and I'm posting it here so I'll actually do it. Sometimes I think things in my head but never say them out loud so that I can't be held accountable to them. I'm tricky like that. 

Gluten free, minus beer. No dairy. No eggs. Only organic meat for dinner, if at all. 

I'm hung up on sugar. I use honey a lot. I eat a lot of fruit during the day. Where do you draw the line? 

And lastly, the rule that trumps all other rules... If I go to someone's house for dinner, I eat what is given to me. 

I ordered some make-your-own sandals from for $25. They send you a long piece of rope, color of your choosing (I chose maroon), two pieces of feet shaped rubber, 4 or 6mm thick (I went with 4), and a little tool to drive a hole into the rubber between your toes. I have not made them yet, because I can't find a hammer, and it's rainy and chilly. But they will be my summer shoes, and sadly my chacos will not get as much wear as they did over the last 8 years. They cause my bunion pain to flair up, and that messes with yoga more than it does with walking... but I just can't have that. So I'm excited.

And lastly. I'm losing a lot of hair, but that will stop in a few months. And when it does... I'm totally getting dreads. Tyler is okay with it. Just look. 

Of course these are mature, and it takes time to get there. I have wanted dreads for about 5 years. The question is, why not... it's hair. It can be cut. And, you can even undo dreads, no matter what people say, it is possible. But I'm only saying that to reassure you. I have never felt more like "this is no big deal" than I do now. I don't want to be old, wishing I'd just done it. My hope is that by August or September my hair will be ready. 

Also, look at this.
Tiny, 7 lb thing, wearing preemie diapers....

15lb, size 2 diaper, happy little wild boy. I love it. 

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Good golly

Sorry. Sometimes I write a blog entry and don't post it, because yuck. Who cares? Why am I evil? Why do I think people will care about my opinions? All that.

I'm sickish again. The last post I wrote, I was sick and Leon was sick too. Thankfully he's his chipper self with a random booger. I used the netipot (not the pot, the squeeze bottle) and I felt like chunks of my brain might have come out. It is so awesome and so disgusting at the same time. Things like that, I just have to share with the world.

Leon takes a long afternoon nap. It's nice. Charlotte and I laid on the ground in the front yard. I sipped hot water with ginger, honey, and lemon. Made the mistake of chewing some ginger after I finished the tea. Maybe it will make me well though. I also juiced with quite a bit of ginger. I want to be well so bad. Being sick makes me really mad. I should be thankful it's not worse.

Messing up dinner also makes me mad. I have done that several times lately. It ruins my night sometimes. I'm working on it.

I bought a Himalayan Salt Lamp. It's really heavy. It's literally a rock. I'm afraid to lick it though. It's supposed to clear the air of pollen and crap. Hoping that will help with our allergies, as well as essential oils. I'm not totally on the oily wagon yet, but I'm sure I will be soon. It feels like a big investment at first, which I didn't even do, my mom got it for me for Christmas. I've seen them work in smallish ways, like maybe it was mental or maybe it was the oils. I just need to see a miracle first and then I'll spend $300 a month on oils.....?!?!!?! No. I won't. But I'll spend a little. It just seems like the oily people spend a lot of money. More money than I'd spend on ibuprofen or a copay even. I don't take medicine. I took some ibuprofen right after I had Leon, but again, maybe it was just mental. Nothing can really take the pain away from breast feeding in the beginning. In my opinion.

Anyway. I stopped using soap when I was pregnant. I've only been dry skin brushing. I also stopped using toothpaste. I just oil pull and then brush with bentonite clay. Guess what. It works. Stop buy that shit from the grocery store. Ok, you don't have to. But there is so much bad stuff in soap and toothpaste, which we put in places that have the quickest route to our bloodstream besides injecting it.

Last night I taught a yoga class. I wasn't feeling well, at all. It hurt to talk, and forcing a smile pissed me off. I was just carrying that energy with me and I couldn't shake it. Class was very straight forward. Which is fine. It doesn't have to be mind blowing every time. We were in Tree Pose and my music shut off, because Tyler played a song on our Spotify account at home. I said, "Welp. Looks like my husband is using my Spotify account." And someone said ,"oooooOOO He's in trouble!" That lightened things up a bit. Anyway, I finished class. It was just "fine." You know? I just want it to be awesome every time, but I know I can't expect that. All the students left, I was counting the money and forgot to lock the door. So about ten minutes after everyone was gone, a guy from class came back in. He's probably in his early 60's and he's been coming to my Wednesday night class since I started teaching. He's probably missed two or three times. He popped his head in but didn't say anything at first. I said, "What?!" because I could tell he was about to say something serious. He said, "No.. no, it's nothing. I just. I wanted to tell you what a fantastic teacher you are. Really. I mean, you just. You've grown so much since you started teaching, and you're just doing it now! I was laying in Savasana and thinking about how much I enjoy your teaching. I just want you to know that I think you were meant to do this."

I cried. His eyes got a little watery too. God knows what you need. I really did need that. Sometimes I think all I've done my whole life, all of my accomplishments, what do they matter? I just stay home now. That thought doesn't necessarily bring me down, but it's like... I don't know. Sometimes it feels like I can't make much of an impact anywhere, except for with Leon. Which is okay with me, really. But it just feels nice to be affirmed in areas that you feel you don't matter much in.

Last night Tyler held Leon for abour two hours in bed while I slept. That was a treat. Our boy is sweet and good. On that note, he's been sleeping for a long time and I miss him.

Love, Shan

Thursday, February 13, 2014


Leon and I are sick. I just have a sore throat, but he's snotty and coughing. Thankfully his snot is clear and I have essential oils to use on him. It's working. For babies as young as him, generally the only thing you can do is nurse and sleep, but once I oiled him up he calmed down and his snot hasn't thickened. 

Say what you will. Oil people are freakin nuts, but I love them. 

Anyone take flax seed oil as a supplement?? It's disgusting. 

Last thing about oil. I use coconut oil for everything. I love it. Trader Joe's is my favorite. It tastes the best, to me. 

Plastic lids of coconut oil mixed with different essential oils, D drops, coffee, probiotics... And my old coworker bought be a subscription to Kiwi magazine. It's like "organic" parenting/baby stuff. My bedside stool changes on a daily basis. And I know I shouldn't be drinking coffee with a sore throat but Tyler made it for me. 

Ok. So Leon getting sick was my worst nightmare. We're only on day 2, but we're doing it. He's chilling on my buckwheat pillow on my lap staring at a light. It's not fun to see him this way, but he is a bit more snugly. 

Charlotte is back to her old ways of hiding her food in places around the house. She had to scarf her food down with Russ. But, no more. I got my quirky dog back and I love her. I think she will save my life someday and be on the news. She's smart. 

I taught last night, and it went well. People missed me, and it feels nice to be missed. Elena Brower will be at our studio tomorrow. I'm attending her 2.5 hour workshop while Tyler's mom takes care of Leon. He sucks at taking a bottle now so it worries me a bit, but I think he will sleep the whole time. Is it bad baby etiquette to leave your snotty child with you MIL while you attend the workshop of a famous yogi you've been waiting for for over a year? I hope not. 

I started riding our stationary bike and doing burst training... Also called tabata? I just read something about that. Sprinting for so many seconds and then leisurely taking a short break of walking/jogging/riding. Working out makes me poop. I almost didn't do it yesterday, but I changed my mind solely based on the fact that I would decently poop after. I think pooping = health, kind of. 

Being around lots of healthy, yogic, oily, organic, home birthy people makes me see something. A lot of us are trying to get our bodies back to the way they were meant to be. Detoxing all the heavy metals the government pumped into your body via frosted flakes. I'd say that's at the top of my list. But truly, There is a deep desire for things to be made right. I remember in a sermon once someone said that we long for shalom so much that we idolize restoration to the point that the embrace of Jesus is an afterthought. 

Anyway. Alisha and I talked about hill people on our date yesterday. They're so interesting! I'd like to be a hill person for the secrets, but I think I'm too nice. 

I'll be done now. Happy valentimes!!! Tyler and I will be home eating steak with wine and a sick baby.