Tuesday, January 31, 2012

february photo-a-day

I feel like I really missed out on something by not participating in the January photo a day fun-ness. I didn't know about it until midway through the month, and by then it was just too late.

Lucky for me, Fat Mum Slim introduced the February Photo A Day. I'm already on Instagram a lot during the day, so this time I'm on board!

Are you on Instagram, and do you love it as much as I do? It gives me a little glimpse into what other mamas are doing on a daily basis, and it allows me to connect with them on another level. I'll probably never seriously do twitter or other social media outlets, because I don't have a smart phone like many people and it would be a lot of work (Well, I do, but it isn't a real phone with a data plan anymore, and it's hecka-old. I can use the camera and connect through WiFi, but otherwise it's just for music. Here is a great article summing up why I'll probably never have an iPhone again).

If you are on Instagram, I'd love to follow you. Follow me (@bohomama_meg) or send me your user name, and we'll get this thing started!



Friday, January 27, 2012

Milk-Friendly breastfeeding interview!


One of my favorite blogs these days is Milk-Friendly. Maryam has a hip sense of style, is so down to earth, and she lives is Hawaii with her adorable little boys (with a third on the way!) and her husband.

My favorite feature of hers is the interview with other breastfeeding mama bloggers. I love reading other women's challenges, advice, and experiences as they journey through breastfeeding their babies. I learn something every time! I also LOVE that most all of the women she interviews gives this advice: Don't Give Up!

I am really happy to be Maryam's blog interview for today. Head over to Milk-Friendly and read about my experience, seven months in!

Thursday, January 26, 2012

12 in 2012



Gretchen at That Mama Gretchen created a list of 12 things she wanted to do in 2012. I didn't really have any New Year's resolutions, so I thought this would be fun to do.

Here's my 12 things: 

1. Shoot: Take a good family picture once a month. We are notoriously bad at this. We only have one or two good family pictures. We need more!

2. Write and Submit. There are so many half-written pieces sitting in a folder on my desktop that I've been meaning to do something with, especially my travel writings from our trip to Europe. I originally intended to submit them for publication, but babies happened. I will pursue that this year.

3. Get Out: Go on family outings or hikes once (or more) a month. We love the outdoors, and used to be really good about getting out and enjoying it. I don't want to see us lose that - it would be easy to do - and we want the girls to grow up loving it as much as we do. 

4. Thrift. It's crazy how many of the favorite and most-used things I have are thrift, yard sale, or Craigslist finds. Our coffee grinder, my Le Creuset dutch oven, our BumGenius cloth diapers, and almost all of our furniture. I'd like to continue this practice. It's really fun, and, we save a lot of money. 

5. Parlez francais. It's amazing how fast you lose language. One year ago, I was speaking more French during the day than English. Now, I have a hard time recalling basic grammar structures and everyday words. If I want to prime the girls' minds and ears for a second language, I need to keep up!

6. Trim: Streamline our grocery shopping. I saw this on Pinterest, and I am going to implement it next month. As a family that doubled in size and is reliant on one income (and not a very high one at that), I need to be more diligent. If Andy gets a good teaching job later this year, we will look into purchasing a side of grassfed beef and investing in a CSA share.

7. Create. This could be sewn, knitted, crocheted, hot glue-gunned, anything! I love pinning...and now I want to start creating. (Follow me on Pinterest here!)

8. Record: Write in Ruthie & Afton's Baby Books. I received the most precious baby books at my shower. I would hate to forget to fill the pages.

9. Reach Out: Get involved in an outreach or ministry. This may be challenging, because if Andy gets a teaching job in another city, we'll be moving and starting from scratch at a new church. I miss it, though, and want to keep my heart open if something comes along.

10. Connect: Set aside date-time. I purposely did not say date night, because sometimes it is easier for us to get out during the day. We also love love going to breakfast. And it is so easy to let this one slide, because we are both tired and just want to relax. But I know it's so important!

11. Compile: Organize my 5,000+ pictures from Europe. These are daunting. I want to create hardback photo books with these that we can have printed as our budget allows.

12. Ski. This one is mostly a wish-list item. I had a season pass as a teenager and in my early 20's and would be on the mountain every weekend. That's not very practical or feasible now, but I would like to go more than once during the winter! Next winter, the girls will be a year and a half, and I'll be happy shooting for 5 - 10 times.

What are your 12 in 2012? I'd love to read yours. Leave a comment below, and link up at That Mama Gretchen!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

fingerprints


Every very-new-mama must come to accept certain truths in her own time, even though many before her told her it would be so. It usually only sinks in when she experiences it for herself, and then says, "oh, that's what they were talking about!"

I've been thinking about fingerprints.

We all have them. They are a part of what make us human. And yet each one is different. Not even my girls, if they do happen to be identical twins, will have exactly the same ones.

What I like about this comparison is the freedom it offers, especially as I often compare myself to others and find myself wanting.

If not all fingerprints can ever be exactly alike, then I do not have to worry about comparing my mother-print to your mother-print, or to anyone else's. I can admire it, think about it, and find similarities, but there will always be differences. That is a good thing.

This applies to raising my daughters, too.

I want them to be loving, kind, generous, ambitious, empathetic, funny, empowered, and so many other things. But right now, they are just pooping their pants and fussing as their teeth come in. It's about what works. I can't plop them down and teach them anything right now. I can only model, and hope they sense it in me, like they sense the mother's milk they love so, or pick it up from my behavior, or are bestowed with it through my short but intense prayers for them.

But they have their own prints, too, formed in the womb by Someone other than me.

So, as I raise these girls, will I draw attention to their uniqueness, their gifts, and their one-of-a-kind-ness, or, as someone who likes control, will I assume that they are just like me and treat them accordingly?

Will I paint their hands, press them on a piece of paper, and point out their special-ness? Embroider them like the photo above? (Thank you, Pinterest.)

Teach them how to express their emotions and feelings, even if it goes against the status quo or what they think is expected of them? That it is OK if they don't see eye to eye with me, even though it might hurt my ego?

Let me remember that they are not me, and I am not them. We share genes and blood and traits and inclinations and many other things. We will share full years together of laughter, tears, tantrums, and special memories.

Our fingerprints are all over each other, but they'll always be different.

Linking up w/Just Write @ the EO and the Practices of Parenting Carnival @ Emerging Mummy.
 

EmergingMummy.com

Saturday, January 21, 2012

six months.

My little girls are six months!


The challenges of a twin mama are many, but the rewards are worth the sleepless nights and fussy days. This age has been my least favorite, so far. Can I say that? It's just, they see the world, want to be a part of it, to taste, touch, smell, see, and just BE a part, but they aren't quite there yet. It frustrates them!

I make myself laugh with a joke I came up with: my sleep debt is larger than the national deficit. And grows ever-larger. I'll admit, the lack of sleep tries my patience and I have found myself this past week responding in ways I never wanted to respond (like muttering some choice words under my breath when they wake up earlier than planned). Then, when I needed it most, a friend posted this smart article on Facebook, and I felt so much better about everything!

And the teething. Lord help me, two at once! I purchased amber teething bracelets before they were born, and I really should have bought amber necklaces. I can't push them far enough up their roly-poly arms to get them in close proximity to their gums, which is where they need to be.

Oh, but the smiles. And the giggles. And the looks of curiosity, and excitement when their Daddy comes home to play with them, and the funny noises and shrieks and shrills that come out of their sweet milky mouths. The pudgy fingers, the endless thigh rolls, the sweet stumpy feet.

Ruthie, my silly little ham-bone. She has the biggest smile, and it's so easy to coax it out of her, exciting her with facial expressions and funny voices. Her leg rolls are phenomenal. She thinks she is the bomb and wants you to know it. Pay attention, everyone!

Afton, the sometimes-somber, bubble-blowing observer. She looks at everything and everyone, and if you are a stranger and you get a smile out of her, consider yourself lucky. She makes you work for it, but when you get that little grin that spreads across her face and her big bright eyes light up, your heart is soaked in warmth.

How I love them.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

jonathan saunders scarf

My weekly scarf covet: the polka dot Victoriana Shawl from Jonathan Saunders. Perfect for Spring! I can only hope to find a knock-off somewhere.



Wednesday, January 11, 2012

just write: face down in the laundry pile.



I don't have very much going on in my brain this week. This pile of clean clothes stared at me all day yesterday, and I just couldn't bring myself to do anything about it. In fact, it was like this, in the middle of my living room, until about 10 minutes before Andy got home. I knew it would bug him (although he probably wouldn't say so) but it just sat there, all day, staring at me. And I stared back at it. Like we were having a battle.

But really, it was just me versus myself. It was my "You can't make me do this" because there are so many things that are new in my life, most of these new things are utterly necessary, and I felt I needed to rebel in some way. Show myself that I could still flex these muscles. Over laundry? Yeah, over laundry.

And then, instead of getting increasingly irritated at the pile like I normally would, all I really wanted to do was to lay down in it, close my eyes, feel that soft cotton against my skin and breathe in that baby-laundry smell, and take a nano-second rest. 

So I did.

Linking up with Just Write @ the EO.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

make your own moisturizer!


Welcome to the January 2012 Carnival of Natural Parenting: Experiments in Natural Family Living
This post was written for inclusion in the monthly Carnival of Natural Parenting hosted by Hobo Mama and Code Name: Mama. This month our participants have reported on weeklong trials to make their lives a little greener. Please read to the end to find a list of links to the other carnival participants.
***

A few years ago, I replaced all of my moisturizers with the natural versions. I've found that while I spend more per product, I feel more comfortable using it my skin and don't have to deal with weird chemicals or scents. In the winter, though, it feels like my skin just can't get enough. I've been wanting to try out a homemade lotion that would help my flaky, aching skin and not cost a lot of extra money.



This lotion is so easy, smells yummy, and it really works! I can say that I have seen a difference in the week that I've been using it. It doesn't last long - about 2 weeks - but you'll use it up quickly and making small batches is easy. Andy loves it, too. You can also store it in the refrigerator, but know that if you use coconut oil, it will turn solid. I think it will probably take me 10 minutes to make each batch from now on, after the initial experimentation. 

All the ingredients I already had on hand; I had a 100% beeswax candle that I cut the wick out of, both oils, and pure vanilla extract. Next time, I think I'll add some Vitamin E to work as a natural preservative and help the lotion keep longer. But I'm extremely happy with this lotion and count it a definite success.

Homemade Lotion
from Louisa Shafia @ ReadyMade 

3 Tbsp. beeswax
3/4 cup oil (organic olive, almond, avocado, or coconut, etc. I used a combination of olive and coconut)
1 cup water, rosewater, or herbal tea - room temp. or slightly warmer (I used organic chamomile)
Optional - a few drops of essential oil. (I used pure vanilla extract)

1. Grate the beeswax with a microplane or small-hole grater.

2. Combine your choice of oil with the beeswax in a double boiler. For this, I put both in a pyrex glass and put that in a pot of water. Pour in water to reach halfway to the top, and bring to a boil. Stir until the beeswax disappears. Remove from heat and cool for 2 minutes.


3. Pour your liquid (water, tea, rosewater) into a food processor or blender. Turn on, and very, very slowly, pour the oil mixture in through the adding spout or removed top of the blender. If you're using a blender like I was, it will splatter, so be careful! The mixture will begin to thicken and emulsify. Scrape down the sides with a spatula and keep mixing until all parts are incorporated.

4. Blend in the essential oil, if using.

5. With your spatula, transfer the lotion to clean jars. Don't put on the lid until the lotion has reached room temperature, or else there will be condensation in the jar.

6. Enjoy your naturally moisturized skin!


***
Carnival of Natural Parenting -- Hobo Mama and Code Name: MamaVisit Hobo Mama and Code Name: Mama to find out how you can participate in the next Carnival of Natural Parenting!
Please take time to read the submissions by the other carnival participants:





Saturday, January 7, 2012

instagram season

We didn't snap many pictures this past Christmas season, but I did have my ipod handy for some cute moments. My sweet girls are getting so big!



(top left to right: brie 3 ways at our New Years party, my new Anthro mug from good friend Tiff, Bananagrams! with the family, and a coffee date with Andy at Noble Roasting in Ashland)

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

just write: what it means to be human #203

 (via Pinterest)

I was lying in bed until just a minute ago, when suddenly into my head popped a task that I really needed to do. I tried to will it away, but it persisted. We were in bed early tonight, after a potluck with our home community friends. The girls did great as usual, but were ready to call it a night from all the noise and people at 8:30 p.m. We tiptoed in, kept the house quiet, changed and nursed them in the darkness.

I dozed, smelling the top of a sweet baby head, and my mind had time to wander down those well-worn rabbit trails in my head. It led me to memories that make me sad, angry, and leave me yearning for grace and justice for this person who has been continually wronged and who continually makes the wrong decisions. Sometimes, it really hurts to be human.

To be human is to feel acutely: pain, sadness, guilt, joy, happiness, wonder. To be human means there will always be unresolved hurts right alongside the happiest moments and feelings of fulfillment.

So, I silently pray my hopes for this new year, tie them to the sad thoughts, and float them up to be received by He who I know is listening. Then I get up, complete my task (thank you cards), and head back to bed.

Good night, sleep tight, with dreams of peace and light.

Linking up w/Just Write.




Monday, January 2, 2012

you are here: 2012



Perseverance.

My word for 2012.

I've always thought of myself as somewhat of a quitter. I am surrounded by unfinished projects and half-finished lists and ideas and dreams that swirl around in my head, willing me to bring them forth. I have grand vision...and bad follow through.

I don't know why I'm this way, because when I finish something (childbirth! university, traveling...) I feel elated! Many days, I want to keep my head buried under the covers, get lost in a book, and let the world pass me by.

The ultimate test of this tendency is the new reality that I find myself in: I have children. A two for one special. It's not something I can walk away from or ignore. And while I love it, this new life of being a stay at home mom is so challenging for me, because I've always been on-the-go.

If that doesn't take some perseverance and follow through, I don't know what does.

I believe that God gives you only as much as you can handle, while stretching you at the same time. Sometimes I mutter "really?" under my breath and then laugh, because he must have some major stretching to do in me. Like, miles. And I know it.

So this year, on the days that I hide my head under my pillow when I hear the sound of whimpering from the two sweet souls that sleep close by, or I'm tired of being at home, or I'm annoyed with the fact that we have dirty laundry, I'll set my jaw, kiss those two sweet heads, smile at my hubs, and persevere.


Thanks to friend Krystle for challenging me to think up my word, and linking up w/Miscellany Monday @ lowercase letters.

Miscellany Monday @
lowercase letters