Tuesday, 9 February 2016

If you are sad, you are not learning

Yuri sings Canadian hymn in the car.
Alissa says "Stop singing. I don't like that noise."
Yuri keeps singing.
Me: "Alissa, you need to ask nicelly"
Alissa: "I can't."
Me: "Why not?"
Alissa: "Because my leg hurts."
Yuri still sings.
Alissa: "Mommy. Yuri is not listening."
Me: "That's because you need to ask nicelly."
Alissa: "I caaaan't"
Me: "Sweety, the conversation is over."
Alissa turns away upset.
Yuri: "Alissa, if you be sad, that means you are not learning. People will be picking on you. I'll stop, because I know you are really upset because you want mommy to hug you."

Once again, I stand schooled by a 6 year old.


How do you do self

- Mommy, why do you have to do everything by yourself?


 - what do you mean, sweety? 


- I want to help you do the things you do for us. 


- You'll help me best if you take care of yourself. 


We all look for things to fix outside. But the best way you can serve the world is by making sure no one has to cover for you. Every little thing you do on the inside saves someone else's energy and effort. Whether it's internal care or physical care, you are the best person to give it to yourself. You know better what you want and how you want it. You are able to free people around you of the responsibility of guessworking your needs.

#parentinglessons
#selfcareed


Monday, 19 October 2015

The art of anger

"Once again, it's very hard being six!.. And you are all loosers!" yelled my son out of his room, while barricading himself inside. He felt he was treated unfairly. I felt he needs to spend time alone.

I thought indeed, it's probably very hard being six years old. You don't know where your reactions are coming from. You merely face the storm, while being in the middle of the ocean. How can he learn about respect and dignity without being fully conscious of why is he becoming disrespectful in the first place.

If it took me over 30 years to become aware of my own thoughts that produce my emotions, how can I expect anything of a six year old?

Yuri got his time out for not handling it well this time. When he was ready to come out, Sean, my partner, spoke to him about handling his emotions and respect. I find it miraculous what a profound change a man-to-man conversation can bring. Yuri apologized with a cool headed acceptance.

I yogaed later that evening. As I grounded in the flow, I began to accept that for now it's only a boundary of allowed behavior that he received. For now, it's only a rule. I know that he cooled without grasping the whole concept of trigger reactions. It's not his time yet.
He will break that boundary. He will make his own rules.

Maybe then, when I see that he can look in the mirror and really see clearly I can ask him the question that may change it all for him:


Who do you want to be in the face of not getting what you want?





Tuesday, 13 October 2015

Slow down to grow

Eckhart Tolle talks about using traffic jams and line up as a pause to stay present in an uncomfortable situation. I take it further. I use my anger as a cue to slow down and find the work.

As I am leaving the house without a goodbye, pissed off at my partner, I can't help but think: is he really the one who is an as*hole? Or did he just yet again didn't fit into the box I created for him as to how he is supposed to be and act?

Subtle feeling arises that it's not what he did, but my own fear of not being loved enough that created the incident. I stop and listen to that.

As I am clenching my jaws trying to get Yuri to get dressed faster in the morning, I realize that I'm about to make it a "fun morning" for everyone. I slow down. Maybe he needs to settle into the day with a few pauses. Maybe it's a good thing. Again, it's the fear that if we won't be on time, won't be organized and on schedule, it will mean that I'm not good enough of a mother. Now, I ask myself, how is that his problem?

Do I really want to bring my fears into action?

I notice that physical fatigue is closely related to emotional. I react faster. But if I take it as a cue to slow down, fatigue and anger will become my triggers for introspect and growth.

 Anger is always a secondary emotion. It also comes with physical pain. Sometimes it's difficult to pinpoint or say what came first. But maybe it's not so important. There are Shiatsu specialists who believe that going through the physical pain takes you to the source that created the emotion that caused the pain. For me it worked backwards: as soon as I can pinpoint and release the mental source, the physical pain moves on too.

Look for the boundaries of the fear and you will find what to let go off.

Pain that lingers for a long time usually has a dry edge, like a scab that covers the healed wound. The boundaries of it will tell you what to pull. The thing is, it still takes courage to pull the scab.

#parentinglessons
#couragetogrow

Friday, 9 October 2015

How you teach what you can't teach

"Daddy got me XBox and new Skylanders, because it's expensive and daddy has a lot of money and he loves me"...

I clench the jaw. Direct hit to the ego. I'm analyzing why am I having a reaction.
I made a decision to not invest into video games.
I'm afraid that he won't understand my decisions. That he won't accept them
. That he will think it's selfish and I don't want to spend money on him. There - that's what I'm reacting to. The fear of being perceived as either cheap, or unable to make a good living. Well, that's my fear, it's not gonna do any good if I react to the trigger. I just need to address the fear.

The decision of not having video games is not supported by my partner and that's affecting my stance. It becomes a lonely fight.


Once again I recognize that my son was born to challenge the depth of my integrity.


The concept is simple. I've experienced the mind-numbing effects of gaming first hand. I don't want that for myself or for my family. Especially at this vulnerable age.
I don't feel free to convey that to Yuri just yet. Blanket statements will be remembered and re-used to judge dad, cousins, friends, who do use games. So, without the key reason to not have the games at home, I become cheap and unloving in his eyes, or so I fear...

"You are so lucky you can play with expensive toys at daddy's. Good for you. Your daddy is awesome."
I'm seeing the internal dialogue on Yuri's face. Trying to figure out another way to get me to compete and comply.

After some deliberation, he chooses direct approach.. "Mom, I wish I had XBox at home to play."

There. Now I start choosing every word. Truth, but careful.
- Sweety, I made a decision not to spend a lot of money on expensive toys. They don't benefit you much."
- But I really want to..
- The decision is made. What would you like to eat?

He was sad, but he took it. He knows how my "no" sounds.

Small win. Mostly internal. He may come back with request. He will definitely try to get me to compete with my ex-husband again. But my stance just got stronger.



The more you love your decisions the less you need others to approve of them.


So, you can count me out of this race, sweets...

Thursday, 8 October 2015

Warefare

Morning. Relived faces of parents just dropped off the kids to daycare. Understanding nods and holds of the door to the ones that are coming in still with the little wanderers. One walking child will get you a patient door hold from a stranger. Two, and you'll catch a sigh of agreement and compassion. If you are walking in with three, it's usually a wonder/pity/gazing-at-hero kind of stare. I thought I was busy and run down before kids. It's all relative.

Kinda reminds me of Bob Marley's "If she's amazing, she won't be easy. If she's easy, she won't be amazing. If she's worth it, you wont give up. If you give up, you're not worthy. ... Truth is, everybody is going to hurt you; you just gotta find the ones worth suffering for."

Only it works for anything in life. Parents seem to be epidemically exhausted for the heart softening reward of a quirky grin, a monkey hug and a smoochy kiss right in the lips, because kids refuse to understand the civilized cheek pecks. But somehow, the reward does seem to be amazing and all-worth-it.

I feel the unity of the parents marching in after a hectic get-up/feed/get-dressed/get-them-in-the-car/survive-the-hyper-drive-on-the-road, dropping off the miracles of life, just to head to an 8 hours of "actual work" that feels like a vacation, quite frankly. Just like combat solders in a war zone that everyone knows will not be over any time soon.

As I realize this, I feel the tension rising up my shoulders into oh, so usual crow-like posture.
The mornings are truly a humbling experience. If you attempt to stay present with it for a length of time you will confront your bodily, emotional and mental weaknesses. They will present themselves, so they can be addressed.

I instinctively start to breathe space into my shoulders and try to relax them down. If I don't enjoy this now, as it's happening, I won't enjoy it at all. I better start enjoying.

The stories I tell myself start to dissipate, the ego lets go of the grip. "How do you always seem so together?" I hear behind me from another mom. I smile. It's interesting what you assume about what you don't see.
 

Monday, 5 October 2015

A mother continues to labor long after the baby is born

One morning last week after we went outside I realized that he is dressed too lightly for the weather. I dropped him to the bus, but then turned back home and got a heavy jacket for him. When I came to school the kids were standing by the school in groups and waiting to go inside. There he was, in the alpha boys circle, consumed by trading Pokemon cards. I came over and helped him to put the jacket on. He looked at me, in a matter of fact kind of way, put the jacket on, then backpack, and I knew I shouldn't try to give him a hug. He is in his male herd. Busy. I turned around and run back to the car. It was raining.

I knew this day would come. When I would become a matter-of-fact, not anymore a big deal appearing on the horizon after a whole day with these strangers he happens to make friends with. I knew other people and trading cards will become more important then my magnificent presence.
I knew he will grow up.

It still broke my heart.

So, last weekend I shared "the tragedy" with my parents. Dad said something simple:
Invest your time in him, and you'll be important. 

It took a bit of time to sink in, but I guess that's how grownup relationships work.
You invest time. One-on-one, up close and personal. The juice. The quality. Then, and only then, you can count on being  an influence.

I can no longer get discounts for giving birth, breastfeeding and getting 40 minutes of sleep per/every night. My mere being isn't going to be rewarded with a "MAMAAA!!" anymore no matter how far I go into zen.

It's right about time to stop the self-importance crap, embrace the change and get humble.

I can try to teach my kids how to live, but in the end it's them who teach me what life is all about.


Tuesday, 29 September 2015

The only way out is through

Everything happens to you and for you. Milk it.

With the recent neck injury, my body went into a downward spiral of inflammation. Immune response slowed down. I picked up a cold. Day by day I was getting stiffer and weaker. Came to a point that I couldn't go through the first 15 minutes of my usual workout. I started reacting defensively to people, tried to control the kids.

Once again my body has left me no other choice but to figure this out. So, I started with neck stretches and hip openers. Both were too tight to stretch out. I took a deep breath and got the dowel from under the couch. If you are not familiar with dowelling (self massage, here is the link http://www.yogaworlds.net/10528/), it's similar to foam rolling, but done with a rounded piece of wood, hence making it more precise, going through deeper tissues, and waaaay more painful. 3 hours and numerous moans and thoughts of suicide later, I was knots free. All of me. It felt almost unnatural. I slept like a baby for the first time in a month.
The next day I went to the gym. Weights felt like feather, routine barelly broke my sweat. Why was I avoiding the stick for so long? Well, I did what I did. Now that it's done, what can I learn from it?

You gain courage and strength by every experience that makes you stop and look fear in the face.

If adversity would not present itself, I would not get the courage to take the steps to better a bearable.

Silence is better than bullshit

The other day I went internal. Barely spoke to anyone or made eye contact. Kinda hard to do when you have to make dinner, feed kids, give them bath, do homework, cleanup, put PJs on, take them to bed, all preferably without crying and arguing. Amazing thing happened - they were cooperating. Yuri made sure Alissa had her snack and gave her the watter for painting, she shared iPad with him.
They took bath on their own. They put on PJs I layed out for them.

Before bed, Yuri came to hug me and said "Mommy, thank you for taking care of yourself."
You never know how influential you will become if only you listen to what you really want to do, instead of pleasing everyone around you.
I could've stepped over my need to be quiet and play a happy mom, participate in the activities, but would I see them care for each other when I can't? Would I get overwhelmed and humbled by my son's wisdom?

Being true to who you are serves everyone.
Keeping yourself silently unhappy because you are afraid of not being liked harms everyone.



Saturday, 27 December 2014

Slay the dragon to become the dragon

Another human being always has a projection inside of us. I have an internal image of my parents. They both exist as internal beings within me and are part of me. I come to realize that my children take similar roles in who I am. They uncover the parts within me that I think come from their personalities, but the reality is ... it's who I think they are.

I watch my daughter play with a baby doll. Amazing motherly instinct, combined with attempt to control another being for "the right reasons" of taking care of them. She is as fasinated with dressing her doll as I was when she would fall asleep in my arms. Yet, she force feeds the doll anything that she comes up as "the baby needs". I am seing my own controlling traits in my daughter's play. Or am I reading too much into it? Is it my internal projection of what is happening?

I am afraid of imposing rules on both of my kids because I know there will come a time when those rules will become their bondages. Or is it something they will need to concur on their own?
How do you build the rules for another human being? How do you teach them your own views on religion and life? I know they will absorb like a sponge. Yet I know that with my views I will create a dragon they will later have to slay.

My own views seem to be so complex and intertwined that they are very difficult to convey. But most of all, I don't think there is a single set of views that are correct. Take any teaching/ religion/ view, all have holes (something that just doesn't feel right). I know my own has holes. How do I dare to give them a view that I know has holes?

Wednesday, 30 July 2014

I gave birth to my heart. Twice.




He was my first. The little wrinkly strange and most beautiful human being I've ever seen. He took me out of myself and made me realize there is a world outside of me. And it's incomprehensibly beautiful, soft, and velvet to the touch. The colors changed. So did my body. In the ways that are hard to describe and seem to be endless. He was the game changer.



And then came she. She came out of me flying against the
forces of the gravity and landed in my heart. She made me realize the world inside me. Infinite, weird, unfamiliar and so beautiful. My body changed again, and so did my soul. And once again, in the ways that are impossible to describe and sometimes even acknowledge, and that seem to perpetuate into me still.


And now I have two mirrors running around the house, screaming at unbearable decibels. And it's my turn to show them the world.

School bus

My daughter's peak of the day may very well be seeing a school bus on the way to daycare. I wonder what it would be like to get surprised by everything I see. Wouldn't that make me energetic and happy? Every morning I am half alive until I get to work and make a halt on all activities to have a coffee. That is my reset button. The night may not have been very restful, the morning might have been hectic... But I am here now, alive, aware and present. The interesting part is, that which gives me tranquility in the morning makes me wired up later. I've been having reactions to coffee. Sad, but I have to give up the quantities in order to stay healthy.

I'm curious, when they grow up, will they be influenced by the way I control my nutrition? I would like them to know how to respect their own bodies. I would like them to learn how to distinguish what they think they want and be able to stop and really feel what they actually want. That's the difference between a gummy bear and food that nourishes and gives energy to play.

In the morning I make a stop to hug them. Even when we are all in the rush, I think to myself, what else do I live for? What if I miss this? Is getting to work on time more important then holding my kids and embracing them? They each take one of my knees and we do a triple hug. And then Alissa starts to fight for both knees and Yuri gets upset :) But that's expected.

Tuesday, 20 May 2014

Meditation of the imperfect


How do I find the strength to end my own agony
of wishing for more of perfect? Where do I seek the wisdom? 
How do I break my own cycle,  that I enjoy so masochistically.
There is a sweet pleasure in this self torture of setting
expectations so high - I want it all now. 

How do I start seeing the romance of losing the war of ego
and start enjoying the grapes that I forgot to get at Longos and the spills
of food and the cranky baby that won't be content for more than 2.5 min in a row
and the dog trying to get children's food and the last fork in the sink after I've
cleaned up 5 or some insane number of times and the back pain that strikes
just when the kids are down and I have time to do stuff. ... and oh too
many imperfections of life that make every day seem like a constant
barrage of tiny problems that make me feel like in order to
survive I have to jump through hoop and over a barrier
and then again all day long.
How do I make myself find a beauty in all this?
Is it me being hormonal? I'm so tired of that excuse.
How do I prolong the mediation so that the world don't start
spinning crazy as soon as I open my eyes?

Written truth.

A truth that is verbal will never be perceived the same way as a written word.  Somehow,  The mere fact of putting a word down in the paper gives it weight. A reader automatically perceives it to be more valid. It's less personal,  less emotional. A statement on paper is physical and most of the time perceived truthful without evidence. Physiological glitch.
Years of experience,  research, practical application won't stand the test of the ear. An article describing passing sensations will be taken as a fact.
Texting goes deeper into our psyche. It is perceived with a different sensory system. The system that perceives the truth. We perceive texting as more truthful than direct verbal communication. That's a pretty neat trick.
So,  I'm writing. I'm putting my truth down. Hopefully they will read it when they grow up.  Hopefully they will get it. Hopefully it will help them become better.
Otherwise, what's a point of putting anything down?



Monday, 7 April 2014

What do you love about love

To all moms...

You know that feeling of your child clinging to your knee for security? You feel her need for you.
Feels good to be someone's everything. Someone's protector. Someone's love.
Or does it?

I know it gives me chills.
It's a direct stroke to my ego. Feels unreal. All that? To me?
I know why it feels unreal. Because it isn't.
Not only you cannot be someone's everything, you shouldn't be.
I'm not saying to push your child away what she hugs you.
I'm saying take it as a sign to work on building her self esteem and self love.
Give your unconditional, but make sure she has some of her own.

Being mom isn't about getting the bonuses (the "mommy, you're the best"s, the hugs, the kisses and those you-are-my-everything-clings). It's about giving the bonuses.
Everything you've got and more. And knowing it most likely won't come back. Well, at least not to you. Sad, but mother's love is a one way street. The bonus you'll get in the end is that she'll love her children the same way. Because she'll know how to. What you've given will stay with her. She will pass it on. Unconditionally. All out. That's your gratification. That's why you do it.

So, invest. Don't cling back when she grabs you. Give her the hold she needs now, but work with her to get her own love going after. Reassure her she is worth being everything for herself.


P.S. - I only say she out of convenience here. Same goes for boys. They need immense loving. They'll have to father a family someday.

What would I tell my daughter about boys

I post this with Alissa in my mind, but for a 19 year old girl who just broke up with her first serious boyfriend. I remember that pain. I know nothing and no one helps, besides maybe blaming him for all of it.
My worst fear is my daughter repeating my mistakes with men, or worse, making mistakes I wouldn't make because she didn't know any better.
Every man in our lives matter.
They change us in an unimaginable way and leave a dent after a dent in our hearts.

Here is my compilation of my knowledge base. It won't make you smart with men, but it will give you a perspective.

A foreword... These are not articles on how to train a guy, or get the guy to do something you want.
Sorry.

These are the articles on how to change yourself to attract the right man in your life.
How to re-position your perspective to be able to see the right man and become the right woman for him.

Most importantly, all of this won't help if you won't do your own research. I'll repeat. Looking through these links will not help. Looking for information will.


Rori Raye's:
3 ways to make him fall for you
Could you be chasing him and not know it?
What to do if he is backing away
Get his attention fast even if he is ignoring you
How do you build trust and what does trust have to do with love anyway

http://www.thefemininewoman.com/ - the whole site. Read all of it. Just do it.
particular ones from that site that may not be in the main list:
Is casual sex harmless
men don't fall in love with perfect women
what is wife material


Matthew Hussey - dating and relationship coach:
 Would you date yourself?
3 Confident female mindsets that drive guys wild
 9 steps to get the guy


On breaking up...

“Being a bodhisattva means that when people come, don’t cut them off; when people go, don’t cut them off.”

 The laws of breaking up and getting over it

Take this list with a grain of salt...

18 relationship red flags
How to detect lies (yes, important part of being in a relationship)

I'll add this at the end, but really, it should be the first one, cause the self is what it's all about..


I'll be updating the list as I go, hope it's a good start.




All the love to you,


O.

Wednesday, 29 January 2014

Seing the grace

I cherish grace. I notice it. I collect it.
In my mind. In my body. In my things. In my clothes. In my home. In my speech. In my relationships. In my moves. In my life.
I gather the pieces of it and I wedge each one in my memory.
I can always consciously go back to this collage.
It makes my life what it is and what I'm trying to make it. Graceful.
By no means am I trying to say that my life is all beautiful.
I have my moments and periods of fear, anxiety, anger, shame, guilt. I know these quite intimately.
I don't idealize that at some point, even at the end of my life it will all be clean and pretty.
It won't be. It isn't. And that's ok.
I forgive and accept myself and people around me for not always being beautiful.
But it makes me owe to see a moment of grace, a beautiful thing, a nobility and kindness in a person, and I make it a memory.
I make it a part of myself.
This is what makes me strive. I want to remember more of it.
It makes me go further to get more grace in my life. Daily.
I enjoy the beauty of the curves and lines of my body.
I love my beautiful kids. I keep their smiley squint of Yuri's eye in my head, short and long term memory. Alissa's walk. Her mouth falling off my nipple as she falls fast asleep.
I love seeing the caring affection of my parents, their faces.
I love watching my partner move. His stare at me.
I love the food. Not the junk, but the one that does good to your body, feeds and nourishes it. The colorful, fresh.
I love the sound of laughter, a groan of excitement, a quiet conversation that only makes sense to the two.
The feel of loving touch, a hug, a smoochy kiss, a stroke of hair.
Those are not shallow images.
Those are the grace in it`s manifestation.
The light of life.

Friday, 3 January 2014

On weaning

Alissa's second birthday passed. I had "the plan" to start weaning as soon as she is 2.

I'm heartbroken. I can't let go. This is just beyond me.
I heard all of it...  "you are STILL nursing??", "2 years is too long", "you are only doing it for you", "there is no benefit in your milk anymore", "she'll be clingy later", "you are too tired, it's time to cut her loose"... oh, and my favorite one "you are stalling her development"... I'm laughing to these... inside I know the truth. Not the books and research truth that is known as "knowledge". I know the truth that sits inside you day and night and nothing and no one can alter it because it's part of your essence. The truth is, we both benefit from it greatly to this day.

Yet I know there will come a day when we will need to wean. We. Both of us. The thought makes me teary.
I'm not ready. I'm not ready to not have the waves of relaxation and tiredness as soon as she latches. I'm not ready to not be able to look down and see the happy grin with a nipple in her mouth. I'm not ready to not see her eye lashes flutter as she falls asleep and calms down to deep silent breaths. I'm not ready to not feel the nipple sleeping out of her mouth as she drifts off and see that angelically beautiful, peaceful and satisfied face with half open mouth.
I'm not ready.

Sometimes I question if I'm being selfish and not letting her grow up. But then I look at her screaming
"Mama, AAAAMMM!" as soon as she sees me after a day at the daycare or right after she wakes up, and I KNOW. I just know that she needs it as much as I do. It's not just a play of the motherly hormones, it's a clear as bell motherly intuition.

And here I am, sitting with overflowing breasts, because I'm starting to skip the morning feedings... Because I had "the plan". I'm steering in the direction of weaning, hoping that my beliefs will somehow catch up to what I'm doing. I'm hoping that once she is only on one feeding, she'll be more prepared to quit all together. Will I be more ready then?

I do have self doubts. I am at the mercy of breastfeeding supplements to make up for critically low iron and calcium. Every feeding seems like a 50K marathon to my body. I don't wake up until I get to work and have my espresso. I usually start feeling "normal" around 11am after a routine tough night. I am tired beyond human threshold. I can't do laser hair removal
But I can't trade it for freedom and being rested just yet.
I'm not ready.

Wednesday, 4 December 2013

First scar

I'm not sure who the traumatic experiences are more traumatic for the kids or the parents. Four days later I'm still having nightmares about holding Yuri down while he gets his face stitched...
This Saturday he run his face into a table corner. There was a triangular whole in my son's face. I thought my soul left my body for a second when I saw that.
As we waited in the ER room,  I prep talked him to what was going to happen. I told him that the freezing is so strong you can't FEEL anything,  but he will SEE it,  and it will be scary. But it will be over very soon. I said "You just need to live through that".
He looked at me and he said "I know that,  mama. I just don't know how to. "
I was taken back.
My heart squirmed and I was proud at the same time.
It was such a mature way to recognize his fear.
I'm curious how did he remember the events?  How is he going to tell the story when he grows up? Did he

feel enough support?  Did he feel protected and cared for? I guess I'll only find out then. And you never know how it will come out. Past is unpredictable.
In the end,  it's comes down to stories we tell. They make up our lives, yet they are completely perception dependent.
I hope I gave him enough love though this experience so that when he is grown up and he gets scared he won't feel alone and unprotected. I hope he takes the love with him, inside of him.

Tuesday, 26 November 2013

The morning after pill

Alissa has been up all night,  once again. I'm tired, my back hurts and the mood is not in the positive range. So, after all the partying,  she wakes up an hour late, takes her snack (that's my breast), then stretches a huge smile for me and yawns Mamaaa.... then crawls on top of me and covers my nose with kisses. .. at that point, my back doesn't hurt,  I'm full of energy,  wondering what was the proportion of caffeine and endorphins I was hit with just now.

Tuesday, 12 November 2013

Want to be like bro

Yuri is fairly tolerant to Alissa's requests for every toy he is currently playing with. He gives it up once,  twice,  thrice and then he starts the avoidance cycle. He gently circles around the room or climbs up on top of the sofa so he doesn't have to give up the toy unless she starts crying. She on the other hand is vicious in chasing him for everything he has. She wants to be like him in everything. She dances like him,  walks like him,  wants to wear his jacket and his socks. He is the ultimate idol for his sister.
What I find amazing is that he understands and gives her a chance to do that, and she grows from it while trying to keep up.
So, I'm not worried that she won't have her own opinion. She will get there. But right now she's got something more important - someone to look up to.
PS: the picture is her putting socks on top of her pj's because Yuri wears the big pj's with socks :)

Friday, 8 November 2013

My abusive and loving munchkins

The daily drama and hassle is surely draining. No question. Through all that I'm trying to clean, feed, and educate. But it's not all"growth through struggle" though.
Just recently I realized how healing their smiles and happiness are. I physically feel less tired and more energetic when Yuri yells "Mommy!  I love you! " out of the blue.
I find that I suddenly stop worrying about things when Alissa does her grins and dances to Barney 's song.
They use up my energy and then they give it back ten folds in their own kidly and gentle way.
And that is more then reciprocity,  that's love.

Tuesday, 29 October 2013

Please with a Cheese

Recently I figured out a way to have Alissa not to cry whenever she doesn't get something right away. As usual, I would say that she needs to ask politely with a please. And she does, but still sobbing. Now, what I'm asking her to do is say please with a smile. That's nearly impossibly to do while crying. So, she has to stop, take a breath and then say please. The smile doesn't usually come out, but the point is she no longer sounds like she is pleading. She sounds more gathered up and confident. The a way a respectable lady should sound :)

I noticed that Yuri is more responsive to those requests too. If he has a toy she wants (or if he grabbed her toy), he's more likely to give it to her if she asks with a calm voice. That I think is counter intuitive, because the crying and sobbing causes more distress, so I would think he's more likely to try and stop it by giving up the toy. But the opposite happens. Calm communication seem to be more effective between the kids too. So, babies are serene and mommy is happy :)

Monday, 21 October 2013

Surviving development

I survived three more new teeth. Alissa's teeth that is. Each one means sleepless nights, cranky baby, cranky mama, breast in bloody bruises from biting. Those three still need to come out completely and then there are only one left. Phew. Almost phew. Maybe not even phew yet.

Still pleasant to see the progress after a battle. Tooth out - it wasn't all for nothing!
I can't imagine the kind of pain she must be going through, yet she is strong and always in balance.
Even when she throws a tantrum and screams on top of her lungs, she seems to be in control.
Amazing. Such little body, yet such strong spirit.

Saturday, 12 October 2013

Affilicted with tech

They start early. First favorite toy for Alissa was my debit card. Then she started trying to punch in the numbers at the cashier. Now my iPad and phone aren't really mine anymore. The speed of learning measures not even in weeks, it measures in times of use.
I wonder what will their IT future will look like?  What is any future going to look like for the next generation?
I do see a lot of weakness in characters of the next. I also see a lot more sensitivity. I like to think that their responsiveness will help them find a beautiful balance in advance of technology,  spirituality,  business aggression and their self awareness.
I don't mean to get philosophical here. But I do mean to envision a positive future for my kids. It will help them believe in it and materialize it.
So here I am,  seating in a coffee shop,  typing the blog on my Samsung galaxy,  checking email on the iPad and listening to the mp3 player.... while wondering how come my kids are addicted to technology. ..
Well, in either case, I'm still trying to fight the sitting glued habit with interaction. This includes doing ponytails and braids with Alissa. :)

Monday, 7 October 2013

Looking down at the time

"Mom, do you remember how we went to a store yesterday to see a crocodile?... Yesterday.." Asked Yuri. Even at his age the time is very relative. The things we remember well seem to be less distant than the things we don't remember, or don't want to remember. A diary helps keep things in perspective, and also makes you realize how your memories evolve with time. Past is never static.
I believe this very disorienting concept is called "mind time". A concept of time being bendable (just like any other measure in the physical world). Frankly, I'm unsure what is more real: the mind time, with it's elasticity and intensity, or the time of the clock, that we always have to check because it's never in phase with our lives. I chose not to say to my son that we've seen the crocodile in the store about two months ago. The two clock arms don't mater as much as our memories.

Wednesday, 25 September 2013

Street smart

The benefit of being the older sibling is that you get to develop smart ways of communication with uneasy people (younger sister) at a very early and very intuitive age. So, the first thing Yuri picks up as he gets up from his bed is an extra toy for Alissa - "because she will start crying for mine".
The act of self protection gradually becomes an act of care. You can no longer distinguish what is guiding him when he asks for an extra bagel and cream cheese, an extra sticker with a princess or picks out a nice looking stuffed animal from the basement storage even after she is already asleep.
It seems he thinks of her at all times. It's a habit that will hopefully become a second nature.
Witnessing such care leaves me mesmerized and, of course, makes me appreciate my older brother more.

Tuesday, 24 September 2013

Drama, drama, drama...

Third day in a row Alissa is putting me out of balance with the morning roller coaster of drama. For no reason and within a split second she starts a scandal as if she just received an insult of her lifetime. At first I bought into that and thought that something might actually be wrong, but it worked as a gasoline on a fire. So, I decided to withdraw any attention as soon as she starts. The result was interesting. She kept going for another couple of minutes and then stopped just as abruptly as she started.

Mind games of the toddlers are surely interesting study case :)

Thursday, 19 September 2013

In sickness and in health

Both kids are sick. Another restless night. By morning Alissa fell asleep on the floor after few hours of nursing/eating/playing. Yuri had to go to the washroom 3 times and couldn't fall asleep after each trip. 

Every time they get sick it affects you and teaches you. They need mommy, they become soft and clingy.

You are there to support,  stay up the nights,  feed, keep warm,  and learn what other part of yourself you can give. There is no strive to be payed back,  no hope to be appreciated as the recipients are too small and are your ultimate responsibility.

And then in the end of it you get "mommy,  I love all of you very much"....

Tuesday, 17 September 2013

Early generosity

Seeing the kids learning early to care about each other is amazing. They naturally start thinking about the other when they get something for themselves.
Yuri picks two cars in the store and gives the faster one to Alissa. She asks for a second bagel when she gets hers and asks to put cream cheese on it,  because Yuri likes it with cream cheese.
Not only do they care to share,  they try to give what the other wants,  not what is convenient to give.
Seeing that care in people gives me warmth. Seeing that in my own children brings beauty in my life.

Tuesday, 10 September 2013

They won't always be mine

There is a period of absolute ecstasy of knowing that the little people that make me alive need me for their existence. In this period I also clearly realize that they will grow out of it and it will be over. Love for the mother is big, but it's not the most important love in our lives simply because when the influence begins we are not capable of comprehension of it's nature yet and what was given to us. Motherhood
, however, is. It defines who we are more than anything. It promotes growth. It overrides any other influence. It teaches you the root of  your own existence, truth about yourself and about who they are. And every little bit you give returns 1000 times over, immediately and every time.
The fact that I am irreplaceable to them right now is breathtaking. I know it won't always be so and I'm grateful I have this moment still. I am greedy for time with them and try to suck every second I spend with them into my memory. This is the purpose of this blog. To remember. 


Friday, 6 September 2013

Feeding addictions?

It seems the kids go though these stages of addictions: Yuri with trains, Alissa with pandas. I'm not sure how much is too much. I let them enjoy and feed their interest (what else do we have in life:) ), but when it gets to getting hysterical about having to head out when there is a panda cartoon is on I get uneasy feeling. Yes, I had to use a method of distraction to save my ear drums, but I don't feel very compassionate to my child that goes bezerk within a split second when you take away her object of obsession. She begins to realize that screaming is not going to work, but it rarely helps when a coveted object is in question.

So, I find myself in a search of a golden middle of where to allow and where to limit the attachment to an object of obsession. I realize the limitation of contact will not remove the obsession, but it may limit the unneeded outbursts of emotions, hence saving a little bit of nerves for her and me.

Tuesday, 3 September 2013

All the directions of development

As humans we have quite a few sides to work on in order to succeed in life. For a child, everything needs to grow: emotional health, mental development, physical coordination and agility to list just the major ones.

I personally never know what ball to catch first. Physical activity leads to emotional health, which in turn leads to better mental development, so it seems logical to keep them active most of the time. Yet I feel they need their breaks.

Too much walks, parks, runs and soccer and they get agitated, cranky and want me to hold them. That's when I know I've overdone it.
Home activities tend to be more soothing and mentally challenging, but it makes them want to speed up a little.

Just like with adults, you strive for a balance between running around, growing in all directions and finding a peace within, and there seems to always be too much in each plate to eat at once. And the time you break it into doesn't seem to be equivalent either: 15 min in the morning is longer than an hour in the evening.

At the end of the day, if I am not sure that my own scale is balanced, how do I know if I balanced theirs?

Wednesday, 28 August 2013

Little people, big attitude

The daycare teachers say that Alissa doesn't talk to them. At all. I can hardly believe that since she blubbers non stop with me.
And they can't believe she does talk at home. They say it looks more like an attitude. They ask her a question, she puts her head down and disregards them. Where does she get it from I don't know. She seems to like this daycare and goes there easily. There is no personal influence that she could take it from. She behaves well there.
How does a one year old learns an attitude?
I knew she would have quite a personality when I had her,  but to shine the nature through that early. ..  I certainly didn't expect that.
So there,  my baby starts to display her own self already. Makes me proud and scared at the same time.
I don't mind her looking for her way toward herself. As long as she e
nds up being a good person in the end.

Tuesday, 27 August 2013

Lost in translation

Coming out of the daycare, having picked up the kids, I hold the door for a woman with a baby in her arms.
She said "Toda"("Thank you" in Hebrew).
I replied "Bevakasha"("You're welcome" in Hebrew)
Yuri turned to me and exclaimed "Mama, eto ne ("this is not" in Russian) English!"

:)

Monday, 26 August 2013

Mom, why is the weekend over?

As I drove kids to daycare this morning, Yuri asked me "Mom, why is the weekend over?" He is in the stage of questions and sometimes I can't find an answer. 
So, I mumbled something along the lines of because weekend is only 2 days and then the week starts. 

Inside I was thrilled he asked that. 
It means he liked the weekend. 
It means all my efforts to have them always occupied and growing are producing results. 








So, I asked him why did he like the weekend. He said, because we go somewhere on the weekend! As usual, I tried to keep them out of the house for the most part. Train rides, parks, Legoland, even just to walk the dog together, still keeps them busy, keeps them active, learning and growing.


On the other hand, it does keep the mom worried about the house chores, but no biggie, I still had them done after they drop asleep before the head hits the pillow.

Saturday, 24 August 2013

Live to clean up our clean up to live

After an amazing,  cumbersome and full day with kids,  having put them to bed,  I have a dilemma: do I drop to bed or do I clean up as usual. It is weekend after all.
Clean space is a peace of mind and a feeling of life. Sleep is in constant deficit.
So is it life of constant chores for the peace of life? Or do I need to let go and live some (sleep some)?

Thursday, 22 August 2013

Spider web to independence

Yuri is in his prime "I can do it myself" stage. He tried to go to the top of the spider web alone the first time,  but then stopped and asked me to climb with him. It took one time for both of us to go all the way up and now he gets up there in seconds. Same with puzzles,  games,  tasks,  writing,  drawing. Once he figured out the way the task can be achieved,  he doesn't want to be helped.
It's the road to his independence. Independence from me most of all,  gradually the scary thing will happen. I'll need to let go.

Tuesday, 20 August 2013

Second set of eyes

After a very extensive breastfeeding session, the baby goes bezerk over me refusing to take her in my arms when I am preparing dinner near a hot stove. Not waiting until she calms down completely, I pick her up after about a minute. My justification to myself is "she needs to feel secure", or "she had a 2 second break from crying", or "I can't let her get to hysterical state". And don't judge me for not distracting her, if Alissa wants something and she is not getting it - it is VERY difficult to find a distraction and most often requires to take her into a different room (at least), leaving a hot stove unattended.

Later I was told that she keeps snapping only because it works on me. I am the one who is sensitive to sounds in general and she is, like all babies, a very good psychologist, who knows I can be pressured by decibels.

Intuition doesn't always work. Sometimes you think you are following your parental senses, but your personal issues start slipping into the process without you even noticing. I'm grateful I have a second set of eyes and hands to help out and show me a different perspective.



Monday, 19 August 2013

Weekend of the birthdays

There were two birthdays this weekend. My son's and my niece's.
The kids were slightly cranky Saturday morning, but they still had a lot of fun at Chuck e Cheese. Yuri was very focused and serious during the cake procedure. He listened to the birthday song as if it was a hymn. And he only relaxed and started smiling after he blew off the candles.
There was an interesting moment with him there. A couple of times he asked me if all his guests are ok. They were spread out all over the place and he couldn't see them, so he asked me to check on them. He was mostly climbing up the tunnels with Cooper, who was afraid to climb up on his own. So, a few times Yuri asked me to help Cooper, cause he is afraid to go in.
I gotta tell you, those tunnels are not for adults. The sound resonates there and gets you completely disoriented, never mind the fact that you need to squeeze into fairly narrow twists and turns :)

But that aside, my point was... I did notice that Yuri had a very carrying nature before Alissa was born, but I think her presence enhances that by a large degree. He learns to stand up for himself, but he also learns to compromise and care.
After the party was done I had the time to recall how I had Yuri. It was one of the most amazing experiences of my life. Even though I delivered in a very comfortable and serene atmosphere at home,  he came out with a storm of sensations and emotions. He turned 360 degrees during the labor and I felt every move he made. I have a feeling he will go through life with the same storm, going forward no matter what life brings to him, melting the circumstances with his strength.

Friday, 16 August 2013

How do you teach them to care

Last night as I was putting Yuri down he asked me if I'm tired and if I feel well. That made me think,  should I show them when I'm not 100%?
My parent's approach was to never show us their weakness. Their philosophy was (and in part I agree) that kids need to know they have firm backing they can rely on. They need to feel secure and protected at all times. It's not their turn to try to protect anyone yet. So, until I was well into my teens and my mom started a horrible cancer fight, I never realized she can get so tired or sick she can't function. Same for dad, Iron man was a joke compared to him. Later it thought me the strength of self control no matter what. That is only after I came to realize that I always had two stable and strong parents, even though they had to raise me in conditions that won't even compare to the problems that I'm facing.
On the other hand,  however,  it feels good to have your child showing signs of carrying at such an early age. Showing him that I'm not feeling well would teach him to care and help,  wouldn't it?
So, I choose the golden middle yet again. If Yuri has a tendency to show support,  I need to try and develop that. I need to pick my occasions when I let him know I'm not well. Other times,  my upbringing will probably win. I still think kids should have the opportunity to be kids, preferably while they are still kids :)

Thursday, 15 August 2013

Anticipation

Yuri is really waiting for his birthday. He wanted to rip a leaf off the countdown twice yesterday. He wanted it so much I had to let him enjoy it. He just won't be able to rip one off today...
He made a plan last night, very detailed one too...
We are going to buy a birthday cake tonight after I pick him up, then we'll bring it to the daycare in the morning and he'll have a birthday party there with candles and a crown. Then we'll go and get his train present. And on Saturday we'll have a birthday party at Chuck E Cheese. He specified who he invited and what games he would like to play there. I'm enjoying his enjoyment so much, it makes my heart melt.

As he woke up today, or to be more exact, after I got him dressed while he was asleep, carried him to my bed and Alissa danced on him for a while so he had to open him eyes to protect himself from being jumped on... he asked me if it's time to pick up the cake yet :)

From parental point of view the countdown idea is a gem. Not only the anticipation will intensify his joy during the party, but it teaches him patience too.