A Travellerspoint blog

Picky Eater, Part 2

WAYS to get your child to eat more healthy foods and drive you less insane!

semi-overcast 79 °F

I have found as Bodhi becomes more mobile, now 22 months old and always on the go, he does not want to sit down and eat. Breakfast is OK, lunch difficult, dinner nearly impossible. What he wants is for me to follow along behind him carrying snacks, and when he reaches back, I will hadn him a few pretzels, a pack of raisins, or a few apple slices. I know grazing is good for you, but this is ridiculous. And I am embarressed to admit that I have resorted to this method on several occasions, just to get him to eat something, when he refuses to climb into his highchair. Meals have now become a lesson in negotiations and patience. Wanting him to eat something healthy, and wanting him to try what I have spent time preparing for him produce anxiety that I just am not accustomed to feeling. I find myself pleading a lot..."Please? Can you try this?"

"Yum, it's sooo good, Mama likes it!" "Please?" The airplane spoon and other such techniques simply no longer work. He wants control over this process. I want to let him decide what to eat, but dammit, I want it to be on my terms too. I believe in providing variety and letting your child try a lot of different foods, spices, and preparations to expand their tastes and experience of food - in theory. In practice, however, I find it leads to a lot of uneaten food and unnecessary prep work. Oh, and many pieces of food swiped onto the floor. Equivalent to frustration for momma.

I have heard that this is a part of toddlerhood and that the pickiness will pass. But when we go out to a restaurant and I have to order him french fries, because I know it's the only thing they have that he will reliably eat, I can't help but feel a little sense of defeat. This momma-baby food drama is definitely one area I have had to work on, and one I continue to remind myself to have a sense of humor about. Hey, I grew up eating McDonalds french fries,and I turned out fine :) My child has only had fast food one time, while stuck in an airport in Paris; he had such bad diarrhea that I or he will never do it again.
As I work through this challenge and try to get healthy food into my child, I will share some bits of sunshine and some lessons learned, to help other moms encountering toddler food strikes...

Here are a FEW TIPS I have learned along the way:

(1) EAT EARLY - when my son eats at 5-5:30, he's more likely to eat what we give him. It's important to eat at a regularly scheduled time, kids do SO much better with routine. If it gets too late before we have food on his plate, he gets fidgety and tired and that tiredness makes him less agreeable to try new things or sit still to eat.

(2) PLACE FOOD IN FRONT OF THEM IN STAGES
Start with the foods YOU want them to eat (example, steamed broccoli and roasted carrots). Provide a dipping sauce or two if necessary. Then move on to adding things you know they will eat, like turkey sausage and olives in our case. Finish with fruit or yogurt for dessert. In my experience, if you even make the suggestion for fruit, the rest of the meal is not happening. No sweet things first.

(3) DON'T EAT AS A FAMILY
I know this is controversial. In fact, I thought my family would be like the Cleaver's, but not while our child is this young. Our son Bodhi has to eat early, and his dinner only lasts for about 20 minutes. So we find when we try to eat together, that my husband and I feel we are frantically shoving food into our mouths while trying to make sure our son doesn't unbuckle his booster seat and climb out. Our family's way: HAPPY HOUR. Bodhi eats his food. We sit with him, make conversation, have a glass of wine and antipasti. A snack and a drink. It has the same effect as 'eating together', but we still get a relaxing dinner atmosphere after he has gone to bed. And keep our sanity.

(4) TRY SOY SAUCE OR LEMON & OLIVE OIL ON VEGGIES
I know, I know, watch the sodium. But for our son, you add soy sauce to rice or veggies, and he gobbles them up. Enough said. Best ever is "gomasio" - the sushi spinach rolls - our son loves them with the salty goodness an they have about a pound of fresh spinach per roll! He gives all other greens the evil eye, so this was a big victory for us.

(5) AIM FOR 5-7 FRUITS & VEGGIE SERVINGS A DAY
My best secrets for this are veggie burgers, hiding vegetables pureed into pasta sauce or in smoothies or popsicles that we make by hand, both of which my son loves to have. There are also some wonderful products by dr.praeger called spinach pancakes or broccoli pancakes - they are potato cakes with vegetables, but my son loves them plain or with applesauce.

I have heard time and time again that it can take up to 15 times for a child to "like" a food. That means that he rejected it 14 times before accepting it. Apparently the researchers in that study had much more patience than I. I prefer to keep offering the healthy things that he likes, and to try one or two things a week that are new, in hopes we find a new winner.
(More on food allergies and how to cope with them - and our baby food global cookbook! - in picky eater, part 3)

Posted by globalmomma 14:27 Archived in USA Tagged food family tips meals go mobile patience allergies sensitive todler picky Comments (0)

the parenting manual

sunny 82 °F

Every mother of a toddler grieves the process of their little baby growing up. We miss the cuddles, the way they ate everything we put in front of them with enthusiasm, the way they thought we were the greatest thing ever. We long for the days of being able to browse in a bookstore while our little one snoozed in their carseat, or contently chewed on a little rubber giraffe. I remember when we had our firstborn, exhausted parents would tell us, "go out now, while you still can." We thought, what?! Going out to eat with a baby isn't so easy - you have to haul a giant diaper bag (which you prepared in advance), a stroller, several kinds of baby food, and a car seat into a restaurant and hope your baby didn't wake up or poop through their diaper or cause a scene. Little did I know that two years later, I would still have those same concerns, and generally have a harder time making my wishes come true. Now a two year old has a much more developed sense of what HE wants to do, and what he thinks is a good idea. You may think going out to pizza is the greatest thing ever, and when you arrive at the restaurant, he stubbornly digs in his heels, shaking his head, no no.

This is all very perplexing for a mother, and certainly takes a lot more finesse and compromise and inventive thinking than life with a baby. I am humbled by the realization that as one phase begins to get easier and I seem to figure out my child and myself, another phase and development comes along that completely throws me for a loop. I have discovered that parenting is one giant drawing board of trial and error for which the manuals are dramatically ill-equipped. Parenting is like putting together Ikea furniture - there are illustrations and there is some understanding of what the finished product should be like, but getting from here to there often requires some tools that you do not have. Picking up those tools as you go along is the whole key to the puzzle. The current tools I am working on are "choosing your battles", knowing when it is important to make a stand, and the art of letting go. Letting go of the baby that is now becoming a boy, and letting go of my need to be right and to have plans. Often my plans or desires are thwarted by the plans or realities of a little being who also has needs and plans and ideas. This should seem obvious, but when you are walking through Target trying to get your errands checked off for the day, and your son is vocally letting the store know that he is "all done" being there...sometimes you have to abandon the mission. At first I try to reason with him, "just five more minutes, OK, momma has something she needs to get done". "Seriously, you need to stay in the cart and wait". Hmm, this does not seem to be getting through, I think to myself. I try distraction. I try promising a trip to the park. Finally I decide, 'is getting a tube of toothpaste really worth the trouble?' And I leave a half-full cart and head home.

This challenges my sanity, because I want to be able to reason with a child, to let him know of course that I have needs too, and sometimes he has to allow me to get things done. Yes, that's what he needs to know. Hmm. Problem is, a 2 year old is not yet able to reason, so as well as I may think I explain myself, what he hears is close to the Peanuts adults saying, "Whnt whnt whnt". That's where the letting go, and the choosing of the battles comes in. Oh, and the sense of humor. I expect that sometimes my desires will not get met, and sometimes even the best intended plans do not work out. This is all an evolution; and like everything in life, the more you can learn to let go and embrace the process, the better things will be.

Posted by globalmomma 14:49 Archived in USA Tagged sunny go manual toddler needs parenting letting Comments (0)

Picky Eater, Part 1

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My son Bodhi has always been a good eater. He latched on in less than an hour after birth, and took to nursing with a zealous flair. The kid knew his #1 priority, and he took it seriously. When that milk (me) came home even ten minutes late from the store, he would let me hear it. We followed the rules, breast milk only, but by 5 1/2 months, we decided to give him his first food just a little earlier than the steadfast recommendation of 6 months. He seemed so ready. He seemed hungry. He whined and reached for our forks while we ate. He wanted to nurse - almost always - just as the food was ready and put out on the dinner table. My husband would be cooking, the smell of food was in the air, and just as the food was finished and hot and I was ravenous, he would want to nurse.

We gave him his first food, avocado, and it was a moment I will never forget. "Mmmmmmm". "MMmmmmm", was his emphatic response to that. He gobbled up three bowls. 3 bowls. Not three teaspoons, as I read was the 'appropriate' amount for babies this age to want to eat, like the baby books will tell you. He literally ate an entire avocado... My husband and I laughing out loud the entire time. The only food he rejected in the entire first year of eating was green peas. And we tried a lot: beets, rutabagas, swiss chard, white beans with olive oil, lamb, basil, curry, olives, turkey, millet, apricots, pumpkin...

Anyway, as a baby, he was an enthusiastic eater. But that has all turned on its head this second year. Since he started wanting to feed himself, the options of what he can eat narrowed somewhat. Some dishes were just too messy or too difficult for him to eat himself. No more beets, no thin purees, no good healthy veggies disguised by the sweetness of fruits. So we went to finger foods, but then all meats were out due to textural issues, and all eggs too, except for hard-boiled egg whites. A protein dilemma. And almost all vegetables - except carrots, yams, corn, beets, and potatoes - (the starchy ones) - almost all others he rarely eats. Even avocado, his long-time favorite, is now rejected.

To add to the challenge, we have discovered a number of food allergies, two of which are a real doozy when trying to:
A) eat out at restaurants
B) keep things exciting and maintain variety
C) not spend his entire college fund at specialty stores

Wheat and Cow's Milk are his two sensitivities. Whenever I tell other parents this, they always ask: How did you know? Well, first, my husband and I are both naturopathic doctors, so it is literally our job to know these things. Secondly, careful observation of signs and symptoms related to foods he eats. Many people do not think to correlate the food that they eat with how they feel: headaches, skin allergies, mood swings, fatigue... all of these symptoms and more are OFTEN correlated with food and sensitivities to foods. For our son in particular, it was skin allergies (eczema) and diaper rash/diarrhea. Every time he eats dairy, he gets diaper rash. I don't believe that babies should just have diaper rash - in my medical experience, it is almost always a food sensitivity, sometimes coupled with a sensitivity to products being used, for example the wipes, lotions, or diapers. More on the naturopathic diagnosis and ways to deal with food allergies (now a major focus of my work!) in Picky Eater, part 3. :)

Posted by globalmomma 13:09 Archived in USA Tagged food child baby foods first tips eater allergies parenting picky Comments (0)

Mom Jeans

I am happy to announce that by next month, I will officially be retiring my pair of 'mom jeans'. You know, the ones purchased for short term use two months after having my son, when I was all done with wearing workout clothes and not being able to work out. I concede an extra size. By six months, thanks to a regular jogging and my home wii workouts during naps, I was back to my former self, back to cute jeans and exercise. Wow, the baby weight came off pretty easily, I naively thought. However, I didn't realize just how much of that had been due to the body's hard work of lactation. Making baby nutrition is hard work! Turns out my 3 miles 3x a week didn't really cut it, and actually, eating my way across Italy for three months didn't help either, and here I find myself back at square one, back in my mom jeans. It's cute when you have an infant and looking frumpy and disheveled is part of the game, and the charm of that brief moment in time. But now, those extra pounds have to go. A week on an all-you-can-eat cruise did not help my crusade, but now that I am back in the land of beaches and sunshine, it's time to get moving.

I challenge any of you other moms to join me in dropping 5 pounds in 6 weeks. Moms should feel desirable, stylish, confident. Lord knows we don't get our beauty sleep, so we can use all the help we can get. As a doctor, I know that poor sleep also contributes to weight gain, so one of the first things I tell people who are trying to lose weight is to sleep more! Then not only can we help our biochemistry, but we also have the energy to move more. So, rest more and move more, moms!! Every woman needs a little glamour in her life. That is why at the end of these six weeks, I am treating myself to one of those ridiculously priced pairs of designer jeans. (I highly recommend a little incentive) Here's to us moms, trying to get a little time for ourselves, trying to be the women we want to be every day.

Posted by globalmomma 05:43 Archived in USA Tagged change designer health weight loss jeans Comments (0)

A frog in your soup

So here's the news for today. After more than 2 weeks of travel, we landed back in Kailua kona at 10am this morning, and are all very happy to be here. Bodhi has been tearing his shoes and socks off all week, to which I promptly reply, "you have to keep those on until we get back to Hawaii. It's cold here honey.". Of course, he didn't listen to the 'don't take those off' part, but apparently he understood the 'until back in Hawaii' part because as thelane was about to set down, he was again yanking both socks off and throwing them with such gusto, I know he was hoping he would never see them again.

My husband also responded by systematically stripping off layers of clothing until he looked native again in his slips, shorts, and a hat. I however, was stuck in jeans, sneakers and a long sleeve shirt, and I couldn't wait to get the heck home.

Once home we visited our favorite spot for some fresh island poke (raw marinated ahi), and settled in. Bodhi went down for a nap, so I decided to read and rest as well. I heard something, and figuring my husband had come home, I got up and instead found, at the foot of my bed, a little someone. Looking dazed and sleepy. A little someone who is supposed to still be staying put in his crib. I have caught him the past few weeks testing me by sliding his foot up the side of the crib as if to say, 'you know I could do this if I tried, right?'. And I knew he could, but I was hoping he wouldn't have the desire to figure it out. I had a feeling the end of this trip would be our deadline for the dreaded transition to the toddler or the twin bed, and it alas, is here.

So, we are getting settled back into life in our condo here, which means opening windows, turning on the air, and getting the place aired out. And a little spring cleaning is in order too, since the bugs take over as soon as you leave your tropical paradise. But... I had no idea just how much they took over. I grab a glass and pour some sparkling water into it, but instantly taste thT it isn't right, and spit it into the sink. I look into the bottle expecting to find mold and instead to my horror, I find... A dead gecko. I am so completely disgusted I am feeling my skin crawl. I spit, gargle salt water. Then my husband suggests vodka, and I drink that as well. I am still shivering with the thought of that floating reptile in the water bottle. Then, my husband tells me, at least you didn't drink a whole glass...

There are more blogs written about the past few weeks, I just haven't had a chance to post them, so get ready to hear tales of the Caribbean, cruise lines, meetings with old friends, citizenship appointments, and travel to Sonoma and San Francisco.

Posted by globalmomma 19:42 Archived in USA Tagged water travel dead baby bugs hawaii airplanes gecko crib Comments (1)

Principled Sickness

rain 53 °F

Today is the first day I have been able to pause and reflect on this long month of journeys we have been taking. Perhaps that's why this bug hasn't loosened its grip on my chest since the first of the year. I am getting a little tired of being sick: Why can't I be like everyone else and just dose up on medications until I feel better? Why Can't I mask the symptoms and move on with life?

This principled stance that I have from years in holistic medicine keeps me holding out, drinking fluids, trying to rest, cheering on my body to naturally heal itself. Not so easy sometimes when a jet-lagged child keeps you up from 4-5am, and buses, taxis, excursions and rain are calling you to go. go. go. I remember talking to my sister once when she had two young kids and walking pneumonia. I was in medical school. I gave her all the good advice. I told her, you need to slow down, get lots of rest, fluids and warm nourishing foods. You need to take a month to just recuperate, sleep well, and rebuild your immunity so it doesn't get worse. It is a testament that she didn't laugh in my face. As I find my own immunity faltering and feel a cold mounting in my own chest, I find I am now preaching to the choir. And the choir is not amused. In fact, the choir want to throw the preacher out and find some new principles to follow that include Nyquil and Theraflu.

We left Kona February 13th, and have been in flight for over two weeks. It was an epic trip from Hawaii to San Francisco, San Francisco to Greenville SC, South Carolina to Florida, cross Florida to a cruise ship, cruise throughout the Caribbean, then back to Florida, and across country to San Francisco. We have one final portion of the trip back from San Jose, CA to Kona. All with a toddler in tow. We realized while on the ship that we had traveled likely halfway around the world to get there, in less than a week.

Now from California, we will fly directly back to Kona, where I find, I cannot wait to return. Turns out, after only 6 months in Hawaii, I cannot bear to live anywhere else. Even in mild San Francisco temperatures of lower 50's, I have been shivering uncontrollably. I simply cannot bear the cold. I never particularly LIKED it, but I had no problems braving the SF or Seattle rainy days when I lived there - jogging through it, even sitting outdoors for an outside music festival through the cold, wet drizzle. In fact, occasionally I welcomed the fogging of my glasses when entering a warm coffeeshop, the sound of rain against the windows while I slept, the solitary jogs through musty Lincoln Park... Now after five minutes I am hacking and looking for the nearest way indoors. I think my body thermostat has adjusted to Hawaii temperatures, and I am not sure it will be easy to adjust it back.

For now, I will cuddle in for the evening, sip on my hot tea, and envision my body's defenses going to war.

Posted by globalmomma 14:06 Archived in USA Comments (0)

The Vertigo of Motion

semi-overcast 72 °F

Last week, my husband, son, and I boarded a gigantic cruise ship headed to the Caribbean. We were on a week vacation with my in-laws, the first in quite a while. Bodhi was excited to see the enormous whale of a ship anchored to an equally giant dock. He pointed and yelled his typical phrase "Dohhhdit!" which loosely translated means, "what the heck is that!?!" he including wait to get on and explore. First we had to climb off the shuttle bus, hand over our luggage to the experienced but jaded porters on the docks in Miami, and pray that they would all miraculously arrive at our doorstep inboard, like was promised. Then we had to wait in a deep line to get through our checkin, get our cruise ship IDs, and be loaded on board. The entire process of loading and unloading the ship was an exercise in patience. There are big crowds on a cruise, so they have to do things in this semi-organized herded fashion. But for us long travelers, who are used to going our own way and avoiding crowds, used to winging it and not having a schedule, this was a new and frustrating process requiring us to let go and go with the flow of the large group without dissension.

At first, there was annoyance with things - why can't they be more efficient? Why does it feel so crowded? Then, partway through the experience, I learned that this is a part of the disorientation of travel. Usually we do things a certain way because that way is what works best for us. We have a vast comfort zone when we travel that most people do not have. Most people want to know where to go, where they will be arriving when, and how to get there. For my husband and I, this information feels stifling and confining, and reaches into the depths of discomfort with travel. We like freedom, open spaces, possibilities, whims. I don't necessarily like to know where I will end up tomorrow, but I like to take it one step at a time, knowing if we get on a train headed north and see a cute spot, we can jump off and stay. The unregimented open agenda is our comfort spot. Thus, the regimented schedule of a cruise line would prove to be somewhat of a challenge for us.

There is a certain stress and uneasiness that comes with travel for most of us - we have to keep track of our things, have to pack and unpack, have to plan and prepare, remember boarding passes, passports and medicines, and the there is the element of "what if". What if I need something while traveling that I don't have? What if I don't like the hotel? What if I can't sleep? What if my kids act up on the plane? What if I get sick? What if. There are so many of those what ifs. Those are the discomforts that keep people from traveling and the risks and difficulties that it can bring. Those are the challenges to our psyche and our way of life. Travel forces people in some way to step outside of their comfort zones of home, and experience something new. That something new may not always be better, or always be a welcome change, but it is something new. And it allows you to be able to question your life, your beliefs, your comforts, and see outside the realm of your everyday life. This is the primary reason that whenever travel calls to me, I answer.

So here we are, miles and knots away from land in the middle of the Caribbean Sea. I have found my sea legs after a very harsh night of tossing and turning without sound sleep, due to the waves shaking against the ship and rolling under our little cabin. I feel frustration and exhaustion rising up. I want to throw in the towel and stay home. I dont want to brave the day and just continue, I want time to feel bad. But the boy is up at six, and wanting to play. The sun is up, it is a new day. I am not ready for the new day, I have not processed the old day, but time moves on without me and so I rise, get coffee, and get moving. Attitude is everything. Travel is all about having experiences. As I was reminded on this cruise, there are some perfect moments and incredible experiences mixed with some disappointing experiences and little aggravations. It almost does not matter in the end how good those experiences are, it just matters that you went out, and had them. Life is like that too... you take the good with the bad, and in the end, all that you remember are the very best.

I am sitting, bare feet flat on the floor inside our condo in Florida, where we will stay an extra few days before our flight back to the west coast and onto Hawaii. I am fully stationary, yet I am swaying from side to side like a midday drunk. I am still in a state of perpetual motion after getting off the boat 36 hours ago. My mind knows I am on land, but my body still thinks we are moving. This continual sway is what reminded me that travel gives everyone a sense of vertigo. The chaos of motion: uprooting, settling, transferring, exploring, packing, viewing, doing, wandering. All of these verb endings of action come with traveling, because there is activity and there is growth, and there are discoveries that go on inside that cause us to shift, ever so slightly off-balance. This shift out of our comfort zone and into experiences can cause a vertigo that stays with you as you struggle to reincorporate elements of your new experience into yourself. Being off balance, or our of our equilibrium is what helps us to feel alive, and helps us to grow. I remember hearing in high school biology - an animal or a being that is in a perfect state of equilibrium is dead. The rest of us are struggling to find equilibrium as we tumble in and out of it all the time, finding balance for an instant only to lose it again. It is this process that constitutes life and activity and growth: this vertigo of motion and the balance beam of life.

Posted by globalmomma 09:57 Archived in Bahamas Tagged islands travel cruise caribbean florida bahamas virgin vertigo Comments (0)

School shootings

A moment of long pause and reflection comes over me as I watch the words scroll across the small video screen imbedded in the airplane seat: Shooting in Ohio school. Another shooting in an American high school.

I find this so hard to take. Not just because I have my own child to think about, but because the whole concept is so unthinkable. Children killing children. I want to scream. I wish I could rewind it and stop the words from coming, wish I could stop this pain and this loss of innocence. It is very hard to find the words to write because I am sick down to the core of myself with despair. Maybe it should not come as a shock - there have been at least a dozen shooting in the past decade, but each one, no matter where they occur, is like a dagger to the heart of every parent.

How could this happen to our kids? Why? I am afraid to think of the answers.

I read an excerpt from a book called The Bully Society, and I wonder if that is a concept we are teaching our children, that bullying and teasing is a natural part of growing up. I wonder if the promotion of individualism sometimes leaves community and socialization behind. In all our strivings to create the perfect life for our children - perfect neighborhoods, good schools, nice things...sometimes we lose track of the most important thing of all - spending time with our children. Reminding them of their intrinsic worth. Loving our children as if they are all that matters in the universe, because they are. They all are. I worry about an infection of cultural unhappiness that I see around me, and I wonder if it contributes to the unhappiness rampant in children.

As I struggle to make sense of this situation, I worry about where I will send my son to school. Or how I will drop him off at school knowing these things. And I worry about children who are not feeling loved at home, and who are not being accepted at school. I don't know how to affect each and every one of them, but I wish that I could. I wish I could wrap my arms around the hearts of every child in the world and let them all be loved. I hope in some small way, we can all contribute to this mission, and we can all reverse this epidemic, bringing safety and kindness and acceptance back into our schools and our kids' lives.

Posted by globalmomma 09:07 Archived in USA Tagged children school love violence shootings Comments (0)

Overcome

overcast 84 °F

These days I feel chronically overwhelmed. Today on my way out the door, I spent fifteen minutes looking for my cell phone. Yesterday it was five minutes doing the same. I am always asking my husband, "Do you know where I put that?" "Did you happen to move it?" "Any idea where X could be?" Usually I find it in one of several obvious locations. But some rare times it is in an odd place, like say, the Windex is on top of the refrigerator, or the glass of ice water is next to the shower.

I find myself wondering if my husband is messing with me, if my son is really to blame for hiding these objects, or if I am honestly losing my mind. Hopefully none of the above, but my brain does not seem to be as sharp as it once was. I wonder why this has affected me, and not my husband. He gets the same lack of sleep. Maybe it is some odd shift in hormonal function after you have a child that suddenly makes a woman forgetful. He thinks I ignore him when he asks me to bring him some water, but the truth is, I forget what he said somewhere in those fifteen steps between the time he asks me and the time I get to the kitchen.

I am also losing my sense of motivation. I blame this on motherhood too. We went to our little beginner surfer's beach yesterday. I had many excuses in mind for why I couldn't go out: I had a headache, I was tired, Bodhi wanted me to stay, I had more pressing things to do... I DID build up the nerve to paddle out. So I swim out and find myself bobbing in the waves thinking, this is not safe. What am I doing out here alone? I don't know what I am doing. Maybe I should play it safe. Maybe I should paddle into shore. I paddled into a few waves like a boogie boarder, riding them shortly but without fully committing to a stand. This is our first big winter swell, and the waves were larger than we have seen, and I heard the first break in the distance thundering loudly. By the time they get in to where I am stationed, they are just bumps, but the oncoming white water and pounding sound make me hesitate and think I should go into shore. I sit there for a few minutes, wishing I felt the urge to attack the waves with gusto, like a lioness over her prey. Truth is I feel more like a puppy, wanting to watch from the shore. I don't want to be one of those people that always opts out and sits on the sidelines, I want to be a mother who adventures, takes chances, and learns new things. I want to teach my son he can do anything he sets his mind to do.

When I paddle back into shore, I am both feeling relieved and slightly bothered by this apprehension that I feel in the water. I remember a time when I felt fearless, when I would try anything, when I had more guts. I want to still have that audacity, that reckless abandon for adventure...I want my child to see it, and to also have a carefree courage. But something comes along with motherhood that causes me to take pause, survey the situation for safety, be cautious. It is what also makes me now woozy at high elevations. Heights never bothered me before, I would walk a razor-thin edge out to a clifftop. Now I see them as a danger. I watch these kids in the X-games go flying over a ramp doing backflips on their snowboards, and instead of thinking, 'wow, I wish I could do that'; I think 'Never'. I am gratified by the fact that I at least took the step to swim out there and be amidst the waves feeling these uneasy emotions. I hope it turns into a more fierce determination to overcome this fear and prevail. I want to succeed in surfing and I want to experience new things, but I find those things completely overshadowed by my greater desire to be a mother, to spend time with my son, and to cheer on his successes. Perhaps there is room for a little success and discovery for each of us, if I can only remember how to find it.

Posted by globalmomma 06:27 Archived in USA Tagged surf waves hawaii fear memory courage motivation Comments (0)

1 Little Drawback to Life in Paradise...

A small drawback to life in Hawai'i is our fourth roommate, an uninvited guest. A little mouse who has begun crawling in under our air conditioner and wandering around the kitchen in search of crumbs. At first, it was kinda adorable, such a small little mouse. Then it was OK, but we got some of those non-cruel traps. We spent three days trapping him, throwing him outside, then trapping him again. Once, three times before midnight I heard him in the trap, put him inside, only for him to get caught in the trap minutes later. Now it is not really cute anymore, and I want this little mouse to leave for good. We were considering drastic measures, but neither of us has the heart to do it, so those nasty old traps that snap are just not an option here at our house.

My husband got some cardboard to fill the space under the air conditioner. He chewed through that too. Finally, we resorted to the wonder of all items in the hardware store: duck tape. We sealed all the air conditioners. We walked the perimeter looking for small holes and entry points. We were finally sure it was secure, then we placed the traps again. This time, when we caught the little guy, my husband walked him to the far edge of the property, so hopefully he is gone for good. The thing about paradise is... a lot of other creatures think it is paradise too, and they want to share. Cockroaches, ants, mice, worms, beetles, bugs, these are a part of our daily life now, and keeping them outside is often a challenge, especially with a baby who loves juice pops...

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Posted by globalmomma 04:39 Comments (0)

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