boho baby

a pure way*

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A lot of you precious souls write to me asking how Cedar is doing since I wrote months ago about us receiving a possible diagnosis and our journey within the label/non label-ness of it all. We are so grateful for the love and care from those that have been following our journey as a family. The timing of your love notes is always so divine on those extra energy giving days for us. So many have also reached out because of being on a similar journey. A confirmation how healing being witnessed and understood can be.

This past year we've really cocooned with support from family, very patient close friends, his Naturopath and Occupational Therapist. This experience has been such a delicate and beautiful dance of listening to our hearts and our own intuition as parents, listening to Cedar, honoring wisdom from those that have gone before us and yet also surrendering to the not knowing (or needing to know) and finding what feels like home to us through it all.

We were told in the very beginning that a diagnosis of Asperger's Syndrome was really early to tell and to stay open as he progresses through therapy and lifestyle changes. As we read through our stacks of books on Asperger's, there were some elements Cedar shared but so many he didn't. We were fully aware through this process that not any one child fits in any box. Of course this felt so deeply true for us always even before all of this came to surface. So we remained open through our research. After months of therapy and evaluation, we have found that what we are navigating through is Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD). This diagnosis and the wisdom that has come pouring forth from books and therapy and blogs has been such a blessing for us and for him.

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I am, we are indeed one of those open, earthy families that believe in Crystal, Rainbow, Sun, Moon Starchild as a way of seeing his spirit and soul but we also surrender to and honor all wisdom that comes our way and it seems in this case, Western's view on SPD has enlightened us on how to help him and he's thriving. It helps my family have more compassion and understanding. It will help his teachers know better his special needs. I can only be grateful for this and its another life lesson in letting go of resistance to a label, letting go of judgment from others and surrendering to what my child needs.

As I shared with vulnerability before, we know in our hearts that Cedar is not defined by any one label or diagnosis. He is our Cedar...wholly and fully unique. He's tender and highly sensitive (like his mama). He hears things we cannot hear (frequencies, wires in walls, etc) and he needs deep pressure/impact to feel things physically. He needs to be reminded that he's hungry, hot, cold or has to go to the bathroom. He needs forewarning if a loud noise is coming (vacuum, blender, dishwasher) so he can prepare for what it does to his body. He struggles when more than one person is talking in a room, so he self soothes by making noises (hums, clicks or talks loud) to diffuse the sound in his head. If he is not in a centered space, there is a lot of melting down or inability to calm his mind and body. We try our best to honor these needs and not expose him to environments that are uncomfortable for him. We are also learning to be more brave by helping him (and us) practice self awareness in challenging situations where before we just avoided them all together for peace.

Unpredictability is what causes a lot of anxiety for him and to make things predictable, he often tries to control his environment and his imagination is what feels safe to him. He will approach people and say he is another creature and they are another creature and all of a sudden, he is taking them on an adventure. He doesn't have normal conversations. ; ) He has a wild imagination and those that go along with him and enter into his beautiful world of creatures and magic, not only gain his trust and love but they leave his presence so filled up with other-worldliness. My marmie calls him "the storyteller"...and that he can do (all. day. long.).

What our son is, is deeply connected. Deeply sensitive. Deeply intuitive. This is how we see him...and really, he is such a mirror for us. We too have so many of these needs, his daddy and me. We have learned through this process to honor these needs in each of us.

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My husband is so amazing when it comes to information. He's constantly doing research on how to heal the body from within, especially for children with sensitivities like our Cedar and those on the spectrum. For our own journey through fertility and other things, healing has always been about what we put into our bodies and how it affects our mind, body and spirit. After months of trying so many different diets for Cedar, we have discovered what are triggers for his sensory needs and what nourishes him and helps his body to regulate his senses.

Below I will share what we've learned in order to offer some nuggets of help to those that are on a similar path but also to keep those informed that care for our family deeply of where we are today. I realize what works for one child, may not for another. Its all part of exploring our uniqueness!

Here's our daily gig of healing:

  • Occupational therapy once a week. Every other week he joins another boy in the therapy room so they can learn together how to move through social anxieties and fears in a warm, loving, gentle environment. Playing with children can feel so unpredictable to Cedar and what feels safe and predictable is to control his environment by controlling play.  This has made it an emotional experience to connect with other children. This therapy sharing has really helped him be open to other children's needs and ideas. Its helped him be more brave and open in social situations.
  • Gluten Free/Grain Free diet. If he does do grains, only brown rice and quinoa feel good in his body but not in excess...just bits at a time.
  • No peanuts
  • No bananas
  • No dairy with the exception of goats cheese/milk
  • No safflower or sunflower oil
  • No sunflower seeds
  • Cashew nut butter only (he has a reaction from almond, peanut and sunflower butters)
  • High doses of Omega 3 oils (five of these & two of these, both in the morning and late afternoon).
  • Probiotics (one in morning, one in afternoon) are crucial because we notice that if he is able to digest what goes into his body well, then energy will go towards what he needs for his sensory system rather than energy being used up for his digestion.
  • Vitamin D3 (one tablet daily in morning)
  • We cook for him with walnut and grapeseed oil. After watching the film Lorenzo's Oil (true story), my husband did research and discovered the miracle piece to the oil came from walnuts. When we started using these oils for him, we noticed a shift immediately. We start his day with breakfast sauteed heavy in walnut oil (scrambled fresh eggs from our neighbor, organic sausage, potatoes) with some coconut milk yogurt and a wee bit of berries. He needs to start his day with a breakfast mostly of protein with plenty of those oils and that sets him up for a day feeling better in his body.
  • He eats nothing processed, no artificial colors, artificial flavors and no sugars. The only sweetener he can tolerate is honey.
  • Body movement. Cedar's occupational therapist describes his sensory needs as a "sensory bank account". The more you deposit into his account, the better his sensory system can regulate itself. The more that is taken out, the more depleted an unable to regulate he becomes. The best way to fill his account up is with body movement, body impact (deep hugs, deep pressure placed on body, pillow sandwich, running, climbing, pulling, jumping, stretching).
  • Music therapy
  • We often create dark spaces for him to go to (tents, forts, huge boxes with pillows and blankets inside where he places battery operated candles for low light). This helps him when he is overstimulated and overwhelmed. He'll read a book or watch a film or play an educational game in these dark spaces until he's ready to surface.
  • Nurturing ourselves: All of this requires a lot of energy and taking time to ourselves (romantic dates, coffee shops, me working on an ecourse, my husband getting massages for his carpel tunnel) helps us be more present for Cedar when we are with him.
  • Nature, nature, nature...is his most healing place.  There he can connect in a way where there is no pressure to connect.  Trees, earth, stones, sand and water just get him.

How we communicate these changes we've made in our life to Cedar is that we are trying to "help his body feel good".  What we've seen in him as we've poured our energy into this journey is that he is so much more in tune with his body.  He is beginning to communicate in words what feels like too much or what he needs.  He will tell his babysitter "my body doesn't feel good when I eat those" or he will ask if he can leave the room when there are too many people.  He will tell us he needs to be held tightly or he will tell us he doesn't want to be touched. He is not always able to use his words but many times he does and this is so precious to us.

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After spending time communicating with Cedar in a very other worldly way, his Naturopath shared with us that he believes Cedar is a sentient being and these beings that are sent to earth with a message are very sensitive to anything that isn't pure.

Truly, that is what brought it all together for me. That simple message of purity. Pure...oh how I love that word and really, its been such a guide for us: Pure, simple, clean, clear, whole, organic. Aren't all of our bodies in need of this, especially when we are in a sensitive space?

Easter brings newness to our boy*

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us en route to vancouver. someone is a wee excited!

The eve of Good Friday, my boys and I were curled up by the fire and Cedar shared with us that he was ready to get his hair cut. I could hear the readiness in his voice. He has talked about it before only to be followed with a fierce "no!" once he realized a part of him would be gone. We've been gentle about it with him. We know that transitions of any kind are especially hard on his spirit. So many times he has referred to his curls as "pets" and made it clear often how much he cherished them. I intuited they offered him safeness (and sameness). Of course I cherished his locks too, as did anyone that spent time with him. Although they were now down to his bum and on their way to dreadlocks and constantly up in buns or ponies. So we understood that he was ready for soft and new, just like I was last year. So harmonious with our honoring the New Life that Easter brings.

We told him that we will revisit it again in the morning to see if it still feels right to him and if it did, we would make an appointment that day.

Morning came and he crawled into my bed. While we were snuggling, he looked in my eyes and whispered..."Hair cut. I'm ready." My heart both leapt and sunk at once. This was truly the day. The day to let go of those gorgeous untouched baby curls!

A few months ago we stumbled upon a really cool children's salon called The Hair Loft. Its sits on the top floor of the Kids Market on Granville Island in Vancouver, BC. Inside there are chairs in the shape of cars and trains as cartoon characters (Thomas the Train, Lightening McQueen, Dora the Explorer, etc) and there are televisions inside the walls playing animated films or shows. I called them Saturday morning and they had an opening at 4pm! Off to Vancouver we went for the day...

I was so in awe of his bravery. Cedar is very particular about who he allows to touch him. He is very sensitive to peoples energies and of course to any kind of caress. Especially with his hair. I wondered if when the stylist started working her magic on his hair, if he would melt down and we would turn around and go home but quite the contrary, he was just so determined!

Out of all the cars available to sit in, he chose the one that wasn't a cartoon character at all but a beautiful vintage convertible. He's so my boy!! ; )

He asked the stylist if his daddy could brush his hair first. I was proud that rather than push her away or start screaming, he asked for what he needed. This has been a huge shift in our world for him and for us after a few months of occupational therapy and us working with him to take deep breaths and find his words so we know what he needs.

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The stylist cut off his curls in one swoop, handed it to me and I put those locks in a special box I found at an antique store years ago near my parents home. My sister said she wanted me to save her a lock and I want one too.

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I'm giggling as I am writing all of this about his hair but THAT is how much me and my family have cherished it and Cedar has too. Its just been such a huge part of him and that is why shedding it was such a good practice. For him, for us. It felt like a very similar emotional and spiritual process when I got my dreadlocks and then again when I cut them and combed them out. New life. New Beginnings...

So many mothers have shared with me that they have cried when their child got their first hair cut and watched their baby curls fall to the floor. And goodness I cry just about every day because I am such an emotional being. But I stood back and felt his bravery and stepped into it, for me, for him...and it became such a celebration!

The last few days we've been gazing at him. Our boy now truly looks so grown and he feels it too and dare I say its even brought on a bit of sass in his ways. ; )

He said he wanted to look like one of the guys from the band the Beatles (his favorite band) I think the stylist pulled it off with a bit of a modern twist.

Here he is the morning after on Easter. He woke up and immediately put on his boots and sweater to go fetch the eggs the Easter Bunny hid the night before. At the end of the egg trail was a basket full of gifts. We had painted the eggs with natural dye as soon as we got home from Vancouver. It was such a glorious morning...

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swimming in secrets*

Yesterday, right before falling asleep in the tree swing while his friend Emily was swinging him he said... "When I close my eyes, my brain feels like you're telling me secrets and I'm swimming in it."

Deep sigh. Every day he says something profound that we revel in. I am really loving venturing into his imagination and world these days. There is always something there that teaches me.

I would love to hear some deep words from some of the little souls in your life, if you remember and are inspired to share.

{you can see where our swing is hung in the background of this photo}

cedar live!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3EVOk6f-pTEhttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nv7hs7rUYm0 Wanted to share a few recent videos of Cedar, just for fun!

First video was filmed by my husband, in a parking lot of a store in Victoria, BC.  I was inside the shop, so they were alone.  It was the first time Cedar started humming and clicking at once.  Now he makes up all sorts of songs doing this! Its hilarious.

Second video is him strumming in a place on the side of our house we call "Shady Grove". Another video recorded by my husband when I wasn't around.

This video is of him having a quiet, meditative moment with his guitar.  I was a bit awed.  It just didn't seem like a 3 year old to me. Music is his medicine.

{The winner of the Horny Toad GIVEaway will be announced tomorrow!}

surrendering*

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Most of my life, especially in my adult life, I have resisted the idea of labels. I felt they placed people in a box and the concept of boxing anyone in didn't quite resonate or feel good in my bones. Intuitively I knew we were all unique and our experiences were unique and being open to others ideas, experiences meant deeper growth and a life of possibility. I feared the limited-ness and the feeling of being controlled and my free spirit ached for the freedom beyond boundaries.

Yet, even at almost 41 years old, as I continue to seek (and drift) and expand without a desire to associate myself with any one way of being, labels continue to come into my path.  They continue to be my teacher. My vessel of messages my soul needs.  Full of nuggets of wisdom. There is always a process of surrender while trying to sort out my own freedom within these labels and our societies preconceived ideas of them: Celiac, Christian, Infertile, Endometriosis, Dread Head, Empath, Wanderer, Adoptive Parent, Free Spirit, etc. There becomes this dance between intuiting my way through life and surrendering to needing guidance and help, knowing I cannot always do it alone.  I suppose labels happen for a reason. They provide direction when we feel lost.  They provide teaching when we are needing to be a student.  They provide council when we are confused.  They provide an opportunity to go within and find our own true voices in the midst of a choir.

This is what my husband and I are moving through with Cedar. A label. A diagnosis. Our resistance to this label. Our relief upon the awareness of this label. Our confusion. Our clarity. Our "aha...this makes sense". Our fears. Our projections. A sudden awareness of our expectations of Cedar.  Releasing those expectations. Our surrendering to needing help and guidance. Our tears. Or more like...sobs. Our awakening of being chosen to parent him. Our confidence. Our lack of confidence. Our free spirits so deeply wanting to intuit everything he needs. Our surrendering to the fact that we cannot intuit his needs every moment, especially when we are learning his brain and every cell in his body receives information different than ours.

Asperger's Syndrome. High functioning Autism. Low Spectrum. Sensory Processing Disorder.

Crystal Child.

Our Cedar.

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Suddenly, I felt faced with how to share this with others. What gave me courage is that we are one in billions of parents that are faced with labels for their children and not a lot of people know how to navigate through it all. It can feel isolating and lonely and full of so many fears.  Sometimes our fear of labels can paralyze us from giving our child what they truly need.

We are in the beginning of it all. That first awareness and overwhelm. Trying to live moment by moment and center ourselves and not allow the many opinions that may come our way to divert us from our own intuition and trust as Cedar's parents . Even the opinions to not label him. Which me, more than anyone, understands so deeply.

But I keep going back to that first moment when I heard the label and how my heart felt relief and a weight lifted and tears poured because I have always known down deep that there was something, something I couldn't grasp or understand about my precious son. I knew that most times his behavior or sensitivities came from a place that went beyond my empathy or intuition as a mama to a toddler figuring out his way in this world.  There has been completely messy moments for him and me.  Moments where I felt he was judged or I was judged and I have had to be his only advocate in a room.  The idea that I could now help myself and others understand him better, so that Cedar will have room to BE and feel safe being, offered me so much peace.

I know my son cannot be boxed in. I also know that just as I did not allow myself to be controlled or defined by any one label, I, we will raise Cedar to not be defined or controlled by any label. We will also raise him to not attach any shame to any of this as there is no shame in it. Just as I felt there was no shame in my fertility journey and sharing it out loud here on my blog has helped hundreds, if not thousands of women and men not feel alone.

As much as we go down the list of Asperger qualities and nod our head, not all of them apply to him. So we are on a journey. And this journey is all about helping him feel as safe and secure as he can when he is overwhelmed. Being married to a librarian, you better believe we have stacks of books on the subject. But we also put them aside at times, take deep breaths and not allow it to consume us or steer us away from our own intuition and free spirits. Those moments where we just hold space for him and release the need to know all the answers or strategies in that moment and to just surrender to the not knowing and what comes so easily for us, which is loving him with our whole hearts unconditionally.

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I have more to share about our process over the last few months and our choice to approach this holistically with a grain free diet, particular vitamins and minerals and tools for sensory overwhelm. We are meeting with an OT this month, have had appointments with a naturopath and phone appointments with a gentle and wise woman sent to me by a dear friend. This woman has become my life line.

In this moment, we are surrendering to the not knowing. Surrendering to the uncertainty of whether or not to embrace this label fully. Surrendering to the relief we feel when we can make sense of why he does what he does. Surrendering to the frustration we feel when we can't make sense of any of this.

Just surrendering.  Isn't that just what all parents have to do?

big love*

Just wanted to share a moment of our day today. One that was very precious to me in the aftermath of a melty and tender morning for him. I have a post coming that I am working on, navigating through and gathering the courage to put out into the world about our sweet boy and us and our journey to awareness as his parents. Some big stuff happening in our world and it has felt all consuming for a few months but I feel like I am surfacing and able to breathe deep and gain clarity.

I thought I loved big all of my life but I never thought I could love a being as much as I do this being that came into our lives 3.5 years ago. But with big love comes big heartache and then big healing.

More soon. For now, lets just focus on how cute it is that his boots are on the wrong foot and he couldn't care less. And how he dug my kitty cat knit dread hat out of our hat basket to keep the sun out of his eyes rather than his baseball cap. And that he wanted to wear his friend La La Lemur in his apron pocket just like a kangaroo.

glimpse*

Sometimes I look across the room and get a glimpse of what may come in the future and I linger and watch this other worldly space he allows himself to surrender to. He doesn't know I am witnessing or that would bring him to the present.

Like this moment, when he grabbed his guitar shortly after a sensory overwhelm melt down. He sat quietly, closing his eyes, picking at the guitar, rocking his body, then moved to face the window, knowing what he needed to connect to for solace.

What I want most for him is to be deeply in tune with what he needs in this life. So, these moments he tunes in, without any guidance from me, brings a deep sigh from within. Mmmmmm.

our something unexpected. our little miracle.

My husband and I watched this trailer tonight. We both were teary eyed by the end. I was so moved by it that I wanted to share it with all of you.

Sometimes, well, most times, it feels like Cedar came into our life in such a magical way that is hard to describe but this movie, the energy and meaning behind it, truly emulates so many emotions I carry with me as his mother.

What really touched me deep in this trailer is when Timothy is standing in front of a row of friends and asked "So, you all came from your mom's tummies? How was that?" With such an innocent curiosity, from a place of not feeling left out or left behind or a longing and wishing he had come to his parents that same way.  How deeply we hope Cedar will feel this secure about his journey to us and comfortable being open about his own birth story.

It is so important to me he is deeply aware that just like in this film, we conceived him in our hearts and dreams and his beautiful birth mother was the fertile soil that brought him to life.

The symbolism of this movie moves me so: The hope that it offers those that so deeply ache to have a child and the possibility that your child can come to you in ways you least expect.

three*

Cedar is three today.

Three things about Cedar.  He's...

A little bit Comical. A little bit Soul. A little bit Zen.

I sit here snuggled up on the couch, gazing now and then in front of me at the birthday fort we built Cedar.  Each year we promised to do this and he wakes to a corner of fabric and pillows and balloons and a few presents.  His sacred hideaway.  His little cave.  It stays up for a while.

Yesterday, as I made the tiny preparations for his special day, I walked around in a bit of a haze and felt my heart both ache and soar about all of it.  His growing up feels so sudden.  Once he grasped language and could communicate fully, I was able to see deeper into layers of who he is.  And as much as his discoveries and sharings and imagination is so new, my connection to his stories feel so ancient, so familiar.  All those years of trying to conceive, it was this very spirit that he is coming to be, that I felt near me.  I probably say this often.  I don't remember.  But it is THAT true and wild.  I knew him before he came to us.  I heard his whispers.  And now...I get to feel them close, like when I am laying with him in bed and he puts his arms around me, rests his forehead on mine and says "lets talk mommy" with his sweet breath tickling my nose.  And oh the talks we have.  This is just the beginning.

As Maezen said to me earlier today..."3 is little. Little and wise."

More soon.  I've pulled in a bit, slowed down as the darkness of winter approaches and the chill in the air beckons me to snuggle in.  Reading this book again has awakened my heart.  Just returned from a long weekend away with a soul sister in need.  Life feels different to me as I re-enter.  I am navigating my way through it and brought to a space of slowing and savoring.

 

 

nourishment for a growing boy*

Our dear boy is really growing into himself and as a dear friend said to me today..."the 3 year change is HUGE...the child goes from just in the head space and begins to work his way down his body...". And that is exactly what is happening. Even now that he has found his words, he still is most comfortable expressing himself with his body. Most people that spend time with him says he has a groove when he walks. We often wonder if he will be a dancer or an actor or something where he can move every morsel of his body to express an emotion.  Since this body movement is so part of who he is, I want to nourish it deep but he has chosen this part of his life to become a picky eater.  So, I come to you mamas or caretakers to freshen up our toddler kitchen!

I would love to hear some of your creative healthy toddler recipes!  Like I always say, I know there is Google and books and all that but I always find so much wisdom here and I prefer to come here to this community first.

Cedar LOVES green smoothies, so I am golden there...but I would just be delighted to learn of some yummy snacks and meals where the veggies are there but they'd never know it.  ; )  The only veggies he will eat right now is raw carrots and sauteed kale (score!) but that's all, folks.

So, so grateful for all of you.

ps. that photo of him laying down in the Vancouver Aquarium was taken this weekend.  he decided that this would be a better view.  such a sweet moment with the line of people beside us giggling and also nodding, perhaps all wishing they could do the same.  i think next time i will.

my world halts*

{last night...propped up on pillows while mama watched his breathing}

{today was a lazy couch day. daddy & cedar playing with his new iPad}

{i am so honored to be his safe space}

I wish I could say I was one of those mamas that are really strong when their child is sick.  But, I'm not.  My whole world halts and I feel it with him.  I just want to sit near and stare at him while he sleeps and hold him when he wakes and make it all go away.  When he cries while he is coughing, tears run down my cheeks or anxiety fills my heart.  My mind sees flashes of emergency room visits and hospital stays.  Perhaps all mamas feel this way but some are less messy about it.  I know what Cedar needs most is love and I feel confident that he feels that from me and that is what brings me comfort and gives me permission to be gentle on myself.

Its been a heavy and emotional week in regards to some family stuff but Cedar becoming really sick was a not so gentle reminder of where my energies need to be right now.  Both Boho Boy and I have taken a few trips to the Co-Op for natural remedies and the drug store for the big guns.  Tomorrow I am taking him into a new family Naturopath.  Its all chest and head congestion related and his cough seems really painful but no fever, thank goodness.   I am sitting here on the couch with him.  It is 8:30pm and he's been asleep for 3 hours.  I think this might mean another long night of staying awake with him against my chest, reading and watching the tellie.  I had so much I wanted to do today but everything has slowed and all that matters is this moment, his breath and his comfort.

I am tired and worn with dark circles and bags under my eyes but I am stepping into that peaceful warrior within.

{I am slowly finding my footing as a daughter, sister, wife, friend and especially a mama}

Thank you to all of my dear friends and family that have been sending Cedar love, prayers and healing thoughts. Man, he is a little dude blessed with so much love.

Also...sending all of you a warm cup of healing soup on this day of remembrance (9/11).

wild and free*

I have some pretty yummy stuff to document about my trip to British Columbia, Canada but not the time to do it yet. I want to put it somewhere, so I can look back and cherish, read it to Cedar and savor the memory of his first time in his father's country. Just to offer a slice, some of the stories have to do with my head being pooped on, me losing my phone downtown to be found again and a dreadlocked beauty who reads my blog bravely approaching me that I cannot stop thinking about.  She was magic.

This was a full week. A dear friend was in town and we soaked her in as much as possible. She is a dream. Also a bit of an emotional week for me having to do with one of my sisters. Some stuff I don't feel comfortable sharing in public but wanted to say something, so that those of you that come to this space with your big hearts and intuition will already know to lift it up in prayer and meditation and send healing thoughts to her and the rest of my family.

In the meantime, I wanted to share this shot of Cedar I took the day before yesterday. It was in the morning, still in his jammies, with his new boots on and excited to see how they felt running down our street. Been trying to find little toddler Uggs at the consignment shops here but they must go fast, so we couldn't wait and he loves these and that is awesome because he usually only likes to wear shoes with animals on them! This image of Cedar is so totally him with his wild joy and free spirit.

I am writing this on my steps with my Nia pants on and a tank and some brand new walking/running shoes. I don't remember the last time I stepped out in work out shoes. All of my walks out in nature have been lazed and lovely and slow and mindful. I embraced that slowness my body, soul and mind needed. But I feel ready. Ready to get my body moving, to let my blood flow and work through stuff stirring around in my soul. So today it begins. As I move my bod, time alone, music in my ears, I will think of this image of Cedar and draw from his wild and free ways.

{your stories in my previous post have moved me deep. and the times i came here to write a post, i chose to just read your words. i've needed to hear so much of this wisdom and insight and just raw spilling. i think so many of us have. thank you...so utterly humbled and grateful for your bravery}

i heart botanical paint*

Last night while we were preparing for Cedar's nightly rhythm, I said to him..."when you wake up in the morning, there will be a surprise!" His face lit up with a smile wider than usual " a soupwize??" he asked. Of course he was suddenly inspired to walk up the stairs and into the bed. As I held him until he fell asleep, he kept saying "soupwize" and then sighing.  Once he fell asleep and I went back downstairs, I said to Boho Boy,  "if he remembers when he wakes up, then he is far too smarty for a 2 year old!" Guess what happened. As soon as he opened his eyes this morning, he looked at me and whispered "goo-mownin! soupwize, mama??".

I wasn't sure what he was going to think about it. I had a feeling he was imagining and dreamed all night about some cool car or train but what I handed him was a gift that Boho Boy's dear friend and previous assitant (when he was a Librarian) gifted to Cedar right before we moved. It was a wooden birdhouse...waiting to be painted and hung on one of our trees. We are blessed with a plethora of beautiful birds that visit our neighborhood. We wake up to melodies every morning and we were told that the man living in this home previous to us had many bird houses throughout the trees. I wasn't sure Cedar would be into it, although I know he loves to paint on his easel. When I handed it to him and told him that his surprise was that we get to go outside and paint this birdhouse, he was totally delighted and my heart melted.

So, I brought his table and chairs outside in the late morning, under a tree and we took out our Glob natural paints for the first time. These paints are pigments made from fruits, vegetables, flowers and spices. They smell delicious and the colors are gorgeous. I think the bottles are so pretty I want to use them to decorate!

This morning, painting with him under the tree, listening to acoustic music and the birds singing and saying hello to our neighbors passing by...was one of the most favorite mornings of my life. We just sat there quietly painting together. Comfortably in silence. I enjoy his company so, so much.

{cedar's fisherman pants were made especially for him by my friend em...who added a darling patch with trees! i have a feeling cedar will always have some sort of tree theme in his life}

self soothing chant*

As long as we can remember, Cedar has closed his eyes when wanting to savor something, whether it be food or a song he is singing or music/instruments he is listening to or when he is swinging in a swing.  Moments that move him.

This was our first canoe ride outside of the bay that is down the street from our home.  This time we had to drive to our destination and pull the canoe down to a dock.  The cliffs towered above him, the islands surrounded us. He was a bit afraid and unsure as the waters had more movement than the calm waters near our home.  This is how he chose to calm himself.  The organic lollipop he found in my purse helped too.  It totally worked as a pretty microphone. ; )

I love the way he self soothes.  It reaches into a place inside of him that is so ancient and deep.  Then he opens his eyes and its back into the present world of childlike play..."Airplane!".  ; )

orange & blue*

In my Color Theory class in design school, I learned that orange and blue are opposites on the color wheel, which makes all tones and hues of these colors complementary to one another. I promise I wasn't planning this when we decided to get Cedar an ice cream cone. But I am really happy about the colors and cuteness here!

Another thing I learned (WE learned) is to not give Cedar orange sherbert from an ice cream parlor for a very very long time. He went WILD with a sugar rush (we don't typically give him sugar, just honey). I think he went to bed at midnight this night. It was both hilarious and shocking...how every morsel of his body needed to be moving for hours. I know if he could have done them, he would have done a million back flips. I will just stick to giving him my homemade orange dreamsicles with Dynamo juice (from Trader Joes) and vanilla rice milk thankyouverymuch.  My sweet wild child.

I heart complementary colors together.  Something to think about when you're designing your home.

violin and guitar*

Just wanted to share with you a sweet moment with Cedar and his play tools. This is actually a daily passion of his. Turning whatever he is playing with into an instrument when the inspiration nudges. One of my favorite things is walking into the room when he doesn't know I am there and he is closing his eyes, strumming an air guitar really slowly and swaying his head. Totally in his own little zone. He reminds me to pause and go to what feels nourishing when I need to.

a new beginning*

oh my goodness.  We have all been crashed out sick over here.  All with the same things, same symptoms.  Sinus Infection, Acute Bronchitis, etc.  Going round and round and our home conditions not helping.  But mama finally got it BAD after taking care of my boys.  I even had to postpone a visit from one of my sisters because we are so concerned this viral thing is too catchy and that is the last thing she needs. So now I am laid up for a few days and my honey love is home with me being a sexy boy nurse and my sweet son is being VERY patient with me not being able to play too much with him.  But I did get out the paints yesterday...so we could both get some fresh air and do something gentle.  I am so warmed in the heart to see Cedar getting braver and braver with his tactile sensitivities.  He loves painting but has had some episodes where he melted down when paint touched him.  So we tried other things but he kept going for the brush.  I always follow his lead with his interests.  I have watched him work through it on his own and yesterday, he actually found some humor in it...and it was awesome to see.

We are here for one more month and then we're headed to WASHINGTON...omg.  So so so excited.  In the meantime, we have stocked up with an herbal pharmacy of immunity building goodness.  As of right now, I had to give into the Western approach and take the antibiotics (Cedar too) but once we lick this thing and move to fresh Washington air, we will put our intentions into maintaining wellness within our bodies, minds and souls.  We are so craving a change.  Our gypsy hearts are aching for a new beginning.  I've already connected with three lovely souls that live there and I am not even there yet.  This place is full of kindred spirits and an energy that pulls you in.  I have sweet visions of Boho Boy kayaking as the sun comes up and me jogging on the pier and Cedar running in a forest with his gnome spirit on high.

But for now, we are just focusing on purging our home, simplifying what we're bringing with us and just simply getting better.  As stressful as packing up a home and moving can be, I have been trying to stay present in the moment and live, breathe, think, DO simpler things.  Really focusing on my family and getting through each day.

April is our month to simplify.   Mmmmm.

Just for fun...what kind of home do you see us in?  We are taking our time with finding it.  We will be staying in a month to month place temporarily to give ourselves time to really get to know which neighborhood our family belongs in.

Tomorrow is my father's birthday.  We may be posting a silly video of sorts.  ; )

Bye-Lo Baby*

Slowly, over this past month, Cedar started to not seem like himself. More quiet, sleeping longer, appetite decreasing. He was chewing on his fingers, so we figured it was his two year molars again. Which it was, but there seemed to be more. He began coughing a bit but since he didn't have a fever, I thought perhaps it was from the drainage of the massive amounts of saliva from his teething. Boho Boy and I always approach our bodies holistically when it comes to wellness. We have always treated Cedar in this way and he seems to have thrived with a strong immune system thus far. With the help of our intuition and wisdom from our herb mama friends and family, we thought it would be soon that we would see an improvement. But it slowly got worse and finally, after two nights of holding him up on my chest all night so he could sleep without coughing and him laying down at the park (photo you see above), I knew I needed to take him to a doctor. I hesitated before because I was not comfortable with the doctor we have for him, who is with our insurance. We felt he wasn't very present and seemed to have his thoughts on getting to the long line of patients ahead of us.  He also always thought Cedar was a girl when he first walked in the door. I tend to give doctors the benefit of the doubt, especially with insurance in our country these days but it didn't mean I felt safe with him. I consulted a circle of very wise medicine women and it was almost as if their permission that it was time to go to the doctor helped me get over my own fears and stubbornness about it. I felt so protected because as soon as I called the doctor's office, they got him in with a cancellation that day and we were fortunate to see another doctor. A beautiful French woman (oooh, la la), who made it clear the minute she sat down with us that she is very conservative with medication for toddlers.  I knew she was right for our family.  We so believe in helping to guide our own bodies with learning how to heal itself rather than relying on medicines that only fix the surface and not the root.  But we also believe, for us, that there is a time to be more aggressive about it and seek the quick-fixing Western approach.  Especially when it comes to Cedar getting enough oxygen.

She listened intently to our story about how we've most recently realized the air quality in our home is not at its best and we did a few things that we thought would help...but it seems my husband and I are still suffering from symptoms. Cedar has always had a strong immune system and we were grateful he wasn't affected but now I was curious if his current symptoms had anything to do with our air quality, which would tell us that it is not fixed. Now we're thinking the toxicity is deeper into the walls than we thought possible.

She checked Cedar, gently and all over and by the end of what felt like a long process with an emotionally distraught toddler, Cedar was diagnosed with a sinus infection, an ear infection and bronchitis. She told me that she doesn't see sinus infections in toddlers often. She does see them but just not often and especially in a situation where the entire family has similar symptoms. So, she was the second medical professional to suggest it is the air quality and said it makes perfect sense, as she has treated a few families with the same symptoms as a result from some sort of toxicity in their living environment.

That was it. I phoned my husband in tears and as soon as he heard what Cedar was diagnosed with, he said that's it. We're leaving our home. So, its all happening so fast. We'll be out of here in a month and in the meantime, will be doing all we can to protect and build up our immune systems. Its been so confusing to us how for so long, we have pumped our bodies full of vitamins and elixirs and mists and wholesome foods and yet still feel like we are walking around with the flu. Some days worse than others but it never quite goes away. Part of me wonders if our fertility journey was affected as well. We've been in this home for 9 years now.

With all this bigness going on, Cedar is where my heart and soul is. It is so hard to see him not fully himself. He is our first and only and perhaps our ever...and when he hurts, we hurt deep.  So we are treating him both holistically and with antibiotics (and probiotics) and an inhaler.  Lots of herbal rubs and minty baths and setting him upright in bed.

I have been so blessed to have been circled by dear friends that are sending us love and offering their help during this time. There has been mention of "packing parties" and trips to see us so that we can have relief while we pack and begin the process of a new life. I have been sent packages of herbal love and healing rituals, wholesome recipes for me and our family. I feel overwhelmed and not at all alone in this.

One thing that has been a huge comfort for Cedar is a song I sing to him to help him sleep. I wanted to share it with you. I first heard it from a band called Innocence Mission on their lullaby CD "Now The Day is Over".  The song is called Bye-Lo Baby. You can listen to a bit of the chorus on this page. It is song #11.

What I do is switch the words around to add everyone from my immediate family.  So that he knows he is loved deeply and thought of and protected by all of us. Its pretty guaranteed by the time I reach Cousin Seanzie...he is drifted off into dream land, no matter how poopie he feels. I close my eyes and imagine that family member holding and rocking him in the rocking chair, just like me...and I truly believe he feels them near.

Perhaps there is magic in the song.  The band is from Ireland...the land of Pixies and Faeries, you know.  ; )

I start from oldest to youngest:

  • Bye-lo baby.  Bye-lo baby.  Bye-lo baby.  Bye-lo baby bye.
  • Mama will love you. Mama will love you. Mama will love you. All of her life.
  • Daddy will love you. Daddy will love you. Daddy will love you. All of his life.
  • Grandpa Lenny will love you. Grandpa Lenny will love you. Grandpa Lenny will love you. Up in heaven above.
  • Vu Vu will love you. Vu Vu will love you. Vu Vu will love you. All of his life.
  • Grandmarmie will love you. Grandmarmie will love you. Grandmarmie will love you. All of her life.
  • Omi will love you. Omi will love you. Omi will love you. All of her life.
  • Auntie DD will love you. Auntie DD will love you. Auntie DD will love you. All of her life.
  • Uncle JJ will love you. Uncle JJ will love you. Uncle JJ will love you. All of his life.
  • Uncle Jon-Erik will love you. Uncle Jon-Erik will love you. Uncle Jon-Erik will love you. All of his life.
  • Auntie Pammie will love you. Auntie Pammie will love you. Auntie Pammie will love you. All of her life.
  • Uncle Marky will love you. Uncle Marky will love you. Uncle Marky will love you. All of his life.
  • Auntie La La will love you. Auntie La La will love you. Auntie La La will love you. All of her life.
  • Cousin Kelly will love you. Cousin Kelly will love you. Cousin Kelly will love you. All of her life.
  • Cousin Casey will love you. Cousin Casey will love you. Cousin Casey will love you. All of his life.
  • Cousin Seanzie will love you. Cousin Seanzie will love you. Counsin Seanzie will love you. All of his life.
  • Bye-lo baby. Bye-lo baby. Bye-lo baby. Bye-lo baby bye.