victoria, bc*

{on the ferry to victoria.  he got his blue moon wish for a ferry boat ride!  here he was chatting with passersby, whether they wanted him to or not!  he told many imaginary stories, which is how he communicates with people.  one patient grandma stood and listened to him for 10 minutes.}

{seeking an adventure.  ended up going on a ferry taxi tour. that is the Empress Hotel in the background.  breathtaking.}

{that bus in the background was our tour bus!  i've always wanted to do the afternoon tea at the Empress.  someday...}

{coolest public toilet ever.  good thing no one was in there while cedar was saying "helloooooo?"}

{on the bus, we had the whole downstairs to ourselves because cedar didn't want to be on the top. he felt safer down below. i learned so much about the history of the city on this tour!}

{solstic cafe...our favorite place to get yerba mate lattes.  they gave cedar a straw dipped in honey.  what a sweet treat.  their dark hot chocolate with honey was a favorite of his too.}

{a park at beacon hill.  here cedar had a bit of a break through playing with others with the help of a boy with a kindred spirit.  at first he said "there are too many kids here!"  but then this sweet quirky little boy that didn't want to talk to cedar just sat or stood near him.  and he let cedar chatter on and he listened and somehow, that gave cedar courage to feel safer in this environment.}

{listening intently to the captain on the ferry taxi tour.  we saw the most adorable house boats!  we are tempted to retire on a house boat someday.}

{fan tan alley. one of my favorite places to browse. so teeny tiny and full of hippy earthy shops.}

{cedar picked this fan out in china town over a toy.}

{my boys outside the museum, pretending to be totem poles}

{at an exhibit at the Royal BC Museum}

{us on the double decker bus tour}

{resting on daddy after a long day of adventures}

Victoria is a place we have visited each year since our honeymoon. Sometimes twice a year and now that we are a bit closer, perhaps it will be more. We are so drawn to this gorgeous city!

The last few times we brought Cedar, I noticed there was an underlying sense of being a bit bummed that we couldn't do all we used to do BC (Before Cedar): Sit at an Irish pub, drink Ciders and listen to stories from tourists or locals, filling our bellies with yummy spicy Ceasars and watching hockey, walking around the city at night after romantic dates at a new restaurant, long drives for hours exploring the island. Don't get me wrong, we so enjoyed our time there with him but I also found ourselves stuck in the muck of old expectations and spending energy trying to release them.  We weren't really wanting to admit it to one another but it was just an energy that was there.

This time around, I wanted to be more present and aware of our reality. The reality that vacations with toddlers aren't always relaxing and full of sleeping in and doing things on a whim. Especially when Cedar is more comfy knowing what's happening next and also repeating things that bring him a sense of joy...over and over!!  Going into this trip with the intention that it will be all about toddler-ness, completely shifted the energy for us. We still did many of the same things we did the last few times we were there with Cedar but this time, that sense of longing to do or be somewhere else on the island wasn't there. We were right there with Cedar, seeing it through his eyes, following his rhythms and it felt gooooood to our souls.

I left remembering how important it is to be present in the moment and to let go of expectations and go with the flow of now whether on vacation or at home or anywhere, really. Its a simple concept but it takes practice.  Daily.

toddlers + moving = crazytown.

our flower child

first time out in so long. took a drive with windows down and the wailin' jennys blaring

pretty knobs at cost plus world market. want to cover our new kitchen with these

i love him so much. he looks yummy in his gypsy wrap.

cedar eating our flu soup. recipe below.

best. swing. view. ever.

resting on a bench together

Just wanted to share some images of the last few days.

Man, moving is more stressful than I remember. There was a time when I was in my twenties that I moved every few years. But back then I was more a gypsy about it and didn't keep a lot of THINGS and didn't allow myself to get attached to the walls around me. I was joking with a friend the other day who is going through the same thing and she said sorting and packing should be illegal with a toddler. ; ) Oh my gosh. It makes a huge difference when the little one decides it is SO FUN to pull apart the pile you are working on or get into the box and pretend its a car. It is a Zen exercise in staying present and slowing down and remembering that this wee one has absolutely no concept of what we're about to really do. To him right now, our home being out of sorts is like a maze of creative play. Crazytown.

We are all feeling stronger and better. I am on the last leg of this flu and tend to go in and out of good or hard days. I know its because I am not able to rest fully. Gone are the days I can lay in bed all day when I am feeling poorly. ; ) I wanted to share our Flu Soup with you. We got it out of Real Simple magazine and added a few different touches. It heals the bod and tastes delicious! Boho Boy is a stud at making soups when I am not feeling well.

We are in the process of maybe having found our Faerie Home. We will know in the next three days. If it happens to be the one, I will let you know. House hunting is yet ANOTHER Zen exercise in not allowing yourself to get attached and to trust that if a home we fall in love with falls through, it means it was not meant for us. Moving is SUPER hard on the ego because it forces you to leg go of it completely and just surrender.

Flu Soup {we do it the quick and easy way}

1 can white kidney beans* 2 tbsp olive oil 2 cups diced onion 4 cloves garlic sliced thinly 8 oz shiitake mushrooms sliced 8 oz portobello mushrooms sliced 2 lbs butternut squash cut into 1 inch cubes 1 bay leaf 8 cups broth (we prefer turkey broth with these Trader Joes) 1/2 bunch of kale, stems removed and leaves sliced thinly Sea Salt

Directions: Heat Oil in a large pan over a medium flame Add onions and garlic. Cook until tender (6 minutes) Transfer them to a bowl and set aside. Add some more oil and then saute the mushrooms until they are golden brow. stir them often. Put onions/garlic in a soup pot and add the mushrooms. Add the squash, bay leaf and broth. Season with pepper. Bring to a boil, then cover and let simmer for about 45 minutes, or until squash is tender. Stir in the kale about 15 minutes before soup is done. *If you want to use dried beans, go ahead...just simmer the soup for a solid hour.

Here is a cute little video we took the other day. I love the way he sings...

And this one just makes me laugh...

showing up*

Here are two photos from said date with husband:

{him sober, me not...taken with iPhone4}

Bonus Cedar photo. Today he wanted two ponytails on his head. He got them. ; )

We also found him digging in my make-up bag yesterday and applying blush to his cheeks. And when we go to the toy store, the child size car he wants to sit on is the Barbie jeep. Awesome. ; ) He is madly in love with trains, planes and automobiles and loves to wrestle. I love and celebrate his balance of feminine and masculine energies. There are no boxes we will put him in as far as gender goes!

a moment in our day today*

Cedar does this so often. He wants me to sit and watch as he runs down a hill, towards me, then on top of end with a mini boy hug (aka wrestle on the ground). I thought it would be fun to capture it today.

Lately I have discovered the wonder of audio books. Since Cedar came into our lives, I have not had the attention span, nor the time, to sit and read a book. I can skim through it quickly or jump around only to read a few sentences before I end up falling asleep or distracted in some way. I don't know why it took me so long to come up with the idea of listening to an audio book while doing chores or hanging with Cedar. It's brilliant!!! And I love that he is being read to as well. Although, the one I save for his nap time is "Connection Parenting...Parenting through Connection Rather than Coercion and Love instead of Fear" by Pam Leo.  Oh man, this one is full of wisdom that wraps around my heart and hugs it tight.  I find myself weepy while doing laundry and picking up his toys from ideas that resonate so deeply with me and also comfort my inner little girl.

So far, here are a few gems that I wrote down.  Will share more soon...


"We are less likely to pass on our past hurts to our children when we do our own healing work."

"Once we understand that uncooperative behavior is a communication of a child's unmet need, a hurt, or a response to an adults unrealistic expectation, we do not have to take the behavior so personally."

"We create a strong bond over time when we lovingly and consistently meet our child's needs."

"When we learn to relate in ways that show children that their needs and feelings matter,  we strengthen the bond and avoid power struggles."

"Very young children learn conflict resolution when we model it."

"We teach children that every one's needs are important by honoring their needs.  From our example, they learn to honor other's needs."

"Children are delightful to be with when their needs are being met and nothing is hurting them."

"Whenever a child responds negatively to a reasonable request,  we look for a hidden hurt or the unmet need.  Once we acknowledge every one's needs, we can work on problem solving."

"I've learned to say...'When you behave that way, I know something is wrong.  We love each other and people who love each other don't treat one another this way. Can you tell me what you need or what is hurting you?'  If I can remember to stop and ask that one simple question, it changes the whole concept of the power struggle.  That question communicates "I love you and what you feel is important to me."


Such good stuff...and really resonates with my soul.  I find myself so much more present with Cedar these days.  So much more forgiving of myself in those moments when I am more reactive and then I hold him and talk with him about it.  I feel as though my mind and heart are opening wider to who Cedar is and what triggers him and how I can do my best to create an environment where he feels seen and heard and loved consistently.  Right now this mama business is SO my greatest teacher.

a list*

the bohos chilling at a pond this past weekend

I feel like I've been resisting a blog post lately because I have been at a loss for words. So rather than come to this space with a perfectly dreamed up concept for a post, I am just here. As I am. Wordless and giving myself permission to be.

Its not normal for me to feel unable to put my daily experiences or thoughts or feelings into words. I think it might be exhaustion. Boho Boy and I are both dealing with it, for different reasons, right now.

How about I make a list of some of what is transpiring in our life these days. A list feels so much less intimidating to my brain that is unable to flow at the moment.

  • Every day we talk about our move to Washington in June.
  • We've realized that living where we have has been both depressing and oppressive for our souls. Admitting that was really difficult but also freeing.
  • I think my body responds to forest more than ocean.
  • I always thought it was the ocean.
  • But lately I keep dreaming of forests.
  • Forests smell delicious and are cool and crisp and nurturing and you can walk in it.
  • Forests remind me of faeries and gnomes and hobbits. Those are my people.
  • I think Cedar is one of those people too.
  • We found a duck pond not too far away from our home (see above).
  • Cedar is now totally in love with ducks.
  • Someone dropped a pet duck off at this pond. We saw the empty box and the duck wanted no part of the pond.
  • He kept following Cedar and would snuggle up to me.
  • This duck didn't know he was a duck. Cedar got attached.
  • A family that was also there with a sweet boy decided to take the duck home.  It looked miserable and they were concerned.
  • This family had land and was going to load up on all things duck on the way home.
  • Cedar cried when they drove away with the duck.
  • It was the saddest moment ever.
  • The other day, while watching videos of Cedar on the laptop, the one with him and the duck following him around came on.
  • Cedar immediately sat down where he was, cried, shook his head "no" and put his hands over his eyes.
  • I held him for about 10 minutes while he cried.
  • He remembered the duck from a week back. It both shocked me and melted my heart to the floor.
  • Now we have to get him a duck when we move to Washington. ; )
  • I was sick with a flu for a week last week.  When I got better, Boho Boy got sick.
  • Now that Boho Boy is better, Cedar is going through a massive growth/brain spurt.
  • So much so that he hasn't wanted to sleep.  He LOVES to sleep but lately his zest for life has been far too abundant for that.
  • Mama and daddy are tired.  Today mama needs a cocktail.  But instead I drink water in a wine glass and pretend it is a martini.
  • Boho Boy just called me and said he is bringing home Indian food.  Seriously?  He read my mind.  I didn't feel like cooking.
  • Now I am a tired and HAPPY mama.
  • I get jealous of my husband's garlic naan bread because it isn't gluten free.
  • So I heat up a brown rice tortilla with Earth Balance butter and sprinkle it with garlic salt.
  • Almost as good.  I think.  I guess I wouldn't know but I can pretend.
  • Perhaps I am drawn to lists right now because I LOVE these pretty little arrows Jo created.  ; )

cedar up in the loft.

cedar loft1

cedar loft2

cedar loft3

cedar loft5

cedar loft4

We haven't let Cedar climb up the stairs to the loft or explore up there until very recently. The stairs are not the safest, as you can see with the rough tile from Mexico. So now that he seems more confident about climbing, we're granting him his wish that he's had probably since we first brought him home. ; )

I wanted to capture him in a 10 minute span. He went from tortured artist, to singing the teething blues to climbing glee to exploring something sparkly. And this is just 10 minutes. Oh how full my days are when I walk through his world presently.

He's growing up, non? *sigh*

groovy grooves*

groovy grooves.
self portrait today with phone {a photo i took for a dear friend that just got dreads and needed reassurance that bumps and grooves are an everyday part of them}

this is how my life feels right now.  a little bumpy and loopy and frayed.  this is why my dreadlocks parallel my life in a beautiful, messy way.  ; )

i am having a wee bit of computer issues.  hence...the lack of posting and spilling.  i recorded a long, heart soaked vlog for all of you today and when i replayed it, i sounded like i was sitting in a closet with cotton in my mouth.  i think i cried.  well, okay i admit, i DID cry because i really wanted you to hear it.  so i will try to share again what i felt inspired to share in that moment.  it might not look the same but it will be what is supposed to be sent out into the world, i must trust.

i've had two weeks of emotional upheavally days (yes, just made up that word) with sweet, dear cedar...and his deep need to express himself, along with his frustration that he is unable to do it fully with words.  so i shared about it in a very raw and vulnerable way on the vlog i recorded this morning while he was napping.  it felt so HEALING to get it out there and release.  then he woke up and was in such a soft, cuddly, present mood with me.  our day was pretty stellar.  i took him on a nature walk and there was so much connectedness between us.  i honestly believe it was because he could feel my release of worry for him and my trust in the process and his sensitive soul opened up more space for us.  when my husband came home tonight, i couldn't stop talking about our wonderful day (because for the last two weeks, he came home to a weepy, exhausted, emotional wife).

i thought i was losing it yesterday. today i felt so centered and present and patient and alive.  motherhood is beautiful lumpy bumpy ride, man...with lots and lots of groovy grooves.

i am posting the video anyways, for those of you that have earphones and can turn up your volume loud enough to perhaps gather a few words.  ; )  just so i don't feel it was completely for naught.

froggie pack*

loving his new froggie pack
cedar and his new froggie pack from auntie dd,  taken with palm pre phone (august break #23)

daddy & cedar at the airport
meeting daddy at our home airport, taken with palm pre phone

My sister got a pass to help me through security at the airport today. I need help because Cedar has suddenly become SO active and isn't a fan of sitting still in wide open spaces. : ) So holding onto him while taking off my shoes, his shoes, my backpack, his backpack and pulling out all the liquids is so totally impossible when he wants to run off. This is why we use the monkey backpack leash. I know people have opinions about it and I can have compassion for their aversion to it but oh my gosh, what would I do without it? He would run off in an instant and I would lose him and be a total mommy wreck. Besides, the idea of a monkey hugging him brings him massive amounts of delight. At this stage, it has saved our lives and sanity, since I travel alone with him a lot. I do wonder if those people that have opinions about these leash backpacks have had a very active toddler that won't let you carry them in slings or packs, hold them, hold your hand or sit in a stroller while in crowded spaces. Bless the hearts of anyone that can handle it better than I can.

So, after Darlene and I got through all the liquid testing and padding down of security, we saw these adorable stuffed animal fuzzy backpack rolly thingies in the window of one of the airport shops. So, of course Auntie DD had to go check them out and Cedar immediately started pulling one of them around the shop. He's all about pulling wagons with stuffed animals inside, so a stuffed animal he can pull was absolute bliss.

He proudly walked around the airport with his new froggie pack and monkey on his back. Everyone laughed and smiled and while getting on the airplane, Cedar kept stopping and pointing to his new froggie pack, showing all the folks in the aisle seats. It was awesome.  Thank you, Auntie DD...score!!!

The moment he saw daddy coming towards him when we arrived at our home airport, rather than hug him, he pointed to his new froggie pack to show it off.  It was hilarious and so fun to see Boho Boy totally get the excitement about it.

Here is a video of Cedar pretending to talk on the phone on our iPod Touch, while mid-flight home:

sacred spillings.

my view from the kitchen this morning...
my view from the kitchen this morning

This week I have really felt the vibrational pull of the full moon. Feeling very introspective and sensitive to feelings of others and my own. Cedar too is quite tender. We went I believe a whole month without the emotional and physical upheaval of teething. It seems to have returned with a vengeance and with it, behaviors like throwing food, slapping mama and throwing his bottle across the room. Because I too am in a tender place with my cycle and the moon approaching, it has taken so much inside of me to take deep breaths and be compassionate about the source of his frustration and not take it personally. Boho Boy is so much better at it than I am but that could be from over 10 years of experience he had teaching elementary school. I feel like teachers should have tattoos on their forearms to remind them of the second out of Toltec wisdom's Four Agreements: Don't Take Anything Personally.

The myriad of emotions I have in regards to Cedar in a manner of just a few minutes blows me away. How I can love him so much I could cry and then need space from him and then want to hold him close and then feel hurt if he acts out at me and then laugh at his funny ways...and that was just 10 minutes. Its overwhelming and has taught me so much about myself. It has helped me slow down. It has reminded me to stay present. It has required me to tap into the deepest parts of my sacred feminine for wisdom that was not realized until now.

So much of that wisdom tells me to be gentle on myself. To be gentle and empathize with other mothers, fathers, caretakers from all types of journeys. To have compassion.

I was spilling with a dear friend of mine about some tender spaces of my journey as a mama. One of them being how even though I felt confident about some choices I made for Cedar, I felt judged at times by other mothers. Mostly strangers that would see me at a park or in the aisles of a whole food grocery store. Whether it be me feeding Cedar with a bottle or placing formula in my grocery cart or organic jarred baby food, at times other crunchy mamas would give me a disapproving look. As Cedar would be gleefully sitting in the cart (because from day one, he hated to be confined in a carrier of any kind and needed to be FREE), a mama carrying her babe tight to her chest would give me two glances and looked concerned. One women shook her head when she saw me place Earth's Best pureed food in a jar into my cart...and when at Target placing formula into my cart, a mama actually told me she was surprised I was feeding my baby formula. Do I really need to go into my story that he was adopted and I didn't have enough time to get my milk going with herbs? Or that even if I did, I had a deep fear that the herbs wouldn't work (since it didn't work for me with fertility) and the last thing I wanted to be doing was putting energy into feeling like a failure rather than feeding my son in peace and filling his belly up in a way that felt right for us? That he had GERD and needed a special type of formula to soothe his burning throat and gut? Did I need to gently pull that woman aside at Whole Foods and share with her how many times I paid hundreds of dollars on organic yummy veggies and fruit to puree it myself and for some reason that I couldn't figure out, my son would refuse to eat it and only wanted jarred food?

No...I didn't need to explain all these things to them and thankfully when these things would happen, I was in a centered space and felt deeply connected to my own story. I have always listened to my gut about Cedar and went with his flow and he is thriving and happy and well and for this, I am so blessed. So blessed that for the most part, I haven't felt a need to justify any of this.

We all go into a journey with expectations. When I married my husband, I wanted to be fully pregnant with his child. I wanted to birth my baby in a tub, leaning on his bare harry chest, guided by a doula or midwife and screaming out to God and my tribe from around the world to get me through the surges. I wanted to pull my child from between my legs and onto my chest and be wrapped up in my husbands arms. I wanted many things but those things evolved and changed and something wildly different ended up happening.

Cedar found us in another way. I caressed the belly of another goddess to speak to my child. I watched him come out between her legs and be whisked away by doctors with gloves into another room to help him breathe and take out the liquid in his lungs. I held him for the first time fully clothed and just a few hours past me arriving at an airport. But it was beautiful and the connection I felt as his mother was instant and later that night as we lay with him in a hospital bed, and my husband told me I've never been more beautiful...I realized our story was perfect for us. I was exactly where I wanted to be. My expectations fell by the wayside and I felt fully present with what was.

I just wish in a sea of mothers that hold so many expectations on themselves and others, that we could embrace one another's journeys. That breast feeding mamas, could comfortably sit near bottle feeding mamas and not feel awkward or disappointed in the other.

My friend Brooke said something to me that has lingered deep for a few days now.  She is an urban-earth mama that I deeply respect and learn so much from...

 Feeling held to standards and rules, that takes the heart and soul out of parenting.  It makes us, as mothers, guilty and it disconnects us from listening to our children as individuals.  It prevents us from showing up to the moment and doing what needs to be done given the circumstances we face.  It denies us the gift of being alive to every breath and listening to our hearts.  The rules become the goal rather than the true goal - in this case, a thriving, nourished healthful child.

These camps and rules and parenting identities - from homebirth to breastfeeding to attachment parenting - it sets up wars and builds walls between us. They are labels and ideals tearing us apart. It makes me so sad that good intentions are actually victimizing us and keeping us isolated from one another.

I really connect to this and with her permission, I wanted to share this with you.  Whether you are a parent or not, I know so many of you are nodding. This can apply to so many things in our life, really. I am putting a plea out to the Universe, to gather gentle, open minded souls to continue creating change, gentle change with these tender parts of our journeys. Journeys of all types...not just mother/parenthood.

cutting molars & a fat lip.

teething face.
cedar today in a mood

I planned on doing this romantic vlog for you all today by the window...with the light shining in and some inspirational stories about this new Kind Diet (via Alicia Silverstone's book) I am on and how wonderful I feel on it.

Then cutting more molars happened in our house. Cedar has been off and not sleeping well and the nights have been long and catching up to me. And today, in the beginning of a tantrum, I picked him up and he threw his head back into my lips so very hard. SO very hard. I finally know what it feels like to be punched hard in the mouth. I felt my teeth dig into my bottom lip and the torn flesh from it moving to the tip of my tongue and the gushing of blood down my chin. I sat there stunned. Cedar turned around to look at me, stunned. His tantrum stopped and my crying started. I tried breathing deep to stop the tears, to remain calm and unaffected in his presence but I sat there staring at him with my hand over my mouth, blood dripping through my fingers and tears, huge tears quickly spilling down my cheeks. I was a bit in shock. He rocked back and forth shaking his head and I rubbed the back of his head with my free hand. He didn't know how to express his sorrow. I understood that. I was in this strange in between place of wanting to be angry at someone for doing this to me, yet knowing there is no one to be angry at, all the while falling more in love with my son for being so empathic. What a strange myriad of emotions to feel in one moment. I had to distract him with his guitar, take a step away from him and call my husband. My heart was racing and I just needed to talk it out, to cry it out.

I know my emotions so easily came to surface because of my exhaustion and because of my approaching moon cycle and because this is the first time I've been physically injured by someone I love, even if by accident. It still feels shocking. I don't remember the last time I cried from physical pain.

Many dear hearts told me this was to come. That parents will get bumps and bruises from tantrums or what have you. I suppose I never expected a bruised, fat lip.

He woke up from his nap today and we held one another longer than usual. I sat on the chair rocking him and he was limp, feeling totally safe in my arms. I rubbed his jaw and planned my trip to Whole Foods tonight to gather herbs to make chamomile popsicles for him tomorrow. I might have one too.

Motherhood is a trip.

Edited to add: By request, here is the recipe for the Calming Cooling Herb Pops, sent to me by the wonderful Latisha (she gets her herbs at Mountain Rose Herbs):

Calming Cooling Herb Pops
2 tablespoons chamomile
2 tablespoons catnip
2 tablespoons spearmint
1 teaspoon valerian
1 teaspoon stevia

Steep in a quart size jar for several hours or overnight if possible. In a large pitcher, mix in 1/2 jar of juice and 1/2 jar of water
Pour into freezer trays
Wait about 45 minutes (depending on freezer setting) then insert popsicle sticks
Freeze overnight

Simply chamomile will do if you don't have access to the other herbs. }