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I’m going to take a little break (that started a while ago) from posting. I will most likely pop in to share a picture or an update. Life is busy right now with the holidays, Max’s new school (which means my new found [semi] free time), and Bella’s acupuncture treatments.

I’m making a point to make daily trips to the floor with Max so he feels like he’s leading play or like we’re doing things co-operatively. I used to do this all the time before having Bella but fell out of it while trying to find my rhythm with two children. Rhythm, I’m finding, always changes.

I’ve also started telling stories that I [or we] make up as we go along, both of the children love that – Max often preferring a story over a book. Our relationship has grown into this really rewarding and harmonious thing. I think the key is to take the time to just be. with. the. kids. Easier said than done, let me tell you. And having Max in a home preschool that we both LOVE helps in so many good ways. Oh such good stuff is happening.

Bella also learns a lot by watching how the family interacts – especially me with Max and Papa. It has become a fine habit to include Bella in everything. She lets me know when she needs something and seems so happy to just be with us – in mama’s arms of-course.

I think I’m starting to get interested, again, in cooking. That passion has been on sabbatical for a few years now. As my chef of a husband can tell you.

Now, I say this next part knowing I have, like, only five readers. Beautiful, sexy, smart readers at that…

As life has started to get busier, I can’t help but to feel grateful to you for sharing this space with me. Your comments and support have gotten me through some very difficult times this year. I used to be quite cynical about the whole world of blogging but not anymore. This world has become another form of community for me. I thank you for that. Even if you don’t comment I know you are reading and I appreciate your presence.

There is no doubt that this year has been challenging (at best) and downright painful (at worst). However, I’m on the upswing and feeling good and normal again. Bella is seeing the acupuncturist that I used to see when I was pregnant with Max. Dr. Han helped manage my pain with RA so I have a lot of faith in her methodology of practicing Chinese medicine/acupuncture/herbs. Oh, and Bella doesn’t mind the needles at all. They only stay in for a few seconds.

I have three bags of wild looking Chinese herbs upstairs on the stove waiting to be boiled and chilled for use on BaoBao’s skin. I’m also taking herbs orally to benefit both BaoBao and myself. I needed some help with stress because there has been a few times while I was up in the middle of the night with an itchy baby that I felt as if I was slipping over the edge. I am in shock over how much better I feel after taking these herbs for only a couple of weeks. I have more faith in Chinese medicine than Western – though I do believe there is a time and place for both.

I am in a deep space right now regarding the work of being mindful. Not deep as in, “whoa, that is so deep, dude.” I mean, deep as in I can’t put words to it but I know I’m in it because I feel like myself. I feel calm even when irritated. I feel happy even when doing nothing. I’m also learning so much from Max right now because I’ve finally figured out how to listen to him. This in and of itself is blowing my mind.

So on that note, I wish all of you a lovely holiday season filled with many moments of intuitive living.

See you next year!

Love,

Michelle

P.S. This may sound strange since my son is three years old, but… I no longer see being a mom as my “job.” You know, as something I do instead of what I am. Being a mom is who I am. Just the same as I am a woman, I am a mom. And I love my mom-self. She is quite amazing.

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I do have many wonderful things happening in my life right now but feel like I need to get something else out…

There is a thick fog – it calls me like a beacon while pushing others away.
Silently you sit deep within.
I know you are shouting but I can’t see the right words and you are sitting so still.
Through the numbness I hear you speaking to me, laughing with me, reminiscing with me.
I want to see you again,
to know who you have become,
to know that you have become.
I wish for you to become the woman I thought you’d be.
The woman we talked about you being.
In silence I wait for your visits welcoming the short bursts of your stay.
I cry in grief when the fog rolls into place.
I will never forget the woman that I loved even though I left her too many years ago.
Even though long before I left, she left me.

My birthday is coming up. So is Monica’s. She was exactly two years and one month older than me. Her son’s birthday just passed on October 17th. I can’t believe that I am so sad. I know that might sound dumb but grieving is new to me and is catching me off guard.

More later but in short…

Today was Rebel Girl’s first NAET treatment.

Well, I’m going to skip the NAET stuff and take Bella to my acupuncturist (who told me she doubts the validity of NAET). After just one “treatment” I also think it is absurd. I also question the motives/quality of any practitioner who practices this quackery. I’m all about natural medicine and stuff but that doesn’t mean I believe everything “natural” that I hear about.

I’m desperate to help Bella but not desperate enough to ignore my own eyes and instincts.

Lots has been going on.

The Monday before Thanksgiving, I started to seriously consider taking Max out of his preschool. I don’t want to get into detail as to why I feel this way (too long and rambly) but just know I witnessed several different dynamics and actions in his classroom that I do not agree with. It really boils down to the fact that the preschool he was at had a mode of operating that isn’t compatible to the realities of children.

The same day that I started to feel strongly about Max needing to change preschools… a nature mama friend, H, said she was thinking about starting a preschool in her home. H met a woman who was interested in teaching and who is a friend of a friend, thing. In other words, connected to the natural parenting/earthy/healer-type community. Talk about things falling into place. Today, just a week later, I met with Max’s new teacher at H’s house. Max will be going to a very dear friend’s home for preschool Mon, Tue, and Wed from 8:30 am – 2:30 pm. I am so relieved.

I took Bella to her first acupuncture/NAET appointment yesterday morning. Dr. L seems to really know her stuff, is kind, honest, and in general a warm person. In other words, she gave me good vibes. At this point, I am doing everything within my powers to help Bella and it is time to move into the next realm of help. I left Dr. L’s office feeling relieved, understood, and hopeful that she will be able to help Bella.

Admittedly, I am not convinced that NAET will help. No amount of personal testimony will convince me of it’s ability to actually cure a person of their allergies. This is one of those things that I need to see/experience to believe. I do, however, have personal experience with acupuncture working to relieve severe pain by controlling the inflammation in my joints. Bella will be receiving Chinese herbs through my breast milk (I will be taking them), acupressure (needles are not used on babies), and NAET therapy. I have also been a strict bitch about my diet for the past 2 ½ weeks. Controlling what I eat helps her skin but she is still itching.

My father in-law (whom I get along with very well) is building a swing set with a slide, deck, and sandbox in our back yard. He is the kind of builder who is very meticulous and goes all out so this is going to be quite a little playground for my children…

Hal battling the wasps on our porch. They are relentless in claiming their territory…

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The play space isn’t completed, yet, but the swings are set up so today the kids got to enjoy their new play space…

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Okay, sometimes it really is hard to pick just one…

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Max is really into doing puzzles. He can do a 48 piece puzzles all by himself!

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Hanging out by his finished work:

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Bella looks like she is going to love books, too.

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Look Ma! I’m standing!

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Deep Thoughts by Michelle Harmon:

Sometimes when you think a person is a little crazy it turns out that they are. Then, you know it is necessary to build a fence around your yard – one made of pretty stone.

Happy Tofurkyday!

This holiday season has to be about something else besides food for me and because he can’t enjoy food without me… my husband, too. We are both feeling pretty blah about Thanksgiving this year.

Everyday is about family around here so the holidays add that extra special bonus of (lots of) good food… this year I’ll just have to settle for the season being about family! 😉 However, Hal said for Christmas, he is going to go all out and make some comfort foods I can eat (he loves cooking and especially for the holidays).

Speaking of food… I took a meal over to a friend, Michelle’s, house yesterday. She had her third baby on Halloween!

When she went to the hospital for a scheduled c-birth her doctor came into the room and was like, “uh, what are you doing here?” Michelle, being full of piss and vinegar to begin with and ready to have her baby was like, “um, I’m having a baby today. Remember? You scheduled it!”

The OB swore up and down that Michelle’s due date wasn’t for another three weeks so she couldn’t possibly have planned a c-birth on Halloween. Michelle was PISSED. Her OB doesn’t have any malpractice insurance so did not want to do the c-section three weeks before her due date.

Michelle and her hubby talked about it and she decided her baby was ready to be born. She was having really strong contractions all day and just really felt strongly that it was the right time.

Well, as the doctor was reaching in to pull the baby out, both the doctor and her nurse gasped in horror. THAT freaked Michelle and her hubby out big time. Hubby took a peak behind the curtain and even he gasped. The cord had been wrapped and tied tightly around the baby’s neck. Once side of the cord was red, the other side white. She wasn’t getting any thing from her cord! The doctor told my friend if the c-birth had not been done when it was, her baby would not have made it.

AMAZING. Mother’s intuition is powerful.

I will say (since I don’t really trust doctors) I’m skeptical as to whether or not it was as serious of a situation as the baby would have died. However, I trust Michelle and this is (part of) her birth story. It is a give-me-goosebumps kind of story.

Bella’s 9 month check-up.

Hal got off from work today at noon and has off until Monday! Woo hoo!

I took Bella to her 9 month check-up today. Since last week when I took Max in and Dr. B. made that comment about her skin, Rebel Girl has cleared up almost completely. She is right on track developmentally and physically… thank gawd… I don’t think I could deal with it if she wasn’t. Her only problem is the eczema. Dr. B. was impressed with my knowledge about Bella’s food allergies. She also paid me accolades for doing so well with my diet restrictions. It felt good to get some recognition in regards to how difficult it is to give up so many foods for someone else. My friends and family are good at patting me on the back… but I appreciate every pat I can get!

I have decided to delay solids until Rebel Girl is a year old… because… I have an auto immune disorder and Bella is already having issues with her immune system. It is important for me to do EVERYTHING possible to help her get a good strong start in life. Breastmilk gives Rebel Girl everything she needs to grow and be healthy… right now food will only complicate her system. Delaying solids until she is 12 months is what is best for her.

I was happy that Dr. B. was so supportive of my efforts to help Bella. Many doctors would not be as understanding and knowledgeable as Dr. B. It is comforting to be able to share so much with a medical professional and receive such warmth in return. She agreed with me on every point and assured me that I’m doing everything that can possibly be done to help Bella.

*Exhale*

I know this already but I’m not above receiving/needing some recognition and praise (as mentioned above, already, hint hint *wink*). It is hard to not fall into self proclaimed martyrdom doing what I am doing. I often do feel quite martyr-like regarding my strict diet (no dairy, soy, wheat, eggs, corn, or tree nuts – or anything with those byproducts). Then, I give myself a good swift quick kick in the head (whack).

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Rebel Girl,

You are the Queen of my world.

Love,

Mama